Truth Matters August 2014

29 08 2014

Perilous Times Have Come

By Rev. Robert Liichow

Truth Matters August 2014 pdf

One thing sign-gift devotees have been saying from their inception is that there is to be a huge worldwide earth shaking revival right before the return of Jesus Christ in the secret rapture of the Church.

Originally, the nascent Pentecostal sects in America believed that the restoration of the gift of tongues was actually for the purpose of worldwide evangelization. They were convinced that Jesus was coming so soon for the Church but before He could return “the Gospel must be preached to all nations” (Mark 13:10) and then the end will come, so they thought they’d better get busy preaching the Gospel supernaturally.

One theological problem the Pentecostals faced was they thought the gift of other tongues was for the purpose of evangelism due to the initial example of tongues in Acts 2. In that instance, it was somewhat “evangelical” if you consider praising God and magnifying Him evangelizing. However, it was not until Peter stood up and preached in his native tongue that the hearts of the men were cut by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:15) and they are baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:41). We are never told that this supernatural gift was for the purpose of “winning the lost.”

Nonetheless, they thought there was not enough time to learn languages in the normal manner and this alleged restored gift to grant one the correct, divinely chosen language and thus people to evangelize was there for the taking. The result in the 1900’s was that many people went out from the Azusa revival with Pentecostal fire only to go down in flames on the mission field. None of the people who sold all and went to foreign nations on the basis that had been told that they had received the gift to speak a Chinese dialect, Hindi or some other language —- could actually do so. They end result was the death of many missionaries, failure to reach the people they were sent to reach, spiritual shipwreck, spiritual abuse, despair and the realization that they did not actually possess the gift of tongues.

The other glaring theological problem was the premise that drove them to the mission field, that of a worldwide revival preceding the rapture of the Church. Their belief in such a revival is based loosely on two proof texts (there are others):

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.Acts 3:19-21

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. James 5:7-8

DMI has written about quite a bit about The New Order of the Latter Rain in the past and won’t revisit it here. Suffice it to say that these people believe that Jesus cannot return until “all” things are restored to the Church. This is a driving force behind their staunch belief in restored apostles, prophets, signs, wonders and miracles. Through these “restored” ascension gifts (Eph. 4:8) and supernatural powers much of the world will be converted through what have become known as “Power Evangelism.” For all of their great talk and exalted anecdotal “stories” (which seem to always transpire somewhere else) they have yet to manifest any genuine biblical supernatural divine power in converting the nations, let alone cities! A great deal of talk, a lot of hype and unfulfilled promises are mainly what the power evangelists have delivered. Their greatest miracle is getting God’s people to willingly hand over great sums of money to these liars and frauds.

What does the Bible say about the last days? Are we to expect a huge worldwide revival and a world turning to Jesus Christ and then He comes and catches us away to heaven for seven years (or three and a half depending on whose “camp” you are in)? Are we to expect to see a restoration of all the forms of biblical miracles and signs as done since the beginning flowing through the anointed hands of restored apostles and prophets as has been promised since the late 1940’s? Are massive conversions to Christianity at hand as the restored prophets are proclaiming?

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. 2 Timothy 3:1-5

The original recipients of Paul’s letter believed they were living in the last days and in a sense they were. Now almost two thousand years later things have spiraled downwards on everything that can be measured with the exception of sin. The Holy Spirit through Paul cites nineteen (19) moral characteristics that prove the last days have come upon us. If you simply consider each one of these expressions you will quickly see that they are all on grand display in our culture. It is not difficult to watch any of the latest movies and find all 19 in one film! The list rightly begins with the love of self, never forget this factoid: “ALL SIN IS SELFISH” a person can only “sin” for themselves ultimately. When anyone loves themselves supremely then that individual will lie, steal, cheat, break covenants in order to serve the one they love. Of the nineteen cited one in particular demands a bit of parsing to get a fuller understanding. When Paul uses the phrase “without natural affection” which has great significance today more so than in any other period of time.

Without Natural Affection — The word(“natural affection”) is one of four Greek words for “love,” but it is never used at all in the New Testament. It refers to the natural love that members of the same family have for each other. It is such a common characteristic of all peoples that there was apparently no occasion to refer to it at all –exceptit ispresent, when people lose their instinctive love for their own parents and children, and thus are “withoutaffection.” One thinks of the widespread abortionism of these last days, as well as the modern breakdown of the family in general. (Obtained from

The author mentioned abortion. Never in human history have people been so hell-bent to destroy their own seed through abortion as those alive today. In America alone more black babies are aborted than are born in many cities. China is responsible for the slaughter of millions as well, along with most countries in Europe. Several Scandinavian countries are “progressive” enough to encourage their terminally ill and aged to kill themselves through euthanasia. Many family members push their aging parents to go ahead and “make room” (give us our inheritance now) for the next generation. How sick and sad is that? Oh, in America we are coming around to this view also. Currently we just shuffle our parents off to the “old folk’s home” and visit when it suits them, etc. It was not that long ago when families took care of their grandparents and parents. But on a whole we live in a time where there is little “natural affection” evidenced on a large scale. Nothing in this text points to a global revival or Christianizing of the world as the Kingdom Now dominionists proclaim.

Our Lord Himself does not paint a rosy picture of life prior to His return as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5) and Judge of all.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:3–5

His disciples ask our Lord a direct question and He gave them a direct answer. Throughout the history of the Church a crackpot here or there has arisen to claim he was Jesus. This number has multiplied and DMI has exposed many of these false Christ’s. José Luis de Jesús Miranda, originally from Puerto Rico claimed to be Jesus Christ, gained a following of several thousand, he died last August 8, 2013 when he met the genuine Article. Right now as you read this there is a man in Siberia, Sergey Anatolyevitch Torop, he too claims to be Jesus Christ and yes, people are following him. Alan John Miller of Australia is also claiming to be Jesus the Christ as well. It would be interesting to see what transpires if these two frauds were ever to cross paths. Philippine “Jesus,” Apollo Carreon Quiboloy have something to say to the other two. All of these liars draw away people from following the Christ of the Bible. The Greek word used for “many” refers to a very large number of people. This too does not sound like “revival,” but He continues to make the future clearer:

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:9–12

Jesus cites wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, famines and all of these horrors are just the beginning of sorrows — then — the end really begins to “kick in” with the last huge full out onslaught against the Church.

From Without

Who is the “they” that shall deliver us up? Back in the day of the apostles it was the religious leaders of the Jews and later the Roman emperor(s). Nothing has changed, last month we saw another historic denomination fall to depravity and they attack those of us who stand on God’s Word. The governments of the world are not upholding the cause of the Church. For the first time in 2,000 years there are NO Christians in Mosul, Iraq due to being slaughtered by Islamic forces. Over 200,000+ Christians have been slaughtered over the last two years in Syria, Iraq, China, North Korea, etc. In America our own current regime stands against the Church and Christian religious rights. The world hates the Church and it is expressing this hatred like never before.

From Within

These attacks are fairly obvious; someone lopping off your head does not require much discernment. The other realm our Lord warns of us is far more difficult to discern is that of those who stand up in our pulpits and claim to speak for God but do not. Today there are literally thousands of men and women who are claiming to be restored prophets of Jesus Christ. Every “Christian” television network regularly hosts several globally recognized prophets and prophetesses. Here is a SHORT list of living liars:

Cindy Jacobs, Generals of Intercession (received vision for her SINistry from an angel)
Kenneth Copeland, Head of Kenneth Copeland SINistry, new buddy with the Pope
Paul Cain, “greatest living prophet” once, known homosexual, alcoholic (gifts and callings without repentance).
Kim Clement, a darling of Janny Crouch and TBN regular.
Pat Robertson, founder of the 700 Club can be seen profalying on virtually every show.
Bill Hamon, Leader of the restored prophetic movement. “Trained 1,000’s
to become profits.
E. Bernard Jordan, replacing Rev. Ike, calls himself a Christian; he is a mind-science
Dutch Sheets, a Vineyard devotee.
Bill Johnson, leader of Bethel SINistries, huge false prophet and false teacher.
Patricia King, founder of Extreme Prophetic, huge wacko and liar.
Stacy & Wes Campbell, husband & wife tag team liars

The twelve people I have listed have impacted to one degree or another the spiritual lives of several million Christians and they are expanding their reach as you read this. Hamon has “released” into Pathetic SINistry thousands of excited men and women who believe they are now God’s seers. These tares (see Matt. 13:25) use the Bible, couch their statements in Christian lingo and prey upon the innate trust we have for our leaders in the Church. The twelve wolves I have cited apart from calling disciples after themselves (Acts 20:30); they have syphoned off an estimated BILLION dollars over the years from legitimate Christian ministry work.

During the 1980’s the Church was rocked by the necessary exposure of several well-known televangelists including Robert Tilton, Jim and Tammy Bakker, W. V. Grant, and a few other smaller fish. Due to the many moral scandals revealed both nationally and locally the love of many people has grown cold. When Jimmy Bakker slept with Jessica Hahn the faith of many was shipwrecked (they were not built on Christ but sinful man). The same happened to many who followed Jimmy Swaggart until his fall(s) with prostitutes and their underage children. No one will deny that the massive pedophile revelations within the priesthood of the Church of Rome has caused a large departure of many from their local parishes. Is it just me, or does this not sound like “revival” to you as well? I think not. Our Lord ends His comment by cryptically stating “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” In another place He says of the end times:

For then there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Matthew 24:21–22

The end of time, which I sincerely believe we are entering into right now, is going to be a period that is so horrific that no one in history has ever or WILL EVER experience! I fear most Christians do not take this seriously. If not for the mercy of God no one on earth would be left alive due to the massive multi-fronted judgment that God is releasing. He shortens His wrath for the sake of His people the “elect” (He does not have two elect peoples) this tells me we are still on earth folks.

Here is a snapshot of a FEW examples of the multi-facetted sorrows beginning to impact all humanity:

The entire Middle East is on fire and it is only getting worse.
Virtually every nation has turned against Israel in It’s battle with Hamas.
The area of Ukraine, this too is growing “hotter” by the week.
Christians are being slaughtered by the tens of thousands in Syria and Iraq this year.
Virtually every historic denomination has capitulated to the spirit of this age.
Our southern border has been purposefully collapsed; millions of illegals now soak up dwindling resources in our indebted nation. We are seeing the actual start of the new North American treaty signed by Bush, Mexico/America/Canada – all open.
More people in America are on the gov’t dole than pay taxes (we’ve passed the “tipping point”).
Ebola is spreading, pneumonic and bubonic plague is spreading.
Millions die every year from the flu.
America can expect a huge increase in utility rates & more brown outs & black outs due to the closure of many coal mines & power plants. Our power grid is highly vulnerable.
Diseases unseen in America are back, leprosy, scabies, measles, H1N1, foot and mouth disease, etc.
The U.S. dollar is about to lose its status as the World Reserve Currency and is worth less than half its face value today. The fiat backed dollar is set to collapse in the near future.
Our gov’t spies and manipulates its citizens, our leaders violate the law and their oaths (re-read Timothy)
Abortion, infanticide, euthanasia is widespread.
Transhuman gene splicing experiments.
Vaccines that harm and do not heal.
Societal approval of homosexuality
Rampant immorality, fornication, redefining marriage.
GMO laden franken-food, fluoride in the public water systems, pesticides.
Purposeful dumbing down of the populace via the educational system.
Fukashima meltdown, still leaking radiation into the ocean. Virtually every reactor in the world is leaking to some degree (do the research if you doubt me).

I ask our sign-gift enthusiast brethren AGAIN where they see a world-wide earth shaking revival and a nation-wide turning to Christ in the Bible or in our world? Yet the biblical facts and observable facts do not deter these people from teaching Christian dominionism.

The Kingdom Now folks are wrong in thinking they are somehow going to convert the world to Christianity and then hand it over to Jesus when He returns. Jesus describes a time so dark and punitive that few will survive it which gives no place for their doctrinal drivel.

Those who believe they will be raptured away (as the pre-tribulation Dispensationalists teach) before things really begin to go downhill are equally wrong (this was my previous stance as a charismatic). The danger of holding this belief is that when the storm starts to intensify they will not be prepared, thinking they are getting air-lifted not to mention the other harm that come from clinging to a false doctrine.

Lastly, I am not that impressed with those who rightly believe, teach and confess that the Church will indeed suffer and suffer horribly (such as my beloved LCMS). Unfortunately there will be a people who are the “last” and thus receive the worst. Yet those who believe we shall go through the tribulation are doing little to nothing to prepare to be light houses in practical ways for their communities as things continue to fail.

There is simply no way to sugarcoat what is beginning to befall the world and America personally. The horrors coming upon the earth are unimaginable because there has never been nor ever again will be a time this horrific. To ignore what is taking place all around us is unwise. Our Lord and His apostles have given us more than enough information about what to expect and the common sense to take appropriate steps.

The good news is manifold. First, having read the end of the “Book” I can assure you we have won in Christ Jesus! Secondly, as sin abounds so does the grace of our God (Rom. 5:20) and the darkness of this age only makes His Gospel light shine even brighter. Third, as always we are called to keep our eyes focused upon Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) regardless of our temporal situation.


“Bishop” Tony Palmer Dead

by Rev. Bob Liichow

In January this year Pope Francis sent Bishop Palmer to a charismatic conference hosted by television evangelist Kenneth Copeland, where he unveiled a video message of unity and love that the Pope had suggested he do.1

The man who served as the bridge between head of the Church of Rome, the Pope and the titular head of Charismatic extremism, Kenneth Copeland has died in a motorcycle accident. The meeting of these two movers-and-shakers of the spiritual world was facilitated by a friend of both Bishop Tony Palmer.

Tony Palmer, the charismatic young preacher who enjoyed a friendship with Pope Francis, has apparently died in a motorcycle accident,” Kathy Schiffer reported on her Seasons of Grace blog. “Not a Catholic, Palmer was bishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches, a group that broke away from the Anglican Church and considered itself part of the Convergence Movement.”2

The Convergence Movement

Standing within the Celtic and Anglican traditions, the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches was created by a convergence of the great historical expressions of faith and practice: the Evangelical, Charismatic, liturgical, and sacramental traditions. The fundamental principles defining inclusion in the Communion are detailed in the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of 1886.3

The House of Bishops of the American Episcopal Church met in Chicago in 1886. During their meeting they discussed how they might open themselves up to all other Christian communions who would agree to 4 basic position statements:

The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God.

The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.

The two Sacraments — Baptism and the Supper of the Lord — ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.

The Historic Episcopate locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.4

The goal of these Episcopalians was laudable; they wanted to see the visible Church united as one Body with a common confession and witness to the world. This is a longing in the heart of every Christian but it will never exist until our Lord returns for us.

Paul told us that there MUST be schisms among us (see 1 Cor. 11:18) and the very nature of truth is that it is in opposition to everything that stands in contradiction to it. Truth is black and white, no shades of grey or as the philosophers like to say “A is A and cannot be non-A.” While their quest was noble, it was and is unattainable. Bishop Palmer was simply one of many who have tried to bridge the “doctrinal gap” that truth so unavoidably creates between us.

Their Four Points

First, The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God. Sounds good, but what does it say? Is the Bible the only revealed Word of God or can we also use the Book of Mormon, the Divine Principle or the Keys to Science and Health along with the Bible? Is the Bible a totally sufficient revelation from God? Does God still speak through His restored prophets to the Church as the sign-gift enthusiasts proclaim? What of the role of Church tradition in understanding the Bible as the Roman Catholics assert? Episcopalians are not Dispensationalists as are most American evangelicals, how do these vastly differing traditions unite in Bible study?

Secondly, The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith. All genuine Christians can and do confess that these two creeds are sufficient statements of our faith as Christians. Interestingly enough the American evangelicals and charismatics will initially be unfamiliar with these two confessions in that they never confess them as part of their worship.

Thirdly, The two Sacraments — Baptism and the Supper of the Lord — ministered with unfailing use of Christ’s words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him. So much for unity! Wisely they say “the two sacraments” thus leaving wide open the door for others to add additional sacraments, after all the Church of Rome has 7 of them. However, the visible Church does agree with both of these sacraments inasmuch as they are found within the pages of the New Testament. Apart from that there is absolutely no agreement between the Episcopalians, Roman Catholics, American Evangelicals, Sign-gift independent folks and the remaining liturgical devotees as to what is happens in/with/through/under these two specific sacraments.

Holy Communion

There is no scriptural agreement between any of these divergent traditions as to what is being: (1) given and (2) received at communion. What elements to use – wine or grape juice? Is it bread or wafers, gluten free or wheat? Do we use shot glasses or a common chalice? How often, once a week, every service, quarterly? Can children participate? Alter fellowship, closed or open to any and all? There is no agreement between these groups as to the most salient issue — is this bread indeed the Body of Christ and this cup His blood or not? Yes or no, again no “grey” areas here folks!


Baptism, simple enough right? Hold your horses` holy one! What is baptism first of all? Whom do we baptize? Infants, children at the mystical age of “accountability,” adults after strict examination? Do we sprinkle or immerse? Do we believe in re-baptizing people who join us? Into what name do we baptize, that of Jesus only as in Acts 2:38 or in the triune Name as given in Matthew 28:19? Episcopalians and Roman Catholics embrace infant baptism, while American Evangelicals and sign-gift enthusiasts endorse a believers baptism of children of a certain age (it varies) and adults. The first two confessions sprinkle and the last two practice full immersion. So does Bishop Tony’s organization have a hot tub that their priest stands up in to sprinkle the babies and yet is deep enough to drown the kids and adults?

Lastly, The Historic Episcopate locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church. This last point simply says that each “district” can run itself locally, there is no prescribed liturgical format for each Episcopates expression of their faith. This means you never know what you will get when you enter any one of these member congregations. One place may be very high church Episcopalian and another may be happy-clappy tongue-talking rock-band vested prophets.

The following is a chart of what they call their “Paradigm of Ministry” showing a huge mixed-bag of doctrine and practice:






Biblical Foundation

Five-fold Ministry
and Government –[aka restored apostles/prophets]


Personal Conversion

Power of the Spirit [signs and wonders]


Evangelism & Mission

Spiritual Gifts [restored 9 sign gifts]

Liturgical Worship

Pulpit-Centered Worship

Charismatic Worship [non-liturgical]

Social Action [aka social Gospel/liberation theology?]

Personal Holiness [aka Methodism/works]


Incarnational understanding
of the Church (based on
theology, history, and
sacramental elements of
thought) [aka mystical]

Biblical and Reformational
understanding of the
Church (pragmatic and
rational) [aka rationalistic]

Spiritual, Organic, and
functional understanding
of the Church (dynamic and
informal) [aka impractical]

*the ‘aka’s’ were added by this author to clarify what they really mean

These things look “good” on a chart but if you prick any of these columns with the sword of the Spirit there will be problems.

It makes sense to me that the Pope, a fellow sign-gift enthusiast would embrace a man like Palmer, Palmer had already proven his willingness to compromise God’s truth for human cohesion and feigned pseudo “unity.” To the Pope every professing Christian and denomination are merely lapsed Roman Catholics who simply need some guidance. So this unionistic group was and is an open door to the Vatican. Through Palmer the Pope has now received a hearty welcome by Mr. Copeland and the (hopefully to the Pope) the millions who follow Copeland’s lies.

People ask “was he a Christian?” The answer to that is beyond my pay grade and I can state without equivocation that if he died and went to hell I am not increased one bit. I hope he had a genuine faith in Jesus Christ and was trusting in His work alone on the cross for his sins. One thing is certain Palmer has played a short but vital role in the formation of the coming one world religious body by bringing the Pope and Copeland together and for that he will give an account.

End Notes



4. Ibid.



Truth Matters July 2014

28 07 2014

The “Up” Side of Heresy

by Rev. Robert S. Liichow

July 2014 Newsletter pdf

Presbyterian Church Leaders Declare Gay Marriage Is Christian

DETROIT — The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted by large margins Thursday to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”
The amendment approved by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week’s meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

This News is GREAT News for Christians!

An obvious and correct response is that the Presbyterian Church USA has departed from the clear teaching of scripture regarding what marriage is before our holy God as well as His universal condemnation of homosexuality. This departure is both shameful as well as sinful. The Presbyterians are not the only mainline denomination to compromise their biblical stance for the culture of our time. In the spirit of full-disclosure I must add that the United Methodists, Episcopalians and ELCA Lutherans and others have embraced the spirit of the age as the chart on the following page indicates:

We are living in the midst of history in the making and we are seeing the mass defection of historic denominations from many orthodox Christian doctrines and practices (The Church of Rome is no better off, but that is for another article). As grieving as this is, there is a positive and exciting side to what is taking place also that we would do well to consider.

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For
there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. I Cor. 11:17-19

The Apostle Paul’s context is concerning the abuses around Holy Communion and that instead of the blessedness that comes from Christian unity when the Corinthians gathered it was a cause for strife and division. However, I see a principle in what Paul is writing as well —- that of the beneficial nature of heresies.

The Church has witnessed over the last few years a huge falling away from the orthodox teaching regarding marriage and sexuality (a very “bad” thing) however, by taking such an obvious and egregious anti-scriptural position these denominations have given their members a very clear and unmistakable sign as to the LACK of fidelity their group has to the Word of the God they proclaim to love and obey.

The public declaration of support (as voiced by the majority of voters in each denomination) for sodomy by these religious organizations is tantamount to joyfully shouting aloud “Ichabod” (“the glory has departed,” see 1 Samuel 3:1) in their voter’s assemblies and in that shout there is an UNMISTAKBLE clarion call from the Lord of Sabaoth crying out “FLEE these apostate assemblies.

Now allow me to give a very brief biblical overview regarding homosexuality. From Genesis to the Revelation of Jesus Christ homosexuality and all sexual activity outside of the covenant of marriage is sinful, end of story. In Genesis 19:1-11 we read of the denizens of Sodom demanding to have homosexual sex with the “visitors.” We all know the end result of Sodom and her sister city Gomorrah. This catastrophic event should be sufficient proof of our Lord’s hatred of their sin. Not convinced yet? How about Leviticus 18:22 which says:Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.” A bit later on in this same book we have — Leviticus 20:13 If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.” A tad bit too “O.T” for some? Then, perhaps consider meditating long and hard concerning what the Apostle Paul says in Romans:

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness…. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. Romans 1:18-32

In these words I see a pattern of regression from knowing God, to willfully casting aside what was truly known of Him for their own fallen beliefs about Him. In other words these people have gone from what is sure and certain about God (His Word) into speculation about Him based on their fallen reason (the cultural zeitgeist) and the current societal mores.

The end result of such folly according to Romans is that God ABANDONS them (Ichabod) to their basest desires. Folks, nothing has changed since the Holy Spirit led Paul to pen these eternal words. Homosexuality seems to be about the last stage of a society filling up the cup of the wrath of God which is coming upon all the disobedient:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: Col. 3:5-6

Historically when any civilization/culture embraces and normalizes homosexuality it is slated for destruction and soon falls.

Those who have been partners with DMI from its beginning over 17 years ago know that we have never supported the belief in a huge end-time world-wide soul winning revival prior to the return of Jesus Christ. In fact, from our research of the Bible we have come to the opposite opinion, as the next article will demonstrate.

From the very beginning of our history as a people our God has always chosen the “least” and never the most obvious. Israel was the least of all peoples and God chose them. He chose Jacob over Esau, Joseph the youngest over his brothers, even as He chose David (a shepherd) over Saul (a keeper of asses) and many other examples could be cited (Gideon, etc). Thus, when I read about these huge shakings taking place in the midst of the major denominations (I am not forgetting the Church of Rome or other organizations, they too are being shaken by other compromises) I see the “hidden hand of God” moving just like the eagle stirring her nest (see Deut. 32:11).

God uses the social pressures, stresses and forces swirling around us to purify His people even as silver is melted and heated to a high degree to remove the dross (see Prov. 25:4). The cauldron of culture is burbling away and the true foundations of many denominations are being exposed for what they are —– built on shifting sand:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be likewise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be likefoolish man who built his house on the sand.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:24-27

Every denomination and congregation faces the SAME cultural storms of life. The only determining factor as to who remains standing when the storm passes is whether or not they heard the Word of God and acted upon what they have heard.

The Presbyterians, United Methodists, Anglicans, the ELCA, Quakers and Church of Christ ALL know what God has said, they have willfully chosen to do the opposite. Apart from repentance (which currently does not seem likely) nothing remains for them but the sure judgment of God.

Flee From the Wrath to Come

My best counsel on this matter is that any congregation who names the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord is they depart their apostate denomination. Not every congregation in the Presbytery supported this ungodly measure. Those that did not support the sodomite agenda should leave because if they stay then they are tacitly agreeing with the decision. Those who say “God wants us to stay and change things” are deluded. What if Noah had taken that “pious” stance? Sweet mother-of-pearl people! Martin Luther tried to stay and change the Church of Rome, he had no success. Are these pseudo-reformers going to be more effective than a Luther? I think not.

If I were a member of a congregation which voted in favor of this sin I would leave immediately and never darken their door again. Naturally, I would write a nice letter to all the members I knew telling them exactly why our family left. The time of separation is upon us brothers and sisters and it will become even more evident in the days ahead as to who loves Jesus Christ “more than” (see Matthew 10:37) all else, possibly at the cost of even our very lives.

And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Co 6:15–18

Dear friends by the time an entire denomination is brought to endorse homosexuality by a “large majority” of their voters one can rest assured that many other orthodox doctrinal “mooring stones” have been hacked away and their denominational ship is adrift from the secure anchor of their souls, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:19) and are being tossed by every wave of human and demonic doctrine (Eph. 4:14).

The endorsing of homosexuality is simply the last of the poison vomited out by an already moribund patient. Many other errors preceded this latest abomination. Long before this decision, all of these denominations had embraced women as pastors, changed their stances on Holy Communion, altar fellowship and most assuredly the inerrancy of the Bible.

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much moreshall notwe escape, if we turn away from him thatspeakethheaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.And thisword, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:For our Godisconsuming fire. Hebrews 12:25-29

The author of Hebrews is writing to believers. He begs them to LISTEN to God and to remember what happened to those that REFUSED to listen (hear and obey His Word). The writer says “hey Christians don’t think you will escape” His judgment if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven.

There is a tremendous spiritual “shaking” going on throughout the world directed specifically at the Church. I believe that this shaking is revealing what we really believe. The call is going out “who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32:26). Those who compromise with this wicked and fallen world are not, they have chosen to become His enemies (Phil. 3:19). Those who stay the course, regardless of the human consequences are those who are on His side.

We are living in very perilous (and somewhat exhilarating) times my brothers and sisters. It behooves each one of us not think more highly of ourselves than we ought (Romans 12:3) and to take heed lest ye fall (1 Cor. 10:12). We must strive to be sure we are building our spiritual lives on the solid rock of Gospel of Jesus Christ and His work and not the sand of human wisdom and our works.

In the days ahead we will be reading about more examples of defection from the true Christian faith and when we do remember that Paul warned us that there must be these divisions to prove what is genuine. God always preserves for Himself a remnant of believers whom He uses to banish the gathering darkness. Pray for those who must make very difficult decisions and ask that our Lord grant them the courage to trust Him and His Word. May they hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and allow Him to lead them out of religious “Babylon” to green pastures and still fresh waters that will nourish their souls.

Before going further let me state that Dispensational theology is not deemed as necessarily heretical in that it does not deny the Person of Christ, the Trinity, inerrancy of Scriptures, etc. Nonetheless, it is a false teaching and as such should be scrupulously avoided because of its horrendous fruit.


D.M.I. has not written specifically about homosexuality, the sanctity of marriage or abortion/pro-life issues for two reasons: (1) DMI sees these issues as self-evident, one does not even have to be a Christian to know that homosexuality and abortion are wrong, but all Christians should know simply by virtue of being a child of God that these things are evil. If readers do not know that sodomy and abortion are great evils, then Truth Matters is simply too advanced for them. (2) There are tons of other groups that deal in nothing but “hot button” social issues, so the information is out there if people are interested in those specific topics.

Presbyterian Church (USA) voted down measure to condemn ‘abortion’ of babies born alive
By Rev. Robert Liichow

DETROIT, MI – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) overwhelmingly rejected motion suggesting the church publicly condemn the killing of babies born alive after botched abortions. The proposal, offered by the Presbytery of South Alabama at the denomination’s 221st General Assembly in Detroit last week, also suggested the PCUSA take two years to reconsider its support for abortion-on-demand. Fully 78 percent of delegates of the 1.8 million–member PCUSA voted against a “two year season of reflection on the plight of unwanted children,” which called on church leaders to “issue statements that denounce the practice of killing babies born live following an abortion procedure, such as was revealed in the Dr. Kermit Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia.” Obtained from

In the first article we learned of the Presbyterian Church (USA aka PCUSA) endorsing homosexuality. This stance alone is anti-life in that homosexual unions do not produce any children. Now we also see that this same apostate denomination, and make no mistake about it they are apostates, that they are willing to support the murder of children already living outside of the womb! On the on hand they endorse those who cannot produce any seed and on the other hand they accept the killing of the living seed from male/female relationships. Both are completely anti-life stances. It stands to reason that if someone put forth the measure to approve suicide (which is all they have left) it too would be heartily approved.

We have before us a cautionary tale of what happens when a people abandon the Word of God to become “culturally” relevant. The little leaven of compromise enters in and is left unchecked and the end result is that you will murder your own children and I believe eventually yourself. Satan comes with a singular purpose as our Master taught us when He said:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

These sad souls have been taken captive by our enemy and through them he is destroying life behind signs that read “Welcome.” If their agreement with the sodomites was not enough to convince people to leave, then perhaps their willingness to allow living babies to be murdered outside of the womb (murdering them
inside the womb is horrid enough) should be enough to get multitudes to leave in abject disgust. One will have to work very hard to convince me that those who remain are genuine Christians. I cannot see how anyone who bears the name of Jesus can side with death. Selah.

Copeland Rolls the “Dice” With Rome
by Rev. Bob Liichow

I am so Blessed! What Jesus asked the Father for in John 17:21, “that we may all be one in Him”, is finally coming to pass.Pope Francis is a man filled with the love of Jesus. All eight of us in our meeting together with him were moved by the strong presence of the Holy Spirit, and our love for one another was strengthened beyond measure. Like I said, I am so BLESSED!What a time to be a believer! -Kenneth Copeland—-

There are two major forces within the Church today; that of the Roman Catholic Church (1.2 billion members) and the Sign-gift/charismatic movement (584+ million members). The Pope himself is a sign-gift enthusiast as well as being a member of the Jesuit order. These two groups comprise the majority of the visible Church.

Discernment Ministries International covered the original outreach that KCM and the Vatican had and the video they shared with one another. Remember Mr. Copeland leading the 1,000’s gathered at his meeting to “pray” in other tongues for El Pappa? That initial overture sent a few nervous ripples through the ranks of the sign-seekers because of the obvious rapprochement between these two men and the organizations they represent.

Kenneth Copeland Ministries (KCM ask Kenneth Copeland SINistries) is comprised basically of millions of people who have no “love” for the Roman Catholic “church.” A major people “block” are his classic Pentecostal support base. These folks have always taught that Rome and its Pope(s) are a cult and are not Christians. Pentecostals, like Lutherans in this respect, have always viewed the office of the Pope as the seat of the “antichrist.”

It was around 1978 when I was “filled” with the Spirit and spoke in tongues via the Word of God Community in Ann Arbor. This community was started directly due to the Roman Catholic charismatic renewal which spread around many college campuses. However, the community demanded that all their members be a part of various local congregations (spread the fire that way). I happened to join a Pentecostal Church of God. Upon hearing I was associating with the community aka tongue-talking Roman Catholics in their minds, they urged me quite strongly to leave them folk alone! Which I did and instead of ending up on the “discipleship” end of the sign-gift spectrum, due to my association with the pastor’s son I ended up in the Word of Faith camp. All of the various types of Pentecostals I associated with were united in their abhorrence of the Church of Rome.

Another large support based for KCM is comprised of ex-Roman Catholics. If anyone has encountered an ex-Roman Catholic then you know how uniformly bitter they seem to be towards the Roman system, and rightly so.

Suddenly, Mr. Copeland is making “nice” with the system that is globally known for its child molestation scandals! Now we see Kenny meeting personally with the Pope and taking photos with him, what gives? Has the Pope stopped praying to Mary? Has he declared there is no purgatory? Has he stopped offering indulgences? Has Poppa stopped proclaiming the sinless birth of Mary and her ascent bodily into heaven? NO, he has not and nor shall he. The Pentecostal devotees and ex-Rome devotees of Mr. Copeland have a legitimate concern over Rome’s doctrines (and they should be equally outraged over Copeland’s false CONcepts) and Copeland has gambled big time in drawing near to Rome.

There is no “shock-and-awe” that this Pope is a tongue-talker; after all in 1967 the Holy Spirit “fell” on the priests and students at Notre Dame, IN. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) played a major role in the spreading of the ecumenical charismatic renewal in the 1960’s. The RCC has a long history of recording stories of flying monks, weeping statues, visionaries and all manner of mystical flakes. To them they view Mr. Copeland and his several million enthusiastic devotees merely as “lapsed” Roman Catholics who need to be brought back into the fold. It makes sense on the Pope’s part to accept Mr. Copeland’s overture, he has nothing to lose and his overt support shows his followers that he/The Church support “charismatic” ministry.

Some may ask themselves “why Kenneth Copeland ministries” and not someone else? The best I can offer is my opinion here. Copeland is heard or viewed by someone globally 24 hours per day 7 days per week, in short 24/7. I suppose if the Pope had something he really wanted a lot of charismatically inclined people to hear he might use Copeland. It could be that the Pope actually “likes” Copeland’s preaching, being a sign-gifter himself. Perhaps the old Jesuit has some intricate Machiavellian plan and Copeland is just a pawn (maybe the boy from Texas has similar thoughts)?

Personally, I believe Copeland “zigged” when he should have “zagged” meaning he has miscalculated in uniting with the RCC. Initially he stands to lose a large portion of his financial donor base as well as viewership due to his rank-n-file members stance towards the RCC. Here are just a few comments from KCM’s FB page as of 06-29-14 (these are unedited):

Brother Copeland, take time and commune with God on this…I know He will show you the truth about Pope Francis and his desired “One World Religion”…which is a lie of Satan. There can be NO One World Religion, not without compromising the truths that we know to be evident as Christians.

Brother Copeland, I have watched your program for years and I believe that you have explicit knowledge of the bible. I am devastated that you would actually fall for the deception of the false prophet, Pope Francis. He is truly a wolf in sheeps clothing. Please, take time to pray and seek the face of the Lord about this, before you are led down the garden path…….This Pope is not of God.

have listened to you for a long time Brother Copeland; and I’m having trouble believing you could be so easily deceived. Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Pope Francis is a FALSE PROPHET. Matthew 24: 4-5, 24 “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive man.” “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”

I CAME OUT OF ROMAN CATHOLIC 25YEARS AGO, after l gave my life to Christ, because their doctorines does not agree with the word of God. their believe of Mary as the mediator contradicts the bible declaration of Jesus as the only mediator between God and man…..their praying through the dead saints….l can go on and on to mention what made me renounce my membership of that sect 25years ago…..Brother Copeland, i have been in partnership with your ministry for years……BUT IF JOINING WITH THE POPE AND CATHOLICS IS THE INTERPRETATION OF JOHN 17:21……I really dont agree to this….

I believe we are living in the times where we are clearly seeing the final forming of a one world religion before our very eyes. Positions once considered unthinkable (sodomy, abortion, infanticide) are widely embraced. Doctrines saints have fought and died for lie trampled in the dung while FALSE doctrine and practices are embraced by the multitudes of professing Christians.

In keeping with the philosophy of the first article the “up side” of this sad morass of spiritual darkness and death is that now perhaps both Roman Catholics and followers of the cultic Kenny can see that they have been following Blind Guides (the Pope & Copeland) and will leave both cults and be brought to repentance and faith in the biblical Jesus Christ and become a part of His genuine Body. One can only hope and pray — which I strongly advise. Let us pray that our merciful Lord opens the eyes of all people entangled in deception, blinded by lies and wandering far from secure anchor of their souls.

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Truth Matters June 2014

28 07 2014

Dispensational Delusions

By Rev. Robert Liichow

This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Galatians 5:8–9

Last month Truth Matters dealt with Mr. Hagee’s excitement over the most recent series of lunar eclipses.  What we were not able to cover was the philosophy underpinning Hagee and many other Christians` understanding of the times in which we live.  Most of Hagee’s prognostications regarding Israel and the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church are solidly grounded on the errant views of John Nelson Darby, Cyrus Scofield, Clarence Larkin and Charles Ryrie.

By all accounts Darby was a brilliant scholar, well-spoken and persuasive in his delivery.  He began his career as a lawyer, jettisoned that and became a priest in the Anglican Church.  Darby was very concerned about what he saw as a “lax” condition of the Church and her need to get back to the scriptures.  Darby was also consumed with the belief that the Lord Jesus Christ was coming back for the Church very soon and that the Church must get ready for His return.

Darby’s beliefs are a perfect example of the apostle Paul‘s warning to the Galatians coming to pass.  How so?  For 1,800 years the Church NEVER taught the false doctrines that Darby/Scofield/Larkin have espoused (the ‘little’ leaven) and yet his CONcepts have become widely dispersed and accepted by Evangelicals globally today!  Our Lord warned of the danger of false doctrine (the leaven of the Pharisees), if left unchallenged that it will spread.

How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matthew 16:11–12

Darby began to study the Bible using a rigid dogmatic of applying literalism to the interpretation of the Scriptures.  This is fine as long as one recognizes the different genres of writing within the Bible Itself, which Darby did not.  The Bible contains historical/narrative accounts; Law; Wisdom literature; Poetry; Prophetic writings; Apocalyptic; Parables; Epistles and Romance.  To properly understand the Scriptures one must first recognize the type of literature they are encountering, this is the first step in hermeneutical discovery.  Darby’s theological arrangement became known as Dispensationalism.

As a budding young Pentecostal I worked at a 24/7 gas station and I had an extremely fundamentalist brother as my co-worker.  The only real “difference” between us doctrinally was that I spoke in other tongues and he did not.  I learned that we Pentecostals shared the same understanding of God’s dispensations.  A little later on I came to learn that virtually everyone on television and/or on the revival circuit held to these same basic views regarding Israel, the Church and the end of days.  Just so you know how prevalent this belief system is in America, here are a few of the Bible Colleges and seminaries matriculating pastors upholding this position:

Baptist Bible College, Chafer Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary, Grace Theological Seminary, Masters Seminary, Moody Bible Institute, Multnomah School of the Bible, Philadelphia College of the Bible, Talbot Theological Seminary, Western Conservative Baptist Seminary

I was fed a steady diet of dispensational dogma for at least twenty plus (20+) years, many people have only been exposed to this view and they know nothing or almost nothing about the position of the Church prior to Darby.  Many of you reading this newsletter currently are probably holding on to some of Darby’s CONcepts.  PLEASE read this article with an open mind and PLEASE do your own RESEARCH, these few pages are meant to inform and educate but also to hopefully serve as a catalyst for further study into the topic presented.

What Is Dispensationalism?

Dispensationalism is an approach to biblical interpretation, which states that God uses different means of administering his will to people during different periods of history, usually seven chronologically successive periods.  It attempts a literal interpretation of scripture with a premillennial and pre-tribulation rapture view.  It sees Israel and the church as distinct bodies. (Thanks to our fellow truth-tellers and friends at CARM for the definition, obtained from

Dispensationalists make very graphic charts of their system.  The chart above shows the seven dispensations of our existence as people starting with “Innocence” and ending in the “Kingdom Age,” which is yet to come.  Currently, we are living in the age of “The Church,” sometimes designated the “Age of Grace.” Darby’s seven dispensations boil down to the following:


  1. Innocence – Adam
  2. Conscience – After man sinned, up to the flood
  3. Government – After the flood, man allowed to eat meat, death penalty instituted
  4. Promise – Abraham up to Moses and the giving of the Law
  5. Law – Moses to the cross
  6. Grace – The cross to the Millennial Kingdom
  7. Millennial Kingdom – A 1000 year reign of Christ on earth centered in Jerusalem

These seven dispensations begin and end with an exactness that is forced upon the texts by using arcane dating systems.  In other words when God created Adam a “cosmic stopwatch” was started. As soon as he ate the forbidden fruit, that watch stopped and God began another one, this time “conscience” a very neat and tidy way to conceptualize biblical history, but it lacks chronological support (we are not given biblically the specific dates and times for any of these seven dispensations).  The following ten bullet points summarize the Dispensationalists beliefs:

  1. Literal interpretation of the Bible
  2. God works via different arrangements in distinct periods of history
  3. Israel is the literal descendants of Abraham, not spiritual ones
  4. Israel is the heir to the promises made to Abraham about the seed being blessed
  5. Participation in the Abrahamic Covenant is “mainly” by physical birth in Jewish lineage
  6. Two distinct people groups:  Israel and the Church
  7. Church began at Pentecost
  8. Salvation is by faith in accordance to the revelation given in a particular dispensation
  9. The Holy Spirit did not indwell people in all dispensations, only during the dispensation of the Church age
  10. Christ will reign in the future 1000 year period which occurs after the rapture

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the term dispensation when considering God’s work with man, it comes to us from the Greek word oikonomia, which refers to the house law/stewardship/administration.  The Church universal has always held to only two dispensations (until Darby), that of works (Genesis 1:1-3:14) and that of grace (Genesis 3:15-Rev. 22:21).  Christ Himself instituted the covenant of grace in Gen 3:15. The Lord Himself was the first Preacher of the Gospel when He declared, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” The Lord Himself promised a Saviour from the seed of a woman—the virgin-born Son of God—who will save His people from sin (Isa 7:14, Matt 1:21-23). The covenant of grace is seen throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament. They differ in how God administrates, but not in the substance of what He does. The Mediator of both Testaments is the same, namely, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). The means of salvation is also the same—by grace through faith (Hab 2:4, Rom 4:9-25, Gal 3:7-9, Heb 11:6).  Last month, DMI shared how Mr. Hagee teaches today that the Jews can be saved apart from faith in Jesus Christ, this false teaching comes from Darby’s belief system.

Staunch dispensationalists strongly teach that Law and Grace, like oil and water do not mix.  Ergo, since we are living in the Age of Grace, the Law of Moses given in a previous dispensation does not apply to our lives as Christians today.  For many believers the Law has been abrogated, and is therefore not binding on them living in this age of grace leading to an incipient antinomianism (lawlessness) in their lives.  These believers are extremely confused when it comes to making a proper distinction between the Law and Gospel.  Until a person has a basic understanding of “God’s Yes and God’s No” their Christian life will lack stability.

A litmus test for whether a person harbors dispensational beliefs is simply to ask the individual “are the Jews the chosen people of God today?”  If the individual responds with a resounding “yes” then you are encountering someone who has been unduly influenced by the teachings of Darby and others.

Dispensationalism has two major facets, the first concerns the literal physical descendants of Abraham (on Isaac’s side of the family) and the physical land.  The second is their belief in a pre-millennial pre-tribulation secret rapturing away of all Christians, which could occur at any moment.  This month’s article will consider some facets regarding Israel and the Church.

Israel and the Church

Darby and his followers see the Church as a mere parenthesis in the plan of God brought about by ethnic Israel’s rejection of Christ. For dispensationalists (think of Mr. Hagee), the authentic people of God are the physical descendants of Abraham and obviously their “physical” land is the exact geography given to Abraham.

Often Luther and the other Reformers are wrongly accused of teaching what is called “Replacement Theology” which is defined as the belief that the Church has replaced Israel in the grand economy of salvific history some proponents say that God has exchanged the Gentile world for the Jews.

Dispensationalists and those espousing the “replacement” view affirm the necessity of Christ for salvation; neither is the biblical position regarding the people of God. In both of these cases, the fundamental unity of the people of God across the ages is denied. Both of these views affirm that there are two different ways of salvation, one for the Jews and one for the.

The Bible teaches that there is but one people of God and only one way of salvation. In 1 Peter 2:9, Peter calls his mostly Gentile audience “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for his own possession.” These are all terms used for the nation of Israel in the Old Testament (Ex. 19:5–6Isa. 43:20–21), and Peter applies them to the church because the church is the true Israel of God. The biblical view (which is sometimes mistakenly called “replacement theology”) does not say that the church “replaces” Israel. Rather, it affirms that true Israel always was, always is, and always will be comprised of those who trust in Christ alone for salvation. This is plain from 1 Peter 2:10. The Gentiles, who were formerly not God’s people, are now God’s people because they have trusted in the Messiah and because they worship Israel’s true King. Old covenant believers were likewise able to be the people of God because they were in Christ. Though they lived before the Son became incarnate, they looked forward to the day in which He would come, and they trusted in Him (John 8:56). Their example likewise shows us that the true Israel of God has always been comprised of those who love and serve the Messiah. (Obtained from DMI’s compatriot in truth-telling R.C. Sproul via his page at

According to dispensational theology the Church is “plan B” of the Lord.  God has only dealt with two groups of His people throughout history, (1) Israel as a nation and (2) the Church as Christ’s body. “The core belief of dispensationalism is to distinguish ‘two purposes of God.’The pre-tribulation rapture is argued on the basis of ‘two purposes of God. ’One purpose is said to be ‘heavenly’ and the other ‘earthly.’ Generally speaking, the heavenly purpose is the Church, and the earthly purpose is Israel. Only the dispensation of the Church Age is involved in the heavenly purpose.”

In their scheme of thinking when Jesus came in His first Advent He offered the Kingdom to the Jews, He came as their Messiah.  The Jewish nation rejected Jesus and His offer and instead had Him crucified.  This is a lie.  Anyone who holds this belief is guilty of calling Jesus a liar.  Furthermore, based on the belief that Jesus came to give Israel a kingdom they teach that Jesus DID NOT COME TO DIE ON THE CROSS, they agree this certainly did happen, but it was not God’s original plan or desire for Him to die!  What does our Lord and His written Word say?

So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. John 6:13-15

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”  Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” John 18:36-37

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Acts 2:22-24

Ignoring the scriptures cited they say that due to God’s plan being set back owing to Israel’s unbelief He had to bring in the Church Age, an age of grace to evangelize the world.  Once the Church has done her job on earth, we get “raptured” up to heaven and then God starts up His cosmic stopwatch regarding Israel —- and the Jews go back to temple worship, their human priesthood animal sacrifices, keeping the Sabbath for seven (7) years.  At the end of these seven years Jesus returns with His saints.  We will reside in the New Jerusalem hovering above national Israel’s earthly Jerusalem.  The Jews will rule on earth from Jerusalem and we will rule with God from the heavenly Jerusalem.  Dispensationalism is the well from which Hagee and others have drawn their “duel covenant” heresy (this is a heresy in that it attacks the work of Jesus Christ). This is the CONcept in a nutshell.

Darby et al. seemed to have forgotten that our Lord always chooses and uses the least among us (read Deut. 7:7, Judges 7:7, 1 Cor. 1:28). He uses the remnant and not the multitude.  The Jews/Israel did reject Jesus as their Messiah —- but not all of them, God spared a remnant of believing Jews to birth His Church.  All those involved at Pentecost were Jews who had been brought to faith.  The Apostle Paul even with his vocation to present the Gospel to the gentile world said that the Gospel was given to “the Jew first” (Romans 2:9).

Darbyites seem to be also somewhat ignorant of the sovereignty of God.  God has no “plan B” for anything He does.  He does all His work perfectly, in Him there is not even a ‘shadow’ of change (James 1:17).  How is it that Israel rejected Jesus when 3,000 Jewish men (later on many in their households probably came to faith as well) were cut to their hearts by the Holy Spirit (He had not rejected the Israelites it seems) at the preaching of Peter (Acts 2:14).  How is it that the Lord told them to begin preaching in Jerusalem, Judea and in Samaria and then to the uttermost parts of the world (Acts 1:8) immediately before His ascension if Israel had no place in His ongoing original plan of redemption?  In fact, the disciples were somewhat disobedient to our Lord by staying within Israel until persecution began to hit the nascent Church and then like hot embers the Word began to reach the gentiles as well.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 6

When our Lord said this the Pharisees knew exactly what He was referring to.  Jesus told them in no uncertain terms that He was and is the source of Israel and thus is “Israel” in the flesh.  The O.T. uses the olive tree, fig tree and grape vine as symbolic of Israel (read Judges 9:7-15, Habakkuk 3:17, Haggai 2:18-19).

Christ is the root or head of Israel.  If one is in Christ then one is in the Israel of God.  The Apostle Paul uses the same type of language regarding the symbolism of the vine in Romans 11:13-24.  Those in the vine are in Israel even as those in the vine are in Christ.  As to the charge of adhering to “replacement” theology let me simply say that there is a BIG distinction between the Church replacing Israel and the Church being the same as Israel all along.

As I have been hammering home, Dispensationalism is based on the idea that Jews after the rapture (end of the Church Age), the physical descendants of Abraham, and who also receive Christ (due to the preaching of the 144,000 Jewish men), will be sole literal heirs of all the Old Testament covenants.  Is this what the Bible teaches?  According to Paul, being a physical descendent of Abraham is not significant with regard to the “promise,” which is in the covenant(s):

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”  This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. Romans 9:6-8

If people would simply read deeply Romans 9 a great of confusion can be cleared up regarding who is Israel and to whom do the promises belong.  Being a physical Jewish descendant of Abraham means nothing more to God today than being born an Ishmaelite —- both need faith alone in the work of Christ Jesus alone in order to be part of God’s family.  The Jews looked to their physical descent as proof of their divine election.  The Apostle Paul corrects this damning belief by stating that Abraham’s true descendants are only those who have faith in Christ.

Our Lord rebuked some religious leaders and told them to their face that they were NOT children of Abraham (see John 8:39-44) and in fact they were exposed for who they really were, children of the devil.  The covenant made with Abraham was only for his “true” children/Israel (those born of faith).  Ergo the covenants that followed Abraham’s through Moses and later David — both of whom were true children of Abraham by faith only apply to God’s children.

Because of this false assertion regarding the physical descendants of Abraham (on the ‘Jewish’ side) much of the Gospel material is not for the Christian or the Church Age per se.  Classically Dispensationalists hold that there is a difference between the kingdom of God (KOG) and the kingdom of heaven (KOH).  Any reading of the N.T. shows that the use of these terms should be considered interchangeable.  For example, take the account shown in Matthew 13:11 and Mark 4:11, Matthew uses KOH and Mark used KOG — both citing the same example.  However, when one sees Israel and the Church as one people this becomes a non-issue.

Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount is another area of misunderstanding on the part of Darbyites.  According to them this teaching is not directed towards Christians (how can it be, Christians/Church are a parenthesis!) but to the Jews only and the future Jews living in the future theocratic kingdom during the coming millennium.  A staunch dispensationalist will not recite/pray “The Lord’s Prayer.”  It too is not for the Church Age, but the Jews.  Why?  Because they view the phrase “forgive us our debts” as being legal terminology which has not place in the life of one under “grace.” I like the way Oswalt. Allis in his, Prophecy and the Church, page 46 explains this:

The meaning is not that if we forgive others we may expect, as a kind of quid pro quo, that God will forgive us. But rather the emphasis is on the fact, brought out so impressively in the parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Mt..23f.) that those who have been forgiven much must themselves be ready to forgive. Those who harbor an unforgiving spirit toward their fellowmen show plainly that they do not realize that they themselves owe everything to the infinite compassion and forgiving mercy of God.” Obviously, forgiving repentant brothers their sins is a fruit of saving faith and not a co-instrument or ground of justification before God. Further, virtually all the ethical teachings of the Sermon on the Mount are found or supported by other portions of the New Testament.

I trust you are beginning to see the tremendous errors that abound within this system of thought.  Due to this false division between Jews and the Church, a great deal of the Gospels and Epistles teachings cannot be applied to the Church.

This view, prevalent as it is, ignores the reality of the continuity of the “Church” from Genesis to Revelation.  They refuse to acknowledge that God has indeed united us into One Body:

But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. Eph. 2:13-17

The middle wall of partition has been broken down and now both Jews and Gentiles are one holy temple together in the Lord.  The entire belief that physical Jews are somehow “special” and “chosen” by God to this day and thus must be supported by the Church’s total support is not a biblical position.

In closing let me reiterate that there are not two of God’s people today, Jews and the Church.  Nor are there two covenants, one for the Jews to be fulfilled at the Second Advent and one for the Church under grace.  There is but one people, the people of God’s own choosing (read Ps 33:22) and there is but one covenant today and forever, the new and better covenant:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant With the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand To bring them out of the land of Egypt; Which my covenant they brake, Although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, And write it in their hearts; And will be their God, And they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:31–33.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. Hebrews 8:6-8, 14-15

I realize that some of you reading this article may disagree with it at first, I know I did UNTIL I began to process of researching and studying out that which I had formerly had inculcated into my melon. The manner in which we relate to dispensational theology will be reflected in the way we relate to both God and our neighbors

Media televangelists such as:

Jerry Fallwell, Dave Hunt, Howard Conder, Charles Capps, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey continue to popularize dispensational eschatology.

Dispensational Theology has deceived vast multitudes of people.  It is a false doctrine which must not only be exposed but understood by God’s truth-tellers so they can warn others of this pervasive and persuasive doctrine of men and demons.

Truth Matters May 2014

28 07 2014

There Are Blood Moons Arising

By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. Jeremiah 10:2


The leader of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, TX Mr. Hagee has been very concerned about an astrological event, which recently began the appearing of four (4) “Blood Moons” manifesting above our earth until around October of 2015!  Hagee has been spewing forth various warnings about the appearing of these moons on his television program and naturally followed this series up with a new “book.”

Many people within modern evangelicalism are all atwitter over the four lunar eclipses; the first eclipse has already passed us.  It seems we Christians are “primed” to fall for this trick every time it is presented to us.  This reminds me of how many people got carried away with the end-time delusion spun by Edgar C. Whisenant the author of “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will be in 1988.”  Over 4.5 million copies of his book were sold; many stories appeared of people who quit their jobs, etc. based on his convoluted theories.  When the date came and went Whisenant followed up with three more books predicting the rapture on 1989, 1993, and 1994, none of which sold nearly as well.

Who can forget Y2K?  That too was predicted to be the “end” or beginning of the tribulation etc.  Nor let us not too soon forget our departed friend Harold Camping who predicted the rapture on May 21, 2011.  When that date failed, he said a “spiritual judgment” occurred then but the rapture would be October 21, 2011.  Again, as with Whisenant, people quit their jobs, sold their belongings and waited to be zapped up to heaven.   Every time preachers have predicted the “rapture” or the “return of Christ” throughout Church history they have been wrong and those who followed their false teachings were spiritually hurt.  Hagee’s most recent end-time novelty is going to be another “failed attempt” to reveal that which is not for us to know.

Before we delve, briefly into Mr. Hagee’s theories of the future, let’s take a stroll through his past.

Who is “Pastor” Hagee?

John Hagee carries a large televised “footprint” in that his broadcasts are seemingly on every available Christian television network (he is seen by approximately 99 million homes).  He can be seen using elaborate stage props, huge big screens and loud lively music and musicians.  In other words, Hagee uses virtually every technique covered in last month’s issue manipulating those doctrinally unwary souls who attend his cavernous building.

Hagee holds a somewhat unique position among his fellow SINisters and HELLavangelists (albeit, my sophomoric attempt at humor) in that he actually received some form of theological education.  Virtually every other charismatic luminary on television has no formal education and at best honorary degrees bestowed upon them by Oral Roberts, who handed degrees out like a doting uncle on Halloween.

Pastor John Hagee received his theological training from Southwestern Assemblies of God University, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and earned his Masters Degree from North Texas University.  Pastor Hagee has received Honorary Doctorates from Oral Roberts University, Canada Christian College, and Netanya Academic College in Israel. He is the author of 35 major books including several on the New York Times Best Seller’s List. Among his works are commentary study Bibles, novels and numerous devotionals. His latest book is titled Four Blood Moons.1

On the surface it would seem that Mr. Hagee should be theologically astute and a man of letters.  Upon closer inspection what do we really read? First, he attended an Assemblies of God University in Texas.  Thus, any theological underpinning he did receive was most assuredly the mainline Pentecostal positions regarding the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, gifts of the Spirit, Church history from a dispensational point of view, and a belief in the position of natural Israel in God’s future plans.  His biography does not state whether he matriculated from here or not, i.e. it does not state he graduated with any degree from there.  He may have attended one semester for all we know.  Next, his web site cites he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) from Trinity University in his now home town of San Antonio.  Hagee does not mention what field he obtained his B.A. in, but let us assume he received one from their religious department.  The Master’s he cites is also from a legitimate school, but again he omits the field of study.  He may have a degree in Business Administration, etc.  At this time DMI does not know.  This much is certain Mr. Hagee does have three (3) “honorary” doctorates.  He and anyone else with an “honorary” degree should have the self-respect not to call themselves “doctor” when they have not earned that title.  Oh all these charlatans enjoy the additional layer of respectability and the alleged expertise that goes along with being called “Dr. Hagee.”

For all of this education one might think that Hagee would come out possibly as a mainline Pentecostal pastor and yet he did not.  John Hagee is seated near the head of the Word of Faith cult table.  Hagee is nothing more than another reincarnation of deceased “Dad” Hagin’s dismal doctrines, but with his own special twist to things —- Israel, which we will consider shortly.

Hagee’s Fall “Up”        

Sadly, Hagee fell into the same sad satanic trap that seems to ensnare virtually ALL of these HELLavengelists, that of adultery.  Hagee was married, had two children by his wife and was pastoring a charismatic congregation within the Assembly of God denomination.  He ends up committing adultery against his wife with a much younger woman in the congregation:

John Hagee was the leader of the charismatic Trinity Church in 1975 and was the father of two children. John Hagee had an adulterous affair with a woman and admitted to immorality in front of his church. Pastor John Hagee then divorced the mother of his two children and married a younger woman (Diana Castro, now Diana Hagee) from that same congregation. Pastor John Hagee willfully abused his position of trust and power to take advantage of a younger gullible woman and cheat on his wife.  So what happened after John Hagee admitted to cheating and abusing his power? Did he repent and pursue becoming a better person and living a life based on Biblical principles? Did people stop following his ministry? The answers are very obvious. John Hagee married the woman he cheated on his wife with and immediately became the pastor of another congregation-the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio Texas.3

Hagee, instead of fighting for his marriage, receiving counseling and going through the process of restoration and seek to serve his neighbors in some other capacity; he does the wrong thing and jettisons his wife and family to take up with the other woman.

On Sunday May 11th, 1975 on Mother’s Day, after Hagee earlier left his first wife and church he began another church which he called “Castle Hills Assembly” (later calledCastle Hills). was dropped from the name because he was kicked out as a minister with the Assembly of God organization for his admitted adultery.4

Strangely enough, when his adulterous affair was exposed and he divorced his wife rather than repent openly of his sin his sinistry began to grow in their new location (about 2 miles from his first congregation)!  Hagee went independent, leaving or being asked to leave the Assembly of God denomination.  The crowds of thousands of people and the millions of dollars no doubt have demonstrated that “God” has blessed pastor Hagee’s actions and approves of his latest wife, at least in his own view.

Hagee Lives “Large” off the Largess                                                                                                                      

Hagee, like all the rest of the mega-church SINisters believes in living your best life now at the expense of his sheeple.  Ken and Gloria Copeland, T.D. Jakes, Joel and Victoria Osteen among other cathode-ray creations ALL live large off their followers in Texas, so why should Hagee be any different?  In truth, he is not:

Using his lies and deceit, Pastor John Hagee has grown into an enormously wealthy man. In the year 2001, his organization filed revenues of $18.3 million dollars with the IRS. What was John Hagee’s personal compensation package worth? More than $1.25 million dollars. His nonprofit organization, GETV, has a mission statement reading “Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. Somehow I think his nearly 8,000 acre Texas ranch does not help that mission. Not only does Pastor John and his wife Diana Hagee own that sprawling ranch, but they also have a 5,275 foot, 6 bedroom mansion in one of San Antonio’s most exclusive gated communities (The Dominion). The house is appraised at $700,000. . . 3 of the 4 Directors who monitor the board of his nonprofit GETV foundation are his direct family members- his wife, Diana; his son, Matthew; and himself.5

Hagee, like all the others (Copeland, Meyer, Crouch, etc.) stacks his Board of Directors with family members who are no doubt well compensated (although board members of non-profits are supposed to be only reimbursed for their direct personal expenses).

His present church, Cornerstone Church started with 15 people and dedicated in 1987. To increase his political power Hagee formed Christians United For Israel (CUFI) on February 7, 2006. has now obtained over 75,000 members to this new Christ denying cult. How could anyone who confesses Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God belong to this Messiah rejecting organization? It is a contradiction! CUFI along with Hagee work hand in hand with American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a large Jewish organization that lobbies US Congress on behalf of Israel. one AIPAC member comes into a congressman’s office he/she represents 6 million Jews. When Hagee comes into a congressman’s office he claims he represents 40 million Americans. . .6


Hagee and Marching to Zion

As I wrote earlier one of the distinctions that sets Hagee apart from all the rest of the HELLavengelists is his support of the nation of Israel, whom he still views as God’s chosen people.  In his eyes, the Israelis can do no evil, are never to blame for any problems in the middle east and they are to be the future recipients of God’s great plan for them as a “holy nation.”  Thus far those beliefs are held by approximately one in four American evangelicals according to a Christianity Today article.

Hagee takes his support of Israel and the Jews much further than the majority of Christians in that he teaches a false doctrine called a “dual covenant” regarding Israel.  Hagee is shutting the door of redemption in the face of the Jews he says he deeply loves.  According to Hagee the Jews do not need to believe in Jesus as their Messiah to be saved because they have an “eternal” covenant with God through Abraham:

“I’m not trying to convert the Jewish people to the Christian faith… In fact, trying to convert Jews is a waste of time. Jews already have a covenant with God and that has never been replaced by Christianity.” (Houston Chronicle, April 30, 1988, sec, 6, pg. 1).

I will not begin to explore his heretical concepts regarding the salvation of the Jews and their need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as anyone else due to the topic at hand —- the Four Blood moons.

 And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” Genesis 1:14


The four “blood moons” are total lunar eclipses that occur in intervals of about six months, an event known as a tetrad, according to NASA. A total eclipse is a result of a perfect alignment of the sun, the moon and the Earth and causes the moon to glow dark red.  Each eclipse in the upcoming tetrad will occur on a significant religious date, Hagee points out, citing NASA.  “The first of the four blood moons will come on April 15 this year, during Passover. The second will be on October 8, at the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles,” Hagee said, according to the Daily Express London. “On April 4, 2015, during Passover, we will have another blood moon. Then finally, on September 28, during next year’s Feast of the Tabernacles, the fourth blood and final moon will dawn.” Hagee said to “have them fall on these exact dates is something that has to be beyond coincidental,” according to the Daily Express.7

There is no doubt that God has set the stars in the heavens for signs of His majesty and glory and for measuring time.  However, we are not told to look to the stars, moons, asteroids and comets for direction in this life.  If the alignment of the moon sun and earth point to some significant event, then why isn’t it presented to us in the scriptures?  Also, God’s timing is exact and as we shall see Mr. Hagee’s dating is not that “exact.”

According to Hagee’s research he says that God seems to never do anything major with the nation of Israel apart from “Blood moons” appearing.  He cites that in 1492, the year the Jews were expelled from Spain (his dates are off by a year but who’s counting?); 1948, Israel’s war for independence and statehood; and then in 1967 during the Six-Day war.  What Mr. Hagee does not mention are the many “blood moons” which have occurred in which nothing of particular interest happened to the Jews or their country. “The others were in 162/163 A.D., 795/796 A.D., 842/843 A.D. and 860/861 A.D. We don’t have any historical connections for these years at this time...”8  Something else he does not dwell on is the FACT that no one in Israel can even see this series of “Blood Moons” from Israel or most of the Middle East!  If these moons are such an end-time declaration to the people of Israel one would imagine that they would be able to look up, point at the moon and wonder.  Just a word on his use of “Blood Moons” —- well it does sound much more “sexy” than saying the coming “Four Lunar Eclipses” (a little NASA lingo).

What Texts Does Hagee Cite?

I listened to all three of his video teachings on these moons and 95% of what he shares is from the Old Testament and deals primarily with how great the Jewish people are and the coming judgment upon all the nations that hate the Jews (Germany, Iran, Russia and Turkey in particular).  He does not preach about needing to have faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of the Jews and the world.

Hagee boldly states that what he is presenting is a “new revelation from God.”9  To begin with what he is sharing is not “new” there are many other dispensationalists who’ve been studying this event out prior to Mr. Hagee.  One such bizarre person is known as the “Third Eagle of the ApocalypseWilliam Tapley!  Hagee admits that pastor Mark Blitz is the one who got him into this topic.  Also, he states in his opening teaching that he owes much to the scholarly research by two Jewish rabbis.  Hagee seems to believe that Jewish rabbis have a solid understanding of the O.T.!

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:  But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 2 Cor. 3:13-16

Being a rabbi is proof enough that they have no more “God-given” insight into the Holy Scriptures due to the veil which is upon their hearts.  Going to a rabbi to gain understanding of the O.T. is foolish when many solid evangelical O.T. scholars abound.  Hagee should know better.  He should know that the New Testament reveals the Old and not vice versa and he should know that the Bible is only understood by those in Christ (1 Cor. 2:14) and not the natural man, the person outside of Christ.  Hagee attempts to make the following verses fit his current moneymaking CONcept of these lunar eclipses.

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.sun shall be turned into darkness,the moon into blood,the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. Joel 2:30-31

And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: Acts 2:19-20

Hagee emphasizes that God “speaks” to us by the stars, but are we “listening”?  God is NOT speaking to us by the moon or stars this is called astrology and it is strictly forbidden by God:

You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons make known what shall come upon you.  Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; They shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: There shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Isa. 47:13-14

The heavens “declare” the glory of God and leave man without excuse regarding the existence of God, i.e. natural revelation.  However, the moon and stars do not “speak” to us in any fashion nor do they control our lives or destinies.

Hagee would make much of the Joel & Acts texts (Peter is simply citing Joel) and the lunar four eclipses. The apostle Peter said of Joel’s prophecy “this is that” (Acts 2:16) — Joel was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.  Peter spoke to a large gathering of men, many of whom lived in and around Jerusalem and others were there for the Passover.  Peter cites Joel being inspired by the Holy Spirit and I believe he is referring back to the event recorded in Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”  It is beyond me why sign-gift enthusiasts will simply not accept that this prophecy of Joel was fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost period, end of story.

When Jesus was born there were not any tetrads of blood moons.  When He was baptized there is no mention of any moon activity.  On the cross all light was extinguished (there cannot be a simultaneous solar and lunar eclipse) and at His resurrection there is no mention of a moon nor at His ascension back to heaven.  The most momentous events in all of human history and yet no lunar reports are associated with them.

Allow me to sum up this latest end-time hype (yes, DMI most certainly believes that our Lord is returning, as to when we have no idea) with the following bulletpoints you can use to answer your family & friends caught up in this CONcept:

  1. Israel, being on a LUNAR CALENDAR will commonly have Tetrad eclipse moon sequences.
  2. If four lunar eclipses are a sign to Israel, then many very important past events like the birth of Christ, Destruction of Jerusalem, Hadrian’s and Hitler’s Holocaust were not marked by God with Tetrads!
  3. Lunar eclipses are common on Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles.
  4. Without fail, solar eclipses always occur just before the start of a new month. There is a one in six chance that a solar eclipse will happen on the Jewish New year around Nisan 1. Nothing special about the solar eclipse on Adar 29 2015 Hagee makes so much about!
  5. Of the 8 lunar and solar eclipses, Hagee ignores three.
  6. In 2014/15 there are 4 solar eclipses but Hagee highlights only one eclipse and ignores the other four.
  7. Few of the eclipses start at the beginning of the Feast days only within the 7 day range for each.
  8. Hagee says Lunar eclipses are a sign to Israel, yet none of the Lunar eclipses are visible in Jerusalem, except 1 which is only partially visible. The Bible never says solar eclipses are for the “world” and lunar eclipses are for Israel —- that is pure Hagee.
  9. Hagee says Solar eclipses are a sign to the rest of the world, yet the one he says is a sign (after ignoring three others) is not visible by anyone on earth since it is centered entirely over the ocean near Greenland, except for the small population of people living on the Faroe and Spitzburgn Islands. Something like less than 4,000 people can actually see these events.  No one in the Middle East can see any of this, some “sign.”
  10. There were four Tetrads where the four sequential eclipses coincided with Passover and Feast of Tabernacles that Hagee totally ignored because nothing significant occurred in that year!

Hagee and others are simply milking the latest end-time gimmick for all they can get from it.  Hagee twists most of the biblical texts he cites, redefines terms (like “sign”), ignores other historical facts that do not support his views and frankly LIES about specific dates trying to make them fit his neat little scheme.

Sadly, we have another year until October 2015 to put up with this nonsense.  Keep a sharp eye out for any possible “event” that Hagee can try to pound into his schema.  Russia started to get feisty with Ukraine during the first “blood moon” and we all know what that means, sigh.


End Notes


  2. Robert Tilton, Jim Bakker, Kenneth Copeland, Marcus Lamb, Jan Crouch, Paula White, Benny Hinn, and many other charismatic luminaries have been exposed as adulterers.
  8. Obtained from
  9. First YouTube video on The Four Blood Moons, by John Hagee – he states this early on.



“Christian” Movies Effective or Fallacious?

by Rev. Robert Liichow

Recently there seems to have been a whole spate of moving pictures produced by various SINisters in conjunction with Hollywood and none of these recent attempts are biblically sound.  First, we had to suffer through “The Bible” on television and after each episode Facebook and other sites would fill up with citations of all the erroneous non-biblical tidbits thrown in.  Roma Downey one of the people behind the series is at best a “New Age” Christian.  Then we had the epic “Noah” foisted upon the unsuspecting flock.  This “adaptation” of the biblical account turned out to be a call for climate change and was filled with incidents (the attack of the “rock” people?) that never occurred. Now, the heretic T.D. Jakes is financially backing a film version of Todd Burpo’s mythical visit to heaven.  What is more it seems that Jakes worked out a deal with Sony Pictures to produce this epic tale.  Here is their official statement on the movie:

Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. The film stars Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.

DMI debunked this latest trip to heaven several months ago in a previous issue of “Truth Matters.” As always, the problems with these kinds of accounts is that they ALL undermine the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture, and add to the Bible (extra-biblical) new information while also being contrary to Scripture. I am not going to re-hash what was written about 4 year old Burpo’s account suffice it to say that it does not agree with the teachings in the Bible regarding heaven.

What I find frustrating is that multitudes of people who probably do not regularly attend church will attend one of these movies and assume it is fairly accurate (we’ve been well programmed to accept what we see on a big screen) having no solid biblical foundation to even make that judgment call.  I do not like hearing false teaching or simply “ignorant” preaching nor do I enjoy visually seeing that which is false and misleading. . . and I REALLY RESENT paying $7.50 a ticket and then $5.00 for small popcorn!

Brothers and sisters I know we are bombarded daily with anti-Christian messages and we live in a time when the Church is suffering great persecution globally and now even in our own country the heat of ungodly hatred is beginning to be felt by many of us.  Because of this pressure it is easy to want support and get “excited” about something even just a little bit Christian.  Yet I warn that we should not get excited about something that is merely positive versus being true.

Can God use motion pictures?  Yes, He can, after all He even uses the devil (what you don’t think Satan is autonomous do you?) but that does not mean that He is using these movies.  Anything that speaks against the clear writings in the Bible is something that our Lord is not involved in.  If we would learn about our Lord and His Word, then let us assembly where He promised to be —- in His Church.  He has placed pastors and teachers in our midst to be His vessels of instruction.  Live face-to-face one-on-one human interaction is the general manner in which our Lord shapes and forms us into His people.

Some will argue that God can use these movies to engender conversation between Christians and non-believing attendees.  Again, He can, but in order to do so the Christian has to correct all the unbiblical information “included” as well as rectify any heretical concepts presented in the film(s).

In closing, let me state for the record that certainly God should be glorified through all the arts, in music, literature, dance, video, etc.  However, when the Word He has given as the revelation of Himself to humanity is marred by error and nonsense then it ceases to bring Him glory and thus should not be supported by His children with their time (non-renewable) or their treasure (better spent).

Meet Brothers Paul and Kenneth Makete

Paul Kenneth

Brother Paul Makete is on the left and his 10 year old brother, Kenneth, seated is on the right.

DMI met Paul Makete on Facebook.  Many people from India, Pakistan, and Africa seek support on FB, many of them are sincere, but some are not.  Paul and his brother are orphans, Paul looks after his younger brother.  They are Christians, Lutherans in particular.  The reason DMI prayerfully decided to begin to support these two brothers is because Paul NEVER asked DMI for money, he simply wanted to become friends.

Since meeting Paul and learning about him, his pastor, their schooling DMI has decided to support Paul & Kenneth as best we can.  To date: DMI has sent Paul & Kenneth some school supplies, Bible study materials and some other items.  Their lives in Uganda are very difficult and even what little we can provide means a great deal to them.

Those of you who finically support DMI please know that a portion of your gift will go to help Paul & Kenneth.

Discernment Ministries International

“Teaching Truth & Exposing Error”


Everything DMI does is based upon the financial support we receive.  Those who do give are subsidizing EVERY READER who does not give.  Ironic how many conservative “Christians” bark about how those who work are “PAYING” for all the others on welfare ——- while never applying that SAME STANDARD to themselves as they feed off that which cost them nothing and is paid for by others.  Please pray about your stewardship towards DMI.

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Truth Matters April 2014

30 04 2014

William McLoughlin summarized Finney’s major contribution to revivalism by saying that, both he [Finney] and his followers believed it to be the legitimate function of a revivalist to utilize the laws of mind in order to engineer individuals and crowds into making a choice which was ostensible based upon free will. The rationale for all that Finney did during revival services was the gaining of converts. The numerical success of his methods was his vindication. As he stated in his Memoirs, “Show me the fruits of your ministry and if they so far exceed mine as to give me evidence that you have found a more excellent way, I will adopt your views.1

Charles Finney’s new measures were nothing “new” per se but can be traced to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Finney’s approach can be reduced down to the following statement: do whatever works to achieve your goal in the service. Both the old Serpent Lucifer and Finney place the emphasis on the will of man versus having faith in God and His promises.

Finney was an unrepentant follower of Pelagius in his view of the free will of lost humanity to make a decision (hopefully) for Christ and invite Him into their hearts to be their Savior. Where his “new” measures came into play was in the methods he used and those who have followed him use in manipulating people into making the right decision. Finney and all his followers (most of today’s evangelicals, most mega-ministries and ALL televangelists) believe that people can be either emotionally or intellectually moved into becoming a Christian.

Christians cannot be “made” by force of sword (as in Islam) nor are we born-again by the will of man but by the Spirit of our God (John 3:5). They are not brought into the Kingdom on the wings of being emotionally tricked into “answering” the altar call for salvation. Yet this is exactly what Finney and his predecessors have been doing —- trying to “trick” people by various psychological means into the kingdom. Who among us would welcome into our fellowship people who had literally been hypnotized into receiving Christ, as if such a thing were possible? Would you believe their “conversions” to be valid and the work of God? I would not! Read what the great revivalist had to say about his results at the end of his life and those of one of his associates:

I was often instrumental in bringing Christians under great conviction, and into a state of temporary repentance and faith …. [But] falling short of urging them up to a point, where they would become so acquainted with Christ as to abide in Him, they would of course soon relapse into their former state [cited in B. B. Warfield, Studies in Perfectionism, 2 vols. (New York: Oxford, 1932), 2:24].2

During ten years, hundreds, and perhaps thousands, were annually reported to be converted on all hands; but now it is admitted, that real converts are comparatively few. It is declared, even by [Finney] himself, that “the great body of them are a disgrace to religion” [cited in Warfield, 2:23].3

Finney had to admit in the end that his new measures actually did not produce lasting fruit. What they did produce were (1) great publicity before and during the revival, (2) large crowds of people, many of whom would make a profession of faith for a little while (see Mark 4:19) and (3) funding to take the revival onto the next town. History records the following results of Finney’s revivalism:

Evangelical Christianity virtually disappeared from western New York in Finney’s own lifetime. Despite Finney’s accounts of glorious “revivals,” most of the vast region of New England where he held his revival campaigns fell into a permanent spiritual coldness during Finney’s lifetime and more than a hundred years later still has not emerged from that malaise. This is directly owing to the influence of Finney and others who were simultaneously promoting similar ideas. The Western half of New York became known as “the burnt-over district,” because of the negative effects of the revivalist movement that culminated in Finney’s work there. These facts are often obscured in the popular lore about Finney.4

In spite of Finney’s own admissions of failure and those of some of his co-workers and in spite of the historical record of FAILURE on Finney’s part he is still regarded today as a “great revivalist” and some consider him an excellent theologian.

The Fruits & Family of Finney

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal. 5:9

Due to Finney’s apparent immediate success his theological beliefs and methodology were received by many others and expanded by them (as leaven does when left unchecked) and today it is virtually impossible to escape some manifestation of Finney’s new measures. All of the emotional singing with loud music, handclapping, waving banners, dancing, liturgical dancers, praise bands, big screens, testimony time, altar calls, and revivals are all the gifts from Finney that keep on giving . . . false hope and broken lives.

Without burdening the reader with those who came after Finney, allow me to cite a couple examples and then move onto the specific ingredients used to manipulate God’s people today. Aimee Semple MacPherson was an early traveling evangelist, possibly one of the first radio evangelists. She used music and huge theatrical plays to try to move people into receiving Christ. She built the first
mega-church in our age of technology (from the first radio transmission to this very day) in Los Angeles, California. Her end? She committed adultery, faked her own kidnapping and later died of a drug overdose. Billy Graham certainly is the “poster-child” for Finney today. Billy held massive revival meetings, scores of decisions for Christ, famous singers moving the emotions and equally famous people giving their “testimonies.” Today? The last time I heard Mr. Graham speak on television with Larry King he pointed to his “good works” as his hope to get into heaven and not the merits of Jesus Christ on the cross for him! Space does not permit me to mention people like Billy Sunday, A.A. Allen, Jack Coe, Kathryn Khulman, William Branham and R.W. Schambach, all of whom were master manipulators of souls.

Techniques Used by the Puppet Masters


Music is a wonderful gift that can lift the soul of man and the songs we sing can express our innermost feelings. Music has great emotional power to move us in a wide variety of ways depending upon the type of music being played or the songs being sung. Psychologists have long researched the impact of music on people’s emotional state. Something I have recently learned is that Dr. Martin Luther wrote extensively about music and its role (something I do not think most charismatic song leaders know about either).

For whether one wishes to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate (and who could number all these masters of the human heart, that is: the emotions, inclinations and affections that move people to do evil or good); what more effective means than music could one find?5

Music also can be an effective coping strategy. We can listen to music that elicits emotions we want to feel in a given moment. If we feel lazy and unmotivated, maybe a playlist of up tempo, energetic songs would be a helpful way to change our mood. It could be interesting to create playlists based on various emotions so they’re within reach as desired.6

Because of this “power” inherent in music, whether secular or spiritual, people have long used music to direct the hearts of the hearers in the direction they (the musicians and SINisters) deem necessary for the goals they want to achieve. It is somewhat important to keep a little historical perspective too; back in Luther’s time virtually all the arts were directed towards religious purposes. People painted biblical scenes, sculpted biblical figures and wrote religious music and songs for The Church. There was “popular” music but much of that was broken down into disseminating news events, and a few ballads.

Today’s sign-gift enthusiasts have made music and singing as integral as the proclamation of the Gospel itself. Luther would have no issue with this sentence on its own, in fact he said:

For Luther, the final category of ‘natural music’ was the music of heaven, musica caelestis. Heavenly music offered humankind a glimpse of heaven in the world around them. It communicated something of God and, just as God’s Word was able to direct the human will, so musica caelestis also had the capacity to influence people profoundly. For that reason, ‘music, next to the Word of God, deserves the highest praise‘, Luther famously held.7

Sadly much has changed in the “worship” music in virtually all “evangelical” (a term coined by Luther) gatherings and Luther WOULD NOT be pleased at what he sees and hears. He knew that people would remember the songs much longer than any sermons preached —- THUS the songs people sung had to have THEOLOGICAL CONTENT that would (1) teach them God’s Word, (2) reveal who they are (sinners) and (3) point to whom God has provided as the remedy for their eternal problem(s) — Jesus Christ. Some of these hymns have 10 distinct stanzas that tell the entire story of our fall and redemption. Most early hymns are “sung sermons” contain spiritual meat whereas songs today in most congregations are at best 2% milk, 98% water.

While Tracy and I were members of Jubilee Christian Center (JCC) in Detroit, MI. under the leadership of Rhema graduate and “restored” apostle Ellis Smith we became very aware of the latest role of “music.” JCC was known in our circle (Prophetic movement {aka pathetic movement} at that point in time) for our musicians and our praise & worship.

It was during the Prophetic Movement (approx. 1986-1996) that music became more and more of a tool, a device used to literally create an almost tangible spiritual atmosphere in the services. Music became more solidly codified into two categories (1) praise and (2) worship music.

Praise Music

Praise music/songs are vibrant, declarative, foot-stomping hand-clapping tunes more or less thanking God for what He has done for us. The songs in either category are often described as having 1 or 2 lines and then 25 repetitions of a chorus such as “Abraham’s Blessings Are Mine” or “Satan We’re Going to Tear Your Kingdom Down.”

A major portion of the psychological manipulation occurs during this initial sonic assault (and it is very loud). The songs that are sung are chosen by the music SINister based on what he or she wants to accomplish, i.e. taking the people up “higher” leading them to cause a “breakthrough in the heavenlies,” etc. I’ve witnessed many a music leader make the people (1) stand, (2) clap, (3) dance, (4) shout, (5) be silent, (6) weep ALL based on the type of music being played, the songs being repetitiously sung/shouted at full volume for 45 minutes to an hour non-stop. There is a thing as a crowd
mentality as well as the natural human desire to fit-in, both of these aspects are played upon by these manipulators. After close to an hour of charismatic-calisthenics the people are suitably prepared emotionally to enter into what I’ll call Phase Two of the Psychological Operation —

Worship Music

Tones are equally important as rhythm. A “major key” music piece signifies cheerful communication to our brain, while “minor key” pieces closely mirror the sighs and soft keenings of lamentation. This all has a powerful effect on our brain, which directs our psyche to actually feel what’s being communicated to us.8

The old saying “what goes up must come down” was partially true in our services. We did not consider it “coming down” per se but going deeper in the spiritual realm. Everything changes at this point. The music goes from a loud thumping rock beat to a soft sweet sound best described as either a ‘jazz-fusion’ or ‘new age’ tonal quality. The song focus also shifted somewhat. Now we were to focus on who God is (versus as to what He has done). You might say praise music sings about God and worship music sings “to God.”

At JCC and other places, during the worship phase not only is the music lowered down in tempo and volume but the lights were also lowered down at this point, to the degree the room looked like an almost like a movie theater. The songs are just as repetitious but slower and these songs also contain no solid doctrinal content. This portion may also go on for a protracted amount of time; it really just depends on how the people respond.

During the “worship” portion is when the BIG SCREEN(s) really does its work. Virtually every charismatic group and mega church makes use of some form of television/video projection throughout its production.

The Big Screen(s)

Kudos to the sign-gift folks for being willing to make use of all the most advanced technology to spread the Gospel. I’ve heard more than a few Lutheran pastors says “the charismatics are ten years ahead of us when it comes to technology.”

They were among the first to use radio, later television, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassettes, CD’s and DVD’s to get out their message. They were among the first to use computers to compile huge money-making mailing lists, to incorporate electric instruments in their services, to broadcast their services “live-time” via satellite (Robert Tilton was the first, I attended his “Bible School” live via satellite back in the 80’s, graduated with a 4.0 GPA in heresy, I kid you not). Charismatic congregations were the first to enable their people to “swipe” their credit cards at the offering time and/or ATM kiosks in the ‘narthex’ (naturally they make $1-2 off the fees these machines change as well, sweet deal for the money hungry). The problem is, they have great technology but what does it profit them and The Church without a solid biblical message? All they have done is export their aberrant beliefs and practices to the world via high technology.

Allow me to for a moment attempt to put ‘the best construction’ on the use of Big Screens in sanctuaries. Many congregations do not have their own property, so they set up and tear down each week. It is easier to set up some screens in a gym then it is to haul 200 hymnals (if they had such books) 2-3 times a week. It allows for instantaneous change on the part of that group, new songs, and announcements, whatever can be projected. Big Screens are what many “Americans” have come to expect in their meetings places; hymnals are seen as “religious” and or even worse “traditional” versus trendy hip and contemporary. Hymnals by their very presence seem to say “I am stolid, unchanging and boring.” Whereas Big Screens shout out “we’re cutting edge, exciting, obviously tech-savvy and somehow participatory.” Americans (because of the manipulation of advertisers) always want what is judged as new, trendy, hip and contemporary.

Now allow me to explain to you the far darker side of watching any televised images at all. From its inception “motion pictures” (they are not really moving at all, they merely appear to be) were used for propaganda purposes (one of the first movies was the 1915 “Birth of a Nation” which was originally titled “The Clansman”). The early attempts were flawed and the technology was just getting started but from the very beginning people realized the power to move large groups of people through the use of both sound and motion. Early films seen today show us the slower flicker rate making the “movie” appear to be a “flip-book” series where each still image when flipped faster “seems” to move. By 1927 the first talking film, “The Jazz Singer” was released and the flicker rate was increased to give the appearance of seamless motion. “The FCC adopted NTSC television engineering standards on May 2, 1941, calling for 525 lines of vertical resolution, 30 frames per second with interlaced scanning, 60 fields per second, and sound carried by frequency modulation.”9 This became the standard for American television.

Danger #1 Subliminal Manipulation

What scientists learned very quickly was that the human eye does not actually transmit to the conscious part of the brain everything it sees. They learned that even though we visually “take-in” everything presented before our eyes a portion of what is “seen” can be hidden from the person watching and yet the unconscious mind has received the message!

This new psychological/physiological discovery began a whole new field of endeavor in advertising and the government called “subliminal” research and programming.

A subliminal message is a signal or message embedded in another medium, designed to pass below the normal limits of the human mind’s perception. These messages are unrecognizable by the conscious mind, but in certain situations can affect the subconscious mind and importantly, the unconscious mind, and can negatively or positively influence subsequent later thoughts, behaviors, actions, attitudes, belief systems and value systems. The term subliminal means “beneath a limen” (sensory threshold). This is derived from the Latin words sub, meaning under, and limen, meaning threshold. You can see it but not notice it.10

People in control of the motion picture industry learned that they could sell more popcorn or Coca Cola during movies by simply adding in a film frame that said something like “buy a coke” or “eat more popcorn” and sales went up! The people never knew they were being manipulated. Ever since then various messages have been placed overtly, covertly and subliminally in virtually all “moving” pictures, whether it is a Hollywood movie or your local T.V. news. Various politicians, as recently as Senator McCain’s11 last run for President, have been caught placing subliminal statements in their political ads, so yes this secret manipulation is ongoing. The thing is, you and I will never see it when it is done to us. You would for example never see “give more” or “tithe” on one of Joel Osteen’s or The Potter’s House of T.D. Jakes big screens but it could be there. Subliminal messages do explain a great deal of our personal buying habits and may explain why some televangelists are so seemingly successful in fleecing the flock.

Danger #2 Flicker Rate & Hypnotic Suggestibility

Believing the best (1 Cor. 13:7) let us hope that people are not abusing the sheep of Christ’s flock via encoded messages being flashed on the Big Screens for several hours during each service. Nonetheless, psychological manipulation is still taking place. It begins as soon as the projector is turned on. With over fifty (50) years of television and closer to 100 years of motion pictures experience the social scientists and global elitists have mastered this medium. Here are just three comments by experts in this field:

Dr. Ernest Hilgard, from Stanford University’s research program in hypnosis and the author of the most widely used texts in the field, agreed that television could easily put people into a hypnotic state if they were ready for it.12

Watching television is participatory only in the way the assembly line or a hypnotist’s blinking flashlight is. Eventually, the conscious mind gives up noting the process and merges with the experience. The body vibrates with the beat and the mind gives itself over, opening up to whatever imagery is offered. — He said that, in his opinion, the condition of sitting still in a dark room, passively looking at light over a period of time, would be the prime component in the induction.13

A team of researchers headed by psychologists Merrelyn and Fred Emery at the Center for continuing Education, Australian National University at Canberra reported decades ago showed that when we watch television, our usual processes of thinking and discernment are semi-functional at best. The report says: “The evidence is that television
not only destroys the capacity of the viewer to attend, it also, by taking over a complex of direct and indirect neural pathways, decreases vigilance, the general state of arousal which prepares the organism for action should its attention be drawn to specific stimulus.14

One does not need to insert hidden messages into the messages being seen in order to manipulate the viewers. The simple act of watching the screen for just a few minutes (in our over televised society experts say it takes less than 2 minutes to become entranced) will change the actual brainwave patterns in the viewer’s physical brain from the awake “Alpha” state to the more passive and receptive “Beta” level of wave pattern in mere moments. The mechanism that causes this is the flicker rate being projected:

The light emitted from computer screens and TV’s is not steady, but has flicker. This is true for all monitors, of all types. The flicker is usually invisible, at least to the conscious mind. Flicker is invisible when it consists of pulses or waves of light that repeat one after the other so rapidly that they appear to fuse together into steady light. Our flicker fusion frequency (the frequency above which we no longer consciously see flicker) ranges from about 25 to 55 Hz (Hz means times per second)…
Optic nerve signals proportional to flicker at frequencies far above the conscious flicker fusion frequency do reach our brain from the eye (as shown by EEG and other studies)15

It does not matter what the content is (although content does help in manipulating the viewer) because the hypnotizing effect comes from the devices themselves.

Combine the well documented effects of the flicker rate with very loud music, clapping, shouting, dancing and verbal encouragement from the music leader the participant and it becomes very clear that the poor sheep is being manipulated by sensory overload on several levels simultaneously and does not even recognize the manipulation.

The level of hypnosis deepens during the worship portion of the song service as I alluded to previously. Now with the lights down the Big Screen becomes the focal point. The musicians can’t generally be seen; perhaps the song leader may have a small Klieg light on him or her. The flicker rate is still working its magic. However, the tonal quality of the music has changed, the images on the screen have changed to bucolic scenes, and even some Bible passages may be thrown up on screens.

The darkening of the room acts psychologically on the people’s minds. It helps “create” an atmosphere that is more hushed, mysterious and mystical. It was always during this worship portion of the song service that people would as a group sing in “other tongues.” This singing in the spirit could go on for a few minutes or longer, it just depended on the service that day. Whether for a long or short time speaking/singing in other tongues is an activity of the subconscious mind and it demands a shutting down of rational abilities while so engaged. This is another ingredient in the manipulation process. After close to 2 hours of singing, dancing, clapping — all while seeing/being led by the leader via the Big Screen(s) the lights slowly are brought up to a certain level [never too quickly or the trance is broken just like at the movies] and presto there would be our SINister, apostle Ellis Smith standing behind his Lucite podium with the brighter light on him (draw your own conclusion as to why). We the sheeple would be sitting there literally in a numbed state of mind, our minds vacant and open to “receive” whatever the speaker had to say.

The flickering rate of TV effects the brain in a negative way, causing brain activity to drop somewhere between the alpha and theta state (2). This change in brain activity puts the mind in a dreamlike state and thus it turns off the higher critical functions of the brain. Being in this trance state can be disempowering, because your mind can easily be manipulated into accepting any message as truth. This is why TV is so effective at manipulating your mind. (P.I. Chang)

The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Holy Spirit did not say “faith comes by seeing.” In fact, we are told the opposite, that which we SEE is temporary (2 Cor. 4:18) and that we “live by faith and not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). I admit that Paul did not have television in mind when this was written, but I believe it can be fairly applied to Big Screens in general.

Preaching requires only a man with a message. Televised anything requires some form of electricity (gas generators, solar, etc.), projectors, suitable screens, programming to show and vast amounts of money to pay for all of these extra devices which does not seem like a wise investment of our time or money.

Televised anything on a screen has no place in Christian worship. It is by nature a manipulative device that directly effects our mental discernment. 1 Peter 4:7 tells us to be sober-mindedBut the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” so it seems antithetical to me to use a device which places you in an altered state of mind. Perhaps a screen may have some limited value in adult education (I would not use television to show the kids “videos” etc.) but it can easily become a “crutch” for the pastor. It’s easier to show a film than prepare an in-depth teaching. Truth Matters and as for me I am not into any form of deception being used in the Church and projected images on Big Screens are manipulative and deceptive.

The first effect of this is to create a passive mental attitude. Since there is no way to stop the images, one merely gives over to them. More than this, one has to clear all channels of reception to allow them in more cleanly. Thinking only gets in the way. There is a second difficulty. Television information seems to be received more in the unconscious than the conscious regions of the mind where it would be possible to think about it. The retina collects impressions emanating from dots. The picture is formed only after it is well inside your brain. The image does not exist in the world, and so cannot be observed as you would observe another person, or a car, or a fight. The images pass through your eyes in a dematerialized form, invisible. They are reconstituted only after they are already inside your head.16

The Deepest Cut of All – The Bible in Manipulating Souls

Everything written about thus far can be used by any group on any group of people. The use of sound and flickering lights, darkened rooms and emotionalism are psychological techniques that “work” on human beings regardless of their religious proclivities and beliefs. Thought control and brainwashing procedures have been honed to a high degree by non-Christian public and private entities.

Yet the “bedrock” of spiritually controlling a group of professing Christians is to use the Bible to place them in bondage. DMI receives reports on a regular basis on spiritual manipulation; here are two that became international “news.”

In a wildly unorthodox demonstration of how humans can be controlled by the Holy Spirit and eat just about anything to feed their bodies, a South African pastor made members of his church eat grass. A video of him commanding a demon out of a woman’s stomach might also give you the chills. According to a report in African Spotlight, Pastor Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Centre Ministries had his followers eating grass after explaining in a sermon that Jesus had many other disciples other than the 12 listed in the traditional Bible who were doing new things which were considered unconventional at the time as well. “There were many disciples and you don’t know others. Let God show you as they were deliberately not revealed in the Bible because God wanted someone to do them, new things. Nathanael was a disciple yet there is no book of Nathanael, what about the miracles, signs and wonders, what about how they them who were not mentioned, taught,” said the pastor.17

In the case of the SINister actually having his people go out and get on all fours and eat grass like an animal, the people all got very sick from doing this. You might wonder how is it that people can be so manipulated (take heed lest ye fall, my friends) as to be made to eat grass? Who would do such a thing? What we have is an example of the power of the Word of God in the hands of evil people who seek not to bless the people of God but to control their lives. All the leader needs to do is preach about being “obedient” to God’s anointed leader and the consequences of not obeying him/her. Consequences are usually preached from O.T. examples such as fire coming down and consuming rebel sons (Lev. 10:1), the earth opening up (Num. 16:32) or worse. A simple technique to use on people is to tell them that to NOT OBEY is THE sin against the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). This false shepherd might have used the example of King Nebuchadnezzar, whom God PUNISHED and made to “eat grass” like a cow until he acknowledged the God of Heaven (see Dan. 4:33) as biblical precedent. The point here to recognize is that these people were manipulated and humiliated via nothing more than a man using his usurped biblical authority and the writings of Holy Scripture.

Kenyan pastor bans females from wearing underwear to Church. According to The Kenyan Daily Post, the pastor’s reasoning was that the undergarments are “ungodly” and people need to be “free in ‘body’ and ‘spirit’ to receive Christ”. The pastor added that women who continue to wear undergarments to church will suffer “dire consequences,” and encouraged mothers attending his services to check their daughters to make sure they had obeyed the new rule. The one eyewitness who attends Njohi’s church reported that many of the women who were in attendance did obey the rule of their pastor and showed up without any undergarments on whatsoever. Many people are questioning why the women in worship need to be “free” in their body and spirit when coming to church while the men are not required to do the same.18

Next we read of a pastor who has convinced the women in his congregation to stop wearing panties and brassieres to worship! What I find interesting about this account is that (1) the men were not told to do the same and I wonder why this is and (2) that the women obeyed their shepherd and submitted to this demeaning manipulation.

Women are often the target of spiritual manipulation due to their submissive role in marriage and most cultures. A SINister can always point to mother “Eve” (Gen. 3:12) as the reason for mankind’s ills (scripture twisters capitalize on the biblically ignorant) or the prostitute/adulterous woman in the Proverbs (see Prov. 5:20; 7:5; 23:27). Naturally St. Paul telling women to “keep silent” in the church (1 Cor. 14:34) can become a real spiritual “bludgeon” in the hands of a manipulative leader. A leader can always control questioning sheep by pointing them to Romans 12 and remind them that this is a “new” understanding/practice and they need to renew their minds and submit to God’s direction through His anointed leader.

In closing this short article out we must not forget the tragic example of Jim Jones and The People Temple mass murder. Clinical studies and several books have been written about Mr. Jones and the consensus is that he was a master manipulator. He used fake sign-gifts, including speaking in other tongues, being slain in the spirit and fake healing miracles along with “charismatic” preaching using the Bible to secure his role as a pastor in the minds of the members. He also used other mind control techniques including sexual abuse of members, public humiliation, deprivation, etc. to mold the wills of his followers to his. The end was 913 people dead by suicide and outright murder (although all were brainwashed to a tremendous degree when they assumed room temperature).

Had I space I could have included some insights into NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) — which is also commonly used by mega-church and small fry’s alike; here is a quick definition:

while classical hypnosis depends on techniques for putting patients into suggestive trances (even to the point of losing consciousness on command), NLP is much less heavy-handed: it’s a technique of subtle meaning into spoken or written language so that you can implant suggestions into a person’s unconscious mind without them knowing what you’re doing.–Go to:

This is now commonly known in some circles as the “NPR radio” voice, or one might say the soft winsome “Joel Osteen” voice is a vital ingredient to those who use NLP techniques and many pastors are experts at the techniques involved. [If you have time I would advise you go online and LEARN about NLP, especially if you watch television]. Satan plays upon the Christian’s sincere desire to please their Lord and that does involve obeying those He has placed over us as His under-shepherds. The same texts can be used by godly and ungodly men. One produces life and spiritual fruitfulness in the lives of those who hear and do the Word proclaimed. The other produces bondage and human works. The first is when the Gospel is rightly taught —- liberty reigns in our hearts and lives. Yet when twisted the Gospel can quickly be turned into Legalism, an aberrant misuse of God’s holy Law.

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.
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1-3

The Bible warns us abundantly of those who would “make merchandise” of the people of God. Many preach the Gospel as simply the best way to get rich and exercise power over others:

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Timothy 6:3-6

From the research I have just begun to do combined with our own prior sign-gift enthusiastic experiences there is no doubt in my mind that multitudes of God’s people are being manipulated spiritually and mentally by unscrupulous men and women and the results are never good. Whether they have purposefully studied mind control techniques or not remains unknown. The results are well known and easily observed. How does a Christian known whether or not they are sitting under a “controlling” and “abusive” pastor? As I have shared many of these techniques are covert and thus hidden from us and so how can we know if we are being “played” or not by our leaders? That is an issue for next month. STAY TUNED CAMPERS!

End Notes

1.Obtained from

2. Obtained from

3. Ibid. Underlining added for emphasis.
4. Ibid.


6. Obtained from

7. (WA 50: 371, 1-2: ‘Musicam esse vnam, quae post verbum Dei merito celebrari debeat’; 370, 36-38: ‘Das nach dem heiligen wort Gottes nichts nicht so billich vnd so hoch zu rhümen vnd zu loben, als eben diese Musica’.)

8. There are no real hard and fast dates to exactly when some of these sub-movements within the big tent of charismania began. Certainly William Branham was considered to be one of the first genuine restored prophets and his dates were pre-WWII barely. Until Branham Pentecostalism did not express much of a belief in restored prophets or apostles. This phase of restorationism did not really take hold until the charismatic movement (say 1950 via Episcopalian Bennet) became ecumenical and by the 1980’s many began to claim God was restoring the prophetic office, naturally after God restored prophets He had to finish up by restoring apostles. Now there is nothing left for us to do apart from swallow N follow these restored leaders directives and usher in the Kingdom and hand it over to Jesus — that is what is taught in a nutshell.

9. Obtained from


11. Obtained from Bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

12. Xi

13. Ibid.

14. Dr. Richard Conrad SUBLIMINAL FLICKER Part I: Computer screens, TV’s and Flicker Sensitivity





Truth Matters March 2014

29 04 2014

Speaking In Other Tongues
Blessing or Babble? (Conclusion)
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow


    Several months ago I embarked in attempting to answer a seemingly simple question regarding whether or not mainline Pentecostal congregations were not speaking in tongues as much as they did years ago in their services. In order to arrive at a simple “yes” or “no” answer it was necessary, and hopefully somewhat profitable to you as the reader, to explain how all nine of these supernatural gifts worked in the life of the nascent Church. This has been in keeping with Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1).


to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Cor. 12:10-11


This is the only spiritual gift that requires another gift to be in operation to be rationally understood. Giving a verbal message in other tongues must be interpreted by someone who has been gifted with the gift of interpretation.

The Gift of Other Tongues defined

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor necessarily always understood by the hearer. Speaking with tongues has nothing whatsoever to do with linguistic ability; it has nothing to do with the mind or the intellect of man. It is a vocal miracle of the Holy Spirit.

Supernatural utterance in languages not known to the speaker; these languages may be existent in the world, revived from some past culture, or “unknown” in the sense that they are a means of communication inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; I Corinthians 12:10, 13:1-3, 14:2, 4-22, 26-32).The spiritual gift involving ability to speak in foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation could not understand. At Pentecost the church [Apostles initially] received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2).

The enthusiasts have their definition mostly correct. In the Greek texts the word “divers” is not there, the text actually reads “to another kinds of tongues” (αλλω δε ερμηνεια γλωσσων). Tongues are translated from the Greek word “glossa” from which we get our words glossolalia and glossary. The word glossa (γλωσσῶν)
simply means languages.

    This gift, as with all the others is a supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit which enabled the individual to speak languages that were completely “unknown” to the speaker.

    These were real languages being supernaturally spoken we know this from the written testimony in the book of Acts. On the day of Pentecost the men gathered outside the upper room heard the apostles declaring the works of God and giving Him glory in known languages to those assembled:

They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? “And how is it that we each
hear them in our own language to which we were born? “Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabswe hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.”they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”
Acts 2:7-12

Note that the apostles were given the ability to communicate in languages
known to the hearers, not ecstatic gibberish that made the hearers scratch their heads in wonder. What made them wonder was how these (later to be noted as “ignorant and unlearned” see Acts 4:13) Galileans were able to speak any language but their local dialect and/or Aramaic. Why make note of this event? Simply because there is no biblical reason to believe that this gift changed over time. The apostles were gifted to speak real languages that were known to the hearers or could have been translated/interpreted by someone of their time.



The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues

Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural showing forth by the Spirit the meaning of an utterance in other tongues. Also, it is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues.

By definition the Interpretation of Tongues is a supernatural utterance inspired by the Holy Spirit, which interprets an unknown Tongue.

This is where Pentecostal equivocation begins. Hagin, and most sign-gift enthusiasts teach that this gift is not the supernatural ability to translate what is said in an unknown tongue into the vernacular of the locals. Hagin is guilty of simply taking the KJV translated word “interpretation” and redefining it to mean something it does not. The Greek for interpretation is as follow:

1448 διερμηνεία (diermēneia), ας (as), (): —interpretation, translation, explanation (1Co 12:10) not in
1449 διερμηνευτής (diermēneutēs), οῦ (ou), ὁ (ho): — interpreter, translator (1Co14:28)
2058. ἑρμηνεία hermēneia, her-may-ni´-ah; from the same as 2059;translation:—interpretation.
2059.    ἑρμηνεύω
hermēneuō; from 2060; to interpret:—translated(2), translation(1).

    Interpretation and translation are synonymous terms. When you go to a foreign country to speak you use an “interpreter” a person who understands and reveals your “foreign” tongue being spoken to the listeners.

    Modern practitioners of speaking in tongues believe that the gift of interpretation is akin to “interpretative dancing.” The message is spoken by one person with the gift of other tongues. Someone else, hearing the message is quickened by the Holy Spirit with the interpretation of the message. The interpretation will be based on “where” that individual is “at” in the Lord, i.e. their maturity, their experience in the gift, etc. Charismatics view translation as sort of a hard-and-fast precise scribal activity whereas interpretation does not necessarily have just one exact meaning.

    Making this false distinction in terminology allows the sign-gifter to try to explain away the problem of various completely different interpretations. Messages in other tongues and their interpretation have been recorded and played back to others without the interpretation and those claiming the “gift of interpretation” gave completely different interpretations of the message in tongues! My dear friends, our God is not a God of confusion (see 1 Cor. 14:33). Our God does not say one thing to this group and then through the same message something completely different to another. This makes God out to be a liar (see Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). Our God is not a liar, He does not mislead His people, nor does He deceive them or send them false shepherds. He means what He says and He says what He means —- and He does not leave it up to “interpretation.”

Both Gifts Operate Together

    Things get a lot murkier and confusing from here on out (or in). Somehow these gifts become bifurcated into (1) public and (2) private ministry. Sign-gifters divide the use of tongues into corporate use (public) and private prayer times (private). Is this a sound biblically based understanding of these two gifts?

One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church. Now I wish that you all spoke in tongues, but even more that you would prophesy; and greater is one who prophesies than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may receive edifying. 1 Cor. 14:4-5

NEVER FORGET THIS — the gifts are for the profit of others, not the individual gifted by God.

The main purpose of tongues, as already pointed out, was to give a sign to unbelievers. Self-edification was a side effect that the believer enjoyed for merely exercising his gift of tongues (true of every believer who exercises his gift). The modern day Pentecostal movement, on the other hand, stresses edification for the individual believer and the Church never as a sign to unbelievers.

Most people who are advocating tongues for today have quoted 1 Corinthians 14:2: “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” There are some problems here. In chapter 12, the purpose of the gifts in general is edification of other believers. God does not need to be edified (built up to further maturity).

First Corinthians 14:2 is not encouragement to speak to God in tongues (a different language), for He will understand whatever language I use, including English. The advantage of my using English is that you and other believers will understand and that is the purpose of spiritual gifts — to communicate, to serve and to build up other believers.

    God’s gives us each gifts to bless and benefit the household of faith first (see Gal. 6:10) then our neighbors. Paul entire emphasis is on building up the church not the individual whom God has given a gift of grace to.

Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise if you bless in the spirit only, how will the one who fills the place of the ungifted say the “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not know what you are saying? For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified. I thank God, I speak in tongues more than you all; however, in the church I desire to speak five words with my mind so that I may instruct others also, rather than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor. 14:13-19

It seems that one who does possess the gift of other languages ought to pray for the accompanying gift of translation. Both gifts must be in operation or the Church will not be built-up. Every commentator I have researched on the above pericope agree that when Paul is speaking of spirit he is not referring to the Holy Spirit.

Paul first applied the principle of understanding to the speaker himself (1 Cor. 14:12–15). Again, he reminded the Corinthians that it is better to be a blessing to the church than to experience some kind of personal “spiritual excitement.” If the believer speaks in a tongue, his spirit (inner person) may share in the experience, but his mind is not a part of the experience. It is not wrong to pray or sing “in the spirit,” but it is better to include the mind and understand what you are praying or singing. (Note that the word spirit in 1 Cor. 14:14–15 does not refer to the Holy Spirit, but to the inner person, as in 1 Cor. 2:11.) If the speaker is to be edified, he must understand what he is saying.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Cor. 14:20-22

The apostle tells the Corinthians basically to “grow up!” “In selfishly exalting unintelligible tongues assign for believers, they were babes in understanding, babbling like selfish infants. The unbelievers were not being convicted, and the believers were not being edified–the Corinthians had only been “mature malice”–albeit unwittingly.”

The Corinthian believers were formerly pagans and thus unfamiliar with the prophetic text that Paul is citing and possibly do not get the connection that Paul is making. Isaiah 28:11 reads “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.”

He is basically saying, “You are just like the rebellious drunkards from Isaiah’s time. You speak to each other in incoherent babbling, and none of you can understand it. Instead, you should listen to the clear message of Scripture.” God can speak through any tongue that he wants—either tongues in Corinth or foreign tongues in Isaiah’s day. But, God desires that we understand his clear message in our own tongue first. Like the Jews of Isaiah’s day, Paul is pointing out that the Corinthians are not listening to the clear teaching of Scripture. Instead, they want to hear an even more difficult message through strange tongues. Paul is rebuking this attitude.

Paul, by quoting Isaiah 28:11-12 in 1 Corinthians 14:20-22, rebukes the Corinthians for not understanding the Old Testament Scriptures in their use of “the gift of tongues.” Charismatic “Christians” today should tremble in fear of the Lord as they read the passage Paul used to instruct the first generation of Christians. It seems the worship services of the Corinthians were very “free” in that we get the idea that people were gathering together speaking out in tongues together, with no interpretation, women shouting questions across the aisle to their husbands, folks getting drunk at communion, etc. Paul brings correction in all of these areas in his letter.

If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 1 Corinthians 14:27–28

Paul sets the bounds for them, if some people have this gift let it be no more than 2 or 3 messages and someone must interpret what is spoken. If no one has the accompanying gift of interpretation/translation then, obviously, the foreign language speaker MUST remain silent, because both gifts must operate together or not at all in the church. What is more Paul sets the same limit on those gifted with the prophetic gift, 2 or 3 utterances and then these are to be JUDGED. Paul’s directives regarding the use of these 3 spiritual gifts in the church are very straight forward.

Two examples of the abuse and foolishness that masquerades as the gift of other tongues can be seen and heard via the lips of Mr. Kenneth Copeland on YouTube videos. The first case shows Mr. Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne (RHB) God’s Holy Ghost Bartender in a conference. Mr. Browne comes up to Mr. Copeland and begins to speak in gibberish to him. Copeland looks at him, then he begins to chuckle and speak in gibberish back to RHB. We see RHB sagely nod his head as if UNDERSTANDING exactly what Copeland is saying, he responds in gibberish, they both laugh and then Kenny lays hands on RHB (the greater laying hands on the lesser light) RHB falls down.


The whole episode was an INTENTIONAL fraud from start to finish and virtually NONE of the people there saw it for what it was. Tongues MUST be interpreted (1 Cor. 14:28) or KEEP SILENT. This never happened. There was no interpretation. No other person understands what is uttered apart from the subsequent gift of interpretation. NO MAN understands what is being said (1 Cor. 14:2). These two men, in front of 1,000’s of people perpetrated a fraud on those assembled in an attempt to make themselves appear to be on such a supernatural plane that even their communication was transcendent. Naturally, this act reached its zenith when Mr. Copeland laid his highly charged hands on RHB who swooned under the might deluge of demonic delusion into the waiting arms to the “catcher” behind him.

The next example is with Mr. Copeland again in February 2014 in a conference. He had received a video letter from the Pope of the Church of Rome. The Pope is also a sign-gift enthusiast along with being a member of the Jesuit order. The Pope actually reached out to Mr. Copeland and asked him to pray for Christian unity and his “eminence.” So what does Copeland do? He shows the video to the 1,000’s gathered and he leads them in prayer for their new buddy. How? He lifts his hands and begins to “pray” in tongues and he has all those gathered to join him. A cacophony of voices begins to shout out passionate drivel. Again, no interpretation was given or expected. This was public, but everyone was encouraged to use their personal prayer language together, ergo no one had the slightest idea of what was being said, to whom (other than a hopeful thought it was reaching God). Truly if an unbeliever had entered in at that part, as in Paul’s day with Corinthians —- they would have thought these people “mad” and rightly so for all their speaking was indeed only “into the air” (1 Cor. 14:9).

Linguists have studied recorded examples of glossolalia for years and they have yet to come across legitimate examples of languages being uttered. No examples of someone speaking perfect Urdu, Hittite, Hebrew, Croatian, etc. How do the enthusiasts respond to this?Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). When challenged by the COMPLETE LACK of any legitimate languages being spoken they simply respond “it is an angelic tongue.” In EVERY biblical example of men encountering angels (even fallen angels) they angels ALWAYS converse in the known language of the person they are addressing. There is not one example anywhere of angels speaking anything but known languages. Paul was speaking hyperbolically in vv. 1-3, his point was that the love of God trumps all the gifts, because as we know folks, God is love and the gifts are not “God.” There is absolutely no biblical support whatsoever for any human being to claim they have an “angelic tongue.”

While exhorting these enthusiasts on the excellences of love the apostle goes on to tell these super-saints that “guess what, these gifts you exalt are passing away.”

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 1 Corinthians 13:8–10

I find it interesting that sign-gift teachers all agree that tongues + interpretation = prophecy and in this passage we are informed that both of these gifts are temporary; however the love of God (agape) never fails.

Prophecies they shall fail2673. καταργέω
katargeō; from 2596 and 691; to render inoperative, abolish:—abolished(4), abolishing(1), bring to an end(1), did away(1), do away(1), done away(4), fades away(1), fading(1), fading away(1), nullified(1), nullify(4), passing away(1), released(2), removed(1), render powerless(1), severed(1), use(1).

Tongues they shall
cease3973. παύω
pauō; a primitive word; to make to cease, hinder:—cease(4), ceased(4), finished(2), incessantly, keep, kept right, stopped(2).

Knowledge it shall vanish away
2673. καταργέω katargeo, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literally:—abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.

Love is eternal, the gifts are temporary and when their purpose has been fulfilled they will cease altogether. This fulfillment is achieved with the coming of the perfect.

13:9–10. As Paul explained it, the gift of knowledge (v. 8), and essential as it was, was not exhaustive. The ability to prophesy, however crucial for the church’s life, was of limited scope. The gifts were temporary blessings in an imperfect age. One day they would give way to perfection, toward which all the gifts pointed.

There is debate over what exactly was Paul referring to when he mentioned the perfect. Enthusiasts parse this to refer to the return of Jesus Christ, since He has not yet returned these gifts are still in operation. Others view this in the light of the completion of the revelation of God through His apostles.

I agree with the latter view because it makes sense and fits in with the history of the Church. Tongues+interpretation = prophecy. What was the purpose of prophecy? To reveal to His people His will for their lives. Once the last word was put to paper by the last apostle (or his scribe) the canon was closed and the revelation complete.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge
of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:2-5

My dear brothers and sisters we have no need of any man or woman standing up and declaring “thus saith the Lord” from their own impassioned darkened hearts. God gave us His Word in a written form so there would be no confusion as to exactly what He said. It is His record of objective truth versus what flows out of the hearts and minds of sinful people who presume to stand in an office where their words are actually God’s!

We do not need to run hither thither and yon to hear the “now” Word of the Lord. Those who do so PROVE by their very seeking after more than has been divinely revealed in the Bible their lack of faith in God. The Bible is NOT sufficient for such as these, no they need their ears tickled and they need to hear some great swelling words of glory proclaimed over their faltering lives.

From Montanus to this very day of your reading these words —- I can testify that nothing of theological consequence has come from those declaring themselves recipients of restored gifts and offices. In our time today in America and around the world the vast majority of heresy, shocking falls from grace, aberrant practices are the “fruit” from so called sign-gift enthusiasts. Let us remember them in our prayers this Lenten season and humbly thank our merciful Lord for opening up our eyes and granting us faith in Him through His Word alone.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1-2


Works Cited

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 129

2. Obtained from

3. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Kenneth Hagin Ministries, Tulsa, OK. 1995, p. 137

4. Obtained from

5. James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

6. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 32.

7. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

8. Obtained from

9. Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 613–614. Underlining and bold type added for emphasis.

10. David E Lanier, With Stammering Lips and Another Tongue: 1 COR 14:20-22AND ISA 28:11-12, Criswell Theological Review 5.2 (1991)

11. Obtained from

12. Obtained from

13. Mr. Browne is responsible for much of the sinful excess, fraud and abuse of the saints that transpired as a result of his “Holy Laughter” revival that he brought over to America from S. Africa, after he had received this “new gift” via the laying on of hands by Benny Hinn.

14. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

15. Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).

David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 536.

I created the word “gifter” okay, non-standard English, but Paul did it on occasion too.


A Refutation
of Kenneth E. Hagin
Ten Reason Why Every Believer Should Speak in Tongues

by Rev. Robert Liichow

The now deceased pseudo-founder of the Word of Faith1 cult false prophet and false teacher Kenneth E. Hagin gave the Church ten reasons why we all should speak in tongues. Each numbered “point” is quoted from Mr. Hagin’s book “The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.”

#1Speaking in tongues is an initial evidence or sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

Speaking in other tongues supernaturally by the Holy Spirit IS NOT evidence that one has received the Holy Spirit, a subsequent “baptism” after salvation. The verse Hagin abuses we covered in the first part of this series several months ago. The text is referring directly to the apostles NOT the 120 gathered. The apostles were the ones who initially received the Holy Spirit not anyone else. Through the apostles ministry, the gifts of the Spirit were administered and as the Spirit willed, distributed to other saints.

How does a Christian know they are filled with the Holy Spirit? Simply through the free exercise of their faith in God’s Word. The Word of God informs what we believe, teach and confess. James 4:5 says “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?” Romans 8:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Ephesians 5:18And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” At the moment of redemption the Christian receives the Holy Spirit and is sealed by Him unto the day of their full redemption (see Ephesians 4:30).

#2He also encouraged them to speak in tongues in their individual prayer lives as a means of spiritual edification or building up. The Bible says, “He that speaketh in an unknown tongues edifieth himself . . .” (1 Cor. 14:4).
The primary use of this pseudo-gift today (I say pseudo, because what takes place today is simply not the biblical gift) is as a means of private devotion and prayer. We covered in this issue the fact that Paul was not encouraging private edification. This was an abuse. Every tongue uttered was to be interpreted by the individual or someone else who possessed that gift. The gifts are to profit others who are in need. The “edification” comes from simply being used by God to meet those needs —- it IS more blessed to give than to receive. I am not exaggerating when I write and tell you that I used to “pray” in other tongues for anywhere from 1.5 – 3 hours straight at times. Easily 95% of our prayer time privately or corporately was in other tongues. This was all wasted time. To begin with I now admit to not ever having any recognizable language nor did anyone else I have encountered, so I was at best gibbering away. Secondly, I and no one else had any idea what we were gibbering on about. Thus, thirdly, I had no way of knowing that whatever it was I was gibbering about was answered.

Lastly, the most harmful aspects of this practice were manifold. When you pray for a protracted period of time in such a manner, virtually shutting off your conscious mind you release endorphins (feel good chemicals in your brain) and you “feel” super great, i.e. proud. We were told when we prayed in tongues we were “speaking mysteries” to God that the devil could not understand; ergo he could not interfere with the tremendous inroads we were making in the heavenlies. People who speak in tongues all feel a secret degree of “pride” or being just a little cut above the non-spirit filled saint. No genuine fellowship with the Lord is developed through this type of prayer. Your conscious mind is disengaged, it is incapable of communicating fully with God, but our spirit with the Holy Spirit can . . . .or so they say. The reality is that it was not until seminary and going through 1 Corinthians line by line that I was delivered from this spurious practice. I went into a slight depression for a while upon learning that I had (1) wasted years of my life saying nothing to God, (2) if I did say anything I had no idea what it was, I was never given the gift of interpretation and I have met only 2 people who publically exercised this gift. (3) Thirdly, I realized I really did not “know” my Lord nearly as well as I thought I did. I mistook feelings for reality (always a DANGEROUS mistake). (4) I learned that it is much more difficult to pray to our Lord with my conscious mind, it is far more demanding of my concentration, focus and calls for discipline. Nowhere in the Bible are Christians encouraged to pray privately in other tongues to God.

#3The third reason people should speak with other tongues is that tongues keeps us continually aware of the Holy Spirit indwelling Presence.”

Early Pentecostals believed that once they “received” the Spirit, spoke in tongues once, that was enough. The emphasis on praying and singing congregationally in other tongues did not become popular until the charismatic renewal movement back in the late 1950’s. I know that my Lord is with me because HE SAID He would never leave or forsake me (see Hebrews 13:5). I am a Christian, I have been baptized in water (1 Peter 3:21), I have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13), I am one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). I need no experience beyond God’s Word to assure me that I am His dear child and am filled with the Spirit.

#4 Hagin says that “speaking in tongues eliminates the possibility of selfishness entering our prayer life.

It is the very height of self to “pray” on your own in gibberish, it is nothing but spiritual masturbation in that you have done nothing but excite your ignorance and feel good about it.

#5 “. . .believers should speak with tongues is that it helps them learn to trust God more fully. . .Speaking in tongues stimulates faith and helps us learn how to trust God more fully.”

Hagin’s fifth reason does not make any sense biblically. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Faith does not come or grow by speaking in other tongues. That was NEVER the biblical purpose of this gift. Again, this and all the gifts are for others — not the one possessing the gift. As one who prayed in tongues for several thousand hours, I can attest it does not build up your “faith” in God or His Word per se at all, since there was no direct communication with Him in tongues and He uses His Word as the instrument through which He imparts and grows our faith in Him!

#6 “. . .is that speaking in tongues is a means of keeping us free from the contamination of the ungodly and profane elements of the world.

Some of the most egregious and horrendous tragedies to impact the Church has come through the SINistries of so-called sign-gift restorationists. Here are just a few examples of tongue-talking cults: The Shakers; Father Divine, Daddy Grace, The Way International, Jim Jones, The Family of Love and all Oneness Pentecostals. The sad history of Pentecostal “super-stars” is that upon even a half-hearted glance at their lives indicate the grossest of sinful behaviors. Speaking in other tongues does not create some sort of “divine shield” of protection around the speaker. They believe that by speaking gibberish (turning off your active mind) you can keep yourself from being effected by sin around you. Their own lives prove this to be a false path to take when it comes to living the “sanctified life.”

#7In addition, the Holy Spirit, who knows everything, can pray through us for things about which our natural mind knows nothing.”

Yes, this much is true but what Hagin did not understand is that when the Bible speaks of the Spirit “groaning” in us it is not a reference to other tongues:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26.

Nothing is mentioned about praying in tongues here or in the entire chapter for that matter. We do not always know what we are to pray for as we should, we do not know the fullness of any given situation but our God does. Note that the Spirit makes intercession for us; He is called alongside to help us and He does so at times in a manner that cannot even be uttered (ἀλάλητος) in words — tongues are “words” of some variety. We can trust that even if our prayers seem weak and ineffectual we can rely on the fact that the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf —- based on our speaking in tongues? No. Based on the fact that God does not lie (Number 23:19).

#8And this passage in Isaiah gives us the eighth reason that every Christian should speak in tongues.”

Hagin again demonstrates his willful ignorance of the context of Isa. 28:11-12. Every accepted Bible commentator interprets the Isaiah 28 as evidence of God’s judgment on His backslidden children. Tongues were a sign of judgment, they were not a blessing.

#9The ninth reason we are to pray in tongues is to give thanks to God.”

The emphasis of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 14:17 is that the other person
IS NOT EDIFIED (you are just playing with yourself). Hagin says praying in tongues is the “best way to give thanks” —- if this were true way doesn’t the Bible emphasize it as such?

#10The tenth reason why every believer should speak with tongues is found in James 3:8. . .Yielding your tongue is a big step toward being able to fully yield your members to God;”

Hagin thinks that if a believer can speak in tongues then he can control his whole body. James seems to be under the impression that “no man can tame” their tongue, yet Hagin believes yielding our tongue to the practice of gibberish will enable us to control our whole bodies. If this were the context of James 3:8 then why didn’t James follow through and tell us “control your flesh by speaking in tongues.” In fact, James never mentions these sign-gifts in his letter at all.

Hagin is desperately wrong in all of his ten reasons why every believer should speak in tongues. To begin with not every Christian in the early Church spoke with other tongues as the Bible clearly states. This gift was not common. It was approximately ten years after the Day of Pentecost until the event at home of Cornelius and when the Gentiles spoke in tongues it surprised the Jews in attendance. As far as the gifts went, Paul considered it the least, yet the Corinthians exalted it above the others. Paul said this gift would cease, it was temporary in nature. From the letters of the New Testament these specific gifts may have ceased very early on. THINK ABOUT THIS — only Paul deals with these sign-gifts no other writer mentions them. Why not? Did everyone except the Corinthians understand the proper use of the gifts, thus they needed no instruction? I think not.

Lastly, we have the written history of the Church. Tongues “shall” and did cease and logically so. We learned previously that it was through the hands of the apostles that these supernatural gifts were imparted. So if John the beloved, was the last apostle to die, say approx. 90 AD (give or take). On his deathbed John is laying his hands on disciples to the end. These would have probably been (1) males and (2) elders. So if these folks received the “gift” and spoke in tongues when they died that was it — zip, nada goodbye. With the death of the last apostle there was no one left who was divinely authorized to bestow these gifts and NONE PRESUMED to do so until the Church’s first restorer of the sign-gifts a monk named Montanus!    

For over fifty (50) years linguists have been tracking the phenomena of speaking in tongues. To date from my research I have yet to come across a scientist who has recorded someone speaking in a genuine language that they did not learn or have any exposure to. In all their studies they have yet to find a biblical example.

What they did discover was really nothing new, beyond some gleanings into some of the mechanics of the mind itself. What they discovered is the ability to utter gibberish or ecstatic speech is universal to all human beings who can vocalize. In this sense everyone can speak in ecstatic speech — BUT — this is not the biblical gift at all.

Ecstatic speech has been found in a wide variety of pagan religions and cultic groups. It was not even uncommon in the entire region of Phrygia where Montanus came from, and ecstatic speech was a long held practice by the Sibyls (female soothsayers).

The fact that these “unlearned” Jews were speaking fifteen different dialects was astounding to those gathered. Had the disciples gotten up and did what transpires in charismatic services today under the guise of “other tongues” it would not have impressed those gathered, the pagans did that stuff, big deal. Everybody knew something out of the ordinary and supernatural was taking place and in the end souls were added to the Church with Peter’s preaching (in a known and understandable tongue).

My brothers and sisters I openly acknowledge that there are many dear and devoted Christians who think they have the ability to communicate with God via a private, personal prayer language. For many years I thought I was one such saint. I’ve laid hands on around 1,000 people specifically to impart to them the “baptism in the Holy Ghost.” The majority left the prayer room smiling and uttering a smattering of syllabic nonsense. My advice was “keep praying in tongues, you’ll see as you use what God gives you He will give you more” (I meant in reference to an expanded prayer language). In this life, I will never “get over” the fact, well intentioned as I was; that I led people astray.

In dealing with people who are currently ensnared (look, the Lord delivered Bob Liichow, and I actually believed their lies and became more extreme than my ‘Rhema’ breed of teachers; I was of the Dr. Hobart Freeman and Elbert Willis sect of the Word of Faith cult, He can deliver anyone) go gently with them. As brothers and sisters let us present God’s Word in context and in love (Eph. 4:15) to those who have been misled.

In closing this series out please remember this — only the Word of God in its proper context has the power to set us free. Our Master said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word,ye my disciples indeed;ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you freeJohn 8:31-32. Only The Word when properly delivered has truly supernatural power to redeem and liberate the soul of fallen man. This same Word when it is twisted and made to mean something unintended by the Author can place one into the deepest of bondages (because after all “it’s in the Bible”).

In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God

peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; Andthatthey may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

2 Timothy 2:25

End Note

1. E.W. Kenyon is the actual “father” of the Word of Faith cult, Hagin plagiarized extensively from Kenyon and other earlier writers. It is sad enough for a writer to steal from another without citing them; but when a “Christian” author steals heretical material and claims it as his own now that is really really sad.

Truth Matters February 2014

23 03 2014

Prophecy, the Gift that “Says” Something Part Five

By Rev. Bob Liichow

1 Corinthians 12:10 (KJV 1900) To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: Of all of this listing of nine spiritual gifts the vocal gifts are the easiest to be abused and frankly “faked” by people.  When it comes to the working of miracles or divine healing either things actually happen that can be quantified or they do not.  For example, when Benny Hinn commands people to “be healed” or “rise and walk” and the people do not (nor have they ever done so due to Hinn’s SINistry) then a decision must be made; either Hinn is to blame or the sick person.  If someone stands up and declares that the Lord has “shown them” three people in the audience that need deliverance (a word of knowledge) — and no one comes forward or if someone does and they are not “delivered” what does that demonstrate?  It is impossible to fake a healing (apart from the use of shills, which does happen), just as it is impossible to reveal something about someone to the individual that is not true, i.e. “The Lord says you have a daughter” and the person is not married and chaste. However, when it comes to the vocal gifts can people discern if in fact: (1) they actually possess such vocal gifts and (2) that others are genuinely being used by the Holy Spirit to speak?  After all, if a person is speaking in an “unknown tongue” how is anyone else supposed to be able to understand it?  Thus, who is to say authoritatively that one does not have the genuine gift apart from knowing all languages? Concerning these specific gifts the apostle Paul goes to greater lengths to bring correction to the people regarding speaking in tongues because it seemed to be problematic to the congregation whereas the other gifts are simply cited.  For some strange reason these vocal manifestations have proven “problematic” throughout the entire history of the Church.  As has been the pattern let’s begin with some definitions.

The Gift of Prophecy

Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue. Divers kinds of tongues is supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue.  Interpretation of tongues is a supernatural showing forth of that which has been said in an unknown tongue.1 But the gift of prophecy is when words of English are given to an individual’s spirit, by the Holy Spirit—as the Spirit wills.  And words of English in a known language begin to boil up out of your spirit, supernaturally.  That is when the gift of prophecy comes into operation. . .The spiritual gift of prophecy comes boiling out of an individual, and sometimes, it will nearly lift you out of your seat.  It builds up, and it comes to you supernaturally. . .Brother Kenneth E. Hagin was sitting in the congregation, and he said, ‘Boy! Norvel, I tell you, that blasted against the wall.  I said, ‘I know it, Brother.  It didn’t even sound like me.  I could not believe what was coming out of me.2 DMI has covered in prior writings that according to the sign-gift enthusiasts there are various degrees of the expression of the prophetic gift.  Hagin, Hayes, Copeland et al. declare that there is the so-called “simple gift” of prophecy, which any Spirit-filled Christian can utter to one another personally or maybe in a small group.  Also there is the gift as expressed by a pastor and/or one in the “prophetic office.”  In their belief system both types of prophecy, personal and corporate come from the Holy Spirit but it is only the secondary type of utterance by “God” that carries true gravitas.  Is this what the Bible teaches regarding the prophetic gift?  Is there a lessor and greater manifestation of prophecy depending upon the human mouthpiece?  What does the apostle Paul have to say about this gift? As we have covered in the previous issues Paul’s approach in this letter is one of correction.  The Corinthian Church was a carnal group in every area whether it was having a divisive spirit, suing one another, sexual immorality, and abuse of Christian liberty causing weaker brethren to stumble.  For some reason most sign-gift folks seem to think the Corinthians got it “right” somehow when it comes to these spiritual gifts.  Paul’s tone in his writing does not change one iota (or any “alphas” either I suppose, a little Greek humor) and after listing the gifts he brings yet further correction to the Church at Corinth. But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:11–12 (KJV 1900)


The people in Corinth ranked people’s value and/or spirituality by the charismata he or she manifested.  Some people desired the gifts that others had (envy), those possessing such gifts saw themselves as superior (pride) and others felt of no value at all (despair).  Paul addresses all of these attitudes when he describes the Church as a body in 1 Cor. 12:27-30. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 1 Corinthians 12:27–30 (KJV 1900) The Church is one Body but many diverse parts.  Just as in the human body each part is vital to the overall health of the body, even so in the Church.  The gifts and callings are initiated by God (Romans 11:29).  It is God who calls a man into the holy ministry, the role of the people is to validate that divine call by acknowledging and accepting the ministry of Christ through that servant.  The Church is built upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ Himself being the Chief Corner stone (read Ephesians 2:19-22).

The fact that Paul assigned ordinal numbers (first … second … third) to the first three gifts suggests that these may have been relegated to a lesser role by the Corinthians (cf. 1 Cor. 12:21–24). Those three kinds of gifted members—apostles … prophets … teachers—probably were rated lower than those who had the more spectacular gift of tongues. But the first three gifts may have been greater (v. 31) because of their extensive value to the whole body of Christ. This may be why he listed them first and then said that the church should eagerly desire (v. 31) the exercise of those gifts in the assembly (cf. 14:1–5). Gifted apostles, prophets, and teachers characteristically ministered to a whole church, and so would engender unity and mutual edification. The gift of tongues, on the other hand, suited the Corinthian penchant for self-expression and the pursuit of personal freedom. This self-centeredness also afflicted the church in other areas (e.g., eating sacrificial foods, women in worship, celebration of the Lord’s Supper). Love for others was an essential need in the Corinthian church, and to that fundamental attribute Paul then turned to pay eloquent tribute.3

It seems the Corinthian’s were exalting some gifts and gifted people are downplaying others.  Paul continues his exhortation by asking a series of rhetorical questions — “Are all apostles? Are all prophets . . .?”(v.29) NO.  “Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (v. 30) NO.  As the citation by Walvoord and Zuck states it seems the Corinthian’s were coveting what was dramatic and self-directed over the gifts which were really needful, such as the foundational work of the apostles and prophets.  Paul tells them if they must “covet” spiritual gifts, at least covet the “best” (most profitable for the church) gifts.  Higher than all these gifts is manifesting the love of God. Some Bible commentators try to “punt” on the issue of prophets by simply relegating them to the Old Testament and the Apostles to the New Testament birth of the Church.  As tempting as this approach may seem (it does simply things a lot if you go that route) it does not represent the plain teaching of the New Testament concerning the prophetic ministry. Paul tells the Corinthians that God has placed in the Church first apostles and then prophets (v.28).  To the Ephesians he writes:

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; Ephesians 2:20 (KJV 1900)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Ephesians 3:5 (KJV 1900)

He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Ephesians 4:10–12 (KJV 1900)

At the beginning of the Church there were recognized God-sent prophets, such as Agabus who is the only named “prophet” in the N.T (Acts 21:10).  We also read of an example of some young women who prophesied (Acts 21:9) but were not designated as female prophets per se .  The only N.T. reference to a female “prophetess” is found in Rev. 2:20, and she is a false prophet whom the church is rebuked for listening to! The two specific “ascension gifts” of apostle and prophet were given by our Lord to lay the foundation of the Church.  Once the foundation of a “house” has been laid what happens next?  The superstructure is then built upon (up on) the foundation that has (past tense) been laid.  There is no longer any need to rebuild the foundation once it has been laid.  This is exactly what every restorationists group, sect or cult has attempted to do —- re-lay the original foundation, as if this was even possible! We know from the O.T. what the role of the prophet was and there is no reason to believe that it changed in nature during the founding of the Church. What is fascinating in the N.T. is that the prophetic ministry was not written down for us.  Unlike the O.T. the Church does not have any “major and minor” prophets.  It seems that a portion of what the prophetic gift did was to reveal things to people that only God, certainly not some “stranger” would know:

But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth. 1 Cor. 14:24-25

At this point in time there was no canon of scripture collected for the Church; apart from the O.T. writings which Corinthian Gentiles would not be familiar with.  This fact may help explain the supernatural manner in which God was working by His Spirit in and through His servants. The Bible tells us the prophetic role was indisputably foundational and important but it is the writings of the apostles that were preserved by the Holy Spirit and nothing remains of anything (apart from Agabus) of the N.T. prophets. Of all the three categories of gifts here (basically, those that do something, reveal something, or say something) it is the vocal gifts that Paul spends the most time on correcting.  The gift of prophecy garners much of his attention:

Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 1 Cor. 14:29–34

In this pericope Paul is addressing the public use of the gift of prophecy.  If several people have been graced with this gift, fine and dandy, but the underlying principle is the revealing of God’s will, the instruction and comfort of the people gathered. Note also that just because someone may have the gift of prophecy does not give them carte blanche to say anything and mislead the people.  Whatever is prophetically spoken is to be judged (30.109 ἀνακρίνω; διακρίνω: to make a judgment on the basis of careful and detailed information—‘to judge carefully, to evaluate carefully.’)4 as to whether or not what is being shared is from the Lord. As to the who are the “ye all can prophesy” refers to is simple — Paul is still speaking of those prophetically gifted NOT all Christians.  We know this because he continues to speak to prophetic “order.” In v. 32 he lets them know that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. This is a crucial point to keep in mind.  In the pagan world then and now people worked themselves up into ecstatic frenzies and while out of their minds but into the spirit they would speak.  The Corinthians were no doubt influenced by the various cults and oracles in their city and may have believed that those who had a prophetic gift were “expected” to behave in certain ways under the influence of the ‘gods.’ Paul says not so, The Living God is a God of order and not confusion.  He does not speak through His vessels giving conflicting messages (as is very common today among the so-called restored prophets), nor does He shout over the top of several others engaged in “revealing” something.  God’s ways are those of order, clarity/certainty and peace in ALL church congregations. The comment regarding the role of women is also still within the context of prophesy and public ministry.  The women simply were to keep silent during the service.  They were not to prophesy publicly or teach the men of the congregation.  Paul mentions the women because the Corinthians had problems understanding their proper roles as men and women in the totally new social family called the Church. We are told of the future of the gift by the apostle when he states: Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 1 Cor. 13:8-11 After showing the excellency of walking in love (God is love) over expressing the gifts of the Spirit we read that these gifts are temporary in nature and they will come to an end when they no longer serve the purposes of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church (Col. 1:18). Prophetic utterances in the Church will be done away with —- 2673.  καταργέω katargĕō, kat-arg-eh´-o; from 2596 and 691; to be (render) entirely idle (useless) –abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.5 The purpose of prophecy (and to some degree other tongues + the interpretation) was to reveal a portion of the mind/will of God to those gathered.  At that time they had no canon of scriptures; at best they had Paul’s letter(s) and their own leaders.  What the Corinthians had then was a partial revelation, which Paul did not denigrate, but he tells the people they are moving towards (teleos) the “perfect” or full revelation and when that has come, all these partial bits of understanding will cease.  We know that Paul was speaking of the time when God’s revelation would be a complete record.  How do we know this?  Because of what Peter says in his second letter the following: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 2 Peter 1:16-20 The more sure word of prophecy is that which is recorded for all time and for all people in the writings of the Holy Bible.  Personally I believe the perfect (complete revelation) ceased the moment the last word was spoken & transcribed by the last living apostle.  True, the letters were not gathered and agreed upon until many years later, but they were completed much earlier and I believe that was all that was necessary.  The chart on page nine gives us a little idea of the various gatherings of the writings of the New Testament. Paul makes it abundantly clear that these dramatic gifts will cease but that the power of God’s love, which is superior, will never cease. Love will always “trump” gifts because love is the fruit of the spirit.  Fruit is produced over time, it requires patience, pruning at times and fertilizing and it is FRUIT that we have been appointed to bear (see Matthews 13:23; John 12:24) in our lives: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-24 God has commanded all of His children to be fruitful and multiply, both literally and spiritually.  He does not command us to be “gifted” supernaturally.  Jesus said that the world would know we were His disciples by our love (John 13:35) not by our alleged giftedness. When it comes to the prophetic gift/office the New Testament has more to say to the Church by way of warning us about the inherent danger associated with the pseudo-prophets. Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits. Matthew 7:15–20 (NASB95) Jesus warns His disciples to beware, i.e. BE AWARE of the reality of false prophets. They dress up just like the followers of Jesus, they will look like sheep not something else.  How will we know them?  Discerning these frauds does not come by looking at their gifts which can be counterfeited to some degree by Satan but at their fruit, which cannot be faked because it comes from within the heart, which is either dead or alive unto God.  Death produces nothing alive, it produces only more death.

The Inherent Danger in the Restored Prophetic Voice

If I can get you to believe that I have been called to hear from God on the behalf of the Church and individuals such as your “needy” self then I can (and often will) absolutely control your life.  Some of the most tragic events in the history of the Church have occurred when people relied on people claiming to be restored prophets sent to guide their lives.

All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Matthew 24:8–12 (KJV 1900) In speaking of the end of time our Lord reinforces His earlier message concerning these tares among the wheat —- “and MANY false prophets SHALL rise.” ‘Many’ in the Greek (πολλοί/polloi) refers to a great number and He uses the same word regarding those who will be led astray.  From these two statements alone the Church it seems should expect numerous false prophets and that hosts of people will be deceived by them. 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.  Behold, I have told you before.  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. Matthew 24:24–26 (KJV 1900) In the same discourse our Master gives further insight regarding the danger these SINisters (pseudo-Christs and pseudo-prophets) will pose for His people.  Not only will there be a whole bunch of these frauds released upon the Church but they will be fueled with demonic powers.  The word for ‘great’ is megas in the Greek from which we get our word “mega” — mega signs and wonders will be such an astounding nature that they could potentially deceive even the elect (but they will not). I think it is fair to translate “false Christs” into meaning more than just individuals who proclaim themselves to be Jesus Christ (DMI has covered several of these blatant idiots in the past) but it also can refer to those who are “falsely anointed,” i.e. the unseen power operating in and through them is not from the Holy Spirit but a demonic influence. Jesus has warned us repeatedly that these counterfeit ministry “gifts” are coming (beware 7:15, I have told you 24:25, believe it not 24:26) and not to fall prey to them.  Our Lord’s warnings have largely gone unheeded by the Church from its inception. 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. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Peter 2:1–3 (KJV 1900) Here the Holy Spirit through the apostle Peter warns of false prophets and false teachers (I have yet to meet a restored prophet who does not also teach).  As his Lord told him “many” polloi, SHALL follow their direction.  Their words will drip with honey and they will teach the people doctrines the people want to hear for the purpose of transferring the hearer’s money into their pockets.  It is because of these tares and their way of life/lifestyles that the Gospel is spoken evil of.  The world sees people like Paul Cain, Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn and Rev. Ike (all call themselves prophets) and wants nothing to do with the “Church” because of their foolishness.  Isn’t it odd how the world does not seem to be fooled by these people, only the Christians? Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (KJV 1900) At the end of his life on earth John the beloved warns His Master’s flock not to blithely believe everything that is being proclaimed.  We are told to test, to examine what is offered as to whether or not it is genuine (remember Paul’s exhortation earlier for those “sitting by to judge” the prophecies).  Why does he tell us this?  Because MANY false prophets were already alive and active in the world and attacking the Church at the time of John writing this letter. John’s direction was for the Church to test the prophecies and do not believe what every spirit is saying through whatever yielded/gifted vessel.  How were they to test the spirits and the words delivered?  Does what is being shared agree with the teachings that have been handed down?  When he penned this letter John’s life was almost over and the “faith” had been delivered to the saints. Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 3 Jude, often considered the brother of James the Just was not an apostle and wrote this letter later on when the foundational doctrines of the apostles were in place.  How were people to test “prophetic” utterances and those bringing them?  They were to look to the teaching of the apostles which the people had an understanding of or some access to the texts.  I believe my argument is buttressed further by the example of the Bereans: These were more    noble   than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 17:11 Once the cannon of scriptures was set down there was and is simply no need for a “prophetic” word from the Lord.  God has already spoken what more needs to be said? God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:1–2 (KJV 1900) Yes, God once spoke through the prophets, but now He has spoken to us directly through His Son and the apostles have recorded all that the Spirit brought back to their remembrance to share (see John 14:26) with the Church.  The eternal Word of God is totally sufficient for the Christian to live a fruitful life of godliness in service to their neighbors. The Church does not need anyone to stand up and declare “thus saith the Lord” when we have in our laps, the complete revelation of what God has “said” to humanity. The gift of prophecy and the role of prophets are over.  The foundation has been laid 2,000 years ago and God, the Master Builder, has been building on this foundation ever since. In closing, The Church does not need a “now word” or a “new word” from the Lord.  The Church needs simply to be faithful to the faith that has been delivered unto us.  We need to be doers of the Word, not chasing after some other highly suspect and uncertain proclamations.

Athanasius (b. 296) Origen (b. 185) Irenaeus (b. 130) Marcion* (b. 85)
Matthew Matthew Matthew
Mark Mark Mark
Luke Luke Luke Luke
John John John
Acts Acts Acts
Romans Romans Romans Romans
1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians 1 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Galatians Galatians Galatians Galatians
Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians Ephesians
Philippians Philippians Philippians Philippians
Colossians Colossians Colossians Colossians
1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians
1 Timothy 1 Timothy 1 Timothy
2 Timothy 2 Timothy 2 Timothy
Titus Titus Titus
Philemon Philemon Philemon Philemon
Hebrews Hebrews Hebrews
James James James
1 Peter 1 Peter 1 Peter
2 Peter 2 Peter 2 Peter
1 John 1 John 1 John
2 John 2 John 2 John
3 John 3 John 3 John
Jude Jude Jude
Revelation** Revelation Revelation

End Notes

1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts.  Faith Library Publication, Tulsa, OK. 1991, p.121

2. Hayes, Norval. The Gift of Prophecy. Harrison House Publishers, Tulsa, OK. 1980, p. 6, 7, 8

3. David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 534.

4. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 363.

5. James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament

A Current Example of the Prophetic Madness

This deluded soul, David E. Taylor told his congregation and the world that “God” had revealed to him the winner of the Super Bowl.  Even with a fifty-fifty chance he guessed wrong and ended up (1) lying in the name of the Lord he says he serves, (2) embarrassing the Church which he represents as a public minister by being exposed as one deceived and deceiving others. For whatever reason he decided to promote this specific revelation from “God” on a global basis.  One can only surmise that he did so in the hopes of expanding his influence among the hugely competitive prophetic marketplace.  Here is a statement from his website: David E. Taylor is first and foremost, a friend of Jesus Christ, which allows him to serve in all the five-fold ministry offices, in which the offices of apostle, prophet and healing evangelist are the most notable. These offices enable him to conquer spiritual territories and dethrone demonic princes and their principalities in different cities and regions he goes to on behalf of a breakthrough for God’s church the Body of Christ.  They serve to equip, empower and launch sons and daughters into God’s vineyard, to minister Jesus Christ and demonstrate His Latter Rain Glory to this generation. This man, who was completely wrong about his word from “God” would have people believe that he is an omni-competent healing evangelist!  Folks, it is people like this who bring shame and ridicule upon the Body of Christ and rightly so in cases like these if we, the Church, do not do all we can to rebuke this man in love and bring correction to him. Much of the foolishness taking place in the Church today is due to the tolerant attitude and silence on that part of those who are orthodox Bible believing Christian leaders.  Many solid pastors vacillate between on of the following three men: Wonderfully pious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets. ious words to try to live by if you are an ostrich.  The love of God compels us to warn our brothers and sisters of the grave spiritual danger they are facing by listening to the myriad of false teachers and false prophets.  Pastors especially are charged with guarding their portion of His flock by feeding them the pure Word of God.  It is only through a steady diet of sound teaching that we will become equipped to discern truth from error.  This implies first that pastors must teach sound doctrine and secondly, that the flock will be faithful not only to hear but to act upon the glorious truths shared!

Truth Matters January 2014

9 03 2014

Part Four on Ecstatic Speech
by Rev. Robert Liichow

To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles…”
The Apostle Paul

This has been somewhat of a longer rabbit trail than I usually take our readers down but it is important to have some working knowledge of the so-called “sign gifts” of the Holy Spirit, since so many people are claiming divine abilities on a global basis. As Christians we are called to give an answer (apology) for what we believe (see 1 Peter 3:15). I admit the context of Peter’s statement is directly pertaining to our hope within us, eternal life; however, we should be able to defend all of our beliefs regarding our faith. Last month we briefly considered the three gifts that supposedly “reveal” something, yet as we discovered two of these three gifts are never defined for the Church and thus no one can honestly claim to possess gifts which we cannot even define according to the Bible itself.

The Gifts that Do Something

    The next triumvirates of gifts are often referred to as the “power gifts” or supernatural abilities to perform various tasks.

The Gift of Faith

As with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, these are supernatural abilities and not mere human abilities on steroids or something. Thus the “gift of faith” is not the gift of believing the Gospel; although the ability to believe is not a human endeavor either (see Eph. 2:8) it too is a gift. Yet the gift of faith to receive Christ Jesus is not the same as the gift of faith spoken of here by Paul. All Christians are recipients of the gift of faith in Jesus Christ by God’s grace. This gift of “faith” is an additional gifting that enables the recipient to believe God with an unshakable resolve. The enthusiasts among us define this gift as follows:

The gift of faith is a gift of the Spirit to the believer in order that he might receive miracles . . . Those who operate in special faith, the gift of the Spirit, can believe God in such a way that God honors their word as His own, and miraculously brings to pass the desired result.

God gives a believer a gift of power because there is something that He wants to do. It is always to bless somebody or help somebody. Or, God can give a believer the gift of power to stop something that is evil . . . He will give you the gift of faith: the amount of power to get the job done. . .

The gift of faith may be defined as the special gift whereby the Spirit provides Christians with extraordinary confidence in God’s promises, power, and presence so they can take heroic stands for the future of God’s work in the church. The spiritual gift of faith is exhibited by one with a strong and unshakeable confidence in God, His Word, and His promises.

Πίστις is the Greek word for faith in this text and it simply means to believe to the extent of complete trust and reliance in God and His promises. The book of Hebrews the eleventh chapter gives us a plethora of examples of Old Covenant people who overcame through the gift of faith. In simplest terms the gift of faith would be the divinely granted ability to believe the unbelievable in the face of all adversity based upon nothing more than faith in God and His promise(s).

The Gifts of healing

    This gift, like all the others, is supernatural and has nothing to do with medical science or serving in the vocation of a doctor or nurse. The reason I stress the supernatural facet of these charismas is because there are those among us who would relegate these gifts and many supernatural biblical events to really “natural” occurrences, i.e. there is an anti-supernatural vein in our Body.

    The gifts of healing —

The gifts of healings are manifested for the supernatural healing of sickness and disease without any natural source or means.

It’s a plural gift because many things cause sickness. Some sicknesses are caused by accidents. Some are caused by personal neglect. Some sicknesses are caused by bodily abuse. Some sicknesses are caused by organic ailments. Some are caused by a spirit of infirmity or actual satanic oppression.

Tracy and I were taught by Mr. Hayes (above), Robert Tilton and many others that there was a specific “gift” of healing for every disease and ailment afflicting mankind. Robert Tilton claims to have a “gift” for healing people’s back problems. T.L. Osborn claimed to have a divine healing gift for people with deafness. He once claimed to have healed 99 deaf people in one village (naturally this occurred somewhere overseas). The gifts of healing is the second most abused of these nine gifts cited here by Paul, the first being speaking in other tongues (I promise we will get to this gift eventually). The following is a more theological consideration:

ἴαμα, τος: (derivative of ἰάομαιa ‘to cause to be well again, to heal,’ 23.136) the capacity to cause someone to become healed or cured—’the power to heal, the capacity to heal.’ ἄλλῳ δὲ χαρίσματα ἰαμάτων ἐν τῷ ἑνὶ πνεύματι ‘and to another man the same Spirit gives the power to heal’ 1 Cor 12:9. In some languages it may be difficult to speak of ‘giving the power to heal.’ A more natural form of expression is ’cause to be able to heal.’

The Bible is filled with examples of how our God healed people supernaturally. We naturally read of our Lord Jesus Christ HEALING ALL who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). Peter and John on their way to the temple to pray healed a lame man who was over 40 years old (Acts 4:22). In Acts 5:12-16 we read the account of the people in Jerusalem and surrounding towns bringing their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits — and ALL of them were healed. Acts 9:32-35 shares the account of the man with paralysis whom God healed via Peter. Paul healed the father of Publius of a fever and dysentery in Acts 28:7-9. We see in the founding of the Church a great display of the power of God and a careful examination of the healing accounts will demonstrate that many of them were part of the redemptive history of God towards a specific people group. For example the people of Lydda and Saron “turned to the Lord” through the signs confirming Peter’s preaching. Healing(s) as with everything our Lord does is not without a purpose, everything that happens is a part of the tapestry of our existence in this life, including sickness and healing.

Why This Gift Is Abused

Two forces work together to cause this gift to be abused by unscrupulous people. First, sickness and death are universal to us all. There is absolutely no one born of man that has not suffered the ravages of sickness and eventually succumbed to death itself. Secondly, the Bible seems to be replete with examples of God’s divine healing and miracle power setting people free from the ravages of sickness and death.

People who are very ill or have dying loved ones will virtually do almost anything, believe anything and give whatever is asked of them in order to receive their healing. What is it worth to see your wife healed from Lyme’s disease or your child delivered from leukemia? Is a donation of $50, $100, $5,000 enough to “prove God” of the sincerity of your faith when the healer asks for it?

    By taking biblical examples and inserting stories (lies) of the tremendous outpouring of healing in the last meeting in the other town the SINister works the people up into an altered state of consciousness rendering them devoid of critical thinking. Loud music, lighting, the psychological dynamics of masses of people in confined spaces, the subtle manipulation of wish fulfillment and the natural smarmy charisma of the SINister him or her all work together forming a synergy of deception on those in need and a huge payday for the fake healer.

    The question really is, does God still heal people today? My answer is, simply yes He does, but He does so according to the sovereign good pleasure of His will and not at the command of any man or woman. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

    Does God heal through healing evangelists? No. To begin with there is no such ministry in the Bible. There is the ministry of an evangelist (see 2 Tim. 4:5), but even Timothy, the evangelist, needed to take some wine for his stomach ailments (see 1 Tim. 5:23) but there is no such designation as “healing evangelist.” Aimee Semple MacPherson, Kathryn Khulman, A.A. Allen, William Branham, Oral Roberts, T. L. Osborn, Peter Popoff, W. WV. Grant, R.W. Schambach, Benny Hinn, etc. are ALL FRAUDS, LIARS and DECEIVERS. They possess no healing gifts at all.

    What is miraculous about the so-called “healing” evangelists is that NONE of them can offer any independent verifiable PROOF that people have been or are being healed under their SINistries and yet still have huge followings and reap millions of dollars each year they are in existence! One would think after a year or two of non-miracle crusades people would have quit listening to Mr. Hinn or others. Yet almost 20 years later, they still flock to his false promises and lies, leaving sick and much poorer spiritually and financially.

The Working of Miracles

One can “fake” healing by simply paying shills to claim they have been healed in the meeting. Miracles are a different manifestation altogether.

Although they are often lumped together healing and miracles are not the same. A healing is when someone is sick, say with cancer and after prayer it is totally gone, no trace, nothing on the X-ray. A miracle might be someone without an arm or a leg that suddenly has a new arm or leg appear on their body, they were not sick, merely missing a limb in this hypothetical case. A better example might be when the dead are raised. Paul raised a young man (Eutychus) from the dead who fell out of a third story window due to Paul’s long sermonizing (see Acts 20:7-12). Eutychus received a miracle, not a healing.

When the working of miracles is in manifestation, there is a divine intervention in the ordinary course of nature.

What is the working of miracles? Well, there are a lot of different kinds of miracles, but it’s a power gift, where power from God is sent from heaven down to earth to do something that’s beyond the natural, beyond the natural thinking of a man.


Very few people were ever used by our God to work miracles, the list is very short. Start at Genesis and go through to The Revelation and jot down: (1) who God used and (2) what was the miracle about, you end up with a pretty short list. What is more, when you consider the nature of the miraculous events in the Bible they are all of significance to the redemptive history of God’s people.

If you listen to any of the “purveyors of power” on the circuit today you will be given the false notion that miracles were occurring left and right in the daily lives of the believers. There are many books in circulation concerning miracles, let me cite just a few:

“I Believe in Miracles” – Kathryn Kuhlman
“Miracle Signs & Wonders” – Marilyn Hickey
“The Price of God’s Miracle Working Power” – A.A. Allen
“Chaos of Miracles” – LaDonna C. Osborn
“Miracles Just Don’t Happen” – Lester Sumrall

What the above books attempt to do is basically to reduce the definition of what is a miracle according to biblical standards, by watering down the definition the miraculous becomes commonplace. I have heard Marilyn Hickey say many times how she “prays” for a closer parking space at the mall and then when a space opens up close to the door she proclaims it a “miracle.”

Bible miracles include manifestations like parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-22), walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33), turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), blindness coming on a blasphemer (Acts 13:11), etc. Can Mr. Hinn, Dollar, Copeland, Meyer, Price or anyone else point us to an actual miracle in their SINistries? NO, they cannot do so because despite all their testimonies of the great things “God” is doing through them, they can produce NO evidence of any divine healing or miracles.

In the New Testament miracles either validated the personal ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ or authenticated the ministry of the apostles:

I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in
all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 2 Cor. 12:11-12

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4–5

But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power.  For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:19–20

Only those divinely authorized by God can perform miracles. I agree with what fellow I.O.H.H. member, Dr. R.C. Sproul says on this topic:

If anybody can perform miracles, if a person who’s not an agent of divine revelation can perform a miracle, then obviously a miracle cannot certify an agent of revelation. Let me say it again. If a non-agent of revelation can perform a miracle, then a miracle cannot authenticate or certify a bona fide agent of revelation. Which would mean that the New Testament’s claim to be carrying the authority of God Himself, because God has certified Christ and the Apostles by miracles, would be a false claim and a false argument.
So what’s at stake here is the authority, the authenticity, and the truthfulness of the Bible itself. That’s why I have this tight definition, and why I don’t expect miracles, because I don’t expect to find Apostles running around today. So the narrow miracles, they stopped at the end of the Apostolic age.

This is why we are warned several times about the danger of being misled by those proclaiming the ability to work miracles which are really nothing but false signs and wonders:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:22–23

And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:21–22

But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:  To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. Acts 8:9–10

Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19:13–16

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 Thessalonians 2:9–12

What is truly amazing to me is how desperate the extremist “faith” people are in seeking to either feel or see something or be involved in doing something phenomenal and sadly, they often base their faith on these tangible experiences. Yet the Bible plainly teaches that our faith is based on what we have not
seen or felt. I agree with Sproul that the time of those performing biblical miracles ended with the death of the apostle John.

As was stated earlier miracles were performed to validate Jesus earthly ministry and those of His chosen apostles. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven; He sent the 12 and at the death of the last apostle there is nothing more to validate miraculously.

How can anyone hold a “miracle crusade” due to the divinely sovereign act in manifesting a miracle? It is the height of PRESUMPTION (not faith) to declare what the Holy Spirit is going to do on any evening or moment for that matter. The Spirit gives His gifts as HE WILLS (1 Cor. 12:11) not when Mr. Hinn or Copeland demand an appearance or manifestation of them.

I openly challenge any of the living self-proclaimed miracle workers to please provide DMI with just one independently verifiable example of a miraculous event tied directly to their organization. I know the atheist James Randi has a $1,000,000 prize for the first person who can perform a miracle in his laboratory, as of today (12-30-13) the money still sits in Randi’s account.

In closing this section out, please understand I am not saying that our Lord does not move supernaturally on our behalf or in our lives, He most certainly does. When my daughter and I were T-boned by a semi at about 60 mph, destroying our very small Saturn and we got out without a scratch that was the mercy of God. That was not a “miracle” it was an answer to prayer as I cried out to our Lord immediately and He spared our lives. If we loosen our definition, then we lose biblical authority. So yes, our Lord answers prayers, heals people, grants faith in the impossible at times, but there are no godly miracle workers roaming the land today, only wolves in sheep’s clothing. Selah.


  1. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publications, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 102
  2. Hayes, Norvel. The Gift of Faith. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 16
  3. Obtained from
  4. One of the almost impossible positions to attain in this life is that of BALANCE!  We tend to make everything supernatural (charismatic extremists) or we deny the power of God and make everything natural (some neo-evangelicals).
  5. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 115
  6. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  7. Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 268.
  8. Hagin, Kenneth. The Holy Spirit and His Gifts. Faith Library Publication, Tulsa OK. 1991, p. 108
  9. Hayes, Norvel. The Gifts of Healing. Harrison House. Tulsa OK. 1980, p. 5
  10. The International Order of Heresy Hunters, is a small elite by invitation only cadre of truth-tellers.  One can be invited by submitting a check for $25 to DMI and a certificate suitable for framing will come your way.
  11. Obtained from Bold type added for emphasis

Truth Matters Dec. 2013 TBN

31 12 2013

Wasted Opportunity?
The Death of Paul Crouch Sr., Founder of T.B.N.
By Rev. Robert Liichow

Crouch died Saturday November 30, 2013, he was 79 years old. Pastor Jack Hayford, whose services at the Church on the Way in Van Nuys were broadcast on TBN for more than 30 years, said: “It is no exaggeration of terms to describe Dr. Paul Crouch’s contribution to global Christianity as incalculably broad.” DMI disagrees strongly with Hayford’s assessment of Mr. Crouch’s influence for the good of the Church on a worldwide basis. There can be little doubt that Crouch was possessed by a business acumen that excelled many others when it came to television broadcasting.

At the time of his death, some estimate the value of all of TBN’s holding at close to a billion dollars and there is little doubt that over the forty (40) years of broadcasting the Crouch Empire syphoned off close to two billion dollars from legitimate Christian ministry. The last reported figure DMI has found states that TBN was bringing in over 100 million per year in donations currently. Pro-rate that over forty years, with even gradual growth over the years, plus interest, yeah it is 100’s of millions at least.

The massive holdings and opulent lifestyle of the Crouches has been well documented over the years. DMI has to our knowledge currently the only book in publication exposing TBN and the Crouch family. It is titled “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About TBN *(But Were Afraid to Ask)” is a full color, 8.5 X 12 inch spiral bound “coffee table” book available for $25.00 per signed copy (this publication is limited to 250 copies period). Each copy is compiled and signed by me the “heresy-hunter” himself. My honorary title “heresy-hunter” comes from a “curse” uttered on TBN by dead Paul Crouch against those who dared to speak out against Dad Hagin’s teachings on television in 1990.

TBN’s Televised “Footprint”

TBN owns 35 full-power television stations serving larger metropolitan areas, and, at its peak, 252 low-power television stations in the United States, which are mixed among stations serving medium-sized cities and rural translator stations in order to maximize the network’s reach as much as is permissible. TBN also has several hundred affiliate stations throughout the United States, although just 61 of these stations are full-power UHF or VHF stations. The rest are low-powered stations, requiring a viewer to be within several miles of the transmitter to receive the signal. According to TVNewsCheck, TBN was the third largest over-the-air television station group in the country as of 2010, besting the station groups of CBS, Fox, and NBC, but behind Ion and Univision.

Back in 1971 Mr. Crouch began with one weak station, by the end of his life he had purchased 35 full-power stations and 252 low-power stations. TBN owns them outright folks, they do not buy time for them, and this is a HUGE deal in broadcasting. What is more they are able to “buy time” on several hundred “affiliate stations” as well.

TBN is now the world’s largest Christian television network. Across America and around the world TBN is carried by TV stations and cable systems to millions of homes. As a matter of fact, TBN is featured on over 5,000 television stations, over 70 satellites, the Internet and thousands of cable systems around the world. And the number continues to grow! Programs are translated into numerous foreign languages at TBN’s state-of-the-art facilities at the International Production Center in Irving, Texas.

If you are virtually anywhere in the world and have access to a television signal or internet capability you can watch TBN! Twenty four (24) hours, seven (7) days a week you can see and/or listen to the stable of TBN shills exclaiming the glories of what TBN is doing and will be doing in the future . . . if only “God’s” people will support the vision!

Praise to Pry Partner Money Loose

Here is the dirty little secret concerning Mr. Crouch’s empire. Each station was simply a steppingstone to the acquisition of the next available station. With the very first station Crouch instituted the ubiquitous and infamous Praise-a-thon’s. These fund-raisers were supposed to mimic “revivals” of yesteryear. Filled with emotional music, sung and played by famous Christian artists, all of the stable of preachers would be brought forth to twist the Holy Word of God into nothing more than a “bless me” device for the SINisters and their deluded followers.

The secret is this —- these Praise-a-thons existed for one purpose only: to transfer money from the current viewing audience in order to buy more stations to get more viewers to get more money and buy more stations to get newer viewers (untapped) to get more money.

The purpose of this empire was NOT to lift up our Lord Jesus Christ and boldly and in an unfettered manner (which when one OWNS the stations one can do) proclaim the full fury of the Law and the sweetness of the Gospel in the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. How do I know? Regardless of whatever TBN says about proclaiming the Gospel the FACT remains that for the last forty (40) years THEY HAVE NOT DONE SO.

What has the purpose been then? TBN existed for the self-aggrandizement and financial enrichment of Paul and Jan Crouch. How do I know? Again the FACTS are patently obvious. Here is just a small “peek” into their holdings (a wee bit dated):

Paul, 70, collects a $403,700 salary as TBN’s chairman and president. Jan, 67, is paid $361,000 as vice president and director of programming. Those are the highest salaries paid by any of the 12 major religious nonprofits whose finances are tracked by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The Crouches travel the world in a $7.2-million, 19-seat Canadair Turbojet owned by TBN. They drive luxury cars. They have charged expensive dinners and furniture to TBN credit cards.
Thirty ministry-owned homes are at their disposal — including a pair of Newport Beach mansions, a mountain retreat near Lake Arrowhead and a ranch in Texas.
The Crouches’ family members share in the benefits. Their oldest son, Paul Jr., earns $90,800 a year as TBN’s vice president for administration. Another son, Matthew, has received $32 million from the network since 1999 to produce Christian-themed movies such as “The Omega Code.”
Overseeing these expenditures is a board of directors that consists of Paul Crouch, Jan Crouch and Paul’s 74-year-old sister, Ruth Brown. Control resides primarily with Paul. In a 2001 legal deposition, Jan said she did not know she was a corporate officer and could not recall the last board meeting she attended.
TBN’s declared mission as a tax-exempt Christian charity is to produce and broadcast television shows and movies “for the purpose of spreading the Gospel to the world.”

The biblical Gospel has not been preached by Crouch, or by those he had paraded before the world for forty (40) years. In fact, he is accountable before God for every person and what they said on his programs. Did Mr. Crouch every bring correction publically to anything that was taught from a TBN stage? NO! So, either he agreed with what was being taught or he was afraid of offending the speaker and possibly losing some potential income based on the current popularity of the speaker.

Keep in mind that Crouch had a regular “stable” of speakers and none of them is doctrinally sound. This stable includes Mr. T.D. Jakes, a Oneness Pentecostal heretic; Benny Hinn, a false prophet, false teacher and fake-healer; Joyce Meyer, false teacher; Kim Clement, another false prophet, Creflo Dollar, false teacher, child abuser and Jessie Duplantis, another documented liar and fraud just to name a few “stars.”

In every TBN production utilizing these SINisters, they always make sure and bring whatever the “message” is around to giving money to TBN. Although DMI has no proof yet, it seems that the speakers may possibly be given an “honorarium” based upon the take that evening. The triumvirate of money-makers for TBN over the years have consistently been Rev. R. W. Schambach, John “the bagman” Avanzini, and Benny Hinn. These three alone have brought in multiple millions to TBN and are in their own rights multi-millionaires.

Sadly, to date TBN has NOT been a godly influence. It has frankly been a canker on the Body of Christ due to its self-serving motivations, their ungodly lifestyle, their demonic doctrines and aberrant practices. Now that Paul has assumed room temperature and Jan is not getting any younger either; perhaps the next generation of Crouch’s may repent and actually use their capacity to proclaim God’s Truth. If they do, it will be a FIRST for TBN and actually something that will glorify the God they claim to serve.

Audio clip of Jan Crouch during a Praise-A-Thon around 2009:

Its always been the little women who caught the vision of giving, Some of you precious little ones have that little grocery money some of the little money set aside assure tonight the blessings of God on your family by giving it to God and speaking that say it ‘God this is for blessings on my family’ I love that.”

Jan actually asked for women to give TBN their little grocery money that they have saved for FOOD. Keep in mind, TBN has been sitting on interest bearing cash reserves in the millions of dollars for many years, yet they still wanted more.

Truth Matters October 2013

11 11 2013

Supernatural Speech In Acts
Part One

By Rev. Robert Liichow 

The 40-member church is among many nationwide that are reducing or cutting out speaking in tongues as they become more popular and move to the mainstream. It’s a shift that has unsettled some more traditional Pentecostals who say the practice is at the heart of a movement that evolved out of an interracial revival and remains a spontaneous way for the poor and dispossessed to have a direct line to God.

Last month on Issues Etc. radio I was asked, along with our discussion of Mr. Copeland’s measles outbreak at his compound to share my insights regarding recent articles that had come out stating that the defining mark of Pentecostalism, ecstatic speech, was not being practiced openly in many Pentecostal denominations and in some cases was no longer being emphasized. Harvey Cox, a Harvard religion professor said “This is a long-developing phenomenon . . . they don’t want what appears to be objectionable to stick out or be viewed with suspicion.”

First of all, we must begin with the biblical
evidence. Once we know what this expression of speaking in other tongues was biblically, then and only then can we determine if any Christian body is following the biblical practice or not. If on the one hand their practice has indeed been biblically correct, then why are they compromising their stance? If however, their practice has not been in accord with the Bible, then it is a good development that it is decreasing. What doth the Bible saith regarding what actually happened on the Day of Pentecost and throughout the history of the Book of Acts?

Prior to that Day – – –

Although many times sign-gift enthusiast proclaimers will begin their message on the validity of speaking in other tongues with this passage of text (which is probably as well known by Pentecostals as John 3:16 is to Baptists) they are already building on a faulty biblical understanding.

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. Luke 24:46-53

Only the 12 NOT the 120    
Our Lord Jesus was with the twelve. He is addressing His hand-picked witnesses moments before His ascension back to the Father and they are told that they, they who? The eleven disciples/apostles are the ones being addressed. This is a crucial point, do not forget it. They are the ones who will be initially clothed with power from on high and our Lord lifts up His hands, blesses them; they worship their Lord, and being filled with great joy return to Jerusalem.  Before the tongues as of fire rested upon the apostles they (the apostles) had to select another man to replace Judas. The qualifications are stated very clearly for all succeeding generations: First, Jesus said His men were witnesses of His ministry in Luke 24 and then again in Acts1:

Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a
with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22

The eleven prayed and sought the will of the Lord and they chose by lots between Matthias and Justus, with the result being the selection of Matthias. Remember in Luke 24 our Lord said they (the apostles) would be “witnesses” this is the same masculine term used again here for “witness.” The witnesses were the 12 apostles according to the context of this thought. After the number of apostles was restored to twelve and the “day of Pentecost” had fully come:

Pentecost or Shavuot has many names in the Bible (the Feast of Weeks, the Feast of Harvest, and the Latter Firstfruits). Celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover, Shavuot is traditionally a joyous time of giving thanks and presenting offerings for the new grain of the summer wheat harvest in Israel. The name “Feast of Weeks” was given because God commanded the Jews in Leviticus 23:15-16, to count seven full weeks (or 49 days) beginning on the second day of Passover, and then present offerings of new grain to the Lord as a lasting ordinance.

Keep in mind that during this celebration Jerusalem would have been packed with people from all over the known world. “The Law of Moses required that all men make a pilgrimage to the temple three times a year to celebrate the feasts or festivals of Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.” The city was already filled due to the major Passover and now 50 days later most people were still in the city and surrounds to fulfill their next obligation. This helps explain the wide divergence of languages in evidence during this observance.

When the Day of Pentecost Had Fully Come

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:1-4

The “they” being spoken of are the same “they” Luke referred to in his Gospel account. There is nothing that indicates that the 120 other people gathered in that room were also recipients of that vocal gift. There is nothing stated anywhere in the Book of Acts that states or intimates anyone other than the apostles initially received this spiritual ability.

It is a question whether only the Twelve spoke in tongues or all 120. Several factors support the idea of only the Twelve being involved in this phenomenon: (1) They are referred to as Galileans (Acts 2:7; cf. 1:11–13). (2) Peter stood up with “the Eleven” (2:14). (3) The nearest antecedent of “they” in verse 1 is the “apostles” in 1:26.

We do read that it was the apostles who went outside and began to glorify God supernaturally in a genuine language unknown to them as the speakers, but known to the one being addressed hearer(s).

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Acts 2:4-8

    The ones filled were the same ones who went outside and began to speak intelligently and the ones speaking were Galilaeans (male verb, male adjective in the Greek), the apostles were all male. We know that there were women that comprised a good part of the 120 people with the apostles but none of them is mentioned as receiving this gift at this time.

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. Acts 2:9-13

    The apostles amazed their hearers because they were extolling the “wonderful works of God” in their own native languages. Languages that “ignorant and unlearned men” (see Acts 4:13) would not have known how to speak. The purpose of this gift was evangelical in that it got the attention of the people by proclaiming the wonderful works of God, which is simply another way of telling people about what God has done for us all in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. From this account we know: (1) Jesus told them to go and wait, they did not know what to expect, i.e. they were not seeking the “gift of tongues.” (2) The apostles were the ones initially empowered with the Holy Spirit. (3) The gift was for the benefit of others not the personal edification of the speaker. (4) The messages were spoken to other people in their own language by a man who did not know the language he was speaking in, i.e. it was a genuine supernatural experience. (5) The content of the messages was clearly understood and glorified the works of God. (6) Lastly, this unusual manifestation was also a duel fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy:

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; And this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. Isa. 28:11-12

The context is God’s judgment against Judah and foretold their going into Assyrian captivity, a people whose language they did not understand. “Men who mock God’s servants and message will ultimately be mocked in turn: delivered into the captivity of people who speak with what seems to be a stammering or mocking tongue (Isa 33:10). This was fulfilled as Isaiah prophesied, yet the apostles seem to apply this past event to what was now taking place in the Church.

The extreme enthusiasts today claim that because some of the mockers (Judeans) said the apostles were acting like people totally out of control on alcohol that we should expect the same drunken manifestations today when we are “filled” with the Spirit. The entire “holy laughter” movement was buttressed on this faulty concept.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. Acts 2:14-14

Peter corrects the Judeans who were the ones casting aspersions. There is nothing in the text that indicates the apostles were “acting” drunk at all. The Judeans heard them, did not understand the languages, knew they were from Galilee (hicks) and thus mocked them. Peter says “these are not drunk” and dismisses the notion altogether and begins to explain what is transpiring.

Peter begins to preach what is taking place, in his own native tongue, and he tells them (and us) that what is taking place is THE fulfillment of the prophecy given by Joel [not “a” fulfillment]:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Acts 2:16-18

“This” is a demonstrable pronoun pointing to what was taking place right then and there. It was prophesied to come to pass and it CAME TO PASS on that Day. The grammar is always important in Bible study and many people have missed its importance here. Peter stated unambiguously that “this,” what is transpiring in their midst is the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy. Enthusiasts through the ages have tried to claim that their movements were birthed out of additional fulfillments of Joel’s prophecy.  Montanus claimed “Joel” as did the people at Azusa Street in 1906, later on the New Order of the Latter Rain declared their movement a fulfillment, as did the Roman Catholic Charismatic renewal movement in the mid 1960’s at the University of Notre Dame. All of them are wrong. That specific prophecy in Joel was fulfilled in the Church then, period.

Without going into the meat of Peter’s sermon we do learn one thing virtually all people fail to mention. When the 3,000 hearers are pricked to their hearts and are brought to faith in Christ Jesus and baptized —- NONE of these men began to speak in other tongues upon believing and baptism.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 2:38-41

The “promise” of the Holy Spirit is given to all (note also, Peter included children) who are brought to repentance and are baptized into Christ Jesus. Every Christian receives the Holy Spirit at their new birth, but not all Christians spoke with new tongues. Speaking in other tongues is not “proof” or evidence that an individual is “filled” with the Spirit per se. The “proof” of being indwelt by the Spirit is found in the waters of holy baptism. If you were baptized into Christ, then you are indwelt by the Spirit of Grace, like everything else in our walk, this is an article of faith and it is not based on whether we feel His presence or not.

What we should focus on in this event is that the Spirit had just been poured out on the apostles; they were not seeking this gift of other tongues, yet they received it — why didn’t these newly minted “Christians” also speak with new tongues as well? Peter just preached that the gift of the Holy Spirit was for all God’s children . . . so why are not all reported to be glorifying God wonderful works supernaturally? Obviously, this supernatural ability was not given to all believers, then or now. About five years after the Day of Pentecost (DOP) the Gospel message begins to make Its way outside of the converted Jews. In the following event we read of Phillip preaching Christ to the Samaritans. They received the Word of God and were converted (see Acts 8:11).

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. Acts 8:14-17

 Phillip shared the Gospel with the Samaritans, yet he was not authorized to impart the gift of the Spirit, only the apostles had this ability. They had to send for the apostles Peter and John. The apostles prayed for them, laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Ghost. There is no mention of these believers speaking with other tongues when they received the Holy Spirit. We are not given many details of how the Spirit manifested Himself among them, but something was evident by reading the account of Simon the sorcerer:

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Acts 8:13, 18-20

Simon became a believer, he was baptized into Christ and he continued with the evangelist Phillip. Simon saw that through the laying on the apostles‘ hands the Holy Ghost was imparted and he wanted to do the same thing as the apostles and even offered to pay for this ability, which probably made perfect sense to his yet carnal mind. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT EVENT! We read of a believer who tried to TRESPASS into a ministry arena that he was unauthorized to engage in and Peter rebukes Simon and calls him to repentance for his presumptuous sin, he repents (vs. 24). Here are the vital points; first of all, we read that the Holy Spirit was imparted/given via the ministry/authority of the apostles alone. Secondly, one cannot purchase the gift of God. Thirdly, it was (and is) God alone who determined who and what gift they shall receive. What we are reading about is not the unique gift of speaking in other tongues, instead we are privy to reading about the unconquerable spread of the Gospel, the gates of hell (Matt. 16:18) are indeed no match for the power of God (Romans 1:16) and now the Samaritans are united in one Body with the Jews.

From the DOP nothing is mentioned about speaking in other tongues until the event with the Centurion Cornelius in Acts 10. If the gift of other tongues was the be-all and end-all of Christian spirituality why isn’t it mentioned as taking place more often in the account? We know Peter goes with John and he preaches in the temple and this time 5,000 men are converted (see Acts 4:4). As with the earlier 3,000 converts, these 5,000 also did not speak in other tongues at their conversion either.

If one is honest with the Book of Acts then one MUST admit that speaking in other tongues was not a universal experience for Christians. As we shall read, it was in fact a unique and surprising infrequent occurrence. The next citation of this specific gift is almost ten years later after the DOP at home of Cornelius!

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days. Acts 10:44-48

    Years had passed since that DOP was initially celebrated. Many Jews have been converted, for even as Paul said later that the Gospel was to “the Jew first, then the Gentiles” (see Romans 1:16). The divine encounter between Cornelius and Peter was completely orchestrated by God. The Lord spoke to Cornelius by an angel (Acts 10:3) and gave hardheaded Peter a vision and brought them together defying tremendous racial animus between the Jews and Greeks.

    While Peter was still preaching to those gathered (Cornelius, his household and devout friends, v. 24) the hearers were brought to faith and the Spirit of Grace fell upon the Gentiles for the first time. How did Peter and those on his ministry “team” know they had received the Spirit? “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God” (v. 44). There are several very salient facts in this account to keep in mind when it comes to the issue of ecstatic speech.

    First, Peter as apostle was present and conducting the service which was his calling as a “witness” (that word again from Luke 24, Acts 1, Acts 10) — apostolic presence and authority. No one in the book of Acts received the gifts of the Spirit apart from the presence/ministry of the apostles. Secondly, some years had passed since the birth of the Church and Peter, Cornelius nor anyone else gathered were expecting (seeking) this capability. At this point in the Acts account we have no proof that anyone spoke with other tongues again after the Day of Pentecost. There is nothing in the text to indicate that speaking in tongues was in evidence in the worship services in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria at this (or any other for that matter). Thirdly, this manifestation was the same as occurred on the Day of Pentecost. The Gentiles did not receive some other demonstration of this gift than the Jews. We know they received the same experience as the Jews by Peter’s own testimony:

And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.
Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? Acts 11:15-17

    Upon returning home Peter is questioned by the circumcised believers and he recounts to them the entire event. Peter clearly states that the Holy Spirit fell on the Gentiles as on us at the beginning (Pentecost). They received the same expression “as he did unto” the Jews. Peter and those with him at the home of Cornelius heard the Gentiles magnify God, and although the text does not state it, it is very safe to conclude that some people in attendance could interpret/translate what was being vocalized or else they would not have known they were “magnifying God.” Also, it makes perfect sense that since the Gentiles received the same manifestation of the Spirit as the Jews, then the gift would have been the same, i.e. in this case Gentiles speaking supernaturally and someone being able to understand that they were in fact glorifying God. In this case it seems that the manifestation of other tongues was to convince the Jewish believers of the validity of the salvation of the Gentiles, even as tongues were used to help convince the pious Jews and proselytes of the reality of Peter’s sermon. What we see on the Day of Pentecost is the outworking of “to the Jew first” and then a few years later the Gentiles are brought in – “then to the Greeks.”

    First we read of the dramatic birth of the Church, the Church being opened to the Samaritans (Acts 8) and now in Acts 10 we read of the Church doors being opened to the Gentiles and the beginning of global evangelism. On these occasions nobody was expecting and thus not seeking the gift of tongues. On these occasions the vocalization of this special gift was spoken in a known language by people who did not know that language but a language that could be understood. Initially the apostles were the recipients and from that point on the apostles were always present when spiritual gifts were imparted. In Acts we read of no accounting of the Church gathering together to speak in tongues as part of worship, nor of any lay people going about distributing the gifts of the Spirit.

    For almost another ten years the Book of Acts is silent about the use of this gift until we come across the apostle of untimely birth (1 Cor. 15:8) Paul in Acts 19:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19:1-7

    Paul and Apollos are on their way to Ephesus and they encounter a group of John’s disciples. Beyond them being disciples of John the Baptist we know very little about them. We know they were baptized with John’s baptism and they did not knowing that the Holy Spirit had been given by Jesus Christ who came baptizing with the Holy Ghost and fire (Matthew 3:11). The apostle Paul corrects their theological ignorance and they received the Word and were baptized into Christ Jesus. Then Paul the apostle laid his hands on these men and the Holy Spirit came upon them and these twelve men both spoke with tongues and also prophesied. Again, let us focus on what we do know, not what we speculate about! The Holy Spirit was given/imparted/bestowed through the ministry of an apostle to believers who had no idea of what to expect, they did not even know of the Spirit’s ministry through the Church at this point, again they were not “seeking” an experience or encounter with God. We read that the “gifts” given are according to the will of God, they spoke in tongues and also prophesied, two of the nine gifts Paul delineates in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. This encounter is the last mention of speaking in/with other “tongues” in the Book of Acts.

    The fact is there are only three actual texts that deal with speaking in other tongues —Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6—are the only instances regarding speaking in tongues in the book of Acts. Some Pentecostal and sign-gift enthusiasts assert that tongues also occurred in Acts 8:4 but, there is no textual support for their belief, it is pure speculation. All three events treat the gift of speaking in tongues as the public and intelligible (understandable) communication of truth about God. Each event also show the gift of speaking in tongues as a verifying sign of the unique coming of the Holy Spirit upon a new group of people, thereby incorporating that group into the church.

    In conclusion let us also remember the examples of when people were converted and filled with the Holy Spirit without any evidence of speaking in other tongues. In Acts 2:41-42 we read where the three thousand were converted and baptized. Phillip preached and men and women were converted and baptized in water and filled with the Spirit, no mention of other tongues however, Acts 8:12. When Phillip witnesses to the Ethiopian eunuch who converts and is baptized does not speak in other tongues, Acts 8:26-40. There is no evidence at his conversion and baptism that the apostle Paul spoke in tongues (Acts 9:17-19), although later he thanks God he speaks in tongues “more than ye all” in 1 Cor. 14:18. It is obvious that the gift of speaking in other tongues was not a universal experience or practice. When the Spirit manifested Himself in such a manner He did so through apostolic authority and not the laity. Lastly, it was not an experience to be sought, nor did it seem to be for personal edification. Then how did the sign-gift movement get to be the largest segment of the Church? Stay tuned as by the grace of God DMI will continue to endeavor to unscrew the inscrutable.


An important FACT to remember when you read the Book of Acts is that what we read in an hour covers many years of Church history.

This is one of several recent stories on this topic The underlining and bold type were added by the author for emphasis.

Christian people need to regain their objectivity.  It matters not how long a group of Christians has done something nor does it matter how many millions embrace a practice or dogma that does not make it true.  Our first and foremost authority is the Bible itself.

Obtained from on 9/24/13

Stanley D. Toussaint, “Acts,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 357–358.

Walter C. Kaiser, “1118 לָעַג,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 481.

When Pentecostal/sign gift folks teach the Book of Acts the people are given the impression that all of these “supernatural” events take place one after another quickly and that all the members of the early Church were all supernaturally empowered by the Spirit and that the rank-N-file believers were imparting gifts, working miracles, having a revival time in the Lord per se.  This is simply invisibly written into the account.  There is nothing that indicates this sort of hyper-Pentecostalism was transpiring at all in the lives of the people.

Truth Matters November 2013

11 11 2013

Other Tongues Part Two
Rev. Robert S. Liichow

     For argument’s sake let us agree that 100% of the people in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost (DOP) received the Holy Spirit and began to speak supernaturally in other languages as opposed to the view of myself and a host of other theologians which holds that only the apostles received this supernatural ability on that day. In reading the rest of the Book of Acts ask yourself the following questions. Did you read anywhere of the use of this gift by “laypeople” in the temple or in house to house worship? No. Did you read anywhere of non-apostles imparting/bestowing the Holy Spirit on believers? No. Did you read anywhere about people seeking the ability to supernaturally speak in other tongues? No. Remember your answers, you will be tested.

    Some might try to argue that the event with Phillip is an example of miracles being done by a non-apostle as seen in Acts 8:

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.  And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship  and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.  And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:26-29, ESV

    Phillip obeys the divine directive and joins the chariot and he enlightens the Ethiopian court official regarding the meaning of the text. Phillip shares the Word of God, the Holy Spirit convicts the man of his need of the Savior.

And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing. Acts 8:26-39

    There is MUCH that can be said of this amazing encounter, but let us focus in on a couple of aspects. We read of the eunuch making the good confession “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” This confession can only truly be made by a person who has already been brought to faith in Jesus. Note what his “faith” desires immediately —- water baptism! Phillip baptizes the eunuch, whether Phillip immersed the eunuch or stood with him in the water and poured it over his head is not stated nor does it matter; the “mode” of water baptism is not an issue. We do read they come out (ek) of the water together. Before, during or after his baptism does the Ethiopian speak in other tongues? No. Does Phillip mention that he needs this gift or experience so he has “evidence” that he is in fact now filled with the Holy Spirit? No. The only really miraculous experience occurs after the ministry work is over when Phillip is “caught away” (harpazō to snatch away) by the Lord and simply vanishes before the eunuch’s eyes who goes home rejoicing. I believe this event helps solidify my strong belief that no one received the “gifts of the Spirit” apart from apostolic presence or direct ministry. Again, please call to mind Acts 10:44while Peter yet spoke. . .” the Spirit was given. Earlier in Acts 8:14-15 we read:

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

In closing out this short review from last month let me restate the obvious to any reader of the Book of Acts, but apparently is not so obvious to many enthusiastic readers — there is NO


  • That speaking languages supernaturally was a common experience to all or even most believers.
  • This gift {however it is understood} was ever part of the public or private worship of God’s people.
  • This ability was sought by believers.
  • After the DOP we have no indication whether the apostles themselves spoke or heard again in such a manner until some years later during a specific event in a specific place.
  • No one ever received these gifts of the Spirit apart from apostolic ministry.

Biblical scholars are in agreement (as much as they can agree on anything) that Luke, the physician wrote the Book of Acts and they also agree that Luke was indeed a close associate of the apostle Paul. Furthermore the dating of the Book of Acts is placed around 60-62 A.D. This is as important fact to “tuck away” in your mind as you re-read First Corinthians, which is dated around 53-57 A.D.

Luke wrote Acts ten years after Paul wrote the Corinthian believers. What is more Luke was well acquainted with Paul’s ministry. Yet for whatever reason the Holy Spirit did not allow anything to be shared of their ecstatic practices. This “silence” speaks volumes. If indeed the Church at Corinth was acting appropriately and were indeed these highly supernaturally gifted super-saints, then why aren’t they upheld as wonderful examples of faith and practice in the Book dedicated to the history of the beginning of the Church? Certainly Luke knew about what was taking place in Corinth, news travelled more slowly back then, but travel it did and he would have known, yet he is silent about them.

 The Confusion at Corinth

  Space does not permit me to go into detail about all the abuses taking place at Corinth, nor can I take us through a verse-by-verse study, although such a study is well worth the time and effort. With a cursory glance let’s get some sense of the condition of these believers and then focus in on their understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in next month’s article.

    Lest we be tempted to think of ourselves more highly than we ought (see Rom. 12:3) one thing Paul’s letter to Corinth teaches us is that sinful flesh does not change regardless of the age or degree of technology it is born into. The problems that plagued the Church then STILL plague us to this day and the answers given then are the SAME answers for us today. God changes not (see Mal. 3:6) nor does His truth, Truth Matters.

Some of the Systemic Sinful Abuses at Corinth

Paul learned of what was taking place at Corinth from two sources: (1) the household of Chloe (see 1 Cor. 1:11) and (2) a letter possibly written by Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (see 1 Cor. 16:17). The reason for writing this letter boils down to correcting
sinful abuses being practiced and false doctrine that is being believed.

Factions & Schisms

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 1 Cor. 1:12-13

The Corinthian, blood-bought baptized believers were in serious strife with one another in their church family. The Greek word for “contentions” refers to severe disagreements:

ἐρίζω; ἔρις, ιδος: to express differences of opinion, with at least some measure of antagonism or hostility—’to argue, quarrel, dispute.’
ἔρις, ιδος: conflict resulting from rivalry and discord—’strife, discord.’ ὅπου γὰρ ἐν ὑμῖν ζῆλος καὶ ἔρις, οὐχὶ σαρκικοί ἐστε; ‘when there is jealousy and strife among you, doesn’t this prove that you are people of this world?’ 1 Cor. 3:3. In a number of languages the type of strife referred to by ἔρις is frequently described as verbal, for example, ‘always saying bad things about one another’ or ‘never having a good word to say to one another.’

    The people were dividing themselves into “camps” based upon their favorite style of preacher whether it was Paul or Apollos and some pious folks claimed only to follow “Christ.” Absolutely NOTHING has changed to this day (thus PROVING my contention that our flesh never changes) in this regard. Christians today lump themselves together by their favorites preachers. Today it is “I am of Copeland,” or “I follow Walther and not Melanchthon.” How about “I am Lutheran, or I am a Calvinist?” Same fleshly outbreak as back then, just different characters today. Paul deals with this issue in his letter from 1:1 up to around 4:21.

Sexual Immorality

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Corinthians 5:1–2

    It seems the Corinthians thought themselves so spiritual (1 Cor. 1:7 tells us that they lacked no spiritual gift) that the normal rules of morality did not apply to them any longer. The sexual degradation they tacitly approved of was of such a nature that even the pagan Gentiles did not fall to such depths of depravity. What is even worse than the individuals sins itself, as hideous as it was, was that the Church felt “good” about their liberty in Christ due to their inflated (φυσιόω/puffed up) egos. Instead, they should have mourned over the sin of one of their members, not approved of it in any way and sought to restore their brother who fell and at all costs uphold the holy name of Jesus into which they were baptized. Paul deals with this sad abuse in 5:1-13.

Litigious Libertines

Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 1 Corinthians 6:1–3

The congregants did not get along, they did not trust nor particularly “like” one another, so it is not stretch to see them take their issues to an “impartial” party as opposed to their own brethren. This was (and is) a massive failure on the part of these people. First, it indicates those involved in such activities were not walking in love towards one another. Later on Paul will remind them exactly how the love of God expresses Himself through us (see 1 Cor. 13). Secondly, for a people so “filled with the Spirit” (as we shall see) how is it that they cannot depend upon Him within them, to give them discernment in judging common events in life? These super-saints were obviously not “hearing from God” in these matters. Lastly, to whom do they appeal? They go before the unjust, judges whose understanding belongs 100% to this world and its defeated non-god, Satan (see 2 Cor. 4:4). The Corinthians had not considered the BIG picture, we, the Church shall judge the angels . . . and these people cannot figure out an equitable outcome to simple things in this short life?

Strolling with Strumpets

All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.  Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.  What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 1 Corinthians 6:12–16

    The Greek culture thought it perfectly normal to satisfy all the desires of the body which included the meats they ate and giving expression to their sexual lusts. Much of the eating and fornicating were done within the confines of various pagan mystery religions temples. The members ate the foods sacrificed to the idols and then engaged in sexual activities with the temple prostitutes (both male and female prostitutes) of their selection. This was the normal accepted manner of behavior and departure from it would have been considered abnormal. The members of the Church of Corinth were drawn out from this type of society mostly as adults, to them Christianity probably seemed like a newer and more superior mystery religion.

    The Corinthians had taken their true freedom in Christ to mean they could pick and choose who they listened to biblically. They were not obligated to love one another and get along; instead they would rather sue one another and sleep around. Paul saw this danger and rhetorically responds to this prevalent attitude by saying “all things are lawful to me but all things are not expedient.” He limits our liberty by tempering it with expediency. Christians are not free “to” sin but we have been freed “from” sin. Unfortunately the Corinthians took their liberty in Christ to mean they could indulge their flesh and in thinking they were free, they had in fact come under the power of sin (see John 8:34, Romans 6:16,20). As children of God we are now in Christ Jesus free to obey and free and empowered to say no to sinful temptations. Paul brings correction and continues operating on the flock.

Eating the Wrong Things

     Not only were the Corinthians guilty of abusing sexual relations, they were eating foods sacrificed to idols, whether directly in the various cultic temples or in the public markets which bought their meat from the temples often. Just as a point of history, the Greeks only burned the inedible portions of animals sacrificed, they ate everything else themselves.

    It seems evident to this author that the Corinthian’s were decidedly on the “libertine” side of the “scale” whereas the Galatian believers were being led to the opposite pole, that of “legalism.”

As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 1 Corinthians 8:4

    Paul begins addressing this “abuse” by appealing to the power of love over “knowledge” (vv.1-3) and he acknowledges that some might have the correct understanding that an idol is in fact nothing, thus eating sacrificed to “nothing” had no effect on the meat whatsoever. Like my mother used to say to me at times “Robbie, it is not enough to be right sometimes.” Those with this view were correct, but as Paul reminds these haughty saints walking in “revelation knowledge” that godly love trumps knowledge.

Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 1 Corinthians 8:7

    Not all the Corinthians had arrived at the correct understanding and some believed that food dedicated/sacrificed to an idol actually did something to that food which caused the people partaking of it to be united with the god or lord of the temple of origin.

But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 1 Corinthians 8:8–11

    What we eat does not matter to God per se. What does matter is when we use our legitimate liberty in Christ in such a way that it leads the weaker (in the faith) brother/sister to engage in something that they do not properly understand in Christ, and are destroyed by it.

But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1 Corinthians 8:12–13

Causing my brother or sister to stumble and wound their weak conscience by my liberty, then not only have I sinned against them but against our Lord Jesus Christ also. Like the Corinthians we often see our sins as “personal” between me and God and that my sin only impacts my fellowship with God. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are all members of One Body —- thus my sins impact ALL of my family in some manner. Paul reminded the Ephesians (and us) of the following:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16

Every member of the Body of Christ has been given gifts, talents and abilities that are NEEDED to be used, when we sin we become sort of a “joint out of place,” which will slow down the Body, if we become so diseased by sin, then we have to be removed from the Body, lest the cancer spread (this is what happened to the brother sleeping with his mother-in-law, he was excommunicated – but he is restored by the next letter, which is the goal of Church discipline).

The Lady Has the Floor

The Corinthian’s were so “free” that they were allowing the women in their services to participate in ways not granted to them by Christ Jesus, the Head of the Church. Not only were some women out of divine order, they (with the men’s permission/approval) were violating the traditions that Paul delivered to them.

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.  But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:2–3

Paul begins by reminding them of the divine order (headship) of creation [PLEASE keep in mind that what is being discussed is not about “competence” but “faithfulness” to God’s order for His Church].

The word head (kephalē) seems to express two things: subordination and origination. The former reflects the more usual Old Testament usage (e.g., Jud. 10:18), the latter that of Greek vernacular (e.g., Herodotus History 4. 91). The former is primary in this passage, but the latter may also be found (1 Cor. 11:8). The subordination of Christ to God is noted elsewhere in the letter (3:23; 15:28). His subordination to the Father is also true in His work as the “agent” of Creation (8:6; cf. Col. 1:15–20).

The Corinthians thought themselves so “free” in Christ, no doubt due to their high degree of self-perceived
pseudo spiritual advancement that they overthrew the biblical and cultural distinctions between men and women. “All things are lawful” was extended to women’s participation in worship:

. . . the Corinthian women had expressed that principle by throwing off their distinguishing dress. More importantly they seem to have rejected the concept of subordination within the church (and perhaps in society) and with it any cultural symbol (e.g., a head-covering) which might have been attached to it. According to Paul, for a woman to throw off the covering was an act not of liberation but of degradation. She might as well shave her head, a sign of disgrace (Aristophanes Thesmophoriazysae 837). In doing so, she dishonors herself and her spiritual head, the man.

It is not our goal to consider the proper biblical role of women in the ministry of the Church at this time. The focus is that obviously the Corinthians were guilty of abusing the role of women in their midst.

In the church—as elsewhere—men and women need each other, and God intends them to be complementary in their gifts and personalities. Some gifts and aspects of personality may be the same in the man and in the woman, but not all. They were created to be different. Physical differences between the sexes are matched by differences of gift and personality.

Abusive Table Manners

Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 1 Corinthians 11:17

    It is interesting to take note of that Paul uses the words for “idol” and “Idolatry” fifteen (15) times in 1 Corinthians and only six (6) times in his remaining letters. Contrast this with his use twelve (12) times of “impurity.” I agree with William Ramsay when he says that Paul is more concerned with the reality of idolatry versus impurity, which is the wrong view of many other commentators.

    The people were gathering together for worship and to share the Lord’s Table together. They were to be united as one family in Jesus Christ and yet they were anything but united.

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 1 Corinthians 11:18-19

    When they gathered to be receive God’s good gifts of Word and sacrament they probably associated with one another based on their proclivities regarding their favorite teachers, based on their perceived spirituality and economic status.

    Paul is not surprised to hear about this extremely sad state of affairs. After all, the entire congregation seems to be a very “mixed bag” of exceptionally carnal Christians and sincere believers who wanted to please their Lord versus themselves.

    Up to this point of doctrine and practice Paul has been exposing and correcting their abuses regarding virtually everything they were doing as God’s people, so he is not surprised to learn of their abuses at their Lord’s Table.

Paul says in v. 20when therefore ye assembly yourselves together, it is not possible to eat the Lord ‘s Supper.” For a host of reasons the Corinthian believers were not conducting the sacramental meal as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ at His last supper with His disciples prior of His death (see Matthew 26:17-30). When they gathered together they were in essence eating their own supper (vs. 21-22) and some people were actually becoming drunk (μεθύει/methyō) during the meal!

    Concerning the “Eucharist” (Greek for ‘thanksgiving’) meal the Corinthian’s were in serious, sometimes fatal error. They erred in discerning exactly what was taking place at the Lord’s Table both vertically in their relationship with God and horizontally with one another as God’s own dear children.

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this cause many are
weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:27-31

Paul again brings correction by teaching them that they need to begin with self-examination:

1507 δοκιμάζω (dokimazō): 1043; 1381; 2.255—1.
examine, try to out, test (Lk 14:19; 1Co 3:13; 11:28; 2Co 8:8; Gal 6:4; 1Ti 3:10); 2.
regard as worthwhile (Ro 1:28). 3.
judge as good, regard something as genuine or worthy (Ro 1:28; 14:22)

This self-examination is a critical and necessary aspect of properly receiving the benefits given by our risen Lord through His supper.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are
weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 1 Corinthians 11:28–30

Obviously these disciples were failing to judge themselves (the examine “himself”) properly in relation to what they were about to receive (the “Lord’s body”). Their abject failure regarding the holiness of God in the meal resulted in:

For this cause many
weak and sickly among you, and many
sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:30–31

Specifically because of their carnality at the communion meal MANY (‘polloi’, indicates abundance) people were receiving judgment DUE to their behavior including:

Weak — 23.145
ἀσθενής, ές: pertaining to being ill and, as a result, weak and incapacitated—’sick, ill, weak, disabled.

Sickly — asthĕnēs, from 1 (as a negative particle) and the base of 4599; strengthless (in various applications) feeble, impotent, sick, without strength, weak (er, -ness, thing).

Sleep — And not a few sleep (και κοιμωνται ἱκανοι [kai koimōntai hikanoi]). Sufficient number (ἱκανοι [hikanoi]) are already asleep in death because of their desecration of the Lord’s table. Paul evidently had knowledge of specific instances. A few would be too many.

Let me just put this thought out for readers to ponder — if the Lord’s Supper is merely symbolic, as many denominations teach, then why was God judging them for their ill treatment of a mere symbol? I agree with the apostles and Paul when he states:

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

The cup of wine we bless is a communion, or better translated “participation” in the blood of Christ, even as the bread we break is a participation in the body of Christ, the Corinthians had lost sight of this fact.

The solution was self-examination (diekrinomen, 11:31; cf. vv. 28–29; 5:1–5; 10:12), self-discipline (9:27), and promoting of unity. The alternative was God’s judging (krinomenoi, 11:32), which was a discipline that they were then experiencing. This was not a loss of salvation, but of life (cf. 5:5).

    We have seen in Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church that these people were carnally minded in the grossest forms. They erred in their morals, their relationship to leaders, and their lack of love towards one another, spiritual pride and arrogance. It seems they had at best a tenuous grasp of the Gospel message and yet they saw themselves as highly spiritual people whom God was using in marvelous ways.

    It is the view of this author that what Paul is doing throughout this letter is showing the Corinthians their sinful abuses. What I am endeavoring to point out is simply WHY do so many people look to the Corinthians when it comes to the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit as the experts? What basis do we have to believe that they got “this right” where the entire letter is an open rebuke and not too subtle correction of their other many errors? There is no basis to believe their use of the gifts was any more sound than their communion practices. Next month we shall consider the Corinthian abuse of the spiritual gifts and hopefully address whether or not speaking in tongues is disappearing from charismatic public assemblies.


Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 437, 494, 269.

David K. Lowery, “1 Corinthians,” ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 528–529, 532. Underlining added for emphasis.

Derek Prime, Opening up 1 Corinthians, Opening Up Commentary (Leominister: Day One Publications, 2005), 96–97. Underlining added for emphasis.

[1] The Corinthians came from a background of eating ‘sacred food’ in their temples.  They were formerly schooled in believing that what they ate was an actual encounter with their gods.  Perhaps when they learned as Christians that idols were nothing, thus the meats sacrificed to idols was “nothing” and perhaps they carried this over to thinking that the Lord’s Supper was also just a sort of “memorial” meal with nothing really taking place.

James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

James Strong, A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Greek Testament and The Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 16.

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), 1 Co 11:30.


Truth Matters Newsletter Sept 2013 Extra Article

8 10 2013

Measles Outbreak in Copeland’s Congregation. How Can These Things Be?
By the Rev. Robert S. Liichow
Heresy Hunter, Master Sniper First Class
Dr. of Doctrine, Founder of The I.O.H.H.
Grand Pooh-bah, Humble Slave
Forgiven Sinner

Measles Cases Put Texas Megachurch Under the Microscope

This Aug. 27, 2013, photo shows a sign at the entrance of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries Eagle Mountain Church, in Newark, Texas. The Texas megachurch is linked to at least 21 cases of measles and has been trying to contain the outbreak by hosting vaccination clinics, officials said. (AP Photo/LM Otero): The teachings of televangelist Kenneth Copeland and his family focusing on the virtues of trusting God to keep healthy are under scrutiny after a cluster of measles cases linked to his family’s North Texas megachurch revealed many congregants hadn’t been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease. (1)

On September 3, 2013 I was honored to speak on the nationally syndicated radio program Issues, Etc. regarding the very recent outbreak of the highly contagious disease, measles in the pseudo-Church called “Eagle Mountain.”

In the Word of Faith (WOF) cult, the worldview they present is MECHANISTIC —- the universe operates on SPIRITUAL LAWS. If one understands these spiritual laws and principles, then one can live a life of health, financial prosperity and victory. In the past I have personally heard Mr. Copeland say “if you play the game right you win” —- this was in reference to properly working the spiritual laws that govern this life. Obviously, with over twenty people sick with the measles Copeland’s people are not “winning” the battle over disease.

According to their doctrine sickness is a result of the curse that came upon the earth due to Adam’s sin. Jesus came and destroyed the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and thus they believe it is the will of God that all of His children walk free from the ravages of the curse in this life. This freedom is not ours automatically upon regeneration; we have been given the spiritual force
of faith which is the “key” to unlock the treasures of heaven, to move mountains, to literally create reality.

Sickness is not viewed as a result of simply living in a fallen world due to sin. Everything we experience is more or less “causative” in nature. All good and evil experienced (blessing or curse) has a reason or cause for being, either God, man or the devil. Marilyn Hickey, the aging WOF docent of deceivers taught us in Robert Tilton’s Satellite Bible School in the 1980’s a “bedrock” Bible text proving what I have just restated:

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come. Proverbs 26:2

There is always a cause for a curse and sickness is a curse, therefore there must be: (1) a cause and (2) a solution. The Bible tells us that we are not to give the devil any place (see Eph. 4:27). Satan cannot simply come into our lives and “do” things to us; we must give him the permission to do so. Copeland and the others of his ilk teach that we give the devil permission either through passive acceptance of whatever comes our way or through speaking the wrong negative words.

Here are some of the usual reasons cited for “faith failures” and all of these reasons can be equally applied to any area in which faith was exercised and the desired result was not obtained.

Shots Are For the Weak in Faith

Vaccinated? According to the article many people at Copeland’s church had never been vaccinated at all and the reason why is because their leader, Mr. Copeland is on record as being against getting vaccinated. Why? The WOF cult teaches that people get vaccinated out of fear. Those who get the shots do so because (1) they have been misinformed so they passively do whatever they are told to do and (2) others are afraid of getting whatever the disease the shot(s) is created to resist.

Fear is the direct opposite force from faith. Fear, doubt and unbelief unleash Satan and his demons and our lack of faith is like a huge “come and dine” sign over our heads somehow in the spirit realm. Getting a shot is tantamount to saying “I don’t trust God to keep me safe from the measles.” Getting a shot is saying “I am afraid.” We all know what happened to Job, right?

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, And that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25

The result of his fear was that the very thing he was afraid of came upon him. Thus (implied without having to actually say it) if one, say gets a shot, then the odds are pretty good they might get sick. (2) How is that for cultic logic?

The end result is a congregation filled tightly with people who have never been vaccinated at all and others who’ve let their booster shots lapse. To those of us who live in “Realville” (a little Rush Limbaugh lingo) this would seem to be the optimal place for an outbreak to occur!

Without knowing any of the sick people involved I can assure you how this outbreak took place. First “Patient Zero” (could be an adult or child) begins by feeling some of the symptoms of being sick (in this case with the measles). In the WOF when you do not feel something is right REBUKE IT immediately in Jesus name. As a child of God, a member of the Kingdom of God, priest and a king sickness has no place in you.

As to the symptoms, why “dad” Hagin told us many times that “the shadow of a dog never bit anyone,” this was in reference to his having had “symptoms” of a headache but had not had an actual headache in over thirty years. The point is simply this — having the symptoms of an illness ARE NOT the same as having the illness itself in their thinking. Thus just feeling sick and having some symptoms are no reason to stay home, in fact, which is what the devil wants you to do, stay away from church!

Patient Zero rebukes the symptoms, is unmoved by the way he or she feels and bless God goes to church. Patient Zero is unconcerned about hugging a bunch of folks because he is the “healed” whom Satan is trying to convince is sick. Over the next few hours Patient Zero sits tightly packed with a multitude of others like a sardine and afterwards maybe share a crumpet and coffee in the fellowship room. Is there really any mystery how 21 people came down with measles?

Know Your Limitations

Faith grows as it is used. How does a person of faith get sick? We were taught that faith was like a muscle; it develops and grows stronger through use. This is why the first thing people learn to do in WOF circles is to speak only positive “faith-filled” words over every circumstance in life. You begin by confessing for a “good day” or a “parking space” in the mall and as you receive the result(s) of your free exercise of your faith your faith grows stronger. In the gym you do not begin by bench pressing 300 pounds, you begin with a 5 lb. dumb bell and grow to where you can easily lift the 300 pound weights. Even so with the force of faith. Their view is NO DIFFERENT than young Luke Skywalker starting by lifting a small rock and then after some additional Jedi training Luke is able to lift his entire fighter out of the primordial goo! Thus if a WOF’er has not been faithfully expressing their faith in words and corresponding actions they will be unable to “lift” the weight of the illness attacking them. If you do not know how to get “victory” over a headache, then forget battling measles or cancer!

It’s All in Your Head

Head knowledge will not get one healed. Obviously (to the WOF adept, such as myself) these people got measles because they possessed only a head knowledge regarding divine healing, divine health and divine life. This is a bit confusing so stick with me here — we must renews our minds (Rom. 12:1-3) but in the WOF cult, this is but a part of the process. WOF’ cultists all begin by “faking it till they make it.” Everyone begins by feeding new biblical data into their brains. This is done by hearing the Word taught and by confessing it ourselves. From our minds the Word eventually makes its way down (up?) into our re-born spirits. Then when it is confessed from our spirits NOT our minds it comes out with divine power and produces the result confessed. How does the person know if they have a genuine spiritual revelation or merely a head-knowledge? The proof is in the pudding, i.e. results demonstrate the validity of the faith confessed. One person confesses divine healing and is healed — he had the revelation, the person next to him confesses the same thing and remains sick — she had only head knowledge. The formula for success is really very simple: (1) Confess what you want, (2) speak to the mountain, (3) doubt not and (4) believe that you have received what you confessed and you shall have it (assuming you do not violate any of the spiritual laws I am writing about in their article) and this dogma comes via Mark 11:24.

Sickness a Result of Personal Sin

Unconfessed sin in the life of a believer will immediately STOP the power of God from flowing.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isa. 59:2

I remember getting food poisoning while a student at the University of Michigan, at the time I was attending a small Pentecostal Church of God in Ann Arbor. The pastor’s son, Timmy, used to pick me up for church and that morning I told him I was sick as a dog. His first question was “is there any sin in your life?” I thought about it for a moment, but realizing that now I am “the righteousness of God in Christ” (see 2 Cor. 5:21) and that I used to be a sinner, but now I am saved, thus sin could only be a remote possibility. So I told Timmy “no” not to my knowledge, and he dragged me off to worship service.

This is an area that is very lightly considered, because WOF people do not see themselves as sinners any longer. Sin is in the past, they are children of God now period. When a WOF’er falls into sin it is because of a lack of mental renewal in that specific area (more data will usually correct the problem) versus something inherent within them, i.e. the old man. For the WOF devotee to confess that they are “sinful and unclean” is an impossibility. They simply do not believe this to be true of a Christian.

I See You Devil

Satanic attack by the devil himself or his demons is a very real possibility. What was very sad in looking back was how we in the SINistry viewed the congregant’s sickness as evidence of the above causes (I could have thrown in lack of tithing on the gross too) but any attack on SINisters was viewed as a demonic assault. When leaders got sick it was due to them being highly anointed and pivotal soldiers in God’s army. When leaders got attacked the entire congregation would fast, pray (sometimes this same care was shown towards others in distress, but always for the leaders) and rebuke the enemy. Any problems in the lives of our leaders were a sign that the followers had wittingly or unwittingly let down the hedge of protection (a little Job 3:23 lingo) around this valuable spiritual commodity.

These are some of the usually responses trotted out by the various sign-gift enthusiasts to help explain away the obvious “faith-failures.” In the case of Mr. Copeland, we simply see what happens when a large group of people ignore common sense. Why not get vaccinated and trust the Lord to keep you safe from anything harmful in the vaccine? I can assure you that those people who did get sick took medicine; some went to the hospitals for treatment and now clinics are being held in the Eagle Mountain facility (I cannot call it a church in good conscience) which has to be an affront to Mr. Copeland’s great faith. Please remember the people involved in this incident. I know that many of them have had their understanding of faith, divine healing, and themselves rocked by this outbreak (thanks be to God) let us pray that our Lord uses this to wake up His people to the error of their ways.

Why didn’t Kenneth Copeland heal those sickened in his midst? He stated on television 9/8/13 that “we are as much like God as Jesus is,” the Jesus I serve healed them all (Luke 4:40; 4:19) and Mr. Copeland has healed no one ever. Frankly, I seriously doubt Mr. Copeland laid hands on any of the infected, and if he did where are the results?

Thankfully only 21 people were infected and none of them has died as a result of their lack of wisdom. Time does not permit me to share the many reports of people who DIED because they “stood in faith” trusting a manmade doctrine regarding their healing, a doctrine God did not and does not honor. I personally hope that our Lord uses this “chastisement” of the flesh to cause those in error to turn back to the ancient and narrow road of orthodox Christianity.

1. Obtained from
2. Here is the cold reality. If one is consistent in practicing the WOF doctrine regarding divine healing then one would not have any health insurance, no medicines of any variety in their homes and they would have their children at home as well. 99% of most divine healing professors are not really “trusting God” as they proclaim to others because they do use doctors, do take medicine and generally have their children in hospitals. I know of only a few sign-gift groups that are truly considered “full-faith” (as my wife and I were for a time) and what became known as “hyper-faith” by the detractors

Truth Matters Newsletter August 2013

7 10 2013

Who We Are and What We Have In Him – Part Three
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

Three months ago we began considering the three basic manners in which we are to relate to our Lord. We looked at “Christ In Us” in the May issue of Truth Matters. Next we pondered the greater reality of “Christ For Us” in June and now we bring this to conclusion by looking at “Us In Christ.”

The best way to convey this marvelous reality is to think of a swimming pool and we jump off into the deep end of the pool and we become enveloped totally by the water, we are submerged, we are truly “in” the water. Acts 17:28 says —

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28

Prior to our conversion we were essentially “in ourselves” we looked to ourselves as the source for our direction and the decisions we made. Now that we have been immersed into His Body, the Church, we no longer ought to look to ourselves, but to the One into whom we have been placed. Now that we are in Him
He has become our source of life, His Word now our direction, His very body and blood our food along the journey of life and our hope in every need.

How Did We End Up In Him?

Every person who is a Christian became such a one through nothing less than the sovereign will of God. We did not choose Him, He most assuredly chose us (see John 6:44; 15:9). I like the way Dr. Luther states this in our Small Catechism, the Third Article of the Creed:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.

Normally, this placing us into Christ occurs when we were baptized.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified
with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:3-6

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col. 2:10-14

When the Holy Spirit immerses us into Christ this is synonymous to being placed “in the Church.” The Church, visible and invisible is nothing less than the Body of Christ (see Eph. 1:23-23; Col. 1:16-20). As we begin to consider just a few of the texts illuminating who and what we have “in Christ” let us remember not to create some artificial division between the Person of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church; what we have “in Christ” is found in His Body and not separate from her.

The world clamors that we MUST HAVE the next thing and upon gaining this new thing we will be complete. Whenever the world system tries to tell us we are incomplete and lacking remember what God’s Word has said — we are complete
IN HIM there is absolutely nothing lacking that we need (a big difference from what we want).

Today many Christians suffer from an incorrect view of themselves. We tend to vacillate between the poles of pride and despair. Pride, when we think “we” are doing just fine, great in fact until we stumble, as we inevitably do. The fall from the high imagined perch of perfection lands one into the ‘slough of despond” (a little John Bunyan lingo). The Bible calls us to have a correct biblical perception of ourselves:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom. 12:3

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; 1 Peter 1:3

All of us have to deal with our own misconceptions about who we are; these misconceptions often stem from seeing ourselves apart from Christ and not who we are in Him. We also have to face the lies and accusations from the devil and his demons, he is not called “the accuser of the brethren” for nothing (Rev. 12:10). Not only does he accuse us before God, but he also works on our fallen mind and attempts to use the conditions around us as indicators of God’s favor or displeasure with us. On top of this we have to deal with our fallen flesh which cries out in hatred against God, His Word and holiness. Our flesh (well mine at least at times) screams out “give up, what’s the use, yield to me and this struggle will cease.” (1) As Christians it is important to remember that now in Christ we are to view this life through the lens of scripture. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye
in him

(Col. 2:6).

The only way to combat these accusations, even when they are true at times is in the exact same manner in which our Lord Jesus Christ dealt with them:

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:3-4

Who Are We in Christ?

It is vital for us to see ourselves through the lens of the scripture in order to properly relate to our God and our neighbors. It is only through the scriptures that we can begin to understand what has been accomplished in us at conversion by our Lord.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ: Eph. 1:3

Now that we are in Christ Jesus we have been (past tense) blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. Every spiritual blessing is already ours in Christ Jesus! You and I are not working on earth to be blessed in heaven. The Father has freely given to us the totality of spiritual blessing(s) in His Son, they are ours already.

According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Eph. 1:4

Every believer has been hand-picked by the Father and given as a gift to His Son (John 6:37) and this He did before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). In Him we have been chosen and by the marvelous power of His Spirit we walk in the good works prepared for us (Eph. 2:10).

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted
in the beloved. In whom
we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Eph. 1:6-7

We are accepted in the Beloved Son. What a tremendous foundational BOULDER to build your spiritual life one! Accepted is a ‘full’ word in the Greek:

χαριτόω; χάριςa, ιτος: to show kindness to someone, with the implication of graciousness on the part of the one showing such kindness—’to show kindness, to manifest graciousness toward, kindness, graciousness, grace.’ χαριτόω: κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ ‘the Lord is with you, you to whom (the Lord) has shown kindness’ Lk 1:28; ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ ‘which he has graciously shown us in the one he loves’ Eph 1:6.χάριςa: ἐξῆλθεν παραδοθεὶς τῇ χάριτι τοῦ κυρίου ὑπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ‘he left, being commended by the brothers to the kindness of the Lord’ Ac 15:40. (2)


Everybody wants to be accepted by someone. Youths join gangs to be “accepted,” men and women enter into toxic relationships simply to be “accepted.” People over the ages have done terribly evil things in order to be accepted by their peers. The driving force behind peer
pressure is acceptance.

This world system hates us (because we are now in Him, see John 15:18) and it will not accept us, unless we conform to its dictates. Sadly, many believers yield to this worldly pressure and compromise their Christian virtues. Yet, when people are established on the fact that we are accepted IN the beloved that is all the approval we need and we become free from striving after the acceptance of fallen man.

The reason that our holy God does accept us is always because of His Son and not anything we have done in and of ourselves. The Father accepts us because in His Son we have redemption the forgiveness of all our sins by His blood.

In whom
we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Eph. 3:12

Another way to translate the above text is to say “because of him we have boldness to address him with confidence.
(3) Now because we have been redeemed we are God’s own dear children. As His children we have the familial right to come into His presence confidently.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We do not come before our Father rudely nor do we dare approach Him in ourselves (see Lev. 10:1). We come humbly without fear or hesitancy in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ seeking what we cannot earn nor deserve —- mercy and grace to help in the time of need.

A Few of the Riches that Belong to Us in His Son

We are blessed with every spiritual blessing

We are chosen by God

We are accepted by the Father

We have redemption through the blood of Christ

We have bold confident access to the Father


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Satan accuses us before God (Job 2:1-3; Rev. 12:10) and he condemns our consciences and robs of us peace. I find it interesting that Satan only tells Christians they are “going to hell” or that the believer has somehow committed the “unforgivable” sin. When those accusations arise I simply tell the devil in no uncertain terms that all of my hope is in Christ’s righteousness and perfection and in NONE of my own (it’s good to remind yourself of this fact too). Christ Jesus has borne the penalty for all my sins on the cross FOR ME and I now am IN HIM and thus there is no condemnation coming from heaven against me —- 1 Thess. 1:10 tells us that we have been delivered by God’s Son from the wrath to come. Knowing who I am in Christ sets me free from the condemning voices of the world, flesh and devil.

The Lord delivered Tracy and I from a vicious and endless cycle of works trying to “live holy” and walk a sanctified life. It was very mechanical, just the outward form and the lacking ingredient was the dynamic power to give life to our efforts.

As with all our spiritual life as Christians, the “dynamic” is found only IN Christ and what He has done and is currently doing. (4)

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified
in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1 Cor. 1:2

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Sanctification is not about the mechanics but the dynamics —- our sanctification, our separation to the holy God for His purposes is found only in Christ Jesus. Many Christians spend much of their lives trying to sanctify their flesh. Our flesh will never become “holy” in this life. You cannot sanctify the flesh; you cannot tame it (see James 3:8)    and it cannot be converted. All attempts to sanctify our flesh are truly chasing after the wind which is nothing but vanity.

For this reason God sent Jesus Christ to do what we would and could not do. Jesus is made unto us our source of (1) wisdom, (2) righteousness and (3) sanctification and (4) redemption. Would you live a sanctified life? Then look unto Jesus who is our sanctification and so much more.

How do we “look” to Jesus? As we have written about in this series, it is not by turning within to find Jesus in our hearts somewhere. To travel that road is to spiral downwards into subjective mysticism.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4

The force of the text seems to indicate that as we are looking to Jesus as our focus we lay aside the things weighing us down and run patiently, i.e. live our daily vocations. We “look” to Jesus by seeing Him in His Holy Word and as we freely receive His good gifts of life, forgiveness and salvation at His altar in the Divine Service. This life is very hard and we stand “contra mundi” against this world that hates us (John 17:14). If we get caught up in our own efforts to progress spiritually I can assure you that we WILL faint in our minds and end up in despair. Let us look unto our Lord Jesus Christ!

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in himRooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Col. 2:6-7

We are rooted and built up
in Him (Matthew 7:26) and it is no one less than Christ Himself who establishes us in the faith (Heb. 12) —- How? Through hearing the proclamation of the Gospel and our hearing produces thanksgiving which we offered back to God for His unsearchable riches IN Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:8).

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col. 3:17

Our daily walk is to be lived through Christ Jesus (remember the analogy of being under water in the pool, if our eyes are open we see through the water). Everything we do in our daily life is to be done IN the name of our Lord. A simple discipline in practical experiential sanctification is simply to ask yourself this simple question: “can what I am about to (1) be saying or (2) what I am about to be doing —- be said or done IN then holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord? If the answer is “NO” then do not do or say it . . . this takes practice but will yield the
peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). May God grant us all the grace to be saying “no” when we ought!

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God
in him.
We then, as workers together
with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 Co 5:19–6:1

Note the beautiful interplay we read here. God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. Now as ambassadors for Christ and His kingdom — as it were God now beseechs people by (through) us! The Father placed our sins upon His Son and He bore our penalty on the cross. To what end? Now IN CHRIST we are clothed with His perfect righteousness purely as a gift not based on our working the law (Phil. 3:9). Now “in Him” we are laborers together with Him (1 Cor. 3:10) proclaiming His eternal Gospel to all who have ears to hear according to the grace He supplies (Eph. 3:7). God was in Christ Jesus, now He places us into Christ and sends us out as mobile temples of the Holy Spirit. At one time the Father had but One Son, now He has multitudes of sons that He has adopted into His family in Christ!

In the New Testament there are 70 verses which include the words “in Him,” there are 212 verses that state “in Whom” and over 560 verses citing “in Christ.” I could go on and mention the many texts using “of whom, from whom, with Him” which would add hundreds more verses. My point is simply this —- it is evident that our God would have His children understand very clearly (1) who they are and (2) what they have in His Son, our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Isa. 33:6

Stability in our daily walk is in large part a result of our hearing and doing what we’ve heard (James 1:22) taught to us.

אֱמוּנָה TWOT GK firmness, steadfastness, fidelity Ex 17:12 + 46 times; אֱמוּנוֹת Pr 28:20. 1. lit. firmness, steadiness: Ex 17:12 וַיְהִי יָדָיו א׳ his hands were steadiness (i.e. steady). 2. steadfastness, אֱמוּנַת עִתֶּיךָ steadfastness of thy times Is 33:6 (5)

Honestly I can tell you that people who attend church on a weekly basis INCLUDING Bible study (hopefully one is offered where you attend) and mull over (meditate) what they have been taught throughout the week are by FAR more spiritually stable Christians.

God’s Word is the objective anchor of our souls. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of Christ is eternal (1 Peter 1:25) and in this fallen life there is no more effective manner in which to both renew our minds (Romans 12:1-3) and still the mouth of the Avenger and Adversary (Psl. 8:2) than by ingraining within ourselves what Jesus has done FOR US and then who we NOW are IN CHRIST.


(1) Satan is so crafty, he tempts us via the world and our flesh {our flesh consists of the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and lust for other things}. When we give into his temptation(s), he immediately switches gears and cries out “I thought you were a Christian, now look what you did.”

(2) Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 748–749.

(3) Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bib le Societies, 1996), 397.

(4) Many Christians somehow think that since His resurrection that our Lord Jesus Christ is basically sitting around on a throne in heaven “doing” nothing or very little. On the contrary He has an active and vital ongoing ministry from the throne through His Body today, but it is beyond the scope of this article to delve into this.

+prefixed, or added, or both, indicates ‘All passages cited.’

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

GK Goodrick/Kohlenberger numbering system of the NIV Exhaustive Concordance.

+plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worthwhile to cite.

(5) Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 53

† prefixed, or added, or both, indicates ‘All passages cited.’

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

GK Goodrick/Kohlenberger numbering system of the NIV Exhaustive Concordance.

+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worthwhile to cite

Just A Thought

When I started on this article I was at my favorite Christian Thrift store and purchased a loose-leaf N.T. ($1.00) and I have begun to go through it and highlight all of the texts dealing with “In Christ, in Him, in Whom, of whom.” It is a great way to re-read, albeit somewhat quickly, the entire N.T.. I have done this in the past, but not recently. It is a good way to help renew my mind. I highly recommend highlighting and underlining in your Bibles. If your Bible is too “nice” to mark up, that’s fine, go and buy some inexpensive copies and mark them up! Use different colors (if you are that organized, I am not) and take as long as you like. When a text “hits” you, fine stop meditate on it, look it up in the original language. Make sure and read the verse (whole chapter really) prior and after the text you’re focused on [context is everything].

Truth Matters September 2013

26 09 2013

The Alien Work of God
by Rev. Robert S. Liichow

    This article in a way completes the previous three. We have considered the glorious work of redemption specifically as it involved Christ in us, Christ for us and us in Christ. We’ve noted how everything that Jesus did, He did on our behalf. Our Redeemer has paid the ultimate price to “buy us back” by His death on the cross and by grace through faith in Him we have been delivered from the wrath to come (see 1 Thess. 1:10).

    Many years ago when I would teach about the attributes of God I would say that our God was “as loving as He is wrathful, as just as He is merciful,” etc. which was my way of trying to convey that our God is perfectly “balanced” in His being. Such statements and beliefs are false. If all of these moral attributes existed in equal parity then we would have no way of knowing moment by moment how God will respond to His people. According to my former concept God might love us the one moment and then equally as wrathful towards us the next. Needless to say, this is not the picture that the Bible portrays for us about the True and Living God.

    As human beings we have within us a well of emotions that we can draw upon at a moment’s notice. We can be happily clicking along in our car and in an instant we can become angry at someone who cuts us off suddenly. Many view God in the same light —- God is loving, but step out of line and “whammo” He is right there to club us and cast us into hell. Hopefully this short article will stimulate our readers to further study concerning the wrath of God.

For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed–strange is his deed! and to work his work–alien is his work! Isa. 28:21

Luther wrestled to correctly understand these two seemingly conflicting emotions expressed by God; His merciful grace and His judgment. Luther made a clear division between what he called God’s “proper” work of grace and His “alien” work of judgment. Martin rightly understood that God’s approach to humanity is always wise and for our best, thus His judgment and wrath must too be for our advantage as well. However, because of our fall into sin our flesh (sarx) is so evil that no good thing dwells within us (Rom. 7:18) and our flesh cannot be saved by God’s proper work of grace. Thus it is necessary for it to be saved by His alien work — “God must destroy our ungodliness in order that we might be saved” (Luther’s Works, vol. 16, pp. 233-234).

The Wrath of God

    How are we to understand the wrath of our God? The Bible is replete with examples of God’s wrath from the deluge of the great flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God’s people enslaved in Egypt, Babylonian captivity, Roman occupation and later diaspora of the Jews are just a few examples of God’s judgment. Let’s begin by defining wrath:

WRATH. The permanent attitude of the holy and just God when confronted by sin and evil is designated his ‘wrath’. It is inadequate to regard this term merely as a description of ‘the inevitable process of cause and effect in a moral universe’ or as another way of speaking of the results of sin. It is rather a personal quality, without which God would cease to be fully righteous and his love would degenerate into sentimentality. His wrath, however, even though like his love it has to be described in human
language, is not wayward, fitful or spasmodic, as human anger always is. It is as permanent and as consistent an element in his nature as is his love.
R. V. G. Tasker, “Wrath,” ed. D. R. W. Wood et al., New Bible Dictionary (Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 1250



There are seven Hebrew words used to describe the wrath of God, His anger and how He expresses it. I have included these somewhat lengthy definitions for you to possibly explore at a later time. Here are some of the most common words used in Hebrew:

736a חָרוֹן (ḥārôn) heat, burning (of anger). 736b חֳרִי (ḥŏrî) heat, burning (of anger). This word is related to a rare Aramaic root meaning “to cause fire to burn,” and to an Arabic root meaning “burning sensation,” in the throat, etc. The Hebrew verb is always used in reference to anger. The meaning of the root differs from such words for “anger” as ʾānap, zāʿam, and qāṣap, in that it emphasizes the “kindling” of anger, like the kindling of a fire, or the heat of the anger, once started. The verb and its derivatives are used a total of 139 times.

133a אַף (ʾap) I,
nostril, face, anger. The double pe in the plural shows its derivation from ʾānēp. ʾānēp is used to express the Lord’s attitude of anger toward the covenant people when they have sinned, e.g. Moses (Deut 1:37), Aaron (Deut 9:20), the people (Deut 9:8). Men acknowledge God’s prerogative, but plead that he not continue to be angry.

2058 קָצַף (qāṣap) I,
be displeased, angry; fret oneself. 2058a    
קֶצֶף (qeṣep) wrath. The verb qāṣap is used to give pointed expression to the relationship between two or more persons, one or both of which can be said to feel anger (ʾap), have wrath (ḥēmâ), indignation (kaʿas), or express anger (ʿebrâ). Deuteronomy 9:19 presents a good case. Moses, referring to the golden calf incident, says he was afraid of the anger (ʾap) and wrath (or displeasure) (ḥēmâ) with which God was wroth (qāṣap) against Israel. It can be said then that here, as in most of the other thirty-three instances where this verb appears, qāṣap refers to the relationship developed, held or expressed in various ways when there is anger, heat, displeasure held or felt within one because of what another has said or done. It is said eleven times that men were wroth, (e.g., Pharoah, Moses, Naaman, Philistine princes). Twenty-three times it is said that God was wroth, whether against the heathen or against his covenant people. Of the six main synonyms referring to anger, the strongest, probably, are qeṣep which often refers to the Lord’s anger, and ḥēmâ and ḥārôn both of which refer to a burning and consuming wrath. The noun ʾap taking its meaning of “anger” from the dilation of the nostrils is the most widely used word of the class. It is used for anger both of God and men and often with verbs like “kindle” ḥārâ. The word ʿebrâ emphasizes the overflowing or excess of anger. It and the weaker words zaʿam “indignation” and kaʿas “vexation” are not used as often.

References for the above words and definitions:
Leon J. Wood, “736 חָרָה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 322.






The Greek New Testament does not use as many subtle linguistically nuanced terms as the Hebrew, just two words mainly used:

3709-11.    ὀργή
orgē; a prim. word; impulse, wrath:—anger(6), wrath(30). ὀργίζω
orgizō; from 3709; to make angry:—angry(4), enraged(3), moved with anger(1). ὀργίλος
orgilos; from 3709; inclined to anger, passionate:—quick-tempered(1)
Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries: Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998). DBLHebr Swanson, A Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains: Hebrew (Old Testament).

2596-97 θυμός (thymos), οῦ (ou), ὁ (ho): n. masc.; Hebr 678, 2771, 2779; 2372; TDNT 3.167—1. 88.178 fury, wrath, anger, rage (Lk 4:28; Ac 19:28; Ro 2:8); 2. 25.19 intense desire (Rev 14:8; 18:3). θυμόω (thymoō), θυμόομαι (thymoomai):3013; 2373—88.179 be extremely angry (Mt 2:16)
James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997). TDNT Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.


Various Theological Positions Regarding the Wrath of God

In the Authorized Version the Hebrew and Greek words for wrath appear 201 times in 197 verses in the Bible. 153 times wrath and its various cognates are found in the O.T. and 48 times in 46 verses in the N.T. From a simple reading of the Bible it would seem that God is portrayed as a wrathful and vengeful deity in the Old Testament and a loving merciful God in the New due to God’s wrath being mentioned almost three times as often in the O.T. When it comes to considering the wrath of God there are several different understandings and what follows comprise the major points of view.


    Seeing that the Bible is replete with examples of God’s wrath this point of view is fairly rare but it does exist. Some believe that the concept of “wrath” is simply unworthy of God. As early as about 313/314 Lactantius wrote “De ira dei” one of the very few Christian books devoted to considering the wrath of God. He argued against the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers of his day who believed that nothing good comes to us from Him nor any evil. Today such a denial of God’s wrath is found within the denomination of Christian Universalists, Unitarians and the Church of Christ Science, i.e. Christian Scientists.

The Error of Marcion:

    Marcion was the son of a Bishop, whom some say was excommunicated by his father for immorality; regardless of his lineage this much is certain of him and his followers:

Heretical sect founded in A.D. 144 at Rome by Marcion and continuing in the West for 300 years, but in the East some centuries longer, especially outside the Byzantine Empire. They rejected the writings of the Old Testament and taught that Christ was not the Son of the God of the Jews, but the Son of the good God, who was different from the God of the Ancient Covenant. They anticipated the more consistent dualism of Manichaeism and were finally absorbed by it. As they arose in the very infancy of Christianity and adopted from the beginning a strong ecclesiastical organization, parallel to that of the Catholic Church, they were perhaps the most dangerous foe Christianity has ever known.

Marcion denied that the God shown in the O.T. was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The God of the O.T. was vengeful, wrathful and cruel; “but the Old Testament was a scandal to the faithful and a stumbling-block to the refined and intellectual
gentiles by its crudity and cruelty, and the Old Testament had to be set aside
.” Marcion taught that the god of the O.T. was a demiurge, a god and not the Supreme God. However, this left Marcion with the problem of what to do with all the N.T. citations of O.T. passages, history tells us that he did what President Jefferson would do later with His Bible —- “Marcion had to account for those passages in the New Testament which countenanced the Old. He resolutely cut out all texts that were contrary to his dogma; in fact, he created his own New Testament admitting but one gospel, a mutilation of St. Luke, and an Apostolicon containing ten epistles of St. Paul.”

Marcion viewed God as a deity of simple goodness and he excluded His other attributes, especially His wrath. Regarding our redemption he posits that God delivers humanity from a rival God, the Creator God of the O.T. Because of his lack of understanding the true nature of God he erred in virtually all areas of Christian orthodoxy. He denied the resurrection of the body as well as denied the second coming of Christ to judge the living and the dead. After all, “the good God, being all goodness, does not punish those who reject Him; He simply leaves them to the Demiurge, who will cast them into everlasting fire.”

It is easy to understand why Marcion’s views were popular and hard to eradicate because it painted a very humanistic and idealistic deity who was ALL loving and NEVER angry or wrathful. The Lord of The Church raised up capable men to stand against Marcion, his doctrine and those who later followed him. Thanks be to God for men such as St. Justin the Martyr, Irenaeus (the patron “saint” of all heresy hunters), Rhodon, Tertullian, St. Hippolytus of Rome,  St. Epiphanius and others who all “Taught Truth and Exposed Error,” especially the errors of Marcion.

Effectus vs. Affectus

    This view comes to The Church via C.H. Dodd who in his Moffatt commentary on Romans put forth the notion that we (theologians) have been misinterpreting the concept of God’s wrath and anger. According to this view talk of God’s wrath is too anthropomorphic and that the Apostle Paul never uses the verb ‘to be angry,’ with God as the subject. In this interpretation it is acknowledged that God’s wrath was the passion of anger in the original O.T. settings, however by the time of the Apostle Paul it had come to denote an impersonal process of cause and effect. The wrath of God is the inevitable result of sin.

In Paul the wrath of God describes not ‘the attitude of God to man’ but an inevitable process of cause and effect in a moral universe. In the long run we cannot think with consistency of God in terms of the highest human ideals of personality and yet attribute to Him the irrational passion of anger.

    Dodd’s viewpoint created a lot of debate and today any serious discussion of the wrath of God will refer to him and to A.T. Hanson, who helped develop Dodd’s belief that God’s wrath is only a reaction to our sin. Those who agree with Dodd assert that the wrath of God is to be understood “purely as effectus, as the effects or consequences of sin, rather than affectus, as a prior emotion or feeling on God’s part.” Furthermore, this belief states “the wrath of God is wholly impersonal and does not describe an attitude of God but a condition of man.”

    DMI agrees with Dodd inasmuch as we are confined to understanding God in human terms. Being human we have no other way to relate to anything or anyone. The thing to keep in mind when we talk about “God” is that the terms we use are analogous versus univocal statements.

If theologians wish to say Paul’s language of wrath is anthropopathic, then so is any discussion about His love as well. Just as we must be careful not to equate human love with all its distortions, conflicts and imperfections to the perfect love of God, this is equally true as we consider His wrath. By agreeing that our understanding of God’s wrath (or love) is anthropopathic does not in any way deny the corresponding reality of these passions in God.

God’s wrath must not be considered in a crude, literal fashion because His divine wrath is very different from the expressions of the wrath of fallen man. God’s wrath is not some irrational passion or frivolous anger.

God’s wrath against sin does not mean . . . that he is likely to fly off the handle at the most trivial provocation, still less that he loses his temper for no apparent reason at all. For there is nothing capricious or arbitrary about the holy God. Nor is he ever irascible, malicious, spiteful or vindictive. His anger is neither mysterious nor irrational. It is never unpredictable but always predictable, because it is provoked by evil and by evil alone.

    In considering the wrath of God we must understand that wrath is not fundamental to God in the same manner that love is. Isaiah called God’s rising up in wrath-filled judgment as His “strange work” and His “alien work.” God is love (1 John 4:8) but we cannot say “God is wrath.” Love is one of the fundamental eternal divine attributes of God. Wrath on the other hand is an out working of the character of God in His response to sin. Before God created anything He was love and this love was active in the Trinity and wrath was nothing more than a potentiality. Wrath is not an attribute of God the way that love, righteousness or holiness are. His wrath is His response to something outside of Himself.

    Dodd’s position has much that is worthwhile in considering; however there are some problems with this view. First of all it places wrath in a category that is not a feeling or emotion, an “affect” of God. They teach that God does not have any personal feelings like “displeasure,” however; they teach that His love is personal which is indicative of a faulty hermeneutic. Furthermore their theology does not leave any place for God to have any displeasure with the sinner, only their sin. They cannot make any type of distinction between the wrath of God as expressed against sinful behavior and His wrath against sinners themselves.

    There seems to be a form of incipient deism in Dodd’s line of thinking. If God’s wrath is simply part of His “moral order” and a by-product of sin and not something that is actually willed by God, then this is a deistic concept. Also, Dodd and his followers are not immune from the problems of being considered neo-Marcionists. As you read earlier, Marcion argued for a different “God” in the O.T. and N.T. Dodd saw wrath and punishment as an impersonal byproduct of God’s moral order and that God is disassociated from them. Dodd saw God as operating one way in the O.T. and a totally different way in the N.T. making the comparisons of Marcion compelling. Dodd sees that God’s anger disappears in the N.T. and God’s love now becomes all embracing.

What Is the Biblical Position?

As Christians we must deal with the text itself and let the Bible speak for itself. To begin with there is only one true God, the same God in both the Old and New Testaments. There is no difference between the O.T. and N.T. regarding the nature of God. What is true of Him in the Old is equally true of Him in the New. The chart of the Hebrew words shows the nuances that surround this word. The six major words used in Hebrew for the wrath of God are used a total of 406 times, another scholar (Morris) extends his listing to over twenty words that are used over 580 times! There is a connection between the proclamation of the wrath of God and the whole message of the O.T.

God’s wrath is His displeasure and His venting of it is because of His holiness, righteousness and justice. By His very nature He is intolerant of sin and any impurity. What we read in the O.T. is that the wrath of God is both affectus and effectus. When our God places a punishing judgment on people He does so personally, not impersonally or coldly.

In reading the events of when God unleashed His wrath we read that His wrath was indeed fully personal and we also read that His mercy also becomes as fully personal — “for mercy is the action of the same God who was angry allowing His wrath to be turned away. The anger of God signifies his emphatically personal character.”

Does the N.T. paint a picture of a non-wrathful God as Dodd and his followers assert? Dodd went as far as to say that the wrath of God does not appear in the teachings of Jesus. Oh really? As I noted earlier in the article in the Greek N.T. there are only 2 words used for wrath. Dodd made his statement based on the actual non-use of the word for wrath by our Lord in the Synoptic record. However, if you look at the entirety of Jesus` teachings you find that our Lord spoke quite a bit about the coming judgment of God against all evil and evil doers.

Space does not permit me to examine the abundance of proof regarding the wrath of God in the Gospels but here are some illustrations to study on your own. First, keep in mind that Jesus taught and warned people of the dangers of hell more frequently than He spoke of the glories of heaven. Hell, which is the unending outpouring of God’s wrath upon sinful individuals, is an obvious reality and danger for humanity. This fact alone disproves Dodd and his followers regarding their understanding of the teachings of Christ.

Consider some of the parables. We read of the Master handing the servant over to the jailers to be tortured (see Matthew 18:34). In the story of gathering people for the wedding feast and the Master is angry again at how some of those invited respond (see Luke 14:21). Even John the Baptist asked the Pharisees “who warned you to flee the wrath to come? (See Matthew 3:7) Someone had warned the Sadducees and Pharisees that the wrath of God was coming or that warning may have been simply “arrived at” through a study of the Bible and from their study they knew they were in serious trouble with God.

No wrath in the Gospels, or really in the N.T.? What translation do these people read? Have they forgotten that when our Lord returns, He comes as Judge? He will separate the sheep from the goats (see Matthew 25:32-46). Guess where the “goats” go? ”    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (v.41).

The wrath of God is not personal? Again, I would urge those who hold such a position to also re-read the Book of the Revelation. If one does not see the wrath of God in the JUDGMENTS He pours out on the earth as His personal response to sin and sinners, then they are either truly blind or they are being dishonest with the texts. The books are opened and people are JUDGED according to their (personal) works (see Revelation 20:12-13).

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:18

I begin to close with another proof, this time from the Apostle Paul who writes that the wrath of God is indeed personal. His wrath comes from heaven, its origin is not earthly but comes from God Himself. His wrath is against ALL ungodliness and the unrighteous actions of men (who are individuals) who are suppressing God’s truth.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died FOR US, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together WITH HIM. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

Paul also makes it perfectly clear that the saints will not ever experience the wrath of God because He has not appointed us unto wrath. Instead of wrath He has drawn us to His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ who died FOR US that we might obtain salvation and life everlasting. Now as His brothers and sisters we live our lives IN HIM and WITH HIM and FOR OTHERS, even as we have been studying over these last months. Outside of Christ Jesus there is only the certainty of a “guilty” verdict from our Holy God and with that sentence unremitting punishment in hell. In Christ there is only the certainty of grace, mercy and unremitting joy as we stand before our Father and Lord in the full expression of His effulgent glory all because of what Jesus has done for us!

Truth Matters July 2013

5 08 2013

‘Proof’ of Heaven

by Rev. Robert S. Liichow

Monday morning before work I was watching Fox News© when they announced that Eben Alexander, M.D. would be sharing his amazing experience of going to heaven! This Heresy-hunter went out immediately to his local Meijer and purchased a paperback copy and came home and read the book cover to cover. Let’s begin this short examination with the following text:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

What happens beyond death is the biggest mystery and foremost question on the minds of virtually everybody. It is no mystery that we all will die because the wages for our sin is death (Rom 6:23) and humanity does all it can to stave off that final moment before our bodies assume room temperature. The question is where does the “life” of that now deceased person go? Did it cease all existence at the point of physical death or did the life-force vacate the dead physical body and go to some other realm?

One would have thought that after two thousand years of Christian preaching and teaching regarding the life, death burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and what the scriptures plainly teach about the life to come that there is no need for any of these books. Yet almost annually there is at least one #1 N.Y. Times bestseller about someone’s visit to heaven. Obviously the true Christian message is not being shared adequately enough or is simply being rejected by the public in favor of these more recent and more detailed accounts of the afterlife.

Why Write This Article

I have begun to notice something about all of the accounts I have been researching. Each one of them has been a false non-biblical account and while some aspects are formulaic in nature other experiences are emphasized. Each version is crafted towards a specific audience. For example Mary K. Baxter’s visions of heaven and hell are written to a mainline Pentecostal audience. Whereas Jesse Duplantis wrote his novel about heaven to a distinctly Word of Faith oriented audience. The Hordes of Hell Are Marching vision of Rick Joyner appeals to those in the Prophetic and Apostolic branches of sign-gift enthusiasm. While each of these visions are spurious, it behooves us to have some understanding of them so we can wisely and lovingly correct those who are in error.


Proof of Heaven
A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife

Unlike many of the previous books I have read and debunked Dr. Alexander’s fits into its own category, that of the “skeptic.” His religious skepticism is what makes this book in some ways more seductive than those written by professing Christians. After all, this author has no “axe to grind” theologically speaking so his insights will have appeal of everyone who is not a Christian and possibly to those who are CINO’s (Christians In Name Only).

Eben was a practicing neurosurgeon at the time of his illness. He is a married and family man, successful surgeon who occasionally did attend the local Episcopalian Church with his wife and children (p.34).

As much as I’d grown up wanting to believe in God and Heaven and an afterlife, my decades in the rigorous scientific world of academic neurosurgery had profoundly called into question how such things could exist. Modern neuroscience dictates that the brain gives rise to consciousness – to the mind, to the soul, to the spirit, to whatever you choose to call that invisible, intangible part of us that truly makes us who we are — and I had little doubt that it was correct. (p. 34)

Like an ocean wearing away a beach, over the years my scientific worldview gently but steadily undermined my ability to believe in something larger. (p.35)

Eben appears to be an agnostic; he does not really believe there could be a God and seems to have strongly immersed himself in raw materialism:

When the machine breaks down, consciousness stops. As vastly complicated and mysterious as the actual mechanics of brain processes are, in essence the matter is as simple as that. Pull the plug and the TV goes dead. The show is over, no matter how much you might have been enjoying it. (pp 8-9)

What Happened to Eben

Contrasting Mary Baxter; who was fasting and praying in ecstatic speech when the angel of light came into her room. Also in contrast to Mr. Duplantis who also was actively praying to his ceiling in other tongues. Dr. Alexander was stricken with some bizarre form of E-coli/meningitis that inflamed his brain filling it with pus (p. 22). As a neurosurgeon he spends a great deal of time explaining all the medical ramifications of what was taking place to his brain and body. Without getting bogged down in medical jargon the bottom line is that all the parts of his brain that constitute “us” as unique individuals became infected and shut down. He was as near to flat lining as anyone can be. Here is a glimpse of what he experienced in the Prologue of his story:

I was encountering the reality of a world of consciousness that existed completely free of the limitations of my physical brain. . .Those implications are tremendous beyond description. My experience showed me that the death of the body and the brain are not the end of consciousness that human experience continues beyond the grave. More important, it continues under the gaze of a God who loves and cares about each one of us and about where the universe itself and all the beings within it are ultimately going. (p.35)

The implications of life after death are tremendous beyond description? I have news for him, in case he has not realized it, what you believe in this life has an eternal implication which is either tremendously good news or an unending horror of agony and regret.

Bravo! He has come to realize that we all will live on beyond this life, which ought to make him think that what we believe, teach and confess in this life is of paramount importance.

What Eben Experienced

Eben goes into a deep coma for seven days and is totally unresponsive to any outside stimuli, brainwave patterns, etc.

When I was initially in the Realm of the Earthworm’s-Eye View, I had no real center of consciousness. I didn’t know who or what I was, or even if I was. I was simply . . . there, a singular awareness in the midst of a soupy, dark, muddy nothingness that had no beginning and, seemingly, no end. Now, however, I knew. I understood that I was part of the Divine and that nothing—absolutely nothingcould ever take that away. The (false) suspicion that we can somehow be separated from God is the root of every form of anxiety in the universe, and the cure for it—which I received partially within the Gateway and completely within the Core—was the knowledge—that nothing can tear us from God ever. (p.77)

He begins his journey of enlightenment by finding himself in a dark murky place that smelled of feces and he heard an incessant mechanical drumming sound (p. 31). While in this dark place he sees a white-gold light spinning in the darkness.

“Then I heard a new sound: a living sound, like the richest most complex, most beautiful piece of music you’ve ever heard” (p.38) and he enters into this white-gold light and is transported from the dark murky realm into —-

The strangest, most beautiful world I’d ever seen . . . It was green, lush, and earthlike . . . You don’t know the place. Or at least you think you don’t. But as you look around, something pulls at you, and you realize that a part of yourself — a part way, deep down —- does remember the place after all, and is rejoicing at being back there again. (p. 38-39)

Words mean things, his words clearly imply the pre-existence of the soul and thus far he has begun to reveal that (1) God loves everyone and (2) we can never be separated from God and (3) eventually we all will go to heaven where we have been before.

He looks at the white-gold light that has been leading him and he realizes that someone is next to him “a beautiful girl with high cheekbones and deep blue eyes” (p.40) and he learns they are in fact being moved along on/by butterfly wings beneath their feet (p. 40). Now the angel of light (see 2 Cor. 11:14) gives him a message:

Without using any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real—was not some fantasy, passing and insubstantial. The message had three parts. . . ‘You are loved and cherished, dearly forever, You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.’ (pp. 40-41)

Now we know that in the heavenly realm we will communicate telepathically, something the Apostle John failed to mention during his personal and completely reliable account of his heavenly interactions. The mode of communication matters little, the message delivered is everything! First, “You are loved and cherished, dearly forever.” It is true that God so loved the world that He sent His only Begotten Son into it, to save it from eternal SEPARATION from God. Make no mistake about it, apart from faith alone in Christ Jesus alone there will be eternal separation from a totally holy and loving God.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, And your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, And your fingers with iniquity; Your lips have spoken lies, Your tongue hath muttered perverseness. Isaiah 59:2–3
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Matthew 7:23
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: Matthew 25:41

A common problem that people can easily slip into is when they try to place one of God’s attributes above another in rank or importance. If they focus on the fact that God is “love” (see 1 John 4:8) people can slide into fallen humanistic sentimental fallen perspectives about love and sacrifice the holiness of God. Our God is perfectly balanced in Himself; He is as much loving as He is just as He is holy as He is merciful, etc. As fallen creatures our emotions are not so and in this life we are incapable of ever comprehending the nature of our God perfectly. Yet Eben seems to experience only a “loving” God, i.e. a love that is akin to that of a doting grandparent.

Secondly, he is told that “you have nothing to fear.” What is strange is that this message is repeated a couple of times in his book with no real explanation. What is the context of the statement? Did the angel of light mean that Eban, and by extension all of us, have nothing to fear in this life or does the entity mean we’ve nothing to fear in the next? He does not explain. Eben, here’s something to think about:

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

As Christians I can honestly preach that we do not have anything to fear because of what Jesus Christ as done FOR US (please share the June issue with others, it is vital). The worst the devil can do is kill us, death is the next best thing we have waiting for us (our redemption being the first), so devil take your best shot!

Unbelievers, such as this man have everything to fear and be concerned about. For the worldlings this is their best life now. Apart from Jesus Christ you had better strive and fight for ALL the gusto you can get now because when you die, and you surely will die, you will face the judgment (see Hebrews 9:27) and a devil’s hell. The message from this demonic creature is a lie! In this life we are to “fear” God (see Gen. 42:18; Deut. 10:12, 20; Jos. 24:14) but since no context is given to the demon’s comment it is impossible for the reader to accurately parse. I believe the comment is the standard New Age lie that can be boiled down to “don’t worry, float through life, all will be well, fear nothing, embrace everything, all is well,” spiritual advice.

Thirdly, the demon says “there is nothing you can do wrong.” Again, what is meant by this? In this life we can’t really make any mistakes or do wrong? Or does it mean that once we leave our physical bodies and enter the spiritual realm that we can do no wrong? No further light is given on the statements, other than they become life changing for Eben.

A New Age person reading this book will interpret the above message to mean that evil is merely an illusion, the masses of the unenlightened see “evil” and “sin” all around them. The enlightened understand that it is all really just the laws of karma playing out in this realm. Wrong is simply another “false” perception, just as false as the wrong belief that we can somehow be separated from The Divine, how silly a notion once you realize you are one with The Divine (p. 76). It does not take a neurosurgeon to apprehend that there is PLENTY of “wrong” in this world, as a surgeon I would imagine he has seen plenty go wrong with people medically speaking. Then again, perhaps the message was for him alone, maybe Eben is the one among us who can do no wrong?

Remember in the beginning he stresses how he had lost all conscious memory of himself and now he reveals to us WHY this makes his book so much more important than the others:

And because I so completely forgot my mortal identity, I was granted full access to the true cosmic being I really am (and we all are). . . At the risk of oversimplifying, I was allowed to die harder, and travel deeper, than almost all NDE subjects before me. (p. 78)

Wow, he is special folks. He was granted FULL ACCESS to his true cosmic being, unlike others who must have only been granted some partial access to their cosmic being. Eben, like Bruce Willis was able to “die harder” and like Capt. Kirk “travel deeper” alleging to have gone where no Near-Death-Experiencer (NDE) had gone before!

. . .from reading other NDE literature, that the penetration of the higher worlds tends to be a gradual process and requires that the individual release his or her attachments to whatever level he or she is on before going higher or deeper. That was not a problem for me, because throughout my experience I had no earthly memories whatsoever. (pp. 78-79)

Now that he has given us his cosmic bona fides we know we can rely on what he has to reveal. We also know from Eben, that there are all sorts of cosmic “levels” and our advancement into the higher realms depends on our attachments to the current lower spiritual levels being occupied (i.e. you will have to do spiritual works, releasing attachments is a work) after this life.

Eben writes a lot about his time in what he calls “The Core” which I can only interpret as being the center of all that “is.” When he reached this level he puts forth some curious revelations:

Even on earth there is much more good than evil, but earth is a place where evil is allowed to gain influence in a way that would be entirely impossible at higher level of existence. That evil could occasionally have the upper hand was known and allowed by the Creator as a necessary consequence of giving the gift of free will to beings like us. Small particles of evil were scattered throughout the universe, but the sum total of all that evil was as a grain of sand on a vast beach compared to the goodness, abundance, hope and unconditional love in which the universe was literally awash. (p. 83)

Dr. Alexander never mentions the word sin one time. Evil is impersonal, no mention of a devil, no demons, just some sort of amorphous “evil” particles floating about the universe! We are given no explanation as to its origin, only that is seems never to be vanquished. According to Eben we really have free will but our world conspires against us to make us feel that we are not free. Thus any thoughts of being in “bondage to sin” (see Rom. 8:15) or being a “slave to sin” (John 8:34) are simply illusory in nature. Actually we are free as birds to choose how we live and react. Free will it seems has a lot more to do with our advancement, or not, in the spiritual realm.

But it is also hugely important, for our role here is to grow toward the Divine, and that growth is closely watched by the beings in the worlds above—the souls and lucent orbs (those beings I saw originally far above me in the Gateway, and which I believe are the origin of our culture’s concept of angels. (p. 84)

While in his altered state of being he reveals whom this ‘Divine’ personage is and how we are to fulfill our “role” on earth by growing toward the Divine.

God to Eben Is

This Being was so close that there seemed to be no distance at all between God and myself. Yet at the same time, I could sense the infinite vastness of the Creator, could see how completely minuscule I was by comparison. I will occasionally use Om as the pronoun for God because I originally used that name in my writings after my coma. “Om” was the sound I remembered hearing associated with that omniscient, omnipotent, and unconditionally loving God, but any descriptive word falls short. (p. 47)

We again read the language of all mystics “union with God” the feeling of “oneness” or merging with the infinite are commonly described. What amazes me is that Eben uses the ancient Hindu word “Om” which is defined below:

A mantric word thought to be a complete expression of Brahman and interpreted as having three sounds representing Brahma or creation, Vishnu or preservation, and Siva or destruction, or as consisting of the same three sounds, representing waking, dreams, and deep sleep, along with the following silence, which is fulfillment.

Eben previously shared that when he had a question the answer was immediately given to him. He never asks the name of the “god” speaking to him? Encounters between the human beings and the divine in the Bible usually include the desire on the part of humans to know the NAME of God or the being speaking to them (see Gen. 32:29; Ex. 3:13; Judges 13:17, etc.)

The name he associates with the being speaking to him is none less than one of Hinduism most revered titles/concepts/chants of their perversion of the Holy Trinity of the one true God. Here are a few insights from Om:

Om told me that there is not one universe but many—in fact, more than I could conceive—but that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no growth—no forward movement, no chance for us to become what God longed for us to be. . . (p. 48)

Now we are faced with more new data that there are also multiple universes, many much more developed than our own. Sadly, evil is also present in all these universes but it does serve a purpose.

In Eben’s dualistic worldview he cannot conceive of existence apart from evil. The fact that he cannot escape his false dualism alone is more than enough proof that he in fact was trapped within his fallen flesh. Our fallen nature simply cannot conceptualize a non-dual existence. All we see and experience are cycles of birth and death, growth and decay, love and hate, mercy and vindictiveness etc. We cannot understand how there can be a life that is only and altogether truly good and truly loving. All I will say about this is that prior to their fall Adam and Eve knew only good. It sounds exactly like something a demon would say “there is a little evil throughout everything.”

I saw the abundance of life throughout the countless universes, including some whose intelligence was advanced far beyond that of humanity. I saw that there are countless higher, dimensions, but that the only way to know these dimensions is to enter and experience them directly. . . From those higher worlds one could access any time or place in our world. (pp 48-49)

Life on other planets is no longer speculation. There are countless universes filled with life on various developmental levels. On the cosmic side of reality there are again countless dimensions, some higher some lower. This is exactly the nonsense that the Gnostic’s taught and they were soundly rebuked by New Testament authors but also early Church Fathers such as Irenaeus, the patron “saint” of Heresy-hunters in his excellent book “Against Heresies.”

What Is Man?

Our truest, deeper self is completely free. It is not crippled or compromised by past actions or concerned with identity or status. . . This is the true spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover. . . This is the being living within all of us right now and that is, in fact, the being that God truly intends us to be. How do we get closer to this genuine spiritual self? By manifesting love and compassion. . . In order to return to that realm, we must once again become like that realm, even while we are stuck in, and plodding through, this one. (p. 85)

This is a lie from the deepest pits of Satan’s fetid demented mind, our truest nature prior to conversion is that of one who hates God (Luke 16:13), hates the light (John 3:20), is spiritually dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1) as well as being alienated from the life of God (Eph. 4:18).

The exact opposite of his CONcept is our reality. At our core we are sinful and unclean (Zac. 13:1) and we are not only crippled by our falleness to a ‘degree’; no we are much worse off than that. We are spiritually dead, cut off from our Creator. Mankind cannot in any way
shape or form transcend what his sordid reality is, that of a sinner under the just wrath of a holy God. No amount of attempted moral reformation will change our flesh; it cannot be trained or tamed. No good thing dwells in our flesh (Rom. 7:18). The flesh cannot become like heaven, sorry Eben any attempts to “once again become like that realm” leads only to despair or worse yet the delusion that one has conquered their flesh in this life!

How are we to get “closer” to this marvelous inner-sinner? Begin to do mercy works of love and compassion! Keep this FACT in mind: the more people turn into themselves, the closer they grow to their heart. What they will discover is that at the core of their being is pumping station spewing out filth continually? Of the human core or heart the Bible says:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Genesis 6:5

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Matthew 12:34

Those who counsel us to follow our hearts are counseling us straight to hell. Our hearts are not our guides nor are they the source of pure ANYTHING.

The readers and followers of Eben’s beliefs have a really big problem in following his pop-psychology directive. Their purpose in being loving and compassionate is simply a tool to gain self-knowledge. This will, like ALL other works-righteous endeavors, end in either pride or despair. One will feel proud if and when he does something he perceives as spiritual, say giving alms to a charity. Yet despair follows swiftly on the heels of all such works; that voice in his head says “you did not give as much as you could have, you should cut off the cable and give to the monks, yada yada yada.”

Not only do they have a problem with why they are to be loving and compassionate but they face the additional problem of not knowing what true love and compassion is apart from Jesus Christ. Essentially, Dr. Alexander is urging people to do the impossible and is so self-deceived that he thinks he is now walking in this exalted “Gandhi/Dali Lama” ocean of enlightenment.

As he is returning to his body (he never really left it) after the week long coma he gives us some more novel insights:

We are all in the position I was, in that we have other family: beings who are watching and looking out for us—beings we have momentarily forgotten, but who, if we open ourselves to their presence, are waiting to help us navigate our time here on earth. . . Each and every one of us is deeply known and cared for by a Creator. . .That knowledge must no longer remain a secret. (pp 95-96)

He is advising his readers to “open” themselves up to their presence. He does not tell anyone how to do this, which means [to me] that anyway that works for the individual is the “right” way. I have been writing about today’s mystics and their practices, any of these will open one up to familiar spirits (Lev. 19:31) and/or unclean spirits (Zac. 13:2; Matt. 12:43). You can fast for days; speak to yourself in tongues for hours, float in a sensory deprivation tank, use a Ouija board, crystals, yoga, have an experience imparted to one from someone else, etc.

The Bible never tells anyone to seek out power-encounters with angels or any spiritual beings, this includes Almighty God Himself. We are to walk by faith and not by what we see or feel (2 Cor. 5:7). God’s people are to be led by the Holy Spirit period (Rom. 8:14) and the manner in which He genuinely leads us is never separated from the Word of God.

Eben seems to stress the importance of these beings of light to help us and guide us. In his return to consciousness of the normal variety he says —

Then I realized that countless beings were surrounding me, kneeling in arcs that spread into the distance. Looking back on it now, I realize what these half-seen, half-sensed hierarchies of being, stretching out into the dark above and below, were doing. They were praying for me. . . These prayers gave me energy. . . These beings knew I was undergoing a transition, and they were singing and praying to help me keep my spirits up. (p. 103)

Now we know, angels are praying for us! This takes the role of the mediator from Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5) and relegates it to these intermediary beings, again error and Gnosticism. We have no one but our great High Priest to intercede on our behalf (Heb. 4:14).

In his direct communication with God he says

Instead, I felt like I was doing what every soul is able to do when they leave their bodies, and what we can all do right now through various methods of prayer or deep meditation. Communicating with God is the most extraordinary experience imaginable, yet at the same time it’s the most natural one of all, because God is present in us at all times. . . We are all connected as One through our divine link with God. (p.161)

He is not talking about prayer, but direct give-and-take talking between us and God. How does one know if it is indeed “God” who is speaking while in some deep altered state of mind? He ends chapter 33 with the basic New Age lie “God is present IN US at all times” (remember you can’t do anything wrong, so no need to worry about offending a holy God).

In returning from his NDE Alexander has come back with more good news—

Another aspect of the good news is that you don’t have to almost die to glimpse behind the veil—but you must do the work. . . but at the end of the day, we each have to go deep into our own consciousness, through prayer or meditation, to access these truths. (p.158)

Not only has he encouraged people to seek out “spiritual” beings (aka, ‘spirit guides’ in New Age parlance) for guidance and help; now he says we all can tap into the spiritual realm where God dwells through “deep” prayer and meditation. He also reveals that this is work on the part of the mystic seeker.

What utter drivel. Biblical prayer is never used as a tool to take one within, it is our hearts cry expressed towards our Father in the name of His Son empowered by the Holy Spirit. Biblical meditation is the exact opposite of empty-headed navel gazing! On the contrary it is actively engaging our minds on one of our God’s precepts to gain a proper understanding of our God, our relationship to Him and our neighbors.

The very title of his book is a deception. He gave no “proof” of heaven, not that I expected him to. His book offered nothing of any legitimate spiritual benefit. In fact, every insight he alleges to have gained while in the cosmic realm is nothing more than a restatement of Gnostic concepts, Hinduism, theosophy and New Age beliefs.

Eben Alexander did not mention anything about our Lord Jesus Christ, he cited no scriptures at all to attempt to buttress his experience and nothing he experienced agrees at all with the core doctrines of the Bible. His experience cemented in his mind that: (1) everybody goes to his heaven; (2) we’ve somehow been there before {reincarnation}; (3) we can do no wrong; (4) we have totally free and sovereign wills; (5) ‘God’ is in us all, He is also “in” all the universe {Panentheism}; (5) we can all experience the cosmic realm {astral projection}; (6) there is evil, but no personal sin; (7) to reach the true pure self, which is God’s desire, we must work at being loving and compassionate. Dr. Alexander is no longer a practicing surgeon due to his brain illness but his experience has led him to start a Foundation called The Eterna Foundation “The Convergence of Science and Spirituality” ( ). Their goal is to bring together various people who’ve had a NDE and work together via prayer, meditation and applied science to tap into the unseen heavenly realms!

It is obvious that due to his delusional experience and the age old demonic concepts revealed to him he is in desperate need of prayer because only God Himself can free him. Until Eben understands that he is thoroughly sinful and totally unacceptable to the True and Living God can he receive the blessed consolation offered only in the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of all deadly sins, this is the most deadly, namely, that any one should think he is not guilty of a damnable and deadly sin before God.”
— Martin Luther —

End Notes

Truth Matters June 2013

25 06 2013

Christ For Us
Part Two
By Rev. Robert Liichow

    Last month we began to consider how we as God’s children are to get to know and fellowship with our heavenly Father. There are really only two ways available to us, the first is through various subjective intuitive and mystical experiences. Secondly, we can relate to Him through simple faith in His objective written Word.

    In reflecting on many of the texts used to attempt to buttress the arguments for turning
within and communing with our Lord inside the inner
kingdom one thing becomes quite evident, our Lord never commanded us to seek Him in this manner. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
1 Yes we as His children2 are to seek after the Lord and we are promised to “find” Him when we search for Him WITH not IN all your heart, there is a huge difference between the two. In this article we shall consider the loftiest highway that leads directly to the very throne of The Ancient of Days.

For God so loved the world, that he gave
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17

The Bible begins by revealing to us that God created everything there is by the power of His Word (Genesis 1-2). Why did God who lacks nothing and needs nothing create our planet in one of the approximately 200 billion galaxies in our expanding universe? Part of the answer seems obvious, He created all of “this” for His own glory (Psl 19:1) and secondly for His creation, for man (Gen 1:26). We are familiar with the rest of the account in Genesis, man disobeyed the Word given by God and the deadly poison of sin was injected into the spirit of man and he became dead on the inside.

Humanity went from walking in the cool of the day with their Father Creator, to hiding in fear from the One (Gen. 3:10) who gave them life and everything good as a gift, to hating the One who in love created them.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. John 3:19-20

After their fall into sin, Adam and Eve attempted to rectify their mistake by their own means and tried to cover their sin by their own efforts and work, which failed miserably (Gen. 3:7). Little has changed over 6,000 years. People are still seeking their own remedies to the spiritual problem of sin and virtually all of these attempts are subjective in nature and are founded in pride.

In spite of our parents rebellion we see the Father’s love and care in His provision for their sin when we read “. . . the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). We see God’s love by His shedding the blood of an innocent animal to cover the sin and shame of His fallen children. Without reviewing four thousand years of redemptive history suffice it to say that throughout the Bible we see that our God is indeed “for us.”

From Moses until the last writings of the Apostle John, God has had His Word recorded and collected by and for His people. Why? So there would be no mistake in understanding what God has said to us in succeeding generations. His Word is established forever —- “heaven and earth shall pass away but My Word will not pass away” (Matt. 24:35). Since the Word of the Lord is eternal, then a wise person would do well to build on such an unshakable foundation:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:24-27

The Holy Spirit through James says much the same thing when He says “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). Our lives as disciples of The Lamb are to be lives of inwardly digesting (meditating) God’s Word and then implementing its precepts in our daily vocation.

The Lord gave some very simple directions on how His people should go about building their lives on His Word:

And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. Exodus 16:14-21

In Exodus we see the Lord’s marvelous provision for His people by supplying them with manna. In this account I see a principle that can help us in strengthening our foundation on His Word. God supplied the bread (His Word). It was up to the people to gather as MUCH or as LITTLE as they desired. They had to gather the bread DAILY before the sun got too hot (early) and melted it. The people could not “live” off of yesterday’s manna, they had to gather it day by day, accept for the Sabbath when the manna could be kept longer. By analogy the same is true for us and our intake of the Word of God. How much you and I inwardly digest is up to us. We can eat as much or as little, it just depends on our hunger I suppose. Selah.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deut 6:6-9)

Our Lord knew that He had several million people following His shepherd Moses, a people who did not know Him at all. Notice that God did not command each Israelite to go off into his own tent to have a personal encounter with God within the chambers of his soul. God’s Word was written down and disseminated verbally by Moses and the elders to the people.

The people were to keep God’s Word in their hearts and then they were to diligently teach God’s Word to their children (Lutherans did not start catechesis). What is more, God’s Word was to be the topic of discussion when they were sitting around their homes. When they walked to work, they were to be speaking of His Word. If you are not walking or sitting, guess what? You are probably lying down, and your last thoughts spoken of should be, again, the eternal Word of our God. What should be the first words out of our mouths when granted a news day? You guessed it, the Word of God. The result of such a life lived in this manner is one that is lived through the lens of the Scriptures. We hear the result of what we feed on by what we talk about; Jesus said quite tellingly “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34).

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it
to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8-9)

Moses had died and Joshua was now the leader. God’s advice to Joshua was to observe (look) at the Word given by Moses, do not turn from it (stick with it). Think about what has been written, keep the Word in the forefront of your mind DAY and NIGHT, and so you can follow what it teaches and in doing so the way will be prospered and successful. Sadly, many prosperity pimps have twisted this wonderful text (as they do with all their use of the Bible) into a “formula” for financial wealth. The message being given is a simple one —- immerse yourself in My Word, allow what I say to be your mirror, rule and guide in life and you will be blessed.3

In our culture today the way to implement the above precepts might include simply listening to the Bible in your car when driving (who walks?) or to a godly radio programs (like Issues Etc. or the White Horse Inn) or Christian music. Around the dinner table people can talk about the sermon preached Sunday or the Bible study that week, possibly some of the Scriptures read during the day (if one is using a through the Bible in a Year type of daily reading) or something from a daily devotional. Obviously if there are children in the family they no doubt are involved in daily prayers with the family, Bible reading or learning some texts by heart. They certainly observe everything their parents are doing —- they too will learn (by
observation) to speak about what fills their hearts from a young age, good or bad. When we lay down at night we should take time to reflect on our day, commune with our own hearts on our beds at night (Psl 4:4) and review our day in light of His Word. Personally some of my sweetest sleep comes quickly when I lie down and begin to ponder the goodness of our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.

When we focus on what God has done for us, as revealed in His Word, there is tremendous peace. There is no speculation regarding my relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because my relationship is built upon His Word and not
my own fertile imagination. {Read the following verses out loud to yourself and think deeply about them for say, the next year solid, every day and see if your spiritual walk is not changed}.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is
God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:28-38

God is FOR US! This God who is for us has loved us so much that He did not spare His own Son (think of the importance of an only Son in Middle Eastern culture) BUT gave Him up FOR US ALL!

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Romans 5:6-10

Everything our Lord Jesus Christ did in His earthly ministry and is now doing during His High Priestly ministry He is doing FOR US. We sinned, we were the feral rebel souls that hated God, we were DEAD in our trespasses and sins (see Col. 2:13) and yet Christ died FOR the ungodly. He did not wait until we cleaned ourselves up, an impossibility (see Jer. 13:23),4 while we were sinners Christ died FOR US. Now, during the remainder of this life let us live boldly. Knowing that since we have been justified (past tense) by His blood that we shall be (future tense) saved from the wrath of God through Him. How so? If the Father loved us so much to redeem us when we were His enemies by the blood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ —- now as His reconciled and adopted children we shall be saved by His (Jesus`) endless life!

Our faith is not conjecture; it is not based on a quiver of the liver, a dream voice or vision. We stand immovable on the eternal Word of God once delivered unto the saints (see Jude 3).

Satan continues to mislead people by tempting them to take their focus off of the unchanging truth that exists outside of themselves and turn within and concentrate on what is murky, unsubstantiated. Satan knows very well the power of God’s Word when spoken by one who trusts in the Author’s veracity (see Luke 4:1-13, our Lord’s desert temptation).

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith
he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:4-10

St. Paul clearly tells us that all of salvation is outside of us (extra nos), an accomplished fact, done, complete in Christ, finito. Since salvation is something that Christ accomplished FOR US and applies to us, all we have to do is believe it! Don’t let the word “do” trip you up —- the believing part, well that ability to believe, to have faith is given as a GIFT by our gracious God as well: {I’d read this one out loud too and add it to your previous pondering of Romans 8}.

Almost daily for twenty years I sat under various teachers and their doctrines. During those years I heard virtually nothing about what Christ Jesus has done FOR US. It was given lip service at best, and then it was on to what WE were now to do because of Jesus, such as doing the greater works (John 14:12) that even Jesus did not do in His earthly ministry.

The shift from truth outside of ourselves to looking within ourselves for God’s truth arrived with the fuller advent of Pentecostalism in the world. The focus went from seeing the earthly ministry of Jesus as what He did FOR US, to seeing His ministry as the pattern we are to follow to do works by His works by His Spirit which is IN US. Now for over 100 years the major focus in American Evangelicalism has been on the Holy Spirit, how to hear from Him, be led by Him, be used by Him, etc.

Yet the ministry of The Spirit of Reality (ἀλήθεια) is to testify about the person and work of Jesus Christ (John 15:26) and not speak of Himself. If these folks ever do encounter the Holy Spirit all He will do is what Jesus said He will do in John 16:13-15:

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13-15

The problem is many Christians get side-tracked by the world, their flesh and the devil (1 John 2:16) into trying to uncover “hidden” things and keys to supernatural power and miracles by seeking to make a “power connection” with the God within!

Living a Christian life based on subjective experiences will at the end of life leave one in despair because all of the focus has been within oneself. On the deathbed you will be inundated by the enemy of your soul with all your failures in prayer, in giving, in healing the sick, did you have a genuine gift of tongues? What if it was really just your own fleshly mind gibbering away or worse yet the devil all these years?5
These are the thoughts that will be confronted by the enthusiast at death. On the “positive” side of the fleshly scale will come the rebuttal to these at times truthful and always accusatory accusations —- I built the church building, I gave to missions, I prayed every day, I never missed a Sunday, I read my Bible through each year for over ten years. I gave Mother Hubbard a ride to service each week! All of which inevitably lead to pride.

On the other hand the Christian whose life is built on Jesus Christ and His righteousness and nothing more and nothing less has only joy and peace at the end. He has lived his life trusting in the completed work Jesus Christ has done on the cross for him. Mr. Disciple knows it is not about his good works or lack thereof at all. It is not about him at all; his part is resting in the security and joy of being God’s own dear child, kept safe and secure by the eternal work of Jesus Christ, his Good Shepherd.

The Christian life is one of receiving the good gifts of God through His Son FOR US. Jesus has not only done the “heavy lifting” He has done everything that pertains to our redemption. There simply is NOTHING LEFT TO DO regarding our eternal state. There is no work you or I can do to add to the work of Jesus for us. Frankly, there is nothing I can take away from or diminish the work of our Savior either. His work is complete, immaculate and eternal.

What, no works on my part, nothing to contribute? Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Folks, if any part of our redemption was left up to us, none of us would be saved. Salvation is the work of God alone. What is our part? Since Jesus Christ has wrought salvation for us and we are receiving —

. . . a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. Hebrews 12:28-29

We now can serve God in an acceptable manner because of what Jesus has done for us. Now, as His dear children we no longer fear God as our Judge, but we love and reverence Him with godly fear (εὐλάβεια). Our part is now that we’ve been freed from the bondage and eternal penalty of sin to freely worship our Triune God and offer up a sacrifice —- the fruit of our lips, the sacrifice of our joyous praise!

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:15-16

Since Jesus has done everything for us, we are freed from ourselves to now do good for others, our neighbor(s) and share what we have with those who do not possess what we have been given graciously.

Brothers and sisters I sincerely pray that this summer you will spend a great deal of your time considering what our Lord has done for us. Make sure you are building your life on the rock of God’s Word and not on the fleshly inner experiences which cannot be verified. It is not about us, it really is all about Christ for us.

1 The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Je 29:13. Bold type and underlining added for emphasis. The context of this passage deals with the promise given by יהוה regarding the future deliverance of His people from Babylon.
2 No one seeks after God UNTIL He has enabled them to do so – this text is speaking to covenant people.
3 Biblical Meditation is not emptying our minds but renewing them by God’s Word. הָגָה hagah (211c); a prim. root; to moan, growl, utter, speak, muse:—declare(1), devise(2), devising(1), growls(1), make a sound(1), meditate(5), meditates(1), moan(3), moan sadly(1), mutter(2), mutters(1), ponders(1), utter(2), uttering(1), utters(1).
4 This does not keep people from trying to clean themselves up, to reform their lives, etc. It is impossible for anyone to bring forth life from death, only God can do this work.
5 How do I “know” this will happen? My statements are based on several reasons, first my own personal encounters with near death. I have come exceedingly close to losing my life close to a dozen times and I have had to face those type of accusations from the enemy. The testimonies of others who have nearly died and have shared their experiences and lastly but most importantly my comments are based on the Holy Bible which reveals very plainly who Satan is and how he operates.

Truth Matters Newsletter May 2013

10 05 2013

Christ For Us and In Us

Part One

Rev. Robert S. Liichow

One of the most difficult tasks for humans to accomplish is that of balance. It seems to be part of our falleness to gravitate from one end of a spectrum to the other. Many heretical teachings are at their core true doctrine which have been wrest from their proper orbit and transformed into something they never meant. An example would be the Person of Christ Jesus. We believe, teach and confess that Jesus Christ is completely divine and completely human apart from sin. The heretic will take one true aspect, e.g. the humanity of Christ to such a degree as to deny His divinity. Other heretics make Christ to be only divine and not a true man.

This creaturely habit of focusing on one thing to the neglect of others is seen throughout the Church world. Some groups are very well established in our justification on Christ’s merits alone, such as our own LCMS. Some denominations have focused in on the changed life or sanctification, which is laudable. Still others focus on works of mercy and charity. Several of the more questionable sects focus on healing and deliverance from demonic powers, speaking in other tongues and dancing in the aisles.

Within the Church there are two pathways through which all Christians use in order to relate and benefit from what our Lord Jesus Christ has provided for us through His work on the cross (Colossians 1:20). He is currently performing on a ministerial level as our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14) and Intercessor (Hebrews 7:25). Both paths are clearly seen in the New Testament and they both have the same goal, the reception of the goods gifts of Christ, fellowship with Him and usefulness to others. Yet these ways of relating to Jesus are not equal and if the lessor path is taken at the neglect of its superior then the disciple is open to great deception.

As people we are either looking for Christ within ourselves, from which we get our term enthusiasm (en-thëo) or we look to Him outside ourselves (extra-nos). The tricky part is that these are not either or propositions, they are both and. Yet due to our inherent sinfulness few believers ever attain a proper understand of the relationship of these two realities in their spiritual walk.

Christ In You!

    In popular American evangelicalism the focus of the messages are almost completely enthusiastic in nature. The emphasis is on the texts which deal with the reality that Christ does indeed reside in us, here are just a few examples:

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. John 15:5

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Ro 8:10

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
Ga 4:19

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:25-27

that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
Phm 6

These texts are most certainly true and they mean what they say and they say what they mean. Christ dwells in us when He makes us His own. Enthusiasts add to this position the following biblical texts:

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 1 Cor. 3:16

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
Jas 4:5.

And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he
hath given us. 1 John. 3:24

If words mean anything in their context it is beyond dispute that Christ indwells the believer as does the Holy Spirit. If these passages were not enough fuel to fan the flames of fervor, let me add yet more!

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. John 14:23

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Co 6:16–18

Not only can a biblical case be presented for Christ dwelling within us as well as the Holy Spirit, one can also declare that the Father also is in us as well. Note Jesus does not say in this text that the believer will go to heaven; He says He and the Father will come to him, and it is the Father who is quoted by Paul in his reference to the Corinthians.

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. 1 Cor. 6:17

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater
is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.1 John 4:4

No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4:12-13

These marvelous statements of eternal truth are important facts for the children of God to receive and as with all scripture, they are to be fully embraced but they do not comprise the whole of the Christian message or life. These texts, like all of God’s Word are extremely powerful and beneficial when understood in their proper context. When misapplied these same verses are used by our Adversary the devil (1 Peter 5:8) through mouths and actions of the false apostles, teachers and prophets. Through these counterfeits Satan entraps and ensnares the unwary (2 Peter 3:16). Leading them by their senses they are turned within themselves into an ever deepening gyre of error. Sadly, the enthusiast begins using subjective experience as the foundation for he or her spiritual life as opposed to the objective Word of God.

The verses I have cited comprise the basis for what we Evangelicals call the “theology of glory.” I know of what I say, I preached these very texts from this perspective for many years as a sign-gift enthusiast. The messages would go something like this and for at least 1.5 hours —–

Since God is in us, what manner of lives ought we to be living? Jesus said out of our bellies shall flow RIVERS of living water. Ask yourself, is anything flowing out of me? Some folks can’t even detect as much as a trickle coming out of them! The very power of God literally radiated off of Peter to the degree that sickness itself had to bow its knee in his presence because he KNEW who he was, a MOBILE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST THE GREATER ONE. Look at Paul, a man on fire with the Spirit. So much so that they could just take pieces of the very clothing he wore and put it on sick people in other towns and sickness and demons fled, read it yourself in Acts 19:12 If time permitted I could tell you how Stephen was supernaturally teleported in Acts 8:39— what’s the title of that book, oh yeah, The ACTS of the APOSTLES.

No one can convict me of preaching anything that is untrue (at least on the surface) in the above “sermon.” Out of our bellies shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:38), and the Holy Spirit did heal people once via Peter’s shadow, even as special miracles (Acts 19:11) were wrought by the hands of Paul on at least one occasion.

Reading these pericopes as historical events is a perfectly legitimate use of the texts. The error begins when these verses are presented as (1) manifestations of doctrine and (2) as normative. Entire false doctrines have been built around some of these texts. Sign-gift SINisters have made over a BILLION dollars hawking a false teaching regarding the alleged “point-of-contact.” There are firms that exist to do nothing but send out religious fetish objects to people’s homes on a weekly basis. For example, Robert Tilton, Marilyn Hickey, Peter Popoff, TBN, Leroy Jenkins, Oral Roberts (deceased) etc. DMI has the only book in print dealing with this specific error entitled “Does the Bible Support A Doctrine of Point-of-Contact?”

The “glory-grabbers” become ensnared into almost exclusively focusing on “God within,” it is heady stuff indeed. After all, didn’t Jesus say we would do the works He did and greater works (John 14:12)? Yes, He did. Have we not received the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was filled with (John 7:39; Acts 1:8)? Yes, we have. Then why aren’t we healing the sick, raising the dead, casting our demons and cleansing the lepers (Matthew 10:8), isn’t this the disciples mandate given to them by Christ? So it would seem. Lastly, Jesus said that “the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:21). So brothers and sisters, where is the GLORY? The King and His kingdom reside within us. All the power of God, the glory of God, the wisdom knowledge and understanding of God are all within the believer! We somehow live in a paradox. We have the power within us, yet we as the Church we seemingly experience “power failures” when it comes to actually manifesting the true (δύναμις)
power of God (Acts 10:38) like Jesus especially when it comes to signs, wonders and miracles.

With Signs Following    

    Before departing earth our Lord Jesus gave His disciples the following directive:

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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. Mark 16:15-18

Jesus said signs SHALL follow them that believe. Signs are proof or validation of faith for the enthusiast. No signs? Then one must have a very weak or nascent faith. What is the remedy for this “powerless” Christian life? That is the $64,000 question!

Turn Within

God is within me as His own dear child according to His Word, but where exactly is He and how can I work with Him to such a degree where He can flow powerfully through me? Where is His inner kingdom located in my heart? How do I experience it and Him in my life? Since the Holy Spirit is within me and He is to show me things to come (John 16:13) how come I keep making mistakes? Since God is in me, why at times do I feel alone or depressed? Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27) so how can I learn to hear with my spiritual ears the voice of my Good Shepherd? These are all questions I have asked myself when I was initially exposed to the theology of glory. The same answer was given — turn within and begin the journey inside yourself.

Hunger Games

The methods by which to achieve the goal, union with God, varied from Gnostic revelator to revelator. The so-called “Healing Revival” of Post WWII was spurred on in large part by a small book written by Franklin Hall entitled “Atomic Power with God through Prayer & Fasting.” Hall taught that through long fasts the Christian could come into contact with the Divine within and release His “atomic” power to heal and deliver the multitudes. Every revivalist read Hall’s book, practiced his ascetic practices and then went forth declaring themselves forerunners of the soon returning Christ Jesus. Some of the Pentecostal leaders affected by Hall’s enthusiasm included: Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, T. L Orborn, Myrtle Beale, A.A. Allen, and William Branham. Fasting has long been practiced by Christians as well as non-Christian cults.

Fasting is a powerful tool period. Mohammad alleged that he received a divine visit from the arch angel Gabriel who whispered to him to Koran. Where is the world today because of his fast? Various books have been written based on revelations given during long periods of fasting. For example, DMI exposed the lies of Mary K. Baxter in her globally best-selling books “The Divine Revelation of Hell” and “The Divine Revelation of Heaven.”

Fasting is a biblical principle (see Isa. 58:6-11; Mat. 6:16, 2 Cor. 11:27) however the Bible NEVER sets fasting out as a “method” or a “tool” to be used by people to find God within themselves. Fasting is NEVER used as a means to gain spiritual power and to teach that it is places such instruction firmly in paganism.

Ramble On and on

Prolonged times of “praying” in other tongues is one of the most common techniques for stilling the conscious mind and becoming “open” to inner direction. I used to pray between 2-3 hours per day in other tongues for many years which I assume was not all that unusual for tongue-talking people. Tongue-talkers have all been taught that when they speak in tongues aloud in certain settings that this is in fact a manifestation of each individual’s supernatural prayer language. Enthusiasts interpret the following text to refer to praying in other tongues:

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 1 Cor. 14:14-16

During this time I was uttering “mysteries” in the spirit, communicating directly to our Lord within my heart. Nobody (including myself) knew or understood what I was saying and thus no one could ‘derail’ the spiritual strategies being unleashed by me and the Holy Spirit! Speaking in other tongues will alter your consciousness and it does shut down your conscious mind to a great degree which is not a good thing in that it can open oneself up to satanic mental attacks.

If you don’t like to fast and have not yet received the “baptism” in/of The Spirit and do not speak in other tongues fear not you have other options for turning within and finding the Greater One within you!

Silence on the Set

    Run silent, run deep (a little submariner lingo) is appropriate to describe those who silence their vocalizing and hopefully by shutting their mouths from chatter they can still their own “inner chatter” enough to hear the voice of God within their own hearts. DMI receives a newsletter from a group calling themselves “The Friends of Silence.” This is an inter-faith cult dedicated to turning within via silence and hearing from God as He or She is perceived by the hearer. The Quakers since their inception have strongly emphasized the “inner-light” and their meetings were (and still are) silent affairs until or unless someone had received an insight which they would share with those gathered. Various Roman Catholic orders take vows of silence in order to focus on their inner light.

The Music of the Spheres

    Music has an integral role in altering the consciousness of humanity. Every pagan religion I am familiar with makes use of music, often accompanied by specific dances, to get in touch with the gods. We’ve all seen the old movies with the “voodoo drums” whipping the devotees into frenzy. Nothing new there, the priests of Baal did it too, about 1,800 years earlier than RKO. Certain forms of music can place people into trancelike states and can certainly open make them susceptible to being misled.

In a former congregation (Jubilee Christian Church, Detroit MI was known as a “warfare church” led by a restored apostle, Ellis Smith a Rhema graduate) we would sing for at least an hour. The first peppy part was called “praise” and the latter portion of our time was spent singing soft, slow emotional choruses repeatedly, this we designated as “worship.” During this segment of the service the lights would be lowered, hands would be lifted and the people were eased into a place of mental susceptibility and that when the lights were raised (we’d look up and open our eyes and behold the pastor at the pulpit) we were ready to receive revelation knowledge.

    What do you think occurs when a person has been fasting for a few days and when not eating, spending that time praying in other tongues comes to church? This person comes expecting to encounter the divine within, around and upon (Isa. 59:21) themselves. With the addition of ecstatic dancing, protracted throbbing music combined with singing repetitive ditties at full volume which later shifts into soft emotive crooning in a darkened room that person has been cleverly primed and programmed ready to receive the “present day truth” (2 Peter 1:12) flowing from the anointed vessel up front. Due to the implementation of various mystical practices whatever is being taught somehow now bears witness (συμμαρτυρέω – confirming testimony) with the zoned-out mind (Rom. 8:16) of the disciple. Such people are taken captive by cleverly designed fables:

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 Timothy 4:3-4


    Reading about spiritual power is one thing (author’s love this), fasting on your own, praying on your own is most assuredly a regular part of the interior
work but one of the quickest means to attain your goal of union with God within is by impartation.

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:21-22

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established; Rom. 1:11

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 1 Tim. 4:14

According to most of today’s sign-gift enthusiasts Christians must receive the Holy Spirit at some point after their conversion. Being “filled with the Spirit” is seen by them as a second or at least a subsequent experience with God which must be received by the individual. How does one receive the Spirit?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. Acts 19:4-7

Having laid hands on over 1,000 people to be “filled” with the Spirit I can attest that we broke it down into two simple steps: (1) Ask the Father to give you the Holy Spirit and (2) I would lay hands on them and command them to speak in other tongues (and I would begin to “pray” in tongues over them). Around 90%+ of the people responding to the altar calls did in fact mutter some disjointed syllables and went home happy and dazed stepping onto the road that leads within.

Not only was The Spirit purported to be given via laying on of hands (a foundational Christian doctrine, see Heb. 6:2), but we taught that one or more of the nine sign-gifts were also bestowed in this manner (1 Cor. 12:4-11) and of course we believed as the Bible does teach that physical healing can flow through the laying on of hands (Mark 16:18, Luke 4:40; Luke 13:13; Acts 28:8). Since the revival excesses of the late 1940’s the belief in ministry gift/offices could be imparted via the laying on of hands swept the enthusiasts. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to meetings held all over the globe by “restored” prophets and apostles[INCLUDE PHOTO IN NEWSLETTER HERE IF SPACE ALLOWS]. In these meetings they declare that they will be imparting spiritual gifts, signs and wonders will occur, miracles will flow! The advertisement is from one such meeting that promises attendees will hear a “now Word” for the Church and receive “activation” and “impartation” from the prophets in attendance!

The internet is filled with reports, testimonies, videos and audio files of what people experienced after hands were laid on them during the latest eruption of enthusiasm. People coming to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF, which my wife and I personally videotaped while in attendance at one of their spiritual drunkards conferences) and Brownsville (the Pensacola revival) had hands laid on them and all of them fell onto the floor and went immediately into long periods of altered states of consciousness which became known as “doing carpet time.” When returning to some semblance of normality people reported meetings personally with Jesus, being called into foreign mission work, others reported an intimate personal one-on-one time with the Lord God of all creation and yet others reported feeling healed emotionally, etc. Naturally, all of these reports cannot be verified and are totally subjective in content. Yet this fact has not stopped people from acting on what they have “received” mystically, often with tragic results.

When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you

All of the aforementioned techniques or disciplines have the same goal; which is to bring the practitioner into direct
experiential communion with God as He exists within them. None of those who are actively seeking to experience the “God within” believe in the total sufficiency of the scriptures. The Bible is simply not enough for the enthusiast. There has to be “more” and since they have rejected the sole authority of the Bible (objective divine truth) there is nowhere else for them to turn but inside of themselves. The Bible is for these people a guidebook, a map of where God has been:

The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God isTruth is God’s tracks. It’s His trail, His path, but it leads to what? It leads to Him. Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God has been, but true God chasers are not content just to study God’s trail, His truths; they want to know Him. (Introduction, bold type added).

By studying the Bible one can at best know about God. There is a vast difference between knowing God and knowing about God. Knowing God comes through direct power encounters and through biblical study. These power encounters are usually of a variety which cannot be found within the context of the dusty moldy pages of God’s past tracks.

Mr. Tenney wrote a book entitled “The God Chasers” and these above quotes are from his book. Tenney is a hugely influential Oneness (a modalistic heretic) Pentecostal that crossed denominational lines and revved up another bunch of sign-seekers to turn within! Note the low view of the Bible and by extension, the Author of the Bible held by Mr. Tenney and those who follow him. The Bible simply shows us where, past tense, God has been. The Bible is just a collection of dusty moldy stories of God’s past tracks!

The power encounters these fledgling mystics will experience will not be able to be verified by looking to the Bible (those dusty moldy pages)! Variations of this statement are trumpeted by most of the best known globally influential revivalists preying on God’s gullible sheeple today. I heard John Arnott (former pastor of TACF) cite the following text to explain the total lack of biblical support of the manifestations in his church meetings that I challenged him about:

And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. John 21:25

    The fact that there is absolutely NO BIBLICAL SUPPORT for what the enthusiasts are doing is no longer a hindrance because they base their new doctrines on information “revealed” while in some form of altered state of consciousness. These novel beliefs and practices have greater weight than the authority of the Bible in their lives. This is easily proven by simply engaging an enthusiast in a discussion in which you demonstrate that what they are engaged in (for example being slain in the spirit) is not biblical and they reject the biblical evidence in favor of their experience. Those who’ve gone this far are literally adrift on an uncharted speculative cesspool of fleshly imagination and demonic activity.

    Dear brothers and sisters our God does indeed reside within us, His Word is true and we can embrace this truth warmly. There is nothing in the New Testament that directs us to turn within and seek for God within the chambers of our hearts. The manner in which we relate to our God is simply through faith.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

We walk by faith and not by sight; we take God at His Word and rely upon what He has handed down to us in the Bible period end of story. These people of self-proclaimed great faith are totally moved by what they see, what they hear and what they feel how is that biblical faith? It is not.

The very foundation for all genuine faith is the Word of God. When one supplants God’s Word in favor of inner-experiences then one’s foundation has become shifting sand and great will be the destruction of their spiritual house:

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. Luke 6:47-49

Space does not permit me to go into the many very tragic results of people we know personally who turned within and got “lost.” The majority of them are completely out of the Church, some no longer Christians (but still highly “spiritual”). Next month we will consider the other manner in relating to our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of the Father and risen King. Selah.

Christ For Me

Extra Nox “Extra nos means that your salvation and standing before God are never dependent on how much faith you have. They aren’t determined by how many sins you’ve committed. It’s not based on whether you feel happy or sad. It isn’t about if it makes you feel good or not. It’s not attached to your attitude or even how much sleep you got. The extra nos of Jesus and His gifts means that you can rely on them even when you don’t feel like relying on them!

Truth Matters Newsletter April 2013

10 05 2013

“Rock’s Cover Us. . .Hide Us from the Wrath to Come”

End Time Preppers

By Rev. Bob Liichow

 Men’s hearts will fail them for fear and for looking upon those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Luke 21:26

The engine that moves the cosmos (κόσμος ) is fear and the engineer is Satan himself, the fallen defeated god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). Fear comes from uncertainty about the future and many people today are very afraid. They are afraid of a great many things including the future of the world’s economy (Cyprus and Greece spring to mind), our corrupt political system, the influx of illegal immigrants, the threat of homosexuals being given the ‘civil right’ of marriage, global ecological problems, and the fear of pandemic disease. I could go into the dangers facing our food supply in America due to the drought last year, rising gasoline prices which affects the cost of virtually everything, potential gun ownership restrictions, our national debt and currency issues, our weakened military, rising nuclear enemies, terrorists who are unlimited in the means of terror they use (for example an “EMP,” biological weapons, dirty nuclear suitcase bomb, poison the water supply) and the list goes on.

One thing is certain; there is no shortage of things to be very afraid of. Everything I have cited are in fact genuine problems, some more severe than others but many of them could potentially destroy our lives and country as we know them.

Where There Is Fear There Is Profit

For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA — aka Obamacare) becomes the law of the land. No one understands the full impact of this law, few people understand it at all and yet it will impact every American citizen. Due to the unknown, the misinformation and now what is truly being revealed about the ACA, people are very afraid. The solution? Write and sell a book for $19.95 on how to understand and overcome the ACA! The author is making a fortune on his book. The event that help crystalize this in my thinking was seeing Jim Bakker a few months ago on his television program shamelessly pandering to the somewhat legitimate concerns of people regarding the possibility of food and power shortages in the near future. We covered some of his latest fundraising gimmicks a few months back in a prior issue (December, 2012).

The “end of days” is a huge business in America and across the globe. There is an unspoken generalized societal feeling that everything could potentially come crashing down on our heads for a wide variety of reasons. One I did not mention in the listing of reasons to fear is the belief in an apocalyptic ending of this world as a cosmic judgment upon humanity. We experienced an inkling of what some people feared with the advent of “2013” and the Mayan calendar. People actually sold everything, quit their jobs, moved onto high mountains above the projected flood plain and waited for the end to come (they are still waiting, but now on their newly acquired mountain top property).

On television we have a couple of programs dedicated specifically to End Time Prepper tactics. One is aptly called End Time Preppers and it examines the various beliefs people have about the end of the world and what steps they are specifically taking to plan for the end. The methods of preparedness will vary depending upon the catastrophe envisioned. Prepping for a pandemic is somewhat different than prepping for an EMP or zombie apocalypse. What was concerning to me were the amount of people interviewed who stated they were Christians and that God’s Word has led them to prepare in this manner. Another program is entitled Doomsday Preppers which is devoted to building bunkers underground or semi-buried for folks to gather their family and make a stand against whoever else is left wandering alive on their own outside the compound. There is now something called “” online and “Prepper radio” also online to help educate people on how to “bug out, hide and survive” the coming horrors!

For around $100,000 you can have companies dig a big hole in your property and place a steel storage container (maybe 2 or 3 connected) in it and cover it up for you! The interiors can be as lavish or as basic as your budget provides. Naturally they will provide actual booby-traps, gun turrets, flame throwing devices, surveillance cameras (securely stored in a “Faraday cage” to protect it from a possible EMP).

Naturally, in the minds of these fearful Preppers their biggest concern after the apocalypse is other people. They have prepared for the inevitable catastrophe physically, but what of the moral questions involved? How to handle those outside one’s protected enclosure is something Preppers acknowledge as a genuine concern. Brother Prepper looks outside via his periscope and sees a woman and little child banging on their door for food and water. What is the policy? Let them in? Toss them some vitals and tell them to scram? Ignore them, treat them as hostile and kill them? What if they are just “bait” and a large group of armed people lays in hiding waiting for you to open the blast doors? After all, you scrimped saved and planned —– those outside did not, they deserve what they get. . . If you are a Christian I think you see the deep theological issues at hand which I do not believe have been properly considered by our prepping brethren.

For whoever desires to save his life
will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

It might be possible to survive some huge catastrophe temporarily only to end up eternally in hell. Are a few more years on this fallen sinful ball of stone worth an eternity separated from God?

    Much of the Prepper worldview seems really to focus on saving “me and mine” which is nothing less than a quintessential display of the flesh. Our flesh always wants to preserve itself, to avoid pain and sacrifice. It demands to be fed what it wants and when it wants it and our flesh eschews out of repulsion and fear of death (see Romans 8:7) the light of God’s Word (see John 3:20).

Important Rabbit trail: Please understand that our flesh cannot be reformed, renewed, kept submissive. It is either fed by us or it is starved. Never underestimate its hatred for God and its aversion to His Word. The only solution for the problem of our flesh is to reckon it dead (Romans 6:12) and remind ourselves that the old man was drowned in the waters of holy baptism (Romans 6:3) each morning as we walk by faith, taking up our cross and following our Lord.

A More Biblical Response    

Fear Not

    In the KJV the phrase “fear not” occurs 653 times and it is the common response of our Lord Jesus to His disciples (see Matthew 17:7; Mark 5:36; Luke 5:10, etc.). Since the fall of Adam fear has reigned over fallen humanity. Adam’s first response after sin to his Father was “I heard Thy voice in the garden and I was afraid” (Gen 3:10). Even the Word of Faith heretics Copeland, Crouch, Dollar, Meyer, and Hinn all rightly say that “fear is the opposite of faith.” The majority of the Preppers are motivated by fear and the preservation of self. The Bible clearly states that whatsoever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:25-30

    People do not build bunkers, invest in guns and gold with faith in Jesus Christ. Ultimately these Preppers confidence is in their preparations, their dehydrated food supply and ammunition. Their actions prove that they are very worried about the unknown future. They have put their anxiety into action and yet God’s Word counsels us saying —

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

There is only ONE WAY possible to remain anxious for nothing, and that is by fixing our eyes firmly on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Peter, in obedience to our Lord’s command began to walk on water until he looked at his circumstances, taking his eyes off of Jesus and then he began to sink (Matthew 14:30). We know that Peter cried out to Jesus for mercy and the Lord saved him.

Okay, Fear Rightly

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

    If we must “fear” then let us fear the Living God in Whose hands is the power to grant eternal life or allow us to suffer the just consequences of our sins. The same Greek word “φοβέομαι” (phobeomai) is used and it means both to be terrified as well as to deeply reverence. We are counseled by our Lord to NOT be terrified of, nor reverence out of slavish concern those who can at most kill the physical body, which is destined to decay and die (see 2 Cor. 4 :16 ) due to our sin at some point. We are to reserve our fear for God alone. Godly fear ——

. . .comes from the believer’s apprehension of the living God. According to Luther, the natural man cannot fear God perfectly; according to Rudolf Otto, he is ‘quite unable even to shudder grauen) or feel horror in the real sense of the word’. Holy fear, on the other hand, is God-given, enabling men to reverence God’s authority, obey his commandments and hate and shun all form of evil (Je. 32:40; n. 22:12; Heb. 5:7). It is, moreover, the beginning (or principle) of wisdom (Ps. 111:10); the secret of uprightness (Pr. 8:13); a feature of the people in whom God delights (Ps. 147:11); and the whole duty of man (Ec. 12:13). It is also one of the divine qualifications of the Messiah (Is. 11:2–3).

    If we must fear, then let us fear the One who is actually in control of the universe and all our tomorrows. Let us fear Him who knows the “end from the beginning” (see Isaiah 46:10). If we would seek to secure our “goods” then let us attend to our Master’s words when He says —

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal;  but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

I would ask the Preppers where they are storing their treasure. Is it buried in a bunker somewhere or are they living by the principle of “freely received, thus freely given” (see Matthew 10:8)?

How Should We Respond?

    Subtract the threat of hungry zombies and marauding Muslims attacking our shores and ask yourself this simple question. If you lost all your utilities in a storm and you could not drive out for a week, would you survive? No heat, no light, no gas, no running water and no ability to drive anywhere, what will you do? This is a serious question that ought to be addressed by us all.

A prudent
man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: But the simple pass on, and are punished. Proverbs 22:3

    Wisdom would dictate being prepared for the possibility of having to meet just such a scenario as I have described. Contrary to the Jim Bakker’s expensive offers it really is not that expensive to set aside enough food and water for your family and a few others within the space of a small closet in an apartment. Areas are hit by natural disasters with unfailing regularity and I have discovered that most of God’s people (my own family included) are not prepared to help ourselves, let alone our neighbors. If not wisdom, then godly love for others should impel us as God’s dear children to be able to help those in need around us.

    Not only do I pose this question to us as individuals, I also ask it of our congregations. Our congregation currently supports a local Christian run soup kitchen which is laudable. However, currently we have not yet given consideration (at least not since I have been a member, which is not too long) to the possibility of setting aside non-perishables as a congregation for our surrounding community in the event of an emergency. Regardless of the size of any of our congregations, each one could set aside something on a weekly basis. Folks, it really is a relatively “painless” endeavor for any congregation to undertake and the food will at some point always prove to be a blessing to someone in need.

    In Christ you and I have died, buried with Him in the waters of baptism (see Col. 2:12) and raised up in Him to newness of life. The inescapable
fact is this —- we no longer belong to ourselves Acts 20:28 says He purchased the Church with His blood as does 1 Cor. 6:20. Since we belong to Jesus, He is our acknowledged LORD and if words mean anything then this means we are not “LORD.” The Christian is freed of needing to care for themselves because we follow our Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and with childlike faith (we know in whom we have believed 2 Tim. 1:12) we trust Jesus to meet our needs.

    In Him being freed from ourselves (experienced now to the degree that we will trust Him) we can now focus on the needs of those all around us, our neighbors. This concern for others is what I find missing from the ethos of the Preppers.

    Christ Jesus came and gave His life away for the sins of the world (John 3:16-18) out of love and now as His disciples we are called to follow His example, as He has said “the servant is not above His Master” (Matthew 10:24). Our Lord’s brother James could not state things more clearly regarding what comprises true religion

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows
in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

    I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet (Amos 7:14) and I cannot tell anyone what is going to happen tomorrow. However, as I have written, I believe that godly wisdom and prudence dictate that as ambassadors for the kingdom of God (2 Cor. 5:20) each of our households should be provisioned in case of an emergency.

Remember Joseph. . .Prepper With A Heart For Others

And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine. Genesis 41:35-36

    One does not have to have a dream from God, know how to discern the prophetic portents or subscribe to conspiracy theories to remember —-

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; Consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, And gathereth her food in the harvest.

Truth Matters March 2013 Newsletter

4 04 2013

I’ll Do It My Way!
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

Recently while on Facebook (Truth Matters readers can talk with me daily on FB throughout the week, it runs in the background of our system in my office)[i] a woman wrote of her lament over not having a good local congregation in her area.  Either the assemblies were “Word of Faith nonsense” or “have coffee bars in their narthex.”  I understand her plight!  It can be difficult to find a solid biblically-based place to go and worship.

I asked some probing questions which were ignored and she got to what she really wanted —- validation of her position which she now made clear to us on FB.  She wanted to know (really, wanted approval) what people thought of her gathering with a few like-minded people in their homes for “Church.”  After all didn’t Jesus say that where two or more are gathered in His name, that He was there (see Matthew 18:20) she asked rhetorically.

Many people wrote back encouraging her to leave The Church[ii] in its current form and to start a home-church group.  Some suggested books that would corroborate her new path. These responses were not too shocking to read, Tracy and I had already been through the “cell-groups” and “home-group” stuff back in the 1980’s via Dr. Paul Cho[iii] and others and was somewhat familiar with the initial concept.  Initially small groups were to augment the message delivered by the pastor on Sunday during the week in small settings.  Also they were to help people become ‘part’ of large congregations through intimate informal home connections.

However, this is no longer the goal for what has named itself a “movement” (Home Church Movement). No longer do they see their role as assisting the local church instead they are calling for people to flee organized Christianity[iv] and instead attend small house church meetings because in their view organized Christian worship is a failure and does not honor God.

Why Do People Attend a “House” Church?

         Although there can be various reasons, based on my experience, speaking with others and research the reason people leave the established Church and seek out another venue to express their spirituality is because they were hurt in the Church.       For some people their experience was that the Church asked too much of them.  These folks worked and worked, they fasted, went to the prayer meetings, tithed off the gross, passed out religious tracts and eventually they simply burned out from their efforts.  This is an all too common occurrence in many congregations.  I have personally seen, experienced and taught (out of my ignorance and to my shame) the treadmill system of evangelical works in Pentecostalism, among the Baptists and other groups.  This form of spiritual abuse stems from a confusion of God’s law and gospel.  People eventually get tired, they tried their best and they know their best is not good enough to placate a holy God so they begin to seek out others who are burnt out, tired wounded workers to commiserate with in a more “intimate” and “informal” setting.

Some others leave the Church because their “gifts” are not being recognized by the leaders of the congregation and they are not being used properly (in their minds anyway) and so they leave.  These type of individuals are usually pretty easy to spot in a congregation because they will be outspoken, always seeking a leadership role in anything that opens up (each position is a steppingstone in their minds to get to the pulpit).  Many times these people will try to begin home “Bible” studies apart from any pastoral authority and oversight or gather a few like-minded souls for small prayer meetings, in which they really prey on the local congregation, its pastor and leaders.  These meetings generally focus on any problems the congregation is undergoing.  Having been in such meetings as well as being the target of such meetings I can assure you that the end result will be division and strife.  How so?  Eventually something is said or taught that gets back to the pastor and/or elders and correction is attempted to be implemented and the result is usually not reconciliation but a rift, and the hurt pseudo-leaders will leave and often take a few kindred souls with them.  Take them where?  To their home, after all they are NOT giving up on ‘God’ just the flawed man-made religious system which they know to be unbiblical.

The House Church movement (HCM) is comprised of people who have been wounded, rightly or wrongly in the Church along with rebellious souls who have a “better” idea of how to do Church.  The HCM was not founded on any theological basis nor is it a reform movement to correct pervasive errors in the Church.  People attend the HCM because they have been (or currently are) hurt and wounded in or by the Church and people lead these meetings to showcase their perceived gifts and talents, even on such a small scale.

HCM Justification

         Keeping in mind that these HCM folks are Christians[v] they do appeal to the Bible as their guide.  The main proof text they all cite is from the lips of our Lord Himself:

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:19-20

There it is in red letters in many Bibles!  Where two or more are gathered in my name, then Jesus has promised to be in the middle of them.  In their own words:

The fellowship pictured in Mt. 18:20 (the source of the house church doctrine of church) is “two or three gathered together.” Even “church growth” expert Lyle Schaller says that the “glue” that is necessary to unite worshippers cannot be achieved as a church grows beyond a limit of about 40 people. Other experts point out that an assembly larger than a mere dozen people creates an environment in which some of the people often back away from full participation. And there is the concern so well-articulated by that the institutional church tends toward viewing its members as an “audience” and the worship experience as a “show.” It is better, he said, to view God as the audience and all the people equally accountable for the “performance” of worshipping in Spirit and in Truth.[vi]

The “source” of this movement is one text, Mt. 18:20 that speaks of nothing regarding the structure or worship of the Church.  What our Lord says is that when as few as two or three are gathered in (or around) His name He is present period.  Jesus set no limits on the number of people gathered, He says nothing here about the format of worship, and the focus is the unity that occurs when gathered in and around His name.  From this foundational text they proceed to build their house of cards.

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Acts 2:38-47

Familiar passages where newly empowered Peter stands and delivers the Word of God and at least three thousand people (1) gladly received his word and (2) were baptized.  Then what happened to them?  These three thousand souls continued steadfastly (1) the apostles` doctrine; (2) broke bread together; and (3) joined in prayers.  They continued in DAILY united in purpose (one accord) in the temple.

68.68 προσκαρτερέωa; προσκαρτέρησις, εως f: to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty—‘to devote oneself to, to keep on, to persist in.’ προσκαρτερέωa: τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτεροῦντες ‘devote yourselves to prayer’ Ro 12:12. προσκαρτέρησις: εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπνοῦντες ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων ‘for this reason, be alert and always keep on praying for all God’s people’ Eph 6:18.[vii]

They were formally instructed by the apostles in the temple daily and not in individual houses.  They went to the temple at specific times to offer prayer (see Luke 18:10; Acts 2:15; Acts 3:1).  Instruction and worship originally took place in the temple at Jerusalem.

The apostles went from “house to house” breaking bread for fellowship with the newly formed family of God.  There was simply no way for three thousand people to sit down together and fellowship and interact with the apostles, not to mention the fact that no meals were served on the Temple grounds per se.  As a confessional Lutheran when I hear “breaking of bread” I immediately think “Lord’s Supper” but my thinking may not be correct —-

Breaking of bread – The Syriac renders this “the Eucharist” or the Lord’s Supper. It cannot, however, be determined whether this refers to their partaking of their ordinary food together, or to feasts of charity, or to the Lord’s Supper. The bread of the Hebrews was made commonly into cakes, thin, hard, and brittle, so that it was broken instead of being cut. Hence, to denote “intimacy or friendship,” the phrase “to break bread together” would be very expressive in the same way as the Greeks denoted it by drinking together, συμπόσιον sumposion. From the expression used in Acts 2:44, compare with Acts 2:46, that they had all things common, it would rather seem to be implied that this referred to the participation of their ordinary meals. The action of breaking bread was commonly performed by the master or head of a family immediately after asking a blessing (Lightfoot).[viii]

Whether it was a Eucharistic meal or not this is when they gathered in smaller groups in individual homes.  The early Christians continued in the Temple until persecution came and we know that Paul’s practice was to go into the local synagogues and preach Christ until he was ejected (see Acts 9:20; 13:16-41; 17:1-4, etc.).  With further and more intense persecution by the Jews, who appealed to Rome to stop the Christians (who were initially viewed as a Jewish sect by the Romans) and then the Roman authorities also joined in and took over the official persecution of the Church.

Like hot coals scattered abroad due to persecution the fledgling Church began to grow wherever God’s liberating Word was proclaimed.  Due to the religious persecution by Rome the early Christians met in small groups, in catacombs and cemeteries.  Many were converted as slaves and had no property or place of their own, so they got together surreptitiously. For the HCM sectarians this fledgling state was the “golden age” of the Church.  Small groups, getting together to pray, sing a song and share a meal is all that God ever had in mind for the Church in their minds.   These people had fallen into a common mistake made by every restorationist sect and cult in history — they take the Book of Acts for a pattern for doing Church.  The Book of Acts is an historical account of the birth of the Church; it is not a manual for church growth.                 According to the HCM the pure Church only lasted a little over 300 years:

The house church movement saw the church as having “fallen,” and probably would have dated that fall in AD 313, when the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan which gave Christians tolerance in the Roman Empire. Later, in 380, Christianity became mandatory for Roman citizenship. Many in the institutional church today still regard these events as a great and glorious day for Christ, but the radical reformers saw in it a tremendous evil. Constantine began a process that changed the church from a persecuted minority to the status of royalty. When he summoned the bishops to Nicaea for the First Ecumenical Council in 325, he had them all arrayed in robes of royalty and saw to their comfort as honored guests of state. He doted over the bishops who had suffered crippling injury during the persecutions of Christianity. It is not hard to see how these bishops saw in this radical change in their social status the very fulfillment of the promises of God–the state would help the church reform the world and then Christ would return to reign.[ix]

The HCM plays fast and loose with both biblical history and Church history.  An excellent resource detailing their misrepresentations is their own book entitled Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna.[x]  Today’s HCM consider themselves today’s ‘radical reformers’ and they are indeed radical.  How radical are they?

As startling as it may sound, almost everything that is done in our contemporary churches has no basis in the Bible.[xi]

Most Christians who claim to uphold the integrity of God’s Word have never sought to see if what they do every Sunday has any scriptural backing.  How do we know this?  Because if they did, it would lead them to some very disturbing conclusions that would compel them by conscience to forever abandon what they are doing.[xii]

A great deal of what we Christians do for Sunday morning church did not come from Jesus Christ, the apostles, or the Scriptures.  Nor did it come from Judaism.[xiii]

This is how the radical HCM begins one of its major apologies for their existence.  Their contention is that basically everything we are doing today in The Church has no basis in the Bible, in Christ or His apostles nor does what we do come from Judaism.  In their warped view everything we know as “Church” really came in with and through Constantine and his recognition of the Church.

As unorthodox as many ‘contemporary’ services are they still have enough of a shell or veneer to be called Christian.  Having come from a background of off-the-hook sign-gift enthusiasm I can attest that those services did have prayer, praise and worship songs, baptized folks in water, some form of preaching/teaching from the Bible. They usually offered a Sunday school class for the various age groups and offerings were taken up for various needs, etc.  All of these expressions can be found in the Scriptures, apart from Sunday school which is simply a more modern way of saying “catechism” which was the original practice of the Church.

A Few Of The HCM Complaints

Temples, Priests, and Sacrifices

Ancient Judaism was centered on three things, the Temple, the priesthood and the sacrifice.  With the resurrection of Jesus Christ He ended all three.  He Himself is the temple (see John 2:19), He established a new order of the priesthood with Himself being our great High priest (see Hebrews 4:14) and Jesus is the once and for all sacrifice (see Hebrews 7:27; 9:14, 25-28; 1 Peter 3:18). “Consequently, the Temple, the professional priesthood, and the sacrifice of Judaism all passed away with the coming of Jesus Christ.”[xiv]

Without dispute Christ Jesus fulfilled the law (see Matthew 5:17) and established a new covenant (see Hebrews 12:24) but even under the new covenant our expression of faith and love towards the Living God has not changed.

The physical Temple was destroyed in 70 AD — however, in God’s new order all the believers in Christ are now being built into a building made without hands.  Each member is a ‘living stone’ (see 1 Peter 2:5) being built into a spiritual house (temple).  On the macro level collectively the people are “The Church,” we are an organism and not a physical structure. On a micro level each individual believer’s own body is considered now a “temple” of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 6:19).

The HCM trumpets that until the year 300 “we know of no buildings first built as churches.”[xv]  In their darkened thinking they wrongly assume that specific places for people to gather and receive God’s gifts were in fact some form of paganism.  This is simply not true.  To begin with they fail to recognize the deep and brutal nature of the persecution experienced by the first Christians (post the 70 AD dispersion).  The early Christians met when and where they could while being persecuted, this history is well documented for anyone to study.  We do know that as early as (approximately) 190 AD Clement of Alexandria first used the phrase “go to church.”[xvi] This says to me that very early on believers had already developed the understanding that there was a known location (the church) for the Church (the people) to go and worship at.

With the conversion of Constantine believers for the first time in over 200 years could openly and freely live their lives as disciples of Jesus Christ without fear of imprisonment, torture and death.  It is common to human nature for people to gather together around shared beliefs, always have and always will.  The fact that disciples of Jesus pooled their resources (as was seen initially in Acts 2:44) to either buy or build places that could hold more people, much along the lines of the local synagogues of Judaism; is not a “bad” thing nor is it of pagan origins.  There is absolutely nothing in the N.T. that dictates the style, location or capacity of where God’s people chose to meet.  It seems that our Lord is not so concerned about the location of where we worship as the HCM would have us believe.

Next the HCM decries the established clergy.  They proclaim that there is no such thing in the N.T. as seminaries and a separate class of people who function as “priests” before God on behalf of the people.  We are all priests now in Christ, ergo we have no need of anyone to teach us, since we all can learn from the Lord. . . This is their mindset, and it is seriously flawed.  While it is true that all of God’s children are now a nation of priests and kings (see 1 Peter 2:9) it is equally true that God has placed ministry gifts in the Body to preach, teach, lead and counsel the people of God (see 1 Cor. 12:28).  If believers become omni-competent at conversion, then why set in place apostles, pastors, teachers, evangelists, bishops, elders and deacons to help us grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord?  While it is most certainly true that I do not need any man to go before the Lord on my behalf (see Eph. 3:13) I can come boldly (not rudely) to the throne of grace and obtain mercy to help in the time of need (see Hebrews 4:16); I do still need more learned men to instruct me (see 2 Tim. 2:2). The Bible has much to say regarding the financial compensation of those called into the ministry.

Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, Have we not power to eat and to drink?  Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?  Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?  For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?  Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 1 Cor. 9:3-14

This discourse by Paul, defending his apostleship, states unequivocally that those who “preach the gospel should live of the gospel,” those who minister are to be supported.

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reasonable that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. Acts 6:1-4

Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.  For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward1 Timothy 5:17

The passages from Acts 6 show us a burgeoning multicultural Church that needed seven (7) men to assist in the food distribution to the needy.  This congregation agreed that the best use of their leaders was to free them to devote themselves to (1) prayer and (2) the ministry of God’s Word.  It was not that these men were “above” serving the widows; it was simply not reasonable or practical for them to use their time in that fashion.  Later on Paul instructs Timothy that those who rule well are worthy of double honor:

60.75 διπλοῦς,, οῦν: twice the quantity—‘twice as much, double.’ οἱ καλῶς προεστῶτες πρεσβύτεροι διπλῆς τιμῆς ἀξιούσθωσαν ‘those elders who do good work should be regarded as worthy of double honor’ or more probably ‘… double pay[xvii]

Paul needed to remind Timothy of the great value of having learned men who were faithful in their duties as elders of the people.

What is the response of the HCM to these texts and Church practice of having trained and paid ministers?  They ignore these bothersome texts and with laser-like focus narrow in on the following text:

How is it then, brethren? when you come together, every one of you has a psalm, has a doctrine, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. 1 Cor. 13:26

They misread the above text as do almost all enthusiasts.  To them it means that when folks come together that everyone has a psalm, a doctrine, tongue, a revelation or an interpretation.  In their minds this verse says “we are all equally gifted by God and can share in public.”  Paul was not saying this at all!  He was astounded in wonder at how was it possible for them all to come together and everyone try to contribute something to the “stew” of worship.  The result was an unedifying chaos of messages in other tongues, “revelations” and interpretations.  Paul is not encouraging this sort of behavior, he decries it and shows the Corinthians a better way.

Lastly, in this opening phase of the book the authors deal with sacrifice.  Christ Jesus put an end to the sacrificial system through His own death on the cross.  The HCM is correct in their decrying of the “un-bloody sacrifice of the mass” as celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church.  Jesus died once for our sins (see Romans 6:10).  Yet we are in Christ a sacrificial people in that NOW we offer ourselves as living sacrifices unto our Lord (see Romans 12:1-2).  We offer to God a continual sacrifice of praise (see Hebrews 13:15) for His goodness to us in Christ Jesus.

Next the authors go on to decry the formation and current use of “church” buildings, including the steeple (p.31), the pulpit (p. 33) and the pews and balcony (p. 34).  Among their very weak complaints about church architecture they say “in addition, the church building is far less warm, personal, and friendly than someone’s home — the organic meeting place of the early Christians” (p.40).  Also, they complain about the cost of building cathedrals and the overhead of running any size “church” building.  They sound to me like those who squealed about the cost of the nard the woman poured on our Lord (see Mark 14:3).

To begin with none of their arguments regarding the shape, size or layout of the buildings we meet in have any support in Scripture.  They simply do not like the shape, size and layout of church buildings.  Every congregation I have been a part of has entered into some form of a building program.  What business is it of anyone if a group of people voluntarily pool together their talent, time and treasure and agree to build a building however grand or humble?

They decry the fact that over 230 billion dollars of property is owned by The Church in America -– “…Christians are spending an astronomical amount of money on their buildings” (p. 41).  If we were doing so at the expense of the poor in our midst and missionary/evangelical outreaches then things have gotten a bit out of whack.

When it comes to money let us be honest.  How many hospitals, schools and colleges have been built by little house church groups?  NONE!  How many millions of dollars are sent annually by these groups overseas? NO MILLIONS SENT AT ALL!  Yet for all their faults and foibles the organized (gasp!) Church has been used by our Lord Jesus Christ to spread the wealth globally since the time of Paul (see 1 Cor. 16:1).  Who can “do” more a group of six people or a group of 100?

Lastly, what do these HCM people read in their Bibles?  When Moses began to build the Tabernacle the people gave lavish amounts (see Exodus 35).  The outside was made of badger skins, but inside it was beautiful, fitted with fine cloth, gold and silver.  The place where God visited His people was very costly to make.  If you want to check the math just on the precious metals alone the cost is as follows:

35,276.73 Ounces of Gold X $1382.96 = $48,786,306.52
3,594,982.60 Ounces of Silver X $29.80 = $3,594,982.60
90,445.90 Ounces of Copper X $0.28 = $25,324.85
Total = $52,406,613.97[xviii]

When you add in the cost of the materials, skins and everything else that went into constructing the Tabernacle the total cost is just over $57,000,000 in today’s currency.  Now move over into the N.T. and read that God’s own streets are paved with pure gold (see Rev. 21:21). . . what do you think His throne is made of? (Hint — Ez. 1:26 tells us it seems to be made of a sapphire) and we know that each of the 12 gates are each made of a pearl (Rev. 21:21).  My point is simply this — why shouldn’t a people whom have been RANSOMED from eternal death FREELY through the sacrifice of God the Son on the cross BUILD structures that attempt to display the glory of the God that saved them?  I believe the structures we have built and do now build are expressions of gratitude, signs of numerical growth; they become central locations for the community to gather for religious and other purposes as well.  We commit no sin by building beautiful structures to the glory of God.

Probably the most egregious of their errors is the insistence that Church “buildings” began with the conversion of Constantine; that much is true due to the former persecution for over 100 years that the Church had undergone.  Where they err is in their insistence that the Church took all its patterns and structure, including our order of worship, from the pagans (pp.21-43).

Constantine introduced candles and the burning of incense as part of the Church service.[xix]

Under Constantine’s reign, the clergy, who had first worn everyday clothes, began dressing in special garments. . .The Roman custom of beginning a service with processional music was adopted as well.  For this purpose choirs were developed and brought into the Christian Church.[xx]

For three months I dealt with the origins of our liturgical worship in Truth Matters in 2012 entitled “The Eternality of the Liturgy” (available online on our Blog at and proved how everything we do (at least in our congregations) is founded upon the clear teaching of Scripture.

Moses built the Tabernacle exactly as he was shown (Exodus 25:40) on the mountain.  Every fitting and design was revealed to them by God.  The ministers and the services were all detailed out exactly, nothing was left up to “Moses” to invent.  The Israelites used incense and candles in their services.  They also had a “choir” known as the Levites and they had processionals too.  Remember David bringing the ark back to Jerusalem?  They processed until Uzza reached out to try and help God (see 1 Chron. 13:10).  Later on when the ark is moved again David dances out of his clothes to music (see 2 Sam 6:14).

Brothers and sisters Viola and Barna are either grossly ignorant of Church history or they are being dishonest with their readers.  Candles, incense, music, choirs, liturgical robes/garments, bowing, offerings, chanting and kneeling are ALL found solidly within the pages of the Bible.  For these men to teach that such practices are not Judaic (p. 27) or Christian is simply to ignore the plethora of scriptures which speak specifically about each aspect of worship.  The few things I have cited have always been a part of the worship of the Living God and you can find them both in the O.T. and the N.T.  To say that these things are pagan and have no place in the worship of our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ —- is to lie against the truth and mislead people.

For over 1,600 years the Lord Jesus Christ has been a failure as Head of the Church (see Col. 1:18) according to the HCM.  His Body appears to have become spastic after 321 AD and only recently with the restoration of the HCM is Jesus really beginning to assert His headship over His people.  This is the HCM’s position and I tremble for those who hold such a low view of the omnipotence of Christ and what He has been doing through His Body on earth historically since His ascension INSPITE of our fallen condition!

f feminine

[i] I will remind our readers that I take very seriously people’s prayer requests and the Internet is a very good way to communicate immediately.  Please do not hesitate to either call me (313)319-8673, e-mail me at or privately chat with me on Facebook with any prayer requests or questions.  I usually end my letters with the ending “His servant and yours” and this is most certainly true.

[ii] I have been informed that I am wrong to capitalize “The Church” — when I capitalize ‘The Church’ I am referring to the Church Universal, hidden and manifest on earth and in heaven, the whole company of saints.  When I use ‘church’ in lower case it is usually referring to the local congregational expression vs. the universal Church.  I try to be consistent in my grammatical inconsistencies.

[iii] Dr. Paul Cho is the pastor of the largest church in the world.  It is located in Seoul Korea and is a WOF congregation and sadly extremely unsound theologically.

[iv] When saying organized they are referring to all Protestant denominations, all Roman Catholic & Eastern confessions and anyplace that has a specific building and meets on Sunday and/or Wednesday.

[v] Yes you can be a Christian and not attend a local Church of any kind ever.  However, you will be a miserable, lonely and ineffective in your Christian walk, not to mention extremely ignorant of much of what God’s Word has to offer, let alone the glorious gifts given in the sacraments weekly.

[vi] Obtained from Underlining added for emphasis.

[vii] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 662.

[x] Yes that George Barna of the various polls and statistics.  He too is now a devotee of the HCM.

[xi] Viola, Frank. Pagan Christianity, Published by Barna 2008, p. 4

[xii] Ibid. p. 5

[xiii] Ibid. p. 6

[xiv] Ibid. p. 11

[xv] Ibid. p. 12

[xvi] Clement, of Alexandria. The Instructor, Book 3 ch. 11.

[xvii] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 608.

[xix] Viola, Frank. Pagan Christianity, Published by Barna 2008, p.24

[xx] Viola, Frank. Pagan Christianity, Published by Barna 2008, p.25

February 2013 Truth Matters Newsletter

19 02 2013

What is Heresy?

By Rev. Robert Liichow

               It was Paul Crouch senior who spoke the term “heresy-hunter” in a fit of anger regarding those of us who dared to challenge the doctrines of the Word of Faith (WOF) cultists.

There’s a spiritual application here. … I want to say to all you scribes, pharisees, heresy-hunters, all of you that are around pickin’ little bits of doctrinal error out of everybody’s eyes and dividin’ the Body of Christ … get out of God’s way, stop blockin’ God’s bridges, or God’s goin’ to shoot you if I don’t … let Him sort out all this doctrinal doodoo![1]

               Crouch was (still is) irate over people who are equally concerned for the truth of God’s Word both great and small points of doctrinal importance.  It seems that Crouch has forgotten what our Lord and the Apostle Paul said to the disciples by way of warning when they stated:

Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Matt. 16:6 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal. 5:9

In vs. 12 of Matthew’s account Jesus goes on to explain that the ‘leaven” He was speaking of was the false doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Paul warns that such false doctrine(s) can spread like yeast and pollute the entire batch.

               What Crouch does not seem to understand is that there is no such thing as insignificant biblical error.  Admittedly, we all see through a mirror darkly (see 1 Cor. 13:12).  While no one individual or denomination has perfect understanding of all the truth about God and His Word we do have a body of truth handed down to us by God through the Apostles and Prophets that we are to guard and contend for (see Jude 3).

               Crouch was concerned over what people were saying about the teachings his megastars were spewing on his television network.  What he considers “little bits of doctrine” surrounded the teachings regarding the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross, hardly a minor point of doctrinal disagreement! His response indicates that he has no real grasp of who Jesus was, what He came to do and the true meaning of what occurred on the cross.  I have said it before and restate it now —- “it does not matter what you are right about, if you are wrong about Jesus.”

Heresy Is

For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 1 Cor. 11:19
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
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Gal. 5:20

               The word ‘heresy’ and its derivations are cited 4 times in the N.T. and in each example heresy is shown in a bad light, i.e. it is never treated as a minor issue, but as a real threat to the spiritual welfare of the saints.

63.27 αἵρεσιςc, εως: a division of people into different and opposing sets—‘division, separate group.’ δεῖ γὰρ καὶ αἱρέσεις ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι ‘for it is necessary that divisions exist among you’ or ‘the existence of divisions among you is inevitable’ 1 Cor. 11:19.[2]

Against this background, it is impossible to solve the problem of the derivation of the special Christian sense of heresy. For the development of the Christian concept is not wholly analogous to that of the Rabbinic מִין, as though, in the process of the separation of non-orthodox groups, the heterodox parties came to be designated heresy. On the contrary, the word seems to have been suspect in Christianity from the very first, and when it is used as a Christian technical term in conscious or unconscious connection either with the Greek philosophical schools or the Jewish sects it denotes at once societies outside Christianity and the Christian Church. Hence it does not owe its meaning to the development of an orthodoxy. The basis of the Christian concept of αἵρεσις is to be found in the new situation created by the introduction of the Christian ἐκκλησία. ἐκκλησία and αἵρεσις are material opposites. The latter cannot accept the former; the former excludes the latter. This may be clearly seen in Gl. 5:20, where αἵρεσις is reckoned among the ἔργα τῆς σαρκός along with ἔρις, ἔχθραι, ζῆλος, θυμοί, ἐριθεῖαι and διχοστασίαι. Yet neither here nor elsewhere in the NT does αἵρεσις have a technical sense. In 1 C. 11:18 f. we see even more clearly the impossibility of αἵρεσις within Christianity[3]

Initially when the leaders of the Church spoke of heresy they were speaking of anyone or any group of people who contradicted the teaching of the Apostles.  Heresy was any variant belief that denied who Jesus Christ was, what He taught, what He did before, during and after His crucifixion.

As the Church developed and the revelation of God was codified into what we call the “Bible” today the definition of heresy crystalized into meaning something more specific:

Material Heresy: Material heresy entails believing heretical doctrines through no fault of one’s own ‘in good faith.’ For example, if a Baptist grandmother in Arkansas denies infant baptism without having been a Catholic and without having investigated the doctrine, she subscribes to heresy materially and is without fault.[4]

Formal Heresy: Formal heresy is strictly defined as the obstinate denial or doubt, after Baptism, of a truth ‘which must be believed with divine and catholic faith.’ [5]

               Even though the above is the Roman Catholic definition, we as evangelical Catholics should not have too many problems with it.  Theologically heresy has been honed down to refer formally to any false teaching about the Person and/or work of Christ Jesus.  We might differ with Rome regarding the “without fault” clause in their definition of material heresy.  If one can (1) read his Bible and (2) inwardly digest what has been written then he bears some culpability for what is believed.  This is eminently proven in the following text:

 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 Thess. 2:9

               These are people who are hearing a false message and believing what they have heard to be true, they reject God’s truth and perish.  It matters eternally what one believes about Jesus Christ.  Both the preacher and the hearer are responsible before the Lord.  The preacher is responsible for what he proclaims (see James 3:1) and the listener to how he hears (see Mark 4:24).

Heretics & Their Heresies Past & Present

               Solomon informs us that there is “nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9).  With this in mind it behooves us to consider some of the past enemies of the Church and see how they have morphed over the centuries in a demonic attempt to infiltrate the ranks of the pure wheat of God.

The Gnostics —-

The main differences with Christianity and gnostic belief were that god, who was purely good, could not have created the world, as the world contained evil. Hence Gnosticism created a mythology much like Greek mythology in which numerous other forces were the children of god. These children in turn created our world. One such child was Christ who descended to earth to share his knowledge, some secret knowledge of which the Gnostics claimed to be only part of their religion (the unwritten, verbal knowledge passed on by Christ). Also associated with Gnosticism are the beliefs that all matter was evil, including the human body and that Christ’s divine spirit only descended into the man Jesus with his baptism and left him before his crucifixion, leaving the man, not the Messiah to suffer on the cross.               [6]

               Gnostic schools were also called mystery schools in that what they taught was hidden from everyone accept those admitted into the cult.  As stated above, they denied the reality of the material world and saw it as evil.  Gnostic schools could go one of two directions, either they were licentious giving themselves over to the debauchery or they were extreme ascetics, denying their flesh as much as possible.  The Gnostics were the mystics of their day and as D.M.I. has covered over the years, these mystics are still with us today in the form of Crowder, Rick Joyner, Hinn, Arnott and others preaching mystical insights.

The Docetists —

               The Docetists were among some of the first heretics that the Church dealt with.  A good working definition of Docetism is:

Docetism was an error with several variations concerning the nature of Christ.  Generally, it taught that Jesus only appeared to have a body, that he was not really incarnate, (Greek, “dokeo” = “to seem”).  This error developed out of the dualistic philosophy which viewed matter as inherently evil,  that God could not be associated with matter, and that God, being perfect and infinite, could not suffer.  Therefore, God as the word, could not have become flesh per John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.. ”  This denial of a true incarnation meant that Jesus did not truly suffer on the cross and that He did not rise from the dead.[7]

               The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John rebukes this error when he writes “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (see 1 John 4:2-3) and again in 2 John 7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

Sabellianism —

Sabellius, a third-century theologian and priest, was a proponent of modalism. Modalism is a non-Trinitarian heresy claiming that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are simply different modes of God and not distinct persons within the Godhead. Little is known about Sabellius, who was excommunicated in 220 AD, but the teaching attached to his name became infamous and is still with us today.[8]

His error has been one of the more persistent heretical weeds attacking the garden of God.  The modalism of Sabbellius is with us today in various forms, probably the best known is that of the Oneness Pentecostals, the largest cult within the sect of Pentecostalism.[9]

As with all heresies, Sabbellius forced the Church to formally address an area of doctrine hitherto not yet solidly defined the doctrine of the trinity of the Godhead.  To answer Sabbellius our Lord brought forth a champion of Truth by the name of Tertullian:

In Against Praxeas, Tertullian argued that Scripture reveals that the Godhead is three who are at the same time one. He rightly considered this an essential doctrine of Christianity. In the Sabellian modalist view, the three are not anything real, but rather just different manifestations of the one. Therefore, Tertullian proposed that we speak of the Godhead as “one substance (substantia) consisting in three persons (persona).” This terminology would serve as the basis for future Latin theology, and it is from Tertullian’s pen that the important Christian word “Trinity” (trinitas) was first inked.[10]

The damnable nature of modalism is that it undermines the atonement of Christ.  If God is only One and He works in history by appearing in different modes than obviously it calls into question the reality of the humanity of Christ as Docetism would have us accept.  If Christ is not both fully God and fully man then he cannot be the one mediator between God and man.  This reason is more than enough to deny the heresy of Sabellian modalism, and affirm the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.

Monophysitism —

Monophysitism is an error concerning the nature of Christ that asserts Jesus had only one nature, not two as is taught in the correct doctrine of the hypostatic union:  Jesus  is both God and man in one person.  In monophysitism, the single nature was divine, not human. The denial of the human nature of Christ is a denial of the true incarnation of the Word as a manWithout a true incarnation there can be no atonement of sin for mankind since it was not then a true man who died for our sins.[11]

This is another subtle twist on the Person of Christ.  In this errant view people taught that Jesus had only one nature a divine one and not a human nature.  The physical body of Jesus was just a vehicle for the divine to inhabit.  Formally Monophycitism was condemned as a heresy by the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680-681.  This view was held by some in the East and in Egypt, but it is not as widely held today.


Adoptionism says that Jesus was a human being who was “adopted” by God at his conception, at which point he developed a divine nature.  Later versions sometimes suggest that he was adopted later, such as when he was baptized by John the Baptist.[12]

               This view holds that Jesus became the Christ when He was adopted by the heavenly Father. Prior to His adoption as Son, he was just a mere man such as us ourselves.  This view flew in the face of so many biblical problems that it did not last too long.

Adoptionism was declared heresy at the end of the 2nd century and was rejected by the First Council of Nicaea, which defined the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity and identified the man Jesus with the eternally begotten Son or Word of God.[13]

Nestorianism —

               Some could not see Jesus as God, others could not see a God becoming truly man.  Nestorius tried to bridge this gap by proposing that Jesus was indeed both God and man, but not united as such:

 Nestorius (c. 381-451) was a monk from Antioch before he became the bishop of Constantinople in 428. He so emphasized the two natures that Nestorius basically turned Jesus Christ into two persons. Wanting to avoid any “mixing” of the divine and human natures of Christ (as Eutyches did), Nestorius over-emphasized their distinctness.[14]

Nestorius ended up with really two Christ’s one divine and one human.  This aberrant view was struck down as heretical and condemned by the councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon(451).  There are some today who still hold to this view, but they are largely confined to Iran.

Apollinarianism —

Apollinarius taught that Jesus Christ had a human body but a divine mind (soul).  He is remembered as a noted opponent of Arianism, Apollinarius eagerly emphasized the deity of Jesus and the unity of his person led him so far as to deny the existence of a rational human soul (νους, nous) in Christ’s human nature, this being replaced in him by the logos, so that his body was a glorified and spiritualized form of humanity.  In his defense of the deity of Christ Apollinarius lost His humanity which proved to be biblically indefensible. 

The teaching of Apollinarius was condemned at Antioch in 378 and 379 and by the Council of Constantinople in 381. The primary defender of theological orthodoxy was Gregory of Nazianzus, a 4th century Eastern theologian and the Archbishop of Constantinople.[15]

The Scriptures prove that Jesus was fully man as well as being fully God.  As a man we know He grew in statue and wisdom (see Luke 2:52), He grew hungry (see Luke 4:2), He was and is easily touched with the feelings of our infirmities (see Hebrews 4:15).  According to Church history Apollinarius did add one part to our confession today:

Apollinarius did make a lasting contribution to orthodox theology in declaring that Christ was consubstantial (of one substance) with the Father as regarding his divinity and consubstantial with us as regarding his humanity. This formula, which originated with Apollinarius, later became official orthodox doctrine. Apollinaris was also one of the first to claim that God suffered and died on the cross, a claim which received immediate condemnation but later became acceptable in orthodox theology.[16]

Arianism —

The danger with doctrinal error is that it can be very difficult to eradicate once it has taken root in people’s minds to any great degree.  Such is the sad fact regarding the heresy of Arius, an Alexandrian priest in Egypt (± 250-336 AD).  “Arius taught that it was impossible for God in any true sense could have a Son; as Mohammed tersely said afterwards, “God neither begets, nor is He begotten” (Koran, 112).[17] Today we call that denial Unitarianism. Arius denied that the Son is of one essence, nature, or substance with God; He is not consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father, and therefore not like Him, or equal in dignity, or co-eternal, or within the real sphere of Deity. Obviously such teachings about Jesus Christ caused confusion in the Church and the issue had to be settled at Nicaea.

On August 25, 312 A.D. Constantine convened a Church Council to hopefully settle some of the issues troubling the fledgling Church.  Arius was withstood by the Bishop Alexander of Alexandria and his deacon, Athanasius, who later went on the pen the “Athanasian Creed” and who wrote four works against Arius.  Long story short —- Arius and his followers were defeated and the doctrine of the Trinity was strengthened and has remained with us to this day.  Unfortunately, some devotees of Arius are still plaguing people today.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses fall under the Arian category, as do the Mormons, Moonies, Unitarians, Church of Christ Science and some lessor known cult groups.

Pelagianism —

The error given voice to by an Irish monk named Pelagius has proven to be among the more long-lived errors to plague the people of God for centuries.  Pelagius taught that the original sin of Adam and Eve was not passed down to and through their offspring.  After the Fall of Adam mankind was left with a “spark” of the divine within them and if so disposed they could seek after God in and of themselves.  Since lost mankind could make a “decision” to either receive or reject God and His Word the emphasis was placed on human effort and not the grace of God.  In fact, for Pelagius and his followers taught that baptism was not considered necessary, in that people could be “saved” by their own efforts, that is, they did not necessarily require the grace of God.  Among other cardinal doctrines of the Church Pelagius rejected the need for the substitutionary atonement and justification by faith through grace.  He believed that mankind could reform itself spiritually apart from the grace of God.

Such a stance brought him into direct conflict with many other theologians of the Church and the man who went toe-to-toe with Pelagius was Augustine of Hippo. 

Pelagius’ error was deemed heretical in 416 by the Council of Carthage. Originally Adam, Augustine said, possessed freedom—the ability not to sin. After the Fall, all human beings participate in Adam’s sin, which renders them not able not to sin. After the mediation of divine grace in Jesus Christ humans are once again given the ability not to sin. Augustine replied to Pelagius’ views in two treatises: On the Grace of Christ and On Original Sin. Augustine writes: “We must realize that Pelagius believes that neither our will nor our action is helped by divine aid…he believes that God does not help us to will, that he does not help us to act, that he helps us only to be able to will and to act.”[18]

The errors of Pelagius remain with the Church today and are most often expressed in today’s revivalism and the ‘decision’ theology of Billy Graham.  Some within the eastern branches of the Church still cling to some of his errors regarding the fall of Adam.  Any system that promotes works and self-effort alone as a means of spiritual advancement fall into the same pit as this Irish monk.

The battle for the truth of God’s Word has been waged since the beginning.  The Bible warns from the old covenant to the new of the danger of being led astray from a pure faith in God through the deceptions of false prophets, false teachers and false apostles.  Eternal destinies hinge upon having faith in the Biblical Jesus and thus Satan and his minions work tirelessly to lead people astray by presenting a false Christ who is in reality no ‘Christ’ at all.

Historically people have erred regarding the Person of Jesus.  Some have wanted to make Him pure deity at the expense of His humanity; some teach of Him as only a man ‘anointed’ by the Spirit at His baptism thus denying His eternality as God.  Satan well knows that —-

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12

If Satan can get people to follow any of the ψευδόχριστος (pseudochristos) false Christ’s he presents then he has achieved his goal, the damnation of the lost.

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret  chambers; believe it not.  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. [19] Matthew  24:23-27

We are living in the last days, Jesus has warned His flock that people will be declaring that “Christ is here” (say, at our revival) believe it not.  No “ifs ands or buts” about it, for two thousand years men (and some women) have stood up and declared themselves to be the Christ of God.  Church history is filled with wonder-workers and those who seek signs and today’s Church is rife with such deceived deceivers (see 2 Timothy 2:25; 3:13) who oppose themselves, the Church and ultimately the Lord of glory Himself.

REJOICE my brothers and sisters because like Peter we have been granted revelation of who Jesus is, truly God and truly man, the Savior of the world as proved by His sinless life, His substitutionary death on the cross for the sins of the world and His glorious physical resurrection from the grave three days later!  Flesh and blood did not and cannot reveal Christ Jesus; this is the work of the Spirit of Grace whom the Father (see John 6: 37) uses to bring us to faith through the preached Word of God.  Our Lord has claimed us for His own, what a humbling and glorious truth!                          

[1] Obtained from

[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 615.

[3] Vol. 1, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-), 182-83.

[6] Obtained from

[7] Obtained from bold type added for emphasis.

[9] Please understand that not all Pentecostal believers are cultists.  Many Pentecostal’s are indeed Christians yet within their ranks are various sub-groups that are distinctly NOT Christian including The Way International, the Moonies, the Shakers, The United Pentecostal Church, The Pentecostal World Assemblies {PAW}, etc.

[10] underlining added for emphasis.

[11] Obtained from bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Ibid.

[18] Obtained from

 [19] The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Mt 24:23–27.

The “Word” of the Lord for 2013

21 01 2013

by Rev. Robert S. Liichow

The beginning of every New Year presents another opportunity for the restored prophets and prophetesses to reveal to the Church what is on the mind of God for the upcoming year.

One thing that seems to be very true of our sign-seeking brethren is they all seem to literally practice “forgetting those things which are behind” (see Phil. 3:3) especially when it concerns previous unfulfilled prophetic (pathetic) utterances.  By now most people have forgotten the claims made this time last year and eagerly await with baited-breath and hungry souls to devour the most recent ‘Word’ from God.

Let’s consider a few of the most recent disgorging of deception from the fetid hearts of the misguided souls.  The first example speaks of good news!

The Word Of The Lord Received During Prayer For 2013 Onward
As given through Prophetess Bishop Doris Hutchinson, Apostle Steve Lyston, Prophetess M. Lyston, Prophetess N. Green, Prophetess S. DiMuccio, Prophetess N. Brotherton, Prophetess M. Malcolm.[1]


God is calling His people to arise, there are dangers ahead. Many Christians are too busy with their own agenda and they are not faithful to God; which hinders their blessings and the blessings of others. They have shifted their focus from the Lord and have gone back to their old ways. But thus says the Lord to His people, “Do not harden your hearts, but return to me. The enemy desires to sift some of you as wheat. Many prophets and pastors have spoken out of their own spirit to the flock, and have prophesied words that I did not speak, (for fame and recognition). Some have spoken lying words to leaders and others have gone the way of Balaam, and it has caused division and confusion within the Body of Christ.” 33. This is a time when God requires all Christians to unite and pray that His glory will manifest in the earth. It will not be business as usual in 2013.  34. God says, “I am still extending my grace.” 35. This is a year of repentance. Repent, Return and Be Restored! 36. The Lord says this is a time of New Birth. Many of this people have been in labor for years, waiting anxiously for God to deliver them. Get ready for God is about to step in many of his people situations. God is about to deal with your enemies as in 2 Chronicles 20.

Wow edge of the seat stuff, right?  Note the proviso that “many prophets and pastors have spoken out of their own spirit to the flock. . .” This is stated to buttress the “authority” by which this utterance is being made.  Since the seers are speaking about false prophets you know that what is being said is true.  We also learn that ALL Christians are REQUIRED (law) by God to [1] unite and [2] pray.  The result being God’s glory will be allowed to manifest in the earth.  So when this does not come to pass, guess what?  God’s people did not unite and pray as they were directed to do, ergo, God could not release His manifest glory in the earth.


37. God will cause the US economy to bounce back in 2013 to show His mercy. 38. God is watching the USA – the decisions they are to make they are to do so quickly 39. Pray for the safety and protection of the US President and his family. 40. God shall defend His covenant with the USA. “I shall raise up America and not allow them to be put to shame. Righteousness shall be restored.”
41. Pray for the safety and security of the Indian Prime Minister. 42. The FAA and TSA need to be extremely vigilant with all international flights coming from the Eastern sections of the world. 43. More airlines will be merging because of low profit margins and low sales. 44. Pray for 2 US airlines (initials DA and SWA) that they will pay close attention to maintenance in 2013. . . Additionally, other prophecies revealed for 2013 are classified.[2]

Glory to God!  Forget the increased taxes ALL American taxpayers have been hit with.  Forget the trillions in debt, a debt that is fast approaching the economic tipping point at which point the debt will never be able to be paid off.  Forget the massive unemployment rate, and set aside the growing welfare roll.  Almighty God, who cannot lie (see Numbers 23:19)   “God will cause the US economy to bounce back in 2013 to show His mercy.”  There we have it on the highest authority, a sinful person speaking out of their heart (see Jeremiah 17:9) the revealed mind of God for America.         This financial restoration of America is to demonstrate His mercy.  However, the Bible says that God has demonstrated His mercy by sending His only begotten Son to DIE for our sins on the cross not by providing financial prosperity.

Be encouraged, “God shall defend His covenant with the USA.”  What covenant is being referred to?  I know of the covenant God made with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc., but I am totally unfamiliar with any covenant God has made with America.  I am aware that now in Christ we have a better covenant based upon better promises (see Hebrews 8:6) but I can find no biblical reference to a covenant with America.

Furthermore, God says “I shall raise up America and not allow them to be put to shame.”  From a human point-of-view as an American I could say “yea God is on our side,” but the facts speak otherwise.  In order for God to “raise” up America then the following will have to change this year: (1) abortion will have to again become illegal and not the law of the land; (2) acceptance of homosexuality must be rejected by us as a nation; (3) the divorce rate, a manifestation of the breakdown of marriage must be addressed; (4) the Church must be unhindered by the political system; (5) illegal immigration must be stopped (it can be), etc.  These issues among many others would have to be totally reversed in order for our “shame” to be removed.  Folks, even worse than the above policy decisions The Church in America has the SHAME of allowing heresy to be exported to virtually every place on earth.  Some might be tempted to say “hey Bob our church does not export. . .”  Truth matters, it really does and the truth is the reason so much heresy and so many SINisters flourish is because the Church does little to nothing to combat them (keeping silent and hoping they go away is not a biblical option)!

Friends, I personally know every major ministry who sole mission is to warn and educate God’s people to the eternal dangers presented by the false teachers, pastors, prophets, apostles and brethren attacking the Church.  Every one of these outreaches is ignored by the Church at large and because of this lack of support all of these ministries struggle financially.  DMI has been in the apologetics and counter-cult arena for over sixteen years and to this day we do not have ONE congregation supporting us period (even though we speak at churches often, somehow it does not translate into any financial support.  Folks, DMI is not alone in this reality).

The prophetesses go on to tell us that God will “restore righteousness” to America along with our financial fortunes.  When was America a righteous nation?  If anyone will simply go back and read the sermons written back in the day, they will discover the pastors decrying sin and moral decay from the inception of this country.  America has been more morally upright in the past, but morality is not righteousness.  In order for America to be a righteous nation, it must be filled with righteous people.  The only way people can become righteous is by placing their faith in Christ alone:

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Romans 5:1-11

Unlike the biblical prophets, this most recent crop of soothsayers is not in agreement regarding the future of the Church, America and the world.  Here are some future insights given by a prophetess Phyllis Ford.  Phyllis Ford, another prophet who works with restored apostle (opossum DMI calls them) Eckhardt and through her we are told by “God” the following:

An Issachar Prophetic Company Movement:

“There will be a new fresh strong prophetic movement arising, they will be liken to an Issachar people: who will know the times and seasons, and who will know what my people ought to do.  There will be a distinct difference in what is perceived now as the prophetic.  For I will establish my people in this hour to do great exploits; not just say what will occur, but also go forth to demonstrate and execute my will.  They will uncover and destroy the works of the enemy in many places.  They are humble warriors who will properly train and prepare those whose hearts are willing, and even to those who have lost their own way.  They will bear the burdens of the people needs in their hearts and will emphasize salvation, healing and the deliverance as they go.  They will not be afraid to walk in the power that I will release upon them for my glory, says the Lord.”[3]

God reveals through Phyllis “a new fresh prophetic movement arising” as opposed to the old stale prophetic movement which formally took off in the mid 1980’s.  The role of these newest of the new prophets is to do GREAT EXPLOITS as opposed to merely “saying” what will occur.  These newly minted prophets will go “forth and demonstrate and execute my will.”  Here are just a few quickie examples of God’s will as revealed in the Bible.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. John 6:38-40

For this is the will of Godeven your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication1 Thess. 4:3

…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1Thessalonians 5:18

 It would appear from the context of this pathetic word that God’s will involves uncovering the destroying the works of the enemy in many places.  This group (as opposed to the former ones) will not be afraid to walk in the power “I will release upon them” for “my glory.”  Somehow it is always said to be for God’s glory and yet it ALWAYS ends up with the sinful human vessel being lifted up, glorified and financially enriched.  God does not share His glory with anyone, never has, never will:

I am the Lord; that is my name;my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Isa. 42:8

Bad news America!  Forget what the other prophetesses and apostle have spoken forth under the anointing of some spirit because here comes another word prophesying the opposite for America!

Judges, Catastrophic Events And Acts Of Terrorism:

“I will reestablish judges in the land, those who I will place my authority in as I deal with the corruption in the land and the people.  Some regions will be destroyed and the places where the people live that refuse to change, under great shakings will not stand.  I will call my people out from a place, and I will speak to them in dreams and visions and they will know that my timing is now.  Do not be so attached to a place that you will not come out.  In 2013 there will be devastation in the land through large earthquakes, landslides, major flooding from tsunamis and violent wind storms.  2013 will have several volcanic eruptions that will cause major damage.  So when you see these things pray and find out my will before determining your own plans.  When I say come out from among them and be separate, then come out.  Because of some unbridled emotions, strife and decisions within leadership in nations and regions, there will be adverse reactions from the hand of others.  Terrorism will occur from within and from the outside the United States.  There will be, at times, sudden striking without any warning.  Terrorism in London, and within various European lands, will become hot spots as the acts of violence grow against those regions.  The seizing of planes by highjackings with terrorist will also occur and the government will have to set new measures in place to counter act this activity.  Planes will have to be secured better and there will be many no fly zones announced.”

America is going to financially prosperous and righteous we were told for 2013, but now what do we hear?  “Some regions will be destroyed and the places where the people live that refuse to change, under great shakings will not stand.  I will call my people out from a place, and I will speak to them in dreams and visions and they will know that my timing is now.  Do not be so attached to a place that you will not come out.”

Regions will be destroyed if people do not change.  Catastrophes do not change people into believers (see Rev. 6:16).  Economic prosperity does not make people Christians (see Luke 12:20).  Seeing miracles does not produce faith in Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 3:17).  People are changed when they receive by faith the Gospel presented through the foolishness of preaching (see 1 Cor. 1:21).  According to the above fount of folly God will reveal to His people in dreams and vision when it is time to vacate an area slated for destruction.  While there is some biblical precedent for God speaking a warming through dreams and visions, especially in the O.T. the Christian is never urged to seek guidance from either dreams or visions.

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;  Hebrews 1:1-3

We are told to look to the Scriptures and to hear the voice of God’s Son in His Word.  The God of the Bible NEVER tells His people to lean on their own subjective experiences to determine His will.  Anyone who encourages you to “look within” or “follow your dreams” is someone who does not have faith in God’s Word and as such is someone to be avoided.

In 2013 there will be devastation in the land through large earthquakes, landslides, major flooding from tsunamis and violent wind storms.  2013 will have several volcanic eruptions that will cause major damage. . .

 This seer see’s destruction coming on the land from God sent ‘natural’ calamities along with terrorism from within and without America.  God will warn His people to “come out and be separate” but He does not reveal exactly where we are to go to escape the deluge.   If you’re wondering “where have I heard that phrase before”. . .?

 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor. 6:16-18

False prophetic words often contain snippets of biblical text to give them some gravitas in the listeners’ ears.  Well churched people’s minds will ‘click’ when hearing a portion of text —- later when asked if the word was biblical, they will give a hearty “yes” because it did, after all, contain some textual citation (don’t muddy up the stream by asking about context with these folks).  Let us continue our journey into enthusiastic excess.

Bob Jones is one of the ranking (and is he rank) false prophets of the movement.  His prophetic pedigree goes back to the early days of the Vineyard (1980’s) and at one time he was considered by their followers to be one of the “most powerful”  of what became known as ‘The Kansas City Prophets.’

The “Kansas City Prophets” was a group of men who controlled several sign-gift congregations through their pathetic prophetic utterances.  These men also spiritually abused members in their flock, Mr. Jones was one of the abusers.  For the record some of these individuals included: Paul Cain (a known homosexual and alcoholic), Mike Bickle, Bob Jones, Rick Joyner (an extreme mystic/false teacher), John Paul Jackson, Francis Frangipane (one of the New Order of the Latter Rain propagator and devotee of John Roberts Stevens, another sexual predator and false prophet).

Bob Jones, however, who not so long ago was regarded as the most powerful of the Kansas City crowd is out of ministry.  First when Wimber’s Vineyard absorbed the Kansas City Fellowship, Jones and another “prophet” were disciplined for making some outlandish statements and prophecies that were judged to have harmed some, and their prophecy tapes were removed from distribution. Jones’s ministry was then limited to church leadership “behind closed doors.” But it was behind those doors where Jones’s ministry ended.  Two women came forward in 1991 and told Vineyard leaders that Jones had used his prophetic authority to touch and fondle them sexually.[4]

Mr. Jones was restored back to ministry and he is still regarded as a great prophet of God today!  After all, the gifts and callings are without repentance according to these folks (see Romans 11:29).  Certainly there is forgiveness for his sins in Christ Jesus, but that does not mean he is fit to serve in public ministry, his fruit and the lack thereof prove this.  Here is the latest from Jones regarding 2013:

Nicolaitan spirit–This spirit is condemned by the Lord in Rev. 2:6 (church at Ephesus) and in Rev. 2:15 (church at Pergamum). This spirit has victory over or rules over the people. It’s the pastor (and sometimes other leaders in the church) being on a different, higher level than the people. The Lord says in Revelation that He hates this spirit, to repent of it, and that He will come against it with the sword of His mouth. The reign of the pastor over the entire church is coming to an end. There will be a community of believers with their various giftings operating. Everyone will be important. [5]

The reign of the pastor over the church is coming to an end,” oh really?  Note the language (out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, see Luke 6:45) —- Jones say the Lord condemns this spirit that rules over the people, does he mean the same spirit by which he and the other false prophets manipulate and rule over their audiences?

What he is speaking forth is the sign-seekers mythical view of the Church, one in which everyone will minister and be used in their gifts within the church service.  What he envisions is total chaos in a service with no set people in authority per se, just a community of believers being led by the spirit.  Jesus Christ Himself gave the ministry of the keys (see Matthew 16:19) to the pastoral office.  The true God-sent pastor will not reign over the people but HE will serve them, lay down his life of them and lead them by Word, sacrament and example.

Bob added that it was not necessarily so that the woman would come along side the man and together they would be successful. Wherever he has gone to speak in the United States, it has been the women who have shown hunger for God–about 85% to 15%. It could very well be that the men will come along side the women and be successful. 6. Plagues coming to crops. Bob saw fleas hit the fruit in Florida and wipe out the crop. There will be new viruses and new infections. The medical community will have no answers. These plagues will promote fear everywhere, but we do not have to buy into it. Don’t pray to God for help. He’s already given us the authority over plagues, but we must rise up and use our authority. Bob gave an example of a virus that hit North and South Carolina a few years back. It killed many people and there was no medicine to stop it. The church pleaded with God to help them.[6]

Women seem to be more hungry (85%) than the men for what Jones is selling which does not speak well for these poor women.

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 theirs also was. 1 Timothy 3:1-9

According to Jones men will be coming along the women and become more spiritual by following their lead (i.e. following these 85% to Jones` meetings).  The role of women in the Church is a powerful one, but they are not called by God into leadership roles over men in the Church period, end of story.  Jones and his ilk note no difference between the ministry roles of men and women, something the Bible clearly demarcates.

Jones foretells of coming plagues on crops, new viruses and new infections will be coming upon humanity with no medical cure and due to these afflictions fear will come upon the land!  However, God’s people don’t have to give into fear (how many times does Jesus tell His people to “fear not”?), in fact, we do not even have to pray about these troubles and turmoil’s.


And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Luke 18:1

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col. 3:17

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess. 5:17

Jones is repeating what Kenneth Hagin revealed through an encounter with some entity posing as the Lord Jesus Christ (read about these amazing revelation in Hagin’s book I Believe In Visions).  In one of the visions Hagin’s Jesus reveals that the Church does not have to pray about many things, but we are to simply use our authority that Jesus has given the Church.  This is why many of our prayers go unanswered, Jesus has done all He is going to do about these situations, now it is up to us!  This is precisely what God is saying to us via Jones.  Forget that this latest directive violates probably ten direct passages on the necessity of prayer in and for all circumstances.  Further into the miasma of deceit!

TBN Darling and one of Michigan’s premier false prophets – Kim Clement

The Spirit of the Lord came upon me again. He said, “I’m speaking about 2012 and 2013.” He spoke to me about this. He said, “2012 to 2013 – for a seven-year period – it’s going to go up. Everything’s going to move upward. I’m going to bring about a move of My Spirit, a shaking, for My goodness will be seen by the people. For a seven-year period, you’re going to have exactly the opposite to what you’ve been experiencing now.”

I have the outline for another book entitled “More Moves Then Exlax©” in it I will briefly outline the various moves of the spirit including: The New Order of the Latter Rain, the Charismatic movement, the Discipleship movement, the Word of Faith movement, the Prophetic movement, The Apostolic movement, The Signs and Wonders movement —- and they keep on coming!

Great news God says “I’m going to bring about a move of My Spirit.”  Wow, yet another movement of the Spirit!

We’re all going to move forward and we will see God’s goodness for the next seven years.  My mother used to say “weak as water” and that is just what this pathetic, limp word is, insipid and weak.  My Bible tells me that my outward man decays daily, but my inner man is renewed daily (see 2 Cor. 4:16).  Every genuine child of God is growing, moving forward and God reveals His goodness to us daily and daily loads us up with benefits (see Psalm 68:19).  Kim continues —

Someone give Him a shout of praise, because I can hear some of you at home saying, “I want to believe this. Is this just giving us false hope?” No, it’s not. We’ve got to the worst place; the waters have subsided. The ark is now in a resting place; the dove has been sent fort h. The dove has found a resting place, and I promise you by the Spirit of the Lord that beginning 2012 to 2013, that period of time, for a seven-year period, there will be enough, there will be provision, there will even be abundance. America shall even stand strong again. The move of the Spirit shall be so strong . . .You have heard from the Spirit of the Lord. I’m standing in the garden – twelve visits; 2012–2013 is when it’s all going to erupt. The dove has found a resting place, which means that God has now found the place He wants so that we can be released on the earth to do what He wants us to do. I’m standing in the garden, tears are pouring down from my eyes, because I know it’s not coincidence, and as this is all happening, you’ll never guess what happened – and it’s so beautiful[7]

God has promised by the “Spirit of the Lord” that there will be: (1) enough, (2) provision and (3) abundance and (4) America will stand strong again.  Twice Kim lets us know that it is the Spirit of the Lord that we’re hearing from.

God has found the resting place He wants, so now we (the Overcomers) can be released on earth to do what He wants us to do.  What resting place is he referring to?  The whole earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1; 1 Cor. 10:26) where can He be localized?  God’s plan for the ages has been rolling right along, on track and on time Mr. Clement, where have you been?

T.B. Joshua – Nigerian false prophet/ fake healer/false teacher/sexual predator

D.M.I. has not dealt with Mr. Joshua to any great degree primarily because he is in Africa and is not currently impacting the Church here in America.  Nonetheless, he is gathering steam and influence on his continent and among many in Europe.  The following is a little insight via the revelations of a woman delivered from his clutches:

In the Synagogue, the prophet’s Bible study regime is ring-fenced with rigid codes, subtle manipulation, fear, threat and weird misinterpretation of the Holy Bible. Months after Anneka Kinch’s embattled mind was won over with bitter lies, a new perverted dimension to her acculturation unfolded.  She began to notice regular assignations between the prophet and other young ladies. Many of them, both black and white had come from different countries in search of the miraculous but are being recruited into a sophisticated harem. They are being recruited into a nether world of sexual slavery. Naively, they become cannon fodders for the insatiable sexual appetite of a bearded Satan who masquerades as an angel of light and salvationDazed, befuddled and fooled, poor Anneka Kinch was caught in the intriguing sexual web of a prophet she believed with immovable conviction that he was God. She ran assignations several times to the pent house bedroom of our prophet of doom. Interestingly, the prophet was able to make his sinful union chic, respectable and sought after with rich permutations of passing anointing through copulation with his female disciples! The prophet believes in false cross-fertilisation. Christ knew better. He had no female disciples![8]

If one ventures online to read about Mr. Joshua’s SINistry one discovers multiple accounts of spiritual and sexual abuse yet his work continues to grow (like leaven).  Here is a portion of the future as revealed to us by profit Joshua —

2013 is a year of surprises. I am seeing many great, famous, popular and rich men and politicians will become helpless and in need of help in matters of sickness, disease, finances, death, etc,” he said in the service broadcast live on the popular Christian station Emmanuel TV. One of the causes: They have failed to reward those who helped them to succeed. This is the year of judgment, especially for politicians who use youth to support their political ambitions without reward after winning power,” he added. Joshua then proceeded to celebrate the future of farming, claiming that providence would favour those who engaged in it this year. “Those in the foodstuff business will have a field day this year. Farming and agriculture will be the order of the day and will help greatly to be the source of solution this year. People engaged in it will be greatly blessed. Foodstuff business and agriculture or farming are anointed businesses this New Year, to revive the world from economic depression. This is the secret of God revealed to you today. Quote me; you will not regret doing it. My name is T.B. Joshua,” he said.[9]

Here we have another vapid, non-specific word from the deranged mind of a lost soul to a people seeking direction.  Almost thirty (30) years ago I visited a blind Pentecostal evangelist who lived in Nigeria back in the day he prophesied to Pastor Joseph Frye and myself in his living room about the coming day of agriculture in Nigeria and God’s blessing on it.  My point?  Simply this, Nigerian people recognize, and have for decades, the necessity for people to go back to their farms — Nigeria was once a major food producer, but with the discovery of oil people left their fields and sought work in the cities and oil production.  So Joshua (and our former Pentecostal brother) is not revealing some ‘great’ insight, but actually a commonly known fact of life, big deal.

Confusion Rules!

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 Timothy 4:3-4


Dear readers, you and I read these prognostications, shake our heads and continue to live our daily life which is as it should be.  However, there is a large (and growing) multitude of people who listen intently to their preferred diviner and attempt to structure their lives in accordance with what they have heard because they chose to believe the word being delivered.

The few examples I have cited demonstrate the problem of conflicting prophetic words.  If I am a sign-seeker whom am I to believe?  Do I go with the person with the larger following or the word that bears witness with my spirit?  Obviously, both prophets cannot be hearing accurately from the Lord, somebody is wrong.

Sign-gift devotees are not upset at all when the prophet ‘misses’ it (a euphemism for giving an unfulfilled/false word).  They say “we are all growing in our individual gifts, even so the prophet.”  To be forgiving is one thing, tolerant is another?  What does the Bible say about those who would speak in the name of the Lord?

The Serious Problems with These Heavenly Prophets

Now I have foretold it, and my prophesying will become true (I’m afraid), that God will visit our ingratitude and permit the truth to be cast down, as Daniel says (Dan. 8: [12]). Because we persecute and do not accept the truth, we must again have vain error and false spirits and prophets. Dr. Martin Luther, Against The Heavenly Prophets, 1525.

               The first and most serious problem that today’s prophets and those who listen to them have is the issue of blasphemy.  When one stands up and makes a proclamation in “the name of the Lord,” or “thus saith the Holy Spirit,” or “this is what Jesus is saying to His people,” —- and their words DO NOT have their origin from our God then these people are guilty of blaspheming the name of God.  They have spoken out of their darkened hearts and LIED in the name of the most Holy One and thus have presumptuously ‘attached’ Him to their words, words He did not speak.  This is a severe violation of   The Second Commandment.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain. What does this mean?–Answer. We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.[10]

These people have boldly stood up and declared the “word of the Lord” when the Lord has not spoken at thing!  There is no fear of God before their faces.

And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.  And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them. Jer. 14:14-16

The biblical record is crystal clear regarding how our God views those who presume to speak for Him.  This is not a new phenomenon; God’s people have always been plagued by satanic envoys whose mission is to divert people away from Jesus Christ and towards anything or anyone else.

What value are these heavenly prophets words? They spew forth (1) a lying vision; (2) a worthless divination and (3) the deceit of their own minds.  Whatever these people say is simply garbage and is to be rejected by man as it already has been rejected by God.

The danger to the hearer is that those who heed these lying words will suffer the consequences of believing a lie.  Over the years we have heard various horror stories regarding people who acted on prophetic words spoken over them and the great tragedies that occurred because of being misled.

I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. Jer. 23:21-22

Again God is telling His people that He did not send these prophets, if they had simply proclaimed God’s Words to His people then the people would have turned from the evil ways and deeds, i.e. God’s Word produces good fruit, men’s words are worthless.

We live in a time that for some reason the Bible is no longer seen as a totally self-sufficient guide for faith and practice.  Many people are far more ready to act on the word of a sinful self-proclaimed prophet then they are to trust the written Word once delivered to the saints.

Throughout the Bible God has never sent prophets to reveal what was going to transpire in a New Year.  A close study of the role of biblical prophets will reveal how FEW men (and fewer women) God spoke through prophetically, not everybody ran around spewing forth “words” from God; if they did so they were most likely quickly stoned to death (see Deut. 13:5).  When God did speak through a prophet the word delivered was of great importance in the salvific economy of God as opposed to the vapid, silly and asinine drivel uttered by people whose conscience has been seared as with a hot iron (see 1 Tim. 4:2).  There is simply no comparison between what Isaiah prophesied and what Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Benny Hinn, Creflo Dollar, Robert Tilton, Marilyn Hickey, Fred Price, Kim Clement, Pat Robertson, Kenneth Hagin, Peter Popoff and other false prophets regularly disgorge upon the minds of the willing seekers.

The Bible warns us over and over regarding the reality and the danger these false prophets present to God’s people.  There is no light in them (see Isa. 8:20).  God has not sent them.  Their sincerity and zeal is no excuse for blaspheming the name of our God.  These lie and deceive people in His name and lead people further from Christ Jesus and not closer to Him. These people are tares sown among the pure wheat of God (see Matt. 13:25-26) by Satan.  Those who speak and those who listen to them are equally guilty before the Lord.

Let us pray for those who speak lies in God’s name that He might grant them repentance and then genuinely fill their mouths with His written Word.  Let us pray for the multitudes who follow these blind guides, they have been deceived and while they live there is hope for change.  Lastly, let us NOT be tolerant and accepting of error in our midst.  We all see through a mirror darkly (see 1 Cor. 13:12) and none of us has perfect understanding —- YET —- let us contend for the faith ONCE delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).

The word “contend” is ἐπαγωνίζομαι in the Greek and it means to exert intense effort” to struggle for the faith delivered to us.  We’ve got to fight for the accurate teaching of God’s Word and not sit passively by.  The following verse in Jude tells us exactly why we have to contend —

V. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Unawares” in the Greek refers to men with an evil intent who’ve slipped in without being noticed.  Once in the Church they begin to divide the people by teaching false doctrine and seducing people away from their chaste faith in Christ Jesus.  Let us all take up our Bibles and from Its sacred pages let us contend with those who oppose our God, His Church and themselves (see 2 Tim. 2:25). This New Year let us together strive to “Teach Truth & Expose Error.”

Jim Bakker is Back At It Again

16 12 2012

Truth Matters, December 2012, Volume 16 Issue 12

Jim Bakker is Back At It Again By Rev. Robert Liichow

            Baby-face Bakker was the former reigning king of charismatic television superstardom.  For many years no one could touch him in ratings and raising millions of dollars from his viewers.  Bakker even began to build his own city/amusement park known as “Heritage USA.”  Jim and Tammy-Faye Bakker were the darlings of Christian television and Paul and Jan Crouch, Pat Roberson, Jerry Falwell and Robert Tilton all stood in the shadow PTL cast. 

Naturally, when it was divulged that Jim had a one-night sexual liaison with Jessica Hawn (who had been being sexually abused by her pastor, who passed her on to Jim) all of the other ‘Christian’ televised charismatic luminaries lined up to take the soon to be vacated throne of beaucoup broadcast bucks.  This was easily seen in the behaviors of the Crouch’s, who to this day do not ever mention the Bakker’s and Mr. Falwell who tried to wrest control of the PTL holdings (remember the infamous waterslide photo of Falwell in his suit going down it out of modesty).  Jim loses control of PTL and eventually goes to trial and is given a very harsh and unreasonable sentence from the judge.  Most sign-gift folks, while mourning the loss of PTL switched over to viewing the Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN aka “The Total Blasphemy Network) or The 700 Club hosted by Pat Robertson.

In 1997 Jim Bakker released a book entitled “I Was Wrong.”    He published this fascinating book after serving several years of a forty year prison sentence.  I remember buying the book in Grand Rapids, MI.  at Bakers Bookstore and reading its 480 pages in one sitting (it was sort of long, but I found it a page-turner).

One aspect of the entire Jim & Tammy debacle that was quite telling to me was how quickly ALL the people the Bakker’s had made “stars” due to PTL totally abandoned them in their hour of need.  The Crouches, who owe much of their existence on television to Jim Bakker totally distanced themselves from any Bakker association.  I wondered “where is the love?”

            This book chronicles Bakker’s rise and fall in a fairly honest fashion.  Jim acknowledged that the “prosperity” message was unbalanced and confessed to his sexual sin and other failings.  At the end one is left to believe that five years in the Federal prison changed Jim Bakker.  From a multi-millionaire, to basically a homeless guy when he emerged from jail sans Tammy Faye, who divorced Jim and married Jim’s best friend Roe Messner in 1993 (the same year Roe divorced his wife & married Tammy).  Bakker seemed totally humbled by his “fall” from super stardom.

            Frankly, one would imagine that after what he experienced and learned in prison he would know how to avoid many of the snares set by Satan to entrap him (2 Tim. 2:26).  Sadly, the lessons he may have begun to learn in prison were fleeting at best and the ‘birds of wisdom’ have flown the coup in Bakker’s case.

            Some of our readers may be a bit unfamiliar with PTL (the forerunner to TBN) and the earthly kingdom Jim tried to build called “Heritage USA,” which was a Christian based theme park, schmaltzy shops that sold precious moments idols, and ice cream parlors.  The vision was to have a place where Christians could come with their families for a fun time with a little evangelicalism-lite thrown in.  Before some readers “poo-poo” Heritage USA they might know that by 1986 (it was begun in 1978) it was one of the top entertainment venues in America:

For those who are not familar with it’s story, this place was created by the PTL Ministry which was ran by Jim and Tammy Bakker. Heritage USA started out as a camp ground but quickly grew to be the 3rd most visited theme park in the world attracting over 6 MILLION visitors! Walt Disney World and Disneyland were the only 2 other parks ahead of Heritage USA during one point in the 80’s.[i]

Bakker got into legal trouble it was mainly about allegedly overselling the units in a high-rise hotel he started to build on the grounds, the hotel was never completed and Heritage Village went defunct shortly after Bakker went to the Federal penitentiary.

There have been several attempts in America to establish godly earthly kingdoms, all started by ‘charismatic’ sign-seekers.  The Shiloh Community led by Frank Sanford; Zion, Ill. Founded by John A. Dowie, Miracle Valley AZ started by A.A. Allen, The City of Faith started by Oral Roberts and of course, Heritage Village.

When Jim got out of prison, Dr. Billy Graham (a former frequent guest on PTL) took him in for a bit (none of the Word of Faith crowd he helped make rich, although the Copeland’s did give Tammy some money when she was financially hurting, helped him at all).  Jim returned to South Carolina where he was formerly established.  Earlier in this decade Jim met up with Rick Joyner, head of Morningstar Ministries in Fort Mill, S.C. — the location of the former “Heritage USA.”  Before you could say “divine appointment” Jim joined up with Joyner who was willing to back Jimmy financially to get him back on television.

Who Is Rick Joyner & What is Morningstar Ministries?

Unlike Jerry Collins, a Dog Track owner and gambler who bailed out Oral Roberts back in January of 1987. Remember when Oral said “God” was going to take him home unless he raised several million?  Jerry Collins gave Oral 1.3 million; Rick Joyner is a SINistry whose devotees comprise the very farthest fringe elements of the so-called Prophetic & Apostolic movements.   I believe Mr. Joyner saw an opening to broadcast his specific[ii] perversion of the Gospel.[iii]

Rick Joyner is one of the most egregious of the false-prophets on the scene today.   Joyner sits very high-up on the dais of the ranking (and boy they are rank) prophets today.  In short, Joyner is a huge player in the so-called Prophetic Movement.  In fact, Mr. Joyner was one of the people responsible for the ‘spiritual restoration’ of ex-child molester and false-apostle, Todd Bentley.[iv]

When one goes through the kind of restoration Todd has been through over the last year and a half you usually come out stronger in basic Christian disciplines and character than ever. I feel that is certainly the case with Todd. However, I was surprised by the depth, power, and the impartation of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that was immediately present when we released Todd into limited local ministry…”   Rick Joyner – The ElijahList Email”  ”Check Out These Todd Bentley Events” May 15, 2010

Joyner seems to think Todd is a genuine apostle and is now restored from the ravages of his lust for another woman and the divorce of his wife, along with various lies, false prophetic words, etc.  However, it seems the nation of Great Britain does not view Bentley as a penitent whose been restored, they will not allow Bentley to set foot on their shores![v]

Mr.  Joyner gained a wider audience through the release of his book entitled “The Final Quest” aka online under the title “The Hordes of Hell Are Marching” and it is listed as one of the top one hundred Christian books (depending on which web site you visit).  He reveals in a more recent nighttime phantasy of Joyner we are told that God has given Rick power over all natural laws and that the super-saints will move literal mountains (see Matt. 21:21) before the return of Jesus Christ.[vi]

Joyner is an integral part of the Prophetic movement and as such he believes: (1) in the need for the restoration of apostles and prophets in order for Christ to return; (2) the re-establishment of The Tabernacle of David (see Acts 15:16-17); (3) the validity of the so-called new wine of the Spirit gifts; (4) strategic level spiritual warfare which includes warfare praise, warfare intercession, etc.; (5) the global dominion of the earth by the Church prior to the return of Christ; (6) ultimate victory over death prior to the return of Christ; (7) new revelations from The Holy Spirit via dreams, visions, and trances; and (8) unity in the Church based on experience and not doctrinal confessions.  You can even see Mr. Joyner on video declaring that God was going to send the fire of the Spirit through their cell phones (I kid you not) if the assembled would pull them out and make the call (the crowd did so and went into a frenzy).[vii]

Joyner is associated with every major charismaniac SINister infecting the Body of Christ today.  Now through Bakker’s return to television another wave of spiritual counterfeits are released within the Church and upon the unwary saints due to his association with Rick Joyner.

The Jim & Lori Show

Here is a nasty dirty little secret — the world of ‘Christian’ broadcasting is a cesspool of greed, intimidation, false and/or compromised doctrine, immorality and more.  Jan Crouch pretty much hated the Bakker’s who were the front people for Paul Crouch’s initial foray into television.  Bakker was the reason Crouch had any success, and Jan knew this.  Janny wanted to push her hubby out front of the cameras, so Paul fired the Bakkers.  Jim was very depressed but eventually rebounded.   All of this history is well detailed in Tammy Faye’s book “Telling It My Way” (another page-turner if you are into reading about these folks). 

Jim went home to S.C. and started the PTL Club, and outdid Paul and Jan “in spades” for many years.  The Crouch’s shed few tears when Jimmy was hauled off to prison and his network shut down.  Those blinded by the cathode-ray tube had nowhere else to turn but to TBN, which blew-up huge (a little music industry lingo) in the vacuum created by the absence of PTL.

Understand this fact, TBN (the Crouch juggernaut) is soundly in the Word of Faith (WOF) camp.  The resurrected Heritage International Ministries (HIM) is solidly in the Prophetic camp.  WOF is of the pre-tribulation rapture belief and the Prophetic folk are overwhelmingly dominionists and deny any rapture of the Church.  Now we have two sign-gift networks, which is watched in the same day will no doubt produce a TREMENDOUS amount of doctrinal confusion among the swallow-and-follow crowd.  The following chart is a simple thumbnail sketch of a few of the positions held by the two counterfeits and the historic Church.


WOF Cult

Classic Pentecostalism


Historic Christianity

Restored sign gifts YES YES YES NO
Restored apostles & prophets YES NO YES NO
Pre-Tribulation Rapture YES YES NO NO
Baptism as a means of grace NO NO NO YES
Bible Translation preferred KJV/Amplified KJV Dakes translation Whatever Differs widely over denominational lines.
Lord’s Supper as a means of grace NO NO NO YES
Prayer as a means of grace YES YES YES NO
Financial Prosperity YES NO YES/NO NO
Current & new ‘revelations’ YES NO YES NO (the canon is closed)
Divine healing YES YES YES YES
Being Slain in the spirit YES YES YES NO
Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare NO (although WOF believes in a form of spiritual warfare) NO YES NO
Infant Baptism NO NO NO YES
Discipleship NO NO YES NO (not as practiced by the sign-gift folks). We Catechize. 
Trinity of God YES YES/NO Modalists are the largest in number. Primarily YES, some leaders are Modalists YES


The divergence on the cited doctrinal issues is not sufficient to keep both groups from mingling together at times in conferences or at big revival meetings.  Remember the charismaniac war cry “doctrine divides.”   It is not uncommon in large meetings to find a Roman Catholic nun ‘worshipping’ next to a Jesus-only Pentecostal who is standing in front of a “Spirit-filled” Baptist whose is adjacent to a tongue-talking Episcopalian.  Isn’t unity a wonderful thing?  The fact is, none of the aforementioned groups agree with each other on any of the cardinal doctrines of the one holy and Christian apostolic Church.

 Please realize how serious a door Bakker has opened for the enemy of our souls.  Prior to the return of his television show the majority of these so-called restored apostles and prophets did not receive much air time (due to the Crouches opposition to many of their beliefs). Now because of Bakker and his association with a chief false-prophet Rick Joyner another stream of extremism has been released on a viewing worldNow this specific steam of flakes has access to millions instead of a few thousand in conferences.  Now they can proclaim their spurious twist of the Gospel on a global level as Bakker’s empire continues to gather steam.  Now those who were previously unaware of the claims of the prophetic movement now have the opportunity to become beguiled by their lies.

One thing is for certain Jim Bakker has a gift or innate ability for making his televisions programs succeed financially by taking a voracious bite out of the Christian television market share; at least he had such ability prior to prison.   Assuming the Lord tarries, if I was a gambling man, I would put my money on Jim Bakker ending up on top of the charismatic cathode-ray crowd again.  Paul Crouch senior was/is in failing health and there is a huge power-struggle over who will take over at Paul Sr.’s death.

The latest in the nuclear family warfare surrounding the Trinity Broadcasting Network:  A photograph entered into the court record of what appears to be Jan Crouch, her head tossed back in ecstasy, showing off a letter that is alleged to have been written by her husband, Paul, on what was assumed to be his deathbed.[viii]

 Their close to a billion dollar empire is in huge disarray due to the many law suits that have been brought against TBN and Paul and Jan Crouch.  These law suits come from their own immediate family members (truth is stranger than fiction).

Bakker is moving with a much younger pool of sign-seekers than the Crouches.  Paul and Jan seem to appeal to the older middle and ‘blue-haired’ aging crowd.  Perhaps I’d compare Paul and Jan to Paul Harvey and Jim Bakker to Dennis Miller, one of the far more trendy and hip radio talking heads.

Even though Bakker has shifted camps doctrinally he has not changed his time-tested format on raising money.  The television programs seem to run along the lines of promoting a little bit of heresy in short teachings interspersed with a lot of selling products to garner funds for the various “projects” that need the viewers support.  What Bakker is now hawking to his viewers is indicative of his most recent evolution regarding the end times.  Jim begins this catalog off with the following statement:

Many, many Christians believe that the Church will escape the perils detailed in the book of Revelation.  I’d like to believe they are right – but I can’t.  And because I believe that the Church – including here in America – will go through a time on earth of suffering, hunger, violence and persecution, we must be ready.  More than that, we must help prepare our loved ones.[ix]

This statement is a HUGE dividing line among not only American evangelicals but also among the various derivations of sign-seeking groups.  Bakker is no longer among the pre-tribulation, pre-millennial rapture of the Church crowd.[x]  Now Bakker subscribes to a certain aspect of the Kingdom Now or dominionists belief system.[xi]  Bakker believes the Church must go through a literal coming tribulation period of seven years (see Daniel 9:24; Rev. 4) and he is building his empire on people’s fear of an uncertain future.  Let me prove this by giving you some examples from his “Christmas 2012” catalog:

But if I’m right, that nonperishable food may save your life someday. ..Prepare now.  In the days ahead, food will be more valuable than gold.  I totally believe one day that food will be the main tool of bartering for all of our financial and material needs.” Jim Bakker p.4

  1. 1.     TIME OF TROUBLE PLUS Food Buckets                                              $3,000
  2. 2.     YEAR FOR TWO PLUS                                                                          $1,000
  3. 3.     YEAR FOR YOU PLUS                                                                           $500
  4. 4.     TIME OF TROUBLE Dessert Buckets                                                   $1,200
  5. 5.     VEGAN FOOD BUCKET                                                                                    $150
  6. 6.     Morningside Fire NOW Emergency Fuel                                           $100 (“Imagine yourself on a cruise ship, a naval vessel, or a cargo ship, and suddenly the sea turns blood red. . .”)
  7. 7.     29 Blocks of Life Water Storage Containers                                     $580
  8. 8.     Super Silver Starter Kit                                                                       $100
  9. 9.     Fuel-Less Generator (solar kit)                                                          $1,900
  10. 10.  Radiation Water Pitcher & Ultimate Survival Squeeze Btl              $100


Raising money within Christian circles is often based on either blatant or subtle manipulation.  Within televangelism funds are obtained through the use of two psychological ploys: 1) People will “give” to purchase something, i.e. they are receiving something they want (or think they want/need depending on the giftedness of the salesman to manipulate the audience).  The donor receives some value for their dollar, along with the feeling they are helping support a cause they deem worthy. 2) People will “give” to build something, a cause to propose to build something or go somewhere and people will buy into the vision presented.  This makes the giver feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves.  Manipulation can be brought to bear here through showing images of starving children (if a mission work), the homeless vs. an average home (like the viewers), etc.      Certainly sending out trinkets as point-of-contact fetish items along with an appeal letter is another way of subtly telling the recipient “see we spent money to reach out to you, at least send in something,” and playing on their guilt.  Naturally in both cases the Word of God is horribly abused and twisted by these Gospel pimps to work the miracle of transferring the sheeple’s dollars into their bank accounts (some people think that God’s ‘address’ really is P.O. Box A, Santa Anna, CA).

At the top of each page of this catalog is either an excerpt from Bakker’s latest book “The Time Has Come,” or apocalyptic biblical passage wrest from its context with the intent of driving home the critical need the reader has to order these products.  In a simple 14 page catalog 17 photographic iterations of the Bakker clan are shown.[xii]

Jim uses both time tested techniques on his programs to raise his money.  Money to what end?  To buy more television time, to get more viewers, to get more money, to buy more time, to. . .and so it goes.

I imagine Bakker makes most of his money from selling his End-Time Pepper (perhaps next month we will consider this recent phenomenon from a biblical perspective) supplies because this is the current fear among many Americans due to the current political and economic conditions. 

No SINister worth his or her salt leaves a revenue source untapped; ergo the viewers can support the “Lori’s House” project for unwed teenage girls.  A “project” they can give to and watch being built and for a mere $1,000 gift one can become “A Lori’s House Builder Club” member.  This project is probably perking along pretty well considering it is: (1) pro-life, who isn’t, right?), (2) deals with pregnant teens, who does not want to see them nurtured? (3) Lori herself had several abortions in the past so she can tearfully persuade (sell) the viewers on the need to give.  I can assure you once this project is completed there will be another one to take its place or then the push will/can become to (1) maintain Lori’s House or (2) replicate it elsewhere, etc.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The more things change, the more they stay the same (a little French lingo) is most certainly true of Mr. Bakker.  He has exchanged his WOF affiliation for acceptance by the so-called Prophetic and New Apostolic Reformation heretics.  Now because of his doctrinal shift there are two MAJOR venues to promulgate WOF heretics (TBN) and Prophetic heresy (Bakker) to an undiscerning audience.

Bakker is using the same technique’s that grew his former SINistry machine and it will probably work again for him in this latest venture.  When I first read his book, written before his association with Joyner and Morningstar, I thought to myself “praise God, Bakker has finally gotten it.”  It is evident that my excitement was ill-timed.  Bakker has yet to produce the fruits of genuine repentance (see Matthew 3:8).  I urge that we pray for Jim and Lori (Tammy-Sue, little Jimmy too) and their viewers.  May our gracious Lord, the One who opened our eyes and has shown us the glorious liberty that is ours in the Christ of the Gospels open the Bakkers and their viewer’s eyes as well.  Selah.

[i] Obtained from Still online as of 12-2-2012

[ii] All tongue-talkers are NOT created “equally.”  They all agree on speaking in tongues and divine healing after that they share few similarities.  Classic Pentecostals and WOF are pre-mill, most Prophetic/Apostolic cults are post-mill.  There is some mutual recognition of self-proclaimed prophets/apostles by both WOF and Prophetic, but much doctrinally divides them.

[iii]  Am not saying that Joyner did not or does not feel sympathy or something for Bakker in his decision to initially bank-roll Bakker, but trust me when I say there is a lot more going on than mere brotherly “love.”

[iv] For more insight’s into this stellar restoration go to:

[vi] Obtained from a video of Joyner speaking at a Morningstar Conference at

[ix] Obtained from page 2 of the 2012 Jim and Lori Bakker Christmas Catalog, available online at as of 12/01/2012.


[x] Even among the pre-tribulation rapture folks there is disagreement.  Some teach all the faithful shall be raptured at that point in time.  Others teach only the overcomers, as delineated by their own set of requirements, will be initially taken up and the others will have to go through either (1) 3.5 years of the tribulation or (2) 7 years of the tribulation.

[xi] Please understand that even among the dominionists they have differing views on the Church during the actual last days.  Some view the Church as rising up and becoming these miracle-wielding super-saints who begin to systematically Christianize the world.  This view sees the Church as overcomers, as Joel’s Army, as conquerors even conquering the last enemy, Death itself!  Others view the Church as being persecuted, decimated, yet being highly empowered in the sign-gifts and out of the rubble of society the Church rises like the Phoenix with healing in Her wings and solutions to the world’s problems.  Then the Church Christianizes the world and hands it to Jesus.  This later view seems to be the one held by Bakker, or at least the view he offers because it is the more lucrative position, only God knows his motives.

[xii] There are reasons why all of these people plaster their faces on virtually every page of their magazines.  It too is done for psychological impact.  The goal is hopefully for the reader to unconsciously relate to the images shown repeatedly.  Also, there is the reality of the pride of life (see 1 John 2:16) that we are all prone to.  These people are very proud, boastful and arrogant and take every opportunity to promote themselves.

GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)

16 12 2012

Truth Matters, November 2012, Volume 16 Issue 11

GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) A Cautionary Tale By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

          Joel Osteen, America’s favorite pastor has published yet again another bestselling book entitled “I Declare 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life.”  However, before we delve into Joel’s latest masterpiece please accompany me for a quick trip in my “Wayback machine.”[1] 

The miracle is in YOUR MOUTH.  Dare to speak those promises out loud.  Say them to yourself!  Say them to the devil!  Say them to the sickness! Say them to your mountain of trouble!  Confess them in the face of all contrary evidence!  Say them while the pain is there!! Say them while you are so sick you can hardly think!!. . .When we SAY and CONFESS His Word, He brings the miracle to pass!![2]

          If John Osteen preached the above words once, he preached them thousands of times.   John Osteen was part of the beginning of the fledgling charismatic movement.  He was formerly a Southern Baptist pastor, and had an earned Master’s degree from Northern Baptist Seminary (one of the few sign-gift leaders with any genuine seminary education).  Osteen was voted out by his congregation and left the Baptists due to his stance over the sign-gifts and began Lakewood Church as an independent ministry in 1958.

Much to my dad’s surprise, many of the people in that congregation didn’t appreciate his fresh discoveries.  They were steeped in their traditions, and because of Daddy’s enthusiastic, fiery messages weren’t exactly what they were used to hearing, it made some of them uncomfortable. . .they were upset that the supernatural God Daddy described didn’t fit into their denominational guidelines.[3]

            Even though I disagree strongly with his theology I will say that John Osteen always struck me as a decent man, good husband and father and faithful pastor to his flock.  To his credit Lakewood was one of the early churches to being openly interracial, which was no small thing in Houston Texas in the 50’s and 60’s.  Lakewood was also one of the largest churches in Texas many years before Joel came onto the silver screen.[4]

            John was one of the main proponents of what was later codified as the Word of Faith (WOF) movement/cult led by its titular head Kenneth Hagin, a close personal friend of Osteen’s.  I’ve heard John proclaim the belief that our words create our reality time and time again.  Osteen was preaching positive confession before anyone heard of Kenny and Gloria Copeland.

            John Osteen practiced what he preached.  His daughter Lisa was born with some serious physical defects, they prayed, they confessed the promises of God and in the end their daughter was totally healed.[5]  Many years later in 1981 John’s wife Dodie was stricken with live cancer.  Even though she had Oral Roberts, Ken & Gloria Copeland, T.L. and Daisy Osborn[6] all pray for her it made no difference.  It was up to her and Jesus if she was going to be healed.

I felt like I was going through a dark tunnel.  There seemed to be no end to it and yet I still confessed, ‘I am healed.’  When anybody would ask me how I felt, I never confessed that I felt bad.  I said, ‘I am blessed of the Lord.’ …Confession did not seem to work for me for quite a while, but it finally did work!  I began to see a faint ray of light.[7]

            Dodie was healed of metastatic liver cancer in 1983 and she shares her story in a little booklet “Healed of Cancer.”  Dodie rightly gives God the glory for healing her body.  However, it is her belief that she would not have been healed had she not done her part, i.e. positively confess God’s promises.  Dodie can be seen sometimes sitting on the front row of her son’s stadium.

            Why this trip in the Wayback machine?  Because when you understand his parents and their home life, which John used to vividly describe in his messages, one begins to comprehend why Joel is as he is today.  Joel was raised in an almost hyper-faith atmosphere.[8]  He never heard a discouraging word at home nor was he allowed to utter one either!  Every week on Sunday, during the mid-week services and daily at home Joel had the precepts of positive confession bringing possession drilled into his young malleable melon.  I am sure his sister Lisa was probably a great “object lesson” to remind the family and congregation about the creative power of their words if anyone began to waver in their confessed hopes.   When Joel eventually attended college he went to Oral Roberts University, Oral was a very close friend of John and Dodie’s.  Even away from home and Lakewood Joel continued to have the hard core beliefs of the WOF cult, seed faith principles, etc. poured into him.  Unlike his father Joel did not earn a degree in theology but was a communications major.  Joel has no formal biblical education at all, and yet he finds himself at the helm of the largest congregation in America and by default is assumed to have God’s blessing due to the size of his church.

            Joel is without a doubt a product of his upbringing, the apple truly did not fall far from the tree.  Joel has taken his father’s errors and spread them much further than his father ever dreamed possible.  There are some major differences however between John and Joel when it comes to ministry.  John Osteen did preach Jesus Christ fairly as the Savior from sin; he did keep that much of his Southern Baptist doctrine active, which I believe if why God allowed him the modicum of success he experienced.  Joel Osteen hardly ever mentions Jesus Christ at all in his sermons or as I will prove, his books.  Why is this?  He did not learn this from his father or at ORU, he bears this guilt alone.  Lakewood was always known as a cutting edge charismatic congregation.  People getting filled with the Spirit and speaking in other tongues, men or women shouting out the occasional prophetic word; folks getting slain in the spirit were part-n-parcel of Lakewood services under John Osteen.  From what I have observed on television Joel’s services are anything but Spirit-led in the Pentecostal sense.  Joel assiduously avoids mentioning speaking in other tongues in his broadcasts; his father worked his enthusiastic experiences into virtually every one of his messages.

            Joel has cleverly marketed himself as everybody’s pastor and has successfully divorced himself, at least publically, from his WOF cultic upbringing and his former charismania.  I don’t know how he transitioned the former charismatic Lakewood into the seeker Lakewood it is today, but he did it and it is some sort of church-growth miracle.  The unknowing channel surfer can watch Joel weekly and never know that Joel: (1) comes from a hyper-charismatic cult background; (2) that Joel and all his family practice speaking in other tongues; (3) everything Joel teaches is based on WOF heresy; (4) has no formal biblical education.  These four “unknowns” are an example of the art of superlative spinning and of a marketing miracle.

            Kenneth Hagin Sr. used to ask rhetorically “how do you poison a dog?  You put the poison in the good meat.”  How best to disseminate error to as many people as possible?  Wrap the error around a fairly good looking guy, with great teeth & hair and winsome demeanor.  Give him a communications background, television and media production experience (Joel was always behind the scenes at Lakewood) and PRESTO {a little magician’s lingo} the leaven of Lakewood is spread to spiritual seekers globally.

I had never preached before! Ever! I had spent seventeen years behind the scenes at Lakewood managing our television production.  Over the course of those years, Daddy tried many times to get me out in the public to speak, but I never had the desire to do it. . .Keep in mind, I had never even prepared a sermon.[9]

            By his own admission Joel was (and is) totally unprepared to serve as a pastor.  He had no actual pastoral training, no seminary education, not even a diploma from an unlicensed “Bible” school!  What he did have was an entire lifetime spent surrounded by the leaders of some of the most extreme enthusiasts around (Oral Roberts, Hagin, Copelands, Price, Yandian, etc.).  Growing up in this environment was all the training Joel has received, and in his mind all he needs.  Gigo, garbage in over a lifetime, now , garbage out to an undiscerning spiritually hungry world.  Some of Joel’s foundational beliefs include things such as:

WOF & Words

God created everything by speaking “faith-filled” words. God created man in His image. Man was to be the ‘god’ of this world, but Adam committed high treason and gave his dominion over to Satan, who became the ‘god’ of this world. Man, like God has the ability to create reality by speaking either faith-filled or fear-filled words.  This is a spiritual law and it works for everybody whether they know it or not, but usually in the negative. Spirit-filled Christians are to function exactly like Jesus did on earth “speaking” to fig trees, mountains, devils, sickness — because we are to do His works & greater works. To learn how to walk like Jesus all it takes is revelation knowledge, which you cannot obtain in seminaries, but you can receive it via “anointed” teachers (Copeland, Hagin, Hinn, Dollar).

As a graduate of Robert Tilton’s Bible School and former WOF cult pastor I can assure you that the lynch-pin of the WOF cult is their alleged doctrine of the creative power of our words.  Virtually everything they teach hinges upon their concept of positive confession (pc).  Once you swallow this false doctrine then everything else they teach makes sense within their specific paradigm.  Everything is traced back to spoken words in their worldview.  For the newer readers, or those without a sign-gift background the following is a very brief peek into the basic WOF doctrine of words:

Most of the above mentioned CON cepts are seen in his books or heard in his messages.  Make no mistake about it — Joel Osteen is an ardent WOF heretic in the same class with Mr. Copeland, Hinn, Dollar, Meyers, Duplantis, et al.

            “I Declare” is Joel’s third major book and it is simply an expansion of some of the CONcepts he plated up for public deception in his prior book “Your Best Life Now.”  In order for us to experience our “best” (as defined by his version of the American dream) now we have to do the following:

As long as you can’t imagine it, as long as you can’t see it, then it is not going to happen for you.  It’s the same way with us. . .We have to conceive it on the inside before we’re ever going to receive it on the outside.[10] But if you develop an image of victory, success, health, abundance, joy, peace, and happiness, nothing on earth will be able to hold those things from you.[11]

God abides by the laws He established, and if you don’t sow, you will not reap.[12]

Your Best Life Now is around 300 pages of well camouflaged WOF ‘101’ doctrine.  The spiritual law goes something like this: (1) First you begin by visualizing what it is you desire, say physical healing.  You must begin to “see” yourself as totally healed, the more precise and vivid an inner picture you and paint the better. (2) Then you must begin to confess verbally to yourself and to others (when asked) that you are totally healed prior to any manifestation of healing at this point.  This confession is usually comprised on various snippets of Bible verses taken out of their context, yet claimed as “God’s promises” for your life. (3) During this time of visualization and positive confession you will have to cast down every thought or report you are given that contradicts your stance.  During the waiting period (between initial confession & final possession) one must guard against digging up their “seed” (words) by giving in and confessing negativity about what you want.  When this happens then one must begin the process over.  Negative words will cancel out the positive ones, if the individual has more faith in the negative coming to pass.

If you allow your thoughts to defeat you and then give birth to negative ideas through your words, you actions will follow suit.  That’s why we need to be extremely careful about what we think and especially careful about what we say.  Our words have tremendous power, and whether we want to or not, we will give life to what we’re saying, either good or bad.[13]

(4) In God’s timing, if you remain steadfast in your confession you will receive what you have conceived in your heart and confessed with your mouth, isn’t this what Jesus taught in Mark 11:24?

            Your Best Life Now lays out the framework for why it is a necessity to verbally proclaiming the BEST desires of your heart until they manifest in your life.  As further proof that Joel is nothing more than a clever redressing of old sign-gift heresy we come to Chapter 28 of this book is called “The Seed Must Lead” and it is a shortened version of Oral Robert’s “seed faith” heresy that he made popular back in the early 1950’s and this false doctrine has syphoned off untold hundreds of millions of dollars from legitimate Church ministries.[14] Gigo, garbage in, garbage out.

            I Declare is Joel’s subtle next step into silently converting his followers into WOF demi-gods.  This is a much shorter book than Your Best Life Now.  This book is very similar to the previous one and honestly, it is like all of John’s and Joel’s sermons; one sort of ‘point’ with a lot of ancillary stories from either his father’s life or from people Joel knows.  On a very infrequent basis Joel attempts to shore up his doctrine with some cherry-picked pericope from the Bible.

            The book consists of 31 declarations aka positive confessions that the reader is to “declare” over their lives at the beginning of each day and then hold fast to that confession regardless of the circumstances or situations life may threw against you.  I have heard Kenny Copeland say on numerous occasions “if you play the game right you win,” meaning that if we simply will implement God’s “laws” regarding our words, then we will be victorious every time!

            The first words on the page of Joel’s latest book PROVE is a WOF heretic by writing the following:

Our words have creative power.  Whenever we speak something, either good or bad, we give life to what we are saying. . .They don’t realize they are prophesying their futures. . .Here is the key; you’ve got to send your words out in the direction you want your life to go.[15]  

            For those who might say that Joel Osteen is not a WOF devotee, because he has never said he was let me simply point you to a few of the following titles, all from people personally known by the Osteen family and apart from Joyce, all of these enthusiasts have helped shape and form Joel Osteen into the proclaimer of error he has become.

Your Words Hold a Miracle: The Power of Speaking God’s Word, John Osteen

There is a Miracle in Your Mouth, John Osteen

Reigning in Life As a King, John Osteen

How To Release The Power of God, John Osteen

Living in the Abundance of God, John Osteen Words, Kenneth E. Hagin

You Can Have What You Say, Kenneth E. Hagin

Right and Wrong Thinking, Kenneth E. Hagin

How To Be A Success In Life, Kenneth E. Hagin The Power of the Tongue, Kenneth Copeland

Living in Heaven’s Blessings Now, Gloria Copeland The Tongue: A Creative Force, Charles Capps

How To Avoid Tragedy and Live a Better Life, Charles Capps Change Your Words, Change Your Life: Understanding the Power of Every Word You Speak, Joyce Meyer Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind, Joyce Meyer

Two Difference Between Joel and these authors —-        

 One major difference between Joel and the fifteen titles I cited (I could easily add 50 more titles) is that the above authors speak basically in reference to Jesus whereas Joel does not. Joel does not even mention Jesus until chapter 10 of his book.  When he does mention our Lord it is in regard to Christ making wine at the wedding “Jesus sped up the winemaking process —God can do in a split second what might otherwise take you many years.”[16]  Joel NEVER refers to Jesus Christ as God the Son, as our Savior, as the sacrifice for the sin of the world.  Nor does he make any appeal to the readers to place their faith in the finished work of Jesus for them.  He does not even invite the reader at the end of the book to consider the claims of Christ, to pray, to receive Him as Lord, nothing like the normal American “evangelical” pattern at all.

Secondly, the above books all proof-text[17] massively whereas Joel does not cite many biblical texts at all and sadly, when he does cite the Bible he also resorts to proof-texting since he has never learned how to properly exegete the texts.  Here are some example of this truth-twisting Joel does:

1)     Ephesians 2:10 says, “You are God’s masterpiece,” (p. 68) — yes we are God’s handiwork (ποίημα or worksmanship) created in CHRIST for good works. Joel leaves this out.

2)     Jesus said ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light.’  God wants to make your life easier, (p. 105).  He was comparing the heavy burden of keeping the Law as opposed to the liberty and freedom that come from walking in the light of the Gospel.  Where does the Bible say God wants to “make our life easier”?  Jesus said in John 16:33 that in this world we shall suffer tribulation, but in Him we have peace. Those who desire to live godly IN CHRIST JESUS shall suffer persecution 2 Timothy 3:12. 1 Peter 4:16Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”           

3)     It says in Romans 5:17, “We are to reign in life as kings” (p. 117).  That is a misinterpretation of the text. Here is the entire verse “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ)AGAIN Joel leaves out any reference to reigning in life BY ONE, CHRIST JESUS.  Paul’s entire thought is about Adam’s sin and the remedy for our ancestral and inherited sin —- the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the ungodly!  Joel does not go here at all.

4)     James 4:2 says, ‘You have not because you ask not,’ (p.143). The entire text reads “You desire and do not have; you murder and are filled with envy, and are not able to obtain; you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, in order that you may spend it on your pleasures.  The lack in our lives is because we are not asking God for great things, never mind the part about asking with wrong (selfish) motives, asking for things to bring you pleasure and make your life a waking dream.

5)     And He promises in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for our good” (p. 147). Joel’s statement is FALSE.  God did not promise that all things are working for the readers good.  What He DID promise is this: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

6)     God says, ‘If you take the limits off Me I’ll amaze you with My goodness.  I’ll not only meet your needs, I’ll take it one step further. I’ll give you the desires of your heart.’ (2 Cor. 9:8-9 NIV) (p. 113). The verse reads in the NIV as follows: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”  There is nothing in this text which indicates that God will give you the desires of your heart. That is a citation from Ps. 37:4.  This text says that IF we delight ourselves in the Lord (only possible for Christians) THEN He will give us their desires of our heart.  Also, does this mean that He will give us “our” hearts desires or that He will place in our hearts His desires?  I believe the latter is true.

 These are not all the examples of Joel’s abuse of the scriptures, but I believe they are indicative of a very troubling pattern I have noticed in Joel’s preaching, in his televised interviews and now his writings —- he seems to intentionally leave out Jesus in all three venues of expression.  I admit that intentionality speaks to motive (a little Barrister lingo here) and no man knows the motives of another man, however I make my claim based on the facts in evidence.

For example why doesn’t Jesus figure prominently in the preaching and writing of America’s leading pastor?  When Jesus is cited it is by example of Him speaking “faith-filled” words into existence or taking life out of existence (the cursed fig tree, p. 164).  He is not shown as God the Son, moving as Emmanuel among the people.  Jesus is not portrayed as the suffering servant (what, Jesus suffer?) who came to die for the sins of the world.

Any Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Unity School member, theosophist, Christian Scientist, even Muslim’s can read this book as it is written and not be offended by its contents.  Nor will they have their current belief system challenged.  The book is so doctrinally insipid that any form of deist could place it on their bookshelves, and no doubt many have done just this.

I have counted the number of times the following words occur in Joel’s book to help prove my contention: the cross – 1 time, p. 17; Christ – 1 time; Jesus – 21 times; God – over 200 times.  In the entire book only 18 times are biblical texts cited.  Virtually every time Joel cites a text he misapplies it to such a degree that it is no longer “God’s Word” because he has made it a lie by taking it so far out of context.  God is never referred to as “the God of the Bible,” or “the Father of Jesus,” He is presented as the generic God that any reader could claim as their current understanding of deity.  The Holy Spirit is also never directly referenced as far as I could tell, after all, to do so might lead some readers to wonder if Joel is some form of Trinitarian (he is, but why share this and confuse others, right?).

  A lot of times we pray about our mountains: God please help me. . .It’s good to ask God to help you.  But when you face a mountain, it’s not enough to pray.  It’s not enough to just believe.  It’s not enough to just think good thoughts. Here’s they key: you have to speak to your mountains.[18]

You may be praying about things you should be speaking to…If you have health problems, instead of begging God to heal you, you need to declare to that sickness, ‘Sickness, you have no right in my body. I’m a child of the Most High God, You are not welcome here…I’m commanding you to leave my body.’[19]

There is a time to pray.  But there is a time to speak.  You don’t pray about your mountains; you speak to your mountains.[20]

            These declarations are not prayers to God, so what are they?  WOF doctrine teaches that words are carriers of either the spiritual force of faith or of fear.  They take quite literally Hebrews 11:1faith is the substance of things hoped for. . .” To Joel faith is an actual spiritual substance, a force which is wielded victoriously via the mouthed words of the adept.  These words (declarations) will cosmically draw the things, people, opportunities (Joel continually refers to them as “good breaks”), and money to us.  Our words are either used by God or the devil and demons to bring to pass whatsoever we confess for good or bad.  Joel is quite adamant about his belief that we all are living the lives we have created for ourselves.

            There are many problems with the doctrine of positive confession which are beyond the scope of this article.  Let the following be sufficient for now: 1) Positive confession is not taught anywhere in the Bible as a doctrine of the Church.  2) None of the writers of the Bible ever teach that our words have creative power similar to God who speaks things into being ex nihilo (out of nothing). 3) None of the Church Fathers wrote anything akin to what Joel is telling his readers to do.  This idea that we create reality by what we believingly confess is a novel idea in the Church and as a teaching is less than seventy (70) years old.  The mind-science cults that served as the fountainhead for this demonic deception are less than 160 years old themselves.

The Tyranny of Words

            One more serious flaw with Joel’s doctrine is that it puts those who adhere to it in bondage.  I experienced this personally as a WOF pastor many years ago.  I learned I could not know how any member of the congregation was really doing by asking the members.  Asking a PC person “how are you doing” will elicit a response of “oh Pastor, I am blessed in the city, blessed in the field, why I am the head and not the tail, blessed by Almighty God, filled with His Spirit, growing from faith to faith and glory to glory.”  Joel, as a pastor, does not want to hear about how big your problems are, he wants to hear how big your God is (see p. 124 Your Best Life Now) and Joel’s people are afraid to confess the truth because then they will dig up and cancel out their (hopefully) sprouting faith-filled words by speaking negative (reality as it is) words.

This places people under a tremendous weight.  They must watch their words at every waking moment.  They must be careful who they associate with, because negative people can also hinder one’s receiving.  Every thought must be held captive to whatever the dream/vision/hope one is trying to create.  Any thought to the contrary (even warning’s from the Lord) to what you are declaring is automatically consigned to Satan and cast down.  Once one starts down the path, there is no turning back unless the goal is willingly forfeited by the practitioner.

There is also the agony of doubt created by such a subjective concept.  Faith-filled words only produce when they are spoken from the heart and not the head (mind).  Their view is of man as a tri-partite being comprised of spirit, soul and body.  The spirit is reborn; the soul (mind, will, emotions) must be renewed by the Word.  Then together these two will control the body.  The only way they can know for certain that they are speaking true faith-filled words is when they receive what they are confessing.  Remember, these folks are either trying to confess the dream in their heart OR they are confessing things mentally to get them down in their spirit.  In either case, the acid test is the obtaining of whatever is being sought.  Since generally the things being sought do not arrive automatically, one must be prepared to begin confessing and never stop until the manifestation, even if it takes many many years.

            Since Joel is very clear that this spiritual law works every time it is properly used I would like him to explain these various events in light of this doctrine.  How did his father John end up on kidney dialysis for several years prior to his death?  John taught Joel all about confession brings possession yet John did not receive his deliverance from kidney failure.  Nor did he receive healing from the heart problems which eventually took his life.  Also, the positive confessions of his entire church for John while he was in the hospital were also of no avail (I will not go into the prophetic words that said John would live and not die, but be died anyway).  How is it that his mother got cancer in the first place?  We rejoice over God’s grace in restoring her, but she should not have gotten ill to begin with, how did that cancer spirit gain entrance?  Why did his sister Lisa’s first marriage end in divorce?  I know beyond any doubt that much confession went up prior to the marriage and during it.  Why didn’t those words work?

Joel’s View of Sin

            Something else is troubling about Joel’s writings.  In these two books and in his preaching and television interviews he does not talk about sin, judgment or hell.  Joel’s father planted the fetid seeds of “you are no long a sinner, you were a sinner but now you are a saint.”[21]  Joel grew up believing that he is not a sinner any longer.  I buttress this belief with these comments:

…King David, made a lot of mistakes. . .David didn’t focus on his faults or on the times he had done wrong.  No, he lived favor-minded.[22]

That’s not to condone wrongdoing, but the truth is, we all have areas in which we need to improve.  We can’t become so focused on our faults that we cease to enjoy who God made us to be.[23]

…David wasn’t perfect.  He made mistakes, he became discouraged, but he prayed. . .You may need to pray something similar. ‘God please help me to get rid of this negative attitude.[24]

Your job is not to judge.  Your job is not to figure out if someone deserves something, or to decide who is right or who is wrong.[25]

            Joel never uses the word “sin” or “sinner” in the entirety of his books.  To say the word “sin” is to give it place in his life and I suppose those of his hearers.  King David did make a lot of mistakes, but he also sinned grievously against his Lord.  He did not confess he missed it, he confessed his sins.

            We should be focused on our faults and wrongdoing if they are indeed sinful, which all wrongdoing is.  Guilt is a good thing when it drives the person to their knees seeking forgiveness from our Lord Jesus Christ.  We should feel guilty when we sin.  However, if we ignore sin and simply cast down guilt feelings immediately as “negative” is spiritually unwise.

            Obviously to Joel sin is no real problem in the Christian life, if it were as a pastor he would surely address it.  No, the pressing problem for us is not sin, but a poor self-image created by our negative words and those who accepted into our hearts from others.  Joel would have people believe that if they just change their thinking, renew their minds according to the cherry-picked promises (many of which are really not promises per se) then their former wrong doing will cease and via their declarations God will bring good things to them.

            Where the Bible does urge we confess — “If we confess (ὁμολογῶμεν) our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)Joel is silent. Or how about in James 5:16Therefore, confess (ἐξομολογέομαι)your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Note that it does not read “confess your mistakes” but says sins.  Lastly, what of our Lord’s own statement in Matthew 10:32-33So everyone who acknowledges(ὁμολογήσει) me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.  Where is the acknowledgement/confession of Jesus Christ as Lord in his preaching or his writing?  It is absent.

            In place of leading the people in a united public confession of sin and then standing before them as Christ’s mouthpiece and speaking forth the words of absolution Joel leads them in another confession he got from his father: ‘No wonder he held up his Bible every service and said, ‘This is my Bible.  I am what it says I am.  I have what I says I have’ (see p.64 Your Best Life Now).  Joel and his people confess a longer form of this same confession in each service.  I doubt Lakewood has ever been led by Joel or anyone in confessing the Apostles or Nicene creeds, I doubt Joel knows them.

            Joel’s latest book is simply more of the same heresy continued from his previous publication.  Both of his books prove beyond any controversy that Mr. Osteen is a Word of Faith heretic.  He may hold the title ‘pastor’ and his people may refer to him as such but Mr. Osteen is no biblical pastor.  He does not meet the qualifications to serve as pastor.  He refuses to preach Christ crucified for the SINS of the world.  He has not openly preached Jesus Christ in his services, books or interviews.  He intentionally leaves Jesus out of the verses that pertain to Him!  Joel is a false shepherd and he is misleading (unintentionally let us hope) multitudes further from Christ and not closer to Him.  DMI urges that prayer is offered for Joel’s deliverance from doctrinal darkness for the sake of his soul and those who follow him.

[1] The Way Back machine was an integral part of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, okay I date myself.

[2] Osteen, John. There is a Miracle in Your Mouth. A John Osteen Publication. Houston, Tx. 1972 p. 6.

[3] Osteen, Joel. Your Best Life Now. Warner Faith. New York, NY, 2004 p.172.  Bold type added for emphasis.

[4] There is no dispute that Lakewood has grown exponentially under Joel’s smiling gaze.  He started with something like a mere 6,000 or people and now speaks to 40,000 people in person on Sunday and multitudes more via television.

[5] There are a great many accounts, sadly, probably most of them that are false.  However in the two cases in the Osteen’s life we see the genuine mercy of God.

[6] Daisy Osborn would later die of cancer, no confessions could heal her.

[7] Osteen, Dodie. Joel . John Osteen Publication. Houston, TX. 1986, pp. 42-43.

[8] I followed the hyper-faith teachers, Dr. Hobart Freeman and Elbert Willis.  These men took the WOF teachings to their logical conclusions.  Eschewing doctors, medicine, insurance, hospitals were all proof of “faith.”  The few hyper-faith teachers were not welcomed by the other WOF leaders, because the hyper-faith preachers “walked the walk,” whereas Hagin, Copeland, Harrison, etc. did not.

[9] Osteen, Joel. Your Best Life Now. Warner Faith. New York, Ny. 2004, p.215. Underlining added for emphasis.

[10] Ibid. p. 3

[11] Ibid. p. 5

[12] Ibid. pp. 256-257

[13] Ibid. pp. 121-122. Bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

[14] The dirty little secret is that Oral Roberts PAID Eugene Ewing for the CONcept of “seed faith” when Roberts SINistry was about bankrupt in the late 1960’s.  Ewing taught Roberts the whole scheme of “give and God will give back to you.”  Ewing has remained a “mystery man” ever since, his great wealth has kept him well insulated.

[15] Osteen Joel. I Declare. FaithWords. New York, NY. 2012, p. v. Bold type and underlining added for emphasis.

[16] Ibid. p. 56.

[17] Proof-texting is the bad practice of simply taking a biblical text out of its context, thus making it a pretext and using it to buttress a point being made.  With proof texting the person simply tries to find texts that “fit” their doctrine as opposed to making their doctrine submit to the contextual authority of the passage.

[18] Ibid. p. 161 Underlining & bold type added.

[19] Ibid. p. 162

[20] Ibid. p. 165

[21] This is not a direct quote from John, but he has made this statement, as have virtually all of the WOF cultists.

[22] Osteen, Joel. Your Best Life Now. P. 48

[23] Ibid. p. 66

[24] Ibid. p. 192

[25] Osteen, Joel. I Declare. P. 89

True Spiritual Growth – By Bob the Pious

25 10 2012

    When I was a member of the word of Faith charismatic cult many years ago we were big into “positive confession.” One thing we regularly confessed was that “we were the righteousness of God in Christ.” Our confession was we were now righteous before God and thus that was all we identified with. It is laudable to understand our position in Christ and to act accordingly. There is also nothing wrong with confessing or praying back to our Lord what He says we are because of what Jesus Christ has done.

    As I consider this practice today I see how unbalanced it is and the danger inherent in attempting to build on such a shaky foundation. What is missing is the other “dirty little secret” that all the positive confession sects (PCS) ignore is the reality that they are also sinners in need of forgiveness almost moment by moment if they truly saw their condition before our holy God. The PCS build within their minds an image of themselves a righteous people by their repetitive verbal or mental affirmations of how perfect they now are. Their sinful actions are diminished by redefinition and spiritual status. Obviously, a righteous person will act righteously and eschew and avoid sin so when they do sin they must redefine their sin as “a mistake,” or the result of a lack of mental renewal (Rom. 12) and thus not any sort of spiritual sin. Sin has become to them something akin to more of a misstep along the highway of holiness (Isa. 35:8). Ask these people if they are sinners they will automatically respond “no we were sinners saved by grace, but now we are the righteousness of God in Christ.” These folks believe they have become spiritually elevated to the place where they no longer have a “sin consciousness.” False teachers including Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Jessie Duplantis, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, Charles Capps, Marilyn Hickey, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Paul & Jan Crouch, Jerry Savelle, Robert Tilton and a host of other liars all declare to have achieved this level.

    How blind these poor souls be. How stygian the darkness they call light! Millions of souls have sought refuge beneath the fetid wings of this lie which as Saint Irenaeus, may his memory always be blessed in our minds,
patron saint of all Heresy-hunters said:

They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretense of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein. By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they nevertheless clumsily destroy them, while they initiate them into their blasphemous and impious opinions respecting the Demiurge; and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth.” Against Heresies, Preface.

This so called superior knowledge and spiritual attainment is exactly the opposite. When God’s people become hardened and dead to their own personal inherent sinfulness and sinful actions (with their repercussions) they are FAR from God, not closer to Him. Their delusion is so deep they actually believe they are in close communion with the one Who is holiness personified, one who will not even tolerate a garment “spotted” with the flesh (Jude 1:23). They fail to understand the God whom they pretend to worship is the same God who consumed Nadab and Abihu (Num. 26:61) for offering strange fire, worship not ordained by God to Him in their own “novel way.” God changes not (Mal. 3:6) and He still rejects profane worship today.

The sickening reality of our sin must not be diminished by our pretending it is some reality apart from our own. Our sin must be dealt with a brutal honesty, we must “own” it in order to confess it and receive forgiveness from our Lord. Ignoring sin leads to a hardening of the heart and a deafness to the Spirit of grace. This is the great danger of an unbalanced “confession” of righteousness.

The more we enter into the genuine presence of the Lord the more acute our awareness of personal sin should become. His light always exposes, confronts and destroys our darkness. Jesus manifested a little of His glory on the boat with Peter and how did Peter respond? “Depart from me for I am a sinful man,” (Luke 5:8). Peter’s sinfulness was made manifest by the presence of Christ. Job’s response was the same as many other prophets in the Old Testament when they encountered the Living God. Let me be quick to note that in these divine encounters our God is merciful in His response to those with whom He deals.

The years of my spiritual pilgrimage have taught me this —- the closer I get to the Lord, the more He shows me of myself, and it is not a pretty picture as I see myself accurately in the mirror of His Word. As I study the Bible, meditate on His Word and worship the Lord, the enemy comes to steal what I’ve been laboring over and it drives me to my knees and back into the Word and meditation and worship. Luther knew this well and taught the same regarding the struggle of prayer. As we mature spiritually the more clearly we begin to see ourselves in the light of the Scriptures. In order to walk humbly with our Lord we must have an accurate understanding of ourselves . . . which God alone can grant, and He does so willingly to all who ask.

Fallen man has never needed to think highly of himself, he would kill God and usurp His throne if given half the chance. This idea that having a “sin consciousness” is demonic as the cultists claim is simply a lie from the pit of hell. I have learned that as I see myself in the light of God’s Word and in His presence at the altar I am driven to cry out “Kyrie Eleison” Lord have mercy on me —- and you know what? He does! Selah.

A Good Kind of Selfishness —- by Bob the Pious

25 10 2012

    Whenever I attend our worship services I go with the personal expectation to receive some form of blessing for my Lord. What some might say? You greedy pigboy, how dare you come before the King without gift! What shall I give to God? What work shall I dare hold up to His beneficent gaze? All I have to offer are my sins and what little good has been accomplished in my life is surely because of His gracious Holy Spirit’s (apart from Me, you can do nothing
John 15:5) power.

    So it is with this in mind, that I come with my mind set to receive a blessing from my Lord. This is a great truth found in our Evangelical church, the knowledge that we come to receive from our Lord in worship. We have nothing to offer, but our sins and then our unending thanks and praise for His absolution. If this is not enough, He then feeds us with His Word and nourishing each according to their faith. For this we give Him thanks, but no He is not even finished then. Now He comes to us hidden in/with/under bread and wine and feeds us with nothing less than His true Body and Blood. Glory upon glory is being heaped upon us during this entire encounter with our Risen Savior. After, thanking Him for granting us forgiveness and life in the supper He speaks one more time through our pastor and speaks truly performative
language in proclaiming Aarons blessing over our lives.

    How can anyone leave who has such an encounter (I know of no better word) with the King of glory and fail to come away spiritually changed? If we are growing, then we are changing and we go from faith to faith and glory to glory (see 2 Cor. 3:18). Some may be alarmed and look to themselves and wonder if they are growing. To those people I say “go outside and place your hand against a living tree. As you touch it can you feel it growing? No, but if it is alive then it is growing whether you feel it doing so.” God’s blessings include forgiving our sins, one may feel relieved of their burden or not, the fact remains they are forgiven by Christ for the sake of the penitent. I do not want to parse the degrees of “blessing” which are as varied as the needs of humanity right now. What I am talking about is the value of having a hunger, and expectancy when coming before our Lord in prayer, study, worship, and vocation. I call such a desire for blessing a “good kind of selfishness” inasmuch as we all should remain perpetually hungry to be with our Lord in prayer, Bible study, worship and godly fellowship.

    He who hungers and thirsts for righteousness SHALL BE
filled (Matthew 5:6) — but I must come hungry to His table and I try to do so. If I leave as I came, then there was something wrong with me, I did not eat what was set before me, and yes at times this does happen to my loss. “Stay hungry my friends” and you hunger will always be satisfied to His eternal glory and your eternal benefit.