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Brace yourself for a wild ride while we take a break from the life of Abraham and take a look at a season in life of Lot. Today, we will look at the situation the evening two angels stay in Sodom under the roof of Lot.

From

A Narrow-Minded Woman

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:14)

Two Angels in Sodom

The two angels left Abraham’s hospitality and are now entering Sodom. The Lord promised Abraham that if there were just ten righteous men in the city, He would spare them.

This story of Sodom is tragic and heartbreaking. However, what is even more shocking is the behavior of Lot. It is difficult for us to understand how Lot can act the way he does and yet still be characterized as a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7.

Brace yourself for a wild ride while we take a break from the life of Abraham and take a look at a season in the life of Lot.

Lot Offers Hospitality to the Angels

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Genesis 19:1-3)

Let us start by recalling how Lot ended up in Sodom. Lot is Abraham’s nephew and for many years he lived with Abraham. However, their servants began quarreling over grazing land so Abraham and Lot decided to separatein order to keep the peace between them. Abraham gave Lot the choice of land and he chose the more fertile land that was near Sodom. At some point, it seems Lot must have moved into the city itself rather than living in the wilderness.

Later, Sodom was attacked by other nations and he and his family were taken captive. Abraham gathered an army and rescued Lot and his family. However, rather than deciding that would be a good time to find a new home, Lot returned to Sodom.

This brings us to the passage today. 

Finish Article HERE 

Why is the book of Enoch not in the Bible? NOTES

by Allen Gosser

https://bibleman1971.wixsite.com/biblemansplace/list-of-subjects
Is it Scripture?

Is this the Holy-Spirit inspired word of God? This is where we can pretty confidently say “no”. If it were Scripture, we would expect it to be free of false doctrine. What we find instead is that false doctrine is one of the most prevalent themes in the book!
Taking a cursory look at the text up through Chapter 59, At the following false doctrines. (I may be off on one here or there, but it should be sufficient to get my point across.)

1:1 Implies restoration during tribulation – not congruent with scriptures.
1:8 In conflict with the doctrine that peace was made at the cross. Also, in the last days tribulation will increase for the righteous – this “verse” seems to dispute that.
2:2-3 Appears to contradict 2 Pet 3:3-7
5:4 Is an admonition to some unknown party – this is very irregular relative to the scriptures (i.e. authentic ancient writings by God-fearing Jews)
6:3 Semjaza seems to be listed as the leader of the angels, which is not scriptural
6:3,8 None of these angels are mentioned in the Bible
8:1 Azazel isn’t even listed in 6:8 as one of the angels that fornicated with women
8:3 Araqiel and Shamsiel aren’t listed in 6:8 either
10:2 Enoch allegedly wrote about Noah, even though the Bible teaches that Enoch was taken up to heaven years before Noah was born.
10:4-6,12 Implies angels can be bound & hid in holes under rocks. This is contrary to scripture.
10:8 Ascribes all the sin of the fallen angels to one named Azazel – not scriptural.
10:15-11:2 Seems to imply that permanent restoration took place after the flood – clearly not true. It seems the true author of this book confused scriptures pertaining to the future restoration.
13:5-6,14:4-5,7 Implies fallen angels can’t talk to God – this contradicts Job. Also implies that angels were repentant, but weren’t received back by God – very strange doctrine.
14 Gives a very strange description of Heaven that conflicts with many scriptures
15:8-10 Very strange doctrine about “evil spirits” proceeding from unredeemable giants
17-18,21,23 Gives a very strange description of the earth & universe which is clearly not true. Also alludes to the ancient model of astronomy that held that there were 7 stars (the closest planets) which burned like the sun (they don’t.)
19:3 Discredits all other prophecy about the consumation of the ages.
20 Lists strange angels not in scripture, and incorrectly assigns the roles of Michael (the warrior) and Gabriel (the messenger)
21:7-10 Seems to contradict Biblical descriptions of the present & final judgement places for the fallen angels
22 Contradicts the Biblical descriptions of past, present & future dwelling places for the righteous who die
32:2-6 Seems to imply the Garden of Eden was still in existance after the Flood
33:1-2 Says Heaven rests on a foundation that is at the Eastern edge of the earth
33:3 He claims he counted the stars & individually mapped them, which is impossible scripturally (& scientifically)
34 Says the winds come out of a “portal” at the Northern edge of the earth
36:3 Says the stars come out of portals at the Eastern edge of the earth & move West
38:5-6 Contradicts Daniel & other prophecies about the Mellinial Reign
39:1-2 Very strange implications here about the “seed” of angels dwelling with men at the end… this contradicts the scriptures
40:7 Talks about the “Satans” – plural, different than the Bible, who gives that name to only one fallen angel. Also, implies Satan can’t stand in God’s presence, contrary to Job.
40:9 Once again mixes up the roles of the 2 Archangels & adds more names in. Michael’s role in scripture is related to conquoring nations & fighting spiritual wars, while Gabriel’s relates to bringing messages & visions to people.
41:1-2 Says the Kingdom of God is divided – it’s not & can’t be scripturally. Also describes sinners being repelled from a mansion, which is also not scriptural, unless you look at a parable Jesus told, which was not intended to be literal.
41:4-5 Says the sun, moon, winds, etc. are stored in chambers & released at appointed times.
41:6-7 Implies the sun & moon move opposite of each other
43:1-3,44 Very weird model of the nature of stars & lightning
47:4 Says God requires the blood of the saints… very strange
51:1 Says Sheol & Hell will give back to the earth, which isn’t scriptural – also Hell is a NT term, not OT
51:2 Disputes the Biblical doctrine that we are chosen. (We don’t have to wait until Christ’s return to be chosen.) This isn’t scriptural.
General: Seems to imply Enoch came back down to earth after being taken up to Heaven, which is not scriptural.

Summary

I think Paul’s words are very pertinent here:
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.

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1. the Old and New Testaments — all 66 books — are inspired by God. Additionally, the apostles recognized these books as inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21 2 Timothy 3:16). All others, including the book of Enoch, were rejected as not having been inspired by the Holy Spirit.
2. The book of Enoch is not in harmony with the rest of Scripture. Here are some examples:
a. The story of angels having sex with women contradicts Jesus’ saying in Matthew 22:30: “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven” (Mat 22:30 NKJV). This means angels are not sexual beings.
b. Eighteen of these angels are listed by name in Enoch 6:3, 8; their leader is Semyaz. Not one of these names appears in the Bible. The giants they produce were 450 feet tall (Enoch 7:2). “These [giants] consumed the produce of all the people until the people detested feeding them. So the giants turned against [the people] in order to eat them” (7:3, 4). This is rather fanciful and against Scripture.
c. In Enoch 10:4, 5, “The Lord said to Raphael [a good angel] ‘Bind Azaz’el [an evil angel] hand and foot [and] throw him into the darkness!’ And he made a hole in the desert which was in Duda’el and cast him there; he threw on top of him rugged and sharp rocks.” According to Enoch, you can bind angels by throwing them into a hole in the desert.
d. In chapter 13, Enoch intercedes for Azaz’el.
e. In Enoch 15:9 evil spirits came out of the bodies of the giants.
“Many more fanciful and weird stories are contained in the book,” These are some reasons why it was never considered as inspired by the Holy Spirit.”

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The biblical book of Jude quotes from the Book of Enoch in verses 14-15, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’” But this does not mean the Book of Enoch is inspired by God and should be in the Bible.

Jude’s quote is not the only quote in the Bible from a non-biblical source. The Apostle Paul quotes Epimenides in Titus 1:12 but that does not mean we should give any additional authority to Epimenides’ writings. The same is true with Jude, verses 14-15. Jude quoting from the book of Enoch does not indicate the entire Book of Enoch is inspired, or even true. All it means is that particular verse is true. It is interesting to note that no scholars believe the Book of Enoch to have truly been written by the Enoch in the Bible. Enoch was seven generations from Adam, prior to the Flood (Genesis 5:1-24). Evidently, though, this was genuinely something that Enoch prophesied – or the Bible would not attribute it to him, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men…” (Jude 14). This saying of Enoch was evidently handed down by tradition, and eventually recorded in the Book of Enoch.

We should treat the Book of Enoch (and the other books like it) in the same manner we do the other Apocryphal writings. Some of what the Apocrypha says is true and correct, but at the same time, much of it is false and historically inaccurate. If you read these books, you have to treat them as interesting but fallible historical documents, not as the inspired, authoritative Word of God.

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The Bible, as we have it today, consists of sixty-six books. The fact that these books belong as Holy Scripture is confirmed by the testimony of Jesus Christ.
First, with regard to the Old Testament we have the testimony of Jesus to the existing books. He confirmed the accepted three-fold division of our canonical books.
These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me (Luke 24:44).
The Promise of Jesus
As far as the New Testament is concerned, we have the promise of Jesus.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John 14:26).
Though we do not have His guarantee after the fact, we have this promise that a New Testament would be given. Thus, we have Jesus “pre-authenticating” the New Testament.
Nature of God
Another reason we can be assured the correct books in the Bible is the nature of God. It has been estimated there are a quintillion stars in the universe and the Bible says God calls them by their names. If God is able to do this, He certainly is able to preserve intact His Word for the benefit of mankind.
Conclusion
Since we have the testimony of Jesus that God preserved the Old Testament for His people, we can also be assured that God took the same care in preserving the New Testament books. When the evidence is examined, we find it consistent and credible.

Sage advice:
Don’t listen to anyone whose teaching requires “spitting out” afterwards.
Don’t listen to anyone that gets “downloads” (new revelations) directly from God.
Don’t listen to anyone who gives lip service to the Bible but rarely actually reads it.
Don’t listen to anyone whose ideas require “The Message Bible” for validation.
Don’t listen to anyone who is getting rich from his or her “ministry.”
Don’t listen to anyone who twists God’s Word or approves of those who do.
Don’t listen to anyone who values the world’s approval more than service to God.
Don’t listen to anyone who talks more about themselves than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Don’t listen to anyone who “casts a vision” that you’re required to follow.
Don’t listen to anyone who claims to have the ability to “speak things into existence.”
Don’t listen to anyone who claims to have discovered a “secret” from God.
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches a whole sermon based on half of a (KJV) verse.
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches a sermon based on his or her new book.
Don’t listen to anyone who questions the Bible while pretending to value it.
Don’t listen to anyone who values adoration from the audience above service to God.
Don’t listen to anyone who refers to their own illegal activities as mere “mistakes.”
Don’t listen to anyone who preaches all Law and no Gospel.
Finally, don’t listen to anyone who thinks this list is too harsh and narrow-minded! 


Read: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs by Steven Kozar: http://bit.ly/1KtXas2

Introduction from Got Questions.  Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is a sermon that was preached by Jonathan Edwards on a few (likely three) occasions, but most famously on July 8, 1741, in Enfield, Connecticut. That day, God used Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God to produce powerful conviction and repentance among those who heard it, with many people coming to faith in Christ. It is the most famous sermon of the first Great Awakening and one of the most famous sermons in Christian history.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God uses Deuteronomy 32:35 as its starting point, particularly the clause “their foot shall slide in due time.” The message of the sermon can be summarized: “It is only the mercy of God the keeps people from falling into hell, and God is free to withdraw that mercy at any moment.” In Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, Jonathan Edwards used vivid illustrations of hell and the perilousness of life in order to force people to consider the reality of their eternal destiny and to invoke a decision to receive Jesus Christ as Savior.

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God is definitely a “hellfire and brimstone” sermon. Many question this method of evangelism. The idea of scaring a person into trusting in Christ is offensive to some. However, hell truly is a horrible place (Revelation 20:10-15). And many people do not understand the urgency of their need of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). There is a time and a place for a sermon such as Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. It, and sermons like it, played a crucial role in the first Great Awakening.

The complete text of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God can be found below:SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD
Their foot shall slide in due time. (Deuteronomy 32:35)
In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God’s visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God’s wonderful works towards them, remained (as verse 28) void of counsel, having no understanding in them. Under all the cultivations of heaven, they brought forth bitter and poisonous fruit; as in the two verses next preceding the text. The expression I have chosen for my text, Their foot shall slide in due time, seems to imply the following doings, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding. The same is expressed, Psalm 73:18, “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou casted them down into destruction.”

2. It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning: Which is also expressed in Psalm 73:18-19, “Surely thou didst set them in slippery places; thou casted them down into destruction: How are they brought into desolation as in a moment!”

3. Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.

4. That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide. Then they shall be left to fall, as they are inclined by their own weight. God will not hold them up in these slippery places any longer, but will let them go; and then at that very instant, they shall fall into destruction; as he that stands on such slippery declining ground, on the edge of a pit, he cannot stand alone, when he is let go he immediately falls and is lost.

The observation from the words that I would now insist upon is this. “There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God.” By the mere pleasure of God, I mean his sovereign pleasure, his arbitrary will, restrained by no obligation, hindered by no manner of difficulty, any more than if nothing else but God’s mere will had in the least degree, or in any respect whatsoever, any hand in the preservation of wicked men one moment. The truth of this observation may appear by the following considerations.

1. There is no want of power in God to cast wicked men into hell at any moment. Men’s hands cannot be strong when God rises up. The strongest have no power to resist him, nor can any deliver out of his hands.—He is not only able to cast wicked men into hell, but he can most easily do it. Sometimes an earthly prince meets with a great deal of difficulty to subdue a rebel, who has found means to fortify himself, and has made himself strong by the numbers of his followers. But it is not so with God. There is no fortress that is any defense from the power of God. Though hand join in hand, and vast multitudes of God’s enemies combine and associate themselves, they are easily broken in pieces. They are as great heaps of light chaff before the whirlwind; or large quantities of dry stubble before devouring flames. We find it easy to tread on and crush a worm that we see crawling on the earth; so it is easy for us to cut or singe a slender thread that any thing hangs by: thus easy is it for God, when he pleases, to cast his enemies down to hell. What are we, that we should think to stand before him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles, and before whom the rocks are thrown down?

2. They deserve to be cast into hell; so that divine justice never stands in the way, it makes no objection against God’s using his power at any moment to destroy them. Yea, on the contrary, justice calls aloud for an infinite punishment of their sins. Divine justice says of the tree that brings forth such grapes of Sodom, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?” Luke 13:7, The sword of divine justice is every moment brandished over their heads, and it is nothing but the hand of arbitrary mercy, and God’s mere will, that holds it back.

3. They are already under a sentence of condemnation to hell. They do not only justly deserve to be cast down thither, but the sentence of the law of God, that eternal and immutable rule of righteousness that God has fixed between him and mankind, is gone out against them, and stands against them; so that they are bound over already to hell. John 3:18, “He that believeth not is condemned already.” So that every unconverted man properly belongs to hell; that is his place; from thence he is, John 8:23, “Ye are from beneath.” And thither be is bound; it is the place that justice, and God’s word, and the sentence of his unchangeable law assign to him.

4. They are now the objects of that very same anger and wrath of God, that is expressed in the torments of hell. And the reason why they do not go down to hell at each moment, is not because God, in whose power they are, is not then very angry with them; as he is with many miserable creatures now tormented in hell, who there feel and bear the fierceness of his wrath. Yea, God is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.

So that it is not because God is unmindful of their wickedness, and does not resent it, that he does not let loose his hand and cut them off. God is not altogether such an one as themselves, though they may imagine him to be so. The wrath of God burns against them, their damnation does not slumber; the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them; the flames do now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened its mouth under them.

5. The devil stands ready to fall upon them, and seize them as his own, at what moment God shall permit him. They belong to him; he has their souls in his possession, and under his dominion. The scripture represents them as his goods, Luke 6:12, The devils watch them; they are ever by them at their right hand; they stand waiting for them, like greedy hungry lions that see their prey, and expect to have it, but are for the present kept back. If God should withdraw his hand, by which they are restrained, they would in one moment fly upon their poor souls. The old serpent is gaping for them; hell opens its mouth wide to receive them; and if God should permit it, they would be hastily swallowed up and lost.

6. There are in the souls of wicked men those hellish principles reigning, that would presently kindle and flame out into hell fire, if it were not for God’s restraints. There is laid in the very nature of carnal men, a foundation for the torments of hell. There are those corrupt principles, in reigning power in them, and in full possession of them, that are seeds of hell fire. These principles are active and powerful, exceeding violent in their nature, and if it were not for the restraining hand of God upon them, they would soon break out, they would flame out after the same manner as the same corruptions, the same enmity does in the hearts of damned souls, and would beget the same torments as they do in them. The souls of the wicked are in scripture compared to the troubled sea, Isaiah 57:20, For the present, God restrains their wickedness by his mighty power, as he does the raging waves of the troubled sea, saying, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further;” but if God should withdraw that restraining power, it would soon carry all before it. Sin is the ruin and misery of the soul; it is destructive in its nature; and if God should leave it without restraint, there would need nothing else to make the soul perfectly miserable. The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God’s restraints, whereas if it were let loose, it would set on fire the course of nature; and as the heart is now a sink of sin, so if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone.

7. It is no security to wicked men for one moment, that there are no visible means of death at hand. It is no security to a natural man, that he is now in health, and that he does not see which way he should now immediately go out of the world by any accident, and that there is no visible danger in any respect in his circumstances. The manifold and continual experience of the world in all ages, shows this is no evidence, that a man is not on the very brink of eternity, and that the next step will not be into another world. The unseen, unthought-of ways and means of persons going suddenly out of the world are innumerable and inconceivable. Unconverted men walk over the pit of hell on a rotten covering, and there are innumerable places in this covering so weak that they will not bear their weight, and these places are not seen. The arrows of death fly unseen at noon-day; the sharpest sight cannot discern them. God has so many different unsearchable ways of taking wicked men out of the world and sending them to hell, that there is nothing to make it appear, that God had need to be at the expense of a miracle, or go out of the ordinary course of his providence, to destroy any wicked man, at any moment. All the means that there are of sinners going out of the world, are so in God’s hands, and so universally and absolutely subject to his power and determination, that it does not depend at all the less on the mere will of God, whether sinners shall at any moment go to hell, than if means were never made use of, or at all concerned in the case.

8. Natural men’s prudence and care to preserve their own lives, or the care of others to preserve them, do not secure them a moment. To this, divine providence and universal experience do also bear testimony. There is this clear evidence that men’s own wisdom is no security to them from death; that if it were otherwise we should see some difference between the wise and politic men of the world, and others, with regard to their liableness to early and unexpected death: but how is it in fact? Ecclesiastes 2:16, “How dieth the wise man? even as the fool.”

9. All wicked men’s pains and contrivance which they use to escape hell, while they continue to reject Christ, and so remain wicked men, do not secure them from hell one moment. Almost every natural man that hears of hell, flatters himself that he shall escape it; he depends upon himself for his own security; he flatters himself in what he has done, in what he is now doing, or what he intends to do. Every one lays out matters in his own mind how he shall avoid damnation, and flatters himself that he contrives well for himself, and that his schemes will not fail. They hear indeed that there are but few saved, and that the greater part of men that have died heretofore are gone to hell; but each one imagines that he lays out matters better for his own escape than others have done. He does not intend to come to that place of torment; he says within himself, that he intends to take effectual care, and to order matters so for himself as not to fail.

But the foolish children of men miserably delude themselves in their own schemes, and in confidence in their own strength and wisdom; they trust to nothing but a shadow. The greater part of those who heretofore have lived under the same means of grace, and are now dead, are undoubtedly gone to hell; and it was not because they were not as wise as those who are now alive: it was not because they did not lay out matters as well for themselves to secure their own escape. If we could speak with them, and inquire of them, one by one, whether they expected, when alive, and when they used to hear about hell ever to be the subjects of that misery: we doubtless, should hear one and another reply, “No, I never intended to come here: I had laid out matters otherwise in my mind; I thought I should contrive well for myself: I thought my scheme good. I intended to take effectual care; but it came upon me unexpected; I did not look for it at that time, and in that manner; it came as a thief: Death outwitted me: God’s wrath was too quick for me. Oh, my cursed foolishness! I was flattering myself, and pleasing myself with vain dreams of what I would do hereafter; and when I was saying, Peace and safety, then suddenly destruction came upon me.

10. God has laid himself under no obligation, by any promise to keep any natural man out of hell one moment. God certainly has made no promises either of eternal life, or of any deliverance or preservation from eternal death, but what are contained in the covenant of grace, the promises that are given in Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen. But surely they have no interest in the promises of the covenant of grace who are not the children of the covenant, who do not believe in any of the promises, and have no interest in the Mediator of the covenant.

So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men’s earnest seeking and knocking, it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction.

So that, thus it is that natural men are held in the hand of God, over the pit of hell; they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold them up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out: and they have no interest in any Mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them. In short, they have no refuge, nothing to take hold of, all that preserves them every moment is the mere arbitrary will, and uncovenanted, unobliged forbearance of an incensed God.

APPLICATION

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ.—That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor any thing to take hold of, there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

You probably are not sensible of this; you find you are kept out of hell, but do not see the hand of God in it; but look at other things, as the good state of your bodily constitution, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own preservation. But indeed these things are nothing; if God should withdraw his band, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock. Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment; for you are a burden to it; the creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly; the sun does not willingly shine upon you to give you light to serve sin and Satan; the earth does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts; nor is it willingly a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon; the air does not willingly serve you for breath to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God’s enemies. God’s creatures are good, and were made for men to serve God with, and do not willingly subserve to any other purpose, and groan when they are abused to purposes so directly contrary to their nature and end. And the world would spew you out, were it not for the sovereign hand of him who hath subjected it in hope. There are black clouds of God’s wrath now hanging directly over your heads, full of the dreadful storm, and big with thunder; and were it not for the restraining hand of God, it would immediately burst forth upon you. The sovereign pleasure of God, for the present, stays his rough wind; otherwise it would come with fury, and your destruction would come like a whirlwind, and you would be like the chaff of the summer threshing floor.

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present; they increase more and more, and rise higher and higher, till an outlet is given; and the longer the stream is stopped, the more rapid and mighty is its course, when once it is let loose. It is true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods of God’s vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the mean time is constantly increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are constantly rising, and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, that holds the waters back, that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go forward. If God should only withdraw his hand from the flood-gate, it would immediately fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God, would rush forth with inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it.

The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow made ready on the string, and justice bends the arrow at your heart, and strains the bow, and it is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation at all, that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood. Thus all you that never passed under a great change of heart,

by the mighty power of the Spirit of God upon your souls; all you that were never born again, and made new creatures, and raised from being dead in sin, to a state of new, and before altogether unexperienced light and life, are in the hands of an angry God. However you may have reformed your life in many things, and may have had religious affections, and may keep up a form of religion in your families and closets, and in the house of God, it is nothing but his mere pleasure that keeps you from being this moment swallowed up in everlasting destruction. However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by you will be fully convinced of it. Those that are gone from being in the like circumstances with you, see that it was so with them; for destruction came suddenly upon most of them; when they expected nothing of it, and while they were saying, Peace and safety: now they see, that those things on which they depended for peace and safety, were nothing but thin air and empty shadows.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked: his wrath towards you burns like fire; he looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night; that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep. And there is no other reason to be given, why you have not dropped into hell since you arose in the morning, but that God’s hand has held you up. There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell.

O sinner! Consider the fearful danger you are in: it is a great furnace of wrath, a wide and bottomless pit, full of the fire of wrath, that you are held over in the hand of that God, whose wrath is provoked and incensed as much against you, as against many of the damned in hell. You hang by a slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about it, and ready every moment to singe it, and burn it asunder; and you have no interest in any Mediator, and nothing to lay hold of to save yourself, nothing to keep off the flames of wrath, nothing of your own, nothing that you ever have done, nothing that you can do, to induce God to spare you one moment. And consider here more particularly

1. Whose wrath it is: it is the wrath of the infinite God. If it were only the wrath of man, though it were of the most potent prince, it would be comparatively little to be regarded. The wrath of kings is very much dreaded, especially of absolute monarchs, who have the possessions and lives of their subjects wholly in their power, to be disposed of at their mere will. Proverbs 20:2, “The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: Whoso provoketh him to anger, sinneth against his own soul.” The subject that very much enrages an arbitrary prince, is liable to suffer the most extreme torments that human art can invent, or human power can inflict. But the greatest earthly potentates in their greatest majesty and strength, and when clothed in their greatest terrors, are but feeble, despicable worms of the dust, in comparison of the great and almighty Creator and King of heaven and earth. It is but little that they can do, when most enraged, and when they have exerted the utmost of their fury. All the kings of the earth, before God, are as grasshoppers; they are nothing, and less than nothing: both their love and their hatred is to be despised. The wrath of the great King of kings, is as much more terrible than theirs, as his majesty is greater. Luke 12:4-5, “And I say unto you, my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that, have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: fear him, which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

2. It is the fierceness of his wrath that you are exposed to. We often read of the fury of God; as in Isaiah 59:18, “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay fury to his adversaries.” So Isaiah 66:15. “For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.” And in many other places. So, Revelation 24:15, we read of “the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” The words are exceeding terrible. If it had only been said, “the wrath of God,” the words would have implied that which is infinitely dreadful: but it is “the fierceness and wrath of God.” The fury of God! the fierceness of Jehovah! Oh, how dreadful must that be! Who can utter or conceive what such expressions carry in them! But it is also “the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” As though there would be a very great manifestation of his almighty power in what the fierceness of his wrath should inflict, as though omnipotence should be as it were enraged, and exerted, as men are wont to exert their strength in the fierceness of their wrath. Oh! then, what will be the consequence! What will become of the poor worms that shall suffer it! Whose hands can be strong? And whose heart can endure? To what a dreadful, inexpressible, inconceivable depth of misery must the poor creature be sunk who shall be the subject of this!

Consider this, you that are here present, that yet remain in an unregenerate state. That God will execute the fierceness of his anger, implies, that he will inflict wrath without any pity. When God beholds the ineffable extremity of your case, and sees your torment to be so vastly disproportioned to your strength, and sees how your poor soul is crushed, and sinks down, as it were, into an infinite gloom; he will have no compassion upon you, he will not forbear the executions of his wrath, or in the least lighten his hand; there shall be no moderation or mercy, nor will God then at all stay his rough wind; he will have no regard to your welfare, nor be at all careful lest you should suffer too much in any other sense, than only that you shall not suffer beyond what strict justice requires. Nothing shall be withheld, because it is so hard for you to bear. Ezekiel 8:18, “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity; and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet I will not hear them.” Now God stands ready to pity you; this is a day of mercy; you may cry now with some encouragement of obtaining mercy. But when once the day of mercy is past, your most lamentable and dolorous cries and shrieks will be in vain; you will be wholly lost and thrown away of God, as to any regard to your welfare. God will have no other use to put you to, but to suffer misery; you shall be continued in being to no other end; for you will be a vessel of wrath fitted to destruction; and there will be no other use of this vessel, but to be filled full of wrath. God will be so far from pitying you when you cry to him, that it is said he will only “laugh and mock,” Proverbs 1:25-26.

How awful are those words, Isaiah 63:3, which are the words of the great God. “I will tread them in mine anger, and will trample them in my fury, and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.” It is perhaps impossible to conceive of words that carry in them greater manifestations of these three things, vis. contempt, and hatred, and fierceness of indignation. If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from pitying you in your doleful case, or showing you the least regard or favor, that instead of that, he will only tread you under foot. And though he will know that you cannot bear the weight of omnipotence treading upon you, yet he will not regard that, but he will crush you under his feet without mercy; he will crush out your blood, and make it fly, and it shall be sprinkled on his garments, so as to stain all his raiment. He will not only hate you, but he will have you, in the utmost contempt: no place shall be thought fit for you, but under his feet to be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

3. The misery you are exposed to is that which God will inflict to that end, that he might show what that wrath of Jehovah is. God hath had it on his heart to show to angels and men, both how excellent his love is, and also how terrible his wrath is. Sometimes earthly kings have a mind to show how terrible their wrath is, by the extreme punishments they would execute on those that would provoke them. Nebuchadnezzar, that mighty and haughty monarch of the Chaldean empire, was willing to show his wrath when enraged with Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego; and accordingly gave orders that the burning fiery furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was before; doubtless, it was raised to the utmost degree of fierceness that human art could raise it. But the great God is also willing to show his wrath, and magnify his awful majesty and mighty power in the extreme sufferings of his enemies. Romans 9:22, “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endure with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?” And seeing this is his design, and what he has determined, even to show how terrible the unrestrained wrath, the fury and fierceness of Jehovah is, he will do it to effect. There will be something accomplished and brought to pass that will be dreadful with a witness. When the great and angry God hath risen up and executed his awful vengeance on the poor sinner, and the wretch is actually suffering the infinite weight and power of his indignation, then will God call upon the whole universe to behold that awful majesty and mighty power that is to be seen in it. Isaiah 33:12-14, “And the people shall be as the burnings of lime, as thorns cut up shall they be burnt in the fire. Hear ye that are far off, what I have done; and ye that are near, acknowledge my might. The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites.”

Thus it will be with you that are in an unconverted state, if you continue in it; the infinite might, and majesty, and terribleness of the omnipotent God shall be magnified upon you, in the ineffable strength of your torments. You shall be tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and when you shall be in this state of suffering, the glorious inhabitants of heaven shall go forth and look on the awful spectacle, that they may see what the wrath and fierceness of the Almighty is; and when they have seen it, they will fall down and adore that great power and majesty. Isaiah 66:23-24, “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

4. It is everlasting wrath. It would be dreadful to suffer this fierceness and wrath of Almighty God one moment; but you must suffer it to all eternity. There will be no end to this exquisite horrible misery. When you look forward, you shall see a long for ever, a boundless duration before you, which will swallow up your thoughts, and amaze your soul; and you will absolutely despair of ever having any deliverance, any end, any mitigation, any rest at all. You will know certainly that you must wear out long ages, millions of millions of ages, in wrestling and conflicting with this almighty merciless vengeance; and then when you have so done, when so many ages have actually been spent by you in this manner, you will know that all is but a point to what remains. So that your punishment will indeed be infinite. Oh, who can express what the state of a soul in such circumstances is! All that we can possibly say about it, gives but a very feeble, faint representation of it; it is inexpressible and inconceivable: For “who knows the power of God’s anger?”

How dreadful is the state of those that are daily and hourly in the danger of this great wrath and infinite misery! But this is the dismal case of every soul in this congregation that has not been born again, however moral and strict, sober and religious, they may otherwise be. Oh that you would consider it, whether you be young or old! There is reason to think, that there are many in this congregation now hearing this discourse, that will actually be the subjects of this very misery to all eternity. We know not who they are, or in what seats they sit, or what thoughts they now have. It may be they are now at ease, and hear all these things without much disturbance, and are now flattering themselves that they are not the persons, promising themselves that they shall escape. If we knew that there was one person, and but one, in the whole congregation, that was to be the subject of this misery, what an awful thing would it be to think of! If we knew who it was, what an awful sight would it be to see such a person! How might all the rest of the congregation lift up a lamentable and bitter cry over him! But, alas! instead of one, how many is it likely will remember this discourse in hell? And it would be a wonder, if some that are now present should not be in hell in a very short time, even before this year is out. And it would be no wonder if some persons, that now sit here, in some seats of this meeting-house, in health, quiet and secure, should be there before to-morrow morning. Those of you that finally continue in a natural condition, that shall keep out of hell longest will be there in a little time! your damnation does not slumber; it will come swiftly, and, in all probability, very suddenly upon many of you. You have reason to wonder that you are not already in hell. It is doubtless the case of some whom you have seen and known, that never deserved hell more than you, and that heretofore appeared as likely to have been now alive as you. Their case is past all hope; they are crying in extreme misery and perfect despair; but here you are in the land of the living and in the house of God, and have an opportunity to obtain salvation. What would not those poor damned hopeless souls give for one day’s opportunity such as you now enjoy!

And now you have an extraordinary opportunity, a day wherein Christ has thrown the door of mercy wide open, and stands in calling and crying with a loud voice to poor sinners; a day wherein many are flocking to him, and pressing into the kingdom of God. Many are daily coming from the east, west, north and south; many that were very lately in the same miserable condition that you are in, are now in a happy state, with their hearts filled with love to him who has loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood, and rejoicing in hope of the glory of God. How awful is it to be left behind at such a day! To see so many others feasting, while you are pining and perishing! To see so many rejoicing and singing for joy of heart, while you have cause to mourn for sorrow of heart, and howl for vexation of spirit. How can you rest one moment in such a condition? Are not your souls as precious as the souls of the people at Suffield (a town in the area), where they are flocking from day to day to Christ?

Are there not many here who have lived long in the world, and are not to this day born again? and so are aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and have done nothing ever since they have lived, but treasure up wrath against the day of wrath? Oh, sirs, your case, in an especial manner, is extremely dangerous. Your guilt and hardness of heart is extremely great. Do you not see how generally persons of your years are passed over and left, in the present remarkable and wonderful dispensation of God’s mercy? You had need to consider yourselves, and awake thoroughly out of sleep. You cannot bear the fierceness and wrath of the infinite God.—And you, young men, and young women, will you neglect this precious season which you now enjoy, when so many others of your age are renouncing all youthful vanities, and flocking to Christ? You especially have now an extraordinary opportunity; but if you neglect it, it will soon be with you as with those persons who spent all the precious days of youth in sin, and are now come to such a dreadful pass in blindness and hardness. And you, children, who are unconverted, do not you know that you are going down to hell, to bear the dreadful wrath of that God, who is now angry with you every day and every night? Will you be content to be the children of the devil, when so many other children in the land are converted, and are become the holy and happy children of the King of kings?

And let every one that is yet out of Christ, and hanging over the pit of hell, whether they be old men and women, or middle aged, or young people, or little children, now harken to the loud calls of God’s word and providence. This acceptable year of the Lord, a day of such great favors to some, will doubtless be a day of as remarkable vengeance to others. Men’s hearts harden, and their guilt increases apace at such a day as this, if they neglect their souls; and never was there so great danger of such persons being given up to hardness of heart and blindness of mind. God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostles’ days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded. If this should be the case with you, you will eternally curse this day, and will curse the day that ever you was born, to see such a season of the pouring out of God’s Spirit, and will wish that you had died and gone to hell before you had seen it. Now undoubtedly it is, as it was in the days of John the Baptist, the axe is in an extraordinary manner laid at the root of the trees, that every tree which brings not forth good fruit, may be hewn down and cast into the fire.

A must read testimony from the site “In the Light of Deception”

Falling Into Deception

Where is truth found?
Simply put, truth is found in the literal word of God alone. Nothing needs to be added or taken from scripture to uncover new truths or to keep current.

 

Early Deception 

Matthew 24:11

11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Matthew 24:24

24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

I became familiar with false teachings at an early age. From six years old to about ten years of age I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. A couple of years after that I attended some Christian churches with my mom. As a young adult, I started on my own quest for the truth. I went to different places of worship including a Catholic church and a Buddhist temple. Because of extended family members, I also became familiar with Mormonism.

After experiencing many kinds of deception, both in my youth and early adulthood, it is a wonder that I became a Christian at all, but I did.

 Within the Walls of Today’s Churches

2 Timothy 4:1-4

4 “I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

By the time I was 30 I had finally accepted God as my personal Lord and Savior.  It wasn’t an instantaneous transformation, but definitely a work in progress.  At that time my husband wasn’t ready or even looking for a church to attend.  I went to church alone early on in our relationship.  Eventually, he decided to visit a few of them.  We ended up agreeing on a church that his brother and sister-in-law attended and even helped start.  They were one of the first 12 members of the church.  It had now grown and moved into an auditorium at an elementary school.  My husband and I ended up attending the church for 12 years.  We were married by the pastor and also adopted two beautiful little girls through a program presented at the church (a true blessing!).  Needless to say, we were fully invested in the church and their practices.

The church grew very quickly and needed to move into a larger facility.  During this time another church in the area was losing its pastor and the church was looking for a replacement pastor.  Our pastor ended up taking the position and merging both churches together.  With the merge of the two churches came new ministry opportunities.  The church was very involved in the community with outreach programs but was missing the vital ingredient for Christian growth, the bible.  Although bible verses were being used within the topical teachings, the bible was nowhere to be found! Each service had a fill in the blank pamphlet relating to the topic being taught and flashed the scriptures on a large screen.  It seemed there was no need to bring a Bible to church.  At that time, I thought, “Great, this makes things easier.  I don’t have to try to find the scriptures myself and I can keep up with the study.”  Here’s where compromise and biblical illiteracy started to take root and deception quickly took a hold of my life.  It was a slow fade, or maybe it wasn’t.  Perhaps I fell into deception from the minute I walked through the doors of this popular evangelical church?

Before long, a “More Seats, More Story” fundraiser started.  The church was ready to build a new (even larger) sanctuary.  Many people paid into this building fund for months or even years. With this growth came more entertaining music, skits, and many things the world had to offer. Even the youth ministry themed their events around what was popular in the world, like “The Hunger Games”.  Also, small group outreaches were themed after “Happy Hour”.  The church was driven by their “More Seats, More Stories” theme and the idea of reaching people to fill seats in the new sanctuary.  The church opened a café, served popcorn, donuts, pastries, breakfast burritos and coffee.  They had kiosks for ministry opportunities and outreach. They served tacos for the “Happy Hour” theme and had incredibly talented musicians offering worldly music, such as Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, and even a Christmas tribute to Michael Jackson, along with popular trendy Christian music. There were even ice skaters, actors, painters, dancers, and elaborate stage set-ups.  We were immensely entertained and the church grew like wildfire.  The church “Rocked”, but where was God in all of this entertainment?  Did God have a seat in this sanctuary?  Did anyone know about the word of God?  Scripture was being used, but not being taught.

 1 Timothy 6:3-5  

3 “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.” 

There’s a big difference between using God’s word to bring about a pastor’s topics and teaching God’s infallible word to the flock.  Most of the members of this church were falling into compromise and didn’t even know it.  Author’s books were recommended for bible study, such as John Ortberg’s, “It All Goes Back into the Box”and Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”.  There was also the  pastor’s fill in the blank DVD bible study series.  Many authors were quoted during sermons and the word of God was downplayed.  This church was a mess, but many people (including myself) couldn’t get enough of it.

 

Finish article HERE

 

 

 

New Age Books

All six of these books are often promoted as “Christian” but are “New Age” books which preach “Another Jesus”, “Another Spirit”, and “Another Gospel”.

“Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch teaches:
● No Devil
● No Sin
● No Hell
● Man is God
● Universalism
● Relativism
● Reincarnation
● Jesus is one of many Ascended Masters (Lord Maitreya, Djwhal Khul, Melchizedek, etc).

“The Shack” by William P. Young teaches:
● Universal Salvation
● God does not Punish Sin
● Human Heart is Good
● “Do what thou Wilt”
● The Bible is Fallible
● Relativism
● Against Organized Churches
● Redefines Sin
● Heaven is not Accurately Depicted in Scripture
● God is Against Rules.

“The Revelation” by Barbara Max Hubbard teaches:
● Human Nature Good
● Born to be Christ
● You are God
● Separation of God is a Delusion
● If you don’t believe you are God you are Cancer
● 2nd Death is for those Who cannot Evolve
● Christ will not Return until enough People are Linked to Him via (Christ -Consciousness)

“Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young teaches:
● Occult/New Age Channeling
● Spiritual Dictation
● Creative Visualization
● Meditation
● Divine Alchemy
● Co-creation with God
● Practicing the Presence
● Jesus Flatters

“The Circle Maker” by Mark & Parker Batterson teaches:
● Insufficiency of the Bible
● Use Witchcraft to get Prayers Answered
● God is Submissive to Man’s Will
● Pray in a Demanding and Arrogant Way rather than Humbly
● Use Visualization Tactics
● “Name it Claim it Theology”
● “Primacy of Man’s Will over God’s Will.”
● Principles Taught in Talmud

“A Course in Miracles” by Helen Schuchman & Marianne Williamson teaches:
● Panentheism (God is everything)
● All is Love
● Recognition of God is Recognition of Self
● No Sin
● No Need for Salvation
● Old Rugged Cross is Useless
● Evil does not Exist
● No Devil,
● We Face Armageddon (in ourselves) No Need for Future Armageddon (collective)
● Meditation.

Beth Moore is an ecumenical charismatic who supposedly receives messages and visions from God. She has been instructed by God to pass these messages to the church. Oh really. While some of her teachings may be correct they are also filled with allegory which spiritualizes text. This often changes the meaning of what the text is teaching. She also teaches men from the pulpit which puts her in direct rebellion to scripture. Her emotional stories really tug at the heart of women who need to beware.

Lauran Breaks Free of Beth Moore: A Testimony

The following testimony was submitted to Pulpit & Pen for publication:

My name is Lauran.  I am a Southern Baptist from Tennessee.  I walked the aisle to accept Jesus at age 5 but I believe I was truly saved 12 years ago at the age of 21.  I am currently the women’s Bible study leader at our church as well as the pastor’s wife.  I have broken free of Beth Moore.

I grew up attending a flagship in Southern Baptist Church in Tennessee.  It was and is one of the most vibrant churches in the convention; its former and current pastors have been the President of the Southern Baptist Convention and both served on the Baptist Faith and Message Committee.  At this faithful church, the Bible was proclaimed as God’s inerrant word.  Growing up in a church like that, I was often involved in Bible study.  One of my favorite Bible study authors was Beth Moore.  I was heavily involved in her studies for years.  I have seen her speak live multiple times, done countless numbers of her studies and own tons of her books.  I’ll never forget the day five years ago when my husband informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.

My husband had stumbled across the profile on Beth Moore at the Christian Apologetics Research Ministry (CARM) website.  Incredulously, my Baptist husband read Matt Slick’s negative critique of Beth Moore.  He was surprised to see that CARM, one of the most trusted online sources for Christian doctrine, did not recommend participating in Beth Moore studies.  He knew she was the darling of Southern Baptist women’s studies, a best-selling author at Lifeway.  After studying the article, my husband couldn’t help but agree with Slick’s assessment.  The evidence was right there.  Beth Moore was not a sound teacher.  Sheepishly, he informed me that Beth Moore may not be a sound teacher.  I was aghast!

“What?!” I exclaimed.  “No Way! Beth Moore is a godly woman.” I had been growing in my knowledge of the word in leaps and bounds over the past few years.  I had even attended Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary for a degree in Christian education.  It had never been brought up to me in my long Baptist life that Beth Moore, this trusted woman, and leader, might actually be a poor teacher or even a wolf in sheep’s clothing!  I had always just assumed that what she was teaching was biblical. All of the churches I had ever attended had endorsed and done her studies as part of their women’s Bible studies. How could they keep doing her studies if her teaching and actions were unbiblical?!

There was only one way to answer this question.

 

 

Finish HERE 

March 26, 2000                             Coy Wylie

1 John – Living in the Light

How to Test the Spirits

1 John 4:1-6


1. “Discrimination” is a bad word in our cultural vocabulary. Our courts are filled with lawsuits based on discrimination. In a multi-cultural society we are taught to be tolerant of one another. To an extent this is appropriate. Our Constitution states that all men are created equally. Acts 10:34 says, “God is no respecter of persons” (KJV); He does not show partiality. Therefore we are not to discriminate racially, economically, socially or culturally.

2. In this passage, John teaches we must discriminate doctrinally. We must “test the spirits.” We must learn to discern between “the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” These 6 verses are a parenthesis on his discourse about love. Love evidences our fellowship with God but love can never be divorced from truth.

An elementary school class toured a medical facility. A child asked why the doctors and nurses were constantly washing their hands. The nurse replied, “We wash our hands for two reasons: we love health and we hate germs.” The Christian who abides in Christ and walks in the Spirit loves truth and hates error. He discriminates.

3. As Christians, we are called “believers.” However, every believer is also called to be an unbeliever when it comes to error. The Bible not only encourages us to believe but also to not believe. Just as we can inhale and exhale at the same time, we cannot believe truth and accept error. You cannot love until you reject hatred. You cannot pursue righteousness until you abandon evil. John Stott has written, “Unbelief can be as much a mark of spiritual maturity as belief.” (p.157).

4. With this background in mind, let’s examine the command to test the spirits and three criteria by which we test the spirits.


I. The Command to Test the Spirits (v.1).

A. Why We Are to Test the Spirits.

1. John is speaking to believers. He calls them “beloved.” He says we are not to “believe every spirit” but “test” them as to “whether they are of God.” Why? Because there are “many false prophets” who have “gone out into the world.”

2. Historically, the background of this passage is in the era in which the NT was being completed. There was no NT cannon. The apostles were still in the process of writing the inspired books and epistles that make up our understanding of the Christian faith.

3. God delivered His word to the congregations of believers in part by the verbal word of divinely gifted and inspired prophets. We read about the powerful and prevalent gifts in 1 Cor.12 and 14.

4. John warns his readers not to “believe every spirit” but to “test the spirits whether they are of God” because not everyone who claimed to be a prophet was divinely inspired.

5. There was and is the great necessity of critical assessment of spiritual teaching. There are still many false teachers in the world.

B. What it Means to Test the Spirits.

1. Every believer has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. In 3:24, we learned last week that God “have given us… the Spirit.” In chapter 2, John calls the presence of the Spirit “the anointing which you have received from Him…”

2. God has given us His indwelling Spirit but John now points out that there are other “spirits” loose in the world. If we have the Spirit, we ought to “test the Spirits.”

3. Christians often test teaching by how it sounds, the words used, the inflection of the voice, the stories told, if it moves them or makes them feel good. None of these are appropriate tests. “Test” in v.4 means “to approve or examine.” The term was used of gold put in the fire to test its purity.

4. There are two categories of spirits operating in the world. When someone proposes to speak for God, you should “test the spirits” or you might “amen” the wrong spirit! I’ve been in some churches where they would “amen” almost anything.

5. Behind every prophet is a spirit. The great question is does the Spirit of God or an evil spirit lead this teacher. Before we trust any teacher, we must “test the spirits.”

6. Paul wrote in 1 Thess.5:20-22, “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.”

7. Jesus warned in Mt.7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…”

8. Paul warned the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:29, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”

9. Peter also offered this warning in 2 Pet.2:1, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”

10. Today there is still a great need for biblical discernment and discrimination. Many believers remain biblically illiterate and spiritually gullible. They naively accept any teaching as truth.

11. In Eph.4:14, Paul says that a sure sign of spiritual immaturity is “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting.”

C. Failing to Test the Spirits is Dangerous.

Every good parent teaches his children to discriminate, to discern. We teach them to never take candy from strangers or accept a ride from strangers. Why? We know that there are evil people in the world who will take advantage of the naiveté of our kids. Too many of God’s kids have never learned to discern. They don’t discriminate. They are led astray by spiritual candy with a pseudo spiritual wrapper that is nothing more than sugarcoated error. It tastes good and makes them feel good for the moment but leaves them with nothing but empty calories. There is no spiritual nutrition because there is no truth.

1. If you follow the wrong spirit, you will pay a price. The famous circus entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum is quoted as saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Satan has many slick sideshows that sidetrack God’s children and rob them of their spiritual riches.

2. There are “many” false teachers in the world today. The spiritual candy store is full. Satan has all flavors of teachers and preachers ready to fill your spiritual appetite with a sugarcoated experience that will leave you with a bellyache. Test the spirits!

3. Remember when Moses first appeared before Pharaoh? He had a rod that turned into a snake. Satan was not to be outdone so the magicians’ rods turned to snakes too. He knows how to put on a good show, to entice and lure us away from the truth.

4. The reformers insisted that even the most humble of believers has “the right of private judgment.” John is writing to the “beloved,” all Christians. You don’t have to have a seminary degree to test the spirits. You don’t have to attend a spirit-testing seminar. Why? Because the Holy Spirit already resides within you.

5. In this church we wear the name Baptist but our allegiance is to the Bible. Just because it is a Baptist teaching does not necessarily mean it is a biblical teaching. We “test the spirits” and the chief measuring stick is the Scripture!

II. The Criteria for Testing the Spirits (vv.5-6).

A. How Do They View the Son of God? (vv.2-3).

1. The first test is the acknowledgement of the historical incarnation of Jesus, that “Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.” Believers are to test for truth based on a teacher’s attitude concerning the person and work of Jesus. The first question is always “What do they believe about Jesus?” because if you are wrong about Jesus you are wrong about God.

2. In John’s day there was a teacher known as Cerinthus who taught that Jesus became the Messiah at His baptism. The Spirit came upon and at His death on the cross, the Spirit left Him and He died and remained dead, thus denying the resurrection. Cerinthus taught his disciples that Jesus did not come as God but became the Son of God for season. This was a terrible false teaching.

3. Jesus did not become the Son of God. He has always existed as the Son. He was incarnated, came “in the flesh” to be our Savior. Jesus was fully God and fully man. The baby in the manger humanly did not know anything but divinely knew everything. The baby in the manger could humanly be only one place at a time but divinely was omnipresent, equally present everywhere. The baby in the manger was humanly terribly weak and hopelessly dependent but divinely was all-powerful. The baby in the manger was humanly unable to speak but divinely had spoken the worlds into existence.

4. Many religions seek to honor Jesus as a great man or a great teacher but do not recognize Him for who He is. Some of them knock on your door with attractive publications and reverent, religious words but they don’t believe that Jesus is the “express image of His person” (Heb.1:3). They will say He is God’s Son but just for a time, not for eternity. They will agree that He is a great prophet, but they want to put him on the level of Mohammed or Confucius.

5. A teacher must not only acknowledge the incarnation as a historical fact but they must also “confess” Him. They must commit their lives to Him.

6. Satan and his demons acknowledge the historical incarnation but do not “confess” Him as Lord. Evil spirits readily recognized Jesus during His earthly ministry. In Mk.1:24 we read the words of one spirit encountered by Jesus, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are; the Holy One of God!” In Mk.5:7 another said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” James 2:19 remarks, “Even the demons believe; and tremble!”

7. Christian Scientists claim that Jesus was a man who received the Spirit of the Christ. Mormons say Jesus was a man who became god to show us how to become gods. Liberal theologians deny the virgin birth of Jesus and thus deny His incarnation and His deity. All these people fail to “confess” Him as God.

8. There are many people in church every Sunday who believe Jesus is the incarnate Christ but have never truly confessed Him.

9. The one who is led by the Holy Spirit will always “confess” Jesus. Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would testify of Him and glorify Him. He said in Jn.16:13-14, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”

10. Paul states in 1 Cor.12:3, “No one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.”

11. John says in v.3, to proclaim anything else about Jesus smacks of “the spirit of the Antichrist.” John has already mentioned the Antichrist in chapter 2. We know there is coming a world leader known as “the Antichrist,” however; “the spirit of the Antichrist” is “now already in the world.”

12. Be careful who you listen to that you do not take false medication.

B. What is Their Relation to the Spirit of God? (v.4).

1. In saying that believers “have overcome them” John is telling us that the false teachers have not succeeded in deceiving us.

2. False teachers are intimidating. They ask, “How can you believe that?” Raise the issue of creation in your biology classroom and watch them go into a frenzy. However, truth is absolute. It is immutable. It never changes.

If I play a B-flat on the piano you will hear a B-flat. A B-flat was a B-flat a thousand years ago and will still be a B-flat in the next millennium. It is absolute. Truth is absolute. Jesus is absolute. Heb.13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

3. Why have we “overcome” them? Not because we are smart, sharp or extremely intelligent, but because of the Spirit is within us. “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Although, Satan is great, the Holy Spirit is greater!

We all have insulation in our houses. Insulation keeps the warm air in and the cold air out or visa versa. The Holy Spirit is the God-given insulation in the believer’s life who helps us keep out error. Have you ever heard a sermon or listened to religious discussion and thought, “Something doesn’t sound right?” That is the Holy Spirit filtering out the error and leading you in truth.

C. Are They in Harmony with the Word of God? (vv.5-6).

1. Notice three pronouns in vv.4-6. In v.4 John speaks of “you” or Christians. In v.5 he speaks of “they,” false teachers. In v.6, he speaks of “we” or the God-ordained apostles.

2. Now in v.5 we see that that “they” are heard by the world. The world recognizes its own people and listens to their message. One of the easiest ways to recognize a false teacher is by whether the world is comfortable with him.

3. When you are on the job speak about the truth of Jesus, someone will invariably say, “I don’t want to hear that!” Why? Truth divides. People want to feel good about themselves. Truth always makes them take a hard look at themselves.

4. When I prepare a sermon, I don’t ever ask, “Will they enjoy this message?” My goal is not your entertainment but your edification. Truth always will help you.

In order to survive under the water, you need special equipment. Scuba gear enables a diver to live and function in a hostile environment. In the same way, the Spirit of God and the Word of God enable us to function in the world.

5. When John says, “He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us,” it sounds somewhat arrogant. In effect, he is saying, “You can tell our message is God’s message because God’s people receive it.”

6. I could never say that. It would be prideful and presumptuous for me to say, “Whoever knows God agrees with me and only those who don’t know God disagree with me.” I’ve known a few preachers who’ve come close to that level of arrogance though.

7. John is an apostle; I am a pastor. John personally walked with Jesus. By inspiration, he wrote words of Scripture. To agree with the apostles is to agree with Scripture. Eph.2:20 says the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”

8. Turn the page to 2 Jn.10-11. Churches met in houses in those days. John was saying don’t let him in the church. In this church we discriminate doctrinally.

9. Someone might say, “Truth, truth, truth! Pastor you major on truth, but what about emotion? What about feelings? I want to feel the presence of God.” Amen! I want to feel Him too. He gave me my emotions. I want both spirit and truth. However, I want to be certain what I am feeling. I don’t want to get off into subjective feelings until I am dead on in objective truth!

We can navigate a course by the use of a compass. A compass points to the north because of the magnetic field. Christians can navigate life by responding to the “true north” of the Word of God. We have the Word of God before us and the Spirit of God within us. Let us “test the spirits” and the teaching of anyone who claims to speak for God.


Copyright © 1998 – 2003 Coy M. Wylie. 

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New American Standard Bible
“But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues;”
Matthew 10:17
Commentary

Matthew Henry Commentary


10:16-42

Our Lord warned his disciples to prepare for persecution. They were to avoid all things which gave advantage to their enemies, all meddling with worldly or political concerns, all appearance of evil or selfishness, and all underhand measures. Christ foretold troubles, not only that the troubles might not be a surprise, but that they might confirm their faith. He tells them what they should suffer, and from whom. Thus Christ has dealt fairly and faithfully with us, in telling us the worst we can meet with in his service; and he would have us deal so with ourselves, in sitting down and counting the cost. Persecutors are worse than beasts, in that they prey upon those of their own kind. The strongest bonds of love and duty, have often been broken through from enmity against Christ. Sufferings from friends and relations are very grievous; nothing cuts more. It appears plainly, that all who will live godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution; and we must expect to enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations. With these predictions of trouble, are counsels and comforts for a time of trial. The disciples of Christ are hated and persecuted as serpents, and their ruin is sought, and they need the serpent’s wisdom. Be ye harmless as doves. Not only, do nobody any hurt, but bear nobody any ill-will. Prudent care there must be, but not an anxious, perplexing thought; let this care be cast upon God. The disciples of Christ must think more how to do well, than how to speak well. In case of great peril, the disciples of Christ may go out of the way of danger, though they must not go out of the way of duty. No sinful, unlawful means may be used to escape; for then it is not a door of God’s opening. The fear of man brings a snare, a perplexing snare, that disturbs our peace; an entangling snare, by which we are drawn into sin; and, therefore, it must be striven and prayed against. Tribulation, distress, and persecution cannot take away God’s love to them, or theirs to him. Fear Him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. They must deliver their message publicly, for all are deeply concerned in the doctrine of the gospel. The whole counsel of God must be made known, Ac 20:27. Christ shows them why they should be of good cheer. Their sufferings witnessed against those who oppose his gospel. When God calls us to speak for him, we may depend on him to teach us what to say. A believing prospect of the end of our troubles, will be of great use to support us under them. They may be borne to the end, because the sufferers shall be borne up under them. The strength shall be according to the day. And it is great encouragement to those who are doing Christ’s work, that it is a work which shall certainly be done. See how the care of Providence extends to all creatures, even to the sparrows. This should silence all the fears of God’s people; Ye are of more value than many sparrows. And the very hairs of your head are all numbered. This denotes the account God takes and keeps of his people. It is our duty, not only to believe in Christ, but to profess that faith, in suffering for him, when we are called to it, as well as in serving him. That denial of Christ only is here meant which is persisted in, and that confession only can have the blessed recompence here promised, which is the real and constant language of faith and love. Religion is worth every thing; all who believe the truth of it, will come up to the price, and make every thing else yield to it. Christ will lead us through sufferings, to glory with him. Those are best prepared for the life to come, that sit most loose to this present life. Though the kindness done to Christ’s disciples be ever so small, yet if there be occasion for it, and ability to do no more, it shall be accepted. Christ does not say that they deserve a reward; for we cannot merit any thing from the hand of God; but they shall receive a reward from the free gift of God. Let us boldly confess Christ, and show love to him in all things.

 

The Dead End of Sexual Sin


Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same-sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all.

I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late twenties, I met my first lesbian-lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part.

I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship, and the contours of their/our body. I favored the nesting, the setting up of house and home, and the building of lesbian community.

As an unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and poststructuralism, and an opponent of all totalizing meta-narratives (like Christianity, I would have added back in the day), I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create.

Conversion and Confusion

It was only after I met my risen Lord that I ever felt shame in my sin, with my sexual attractions, and with my sexual history.

Conversion brought with it a train wreck of contradictory feelings, ranging from liberty to shame. Conversion also left me confused. While it was clear that God forbade sex outside of biblical marriage, it was not clear to me what I should do with the complex matrix of desires and attractions, sensibilities and senses of self that churned within and still defined me.

What is the sin of sexual transgression? The sex? The identity? How deep was repentance to go?

Meeting John Owen

In these newfound struggles, a friend recommended that I read an old, seventeenth-century theologian named John Owen, in a trio of his books (now brought together under the title Overcoming Sin and Temptation).

At first, I was offended to realize that what I called “who I am,” John Owen called “indwelling sin.” But I hung in there with him. Owen taught me that sin in the life of a believer manifests itself in three ways: distortion by original sin, distraction of actual day-to-day sin, and discouragement by the daily residence of indwelling sin.

Eventually, the concept of indwelling sin provided a window to see how God intended to replace my shame with hope. Indeed, John Owen’s understanding of indwelling sin is the missing link in our current cultural confusion about what sexual sin is — and what to do about it.

As believers, we lament with the apostle Paul, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:19–20). But after we lament, what should we do? How should we think about sin that has become a daily part of our identity?

Owen explained with four responses.

Finish HERE

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