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“How to Try the Spirits” is from Tozer’s book, “Man, The Dwelling Place of God”, and I found it to be even more relevant today than when it was written.  There are 7 sections dealing with how to test spiritual experiences by asking “How has it  affected my attitude toward and my relation to:”

  1. God
  2. Christ
  3. The Holy Scriptures
  4. Self
  5. Other Christians
  6. The World
  7. Sin

 

How to Try the Spirits

THESE ARE THE TIMES that try men’s souls. The Spirit has spoken expressly that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Those days are upon us and we cannot escape them; we must triumph in the midst of them, for such is the will of God concerning us.

Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness.

Now our Lord Jesus. that great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”

From this it is plain not only that there shall be false spirits abroad, endangering our Christian lives, but that they may be identified and known for what they are. And of course once we become aware of their identity and learn their tricks their power to harm us is gone. “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird” (Prov. 1:17)

It is my intention to set forth here a method by which we may test the spirits and prove all things religious and moral that come to us or are brought or offered to us by anyone. And while dealing with these matters we should keep in mind that not all religious vagaries are the work of Satan. The human mind is capable of plenty of mischief without any help from the devil. Some persons have a positive genius for getting confused, and will mistake illusion for reality in broad daylight with the Bible open before them. Peter had such in mind when he wrote, “Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:15, 16).

It is unlikely that the confirmed apostles of confusion will read what is written here or that they would profit much if they did; but there are many sensible Christians who have been led astray but are humble enough to admit their mistakes and are now ready to return unto the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. These may be rescued from false paths. More important still, there are undoubtedly large numbers of persons who have not left the true way but who want a rule by which they can test everything and by which they may prove the quality of Christian teaching and experience as they come in contact with them day after day throughout their busy lives. For such as these I make available here a little secret by which I have tested my own spiritual experiences and religious impulses for many years.

Briefly stated the test is this: This new doctrine, this new religious habit, this new view of truth, this new spiritual experience how has it affected my attitude toward and my relation to God, Christ, the Holy Scriptures, self, other Christians, the world and sin. By this sevenfold test we may prove everything religious and know beyond a doubt whether it is of God or not. By the fruit of the tree we know the kind of tree it is. So we have but to ask about any doctrine or experience, What is this doing to me? and we know immediately whether it is from above or from below.

1) One vital test of all religious experience is how it affects our relation to God, our concept of God and our attitude toward Him. God being who He is must always be the supreme arbiter of all things religious. The universe came into existence as a medium through which the Creator might show forth His perfections to all moral and intellectual beings: “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. 42:8) . “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

The health and balance of the universe require that in all things God should be magnified. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” God acts only for His glory and whatever comes from Him must be to His own high honor. Any doctrine, any experience that serves to magnify Him is likely to be inspired by Him. Conversely, anything that veils His glory or makes Him appear less wonderful is sure to be of the flesh or the devil.

The heart of man is like a musical instrument and may be played upon by the Holy Spirit, by an evil spirit or by the spirit of man himself. Religious emotions are very much the same, no matter who the player may be. Many enjoyable feelings may be aroused within the soul by low or even idolatrous worship. The nun who kneels “breathless with adoration” before an image of the Virgin is having a genuine religious experience. She feels love, awe and reverence, all enjoyable emotions, as certainly as if she were adoring God. The mystical experiences of Hindus and Sufis cannot be brushed aside as mere pretense. Neither dare we dismiss the high religious flights of spiritists and other occultists as imagination. These may have and sometimes do have genuine encounters with something or someone beyond themselves. In the same manner Christians are sometimes led into emotional experiences that are beyond their power to comprehend. I have met such and they have inquired eagerly whether or not their experience was of God.

The big test is, What has this done to my relationship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? If this new view of truth-this new encounter with spiritual things-has made me love God more, if it has magnified Him in my eyes, if it has purified my concept of His being and caused Him to appear more wonderful than before, then I may conclude that I have not wandered astray into the pleasant but dangerous and forbidden paths of error.

2. The next test is: How has this new experience affected my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ? Whatever place present-day religion may give to Christ, God gives Him top place in earth and in heaven. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” spoke the voice of God from heaven concerning our Lord Jesus. Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, declared: “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Again Peter said of Him, “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) . The whole book of Hebrews is devoted to the idea that Christ is above all others. He is shown to be above Aaron and Moses, and even the angels are called to fall down and worship Him. Paul says that He is the image of the invisible God, that in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily and that in all things He must have the preeminence. But time would fail me to tell of the glory accorded Him by prophets, patriarchs, apostles, saints, elders, psalmists, kings and seraphim. He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. He is our hope, our life, our all and all, now and forevermore.

All this being true, it is clear that He must stand at the center of all true doctrine, all acceptable practice and all genuine Christian experience. Anything that makes Him less than God has declared Him to be is delusion pure and simple and must be rejected, no matter how delightful or how satisfying it may for the time seem to be.

Christless Christianity sounds contradictory but it exists as a real phenomenon in our day. Much that is being done in Christ’s name is false to Christ in that it is conceived by the flesh, incorporates fleshly methods, and seeks fleshly ends. Christ is mentioned from time to time in the same way and for the same reason that a self-seeking politician mentions Lincoln and the flag, to provide a sacred front for carnal activities and to deceive the simplehearted listeners. This giveaway is that Christ is not central: He is not all and in all.

Again, there are psychic experiences that thrill the seeker and lead him to believe that he has indeed met the Lord and been carried to the third heaven; but the true nature of the phenomenon is discovered later when the face of Christ begins to fade from the victim’s consciousness and he comes to depend more and more upon emotional jags as a proof of his spirituality.

If on the other hand the new experience tends to make Christ indispensable, if it takes our interest off our feeling and places it in Christ, we are on the right track. Whatever makes Christ dear to us is pretty sure to be from God.

3. Another revealing test of the soundness of religious experience is, How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures? Did this new experience, this new view of truth, spring out of the Word of God itself or was it the result of some stimulus that lay outside the Bible? Tender-hearted Christians often become victims of strong psychological pressure applied intentionally or innocently by someone’s personal testimony, or by a colorful story told by a fervent preacher who may speak with prophetic finality but who has not checked his story with the facts nor tested the soundness of his conclusions by the Word of God.

Whatever originates outside the Scriptures should for that very reason be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in the Scriptures. “To the word and to the testimony” must always be the last and final proof.

Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with a lot of caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Over the last half-century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among the truths that were to be revealed in the last days. To be sure, say the advocates of this latter-daylight theory, Augustine did not know, Luther did not, John Knox, Wesley, Finney and Spurgeon did not understand this; but greater light has now shined upon God’s people and we of these last days have the advantage of fuller revelation. We should not question the new doctrine nor draw back from this advanced experience. The Lord is getting His Bride ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We should all yield to this new movement of the Spirit. So they tell us.

The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite. Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning. Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence. You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.

Granted, however, that the Scriptures may not always be clear and that there are differences of interpretation among equally sincere men, this test will furnish all the proof needed of anything religious, viz., What does it do to my love for and appreciation of the Scriptures?

While true power lies not in the letter of the text but in the Spirit that inspired it, we should never underestimate the value of the letter. The text of truth has the same relation to truth as the honeycomb has to honey. One serves as a receptacle for the other. But there the analogy ends. The honey can be removed from the comb, but the Spirit of truth cannot and does not operate apart from the letter of the Holy Scriptures.

For this reason a growing acquaintance with the Holy Spirit will always mean an increasing love for the Bible. The Scriptures are in print what Christ is in person. The inspired Word is like a faithful portrait of Christ. But again the figure breaks down. Christ is in the Bible as no one can be in a mere portrait, for the Bible is a book of holy ideas and the eternal Word of the Father can and does dwell in the thought He has Himself inspired. Thoughts are things, and the thoughts of the Holy Scriptures form a lofty temple for the dwelling place of God.

From this it follows naturally that a true lover of God will be also a lover of His Word. Anything that comes to us from the God of the Word will deepen our love for the Word of God. This follows logically, but we have confirmation by a witness vastly more trustworthy than logic, viz., the concerted testimony of a great army of witnesses living and dead. These declare with one voice that their love for the Scriptures intensified as their faith mounted and their obedience became consistent and joyous.

If the new doctrine, the influence of that new teacher, the new emotional experience fills my heart with an avid hunger to meditate in the Scriptures day and night. I have every reason to believe that God has spoken to my soul and that my experience is genuine. Conversely, if my love for the Scriptures has cooled even a little, if my eagerness to eat and drink of the inspired Word has abated by as much as one degree, I should humbly admit that I have missed God’s signal somewhere and frankly backtrack until I find the true way once more.

4. Again, we can prove the quality of religious experience by its effect on the self-life.

The Holy Spirit and the fallen human self are diametrically opposed to each other. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17). “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit . . . . Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8: 5, 7).

Before the Spirit of God can work creatively in our hearts He must condemn and slay the “flesh” within us; that is, He must have our full consent to displace our natural self with the Person of Christ. This displacement is carefully explained in Romans 6, 7,and 8. When the seeking Christian has gone through the crucifying experience described in chapters 6 and 7 he enters into the broad, free regions of chapter 8. There self is dethroned and Christ is enthroned forever.

In the light of this it is not hard to see why the Christian’s attitude toward self is such an excellent test of the validity of his religious experiences. Most of the great masters of the deeper life, such as Fenelon. Molinos, John of the Cross, Madame Guyon and a host, of others, have warned against pseudoreligious experiences that provide much carnal enjoyment but feel the flesh and puff up the heart with self-love.

A good rule is this: If this experience has served to humble me and make me little and vile in my own eyes it is of God; but if it has given me a feeling of self-satisfaction it is false and should be dismissed as emanating from self or the devil. Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation. If I am tempted to be complacent and to feel superior because I have had a remarkable vision or an advanced spiritual experience, I should go at once to my knees and repent of the whole thing. I have fallen a victim to the enemy.

5. Our relation to and our attitude toward our fellow Christians is another accurate test of religious experience.

Sometimes an earnest Christian will, after some remarkable spiritual encounter, withdraw himself from his fellow believers and develop a spirit of faultfinding. He may be honestly convinced that his experience is superior, that he is now in an advanced state of grace, and that the hoi polloi in the church where he attends are but a mixed multitude and he alone a true son of Israel. He may struggle to be patient with these religious worldlings, but his soft language and condescending smile reveal his true opinion of them-and of himself. This is a dangerous state of mind, and the more dangerous because it can justify itself by the facts. The brother has had a remarkable experience; he has received some wonderful light on the Scriptures; he has entered into a joyous land unknown to him before. And it may easily be true that the professed Christians with whom he is acquainted are worldly and dull and without spiritual enthusiasm. It is not that he is mistaken in his facts that proves him to be in error, but that his reaction to the facts is of the flesh. His new spirituality has made him less charitable.

The Lady Julian tells us in her quaint English how true Christian grace affects our attitude toward others: “For of all things the beholding and loving of the Maker maketh the soul to seem less in his own sight, and most filleth him with reverent dread and true meekness; with plenty of charity to his fellow Christians.” Any religious experience that fails to deepen our love for our fellow Christians may safely be written off as spurious.

The Apostle John makes love for our fellow Christians to be a test of true faith. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him” (I John 3:18, 19). Again he says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (I John 4:7, 8).

As we grow in grace we grow in love toward all God’s people. “Every one that loveth him that begot loveth him also that is begotten of him” (I John 5:1) . This means simply that if we love God we will love His children. All true Christian experience will deepen our love for other Christians.

Therefore we conclude that whatever tends to separate us in person or in heart from our fellow Christians is not of God, but is of the flesh or of the devil. And conversely, whatever causes us to love the children of God is likely to be of God. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).

6. Another certain test of the source of religious experience is this: Note how it affects our relation to and our attitude toward the world.

By “the world” I do not mean, of course, the beautiful order of nature which God has created for the enjoyment of mankind. Neither do I mean the world of lost men in the sense used by our Lord when He said, “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). Certainly any true touch of God in the soul will deepen our appreciation of the beauties of nature and intensify our love for the lost. I refer here to something else altogether.

Let an apostle say it for us: “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:16, 17) .

This is the world by which we may test the spirits. It is the world of carnal enjoyments, of godless pleasures, of the pursuit of earthly riches and reputation and sinful happiness. It carries on without Christ, following the counsel of the ungodly and being animated by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2: 2) . Its religion is a form of godliness, without power, which has a name to live but is dead. It is, in short, unregenerate human society romping on its way to hell, the exact opposite of the true Church of God, which is a society of regenerate souls going soberly but joyfully on their way to heaven.

Any real work of God in our heart will tend to unfit us for the world’s fellowship. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:140. It may be stated unequivocally that any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil and this regardless of how much purring its leaders may do about “accepting Christ” or “letting God run your business.”

7. The last test of the genuineness of Christian experience is what it does to our attitude toward sin.

The operations of grace within the heart of a believing man will turn that heart away from sin and toward holiness. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:11-13) .

I do not see how it could be plainer. The same grace that saves teaches that saved man inwardly, and its teaching is both negative and positive. Negatively it teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Positively it teaches us to live soberly, righteously and godly right in this present world.

The man of honest heart will find no difficulty here. He has but to check his own bent to discover whether he is concerned about sin in his life more or less since the supposed work of grace was done. Anything that weakens his hatred of sin may be identified immediately as false to the Scriptures, to the Saviour and to his own soul. Whatever makes holiness more attractive and sin more intolerable may be accepted as genuine. “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psa. 5: 4, 5).

Jesus warned, “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect.” These words describe our day too well to be coincidental. In the hope that the “elect” may profit by them I have set forth these tests. The result is in the hand of God.

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The Bible teaches that all Christians should grow in spiritual discernment.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
– Hebrews 5:12-14 NASB

Paul told the Thessalonians:
Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.
– 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 NASB

While he encouraged the Thessalonians not to discount or dismiss the Holy Spirit – by despising that which was being taught as coming from God (prophecy) – Paul instructed them to test everything.

In other words, if someone preaches or teaches something that he or she claims was inspired by God, we are not to despise it – which would result in quenching the Holy Spirit.
However, we are to carefully examine that which is being taught.

Earlier, Luke called the people of Berea – where Paul and Silas had been sent to preach – “more noble-minded that those in Thessalonica,” because
they received the word with great eagerness, examining [anakrino] the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
– Acts 17:11-12 NASB

Thus the Bereans did not quench the Spirit, but rather tested what was being taught, using Scripture as their guide.

How to grow in spiritual discernment

The only way to grow in spiritual discernment is
a) by relying on the guidance of the Holy Spirit who indwells every true Christian, and
b) by stuyding God’s Word, the Bible.

These two go hand-in-hand:

The Holy Spirit

One can not expect someone who has just accepted Jesus Christ as his savior to have a full, working knowledge of Biblical theology. The Bible indicates that people come to Jesus because the Holy Spirit draws them and they respond to His invitation.

When someone accepts Jesus Christ, he becomes regenerated (born again – a new person, spiritually). Among other things, he receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which puts him at a great advantage over non-Christians. Paul puts it like this:
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct. – 1 Corinthians 2:11-16

The Bible

The Bible provides the standard against which all teachings must be tested:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB

Hand-in-hand

This reliance both on the guidance of the Holy Spirit and on God’s Written Word should keep Christians focused on God.

If Christians were to rely only on their ability to listen to the Holy Spirit, they would leave themselves open to all manner of private teachings and interpretations – without any rules by which to rest such revelations.

At the same time, it they were to rely only on their own ability to interpret and apply the Scriptures, they would leave no room for God’s guidance in revealing to them the riches of his Word.

As Christians our focus should always be on the living God, with whom we have an interactive relationship.

Relying on the discernment of others

No Christian is an island. There is much to be learned from one another, as we share the wisdom and insights God has revealed to us from His Word, by His Holy Spirit.

Sadly, though, many Christians leave the responsibility for discernment almost completely up to others. Their guidance comes primarily from televangelists, authors (and, more often than not, their ghost writers), their pastors, or their favorite websites.

That’s like being spoon-fed by someone else – marking one as an infant, rather than as a mature Christian:
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
– Hebrews 5:12-14 NASB

By all means, let’s learn from one another – eagerly receiving the word, while also examining everything carefully.

Discernment as a spiritual gift

Christians who believe that the Spiritual Gifts are still available today, see the gift of “distinguishing between spirits” (discerning whether they are human, from God, or demonic), to be a special form of discernment (revealed, instead of learned):
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
– 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, NASB

This article taken from Apologetics Index

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What is it, that is so compelling to people looking for God, that they are drawn to the new age mysticism cloaked in Christian terminology?

I can surmise by my own experience. I came back to the Lord about 5 years ago and found that the churches have changed drastically.  I remember as a young girl, clutching my bible in Sunday school and then listening to the congregation leaf through the pages of their bibles searching for the scripture the pastor was preaching about. But hey…we don’t need to bring our bibles anymore.  Everything we need to know is printed right on the bulletin.  How does one know that the truth is being taught when bibles are no longer required at services?  What a dangerous situation this presents to the congregation.

Does anyone remember the days when followers of Christ lived lives of holy surrender to his will, and let the filling of the Holy Spirit guide, comfort, strengthen, and convict them? It is no wonder that there are people starving and thirsting for God because he is no longer found in many churches.

So what is being presented today? What is the New Age gospel? What is the new mysticism that is being promoted in many churches today?  Those who who no longer attend church are finding their search for God in the bookstores. Unfortunately, the New Age section and the Religion section are now being blended together.

I went to the Blue Letter Bible and searched for the word “mystery” in the KJV version and came up with 22 verses in the New Testament.

Many of these verses have Paul explaining the mystery being revealed of the Gentiles being included in the Kingdom of God, and there is the mystery of the changing of our bodies from mortal to immortal at the rapture, and then the mysteries of the end-times in Revelation.

I would like to start by focusing first on:

Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

What is the mystery of his will? Verses 8-10 is a wonderful passage that is telling us that we need His wisdom and understanding to know His will.  How is it given?  The believer is given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The gifts we receive are spiritual wisdom and discernment.  To those who do not walk in the Holy Spirit these are hard concepts to grasp.Wisdom to know what God’s will is for you and His will for the universe is given those who are in Christ.

How about:

Colossians 1:26-27  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 glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Verse 27 is relating again to the Gentiles, but take a close look at this “But now is made manifest to his saints”.  What does this mean? It means that there is “NO BIG SECRET” to be revealed only to a few or the elite.  The problem of Gnosticism is again being addressed here.  There is no secret knowledge because God is making himself known to those who are in Him.  There is no secret way to discover God’s will, there are no secrets that can be obtained outside of his Word. The truth of God’s word is available for all to discover if they are truly seeking Him. The mystery is an open secret, but the  truths remain impossible mysteries for those who are unbelievers.

This is why many are seeking alternate methods to find God.  They cannot  relate to the truth of the Bible, so one then has to find spirituality by other means.  There are other methods easily available to those who seeking an easier way to God other than repentance and total committment to turning away from sin.  People like their sin. They like thought processes that downplay its eternal significance. Using mysticism itself as a method to locate God is dangerous.  The are two spirit worlds. If you are looking outside of the Bible and its precious word to find God…you will instead find the counterfeit.  The counterfeit spirit downplays sin and minimizes it. Doesn’t this sound like the seeker friendly churches we are seeing today?

Let’s go on to:

Ephesians 3: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery

Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ

Ephesians 3:9  And to make all men see that what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

 Here Paul tells how the church is made one in Christ and explains that this was not previously revealed. God gave this revelation to Paul. This mystery was hidden in the past, and now is revealed by Paul to all. This message was also prophesied in the Old Testament even though the prophets did not understand the mystery was to include Jew and Gentiles alike. The church is a glorious example of faith in Jesus Christ as we await His second coming. As time goes on, the church will become more hated and ridiculed for not conforming to the world and its universal religious system being implemented today. This system is found in the form of seeking the “secret knowledge”. How this appeals to our pride, that we have found some secret knowledge available only to a few. The truth is that the knowledge of God is actually open and available to all believers.

Oh how Satan lies…the lies never change.  You can be as God. You can find God within. You are God.

Why do people search for truth within themselves? There is nothing good in us and our hearts are corrupt.

Romans 7:18  For i know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth not good thing:

How is it that those involved in the contemplative prayer movement can condone the thought of “going within” to find Jesus? If we go “within”, we will find instead that our fleshy desires produce nothing good.

Let me ask you..are you so steeped in the Word of God that you would recognize a counterfeit gospel?  If someone said to you…come join our group we have found a new way to Jesus, would you be wary of this approach?  What about methods of worship or prayer..if someone said to you..pray the word Jesus over and over again till your mind becomes a blank… would you do it?

Many of these methods offer a mystical way to Jesus…One has to remember that there will be false prophets and false spirits posing as Jesus.

I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

We can know without controversy, there is no doubt, we all can know and understand, that godliness comes from Jesus Christ who came to us in the flesh, whose power came from the Holy Spirit is now at the right hand of God. Only through Jesus can we find godliness. We have no righteousness of our own.

So is this a mystery to you? We will never know all the mysteries of God or the universe while we are here on this earth, but we can know what God has revealed to us in His Word, and through the leadings of the Holy Spirit. We all have a purpose here on this earth. God will reveal to you the mystery of His will to you.  It takes prayer, reading His Word daily, and a giving up of what it is that WE want to do. By taking up the cross daily and relenting our will to His, the mystery of God, is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

Pray daily for discernment, wisdom and that the Lord will keep you alert to the sheep in wolves clothing and hidden in His deep truths of the faith.

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“Oprah and Friends” To Teach Course on New Age Christ
By Warren Smith

Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles .1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.” For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.” 3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4

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By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset — a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6

Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson, who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance . This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles, which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?

A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus” — who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ — began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman. One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.

As a former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles , I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was, in reality, the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift form God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be Him.

When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:
 
“There is no sin. . . “9
A “slain Christ has no meaning.” 10
“The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.'”11
“Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.'”12
“The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. . . . It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.” 13
“God is in everything I see.”14
“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”15
“The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.” 16
“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”17

Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony. I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.

I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous” 18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.

On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark that warned about the dangers of the New Age, and in particular A Course in Miracles.

After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote: “Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc. Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23 Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24

At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ, not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).

Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3). It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).

If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.

Warren Smith is a former New Age follower who at one time was deeply involved in the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. He is the author of The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace and Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. His book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel is available free online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com

Endnotes:
1. http://marianne.com/book/index/htm
2. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Workbook), p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 102.
4. Ibid., p. 119.
5. Ibid., (Text), p. 16.
6. Ibid., (Preface), p. ix.
7. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 262-263.
8. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
9. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Workbook), p. 183.
10. Ibid., (Text), p. 425.
11. Ibid., p. 52.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 58.
14. Ibid., (Workbook), p. 45.
15. Ibid., (Text), p. 147.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Ibid., p. 237.
18. http://www.hourofpower.org/interviews/interviews_detail.cfm?ArticleID=3079
19. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. ix.
20. Marianne Williamson, The Gift Of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 5.
21. Wayne Dyer, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem,” Public Broadcasting System broadcast in 2001.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York: G.P . Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 90.
24. http://www.rethinkconference.com (See also WorldNetDaily.com 10/30/07 “What is Robert Schuller ‘rethinking’?” by Joseph Farah and “Rethinking Robert Schuller” by Warren Smith. See also Herescope: “Rethinking Culture” and “Rethinking and Reinventing

WILLIAMSON HAS EARNED A SPOT ON THIS APOLOGECTICS SITE: READ ABOUT HER HERE!

 http://www.apologeticsindex.org/362-marianne-williamson

 AND ON HERESCOPE:

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2007/11/marianne-williamson-moonbeams-miracles.html

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This is a very interesting article about Testing the Gift of Tongues. One time my father gave me an account of listening to someone speaking in tongues and then hearing the interpretation.  His eyes glowed when he told me of the simply beautiful words of praise that come from the interpretors mouth.  Then again, I heard a story from my mother who attended a revival meeting many years ago in Bellevue, WA and received the gift of tongues there. On a return trip back to the meeting place she noticed that those speaking in tongues were actually worshiping a man named Ted, and calling him Lord.  The hair raised on the back of her neck and she realized that the meeting was demonic.  She renounced the gift she had received suspecting that it was satanic in origin. So I have two accounts from my own family, one appearing to be the true gift of tongues and then the second being a counterfeit gift.

Testing the gift of tongues, what are you afraid of if you do? 

 God commands believers to not forbid speaking in tongues (I Corinthians 14:39), but He also commands them not to believe every spirit but to put them to the test to see whether they are of God or not (1 John 4). The spiritual gift ‘distinguishing of spirits’ is one of the least sought after, and least preached about spiritual gifts, that is very seldom mentioned let alone practiced. However this gift is vital for any Spiritual church’s day to day life – as the Apostle John tells us many false spirits NOT of God have gone into the world. Note also that testing the spirits in the Biblical sense is completely different to ‘blaspheming against the Holy Spirit’ which is a commonly given reason for not testing spiritual gifts. However, it is one thing to accuse a person or spirit they operate by the power of Beelzebub (without scripturally testing them), and quite another to test and see if the spirit acknowledges Christ or not as per the test in 1 John 4 before one makes any accusation.

After fifty-five years of ministry, A.E. Ruark believed around 90% of all tongues manifestations that he tested were false. He believed there was a true gift of tongues so he was not against spiritual gifts. However he realized that for every spiritual gift there was an anti-gift – a false gift that is antichrist. He claimed that tongues was one of the most frequent entry points for Satan in his attack upon Christian people (as they do not know what they are saying and rarely discern it or interpret it properly) and that their fear, or reluctance, to test the spirits was a major strategy Satan used to avoid being uncovered.

The test he suggested of a tongues spirit should be made when someone is speaking in tongues. The one who does the testing should address, not the human being, but the spirit, in this manner, “Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, answer, is Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” A demon is most reluctant to answer this question. It will refuse to answer that question, will give an evasive answer, or say “no” in English with the person’s voice. “The tongues speaker must agree that the spirit of the tongue may answer in English, and that he himself will not give the answers, but will as it were “sit back”, and allow the spirit controlling his vocal organs to give the answers, while he simply listens. Then we are testing the spirit of the tongue directly, and will prove whether this spirit is of God or of the devil.”Gerald E. McGraw said that the Holy Spirit promptly, freely and consistently confesses Christ. A demon will give one or several answers that betray his real identity, or he will stubbornly evade the question, in itself a refusal to confess. A demon may give a number of favorable answers, for he hopes to preserve his hold on the victim, but persistence and faith will soon unveil his actual identity, name and purpose.

W.L. McLeod, the pastor in whose church the Canadian Revival began, said,‘On a number of occasions I have been asked by tongues speakers to test their gift. I have found some that were entirely a self thing, and some that had demonic overtones, but I cannot deny that some were as genuine as any Scriptural test could make them. The test I applied was simple. I would kneel with the person and ask them to exercise the gift. . . . When they go into this other tongue, I then address the spirit controlling their tongue and ask it, on the authority of 1 John 4:1-3 to confess in the English language that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. I think of one such case where the reply was given in perfect English, loud and clear, “Yes, yes, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He came in the flesh.” The person was so overcome afterwards by the manifestation of the power of God, that she was unable for a few moments to rise from her knees…. . . There are probably as many genuine cases as there are phony ones.’

Gerald McGraw claimed that many religious spirits would be deceptive, and call themselves ‘Jesus’ (albeit another Jesus). ’During a deliverance session, we encountered a spirit named Jesus. He hated the Lord Jesus Christ. I was suspicious because past experience had revealed that tongues demons often deceptively adopt the name Jesus. Upon my inquiry the demon admitted he was the spirit giving her, her gift of tongues, rather than the Holy Spirit.’ Some apparently even claim to be the Holy Spirit till revealed to be otherwise.Strong Christians can be invaded by a tongues demon, therefore anyone with a gift of tongues should make certain the gift was not a satanic counterfeit, since missionaries have reported hearing tongues speakers blaspheming in the language they had used on the mission field.

Tongues should be tested….At that time McGraw had never tested any tongues, nor had his colleagues. But soon someone asked for a test…. she was ‘an outstanding Christian lady – capable, talented, balanced, dependable, a soulwinner. She said she never used her tongue except in private. As she related her spiritual experience to my wife and me I just could not imagine that this fine believer could have a tongues demon. I told her so….Upon testing we found a tongue quite manifestly of the Holy Spirit. But soon another tongue appeared in the same woman- a tongue that was bitter and hateful toward Christ, toward her and toward us. The true tongue was clear evidence to me that her sanctification was genuine. Yet it was undeniable that a demonic tongues spirit inhabited her.’

‘Others who have had tongues tests are utterly sincere and deeply spiritual people. The lives of several show marked evidence of conversion, spiritual hunger and growth. I do not believe that a tongues demon can sever a person from Christ’s love. I have no doubt that many in the charismatic movement are earnest Christians, with more zeal and love than their anticharismatic critics. Yet my experiences of testing make me suspect that multitudes of tongues enthusiasts are deluded.’

There is seemingly slight ground that can admit a tongues demon, particularly where an unscriptural view is entertained…. God will never give a stone if we ask Him for the good gift of His Spirit (Luke 11:11-13), but experiences of many demonstrate that unscriptural views on tongues are frequently sufficient provocation for Satan to give an unsuspecting victim stones and scorpions of false tongues at the same time. God offers no automatic protection to the unwary. One middle-aged lady visited only one charismatic meeting. When a saintly looking elderly man there urged, “Just yield your tongue,” she did. She received nine different demonic spirits who all professed to provide her with tongues gifts.Tongues are no plaything. A properly tested tongue can provide a channel of spiritual enrichment to a Christian and to a congregation. But it appears much of the current wave of tongues-speaking is satanic delusion.’Edited excerpts from ‘Distinguishing Between True and False Utterances’ by K. Neill Foster.

Alexander Seibel of Germany was a Pentecostal of good standing. His friend was a missionary in India and on a visit in Germany. They shared missionary experiences and decided to pray. While Alexander was praying in tongues the missionary jumped up and demanded Alex to stop speaking as he was saying, in a known Indian dialect, the most horrible blasphemy words against God.

There are many other similar occurrences. Tongues must be tested. Note I do not say all tongues are false, I say some are. K. Neill Foster continues –‘Can it be claimed as certain assurance that those who insist upon a tongues experience contrary to scriptures will never get a stone or serpent? If this scripture can be used in this way, why then the manifestation of false gifts on every side?

For example, I know personally a former preacher who finally discovered his gifts were not of God. I was in the counseling room when he was converted. During his Bible college days I had occasional contact with him. He began working in what would be called a non-charismatic evangelical denomination. He left to pastor a Pentecostal church because of his speaking in tongues and also other “gifts” such as the ability to identify the sins of the people in the congregation. At the same time his marriage deteriorated. He finally left the ministry. In his case there were also frequent outbursts of obscenity and later abject backsliding. Finally in desperation he came to his former friends, so-called non-charismatic pastors. In a deliverance which lasted several hours these pastors drove out eight demons, many of them naming themselves as false gifts, several of them speaking in tongues.One brother who has tested tongues for forty years says that in his experience nine out of ten were false.

In a recently published article one of our contemporaries cites a similar statistic: Ninety percent of the tongues he and his colleagues have tested have been false. In my own experience perhaps eighty percent of the tongues manifestations that I have had to deal with have been false.

Still I doubt that the statistics tell the whole story. Because people with genuine gifts and healthy spiritual life do not come for counseling nearly so frequently. But there is no denying that the devil has been having a field day among charismatic’s. His penetration, whatever the percentage, appears to be massive.

But to face the issue of false gifts, stones and serpents, the open door to satanic penetration is in the merging of the work of the Holy Spirit which is for all with a spiritual gift that is given only to some as God wills. The resulting confusion is very often tragic.

A teenager was subjected to the overtures of a radical charismatic group, a group which in turn would certainly be rejected by mainline groups of Pentecostals. He allowed hands to be laid on him and “saw” a bright light. Later in a “Canadian revival” atmosphere, as distinct from “charismatic” atmosphere, the youth felt a bondage he could not escape until he made a verbal commitment much like this, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I now refuse, repudiate and renounce completely any and all spirits of false prophecy from _____ (naming the false prophet). And I send them to the abyss in Jesus’ name.” He was instantly liberated and sensed within that the “charismatic” bondage had been broken.

On one occasion a pastor friend came to me asking for assistance. He had two young fellows preaching in his church, one of whom he knew spoke in tongues, and he was uneasy about their ministry. He wanted the test to be applied….We applied the test to both, but we were unsatisfied with the results. It appeared that the fellows spoke in tongues, switched off the manifestation to answer positively to the question, “Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” and then shifted back into their tongues. I realize now that we found out only if the fellows believed that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. We did not succeed in trying the spirits at all. But the experience was not wasted; we learned what not to do.

The manifestation must be allowed unhindered and uninterrupted expression while the test is being made, and no effort must be made by the person involved to supply the “right” answer.

The repetition of the question, “You spirit now manifesting, is Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” may be important. I have come to expect a spontaneous affirmative answer when the tongues manifestation is genuinely of the Holy Spirit, especially when the test question is put several times.If the enemy is involved, repetitious questioning (like repetitious commanding, Mark 5:8, Amplified New Testament) will often shake the enemy loose and provoke abrasive or antagonistic reactions – and of course clarify the case.Sometimes the spirit may respond with a positive answer that is at the same time equivocate and/or evasive. For example, a spirit might respond, “Of course I believe in Jesus.” But which Jesus is not specified. If there is any hint of subterfuge, stick to the biblical test. Repeat it. Enlarge upon it by requiring answers to such questions as these: Is Jesus Christ Lord? Is Jesus Christ anathema? Does all the fullness of the Godhead dwell bodily in Jesus Christ? This procedure is likely to clarify the issue fully.In 1 John 4:2 and 3 the verb forms used indicate that every spirit that continually and genuinely confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. Therefore reluctant admissions or occasional positive declarations that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh are not sufficient.

The confession must be continual. A superficial understanding of this principle can short circuit the whole procedure of testing.

(Demons can and do lie. Thus, the words continually and genuinely in the paragraph above are of utmost importance. Also, as we have just noted, the Greek verbs used in 1 Corinthians 12:3 and 1 John 4:2 and 3 do come down strongly on the continuous idea.)

Illustrations of deceitful positive affirmations are not hard to come by. In the Dominican Republic I met a Christian woman who habitually twitched and shuddered in prayer meetings. She had a tongues manifestation which seemed to take over when she wanted to praise the Lord. But when the manifestation was confronted, the confession of Jesus Christ, though positive, was accented, even faintly humorous or mocking, and in English which the woman definitely did not know. I believe in retrospect that it was a false confession.

A friend who wrote to me during the writing of this book related an incident where invading spirits named one of their co-inhabitors, “Jesus.” So of course they all knew and loved “Jesus.” The spirits had to be confronted with “which Jesus?”

Another friend added yet another illustration. In the process of a deliverance a spirit claiming to be the Holy Spirit manifested itself in the victim. All tests were applied with positive results. When my friend returned home from a trip, he found his colleagues persuaded that the Holy Spirit indeed had taken control of the person. All he had to follow was a discerning witness that something was wrong. He initiated a confrontation and the phony “Holy Spirit” was uncovered.

Thus, as we have said elsewhere in these pages, there are four possibilities with spirit-testing: (1) a positive affirmation which is genuine and continual, (2) a positive affirmation which is not continual but is intended to deceive, (3) a denial, and (4) silence. 1 John 4:2 and 3 lays a four-sided trap for the enemy, and the Christian worker must know where the biblical lines are drawn.

If a pastor observes doubtful manifestations in his congregation, as a shepherd of the flock, I feel personally he has every right to ask to be permitted to test the manifestation. But he should be ready for the fireworks and to proceed with exorcism in the event of false manifestations. He should also be prepared to instruct the inquiring person if the manifestation proves fleshly. If the person himself is creating the “tongue” and no spiritual manifestation is involved, it may be judged fleshly.

Also, before the test is applied, one should prepare the person involved for the possibility that there has been deception. To admit that one has been deceived is a very high hurdle indeed. Terminology is important. Use the full title of the Lord Jesus Christ, because there are many antichrists in the world. At one of our conventions a sister who was in the process of being delivered was taken by a spirit which said repeatedly, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Unfortunately the “Jesus” was not the Lord Jesus Christ. The spirit was dislodged in His name.’

From ‘A Third View of Tongues’ by K. Neill Foster

I found this article Here.

It is always beneficial to read other blogs and take a look at some of the fine articles that others have written to warn the body of Christ of deception. There is much to learn from others about their struggle past or present to leave false ministries.  I encourage others to read the series of articles warning about Inner Healing from  Jesus The Saviour. ***note…this blog no longer exists****(updated 12/25/08)

Here is an excerpt from “Inner Healing”…..

I became officially involved in the Inner Healing group in March 2002, and parted ways in January 2005. My church involvement became part-time at best from January to September. And it was in September 2005 that I made the decision to leave the church altogether. 

My break from the Inner Healing ministry was anything but smooth. This may sound extreme, but I am thoroughly convinced that I was part of a cult. All the typical cult indicators pointed me to this conclusion. There was the spiritual guidance of a charismatic leader, the exclusivity of their teaching, the guilt and manipulative mind control…. but the telltale indicator was the struggle to break free from the group.

 

This is an excerpt from False Prophets #1

I met Sherry in January 2002. She was the leader of a small group ministry which counselled Christian women who struggled with homosexuality and other sexual/relational issues. I didn’t have a church home at the time, so Sherry invited me to visit her church, XYZ Baptist. I visited XYZ and was immediately drawn in by their intense contemporary worship, and their spirituality. Many of the people I connected with seemed to have this aura (for a lack of a better term) about them. They were so in tuned to “the spirit”, soft spoken, and at times almost ethereal.

Read the entire article Here

False Prophets #3 has an excellent article from Robert Bowman titled “The Faulty Foundation of the Five-Fold Ministry.

Here is a teaser:

THE FAULTY FOUNDATION OF THE FIVE-FOLD MINISTRY
It has recently become popular to speak of “the five-fold ministry,” a system of church government with apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The neo-Pentecostal “Restoration” movement and its offshoot, “kingdom now” teaching, claims that one of the things which God is “restoring” to the church is this five-fold ministry.  

This is an important article to read concerning the dominionistic role that is being played by today’s so-called apostles and prophets.

Thank you Heidi for the great articles and your service to the Lord.

 

 

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Gnosticism, spiritual warfare

and pride. 

 

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I would like to pass on this article by Mary D. Valentine  who wrote to Discernment-Ministries.

 

 

 

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  A Rotten Apple

 

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Mary Diane Valentine, PhD

 

 

 

Thank you for your archived newsletters. These have been very helpful in discerning my own deceptions. Of course, I am concerned about others but I am cleaning up my own house.

In January 2003 I attended a meeting where James Goll was preaching and selling his teaching tapes. I did not know very much about him or the group he associated with. Charismatic Christian seemed okay to me. It was at this meeting I was asking God to show me discerning of spirits. This request has since led me through a maze of overlapping tunnels into the darkness of my own deceptions about some Christian teachings I had embraced. I didn’t know it at the time but that prayer would bring me into a light I hadn’t seen for many years.

As I questioned different spiritual happenings and teachings I had previously accepted, I aggravated a number of my Christian buddies, prayer partners for many years. These relationships had sustained me in times of struggle but also held me captive to false assumptions about the charismatic life. I lost a friend over the “gold dust.” She had this phenomenon and wanted me to accept this as something from the Lord. I hadn’t really known anyone who had this and at first thought it was all right. I studied the Scriptures and could not rationalize this to be God’s work even though it sounded so good. To my knowledge, she still has this manifestation although I sent her the biblical rationale for why this could not be God’s way. It’s been a cool relationship since. I aggravated a whole audience of Charisma devotees when I wrote a letter about the Narnia films and how I argued these to be from the dark side. Charisma disagreed. Well, I didn’t know those people so that wasn’t so bad. But I lost others along the way as well.

I don’t want to go over each situation of a deception revealed in this although I will mention the spirit of Jezebel. I’d heard these teachings for many years and it’s another popular latter rain thing. I don’t know exactly how it fits into their theological paradigm, but when I did a word study, I found no spirit of Jezebel, only behaviors. These are behaviors no Christian should desire and we should be observant if others are behaving like Jezebel. It came to me that as charismatics or Pentecostals, we should be careful what we call a spirit otherwise we will find ourselves in wrong teaching, what I later learned as the Gnostic Christian area. The search for the spirit of Jezebel and finding none helped me continue questioning. I had cast aside the generational curse thing and the binding and loosing formulas in prior years along with other skewed interpretations of Scripture. The process has been several years in the making.

It’s been since this last August that the veil on Gnosticism has really lifted. Yes, I had seen quite a bit and knew the spiritual harlotry I had been involved in but something else was not clear. That is how I found your site – I did a search on Google about spiritual warfare.

Before searching out the validity of warfare teachings, I was in a situation of trying to discover why things were not happening in my life. I reasoned it was because I was in warfare, that I was not getting my prayers answered. My spiritual friends prayed and agreed. We went into warfare for months with many manifestations and confirmations I might add.

Thinking can drive us into deception, but also lead us out. I had several nagging questions that kept coming to me. Why didn’t Paul or Peter have to pray this way to get things to happen? Why is it now we learn of this? Why aren’t people having victory if this really works?

When I started pursuing answers, it’s so obvious to me now. I had been living in the wrong paradigms here. These were Gnostic ones but I hadn’t understood what the Gnostic teachings were really about. I had been duped by the Gnostic paradigmatic world I was choosing to be in. Of course, I couldn’t see the difference then. I had on the Gnostic glasses and viewed the Gnostic Christian teachings as “the norm.” In communication theory this is called cognitive dissonance, meaning any information that contradicts what you already know or believe becomes discarded because you don’t want to be in dissonance or inner conflict with yourself. Because I was experiencing cognitive dissonance, I was not able to see how deep into the Gnosticism belief system I had gone. Although I was wearing a milder prescription of Gnostic glasses since I had seen some of the deceptive teachings, I hadn’t come totally away from the Gnostic Christians. When I got the revelation about the spiritual warfare teaching errors, the Gnostic glasses fell off entirely. I no longer experienced any cognitive dissonance in studying the deceptions surrounding this popular teaching on spiritual warfare. I no longer sense oppression like I did before and it’s such a relief to know I am not going to have to be under a condemnation over the warfare routine. And it is a routine, much like the formulas of the word-faith movement.

Your archived newsletters have helped me understand the subtleties in these false teachings. Although I had thought I had gotten rid of extra biblical teachings with regard to the Third Wave, Latter Rain group, I realized this was part of that whole rotten apple I had been eating. I still had the apple in hand when I believed I was to participate in the spiritual warfare regimen. I am reading through your archived newsletters. I have checked out other sources as well to confirm what I now see so clearly.

In closing, I offer these thoughts. My sense of the problems I had stemmed from two sources. One was a lack of a good foundation to rightly discern the gifts of the Spirit along with the Word of God and the other was my indomitable pride. I liked being puffed up with the idea that I was called for something very special. I had received many prophecies about my position in the Body of Christ. I like position; I was in the elite group. I like being elite; that was my pride showing off. I wanted to be spiritual and with the spiritual ones. More pride. I wanted insider knowledge on what God was doing. I wanted to be anointed and that was pride. I sure believed I could conquer any foe out there because God was on my side. And I wanted my own way with God. All this comes to my desire for power and I see that now. My weakness of pride was a pull, like the force of gravity, toward the Gnostic Christians. These teachings fed my weakness and desire to be elite, have power and be “in the know.” None of that sounds like a humble servant, nor was I.

To me, knowing the weakness of how I got there is equally important to understanding the false teachings. If I had not experienced the weakness problem, I doubt I would have taken one bite of the rotten apple – the latter rain teachings. For me, it’s been more than finding out truth but repenting of my pride and all the things involved in it. And I’m not afraid of saying that publicly.

In my diet of rotten apple teachings, I did not feed myself enough truth from the word of God. I ate lies, which fed my pride and not my soul. 1 Peter 4:14 gives me biblical authority over the false Gnostic teachings. “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” I now know I don’t have to go seeking the glory because it rests on me. That itself speaks volumes to my soul. Very simply, the appeal of the truths of God in the Scripture is much more comforting and freeing than any peel on that rotten apple.

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Behold, I am writing anew, through scribes on Earth who are willing to listen to me again with new ears, in the light of the present crises on Planet Earth.

The second purpose of these writings is to call for the completion of the good news concerning the transformation of the world.

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May the Divine Love and Light and Power of the One God be now manifest within your hearts and minds. May this Light and Love and Power lead you to seek That which dwells always in your heart’s centre. Find That, and make It manifest.

Man is on the threshold of a new understanding of his role on planet Earth.

He is near men now. He cannot be denied. His love now saturates the planet and brings change to the fore.

Many and varied have been these signals to men that something momentous and wonderful is afoot on Earth.

All religious groups  await and expect their chosen divine revelation and read the signs as confirmation of their faith

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Revelation unites you directly with God.

When revelation of your oneness comes, it will be known and fully understood.

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Therefore in the new world order, spirituality will supercede theology; living experience will take place of theological acceptances.

It is a work of loving synthesis and will emphasis the unity and fellowship of the spirit. This group is, in a pronounced sense, a channel for the activities of the Christ, the world teacher.  

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Do the above quotes sound like something from the churches who consider themselves on the “cutting edge”? 

There are many who believe that they are hearing from God, and that there will be a “new thing” that is going to happen. We are to anticipate the “fresh moves” of God.  A revival is going to occur that is going to be unprecedented in the history of the church. Churches are emerging, churches are doing spiritual warfare, they are relying on visions and inner voices to guide them through this new paradigm shift that is going to happen. The way the church is promoting change is through this “paradigm shift”, to change from one thought process to another.

If you hear an inner voice that begins to change how you feel about the Bible, or that leads you away from scripture, flee from it. Repent if you have opened yourself to deception. Test the spirits. Those who do not do this, do not love the truth. They prefer to believe that they have been given some special knowledge, available only to an “elite” and this only serves to feed one’s pride. This pride in special knowledge can be traced back to Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil”.

One has to determine whether the voice one hears is from God or if it is a deceiving spirit.  In Johanna Michaelson’s book “The Beautiful Side of Evil” she relates how she was deceived by a spirit calling itself “Jesus Christ”.  When she tested this evil spirit it failed and the spirit disappeared from her life. How was this spirit initially contacted? By meditation and contemplation. Brian Flynn, a former new age medium,  verifies the contact of evil spirits posing as positives entities in his book “Running Against the Wind”.

The Truth:   The Bible contains many warnings about deception. The Church Growth Movement has been employing the methodologies of Second-order Change for at least three decades now, getting more sophisticated as time goes on. Much of this paradigm shifting towards Church “transformation” is done by methods of deception and coercion. Pastors and leaders are being trained in these methods. But people in the pew have little knowledge or expertise. All they know is that the music is changing, worship styles are different, or that new programs, curriculums, ideas and projects are being introduced in a manner which is compulsory. “If you don’t like it, you can leave,” parishioners are told.  (1)

FROM  Reinventing Jesus Christ  – The New Gospel  by Warren Smith

Sadly the Bible records that many in the church will fall away (2 Thessalonians 2:3). They will follow the “broad” way of the world rather than the “narrow way” of Jesus Christ. ( Matthew 24:3-5). But few will believe that most of the world could be so deceived about the “positive” alternative future they think they are creating with their spiritually compromised dreams, prayers, visualizations, contemplations and meditations. The Bible records, that when it comes to the end times, most of the world and much of what calls itself the church will be unprepared for what unfolds.

Below are the authors of the quotes. They are New Age “Ascended Masters” (fallen angels) using mankind as a channel for deception. 

The first set of quotes are from Barbara Marx Hubbard’s “Christ”. She is a well-known New Ager who “crossed-over”  when she started to hear an “inner voice”.  Her inner voice says, “The church is the body of believers who are conscious of being me” (2)

The second set of quotes are from Maitreya “the Christ” channeled by Benjamin Creme. This is what Maitreya says about Jesus: “Jesus of Nazareth and the Christ are not one and the same person. This is one of the most difficult claims for many Christians to accept in connection with Maitreya, the World Teacher, and it therefore needs some further explanation.”(3)

The third set of quotes are from Helen Schucman a non-christian Jewish woman who took dictation from an inner voice and wrote “A Course in Miracles” . This inner voice told Helen, “Is he (Jesus) the Christ? O yes, along with you. His little life on earth was not enough to teach the mighty lesson that he learned for all of you.” (2)

The fourth set of quotes is from Alice A. Bailey who channeled teachings from her “spirit guide”.  Lucis Trust was established in 1922 as Lucifer Trust by Alice Bailey as the publishing company to disseminate the books of Bailey and Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Bailey changed the name to Lucis Trust, because Lucifer Trust revealed the true nature of the New Age Movement too clearly. (4)

(1) http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/02/first-second-order-paradigm-change.html

(2) http://reinventingjesuschrist.com/

(3) http://www.shareintl.org/maitreya/messages/message_1.htm

(4) http://reinventingjesuschrist.com/

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What an interesting study….

Matthew 12:38-39

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you. He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

The Pharisees brought Jesus a demon-possessed man who was blind and could not speak.  Jesus healed this man. The people were amazed at this and wondered if Jesus was the Son of David, which meant that he would be the one that God had sent to deliver them. This agitated the Pharisees and so accused Jesus of using the power of Satan rather than the power of God. Jesus knew their thoughts. Jesus answered in three ways.  First, why would Satan use demons to defeat his own demons. Second, Jews had cast out demons and they did not question them, and third, Jesus was driving out the demons by the Spirit of God. They had made a terrible accusation that the work of the Holy Spirit was done by Satan. To deny the Holy Spirit’s revelation of Jesus as Christ and the promised Savior is not forgivable.

The words that the Pharisees spoke showed the evil in their hearts, and they were told that men will be judged for their careless words. Jesus warned that on the Day of Judgment our words will either acquit us or condemn us because they express the condition of our heart.  The mouth is the overflow of our attitude.

Even though the Pharisees saw and heard, they did not want to believe. Jesus has power and authority over everything and is greater than Satan. The Pharisees had seen Jesus’ miracles and heard the evidence that Jesus was Lord. Yet they ask:

38 “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.”

39 He answered ” A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign. But none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.

40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Are we a wicked and unfaithful generation asking for a miraculous sign? Are we not content with walking in faith anymore? Do we need the experience of signs and wonders to fulfill a need of power in us? 

The simplicity and and complexity of this one single thought! Jesus is the miraculous sign and wonder, till He returns to earth.  What else is there to ask for? To ask for more than Jesus is unbelief. If ones receives anything beyond the Holy Spirit, He is deceiving himself.

Because of Jonah, Nineveh initially repented and God shows a remarkable display of compassion. Yet, Nineveh eventually was totally destroyed for her oppression, idolatry and wickedness. 

Nahum 1:14…I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave for you are vile.

Matthew 12:43 says When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.  44 Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.  

The Jews had rid themselves of idols,  but they never replaced their idol worship with the worship of Jesus Christ.

If you have believed and then become unfaithful to the Lord by worshiping other idols, whether it be power, money, authority, or worship of another spirit,  evil may return 7-fold and completely destroy you.

The Pharisees had seen the miracles that Jesus performed and they had heard the evidence that Jesus is Lord, yet they refused to believe. “We want to see a miraculous sign.”

Jesus promised the wicked sign-seekers that the only sign they would get would be the Sign of Jonah. Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of a whale before being coughed up onto the land.   Jesus spent three days and three night in the tomb before he was resurrected.  Those listening to Jonah repented. Jesus is greater than Jonah, so the wicked sign-seekers should repent.

Are we a wicked generation asking for signs and wonders?  Do we need more than the written word? Jesus, is all the sign we need, but a wicked generation, asks for “more…more..Lord…more”. Jesus then goes on to say what will happen to those who repent but do not follow Him. Evil will return 7-fold. If you ask for a miraculous sign you may get one, but it may not come from the Holy One.

Jesus is THE sign and He is the miracle. He is all we need. To ask for more…is wicked. So if you are thinking of going down that road, you are going the wrong way.

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After being called divisive and judgmental I decided it would be a wise thing to read scripture and pray about these issues.

My study group is in Matthew right now and what passage did we talk about?  Judging Others. Matthew 7: 1-6. How timely!

First though, let’s take a look at society today.  It seems that “tolerance” is the word of the day, and that all are seeking love, peace and unity. Yes, these are fine things up to a point. My breaking point is when those yearning for love and tolerance begin to change the gospel. My breaking point is when a pastor stands on the pulpit and tells me Revelation is no longer relevant.

Judge Not. Does this mean that a Christian cannot express views or opinions? No, it does not. Does “judge not”, mean that  Christians should allow all false doctine to go unchallenged.  Absolutely not. But…we are not to judge another’s character, and we are not to condemn another. Jesus tell us that when we see a speck in our brother’s eye, to first remove the plank from our own eye. But notice He does not stop at the plank in our own eye. We have to admit our own sin and bias first, then through God’s vision, not our own, we can then proceed. Only God can judge a man’s heart. To say that one can, is indeed self-righteous. However, we are still to use discernment between what is true and false and Jesus warns of false doctine and prophets in Matthew 7, as we continue on in this chapter.

Matthew 7:13-14

What is it that we are hearing today? There are many roads to God.  Jesus warned that we are not to follow the crowd.  The crowd is headed for the wide gate and the roads to this gate are many.  Jesus tell us “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Only a few? Yes, it says only a few…This is so opposite of what we are hearing from the Latter Rain folks.  They say that there is going to be harvest of a billion souls for Christ in the end times. What? A billion? The Bible doesn’t say this. Is a billion a few?  Can you see that we have to discern the truth by what the Word of God says?  Do you think what I just proposed is divisive? It is.  It divides the truth from the lies.

 Matthew 7:15

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you as in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Jeremiah 6:14

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace”

Jesus is warning us against deceptions and delusions here. Not all who profess to be Christians are truly so. Jesus states that many so-called prophets are false in God’s sight.

Does Satan appear to us with a pitchfork and with flames leaping from his mouth?  No. He appears mild as a sheep, within the church, speaking calm words. False prophets minimize the sin of the people by applying a soothing balm and avoiding issues like the Wrath of God on Judgment Day.

Matthew 7:22-23

“Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”

Many in the church today profess knowledge of the scripture, say biblical phrases and do works, but the Lord says some are evildoers. This really is a frightening scenerio.  How do we tell the difference from a false prophet and a true prophet?  We cannot see men’s heart like God can.  This is one reason why we cannot judge someone. So what do we do? We abstain from following the words of men.  We must study God’s word on our own and pray that truth and discernment will be given us. Also we are told to discern their fruit. So be a fruit inspector. It is biblical.

False prophets, false teachers and their followers, do not want others to use discernment…they do not want their words scrutinized. Even my words should be scrutinized and compared to the Word of God.  I don’t mind. I welcome it. I am also learning and praying for the Lord to teach and instruct me in His ways.

Matthew 7:24

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” 

Matthew 7:26

“But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”

This is not the entire passage but it is known as the scripture that tells us to build on the rock of Jesus Christ.  While this is very true what is overlooked is “what” Jesus is telling us to put into practice.  Jesus is definitely our foundation but He is telling us that after hearing His words we must put them into practice.  What good is the Word of God if we do not learn it, and hold it dear to our hearts? So what is our instruction?

Judge not.

Remove your sin or bias first before helping others. 

Do not follow men for they may walk the broad path to the wide gate which leads to destruction.

Beware of false prophets wearing sheeps clothing.

Watch those who appear righteous, they may be evildoers.

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Those who put these words into practice will protect themselves from destruction and deception.

Discernment is necessary in these times to recognize false teachings, apostasy, and spiritual conterfeits. We need the gifts of discernment and wisdom in these times of deception, so pray and ask the Lord for them. Committment is also needed to continuously study the Word of God and remain in prayer.

Those of us who create blogs and websites about apostasy, apologetics, heresies, discernment, or deception do so out of alarm of what we are seeing in our churches. We also do it because we love the Lord Jesus Christ. When I came back to the Lord and started going to church again, I was shocked to find out how much times had changed. Christian yoga, labryinths inside the churches, eastern meditation, no more need to bring your Bible, 10 minute sermons, quick services as to not interfere with the football game, Harry Potter books, and  messages of inspiration but never conviction or sin. It was conviction of my sin that brought me back to the Lord. When the realization hit that time was short before the return of the Lord, I knew that I would fall short and was headed for destruction.

I have heard and read so much about counterfeit spirituality lately that my head spins.  There is a false spirit being introduced into the church. It a spirit spouting love..peace..unity…light. Satan comes as a light. This same light comes from meditation. If you are experiencing joy and never any conviction of your sin, you should wonder why.

Do you possess the “attitudes of the Beatitudes”?  Do you recognize how poor in spirit we truly are? Do you mourn over your sin? Do you literally hunger and thirst for righteouness, asking Jesus to expose your sin to yourself for correction? Are you merciful to others? Are you pure in heart, seeking only the Lord and not material things? Do you promote peace as it depends on you? Are you being persecuted for Christ’s sake? These are the attributes of Gods children.

If you truly are filled with the Holy Spirit then you will no longer tolerate sin in your life.  When you read the Word of God then you will be convicted of your sin, which causes repentence.  Then you will have the freedom that is in Christ.

So am I being divisive? I want to continue to divide deception and the truth.  Am I judging others? I hope to be testing the fruit or the result of what one believes.  If you feel that I am judging you personally, please forgive me. I only want to discern the truth and I wish this for others.  God will be your judge not me.  The Day of Wrath is coming. Are you ready?

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