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This testimony reminds me so much of the undeceiving period I went through. I did not want to give up the special revelations that I thought were from God. Years back I began to receive dreams and open visions. I did  not know at the time that the anti-depressant the doctor gave me for menopause was the culprit. Then I started receiving “words” because I asked for them. When you open yourself up by any method a lying spirit will gladly accommodate you. Believe me…it created much joy at first and I often wept with happiness. I was soooo spiritually elite. The oppression came later. Had to give it ALL up to be free. It comes at a price.  Read Acts 18-19. The people gathered and burned their magic books. I burned all my notes and revelations that I had channeled. There was nothing magic by the action itself of burning these papers, it was the repentance in my mind and life and turning totally away from the seduction.

Source: http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/07/deceiving-signs-and-wonders-corissas-story/

Deceiving signs and wonders: Corissa’s Story

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.18.00 PMThe following is a testimony of one of our listeners, Corissa, who was deeply steeped in the Signs and Wonders movement infecting many churches. She has given us permission to share her story, in hopes that others caught up in this beautiful deception will be willing to consider the spiritual danger that they are in, and be open to investigating this movement for themselves.This, what I am about to share with you is only a small part of that testimony. As you read, consider that everything I am telling you comes from a person who was on the inside, experienced everything, and saw great things. Before you dismiss me as a nay-sayer, you need to know that, despite, what you may think, I know exactly what it is that I am talking about. I experienced it, felt it, heard it, and saw it.

I’ve seen this gold dust. It always happened during “praise and worship.” I remember the first time I was being encouraged to pray for it. I was told to pray for it and receive it, and I opened my eyes to see my hands sparkling as if gold glitter was on them. There was no one walking around sprinkling this stuff on people. It was real! That is why so many are attributing it to God just because it really does happen. The problem is that it is 100% a sign and wonder, but it is not one of God. I experienced this in my quiet time at home, and anywhere I prayed. In fact, I first witnessed this when a girl at my school invited me to youth group. She was holding out her hand, and you could see it just shimmering. I asked her what it was and she said, “You get this when you have Jesus.” Mind you, I was not saved at the time, but the Lord was already drawing me, and apparently Satan was hot on my heels, too.

I can remember seeing an aurora all around me everything time it happened to me. It almost always followed praying a mantra type of prayer. I’ve never seen the kind of gold that you can cash in, but I did experience seeing big chunks of it on my hand. Everyone would walk around in the congregation showing everyone their hands. Everyone had it! It wasn’t until God showed me the truth behind this phenomenon that I began to realize that I was actually in a trance, hence the aurora.

I first witnessed the falsehood of this “sign and wonder” at a youth meeting one night back in 2006/2007. I was not a youth at this time, but was encouraged to come sit in with the youth to discuss topics that were going to be covered. Anyway, so we were on the topic of gold dust. My husband’s curiosity on the subject had peaked and I began to share some of my experiences (which are many), and so the youth pastor’s wife shared hers. Interestingly enough, she held out her hand and told him to look at all the gold dust that covered it. To my surprise, I saw nothing! I told her this, and she insisted that it was there all over. (Now, I know she would not lie about this as I witnessed it being on her hand in the past.) This baffled me for months as to why I could not see it! In fact, I never saw it again. What I didn’t realize is that God was already leading me away from it as I began doubting so many of my experiences and began questioning the sources. I was no longer practicing contemplative type of prayer nor was entering into a presence. Notice that I said presence, not HIS presence. Gold dust is of the devil.

I used to follow the likes of Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Paul and Jan Crouch, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Marlyn Hickey, Jesse Duplantis, TD Jakes, Crystal Cathedral, Paula White, and so on. How did God get me to see the cold-hard truth? First, He showed me that Joel Osteen was twisting Scripture. That was a hard pill to swallow, but even though, it was bitter tasting in my mouth, I digested it with humility. I then began to question teachers for the first time in all the years that I was saved. Pride was being chiseled away and I was actually becoming teachable!

I found a Christian forum, which God used to show me the truth about the signs and wonders movement also known as the hyper-charismatic movement. I fought it tooth and nail; debated with the Moderators of the forum and was really defensive in the apostasy sub-forum. During this time, my church was holding services which were being influenced by Todd Bentley’s Lakeland Revival. I knew something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I believe the forum debates had planted seeds in my stubborn heart and I was finally given just enough discernment to detect something very off.

I remember one day, my husband was watching GodTV and Todd Bentley was running his marathon. If I remember correctly, that was all that was on for 24 hours a day. I may be wrong. Anyway, I felt a really familiar and unsettling presence filling the room. I immediately went to the computer room. What was that, and why did I feel the need to leave the room in a hurry? If it was of God, then the presence would not have been so oppressive.

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 11.18.51 PM

I decided that I would actually research about Todd Bentley. I went back to the Christian forum and dug up the thread where they were discussing the revival. I watched the videos exposing the movement and became convinced that this man was either a con-artist, or he was an escapee from the mental institution. I mean, his idea of healing was to punch, kick and body slam the people he laid hands on. On top of that, he liked to say the word “Bam!” when laying his hands on people as if he had some type of anointing from a fight-happy spirit. Crazy!

One video led to another, and finally, a video exposing the Kundalini practice in Todd Bentley’s “revival.” It was at least 7 to 12 videos long. I sat there for hours with my mouth gaping, wondering what to make of it because the very things that were being exposed were, coincidentally, were what I experienced, accepted, and participated in.

I’ll admit, I didn’t want to believe it at first. I prayed to God. I kicked and screamed and cried, “do I have to give up my precious experiences?” I pleaded with God. I didn’t want to let go, but the truth was cracking the foundation upon which this lie stood on. It took weeks for this all to sink in. I read the Bible more, I sought out teachings, and inside felt like a part of me was dying with each blow of truth. It was like someone picked up a rock and threw it at the mirror which shattered the reflection that I had been staring at. It was all just an illusion.

I was not highly favored, as I had been told. I did not have supernatural abilities. My dreams, as spiritual as they were, are subjective. I was spiritually stunted. I was an idolater who got wooed away from the truth through the lips of those who profess to preach “new revelations.” I got saved in a church built on lies and I was spiritually starved.  I had to go back to the milk of the Word. God used this time of despair to show me the truth. I was ripe to receive it and was ready to surrender my experiences for the truth. God opened door after door once I gave up those experiences. They were like carved images that I worshiped. They were my chronicles of truth built on sand!

THE ROMANCE

of

PREACHING AND PERFORMANCE

by Rick Freuh

SOURCE   Following Judah’s Lion Blog

The word performance indicates playing a part or imitating a character. It carries with it a sort of thespian quality or the display of a certain talent, both of which makes it part of the family of entertainment. You go to a concert to hear a musician demonstrate his proficiency; you attend a play to be impressed by the acting abilities of the players; you go to a sporting event to see athletes use their talents in competition; and even political debates are judged on performance and not substance. In this world performance is far more cherished than is substance. Performance is the mainstay of western culture which thrives on titillation, exhilaration, and amusement.

I Cor.1: 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Preaching is not just speaking as in presenting a research paper. It isn’t just reading a theory. It isn’t just a generic communication of facts. There is a mystery, a divine authority and power and a divine commission associated with true preaching. The preaching that is ordained of God is a process of communicating divine truth in a way that allows the Spirit to touch base in the ears and go all the way to the heart. It is a great mystery but true preaching does not rely on the personality of the man, nor his intellect, nor does it depend upon his level of academic training. Yes, there is a connection between the spiritual commitment of the preacher and the spiritual power generally afforded his preaching, however sometimes the grace of God even accomplishes His will in spite of human disobedience.

The preaching of God’s Word is the highest calling in vocation and in the Spirit. It transcends human speech which is usually an attempt to present some case of earthly design. This kind of communication called preaching is a magnificent ministry of the Spirit. Unseen and many times unnoticed, the Spirit takes His own words through fragile lips and gives them the wings of life which often find a soil with which to plant a seed which will later bring forth fruit. It is an amazing act of eternal grace. In fact only the Spirit can move in the temporal and accomplish the eternal especially within the carnal and fallen hearts of God’s worst enemies.

And after a sinner has heard the gospel and believed, he grows by feeding himself through the same Word and by the same Spirit that were used to transform him into a new creature. And he also grows and is edified through the preaching of God’s Word by someone called and anointed to proclaim and teach that Word. The spiritual gift of teaching is when someone to whom God has given that gift faithfully surrenders his own will and teaches God’s Word under the power of the same Spirit who gave him that gift. And if that vessel uses his gift in brokenness and humility then God’s Spirit can anoint His words with power far beyond his ability or oratorical prowess or even his oratorical liabilities.

Throughout church history there were always men who relied upon the strength of their personalities and would draw great crowds. Being self absorbed and desiring the adulation of people is not new to our generation. In fact it is a liability which lays dormant in all of us and sometimes quietly comes to life and tempts us. All preachers must do battle within themselves so that we are not at the mercy of whether people like or dislike us, or like our preaching or do not. We must always preach God’s Word and for God and not for people. It sounds easy, but the forces of wickedness and our own flesh are sometimes very cunning.

But seemingly in these modern times the allurement of entertainment and emotional thrills have demanded a more performance dominated method of preaching. There is nothing wrong and sinister about preaching with passion and emotion, but there is something extremely sinister when preaching becomes an art form accentuated with much humor and storytelling and a thespian-like delivery. And in this generation many so called preachers strut their stuff on television screens and in large churches and rented stadiums to the excitement of great crowds. And make no mistake, entertainment and great performances are rewarded with colossal offerings and big business among the trinket tables.

Many of these ecclesiastical thespians act out their stories with great and swelling words and with great deference to their personalities and performance abilities while paying precious little attention to the authority and purity of God’s Word. Many people will applaud intermittently during the performance, and some will even rise to their feet to show appreciation for what has become a stirring performance. Men like Joel Osteen tell a joke before he even “preaches” his redundant message. That alone should give you an indication about what he preaches and what he does not preach.

Men like T. D. Jakes is a fantastic story teller who walks all over the stage making pantomimes and using body language and facial gestures to tell his elongated stories. And all of this to an appreciative crowd who responds to his alluring and uplifting message as well as his performance itself. Many times preachers will elicit the desired response by saying things like “Oh, you aren’t hearing me” or “Don’t get quiet on my now” and other phrases which draw more audience participation. A performer desires to be acknowledged and appreciated for his performance. I have heard many a performer say, “Man, this is good preaching!” about his own preaching.

The message is Biblically unsound but the performance is overwhelming. Jesse Duplantis is little more than a stand up comedian who preaches nonsense and has made a literal fortune telling people they can be rich as well. In reality all his listeners need is a mailing list. But imagery is now carefully crafted and earthly allurements have muscled out eternal promises. And in order to deliver these fables men and women have refined wonderful performances that fill stadiums and titillate crowds. And with the atmosphere of a multi-level marketing meeting these puppet masters present their greatest performances which only serve to bring more into their deceptions.

Another way these pretenders perform is through a supposed channeling of God’s voice. “Thus sayeth the Lord” is the preamble that allows them to speak things they suggest is being spoken directly by the Spirit. And people listen in awe as if they are hearing from God verbally. Miracles are also leveraged in order to provide an atmosphere of the divine. Words of knowledge concerning many maladies are thrown out and caught by whichever unsuspecting follower thinks it applies to him. And the miracle is often activated either by some seed faith gift of money or by the performer’s own hands laid upon the person. Yes, it is your show of shows.

But true and faithful preaching must never be weighted toward anyone’s personality or their delivery. The Word of God must be the power. That does not mean we cannot raise our voices and show emotion of even tell some story which can be used to illuminate a Biblical principle. But most of us know what is a performance and what is of the Spirit. These modern preachers do not even walk a fine line, and when their messages are so unbiblical and carnal, it reveals the necessity of an entertainment laden performance.

But there are so many itching ears out there that the demand motivates the supply. And spiritual success is measured by crowds and money and personal jets and book sales. And instead of humble men of God you now have celebrities who own more than one home and attend their own book signings. And instead of feeding the sheep they fleece them. And instead of being instruments of the Spirit they are court jesters. And instead of spreading the kingdom of God they spread their own kingdom. It has become a pitiful cast of characters who have become wealthy in their own religious theatre. The romance between preaching and performance is now a marriage.

Preaching God’s Word is a sacred calling of the Spirit. It requires personal brokenness. It requires a deep searching of the heart. It requires a constant vigilance concerning motives and manipulation. To be used as a human conduit to convey God’s truth and God’s gospel is a great honor which includes grave consequences. None of us can claim perfection or even complete surrender at all times. But hopefully and prayerfully we are not performers on some stage whose desire is to stimulate the fleshly juices and thereby elicit the praises of men. God forbid.

BEWARE OF ALLEGED TRIPS TO HEAVEN

MARCH 1,2012

By David Cloud, Way of Life

The following is an excerpt from the 317-page illustrated book “The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement: Its History and Error,” available in print and eBook editions from Way of Life Literature — http://www.wayoflife.org.

______________

Not only are there many Pentecostals who claim to have seen Jesus, some have even made trips to heaven.

Pentecostal evangelist John Lake claimed to have visited heaven. So did Percy Collett, Dudley Danielson, Marvin Ford, Aline Baxley, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Benny Hinn, Roberts Lairdon, and many others.

 In 1977 Richard Eby claimed that he died and went to heaven and he brought back the revelation that “the primary nerve in God’s cranium is the sense of smell.” He said that in heaven he could move anywhere at will and that he was visible yet transparent.

 In the 1980s, Percy Collett built a large following based on his dramatic accounts of a five-day trip to heaven. He spoke face to face with the Holy Spirit and saw cats and (barkless) dogs. He saw the “Pity Department,” where aborted babies go to be trained for a period of time. He saw the “Garment Room,” where angels are sewing robes for believers. He even saw a “Holy Ghost elevator.”

Roberts Lairdon claims that he toured heaven when he was only eight years old. He said Jesus is 5 feet 11 to 6 feet tall and has sandy brown hair that is “not too long and not too short.” He saw storage buildings containing body parts that are waiting for “saints and sinners alike” on earth to claim them. Jesus told him, “You should come in here with faith and get the needed parts for you and the people you’ll come in contact with” (Lairdon, I Saw Heaven, Tulsa: Harrison House, 1983, p. 19). He saw a medicine cabinet with bottles labeled “overdose of the Holy Ghost,” and he and Jesus splashed each other in the River of Life.

 On “This Is Your Day,” May 4, 2000, Benny Hinn interviewed G.S. Dhinakaran of “Jesus Calls” ministry in India about his many alleged trips to heaven. Dhinakaran said, “Whenever I’m heartbroken because of the ministry, problems of the ministry that’s the time the Lord Jesus says come and he takes me to heaven and then he talks to me in person. He calls one of the apostles and makes them speak to me concerning my problems.” Dhinakaran claims there are actually three heavens and believers are assigned to one of them according to what they did on earth.

 Jesse Duplantis claims that on his journey to heaven he saw an angel thrown against a wall when God barely moved His finger and (accidentally?) hit him while he was flying by. Duplantis says he learned that there are two types of Christians in heaven, the strong and the weak, and the weak have to smell the leaves of the tree of life to gain strength.

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

 I reject all of these claims about visiting heaven, whether in vision or in the body, for the simple reason that in every case the individual adds to the things recorded in the Bible in direct conflict with God’s command:

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, IF ANY MAN SHALL ADD UNTO THESE THINGS, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES THAT ARE WRITTEN IN THIS BOOK: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).

 Many of the things recorded in the book of Revelation pertain to heaven. Consider Revelation 4-5; 7:9-17; 8:1-6; 10:1; 11:15-19; 12:1-3; 12:7-12; 14:1-17; 15:1-8; 16:1, 5-7; 17:1-2; 19:1-16; 20:1; 21:1-27; 22:1-5. The book of Revelation ends with almost two entire chapters describing the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, and then concludes with a solemn warning not to “add unto these things.”

 Is it not adding to the things of Scripture about heaven to say there are Holy Ghost elevators and storage buildings with body parts and barkless dogs or that the primary nerve in God’s cranium is the sense of smell?

 These experiences are either true or they are a lie, and we are convinced that they are lies. Those who describe them might very well think that they have visited heaven, but they have done no such thing.

 The Bible is more certain than any vision or the most glorious mystical experience. It is possible to be deceived into thinking one has been to heaven or seen Jesus when this has not actually happened, but the Bible is sure. Peter reminded his readers that he was eyewitness to Christ’s majesty, that he had witnessed Christ’s transformation on the mountain and heard the very voice of Almighty God and had seen Elijah and Moses (2 Pet. 1:16-18). What could be more glorious than that? No Pentecostal or Charismatic has experienced anything greater than this. But Peter does not end here. Rather than urging his readers to seek such experiences he magnifies the Bible above all such things:

 “We have also A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of THE SCRIPTURE is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Pet. 1:19-21).

 The more sure word of prophecy is the Scripture itself. It was given by divine inspiration and is therefore infallible.

 This is the message that every Pentecostal and Charismatic needs to hear and to submit to. Lay aside the carnal lust for mystical experiences and miraculous signs and cleave to the Bible alone as the sole and perfectly sufficient authority for faith and practice. Walk by faith and not by sight, for this is biblical Christianity. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see

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