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Secrets of the Kingdom of God and the End Times.

In the Parable of the Sower we learn about the four different soils which represent the condition of our heart, which in turn determines if there is a bounty, or famine from God’s word.

Using the four soils as an example, only one person out of four, will respond to the Gospel and produce fruit.  This is discouraging that only 1 of 4 people may respond when we share the gospel with them, but…we also find out that it isn’t up to us to change or convert anyone, but it is their response that convicts them. If we do our part, the rest is up to God and that person to respond. So…one out of four isn’t bad…is it? When we look at our world today, this is actually encouraging.

So, what secret of the kingdom of heaven, is Jesus trying to explain to the disciples in the case of the weeds.

Matthew 13:24   “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28. ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. ‘The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29. ‘No’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.”‘ (NIV)

In Jesus’ day this very thing would occur.  An angry farmer would sow weeds in another mans field. There were strict laws made to prevent this from happening.

So what was a farmer to do when he discovered that there were weeds, (probably darnel which looks like wheat until it begins to mature)growing along side his wheat?

Here is how Jesus explains the parable.

37. He answered. “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38. The field is the world, the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39. and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41. The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (NIV)

While studying this passage I was amazed at how much we are told about the end-times. The field is the world, so this passage is not about different types of Christians, it is about unbelievers who are professing to be Christians that are among us. In what we consider to be the church, (the wheat), there will be counterfeit Christians, (the weeds). They will be among us and we will not be able to always discern the difference.  An example of this would be Judas among the other disciples. They had no idea of what was in the heart of Judas Iscariot. Think about how much time they had spent together. They traveled, slept, ate, and preached as a group. Yet…they had no clue.

Jesus said pulling up the weeds may also pull up the wheat, so to let them grow together. The time will come at the end of the world that God will separate the weeds from the wheat.  The judgment for the weeds cannot be misunderstood. They will be thrown into the fiery furnace.

What can this teach us? We cannot judge another persons heart, and we are not to. This will be the job of the angels at the end of the world. In the meantime we will have to abide among the unbelievers who profess to love and follow Christ.  So God’s kingdom has counterfeit Christians and real Christians. While we cannot judge another’s heart, we do have to be alert to the false teaching from those INSIDE the church.  Those who truly walk with the Lord have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit while those professing to know Christ, but do not, are counterfeit.

This is further expressed in the parables about the Mustard Seed and the Yeast.

These two parables are not explained by Jesus. I believe this is so because there is more than one interpretation for each. For the purpose of this study we will  focus on the counterfeit aspect of the kingdom. These verses are from the KJV.

The Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: 32. Which is indeed the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

I have heard a positive interpretation of this parable that says that the tree is the spreading of the gospel to all the nations, and that the church will become a powerful influence in the world (field). The Bible does say that the gospel will be heard by all before the end comes, and this will happen, but let’s look at another interpretation.

This tiny mustard seed naturally grows to the size of a garden herb plant. In this scenario the plant becomes a huge tree of unnatural proportion. This plant is inflated beyond its normal size. It is so large that birds lodge in the branches. A bird that “lodges” has taken this to be its home. This tree represents an inflated kingdom of heaven. What is it inflated with? All throughout the Bible we are warned of false teachings. Many of these false teachings are full of prosperity, inspiration and feel-good messages. One can see how the kingdom of heaven may be artificially expanded with unconverted Christians.

Could the mega-churches of today be part of this apostate kingdom of heaven with  birds nesting in its branches. The birds from the previous Parable of the Sower depicted the birds as evil. These birds came and devoured the Word of God. Now we have “birds of the air” residing in this kingdom. These birds also symbolize evil. Many of the sermons in the churches are lacking in truth of the Word. The Bible is no longer taught. The birds have come and devoured the seed, The Word.

What about those who are in the process of establishing the five-fold apostolic ministries of prophet and apostles? They are determined to build a kingdom here on earth so that Jesus can return to claim His church, the spotless bride. They say the billion soul revival is just around the corner. There is a problem with this, which will be addressed a bit later. Those deeply involved in Kingdom Now theology are creating an extensive  network that will connect to a world-wide spirituality which will ultimately invite the world ruler to step in. 

The Yeast (Leaven)

Matthew 13:33. Another parable spake he unto them: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

Three measures of meal was a common offering in biblical times. In this instance we have a woman hiding yeast in the meal until the whole portion was leavened. The yeast was mixed throughout the flour. We know what happens to dough once yeast is added. It inflates and grows easily to double its original size. The yeast changes the entire texture of the dough. Now in those days yeast was added the same way one keeps a starter of sourdough bread on hand today.  It is kneaded in till it is completely infiltrated into the whole loaf.

So what does this mean?  Yeast is always spoken of in the Bible as an evil influence. Yeast was forbidden in ceremonies (Exodus12:15) and we are told “Take heed and beware of leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” Matthew 16: 6.

So Jesus is telling us about the inflation of the kingdom of God and of its unnatual, bloated,  puffed-up expansion.  The cause? Evil. We have the birds of the air in the tree and the yeast in the dough infiltrating the church before Christ returns.

This kingdom of Christians (the true church) will  have counterfeit Christians among us. The Bible predicts a falling away from the faith. II Thessalonians 2:3 says “Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

So… this inflated kingdom He speaks of will not a righteous, holy, god-fearing kingdom. In fact, this kingdom  will be laced with sinful false teachings that will entice believers AWAY from the truth preparing the world for the son of perdition, the AntiChrist. II Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables.”

When Jesus Christ returns this will end the kingdom of heaven as He speaks of it in these parables. This kingdom of heaven on earth will be misinterpreted by those wanting to advance God’s cause for their own desires. These parables prophesy what God’s kingdom sadly will look like before His return. We have already been told the blind will not understand, but to the disciples the mystery is opened to them. As disciples today, we should see what is happening in our churches, see the mangled doctrine, because we have been forewarned over and over again in the New Testament.

Can you see how the three parables, The Sower, The Weeds and the Yeast, build upon each other? The first parable is explained, with us learning that the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven will be understood by disciples but not the world. The world does not comprehend or care, that faith will depart from the earth…not multiply. The gospel will be spread to the ends of the earth but the takers will be few. The seed will not take root. The birds who eat the seed, Jesus explains as the “wicked one”.  Along with the wheat, weeds will grow in the field (world), and live side by side. The mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds, grows into a huge monstrous tree with birds (evil ones) nesting in it. The bread (the kingdom) is also expanded unnaturally by the  hidden yeast (evil). 

Satan himself is introducing false ideas, false gods, and false religion into all of society.  This is nothing new, but can’t you see the change in the church? At first little by little, lies are introduced and the congregations like the lies. But why is it that they cannot see the deception? THEY DON’T WANT TO. People don’t have time to read their Bible, or have time for prayer.

The kingdom of God on earth will be populated by mostly counterfeits by the time Jesus returns. My take on this is that the church will be  totally infiltrated and those who will not accept this new spirituality introduced by the birds, will have to go underground. Why do i believe this? It is happening today.

Now what about the billion soul revival? This is not biblical because of Luke 18:8.  “…when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” In fact, about the end-times, Jesus says in Matthew 24:9 “..and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”  What about Matthew 7: 14? “But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  This verse was recently cited to a dominionist who said this was being “nit-picky”.  Today Bible believing Christians are being ridiculed and sneered at, being called uneducated and unenlightened. The derision is rampant.

Weeds & Yeast 

The secrets of the Parables are not secret to those who walk the narrow path, who have committed their life to the Lord, and who have been empowered by the Holy Spirit. Those who hold to the truths of the Word of God will not be deceived by the hypocrisy and false teachings of the weeds  and their rebellious words inflated by the yeast.

Please….examine yourself and the commitment you have or haven’t made to the Lord Jesus Christ. The future for the weeds is less than promising, indeed. The church, the true believers, are the kingdom of heaven today. The perfect kingdom we still wait for…after the physical return of Jesus Christ.

So take heart, brothers and sisters in Christ. Luke tell us in 21:28,  “Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.”

“Even so, come Lord Jesus.”

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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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http://www.letusreason.org/Default.htm 

Mike Oppenheimer of:

Let Us Reason Ministries

MY TESTIMONY                         

I was brought up Jewish, went to Shabbat quite faithfully each Friday and celebrated the holydays at the temple and with family. Our family like many others, gathered together on the high holy days in observance. I attended Hebrew school twice a week and learned the language and eventually was Bar Mitzvahed and confirmed. While attending classes I asked a lot of questions about God the Rabbi could not answer. Though I continued each year, mainly to please my parents, I became less interested in the traditional religion of my parents and feeling hindered in my spiritual development, leaped head first into my own brand of freestyle spirituality after graduation.

By my own search in reading and attending lectures and gatherings I got involved in the New Age Movement, became a vegetarian and for 15 years practiced yoga and meditation. I ended up using psychedelic drugs for a time (LSD, mescaline etc.), as part of my regular religious observances and smoking “pakalolo” (pot) became part of my normal lifestyle. During these times I also experimented with various religions and the occult. I felt they each contained some part of the truth of the one “true” religion, just as Rosicrucianism teaches all religions are petals on the same flower.

I studied about the Ancient Masters of the East, learning about Buddhism and Zen I picked up on a number of the practices. I had a number of spiritual experiences which at the time I was sure were from God and leading me to a greater knowledge of myself and Him. I discovered and believed in the Ascended Masters that were guiding our world into a greater evolutionary path. I was involved with UFO’s and channeled messages. I was sure I was on the right spiritual path because of the various signs things just fell into place. At the same time I also read the Bible (even the New Testament), not denying my Jewish roots. I began reading over 50 books a year, having an insatiable spiritual appetite, but God was working on my exit out of this spiritual bondage.

I had also started to surf before beginning my spiritual pilgrimage. I fell in love with the sport and began traveling, surfing and entering contests. Surfing became my livelihood after I learned to shape surfboards for a living. I became the NY champion for a number of years and eventually the eastern surfing champion for two years. Hawaii proved to be an irresistible attraction due to its fantastic surf. I moved permanently to Hawaii with my girlfriend Kathy in the mid 70’s. This gave me more freedom to pursue both my first love of surfing and my freelance spirituality. We thought we were becoming enlightened. Reading books about the Ascended Masters involvement and “learning” about Earth’s past history on Lemuria and Atlantis. We desired to become servants of the New age movement, convinced that if we all united we could usher in an age of spiritual cooperation and enlightenment that so many were talking about. After nine years my searching came to a head when my girlfriend Kathy and I started to pursue our spiritual hunger more seriously and became involved in the “I Am Movement” (the Saint Germaine Society of the Ballard’s). Through calling on angels and powers unknown to us and by “decreeing” and using the Violet Consuming Flame to eradicate past life karma, we were learning to become active in the New Age Movement. At the time, Kathy was practicing affirmations, mantras, studying herbology, polarity therapy, kinesiology and learning about the supposed spiritual energies of the body. She also was a manager of a health store on the Island of Oahu.

At the same time, the Lord started moving ahead with His rescue plan and during one week we had two friends over who had recently became Christians. One was also a surfer that I knew from New York. We talked about end-time events for hours. Since I was familiar with, as I had been reading the Bible for years, and was especially fascinated about the end of the age. (At that time we both thought Christians were very narrow minded about their view of the Bible, God and the world. Kathy and I used to laugh about how the New Age was coming in without Christians even being aware of it, and were still trying to live in the old traditions and were not going to be part of it). Later that week my friends invited us to a seminar that just so happened to be on the New Age Movement with speakers Dave Hunt, Johanna Michaelson and Hal Lindsey. Talk about timing! It was also during that same week that I heard an audible voice say, “I am the Lord your God, you shall not want.” I recognized this was from Psalm 23 from my Jewish upbringing and had never experienced anything like it. Inside I knew this was the God I was searching for but still did not know. It was only later I would understand why this voice was outside and not from inside me.

I attended the Christian conference on Bible prophecy and the New Age Movement that week while Kathy stayed home doing her New Age affirmations. She wasn’t feeling well that day and unknowingly had really been going through a spiritual battle all that week. At the conference, I was shocked to hear the other side of the story. The information I heard seemed incredible. The speakers knew all about the occult techniques Kathy and I were following and practicing, and about the New Age Movement’s master plans. I spoke to Dave Hunt briefly during a break and he answered a number of important questions. One was why Jesus said, “why you have forsaken me?” Though I was reading the Bible all these years I could not understand the gospel contained in it. I was blinded by the viewpoints ingrained from the New Age influences. I was also challenged by Dave on the occult practices in which I was personally involved practicing. He was aware of the “I am societies” practices. One question he asked was, “If you’re God did you create the universe? I had never thought this through. If I’m trying to become god through all these New Age techniques, how could this be possible, when God was always all knowing and all powerful (according to the Scriptures and what I had heard through their speaking that night). It was through this question that a chain of events led to the Lord really ministering the truth to my heart and mind. When the conference resumed Johanna spoke and I was relating to a lot she had experienced, especially in regards to the Ascended Master “Jesus”. Then she spoke about another Jesus – the true Jesus of the Bible, which came as a total shock. I never thought there could be false Jesus’ parading around as the real one. They were only Jesus by name but not the One who is God come in the flesh. It all made sense. When she prayed my heart was pierced, I knew I had heard the truth, but the question was; what would I do about it?

All the way home I wrestled with the realization that I had wasted the past 15 years believing and doing the wrong things. (Prior to this I thought Christians were very narrow minded but now I had to reconsider that I was too open-minded and had bought into a lie.) I asked my friends who took me to the meeting numerous questions that were running through my mind. Being new Christians, they could answer only a few of them. They just kept saying to me, “we know the Bible is God’s Word and Jesus is the truth.”

Kathy was waiting up for me when I got home. It was late and she was actually scared that I would come home a Christian from the meeting! As I came in a peace came in the house and on her, as I sat her down and shared about how the Christians viewed the last days and how it wasn’t anything like what we were being taught in the New Age Movement. It was then that the Holy Spirit revealed to Kathy that not only were we following the wrong Jesus (2 Cor.11:4), but that we were worshiping Satan, and that he is a real being. Then the fear of God fell upon us and for the first time we got down on our knees and prayed to the true living God to forgive us for the occult beliefs we had been deceived into practicing. The Lord got the last laugh, but it was a pleasant one of victory.

The next morning we both went to a Christian church and the pastor got to the pulpit and said that he was told to change the sermon. He spoke on sin, Satan and Jesus Christ, we thought our friends had tipped him off but it was the Lord. We heard the gospel explained and dedicated our lives to the Lord, repenting and asking Christ to forgive us. Thank the Lord He intervened. We were saved together in the year 1986. It was later that week I found out that it was on the 20th anniversary of my confirmation day when God spoke that previous week to me Psalm 23. The last thing I read in front of the congregation in the temple 20 years before had been Proverbs 4:1-2 “Hear my children, the instruction of a Father, and give attention to know understanding. For I have given you good doctrine, forsake not my law.” Unfortunately, I did forsake His Law, for 20 years- but God brought me and my soon-to-be wife back. Five weeks after our spiritual birth Kathy and I were married and today have a 15 year old son who has been learning and become very interested in the debate of creation versus evolution among other interests.

Immediately, I began to study the Bible and learn apologetics in order to give answers to those who ask why we believe in Christ and why Jesus is God in the flesh. Since 1988 I have continued teaching on the cults and aberrant world views including how the cults deny grace and opt for works to be accepted by God. These include the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and also the occult (New Age world view) which is now very present inside the Church.

By the grace of God I have had the privilege to have taught at Hope Chapels, Calvary Chapels, Church of Christ, Youth With A Mission, United Methodist Church, Grace Brethren, Assembly of God and various other Hawaii congregations. I have also had the opportunity to share in small group studies around the Island and have been involved in a number of debates. The Lord has currently provided us with the opportunity to host a TV program and had live call-in broadcast called “Let Us Reason” on a local Christian station as well as featured on several other live radio broadcasts in Hawaii. I am currently a missionary for Witness Inc., the world’s largest counter cult ministry reaching out to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1994 Let Us Reason Ministries was founded as an up-to-date apologetic resource center to instill both confidence and a desire to lead others to Christ. This is done by helping equip believers with both Biblical, and logical answers for their Christian faith. I have learned many things along the way that need to be passed on to others to encourage as well as equip them in their witnessing. It’s my hope that this ministry will be able to prompt believers to personally meet and evangelize people who are in cults and false religions as well as discern and call attention to false doctrine within the Church.

Mike Oppenheimer

 

(used with permission from Let us Reason)

 

 

Here is another testimony that you might like to read.

kim

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/12/25/a-testimony-of-a-former-new-ager/

and another

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/09/13/the-toronto-deception-by-former-tacf-pastor-paul-gowdy/

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        “Earnestly contend for the faith….pulling them out of the fire.”

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus. It is interesting that he refers to himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ, brother to James” and does not tell of his relationship to Jesus. He may have done this to give God the glory and not to attract attention to himself.

He wanted to write about salvation, but it was apparent that he felt it was necessary to write a different letter to the believers. This is a letter of warning for false teachers and false doctrines that are entering the church.

1. “Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them, that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ , and called:”

Who was Jude writing to? “…them, that are sanctified by God”, “Called.” This letter written by Jude is to Christians or the believers. It is always helpful to know who the books of the Bible are addressed. So this book written by Jude, is a warning to the flock.

Jude is probably best known for this verse.

3. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

I would like to point out aspects of this verse and how it applied to us today.

“Earnestly contend for the faith.”

Let me rephrase this verse using terms from the dictionary. Seriously assert for the faith. Zealously struggle with those who oppose the faith. Sincerely maintain the faith. Speak forth the truth. Even though I like, speak forth the truth, the words struggle and maintain are just as relevant. “Struggle” because as time goes on there will be more and more opposition and “maintain” because it means to retain or keep the gospel as it is in it’s original form.

All these statements set forth what we are to do, but are we? Are we studying the Word daily with prayer so that we could recognize deception if we saw it? “…which was once delivered unto the saints.”

The truth was delivered once. It is not to be changed, altered or configured to one’s owns desires. “…unto the saints.” Who are the saints? Ephesians 1:1 “…the faithful in Christ Jesus.”

4. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Crept in unawares?”

Remember this is the church, the believers, Jude is talking to. Men have c r e p t in u n a w a r e s . This is an alarming statement. It should make you look behind you to see who is crouching, getting ready to pounce. But the reality is that we are not always acknowledging the false teaching, because we are UNAWARE. Yes, we are unaware of all who are ungodly, condemned, denying God and Jesus, and turning God’s grace into immorality. How disconcerting… that there are those who have slipped in among us and we have not noticed.

Jude is warning us. You would think by their description we would recognize them. This would indicate another warning. If we cannot recognize these men…are we like them?

Look at this phrase…”denying the only Lord God.” How many are today saying that there are many paths to God? With the explosion of Eastern religion in the West, we will hearing this more and more. Contemplatives using eastern style meditation also are leaning toward this denial of Jesus Christ as the only way and the downplay of sin.What is implied is that these men know of God’s grace, yet….they use this grace as an excuse or pardon for sin. Also note the tense of this verse. It applies to all time. But these men are destined for condemnation and Jude gives examples.

5. “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”

Jude is saying that we should know why the Israelites were destroyed. Do you remember the story of how God led the Israelites with pillars of smoke and fire, fed them manna from heaven, parted the Red Sea, yet they still “believed not”? They did not endure to the end because of a lack of faith.Then Jude gives two more examples of punishment and judgment. The fallen angels are being held for judgment day and similarly Sodom and Gomorrah experienced the: 7. “vengeance of eternal fire.”

These ungodly men will experience a punishment similar to Sodom and Gomorrah.

6. “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignitaries.” This is a startling description of these godless men, yet it says that we can be unaware they are among us. How can this be? Let’s look a few possibilities.

I have read some pretty strange words from those in the prophetic movement. Before I continue…my personal view should be made known. I believe the prophetic movement to be mostly false. I have read many of the prophecies and most are the same predictions over and over again. Many I believe are channelers and are not hearing from God. They are not discerning the spirits. Their methods of contact with the spirit world, mirror the occult practices that have been used for centuries. This divination is detestable to the Lord. Deut 18:12. Nevertheless, I do believe there are some believers who have been given dreams and visions. There has also been many downfalls and scandals concerning those who are involved in false ministries. Look at the countless who have sadly fallen due to sexual sin. There is a correlation between sexual sin and those who defile the flesh. Let it be said that much of it is due to ungodliness and those who give themselves over to other forces besides the Holy Spirit.

“Despise dominion and speak evil of dignitaries”.

My bible parallels over to 2 Peter 2:10 “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.” Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries.

Dominionism which is an end-time deception, involves two main situations. There are those who want to reconstruct the apostolic ministries of disciples and apostles, which is called the 5-fold ministry and then there is the idea that Christians need to dominate the earth and “take it back”. Those are who trying to create a new apostolic order in our churches are usually self-appointed apostles. They want to be in charge. They are rejecting God’s authority and those who are now ministering to the churches they want to take over. This was demonstrated recently by a young man who is involved with a deluded ministry. He wrote a book stating one has to ask permission of the church, to leave the congregation. What? Why should anyone in the church have this kind of control over the congregation? They shouldn’t but that is what is being put forth and implemented today. Any church that has this kind of power is a cult.

The time is here that the ungodly of this world are being called godly. We can see that the Dalai Lama was greeted with honor this year by President Bush. Would this same honor be bestowed to a Christian minister? The time is upon us that godly men will be labeled intolerant and that they are denying peace to our world. The fact that the bible says that Jesus Christ is the only way will become ridiculous to the “spiritualists” of the world. This is already happening. The narrow path to Jesus Christ is now being labeled as narrow-minded. Those who are “narrow-minded” will not accept the unity of religions and will be the fundamental outcasts. Those who will not accept the many roads to God will be the minority of the future. It is unfortunate but the future is already here.

If we jump up to Jude 10 we will find this of the godless men among us: “But these speak evil of those things which they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.”

What does “which they know naturally”, mean? Back to 2 Peter 2:12-13 “But these as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the thinks that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceiving while they feast with you.”

“How ironical that when men should claim to be knowledgeable, they should actually be ignorant; when they think themselves superior to the common man they should actually be on the same level as animals, and be corrupted by the very practices in which they seek liberty and self-expression.” (Green)

Many today profess to have special knowledge and prophesy falsely. One can prophecy from the soul instead of from God. Here, one who may be full of pride, purports to tell another what God’s will is.  2 Peter 1:21 says, “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.” Does God speak to us directly? Yes, I believe He does. We can know his leading, and we should know His voice. His Still Small Voice. The Holy Spirit will guide us. But the rule is the Word of God. Those who go by what men say will be open to deception.

11. “Woe unto them! For they have gone the way of Cain…of Balaam…of Korah.” 12. “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit witherith, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots:”

The false prophets are doomed because they have not the faith of Abel who offered his first fruits, but have murder in their hearts, the greed of Balaam, and the desire to be in charge like Korah (Cor-e) who wanted to replace Moses, but was swallowed up by the earth. Hatred, greed and rebellion . This was the downfall of these men. Do not follow anyone who resembles them. for they want to take you with them. Korah was destroyed as well as his followers, so look for godly and biblical teachers.Verse 12 does not refer to spots (blemishes) as angels but as sinful men. These spots partake of the agape feast which is meant to edify all. Instead the false leader feeds only himself instead of tending to the flock. These men are also like clouds without water, for they bring nothing to drench the crops and have nothing to drink for those who thirst.

These trees, or men, are “twice dead”. This is probably a reference to physical and spiritual death. 

13. “Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.”

Those involved in the prophetic movement constantly give words about disasters, raging seas and tsunamis. But I bet they do not know that false prophets are called “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame:” Isaiah 57:20 says: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

The wandering stars, may be as a shooting star which briefly lights up the sky and then fizzles out for good. What good is a wandering star? One cannot navigate by it, or be assured where it will be at any given time. These stars ultimately will see darkness forever.

Verses 14-15 speak of judgment. Jude is still talking about “them”, as Enoch prophesied, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all..” Four times the word ungodly is used. “..and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches (harsh words) which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

What are the characteristics of these false teachers? Jude 16: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration [2296] because of advantage.”

Again we can refer back to the Israelites as they grumbled and complained while wandering in the desert. God was not pleased, and obviously He is not pleased with these ungodly teachers. Teachers walking after their own lusts, are pleased with their position and the recognition they receive. Great swelling words.

Have you read some of the prophetic words out there? God must have left out huge portions of the Bible because I don’t have a clue what these “words” really mean. Many words, come from those who have “special knowledge”.  Again I believe in leadings from the Lord but one should stick to the written word.

You want to be deceived? Get on the “prophetic ministry” train, and ride through the tunnel of doom. The Greek word [2296] thaumazo also means to marvel or awe. So these men caused quite a stir in their audience. Don’t we see this today? Look at how many are marveling at the signs and wonders that false teachers are producing today. These teachers are using biblical phrases and teachings among the false manifestations. Many are not questioning where their power lies, instead desiring it for themselves.

Jude 17 “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These men were foretold by the apostles. This should be nothing new to us and so we should presently be expecting and discerning them.

1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” Acts 20:29 “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock.”

Grievous wolves? Matthew 7:15 “Beware of the false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”

There are the wolves again. One description is ravening and one is grievous.Strong’s defines ravening [727] as ravenous, rapacious, robbing.Grievous [926] is violent, cruel, unsparing.Now the wolves [3074] are cruel greedy destructive men.

False prophet [5578] one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies.So among us, the church, we have ravenous, rapacious, robbing, violent, cruel, unsparing, cruel and greedy men, who are acting the part of a divinely inspired prophets, uttering lies as divine prophecies. And we have difficulty separating these men from the true believers!

Jude 18 “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

You know….. I am really sick of these guys but I must continue.

Jude 19 “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.”

There are many today who are asking “Where is this God of yours?” One might expect this of the secular world…but leaders in the church? Yes, they are asking this if only to themselves. That is why there are those who are seeking to build a kingdom here on earth. Those who truly have “no spirit”, believe they do have a special mission here on earth to sate their passions of the things that are forbidden to them.The word sensual [5591] relates to the natural, governed by the breath, like the animal world, something in common with the brutes.In this verse “they who separate” [592] are the ones making divisions and disjoining the church. I wonder what spirit these men do have….?

So far, these verses have given us a thorough view of what these men are like and their ungodly ways.So now comes verses 20-25   What are we to do about these men?

Out of the next six verses, four tell us how to keep and present ourselves and the other two, how to deal with the ungodly men.

Jude 20-21 “But ye beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

So first before we do anything we are to take a look at ourselves first. Are we building ourselves up in our faith? Are we seeking holiness? It is at this point that we can compare our lives with the lives of the false teachers. The Holy Spirit bears witness to us that we are children of God and that others who also walk in this spirit are members with us in the spiritual family of God, the church. If we walk this path following Jesus Christ, we know the direction and boundaries. Straying from this path happens to Christians, but there is a difference between stumbling, and getting up and going on.

Following Jesus Christ is the only way to contentment for those who love and desire Him only. We discover that it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we truly glorify God, and desire to grow in holiness to please Him and live a life set apart. How do we know that the Holy Spirit lives within us? We grieve over our sin. The Holy Spirit convicts us. We may still struggle with sin but we want to overcome it.

Pray for strength. Are you in Christ? Do you desire to grow in holiness? Have you set yourself apart from the world and its enticements? Are you actually pursuing this path or just meandering? We are to keep our eye on God.

Titus 2:13 “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;”

Jude 22-23 “And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”

At first reading, I thought that making a difference, would be a result of my compassion, but this is not necessarily so.

Strong’s concordance says [1252] making a difference is:

“To separate, make a distinction, to try, decide, to learn, to withdraw from.”

So to make a difference is to discern these men and make a determination about them. Jude offers two solutions here.

The first is to make a distinction about them but to also have compassion, but we are to separate from these men. Here is where many fail. They do not know scripture and do not know how separate these men’s lies from biblical truths. Then there are those who know scripture but decide they prefer satan’s lies. Lies that satisfy the flesh.

God has called many out of deceit. God has pulled them out of apostasy, lukewarmness, and indifference. So we must have mercy and compassion on those who are stumbling but we must not follow them.

And others we are to “save with fear”.

[5401] save with fear. Dread or Terror.

We are to pull or snatch others from the fire. We are save or rescue them, hating the spotted garment. And why would we do this? Because those who walk with the Lord and have the Holy Spirit hate sin.

Okay….so who are those that we are to have compassion on yet stay separate and who are those that we are to pull out of the fire?

Are we to separate from the false prophets and snatch those who are listening to them? Hopefully, we are building ourselves up by praying in the Holy Spirit because we will need wisdom and discernment on how to approach others who are in error.

Are you in a situation with God, that you know you will never slip out of His hand? I mean you KNOW! Do you know that a life without Christ is impossible? A mediocre life in Christianity is no longer good enough for the regenerate. Do you know that your life is not in your hands anymore because you have given it back to your creator? Those who truly know Jesus Christ live every moment for the glory of His name.

One thing we do know is this:

Jude 24-25 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

Thanks be to Jude who tells us we are to contend for the faith, and by its truths, snatch others from the fire.

This article is from CONTENDER MINISTRIES.  I was impressed by the Rast’s, who give us a great example of how to respond to the New Age Movement with a biblical response.

 
New Agers are the real Christians

It is people like you who are actually the anti-christ….the ‘so-called’ Christians like yourself who condemn and ridicule the new agers (or any other religion) like you do. You, like the Pharisees at the time of Christ cannot see beyond your own limited world-view. Christ was able to see the divinity in man….the wonderous power that man owns (the holy spirit) He was telling the Jewish people of this ….and they called him a blasphermer. He died telling us all that God lives inside of each and everyone of us…not just some of us…as you the Anti-Christ would like us to believe!You like to divide us…..with your judgemental, narrow-minded rhetoric, placing hatred and fear of other religions into the innocent minds of children and adults. You place New Agers and eastern philosophies in the seat of evil and yourself in the seat of God.. You point fingers at anyone you consider to be a sinner….judging their conduct as good or evil….. exactly what Christ said NOT to do. (don’t judge another, lest you be judged yourself)the power of evil (satan) lives and thrives in the division you try sooo hard to create…and you know that. The division between Christian and what you term “new age” is only in the minds of people like yourself, and other radical christians. Satan grabs hold you …in your fear of the new age, in your judgemental accusations, and in your hate and anger toward us. We (new agers) never point fingers at others because we know that all religions are in the pursuit of the same God, and eventually, through the wonderful process of self-realization (yoga, meditation, prayer, kind acts, forgiveness), we will find God because that was Christ’s ‘Way”…. that was Christ’s teaching to us!! We know that God lives in each one of us…even people like you. God doesn’t see religions, colors, sex or any other kind of groups like you do.You say we call ourselves ‘divine’…but the truth is that we are all part of God…who is divine .. thereby we have that holy spirit within each of us. However the power of this spirit is only available when it is combined with others who also have this glorious realization…. because it is in the unity of our spirits that there is power.The new age is here to stay, and unlike you and other ‘so-called’ Christians (not the Christian Jesus was) , we belive that it will be GOODNESS that prevails, not guided by intolerance and conformity to man-made religious dogma, but by tolerance for all people (love, acceptance, support) , intelligence and kindness. Your ‘Way’ toward tomorrow is paved with fear and anger. Christ spoke of Wolves in Sheeps clothing, and after reading your article on the New Age influence …. I see what he meant. You try to appear as though you were on Christ’s side, but I can see clearly that you are part of Satan’s handiwork.

I hope this letter helps you to find peace and re-directs you on your search for God. Open your heart and your mind (as Jesus tried to get the Pharisees and all people to do)…and you will find tha Jesus was right when He said “even greater things than this can you do …if you only had faith as big as a mustard seed”!!! Don’t fight the glory of this new age, when Christ’s truths will be made evident to all.

Sincerely,
Diane


CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:

Greetings Diane, and thank you for contacting us at Contender Ministries. There seems to be a lot of anger/frustration in your message to us, but I’d like to reply to your views and interpretations of Christ’s teachings, as opposed to the name-calling.

You say that we are all divine. You contend that the Holy Spirit is a “power that man owns,” and that He dwells in all of us, as we are all part of God. You attempted to back this assertion by saying that Christ taught of the divinity of man, yet you included no scripture reference from the gospels as evidence of your claims. I have read the gospels, and in fact re-read them today before responding to your email. I can tell you conclusively that Jesus never taught that man was divine. The cornerstone of New Age doctrine has no basis in the gospels, or anywhere else in the Bible for that matter. In fact, Jesus taught quite a different theology than that which you espouse.

In Luke 18:19, Jesus said, “No one is good – except God alone.” That certainly seems to belie any claim to the divinity of man. Only God alone is good. To make any claim to divinity is to exalt our own nature, which is inherently sinful (Romans 3:23). Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted,” (Luke 18:14). Anyone who exalts him or herself by claiming divinity will eventually learn a lesson in humility.

In John 14:16, and again in chapter 16, Jesus talks of the Holy Spirit that will remain after Jesus is taken back to God the Father. In these verses, Jesus is speaking to His disciples. He tells them that the Holy Spirit will act as Counselor to His followers. He will convict sinners of their actions. He will reside in the hearts of the followers of Christ. In no way do any of these passages indicate that the Holy Spirit will reside in the hearts of all men. The Holy Spirit does not reside in the heart of unrepentant sinners. However, if such a sinner accepts the gift of eternal life offered through Jesus Christ, and is cleansed of his sins, then he truly can receive the Holy Spirit.

You said we judge people. We do not. We recognize that only Jesus will judge men, on behalf of God the Father (John 5:22,27). A question you should ask yourself is this: If all men are divine, and all are a part of God, then what need would there be for a judge? God does not judge himself, so we cannot be parts of God. If all men are divine, there would be no need for judgment. There is a Judge though, and there will be a judgment.

Why is a judgment needed? Because the truth of the gospels is that there is a path to Heaven, and not all men are on that path. In John 14:6, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus also taught us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son,” (John 3:16-18). Do all men believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and the only path to salvation? Unfortunately, the answer is “no.” In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus said, “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.” Jesus is the small gate, and his teachings are the narrow road. You said we were “narrow-minded,” and in light of the previous verses I would have to agree. But truth is not relative, and it does not change to suit the desires of each person. Truth is inherently a narrow path. Since not all men accept that Jesus is the Messiah and the Savior of mankind, there is a need for a judgment, and Jesus will be that judge.

Jesus will be the judge of men, but we at Contender Ministries are following scriptural instructions to judge doctrines, beliefs, and theologies. We must judge them so we are not deceived by the false prophets Jesus said we would encounter (Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24:24, Mark 13:22). As Christians, we must stand in judgment of teachings that are not in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ. At Contender Ministries, we expose these teachings. We do not presume to judge the followers of the false teachings, but we expose those teachings so that others might be warned, and come to salvation through Jesus Christ before they stand before Him to receive their judgment.

You said that we were the antichrist. There are actually two different versions of antichrist mentioned in the Bible. On one hand, you have Antichrist with a capital “A,” spoken of in the book of Revelation as well as Old Testament prophecy. He will be the great deceiver that will defile the temple in Israel and become possessed by Satan himself. There are also antichrists with a lowercase “a.” John defines these as follows: “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist – he denies the Father and the Son,” (1 John 2:22). We believe that Jesus is the Christ, and we believe in the Father and the Son. Therefore, your characterization of us as the antichrist is inaccurate.

You said our “Way toward tomorrow is paved with fear and anger.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Our way, the only way (John 14:6), is Jesus Christ. We are angry at no one, and we go on without fear. In an age where Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world (as Jesus predicted), we endure suffering for Him, because our salvation with Him for all eternity is secured. He paid the price for us, and we accepted His free gift of salvation.

The belief in the divinity of man is a lie. It is, in fact, the original lie that Satan used. He convinced Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit with the lure that if she did so she would “be like God.” Satan has used this lie throughout history to deceive many. The New Age has bought into this lie. You said the New Age is here to stay. I happen to agree with you – to a point. I believe that the New Age will thrive until Jesus Christ returns to defeat the Antichrist and establish His Kingdom on earth. We urge you to resist this lie of Satan. We urge you to recognize that, like the rest of us, you have a sinful (rather than divine) nature. We implore you to turn to the one true and living God, and seek forgiveness for your sins. If you do so, God has promised to cleanse you of your sins. May God reveal Himself to you, and may you turn to Him. Then, may God bless you in your new life.

In Christ,

Ben and Jennifer Rast
Contender Ministries

 ihop-at-the-fair.jpg

Prophesying and preaching the Gospel at a Psychic Fair

A group of IHOP–KC evangelists went to a psychic fair in Kansas City recently. They set up a table and began prophesying God’s destiny over approximately 100 people involved in New Age religion and witchcraft. God broke in and did amazing things. Since the weekend of the fair, people from the fair have contacted the evangelism team wanting to know where they can meet with them to recieve ministry, and several have been saved since. It was an exciting weekend, where the Lord moved and people were born again, including one of the mediums working the fair. Click below to read and listen to the testimonies. http://www.ihop.org/group/group.aspx?id=1000003885

 

Please read this article that I found on the IHOP website. There is so much wrong here that I can not begin to fathom it. Remember that the New Age Jesus is not the same as our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan comes as an angel of light and professes love and peace.  I have highlighted many of the red flags in red….my comments in blue.  I would like to add that it sounds as though some good came out of this, but hard to say.

 

***UPDATE*** IHOP has pulled this article from their website so the above link no longer works, but it is preserved here on my blog.

A Weekend with the Witches

By Ken DeBenedictis

I’ve been having these conversations with fellow believers about the “New Age

Movement” for years now. I know, I know… it’s evil. It’s deceptive. Witchcraft.

Demons. Cooties.. Look out their gonna get you..blah, blah, blah. I have to admit that the

very fact that it causes so much nervousness and controversy amongst the prophetic Body

of Christ makes me want to set my coordinates and head straight in. So when the

opportunity came for some friends and I to go to a Psychic Fair, I couldn’t have been

happier.

My friend, Erika had noticed an ad on a billboard announcing the fair and felt a tug from

the Lord to explore the idea of being involved. She gave me a call and the two of us

began to search out the contacts on the website that she read off the billboard. I gave the

organization a call and had a real interesting conversation with one of the head

organizers. He asked me who I was what I was wanting. I simply told him that we were a

network of friends called the “Mystics of Yeshua” ( this is deceptive) and that we wanted to be involved as

venders. He began to interview me and wanted to know just what kind of “vendors” we

were. Wisdom began to speak through me (to deceive another person?) and I explained that we work as a group of

interconnected “readers” and “seers” who channel Yeshua’s energy into people. We also

do aura cleansing. He seemed to like that answer and began to ask further about the

cleansing. I said that if people coming to us had any negative energy that they wanted to

get rid of, the pure light from Yeshua would remove any dark energy that they might be

carrying. I figured the answer was satisfactory, because the next thing out of his mouth

was him telling me we could have a section of the “reading room” and share it with the

other psychics and mediums.

“How much do you charge?” he asked.

“Uuhm…nothing”, I replied. “We believe that if you give this kind of service away free

of charge, it comes back to you somehow”.

He said he knew what I was talking about and put me on hold.

We exchanged information and were told the process of how to apply. Apparently the

registration was already past and this was a “unique situation” for the organization.

Nonetheless, within minutes I was told that we could have two tables and we could pretty

much set up the way we wanted. I thanked him very much for the opportunity and knew

right then that Yeshua was on the move.

Within two days we had assembled a team of eleven people through cell phones and

emails and gathered together at a coffee shop to get everyone on the same page. Our first

rule of thumb was no Christianese or church-language of any kind. (sounds like Willow Creek) If we were going to

get through to anyone in this environment, we had to speak THEIR language, not try to

make them understand ours. Speaking “energy” was a key and walking with Wisdom was

essential to this mission. In order to follow Him in this strategy, we truly had to be sheep

in wolves clothing.

Erika, Liz and myself arrived at the Community College where it was to be held and

strolled in past the crystal tables, wolf skins, and witchcraft how-to books. A hypnotic

toned base flute was playing in the background, as was the lingering smell of Nepalese

incense. It couldn’t have been more ideal. We found a stocked pond full of fish and we

were the only ones at this derby! We met the director of the fair and she told us that she

had been expecting us. We signed the code of ethics statement, which to my surprise

impressed me with their integrity more so than some of the prophetic ministries I have

been to. (?) We walked in with our gear to a wide-open expo center. There were stalls of

tarot card readers, psychics and mediums all around the edges of it with rows of chairs

for people to wait in the middle. I couldn’t help but think of some of the prophecy teams

that I have ministered with at prophetic conferences. Surprisingly, it was very similar in

appearance until I looked to my right to notice an albino woman’s eyes roll back in her

head as she read her cards for a nice young couple. Not exactly lining up with

1Corinthians 14:3, but it seemed to flow with the spirit of the thing. We proceeded over

to our area and by the director’s recommendation and grabbed two stalls next to each

other at a corner so that “our energies could stay together”. We politely thanked her for

her help and suggestions and began to set up shop. I looked over at Erika who was now

hugging one of the witches, and realized we had just entered into a large door of God’s

grace. It was truly remarkable how cooperative everyone was being and how much love

seemed to be exuding from us. The Lord was opening doors one right after the other.

It didn’t take long to get started. We put up our sign, anointed ourselves with oil and

prayed in tongues for a few minutes. When the time was right, Yeshua’s Spirit began to

lead people over one by one. Our first customers was a grandmother, mother, daughter

trio who sat there intently listening as Erika began to speak Word’s of Love into their

hungry hearts. It truly flowed like a river and within seconds woman number one was in

tears. We couldn’t believe how easy it was. Before long, a steady flow of people began to

come. We started getting in the groove pretty quick. We’d introduce ourselves, explain

what “Yeshua” meant, informed them that one person would be the “channel” while the

other would be the “oracle”. That there was no need for fear because it’s the same spirit

that’s working through both of us. We told them it would be pure love and light that they

would feel and to be open to receive it. Time quickly went by under this anointing and we

all felt the power of the Spirit upon us. I looked over at Liz who was now having a good

time with the folks, as she had her hands in the air trying to catch the next wave of Love

Energy. The wide-eyed couple across from her was whispering, “Yes, we feel it! Yes we

feel it”. It was quite a scene. The Lord was loving it. By now we were beginning to create

quite a buzz at the expo center and people began to ask about us to the people in charge

of the fair.

Like any good leadership group would do, they sent an inquiry.

“What is Yeshua?” a woman would ask.

We’d explain it in its most basic terms until; they decided that they too wanted a reading.

We knew we were being tested and gave them a quick prophetic word in the most loving

way we knew how. I didn’t think it was much, but apparently she did because within a

half hour we learned the registration people were sending people over to us. According to

them and a lot of the other readers, our energy was the “hottest”.

By the second day, we were in our flow. We now had three booths given to us and up to

five people ministering. My friend Doug who had stall number two had told me he had

never prophesied the way he was that day. His last customer had been prophesied over,

fell into conviction, (wow, this is actually good) accepted Yeshua, and was baptized in the Spirit in one shot. Many

were having similar experiences. I was finding that the majority of the people we were

talking to and “reading” were from denominational backgrounds and had never

considered this kind of thing coming from the “church”. It was truly amazing to learn just

how many people had been hurt by careless and uninformed pastors. I felt like for many

former Christians, this was their turning point. Many times, after “channeling” love

energy for a while, I would prophecy in the first person as if the Father was speaking to

His daughter or son. I’d begin to tell them about how I (or He) had made them, their

calling and their importance to Me (Him). How the Father had been there through any

specific hurt, wound or trauma in their lives and wanted to heal and wash them. That He

had now sent a prophet into their lives in a Psychic Fair to reach them in a personal way.

It was like an arrow being shot into their hearts. Tears of relief and joy rolled down the

cheeks of person after person. At one point, I looked over at all of our tables and noticed

every person was weeping.

One of those I spoke with reminded me of a female Bob Jones. I discerned she was a

psychic reader and began to prophesy accordingly. She gazed into my eyes intently as I

was speaking and then glared an evil glare. I stopped to look into her and told her that we

had a little negative energy problem and said that I would be not talking to her, but to it.

After sending Mr. Negative away in the name of Yeshua, the woman thanked me and I

continued to explain that her gift was a gift from Yeshua and that she had abused it. (this gift was not from Jesus!) That

instead of using it for the King of Kings, she had been using it to serve herself and the

spirit of Baal. Her eyes rolled back and she grinned a demon smile. But then the strangest

thing happened, as she seemed to come to her senses and looked at me as if for help.

Tears welled up in her eyes and she said that it had become so hard. She truly knew that

God had spoken to her and wanted to change. I told her that a prophet’s life was a hard

one and then we both started to weep as the Holy Spirit began to rest on us. I told her that

that the King was returning and sides were being taken. Who was she going to serve? I

looked into her eyes and I knew that for her to give this up meant that the demons would

kill her.( i have never heard this before)  She grabbed my hand and thanked me and got up and left. I couldn’t believe

what the enemy was doing. It enraged me. There were so many of the Lord’s end-time

prophets stuck in the trap of sorcery and witchcraft. It made me all the more determined

to go in and pull out these trapped prophets.

Later that afternoon, Erica and I were approached by an older woman who had been a

reader/psychic in one of the other booths. She was about to go home for the day, but said

that something had made her come over to talk to us. My friend Liz had already

connected with her once and I knew that the Spirit had been working on her. She sat

down and Erika just bathed her in love and acceptance. I was ready to speak and the

Spirit began to swirl around my head. I know when this happens, it’s time to let ‘er rip. I

opened my mouth and began to speak the Word of the Lord to her. For some reason I

bypassed the “energy” language and spoke of Christ the King. How He was coming back

and that she was being called as a prophet to this nation. That she was loved and that the

Lord wanted her back home. Tears were streaming down her face as she wept in

repentance. She went on to say that as a Baptist, she was hurt by a pastor and never

returned. That someone had prophesied that her husband would lay hands on people and

see them get well. It had never been realized. I explained that the Lord had forgiven her

and was calling her to serve Him. Today. Right now. She nodded in agreement and the

Lord told me to anoint her with oil right there. I told her that I was accountable to God if

I did this and wanted a real commitment. I wasn’t playin’. I signaled for LeeAnna who

was sitting at the table next to us, to help us. She came over and the three of us baptized

this dear woman in the Holy Spirit for everyone to see. I continued to prophecy over her

life and spoke of how God had had spoken to her at thirteen years of age about so and so

and this and that. After we had finished, her eyes as big as saucers, she said that no one

but God would know what I had just said. (or the demons) She went on to explain that she had given her

life to the Lord at thirteen and He was reminding her of that. The swirl of the Spirit was

all over everyone. She cried, we prayed, and she said that she had been dreading the car

ride home, but now she couldn’t wait to talk with the Lord. She got up drunk in the Holy

Spirit and went home to do some “house cleaning”. The next morning at the fair, I arrived

to the expo to see the directors of the fair taking her belongings and her name badge out

of her booth. Joan had retired from her practice. She was now a prophet to Yeshua.

There were many other stories of salvations and tears. There were miraculous words of

knowledge and battles in the spirit. I even had a conversation in tongues with a witch. It

was pretty awesome. All in all, we all felt the Lord’s heart for people following the New

Age movement and how He is building teams like ours to go and plunder the enemy’s

camp. It just goes to show you that where the darkness is darkest, the brightness of His

light shines that much brighter. Let’s not miss these opportunities to shine.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the

land of the shadow of death, upon them a Light has shined. You have multiplied the

nation and increased it’s joy; they rejoice before You according to the joy of

harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

Isaiah 9:2-3

           blindedbythelight-2.jpg

I have a book by Betty Eadie that was given to me long time ago. When I read it, it was greatly enjoyed. So many interesting concepts about heaven and Jesus. The title was “Embraced by the Light”.

For instance, Betty talks about her out-of-body experiences and shares her special knowledge with us.  She went through the tunnel at death just like we have heard many times.  She experienced the joy of meeting Jesus, who was warm and nonjudgmental.  She was led through heaven and saw many wonders. She explains how she existed before being sent to earth and helped with creation, and that she got to select her next mission on earth. Souls got to select their missions on earth and learned how they would die, or what ailments they would experience, etc.

Now my purpose is not to explain the premise of the book except that it is deception.  And I fell for it. Well I didn’t take it all in line, hook, and sinker, but alot of it.  It was fascinating to think that she was sharing godly and eternal secrets with me. Things that I didn’t know or understand. 

I look back at that little book and literally slap my forehead in disgust. Why couldn’t I see that it was ungodly, unbiblical, and heresy. I WASN’T WALKING WITH THE LORD THEN.   oh!

I was a Christian and yet, didn’t see through it. I grew up in the church and knew the fundamentals. I had accepted Christ as a young girl and was a believer.  But it wasn’t enough to keep me from deception.

When I was reading about Oprah and her new-age show, I saw that Betty Eadie had been a guest on her show.  Still didn’t register.  Then I saw a picture of her sitting on stage  with Oprah and other New-Agers.  hmmmm!  Something is now beginning to penetrate.

Then I checked out a master book list, with all the new-age books listed.  There she was again.  AHA!  It took a 2 x 4 from God but it finally reached the depths of my senile brain. I had been deceived by a new-age book! I had allowed it.  I had enjoyed what it was telling me.  I could be one with the flowers.  She had described a rose in a garden that must have paralleled the Garden of Eden. She was part of the rose, all is one, God is all, all is in God….Is any of this sounding familiar? Like maybe… Pantheism, Panentheism.

I remember also that she said she received special knowledge, and that there was a huge library of information that could be instantly attained and understood.  One was not to criticize any church or religion in any way because people were at different levels of understanding.  Jesus thought them all precious.  Also spirits were also available to help guide us  and aid us in our development.

I had read this long time ago, but I was amazed at how much new-age philosophy I had retained.  There is no way that I would believe any of this now. But I had at least considered it.   

How vulnerable we are as Christians.  No wonder bible scholars are saying, that if you are not grounded in the faith and the truth you will be deceived.  I have easily 1,000 or pages of research that I have studied and  printed off the internet and books galore.  That is why I understand today that the Bible must be known through and through.  Do you know the Bible through and through? I surely don’t.

If I had picked up another book by the same author or decided to read more books of this nature, who knows how deeply I would have been deceived.

I can now look at the theories and experiences proposed in Eadies book and recognize what I could not before.

What about you?  Would you recognize pantheism in a book that is using biblical names and phrases? Would you notice the implication of divinity of one’s self if it was entwined with a passage about the biblical regeneration of a saved life. If someone recommended that you pray till you reach a “quiet inner center”, would you recognize that as an emergent church phrase?

The truth is found by reading the Word of God. We are to pray for wisdom and discernment as these gifts from God are very necessary. 

John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching (word), you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. 

 

Also..read this article

http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/eadie.html

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I have two books by Ray Yungen, “A Time Of Departing” and “For Many Shall Come In My Name”. Both of these books are packed with information regarding the universal spirituality which is “preparing the world for the end of the age”.

What caught my interest in this article is the mention of Marcus Borg.  I have studied him previously because of his involvement in a seminary board which demotes Jesus to a historical spiritual man.

In September this year, a local Episcopal church about 2 miles from my home, advertised  in our local newspaper, a study group based on the book “The Meaning of Jesus” by Marcus Borg. “It explains ways to relate to Jesus in a new way.” This alone made me shudder. Also they promoted “prayer and meditation in the Celtic tradition”.

I read about apostate churches all over the country but when it happens so close to home, I weep inside because of the reality of it all.

kim

Filling the Vacuum with Mysticism

Source: Ray Yungen

by Ray Yungen

Why are the mainstream denominations so open to meditative and holistic practices? David R. Griffen, professor of theology at a United Methodist college in Clairmont, California, states:

A spiritual vacuum exists in organized religion that might he filled by theologies that draw–for better or worse–from what is called parapsychology, paranormal studies, psychic phenomena and, somewhat pejoratively, the “New Age” movement.1

New Agers have become very much aware of this “spiritual vacuum” and have directed their efforts toward filling it. Metaphysical leader James Fadiman makes the following observation:

The traditional religious world is just beginning to make changes, but it’s a slow process–denomination by denomination. When religious institutions begin to lose members year after year, they eventually become aware that they’re not meeting people’s needs. Before long they’re scurrying around looking for innovative programs and improvements.2

Even atheists have observed this trend. Science-fiction writer Richard E. Geis comments in his personal journal that:

The mainstream Christians are lip-service religions in the main, convenience religions, social religions, and they are the ones most subject to erosion and defections and infiltration and subversion. A large and successful effort seems to have been made by the occultists’ New Age planners to dilute and alter the message of most of the mainstream Christian religions.3

This is made evident by a quote which appeared in a newspaper interview with the owner of a New Age bookstore. She reveals:

A lot of people come in who are very Christian. They are looking, by whatever means, to move closer to God on an individual basis.4

This shows that a great number of people who consider themselves to be Christians have a rather dull and dreary attitude toward their faith. They are looking for something to fill the void. One of the foremost individuals who has attempted to fill this void with the New Age is Marcus Borg, professor and author of many widely read books. In one of them, The God We Never Knew, he lays out very concisely how he went from being a traditional Christian to a “mature” Christian. He relates:

I learned from my professors and the readings they assigned that Jesus almost certainly was not born of a virgin, did not think of himself as the Son of God, and did not see his purpose as dying for the sins of the world…. By the time I was thirty, like Humpty Dumpty, my childhood faith had fallen into pieces. My life since has led to a quite different understanding of what the Christian tradition says about God.5

Like multitudes of liberal Christians who believe as he does, Borg turned to mysticism to fill the spiritual vacuum that his way of thinking inevitably leads to. Borg reveals:

I learned about the use of mantras as a means of giving the mind something to focus and refocus on as it sinks into silence.6

This is a recurring theme in all his books, including his very influential book, The Heart of Christianity. Even though Marcus Borg would certainly not call himself a New Ager, his practices and views on God would be in line with traditional New Age thought (i.e., God is in everything and each person is a receptacle of the Divine, which is accessed through meditation).

Borg is a key example of what I am trying to convey. He is not some Hindu guru or counter-culture type personality. He represents the mainstream for millions of people in liberal churches. But his spiritual platform is pure New Age as he makes clear when he expounds:

The sacred is not “somewhere else” spatially distant from us. Rather, we live within God … God has always been in relationship to us, journeying with us, and yearning to be known by us. Yet we commonly do not know this or experience this…. We commonly do not perceive the world of Spirit.7

This perception is, of course, as I have shown [in Yungen’s book], the outcome of mantra-induced silence.

The following is another barometer of Christian tolerance to New Age ideas. The late psychologist M. Scott Peck wrote a phenomenal best seller on psychology and spiritual growth titled The Road Less Traveled. The book contains insights and suggestions for dealing with life’s problems, which is why it has generated the interest it has. But the book also incorporates the central theme of the Ancient Wisdom:

God wants us to become himself (or Herself or Itself). We are growing toward godhood. God is the goal of evolution. It is God who is the source of the evolutionary force and God who is the destination. This is what we mean when we say that He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end….

It is one thing to believe in a nice old God who will take good care of us from a lofty position of power which we ourselves could never begin to attain. It is quite another to believe in a God who has it in mind for us precisely that we should attain His position, His power, His wisdom, His identity.8

Madame Blavatsky and Alice Bailey [New Age occultists] could not have said it any better. Peck revealed where he was coming from when he said, “But (The Road) is a sound New Age book, not a flaky one.”9 This book, which was on the New York Times best seller list for over 400 weeks, has been incredibly popular in Christian circles for years. Peck himself said the book sells best in the Bible Belt.

What is happening to mainstream Christianity is the same thing that is happening to business, health, education, counseling, and other areas of society. Christendom is being cultivated for a role in the New Age….

This ultimately points to a global religion based on meditation and mystical experience. New Age writer David Spangler explains it the following way:

There will be several religious and spiritual disciplines as there are today, each serving different sensibilities and affinities, each enriched by and enriching the particular cultural soil in which it is rooted. However, there will also be a planetary spirituality that will celebrate the sacredness of the whole humanity in appropriate festivals, rituals, and sacraments. There will be a more widespread understanding and experience of the holistic nature of reality, resulting in a shared outlook that today would be called mystical. Mysticism has always overflowed the bounds of particular religious traditions, and in the new world this would be even more true.10

The rise of centering prayer is causing many churches to become agents of transformation. Those who practice it tend to embrace [a] one-world-religion idea. One of the main proponents of centering prayer had this revelation:

It is my sense, from having meditated with persons from many different traditions, that in the silence we experience a deep unity. When we go beyond the portals of the rational mind into the experience, there is only one God to be experienced…. I think it has been the common experience of all persons of good will that when we sit together Centering we experience a solidarity that seems to cut through all our philosophical and theological differences.11

In this context, we may compare all the world’s religions to a dairy herd. Each cow may look different on the outside, but the milk would all be the same. The different religious groups would maintain their own separate identities, but a universal spiritual practice would bind them together–not so much a one-world church as a one-world spirituality.

Episcopal priest and New Age leader Matthew Fox explains what he calls “deep ecumenism”:

Without mysticism there will be no “deep ecumenism,” no unleashing of the power of wisdom from all the world’s religious traditions. Without this I am convinced there will never be global peace or justice since the human race needs spiritual depths and disciplines, celebrations and rituals, to awaken its better selves. The promise of ecumenism, the coming together of religions, has been thwarted because world religions have not been relating at the level of mysticism.12

Fox believes that all world religions will eventually be bound together by the “Cosmic Christ”13 principle, which is another term for the higher self.

As incredible as this may sound, it appears to be happening now. The New Age is embedded in American religious culture far deeper and broader than many people imagine. If your concept of the New Age is simply astrology, tarot cards, or reincarnation, then you could easily miss the real New Age as it pulses through the religious current. If mystical prayer continues its advance, then we could one day see, perhaps sooner than we expect, many Christian churches becoming conduits of New Age thought to their membership.

 

 

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Gnosticism, spiritual warfare

and pride. 

 

********************* 

 

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

 

 

 

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  A Rotten Apple

 

***********

 

 

 

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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