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By Steven Kozar

An Excerpt from Messed Up Church

Full Article HERE

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

 

I grew up attending a protestant covenant church and accepted the Lord as a young girl. I had a strong biblical background.  I began to backslide as a teenager and so I wandered for over 30 years. One day I came back to the Lord. I was so convicted of my sin that I wept in repentance. I became hungry for the Word of God. I joined BSF Bible Study when invited to attend. I hungered and thirsted for righteousness.

I was immersed in the Word and loving every minute of it. But something happened. I began to receive open visions. I saw the Lord’s hands. Gigantic numbers appeared in scenery as I was driving.

Then I began to get messages. Oh how I thought the Lord was using me. I told my mother who thought I was being extremely blessed. I began to take the advice from the voice that I was hearing. I told only a few people but one was impressed with how close I was to God and asked if I had a “Word” for him. Not being familiar with Pentecostal theology I had not heard of this. So I asked God for a “Word” for this person. Indeed I was given specific information regarding this person and shared it with him. It was an extremely joyful experience. However it only deepened my delusion.

Since I was a Christian and was “hearing” a voice, I thought surely I was hearing from God. I did not even question my experience. Satan is a tricky and deceptive being. He will use the best devices at his disposal to pull you away from God.

The messages I received were varied. Some sounded like scripture. Some were odd dreams. I dreamt about evil hanging over the city of Kansas City and the IHOP. (That one was true). Satan mixes truth and lies. I had strange manifestations at night. I once had two open visions of water flowing down the hallway in my home. A week later a water hose slipped from the connection and flooded the house. The demonic world can see circumstances around you and make you think you are prophetic. This list could go on and on.

One was an upcoming judgment of a city with a time frame of two weeks. I started to look for others who were receiving similar information.

Oh my! What I found was a whole world of prophetic people. I came across something called the The Elijah List. I poured over their predictions and visions. I was hearing some of the same things others were. I read them all. I did notice that some of the older posts had predicted future events that did not happen. One was a tsunami for the West Coast reaching up into the Willamette valley. That date had passed. I wondered about that.

But something happened…or didn’t happen I should say. The prediction I was given didn’t come true. It was a failed prophecy. I also read that these predictions are not always right that the prophet can be off, but still be a prophet. This is a standard teaching in the hyper-charismatic world.  Someone said to me that perhaps my prayers had diverted the disaster. I wasn’t buying it. Something was wrong. I started praying for the truth…constantly.

Research took up most of time at this point. I was learning about all of the false doctrine entering the church. I was shocked. Contemplative prayer, LatterRain, yoga in the church, prosperity teachings, and the prophetic ministries. Mind boggling. While I was trying to find out why I was receiving these false messages, I was learning discernment. I also learned that I already had discernment because of the doubts in my mind.

One day I opened my Bible to Deuteronomy 18. I read in verse 22 where it says, “if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken…” This sent me to the floor. I was devastated. What I had heard was NOT from God. I knew then that I had been listening to the enemy. It is hard to describe the deflation of pride that happens when the Lord reveals HIS truth. He opened my eyes and scales fell off.

I asked the Lord to take away any gifts that I had that were not from Him. The messages stopped.

A couple years before this started, menopause had hit me and my doctor prescribed Celexa, an anti-depressant because I had become rather weepy. I didn’t think much of it… because it seemed to help. Then I started having colon problems. Another doctor prescribed a pill that seemed to take the pain away. This worked too.

I didn’t know it at the time but the second pill was also an anti-depressant. I was on two powerful psychotropic drugs and I was seeing things and hearing voices. These drugs pierce a protective veil in the mind and are mind-altering. I had opened up my mind with drugs. Another factor is these drugs affect the pituitary gland. This also opens up a person spiritually and this is dangerous. I didn’t know it at the time, and I surely did not want this to happen…But it did.

I want to add that while the drugs were the catalyst for my deception the same problems can happen by being open to false teachings, eastern-style meditation, and receiving impartations from occultism.

A friend alerted me to the predicament I was in and informed me of the influences I was under with the drugs…I had my answer. Praise God for this friend of mine. I went on a tapering program to get off the drugs and now I am totally free of them.

But here is the deal. I was joyful at the thought that I was being used by God. I felt “special”. What rises in a person is thinking that you have spiritual information not available to others. This is a form of Gnosticism. Special knowledge. Now I can see that this was actually spiritual pride. What a lesson. I had only discussed my situation with a handful of people but I had to confess to those I given a “word” to. Confession…..repentance…….restoration.

I was yet to receive another blow to my pride. One night I opened to 1 Samuel and read 15:23. “Rebellion is like the sin of divination.” I had been in rebellion to God by the loving the false messages. It was sin. Later the Lord instructed me on the next step of my undeceiving.

Because I had been reading my Bible every day for six years, I was able to find the truth. Prayer was a staple I needed to get through this situation. But I can see how beguiling the prophetic movement is and how much it actually harmed me and others spiritually. What if I had decided to try to post my “revelations“, lies from Satan, on one of the prophetic sites? I would have mislead many people.

Unfortunately, my problems did not totally stop here. While the messages and visions stopped I still was suffering from some manifestations. Once while commenting on this blog  with a student of “A Course of Miracles” this young person said he was going to send me a benevolent spirit that night. A spirit did show up that night but it was anything but friendly. A cold bony hand gripped the back of my neck. I slipped to the floor and prayed it away in the name of Jesus.

It was an interesting experience. The deceived student thought the spirit he was communing with was good but as a born again believer it appeared to me in its true form as an evil spirit.  But again I began to wonder, why I was able to discern the spirit world? Is this also a form of divination?

I had a written personal journal of “messages”, or “visions” that I had received over those three years. I was then led to Acts 19:19 which said that the people burned their magic books. This would be my next step. The very next morning I took my journal and burned it on the back porch on a pizza pan. That night I saw the angry red eyes of a demon. They turned away and left. Now I was also free from the manifestations that had lingered. This demon could see I was still reading his messages to me.

This gave me much freedom from the confusion this situation had been causing. I need to warn the reader again…some of the personal visions I received, did actually happen, and I think this was to enforce the delusion. Satan can see our personal instances and the world we live in and can make us believe that we have received a personal revelation confirming circumstances surrounding us.  Some of the messages I received sounded very scriptural, but this is how Satan deceives, by mixing truth and lies together. Satan twisted scripture when he tempted Jesus, but Jesus resisted by using the Word….”It is Written” he replied. We need to resist temptation also, and we can use the Word of God and prayer as our strength and power to defend ourselves.

With all the false teachings that are abounding the one thing I fear most for the church at this time is the “anointing”. Those who desire this “impartation” must be prayed for. I have heard the stories of how these so-called prophetic powers can be passed onto someone by the laying on of hands. My situation was only one way that a person can open themselves to deception. But there are many ways. There is the impartation, false anointings, drugs, alcohol, eastern meditation, repetition of word, hypnosis, visualization (very occult) , and the seduction of today’s hypnotic music. The church is being bombarded with all these deceptions and spiritual influences. Sadly the church is embracing many of these occult methods because these methods create an “experience” of feelings, like the “soaking” we hear so much about today. Instead of serving God in humililty we are being taught to soak in ecstasy.

Whenever I hear of the church participating in something that sounds like a “spiritual awakening,” I cringe. New age techniques almost always accompany these gatherings.

It was not long ago I prayed…”Lord, why did I have to go through this? Why me?”

I knew immediately…I had been tested. Who was I going to turn to? The Lord and His Word in the Bible, or Satan and his false words outside scripture?

The church is being tested right now!….Are you being refined or are you being mislead? Can you spot deception and avoid it or are your participating in it? Are you reading and studying the Bible for truth from God or are you following the wicked paths of man?

The deceptions today will pull you AWAY from Jesus Christ if you know Him. If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord then you will have much difficulty finding the truth. Those who have compromised themselves by a false spirit cannot pray or have difficulty reading the Bible. Christians following this false spirit or desiring its power, have lost all desire for these two mainstays of the faith. If this is the case then you need to repent and turn back to the Jesus of the Bible.

Truth found in the Word of God has to be paramount today. Accept nothing else.

Please show patience and mercy to those caught up in these deceptions. Pray for them. Some truly want to serve the Lord and walk with Him. But the evil one knows who to go after. Those who want the truth will eventually listen to it. It may be a process for them.  Others are not sheep and need salvation first. Some who come out of deception seem to recover quite quickly. Others suffer for years learning Biblical truth.  The Lord works in His ways to draw His sheep back to Him. Not one will be lost.

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Are we suffering for Jesus Christ?

So many people ask “Why do Christian’s suffer?”

I am afraid I have to ask instead, “Why are Christians NOT suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ these days?”

It seems as though we are seeing times of great reversal of thought. For instance, false teachings in the church of today are saying that if we give 100 fold we will receive back, 300 fold, 600 fold, 1000 fold, etc. While it is true that the Christian will receive blessings, and it is not wrong to want the rewards, it is not to be our focus. The Bible tells us we will suffer for Christ, but this makes us uncomfortable so we delight instead of being told of the riches we receive when we give to ministries.

With the attitude of “What’s in it for me?” the gospel perishes. This is the ugly result of Word of Faith and prosperity teachings.

While studying Genesis, I found the story of Joseph truly astounding. There is so much information about how we are live our own lives by Joseph’s example that it simply cannot be contained in this short article.

Joseph was hated by his brothers. He was chosen by God. They plotted against him and threw him into a pit to die, while they ate a meal. When a caravan approached, the brothers decided to sell him to the Ishmaelites so as not to spill his blood. They took revenge on their father Jacob and deceived him by staining the coat with blood of a goat. This is of course the famed coat which belonged to Jacob’s favorite son.

Joseph must have felt led by God after receiving his two dreams. What excitement he must have experienced, anticipating his service to God, only to be sold into slavery in which he suffered for 13 years. He was a servant in Potiphar’s house, only to be accused wrongly by his master’s wife. He then was imprisoned and thrown on the floor in chains. It was not until the Pharaoh summoned Joseph because he could interpret dreams, that he was removed from prison. Later he was elevated to the highest court in Egypt. He was 30 years old at this time.

So what did Joseph do to deserve the extreme suffering that was inflicted upon him? Nothing! There is no evidence that Joseph deserved such treatment from family and foes. He walked with the Lord and was obedient to God’s will.

Search the scriptures in Genesis 39-40 for the complaints put forth by Joseph for his unjust treatment and you will find nothing. Look at his amazing qualities and actions while he suffered and you will discover a model of what constitutes a great leader of God.

Search for the ways that Joseph was trained through his suffering. He always waited on God and learned faith through his difficulties. What trust and fellowship he had. There is no way Joseph would have understood why he was being put through these hardships. Yet there was no hatred, bitterness, doubt, or worry. Joseph’s faith puts my faith to shame. No matter what situation he was in, he endured, he was faithful, and he was determined to be the best slave he could be. The Lord trained Joseph for service in this manner.

How can you look at Joseph and apply his great faith and trust in the Lord to your everyday situations? Are you grousing and complaining about your circumstances? Is the Lord testing you? Are you being prepared for a future work? Is the Lord refining you? If you have never trusted the Lord in your difficulties how can you aid your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Times of trouble can strengthen us if we call upon the name of Lord. The problem with false teachings today is that we call upon the Glory of the Lord upon us and just “soak” in ecstasy. This is a deception of the enemy. The self-elevating process seems ridiculous when looking back at Joseph and examining his faith and actions in his life while he was suffering. What we can learn from the example set forth by Joseph, is how the Lord trained him to serve others. Joseph was eventually exalted. Was he proud? Did he pump his fists in victory? Did he hold his position over his brothers? No.

There was no self-exultation in this godly leader. No self-promotion. He did not touch God’s glory. There are few leaders who can shun the pride of success and fame. This pride is so evident today.

So why do Christians suffer? As a Christian other people are watching you. What is your reaction going to be if you experience a economic downfall? A death in the family? Declining health? Will you be complaining and grumbling, or will you instead be praying for strength in the Lord to bear up under difficulty? What example are you setting for those in your family or unbelievers who are watching you?

Suffering can be a blessing. It gives the opportunity to witness of the grace of God and the hope that He gives in adversity. Are you prepared to witness to the goodness of God when your situation seems impossible? Will others see the love and joy in your heart even though your circumstances may appear glum and dreary? God has a plan that He will work out for His purposes, and we may never know in our lifetime what that purpose may be.

Paul is a prime example of many hardships. Beatings, shipwrecks, persecution, distresses, sleepless nights, imprisonment, loneliness, poverty, riots, and pain. He suffered much while preaching the cross of Jesus Christ. Yet he was not discouraged. He kept running the race. In the midst of such sorrows there was also much rejoicing.

This rejoicing and glory was balanced by Paul’s thorn in the flesh. He asked three times to have this thorn removed. But God did not remove it. He was told, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)

So Paul delighted in his weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9b-10) “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

So how can we apply this to our own lives? We certainly have our share of sickness, trials and tribulations. The comfort God gives us will balance our afflictions and His grace will be sufficient. Of course, this is not what we are hearing from the pulpit. God’s grace is not enough so we are being sold the deception that healing and prosperity has been withheld from us because we lack faith. This destroys our walk with the Lord. How this cheers up Satan when we no longer rely on the sufficiency of God, and his abundance of grace. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

This lack of trust in the Word of God, stops the flow of comfort that we would give to others. (2 Corinthians 1:4)  So we should rely on the eternal glory that outweighs all suffering.

“Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18.)

Paul is saying that the eternal glory will far exceed the sufferings of this present life, since we have the resurrection to look forward to. Not all suffering will bring glory though. Faith is required. That is why we are not to fix our eyes on the unseen. When faith is not enough we allow ourselves to stray into realms of the paranormal to satisfy our lack.

Both Joseph and Paul experienced God’s comfort in their trials. But God gives a supernatural comfort, joy and peace. Is this your experience, that every trial is abounding with consolation? Are you anticipating the glory that is promised to all believers at the return of Jesus Christ? Are you willing to suffer pain for His name? Are you willing to endure persecution for the declaration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

1 Peter 4:19

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

From Christian Research Network: 

“The video above has to be seen to be believed. It was produced by A Little Leaven and shows the latest heresies being spread by ‘Pastrix” Paula White. In this video Paula outright DENIES that Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God AND tells us not to pray to Jesus. She also mangles the Biblical teaching of Christ’s Atonement on the cross for our sins and turns it into a teaching about prosperity.”

This is one shocking video…right before Easter too!  I have never seen the crucifix so horribly misrepresented. Length 5:45 minutes.

Here are some quotes.

“Jesus’ hands were pierced by the nails to restore dominion to the works of your hands.”

“Jesus’ feet were nailed to restore total dominion in your walk.”

“Jesus bled on the inside when He was bruised to break every iniquity which is the repeated sins of your forefathers.”

PW – “I now come into a priestly anointing.”

LH – “Jesus is not the only begotten Son of God. He is not….I am a Son of God.” 

LH  – “Jesus said ‘Do not pray to me.'”

May God have mercy.

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