From Churchwatch Central:
The demonic realm should be avoided at all cost. Unfortunately, so-called ‘Christian’ institutions, ministries and churches are not afraid to partner or associate themselves with people who engage in unbiblical activity, particularly the practice of ‘grave-sucking’.
In this article, we highlight the practices of necromancy of Ben Fitzgerald and those who endorse him, (such as Bill Johnson of Bethel, Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda of Christ for All Nations, International Association of Healing Ministries, Lifestyle Christianity, GOD TV and so on).
Last year, (NAR Apostle) Dr Michael Brown invited (NAR Apostle) Bill Johnson onto his Line of Fire program to promote his book:
When liars defend liars: Dr Michael Brown whitewashes the heresies of Bill Johnson.
Seventeen minutes into the ‘Line of Fire’ program linked below, this dialogue occurs between Michael Brown and Bill Johnson:
Brown: Do you endorse, preach, teach, encourage the practice of going to the graves of deceased men and women of God to try to suck the anointing out of the earth?
Johnson: No. Absolutely not.
Once again we find, under Bill Johnson’s leadership, this is simply NOT true.
Do you remember the Bethel leader speaking in this video?
Being a Berean means studying the Bible so that you’ll gain knowledge and be able to rightly handle the word of truth. (2 Tim 2:15) Believers who study God’s Word in context know His heart. They understand who He is and His ways. They know what His will is for their lives. Moreover, they know what pleases Him — and what displeases Him. One of the ways we please God is by striving to become holy as He is holy. Not perfect, mind you. God does not expect perfection from His people. What He does expect is for us to guard our minds and hearts against unholy evil influences.
That said, we want to share a guest post we came across on Michelle Lesley’s blog, penned by Leslie of Growing 4 Life. Leslie takes on Christians who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior, proclaim their undying love for Him, and say that they believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God — and yet….these lovers of Jesus will sit through profanity laced, sexually explicit, exceedingly violent TV programs and movies. Leslie has a word of warning for Christians such as these. She writes:
As a young married couple, my husband and I got in the habit of watching a particular TV show. Almost every week we tuned in to laugh at the antics of its characters for a half hour. We watched it without any conviction or qualms. At that time, it was simply a funny show.
Fast forward about fifteen years when this same show started to air again in re-runs. But now we were a little wiser. We were more grounded in Scripture. And we were more discerning. And so when we tuned in a few times for old times’ sake, we were most uncomfortable. We finally realized that the fornication and other sin that we were subjecting ourselves to for a few laughs was most definitely an offense to our Holy God. We turned it off and haven’t watched it since.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4).
Notice that our Lord divides this passage into two sections. There is an activity that is to be done, and a passivity that is to be acknowledged. We are to remain in Him (that is active, something we do), and we are to let Him remain in us (that is passive, something we allow Him to do). Both these relationships are essential, not one as opposed to the other, but both together.
When our Lord says
Remain in me, He is talking about the will, and the decisions we make. We must decide to do things that keep ourselves in contact with Him. The Holy Spirit has placed us into Christ. Now we must maintain that relationship by the decisions we make, such as exposing ourselves to His Word and having a prayer relationship with Him. We remain in Him when we bear one another’s burdens and confess our faults and share in fellowship with one another. All of this is designed to relate to Him:
Remain in me. If we do that, we are fulfilling this active, necessary decision of the will to obey His Word.
There is no question that society is smack dab in the middle of a tug of war between conservatives and liberals — the sacred vs. the secular. In this provocative piece over at truthXchange titled “Sacred Canopy” Peter Jones makes the case that sexual freedom is utterly destroying human freedom, and it all started back in the sixties with the sexual revolution…that ultimately led to the disintegration of biblical morality. Dr. Jones writes:
The ripping away of the “sacred canopy” is what has happened to Western culture during my lifetime. “Canopy” is an image used by the sociologist Peter Berger to describe a culture’s “state of predictable order,” an order assumed by all, that makes human culture work. Thus we all get along. [Berger, Peter L. The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion. Garden City: Doubleday, 1967]. This “ordered structure” is what we have called for a long time Western Civilization or Christendom. Today civilized life is coming apart at the seams.
According to LifeZette, one fan of the new “Harry Potter and the Sacred Test” podcast declared “I feel like I’m born again.”
Works of fiction can never replace sacred scripture, but a group of avid fans is apparently finding deep meaning in the spellbinding series.
It seems silly — yet a Harry Potter podcast is aimed at readers and listeners who view the popular book series as sacred text, a recent Washington Post story noted. Clearly, fantasy books about wizards, witches and magic should never serve as a replacement for faith in God or be compared to religion, but that hasn’t prevented it from happening.
The “Harry Potter and the Sacred Text” podcast for Potter fanatics has become a faith substitute for many millennials who fall into a religious “nones” category. As exhibit one, hundreds of people in Washington, D.C., this week attended a live taping of the podcast.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NASB)
My natural inclination is to resent uncomfortable circumstances. I want them to end and end now! Believers are spiritual, but their natural man, their flesh, is still within. My natural man does not understand how anything constructive can come out of sorrow and suffering. If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit we are all uncomfortable with things not working out the way we want them to. Our problem is we want good things to be the norm in our lives because we love the Lord and are living for Him. When bad things happen or things do not work out the way we want, we hunker down in our self-pity. We ask God and others, “Why is this happening to me?” That is not the response of the Enduring heart. That is the response of the self-focused heart.
In this piece over at Berean Research, Amy Spreeman tackles Progressive (Social Justice) Christianity. Those who are unfamiliar with PC will want to find out what it’s all about and why many Christians say it’s a satanic counterfeit. Amy explains the end game of its leaders, plus she provides videos and several articles for those who wish to discover more about this dangerous movement. She writes:
Do you consider yourself a Progressive Christian? If so, you probably will bristle to hear this, but you are part of an incredibly dangerous movement: Postmodernity. Quite frankly, Postmodernity is the yeast that has taken the Church away from the truth and toward a more tolerant, sin-affirming direction that is muddied with mushy theology.
Progressive Christianity is based on three wicked practices: Scoffing (to debase those who believe the Bible is true), Subversion (to undo traditional doctrine), and Rebellion (against God’s Word as truth).
2 Peter 3:3 “…knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.”
How can you tell if it has seeped into your church? And if it has, what – if anything – can you do about it? If you’re up to it, gird your loins and check out this video of those voices strategically and intentionally coaching Christians to think about their faith in a whole new, different and exciting way that fits better with the Third Millennium than the old way of thinking that what God said is timeless:
According to Barry Bowen of The Christian Sentinel:
Pastor Mike Bickle and International House of Prayer (IHOP) have inspired numerous charismatic Christians with their ambitious goal to worship God around-the-clock. One worship band follows the next, 24/7 at the Kansas City megachurch.
Bickle has a long history of engaging in controversial church movements. In the 1980s and ’90s Bickle played an important role in the Kansas City Prophets. This group of pastors popularized the idea that God was raising up a new generation of apostles that would bring in a huge, global spiritual harvest.
Many discernment ministries have already written about the bad doctrines espoused by Bickle. Now it is time to examine his ministries’ finances. Are they transparent? Are there red flags (besides bad doctrine) that Christians should closely examine?
Where to begin? With an address. IHOP meets at 3535 E Red Bridge Road in Kansas City, MO.
A search for this address in the DuckDuckGo search engine reveals a Bizapedia webpagereporting, “There are 54 companies that have an address matching 3535 E Red Bridge Road Kansas City, MO 64137.”
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; Matthew 10:16-17 (NASB)
Winsome: generally pleasing and engaging often because of a childlike charm and innocence.
Sometimes I feel like I am walking a tightrope. The Spirit-led walk is truly balanced; however, it is hard work to stay balanced. On one hand we are told we must be wise and discerning because men are evil, but at the same time we must stay harmless, winsome and engaging. Jesus said we must not strike back. Instead, we are to turn the other cheek. (Matthew 5:39) We are to be that winsome person who reflects Christ’s character to everyone.
From Churchwatch Central:
Most people are unaware that New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) leaders genuinely believe that little ‘gods’ actually walk the earth. We already have given examples of Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton trying to teach people to tap into their divine natures and encouraging them to walk as ‘little Gods’ or glorified ‘Christs’.
This is because Apostles in the NAR follow a commission (as explained by Rick Joyner) known as the ‘Apostolic Commission’. This secret commission is given to Apostles in order to raise up a ‘New Breed’ of Christians. If you want to know why the ‘glory’ or ‘supernatural school’ started appearing in churches around the world, this is because leaders of these ‘churches’ are trying to raise up a spiritually supremacist race to lead the end-time Joel’s army church.
However, the NAR use a a range of words and phrases to talk about these types of ‘New Breed’ Christians. This theology goes by many names such as Manifest Sons of God, Kings kids, Sons of Thunder/Zebedee, Manchild/Joseph Company, etc.
Did the Lord Jesus teach his followers to “bind” the powers of darkness? Should the emphasis on spiritual warfare be on prayer-infused power encounters? What exactly does the Bible teach on the nature of spiritual warfare? Well, according to Christian apologist Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason (STR), the Bible has a lot to say about how we are to defend ourselves against other worldly forces in the unseen realm. We must be armed to the teeth!
What does a Christian’s armor look like? “The very first step in arming ourselves for battle against the devil is to gird our loins with truth (Eph. 6:14).” In this piece from STR’s Solid Ground magazine, Koukl tells us what the Bible teaches about the armor of God. Some who read this will be surprised by his teaching for the reason that the way in which charismatics go about dealing with the demonic is highly unbiblical, only they don’t know it. To make matters worse, attempting to “bind Satan” is a ridiculous and foolish practice. Taking on powerful, lying, deceptive demons is dangerous!
So with this background in mind, we urge you to open up your Bible and follow along as Greg Koukl explains what it means to “gird your loins with truth.” He writes:
Sometimes, if you know what to look for, you can “see” something that is invisible; you can see the unseen. It’s not a parlor trick, but a valuable spiritual skill. And it’s not that difficult if you know what clues to look for. I’d like to show you what those clues are.
First, though, a foundational matter. I am convinced that most Christians do not understand spiritual warfare. Either they are unaware of the unseen battle or, if they do recognize its importance, they do not focus on the central issue but instead are distracted by a secondary concern. In military terms, they have been taken in by a feint. Here is the feint.
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says,
And arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:1-21 (NASB) Read 15-21 in the article
There is much confusion about what it means to be Spirit-filled. Some will say the filling of the Spirit is the culmination of “Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Others will say it is a miraculous work of God to empower believers to do miracles. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of false teaching about this. The truth, however, is right in front of us. It is in the Word of God, the Bible, in plain sight. Before we take a closer look at what the term Spirit-filled, means let us remember what we are studying. We are attempting to learn all about becoming Mature Christians. We are trying to learn our role in this process. Let us not stray down any unfruitful bunny trails.
Warren B. Smith of Lighthouse Trails has the details:
Oprah Winfrey interviewed Shack author William Paul Young on July 9, 2017 on her Super Soul Sunday television program that was broadcast on her OWN network. Young and Oprah appeared to be like two peas in a New Age pod as they talked of child abuse, traded spiritual quips, and seemed to continually marvel at the other’s brilliant insights. At one point midway in their conversation, Young answered his own rhetorical question regarding where Jesus dwells—he stated that “Jesus dwells in our hearts.” His quick, authoritative response was consistent not only with Oprah’s longstanding New Age beliefs but also with The Shack’s “Jesus” who presented this same New Age heresy when he stated that God “dwells in, around, and through all things.” This false teaching is the foundational teaching of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion. The Bible is very clear that God is not “in” everyone and everything.
Video — William P. Young on Oprah
Video — William P. Young on Oprah, part 2
H/T Roxanne Murphy Adams
18 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord thus shall you say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “Regarding the words which you have heard, 19 because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I spoke against this place and against its inhabitants that they should become a desolation and a curse, and you have torn your clothes and wept before Me, I truly have heard you,” declares the Lord. 20 “Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place.”’” So they brought back word to the king. 2 Kings 22:18-20 (NASB)
Without a doubt, my favorite King in the Bible is Josiah. His father, Amon, was a bad king. His grandfather, Manasseh, was the worst king Judah ever had. However, his great-grandfather was Hezekiah. Hezekiah was a good king in that he remained faithful to the Lord throughout his reign. He took away the high places of idolatrous worship throughout his kingdom. He did away with Baal worship and idolatry where he found it. It has always amazed me how a good king like Hezekiah could have a total pagan for a son like Manasseh. That does not say much for Hezekiah’s parenting skills.
Heather Clark of Christian News Network carefully lays out the details of a recent uproar among evangelicals over a debate between Christian apologist James R. White of Alpha and Omega Ministries and Yasir Qadhi, Dean of Academic Affairs at the Al-Maghrib Institute. The ticketed event, called “Christians and Muslims: Agreements and Differences,” was held at Grace Bible Church on Jan. 24. On his Facebook page Dr. White stated that he is thankful that Heather Clark “actually quoted from the dialogues, fairly, evenly, and then gave extensive quotes from what I’ve written since then.”
A well-known Reformed apologist, elder and professional debater is drawing concerns after presenting, and continuing to defend, an interfaith dialogue event at a Mississippi church with a Muslim imam, which he says was meant to help Christians and Muslims engage in conversation and to “get along without compromise.”
Some objectors, while noting that they support dialoguing with and evangelizing Muslims, do not believe that it was proper to give an unconverted Muslim any type of platform during a special event hosted at a church, and feel that many of the imam’s statements should not have gone unchallenged.
“I’m totally in favor of having an accurate view of what they believe,” Andy Woods, the senior pastor of Sugar Land Bible Church in Texas and president of Chafer Theological Seminary in New Mexico, told Christian News Network. “Working out our differences and sitting down and making sure we understand each other is one thing, but giving someone a platform at a church is a different matter.”
Correction: When we posted this piece we stated that the event was paid. We apologize for the error. The event was not paid, it was ticketed.
Does confusing Christ’s kingdom with civil religion open the door to exchange the truth of Christianity for what amounts to a false religion, “one in which faith in the national interest eclipses the primary allegiance a Christian owes to Jesus Christ and his word.” According to Pastor Kim Riddlebarger, who is co-host of the White Horse Inn:
One of the most subtle and dangerous temptations Christians face during their pilgrim journey is the allure of civil religion. James Davison Hunter defines civil religion as a “diffuse amalgamation of religious values that is synthesized with the civic creeds of the nation; in which the life and mission of the church is conflated with the life and mission of the country. American values are in substance, biblical, prophetic values; American identity is, thus, a vaguely Christian identity.” (1) Civil religion often functions as an alternative public religious framework for many professing Christians, especially those who accept the “Christian America” myth, or who find exclusive Christian truth claims too controversial to play any significant role in the public square.
As previously reported here and here, a huge hullabaloo erupted after retired pastor and author Eugene Peterson, best known for “The Message,” commented during an interview that he would be willing to officiate a same-sex ceremony for “Christians of good faith” if he were pastoring today. According to Heather Clark of Christian News, Peterson “acknowledged that he did respond yes (that he would officiate a same-sex ceremony) during the interview, but said he only did so “in the moment” and felt the need to retract his answer upon praying about the matter.” Clark now reports that if Peterson keeps his true feelings on homosexuality to himself, his books could have a long shelf life:
LifeWay Christian Stores, which is owned by the Southern Baptist Convention, says that it will not pull the “Message Bible” or any of Eugene Peterson’s other writings now that the author has retracted his initial statements about same-sex “marriage.”
“Based upon Eugene Peterson’s retraction, we will continue to sell his resources,” Carol Pipes, the director of corporate communications for LifeWay Christian Resources, told Christian News Network in a statement.
The company had said last week that if Peterson indeeds supports homosexual “marriage,” as he seemingly indicated in his recent interview with Religion News Service, it would pull his products.
18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him, and He questioned them, saying, “Who do the people say that I am?” 19 They answered and said, “John the Baptist, and others say Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has risen again.” 20 And He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered and said, “The Christ of God.” 21 But He warned them and instructed them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.” Luke 9:18-27 (NASB) Read 23-27 in the article.
There are times it is easy to be selfless. I wake up on those mornings and have a wonderful quiet time with the Lord. I go to work not letting anyone get me into a circumstance where the enemy steals my joy. It all flows together as I keep my focus on the Lord instead of on me. As I do that I treat those that I work with as far more important than me. I am so full of peace and joy that I start to believe I will never be self-focused again. Wrong! Then reality sets in. Some circumstance that I perceive as unfair and affects me personally slips up on me and I become my old self again. I absolutely hate it when this happens.
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul will make its boast in the Lord;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.
8 O taste and see that the Lord is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the Lord, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
10 The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;
But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing. Psalms 34 (NASB) Read 11-22 in the article
What is a contrite heart? The word contrite is not used much anymore. The dictionary definition for contrite is grieving and penitent for sin or shortcoming. Grieving has the same meaning as mourning. Therefore, a contrite heart is one that mourns. Is that all? What does penitent mean? Its dictionary meaning is feeling or expressing humble or regretful pain or sorrow for sins or offenses. A contrite heart appears to be one that mourns and regrets sin. Does this mean a contrite heart regrets sin and feels bad about it? That is part of it. Actually, the key to understanding what contrite means is found in its synonym, penitent. That word does mean having the humble or regretful pain or sorrow for sin, but it is also the root word for repentance.
According to Thomas D. Williams, the “sweeping generalizations” of papal advisers and their “lack of familiarity with the complex religious landscape in the United States prompts concern about the quality of advice that Pope Francis is receiving from close advisers.” Williams has the details:
In a peculiar, rambling essay, papal adviser Father Antonio Spadaro SJ has caricatured white southern evangelicals as well as conservative American Catholics as ignorant, theocratic, Manichean, war-mongering fanatics anxiously awaiting the apocalypse.
It is “these religious groups that are composed mainly of whites from the deep American South” that push conflicts and justify belligerence, while favoring the Old Testament “rather than be guided by the incisive look, full of love, of Jesus in the Gospels.”
The article appeared in both Italian and English in the Vatican-vetted journal La Civiltà Cattolica, of which Father Spadaro is editor-in-chief. In it, the Jesuit priest says that U.S. Evangelicals and Catholics have engaged in “an ecumenism of conflict” that seeks to advance “a theocratic type of state.”
See our Research Paper on Roman Catholicism
So, is it time we “mark and avoid” this popular pastor, teacher and author? Christians who are of the opinion that Dr. David Jeremiah can be trusted couldn’t be more wrong as you will see in this piece by Amy Spreeman. She writes:
Pastor David Jeremiah recently worked with JesusCalling.com to produce a podcast titled, Keeping Hope In A Darkened World. In addition to promoting his new book, the pastor also promoted Sarah Young, the author of the Jesus Calling books, studies, devotionals, calendars, and coloring book. The transcript of the interview regarding his admiration for the multi-million dollar Jesus Calling empire is as follows:
Narrator: “As a pastor and a teacher, Dr. Jeremiah advocates daily prayer and scripture reading. He appreciates how Sarah Young has helped many with their prayer lives through the words of Jesus Calling.”
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
Jesus made this statement to the disciples to bring to their attention something that they knew but hadn’t realized they knew. He said to them,
You know the place where I am going. And Thomas said to Him,
Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way? Jesus said that they did know. But they didn’t know that they knew.
I am the way and the truth and the life. That’s what I meant, Thomas. You know me; therefore, you know the way. For I am the way.
This unique claim of Jesus reveals the grandeur of His character and being! There is the inclusiveness of this statement–it all relates to the Father.
I am the way to the Father,He says. If you come to know Jesus, He will bring you to God. When I began my Christian life as a boy, my awareness of the one with whom I was dealing was the Lord Jesus. How I loved the hymns about the cross and work of Christ, and I loved to think about Him as the Savior. But gradually the Father has come into focus. More frequently my thoughts are drawn to the fatherhood of God, and I revel in the glory of that relationship.