“…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1John 1:5b)
“Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.”(Luke 11:35)
“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign…. “ (Matthew 12:39)
“…I hate every false way.” (Psalm 119:128b)
“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (Galatians 5:9)
“…Rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
“Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God….” (2 Cor. 10:5a)
“Prove all things….” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
“For…the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain…. “( Zechariah 10:2b)
“Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” (Jeremiah 14:14)
In Acts 20:29-35, Paul warned the Ephesians elders, as he was preparing to leave them for what he knew would be the last time, that, after his departure, ravenous wolves would come in among them, not sparing the flock. Even from amongst the brethren, evil men would arise speaking perverse things in order to draw disciples away from the truth of Jesus Christ, and toward themselves. Paul was so concerned about these false teachers that he reminded them that he had been warning them, with tears, about these deceivers for 3 years. He then commended the elders to God and to the word, and pointed out that he was not greedy and coveted no man’s possessions …but simply labored to teach them all things about Jesus. And here we are 2,000 years later, and the ravenous wolves…are here.
It seems that only a few believers have taken the time to truly, deeply, exhaustively study the scriptures for themselves. Most believers only know a few familiar passages, such as those focused on by their pastor, their mentor, or their family. All of us need to know for ourselves exactly what the unchanging, everlasting word of God says in full. The scriptures truly are the voice of God to his people, and, as Paul says, they are living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Heaven and earth will pass away – as will men – but the words of God will never, ever pass away (Matthew 24:35, 1 Peter 1:23-25). If we devote our time and energy to the scriptures, Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things, will guide us into all truth and will remind us of everything that Jesus said (John 14:26, John 16:13, 1 John 2:27). Each of us should ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts each time we pick up the Bible so that when we read it and meditate on it, the word of truth will become more than just wise sayings or stories about men – but instead will be a sharp two-edged sword that pierces our hearts, minds, souls and spirits.The word is truth
One of the most important reasons for learning the scriptures for ourselves is so that we are not blown “to and fro by every wind of teaching”, or by every new evangelical trend (Ephesians 4:14-15). Once we know the scriptures, Paul says that we will have the ability to test and approve God’s perfect will (Romans 12:2) and thus, we will know if what we are being taught actually lines up with the word, or instead are simply wise principles or traditions and philosophies invented by men to deceive(Colossians 2:8). So much of what is being taught these days seems to be motivated by greed, a desire for power/control, or for the love of fame and celebrity. Because of this, we must all demand that every single word being taught to us lines up perfectly with scripture. Jesus Himself warns us several times to watch out for false prophets. He specifically points out that such men(and women) might not be obvious to most people. Instead, they are ferocious wolves…hiding in sheep’s clothing. By their fruit we will recognize them (Matthew 7:15-16)…..IF we know the scriptures ourselves, and exercise discernment by carefully testing every spirit( 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, and 1 John 4:1). Judging Righteously
Jesus goes on to tell his disciples that not everyone who uses His name will be saved, but only those who obey Him…not as works, but as evidence of salvation. Many will say to Jesus when he comes to take His children home that they prophesied, drove out demons, and performed miracles in His name. But He will say, “Away from me you evil doers! I never knew you.” (Mathew 7:21-23). Therefore, we must test the teachings and spirits we receive against the eternal written word of God, no matter how much we love the teachers we hear or the churches we attend. If they don’t line up with the Bible, we must address it directly, and if the elders do not listen, then we must turn and walk away from them…and never, ever go back – for what do temples of idols have in common with the temple of God? Come out from them and be separate saith the Lord. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).Biblical separation
For me to trust a teacher or self-proclaimed prophet or apostle, I need to see clear obedience to the words of Jesus Christ along with true Christ centered humility. If anyone calls themself a prophet, an apostle, a Seer or any other such name, I would argue that they have already failed the humility test. Why the title? Simply be what Christ called you to be. Most importantly, every single teacher or leader in Christ needs to preach the pure Gospel message. This message says: believe that Jesus is who he said he was, repent, accept the mercy he has freely offered us through his death and resurrection for our sins, forgive everyone from your heart, obey the commands of Jesus and the Apostles, love, exercise self control, and seek holiness – for without holiness no one can see God (Hebrews 12:14). Every message that is not centered on scripture and the clear messages contained therein, must be ignored.Sin, Repentance and the Cross of Christ
Anyone who comes in the name of Christ, but has a spirit that is not in accord with the teachings of Christ and the Apostles, must be rejected. Even the great Paul did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom. He resolved to know nothing while he was with the people of God, but Jesus Christ and him crucified(1 Corinthians 2:2). He came in weakness and fear and with much trembling. His message and preaching were not with wise and persuasive words so that the faith of his flock would not rest on men’s wisdom (his own) but on God’s power (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)…and in Galatians 2, when he saw that Peter was teaching legalism, he did not hesitate to confront him publicly. Why? Because the truth of God is all that matters, and not the reputations of men. What is righteous judgement?
Why aren’t more teachers and preachers like that today given the fact that they have Paul’s words to instruct them? Shouldn’t we expect our teachers to have that same spirit as Paul? Shouldn’t those truly clothed in Christ understand that the message of Jesus isn’t about personality, appearance, temporal power, wealth, education or wisdom? So few seem to understand this – be it teachers or the flock. As a result we are all led astray by men, and are enraptured by the temporal. Paul made certain that no one made that mistake with him.
In Christ’s kingdom, external appearances count for nothing. Love, obedience, and humility through Jesus Christ are everything. When Jesus talks about the end times in Mathew 24, he states that many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other. Many false prophets will also appear and will deceive many people (Mathew 24:10-13). The statements of Jesus in both Matthew 7 and Matthew 24 regarding the fact that many who think that they know Him (and are allegedly performing all kinds of miraculous signs on his behalf) don’t actually know Him at all, and that many false prophets will appear deceiving many, is frightening really, and makes it even more clear that we need to stay away from the loud, charismatic, signs and wonder oriented teachers and churches. Instead, we need to allow the gentle and powerful Holy Spirit to teach us all things as we diligently study the scriptures and live in the world (John 14:26).
As we seek fellowship in Christ, we need to find a church or body that strictly conforms to the teachings of Jesus, Paul, John, Peter, and James. That is the only way we can be sure that it is of God, since, as Peter said, “All men are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fade…but the word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25. Jesus also said…“Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35.
In Romans 1:5, Paul teaches us that he received grace and apostleship, not to make everyone rich and happy through Christ, and not to perform healings or signs & wonders but… to call people from among the gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. That is the message that we all desperately need to hear. It doesn’t tickle our ears, but it speaks a deep truth from God to our hearts. Paul constantly preached the Gospel of Christ and emphasized love, holiness, obedience, and self-control. He told us to flee sin and he encouraged us to live – not for the things of this world – but for the unseen, everlasting kingdom of God. Money and Ministry: What does the Bible say?
Paul encouraged the church by stating that the One who called us, God Himself, is faithful and will help us make it to the very end. As he finishes this letter, Paul, in Romans 16:17-20, warns the church in Rome to watch out for those who cause divisions and act in a manner that is not in agreement with Paul’s teaching. Such people are flatterers and smooth talkers who feed their own appetites and deceive the minds of the unsuspecting. This was a constant theme in Paul’s preaching. In 1 Corinthians 10:14 and 21-22, Paul exhorts the church to flee idolatry, and he reminds them that they cannot drink from the Lord’s cup and from the cup of demons. They cannot be partakers at the Lord’s table and at the table of demons…lest they provoke His jealousy.
Clearly, every activity we participate in at church or anywhere related to spiritual activity MUST line up with the word of God, lest we foolishly, and dangerously provoke the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul states that we must demolish every argument and pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we are to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. Paul is demanding that we take an offensive approach in testing each and every message that we hear and every action we undertake, to make sure that it clearly aligns with the eternal scriptures given to us by God.
Paul, James, Peter, and John all warn us about false prophets and, like Jesus, Paul taught us that such men will be deceitful, hiding their true intentions. Just as Satan does, they will masquerade as angels of light, pretending to be pastors and teachers…bearing new and clever spiritual “truths”. 2 Corinthians 11:3-15, states that, just as Eve was deceived by the serpents cunning, our minds too may be led astray from our sincere devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus that we preach, or if you receive a different Spirit than the one you received, or a different Gospel …be wary. Paul also noted in this passage that he preaches the Gospel free of charge, clearly implying that those who seem money centered (whether by coming out with a constant parade of books/dvd’s or by preaching give-to-prosper) almost certainly have bad motives – very bad motives. (**see link 4 paragraphs up re money and the ministry).
As 2 Corinthians says, false apostles are deceitful workmen pretending to be apostles of Christ, and no wonder for Satan himself pretends to be an Angel of Light. It is not surprising that his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness and their end will be what their actions deserve. 1 John 4:1 makes it clear that we are to always test the spirits. If the spirit is not clearly of Jesus Christ, then flee from it…. with no turning back, no matter what any man says.
In Galatians 1:3-10, Paul begins his address to the Galatians by reminding them of the true Gospel – that Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of God the Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. He then states that the Galatians are so quickly abandoning the One who called them and instead are turning to a different gospel – which is not really a gospel at all. Some imposters were throwing them into confusion and were trying to pervert the true message of the Gospel. Paul then says that, if he or even an Angel from Heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached (meaning the initial, pure Gospel Paul preached) let him be eternally condemned. He then makes the same statement again, emphasizing that anyone who preaches a false gospel, be it human or an angel, should be condemned to hell forever. Paul then says that he is not trying to win the approval of men by bringing this message. Instead, as a servant of Christ, he is trying to please God and God alone.
Clearly, Paul knew, even back then, that the simple gospel message was not popular and would offend many, especially those who profit from their preaching. This certainly seems to be the case today as well, where the church, in large part, seems to be chasing unbiblical spiritual experiences along with material prosperity, rather than seeking the glorious face of the living God as perfectly and beautifully revealed in his everlasting word.
In Ephesians 4:11-15, Paul states that God made some to be apostles, some to be prophets, and some to be evangelists in order to prepare God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ might be built up until we all reach unity and maturity, obtaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men and their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love we will, in all things, grow up into Him who is the head, which is Christ.
The aforementioned passage indicates that God raises up leaders to prepare us for good works in Christ so that we might be encouraged until we reach maturity. Unfortunately, this is not what I am seeing in most of our churches today. Instead, our church leaders seem to be ignoring the Gospel message of love and repentance through Jesus Christ, and instead are drawing people in with signs and wonders, trendy worship bands, a charismatic pastor, a false message of inclusiveness, prosperity preaching, bestselling self-help books or with a large, fancy building with great amenities. All of these things will burn to ashes when Jesus comes. But the word of the Lord endures forever….
Colossians 2:6-8 tells us that, just as we received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue in him, built up in strength and overflowing with thankfulness. Verse 8 tells us that we need to see to it that no one takes us captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human traditions and the basic principles of this world rather than Christ. Our teachers should be building us up in Jesus Christ, teaching us to continue in what we received: mercy, love, repentance, and peace. Is that what we are hearing from the teachers we respect or are we simply hearing the worldly principles and philosophies of success, happiness and wealth cloaked in Christian language, while actual scripture and the gospel message of the cross of Jesus Christ, is minimized, manipulated, or ignored?
Colossians 2:18 warns us not to let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels, to disqualify us from the prize. Paul says that such a person goes into much detail about what he has seen and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. That is a highly relevant scripture, because today many “teachers/prophets/apostles” are bragging about their unverifiable and highly unbiblical encounters with angels and spirits despite the fact that Jesus specifically commands his disciples not to rejoice in the fact that spirits are subject to them. Instead Jesus wants them to simply and humbly rejoice in the fact that their names are written in the book of life (Luke 10:20).
Countless verses warn us to avoid all communication and contact with “familiar spirits” aka demons disguised as angels or spirit guides. Anyone who brags about encounters with angels or the bizarre miracles they have witnessed should be ignored and discredited as teachers. Teachers are held to a very high standard according to Paul and James. It is a high yet humble calling. Paul himself said that the only thing he bragged about was the cross of Christ, through which he was crucified to the world and the world to him. Unfortunately, people – leaders – who are doing exactly what Paul warned against in Colossians 2 – are taking root and are flourishing all over America, and America is drinking in and spreading this sickness throughout the world. People are hurting and hungry, but they are eating the wrong food. Instead, we must lift up the true, pure message of Jesus Christ as illustrated in the gospels, along with the teachings set forth in the epistles…and from everything else we must flee.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, states that the secret power of lawlessness is already at work in the world. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the works of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but who have delighted in wickedness.
I strongly believe that, in this present age, many, many “Christians” are delighting in the wickedness of these false and demonic teachers and the feelings they get from the false signs and wonders…rather than loving the simple truth of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe that counterfeit miracles are allowed by God to test our hearts. Are we in love with the supernatural phenomenon that we are seeing and experiencing, or are we in love with the one who was from the beginning, Jesus Christ, and his commands to repent, forgive, love, obey, flee from sin, suffer for truth, persevere, and be holy?
2 Thessalonians 2 goes on to encourage the body of believers to stand firm in the faith, to continue to believe in the truth and to hold on to the teachings that Paul gave us. In 1 Timothy 1:3-7, Paul commanded certain men not to teach false doctrines, nor to dedicate themselves to myths or genealogies, which promote controversies rather than God’s work, which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. Paul then states that some have wandered away from the faith and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers but don’t know what they talk about or what they so confidently affirm. 1 Timothy 4:6-10 says essentially the same thing. I see many, many teachers these days who do exactly what this passage warns against. They don’t know the word at all, but simply pull verses out of context to fit their corrupt theology which brings in the masses(who also don’t know the word) and builds their bank accounts.
I greatly appreciate the fact that Paul states that the goal of stopping false doctrine is love. It is not love to allow destructive lies to flourish in the body and possibly drag the ignorant or foolish to an eternity in hell where the worm never dies and the fire is never, ever quenched (Mark 9:48). As 1 Timothy 4:16 says, watch your life doctrine closely. Persevere in them, for doing so you may save both yourself and your hearers. Also, Romans 14:22b states that we should be careful about the things which we approve, lest they condemn us. We are all called to watch our lives and doctrines closely. We are told to be careful about what we approve so that we don’t lead other people astray. We are instructed to do these things not only for our own salvation, but also for the salvation of those who hear us and trust us.
2 Timothy 4:2-8, instructs us to preach the word, and to be prepared to correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires they will gather around themselves a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn away from truth and turn aside to myths. But we are to keep our heads clear and are to discharge all the duties of an evangelist. This passage then goes on to say that, at the end, when Jesus comes to judge the world, we, like Paul, should all be able to say…I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Peter 2:1-10, affirms what Paul said in Acts 20, that there will be false prophets among the believers. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, with some even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them. Many will be deceived by them and will follow their shameful ways bringing the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit us with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has been hanging over them and their destruction has not been sleeping. If God did not spare the angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, then the Lord also knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the Day of Judgment.
I believe that the above scripture captures what is going on today in many popular churches. So many of these false apostles, prophets and teachers are making hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars through offerings, conferences, creating prophetic teaching centers, by claiming false revelations allegedly coming directly from God, and by selling book after book after book. They are, without a doubt, bringing the way of truth into disrepute by ignoring the Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the apostles, and instead are focusing on their “power” as manifested in unbiblical signs, revelations and wonders (where is insane laughter, barking like a dog, flailing on the ground when not possessed by a demon, fortune telling, shaking uncontrollably, calling the Holy Spirit sneaky and silly(Jen Johnson, Bethel),receiving gold fillings, having out of body experiences, being caught up in a glory cloud, etc. etc. etc. in the Bible?? Nowhere, but it is in Hindu India, and at many of your favorite “churches”. Watch Youtube videos on the Kundalini Spirit and you will see exactly what is going on in the American charismatic movement). These wicked men and women, unlike Paul, do not preach Jesus Christ, but instead preach themselves and for dishonest gain( 2 Corinthians 4:5).
In 1 John 4:1, we are told not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 John 1:7-11, also states that many deceivers have gone out into the world, many of whom do not acknowledge Jesus’ coming in the flesh. We are then instructed to watch out that we do not lose what we have worked for by following such people. John states that anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God. But whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to us and does not have the true teaching of Christ, we should not take him into our house. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.
I love how, in 2 John 1:4, the apostle states that it gives him great joy to find that some of his children are walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. Apparently, the number of those who were seeking the truth, even back then, was not very large, so he expressed great joy when he found some who did remain faithful.
In Jude 1:3-4 we are commanded to contend for the faith. Jude then specifically states that certain men, whose condemnation was written about long ago, have secretly slipped in among the believers. They are godless men who have changed the grace of our God into a license for immorality. In verses 18-21, Jude states that, in the last days, there will be scoffers who follow their own ungodly desires. They are men who divide us, who follow mere natural instincts and who do not have the Spirit. But we are told to build ourselves up in a most holy faith and to pray in the Holy Spirit and to keep ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us eternal life. We are told to be merciful to those who doubt and to snatch others from the fire and save them. We are instructed to avoid even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
How do we do all of this? How do we keep the faith? How do we test the spirits? How do we keep from getting manipulated? We learn the eternal word of God for ourselves, without relying upon men to teach us. We pray that, through the Holy Spirit, the eternal truths of the scriptures will burn into our hearts, minds, and souls so that false teaching will never, ever pull us away from God. Jesus promises, in John 14:26, that the Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of everything Jesus said.
The teachings of Jesus Christ, Paul, John, Peter, Jude and James are more than adequate to instruct us forever. Anything that does not clearly align with the teachings contained in the Holy Scriptures must be ignored. And by the grace of God, we will have the confidence and love to walk in humility, peace, and strength, pulling those we know and love out of the flames, so that perhaps we can help set them on the path to eternity with the one and only God. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning it’s shame and sat down at the right hand of God the Father.” Hebrews 12:1
Revelation 2:2 This…is what God loves, and it is why he commended the church of Ephesus:
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars….
Kenneth Hagin possessed? You decide
Excellent “holy” laughter article and videos
IHOP’s cultish and demonic activities
***Additional verses defining what prophecy actually is, and on false prophets and teachers:***
*Please watch this video thru the 3 minute mark. It shows what can only be reasonably described as a demon, being imparted into a young man who is quietly praying at Bethel: An Impartation of darkness
21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:21
Deuteronomy 18:9-22 , states that if a prophecy is truly from God, then it is true 100% of the time. The Holy Spirit doesn’t make mistakes. It also says that, in Old Testament times, death was the punishment for false prophecies. I bet prophecy was taken a lot more seriously back then! This long passage also forbids all kinds of wicked spiritual practices which are seen in the occult, and in a few very influential churches today.
Who did “readings” in the Bible? Not the Apostles. Demons, however, gladly did. In Acts 16 the slave girl “sees” who and what Paul is by an evil spirit, and it so disturbed Paul, that he cast the demon out of her. Also, demons continually told Jesus that He was the son of the Most High God, when one else knew it. So…if you are getting “read” or are getting your future told, just realize what kind of spirit you are likely dealing with.
Revelation 9:10b also says that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Are the prophecies you are hearing the testimony of Jesus…or are they more like what was going on in the passages from Jeremiah and Ezekiel below:
Jeremiah 23:9-45 and Ezekiel 13 speak of lying prophets who only speak vain, happy things that they make up because the people want to hear them. That sounds like what is going on today. Revelation 19:10b says, very clearly, that the spirit of prophecy is the “testimony of Jesus,” not silly, happy positive thoughts made up by our own vanity to please ourselves and the flesh of others.
Acts 2:1-15, is one of the most misrepresented scriptures in the Bible by false. In this passage, the Holy Spirit comes upon the Apostles, causing them to speak in actual foreign languages that men from other countries understood. This lead many to think they had been drinking, despite the fact that there is no reference of any kind to them falling on the ground or staggering like drunks. Many assume that they were falling on the ground like drunk fools because it corresponds with the demonic manifestations they have seen and taken part in, and which they love and attribute to the Holy Spirit. …And what did the Apostles say in these foreign languages? They did not foretell the future or speak false positive messages over people. No. They spoke about….”The mighty works of God.” That, my dear brothers and sisters, is the spirit of prophecy per Revelation 19:10b. Uneducated fisherman, boldly proclaiming the mighty works of God, early in the morning…and in foreign languages certainly could give rise to thoughts of drunkenness.
Acts 4:31 is very similar to the above passage. In this verse, the apostles are gathered together praying when the place where they were meeting was shaken by the power of God…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Did they writhe around on the floor, bark like a dog, see a glory cloud or gold dust, or receive gold fillings? No. They “spoke the word of God with boldness.” It was all about the word of God and not the “power” of men.
2 Corinthians 4:5 states, For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and us as your servants for Jesus’ sake…..This is quite the opposite of the current move amongst many evangelical teachers to label themselves apostles, prophets and healers. They preach themselves…with just a little hint of Jesus Christ, and then write best-selling books and jet across the world. As 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 says, Paul preached in weakness and fear, and with much trembling, so that the message would not depend on his gifts…but on God’s power.
1 Timothy 5:22 states that we are not to lay hands on anyone suddenly…. I believe the point of this verse is, that men, in their pride, often think they have a great gift to impart to everyone by the laying on of their hands. No one should touch you unless YOU know that they are men of enduring Godly character, lest they put something in you that is not of God. I have seen video of a woman lay hands on someone at Bethel church, and that person, who was praying quietly, immediately fell to the floor writhing, in what looked like demonic bondage and physical pain. Jesus didn’t put those things in to people…he cast them out and sent them to hell!!
1 Timothy 6:1-6 states that we should not listen to corrupt men who teach that financial success equals godliness. Contentment in all things, as we love and quietly await our eternal reward, is true godliness.
Titus 1:10-11,16 talks about how men will teach false doctrines intentionally knowing that it will lead to riches. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny him.
2 Peter 1:21 says that all true prophecies come not from the will of man, but from the Holy Spirit….Therefore, prophecy can’t be taught and it isn’t just some positive or encouraging thoughts that we speak to someone. It is a lie unless the Holy Spirit speaks God’s words through you – not your positive thoughts or my positive thoughts with prophetic lingo surrounding it. I don’t want to stand before the glory of the living God and have him ask me why I said i was speaking for him…….do you?
2 Peter 3:17-18 says that we should not be led astray by the deception of the wicked but should grow in the grace of the Lord.
Jude 1:3-4 says that we are to contend for the faith against liars who preach that God’s grace is a license for immorality….Any one who preaches that we are free to sin because of God’s grace needs to read the verses set forth in my Grace, Obedience and Salvation: The Narrow Road writing.
Piercing the Darkness: Preaching the Gospel in Key West, Florida
What Did Jesus Mean When He Told Us That We Would Do Greater Works…?
Ecumenism Part 2: High Treason Against The Living God
The Beauty and Power of the Witten Word of God
58 thoughts on “False Prophets and Teachers: Wolves Among Us”
Thank you for this excellent article, which provides a clear biblical framework to apply to discerning false teachers and prophets. It also makes it clear what the Scriptures teach about our responsibilities as believers in relation to:
a) holding fast to sound doctrine (Useful tip: The Message, the New Living Translation, the Passion translation and The Voice are not actually Bibles.);
b) practicing biblical discernment (something all believers need to do, not just ‘discernment bloggers’).
c) rejecting false teachers (i.e. Wean yourself off that Joyce Meyer/Joel Osteen podcast you like so much because it’s just so positive, or that fave album from the Hillsong cult.); and
d) warning others of the dangers (aka ‘how to lose friends and gain brothers/sisters’).
God bless you for your obvious love for God, His magnificent Word and his precious people. I look forward to working my way through the rest of the articles here. 🙂
In Christ, Sherryn
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Excellent article — discernment is sorely lacking in the Body of Christ today — what I do not understand is why names are not being named! Paul certainly did not mince words nor was he shy in calling out those who did him or the church harm. I believe those bringing apostasy into the church and the specific falseness of their ministries need to be exposed.
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I couldn’t agree more. I have many friends lost in the new age Bethel cult, which sounds and feels so so good as they build you up with sweet sounding false “prophecies”…but when compared to the unchanging word of God, all of it is exposed for the wicked lie that it is. Not surprisingly, one of their own recently died of cancer…which is sad, but exposes the obvious lie that sickness never affects true believers anymore. That verse from Isaiah about healing our diseases was fulfilled in Matthew 8:17(check it), and Paul even tells Timothy to use a little wine for “thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” 1 Timothy 5:23. I have 35 or so specific examples of Bethel/IHOP/Todd White/Jesus Culture heresy saved on my phone.
The deception is so deep and so powerful. It is very hard to escape.The emperor has no clothes…yet no one dares say it…and many don’t see it because they don’t want to see it.
These deceivers tell the people what their itching ears and hurting hearts want to hear … yet it doesn’t even come close to lining up with the word. And they are all getting rich and famous. The Narrowing Path blog and M’ykala’s Korner blog are good ones for all of this.
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I will disagree with only one thing. Do not WEAN yourself off of Meyer/Osteen. RUN AWAY from them as fast as you can. Their teachings will kill you.
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Don’t forget Bethel, IHOP, Jakes, Hinn
Amen to that, Lupe Torres…”run away” is great advice!
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Reblogged this on DiscernIt and commented:
Another great article…….please read.
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Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.
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Thank you for sharing the Word of God and encouraging us to stand fast in the truth of the Scripture and to share the gospel with the lost and warn others to flee from the deceivers.
How many times has the Holy Spirit encouraged me with the Word of God when I needed it by bringing passages to remembrance? I can’t count them. Without the indwelling Holy Spirit, to which you bore testimony, we are bereft of the help and discernment that we desperately need, in order to avoid the false teachers, false preachers, and false prophets that run the nominal evangelical church in America today. The darkness of deception has ushered in the midnight of demonic doctrines vanquishing the unfaithful and leading them to hell.
Watch out for evangelical empires. Be aware of the subtle deceit used by the enemy to lead many astray. Know and love the Savior and believe and obey His Word the Bible. We must pray for one another to stand faithful and true to our Lord. God bless you:)
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Thank you. This race sometimes seems lonely – and it is always full of rejection and false condemnation. I’ve lost lifelong friends over these wicked and satanic deceptions. No one wants to hear the truth…because it doesn’t feel good all of the time. What is truth? “Thy word is truth.”
It is such a blessing to find other likeminded brothers and sisters who aren’t afraid to lovingly take up the sharp double-edged sword of the Spirit. May we wield it with the strength and confidence of the living God.
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Amen! For His glory, the salvation of sinners, and rescue and recovery of the deceived. God bless you:0
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Reblogged this on m'kayla's korner and commented:
I believe this article is of great value, please take the time to read and study along. I know from experience that the Lord is still bringing people out of false doctrine so it isn’t too late for anyone to see the truth, regardless of who has deceived you or those you love. Stand fast and pray.
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Excellent article. If you don’t mind I would like to email this to the entire congregation at my church (which is getting more and more “Bethelized”).
I am at a real low point in my life right now but hope we have in Christ is all we need.
Feel free to use any of my articles however you would like. I am sorry you are battered my brother. Keep your nose in the word, and ask the Holy Spirit to teach you all things. My little writing from the scriptures on heaven(your best life…later part 2) might encourage you.For we will receive a kingdom which can never, ever be shaken and we will receive treasure that can never perish, spoil or fade.
Paul and Jesus say some very powerful and very hopeful things about our future.
I am shocked at how “bethelized” the church in Australia is becoming.. from Hillsong to Bethel.. one false teaching to another.. lots of itchy ears here. Pray for the Australian church. I am on the pastoral team at a small Baptist church and there are large amounts of false teaching coming into the once very sound Baptist church. I feel your pain and I am praying for wisdom and boldness to expose this heresy.
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I hear you. Yes, our hope in Christ is what we can hold on to. I am sad to say, that I’ve been abroad for 20 years, came back to Merica, found a church for fellowship and the word, and after 2 years…while I was away on holiday, I found out they brought in Bethel people to teach and then everyone went on a treasure hunt. I guess, I need to go church searching again. Fellowship is important, but how tiring to try to find that “place”. God Bless
Thank you for that. I will prepend the following message to the copy and pasted article:
“To the congregation of [redacted] Baptist Church (who have an email address in the register):
I have been attending this church for some time and enjoyed fellowship with many of you for well over a year now but I have decided I cannot continue being a member of this church. This can be considered an official request for my name to be removed from the church membership register. The reasons should
be apparent as outlined below.
The following message is primarily directed at those members of the congregation who have come under the influence of the following persons, groups or movements who I believe are taking an active role in deceiving the Body
of Christ and therefore paving the way for the great apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2)
(Note: this is not by any means an exhaustive list)
Bill Johnson, Jesus Culture, SOZO, Manifest Presence Conference (Bethel Church, Redding, California), C Peter Wagner, John Wimber, IHOP, Dominionism/Kingdom Now/Seven mountains, Word of Faith, Elijah House, Elijah List, Cleansing Streams, Jubilee Resources, School of supernatural ministry, Global Awakening and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR)
Please note I am sending this email out of sadness rather than any sense of self-righteousness. I am a sinner that needs God’s grace as much as anyone!
I believe that various members of the congregation are (perhaps unknowingly) in direct rebellion against God by indulging in activities that He condemns (Ezekiel 13). The new prophetic emphasis (which appears to be more like divination or merely human imagination (Jeremiah 23:25-29)) has an increased emphasis but at the expense of solid bible study which is the only sure way of knowing and acting in accordance with God’s perfect will. God’s word is compared to a lamp (Psalm 119:105) so if we go beyond it if we are literally wandering in darkness.
We will all have to face the Lord Jesus Christ on judgement day to account for our actions. God has given us His written Word which is sufficient (2 Timothy 3:16) , He does not contradict Himself and He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life,
no-one comes to the Father but by Me”. If you do not love the Truth, are you really following Jesus? If He was going to move in a new way, surely He would have warned us about it in the bible?
I have attached the contents of this blog post which I believe it contains a very important message of where the church should should be. It goes without saying that you should check what the has written here against the bible to ensure it lines up.”
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Preach it brotha!
Feel free to email me directly if you would like to correspond about this or any other matters related to the rock who is our God…Jesus Christ.
At the 2:40 minute of the video below, we see exactly what happens when a famed Bethel “prophetess” prays for you to receive the spirit. The Bible calls them demons, and Jesus didn’t put them in to people…he cast them out and sent them to hell where they belong.
wow, is all I can say.
Excellent blog,very informative. I get that people have problems with mega churches, but if the doctrine is sound enough and there is no heresy let’s not let the devil use our mouths to inhibit one another. A person sometimes needs a message of hope to get them back in the church and in the word. People can decide for themselves if olsteen or Joyce Myers or Joseph prince are for them. If they are doing their due diligence as believers they will be getting the spiritual food by reading their bibles and not having it spoon fed to them anyway. In the uk the oldest futbol teams draw the biggest crowds,usually cuz they have the best players or have been around the longest.the biggest crowds are just representative of Smaller crowds that attend the rest of the lesser known leagues. But They all love soccer/futbol! Too many churches rely on pastors to feed the body and try to be the Holy Spirit to them,doesn’t work that way. My guess is if your pastor is talking bad about megachurches on the pulpit he has never taken time to really watch a sermon or read a book of theirs other than the first chapter. What does that say about ur pastors message anyway if he’s taking jabs at other churches and pastors on Sunday morn! It says I’m better than so and so for these reasons…lack of humility.
Just my take,God bless everyone reading this blog and the writer
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The problem is that the most of the doctrine preached today isn’t sound enough – or even close to it. Lies are preached to attract people and money to these false churches/businesses. It’s not acceptable. Paul preached the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ with no concern for money or watering down the gospel to attract people. He preached Christ crucified which was a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. He was also content whether well fed or hungry because all he wanted to do was save the souls of men and women thru the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Now, we hear a false gospel and a false Jesus preached, which barely resembles the Jesus of the Bible. These pastors to not preach repentance for sin and redemption thru his blood. That is what saves souls for eternity – not a silly message about being your best for God or staying positive or enjoying life’s great blessings.
The sword of truth which is the word, is swinging…and its cutting, dividing soul and spirit and judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. When it cuts are you going to fall on the side of Jesus as he is in his word – or a man made, prosperity (or false signs and wonders Jesus) who just wants you to be happy? Choose this day who you are going to serve. Only one God saves…Jesus Christ as he truly is in his word.
No pastor I know of is speaking bad about mega churches – and that is sad. The refining furnace of the word of God shows me that what these churches preach are mostly lies(with a little truth sprinkled in to make it seem biblical) to make the preacher wealthy and acceptable to our sick, godless culture. Jesus says that if we really love and follow him, then the world will hate us because they will see his true light in us and will realize that their hearts are evil. We all must know the word well for ourselves. Then we will be able to test and approve(or disapprove) every mans teaching. Souls are at stake. Heaven and hell are truly in the balance … and the road is narrow and these mega church pastors aren’t leading their little flocks that road…to the real Jesus, and it will cost them everything in the end. Their best life truly is now, sadly. Peace to you thru Jesus as he is in his word, and thanks for commenting.
I can agree with most of your discernment and reasoning. Perhaps we are saying the same thing a different way. In short here is what I mean. hyper grace as some call it is just as dangerous as prosperity preaching. My only point to make was that we should all be humble enough to consider others as better than ourselves in order to see what we can learn from one another rather than what we can teach one another. when I read peters letters it seems to me like we’ve been doing church wrong for about 2000 years. Jesus even said there is only one teacher,him. He is God we are human, so somebody’s gotta lead right? I like the illustration from an evangelist in the early 1800s. I’ll paraphrase. As cogs in a wheel,gears in a machine or in a watch,two seemingly opposite truths can work together in unison yet in opposite directions to accomplish the same common end or function.
What matters is truth – not my truth and not your truth, but God’s truth. Jesus says in John 17:17, that the word is truth, so that alone must be the measuring stick for all teachings. Paul, the great apostle, loved that the Berean’s tested every word he spoke with the scriptures. We must do the same in order to walk in truth with our eyes fixed squarely on Jesus Christ, lest we be deceived by the sweet sounding doctrines of demons and men. 2 Thessalonians 2 makes it clear that a large portion of those who consider themselves to be christians will fall away because they follow lies. Is that me? Is it you? Only the word of God can answer those questions. We defer far too much to men with self-proclaimed titles (pastor, teacher, NY Times best selling author, blah blah). Jesus says in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of his words. We don’t need men to teach or lead, though it is a glorious thing if we can find even fallible men, who truly understand and love God, to lead us. But…their words must be tested, and all of the church has a voice to speak the truth in love. Paul says in 1 Corinthians that heresies come so that we can determine who really loves Jesus Christ. The road is narrow, and I don’t know many people on it, sadly. We must eat and drink the word, walking in repentance, humility, love and peace with our eyes set firmly on Jesus Christ.
…Also Jesus and Paul warned us clearly and often to watch out for wolves in sheep clothing who sound sweet to the ears…but are simply preaching clever sounding worldly doctrines with a bit of christian terminology sprinkled on top. That preaching does not save souls. It deceives men into hell. Jesus says in John 7:24 to make “right” judgments, not based on appearances. The only way to do that is to know the word. My little writing on Leadership and my one on the written word set forth the scriptures on all of this.
Thanks again for your thoughtful comments.
I’ll check those out. I read my bible for hours a day. And comprehensive blogs like this also. Whenever I do walk to the church up the street on Sunday I admittedly cringe inside during the sermon,but I try and take away from it what I can. almost every service ends with a joke about his hair isn’t as good as Joel olsteens or Joseph princes,cuz he’s bald. I’ve kept myself many times from walking up to him after a sermon on pride and asking him politely if I can knock him down a couple of pegs. After all he said he needed help with his pride lol. But I haven’t yet. I don’t believe my heart or the leaderships hearts are ready for that and I would rather not stir up strife. Like anything in life I believe the word teaches balance. Being bold but gentle,zealous but humble,ect. I stopped going to church regularly. Instead of going to church I’m doing church now,with different out reaches from different churches in the area and attending several small groups. That’s where the real growth happens I believe, and I’ve gotten a lot more out of it too. I believe God can use all these people and that he does use them in different ways.Thanks for taking time to do this blog and responding.
I don’t want to take anybody down. I just want to lift Jesus Christ, as he truly is in his word, up, for all to see so that perhaps, some, even one, might turn from the clever deceptions if this world and sick western Christian culture, to him. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words about my blog.
No prob I’m really enjoying reading through it! Keep up the good work for the Lord.im adding you to my mental list of people I hope to hangout with in heaven someday 🙂
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Quite well written. This pretty much is needed badly in our world today.
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I just wanted to join the conversation. M’Kayla- thank you for your blog. I have been reading it, along with doing Internet research, for a couple of years now. I was a member of Brian Simmons church for 10 years. (The Passion Translation) my husband and I went on a missions trip to Africa with Todd Bentley. I was heavily involved with the NAR. But now- I am free!! I am working through the deception. I was in unhealthy churches all my life. Now at 60- I am done. It is never too late!
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Sorry, this is not M’Kayla’s blog. I keep going back and forth between all of these wonderful posts and just marveling at the stories. Thank you so much!
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No problem. Thanks for reading it and thanks for your encouragement.
I often wonder how anyone could get in-twined with the likes of Todd Bentley, but I know they are very cleaver. I am so rejoicing at your deliverance from these evil people. Praise God for it!! Stay in the word of God, the King James Bible and God will keep your from these false prophets!! So happy for you!
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Thank you so much for this!
I have been searching for the past few weeks for more information about false teachers because a former member of my small group is getting heavily involved with the charismania movement.
I was invited to watch a movie called The Finger of god. I had trouble sitting through it, so I just prayed the entire time for God to give me the words to speak when it was over. God is faithful and I was able to point out the lack of the gospel, lies, division and no repentance before running out of there.
My friend is now not speaking to me and I feel terrible about that. But my conscience is captive by the word of God–Luther
I am becoming more and more equipped as I continue to research this phenomenon. I was able to discern how dangerous it was that night. But didn’t realize how widespread it was.
I just don’t know what to say to my friend.
Any help would be appreciated.
The demonic charismatic movement, just as the prosperity gospel and hyper grace movements, makes up a fake Jesus, that sounds so right but really just fits what their itching ears and hurting hearts ,want to hear. It fills an emotional and spiritual need….with the sweet and clever sounding lies of the enemy. I have lost two of my closest friends to this movement, and I have had another battle through the scriptures with me over it, only to come out the other side realizing how deceived he was. It is worth contending for, up to a point, and then you just have to shake the dust off your feet and move on. My little writing on Leadership in Christ also explains why we ALL must know the word for ourselves or else we become susceptible to any humanistic and even demonic philosophy if it is sprinkled with christian terms. Satan is smart and the great falling away of the church is going on thanks to all of these lies.
I would suggest you consider sending her this article, because it has most of the relevant scriptures, and ask her to read it as a favor to you, and I would also pray for her every single day, asking the Lord to, by his Spirit, break the stronghold the enemy has on her, and I would also make sure that you, in your heart, have really forgiven her for the hurt and rejection that she has caused you. Ask the Lord to help take away the pain, and as you forgive and walk in love and forgiveness toward her…he will.
You truly aren’t fighting against flesh and blood, but against spirits and dark powers in the heavenly realms…but you do have Jesus Christ on your side and He is VERY pleased that you are fighting the good fight and contending for the precious gospel with no concern for how men will react to you. Dang few are willing to do that. Keep it up, and if you have more questions about what I’ve been though with this or would like some more advice, please do not hesitate to contact me through the contact form on the front page of my site. Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting.
Well times have sure changed! I was Born Again in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement, back in the early 1970’s, and it was different then. At least I didn’t see all this junk that is going on now days. I went to a full gospel non-denominational church, and I seen a few things that were probably not of God, and a lot in the flesh… but nothing like you see now days!!! Not as much of this showmanship that is going on now. Of coarse as the years went by, I started seeing more and more, and I questioned a whole lot. I didn’t like many of the preachers some of the people I knew, and went to church with did. Ken Copeland for one. I tried to like him, but something inside me was disliking him immensely! Thank God for the gift of discernment of spirits. I had it, but didn’t realize it, until I grew in the Lord, and knew more of his word. The Lord always seem to warn me, and give me what I call Red Flags. Just a knowing, and a strong distrust for many of them. I don’t regret any of that, because it has given me a compassion for those involved in this stuff. We go, we grow, and we learn as we read, and study Gods word…all of us!!! It is the ones who refuse to come out of this garbage that I don’t understand. There are people I knew way back then, that I run into, that haven’t grown a bit. There still into this junk, still listening to all of these false teachers and false prophets, and I wonder, why? Why did I make it out, and not them? I am so thankful, because I know, but for the grace of God, there go I. It also helps to question everything you see and hear. Line all things up to the scriptures, if it don’t line up…..RUN!!! 🙂
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Excellent read! The church in America, particularly in California has gone awry. It is very hard to find a bible-believing and practicing church that is not infected with false doctrines and teachings. I just sadly discovered that a church I was attending is now getting into spiritual formation- a mix of Eastern mysticism and occult diagrams to somehow get one closer to Christ. Its insane. That is kind of my signal to stop attending and look to another place. So many young pastors are deceived and deceiving others. I feel like part of it is some places copying more “successful,” practices at other churches, and in turn compromising the gospel to get numbers… then deception comes in.
Next thing you know people in the church are chasing what they believe to be the things of God, and not really God Himself. They forget about the day in day out Christian living. Many of the people I know caught up in the Vineyard/new apostolic reformation/ Bethel craze live unbiblically. Men are not caring for their wives, their children are rebellious, they are busy breeding for “Joel’s army,” ordaining people who have no right to call themselves pastors or preachers (basically no theological training or understanding), etc. Its so awful.
I feel horribly bad for new converts in this time. There is very little solid Biblical teaching left in churches today. Its being exchanged for mysticism and feel-good cosmic Jesus.
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Reblogged this on By the Blood of the Lamb.
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Interesting. . .Deception is definitely something to be wary of, and I agree that much of the charismatic movement has become unhinged. I think hypergrace and prosperity to the extreme come from a lack of transformation by the gospel. Grace is an amazing thing, but grace without transformation is false. Prosperity is true and something added to a christian according to Jesus, but prosperity for one not transformed through christ is false. We have to be careful we don’t demonize certain good things God has for his children out of fear cutting off others from receiving those things.
Money is a liar and a thief, and often steals hearts from the things of God. We say we can handle, them slowly, subtly turn to vanities – our car, our house, our clothes, our reputation. When I think of the great gifts of God I think of brokenness and humility, which turns our hearts away from the temporary things of this dying world, and to the eternal God, who lived a life of poverty and pain,to redeem us from an eternity of fire. I have many stories of believers robbed of growth in Christ because their financial picture brightened and their interests changed from the things of God to the things of man.
God loves us and wants to take care of us, but he and Satan both know exactly what a fat bank account can do to the heart of a man.