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Questions: Preaching Christ from every text?, Muslim dreams, Female submission

Here are answers to some pressing questions I’ve seen asked over the last few weeks.

Should we preach Christ from every text? Answer: no. By Abner Chou, The Master’s Seminary, October 2017.

In essence, the Christocentric hermeneutic attempts to find Christ as the subject or topic of every text. It desires to show that every text relates directly to Christ. Which is why some say it is the only true Christian preaching. The problem ensues when the Christocentric hermeneutic applies that mindset to texts that don’t call for it.

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Are droves of Muslims coming to faith in Christ via dreams and visions? Answer: No. Gary Gilley explains by comparing to scripture, in this essay from 2016.

Jesus used a variety of approaches when speaking with unbelievers, depending on the individual or group (e.g., Nicodemus, Rich Young Ruler, Woman at the Well), but typically He identified who He was, confronted their sin, called them to repentance, called them to believe in Him, cautioned them to count the cost of discipleship, and admonished them to take up their crosses daily and follow Him. He didn’t state all those elements in every case, but collectively they constituted the thrust of His message

By way of contrast, Isa [Muslim version of Jesus] typically identifies who he is (or the dreamer instinctively knows who he is) and tells the dreamer he loves him and wants him (the dreamer) to follow him (Isa). Sometimes the dreamer is overwhelmed with a sense of love and peace just by being in Isa’s presence (which was never the case with unbelievers in the presence of Jesus). So the message that emerges is one of believing in Isa and following him apparently apart from the Holy Spirit convicting of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8).

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Do women have to submit to all men? How can we demonstrate that although the roles of men and women in the church (and the home) are very different, we are equal in value in the sight of God?

To answer your question, women are to submit to their husbands.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

All church members are to submit to their overseers.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Heb 13:17)

We are all to submit to God.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 5:7.

We all have to submit to government. Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17

Women do not have to submit to random males.

We believers are all of equal value in the sight of God. This value is from above, it is not attached to man-made standards of who has what role. We do not have to demonstrate this love, God already has.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27).

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).

wedding verse

 

When did co-pastor married couples become acceptable?

In 2007 Thabiti Anyabwile wrote:

It was once a rising trend. It’s now a model for ministry for significant numbers of churches and pastors. It simultaneously offers itself as an example of deep partnership between husbands and wives, and dismisses biblical instruction. What am I talking about? The widespread approach to pastoral ministry where a husband and a wife “co-pastor” a local church.

Co-pastoring in this case refers to churches where the male pastor and his wife are listed as equal pastors of the flock. Since that article above was written ten years ago, co-ed co-pastors are touted as something acceptable – desirable even.

These two are not married but are in a co-ed, egalitarian pastorate.

 

Not just co-pastor, but co-SENIOR pastor. Bobbie loves them titles.
V. Osteen: co-pastoring, which dilutes her motherly duties, is not a good trade.
This article is from Christianity Today. No wonder
the magazine’s nickname is Christianity Astray

I remember the Presidential election of 1992. Bill Clinton was running. His wife is Hillary Clinton. Clinton used to brag that “America was getting two for the price of one.”

It was during the 1992 presidential campaign that Arkansas governor Bill Clinton — the nation’s first baby-boomer presidential candidate, running against President George H. W. Bush — used the phrase “two for the price of one.” This twofer concept was Clinton’s quaint way of bragging (to the delight of feminists) that his wife, Hillary, an accomplished corporate lawyer and fellow Yale Law School graduate, was going to play a major role in his administration well beyond that of a traditional First Lady. (National Review)

How did that work out for them? Hillary led a Health Care Reform that crashed spectacularly and she was publicly humiliated. Then Whitewater Scandal happened and things got worse.

From the moment she dazzled Capitol Hill last autumn (‘In future the President will be known as your husband,’ Dan Rostenkowski, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, gushed at one appearance) Hillary has been her plan’s most potent weapon. No longer. In Washington more than anywhere, vulnerability equals weakness. Today Hillary Clinton is vulnerable; so, therefore, is Bill Clinton. ‘Two for the price of one’ has turned from blessing into curse. (The Independent UK, 1994

America was not impressed with the twofer Presidency. Even less so, are Christians impressed with a twofer pastorate.

Simply put, the Bible forbids women preaching. Church teaching is meant for the men to perform. The leading is to be done by the men.

I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (1 Timothy 2:12).

Elders/overseers/pastors are to be “above reproach”, and “a man”. (Titus 1:5-8).

Installing a “twofer” pastorate, whether both are paid or not, formal or informal, defacto or explicit, is unbiblical.

At a recent Grace Community Church Q&A a man asked John MacArthur,

“Would you ever allow your wife to preach?”

Homosexuality is still a sin, despite plaudits for the scene in #Victoria

I’ve been watching the TV series Victoria, a series about Queen Victoria and her monarchy. It’s fictionalized, but with episodes focusing on actual historical incidents. The reviews seem to render it historically accurate for the most part. There are a few minor things that aren’t exactly correct, and some things they collapsed in time or for effect. However, there is one scene which, well, isn’t accurate at all.

The homosexual community had heard that season 2 of the series was going to feature a gay sub-story. The LGBTQ’s were happy about this. As it happened, Lord Alfred Paget and Edward Drummond (Prime Minister Robert Peel’s private secretary) have been depicted all season as two men attracted to each other, with longing looks across drawing rooms, yearning among the manicured gardens, loaded innuendo, and sly smiles. The tension between the two men had been building until they exploded into a kiss while ambling along a pond shore.

Sadly, many tweets and messages along these lines emerged afterward:

Source Radio Times

The scene to which I refer today is the one afterward with the Lady in Waiting Duchess of Buccleuch, played by a historically inaccurate 79 year old Diana Rigg (the real Duchess was only 8 years older than the Queen, not 50-plus years.)

Spoiler…

In history, there was an assassination attempt on PM Peel’s life. Peel’s secretary Drummond really was shot by a bullet meant for Peel. He died five days later at home, not instantly as the show depicted. In the show, Drummond heroically leaped in front of the Peel, shoving him aside and saving his life. Creative license for dramatic tension, that’s OK. But Paget was left bereft that his blossoming love affair with Drummond was cut quite short. When the Duchess received the news of Drummond’s sacrificial death, she called for Paget and brought him into a private drawing room. She compassionately told him the news about Drummond’s death. Then she gave sage advice about hiding his grief from the mother and the fiance at the funeral. “They must be the chief mourners”, she said.

The Duchess said with care and concern in her eyes that she may be old but she is not blind, and had seen how the two looked at each other.

This is anachronistic. The British attitude toward homosexuality was that it was repulsive and reprehensible, and a threat to family life. It was immoral, as encapsulated in the various laws that were not eventually repealed in all corners of the United Kingdom until 1992. They even coined a term for it, “The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.”

Laws for society combatting same sex relations have dated back to the sixteenth century (Upchurch 14), and much of British society deemed homosexuality as ‘the worst of crimes’ (Upchurch 49). This unspeakable act threatened the stability of Victorian society (Brady 46) so much so that a homosexual identity did not exist in this era (Brady 17). This does not mean that British citizens did not know the characteristics of these types of men, and they had a great distaste for them (Brady 11) during the nineteenth century (Upchurch 13).
Many believed that one could not be moral and have these sexual relations (Upchurch 16), and for this reason homosexuality was the most problematic issue facing British society (Upchurch 16). For this fundamentally British society, it was embarrassing to speak of this sexual issue (O’Connor 112). If it was a wildly spoken of topic, the structure of society would ‘have been shaken at its foundations (Brady 1-2; Brady 24). Source

So a Duchess cooing and comforting a young man devastated at the loss of a homosexual lover would never have occurred, partly because such things were never discussed, and partly because such a co-ed discussion would be considered uncouth.

These modern-day attitudes inserted into historical dramas are a problem. They might make certain powerful lobbies happy, but they aren’t an accurate window of the general attitude of the times. Once we see these kind of anachronistic attitudes often enough, we might start to believe the propaganda.

Though homosexuality has been with us since after the Fall, it might be good to look at what the Bible says about it, rather than listening the constantly pressuring culture. Even though we reject the pressure, at some point it might be making inroads to our mind, which is supposed to be transformed to holiness in the likeness of Christ.

The Bible is clear that God created humans to enjoy sex only within the marriage between a man and a woman. (Genesis 1:27, 28; Leviticus 18:22; Proverbs 5:18, 19). The Bible condemns sexual activity that is not between a husband and wife, whether it is homosexual or heterosexual. (1 Corinthians 6:18).

When Jesus smote Sodom and Gomorrah for homosexuality it was actually an example of judgment that will come upon all those who indulge “unnatural desires.” As Jude 1:7 states,

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Romans 1:28-32 shows the progression of sin in an individual heart or a nation’s heart. Homosexuality is nearly last in the progression into darkness, demonstrating how far a society has sunk when they finally begin to engage in the sin of homosexuality.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:26-27)

Homosexuality according to the Bible is detestable, shameful, contrary to sound doctrine, and people practicing it are wrongdoers. (Leviticus 20:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Timothy 1:10, Romans 1:27)

God never accepts homosexuality as normal. It isn’t.

However, if you repent, He will forgive you and He sends the Holy Spirit to help resist ungodly lusts.

If you or someone you know are struggling with a loved one who indulges homosexual desires, here are a couple of excellent resources. Though we do not condone any sinful behavior, including homosexuality, we must

Show proper respect to everyone, (2 Peter 2:17a, NIV)

What Letter Would You Write to A Gay Son?

David Murray explains,

Five years ago, Redditor RegBarc “came out” to his father. Shortly afterwards, his dad disowned him in a handwritten letter which RegBarc shared with the world on Tuesday, adding the comment: “This is how hate sounds.”

He’s right, it was a hateful letter. Murray continues,

As I find it hard to believe that a true Christian would ever write such a letter, I’ve drafted a letter that I hope a Christian father would write (although I’m sure we all hope we’ll never have to write it).

The second, hypothetical letter is beautiful. It’s what love sounds like.

The 9Marks Mailbag is the best thing I read online on a consistent basis. Their answers are grace filled and practical, firmly based on a biblical worldview. It’s very helpful. This answer by ex-homosexual Rosaria Butterfield is the most helpful I’ve seen on this subject.

How should parents treat their 18-year-old daughter’s relationship with her girlfriend? How do we love them without condoning their sin?

Are my personal experiences, visions, dreams, signs and wonders valid?

On October 12 I’d posted an essay examining the difference between people today who claim to have visions accompanied by seizures or other physical manifestations, and people in the Bible who had visions, none of which evidenced the same kind of violent thrashing we see in today’s false visionaries. In fact, I’d included several Bible verses to show that these kind of visions produced the exact physical experiences that demon-possessed people had.

Subsequently, I had a request to look at the movements of the New Apostolic Reformation and IHOP/Mike Bickle, and their impact on Millennial Christians.

Millennials are a younger set of Christians who are a generation raised totally in the environment that the aforementioned movements produced. To these kids, visions and manifestations are normal and expected, accepted even in conservative corners of the evangelical faith. Many College and University campuses have IHOP-like prayer rooms, ‘soaking rooms’ and promote youth-aimed conferences such as OneThing and Passion where the youths commonly display these manifestations and believe they had a genuine spiritual experience. Sadly, the leaders there confirm it.

I apologize for the length. I did not want to split the essay into two or three parts. I broke up the text with large subject headings and photos.

supernatural bethel redding
Above, Bethel Healing room

One leader of this movement is Mike Bickle of IHOP– International House of Prayer. He also lead a megachurch in Kansas City and oversees a Bible College. Bickle says he receives visions all the time and also has been to heaven twice.

I’ve had time when the Lord has come upon me when I laughed and could not stop…where I’ve had times I was thrashing around and shaking violently, I’ve had times where I’ve felt tremendous heat…”

None of these physical manifestations are biblical, as we saw in my previous essay. The hallmark of the Holy Spirit or angels who visited people in the Bible was never violent and the hallmark of those who received a vision was self-control and awareness.

Many millennials are under the impression that not only should they be experiencing direct encounters with God, Jesus, and angels, but they should be manifesting some kind of physical proof of the encounter either during or after. The proofs usually come in the form of ‘liver shivers’, babbling in ‘tongues’, thrashing or seizures, uncontrollable laughing or jerking, and the like.

Moreover, these millennials believe that when they do have a personal, physical encounter with the divine, no one can or should judge it. The fact that the experience happened is proof enough that it is genuine. Unfortunately, the visions and experiences and encounters then become their truth. Which again, cannot be judged because it’s personal.

This blog essay will explain why their attitude is wrong on both counts. Physical and personal encounters with the Divine in the forms commonly believed to be normal today are not expected and not normal. Secondly, we are absolutely to examine, test, or even judge all things, and especially experiences if they do occur.

Short History-Summary

The NAR or New Apostolic Reformation AKA Dominionist Movement is not new, but the modern version can be traced to Mike Bickle’s Kansas City Fellowship and really got moving in the 1990s after they joined with the Association of Vineyard Churches led by John Wimber in 1990. The movement is defined expertly by Amy Spreeman and Marsha West at Berean Research,

The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.

Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.

They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (Source)

ihop student

Painful and sad video still of a student at IHOP giving her testimony about the false manifestations she and her friends experienced. This young woman is jerking and shuddering constantly. The MC notes this in the closed caption.

At the source link you will find Fast Facts in bullet point form, common traits among the different branches, and a list of leaders. Some of these leaders of this dangerous but permeating movement are Bethel Church/Bill Johnson, IHOP/Mike Bickle, and Hillsong/Brian and Bobbie Houston. The deception of this dangerous movement includes the music that stems from it. I recommend further exploration at the source link above, which leads to a wealth of information and also testimonies of once-deceived adherents of the movement who have gracefully been delivered from its deception.

Even NAR leader Bickle of IHOP admits most of the manifestations are fake. Here he is quoted from a video:

I’ve seen people thrown against walls, and thrashed around and thrown across rooms. I’ve seen a lot of fake and I’ve seen a lot of real. The real is worth it. Most of it’s fake. Most places that I’ve been, the majority of the manifestations are not caused by the Holy Spirit. I will allow the fake because I so believe in the genuine.

Bickle continues by saying that due to his longevity within the movement he can discern the difference between the huge quantity of the fake and the few real experiences. Notwithstanding his power to “allow” or disallow various fake spirits to manifest within his flock. I have no comment on that, ahem.

Vulnerable Youths & Discernment

A participant at OneThing IHOP 2010 wrote,

In another tweet, I said something along the lines of having given more high-fives in one night than in my entire life. Everyone was so crazy happy, dancing, and celebrating. This is why people drink, to be this “happy” to be alive, to feel like they belong somewhere– where you know everyone there is experiencing that same party. Haha, maybe they gassed the room or something, but it was unbelievable. source

Why does the NAR/IHOP/Signs & Wonders movement attract so many youths? Simply, they are usually new to the faith, less knowledgeable and more vulnerable. Like the young man above, they want to feel like they belong, want to feel happy, want … something. Those in college are away from the oversight of their parents for the first time. They’re testing boundaries. These kids are extra vulnerable.

Young Timothy the pastor was guided by Paul and told to set an example in speech and conduct and faith and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12). I don’t believe that thrashing around on a floor or uncontrollable laughter or barking would meet the standard of conduct advised here. Isaiah wrote that “even youths grow weary and tired and young men stumble and fall” (Isaiah 40:30) but the advice was “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31).

David asked “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9)

Herein lay the issue. The Bible says to test all things. All. These things are tested against the Word. Then guarded.

Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21).

This verse is a favorite among the Charismatic people who enjoy speaking or hearing ecstatic utterances claiming divine inspiration or revelation. However, the word prophecies does not now mean spoken revelation from God. That did occur in the early church before the canon was closed, to be sure. (Acts 11:27-28, 1 Timothy 1:18, 1 Timothy 4:14.) It refers today to the written word of God. The call for careful discernment in verse 21 is a response to the command in verse 20. Examine the preached word carefully and test it against what is written. What aligns with the word is to be accepted, what departs from the word is to be shunned as evil.

Everyone seemed to feel God’s love all the time and have crazy experiences, dreams, visions, prophesies. I was dissatisfied with just Bible study. I wanted more, and was constantly seeking more prophecies and visions and signs. NAR adherent’s testimony

Such a heavy emphasis on personal experiences makes one thirst for more of them, and eventually the word itself is shunned as evil and the prophetic utterances and signs are accepted as truth. They are much more exciting when experienced in a room full of excited youths dancing and yelling and enjoying loud music and strobe lights. Compared to a quiet closet with a Bible, notebook, and pen, the former draws the vulnerable much more than does the latter. Yet even the most liberally deceived person must accept that if they have an experience, vision, dream, or revelation, the Bible says to test it against the word.

onething

Tweet from ffpaladin, participant at OneThing 2010:
Omg this is so ridiculous… This is the craziest party ive ever been too…
Everyone is dancing around.. Tens of thousands… #onething2010

Orderly Worship – What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up. … For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:26, 33)

Why do they hate the word of God?

Yes, they hate it. Even millennials who are not involved in the more dramatic or charismatic segments of this movement will eventually learn to despise the word and love the experience. See this testimony from Lizzy, a former NAR/IHOP participant:

We were witnessing all kinds of signs and wonders, and assumed they had to be of God. Never once did we recall or were reminded that the Bible talks of FALSE signs and wonders, and even though they would emphasize to the crowd to not fixate on the sign but on the Lord, it was the manifestations that got all the attention and the glory.

Saddleback pastor Rick Warren wrote in 1998 that, “We’re just a church that tries to look for [spiritual] waves, and we ride them. And then we try to do it with balance.” You know waves. There’s a crest. And there’s a trough. Disappointment comes in the trough, and the seeker of experiences looks more and more desperately for the crests. You’re always looking for a crest and not the steady growth of the word of God. Spiritual adrenaline can be deadly. Yet if one trusts in God and His word, there is never disappointment, because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8).

It comes down to an issue of authority. The self wants itself to be the authority, and not the word of God, which is objective and infallible. Satan tempted Eve in the garden with this, that the self can be the authority and not the one and only command she had been given. (Genesis 3:4-6).

Inevitably, those who rely on experiences are refusing authority or oversight via public testing and submission to the word. Yet the best thing one can do is rely on the word only.

Getting into the Word of God was the best thing we could do, and the Lord through Scripture showed us some of the error that we needed to be re-taught. We were all still in  a lot of error. … We began to realize that so much of what we had thought was God at one time…wasn’t. The Holy Spirit wouldn’t contradict Himself when the Bible stated that two of His fruits were gentleness and SELF-CONTROL. Lizzy’s NAR Testimony

Let’s say that a person experiences a manifestation of one kind or another. Let’s say they decide to allow testing of that event. They go to the word. Their experience aligns with the word. In that case, they did not need the experience, because they had a more sure word. (2 Peter 1:19). If it doesn’t align with the word, they didn’t need the experience, because it was false.

If a person refuses to allow testing of their experience they are in violation of scripture, since–

–the gifts are for the edification of the church and not personal hoarding (1 Corinthians 14:12, Ephesians 4:12)
–we are to submit to the leaders (Hebrews 13:17).

What are we to experience?

We do not need to go into a soaking room, nor need to collect with others who spout prophecies, dance crazily, or await a liver shiver. Doing so only brings disappointment anyway. Please note that adding to the disappointment, is that Bickle persistently advises that those who “have” should not look down on those who “have not.” By this advice, he admits that seeking signs and experiences leads to a two-tiered hierarchy.

Here is another testimony, this one from Sola Sisters from a Passion Conference which speaks to this:

At the Passion 2012 conference, Beth Moore, John Piper, Louie Giglio and company taught/led an entire sports arena (45,000 college aged students) in (attempting to ‘hear’ God’s voice). My son’s friends in attendance of this conference told of a young girl standing outside the arena crying her eyes out because she had not heard the audible voice of God as they had instructed. Others tried to comfort her but were also distraught at not hearing a thing.

Here is what life in Christ promises. We do not need to invite the Holy Spirit or seek Him, He is IN US. He is already “shown up.” He is present within each and every believer. Can one seek or want  any closer experience than that? We are gifted with the Person of God dwelling in us for the duration of our earthly life! Why do they want more?

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16). This page gives fifteen more verses stating that the Spirit is in us. We experience Him every moment of every day!

Yet the promises continue. He gives us common grace. When we breathe air, see a sunset, open our umbrella against the rain, we experience God’s common grace.

sunset

Unretouched photo of a rural sunset. Grace. (EPrata photo)

We experience His providence. When we avoid a car crash or when we are in a car crash, get cancer, are cured of cancer, have a baby or miscarry, we experience God because in His sovereignty He brings all things to pass for His glory and good for those who love him.

We experience God when we pray, for we are in communion with Him. When we repent, we experience Him, for He is pleased. When we bring water to those who thirst or visit the poor, we experience Him because His pleasure is in us when we do those things.

The difference between those who seek tangible experiences or freshly and constantly manifested feelings, and mature believers is that we base our experience on faith and trust, and not things that are tangible or visible.

An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. So he left them and departed. (Matthew 16:4).

Why do I rain on your parade?

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2).

It is the word of God that transforms via the mind, not experiences felt physically.

I live near Athens GA. Many of the youths who attend our church also attend University of Georgia. There are many institutes of higher learning in Athens alone, UGA has 35,000 enrolled. That is a lot of vulnerable youths and many are being drawn into these supernatural events and taught that such manifestations are normal. My heart breaks over this as much as if you saw a toddler walking into a busy street. We need to alert, teach, love, and protect our youths.

Just as you can’t perceive growth in height, from day to day or month to month, you can’t often perceive your own spiritual growth. If you are in the word, you’re growing! This is a certainty. You do not need to seek experiences to confirm it.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18).

We do not grow from experiences that we had from inside us. We grow from external truth that only comes from God and His word.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

We all need more Bible engagement and less experience experiencing and less seeking manifestations.

Do not be drawn in. Stay in the word of God

Avoid these people and their works. List from Berean Research (except Chan, I added him, see picture below for why.) At the Berean Research link each of the names has its own link so the reader can learn ore about why they are to be avoided.

Francis Chan has partnered with Mike Bickle at Bickle’s IHOP OneThing Youth Conference for the last several years. Chan considers Bickle a brother. Also avoid people who regularly partner with Bickle or Bethel Redding.

C. Peter Wagner
Chuck Pierce
Bob Jones
Paul Cain
Cindy Jacobs,
Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer –IHOP)
Rick Joyner
Bill Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding CA)
Todd Bentley
Lou Engle
Brian & Bobbie Houston (Hillsong Church)
Becky Fischer
Brian Simmons
Steve Shultz (The Elijah List)
Michael Brown
Rod Parsley
More…

John Kelly, Bill Haman, Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, James Goll, John Eckhardt, Jim Laffoon, Jack Deere, Johnny Enlow, Barbara Yoder, Charles Kraft, Bob Beckett, Che Ahn, Naomi Dowdy, Mary Crum, Jack Hayford, John Arnott, Stacy Campbell, Patricia King, Phil Pringle, Yonggi Cho, Beni Johnson, Jen Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Carl Lentz, David Barton, Steven Strang, Robert Stern, Stephen Strader, George Otis, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, George Barna, Mary Glazier, Thomas Muthee, Tom Hess, Samuel Rodriguez, Eddie Smith, Lance Wallnau, Loren Cunningham, Bob Beckett, Os Hillman, Jacqueline del Rosario, Jill Griffith, Francis Oda, Graham Power, Francis Frangipagne, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells, Katherine Ruonala, Lana Vawser, Kong Hee & Sun Ho, Theo Wolmarans, Jennifer LeClaire and many others.

Keywords you will hear when encountering Dominionist/NAR people:

under the power of the Spirit
fresh move of the Spirit
encounter
anointing
presence

story (as in, personal experience is the story rather than sure, absolute propositional truth in the Bible)
manifested
meta-narrative
Apostle
revival
unity
kingdom (lots of focus on the kingdom, not kingdom as properly referenced in scripture)

The Dominionist/NAR influence is pervasive. Here are just a few examples of how their influence has spread. These events are regular and ongoing, in and around Athens, where many youths will be drawn in.

supernatural school final

This Transformational School is Supernatural Ministry is part of the Athens Link and is aimed at college kids.

supernatural royston awakening conference

The write-up above is for an upcoming November Awakening Conference in the little town of Royston GA of all places.

supernatural onething

Chan has partnered with IHOP at the OneThing conference at least since 2013. The event above is for the 2017 conference. It is aimed at YOUTH.

supernatural bethel at athens

Pray for your youth. Youth, if you are involved in one of these “ministries” and have been taught that your experiences and manifestations and signs are normal, please pray to Jesus for wisdom and for Him to open your eyes.

burk

RC Sproul deals harshly with a foolish question

When Adam sinned, God did not curse man. He cursed the ground and He cursed man’s labor, but He did not curse man. Genesis 3:17-19.

God did curse Jesus, who never sinned. “his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God.” (Deuteronomy 21:23).

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (Galatians 3:13).

Every day is a great day to worship our Savior who became cursed for us, became sin for us, as the substitute Lamb who shed His blood for us, so that He could redeem us.

Jesus is God and as God, He is supreme, omniscient, holy, all-powerful, infinite, eternal, righteous, loving, sovereign, gracious, truth, and so much more. He deserves worship! He deserves our devotion, our love, our submission. He deserves to be known, as far as He has revealed in scripture.

And yet, we make Him into a cosmic, butler, a boyfriend, a money machine, a put-upon uncle who is expected to only forgive and never chastise. Below in a one-minute clip, RC Sproul deals harshly with a foolish question. Do we know who God is?

Know and love Jesus for who He is. We know Him through the scriptures.

Hugh Hefner, street preachers, and the Gospel

There are different ways to share the Gospel. Witnessing isn’t only one method. Men preach the Gospel from pulpits. We cold-witness to strangers. We befriend people and share the Gospel. We witness at work either directly or by continually living His doctrines and speaking of Him with honor. There isn’t only one way.

But there is a way I respect and admire. I’m grateful for street preachers. They speak truth to a world that does not want to hear it. They are spit upon, mocked, yelled at and arrested. Some street or public preachers are beaten or even killed. Yet the unsaved don’t always go to church. They don’t even always have Christian friends around them.

I lived in New England for most of my life before I got saved. Now I live in the American Bible Belt. Church is a deeply cultural event here. Most people go. However in New England, I spent an almost entire lifetime without any Christian friends. I never owned a Bible. I never even saw a Bible. I had no friends who went to church. I never heard the name Jesus. It was easy to avoid the Light.

Hugh Hefner died this week. Hefner was 91 years old. If you did not already know, Hugh Hefner founded the print publication Playboy magazine in 1953. This magazine is pornography. It depicts women in various states of undress, in lascivious poses, for the purpose of inciting lust. From the success of the magazine, Hefner then founded Playboy Enterprises, bought a mansion, and lived the life that was pervertedly displayed on the pages of his pornography. He famously said,

“The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

Of course this is incorrect. Sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is a rebellion of a worst kind of sin because it is against your own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18). Living in Christ is civilizing because we have the Holy Spirit to aid us in subduing the sinful nature we possess. Without the Spirit, we are uncivilized, sinful, rebellious people. Society suffers.

In the 58-second clip below, a street preacher shared the Gospel as Hugh Hefner walked by, a ‘Bunny’ the age of his granddaughter on his arm. Perhaps God sent many messengers to share the Gospel with a sinner like Hefner, or perhaps this was the only time. Only God knows.

Street preachers are in the public arena speaking truth to those who would try to insulate themselves from people who bring Light to the conscience. I’m glad that street preachers do what they do. The world needs Light and Salt, and the street preachers are there to shake things up. God was merciful to Hefner, allowing him to hear the Good News and to be warned to repent and believe. Thank you, street preachers, for being instruments of God’s mercy and love.

street preacher
HT Photo Jeff Maples

Beth Moore calling down fire

fire fall down

This article from Charisma Magazine, published August 2, 2017, was something of an amazement to me. I should not be amazed, but I am. And not in a good way.

Here is an excerpt from J. Lee Grady’s article titled How Beth Moore is Calling Down Pentecostal Fire:

I’ve been in countless Christian meetings over the years, but last week, I witnessed one of the most remarkable spiritual moments of my lifetime.

I was attending a gathering of Pentecostals held at a convention center in Orlando, Florida. When the speaker concluded the sermon, people began to stream to the altar. Many of them—including pastors—lay prostrate on the floor. Many were sobbing uncontrollably. Some people wept and prayed for an hour after the meeting was dismissed.

You may ask, “What’s so remarkable about that?” This meeting, held on July 26, was unique because the speaker was a Southern Baptist—and a woman. Yet her message was so convicting and so saturated in the Holy Spirit that people ran to the stage even though she didn’t even invite people to the altar.

The woman was author and popular women’s speaker Beth Moore, and the occasion was the 28th General Conference of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Leaders from the Assemblies of God, the Church of God and Nigeria’s Redeemed Christian Church of God were in attendance, along with thousands of Pentecostals from all over the world.

Moore based her message on Jeremiah 12:5: “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” Without a tinge of self-righteousness or condemnation, Moore lamented the powerless state of the modern church and called us back to the raw authenticity of New Testament faith.

“We are settling for woefully less than what Jesus promised us,” said Moore. “I read my New Testament over and over. I’m not seeing what He promised. I’m unsettled and unsatisfied.”

She added: “I want holy fire!”

I don’t know what is more fascinating—that a Baptist challenged Pentecostals to embrace Pentecostal fire or that a woman who is not supposed to preach to men in her own denomination brought male pastors to their knees in repentance.

I don’t know what is more fascinating, the complete rebelliousness of Moore’s preaching, the dangerous and ignorant plea for God to send down fire, or the flat declaration by Moore that she is unsatisfied and unsettled with a lack of fulfillment in God’s promises.

Let’s look at the Charismatic penchant for wanting fire. We hear about that a lot- teachers, preachers, and lay-people, begging for fire.

In this GotQuestions article we readof the reality of fire from heaven. How many times has God sent fire from heaven? The Bible records six times when He sent fire from heaven.

1. God allowed satan to send fire from heaven to destroy Job’s flocks.
2. God sent fire in the form of burning sulfur to Sodom & Gomorrah
3.  God also used fire from heaven to judge the soldiers sent by the wicked king Ahaziah to arrest Elijah
4. & 5. Twice, fire descended from heaven to consume a group of fifty soldiers sent on the king’s business (2 Kings 1:10, 12).
6.  God sent fire from above in order to consume a sacrifice

Fire from heaven is predicted for the future as well. In the end-time Tribulation, the false prophet will cause fire to come down from heaven as a counterfeit miracle designed to deceive people into worshiping the Antichrist (Revelation 13:13).

And, at the end of the millennium, God will instantly destroy the armies of Gog and Magog with fire from heaven (Revelation 20:9).

So, do we really want fire to fall down from heaven? Really? Why do these false teachers constantly ask for fire from heaven? Do they think it makes them look pious? It only reveals their biblical ignorance.

They know not what they ask. Their ends will be as they deserve. They twist the Bible they deceive the people, they scratch itching ears, and they heap up followers. Sadly, instead of glory and peace, they will receive fire. They will get the fire they asked for.

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. … Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.
(2 Peter 2:1-3; 9-10).

say to those who prophesy from their own hearts: ‘Hear the word of the Lord!’ 3 Thus says the Lord God, Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! (Ezekiel 13:2b-3).

And you, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own hearts. (Ezekiel 13:17).

Lord, haste the day when lying diviners and deceitful prophetesses will be no more.