Posted in charismatic, doctrine, error, God in a box, personal revelation, truth

Help! God is in a box! We have to get Him out!

By Elizabeth Prata

illustration from Not a Box

One week I read a book to the kids at school called “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis. It is a book about imagination. An unseen narrator asks a rabbit, “Why are you sitting in that box?” The ensuing pages record the rabbit’s responses, insisting it is not a box, while the illustrations show indeed that in the rabbit’s mind, the box is indeed something else and the rabbit is busy outside of it.

I write frequently of the absolute integrity and truthfulness of scripture and that the only reason we can say the Bible is absolutely true is because it is the revealed word from a living and holy God. His word is contained in the Bible and nowhere else. To be sure, we can see His qualities in creation, which revealed His creative power and His divine nature (Romans 1:19-20). But His revealed will to humans? In the Bible and the Bible alone.

Continue reading “Help! God is in a box! We have to get Him out!”
Posted in discernment, personal revelation, whisper

I’m doing everything I can to listen for that whisper…

Doing a scan of Twitter of the liberal women you will find a plethora of references to listening to the Holy Spirit’s whisper. And of course these liberal ladies have all sorts of advice on how to catch that breeze whisper so that you can hear it and obey it. This lady says we have to be still to hear it.

Oh, no! I might miss it!

Ann Voskamp is kind of gross about the whisper madness.

Just…ew. That gal got some fetishes for sure.

Beth Moore says,

So Jesus tells us ‘now’. Now what, I’m not sure. But we must stay close because He might say it. And according to Moore, it’s better if He only has to whisper.

Lysa TerKeurst gives advice on how to make prayers powerful,

Listening for the slightest whisper … sounds … fleeting. I’ll just take my Bible, thank you. It’s solid.

So, IS the Holy Spirit whispering to us? Must we sit, or be still, or listen hard, or stay close, or press scars, or DO any other particular thing in order to receive this revelation all the other women seem to be receiving?


First, the Spirit is now whispering to you. Ladies, you can relax from worry that you’re not doing something particular to tune in to the frequency that you fear you’re missing. There is no frequency that only a select few know and has to be tuned in just right. Remember those finicky rabbit ears before cable? With tin foil on the tips for that extra boost? It’s not like that. The reason the Spirit is not whispering things to you is that the revelation from Jesus Christ about Jesus Christ is complete.

From the Strange Fire Question and Answer page. You do not have to worry about missing Holy Spirit whispers because the canon is closed and revelation is done

What does it mean that the revelation of God is completed in Christ according to Hebrews 1:1–2?Regarding the revelation we received in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1), Dr. Lawson said there is nothing left to be said. Could you please expand on this and comment on the revelation the authors of the New Testament received from the Holy Spirit and the necessity of writing the epistles? 

Hebrews 1:1–2 looks at the big picture of God’s revelation throughout human history. Just as the Old Testament looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ, the New Testament is the revelation of Him. This is what the author of Hebrews meant in the opening verses of that book. He was gathering up the new revelation that had been given through the apostles and their associates and referred to it as that which God “has spoken to us in His Son” (Hebrews 1:2). 

In his commentary on Hebrews, John MacArthur writes this helpful explanation:
We must, of course, clearly understand that the Old Testament was not in any way erroneous. But there was in it a development, of spiritual light and of moral standards, until God’s truth was refined and finalized in the New Testament. The distinction is not in the validity of the revelation—its rightness or wrongness—but in the completeness of it and the time of it. Just as children are first taught letters, then words, and then sentences, so God gave His revelation. It began with the “picture book” of types and ceremonies and prophecies and progressed to final completion in Jesus Christ and His New Testament (p. 5). 

The New Testament revelation given through the apostles was the fulfillment of the Lord Jesus’ promise to His disciples recorded in John 16:13–15: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” 

Thus, when Dr. Lawson commented that there is nothing left to be said, he referred to the fact that no further revelation will be added to the Bible (cf. Revelation 22:18–19). For further study on this point, please listen to John’s introduction to Hebrews and his two-part series from Revelation 22:13–21.

Posted in contemplative prayer, discernment, personal revelation, voices

Are we supposed to be able to hear a voice from God? If we do, how can I detect if it’s really Him?

A Pastor friend of mine posed this excerpt from a lengthy article dismembering the notion of contemplative prayer and hearing personal voices from heaven. This excerpt contains a salient part I believe is one of the best apologetics rebuttals of hearing voices that I’ve seen. The link to the full article is the clickable headline. It is by noted theologian Larry DeBruyn.

With more and more pastors attempting to legitimize that hearing personal revelation is normative, with more and more teachers teaching that there is something wrong with you if you don’t hear a voice from God… and with more and more bible teachers offering “lessons” on how to detect if a heard voice is the flesh, devil or God, discernment is needed for the everyday Christian more than ever. Therefore, please consider these things.

“Listen” by Ky, Flickr, CC by 2.0

Who Goes There?

(Pastor Larry DeBruyn) The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek “fresh” revelations from and experiences with God, even to go “out of the body,” indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith and its practice (Contra 2 Timothy 3:16.). Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, hearing another voice give a revelation raises the following conundrum:

1. If a voice repeats what’s in Holy Scripture, then the word is UNNECESSARY.

2. If a voice intuition or actual speaking contradicts the Word of God, then what it says is HERESY.

3. If however, the voice supplements the Word of God, then the fresh revelation points to the Scripture’s insufficiency,

and regarding this last point Proverbs warns: “Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).

[Thus, again, such practices of adding to the Word of God are HERESY]

So the Apostle Paul warned the Colossians against the folk religion that was leading them astray from the faith:

“Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God” (Emphasis added, Colossians 2:18-19).

One of the marks of spiritual defrauders is, as Paul points out, that they take their “stand on visions they have seen.” Would it not also be a legitimate application of Paul’s words to think that spiritual defrauders might also take their stand upon voices they have heard?

FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE: Who Goes There? Encountering voices in contemplative prayer . . .

Posted in discernment, elijah, encouragement, eternity, moses, personal revelation, transfiguration

Talking with Jesus

Not the ‘Mount of Transfiguration’. Source

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. (Matthew 17:1-3)

A spiritually awe-filled scene, as we mentally behold it and picture Jesus glorified and being fully God. However, today I am picturing Moses and Elijah, talking with Him.

Imagine, in the Millennium Kingdom and in Eternity, we will do the same! We will stand casually on a mountain and talk with Jesus! My mind veritably breaks apart just thinking of this. What will I say? What were Moses, Elijah and Jesus talking about? What could I possibly have to say to Jesus, except only “thank You!”

But we are His friend. We will talk with Jesus, and He will talk personally and directly to us.

The Graphics Fairy

For all of you who envy Beth Moore and her personal conversations with a different Jesus, and for all of you who covet the personal touch Sarah Young claims to have had with Jesus Calling her, I have this to say. Those women and all those like them are having the only talk with “Jesus” they will ever have, except at the Great White Throne Judgment when He says “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” Will they then wonder, were the five or ten or fifty chats they thought they’d had with ‘Jesus’ worth an eternity of missing the real Him, and never speaking to Him again?

Yet for the persevering and patient Christian who clings to Hebrews 11:1 and believes that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (and not heard), we will be talking with Him just as Moses and Elijah were.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (John 3:2)

We will join Moses and Elijah and be talking with our wonderful Savior, Friend, Shepherd, every ‘day’ throughout all eternity.


Posted in bible, god told me, personal revelation, still small voice

How to respond to a "God told me" comment


In Christianity today, we have a major epidemic of use of the phrase “God told me”.

In some cases, God told me is shorthand for a process the Christian has undergone wherein they have read the bible to determine God’s will, have prayed, have submitted to Him and to church leadership, have counted the cost, and then have made a decision. Sometimes we’re guilty of saying “God told me…

–to join this ministry
–to become a missionary
–to leave this church
–to adopt a child

as shorthand for all the above. It is a poor use of the phrase however, and we shouldn’t say it. More on that in a minute.

More often it means that the Christian hasn’t heard from God but wants to elevate his decision into something inviolable, wherein the Christian’s decision can’t be held to account. After all, it was from God.

Other times, the Christian has received a supposed revelation and encapsulates that revelation by saying “God told me.” Many times they have received a dream, or a ‘nudge’ or have heard that ‘still, small voice’ and are basing their decision on this personal revelation from God on those things instead of the word and then trusting to providence.

EPrata photo

The ‘still, small voice’ is permeating Christianity, with the result that now most conversations among Christians are peppered with “God told me” as a result. This is partly thanks to Henry Blackaby, who opened the door to personal revelation in his “Experiencing God” workbook and series of lessons published in the 1990s. Baptists especially who had not been prone to mysticism prior to this, fell hard for the method the Baptist Blackaby was promoting. One reviewer of Experiencing God said here,

many readers will nevertheless find great encouragement in hearing a still, small voice among a vast number of everyday experiences.”

Blackaby taught: God Often Speaks in a “Still, Small Voice” (I Kings 19:11–13). Sometimes God will speak through “the wind or an earthquake or a fire,” but most often He speaks in a still, small voice. Be attentive!

‘Most often’? Where is that in the bible? Blackaby went on to sadly teach:

If you are not hearing God’s voice, examine your heart.

It is crushing to be told by an elder that we should be hearing from God, and if we aren’t we may be the problem!

Of the Mystical, Princeton theologian of yore BB Warfield said

There is nothing more important in the age in which we live than to bear constantly in mind that all the Christianity of Christianity rests precisely on “external authority.”

Relying on small voices, impressions, and God told me revelation diminishes the sufficiency of the bible by virtue of the fact that someone is adding to God’s revelation. The bible isn’t enough for them. In His book Things that Go Bump in the Church, Mike Abendroth along with co-authors Byron Yawn and Clint Archer explained in their theological decoder, that when you hear people say “God told me, it really means,

I really think I should do ______ but I’m forgetting that the canon of scripture is closed and there is no need for further revelation. I want confirmation for my precarious decision, and I’m mistaking intuition for God’s voice. I’m forgetting to follow Proverbs 3:5-6.

So we know that the still small voice is a twisted use of scripture ripped from its context, and the God Told Me phrase could either be shorthand meaning a biblical process a person has gone through or a short cut from reading the bible and a cover for their poor decision making. So here is the question I was asked:

How do we respond when someone says “God told me…”

It was a great question. Let’s get practical. I thought of a few responses, gleaned from the very good articles, sermon, and audio lessons linked below. Some of the responses below are mine, and some are a mixture from the articles below which are excerpted and reworked. They are not inclusive, or may not even be appropriate for you or your situation. But they may provide a start in your own thinking. Please search the scriptures for relevant verses which speak to this issue.

I recently wrote a serious piece about the Third Commandment, taking the Lord’s name in vain. One way to take it in vain is to trivialize it, to be swift or short. We have to be careful never to ascribe to Him thoughts He doesn’t have or things He never said. “God told me” very often does just that though, trivializes His name by ascribing things to Him He never said. It is a serious thing to say “God told me”!

I find that asking questions initially is the best way to begin. Be sincere in asking questions. Perhaps the person truly is using the phrase out of habit because everyone else does, or simply hadn’t thought about its use in light of the Third Commandment before.

  • I thought that the biblical canon is closed, that God has already told us everything we need for life and godliness.
  • I’d be too wary of the risk of introducing error to our lives and to the church to depend on a whisper voice.
  • I don’t believe God needs to give us special revelation to reaffirm what he has already told us to do in his word.
  • Did an angel deliver the news to you, like in the bible?

Here are a few more:

  • How did you test it to see if it is really of God? 
  • How can I test to see if it really from God? (special implications for married couples, business partners, or others in different kinds of partnership or ministry)
  • How do you know it’s not your intuition?
  • The only time I’m ever 100% sure God is speaking to me is when I am reading the Bible.
  • I can’t trust my heart or mind to speak to me because of Jeremiah 17:9 which says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
  • I’m too mindful of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 11:14 which says “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” to trust whether inner impressions are  from God. I just make my decision if it is within the biblically revealed will of God and trust Him top providentially work all things to the good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28)
  • What scripture were you reading, I’ll look it up (I wasn’t reading scripture). Then how do you know it’s not your own idea?

This next batch are reworked from the Cornestone link below, a piece taking Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church to task some years ago by declaring God speaks to him. These are a little edgier.

  • I’d be too scared to say ‘God told me’ because of the seriousness of the 3rd commandment, not taking God’s name casually, just in case He didn’t say what I thought He said. I usually just say “I have decided to…please pray for me”.
  • Do you think that that believers have access to “personal revelation” from God that equals/trumps the revelation of scripture?
  • Do you think that your subjective, personal experience of a word from God is in authority over the objective truth of scripture?
  • Do you think that your revelation minimizes the role of scripture in personal experience and the need for the faithful interpretation of scripture?

Those are some ideas…please let me know how you react when someone in conversation says to you “God told me”, or if you have said “God told me” and were reacted to.

Further reading

Does God give us personal direction through a still small voice? 2-min audio lesson

The Still, Small Voice (sermon by Phil Johnson)

God told me…really?

Why Do We Say…’God told me’?

The Danger of God Told Me reflections

Posted in charismatic, doctrine, error, God in a box, personal revelation, truth

Help! God is in a box! We have to get Him out!

This week I read a book to the kids at school called “Not A Box” by Antoinette Portis. It is a book about imagination. An unseen narrator asks a rabbit, “Why are you sitting in that box?” The ensuing pages record the rabbit’s responses, insisting it is not a box, whilst the illustrations show indeed that in the rabbit’s mind, the box is indeed something else and the rabbit is busy outside of it.

I write frequently of the absolute integrity and truthfulness of scripture and that the only reason we can say the bible is absolutely true is because it is the revealed word from a living and holy God. His word is contained in the bible and nowhere else. To be sure, we can see His qualities in creation, which revealed His creative power and His divine nature (Romans 1:19-20). But His revealed will to humans? In the bible and the bible alone.

However, Charismatics rely on experience as a standard of what God is revealing to them. They put their experience as high or even higher than the Word as revealed in the bible. If something spiritual happened to them, they believe it is real, and it therefore really reveals something God is doing, or saying, or thinking, or whatever.

When I show that that charismatic experiences count as nothing, that they are unbiblical and unworthy of attention, I receive responses saying, “Don’t put God in a box!” Or, “Don’t limit God!”

Let’s take a look at what a person is really saying when they say those things.

The issue: IS God in a box?

First, God cannot ever be ‘put in a box’ nor can God ever be ‘limited’ by humans. The thought is simply absurd. However, as He has chosen to reveal Himself and His will, He is confined to pages of scripture. Secondly, experience never trumps scripture. Ever. You can have all the “passion” you want for God, to the point that at spiritual events you jerk around so much look you like bacon in a fry pan, but that is not truth, it’s not doctrine, and it’s not from God. That isn’t even passion. It’s only impulses, and you’re being led astray. (2 Timothy 3:6).

If a person has a dream or a vision that is especially vivid, they say it is from God, that God is talking directly to them (And I mean YOU, Beth Moore…Sarah Young…Kim Walker Smith…). They ascribe all due spiritual gravitas to their experience and go about replaying it for any and all who would listen (and many who would not). They make themselves the hero of the story.

If confronted with the fact that though the Spirit is alive and working in sanctified Christians, but that tongues and miracles and signs have ceased, that is when they trot out the charge that by our denying their experience as perfectly and uniquely sent to them by God, we are putting God in a box, and we are limiting Him.

We know He is limitless, that is not the issue. However He has said He will operate in certain ways. During this Church Age He has said that He will use the Spirit to grow us in sanctification and will illuminate the scriptures for us. (John 16:13-14 ). He won’t suddenly decide to sky-write the messages He wants us to know. He can. But He won’t.

He has said that He listens to prayer as a method of communication. (Philippians 4:6). However, He won’t suddenly put notes in our mailbox (like in The Shack) or call us personally. He can. But He won’t.

Though we know He is alive, He is in heaven and will not come back until the Day. (Matthew 26:64). He won’t appear in our bathroom while we are shaving and put His arm around us. He can. But He won’t.

We know He CAN do those things, but we have confidence that He won’t. Why? He speaks through His word, His Son, and His Spirit. (2 Timothy 3:16, Hebrews 1:1-2, John 14:17, 1 Corinthians 3:16). He has said how He will operate. He spoke through men to write down His inspired word. And He doesn’t break His promises.

Inspiration is the doctrine that the Bible was written by the influence of God. It is, therefore, without error in the original documents. It is accurate and authoritatively represents God’s teachings (2 Tim. 3:16). As such it is a revelation from God which implies direct knowledge about God, creation, man, salvation, the future, etc. It is an illumination in that it shows us what we could not know apart from it. “

We cannot know apart from it. That includes knowing something of God because He supposedly rained gold dust down, or put a thought in your head or seemed to heal a guy at a faith crusade.

Yet the Charismatic will cite John 21:25, “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” And they will say that “See? Jesus did many other things. We can’t limit Him!”

We are not limiting Him by acknowledging what scripture says, that He performed many other wondrous things during His incarnation. It’s just that we don’t know what they were. Any speculations on what those things were is just that: speculation, guesswork, and vaporous estimations. If God had wanted us to know them, He would have put them in scripture. That He didn’t is no excuse to make some up. He told us not to go beyond what is written. (1 Corinthians 4:6)

The truth of the matter:

The problem is, the people who take God out of the box are really people who want to make God into what they want Him to be. It sounds all humble and everything to claim that it is limiting God by sticking to who He says He is in pages of holy writ. But it is really not humility. It’s pride. It is pride in their vision, pride in their alleged special relationship to Christ, who, after all, gave them a second blessing when they asked to be ‘filled with the Spirit.

His sovereign will is different from His revealed will. He has hidden from us some things He intends to do. The most glaring examples of His inscrutability on some matters are:
–what He was doing before creation and also,
–what we will do in eternity.

His revealed will, however, is just that: revealed. He has set down in words through men via the Spirit what He wants us to know about Him and what He wants us to know about what He plans to do and what he wants us to know to do for Him.

Therefore God IS IN A BOX, at least, as far as the pages of scripture go. And there He will stay this side of the veil.

Because, you see, once we take God out of the box, we make Him into whatever we want Him to be in our imagination. Once you take Him out of the pages of scripture, you say, ‘It’s not a box. It’s a highrise. My God is a fireman.”

Erroll Hulse wrote in his book, “The Blessings, Main Problem and Dangers of the Charismatic Experience,” that many Charismatics have a “Preoccupation with experience.”

During 1977 a believer described two revivals which he had witnessed in Borneo. The first was classical in the sense that it was typical of revivals down through the centuries. Preaching, conviction of sin, repentance and transformation of life were the predominating features. The second revival which followed a couple of years later was Charismatic in character. The speaker himself reflected the impact that the second revival had made upon him personally. He gave description after description of visions, exorcisms, healings, spirit baptisms and sensational events such as preservation in the jungle and the moving of lights in meetings. One felt while listening to this account that the Word of God had been supplanted by all the externals. It is possible to become so enamoured with the extraordinary and with excitements and sensational happenings that such matters become the daily diet of believers. Eventually it is all they can talk about which is the hallmark of most Charismatic books. Scripture is supplanted by the narration of events which goes on ad infinitum.

When you take God out of the box (pages of scripture) then you can say “It’s not a box. My God is a robot. But that’s OK if your God is a fireman. It would be limiting God by making Him be a definite thing.”

Many Charismatics who want God out of that box claim that by us conservatives sticking to scripture, we are denying the powerful work of the Holy Spirit. Not so. The great theologian J. Gresham Machan wrote,

Meanwhile we have the Holy Spirit, and we have the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments that the Holy Spirit uses. Much mischief has been wrought in the church by false notions of ‘the witness of the Spirit’; it has sometimes been supposed that the Holy Spirit makes us independent of the Bible. Just the opposite is the case.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth. He does not contradict in one generation what He has said in another. He does not contradict the Scriptures that He himself has given. On the contrary, what He really does is to make the words of Scripture glow with a heavenly light and burn in the hearts of men. Those Scriptures are placed in your hands. You may not say with the prophets of old: ‘God has spoken directly and independently to me; I appeal to no external authority; when I speak it is “Thus saith the Lord.”’ But you can do something else. You can mount your pulpit stairs; open reverently the Bible on the desk; pray to the gracious Spirit to make plain the words that He has spoken; and so unfold to needy people the Word of God.

Taking God out of the box (pages of scripture) opens one up to all sorts of mischief, as Machen wrote. We ascribe works to Him that He did not do. We ascribe attributes to Him He does not possess. We ascribe writings to Him He did not inspire. Taking God out of the box once too often, and you may find that it is satan you have loosed in your life, and not the Holy Spirit.

Hulse concludes,


Jesus is Lord indeed. He has been exalted, crowned, celebrated and is adulated because he has procured our justification by the agonies on the cross. Any obscuring of that, his greatest achievement, is to defame his glory. If experience is permitted to gobble up doctrine, if love is allowed to devour principle, if sentiment is suffered to obscure justification by faith only — then how will the world’s multitudes be saved? How can Jesus be Lord for them? Satan will continue to have his dominion over them. Those who are ready to unite on the basis of love and common Charismatic experience at the expense of Justification should remember that in doing so they will be celebrating the lordship of Satan, not the Lordship of Christ.


Further Reading

What We Talk About When We Say “You Can’t Put God in a Box (essay)

Is Experience a Valid Test of Truth? (sermon series)

One clear reason why Beth Moore is a false teacher:
Examining Beth Moore’s vision: the ‘Bride is paralyzed by unbelief’

God in a Box: Limiting Miracles is not Limiting God, Pt 1 (essay)

Posted in beth moore, contend for the faith, discernment, false teacher, judgment, personal revelation

Examining Beth Moore’s statement: the ‘Bride is paralyzed by unbelief’

Last night, I was thinking about something Beth Moore said. I want to look closely at the content of what Beth Moore said in this example I will show you. I am personally offended by it and I’m spiritually grieved by it.

In a LifeToday with James Robison, a televised Christian program, Mrs Moore said, [deleted from Youtube, can now see the video here) ,

“We could live our whole believing lives through, and never make it to our promised land. We get to heaven and go ‘You were not faithful to me! You didn’t do what you said you were gonna do!’ ‘Child, I was holding every single bit of that for you. But I will insist that you cooperate with me.’ What it says over and over in this particular chapter, the number one hindrance to our calling becoming a reality, is unbelief. This is the heart of our study. Listen carefully. What God began to say to me about five years ago, and I’m telling you it sent me on such a trek with Him, that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, ”I’m gonna tell you something right now, Beth; and boy, you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it: ‘My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief’ … Starting with you.’ ” … Amen.”

Let’s examine each part of what she said through a biblical lens.

1. Her ‘oh, no’, scare tactic, try-harder faith is on display here. This is Legalism, also exemplified here. Example; “We could live our whole believing lives through, and never make it to our promised land.” Really? We can lose our salvation and not make it to heaven? That’s not what the Bible says. (John 3:16, Romans 8:38-39, John 10:28-29). Perhaps she was talking about unbelievers, one may protest. No, she said “believing lives.” Another may protest that perhaps she meant believers may not make it to our promised land here on earth. But this is not what the Bible teaches, either. The Bible says we are not promised ease on earth. (John 16:33; Acts 14:22). As a matter of fact this earth isn’t even our home. We should not consider earth our promised land whatsoever.

2. She degrades the holy relationship with an almighty God and promotes an earth-centric focus. Example: “We get to heaven and we might say something like this to GOD: “You were not faithful to me! You didn’t do what you said you were gonna do!” Really? When we get to heaven we are going to still be greedy for the things on earth? No. (Matthew 6:20-21).

When we get to heaven we are going to argue with God? Not hardly. We will be so overcome by His glory we will fall down. (Revelation 4:10, Isaiah 6:5, Revelation 1:17). Even Daniel when confronted with an angel from heaven, he fell down. (Daniel 10:8). But Mrs Moore teaches that when we get to heaven we’re going to cry for the things of earth and make a charge against God for their lack. This is ludicrous. In my opinion, it is blasphemous.

In actuality, Zephaniah tells the people, “Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is near; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice and consecrated his guests.” (Zephaniah 1:7). And the LORD tells Zephaniah to say it again, “Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”‘ (Zephaniah 2:13).

3. She says she is a prophet. No, she doesn’t come right out and say “I am a prophet”. But she uses personal revelation and biblical language about the context of her supposed revelations to teach people that she is hearing from God and has a message from Him to proclaim. Example: “boy, you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it:”

Read how God interacted with the Prophets:

“Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 1:3)
“Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this.” (Revelation 1:19)
“Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.” (Habakkuk 2:2)
“Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD:” (Ezekiel 14:4)
“Boy, you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it:” (Moore 1:1)

Just kidding on that last one.

Either Beth Moore is a prophet like John and the rest, or she should heed what Ezekiel, a true prophet, has proclaimed from the LORD,

“Her prophets have smeared whitewash for them, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD has not spoken.” (Ezekiel 22:28).

4. She confuses people with internally contradictory statements. Example: “My Bride is paralyzed by unbelief.” First, who is the bride? Let’s get clear on that. GotQuestions says, “The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. These are those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the Bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27).”

So the Bride is the Church. The Church is the body of believers.

So what Moore is saying is that the global church is in a state of paralyzing unbelief. She says God told her that the church doesn’t believe. This is impossible. If you believe, you’re a member of Christ’s church. If you do not believe, you aren’t. She speaks a self-refuting idea.

Also, about being “paralyzed”. If we take her statement to be true, then what she is saying is that the global body of believers on earth, the Bride, is not operating in the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit dwells in every true believer, (and He does) and every believer is frozen and paralyzed, (what she says) then this means the Spirit is not operating, or can’t. She is saying God said the Spirit is paralyzed, frozen, and inoperable. Can this be so? No. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7). Worse, she is saying Jesus told her this. Worst of all, she said Jesus told her to teach it.

The truth is, the Spirit indwells every believer, (Romans 8:4, Ephesians 1:13b-14), and we already know that the body of Spirit-filled believers is the Bride, so what Moore is saying is that the church isn’t working. In fact, the Bible says Christ is in us, and Christ is always working. John 5:17 and Ephesians 2:2 testify that all three Persons of the Trinity are always working. To say that He isn’t, that the Spirit in His Church is paralyzed, is malignant in the extreme. I’m serious. Only satan would say that the Holy Spirit, Jesus and God is frozen and paralyzed. It is the Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Below, John MacArthur from the linked sermon:

“A way to perceive this would be to see it as a contrast to what we see in Matthew chapter 12, for example. The leaders of Israel committed the unpardonable sin and what was that unpardonable sin? It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit. You remember that? It was attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 12:31-32. What’s going on today is the opposite, attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. That’s what’s going on. Attributing to the Holy Spirit the work of Satan. Satan is alive and at work in deception, false miracles, bad theology, lying visions, lying dreams, lying revelations, deceptive teachers who are in it for the money and power and influence. Satan is alive and well and the work of Satan is being attributed to the Holy Spirit, that is a serious blasphemy just as attributing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit is a serious blasphemy.”

5. Extra-biblical revelation is not to be trusted. I’ve focused on Moore’s claims of personal revelation before, here and here.

What does the Bible say about forthcoming revelation of God? (Hint: It ain’t happening).


“But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.” (Revelation 10:7)

Did you catch that? Just as he announced (past tense). God announced to His prophets what He was going to do.  (Amos 3:7). That announcement is contained in the Bible. He has been working and will continue to do work. God’s work on earth will not be finished until the last trumpet, as Revelation shows us, but His announcement of it was. The revelation of His work on earth is concluded. Yet Beth Moore is making additional proclamations from God. Either God is lying, or Moore is. (Hint: Jesus IS the Truth, and the truth is in Him; John 14:6, Ephesians 4:21).  Friends, the canon is closed and the announcement of what God plans to do was already proclaimed.

Gill’s Exposition on Revelation 10:7 says: “As He said to Isaiah 60:3, &c. and Isaiah 66:8; and to Daniel, in Daniel 2:44 Daniel 7:25; and to Zechariah, in Zechariah 14:9, and others;” Beth Moore’s name is not on that list.

For those who want to cling to Beth Moore as a teacher and defend her, saying perhaps that she didn’t mean what she said: I’m sorry. The Bible says that teachers are held to a higher standard. (James 3:1). In order to even BE a teacher one must be mature, self-controlled, vigilant and possess a host of other qualifications that qualify a deacon/teacher/overseer. This is so they will teach rightly and they can spot a false doctrine in the first place- one aspect of protecting and feeding the flock. (Acts 20:28, John 21:17). Teachers are supposed to teach rightly. (2 Timothy 2:15).

Teachers rightly dividing the word for their pupils are raising up pupils who can then turn to the scriptures to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11). This makes the student stronger. How can a student of Beth Moore examine the scriptures to see if these things are so, if they came from her head, or a vision, and not the Bible? They can’t. And so in this way, she actually raises up people who do not rely on the word, and are weaker.

The word is all-sufficient. (2 Timothy 3:15-17). That’s why we rely on it!

We don’t judge  a teacher as false by one thing they said, once. We give the benefit of the doubt, and watch carefully for a long time, comparing their words and teachings to scripture. One misstep does not make a false teacher, perhaps, but a long pattern of variance with the Bible, does.

Mrs Moore has passed the time of benefit of doubt and has proven over long years that her words, doctrines and actions are not to be trusted. I am not the only person who has compared what she says and does to the sterling Word and found that she is not to be recommended. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has found the same, and so has Rev. Mike Abendroth of Bethlehem Bible Church, and Rev. Jim Murphy of First Baptist Church at Johnson City, NY, and Shai Linne, Modern Reformation, and Pastor Tim Challies, and so on.

In this post, I’ve striven to not only open your eyes to the poor theology and confusing doctrines of Beth Moore, but I’ve also striven to show you how to parse these things for yourself. To stop and really think about what a teacher is saying, phrase by phrase, and to compare it carefully to the Bible. The Bereans sought the scriptures to see if these things were so, and that bespeaks of having a constant stance of asking ‘are these things so?’ If they believed Paul on his face they would not have sought the scriptures, would they? Constantly testing all things, all spirits, is what we are called to do. (1 John 4:1). And don’t stop there. If you have found things that are NOT so, don’t keep it to yourself. The church at Thyatira tried to do that, (Revelation 2:20) and were charged by Jesus for it. Speak up. Be brave.

Do not rely on external feelings or teachers who claim to have had an experience. This today from No Compromise Radio, quoting BB Warfield:


“In the history of Christian thought mysticism appears accordingly as that tendency among professing Christians which looks within, that is, to the religious feelings, in its search for God. It supposes itself to contemplate within the soul the movements of the divine Spirit, and finds in them either the sole sources of trustworthy knowledge of God, or the most immediate and convincing sources of that knowledge, or, at least, a coordinate source of it alongside of the written Word . . . There is nothing more important in the age in which we live than to bear constantly in mind that all the Christianity of Christianity rests precisely on “external authority.” (Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield, The Biblical Review, ii. (New York: The Biblical Seminary, 1917), 169-191.)

And what is that external authority? The One True God as revealed in the Holy Bible. Sola Scriptura!

Posted in charismatic, god told me, personal revelation, scripture

The "God told me" crowd – satan’s tares are doing very bad things to the church

Why did Paul so often tell his people to persevere? We often suppose that it was because of the persecution they were undergoing, and that is surely true. But there is another reason, also.

“It is so hard, to know – that’s why the work of the church is difficult. The work of the church isn’t difficult because of what Satan’s doing in the world, it’s difficult because of what Satan’s doing in the church.” ~John MacArthur, sermon, “The Faith that does NOT save“.

Here is a biblical example of what satan is doing in the church- the Parable of the wheat and the tares

The Parable of the Weeds
“He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30)

This is an amazing and potent parable. There are a lot of ways to go with looking deeply into this, but I’ll restrain myself. The main thing is the obvious point: satan will steal into the kingdom of God by stealth and APPEAR to be wheat and not a weed. This will be a successful tactic until the harvest.

Therefore we can say that though some of the more obvious satanic tactics are destructive to the kingdom- such as Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley’s false healings, and false teaching like Islam and Buddhism, the more destructive tactics use quiet, secrecy, and stealth. They closely match the true faith.

The more Christian-appearing the tactic, the more successful satan will be. Most of western Christianity is somnolent, like a satiated picnicer taking a nap in the summer sunshine. Just can’t keep his eyes open.

John Singer Sargent: the Chess Game

Along those lines, I’d like to bring your attention to an excellent article by TA McMahon. It delves specifically into who and how the subtleties of satan are especially brought to the fore in the current Charismatic movement. The excesses of this movement are going to be addressed by the conference later this year called Strange Fire. The reasons we need to confront this strange fire movement of satan are spelled out here.

Meanwhile, this essay by Mr McMahon outlines just how devastating it is to our faith when we listen to people who CLAIM TO SPEAK FOR GOD.  He writes, “The root fallacy of the movement is the view of how one receives communication from God. … in practice this false teaching elevates what (supposedly) God has spoken to them as equal to or above what is written in the Scriptures. It goes far beyond someone stating that he “believes” that the Lord has impressed something upon his heart.”

To be clear, this is the crowd who says things like –

“God told me”
“God revealed to me”
“I have a word from Jesus”
“I had a vision and He said…”

John MacArthur says of this kind of activity:

“God told me . . . “ has be come the anthem of the Charismatic Movement. Strange private prophecies are proclaimed by all kinds of people who evidently believe God speaks to them. … that the Bible is not our final source of God’s revelation but simply a “witness” to additional revelation that God is giving today. Williams is declaring that Christians can add to the Bible—and that they can accept others’ additions to Scripture as normal and conventional. He believes the Bible is a “model” for what the Holy Spirit is doing today to inspire believers.”

Today’s ‘God told me’ crowd includes Mark Driscoll, Beth Moore, Kim Walker Smith of the band Jesus Culture, Steven Furtick, Todd Burpo, Joyce Meyer and many others.

The impact of these direct revelation, Charismatic excesses can’t be overstated. Please take a moment to read the article.

It begins this way:

They Claim to Speak for God (Part 1)
T. A. McMahon

“A very large part of Christendom in the United States is enamored with those who claim to speak for God. If you think that’s an overstatement, simply tune into some of the programing on Trinity Broadcasting Network or some of the other cable religious networks. What you will see are churches filled with thousands of Christians hanging on to every word of a man or a woman who is declaring what God has just revealed to him or her. The content ranges from the mundane to the bizarre. To some observers who are fairly well versed in the Scriptures, what they are hearing and seeing is laughable. But that’s a tragic reaction by some who are forgetting that many of those being led astray by the so-called new prophets and apostles are their brothers and sisters in Christ.”

“Not only is such a cavalier attitude wrong biblically, but it is extremely shortsighted and therefore blinds a person to the seductions and ultimate deceptions that are involved. In this series of articles we want to present a wider view of what’s involved with those who “claim to speak for God,” demonstrating that it’s far more than a few delusional zealots but rather a host of men and women, ministries, and movements that have an agenda and methodologies, all of which are contrary to the Word of God.”

The sad part is that today’s “God told me” people are not just fringe Pentecostals but as you can see from  the above list, conservative evangelicals who should know better. Even sadder, the movement has swept up many multitudes of conservative youths too.

I’ll end the same way I started, with the quote

“The work of the church isn’t difficult because of what Satan’s doing in the world ,it’s difficult because of what Satan’s doing in the church.”

You can be a sleepy sunshine napper like this-

Thomas Mora Picnic, Wrentham, MA c. 1900

Or you can wake up, put on your armor, and look around, like this,

I am reminded of the song of Deborah. In Judges 5:12, Deborah incites Barak to carry off as his prey the captive Canaanites and their sheep and cattle-

“Awake, awake, Deborah! Awake, awake, break out in a song! Arise, Barak, lead away your captives, O son of Abinoam.”

Gill’s Exposition explains,

“Awake, awake, Deborah, awake, awake, utter a song, &c. Either perceiving some languor and remissness in her spirits, while she was delivering this song, and therefore arouses herself to attend to this service with more ardour and zeal; or rather finding herself more impressed with a sense of the great and good things the Lord had done for Israel, calls upon her soul to exert all its powers in celebrating the praises of the Lord, and therefore repeats the word awake so often as she does.”

Be not languorous and accept the false teaching of the ‘God told me’ crowd! Be diligent to know your bible well enough to see the very ‘fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel’ on its glorious pages. Awake and arise!

Posted in beth moore, personal revelation, rightly dividing the word

Troubled by Beth Moore’s teaching, Part 5: Direct Revelation

By Elizabeth Prata

I am working on a series of essays looking at the teachings of Beth Moore. She is currently a wildly popular Christian Bible teacher. Her books, DVDs, lessons, devotionals and tours sell like hotcakes. She regularly fills stadiums and arenas to capacity. She is sought after for speaking engagements and has a regular spot on a television show called Life Today. She teaches Sunday School in her home town of Houston when she is in town and has had that position since 1984.

We are in the times of the doctrines of devils, of false teachers and of deception. Beth Moore may be true or she may be false (we’ll explore that this essay and the next) but because the Bible warns of these problems with teachers and teachings at the latter days, it is important for us to take a careful look at any and all teachers who have this much influence. I mentioned in Part One that I am headed to a Beth Moore conference this weekend. I’ll be listening to her for 6 hours and may have more to say afterward. In preparation for these essays I’ve listened to Beth Moore for several hours, prayed, read others’ concerns, and studied.
Troubled by Beth Moore’s Teaching, Part 1: Introduction and Casualness

Troubled by Beth Moore’s Teaching, Part 2: Un-dignified teaching

Troubled by Beth Moore’s Teaching, Part 3: Contemplative Prayer

Troubled By Beth Moore’s Teaching, Part 4: Legalism

In exploring whether the content of Mrs. Moore’s lessons contain solid teaching, I’ll be looking at five issues- Contemplative Prayer, Legalism, Personal Revelation, Eisegesis vs. exegesis, and outright error. This part will look at Mrs Moore’s penchant for personal revelation.

Direct revelation

Personal revelation…everybody and their brother is a prophet these days. Have you noticed? Seems like everyone has had Jesus show up in their living room, their bathroom, their potato. Seems like some special ones get a free tour of heaven or a lengthy visit with grandpa up there. This is because as the emergent church asked and asked and asked what truth is, actually chipping away at it as they asked, we began to substitute direct revelation and personal experience for truth. If the Bible isn’t thoroughly true, then I’ll just accept these experiences, tongues, visions, and voices as truth. After all, it happened to me, and I know it’s true.

Another effect of the emergent church’s chipping away at truth through incessant questioning is that if there is no one truth, we accept it all. “You had a vision? Cool! Wanna hear mine?” “God talked to you in the shower? He spoke to me in the kitchen!” It is the result of a decade of charismatic emphasis on personal experience as a substitute for systematic theology and disciplined study.

Now, it is true that the LORD speaks to us today. The Lord does speak; through prayer and the Bible. Read this for explanation and verses. He spoke to people audibly in the past, mostly to the prophets, but He certainly could speak to someone today, though I don’t think it happens nearly as often as we read about.

But personal experience is NOT a substitute for intimacy with the Lord. The Bible is the only barometer of truth. How often are we are told that we are, could be, and are likely to be deceived? Many times in the Bible! (2 Thess 2:9; John 4:48; Rev 13:14, etc)

Beth Moore often says thing like “God spoke to me…” Or, “God said…” In her book “The Beloved Disciple: Following John to the Heart of Jesus” she wrote that God said, “My child, in between more intense rests, I want to teach you to take Sabbath moments.” It is nice that God speaks in such complete sentences to her. Moore doesn’t say how He spoke it to her…just “God told me.” And look at the sentence carefully: He said he was going to teach her to take these moments. Is a new doctrine being taught? And is it just for Beth Moore? I have no quarrel with someone saying that they feel that Jesus spoke to them in some way, but I’d like a lot more specificity as to how and where.

Here is an example of a direct revelation in a clip from Life Today, called “It’s scary to be us” in which Mrs. Moore said, “He knows it’s scary to be us. And I know that He does. I know that He does. He does not take lightly what you are going through. … I don’t know if we think He is so far removed that He doesn’t feel it, respect it, esteem it… But He knows what you are going through.”

Now that’s a nice sentiment. I happen to believe it is true- He does know what we are going through. He does attend to even the smallest of our needs. Do you know how I know? Matthew 10:29; Matt. 6:25-34; Matt 10:31; 1 Peter 5:7 and others. God knows the number hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7). If a Bible teacher makes a claim that she knows something about God,  I expect that teacher to use the verses as proof of her assertion. All Mrs. Moore said was, “I know that He knows.” That is spiritual arrogance.

God has said: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8). Moore does not use scripture as the basis for making the claim that she knows what God is thinking. That is not only spiritual arrogance, it is dangerous.

In 1997 the Baptist Press began their feature on her with this sentence: “Beth Moore talks about God so personally, it is easy to imagine her reaching over and squeezing his hand.” She does seem to have an over-familiarity with the King Jesus that is precious, but not so reverential.

In the Old Testament God raised up prophets who spoke for Him after He spoke directly to the prophets. They spoke aloud and they wrote things down. The people knew which prophets were true and which were false by the standard laid out in Deuteronomy 18:22. When the people heard the prophets speaking the words from the LORD, they would have heard something like this:

“But My people have changed their Glory
For what does not profit.
12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this,
And be horribly afraid;
Be very desolate,” says the LORD. ” (Jer 2:11b-12b)

In the New Testament we hear the Lord say through John, “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Rev 3:14-16)

Because the veil was torn now we all have direct access to the Lord now, our buddy, old pal. We can hear Beth Moore say: “Just that morning God confirmed His desire for me to drive all the way to the other side of Houston…I got in my car and prayed. I pulled out of the parking lot, fighting the tears. A few blocks later as if on autopilot, I turned my steering wheel straight into the parking lot of the Houston Zoo! Christ seemed to say, “Let’s go play.” And that we did. I hadn’t been to the zoo in years. I heard about all the improvements, but I never expected the ultimate: Starbucks coffee! (OK, so I don’t have my health issues down pat.) Can you imagine watching a baby koala take a nap in a tree on a rare cold day in Houston with a Starbucks grande cappuccino in your hand? Now that’s a Sabbath moment! God and I had a blast.” (source)

So now a zombie Jesus takes over the body of a person and drives her to the zoo to watch a koala.

I’m not saying that Jesus doesn’t care for us in all aspects of our being, and that stress reduction isn’t an important part of the life of a restful and healthy Christian. I’m just trying to show how God spoke to His people throughout the eons and that over-familiarity and careless handling of His word diminishes His august majesty when we say things like, ‘I was driven to the zoo by Jesus to watch the koalas.’

The method of receiving her direct revelations changes too. Sometimes it is an audible voice. Sometimes it is in her mind. Sometimes it is across the wall of her heart. Dr. Kurien did a good job of examining the issue at “A Time To Discern”, here. It is a .pdf. If you want even more examples of the direct and personal revelation claims from Mrs. Moore, go on over to The Watchman’s Bagpipes for a gentle dissection and rebuttal, here.

Pastor Bob DeWaay of Twin Cities Fellowship in Minneapolis, Minnesota said- ” We have ideas in our minds – that may or may not be from God. They are not God’s authoritative binding revelation. Ideas, dreams, or visions – are part of God’s Providence and they contain good and evil. We are free to have ideas – but you never know for sure because they are not God’s binding revelation. These words, thoughts, ideas or visions may or may not be from God. There are no new revelations since the closing of the Canon of Scripture.”

This is true. Look what the Bible says is within us: “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

When Beth Moore says “God told me” I want verses to back it up because that should be the source. Otherwise it could by from any source and according to the Lord’s own Word, that source could be pretty ugly.

In his series, “How does God Guide Us? Guidance Through Divine Whispering (Part 2)”, Mark D. Roberts said: “Unfortunately, a multitude of contemporary Christians have trivialized this ministry of the Spirit. “God spoke to me” has become a virtual replacement for “I thought,” except that by saying “God spoke to me” a person avoids having to take responsibility for his or her actions. After all, if God told me to buy a new computer that I really don’t need, who are you and who am I to question God’s command? Claiming God’s authority for my own thoughts not only appears to protect me from being corrected, but it also gives an added punch to my own preferences…. While recognizing that the Spirit will speak to us, we must also acknowledge our tendency to misinterpret what we hear, or to mistake our own inner voice for the voice of God.” It is an excellent post on the issue of Divine Whispering. Please take a moment to read it. It is not long. Roberts’ whole series examining “How Does God Guide?” us is here.

As I said, the whole “God told me” thing could be real or it could not be real. I tend to think that it’s less real than Moore hopes it is. One of my favorite preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather, it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” Moore is almost right … but in the end will that be enough?