Posted in beth moore, bible, false teacher, truth

In which Beth Moore says something unbiblical. Again

Do you ladies see the internal inconsistency in this? You “can’t catch the Spirit & make stay Him put” but you CAN catch Him & control Him. On the surface, false teachers’ doctrine always sounds Christian-y, but upon digging only slightly deeper, it falls apart. That’s because it’s cotton candy, all clouds and no water. (Jude 1:12).

Ladies, dig deeper. Don’t accept what teachers say at face value. Examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so. (Acts 17:11). In this particular case, John 3:8 would apply here-

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The Bible Knowledge Commentary says of John 3:8,

“This verse contains a wordplay which cannot be adequately expressed in English. The Greek word pneuma means both wind and Spirit. The work of the Spirit (pneuma) is invisible and mysterious like the blowing of the wind (pneuma). Man controls neither.”

What is really sad to me is how many people retweeted it and ‘liked’ it within just a couple of hours of Moore having published the tweet. The bane of Twitter. Correct theology takes time and care to explain, exceeding Twitter’s 140 characters. But wrong theology can fit neatly into a 140 character limit, and they propagate like the weeds they are.

Posted in 90 minutes in heaven, bible, heaven tourism, truth

Heaven Tourism: Compare Don Piper’s heaven scene with Apostle John’s

I’d written a few days ago that heaven tourism books are bad. The ‘heaven tourism’ phrase refers to the increasing bunch of people who have a vision and claim to have visited heaven, been shown or told things, and ‘came back’ to write a book about it. Or go on the speaking circuit.

No one has visited heaven except He who has come down from heaven, Jesus. (John 3:13). Aside from a very few individuals such as Ezekiel and Isaiah, John and Paul (who incidentally said it was unlawful to speak of the inexpressible things he’d seen (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) heaven currently remains a closed port of call unless one has died in Christ, and even then, at present it remains a one-way trip.

Yet Don Piper claims to have gone there for an hour and a half and came back to write a whole book about it. This is what Don Piper said he saw first thing:

In my next moment of awareness, I was standing in heaven. Joy pulsated through me as I looked around, and at that moment I became aware of a large crowd of people. They stood in front of a brilliant, ornate gate. I have no idea how far away they were; such things as distance didn’t matter. As the crowd rushed toward me, I didn’t see Jesus, but I did see people I had known. (90 Minutes in Heaven, p. 26-27)

John the Apostle went to heaven. He was in the spirit in the Lord’s day. He heard a voice. This is the first thing He saw:

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.

Don Piper noticed right away that his great-grandmother Hattie’s teeth were white. (p. 34). That is a huge contrast to what John saw and how he behaved according to the scripture above.

Who are you going to believe? Paul, who actually went to heaven, whether in the body or the spirit he did not know, God knows, but who said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord? Or Don Piper who wrote that to be absent from the body is to be present with Great-granny Hattie?

Be very skeptical of people who claim to have visited heaven or some dimension where Jesus is. Beth Moore claims it, Don Piper, Kim Walker-Smith of Jesus Culture band, Colton Burpo, Jesse DuPlantis, and many others. Yet have any of the people who died and were resurrected in the Bible apart from Jesus described anything they saw? Lazarus, Peter’s Mother-in-Law? The sleepy youth who fell out the window? No.

John MacArthur wrote at Answers in Genesis:

Four biblical authors had visions of heaven—not near-death experiences. Isaiah and Ezekiel (Old Testament prophets) and Paul and John (New Testament apostles) all had such visions. Two other biblical figures—Micaiah and Stephen—got glimpses of heaven, but what they saw is merely mentioned, not described (2 Chronicles 18:18; Acts 7:55).
Only three of these men later wrote about what they saw—and the details they gave were comparatively sparse (Isaiah 6:1–4; Ezekiel 1, 10; Revelation 4–6). All of them focused properly on God’s glory. 

They also mentioned their own fear and shame in the presence of such glory. They had nothing to say about the mundane features that are so prominent in modern tales about heaven (things like picnics, games, juvenile attractions, familiar faces, odd conversations, and so on). Paul gave no actual description of heaven but simply said what he saw would be unlawful to utter. In short, the biblical descriptions of heaven could hardly be any more different from today’s fanciful stories about heaven.

Avoid such fanciful stories and focus on what is written for our edification: the holy word of God contained in the 66 books of the Bible. Any and all references or descriptions of heaven in that Book are true and are all that we need to know about heaven for the present time.

Posted in discernment, encouragement, pastors, preachers, truth

Aren’t there ANY good preachers/churches left?

I hesitate to begin this essay by saying “In these times of apostasy” because the times have always been apostasizing. The moment that the truth is declared, someone falls away from it (Eve, Cain, Judas, Demas, Simon Magus…). The truth is always opposed by those who hate God.

Of late, however, it seems that some men we have always been able to count on are falling. The Bible is clear that even leaders who have been seemingly faithful over decades are not immune from the ravages of apostasy. Length of time in the faith is no guarantor of continued faithfulness. Ending well is just as important as beginning well. (2 Timothy 4:7).

In addition, the Spirit is always revealing the wolf in sheep’s clothing. John Piper has been displaying zero discernment. I wrote about Ravi Zacharias’ questionable credentials, heretical associations, and leaky theology here. Billy Graham said that anyone who is sincere and really believes something is up there will be in heaven with the saints. I think those are the three best recent examples of how sin works in the heart and how the Holy Spirit works in the Body to reveal it.

Just as the truth is always opposed, the truth is always upheld. The Lord raises up good men to speak His Gospel. In Romans 10:14 Apostle Paul asked the following questions

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

The questions are not rhetorical. They are actual. The mechanism through which God has said He will use as the catalyst for conversion is His Gospel, preached by truthful men, to hearts He will release from the bondage of sin. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12). Therefore it makes sense God will always have good men preaching it, does it not? Because if He didn’t, who could hear?

Therefore in every generation God raises up men who will stand for truth and speak God’s word. In Isaiah 55:11 God told prophet Isaiah

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

So though it seems today like there are no trustworthy pastors and preachers and teachers, there are. There has to be, for where else will God speak His Word and souls be claimed?

So who are these good or solid preachers? Well, first, do not overlook your own pastors and teachers. I know that many of you are grieved deeply that there seems not to be a good church in your area. With apostasy rising fast it is true that a solid church is a gem these days. Remember, this has always been the case. Throughout every age, even in America, there have always been large, geographical dead spots where the Bible is being proclaimed in perverted or twisted manner, or there isn’t any truth being proclaimed from a set body of gathered believers at all. Miles and miles might separate one good church from another, neither of them reachable for many people.

But laboring quietly in some corner of a church might be a good Sunday School Teacher. You could go to his class. Quietly knitting together some women under a ministry in a church there might be a woman with a heart for theology and the Bible. Maybe your church has a good music minister who sings hymns. Though the church in its entirety may not be great food perhaps there is one hook onto which you can hang your hat- and support and pray for the others who are not as solid. Come alongside them and help with encouragement and pointing to solid doctrine. Sometimes all it takes is one, strong, praying, persevering person to turn things around in a church. You don’t know what the Holy Spirit has in mind the next week, day, year.

Meanwhile, here are some men who are currently pastoring churches and speaking the truth as unmixed by man’s contamination as it’s possible to do. These are men we hear on the radio but are actually pastors of actual churches many people actually go to. You could, as well.  A friend of mine is moving out to CA to attend The Master’s College and will attend this church and will be present at the 47th anniversary of MacArthur’s installation as pastor-teacher at GCC.

Don Green, pastor of Truth Community Church. 4183 Mt Carmel Tobasco Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45255. Sermons can be heard at sermon audio here, or iTunes, Facebook page.

Alistair Begg, pastor of Parkside Church, 4520 S Arlington Road, Uniontown, OH. Radio program where sermons can be heard,Truth for Life.

Phil Johnson, pastor GraceLife Pulpit, one of the ministries at Grace Community Church, 13248 Roscoe Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352. Sermons here

Dan Duncan, Believers Chapel, 6420 Churchill Way, Dallas, TX 75230. Mr Duncan is BC’s current pastor, sermons here. S. Lewis Johnson was formerly pastor of Beleiver’s Chapel. Vast sermon archive here.  Both men are featured on the sermon schedule at Expositor.fm

John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church, 13248 Roscoe Blvd, Sun Valley, CA 91352. Since February 1969, John MacArthur has been preaching verse-by-verse at that location. I’ve listened to him since 2007 or ’08. He is my favorite pastor.

Oftentimes I’ve heard people say that John MacArthur is the Spurgeon of this generation. Well, is he?  I decided to check. I am familiar with Charles Spurgeon, loving his sermons and reading them online quite often. I’ve also read his biography. Spurgeon’s output was prodigious, and his nickname “The Prince of Preachers” is well-earned. Is John MacArthur’s output even close to the beloved Spurgeon’s? Does he earn the privilege of being compared to the Prince of Preachers? I decided to do a comparison.

Now, comparing is difficult because of the time gap between the two men’s preaching eras. But as a quick draft, I put together the following information:

So that will give you an idea as to why I am blessed to have been led by the Spirit to John MacArthur’s radio program and then to the rest of his output, his associations, and his ministries.

Readers might be familiar with the fact that I write some discernment essays. One indicator of the first steps of drifting away from the truth is who a person associates with. In 1 Corinthians 15:33 Paul said,

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”

In Proverbs 22:25 we read that we should not be hanging around angry people “or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.

Associating or worse, partnering with, immoral or sinful people engenders deception and ensnarement, so saith the LORD. So when we read of Ravi Zacharias praising heretic Joyce Meyer on her television show or joining with New Apostolic Reformation conferences, or Beth Moore teaching alongside Christine Caine and Roma Downey, or John Piper with Louis Giglio or Christine Caine, or Ronnie Floyd embedded in IHOP or partnering at Synergize Conference with John Bevere or Leonard Sweet…you know that even if someone has the best of intentions their good character will be corrupted. “Do not be deceived.” At the very least, such decisions betray an astonishing lack of discernment and disregard for the holy nature of the faith these teachers are supposed to be upholding. (2 Corinthians 6:14)

But the opposite is true too. In discernment, if you are not as strong on discernment as you’d like to be yet, and you have found one good bible teacher to listen to either in real life or online, draw a circle around that man and then widen the circle. Who is in that pastor’s circle? Who does that pastor praise and recommend? Who does he quote favorably? Who does he partner with in spiritual endeavors such as book collaborations or conference speaking? I learned of most of the above men after having listened to John MacArthur’s conference sessions and in that way, was introduced to more men of faith I could trust.

Magnets have a north pole and a south pole. Though the iron filings at first are mixed, the nearer they draw to the magnet, the more the magnet will pick up and attract the filings that match that pole. I say these things to remind us that in days of apostasy (which is every day) the world will constantly be trying to pry open your tolerance. But the way is narrow. It bears repeating, the way is narrow, AND there are only two roads, narrow and broad. There is no middle ground. So it is the same with true doctrine and false. Eventually, a person will be attracted to one pole or another, as this experiment demonstrates.

Other men who I recommend who either are currently pastoring a church or who have gone on to glory or are in another teaching position, are,

Mike Riccardi, RC Sproul Sr, James Montgomery Boice, Steven J. Lawson, Ligon Duncan, Paul Washer, any teacher from The Master’s Seminary.

Don’t despair. There ARE good churches. If there isn’t one in your immediate area, pray and perhaps the Spirit will lay on your heart to either plant one or move closer to one. If your church seems to be struggling, don’t despair then, either. Maybe the Spirit is preparing you to take on a role there which will swing things upward. Sometimes the Spirit allows a person to be the lone beacon of light at a church in order the strengthen them for something ahead, or to teach endurance. In that case it would be for Jesus’ glory and your good that you remained. (Romans 8:28).

I hope this list and the encouragement has helped you.

Posted in discernment, nar, new apostolic reformation, ravi zacharias, truth

On Discerning Ravi Zacharias: It’s time to say what needs to be said

Ravi Zacharias is an Indian born,  Canadian-American Christian whose ministry is apologetics. Zacharias speaks at large gatherings, conferences, and events on the topics of Christianity and defending the faith. He also has a radio program, “Let My People Think.” He is well known for being intelligent, philosophical, and an excellent speaker in his command of the English language.

Even though there are some towering men of the faith, we must continue to do our duty and test all things against scripture. No one is immune from error or sin. Let us examine Mr Zacharias.

Ravi Zacharias talks to pastor Joe Coffey at Christ
Community Chapel about answering objections to Christianity.
Source TMDrew, CC

The link below brings you to an essay written in 2008. Since that time Ravi has descended further into questionable associations. At one point he praised Catholic Mystic Henry Nouwen, in addition to compromising on Mormon theology as you will read in the link below of that, and other compromises

Ravi’s slide downward

Though Ravi later retracted his endorsement of Nouwen and Merton here

But let’s take a look at his activity and statements over time, and compare to scripture.

2009: Ravi signed the ecumenical document called the Manhattan Declaration which calls for Catholics and Protestants to partner on moral issues (source). This is a violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14 and Ephesians 5:11.

2012: Ravi appears on Joyce Meyer Today, and says to Meyer, “God has used you” and calls her a ‘great bible teacher’ (youtube clip). This is a violation of one of the qualifications of elders, that they protect the sheep and remain in sound doctrine according to the biblical qualifications of teaching elders as per 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. His endorsement of Meyer was also a violation of the advice on Proverbs which says leaders use their wisdom to guide and lead. (Prov. 11:14; 24:6).

Ravi Zacharias calls false teacher Joyce Meyer a great teacher?

2014: Ravi waffles on age of earth, Ken Ham has response. This denies the clear and straightforward text of Genesis and is a setting aside of Romans 15:4.

2015: Credible allegations were made that Ravi has allegedly inflated/exaggerated/misrepresented his scholarly credentials. Proverbs 19:9 says he who breathes out lies will perish. When the allegations surfaced, certain information was immediately removed from the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) website. The allegations claimed,

-He was not a visiting scholar at Cambridge.
-He refers to himself as Dr Zacharias yet has no earned doctoral degree, they are all conferred.
-He claims to have lectured at the world’s most prestigious universities.
-He claims to be a scholar yet has published nothing in scholarly journals and does not have peer reviewed research.

Next, sadly, from the RZIM FAQ page,
Ravi Zacharias Ministry holds no official theological position on:

Creation: “RZIM does not have an official ministry position on the age of the earth. The focus of RZIM is apologetics and evangelism, and thus we do not address particular questions about creation…”

Calvinism v. Arminianism: “RZIM does not have an official ministry position on the doctrines of Calvinism or Arminianism, and we have staff members holding to a variety of views in both of these doctrinal traditions.” (PS you’ll notice errors in their explanation of Calvinism on the linked page)

Eschatology: “Dr. Zacharias has not spoken on matters relating to the end times, nor does RZIM endorse any official view on matters of eschatology.”

Catholicism: “RZIM does not have an official ministry position on the doctrines of the Catholic tradition; RZIM focuses its ministry on evangelism and apologetics and strives to stay true to that vision. Some of Ravi Zacharias’s favorite authors are Catholic (namely G.K. Chesterton and Malcolm Muggeridge), yet he recognizes that there are significant doctrinal differences between Protestants and Catholics.” [doctrinal differences?!?!]

Erm, kind of hard to engage in solid apologetics without an official position on many of the bible’s doctrines.

2016: In April 2015, Ravi Zacharias was part of a conference which was set to scrutinize The New Apostolic Reformation, during the Worldview Apologetics Conference held at Antioch Bible Church in Redmond. The co-authors of two books outing the NAR (R. Douglas Gievett, professor of philosophy in the Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, and Holly Pivec, journalist) wrote the following at their blog:

My co-author, Doug Geivett, will speak alongside other high-profile evangelicals–including Ravi Zacharias, Norman Geisler, and Calvin Beisner–who will present on other important topics. Doug will give two presentations on the NAR, titled “The New Apostolic Reformation: What You Need to Know” and “God’s Super-Apostles: Where They Fall Short.”

And yet in January 2016 Ravi will partner with Domininist/NAR teachers at a conference called Synergize, the very movement a previous conference which Ravi attended that had sessions exposing these people as false teachers.

Finally, the smooth talk. If you listen to enough of Zacharias you notice he uses mostly rhetorical contrivances, philosophy, and looong anecdotes but not a whole lot of Bible. He is an ecumenical philosopher, not a solid apologist. The reason he uses fine sounding arguments and rhetorical tricks is that he is the kind of man Paul is describing being the opposite of himself, in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5,

and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, (like Ravi) but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, (Ravi again) but on the power of God. (as Paul does).

I also personally attended a Ravi Zacharias speech in Athens GA and I enjoyed it mainly because he is a smooth talking man who uses language so well.

I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. (Colossians 2:4)

What does everyone say when they mention Ravi Zacharias? “The Spirit is powerfully using Ravi!” No, but they do say, “Ravi’s so smart!” What would people say if they had heard Paul preach, who is just as smart as Ravi if not smarter? “Paul’s so smart!” or would they say, “Paul preaches in the power of the Spirit of God!” They would say the latter, and they did (1 Corinthians 2:4).

THINK about it.

—————————

FMI on the New Apostolic Reformation here

Posted in discernment, mike bickle, ronnie floyd, sbc, southern baptist convention, truth

Mr Floyd, why did you load a piano in the canoe? Thoughts on SBC, IHOPKC and discernment

Last night in Kansas City at the International House of Prayer, leader Mike Bickle appeared on stage at their One Thing conference. It is an annual conference, attended by thousands of college aged and youth seeking ‘a fresh word from the Spirit’ to put it in their carnal vernacular. That in itself is newsworthy, because IHOPKC as they are known, is a house of heretics damaging the church of Jesus Christ and polluting His doctrine. As Pastor Phil Johnson put it, Mr Bickle

admits with a grin that 80 percent of the phenomena in the thousands of charismatic meetings he has sponsored and participated in have been utterly false—phony, fraudulent, fleshly—totally and completely fake. Bickle insists that’s not a problem. He is willing to “allow the false for the sake of the real.”

To see so many gathered at IHOP KC One Thing hurts my heart and spirit just as much as when I see the UK newspapers publish photos of the solstice pagan ceremonies at Stonehenge. The two events are no different. Pagans worshiping made-up gods, wasted flesh, and blackened spirits wallowing in sin is a spectacle no Christian ever wants to see. But it is a spectacle every true Christian knows they will see, because that is the world, and satan is the god of it. (1 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2).

Left, ancient pagan ceremony with obelisks,
right, modern pagan ceremony with obelisks

Top, pagan priestess leading worship at Stonehenge
bottom, pagan priestess leading worship at OneThing

many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray. (Matthew 24:11)

But even more disheartening than to watch thousands of blind and misguided youths praising their blind leader guiding them to the pit (Matthew 15:14) is to see a yoking of darkness with light and a leader who was thought to be in the light suddenly developing a blind spot.

The Southern Baptist Convention has historically been the one denomination considered to be the most conservative and the most protective of the inerrant authority of the Word of God. It has historically been strong on doctrine and diligent in the practice of living a holy life, Occasionally that practice has worked itself out in publicly repudiating false teachers or dismissing wayward churches from their fellowship. Just last month a South Carolina church was booted from SBC membership over the doctrine of female pastorship. In another recent case, the SBC has removed from membership local churches for their unbiblical stance on homosexuality. When it comes to social issues like feminism or homosexuality, the SBC has historically and recently been strong.

What is lesser known is the SBC’s waffling stance on doctrine. Though the origins of the historical SBC began with a clear positive stance on Calvinism and has deep roots in the Convention, in these latter years, the doctrines of grace and those who hold to them have been repudiated in turmoil. Nevertheless, the SBC’s adherence to biblical authority and a clear proclamation of the Gospel, with firm walls to keep out the liberalism and falsity, has generally been the SBC’s hallmark.

Until now.

No, I’m not being overly dramatic.

John Park at Christian Research and Apologetics Ministry wrote a good paper on The Dangers of the International House of Prayer. Please read it to understand why partnering with IHOPKC is so dangerous and actually a blot on the name of Jesus Christ. For example, IHOP founder Mike Bickle said he had a vision where he was raised to the throne room of God and stood at the Lord’s left hand.Our God is gracious for not smiting Bickle on the spot as He did with Ananias and his lies to the Spirit. Bickle has uttered many “prophecies” some of which had a date to them which has passed with no fulfillment. Bickle has taught that he and his disciples are the true disciples and are anointed to usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ. In addition, multiple ministries have indexed IHOP as a cult. Sources are at the CARM article linked above.

Yet when invited the SBC president Ronnie Floyd accepted the invitation to partner with Bickle and speak at the One Thing conference.

Many were shocked that such a historically conservative denomination’s President would partner with such a grossly blasphemous cult, but held out hope that perhaps Floyd intended to employ the biblical mandate of leaders to rebuke the false and plead for repentance. (Titus 2:1, Titus 1:11). In discernment, one does not throw out years of solid labor when one potential misstep arises. One is patient, waits to see outcomes, prays, and hopes for the best though keeping their discernment radar tuned up. I was one of those hoping fervently that would be the case. Sadly, it wasn’t.

Floyd came out with guns blazing, firmly setting aside theological differences stating the obvious, that

“we do not agree on secondary matters of life, prayer or even the bible.” 

The Bible is a secondary issue? So with all those differences, many of them assuredly not secondary, why partner? Because, Floyd wants to pray. He wants a revival.

I’m not here tonight not to highlight our theological differences, but to bend my knee alongside you to pray…” R Floyd

One must ask the obvious, to whom does Mr Floyd expect an IHOP initiate to pray? What KIND of prayers are they praying? There is a right way to pray and a wrong way. Prayers can be wrong you know. The wrong people can pray them. And to which Jesus? A general call to the wicked to perform any kind of prayer does no good, because God will not hear any old prayers. (John 9:31, Proverbs 15:29). Praying to a made-up idol the false convert calls “Jesus” does no one any good and in fact does much harm.

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, (Isaiah 29:13)

But among the many words spoken by Mr Floyd at IHOP last night there is one thing I want to focus on. Mr Floyd’s pragmatic call. IHOPKC tweeted this:

“When it feels like the ship is sinking, everyone needs to grab a bucket..”—Ronnie Floyd, on unity in the Body of Christ #Onething2015

There was another one who thought the boat was sinking, but he was wrong.

And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. 38Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:37-38)

And what did Jesus say to them? HAVE YOU NO FAITH? (Mark 4:40). Mr Floyd, have you so little faith? The boat is not foundering.

Mr Floyd said that about the boat and the bucket at the beginning of his speech and it is a devastating indictment on everything a true Christian should stand for. We do not open the doors to one and all simply because ‘the times’ seems to call for drastic action. We do not display so little faith, as Jesus admonished. Here is why Mr Floyd’s appearance at One Thing, why his pragmatism is misguided, and why it is futile. Though of course we know the ship of state, the church of Jesus Christ is not sinking, do you know why it feels like it is?

Because of IHOP.
Because of false doctrine that Bickle promotes.
Because of the acceptance of an errant Bible and exalted personal revelations.

False doctrine always loads down the ship of state. Always. Our leaders are supposed to keep it out, guarding the deposit and teaching what accords with sound doctrine. They are not supposed to minimize, dismiss, and disregard theological differences.

IHOP is the reason the ship feels like it is sinking. (one of…)

When the ship of state feels like it is foundering that is because it is loaded down with sinners and their baggage of false doctrine. Mr Floyd, why did you load a piano in the canoe?

IHOPKC, welcome aboard, There’s plenty of room.

Mr Floyd’s pragmatic approach to prayer, revival, and doctrine is based on the reasoning that the times are so bad that we need all hands on deck to bail, even if those hands are unqualified, or even if there are stowaways whose passage has not been paid. (Romans 3:24)

The problem is, sinners’ buckets have holes in them. Sinners’ buckets won’t bail.

Captain Floyd:
Bail! Bail! The ship feels like it’s sinking!
O, why is it still sinking?

Our ship of state should be floating buoyantly, but to Floyd his ship is foundering. It’s an old problem. IHOPKC and the problem of partnering with them is not a new thing. Jeremiah spoke of leaky buckets in his day.

for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13)

Mr Floyd has left the fresh fountain of living water and drunk from a poisoned well which is leaking and leaching into the Body directly from places like IHOP. The IHOP people are broken cisterns because the walls of their cisterns are made of man’s bricks, having no foundation in Christ. Matthew Henry says of the Jeremiah verse:

They took a great deal of pains to hew themselves out cisterns, to dig pits or pools in the earth or rock which they would carry water to, or which should receive the rain; but they proved broken cisterns, false at the bottom, so that they could hold no water. When they came to quench their thirst there they found nothing but mud and mire, and the filthy sediments of a standing lake.

The disturbing lack of discernment in some of our high leaders of late is a sad testament to our witness. There’s John Piper, who seems to have forsaken any semblance of discernment at all. SBC’s Russell Moore visiting the Pope. Now the President of the SBC linking with outright heretics.

Is it too much to ask that our leaders adhere to biblical principles? That they lead in truth and courage? That they remain strong and not compromise? Apparently it is too much to ask. Apparently it is- for some. I still thank Mr Floyd for his years of service and continue to pray, this time altering my prayer to one that asks the Lord to move his feet away from the path of compromise and to give him a spirit of discernment. I praise God for the strong men of truth whose decades of witness does not have a false doctrine among them, men like MacArthur, Lawson, Begg, Ferguson, P Johnson, SL Johnson. Solid men like Lloyd-Jones, Barnhouse, Boice, Sproul.

Fifteen years ago John MacArthur preached:

They have entered upon what I suppose if we were living in Spurgeon’s time would be called a downgrade. Church is on a slippery slope, the evangelical church is progressing down away from the heights of truth and the honor of God. It is willingly abandoning its discernment, willingly abandoning bible exposition, and therefore a deep and accurate understanding of truth. In so doing it is moving away from what glorifies God, because what glorifies God is the exposition of scripture. 

At the heart of this is this tragic thing of embracing non-Christians as if they’re Christians; … Without a deep grasp of biblical truth there’s no discernment, and with no discernment then you just can’t tell who’s a Christian and who’s not, so Satan comes into the church, comes into the leadership, comes in to teach at colleges and teach at seminaries and write books and get on Christian TV, and on and on it goes. (source, bold mine)

The problem with what Mr Floyd did and said is not solely that he stood on that stage, partnering with Mr Bickle. That’s over and it’s done. The problem now is what is going to occur. He opened the floodgates. He affirmed non-Christians in their state of lostness, to their perhaps doom and to the faith’s detriment.

I am a Southern Baptist disappointed to the point of grief that our denomination’s president has done this. Yet this too shall pass (paraphrasing 2 Corinthians 4:17-18). Trumping my denominational affilition is the fact that I am a Christian in the Church that Christ is building. Men will fall, blind guides will guide, the pit will widen, false prophets will proclaim, and doctrine will be polluted. Yet Jesus is building a church that is sterling, beautiful, honed and ready. His church is TRUTH.

As a final thought, here is a 13-minute clip from S.Lewis Johnson expositing from Titus, and declares unequivocally how false teachers (like Bickle) should be treated. Please take a listen so as to refresh your mind and so in coming days you won’t get caught up in the blurred lines of compromise and believe that Mr Floyd’s parsed and careful words at IHOPKC One Thing Conference are really loving and truthful. They aren’t and they weren’t.

As for us who praise the Lord we still have discernment by His grace and by His grace have not wandered away from the narrow path of solid truth. He is the King, sovereignly holding His church in His hand.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

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Further Reading

The End Time: Have ye so little faith? SBC President Ronnie Floyd at IHOP, a discernment lesson

SBC Prez at IHOP: First Impressions

What is the International House of Prayer?

The Broad Brush: A biblical review of Mike Bickle, by Phil Johnson

The Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, a sermon that speaks directly to why the IHOP approach to Christianity is actually blasphemy.

Posted in false gods, false worship, idols, self-worship, truth

Rachel’s household gods, and worshiping idols

Pixabay, free to use

Worshiping false gods has always been a problem for mankind. God is one, there is but one God. (Isaiah 46:9, 1 Corinthians 8:6). Yet mankind insists on creating idols and gods made of stone and wood, idols which can do nothing. (Isaiah 41:29).

I am reading through Genesis. Because human nature is displayed honestly, there are many parts which sadden me. However, there is one which saddens me more than the others. When Jacob prepared to leave his father-in-law Laban, Rachel stole and hid the household idols to bring with her. The fact that household idols existed in a house of a man and his family who worshiped the one true God is a terrible thing. Had Jacob been lax in his duty to God in leading his family? Had Rachel become so enamored of the false god idols that she could not bear to leave them behind? Apparently so. Worse, when Laban came looking for his idols, knowing they had been stolen, Rachel pretended to be in the throes “of the way of women” so that she would not be asked to rise from her saddle so Laban could check her saddle bags. And of course that is where Rachel had hidden them. Her theft prompted a lie which devolved into a contention between her husband that in order to conclude, required a ritual covenant and witnessing of their relationship not to harm each other again.

Worshiping false gods never, ever leads to a betterment of the human spirit. It always leads to a worsening.

Here is a list of False gods that people in the Old Testament worshiped, sources MacArthur Study Bible and Bible Gateway.

Rachel’s household gods. (Genesis 31:19).
The golden calf at Sinai. (Exodus 32)
Nanna, the moon god of Ur, worshiped by Abraham prior to his salvation. (Joshua 24:2)
Asherah or Ashtaroth, the chief goddess of Tyre,referred to as the Lady of the Sea. (Judges 6:24-32).
Dagon, the chief Philistine Agriculture and sea god, father of Baal. (Judges 16:23-30; 1 Samuel 5:1-7).
Ashtoreth, a Canaanite goddess another consort of Baal. (1 Samuel 7:3-4).
Molech, the god of the Ammonites and the most horrible idol in the scriptures. (1 Kings 11:7; 2 Chronicles 28:14; 33:6).
The two golden images made by King Jeroboam, set up at the shrines of Dan and Bethel. (1 Kings 12:28-31).
Baal, the chief deity of Canaan. (1 Kings 18:17-40; 2 Kings 10:28, 11:18).
Rimmon, the Syrian god of Naaman the leper. (2 Kings 5:15-19).
Nisroch, the Assyrian god of Sennacherib. (2 Kings 19:37).
Nebo, the Babylonian god of wisdom and literature. (Isaiah 46:1).
Merodach, also called Marduk, the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon. (Jeremiah 50:2).
Tammuz, the husband and brother of Ishtar (Asherah) goddess of fertility. (Ezekiel 8:14).
The golden image in the plain of Dura. (Daniel 3).
Amon god of Thebes. (Jeremiah 46:25)
Baal-Zebub, a popular deity of the Philistines. (Mt 12:24, Lk 11:15; 2Ki 1:1-6, 16-17)
Chemosh, the chief god of Moab (1 Kings 11:7).

There is another idol that was brought to my mind. Moses was told by God to make the brazen serpent and lift it up, that anyone looking upon it would be saved from death by poisonous snake bite. The pole with the brazen snake was originally a good thing, a true God-given miracle. However, given the nature of humankind to transfer worship from the true God to false idols, by the time we read of Israel’s history in 2 Kings 18:4, the Israelites had made an idol of it and burned incense to it. The bronze snake had become an object of idolatrous worship, having transferred their affection from God in heaven to a bronze statue.

We remember the very first idol of all. The root-idol from which all OT idols flow (And NT idols) is self and that self-worship is expressed in pride. Pride- an evil which originated in heaven, and was transferred down to earth by the serpent. (Ezekiel 28:15; Genesis 3:1). Pride is the worship of one’s self, one’s ways, ideas, decisions. It is reliance on one’s self and not upon God. All idols are man-made and therefore all idol worship is really worship of self. (Psalm 115:4).

Pride is defined as “inordinate self-esteem.” Yet our esteem should be totally upon God, His Son and His Spirit. What have we to commend ourselves that we should esteem our selves so highly? Sin? Deceit? Perversion? Depravity? That is what is in us, without God. No, these things are not commendable at all, but condemnable.

Pride is viewed as a great evil because it involves pretending to a greatness and glory that belong rightly to God alone. The sinfulness of pride is condemned as evil 1Samuel 15:23; Proverbs 21:4; James 4:16 See also Mark 7:22-23; Romans 1:29-30; 2 Corinthians 12:20; 2 Timothy 3:1-2; 1 John 2:16. Manser, M. H. (2009). Dictionary of Bible Themes

One day our Holy God will destroy all idols and false gods!

And on that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. And also I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. (Zechariah 13:2).

and I will cut off your carved images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands; (Micah 5:13).

The LORD will be awesome against them; for he will famish all the gods of the earth, and to him shall bow down, each in its place, all the lands of the nations. (Zephaniah 2:11)

And in the time of the end of the end, when all the world is folded under the umbrella of one religion, worshiping the final false god through the whore of Babylon, God will destroy it.

For this reason her plagues will come in a single day, death and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who has judged her. (Revelation 18:8)

We are grateful for His deliverance to us His Son, the means by which we can and do believe which is the Spirit, and for the Father who is sovereign over all. We worship the one true God. May it never be so that we transfer our faith in Him even an inch, not even for an hour, to any man-made idol. Worshiping Him in righteousness is so much sweeter than tasting our own pride, depravity, and sin, which is always bitter. The sweetness of belief in God is unimaginably wonderful. Not that it’s easy, But trusting in and worshiping our One True God is sweet, because it is life itself!

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31).

Posted in discernment, ronnie floyd, southern baptist convention, truth

SBC President Ronnie Floyd, Featured Speaker at New Apostolic Reformation’s IHOP

My friend Pastor James Bell posted this on Facebook this morning.

IHOP– not pancakes! BUT… IHOP: International House of Prayer! IHOP HAS BEEN INDEXED AS A CULT by Multiple and Diverse Ministries. THAT FACT makes the following troubling: I read that Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd will be speaking at the IHOP’s (International House of Prayer’s) OneThing conference December 28-31.

IF FLOYD boldly exposes the serious false teaching of IHOP and of Romanism and calls them to repent– wonderful.

HOWEVER, he does not, Floyd will be teaming up with a group of charismatic mystics and Roman Catholic praise musician Matt Maher.

For example, Matt leads the “Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament” at Catholic Churches, such as Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Tempe which is devoted to Mary, “the Mother of Life.” The “Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament” refers to the worship of the consecrated host of the mass. Because of the supposed power of the Catholic mass to transform bread into the very body and blood of Jesus, the host is “adored” as Christ Himself.

The following is quoted from ‘Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry:

There are certainly many different theological distinctives in the Christian church, and many of us do differ. However, we do not go so far as to label each other cults or heretics. On the other hand, IHOP has been labeled dangerous, cultic, false, and heretical by many ministries, former members, apologetic groups, and godly men. In fact, other charismatic Christians have stood up to oppose them as well. A small listing of these groups include:

The Apologetics Index
Apologetics Resource Center
Critical Issues Commentary
Pastor Ernie Gruen (a Charismatic preacher) who was written a manuscript entitled “Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries).” Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries) is Mike Bickles former ministry prior to founding IHOP.
Pastor Bill Randles (a Pentecostal preacher) has written a book titled, “Weighed and Found Wanting.”
The Gospel Masquerade is a website created by a former staff member of IHOP.

All these resources are available in the references section. I especially recommend The Gospel Masquerade website, Pastor Gruen’s manuscript, and Pastor Randles’ book.

Conclusion: Though it may seem like a place that is on fire and passionate for God, this is simply not the case. Many of the people that do go there are sincere Christians, but they have been overcome by the lies and experiences they have there. In short, the people I have communicated with ignore the things above and simply hold on to what they have experienced and point the finger at me saying, “You don’t know about us.” 

Unfortunately I do know, and I hope this article persuades or helps you convince someone else who is going down a destructive path. It breaks my heart to see so many young people fall victim to this place and all the people who waste their lives and God-given talents to expand IHOP’s kingdom and not God’s Kingdom.

References
[1] http://www.ihop.org/Group/Group.aspx?ID=1000036203
[2] Randle, Bill. “Weighed and Found Wanting: The Toronto Experience Examined in the Light of the Bible. Cambridge, UK. 1996. http://www.apologeticsindex.org/docs/WeighedAndFoundWanting.pdf
[3] Gruen, Ernie. Documentation of the Aberrant Practices and Teachings of Kansas City Fellowship (Grace Ministries). Shawnee, KS. No date. http://www.deceptionbytes.com/AberrentDoctrinesKCF
[4] http://www.apologeticsindex.org/b56.html
[5] http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/CHAOS1.HTM
[6] http://signofjonah.wordpress.com/2006/07/13/ihop-and-cultural-influences
[7] http://www.pfo.org/growingpains.htm
[8] http://thepredestinedblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/ihop-manifesto.html
[9] http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue107.htm
[10] http://carm.org/centering-prayer
[11] The Lockman Foundation. New American Standard Bible. La Habra, CA. 1995.
[12] MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon. Chicago, IL. 1992.
[13] http://gospelmasquerade.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/contemplative-prayer-continued/

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Other people/organizations concerned with President Floyd’s appearance at IHOP’s OneThing convention are:

Michelle Lesley: SBC President Ronnie Floyd, Featured Speaker at New Apostolic Reformation’s IHOP

Lighthouse Trails Letter to the Editor: SBC President Ronnie Floyd to Speak At IHOP “Onething”

Berean Research: Southern Baptist Convention president to speak at IHOP-KC’s “Onething” gathering?

I know many people, pastors even, who are more aligned with and loyal to a denominational affiliation than with Jesus. However as Michelle Lesley says, “As a lifelong Southern Baptist it grieves me to have to report this, but if you’re Southern Baptist, you deserve to know and need to know what the president of your denomination is doing.” Personally, I had been proud to belong to a church which affiliates with the SBC but in recent years I have become saddened by the liberal drift, their intolerance for the Doctrines of Grace worse, their disdain for the people who believe in them, and the blatant acceptance of false doctrines and the people who bring them. Now this. I hope and pray that the reason Mr Floyd accepted the invitation is to speak the truth in love to the IHOP participants. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

However if Mr Floyd does not speak the Gospel to the IHOP participants at OneThing Convention, it will be terribly sad. It would mean that even the most conservative denominations err, as this incident shows us. Yet the encouraging thing is that we are SO GRACEFULLY BLESSED to have a Savior to whom we can look, and in whom there is no error, no lie, and no sin! We must keep looking to Jesus, even when favored teachers, pastors, or denominations fall. Jesus is the answer, He is the blessing that was given by God to the world, but the world received Him not. (John 1:10-11).

If you are saved today, saved from an eternity in hell separated from Jesus, then you have the truth and can continue looking to Him to remain solid in your doctrine. The lesson is, even men like Ronnie Floyd who has been a pastor for 38 years in a conservative denomination can drift away, so we must cling to the Rock. (And not make an idol of a denomination, as some have).

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. (Hebrews 2:1)

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Posted in children, encouragement, jesus, truth

Encore: Is Today the Day?

Re-post from 2011.

Is today that day that You will call for your church to heaven?
Is today that day You will present a bride to Your Son?
Is today the day You will deal with sin in the world?
Is today that day You will send another warning to the unrepentant?
Is today the day You will quicken the Spirit inside me to grow in Christlikeness?
Is today the day You will send the Spirit to draw my family to the cross?
Is today the day You will grow me in the spiritual fruits?
Is today the day You will chasten me, your child?
Is today the day You will send ministering angels to help me?
Is today the day You will give this land to Abraham and his offspring forever?
Is today the day You will bring Your people out from under the yoke of oppression?
Is today the day You will show Yourself in glory and power?

Today could be the day. For many of these, today IS the day. For others, soon will be the day. The Lord’s promises are true. They will be fulfilled. May His name be forever blessed.

Posted in offense, prophecy, truth

Evildoers are without hope. Let the truth offend, proclaim it boldly!

Yesterday was a day of horror. I read about the Chicago Theological Seminary’s endeavor at the Chicago Pride parade and I was sickened and knocked out of my senses by what a “Seminary” is doing in the name of Jesus.

The news headlines even constrained in a 140 character limit are too much to bear these days. Never mind absorbing full headlines and the actual news. I thought that Chicago Theological incident would likely be the worst thing I would read that day.

I was wrong.

The horror continued with the revealing of a secret video of a Planned Parenthood executive having a casual discussion about a monstrosity she regularly performs. And I’m not talking about abortion, monstrosity as well that is.

I begged the Lord to have mercy on us.

Then my thoughts turned to Him, our precious Savior who came to save us from our sins. He is so pure, holy, and sinless, and yet He is so long-suffering and patient. Because if I am having this reaction to some vile and revolting news, then what of Jesus? I praised Him in tearful prayer for His restraint, His patience, and His mercy. We’re offended, but every sin that happens under the sun is an offense to Him and against Him.

He said in Luke 12:49 NASB, I have come to cast fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled!

His fervency to punish the wicked and right the wrongs done to His Father boils within our Savior. Knowing this makes seeing His mercy and restraint all the more wonderful.

There will come a day when fire will consume evildoers. It is up to us to tell the Good News until that Day. For many millions and billions are living daily in complete offense to God. They have no hope. Meanwhile, His anger builds.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

Political correctness cannot allow us to water down the message any more. There is a burning necessity of being bold and proclaiming the word in truth. Sinners need Jesus so badly, and we have only had a minor glimpse of the horrors of sins previously unrevealed and you can be sure there are worse to come. And this is with the Restrainer on earth. (2 Thessalonians 2:6)

In the end,
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. (Luke 12:2).

I’m glad that by then we will be glorified and can take the amount of sin that is going to be revealed on the Day of Judgment in Wrath. But until then, my concern is for sinner of course, but my first thought (and yours should be) is of Jesus. We sin against Him and Him alone. (Psalm 51:4). His patience in enduring against these offenses Him is monumental.

If nothing else, the news should fire up Christians to evangelize in boldness. This is why:

Posted in bible, boat, galilee, truth

Jesus taught from the boat

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Jesus taught from the boat…

Water carries sound and it amplifies it. The crowds were so crushing that in order to even have space, Jesus launched into one of the sailboats (not a dinghy as depicted above, lol) and He spoke to the crowds. Note, He was sitting, they were standing, indicting His important presence.

Were they thirsting for the truth from the Living Waters? Or were they rubberneckers hoping for a personal miracle? Both. We know the end of the story, most people turned out to be rubberneckers only out to see the latest thing in Galilee. Most of these same people eventually rejected Him. (Mark 6:4-5).

What a momentous occasion on that shore! To be present and taught directly by God Himself. We are blessed, we believers in this present Church Age. We have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us these things. This Spirit will never leave us.

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. (John 16:7)

The blessings from our Lord are manifold, beginning with our indwelled Spirit, and His word which was later written down at the inspiration of His Spirit. Study His word today, worship Him by praising Him for those words, and bless Him by being obedient to them. He is a gracious and magnificent God, who taught His sheep from the boat.