Posted in theology

They crept in

By Elizabeth Prata

For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4).

For context, Jude is opening his letter by saying he’d wanted to speak of the faith and their common salvation, but must change his intended topic to one of discernment. He warned against false teachers in the next verses, including the one above.

There are so many parts to this verse to explore and chew on. Today, let’s look at the first phrase, ‘certain people have crept in unnoticed’. The question is, WHY was it unnoticed? Why didn’t the people notice the false teachers among them? It all starts with destructive heresies, ungodly men creeping in unnoticed. And why aren’t they noticed?

Because Christians today all too often fail to be familiar with the real thing, foregoing Bible study, quiet time, prayers, and worship, so that when the counterfeit shows up, being only subtly different from the Truth, it goes unnoticed.

Where do they creep into? They creep into houses, as was the custom of that day, and today, by television or podcast or books. They creep into the church as a tare. They creep in to the ministry as a false teacher. They creep in, and the majority of the population of the place are unaware.

At night, especially if you live in the south, or in a city apartment building in the north, cockroaches scamper about. While you sleep, they creep in to your cupboards and nibble on your food. They scuttle in, while you are sleeping unaware. They come out at night to eat and cavort over your clean counters, they creep in and you don’t notice them…until one day you spot a dropping. And another day another dropping, then a pile of droppings. Likening false teachers to cockroaches is an apt metaphor.

They creep in, they are unwelcome, they hide as long as they can, until the putrid fruit of their presence is detected. Southerners, knowing the frequency with which cockroaches like to invade, will protect the house. They have regular pest control measures. Do you want cockroaches crawling over your baby as he sleeps sweetly in the crib? Of course not! So protective measures are taken to keep the house free of pests.

So it should be with churches. Jude is a protective measure, dispensing wisdom from experience and a purity of truth from the Holy Spirit

Peter also is a protective measure against the pestilence of false teaching and the people who bring it. There is a parallel verse to Jude,

But false prophets also appeared among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1).

Barnes’ Notes on Peter’s verse: “[T]here were artful and wicked men who had crept into the church, pretending to be religious teachers, but whose doctrines tended to sap the very foundations of truth. The apostle Peter, describing these same persons, says, “who privily shall bring in damnable heresies.” See the notes, 2 Peter 2:1. Substantially the same idea is expressed here by saying that they “had crept in unawares;” that is, they had come in “by stealth;” they had not come by a bold and open avowal of their real sentiments. They professed to teach the Christian religion, when in fact they denied some of its fundamental doctrines; they professed to be holy, when in fact they were living most scandalous lives. In all ages there have been men who were willing to do this for base purposes.”

They creep in, and insinuate themselves into the minds and hearts of their prey. The prey, (us), are unaware they are being devoured by a predator, and when discovered can’t believe the wolf is really a wolf. “But he’s so nice!” they say. “She helped me!” they cry. “It can’t be true!” and they disbelieve this person or that certain person is really false. Like kudzu, overnight the tentacles have grown and clung on. Disentangling now is unworkable and difficult.

Meanwhile, as Barnes mentioned, what are the ‘base purposes’ for which they have crept in? We know one of them is greed. (2 Peter 2:3, 2 Corinthians 2:17). They have other appetites they want to satiate, too. (Romans 16:18). Whatever their base desires, they are immoral. Greed, lust, fame, pride…whatever it is that the false teacher seeks, they find it by preying on unwary Christians. They peddle His word for dishonest gain. They contradict holy precepts and upright living required by God of His people and especially of His ministers.

Too often we forget we are in a war. With all the talk of winsomeness and seekers and love…we forget that we give sin no quarter. We kill it. We forget that there are active and present enemies out to kill US, to draw us away, or to pollute our souls, or to deceive us. The enemy wants to destroy our witness. He wants to do anything against Christ that he can, and will stop at nothing short of God’s own boundaries to get it done.

We slay sin, we tear down philosophies, we anathematize false teachers. Those are fighting words. So, dear sister, fight!

EPrata painting

Posted in theology

Jackie Hill Perry comes out as a ‘prophet’

By Elizabeth Prata

Jackie Hill Perry (JHP) is the latest platformed/celebrity teacher to come out and claim that she hears directly from God. She was hesitant at first to claim this, she wrote on Twitter, because the saints “get weird” when you state such things.

[For good reason, says this saint].

Jackie Hill Perry

But she felt confident enough at last to come out and say that God prophetically deals with her through dreams. She quotes what God has allegedly said, and claims that he has given her information about other people for whom she has interceded. Like Moses, I guess. He had told her the gender of her baby. Like Mary and Zechariah, I guess, who had an angel sent to tell about their baby. Oops, but JHP must be higher up on the totem pole, because God didn’t send just an angel to JHP, but ‘God’ HIMSELF told her it would be a boy.

Her thread is here in Thread Reader Unroll, and it is also below:


I really be wanting to share how the Lord deals with me prophetically but the Saints get weird about stuff like that.

Ok ok. I’ll say this. God primarily deals with me in dreams. I’ve been enlightened, warned, and led to intercede for others through them. But lately, I’ve had an increase of “inner unctions” by the Spirit, that arise in prayer, about people I know and don’t know. It’s deep. 

At the beginning of my walk, I was in a Pentecostal church that gave me room and space to explore this part of myself but after leaving, I haven’t embraced the prophetic out loud as much. Out of fear mainly. But God really does speak to and through His church and I love it. 

One scenario I’ve told folks out loud is how the Lord (through an inner knowing/unction) told me I’d have a son in 2019. Got pregnant w/another girl in 2020 and I was thrown because I was KNEW what God said but I just chunked it up to me being off… 

After I had Sage, we scheduled Preston’s vasectomy because I had no intention of having 4 kids. The night before it, I had a dream that I was holding a boy that was “half dead”. Not because he was dying but because he was being kept from life. As I held him, I felt fear… 

and literally, in the dream, God said “Do you trust me to have a fourth child?” I told the dream to Preston, who’d also had a similar one, we canceled the vasectomy and a few months later, I was pregnant with…a boy. I say all of that to say, we serve a LIVING and SPEAKING God. 

Before this moment I said to myself “If I don’t see blue powder, I’m a false prophet and I’m never claiming to hear from God again.” 

I have yearssssss worth of stories. Not even primarily about me either. God has placed me around a lot of prophetic people and trust me, if you get you some friends that are sensitive to the Spirit, life will forever be interesting.

end JHP Twitter comment


Let’s put this in a larger context than just ‘tsk tsk another one is going out from us’. Which in itself is worthy to note and very sad. There are four points here, maybe more but I want to address these four.

First, let us define terms. JHP uses the word “unction.” It’s an old-fashioned word meaning anointing.

UNCTION—(1 John 2:20, 27; R.V., “anointing”). Kings, prophets, and priests were anointed, in token of receiving divine grace. All believers are, in a secondary sense, what Christ was in a primary sense, “the Lord’s anointed.” Defined in Easton’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature (p. 679).

We see the word used in 1 John 2:20. “But you have an anointing [unction] from the Holy One, and you all know.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible: But ye have an unction from the Holy One – The apostle in this verse evidently intends to say that he had no apprehension in regard to those to whom he wrote that they would thus apostatize, and bring dishonor on their religion. They had been so anointed by the Holy Spirit that they understood the true nature of religion, and it might be confidently expected that they would persevere. The word “unction” or “anointing” (χρίσμα chrisma) means, properly, “something rubbed in or ointed;” oil for anointing, “ointment;” then it means an anointing. The allusion is to the anointing of kings and priests, or their inauguration or coronation, (1 Samuel 10:11 Samuel 16:13Exodus 28:41Exodus 40:15; compare the notes at Matthew 1:1); and the idea seems to have been that the oil thus used was emblematic of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit as qualifying them for the discharge of the duties of their office. Christians, in the New Testament, are described as “kings and priests,” Revelation 1:6Revelation 5:10, and as a “royal priesthood” 1 Peter 2:51 Peter 2:9; and hence they are represented as “anointed,” or as endowed with those graces of the Spirit, of which anointing was the emblem.

So in fact, believers are ALL anointed. We ALL have ‘unction’. But we do not have special, direct revelation as JHP claims she possesses.

Now to JHP’s claims and my points-

  1. JHP mentions her first “knowing” from God, calling it unction. But it was wrong. The first time, she “knew” she’d have a boy, but it was a girl. If her knowing was from God, then JHP does not address how or why God failed to deliver the correct information. According to Deuteronomy 18:22, this alone would be enough to disqualify her from prophetic service (which expired in the Apostolic age, anyway).
  2. JHP mentions she has been hesitant to reveal her uncommon relationship with God, though it has been going on for many years, because the “saints get weird”. But note that now she feels comfortable to admit it. This is an indictment on the church and on husbands both of whom are supposed to have strong hedges against false doctrine. If a false prophet feels comfortable enough to reveal her revelations, it is not only the false prophet to blame, but her followers who have heaped her up (2 Timothy 4:3) and a weak church that lacks both discernment and discipline to maintain that hedge.
  3. This is the other #MeToo Movement- “I hear from God too.” It is becoming a scourge. Numerous women with large platforms are running around waving prophecies, predictions, and revelations from a God they obviously don’t know, but still are deceiving many. (Matthew 7:15). Birds of a feather flock together, (1 Corinthians 15:33), so more and more women feel secure enough to add their voice to the clamor. Because, who’s going to rebuke them? No one, it seems.
  4. Claiming private revelations displays a lack of discernment, declares the Bible insufficient, and makes the even ground at the cross among the saints a two-tiered hierarchy between those who hear God and those who don’t. It leaves them all open to accepting errant theology.

All of the above is a huge problem in the church. John MacArthur has said several times over the years that the greatest issue in the church is lack of discernment. This leads to biblical illiteracy, which in turn leads to false doctrines creeping in. Here is MacArthur:

Another way to approach the subject would be to ask the question, “What is the greatest need? People ask me this all the time, “What’s the greatest need in the church today? What is the most compelling need? What do you see as the biggest problem in Christianity, the biggest problem in the church? It’s simple for me to answer that. The biggest problem in the church today is the absence of discernment. It’s a lack of discernment. It’s the biggest problem with Christian people. They make bad choices. They accept the wrong thing. They accept the wrong theology. They are prone to the wrong teaching. They’re unwise in who they follow, what they listen to, and what they read. SOURCE


Ladies, God is living and He is speaking, but He speaks through His word, not in dreams telling you the gender of your baby, and other ‘unctions’ as claimed. We “get weird” because it’s false. Please do not feel left out if you also don’t hear from God as these other women claim. There are a lot of them, not just the fringe ones at the crazy edge of the faith, but women in the so-called conservative fold, like Jennie Allen (founder of IF:Gathering), Joanna Gaines (of Magnolia everything), Beth Moore (formerly of SBC & Lifeway), Sarah Young (of Jesus Calling), Priscilla Shirer (of the movie War Room), JHP, and many others. God spoke in His word through His Son. The same Son who descended from glory to live a perfect life on our behalf, die excruciatingly on the cross, be buried in a stinky tomb, and raised again to be ascended to the Father. Isn’t that enough? The Bible is enough.

When you claim the prophetic voice you hear is from God, you are saying “the Bible is not enough. I need more.” It’s as simple as that.

What can WE do?

  1. Pray for JHP that the Lord would graciously deliver her back to her right mind.
  2. Pray for ourselves that the Lord would graciously keep us in our right mind and away from deceiving lusts and false doctrine.
  3. Keep reading the word of God. It’s the only weapon against wolves and their doctrines of demons.
  4. Be brave. Brave enough to point out false doctrine when it comes your way. Don’t be afraid of the “Tone Police” as Phil Johnson expertly encourages here (start at 22:40, sermon is aptly called “Fortitude“).

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matthew 7:15

Yet in the same way these people also, dreaming, defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak abusively of angelic majesties. Jude 1:8

In this 9-minute video Spencer Smith opines about Jackie Hill Perry’s recent rejection of the American Gospel documentary and where she regrets her participation in it. (Sure enough we regret your participation in it, too!). Smith also opines about his bemusement as to why JHP was included in the first place, lol. His opinions were insightful to me. (Disclaimer: I do not know who Spencer Smith is, nor have I vetted the body of his work, but I liked and agreed with this particular video).

FURTHER RESOURCES

Does God speak to us audibly?

Beware of false teachers

The miraculous gifts have ceased

Posted in theology

This is the truth of how it works with false teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

For the time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, 2 Timothy 4:3.

The verse says that they, meaning professing Christians, will refuse sound doctrine. Instead, they will heap up teachers to suit their passions…so, Jesus raises up an Osteen for those who want to suit their easy life, no speaking of sin passions; a Beth Moore for those who want to indulge their usurping passions, a Kenneth Copeland or Joyce Meyer for those who want to indulge greedy passions, and so on.

Far from being innocent victims of false teachers, followers of false teachers are guilty in their intentional accumulation of them to suit their desires. False teachers would not exist if people subdued their ungodly lusts and submitted themselves to God. Instead, He raises up people like a Beth Moore so that those who do have ungodly passions will be drawn to her. He raises up a Benny Hinn so that those who want attention and fame through false healing will suit their ungodly desire and it will become evident where their heart is. And it’s not a heart that tolerates sound doctrine. A false teacher exists to scratch their wicked itch.

What does a false teacher get out of it? Indulgence in his or her own ungodly passions- money, fame, attention, whatever it is in their heart that needs to perpetuate this appearance of Godliness, though they deny its power. (2 Timothy 3:5).

It’s a symbiotic relationship made in hell, the worm and the serpent, intertwined, rolling around on the stubble, indulging their wickedness in the name of Jesus. Woe to them all.

Photo by Milo Weiler on Unsplash
Posted in dscernment, false teacher, joel osteen

Joel Osteen’s evil gospel

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible tells us that there will be false teachers, wolves and heretics. They have malintent, in other words, they want to do you and your church harm. They aren’t simply misguided or temporarily misunderstanding kind people, they are predators out to get you.

They “will secretly introduce destructive heresies,” 2 Peter 2:1
They “distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them”. (Acts 20:30b)
They are “rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception” (Titus 1:10b)
They “are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good”. (Titus 1:16b)

They have an agenda of purposeful deception, (Acts 20:30) and their motive for this deception is dishonest gain. (1 Timothy 6:5).

Continue reading “Joel Osteen’s evil gospel”
Posted in theology

Where are all the discerning women?

By Elizabeth Prata

It is a good question and it’s timely. When I talk with the younger women in the faith who seek and apply discernment, they acknowledge that it’s hard to really trust anybody (without doing significant pre-vetting before buying a book, subscribing to a podcast, liking on social media, etc). I was asked just this week ‘who is out there that we can trust?’ (Note: not blind trust, discerning trust).

It’s a grief to ask this question because it’s a grief to see friends and even women we don’t know follow false female teachers. (Or any false teacher). Won’t it be a relief and a joy in the eternal state with no sin and perfect trust in all whom we meet! Until that day, we must ask the question, ‘Where are all the discerning women?’

When I was brought to a Beth Moore Living Proof weekend I mourned over the tens of thousands of women filling the arena and the picture of all of them adoring Moore haunts me today. We ask the question not because we’re smarter than anyone else, frankly, many of us discerners have a woeful tale of having squandered time in sanctification because we followed the wrong crowd or teacher. It’s one of the reasons we’re so fervent about being discerning. (I myself followed Joel Osteen for over a year at the start of my walk!). It’s because we have been graced with a spiritual gift that allows us to spot false teachers (and good teachers).

The Holy Spirit dispenses gifts as He pleases. (1 Corinthians 12:11). One of them is “distinguishing between spirits” (1 Corinthians 12:10) known in modern times as discernment. The people given this spiritual gift in the global body, operating within local churches, are the church’s early warning system.

There are discerning women out there putting out great material in blogs, papers, lectures, studies, and podcasts. Michelle Lesley, DebbieLynne Kespert, The Woman’s Hope podcast co-hosts Dr Shelbi Cullen & Kimberly Cummings, Lauren Hereford of Tulips & Honey (and Facebook group here), Susan Heck, Amy Spreeman, Allie Beth Stuckey, and others. But admittedly, the field is narrow and more full of false teachers.

Recently a young woman asked me to recommend any good Christian books by Godly women or about Godly women. I turned to Banner of Truth books because I know Iain Murray had written a short bio of Amy Carmichael and Banner of Truth had also published the bio of Selina Countess of Huntingdon. Banner of Truth lists 293 authors. Fourteen were women, comprising 4% of the list, if that gives you any idea of the ratio of solid male theologians to female. I believe this ratio holds in the wider global church, too, given the number of false women teachers we see running around.

So the question Where are all the the discerning women? is a good one.

Posted in theology

The incident in the Garden instructs us about false teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

Genesis 3. Ohhh, Genesis 3. We all know that was the Fall of man at the prompting of satan-serpent. Satan spoke, Eve listened, Adam joined, and here we are.

This century is full of rampant false teachers, false prophets, false teaching, and heterodox doctrine. If you picture the church as a boy’s room and he knocks over his ant farm, ants crawling everywhere and hard to catch them all, you have the idea.

The Bible gives us much information that these days would come. (2 Timothy 3:1-5). It’s OK, God prepared us ahead. We are not unaware of satan’s schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11). Except, some people are unaware of his schemes. It’s up to us to help those who are weaker, unaware, or in danger. (1 Thessalonians 5:14, Jude 1:23). So pastors, teachers, people with the gift of discernment, speak out.

I recently wrote about Beth Moore, posing the question “Is Beth Moore possessed?” I personally believe she is. Others don’t. Either way, most of the people in my sphere know she is a false teacher, doing damage. My question roused a great many people who shared their opinions on social media. The week taught me two things: first, that the state of discourse is deplorable among professing Christians. Many of those people should be embarrassed at their publicly hateful and unchristian rejoinders. I wrote about the state of discourse here.

Secondly, it demonstrated the depth of the need to continue exhorting against false teachers. We need to keep promoting the value and importance of discernment, and to continue to help those who are under deception. Several comments I received that were frequently repeated need addressing. They were: Beth Moore (or whoever) cannot be a false teacher because she hasn’t denied Jesus (2 Peter 2:1, Jude 1:4). Beth Moore (or whoever) can’t be false because she talks about Jesus so much.

Genesis 3 opens with this statement:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. (Genesis 3:1). God wanted us to know that this is the first thing to know about satan. The word crafty is also translated cunning or subtle.

It would not be subtle for a false teacher to go around saying “I deny Christ. Let me teach you the Bible”. No, satan’s more subtle than that.

See the scene in the garden. Satan first cast uncertainty on what Eve knew by asking it in the form of a question, forcing her to defend God while simultaneously planting a seed of doubt. He also phrased it in a sincere attitude, as most false teachers do. They do not care about you, they only care about money. But satan was crafty and came across as friendly. “Hath God said?” …

Secondly, satan mixed truths, half-truths, and outright lies in his conversation. So do false teachers.

You will not surely die‘ is a flat out lie. Adam and Eve died physically eventually but they died spiritually on the spot.

Your eyes will be opened: this is truth. He just omitted the consequences. But do we really need something extra to open our eyes? False teachers often add to the Bible by promising secret knowledge, a perfect method, an experience. The Spirit’s illuminating ministry already opened our eyes. Do we want our eyes opened, or isn’t the Bible enough? Eve’s eyes were already opened, having a perfect one-on-one relationship with perfect God and with her perfect husband.

You will know good and evil is also a total truth. But do we want to know evil? Only satan is subtle enough to suggest that knowing evil is a good thing, that it’s something that you should want.

You will be like God is a lie. Only God is like God. There is none like Him. (Isaiah 46:9).

You notice that after encountering satan in the serpent, Eve’s perspective shifted. Suddenly she wanted to know evil. (!) She wanted the fruit for food (even though hunger was alien to her). She wanted to be wise, even though she lacked for no knowledge. Eve lacked nothing. But after speaking with the serpent, she suddenly had sensations she’d never had before; hunger, desire, yearning, jealousy. Satan incites us to desire things we never knew we wanted. He draws us away from contentment.

That is what false teachers do. A good and true teacher of the Word leaves you feeling full, knowing Jesus more, loving Him better, understanding sin more deeply. A false teacher leaves you hungry, yearning, and discontent.

We don’t assess a false teacher solely on how we feel, it’s never appropriate to do that even for good reasons. The point here is that encountering satan in the form of His false teachers will shift your perspective, move you from the seat of contentment to one of discontent, and incite yearning, desire for fleshly lusts, and other spiritually damaging things that all take the focus away from God.

Eve suddenly saw the fruit was good, not God. She saw evil was desirable to know about, not God. She saw the tree was a delight to the eyes, not God. In all those subtle ways, satan (and his false teachers) deny Jesus. Here is Barnes’ Notes on 2 Peter 2:1, when false teachers deny the Lord:

This must mean that they held doctrines which were in fact a denial of the Lord, or the tendency of which would be a denial of the Lord, for it cannot be supposed that, while they professed to be Christians, they would openly and avowedly deny him. To “deny the Lord” may be either to deny his existence, his claims, or his attributes; it is to withhold from him, in our belief and profession, anything which is essential to a proper conception of him.

Source

And here is Barnes’ notes on Jude 1:4, denying the Lord,

It cannot be supposed that they openly and formally did this, for then they could have made no pretensions to the name Christian, or even to religion of any kind; but the meaning must be, that “in fact” the doctrines which they held amounted to a denial of the true God, and of the Saviour in his proper nature and work.

Source

Jesus is too precious to deny, either flatly as atheists and pagans do, or functionally, by teaching or accepting teaching that offers a different Jesus. A substituted Jesus is no Jesus at all. The word of God is sure, infallible, inerrant, and the only truth we can cling to with security, to do good work in His name. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Posted in discernment, theology

My friend listens to false teachers and goes to events where there are false teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

The false teachers and events draw many thousands of people. I was astounded in 2011, when attending a Beth Moore Living Proof Weekend event, 20,000 women filled the stadium. The pillars shook with thunderous applause when she walked out on stage. Yet the teaching was completely ‘Me-centered’. We didn’t learn about God when Moore ‘taught’ from Deuteronomy, we learned about Beth Moore.

Charismatic healing or prosperity events often fill huge amphitheaters, for example, the South Africa Mighty Men events Angus Buchan hosts or the Benny Hinn ‘healing’ events seen around the world Continue reading “My friend listens to false teachers and goes to events where there are false teachers”

Posted in discernment, theology

What to listen for in a (false) teacher

By Elizabeth Prata

False Teachers (as are politicians) are selling something. Will you buy?

It was a startling moment when at the October 2019 Truth Matters Conference, in reply to interviewer Todd Friel’s query to answer in one or two words to the name Beth Moore, John MacArthur forthrightly said “go home”.  Even more startling is when he likened her and her ilk to hucksters selling jewelry on TV. (video here). It was true and thus it was a relief to hear.

False teachers are selling something. They have to. The holy Spirit isn’t in or behind their words propelling them into hearts and minds, so in order to get their message across, false teachers have to resort to sales language. Sales language appeals to the flesh. Continue reading “What to listen for in a (false) teacher”

Posted in discernment, theology

The past week(s) have been tough but the future looks bright

By Elizabeth Prata

These past couple of weeks have been rough in our corner of the church. Rachel Held Evans’ passing caused so much grief for her followers and her detractors alike. The display of hatred and bitterness of her followers came after, toward anyone daring to speak a word against their prophetess (their words). It was hard to watch.

Then there was Beth Moore’s craven yet politically manipulative comment that she is preaching on Sunday at a church for Mother’s day and followers of THAT false prophetess came out of the woodwork to proclaim their glee in doing the same, even at Southern Baptist Convention churches, whose statement of faith had traditionally rejected this kind of activity.

Then there was Owen Strachan’s piece biblically outlining why a woman preaching the sermon in church is forbidden by God, and Moore’s self-serving rebuttal to it, her rising anger displayed wantonly for all to see, along of course, with her many followers yapping at Stachan’s heels for his daring to speak against their prophetess.

I’ve only mentioned two women but their combined following just on Twitter alone topped one million people. And their blogs, events, book sales have much greater reach than that, sadly. A huge segment of the western Christian world have been impacted in some way by just those two teachers.

So, it’s been turbulent on social media this week. It reminded me of the Riot at Ephesus where the idol Artemis was enshrined in one of the ancient world’s largest temples, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World in fact. Paul’s Gospel preaching started to have an impact, and the merchandise sales began to decline. A silversmith named Demetrius made silver shrines of Artemis and brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. He claimed that Paul was “leading the people astray”.

The Riot in Ephesus Acts 19:23-27
23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. 24 A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25 He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26 And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27 There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”

Notice that Demetrius twice mentioned his business and twice mentioned the goddess Artemis. But notice the order. He first was concerned about his business, both times. Then he mentioned the goddess and worship.

In any case, the people were gullible and became, as the verse says, “furious.” The Greek word for this fury is ‘thumos’. Strong’s concordance explains:

2372 thymós (from thyō, “rush along, getting heated up, breathing violently,” – properly, passion-driven behavior, i.e. actions emerging out of strong impulses (intense emotion). When thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage, personal venting of anger.

That rage, that passionate personal wrath, is what we saw from RHE followers, from Beth Moore followers, and Beth Moore herself.

At Ephesus, the people filled the arena and shouted in unison for about two hours: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”

That is stunning. The theater there could hold up to 25,000 spectators. You know how loud it gets when just the school gymnasium at school is filled for a pep rally with a few hundred students, and everyone is stomping on the bleachers. Imagine thousands upon thousands of people creating a ruckus and shouting in unholy fury. It’s also stunning that they did it for two hours. That kind of shouting and rage is difficult to maintain at those intense levels. It seems that satanically inspired fury can be maintained for that length of time with no problem.

I liken the ruckus of social media over Rachel Held Evans’ death and Beth Moore’s tweet as similar to the riot at Ephesus; intense, rage filled, sustained, with the followers of those false teachers claiming that those trying to bring the truth were leading them astray. But at the root of it is money. It always is.

The lesson here in looking to that passage of scripture in Acts is that we should never doubt the intense love people have for their idols and the lengths to which they will go to protect and defend them. Never underestimate the power that greed has over those who teach falsely, for their motivation is money. (2 Peter 2:3). Don’t miscalculate the wrath that those in the cottage industries surrounding the idol and financially benefiting from the idol will go to preserve their income. Always remember that those who follow false teachers, false gods, and idols will say that anyone bringing the truth is actually lying and leading the people astray.

It’s been an upsetting week, many people doing and saying unpalatable things. I don’t know the Lord’s reason for ordaining RHE’s number of days to end at 13,505 or why He is allowing Beth Moore to continue polluting the church and blaspheming His name into her 60th year. His will be done. The good news is that we have glory to look forward to. We will sing and worship in truth and unity, with not one blot, not one jot, not one tittle of falsity anywhere. No false teachers will skulk in any corner, no false prophetess will lead anyone astray, and no merchandising of the people will ever happen. Glory will be sparkling pure, clean, and wholesome.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

5And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 6And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. 7The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.” (Revelation 21:1-7)

glory