zach

 

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

There is a saying which states that “Moral failure comes at a price”. Never have words to such a degree could be any more true than those. In the past few years, the church has seen the rise (and then utter fall) of some of today’s popular Charismatic leaders. Yet scandal, be it immoral scandal, unethical scandal, or even criminal scandal within the church is not new, still, it lingers today as something which we who are in the body of Christ must deal with from time to time.

Even in times past, the church has dealt with pastoral scandal. From the early beginnings of the Pentecostal movement, good men have fallen into the area of moral failure. History recounts the names of some of the movements prominent leaders, preachers of the gospel, who by their own weakness, succumbed to the temptations of their flesh. The result was humiliation, embarrassment and ultimately a loss of confidence in many of these men and women. In the past 30 years, the body of Christ witnessed one particular period of time in the late 1980’s where several known and popular television evangelists fell into moral degradation, and once again the church was forced to defend the body from spiritual betrayal.

When it comes to spiritual accountability, there can be no moral compass other than the word of God. It is the word of God which guides us all in our conduct as well as our character. When questions linger over how one should behave within their specific calling, we always go to scripture for the answers as scripture always trumps the wisdom of men, and for good reason, men are eager to manipulate the word to suit their own ideas, their own political or religious agenda, this is why the Bible is to be regarded as the final authority – because it is.

In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 the apostle Paul gives young Timothy strict qualifications when it comes to the role of a pastor, or basically, someone who is in the faith, needs to meet these narrow guidelines when desiring or occupying this office. Paul states that a pastor must meet several certain criteria, and they are:

1. They must be blameless in conduct. The Greek word here for “blameless” means  anepileptos, which means to be inculpable, unrebukeable. The idea that Paul was affirming is that the person who stands in the role of pastor, or who desires to seek this calling and believes God has called them to such office, must be someone who has not soiled themselves with such defamation within the body since the cross (the moment of salvation). That he should be one, who is so before men, and has not been guilty of any notorious and flagitious crime; and particularly, is not chargeable with the vices hereafter mentioned or hinted at. Anyone who fails to meet such a requirement fails to meet the challenges this calling brings.

2. Husband of one wife – not someone who is given into multiple marriages.

3. Vigilant

4. Sober

5. Of good behavior

6. Given to hospitality

7. Apt to teach

8. Not given to alcohol

9. Not a quarreler, someone who is ill tempered.

10. Not greedy of money.

11. Patient

12. Not a brawler.

13. Not given to covetous.

14. Ruler of his own house.

15. Not a novice.

16. Someone of GOOD report. This person has a good name, a respected name outside the body of Christ (secular world), meaning, they do not have a name which is despised, scoffed at, ridiculed, mocked or tarnished.

The question that remains to be answered is whether a pastor guilty of such sin be restored? Paul echoed in Titus 1:1-8 once again that there were qualifications for someone to occupy that particular role of pastor, as well as remain in that place of leadership. Paul told young Titus that above all things he had mentioned, blameless was one of the top traits a pastor must have when occupying that role.

Sadly, many within the church have literally forsaken the qualifications that Paul established and instead, they have adopted another form of qualifications for leadership. This is why Paul told Titus in 1:5 “This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—” The reason why Paul sent Titus into Crete, is due to some within the early church doing things which God did not desire nor intend. much like today.

It must be understood by all that there can be no deviation from the word, not by popular opinion, not by new doctrine or teaching, not by another’s interpretation, it must be by the word. The reason why we must not deviate from this is because of the heavy responsibility God has entrusted us to lead the church in these last days. Whenever a particular man of God falls into error, be it doctrinal error, or moral error, the outcomes always leave the body of Christ wounded, hurt, tarnished and betrayed. It cannot be excused simply as an act of human error, it must be addressed for what it is – sin.

So, can a man who has failed into disrepute be restored back into that particular office? It truly depends on both the nature of the failure and ultimately it has to do with scripture. Paul made it clear not only in 1 Timothy, but also Galatians as well as Titus that being “blameless” has more to do with the price for failure and subsequently, how we deal with someone’s moral lapse in character.

The pastor is not just one who protects and disseminates sound doctrine, but he also serves as a moral example to the church. This is an individual who has a proven track record of good, moral living and gentle, yet firm, leadership in the family setting. The reasons are obvious: How can a man whose moral character is questionable exhort and rebuke others into holy living? This doesn’t mean that a pastor can never, ever commit a sin, but an elder should be the very model of a repentant sinner when the occasion calls for it. When a pastor falls, the entire body feels the affects of that failure. It is not just the man who must carry the weight or burden for their action, the entire church itself must come to the aid of others who were personally hurt or affected by a particular leaders error.

Some would point to Galatians 6:1 in the defense of bringing an individual back into leadership from a sinful event, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” Yet if one notices what Paul is speaking about here, he is not referring to leadership, he is strictly referring to restoration back into Christ.

Some would suggest that how can we preach Christ and forgiveness and not restore someone back into the calling? While the cross is the one and only measure by which we all must seek, it must be clearly understood that full and total restoration can often times be hindered by the measure of a man’s failure. To be more straight forward, depending on someone’s failure in the pulpit, sometimes the scandal, the name is so tarnished among the people, both inside the church as well as outside the church, that sometimes in those rare occasions, that complete restoration back into the office of pastor is simply not possible, simply because too much has been lost. There comes a point we must weigh the burden of a man’s name and reputation against the sheep who would be at risk. In other words, the price for someone’s failure, might be too high to be restored fully that others would place any genuine trust ever again, for that trust had been broken beyond repair.

There is a price for failure. There is a price for sin. When sin is great, when the nature of sin is insurmountable, then complete and full restoration within the role of pastor is not possible. This once again is backed up by the word of God where a man must be blameless. Some would quickly point to David, King of Israel and his many failures, but understand two (2) things, 1. David was appointed King by God. Had God removed David from the throne at this particular time, Israel’s enemies would come against all of Israel and it would have divided the kingdom. 2. David paid for his moral failure by the death of his son which he created with Bathsheba. God’s word which states “Be sure your sins will find you out” was fulfilled. However, while David was King, his kingdom would suffer greatly and the nation of Israel would see the sword once again when they had known peace for all this time, again, the price for failure was complete.

One of the more tragic events in the time of the church was in the case of Pastor Zachary Tims, of TBN fame. Tim’s battles with drug abuse, his relationships with women and ultimately his drug overdose, were all aspects of someone who battled personal demons, and sadly, lost his life from the troubles surrounding him. Today, many occupy the role of pastor who truly have no business occupying such, simply because they are, as Paul states in Titus 1:16 “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

When men refuse to listen to the word of God, who fail to be led by the Spirit of God, they are being disobedient and ultimately their work will be futile. Some refuse to adhere to the word because out of finances, they fear a loss of revenue, others have built a ministry and to step down after multitudes of failures, they reject wise counsel and ignore the word of God, they too will never truly be prosperous in their “ministry” because they are being disobedient to the word. They are not blameless in their own nature, but they are an affront to the gospel, for they prove to the world the church doesn’t truly care for high standards of their own servants!

Some might say this letter allows no forgiveness, but I say this letter is all about forgiveness. For forgiveness not only restores such a one back into the spirit of good standing with God thru Christ and the cross, it also reaffirms that the consequences of sin has a price, and while that individual might not ever reach a point of occupying that particular role, God has re-affirmed in Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” God never shuts the door for anyone who has the fruits of true repentance to be used again, although he may change the particulars of that calling, one still can reach a lost and dying world for Christ and still show the most promising hopes of the message of the cross, that is irregardless how much someone has done wrong in life, there is not only forgiveness, but restoration as well. That alone gives us all hope.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

prince

 

As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” Galatians 1:9

 

He has one of the largest churches in Singapore, numbering over 37,000 to date. His influences are every major word of faith preacher or pastor living or dead. His charisma, his charm and his persona has endured him to rock star status within the Charismatic and Pentecostal circles, even over shadowing the likes of Joel Osteen. Some of the biggest names in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement, such as Cho Yonggi, Benny Hinn and Phil Pringle are but a few that have hitched their wagons to this electric preacher, this generations Charismatic “superstar”.

He has packed out U.S. stadiums throughout his 2014 tour. His books have graced the New York Times best seller list, and if his past successes are any indicator of future endeavors, it’s clear to all that Joseph Prince is making a name for himself in the church world. Yet with all of his sudden success within Christianity, with all the endorsements, the air time afforded him by TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network), and his huge following, which ranks into the thousands, all that said, Joseph Prince, by all accounts will probably be recognized not for his rise to fame or religious charisma, he will be regarded as yet one more example of what happens when the church loses its discernment and follows someone who has become blinded to the truth.

The church today has become drunk with teachings which reject the simplicity of the gospel, and in essence it has allowed teachers, declaring another gospel, another way, another Christ, to pollute and distort the gospel. Such is the case with Joseph Prince.

Prince openly admits his rejection of the gospel of repentance. His declaration which says one can live any particular way in life, willfully sin and never repent of that particular sin, wrecks havoc with the word of God. 1 John 1:9 makes it clear that IF we sin, we have an advocate with the Father who will forgive us of our sins and receive us. But repentance and a changed life, a changed heart must be apart of the gospel. But Prince rejects this notion and declares that repentance is no longer needed for the believer.

In his book, “Destined to Reign”, Prince makes the case of the following “revelations” he received and advocates for the believer:

Nothing but blessings for the believer (p.53)
No longer a need to be concerned about God’s Judgment
Repentance and confession of sin is never necessary
Wealth is for all Christians
God is continually restoring “New Truths” to the church—-New Revelations (p.32)
Prince’s personal revelation from God is: “More grace; less judgment”
Prince believes that God WILL NOT JUDGE America because of the cross. (p.49)
The Moral law has no bearing on Christians today; it was abolished with the Ceremonial law.
Prince says that he never encountered anyone that said “now I can go out and sin because of grace”(p.99)
Repentance means “Only to turn around” or a “change of mind”
He used to be conscious of sin, but he doesn’t focus on confessing his sin/s anymore 21

 

The problem with Prince is, he subverts the gospel to portray yet another gospel entirely. He is presenting another gospel, a gospel where there is no consequences to sin, or a demand for holiness. But what did Paul say on this matter?

1 Thessalonians 4:7: “For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who has given us his Holy Spirit.” Paul, with one statement, makes it clear that not only is the believer to desire holiness, to seek after purity, but he or she is not to disregard God’s demands for righteousness. So how come Prince is advocating something different to the church? Because he has no desire for the message the cross brings, complete submission to God’s prescribed order for living, and instead, Prince is doing what so many other current heretics within the church is promoting – a gospel contrary to the cross that not only does nothing for the believer, it literally hinders the work of the Holy Spirit because of the cross. Actually, what Prince is really saying in his teachings is he has no need of the cross. That in itself is the lie Joseph Prince is attempting to convey, and many are sadly devouring his teachings, because they have itching ears.

Let’s look at it again -from his book Destined to Reign:

For generations, the body of Christ has been defeated and put under a constant siege of condemnation from the accuser because they believe wrongly that the Holy Spirit convicts believers of their sins. 43

But what does the word say about the Holy Spirit when it comes to sin? “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it—though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us.” (2 Corinthians 7:8-9)

Psalm 38:18 I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.”

2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

It must be understood to the believer that sin, unconfessed sin, sin that has not been dealt with, if not repented now, in this life, will be sadly dealt with in the next. Joseph Prince ignores this subtle truth because in all reality, there is no truth in him, for he is preaching a gospel that does not convict, does not demand a change in the life of a person, but it allows the life of one who hears this message which goes easy on the flesh, to reject everything the cross stands for, what the cross demands, not a “gospel” of convenience, but a gospel which demands sacrifice. This is the tragic reality Prince is forsaking to be accepted by many within the church today, and many are embracing it fully.

The ultimate truth when it comes to Prince and his convenient “gospel” of slippery grace is that it negates the work of Christ and the call for the believer to walk free of sin, though he may fail in his or her walk, there must be some accountability, not one where the believer can go his or her own way and not desire radical change in their life.  This social gospel which Prince preaches to the thousands who willfully sit under his teaching is it preaches a salvation to be forgiven yet denies the call for redemption from sin. It teaches a form of justification by faith but not sanctification through faith. It says, “You must be born again” but doesn’t teach regeneration. It teaches that a man becomes a new creature in Christ but ultimately requires the person remains the same throughout his walk. This means that one who was saved in the dark halls of sin and perversion can remain where they were set free from, but have no hope of complete restoration or regeneration within their spirit. Again, this goes against the word – Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Here’s the truth concerning the reality of what Joseph Prince and so many before him are openly declaring, a Universalist gospel, meaning, they are taking cues from Universalism by which God accepts all, he demands no change, no repentance, no requirement for salvation other than to just believe and then live according to ones own conscious. This again is against the word, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a special people, zealous for good works.” (Titus 2:11-14)

There is no question that Joseph Prince, in all he portrays, is a fulfillment to Peter’s warning found in 2 Peter 2:1, when he said, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.”  The truth remains, what we are seeing is only the tip of the spiritual iceberg that the church today is facing almost daily. The rise of spiritual leaders who have their own agenda, their own gospel, their own spin on the teachings of Christ, but their true nature, their true identity is one which is evil, it’s manifested in deception to bring about one thing, the destruction of the body of Christ to all and any who would listen to their teachings. If we examine the fruit of Prince and what he is proclaiming, it is obvious that he is proclaiming another gospel, another Jesus, another way. He is to be marked and avoided at all cost. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Romans 16:17)

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

criss

 

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:14-15

 

Gone are the days of Houdini and David Copperfield, where the act of illusion and slight of hand was used as a means of entertaining the people who would gather around and witness the dangerous feats of Harry Houdini, and the majestic illusion of Copperfield. Those days of magic that captured the hearts of children are over with, today a new crop of magicians are coming up in the ranks of magic who have an agenda, one which intends to not only merely entertain, but begin the process of indoctrinating the masses with a grander plan – sorcery.

Throughout time, the role of magicians have been used to entertain Kings and rulers to the lowest street crowd. Yet it was magicians who were vital in the development of “the craft”, the ability of creating the illusion of the impossible, to defy the laws of logic by supernatural feats. The magician was someone who seemed eccentric, yet intriguing to the viewer.  Mystical they portrayed themselves to be, claiming the knowledge of forbidden laws of the “other” world. To most people, they were the essence of things not spoken in public, but in private circles. This was the role of a magician.

By the turn of the 20th century, magicians were limited to street fairs, carnivals and side shows. Men such as Houdini, Okito, David Devant, Harry Blackstone Sr., Harry Blackstone Jr., and Howard Thurston. By the 1950’s, magicians had become a staple to modern entertainment in Americana. By the end of the 80’s, magic and its performers were not as popular, and magic became limited to Vegas acts and HBO specials starring Penn and Teller. But something new was beginning to be birthed – a greater deception, the introduction of the occult.

Within the past few years, there has been an increase in demonic activity within the nation, much less the world, in the blatant use of occult terminology and beliefs, even methods. Today, a new crop of young, hip and talented young men are rising up in the world of magic, stunning crowds with their “abilities”, but is there more to their knowledge than simply slight of hand? I believe so, and I believe it can be explained by one simple reason for their abilities – demons.

Some of the top individuals in the world of magic, from street magic to Vegas acts are names such as Criss Angel, David Blaine and Dynamo. Videos, which clearly show something other than talent, or “slight of hand” can be seen where these men perform acts which clearly are more than human ability, they are supernatural. (source)

Recently, on the NBC talent show “America’s Got Talent” one particular contestant “Mike Super” where Mr. Super openly admits that the very reason of his ability is through his spirit guide “Desmond”. Yet more and more men are beginning to make a name for themselves by using the occult, witchcraft and black magic in order to achieve a certain level of fame. This is yet another proof we are indeed living in the last days.

So why are these things happening? Because Satan is beginning to condition the world to the supernatural, the unexplainable, until one day, someone will rise doing signs and lying wonders, deceiving many in the last days. Hear the word of the Lord, Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” —2nd Thessalonians 2:9,10

The world is being conditioned to accept the man of sin called “Antichrist”. It will be this man who will deceive the nations, and if possible, the elect “Christians” (Matthew 24:24). It is our duty and obligation to expose these things for that they are, demonic activity. We must never depart from scripture, nor must we allow those around us to be deceived in this final hour. So when people begin to see the occult rise to such a level or degree where it becomes entertainment, it’s all for one purpose, to build the very foundation of the coming deception.

Criss Angel and those like him are tools of the enemy, whose sole purpose is to deceive you. This is why Jesus made it clear in Matthew 24:4 to not allow anyone to deceive you. The growth of occultism in this nation, and across the world, is yet another sign that we are heading into a period where many demonic supernatural events will occur, deceiving people to follow the coming man of sin. it is imperative that the believer take note of his life, what he (or she) is involving themselves in and come out of those things which are clearly to be things of the enemy.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

brian_welch

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

I was contacted recently about an upcoming film entitled “Holy Ghost” whose director is Darren Wilson of Wanderlust Productions. The movie takes into account of the Holy Spirit and thereby uses clips of pastors as well as Christian entertainers such as frontman Brian Welch of the rock group Korn. The problem? It’s portraying another gospel and worse, it is setting the stage for the emerging period of time where all religions will begin to finally come together.

We’ve seen this attempt throughout the past, but lately it appears that the spirit behind this movement (antichrist) is moving even quicker in these last days. From the church of Mormon meeting with Pope Francis, to evangelical leaders such as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland and James Robison meeting with the current Pope. (source)

But now we have another wolf slipping into the shadows of Christian churches and working his way into the hearts and lives of many a youth Pastor and their young people – Brian Welch. Welch claimed of his “deliverance” from a life full of sin in many Christian interviews and public appearances, and the church ate it up. However, while not quickly judging someone, many (including myself) stood back, hoping that the news of someone so deep into the trenches of sin and darkness did indeed have a change of life due to the cross. Yet ever mindful of the words of Jesus that we should, “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? (Matthew 7:16) I began to wait and decide what was going to occur.

No one, not myself or anyone else should desire anyone to fail in their walk. We’re not vultures, circling above those struggling to walk this journey of life, however, at the same time, we also must be mindful that Satan also has certain people who walk in the darkness, but yet are masked in the light of truth. Even Paul stated that Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light, as well as his ministers. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Then it occurred, Welch shockingly announced he was returning back to Korn, the very same darkness he was supposedly set free from, and now is rocking satanic lyrics across the nation, bringing with him the hearts of thousands of gullible Christian young people who have been lured by this man. The word speaks that like a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. (Proverbs 26:11)

Welch is the emergent churches pied piper, and many are following his tune straight into hell.

Yet, here we are, many in the church being seduced under the guidance that everyone is saved, everyone can prophesy, everyone can have the Holy Spirit without being born again. Who would make such a statement? None other than Brian Welch. (source) How is it that someone who claims to be born again can yet state something as unscriptural as this? Because I believe Brian Welch quite possibly never knew the truth to begin with and was sent into our midst to steal the hearts and minds of young people in an attempt to promote another gospel.

Here is what John said concerning such a deception, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19)   The facts seem to suggest Welch is promoting another gospel entirely, and multitudes are about to swallow it hook, line and sinker. In the video link which can be found (here), we can hear Welch proclaiming that a “great awakening” ‘is coming, and it is coming’ he repeats with such decisive accuracy that it’s almost haunting.

Yet Welch is correct about something coming which will unite the world, including the world’s religions – a grand deception. That is in fact what is truly coming, not a great awakening of God’s spirit. The truth is, God’s spirit is already being poured out among the land, the problem is not his spirit, but the spirit of man, he wishes not to know that spirit of truth and instead, he desires anything but the spirit of God. That is why Satan will bring such a great deception, because men reject truth to embrace a lie.

I contend what Welch is promoting, the lies which says all people, including sinners, can prophesy, can hear from God, can find all of the truth from the Holy Spirit very deceiving. One must be born again first before they can do anything for God. Ecumenism supports such views, but not the word. Yet what I tell the reader is this, what Welch and others are promoting is in fact another gospel, another Jesus, another way. They are not of us, though they went out from us, they were not apart of us. Christian, beware of what you accept and who you listen to, for in this final hour of time, your soul is at stake. DO NOT BE DECEIVED.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

abuse

 

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly–not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.” 1 Peter 5:2-4


Never allow ANYONE abuse you in the name of Christ. Spiritual abuse within the church is a very serious occurrence and happens much more than you think. Pastors who beat their people into submission, ministries who manipulate the word in order to gain your last dollar and do it in the name of the cross, are symptoms relating to spiritual abuse within the church.

The gospel does not come with an iron rod and a imposing pulpit. The gospel comes with grace, tempered with love and humility. When anyone, be it another believer, pastor, prophet or anyone else, uses the word to condemn another believer, if they use their knowledge of scripture to harass or belittle someone else into what they believe as truth, that individual is an abuser, they are a bully and they should be ignored and left alone.

When someone pressures you into believing as they do, and they rant and carry on by using the word to prove they’re right, what they are actually doing is called intimidating the person through religion and it’s evil. Satan is the only one who works thru intimidation, guilt and fear. When someone begins to display certain traits relating to Christian behavior and ministry to where others begin to feel uncomfortable and uneasy, it’s a sure sign one needs to get away from that person, or ministry, regardless of how popular they are or it is, for the only result will be a believer who will become abused through the course of their time with that particular leader. It happens quite often.

When a church leader begins to abuse, the signs are very clear: control, intimidation, financial pressure to constantly give to the “gospel”, threats of a curse if one does not tithe, desiring to know personal matters, involving themselves with a members life outside the church and then desire to control those situations, even involving themselves in the personal relationships of a person, be it dating relationship or marriage, are indicators that leader is operating in an abusive role.

Even many popular ministries are by their own right, guilty of abusing those who offer their time and support in the work that is being done. Constant monitoring of others (spying), controlling where a believer goes as it relates to another ministry, even having an online presence, many times a ministry will begin to censor someone from simply engaging with others in an online forum, or a Facebook account and the result is that ministry then begins to dictate what they can and cannot speak about online. Again, it is spiritual abuse.

If a pastor states, “It’s my way or the highway” – leave them. Do not stay in an environment which the leader has made themselves supreme in behavior and conduct. This is again spiritual abuse.

Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you”, he never established the roles within the church (pastor, apostle, prophet or evangelist or teacher) so that those within that role begin to lord over others, we are all equal in the eyes of God and as such, there is no one greater than the other. Actually, Jesus made it clear that we are to SERVE one another. Serving someone means to humble oneself so that they are portraying the grace of God, not in a position of rule of authority, but simply allowing themselves to help others. That is the only solution to spiritual abuse within the church, coming back to the cross.

Spiritual abuse is damaging, it can ruin lives and end the trust of many who fall victim to those who abuse their role in the lives of others. They are abusers who have no genuine love for others, nor do they desire to be loved, they hold those positions because deep down inside, they were probably abused as well at some point by someone in authority, and the cycle keeps going.

The answer that can only break such a demonic cycle is Christ and a humbling of ones spirit, that is the only answer. Spiritual abuse can be overcome before it destroys others, but it takes a repentance of the heart and a humbling of the spirit of someone who has fallen under this spirit – and it is a spirit. Ours is not to rule over, nor abuse by our talents, gifts, wisdom or other, ours is to love and to motivate those around us, that is the reason why God has placed us within such a position, not to be vindictive, but to nurture others along the way. That is the spirit of Christ at work and not one who is a spiritual abuser.

 

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com

false_teacher

 

So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” –Ephesians 4:14

In this age of 24/7 Christian television, constant Tweets on Twitter, Facebook posts and books by the thousands from hundreds of different authors, it’s easy to see that the dawn of Christian overload has risen. In this age of instant communication where anyone with a particular message that can access the internet, or build a website, or even go on Christian Television, can reach thousands, possibly millions with their message, even if that message is false.

Not every preacher is a false preacher, or teacher, just like not every person you meet is a criminal. When we evaluate those who are what the word calls “false teachers”, there needs to be a qualifier in that we have a strict guide to go by when we begin to use discernment to judge the fruit of someone that may, or may not, be a false teacher. Jesus said in Matthew 7:16 when revealing the measuring stick of who is, or should be, considered a false teacher “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?“. We judge every preacher or teacher by their fruit, in other words, what are they preaching? And does it line up with the word?

Here is one important thing to keep in mind, if someone is preaching Christ and him crucified, if they are preaching the cross, meaning, they preach that salvation comes by faith by the finished work of Christ on the cross as the only way, that individual most likely than not is preaching a good gospel message. But how can we tell?

Paul gave us two things to consider when evaluating a true preacher of the gospel and a false one – fruit. In Galatians 5:19-21, the apostle says that the fruit of the flesh is, “sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

These things are fruits of the flesh, they are symptoms of a deeper issue at heart, which is sin. When a preacher or teacher begins to exhibit certain behaviors, when they begin to stray from the truth and begin to replace the gospel message, the central message (which is Christ and him crucified) then that man or woman has left proper teaching and has allowed another spirit to influence their thinking.
Paul said in Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.”

The traits of a false teacher (or preacher) are:

1. They use a form of bait and switch; they lure people in with sound Bible doctrine, but then, after a period of time, they begin to teach things counter to the word.

2. Their messages become woven with philosophy, new age concepts which have roots in other religions.

3. They begin to promote books or speakers who have a history of alternative ideas that teach more than one way to heaven.

4. The emphasis on money becomes the center message and not the salvation message.

5. They align themselves with cultural celebrities who hold universalist views and not to the gospel.

6. They begin to openly question the diety of Jesus Christ as both man and God.

7. They renounce the scriptural view of Hell.

8. They do not accept 100% of the word of God to be correct or infallible.

9. They teach things from an intellectual position and not from the Bible.

10. They accept other religions.

11. They are open to homosexuality.

12. They deny that Christ is the only way, nor do they accept salvation by faith alone.

13. They reject the message of the cross.

14. They reject absolute truth.

15. They teach the worship of angels.

16. The teaching of sin is rejected.

17. There is no belief in repentance.

18. They begin to question the virgin birth.

19. They reject that man is a sinner and the doctrine of original sin.

20. They place a greater emphasis on works, community service, social justice over witnessing or preaching the word.

Occasionally, Paul warned against specific false teachers. “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words” (Phil. 4:14,15).

In Revelation, Christ rebuked the church in Pergamos for their indifference toward the false teachers in their midst: “But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam . . . you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate” (Rev. 2:14,15).

When we see any of these types of signs from someone who is supposedly proclaiming the gospel, but their teachings begin to fall into these areas, then that individual could very well be a false teacher. The gift of discernment should be strongly sought after and applied.

But not every person who might, at times, teach or preach something which is non-essential to the salvation plan, is a heretic. Nor is someone who is called of God that might fall into error, disqualified from ministry and avoided. Again, there are in fact differences when it comes to certain teachings which might not in general, line up with sound doctrine, but that alone does not make them false, it simply means they have given into error, and in due season, they may come out of that teaching or doctrine and into the truth, but it by no means makes them false. That is what I call the human factor.

2 Peter 2:1, Peter makes the determining response on what is simple human error and what is damnable heresy, “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

Peter makes the distinction that it is damnable heresies, which is anything which gives another way to God other than the cross, or, someone who proclaims someone who claims Christ did not come in the flesh – that person is antichrist. (1John 2:22)

There is no question we are living in that time where false teachers, false preachers, false prophets are on the rise and flooding the church world today. But we must take into equation that not everyone we might disagree with, or we might have another point of view, or someone who might preach in a particular way or operate in the gifts a certain way is false. Human nature is human nature, and there are times that we must put our differences aside and learn to trust the Lord in all matters when it comes to whose are his and whose are not his.

But there is another trait we can look to, and that is the other fruit of one who is in fact obedient to the Father – the fruit of the spirit. It has been said, Satan can imitate the gifts, but he cannot imitate the fruit of the spirit, and they are found in Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

God is sowing the wheat with the tares in this last hour, and it is vital that the believer judge accordingly to any and all who come in the name of Christ, for, as I have shown, not all are of him, nor were they sent by him, for they were sent from another, whose name is Satan.

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com





 

 

 

 

 

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But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Daniel 12:4

 

There is no question that social media is literally changing how the world operates. From quick posts to your significant other, or letting everyone know what you’re having for dinner, to keeping up with grandma, social media has changed how people communicate with one another, and they are doing it by the second. From Facebook or Twitter, Instagram to Linkedin, people are leaving the confines of our physical world, and entering into the world of electronic Xanadu thru the means of social media.

To be true to form, nothing is private in this new technological world. We are bombarded with daily images of  social advertisements ranging from someone’s pets, to their car, or what they had for dinner. Social media has become a narcissist’s dream. What is a narcissist? It is the preoccupation with self, personal preferences, aspirations, needs, success, and how he/she is perceived by others. Some amount of basic narcissism is healthy, of course, but this type of narcissism is better termed as responsibly taking care of oneself. It is what I would call “normal” or “healthy” narcissism. What social media and it’s offspring has done is given a tool for people to literally focus on self to such a degree that they then begin to believe the world around them is centering on them alone. This is what is leading, I believe, to a society where we are losing the human factor and instead, creating a world where human touch is being replaced by electronic data.

Recently I commented how respect seems to be quickly fading from our moral compass in the lives of many today, even Christians. Society itself is beginning to become intertwined with imagery that is both stimulating yet void of any human emotion. Where young people are succumbing to the pressures of not only day to day problems, but they are finding that same pressure online as well. How many times have we recently watched on the news of teens committing suicide from simple online bullying? Where men and women are finding themselves being tempted and later drawn into adultery simply because they became “involved” with someone they befriended on Facebook? How many young children are being abducted, raped or molested by literal strangers (adults) who they met in a chat room or on Twitter? The world of social media is becoming a world of its own, and how we learn to deal with it will determine whether or not we too become victims of its deadly potential.

In this age of instant communication, much of what people are sending, posting or attaching is a perverts dream, and young people are the very ones becoming involved. It’s almost a rite of passage for a young girl to now post naked images of herself to prove her sexuality, it’s almost become passe’ at the notion of teens sexting one another, or even complete strangers. But that is what is happening today in our culture, the literal breakdown of society.

It’s not simply about the image which is harmful, but it’s the spirit behind it which is destroying many today. That spirit is the spirit of antichrist. The spirit of antichrist is more prevalent today than ever before, and the reason is very simple, we are nearing the end than before. Daniel prophesied in his writings that in the last days just before the actual end came, that man’s knowledge would increase to such a degree that he would perform at feats unheard of, unthinkable and astonishing. (Daniel 12:4)

Today we see that in our current society where technology, medicine, the ability to communicate to the masses in an instant is now not only foreseeable, it’s now our reality. We are literally living in the time of what Daniel saw coming nearly 5,000 years ago. I believe social media can play a major role in spreading the gospel, keeping up with friends and family, and meeting new people. But I equally understand that Satan’s full desire is to destroy by any means necessary at his finger tips to keep men from reaching Christ, even if he has to use man’s own abilities to do so.

There is no question that social media will play a part in the end times scenario in the distant future and the establishment of the European empire. Social media, instant communications, are all evolving to such a degree that one day very soon, men will have the virtual ability to communicate at such speed that the next logical step in our technological advancement (or evolution) is to merge man with technology in such a way that a mere micro-chip will be implanted in the brain whereby giving people the ability to think faster, perform tasks better, and communicate with others at such speed that anything less than this will seem an aspect of the stone age.

Jesus told us that as we near the end, the ability of men to reason and love one another will all but have ended. What social media, with all its good point, is doing to our culture, is dumbing us down to such a degree that pure human emotion will be non-existent. We are becoming desensitized to the pains of others, where seeing a girl as young as 14 nude in a sexting image is given no more thought than seeing a McDonalds commercial. The age of social media is playing the part to prepare our entire society to accept that which would seem unacceptable, embrace what men would never have embraced, and protect what should not be protected. The age of technology is the beginning of the end of man’s ability to love one another, but begin the process of enslaving us all to a coming ruler, and then it will be too late.

 

Christopher

christopher152@gmail.com