The Grace of God

That Brings Salvation Has Appeared to All Men (Titus 2:11)

Archive for the ‘Occult & Lying Wonders’ Category

The Purpose of God’s Power

Posted by israeliteindeed on July 10, 2014

God’s power comes to us in the gospel of Jesus Christ to enable us to “rise from the dead” (spiritually) and walk in newness of life. Both the gospel message and Jesus Himself are called “the power of God.” (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 1:18, 24) To see a person born again as a new creature is the greatest miracle I can think of–much more amazing than a physical healing.

God’s power is also given to the born again believer to enable him to wage spiritual battle against principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. The believer is given the spiritual armor of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God (the Sword of the Spirit), and prayer. (Eph. 6:10-18) I note in this passage that while Paul seeks boldness to speak as he ought, he does not seek to be free of his chains! (19-20) While he has an awareness of all the power available to him, he does not try to misuse that power. He would later explain, “I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.” (2 Tim. 2:9)

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy. (Col. 1:13-14)

Paul says believers are strengthened by God’s power forall patience and longsuffering with joy.” Isn’t it a bit trite, then, to speak of that glorious power as the means by which we secure some temporal thing? Has His strengthening been provided so we can win the lottery and ensnare our own souls? Or is it provided so that we can be patient in tribulation (Rom. 12:12) and joyful in longsuffering?

How many times have we heard people say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13) They often mean that they can get the new job, or buy the new house. But what was Paul’s context in that verse?

I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. (Phil. 4:11-14)

Paul did not say that the power of God would shield him from distress, abasement, hunger or need! Rather he said the power of God would strengthen him to be content even when suffering.

Many false teachers have reinterpreted the concept of God’s power through the (very American) filter of materialism, self-preservation, and self-exaltation. These deceivers decree that money will flow into their bank accounts. They have body guards and idolatrous followers who believe whatever they say. They put on circus-like shows where they make people shake or laugh or fall down. Yes, there is a power at work when you can get thousands of people to give you their money after you’ve spent two hours lying to them. And there is a power at work when you can demonize people and they claim it is the Holy Spirit. But this is not God’s power; it’s the power of satan (Acts 26:18; 2 Thess. 2:9).

This false “power” is nothing new. The Old Testament prophets spoke of their lying contemporaries, how they were given to covetousness and were like greedy dogs which never have enough, only looking out for themselves. (Jer. 6:13; Isa. 56:10-11) Jesus warned that we must not give into covetousness (Lk. 12:15), for such will not inherit the kingdom of God (I Cor. 6:10). Jesus also warned us about self-preservation–He said if we love our lives in this world, we will lose them! But if we hate our lives in this world, we will have eternal life. (Jn. 12:25) God’s power was not given to us so that we could have the best of earth. God’s power was given to deliver us from the power of darkness (which rules the earth) into the heavenly kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God. (2 Tim. 1:7-8)

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The Sensual Invasion

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 31, 2014

Beth Cavete

The other day, I heard a beautiful worship song.  It was penned by a brilliant songwriter, known the world over.  It displayed the poignancy that brilliant songwriting does, that seemingly casual ability to hit on a tune so simple as to be unforgettable, and yet somehow so superior that most of us could never come with anything half as good.  It was gorgeous.

Its lyrics were intimate and personal, and yet so unpretentious.  They called out, “My sweet Lord, my sweet Lord…” with a humble and heartfelt yearning, real praise and a sense of adoration.  That phrase was repeated over and over, and then the yearning expanded with a real cry, “I really want to know you! I really want to be with you!  I really want to see you!”  Not much more to it, that was the bulk of the song, repeating the simple phrases of love and longing…

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Lessons from Jezebel: Devil Worship Among “God’s People”

Posted by israeliteindeed on March 13, 2014

And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him (Ahab) to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him. Then he set up an altar for Baal in the temple of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. (I Ki. 16:31-32)

King Ahab was supposed to lead his people to serve the only True God, but instead he took into his bosom the wicked daughter of a heathen king, and set up an altar of Baal in the temple of Baal which he had built.

Notice the progression into sin:

1) He walked in the sins of Jeroboam
2) He married a devil-worshiper
3) He honored Baal by building him a temple
4) He made an altar for Baal

His wife took over from there, destroying and limiting the true prophets and replacing them with unholy prophets of Baal and Asherah.

This is what happens when any treaty is made with wickedness. Once an evil stronghold has been established, the altar to satan is quickly erected and the prophets of satan are protected. The true prophets, who are faithful to God’s Word, become outdated and hated, even killed. And all of this in the place where God is supposed to be honored.

Should there be an altar to satan among “God’s people”? Of course not. Yet there are many, many altars to satan in what calls itself “Christianity” today (though the righteous are doing their best to eradicate such altars from the land, which brings the persecution and slander of idolaters against them.)

Hear the lament of the broken-hearted prophet in Jeremiah 23:9-40. (I will be paraphrasing, but you can click the Scripture link to read it for yourself.)

    The land is full of adulterers; in His very House dwells their wickedness (10-11).

Is this not a form of antichrist?–the lawless one sitting in the temple of God pretending to be God? (2 Thess. 2:3,4; I Jn. 2:18)

    They prophesy by Baal and cause the people to err (13).

“Oh,” the people say, “It must be God who is speaking through our prophets! This golden calf they made must be the One who led us out of Egypt! Now that our senses are tingling and we can see something tangible, let us enjoy this new manifestation of our God!” They do not test the spirits by which their prophets speak (I Jn 4:1), and so they are snared and taken in their carnality.

    The false prophets walk in lies and strengthen the hands of evil-doers so that they don’t repent (14).

The only alternative to walking in the truth is walking in lies. Deceived hearts turn them aside, and they are unable to discern that a lie is in their right hand (Isa. 44:20). All who follow them fall into the same dark ditch into which they fall.

    Profaneness has gone out from the prophets, making the people worthless. They have prophesied out of their own adulterous hearts (15-16).

Oh yes, they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 17-19; 2 Pet. 3:2) Remember the words which were spoken BEFORE by the apostles; forget the words spoken by your false prophets, lest you become divided from the Truth!

    These prophets say to those who despise God by following their hearts, “You shall have peace” when there can be no peace to the wicked (17).

And the people with itching ears say, “This wonderful prophet makes us feel so at peace! We like him better than those who challenge us to change.”

    They preach their own dreams in His name, bringing up deceits from their own hearts, to cause one another to forget God and His commands (never forget that this is the goal of satan). (25-29)

But we must ask that question God asks, What is the chaff to the wheat? Is not His Word like a fire and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Why should the people of God scurry after the chaff of dreams when we have the very Word of God?

    They use their own lying tongues and say, “God said this,” causing people to err by their recklessness (31-32).

Oh yes, they take delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into things which they have not seen, vainly puffed up in their fleshly minds. And by this insistent wandering into what they think is spiritual–but is actually fleshly–they lose their connection to Christ the Head! (Col. 2:18-19) There is no telling how much destruction is caused to others by their proud and selfish recklessness!

    They speak the words of men as if they were God’s words, thereby perverting the words of the living God (36).

They make the Word of God of no effect through the traditions they create and sell to their followers as if they came from God! (Mark 7:13)

    But what will be their end? Almighty God is against these false prophets, and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God! He will forsake them, forget them, cast them out of His presence, and bring everlasting reproach and perpetual shame on them (39-40).

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 20).

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them, that the sheep may escape the wolves and cleave to their Shepherd (Eph. 5:11; John 10:11-13).

Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Tim. 4:2-5)

God bless you!

See also Lessons From Jezebel: Causing Trouble

Posted in Apostasy, False Teachers, Occult & Lying Wonders | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Testimonies–Freedom From IHOP / International House of Prayer

Posted by israeliteindeed on February 24, 2014

This post will be a doorway to the testimonies of others who have escaped from the corrupting influence of IHOP–International House of Prayer.

If you are part of IHOP or a student of Mike Bickle, and sense something might be wrong, please read these first-hand testimonies by clicking on the links. May the LORD grant that your eyes be opened to see and understand where you went wrong, and help you get back to the right path. He will do so if you are willing to love Truth more than anything else.

Disclaimer: I may not agree with every doctrine ascribed to at these sites.

1. Blog “Escape From IHOP”–Paul explains that though he spent 1500 hours in the “prayer room,” he did not possess a changed life. His own words: “I was the fruit of Mike Bickle’s teaching, and I wasn’t very good.” I recommend you read the whole site, as he has much insight that will help the humble.

2. Article “IHOP (International House of Prayer) is NOT of God” from The Messanger –this lady’s testimony documents her 3+ years experience with IHOP. Looking back, she says she had become a “mindless drone who repeated everything she heard.”

3. From Stand Up For The Truth, Ariel’s testimony of her time with IHOP. She concludes that IHOP is a cult. She says she has “seen much destruction of families, relationships and marriages of those who have been involved with this movement.” Some videos also demonstrate manifestations attributed to the Holy Spirit that exactly match Kundalini/Shakti practices.

4. From blog Beyond Grace, article “The Mother of all IHOP Casualties” documents the destruction caused in several different families. The testimony author says, “There are many other tragedies associated with this movement…Clearly, this is bad fruit ‐ the worst kind. Where is the proclamation of the gospel in all of their wrangling? It isn’t proclaimed. I don’t know if it’s even alluded to anymore.”

5. From Blog Ihop Ruined My Life, the author explains how she was demonized and tormented while involved with IHOP.

6. From An Unknown Berean’s Blog Showing that IHOP is New Age, the testimony of a person who says she became unable to think, lost touch with reality, was drained of all her financial savings, and even became suicidal.

7. From blog Design of Providence, Ryan answers questions about his experience at IHOP. When the Scriptures showed him their teachings were false, he was accused of quenching the Spirit and not being able to interpret the Bible for himself. It was realizing his completeness in Christ without their “Roman Catholic Monastic Mysticism” that set him free from their damaging influence.

8. From An Unknown Berean’s Blog Showing that IHOP is New Age, the testimony of a man who knew Mike Bickle and his handicapped brother Pat (who was promised a healing he never received) intimately. Author says Mike Bickle does not have a “born again” testimony, but rather is “deceived by his own thoughts of grandeur” and preys upon young, naive believers to follow after him. He concludes that “IHOP is a works based movement that appeals to flesh through the religion of prayer and fasting.”

Dear Reader and possible IHOP enthusiast, in my next post on this subject, I hope to tackle specific teachings by Mike Bickle that contradict the Word of God. But I hope you will take warning from others who have tasted the water from the well of IHOP and found it polluted.

Please know that if you desire sensory experiences that make you feel “more spiritual” than other people, or seem to validate your relationship with God in spite of obvious failures in your life, you will continue to be deceived. Jesus has not called disciples to be led by senses and the flesh, and that is what is promoted by IHOP despite their claims that they promote a Spirit-led life.

God does not give us experiences that lift us over others, but instead has called us to consider others better than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). Though prayer is to be an unceasing part of the Christian’s life, Jesus warned against praying vain repetitions–thinking you will be heard for your many words; He taught a simple way of speaking to the Father that no man can ever improve upon (Matt. 6:5-15). Further, Jesus commissioned us to teach others the Biblical gospel with our words and daily lives–not to “soak in a prayer room!”

For more information, please read Flee From International House of Prayer aka IHOP and Mike Bickle.

Posted in Christian Life, False Teachers, Occult & Lying Wonders | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Warning Others About False Teachers

Posted by israeliteindeed on October 5, 2013

Jesus said:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

Jesus desires us to examine a teacher by his/her fruits. Nowhere in Scripture are we forbidden to test a teacher. In fact, Jesus commends the Church at Ephesus for testing those who claimed to be apostles and exposing them as liars (Rev. 2:2). The Bereans were commended for testing Paul’s teaching by the Scriptures they had (Acts 17:11).

Paul wrote:

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned (from the apostles, prophets, and Jesus), and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. (Rom. 16:17-18)

The underlined words are so important. Often a person will spend a long time drinking from the polluted well of false-teaching, and when someone comes along exposing the lie, they will attempt to use this Romans passage to “mark” the truth teller as false! The truth teller is wrongly labeled as divisive. This is a satanic sleight-of-hand designed to keep the deceived in their error. In truth, the divisive person is the one who divides you from the doctrine that was given in Scripture. Such a person is to be noted (or “marked” in the KJV) and avoided.

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Pet. 2:1-3)

Peter wrote that heresies are destructive. They cause people to destroy themselves and others, and they bring the way of Truth into disrepute. They are constructed with deceptive words. That is, on the surface the teaching may sound good. The false prophet may have an appearance as a messenger of light. But he brings deception, causing God’s Word to be seen in a different light than it was intended to be understood.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

Selfish desires and itching ears will cause people to love fables over truth. If selfish desires and itching ears weren’t so plentiful, the market for false teaching would disappear. False teachers depend on itching ears that want to hear their twisting of the truth. If nobody listened, they would have to get another job!

The deceived can be very sure of themselves that they are not deceived at all. Pride seems to precede and accompany deception. The proud man will not receive correction. He knows it all already. He delights in thinking he is so spiritual and learned, he cannot be deceived. Woe to such a one. We need to remain humble and teachable, and always examine our hearts in the light of God’s Word, making sure we don’t have any proud ambitions hindering us from obeying the Truth.

Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears. (Acts 20:30-31)

This passage gives insight into the selfish desire of false teachers to have disciples for themselves. They may say they want you to love and follow Jesus, but they place themselves in between you and Jesus, subtly making it appear that you can only be close to Jesus if you follow what they themselves teach. Paul knew how grave the danger was going to be. How passionately he warned them with tears for three whole years!

Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words… As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught…Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power…Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God. (Col. 2:4-10; 18-19)

I’d like to highlight some important aspects of this passage:

1. Deception often comes through very persuasive words. The speaker may have a dynamic and charming personality, or be powerfully convincing. These things are sometimes mistaken for “the anointing” of the Holy Spirit, but they are not.

2. As we have received Christ, so we should walk in Him. And how did we receive Him? By simple faith. We believed the Word of God, repented and began to follow Him. False teachers often have gimmick teachings that supposedly make one closer to Christ. But no one gets closer to Christ by their gimmicks. We draw near to God by faith. God is not far from us, and does not need men’s gimmicks as an alternate mediator. If you did not need that gimmick to be born again, you don’t need it to walk in Him either. We are complete in Jesus. We don’t need that book, we don’t need that new thing, and we don’t need that understanding of Scripture that has supposedly been “restored” by some new voice claiming to speak for God.

3. False teachers often delight in false humility. If you don’t have the Spirit of God, or if you have been grieving Him by your own pride, you may not be able to discern false from true humility. They will say things that on the surface appear humble, but there is an underlying look at me, look what I have experienced, look how spiritual I am, look at how important my personal revelations are.

4. False teachers have a fleshly mind that puffs them up in pride. They love to talk about angels and supernatural experiences. They intrude into things they have not seen. They don’t see themselves in humility, connected to all other Body parts beneath the Head, submitted to the absolute authority of Scripture, and needing the constant nourishment of others. Today, there are scores of such teachers, and the blatant worship of angels is rampant especially in the charismatic church. Followers, wishing to have such ecstatic experiences for themselves, by which to prove their own spirituality, leave the simplicity and humility of Christ to chase something deeper or higher than what others have.

Naming Names

Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. (Eph. 5:11)

These specific false teachers were exposed by name in the New Testament:

Phygellus and Hermogenes (2 Tim. 1:15)
Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:17)
Jannes and Jambres (2 Tim. 3:8)
Demas (2 Tim. 4:10)
Alexander the Coppersmith (2 Tim. 4:14)
Diotrephes (3 Jn. 9)
Balaam (Rev. 2:14)
Jezebel (Rev. 2:20)

False teaching is public. If we don’t name the names of false teachers in our midst, how will others take heed? Our silence is complicity, and it speaks volumes of our character. Though silence about false teaching might be seen as love, it is not love. Love warns of danger. False teaching is the most dangerous thing on the planet. By it, Eve was deceived. And by it, the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one today (I Jn. 5:19).

See also Division in the Church

Posted in apostasy, False Teachers, Occult & Lying Wonders | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mixing Jesus with the Occult

Posted by israeliteindeed on May 17, 2012

Hoshi’ana has posted on an important topic, and I’d like to share that post here for the benefit of those who have convinced themselves that they are “spiritually gifted” when they are really trying to mix Jesus with occult (satanic) practices.  The author at Hoshi’ana is well-qualified to confront this deception, as she herself used to practice powers given her by satan.  She knows very well that the “knowledge” offered by satan comes with a hefty price tag, even if the one seeking that knowledge considers him/herself a Christian. The person trying to mix Jesus with the occult is in the most serious spiritual danger imaginable!

Here is the beginning of the post Spiritually Gifted?

If you’re seeing demons, feeling demons, and experiencing the demonic, best to ask yourself if you’re not a part of their world.  Have you left the flock of God?

Are you smitten by your “psychic” ability? Are you dazzling your friends with your “gifts?”  Are you seeing spirits or hearing their screams and utterances?  Are you privy to hidden knowledge of others?  Are spirits visiting you in the nighttime hours?  Believe yourself to be more spiritually astute than your Christian friends who are warning you?  Some become mesmerized by their abilities to see, to know, to be in both worlds (spirit and flesh) simultaneously.  But, be warned. You are already deceived…. (Read More at Hoshi’ana)

I would also like to recommend that you read The Beautiful Side of Evil by Johanna Michaelsen.   Johanna testifies that she performed miracles and was visited by an “angel of light” that called himself “Jesus” but was really a deceiving spirit. Her book demonstrates that satan can offer the occultist real power to perform lying wonders while preying upon souls. (Note: While her testimony is very helpful, near the end of the book, Johanna reveals that she believes once saved always saved, a false doctrine.  See The Obedience of Faith, Strive to Enter, The Serious Consequences of Unforgiveness, The Command to Abide,  & God Sees Your Sin.)

God bless you!

Posted in Occult & Lying Wonders | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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