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Archive for the ‘False Teachers’ Category

There is a great deal going on globally right now that is ramping up towards an Anti-Christ system and government fairly quickly , that would seem to many to be all “of a sudden” however the ground work for it has been in the process of being laid for decades if not centuries.

I always knew in my spirit that when an Anti-Christ system came or was in the final stages of being put in place, that it would not appear out of the ordinary to the mass majority of people, the “sea” of mankind would run straight for it, because they would be given the impression that there is no other way or option!

We are now beginning to see that play out, people are being told that there is a global virus pandemic, and they must “temporarily” give up their individual rights and comply with what is needed to “flatten” the “curve” of rising infections, and oh by the way this virus may come back in waves so we will need all of you to sign up to having a “digital certificate” proving that either you have had the virus and built antibodies to it, or to show that you have had the vaccine to prevent you from not only getting the COVID-19 virus but also not able to pass it on to anyone else. And that digital certificate will be needed to not only return to work, but to participate in society!

And we are being flooded with pronouncements from global organizations such as the WHO, and others that the solution to this pandemic can not be found by any single country but can only be found via a unified global effort. not to mention that the “lock downs” and destruction of economies will cause a cascading effect which will lead to worldwide social and societal disruption, as well as long term disruptions to food supply chains. The outcome of which will demand a global solution!

And let’s not forget that we are also being constantly bombarded with advertisements that there will be a “new normal” when “lock down” orders are lifted. We will all walk out into a new world where everything we do is digitally monitored and tracked.

My concern is this: where have all the “watchmen” went? When I started this website over 10 years ago there was a plethora of “watchmen” and discernment websites, and sadly they have slowly disappeared, many  just became weary of the blow back from established churches and so called national Church leaders who stated that it was not in line with the “positive” message of the Bible to be constantly pointing out the apostasy of denominations and well known so called “Prophets” and “Evangelists”

Well now we are at the point that the threat has reached the wall! And there are few if any shouting the warning!

 

Via Lighthouse Trails Research:

The false Word of Faith teachers are showing their bad fruit.

Can this be God’s way of showing false teachers to the church? On March 29th, Word of Faith teacher, Kenneth Copeland, stated:

“In the Name of Jesus, standing in the office of the prophet of God, I execute judgment on you COVID-19. I execute judgment on you, Satan, you destroyer, you killer. You get out. I break your power. You get off this nation. I demand judgment on you. I demand. I demand. “I demand a vaccination to come immediately. I call you done. I call you gone. You come down from your place of authority, destroyer. You come down and you crawl on your belly like God commanded you when He put His foot on your head in the Garden of Eden. You will destroy through COVID-19 no more. ‘It is finished! It is over! And the United States of America is healed and well again,’ saith the mighty Spirit called Peace, who is also the Prince of War, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Copeland’s left-side “puppet” says to him, “COVID 19 has ceased to exist.”

Then Copeland responds with, “At exactly 12 noon on the 29th day of March.” They break out into praise, saying thank you Jesus “it’s over”!

Sounds like a child’s tantrum. No matter how loud he sounds, it is a whisper in God’s ears; and he does not teach what is in the Bible (God did not put his foot on Satan’s head in the garden.)

Look at the COVID 19 maps to see if it is over as Copeland pronounced in the name of the Lord. It’s not over, and this man has once again brought shame to the name of the Savior.

How is this any different than what Copeland said at another church at another time previously right here in Hawaii (20 years ago) that did not come true either. The fact is, he has a perfect record—of false prophecies:

“We are going to agree together tonight that God’s will be carried out. And that whosoever is elected as president of the United States and whomsoever is elected in the congress of the United States, WILL HEAR AND OBEY THE VOICE OF GOD ALMIGHTY FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS IN THIS NATION.”… WE BIND YOU SATAN in the name of Jesus. This nation doesn’t belong to you, it never has and never will. In the name of Jesus, YOU COME DOWN from your place of authority and you crawl in the dust like God told you to in the Garden of Eden.” (Copeland on August 18, 1996 at a Word of life Church, http://www.letusreason.org/Wf19.htm)

Copeland is doing exactly what the Bible says not to do on fallen angels (read Jude). He is Word of Life’s spiritual father; he came to dedicate their new building on Dec. 2, 2001. At a Word of Life Christian Center dedication celebration service in Honolulu Hawaii on Dec. 2, 2001, Copeland gave a “prophetic utterance”:

“But There are going to be multiplied millions upon millions. There’s going to be close to a billion people that have been trapped in that religion, that over the next few months are gonna to come into the kingdom of God. That’s gonna happen, you watch and see what I’m telling you (cheering) Because it’s been . . . I’m telling you Satan’s fat is in the fire he pushed it over the line, and God has moved. . . . I’d to get in there and walk around a while but I don’t have the time but I can tell you this, that thing has come to an end, it’s over, I’m talking about Islam and every, all that that stands for. That’s over with. ”

Benny Hinn—talking about COVID-19 claiming “those who abide in Him no plague will come, he who dwelleth in the secret place of the most high . . .   you said lord he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high, who abides in your shadow no evil shall befall them, no plague will ever come nigh their home. That’s your promise. I pray you will give assurance to your people in this hour now Lord. We pray and agree because you said when two agree you will do it. . . . This virus will die, it will die. I declare in the name of Jesus no plague shall come near you, I speak it now, and establish it in this atmosphere in Jesus name.” (No Plague Shall Come Near You.” London Ministry Conference March 14, 2020)

Of course, this virus will eventually fade (not die) like all others. But to guarantee this to those attendees is absolutely shameful and dangerous.

Gloria Copeland also says there is no flu season
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcNPjUraXrA&feature=youtu.be), that we are healed.

The Word of Faith teachers are deluded, and you should now be able see how dangerous they really are. Flee from the false prophets while there is time. Do you want to be a goat or a sheep under the Lord?  Time to see it for what it is and choose.

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Wait! What? The Pope uses a collective “person” term to describe “Nature?  But Pope Francis what about God the person? The Creator?

from CNN:

Pope Francis has said the coronavirus pandemic is one of “nature’s responses” to humans ignoring the current ecological crisis.In an email interview published Wednesday in The Tablet and Commonwealth magazines, the pontiff said the outbreak offered an opportunity to slow down the rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world.

We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?” the Pope said.“I don’t know if these are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses,” he added.

The pandemic has radically changed the way the Vatican operates, with the Pope celebrating Palm Sunday mass in an empty church and the sites normally packed with tourists empty.The 83-year-old Pope, who has a damaged lung from an infection in his 20s, has twice tested negative for the novel coronavirus. He is being distanced from anyone who might be carrying the virus, takes his meals in his private quarters, and uses hand sanitizer before and after meeting any guests, the Vatican press office said.

Pope Francis also said in the interview he was recovering from his bronchitis and praying even more from his residence in the Vatican during this “time of great uncertainty.”Pope Francis presides over a moment of prayer on the sagrato of St Peters Basilica on March 27.Francis also revealed he goes to confession every Tuesday to ask forgiveness for his own selfishness.

“I take care of things there,” he said.He also criticized the response to the outbreak, saying the homeless should be quarantined in hotels and not in parking lots.“A photo appeared the other day of a parking lot in Las Vegas where they [the homeless] had been put in quarantine. And the hotels were empty. But the homeless cannot go to a hotel,” the Pope said.“This is the moment to see the poor,” he said, adding that society often treats those in need as “rescued animals.”

The Pope also warned against the rise of populist politicians — who he said are giving speeches reminiscent of Hitler in 1933 — and others who are focusing solely on the economy. He said he was worried by the “hypocrisy of certain political personalities who speak of facing up to the crisis, of the problem of hunger in the world, but who in the meantime manufacture weapons.

The Pope encouraged those in a lockdown to find creative ways of being at home. “Take care of yourselves for a future that will come,” Francis said.

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It’s all about the “Group Think”.

We have all over time been subtlety indoctrinated into “group think” And it all started with management techniques for industry. Through “Meyers Briggs” Personality type testing, where we evaluate our own personality and then evaluate others so that we can get a “better” understanding of our own strengths and weaknesses, from our own and then others perspectives, and how our strengths and weaknesses impact working team dynamics. And then also learning about the “Third Way” or Hegelian Dialectic. Where we are taught that there is no right or wrong only differing viewpoints, and those differing viewpoints drive our perception of reality. With the intent to mean that NONE of us have a monopoly on “truth” and if we all just learn everyone else’s perspective then we can all overcome our differences and by extension, conflicts and find an alternative path or “third way” to conflict resolution or peace!

You may ask well what in the world has that got to do with the overreaction to the COVID-19 virus? It has everything to do with it and it has a critical impact to the world and what will happen when all of this eventually dies down.

You see all professional organizations now have international affiliations. As the world has become more interlinked through globalization, education, travel etc. there has been found the need to have international standards for everything, however one of the main inhibitors to the adoption of common international standards has been different cultural belief systems. So how do you get beyond cultural beliefs? Via the Hegelian Dialect. or a “third way”; an international belief system that transcends all existing belief systems and one in which all those in a specific discipline globally agree to and operate from!

The methods for medical diagnosis, and treatment are a couple of those areas where medical professionals from around the world have developed common standards and much of that is managed through the WHO or World Health Organization. The agreements extend to defining what is an epidemic, and pandemic and what countries should do when they have any of those, and what the world should do together to deal with those. It is not unusual as well that most of the professionals involved those organizations are also Socialists or have Socialist leanings as having common standards around the world plays to a Socialist ideology. Does it mean all international standards are bad or evil? No it just means we need to limit their reach and power. Because as these organizations become more embedded within our governments they tend to operate based from a globalist agenda and NOT what may be best for a specific country.

The term “The Common Good” for them, has a Global meaning to it. My deep concern with how this pandemic has been mishandled  is it has caused economies around the world to literally collapse with breath taking speed. And the cost to get those economies back up and running will be beyond the current global financial order’s ability to bear and will require a “Global” solution, and that “Global” solution is going to place severe restrictions on the countries who made up the previous Global order, and without a shot being fired this wonderful 200+ year experiment in Republican Democracy will have come to and end! And……. we will see ushered in the Anti-Christ Empire!

See also: “Covid-19 Changed How the World Does Science, Together

WHO

From The World Health Organization:

Geneva/New York – International advocacy organization Global Citizen and the World Health Organization today announced the One World: Together At Home — a globally televised and streamed special in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. One World: Together At Home will be broadcast live on Saturday, 18 April 2020 at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT/12:00 a.m. GMT airing on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks and platforms in Canada. Internationally, BBC One will run the program on Sunday 19 April 2020. Additional international broadcasters include beIN Media GroupMultiChoice Group and RTE. The virtual broadcast will show unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19 and will also celebrate and support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines.

Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and CEO of Global Citizen, said “As we honor and support the heroic efforts of community health workers, ‘One World: Together At Home’ aims to serve as a source of unity and encouragement in the global fight to end COVID-19. Through music, entertainment and impact, the global live-cast will celebrate those who risk their own health to safeguard everyone else’s.”

One World: Together At Home will also be a multi-hour digital broadcast streaming online on multiple global platforms, including: Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube. This digital special will include additional artists and performances from all over the globe as well as unique stories from the world’s healthcare heroes. For information about how to tune in and take action, visit  www.globalcitizen.org/togetherathome.

“The World Health Organization is committed to defeating the coronavirus pandemic with science and public health measures, and supporting the health workers who are on the frontlines of the response,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “We may have to be apart physically for a while, but we can still come together virtually to enjoy great music. The ‘One World: Together At Home’ concert represents a powerful show of solidarity against a common threat.”

“The United Nations system is fully mobilized: supporting country responses, placing our supply chains at the world’s disposal and advocating for a global cease-fire. We are proud to join forces with ‘One World: Together At Home’ to help suppress the transmission of the virus, minimize social-economic impacts on the global community and work together now to advance Global Goals for the future,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. “There is no greater case for collective action than our joint response to COVID-19 – we are in this together and we will get through this together.”

Last month in response to the global pandemic, Global Citizen launched an urgent campaign in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO, powered by the UN Foundation. Calling on individuals to take action, and asking world leaders and corporations to support the response with sufficient resources, Global Citizens from over 130 countries around the world have taken tens of thousands of actions in support of the response fund.

At this critical moment in history, Global Citizen is also calling on philanthropists to join and support immediate COVID-19 response efforts as part of the organization’s Give While You Live effort. Investors, changemakers and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts like stronger health systems and vaccine development.

Over the past three weeks, the Together At Home series has featured performances from artists including, Chris Martin, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Common, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, Niall Horan, Steve Aoki, Jennifer Hudson, Miguel, H.E.R., Anthony Hamilton, Rufus Wainwright, Hozier and Julianne Hough, among others in support of WHO and Global Citizen’s campaign.

Commitments from supporters and corporate partners will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO to support and equip frontline healthcare workers around the world, with masks, gowns and other vital equipment, and to local charities that provide food, shelter, and healthcare to those that need it most. These local groups have been verified to ensure that they are helping communities impacted by COVID-19.

 

 

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Just give me a few days and I will come up with an even more outlandish reason for the coronavirus that misquotes the Bible very badly to justify it. Meanwhile the following articles show some of the horrible blindness coming out apostate Profits:

“Prophet Says Coronavirus Would Be Over ‘In an Hour’ If China Gave Religious Freedom”

“Prophetess From Bethel Decrees and Declares Coronavirus “Conquered”

“Prophet Says Coronavirus is the Devil’s Way of Stopping President Trump”

“Prophet Says Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Mark of the Beast”

“Prophet, Lou Engle, Says Three-Day Fast Will Stop Coronavirus”

“Perry Stone Says Coronavirus is a Scheme of Satan to Promote Socialism”

“Rodney Howard Browne promised to bind coronavirus from the United States”

“Jim Bakker claimed his venereal disease ointment also heals coronavirus”

“Rick Wiles claimed Christians are immune altogether from coronavirus”

“Another prophet declared that Republican states were immune from the coronavirus”

“Kenneth Copeland said that touching his oily hand through the television would heal coronavirus.”

 

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from Reformation Charlotte:

CRU — formerly Campus Crusade for Christ — has been exposed as a social justice political organization with the sole intention of turning young, Christian-minded students into progressive activists. Ranging from LGBTQ activism to Cultural Marxism and intersectionality, CRU has hosted a number of events with the intent of advancing both political and theological liberalism.

Sojourners is an ecumenical publication founded by the progressive political activist and theological mystic, Jim Wallis, who has admitted to — along with SBC leader, Russell Moore — receiving funding from George Soros to advance an open-borders agenda in the US. Sojourners hosts a number of Roman Catholics and mystics — among them, Kaitlin Curtice.

Curtice is described on her website as,

… a young, Native American Christian mystic who portrays the sacredness of the human condition in everyday language through her writing.

Curtice promotes the heresy of contemplation (contemplative prayer and meditation) and writes of her experiences with “other realms” of life,

By contemplation, I am basically referring to the work of creating and sustaining an inner life of peace, quiet, listening to the Divine/Mystery/Higher Power/God , and letting the overflow of that love stretch into other realms of life.

She is a climate change activist who worships the creation over the creator,

Perhaps if we returned to loving the land, waters, and all beings that live and breathe around us, we might learn how to love our human relatives again.

Nowhere in any of Curtice’s works or writings does she show one iota of understanding of the biblical gospel. Of course, we should not expect a Catholic to understand the gospel as the Catholic Church’s gospel is false. Yet, even in the spiritual blindness of the Roman Catholic Church, many Catholics still have a good grasp on general revelation, morality, and general common sense. This common grace is a gift from God to all creation — not just Christians. Yet, Curtice has not only suppressed the truth of the cross, but the truth of God and his revelation altogether.

Yet, for some reason, the Evangelical organization CRU — who is closely tied to the Southern Baptist Convention and The Gospel Coalition — sees a need to partner with people like this. Why? Because CRU, as outlined in Romans 1, has exchanged the truth about God (the gospel) for a lie (social justice activism).

By the way, did you know Reformation Charlotte has a Christian gear and apparel store? Check it out at ReformedGear.com.

Matt Mikalatos, a CRU leader in Portland Oregon desperately tried to invite Curtice to speak at one of CRU’s events. Thankfully, she declined and thousands of students did not have to be exposed to her spiritual poison. As seen in the screenshot below, Curtice did not want to sign the contract that was required.

When Mikalatos was asked about her up and coming presence at the event, Mikalatos was seemingly ecstatic that they were trying to get more Roman Catholics — including a priest who does idolatrous paintings of Jesus — involved in their work.

20190929_1409146123474437059293183

It is safe to say that CRU has largely apostatized from its original biblical, gospel-centered founding. What used to be a mission-focused evangelistic organization centered around biblical truth has now become an ecumenical gospel-less social justice and progressive political activist crusade.

If you were to die today, where would you go? Heaven? Hell? Not sure?

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Where do you start with detailing how fundamentally flawed this pronouncement is? The Pope’s statement, to anyone who knows God’s word, is like the final punctuation in a multi-volume book detailing why the Roman Catholic Church always has been and still is a false church!

Now I have no doubt that there may be climate change, however THERE IS NO verifiable proof that this is caused by man. Secondly Anthropomorphic Climate Change clearly denies Biblical creation. It views man as just another species no different than animals, and whats worse classifies mankind as a kind of out of control virus that throughout most of his history has wreaked havoc on the earth!

from the Daily Mail:

Pope Francis is considering introducing ‘ecological sins’ in a new bid to battle climate change.

Speaking in Rome on Friday, Pope Francis said it’s ‘a duty’ to introduce the new sin to the Catholic Church’s teachings as a way to protect ‘our common home’.

This comes after the Pope held a three-week bishops’ assembly, called a synod, last month which addressed environmental dangers in the Amazon

Speaking on Friday, he said: ‘We have to introduce, we are thinking about it, in the catechism of the Catholic Church, the sin against ecology, the sin against our common home, because it’s a duty.’

He was addressing members of the International Association of Penal Law in Rome, Crux Now reports.

At the same event, the pope also said that politicians who rage against homosexuals, gypsies and Jews remind him of Hitler.

‘It is not coincidental that at times there is a resurgence of symbols typical of Nazism,’ Francis said in an address to participants of an international conference on criminal law.

‘And I must confess to you that when I hear a speech someone responsible for order or for a government, I think of speeches by Hitler in 1934, 1936,’ he said, departing from his prepared address.

‘With the persecution of Jews, gypsies, and people with homosexual tendencies, today these actions are typical (and) represent ”par excellence” a culture of waste and hate. That is what was done in those days and today it is happening again.’

During the 1933-45 Nazi regime in Germany, six million Jews were killed and homosexuals and gypsies were among those sent to extermination camps.

Pope Francis did not name any politicians or countries as the targets of his criticism.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro had a history of making homophobic, racist and sexist public remarks before he took office on January 1. He told one interviewer he would rather have a dead son than a gay son.

 

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Todd Bentley was rotten and a false teacher from the start, so this article should not surprise anyone!

from The “Christian” Post:

Stephen Powell, an estranged protégé of controversial evangelist Todd Bentley at Fresh Fire USA, has publicly dismissed his mentor as “not fit for public ministry,” alleging that he has a “perverse sexual addiction” that has driven him to prey on interns.

Citing personal and reported testimony, Powell, who runs Lion of Light Ministries in Pineville, North Carolina, alleged in a lengthy post on Facebook Thursday that Bentley “has an appetite for a variety of sexual sins, including both homosexual and heterosexual activity.” He was not immediately available to respond to The Christian Post’s request for further comment on Friday.

Powell also charged that Bentley’s behavior is enabled and covered up by his wife, Jessa, as well as Christian leaders in the evangelist’s orbit such as Rick Joyner, author of The Final Quest and founder of Morning Star Ministries and Heritage International Ministries.

Joyner helped Bentley create Fresh Fire USA in 2009, the year after Bentley separated from now ex-wife, Shonnah, and got involved in an emotional relationship with a staff member. Joyner was also part of the “healing team” that was formed to help restore Bentley after the divorce and emotional affair.

In a Facebook Live broadcast on Friday, Joyner said he currently has no authority over Bentley and acknowledged being aware of accusations that he had preyed on interns. He also acknowledged that Powell had come to him and tried to pressure him into taking swift action against Bentley. He accused Powell of operating in a spirit of “witchcraft” for going public with his knowledge.

“When people come to me with pressuring, manipulating, especially threatening if I don’t do something their way, or in their time, I know that’s the devil,” Joyner said. “That’s in Scripture, counterfeit spiritual authority which is called witchcraft. That is not the Holy Spirit. We’ve got to start recognizing what is from the Holy Spirit and what is not.”

Powell said that even though he had been aware of misconduct by Bentley over the years, much of the evidence supporting his current allegations came to light this summer after he started appealing to Joyner to stage an intervention.

“Down through the years, Todd [Bentley] has made sexual advances toward (and in some cases engaged in sexual sin with) a number of different men and women outside his marriage, many of them interns and/or students under his leadership care in the church,” Powell alleged.

Powell cited testimony from a male intern who claimed in 2013 that Bentley offered to pay him $1,000 if he allowed him to perform oral sex on him.

He said the intern told him: “‘There was a time that I was with Todd and I was struggling to get by. … I was living with my sister, working a job, just trying to pay my bills and get by, and Todd was supposed to be my mentor you know. And we’re hanging out and he’s paying for me to eat out, paying for me here, paying for me there, you know, and always showing off his money you know. … And he was like, ‘I know you’re struggling so’… I don’t know how it came up, but He was like, ‘Can I suck your d— for $1,000?’ And I’m like, ‘What?’ I was like, ‘What the F is your freaking problem?’ … And I was like, oblivious. … And you know, it was not just that. … I saw pictures of His wife naked, fully naked, the whole nine yards.”

He said he was told by another male intern who witnessed what happened that he informed Joyner of Bentley’s actions but ultimately “nothing was done and Todd was still allowed to go on in ministry as if everything was okay.”

In a response on Facebook Friday, Bentley admitted to “having a past” and noted that the allegations against him weren’t new.

“I decided to come out in a public way ahead of what has been brewing in recent months….This isn’t something new as many of the things that I’m dealing with do go back up to six, seven years. Yes, old stuff. I do have a past and many of the things I’m being accused of today come from the fact that I’ve had cracks in my foundation. I’m not about to hide, try to lie or run from the fact that I have a past in which my wife and my therapist [have been a part],” he explained.

He said he has been working with a therapist for approximately one year as well as an accountability team.

Bentley called many of the current accusations against him, “false.”

“They are gossip, they are swirl, they are speculation, hearsay and they are without any real evidence. As far as let the accusers come forth. Let them name names. Let them meet with me, with Rick. With whoever is on my leadership. I would love to be able to look in the eye of the people making the claims,” he said.

“I do have the things in my past I gotta say … whether they are six months, a year, two years, five, six, seven. Many of the things that I’ve addressed and continue to address in my life to be clean,” he said.

“I am not guilty of the things that I’m being accused of as far as those homosexual acts. Things that are taken out of context in inappropriate text messages or conversations that I had that were not right that I’ve had to own, that go back to 2013,” he said, noting that he didn’t have any sexual affairs or commit adultery.

He said he is now leaning on the prayers and support of his friends, then read a prepared statement after assuring his followers that his ongoing healing revival will continue.

In his response, Joyner explained that after he completed oversight of Bentley’s restoration in 2012 stemming from the 2008 scandal, the evangelist has been charting his own path while continuing counseling.

“I do not have authority over Todd Bentley. Those of you who know the story had the issues [that manifested in 2008]. I was asked by Peter Wagner as a representative of the Revival Alliance to oversee Todd’s restoration. I was given very few guidelines, [not] anything. Just here, you take this. We think you’re supposed to do it. I thought I was the worst one in the world to do it,” he said. “I’m not good at that. That’s not my type of calling.”

He said he prayed about it, however, and he felt like God would give him the grace to do it.

“I would say this about Todd, he’s still being restored but guess what? So am I. So are you. We still have a ways to go. I felt like the Lord showed me in 2008 that this wasn’t the last big public embarrassment that Todd was gonna have or mistake or sin. I was given a Scripture in Proverbs where the righteous fall seven times. Even the righteous fall seven times, but He said Todd would keep getting back up. He said he would fight on. But I never expected after we released him in I think about 2012, that he would be perfect,” Joyner said.

He disputes as well that nothing was done when he learned of Bentley’s behavior toward interns.

“A situation arose in 2013 when Todd, a friend brought some text messages that Todd had sent to some interns. I was appalled,” Joyner said.

“They are in the accusations that the brother put out yesterday. I was shocked. I still didn’t have authority over Todd but I went to him as a brother and I confronted him with it. As a matter of fact, I confronted him harder than I ever confronted anybody over anything. I was absolutely outraged,” he said.

“If a brother is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore them, and do it in a spirit of gentleness lest we too be tempted. So I’ve resolved to obey that. I’m not gonna turn away from anyone who is caught in any trespass. And I’ll be honest with you, working with some really public figures … my whole concept of any trespass got so stretched. And my concept of what God would give His grace and mercy to got so stretched. Even the deplorable things that Todd did do in this case, to me, they weren’t shocking anymore. And I’ve seen God help people through things way worse,” Joyner said.

He said Bentley got counseling and repented of the things he did in 2013, and he along with others will investigate the other allegations made by Powell.

“My opinion, the things that are said about me and written about me in this accusation, I thought they were not only not true but in my opinion, they were the opposite of the truth. They obviously helped me doubt everything else in it except for what was true that Todd had done way back in 2013. But the rest of it, we’re still gonna examine. We’re still gonna check out and try to get with witnesses and everything else. It’s a long process. I can’t just lay everything else I am doing down,” Joyner said.

Citing testimony he was given, Powell alleged that Joyner refused to help the young male intern who reported Bentley in 2013.

Another intern alleged that Bentley offered to pay him $500 to send the evangelist a video of him masturbating, while yet another claimed that Bentley and his wife frequently sent him explicit photos and videos.

It was further alleged by Powell that Bentley “made out with his young female assistant whom he is not married to, walked into a room, closed the door, and stayed in there for at least 30 minutes with Jessa being in the same house and knowing about it.”

Citing several other accusations in the post as well as in a Facebook Live broadcast, Powell said he was forced to speak out because the leaders of Bentley’s ministry have done nothing to address the evangelist’s behavior.

“I believe that both Todd and his wife, Jessa, are both complicit in this sexual perversion and have both participated in inviting other sexual partners, both men and women, into their marriage bed. Todd and Jessa’s relationship and marriage began in sexual sin and it appears that that sin has only grown and become stronger in their lives over the years, despite the bond of marriage they share,” he continued.

“I believe Todd is not fit for public ministry. On top of his sexual sins, he has proven to be a compulsive liar, he lacks financial integrity when handling God’s money, and he is a substance abuser that has drawn many others into these sins with him over the years. I believe Todd has proven over more than two decades of ministry, moral failures, and abuse of others that he cannot be trusted with the care of God’s people.”

Powell said he was a janitor at a small church in Alaska in 2012 when he met Bentley who “recognized a ministry gift on my life and began mentoring me in ministry.”

Bentley, he said, helped him get established as an itinerant preacher but in recent years, he began distancing himself from the evangelist after God spoke to him about holiness. He admitted to being involved in crude behavior while he was a part of Bentley’s camp but said he was never a part of any sexual acts.

“I myself have seen things over the years that I find very disturbing. I myself have seen Todd preach, pray, and prophesy over the people, only to leave the meeting, purchase hard liquor, and walk into his hotel to party the rest of the night,” Powell said.

“I myself have seen and heard Todd and Jessa speak with unclean/foul speech. I confess that I myself, at times in the past, have gotten caught up in some of this culture of speech that’s unpleasing to the Lord … what one might call ‘guy talk’ or ‘locker room banter,’ which the Lord has dealt with my heart on and I’ve repented for. But honestly, with the vile culture that has infiltrated the charismatic church, it is extremely difficult at times to have fellowship with other ministers, and build alliances with others for the kingdom, and not be affected by this stuff,” he explained.

Powell noted that he is hoping Bentley will respond to the allegations with repentance.

“At the end of the day, given the evidence I have and the 100’s of hours I’ve spent on the phone talking to witnesses, I am fully convinced that Todd & Jessa both have lost the privilege to minister to God’s people any longer, in full time ministry,” he said.

“When someone has a record of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, inappropriate behavior, drunkenness, lying, & cheating going back more than 20 years … and they have repeatedly been offered great mercy and grace rather than disqualification from ministry, yet they continue to behave in this matter … in my mind and through what I can see in the scripture, they have lost the right and privilege to minister to God’s people ever again, in their own public ministry.”

Joyner argued that Powell acted out of frustration, which is not of God.

“This brother put out this thing yesterday, admitted he did this out of frustration because I wouldn’t meet with him. I was gonna meet with him, but at the right time and for the right reason. I was not gonna cave to his pressuring threatening, manipulating, anything else,” he said. “Frustration, I don’t think is a fruit of the spirit … If we do things out of frustration that is not going to be the Spirit of God.”

Powell argued that he, along with some of the witnesses he interviewed to compile evidence he submitted to Fresh Fire leaders, have already been threatened.

“Some of the witnesses I talked to at the beginning of my investigation have since withdrawn their testimony because they have been threatened by people involved in this network of sin and cover-ups. I’ve come across at least one witness who was paid off and made to sign a legal gag order in order to keep silent about the great sins and abominations he’s witnessed. And in some cases, I personally have been threatened with a lawsuit and violence if I revealed my findings,” he said.

Regardless of the allegations, Joyner believes that Bentley and his ministry will survive and the exposure will be “used for good, for Todd, for me.”

“I’ve seen the consequences of those who’ve done the things that this brother is doing … I was waiting to meet with him so that I could have something from God that I could give to him that might help set him free from the course that I believed him to be on,” Joyner said. “It’s a black hole when you start to believe you’re the police of the body of Christ but you’re not getting that from above. You’re getting it from the devil.”

 

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1 Corinthians 15:14:

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”

Did you think it was outrageous when a literally Satanic college professor accused God of sexual misconduct?:

That was nothing compared to the blasphemy you can hear right in church. The Reverend Rick Mawson, an 83-year-old retired United Church of Christ minister who currently leads a First Congregational Church class on progressive theology, barks that it is primitive, shameful, and offensive to believe that Jesus died for our sins. He outmoonbats even the nutty Satanist professor with the proclamation that God is a “bloodthirsty child abuser.” Seriously:

from The Tribune:

It is with a sense of joy for me to witness people tenderly holding hands, especially the young or the elderly. Holding hands can be very comforting. It is a way of being connected to another person. We all know that the experience of being embraced in another’s caring is life giving and life enhancing. Being intimately in touch with other human beings is a universal human hunger.

From the time we were conceived in our mother’s womb, we have begun to learn how important it is to be connected to another person. At our birth we experience a world separate from our mother. After being born we also start to experience something called separation anxiety even though our world is expanding to include other family members. The threat to intimacy that occurs after birth is a universal human experience. At some level, deeply embedded in us, we yearn to re-establish that connectedness with the “Source of Our Being.”

As humans we need each other to survive and thrive. Behavior that damages human relationships and their ability to thrive is a form of “sin.”

Our Hebrew ancestors told stories to explain the estrangement that humans experience in regard to the Ultimate Source of Life and Being, which we usually referred to as “God.” The earliest biblical creation story is told in Genesis chapters 2 and 3. It speaks of the disobedience of the original human couple, Adam and Eve. Their failure to obey God introduced “original sin” into what was presumed by our ancestors to be a perfect and complete world. In the story, God, acting like a stern tribal leader, condemns Adam and Eve for their disobedience by punishing them with hard labor and the pain of childbirth. The story says our ancestral parents were then banished forever from the garden of perfection.

Given the knowledge available to those ancient Hebrew storytellers, the story seemed to make sense. When humans make greedy or sinful choices there may be unwelcome consequences. The storytellers did not have, as we do today, any awareness of how life and culture continue to evolve over millions of years. The ancient creation story should never be taken literally, as if it actually happened that way. We now know our world has never been perfect and complete, it has always been in a process of becoming more complex and interrelated. Our world is a work in progress.

The sense of estrangement experienced by many humans generates a desire to be embraced by the Source of Life. That quest is for “atonement” (at-one-ment). It is a yearning to become whole again by being united with the Holy.

“Substitutionary atonement” is the commonly held, yet theologically primitive, shameful idea that God required the humiliating sacrificial death of his only son Jesus to pay the restitution price for the sins of all humanity, by suffering punishment on our behalf, so that we may ultimately be reunited with the Source of our Being. Think about the implications of that assertion. It presents the Creator, who loved us into being, as judgmentally incapable of forgiveness and a bloodthirsty child abuser. That limited view of the Divine does not make sense to me and is offensive. The theology of substitutionary atonement is based on the primitive concept of an “original sin” the stain of which is genetically passed on generation to generation from our first ancestors. This is the belief that we are all, from the time of our birth, depraved sinners in need of saving from eternal damnation, the kind of saving that can only come from the same God who requires, and can only receive, satisfaction by brutally sacrificing God’s own child.

I have come to believe that the theology that affirms, “Jesus died for my sins” is bad theology. It is our human attempt to make God take care of our problems. This primitive theology is designed to try to relieve us of responsibility for how we live our lives and treat one another.

Starkly missing in the substitutionary atonement analysis of our situation is any acknowledgment of the unlimited and unconditional grace that is offered by the Holy Source we call Love. In the life and teachings of Jesus we find one who embodied love by loving people into wholeness and by showing us how to do the same. In the freedom that comes with love, we have the choice to flourish within that abundant grace or resist it.

How can we experience intimacy with the Holy in our lives? How can we achieve a healthy sense of being at one with the Divine, the Holy, the Source of our Being? The story of the life examples and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth has been transformative to many in this regard. Guidance on how to restore intimacy with the Holy can be found in Matthew’s biblical writing (25:31-46) where Jesus is said to be speaking about how, in caring for others, we experience our most intimate contact with the One who created us. Simply said, we achieve atonement with the Love that brought us into being by compassionately loving others in response to their needs. We are ultimately accountable for what we do to provide all people with what they need to thrive.

Regardless of our particular faith tradition, we are encouraged to embrace peace, to be compassionate toward our neighbor, to love our enemies, to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to heal the sick, to visit with those in prison, to welcome the stranger, and in the process of loving others into wholeness we will be experiencing an intimate relationship with the Source of our Being.

Tenderly holding hands is a small yet significant sign of our human connectedness to each other and to our Source of Life. We are all in this together.

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from Lighthouse Trails Research:

In May of 2013, Lighthouse Trails released a report titled, “They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus – How Conservative Christians Are Being Manipulated and Ridiculed, Especially During Election Years.” In view of the upcoming elections and some of the things going on around the country in the “background,” it seems diligent to repost the report at this time. While some of the documentation in the report is a few years old, there are similar efforts going on today as are described in the report. For instance, the “Vote Common Good” (a website created on June 2018, just in time for the elections) bus tours taking place right now around the country are intending on “flipping congress.” The line up of those speaking on the tour are largely extreme liberal  emergent figures such as Brian McLaren, Shane Claiborne, Frank Schaeffer, John Pavlovitz (recently featured in a LT article), Mark Scandrette, Doug Pagitt, Samir Selmanović, Diana Butler Bass, and Nadia Bolz-Weber. Folks, these people mean business, and they won’t let up until they’ve accomplished their Marxist/Socialist-leaning, anti-biblical goals. This next election will come and go, but they will still be here, telling the world that they represent “true” relevant organic Christianity, and your children and grandchildren will believe them. We know that politics is never going to solve the problems of any country. And there is no perfect political party. But what is being presented by the people in groups like the one named above is an anti-Christ agenda. That sounds strong, but think about what Diana Butler Bass (who was part of the 2015 Parliament of World Religions) said in her book, Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening:

Conventional, comforting Christianity has failed. It does not work. For the churches that insist on preaching it, the jig is up. We cannot go back, and we should not want to. . . . In earlier American awakenings, preachers extolled “old-time religion” as the answer to questions about God, morality, and existence. This awakening is different . . . it is not about sawdust trails, mortification of sin [putting to death the old man], and being washed in the blood of the Lamb [the preaching of the Cross]. The awakening going on around us is not an evangelical revival; it is not returning to the faith of our fathers or re-creating our grandparents church. Instead, it is a Great Returning to ancient understandings of the human quest for the divine. (pp. 36, 99; emphasis added)

Several of the names we have listed above have said similar type things about biblical Christianity over the years as you can read about on our site and in our published materials. Some of you may remember our 2009 article “Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted.” As far as these highly influential emergents are concerned the “old-time religion” of being washed in the blood of the Lamb is over. And you can be sure their target is your children and grandchildren, especially ones who’ve grown up in Christian homes. When you consider how Rick Warren, Bob Buford (Leadership Network), and Bill Hybels all had a part in launching the emergent church back in the 1990s1 and then never retracted a single promotion of it, it’s difficult to witness the “fruit” of their labors these 25 years later and listen to the silence of Christian leaders who seem to care more about building their own empires than defending that old time religion.

And now the 2013 Lighthouse Trails report:

“They Hate Christianity But Love (Another) Jesus – How Conservative Christians Are Being Manipulated and Ridiculed, Especially During Election Years”

In 2008, which was an election year, books, videos, broadcasts, and news articles were pouring into mainstream America with a guilt-ridden message that basically manipulated conservative Christians into thinking that either they shouldn’t vote because “Jesus wouldn’t vote,” or they shouldn’t vote on morality issues such as abortion or homosexuality. Suddenly, all over the place, there was talk about “destroying Christianity,” or “liking Jesus but not the church,” or “Jesus for president” (suggesting that maybe we could get Him on the ballot but certainly we shouldn’t vote for anyone already on the ballot). It all sounded very noble to many. After all, everybody knows there is so much political corruption in high government and certainly as much hypocrisy within the walls of many proclaiming Christian leaders and celebrities.

This special report by Lighthouse Trails is not going to attempt to answer the question, “Should a Christian vote?” But we hope to at least show that things are not always as they seem, and what may appear noble and good may not be so at all.

In January of 2012, another election year, a young man, Jefferson (Jeff) Bethke, who attends contemplative advocate Mark Driscoll’s church, Mars Hill in Washington state, posted a video on YouTube called “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” Within hours, the video had over 100,000 hits. Soon it reached over 14 million hits, according to the Washington Post, one of the major media that has spotlighted the Bethke video (hits as of May 2013 are over 25 million).

The Bethke video is a poem Bethke wrote and recites in a rap-like fashion his thoughts and beliefs about the pitfalls of what he calls “religion” but what is indicated to be Christianity. While we are not saying at this time that Bethke is an emerging figure, and while some of the lyrics in his poem are true statements, it is interesting that emerging spirituality figures seem to be resonating with Bethke’s message. They are looking for anything that will give them ammunition against traditional biblical Christianity. They have found some in Bethke’s poem. Like so many in the emerging camp say, Bethke’s poem suggests that Christians don’t take care of the poor and needy. While believers in Christ have been caring for the needy for centuries, emerging figures use this ploy to win conservative Christians (through guilt) over to a liberal social justice “gospel.” Emerging church journalist Jim Wallis (founder of Sojourners) is one who picked up on Bethke’s video. In an article on Wallis’ blog, it states:

Bethke’s work challenges his listeners to second guess their preconceived notions about what it means to be a Christian. He challenges us to turn away from the superficial trappings of “religion,” and instead lead a missional life in Christ.1

What the article is talking about when it says “preconceived notions” is Christianity according to the Bible. Emerging figures accept some of it but find to accept all of it is too restricting. Many of them call themselves “red letter Christians,” supposing to mean they adhere to all the red letters that Jesus said; but they have actually chosen which red letters they adhere to—they don’t accept them all. For instance, they dismiss red letters that refer to there being a hell for those who reject Jesus Christ as Lord, God, and Savior. When the word missional is used, this doesn’t mean traditional missionary efforts to evangelize the world. It means to realize that all of humanity is saved and being saved along with all of creation and that the means of salvation didn’t take place in a one-time event (the Cross) but is an ongoing procedure that occurs as people begin to realize they are all connected to one another and can bring about a Utopian society through this interconnectedness. Such emerging buzz words like missional fool a lot of people though.

Incidentally, if you’ve never read the article we posted in the summer of 2010 regarding Jim Wallis and Sojourners, “Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis’ Revolutionary Anti-Christian “Gospel” (and Will Christian Leaders Stand with Wallis?)” we highly recommend it.2 But be warned—you may find it quite disturbing when you read what the agenda behind the scenes really is.

The rally call to throw out Christianity but keep “Jesus” isn’t a new one—we’ve heard it many times before from various emerging contemplatives. Futurist Erwin McManus once said in an interview:

My goal is to destroy Christianity as a world religion and be a recatalyst for the movement of Jesus Christ . . . Some people are upset with me because it sounds like I’m anti-Christian. I think they might be right.3

And, of course, there is Dan Kimball’s book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church. In a book review of Kimball’s book, Lighthouse Trails stated that the book should really be calledThey Like (Another) Jesus But Not the Church, the Bible, Morality, or the Truth.4 Kimball interviews several young people (one is a lesbian) who tell him they “like and respect Jesus” but they don’t want anything to do with going to church or with those Christians who take the Bible literally. Kimball says these are “exciting times” we live in “when Jesus is becoming more and more respected in our culture by non-churchgoing people.”5 He says we should “be out listening to what non-Christians, especially those in their late teens to thirties, are saying and thinking about the church and Christianity.”6

According to Kimball, it is vitally important that we as Christians be accepted by non-Christians and not thought of as abnormal or strange. But in order to do that, he says we must change the way we live and behave. Kimball insists that “those who are rejecting faith in Jesus” do so because of their views of Christians and the church.7 But he makes it clear throughout the book that these distorted views are not the fault of the unbeliever but are the fault of Christians, but not all Christians, just those fundamentalist ones who take the Bible literally, believe that homosexuality is a sin, and think certain things are wrong and harmful to society . . . and actually speak up about these things.

Perhaps what is most damaging about Dan Kimball’s book is his black and white, either or reasoning (the very thing he accuses Christians of). He makes it very clear that you cannot be a Christian who takes the Bible literally and also be a humble, loving, thoughtful person. They are two different things, according to Kimball. There is no such thing as a loving, humble Christian who takes the Bible literally. His book further alienates believers in a world that is already hostile to those who say Jesus is the only way to salvation, the Bible should be taken literally, homosexuality is a sin, and we are called out of this world to live righteously by the grace of God.

Brian McLaren, the emerging church’s early pioneer, resonates with these ill feelings toward the Christian faith when he states:

I must add, though, that I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu, or Jewish contexts.8

Roger Oakland deals with this “we love Jesus but hate Christianity” mentality in his book Faith Undone. Listen to a few quotes Oakland includes in that book:

For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained.9—Don MillerBlue Like Jazz

They [Barbarians] see Christianity as a world religion, in many ways no different from any other religious system. Whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or Christianity, they’re not about religion; they’re about advancing the revolution Jesus started two thousand years ago.10—Erwin McManusThe Barbarian Way

New Light embodiment means to be “in connection” and “information” with other faiths. . . .  One can be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ without denying the flickers of the sacred in followers of Yahweh, or Kali, or Krishna.”11–Leonard Sweet

I happen to know people who are followers of Christ in other religions.12–Rick Warren

I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity. . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.13–Thomas Merton

Allah is not another God … we worship the same God. . . . The same God! The very same God we worship in Christ is the God . . . the Muslims–worship.14–Peter Kreeft

Roger Oakland relates a story from the Book of Acts:

“[T]he apostle Paul had been arrested for preaching the Gospel. He was brought before King Agrippa and given the opportunity to share his testimony of how he became a Christian. He told Agrippa that the Lord had commissioned him to preach the Gospel and:

To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26:18)

“Agrippa continued listening and then said to Paul, ‘Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian (vs. 28).’ Paul answered him:

I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. (vs. 29)

“If Paul had been following the emerging mentality, he would have told Agrippa, “No need to become a Christian. You can remain just as you are; keep all your rituals and practices, just say you like Jesus.” In actuality, if Paul had been practicing emerging spirituality, he wouldn’t have been arrested in the first place. He would not have stood out, would not have preached boldly and without reservation, and he would not have called himself a Christian, which eventually became a death sentence for Paul and countless others.”15

It’s hard to believe there was not at least some political agenda in this storm of “we love Jesus but not the church or Christianity” especially witnessed in election years. And we believe this agenda was aimed particularly toward young people from evangelical conservative upbringings who had joined the emerging church movement. In a CBS Broadcast, anchorman Antonio Mora suggests there may have been over twenty million participants in the emerging church movement in the United States alone by 2006.16 Even half that number would be enough to change the results of a presidential election.

Some may contend that Jefferson Bethke’s song doesn’t have any political message at all—it’s just about hypocrisy of religious people. But interestingly, in the very first few lines of the song, Bethke raps:

“What if I told you getting you to vote Republican, really wasn’t his [Jesus’] mission? Because Republican doesn’t automatically mean Christian.”

Could there be some message here that Bethke is trying to relay? Is it just to tell people that just because they are Republican doesn’t mean they are Christian? Surely not. A fourth grader could reason that out. It’s difficult not to believe there is some other message here that just happens to be taking place on an election year.

Just consider some of the things that were said by evangelical and emerging figures during the 2008 presidential election year. And think about what you are hearing today. A lot of people love the messages being sent out by people like Dan Kimball, Erwin McManus, and let’s not forget Frank Viola and George Barna’s book, Pagan Christianity, where they condemn church practices like pastors, sermons, Sunday School, and pews, but say nothing about spiritual deception that has come into the church through the contemplative prayer movement. These latter two figures (Viola and Barna) give readers a feeling that they should hate Christianity but just love Jesus. But what Jesus are these voices writing, singing, and rapping about? It may be “another Jesus” and “another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4).

As the world is gradually (but not too slowly anymore) heading toward a global government and global religion, it is becoming more and more apparent that this global society will be one where “tolerance” is the byword for everything other than biblical Christianity. And what better way to breed hatred toward biblical Christians than to say “we love Jesus but hate the church” (i.e., Christians and Christianity)? Perhaps they have forgotten what Jesus said:

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (John 15: 18-19)

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. (John 17:14)

This report we have written may produce more questions than answers regarding things like politics, voting, the role of Christians in the world, the view the world has of Christians, and so forth. But while we have not answered such questions, we hope we have shown that indeed things are not always as they seem and that often what seems right may actually be from a deceiving angel of light and those who appear good may actually be only false ministers of righteousness.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness. (2 Corinthians 11: 14-15)

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from Got Questions:

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith Movement,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:5, 9-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term of prosperity gospel teachers is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, prosperity teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the prosperity gospel emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

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