Through the Narrow: Should Christians Talk to Satan? By Tami Dykes

Christians have been lied to about the devil and Hell.

We have been told over and over that Hell is Satan’s dwelling place. He lives there and just comes around to bother us sometimes or sends his demons to mess with us. It has been suggested that the devil spends time with those that are in Hell tormenting them and allowing demons to torment them as well.

The link below is from the movie “War Room”, and we see where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) decides she’s had enough of the devil and goes after him. She becomes mad enough about the devil messing things up in her life that she gives the devil a firm scolding and yells at him for a good while.

She starts out with her explaining to him, “I don’t know where you are, devil, but I know you can hear me.” Well, the devil is not omnipresent and he cannot be everywhere at once as God can. I don’t know about you but to me, that seems like a frightening thought to think about, out of all the places on earth the devil chooses to be to cause destruction, he chooses you and your house to do it. Yikes!

But because he can only be in one place in time how does she know she is talking to him and that he hears her? Her assumption makes her believe that he is there and can hear her and yet she goes about scolding him as if she’s an authority to him and he might just be standing in shock that she’s on to him now. She says, “You have played with my mind and had your way long enough. No more. You are done. Jesus is the Lord of this house and that means there is no place for you here anymore.” thinking it’s something he wouldn’t know unless she announces it and now that she has he can’t play those games anymore and has to leave. She seems to think that Christians stand in some devil proof zone and they are promised no more demonic attacks or problems. The problems aren’t the same after salvation, but they are still going to come. The devil still tempts and causes deception in the lives of both the lost and saved; this is why we need to stand on the Word of God. We do not become free from the devil’s lies and destruction the minute we are saved. In fact, we can expect it just as much as a Christian, just as Job was targeted by the devil. 

She then appears to chase him out of her house as she storms outside. She continues to remind him that he can’t have her marriage, daughter, or husband. We learn quickly, “when reading the Word” that marriage was designed by God and God does have set rules for the husband and set rules for the wife. God gives clear instructions on how we are to be in a marriage and the devil seeks to divide the husband and wife and destroy the marriage. Christian marriages are not off-limits to the devil.

The devil can cause trouble with anyone, and anything the devil does is always known by God. God can choose to allowed or not allowed the devil to play with people but it’s always for His own glory and purpose. At the same time we see it is God that can provide the protection and keep the devil at bay if He sees fit, just as it was done for Job in Job 1:10~ “Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land”.

In the movie the lady character tells the devil he is done (although, in reality, the devil will never be done or stop till our Lord throws him into the lake of fire) and she storms back into the house only to come back out a few seconds later to talk more to the devil. Here was where I’m like, “Serious, she’s gonna keep talking to him.” She comes back out and says, “And another thing…” like the devil is still standing outside all wide-eyed and in shock.  Just so you all know, the devil couldn’t care less what you have to say or that you’re mad at him.

She ends up telling the devil to “Go back to Hell where he belongs”. The problem with that is the devil didn’t come from Hell as if it was his personal apartment where he lives and besides, it contradicts the Word of God.

Voddie-Baucham-Quote

That’s a very unbiblical teaching and a most ridiculous belief about the devil and Hell that there is. As I’ve mentioned the devil does not live in Hell or control it how he wishes. Instead, the devil is going to be the one tormented in Hell, not in charge of it, because it is God that is in charge of Hell.

What we learn from Scriptures is that God created Hell and it’s only God that has the AUTHORITY to put Satan in Hell, not us. In Matthew 25:41 and 2 Peter 2:4, God says that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels. It’s God that cast demons into Hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.

Scriptures also, say that the demons cry out in fear of the Lord and do not want Him to torment them. Matthew 8:29~ And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”

Luke 12:5~But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

Matthew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Proverbs 14:27~ The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

That tells me that we should fear God because He is the Authority overall.

J.C.-Ryle-Quote

But common sense says that even if it’s true that Christians can command and send the devil to Hell then who is letting him out or how is he getting out? If people all over the world are practicing this and they believe they are sending the devil “back” to Hell then he is being sent there over and over by different people all the time. Not to mention that most people will say, “In Jesus’ name.” So does this mean saying “in the name of Jesus” isn’t strong enough to keep the devil in Hell? 

It says in 1 Peter 5:8 “the devil prowls around seeking someone to devour”. In Job 1:7 it tells us when God asked where the devil was and he told God he was going to and fro on the earth and walking up and down on it. This devil isn’t in Hell seeking to devour people; he’s on earth seeking to devour people.

Another thing that should be obvious is we should never address the devil ever! Why do people insist on talking to the devil when things go wrong? Because they were taught to do that.  It’s not biblical and so very dangerous. 

Addressing Satan is the worst thing you can do and yelling at him does nothing.

But ask yourself, “Why in the world would I want to address the enemy of God anyway or any demon for that matter?” That’s just giving the devil what he wants, YOUR attention!! Your attention is off of God and on him and now he is robbing you of your time spent with God. Think about it, something goes wrong and we start talking to the devil about how mad we are or how hurt we are and how he is not going to have control anymore. Does this make sense? Your time could be spent praying to God and asking Him for help but instead, it’s spent yelling at the devil.

God tells us in James 4:7-8 to “submit to God and resist the devil“.

We all need to be in prayer for all things but when we are addressing Satan then you have stopped your prayer and turned your back on God to talk with Satan.  This movie teaches people they can address Satan and that’s wrong.  

In the part of the movie where the wife (played by Priscilla Shirer) losses her cool and starts getting upset and yells at the devil and it appears that she is chasing him outside, I want to know, how does she know she got him outside? How does she know that her yelling did anything? But the worst part is that anyone would be talking to God one day and then the next start talking to Satan? Seems to me that would be an insult to God. Think about that, we pray to our Lord for many things. We go to God for help, to praise Him, to thank Him but one day you feel you are being spiritually attacked so instead of going to God (who has the power to help you and protect you) we start talking to the devil instead like we are his parent and he’s in trouble. Why? He doesn’t care what we think. He isn’t going to all the sudden become remorseful and sad because we yelled at him. The devil isn’t going to be afraid of you and apologize for upsetting you. He is getting exactly what he wants, your attention off of God, and getting you all stressed and angry. We shouldn’t address the devil at all, ever. We only need to address God. 

Satan is very active and he does prowl around and he will until the 1000 year reign of Christ where an angel (the warrior archangel Michael) binds him and he will be thrown into the bottomless pit as said in Revelation 20:1–3~ “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, which is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be released for a little while.” 

The word archangel means “angel of the highest rank.”  Michael binds the devil, not a human. The archangel Michael has spiritual combat with the devil during the millennial reign of Christ. The Bible also speaks of Michael protecting people as well, in Daniel 12:1 so if we are so tough that we think we can bind Satan and kick him out of our house on our own, why would God need angels protecting us, ministering to us and guiding us?

I mention in an earlier article I wrote, “Steven Furtick’s Heretical Views on Satan & Sovereignty”, (you can find it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi7xqALAz0h/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link )

That we humans are weaker than angels and below them in power and knowledge. (2 Peter 2:11, Jude 1:9) so there is no way we can take on Satan and his demons and there is no way he stands in fear of us. That’s just pride-fullness.

Binding Satan is not within our power. Scriptures say in Acts 19:13-16~ “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

This from Got Questions:

“Jesus had earlier given His apostles specific authority over demons (Mark 3:15). Paul, as an apostle, had received that authority as well (see 2 Corinthians 12:12).”

“..Demons recognize valid authority, and they fear God (see James 2:19). It’s important to note that the authority over demons belongs only to Jesus (see Luke 8:28, 31) and to those to whom Jesus gave it. The demon in Acts 19 says that it knows Jesus and Paul (one of Jesus’ chosen apostles). It refused to recognize any other authority in Ephesus. The demon’s question “who are you?” is chilling in its implications to the seven sons of Sceva and their total lack of authority.”

This is what God wants us to do instead in Eph 6: 10-18~ Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. …13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you maybe able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand firm.

James 4:7-8 says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”

That being said, there was one part in the move I agree with and that was when the old woman named Miss Clara says to the wife, “Do your fighting in prayer.” That’s exactly what we need to do. Not address the devil but address God in prayer. Not yell at the devil but run to God in prayer. Not send the devil back to Hell but bring God into it and let God fight the battle. We can’t!

Turning away from God to speak to the devil just because you feel you are strong enough and more powerful than the devil is unbiblical. Just because someone told you that you could do that because you are a Christian is a lie. God is the only one that can fight the devil and protect you. Just stay with God and don’t waste your time talking to the devil.

We all need to stop talking to him, stop yelling at him, stop commanding him to go back to Hell, and don’t give him any more of your time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkobFVAVlf8

Mental Illness & the Gospel with the Women of the Table

I was so blessed to have the Women of the Table join me to discuss depression, mental illness, suicide, and the Gospel. How do we as believers address these issues when it comes to salvation, sanctification, and the Gospel? These two wonderful ladies help me work through it all! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

You can find more about The Women of the Table on their blog here: https://wott.blog or social media here: https://www.facebook.com/wottable & https://www.instagram.com/womenofthetable

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online

My store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h… 

or my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub

For questions, comments, recommendations, prayer requests, you can contact me on social media or via my email biblicalbeginnings@outlook.com

Wednesday Testimony: How God Graciously Saved Kim Starling

Below is the testimony of a dear sister, and listener, who has been an encouragement to myself and many others in the Tulips & Honey Hub Facebook Group. Recently she shared her testimony with me, and agreed to allow me to share it here. I’m thankful for her boldness, as it is rarely easy to openly discuss our past selves. The old man is dead, and looking back on him we can often feel like we’re watching someone else’s life, but it can be edifying to share God’s grace in forgiving us for that old life. I hope that it will also be encouraging to those of us that have unsaved relatives we’ve prayed for, sometimes for years. I want to thank Kim for all she has done to bless me and others, and for sharing her testimony. At the end you’ll see a video of her baptism, let us rejoice in the saving work of Christ. In Him alone we find our only hope to be forgiven of our sins.

I was adopted as a baby but growing up was full of verbal and physical abuse. I didn’t feel safe at home or school, I was bullied everywhere I turned. Growing up I went to church but God wasn’t present in my home. I tried to please my family anyway I could gain their love and affection. I was involved in a campus ministry in high school called Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2000 at a high school retreat I walked down the aisle and first considered myself a Christian, even though I didn’t know what it meant to follow God except I did not want to go to hell. I began attending a charismatic church and followed and attended conferences of teachers such as Beth Moore, Benny Hinn, Paula White, and teachers at Brownsville Revival School of Ministry. I began to believe that because I was going to church, active in FCA, spoke in tongues, had various experiences within the charismatic church that was made me a Christian. By my senior year in high school, I was leading Bible studies and was captain of FCA. However, I still loved my sin and there was no difference in my life before I professed Christ, and after, except for the works I was hoping that would save me as I was being taught. In college, I continued my involvement in FCA. Around 2004 or 2005 I met a friend of mine at a college retreat. When I made a trip down to visit her we went to the college group with her church, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Oviedo. The pastor was going over the book Charismatic Chaos by John Macarthur and that was the first time I heard of what I had believed and the Brownsville school that I had visited was a false gospel. This shook my world, everything I believed, and caused me to become upset and silent.

In 2006 I swore in and joined the US Army as an MP. My friend would encourage me to find a biblically sound church in Tallahassee when one couldn’t be found I moved to Orlando in 2007. One day I thought I had understood the gospel and had repented of my sin. In June of 2007, I was baptized. Outwardly I tried to conform but there was no fruit of repentance in my life My friends would point out sin to me but I was prideful and apathetic, I would make excuses for the sin I was committing. About October of 2007, I moved back to Tallahassee due to a temporary duty assignment in Italy. After Italy, I returned to Tallahassee and entered into a relationship that was flirting with the line between sex and foreplay which ended about a month before I deployed. Shortly after I returned from Italy I received my orders to be deployed to Iraq. During my training for my deployment, I began talking to a woman on a Christian chat site which became a homosexual relationship. I also remained in touch with various people at Cornerstone, where I am attending now actually. Toward the end of the first month in Iraq, I was injured.

Once I was back stateside I would isolate from everything and everyone except for my family, my friends from Cornerstone, and the woman I was speaking with and seeing on Skype all the time. There were times my friends would ask about my status on Skype, my relationship with God, and going to church. I would tell them of my desire to isolate and she would ask me about the profession I had made and baptism. Due to her confronting me about my sin and being unwilling to repent I pushed her away. Because of how I thought it was unloving and not understanding why I wanted to isolate I would slander her to others. Every year until 2015 I would travel to Canada to visit my girlfriend. On one of my initial trips to see her we exchanged rings and said we were married even though she was already married with children who knew nothing of our sin. Due to trauma from war and childhood in April 2017, I got a service dog (which was at suggestions of other veterans that had gone through the war and had the same issues I did) and after that, I felt like I had to keep my promise to God and go back to church. I would go only when it was convenient and when I didn’t have to explain it to the woman I called a wife. That July I made my first trip back to Cornerstone in Oviedo for the woman’s conference with Ollie and still professed to be a Christian. By August I began being uncomfortable with the soft preaching or when I approached the pastor about being unsure of my salvation he prayed for me but did not mention anything about repentance or sin in my life but all was ok because we had prayed. I

n November 2017 I found a reformed church in Tallahassee called Grace Church of Tallahassee. During this time I began reaching out to my old friend who I pushed away again and she would graciously hear my questions and uncertainties I had about if I could come to Christ and repent. She would tell me today is the day of salvation, to read the book of John, and listen to Paster Marc at Cornerstone preach through the book of John. I would still make excuses for not going to church. Between January and March between hearing the sermons by Pastor Marc through John, reading Hard to Believe by John Macarthur, listening to the pastor at Grace Church of Tallahassee preach through Luke, and reading through John I think it was in March when my sin, depravity, understanding of the gospel and repentance for the first time I began being broken and downcast. I would come home from church before I would begin work there would be tears that would flow and I would get on my knees pleading with God to have mercy on me and grant me repentance. One day I prayed that I know the cost, I don’t care about the cost I want to follow Him. After that I told the woman I could no longer be in the relationship with her, I deleted all the photos of her and that I had with her. One day she asked me if I regretted the relationship and without hesitation I said I do regret it because of the offense it is to my Lord first and foremost and it was also sinning against her and her family. Now by God’s grace, I am living in Orlando again and attend Cornerstone and my life is completely different.

Clever Decorating & Homeschooling with Jasmin Davis

Today I had the joy of being joined on the program by The_Clever_Decorator, Jasmin Davis herself! Jasmin will be one of the breakout session speakers in the upcoming Open Hearts in a Closed World Women’s Conference. In this interview she shares her testimony, parenting and homeschooling tips, plus the way she decorates her home on a budget! She also gives us the inside scoop on what she’s addressing at the conference. You can find Jasmin on Instagram @the_clever_decorator.

The conference will be completely free, with CityALight doing the worship music, and main speakers including Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, and Brooke Bartz! It will be live streamed on YouTube, FB, and IGTV and can be projected into your church if you’d like your women’s ministry to join in. I can’t wait for Jasmin’s breakout session, and I’m so thankful for her time on the program. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form on Youtube. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

You can find more info about Open Hearts in a Closed World Women’s Conference here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/52683

The YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6Dj

and the website here: openheartsinaclosedworld.com

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online

My store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h… or my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub

Did you miss last weeks live MEGA list? Catch up here: https://youtu.be/NeN1t3UfRHE

Happy Father’s Day

Hello again, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s yet again Father’s Day, and I’d like to take a moment to touch on something that I consider every year on this day. What makes a man a father? You know, if you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, that I didn’t grow up with one. In fact, I barely remember him, since I was only six when my parents divorced and he didn’t seek custody. I carried his last name though, all the way up until I got married. If I wasn’t nearly an identical twin of my mom I might have wondered about whether or not I had been adopted. My sister had my mothers maiden name, so I was the only one in the house with a different last name. But the day that my name finally changed, a different man walked me down the isle and gave me away.

What made that other man more of a father figure to me than my actual, biological, father? My uncle is the only father figure I had growing up, after spending two years living with him and my aunt, and countless summers with them after that. He provided a home, food, clothes, love, and discipline, when no one else would. Of the five children he provided for during those years, only one was his biological son. Two of the girls were his step daughters from my aunts previous marriage, and the other two girls were my sister and I. It’s a tall order to provide for that many people, to go to work each day, to put them all in sports and then show up to every game, to couch when needed, to practice with them, to tuck them in when they’re sick. Never once while living there did I see a difference in how my aunt and uncle treated the five of us, if we weren’t all their children by birth it was hard to tell.

I remember asking my aunt if I could call her mom and call my uncle dad. She told me no, and explained that I had parents that loved me. I didn’t understand at the time, but it’s something unique and very special that two people who weren’t my parents had chosen to act in their place. It would have been easy to skim on the parenting part, to let some attitude issues slide, to ignore the glaringly obvious need I had for discipline. After all, I was eventually going to be someone else’s problem. But my uncle never ignored it, never let it slide, was never content to push off the right thing to someone else. Without his guidance, I doubt I would have been able to avoid drugs during my teen years. He taught me self control, and though I rarely demonstrated it in any other area, it was due to his structure that I was able to pass classes. I followed the template he and my aunt set for me, using what little self discipline I gleaned from his painstaking effort to get through the toughest moments.

What makes a man a father? I don’t guess, as a woman, that I’ll ever understand it. One man is my father by birth, I can just barely remember him singing Brown Eye’d Girl to me and playing the guitar to help me sleep. Yet, he wasn’t a father to me growing up. Another man, not by blood or by marriage, chose to step up into the roll of father, eventually walking me down the aisle and giving me away. There’s a disconnect here that I’m unable to reconcile. But I’m very thankful for God’s providence in allowing me to have a fixed point in my childhood, just those two years, and a man that helped teach me how to ride a bike, catch a ball, and tie a shoe. We have an issue in the Church, I hear it over and over again when I interview believers on the podcast, there’s no discipleship happening. We need men willing to stand up in the place where fathers are missing, and teach young boys how to follow after Christ. We need women willing to stand up in the place where mother’s are missing and do the same. I’m thankful to all the men and women who are already doing that. I’m thankful for the fathers that are teaching their children Scriptures. I hope you are all having a blessed Father’s Day. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

ChristMarked: No better words can come from me than the word of God – by Troy Paylor

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭1:27, 31‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:6-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5-7, 10‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭3:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:6-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:23‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭8:34-35‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.””
‭‭Mark‬ ‭1:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
‭‭John‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭ESV‬‬



The above was written by my brother-in-Christ and friend Troy Paylorfrom Christ Marked. You can hear his testimony here,and as always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Through the Narrow: Perfection vs. Purity – By Gina Cook

I’ve grown to expect a handful of commonly leaned on and knee-jerk responses when talking to a churched unbeliever or sometimes just an immature believer.  There is one in particular I will hear from people of all backgrounds and denominations when they are made aware of the sins being unaddressed in their church.  I hear it when I answer their questions on why ecumenicalism is unbiblical or why I will no longer attend the friendly Baptist Church that fully embraces New Age and NAR teachings and practices.  It’s the response I get when I don’t approve of a woman “pastor” or if I have questions regarding the widely applauded church that paints houses of single mothers and serves hotdogs downtown for the homeless but keeps neglecting to preach the whole and the true Gospel message to anyone.  It’s the the response I get when I express concern over a church’s encouragement of fluffy false doctrine in the women’s ministry or their seal of approval on unbiblical doctrine in Sunday school classes.  It’s the response I hear when I don’t attend a legalistic church that neglects the the commandment of God, to hold to the tradition of men.  

It’s the usually hasty and reproving response, “But no church is perfect”.

First of all, that is true.  No church is perfect.  Hopefully, there is not a person on earth that believes a church full of imperfect people on this earth can have a perfect church congregation.  It amazes me how many people actually believe it necessary to remind me and others that there are no perfect churches to attend.  So I’d like to clarify right now- I agree, there is no perfect church congregation today.  

As most would agree, perfection is found in only One, and He is God.  Christ Jesus the Lord, fully God and fully man, is our perfect Lord.  What would the Perfect One say about “no church is perfect” therefore ease up?  Would He simply agree?  Would He encourage the ignoring of sin and say the focus is to be on just His forgiveness?  Would He say, “If they are proclaiming My name and doing good deeds, that’s good enough?”  Thankfully we have the letters from Him to seven literal churches back in the beginning of the Church Age, and it’s not only sobering but it’s very helpful to understand the standards God has for all churches today.  

When reading Revelation chapters 2 and 3 I notice modern churches today sound a lot like the churches in these verses.  I also see how very serious the Lord is about what the churches did, taught, and believed.  We read in these chapters that the Lord definitely didn’t speak to these seven churches in the same tone or manner, nor did He allow them to have any excuse for whatever sin they may have been fostering.

The first letter we read is to the church of Ephesus (2:1-7), a strong, laboring, and discerning church.  It sounds like they could site wolves a mile away and would obediently shut the gate doors before those false teachers could enter and corrupt their church.  This church loved the Gospel and protected it.  They resisted the lures of false doctrine.  At the beginning of the letter, Christ gave an encouraging introduction and said, “The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this:‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.” (Verses 1-3). 

But the encouragement then quickly turned to rebuke and warning. “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.” (Verses 4 and 5).

This particular church had spent so much time in battle for the Lord they forgot about their love for the Lord.  Things become mechanical, albeit zealous, but nonetheless without the love and adoration for the Lord that they had at the beginning of their salvation.  Did Jesus tell them, “Well, no church is perfect?  No worries as long as you are preaching the Gospel because I forgave you of your sins already and even though I don’t like your lack of love towards Me these days, you are my children and truly doing great on everything else?”

No.  He actually said, “I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.”  Churches that love the Gospel, share it, and protect their church from wolves, are not necessarily right where they should be. Christ was willing to shut the whole church down.  And He eventually did because seemingly they did not repent.  Wow.  That should cause us to sit up straight and pay close attention!  Do not forsake your first Love, the One that is our reason and our hope.  Do the deeds that are born out of fervent love for the Savior.  Stale, cool churches that just go through the motions are not pleasing to the Lord.  

The church of Pergamum is on the flipside.  Christ’s words to them started out with a severe tone.  It is not a comforting introduction at all.  “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this:” (Verse 12) Quickly turning to Revelation 19:15 we read, “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”  This church’s letter started out with a tone of judgment.

Going on in the letter, Christ gives some good news, “I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is; and you hold fast My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.”  So this church had believers holding fast to their faith and His Name, His Gospel.  Why would He warn about judging this church?  Verses 14-16, “But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.”

I didn’t notice Christ slip in a “but I know no church is perfect, it’s ok, you are at least preaching the Gospel.  You’re trying.  You’re passionate and loving and teach my Word, that’s honorable enough.”

This church didn’t prevent immorality and false doctrine from entering their gates, nor did they protect their church from their influences.  They were too focused on one primary issue- expressing the love for the Lord and His Gospel, but failed to give much attention to another crucial primary issue-being faithful about keeping out pagan and false teachings.  That is true for so many churches today.  

I remember hearing a pastor say “as long as they just focus on Gospel issues, the false teaching concerns will take care of themselves.”  Unsurprisingly he also often stated, “No church is perfect” when being confronted by the false teachings running rampant in his church.  With that attitude, it would be easy for the church to slowly succumb to more and more sin, even sexual immorality among its members.  Today we hear pastors and church leaders yielding to sexual sins, supporting homosexual marriages and premarital sex, etc. It’s shocking until you realize this has been an issue since the beginning.  Churches are filled with false converts who were bottle-fed on hyper-grace and no real spiritual accountability.  Churches are also filled with weak brothers and sisters who don’t understand the dangers they are tolerating. 

The church of Thyatira-Revelation 2:18-29 was a small but growing and serving church that had faith and love.  It was a persevering church in charity and service but did not persevere in discernment. 

“I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (Verses 19-20)

It was corrupted by being too tolerant of false teachings and immorality.  Their love and faith were undisciplined and lacked wisdom.  It was assaulted within its own walls, in a severe way.  It allowed a woman, who prophesied and preached, to enter in and cleverly bring sexual immorality and false doctrine/religion.  A little leaven leavened the whole lump. An increasingly common type of church today – one that tolerates at least one sin because of a trusted and influential insider.  Sins like idolatry, homosexuality, sexual immorality, unity with false religions, false prophets/prophetesses, women preachers, etc.  We hear of pastors being tolerant of different gospels, a different “jesus”, and different religions, basically allowing idolatry in the grossest forms to take root within their walls.  Praying to anyone but the Lord, venerating the dead, false prophesies, summoning spirits…not uncommon to find within congregations that profess Christ.  

What did Christ tell the Church in Thyatira?  It’s ok as long as you know my Gospel and serve? Not exactly.  In verses 21-23 we read, “I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.”  “Her children” were those who followed after the unrepentant immoral woman they allowed in their church.  This is a serious and unwavering warning.  This was a corrupted church that needed to repent very quickly. 

Another, the church at Sardis, the dead church.  Christ said in 3:1, “He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”

Dead.  Blind, worldly, never persecuted, and deeply fraudulent.  Mere men looked at this church and its history perhaps and believed they were of Christ- “that you have a name that you are alive”.  It was not alive- only boasted that it was- only appeared to be to some.  Whatever deeds they had done were insufficient, empty and not from a true heart for the Lord.  Their lack of repentance and faith was going to soon usher in Christ’s destruction of their church.  “So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you (Verses 2-3).  

Finally, the church of Laodicea, the lukewarm church.  It was a church of apostates that believed they served Jesus.  This church happened to make Him sick, “‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.” (Verses 15-16).  They would have been better off rejecting the Lord altogether or truly being saved and zealous in serving Him.  They were the dreadful in-between.  They were self-righteous hypocrites who thought they had God and were in no real spiritual need.  There was nothing in their church to commend.  The Lord told them, “You do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Verse 17).  They were in desperate need to repent, all of them.  How many churches today look very holy, polished, and confident in themselves and their “jesus” today, all the while being self-deceived and receiving no real salvation?  Many sadly.  

It’s important to note that Christ didn’t always come with some sort of rebuke or condemnation to a church.  The churches Philadelphia and Smyrna received only encouragement and commendation.  They were faithful and persecuted; tested and true; loving and persevering.  They of course were not perfect, Christ didn’t say they had to be, but there is a certain level of faithfulness, discernment, love, and toil that Christ commands churches to exercise, as well as, individual believers.  Just because believers are saved, doesn’t mean they are given license to sit back, twiddle thumbs and let the rest go, “under grace”.  Nor does it give permission to only focus on being loving and Gospel-sharing.  It definitely doesn’t give us Christians any license to forget where we’ve come from and our beloved Lord and Savior for what He’s done for us.

It’s easy to overlook the seriousness of the Lord.  Especially in this lax modern church age.  We need to remember that He is not just strongly warning the unbelievers.

It seems we easily dismiss that the Lord will kill believers who refuse to obey and repent – Acts 5:1-11, 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 and James 5:19-20.  It’s never good if we refuse to take the ways of the Lord serious enough.  He has already made it clear.  There are no excuses we can cling to.  We are not to sin so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1).

“but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?” 1 Peter 4:16-18.  The Lord is always ready and willing to chasten and purify His Church.

Why do so many, when confronted with a pattern of sin in their church or any unbiblical teachings/practices in the ministry, quickly proclaim “there is no perfect church” as if they are saying stop being picky?  Perhaps pastors and church leaders say this to make less of their negligent and disorderly shepherding.  Perhaps people in the congregation say this believing they are not allowed to question.  Perhaps they are just not good with any confrontation, even healthy and righteous confrontation.  If a leader or pastor in a church readily throws up their fists and snaps back with “no church is perfect” after kindly being confronted with sinful patterns in the church, beware of them.  Question them.  Be diligent not only in your own walk but to look closely at where your church is really at in their obedience, discernment, love, and toil.  It matters greatly to the Lord.  

Christ does not expect a perfect church but He expects a pure one, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

And don’t forget, the world is watching.  Do we practice what we preach?  Do we live out obediently what we proclaim to believe in the Bible?  Are we ok with being half-hearted, lukewarm, ignorant, loveless, weak, deed-doing immature little hearers only?  I’ve heard unbelievers question some wayward churches saying, “I thought your Bible said this is a sin, so why is your church ok with it?”  How awful to hear the world rightly question the integrity of churches and their faithfulness to the Lord they claim to serve.

Fellow believer, I hope we all remember that we are to personally be gracious to one another and be diligent about holding to the truth in our own walk as well as not being afraid to kindly hold others accountable to the truth, even leaders of the church.  We are to remember where we’ve come from and have joy and love for our Savior.  We are called to be watchful, diligent, and unwavering regarding keeping out wolves and their teachings, whether inside or outside the church walls. We are to pray for our church leaders, for the repentance of sin within the church as we pray for our own repentance and humility.  Even though believers have the hope of salvation that can never be undone or taken from us, even though we are “partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel” and we have a glorious eternity ahead of us, we do not want to grieve the Lord today in our sin and attitude towards sin, whether it’s ours or someone else’s.  

Let us be like the Bereans, learning the Word and testing even faithful pastors and preachers to see if they are sound in what they say and encourage.  Before stubbornly defending what may only be a sandy foundation that our family, feelings and traditions have laid down, make sure it’s the Rock we are to stand firmly on.  

I’ll end with the encouragement the Lord ended His letter to the church of Philadelphia with; an encouragement to all believers: 

“Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.  I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Revelation 3:10-13

Above is an article written by Gina Cook, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford

Reaching the Lost from the Prosperity Gospel with Costi Hinn

Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well. I’m really excited about the episode dropping today! Costi Hinn, nephew of Benny Hinn, joined me on the program today to discuss his book, his life, his family, the recent accusations from Todd White, and a lot more. Emily Eavey, from The Aquila and Priscilla Hour, co-hosted with me, and we had an absolute blast! We all hope you’ll be edified by the discussion, encouraged by the Biblical teaching and wisdom from Costi, and entertained by the blooper reel at the end. Below is a timestamped outline in case you’d like to zip through this episode, as well as links to Costi Hinn’s books, podcast, and social medias. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on Youtube.  As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Cost Hinn on social media: https://twitter.com/costiwhinn https://www.facebook.com/costiwhinn/ https://www.instagram.com/costiwhinn/

God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel: https://www.amazon.com/God-Greed-Prosperity-Gospel-Overwhelms/dp/0310355273

Defining Deception: https://www.amazon.com/Defining-Deception-Freeing-Mystical-Miracle-Movement/dp/0986444243

Costi Hinn’s Podcast: https://redeemingtruth.libsyn.com/website

Timestamped Outline:

Introduction & Testimony

TS 00:25:50 – What led you to write God, Greed, and the Prosperity Gospel?

TS 00:39:20 – What projects are you currently working on?

TS 00:47:30 – Will you be featured in American Gospel?

TS 00:58:00 – Matthew 18 – What do you say to those who say we should be bringing these guys aside and rebuking them privately?

TS 01:05:00 – How can we be praying for you?

Silly Questions:

TS 01:11:00 – Do you have a garden in the desert?

TS 01:15:10 – What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to eat?

TS 01:17:45 – Listeners questions

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out my website: 5Solas.Online

My store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h…

or my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub

For questions, comments, recommendations, prayer requests, you can contact me on social media or via my email biblicalbeginnings@outlook.com

Women’s Ministry with Erin Coates – A Story of Death to Life

Today’s episode is one of those interviews that I recommend tissues for. And a notepad and pen!

Hello, dear ones! I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today’s episode is one of those interviews that I recommend tissues for. And a notepad and pen! Erin Coates joined me and tells how God graciously saved her from drugs, partying, and abortion. She now directs the women’s ministry at her church as a pastors wife and a homeschooling mom. She has a heart and passion for the truth of Gods Word to be taught to women! After watching how the women’s ministry was done at Grace during her husbands time in The Masters Seminary, she had a good foundation for how to grow women in Biblical maturity. Don’t forget to mark your calendars because Erin will be a featured speaker at Brooke Bartz free online Women’s Conference Open Hearts in a Lost World July 13th thru the 17th 9:30 CST, with worship done by CityALight.

There were some really fun, light hearted moments that I was able to get for the blooper reel at the end, so don’t miss it. I don’t usually ask this, but if you know someone who has had an abortion, is considering an abortion, or works at the abortion mill and could use some encouragement, please share this episode with them. Below is a timestamped outline in case you’d like to zip through this episode, as well as the links to Erin’s social media so you can follow her ministry. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on Youtube.  As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

TS 00:01:37 – Erin shares her testimony

TS 00:16:00 – We talk about abortion, and forgiveness

TS 00:29:30 – How did you end up in women’s ministry?

TS 00:36:50 – What led you to run the women’s ministry in such a God glorifying way?

TS 00:40:40 Should a younger woman teach an older woman if the younger has been in faith longer?

TS 00:45:00 – How can we address unbiblical teaching in our own churches?

TS 00:51:55 – We talk about the upcoming Women’s conference Erin will be speaking in, Open Hearts in a Closed World

TS 00:57:55 – How can we be praying for Erin?

TS 01:00:00 – Silly Questions

 You can find Erin on her social media accounts here: https://www.instagram.com/erincoates80/

and here: https://www.instagram.com/womenofgrace_glc/

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out their website: 5Solas.Online 

My store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h

or my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub

Throwback Thursday: Pray and Study

Throwback Thursday: This was originally posted on April 29th, 2017.

I want to start by making very clear here that I am in no way intending on heaping condemnation onto my brothers and sisters in Christ. I mean only to edify the body and help explain a possible reason for the lack of prayer and study within the church.

I also want to clarify that this is not going to make sense to those who are not believers but are instead Christians in name only. I know this for certain because I never understood this the entire decade I was pretending to be a Christian. I was perfectly happy being spoon fed the word and even happier to take your word for it. This is the reason why false teachers are so successful, we can see them on every “Christian” channel preaching a different gospel, a different Jesus, and a different god. A more common term for this would be heresy, there are more notable speakers teaching heresy, or even worse, blasphemy, then there are teachers proclaiming the true gospel.

I began my Christian faith wondering how we got to the place where famous preachers could announce loudly that Christ wasn’t the only way to Heaven and still manage to have any credibility. I think I can say assuredly it’s because of a lack of prayer and study within the body of true believers.

Let’s start with prayer. Before I was saved prayer was something I did out of obligation, it was done with a general sense of annoyance. The first few months after I got saved that changed, slowly at first, and then like a snowball falling, collectively the idea of what prayer began to drive me to my knees. The annoyance then became the need to do anything else besides study and prayer. What changed?

Study changed.

Before being saved I was perfectly happy to listen to TV evangelists twisting scripture to fit their worldly desires. I also enjoyed anything that was new information, as one enjoys the discovery channel. It didn’t have to be accurate, and I certainly wasn’t going to crack open my dust collecting Bible to check. Once I was saved the Word of God became the primary source, and great men expounding on it needed to be consistently vetted. More so than that, the Word became spiritual food. I felt a hunger for it I had never felt before, the desire to immerse myself in the Bible and to understand what I was reading was overwhelming.

This change led me to a greater understanding of both prayers, and study. What is prayer for the believer? It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us.

Apostle's Hands
Study of an Apostle’s Hands (Praying Hands) by Albrecht Durer

We are granted the tremendous honor of coming before the throne of God with our thanksgiving, supplication, and requests. This is the very God who had saved me from the chains of sin, a pointless life, and from eternal damnation. I get to come before Him, He hears me. Never once have I ever deserved the honor of coming before the King of Kings!

What brought me to this conclusion? Understanding what the Word is. John teaches us that in the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, the Word was God. That Word became flesh…when we pick up Gods Word we need to recognize that on every page we are seeing Holy Spirit inspired Words. The majesty of this is too great for me to understand, however, what I do see is the tremendous blessing we have been given to have the Word.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to have been an Apostle before the cross? The Holy Spirit hadn’t come, Christ hadn’t risen, all they have was the OT to go on. They were waiting for the Kingdom to come! They thought Christ was about to bring it down. What do you mean you’re going to die? What about the Kingdom? All the way up until Jesus Christ, Messiah, Lord, Savior, ascended the disciples were asking about the Kingdom. It wasn’t until the Holy Spirit came that they finally understood the OT. We have the benefit of reading that very revelation they were given.

Can you imagine also what it must be like to live in a country where this Word is illegal? How precious every page must be to believers, and every second they can spend reading it. It is easy to take for granted the amazing blessing some of us have to freely read the Word. I even have the Septuagint on my phone, along with every type of translation. How blessed is this generation? As blessed as we are ignorant of said blessing.

So, what do you do if you’re one of the many believers who does not understand the Word, and find very little joy in reading it? Or perhaps even less joy in praying? First, let’s remember that there are those out there particularly gifted in these areas, we should not compare ourselves to one another. Our comparison should always be Christ. Secondly, let us remember that we need to be growing in grace and knowledge. If you want to enjoy these things but the desires of the world are overpowering you bring it before the throne in prayer. Ask to thirst for God’s Word, ask God to help you love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. We can do nothing apart from Him.

Finally, friends, be good Bereans. Paul called the Bereans more noble then the Thessalonican’s because they accepted the Word while searching the scriptures to see if it was true. We need to take every thought into captivity, which means we cannot continue to accept what the TV evangelists, or even our own pastors, preach without checking its accuracy against the Word of God. Not partial scriptures, but the whole counsel of the Word.

I hope this helps you all grow in prayer and study, friends, to show yourself approved.

Scripture
2 Timothy 2:15