Through the Narrow: Are They in Your Hometown? – By Tami Dykes

These false teachers zone in on people in their hometowns and spread their unbiblical beliefs where they can such as women shelters, homeless shelters, jails, and one of the popular places they like to target is the colleges. They invite students to their churches or even to Bible studies on the campuses.

Are They in Your Hometown? 

Everyone knows there are well known false teachers everywhere such as Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Joel Osteen, Bill Johnson, Steven Furtick, etc. but we also need to be aware that there are small-time false teachers locally in our own hometowns.

It’s those preachers and teachers that teach the same kinds of stuff that we have heard from the well-known Bible teachers about prosperity, name it-claim it, mysticism, revelations outside Scriptures, on and on but live in the same town we do.

These false teachers zone in on people in their hometowns and spread their unbiblical beliefs where they can such as women shelters, homeless shelters, jails, and one of the popular places they like to target is the colleges. They invite students to their churches or even to Bible studies on the campuses. Many college students are from out of town and they leave their homes where they had friends and family to rely on for spiritual guidance and so they are looking to reconnect with new Christian friends, looking for a place to worship, and maybe find a church to go to. Some don’t know enough of how some preachers or teachers can deceive them and probably were never taught to test them by comparing what they are being told to God’s Word. Some never went to church and don’t know God at all. So, please, if you have a kid going to college, warn them. Have them do some research on wherever they go to church or for a bible study. They need to be discerning and not to just blindly start attending any Bible group without researching them first.

Just because a group calls themselves Christian doesn’t mean they are. Just because a place of worship calls themselves a church doesn’t mean they are a Biblical church. It’s important people do their homework! We need to be aware of all the unbiblical churches and ministries around our towns because they will work just as hard as any to convert your kid and as many as they can. I’ve seen many times local ministries or churches push the community to attend unbiblical events that many people in different denominations go to. 

These groups will not reveal themselves right off the bat. They normally start off with an introduction on enrollment day handing out pamphlets and drawing students by inviting them to cookouts on campus. Student get to know each other at the cookout and begin to become friends which draw them even more because they like who they are meeting, and they have fun.  After a few visits through the weeks, everything seemed good and students are enjoying meeting new people and learning about God and they feel comfortable there. 

It’s not long till they slowly introduce their teaching to the students by approaching one at a time, telling the student that God just spoke to them and they have a message for them. In some cases, it might be that God told the leader the student isn’t saved, or they don’t have faith in Jesus or that God told them their childhood was bad. 

I had learned that the ministry in our hometown told a young student that they needed to take the next step in becoming “no longer a sinner”. This leader told the student they could get to a place where they would no longer be a sinner ‘if’ they would live in faith with the Holy Spirit.  

Wow, there is so much wrong with this statement. To start with….None of those students could test what that leader said about hearing a message from God because it’s in their own mind. So those leaders were aware the students didn’t know much of what was Biblical or not. Tagging God’s name on such a message is wrong because God tells us we learn from His Word not from what other people think, feel, or hear in their own head.  They are false teachers claiming things about a young student that isn’t true, God didn’t tell them that. 

My thought is this: If they believe, “when you are saved and have the Holy Spirit, you are no longer a sinner” then why would the Scriptures teach us we still struggle with sin even though we are saved? Such as these Bible verses. 

1 John 1:7-10“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us”. 

Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 26:41~”Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 

Paul says in Romans 7:15-24~”I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” 

If those leaders claim to prophesy a Word from God, and hear personal messages from God, then they better be sure it was from God. Scriptures warn people about this type of practice. God does not speak audibly anymore because the cannon is closed (Hebrew 1:1-2). To tell people that God speaks to us today is adding to His Word (Proverbs30:5-6, Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32). If people claim they hear a Word from God, then it’s to be treated Holy and that means the Bible isn’t closed and it also means that these new revelations are not written in the Bible because they were just spoken which means the Bible isn’t authoritative because they can’t be proven. However, a ministry like this has proven they are false because the teacher had tagged God to her own words and said, “God told me that you had a bad childhood”, do you believe God really said that? God didn’t say that in His Word to that student, they gave an untrue revelation that discredits them as Bible teachers. 

Justin Peters says: “God cannot speak less authoritatively on one occasion than He does on another. Friends, if God is speaking, God is speaking, and whatever He says carries the exact same authority as does John 3:16 or Romans 10:9 and 10.” So, when others claim, “God said”, it should be added to the Bible. 

Again, let me give you a word of warning, we also need to remember God tells us NOT to take anything away from Scripture or add anything to Scriptures because it has harsh consequences. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18–19

When people claim new special revelations today, they are adding to God’s Words. Deuteronomy 18:20~But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 


This ministry also teaches our local students that if you are saved, you can still lose your salvation. So, let’s think about this. 

If one can lose salvation, then WHY do they also teach you can become “no longer a sinner”??? How does that work? If you’re no longer a sinner then you are perfect, correct? So how can you have any chance of losing your salvation if you are perfect? The two cannot exist together because they contradict each other in every way. Scriptures say that salvation is God’s work, not ours. 

It says in John 10:28-29“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” 

Titus 3:5“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”. 

There is nothing we can do that’s good enough to get us to heaven and there is nothing we can do that can undo God’s salvation. If salvation is given to us as a free gift by faith in Christ which makes us a new creation, it’s sealed salvation. The old has gone, the new has come. If we were bought at a price with the blood of Christ how can we then lose the new creation? 

“For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase of the individual for whom He paid with the precious blood of Christ.” (Taken from gotquestions.org

To lose salvation, the person that is a new creation would have to be turned back into the old self somehow. However, God told us at salvation the new has come and the “old is gone”. So, how would we be able to return to what God has said is gone? To lose salvation, the new creation would have to be destroyed 

Basically what they believe is when we lose our salvation the new us, that was “born” as a new creation, bought by God with the blood of Christ is….revoked by God and you become unborn? Or undone? Or destroyed? Or something like that. Then apparently we return to the old self that God tells us is gone or passed away. See the confusion?  

Christians I hope you know that this isn’t true. We can’t return to the old self because the old self died instantly in our salvation as said in the following verse.  

Colossians 3:2-3~“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”. 

It’s important to also know that some Bible study teachers aren’t truly saved either. They can talk the talk and sound like they make great points at times, but God knows the truth. God even tells us that we can know when He says, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). In other words, you’ll see they aren’t truly Christians by their lifestyle, how they talk, what they do, what they teach, etc. They never became that new creation. 

If we just look at how they approach the students they think are lost, they didn’t even share the gospel with them. All they do was tell them 

*they are not saved. 

*If they believed, they would no longer be a sinner. 

*They would pray for God to come into their life. 

So, how is any of that helpful to those students if any of them were truly lost???? Where’s the gospel? If a person is lost and doesn’t know Christ, did they even help them know who Christ was or why they need Him? All they did was say, “Let’s pray for God to come into your life” but would an unbeliever even understand that? Is that how God saves people? Is that the gospel? We are told in Scriptures to preach the gospel…Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 

The unsaved person first needs to recognize they are a sinner not told they can get to where they are no longer a sinner. The unsaved person needs to know why they are a sinner. Maybe they don’t think they are a bad person. We have to tell them that no matter how great we think we are, we all sin and need Jesus. They need to see they are hopelessly lost without Christ. Why do they need Christ? Well, because they need forgiveness for their sins. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reality of a person’s sin needs to be acknowledged in order for them to realize they need to repent. Why do they need to repent and turn to Jesus? Because their sins have made a separation between them and God and they need to understand the consequence of their sin. They need to see that that consequence is death. (Romans 6:23). They need to understand the only way we get saved from Hell is through Jesus. They need to know that Jesus died for our sins otherwise we’d go to Hell because we can’t pay for our own sins. We aren’t perfect enough. Without this understanding of truth, it doesn’t make sense to just pray for God to come into their life. How would that save them? Sin against a perfect God requires a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice and the only one that could pay for our sins and remove the sting of death. It cost Jesus His life to save us, but Jesus offers His salvation to us as a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), (Ephesians 2:8–9). Does an unbeliever know it’s a free gift or do they think they have to work for it??? 

 (From: ‘Grace to You’) 

“Once people see Scripture as less than the final, complete, infallible authority for faith and practice, it has opened the doors to theological chaos. Anyone can claim to be speaking God’s revelation—and almost anything can be passed off as divinely revealed truth. And make no mistake; some of the best-known charismatic leaders have abused their people’s trust by claiming they are receiving new truth from God when what they are really teaching are lies and fabrications.” 


I just want to warn people with kids that just because your kid is a college student doesn’t mean they are smart enough to see through that stuff. As a parent, I did my own homework on our local ministries I found so many things that disturbed me. I ended up in an online conversation with two ladies in the ministry. 

This same ministry believes in being “slain in the spirit“. Now, if you don’t know what that is then you’re blessed, but I’ll explain just so you know how unbiblical it is.  

 When a person is slain in the spirit what you will see is a person will collapse to the floor, ‘supposedly’ overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

If you study your Bible you will learn that being slain in the spirit is not biblical at all in any way. They say it’s the Holy Spirit, but it truly isn’t! Don’t believe it! The Holy Spirit lives within us at the point of true salvation and repentance of sin. The Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn’t throw people to the ground making them unaware of what is going on around them or making them behave like they are ‘OUT OF CONTROL’ to the point of shaking or mumbling on the ground. (Galatians 5:22-23). 

When we submit to the Bible as sufficient and as the final revelation of God’s Word, then there is no need for being “slain in the spirit”. If you are a discerning Christian, then you wouldn’t want anything to do with “being slain in the spirit”. No thanks! The whole scene of a person falling down on the ground, becoming stiff as a board, and some foam at the mouth or even shaking as if they are a fish flopping around is quite scary. Some people don’t speak and some just babble but most start doing very odd things. 

Now, I’m NOT saying that what a person experiences when they are supposedly “slain in the Spirit” is fake. I’ve heard how some people claim they feel energy or a feeling of some kind that overcomes them and cause them to fall back and do these very odd things. However, what I am saying, is it’s something else and not of God. I don’t believe it’s the result of the Holy Spirit. They probably are feeling something of some kind of force rushing through them but from reading the Scriptures it sounds more demonic to me. Such as when I read this verse : 

Mark 9:17-18A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. 

And this one as well: Galatians 5:22–23“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Did you catch that?????? Self-control!!

If ‘self-control’ is a fruit of the Spirit of God, how can uncontrollable falling down or uncontrollable shaking or uncontrollable passing out also be a fruit of His Spirit? I think they should explain to those students what it is because some have never seen it before and that can be a little disturbing, to say the least, to see someone do that. 


This ministry also practices what they believe to be “speaking in tongues” for today. 

The purpose of tongues throughout the early church was indeed biblical and given as one of the gifts from God. However, true biblical tongues require each and every time an interpreter. The interpreter translates to everyone listening to what is being said. If someone is just speaking gibberish with no interpreter, then they are not truly speaking in tongues and defiantly not being biblically correct. 

Speaking in tongues also is a real language that is spoken somewhere in the world. Speaking in tongues means you speak a different language that you have never spoken before such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Navajo. It’s for the benefit of a person that doesn’t know your language and needs to know the Gospel. They can preach the Gospel to them or give a message from God through tongues (through the lost person’s own language). So, if someone is speaking anything that is not intelligible it’s not true tongues and is not biblical. 

1 Corinthians 14:9,16,17,19,229″So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.” 

16 “Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified”. 

19 “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue“. 

22 “Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers”. 

So it’s probably safe to say, no one needs to speak in tongues in the church of believers. If a church or ministries have people speaking in tongues and everyone speaks the same language then it’s unbiblical. 


They have personally told me that God is NOT in control and they publicly teach this belief. They continued to tell me, “God wants to be in control but needs our permission first.” 

I was shocked they said that. Wow, if God’s not in control then I’M AFRAID and you should be too!! Because that means He is not sovereign. That comment makes God look very weak cuz if He WANTS to be in control but can’t…….UNLESS we let Him then he’s not God. Their words teach that because Gods not in control, we are. We are more powerful than Him because God can’t overpower our wants. So, does this mean God doesn’t have the ultimate authority? Where is His authority? Where is His power? That’s not the God of the Bible that I know, it’s a whole different god and it’s not my god. Here are just a few verses that say otherwise.  

Proverbs 19:21~Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Proverbs 16:9 ~The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 

Jeremiah 29:11~For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 

Psalm 115:3~Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. 


This ministry is not biblical and it’s just wrong and gives empty harmful beliefs. Ministries talk to college students, addicts, people in jail, the homeless shelters, and women shelters but they are not leading them to God’s Word correctly but instead leading them astray with all this foolishness. If a lost person doesn’t understand salvation then they are only saying empty words that hold no water, it doesn’t mean anything. 

We are told in Scriptures to warn people about false teachers. Mark them and expose them. Ephesians 5:11~ ”Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Romans 16:17-18–Paul said, “I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own body, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent.” 

These Ministries are dangerous because they claim to be from God and to speak for God.  

2 Corinthians 11:13-15~ ”For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” 

I pray for those lost and want desperately to know the truth of God’s Word.


Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, 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

To Judge or Not To Judge

Our brother-in-Christ, Patrick Studebaker from Cave to the Cross Apologetics, joined us for a cross over episode! We talk about discernment, warning about false teachers, and responding to criticism. We detailed the difference between slander, and discernment, and walk through Scriptural definitions of heresy and blasphemy. It was such a blessing to have our brother explain righteous judgement Biblically, as well. We all hope that you’ll be edified by this episode, and encouraged if you’ve ever been rebuked for sharing truth. Below is a time stamped outline, that we hope will be helpful for anyone who wants to skip through the episode to certain points. Don’t miss the blooper reel, waiting as ever, at the end like a cherry on top! You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Intro – Cross over with A Cave to the Cross Apologetics: Patrick Studebaker 

https://cavetothecross.com/ep62/

https://cavetothecross.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFr4iNerb0HEEfidOyGmnmg

  1. Slander TS 00:18:00
    1. Slander (etymologically a doublet of “scandal,” from OFr. esclandre, Latin scandalum, “stumblingblock”) is an accusation maliciously uttered, with the purpose or effect of damaging the reputation of another. 
    2. As a rule it is a false charge (compare Matthew 5:11); but it may be a truth circulated insidiously and with a hostile purpose (e.g. Daniel 3:8, “brought accusation against,” where Septuagint has diaballo, “slander”; Luke 16:1, the same Greek word). 
    3. Warnings, condemnations and complaints in reference to this sin are very frequent, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Mischievous “tale-bearing” or “whispering” is condemned (Leviticus 19:16Ezekiel 22:9). 
    4. There are repeated warnings against evil-speaking (as in Psalms 34:13Proverbs 15:28Ephesians 4:31Colossians 3:8James 4:111 Peter 3:10), which is the cause of so much strife between man and man (Proverbs 16:27-30), and which recoils on the speaker himself to his destruction (Psalms 101:5140:11). 
    5. Especially is false witness, which is “slander carried into a court of justice,” to be condemned and punished (Exodus 20:16Deuteronomy 19:16-21; compare Proverbs 12:1714:5,2519:521:2824:28). 
    6. Special cases of slander more than usually mean are when a wife’s chastity is falsely impeached by her husband (Deuteronomy 22:13-19), and when one slanders a servant to his master (Proverbs 30:10). 
    7. Even a land may be slandered as well as persons (Numbers 14:36). Slanderers and backbiters are mentioned in some of Paul’s darkest catalogues of evildoers (Romans 1:29,302 Corinthians 12:202 Timothy 3:3). 
  1. Heresy  TS 00:37:25
    1. from a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. 
    2. In the Acts of the Apostles ( 5:17 ;  15:5 ;  Isaiah 24:5  Isaiah 24:14 ;  26:5 ) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. 
    3. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks “heresies” with crimes and seditions ( Galatians 5:20 ). 
    4. This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church ( 1 Corinthians 11:19 ). In  Titus 3:10 a “heretical person” is one who follows his own self-willed “questions,” and who is to be avoided. 
    5. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God ( 2 Peter 2:1 ).
  1. Blasphemy TS 01:05:00
    1. The Old Testament At least five different Hebrew verbs are translated “blaspheme” in English translations. 
    2. Translators choose “blaspheme” when, for instance, the verbs “curse” (qalal [l;l’q]), “revile” (gadap [@;d”G]), or “despise” (herep) are used with God as the object. 
    3. No special verb is reserved for cursing or insults directed at God.
    4. However, to curse or insult God is an especially grave sin. It can be done by word or by deed. There is little distinction between the sinner who deliberately abuses the name of the Lord ( Le 24:10-16 ), and the one who deliberately flouts his commandments ( Nu 15:30-31 ). 
      1. For both, the death penalty is prescribed. 
    5. Similarly, the prayer of the Levites in Nehemiah 9 calls “awful blasphemies” all that Israelites did when they made the golden calf (9:18).
    6. David’s flagrant sin with Bathsheba may be called a blasphemy ( 2 Sa 12:14 ), but a more likely translation is that David has “made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt” (NIV). 
      1. Instead of testifying by lifestyle to the character of the Lord, David’s action confirms the blasphemous belief of the nations that the Lord is no different from any other national god. 
    7. The New Testament. The Greek root blasphem- [blasfhmevw] can be used of strong insults thrown at other people ( Mark 15:29 ;  Acts 13:45 ;  Eph 4:31 ;  1 Peter 4:4 ), or even unjust accusations ( Rom 3:8 ), but it is more usually used of insults offered to God (e.g.,  Rev 13:6 ;  16:9 ). 
      1. Jesus is accused of blasphemy for pronouncing forgiveness and for claiming a unique relationship with God ( Matt 26:65 ;  Mark 2:7 ;  John 10:33 ).
  1. Righteous Judgement TS 01:16:00
    1. https://www.gotquestions.org/do-not-judge.html
    2. John 7
      1. https://www.biblestudytools.com/esv/john/7.html
  1. Christians Should be Balanced – We talk about this several times all through out.
    1. James 2
      1. https://www.biblestudytools.com/james/1.html

Shenanigans: TS 01:30:00

Becca: Nacho Libre or Napoleon Dynamite?

Patrick: What is a movie from your childhood that scarred you?

Lauren: Weirdest response or comment from a listener?

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Throwback Thursday – Christ the Messiah: God or Man?

Below is an article written back on November 27, 2018 as apart of our Twisted Tuesday series. You can view the original here.


Dear ones, a few days ago I heard a grievous statistic that 78% of ‘Christians’ believe Christ was created by God. 78? That means the mass majority of professing Christians have an errant view of Christ, the trinity, and the Gospel. The verse twisted to come up with this false doctrine is Revelation 3:14 which does seem to justify this belief. Here’s the problem, Scripture clearly states that Christ has always been, He is eternal, so either Scripture is contradicting itself or our understanding is flawed. Always, always, beloved, assume the issue is with our interpretation. Gods Word is inerrant, we are not.

Revelation-3:13

What’s happened in Revelation 3:14 is simply a misunderstanding of the Greek term arche. Arche is translated in most versions as beginning, which in modern speech would suggest the first created. In Greek, however, this is referencing the source, or origin, of created things. All things were made by Him, Christ is the source. A little Greek can go a long way, thankfully we have access to a tremendous amount of information online. But why is this so dangerous? And how did it come about that so many believe it?

John-8:57-58

Friends, Gods Word is very clear, only a perfect sacrifice could remove the sins of believers. Only God is perfect. If Christ is created by God, He is not God, and can not save through His sacrifice. You can see then that multitudes of professing believers do not even understand this most basic doctrine of Christianity. If you put your faith in a false god, even if you name that false god Jesus, you are still lost. I liken it to this, suppose a new employee comes to you and processes to worship Christ. You’re overjoyed, another believer to fellowship! That employee invites you over to worship Jesus together, and you accept the invite. Unfortunately, when you arrive, you find that ‘Jesus’ is this new friends pet chicken to which he sacrifices to, adores, and worships. You see the different, beloved?

I was an idolater before God saved me in July of 2015. I had created an image of a god, he resembled Santa Clause. I called him Jesus, but he was a figment of my imagination. He was not the Biblical Messiah, who bore my sin and death on a Roman cross. I had no idea about the mystery of the Godhead, or the eternality of Christ. When I became a new creation understanding didn’t magically appear in my mind, I had to search the Scriptures. The very thing my new heart desired to do more than anything else. I wanted to know more about this Savior that had freed me from the chains of sin! In digging into God’s Word I could clearly see the difference between the true Christ, and the false god I had been worshipping.

John-MacArthur-Quote

How is it then, with this being such obvious error, that the majority polled answered incorrectly? I believe the answer is twofold. Firstly, the foxes are watching the hen house. Over the past hundred years the Gospel has been slowly watered down, and churches have become so ‘inclusive’ and inoffensive, that they don’t dare give the Law to the proud and grace to the humble. Without Biblical preaching churches are filled with unsaved members that then go on to become unsaved pastors, leaders, and elders. Secondly, and owing to the first point, doctrine is despised in today’s churches. The very idea of tediously working through the Scriptures is laughable to the modern ‘Christian’. As proverbs say, to the starving every bitter thing tastes sweet. Those who have so very little teaching in the Word are more apt to accept whatever sounds best to their itching ears.

I doubt that I have to mention just how deeply troubling this statistic is. We must continue, dear brethren, to study and share the truth as many of your wonderful blogs to daily. Teach your children, and grandchildren, and encourage your pastors, elders, and leaders to teach meaty matters. Speak the truth in love, always bringing to remembrance that, if not for Gods grace, we would also be mislead. As always, beloved ones, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Through the Narrow: Priscilla in the Pulpit – Preaching, Polluting, and Purpose by Tami Dykes

Priscilla in the Pulpit

‘Preaching, Polluting, and Purpose’

There are people that argue that Priscilla Shirer doesn’t preach in churches. This video is just one example showing she does. This takes place at a church called Celebration Church. People have said that Priscilla doesn’t knowingly preach to men but in this video, she addresses those listening and calls them brothers and sisters and she also addresses the pastor and his wife in the church so yes, she knows. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.1 Timothy 2:11-14. I’ll be going through this video and pointing out my concerns with several things she teaches. (Video below)


Right from the start, you will hear Priscilla say: “It’s a privilege to serve you today in these Sunday Services.” and “You need to know, every church ain’t got it this good.” She then encourages the Pastor and his wife to “stay in bed on Sunday” sometime and let her serve. Basically saying she will preach the Sunday service to let them stay home from church to relax. I’m a little taken back by this comment….”Stay home from church?” Well, I’d never encourage the practice of staying home from church just to get a break from church. If you’re sick, yes, but not just because you need to get away or need a break from church. Do you really need a break from learning the Word of God as a congregation one day a week? However, in this case, I’d say they should NOT go to that church because that church allows women to preach to the body of believers. Just go find a church where a man is a pastor obeying God’s Word and doesn’t let women come in and preach for them.


Priscilla starts out talking about the pastors and leaders of the church: “So you got shepherds who love you, they love the church, they love the house of God, they love serving you and on top of all that, they are folks of integrity and character and honesty who love each other…” Yeah, the things that make you go hmmm? First of all, let’s read some verses that teach us about the role of shepherds. 1 Peter 5:2 says: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 says: “Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.” What should be very obvious to the leaders in every church is it’s not their church and it’s not their flock, it’s Gods. God has entrusted the sheep to the shepherds and if He returns to lost and dying sheep there will be a heavy price to pay so they best be careful. With Priscilla preaching in that church the leaders are guilty of disobedience, neglect, and leading the sheep astray and they will be held accountable for that. I listened to her comment and had to wonder if what she said was true about the leaders of that church? Do the shepherds of that church really love the people? No, not if they have put a counterfeit in the place of a shepherd and pollute the food. God gave specific instructions on how He wanted His sheep treated. If they allow the sheep to get feed by someone that God has already said isn’t to be in charge of the sheep or authority in the church they do not love the people. Do the shepherds love the house of God? Not if they invited the wolves into the house of God. Do the shepherds have integrity and character and honesty? I’d say in this church, no! There is no integrity or no honesty because integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness as the dictionary describes. What they truly are doing is rebelling and being disobedient by allowing a woman in the church to preach. Also, we should remember the verse we just read before this (1 Peter 5:2) where it describes the shepherd’s character of “not pursuing dishonest gain.” Those church leaders don’t have good character as Priscilla says if this is what they are doing. Priscilla is a popular, well known, woman preacher and more than likely she was invited there to preach and to draw crowds, which also draws money. Those shepherds are not guarding or watching over the flock as God says in His Word because they are not protecting them from danger but instead exposing them to it. The shepherd’s jobs are to feed the sheep, lead the sheep, serve the sheep, protect and care for the sheep. However, in churches that allow women preachers to feed the sheep are neglecting the sheep, losing the sheep, harming the sheep and lying to the sheep. This isn’t loving? For more read here: https://www.gotquestions.org/feed-my-sheep.html “A good shepherd is not known by how well he pets the sheep. A good shepherd is known by how well he protects them and feeds them” ~John MacArthur

Priscilla then says: “He takes one message and He divides it 3, 4 thousand, 5 thousand, different ways that by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.”
Where do the Scriptures say God does this? Does God need to do this and if so, why? This seems a bit confusing because she doesn’t explain what she means here, it’s just not clear. I’ll go ahead and explain how I took it but because I can’t know for sure it’s just a guess that comes from what I know her to believe. My first assumption was that she was suggesting to everyone that the “interpretation” of the message would be different for everyone. The reason I believed this was because she adds, “by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.” Priscilla is well known for talking about hearing God speak to her in audible ways outside the Bible. She believes in personal, new revelations and messages from God, so this was the first thing that came to mind for me. However, if I give her the benefit of the doubt she could have meant the “application” of a passage. This, in a nutshell, means different life situations! Let me explain, when we read any Bible passage to study it we should understand that scripture already has its meaning, already has its interpretation from the author that wrote it and more importantly from the Lord. We will not get different interpretations/meanings from a passage but it can be applied in many different ways only because situations in life can be different. For example, when Priscilla talks about the patience of God in the church service the passage can be applied differently in the life of a married couple struggling than it does in the life of a teenager struggling. When Paul is talking about God’s patience in the Scriptures he explains to Timothy his own experience with God’s patience, and how it applied differently to him, which is his own personal life situation. But again the interpretation is the same, God’s patience is the same for all no matter what the situation is for each individual. So this is why I believe Priscilla should have explained to the congregation what she meant by God dividing up His message 5,000 different ways. Now, if Priscilla did mean the “application” of the passage being divided up to 5,000 different ways then let’s look at how it fits with what she said. She says, “by the time we all leave here we each know we have heard the voice of God.” Do we hear the voice of God through how we apply God’s Word to our own life? No! Do we hear the voice of God in the biblical interpretation of Scriptures? Yes! Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active…” 2 Timothy 3:16, Paul states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.https://www.gotquestions.org/God-breathed.html

“This is the only use in the Bible of the Greek word theopneustos, which means “God-breathed, inspired by God, due to the inspiration of God,” but other scriptural passages support the basic premise of Scripture being inspired by God. The power of the breath of God in divine inspiration pervades Scripture. God-breathed “the breath of life” into Adam (Genesis 2:7), and Jesus “breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’” (John 20:22). In 2 Peter 1:21, we are told that “prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” Here we see the truths of Scripture described as coming directly from God, not from the will of the writers He used to record them.” Scripture is God’s voice; it is how God speaks to us. Our application is not the voice of God; it’s just our personal experience. So, her comment doesn’t fit with the idea of “applying” God’s message 5,000 different ways because that is not how we hear the voice of God. Her comment fits more with her belief of hearing God’s voice in different revelations and interpretations outside the Bible. Priscilla is teaching very vaguely here and that’s careless when it comes to the Word and standing in authority in a church. Again, I cannot know for sure what she is talking about here but it makes no sense. I just wanted to point out the different meanings and I wanted to show how careless she is being. She says all this so confidently that people won’t question it, at least, not unless they can stop and think about her statement word for word and in most cases no one does. It sounds as though she has a great amount of knowledge when she talks, which fits with what we read in the scriptures above in 1 Timothy 6:20-21 that says a true shepherd should “turn away from opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge”. Also, notice she says: “when God gives a message He takes that one message and divides it up”. Taking this back to Scriptures, we see God tells us that “WE” are the ones that need to divide it…to “RIGHTLY divide the Word”…which means rightly handle the Word. Nothing is said about God dividing it thousands of ways. The following translations show the example of the word “divide”.

2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) ~ Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15(ESV)~Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handlingthe word of truth.


Next problem, Priscilla prays and says: “Lord Jesus thank you so much for the privilege that I have today under the leadership of an incredible church to serve Your people. I pray now that you would do what only you can. That is to take one simple little message, divide it up however many ways you need to so that everybody hears from you. Expecting Lord, that the words from my mouth and meditation of my heart would be accepted.”
Does anyone else see anything wrong with this prayer? Think about what she is saying, “Lord Jesus, thank you so much for the “privilege” that I have today “under the leadership” of an incredible “church“? To a young baby Christian, they may hear these words and think it sounds fine. I know I would have. This is why we study and hopefully, as we grow in God’s Word we are able to discern things and if something isn’t right, red flags should start popping up all over the place. So, I think it’s clear that the Lord did not give her that “privilege”! God speaks against women preaching in a church or being an authority over men biblically as stated in 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Priscilla “thanks the Lord” for letting her serve His people…. but she should know God has already said how she is “to serve” God’s people, and it’s not in place of a pastor or as a religious leader to a body of believers anywhere. This link goes in more detail on what God thinks of women preachers. https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/81-56/does-the-bible-permit-a-woman-to-preach


She then says: “Expecting Lord, that the words from my mouth and meditation of my heart would be accepted.”
Does she really expect that the Lord will accept her words and heart in this? How can He when she is doing exactly what God has forbidden her to do? He can’t accept something that He, Himself, has said is wrong. Now, I know she preaches very well and says many things in this video that is true and says many good things I agree with; such as God’s love endures forever, God is patient, His grace is sufficient for us, and God is slow to anger and great in power. She preaches on 1 Timothy 1:16 on how Paul talks about the patience of God and His mercy. The whole message is about God’s patience and how the Holy Spirit sanctifies us. She also talks of how the history of the Bible is like the enemy and God playing chess together. It’s all very intriguing. Nonetheless, just let me bring everyone back to reality for a bit because although her story sounds intriguing and entertaining at best, God and Satan do not play together! Let’s just get that out of the way right now, and they do not have equal minds to where Satan can trick God or “make a move” to outwit God, ever. God was never put in a place where He had to figure out how to win against Satan. This should be good news for everyone to know if they didn’t know this, it is for me. However, just because she tells good stories and says some true things doesn’t mean it’s ok for her to preach in spiritual authority in a church and it doesn’t make what she teaches ok. She is preaching truth along with untruths! She’s already in rebellion by preaching as the authority of a church. I know I keep repeating the same thing but people are so quick to forget what she is doing just because they love her words and storytelling even though they are being polluted by what she teaches.


Then she tells us this: “…And can I tell you that I feel similarly I guess the way Paul does, in that I can’t believe that God might use me for His glory and I don’t even mean in this setting? I enjoy ministry, I love it, it’s my privilege to serve the body of Christ but I don’t even mean as much here. When I say I can’t believe God would use me, I think mostly about the smaller sphere of influence that God has me in. For example: married to a man that God has given me and has given me to him and my goal as his wife is to encourage and to serve this man so that one day when Jerry sees Jesus face to face he gets to hear Jesus say, “Well done”. My job is to help make sure that my man hears a “Well done”. I can’t believe God would entrust me with that.” I have to disagree with her statement here. I nearly missed this one because she speaks so fast and confident that I didn’t catch it the first time I watched this. It wasn’t until I listen to the video again to make sure I wrote things out correctly. When I heard her say this I was like, wait a minute, what did she just say? I was shocked because she really believes God entrusted her with making sure her husband hears “well done” from Jesus. Let me just say this; she’s not that powerful! It’s not up to her! She can’t make sure that her man hears a “Well done” from Jesus. Not only that but she thinks this is a good thing? Yikes! I know I wouldn’t want that responsibility on my shoulders. No thanks, I don’t want to be responsible for my husband’s judgment day. Just because God gave him to her does not mean she is responsible for her husband in that way. It is no one else’s responsibility to make sure others hear those words, but it is the individual’s own heart and fruits that would be the reason for hearing the words, “Well done good and faithful servant.” I would also add that we are responsible to encourage others with the truth of the Gospel and not stumble them.


Priscilla goes on to say:
“We don’t even recognize that God has strategically placed us in that location to be used for His glory. So he (the enemy) wants you to think you’re in that neighborhood by chance. Um-no, He (God) has positioned you between those two neighbors for His Glory. he wants you to think you just happened to get that job cause that’s just the job you have now, He put you in that office for his Glory. The location that you are in my friend is the exact place He has patiently placed you, to be used for His Glory.”

Priscilla is half right when she says this. The Scriptures do say in Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. Ephesians 1:11 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.” Nothing happens to us that is outside of God’s sovereign will because it is God that is the Sovereign Ruler of the universe who ordains all that happens. Although, let me show you why this needs to be explained deeper and why I have a problem with her statement here. When God’s will is for something to happen then it defiantly happens. When God’s will was to create the world, it happened. God’s will was to also permit sin or unpleasant things to happen that He takes no pleasure in. When someone freely chooses to go against God they are in rebellion, God did not place them in a situation that would make them sin or cause them to rebel. They are guilty of their rebellion because they made the choice and they will be punished. God does not create or cause anyone to sin.

From grace church link: https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/sovereignty-of-god “What about sin? God is not the author of sin, but He certainly allowed it; it is integral to His eternal decree. God has a purpose for allowing it. He cannot be blamed for evil or tainted by its existence (1 Sam. 2:2: “There is no one holy like the Lord.”). But He certainly wasn’t caught off-guard or standing helpless to stop it when sin entered the universe. We do not know His purpose for allowing sin. Clearly, in the general sense, He allowed sin in order to display His glory—attributes that would not be revealed apart from evil—mercy, grace, compassion, forgiveness, and salvation. And God sometimes uses evil to accomplish good (Gen. 45:7–8; 50:20; Rom. 8:28). How can these things be? Scripture does not answer all the questions, but it does teach that God is utterly sovereign, perfectly holy, and absolutely just.”

Below taken from: https://www.gty.org/library/sermons-library/80-310/taking-the-mystery-out-of-knowing-gods-will

“Scripture affirms both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. We must accept both sides of the truth, though we may not understand how they correspond to one another. People are responsible for what they do with the gospel—or with whatever light they have (Rom. 2:19-20) so that punishment is just if they reject the light. And those who reject do so voluntarily. Jesus lamented, “You are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life” (John 5:40). He told unbelievers, “Unless you believe that I am [God], you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). In John 6, our Lord combined both divine sovereignty and human responsibility when He said, “All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (v. 37) “Nothing that I do or don’t do will alter the end of the plan, but everything I do and everything you do will have an effect on our blessing, our joy, our obedience, our usefulness now and forever. So it’s important to me to know God’s will. I want to do it, I don’t want to be in the dark. ”- John MacArthur

This from https://www.gotquestions.org/Gods-will.html.“We are obligated to obey God’s revealed or preceptive will; however, we have the ability to disobey. God’s revealed will for Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply, tend the garden, subdue the earth, and not eat of a certain tree (Genesis 1–2). Unfortunately, they rebelled against God’s revealed will (Genesis 3). The consequences they suffered show that they could not excuse their sin. Neither can we claim that our sin simply fulfills God’s sovereign will, as if that absolves us from guilt. It was God’s will that Jesus suffer and die, but those responsible for His death were still held accountable (Mark 14:21).” So my problem with her statement here is although she’s right about God being in control and doing His will for His Glory, at the same time, she is standing in rebellion against God by standing in a church preaching Scriptures. God is clear that women are not to be doing this. When she says, “the location that you are in my friend is the exact place He has patiently placed you, to be used for His Glory,” does this mean we are supposed to believe God put “HER” in the place she is in, a pastoral role, an authority in the church, for God’s Glory? I mean seriously look at where she is and what she’s doing. Does that glorify God? How can it? She is contradicting and compromising God’s Word. She is not being obedient; she is being defiant and therefore insulting God’s authority. God did not place her in the lead role as a pastor or as a religious leader in the gathering body of believers. She placed herself there, her husband placed her there. Any church leader that has allowed her to preach in their church, to their congregation, has placed her there. To be under God’s authority means we follow His law. Most people that are there listening to Priscilla are not educated in God’s Word or they wouldn’t be there. However, God does use bad situations and disobedient people and evil to accomplish good for His own glory. Ex: Joseph, “you meant evil…but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20)”, God used Judas a man that betrayed Jesus for money (Luke 22). Maybe there are people there newly saved and just don’t know yet, maybe someone is in that church listening to Priscilla that is growing and being tested as said in these following verses. Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.”

Deuteronomy 13:1-3 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”As a saved Christian I use to sit and read books and listen to many false teachers I thought were biblically sound. I was young in the faith and didn’t know about what God said about women teaching in the churches yet. So I wasn’t passing any test if it was given me but as I continued to read God’s Word and heeded the warnings from other discerning Christians and woke up to the dangers. Once I understood the seriousness of it I stopped following them and tested everything from then on out. That is how God worked and drew me out of false teachings. God can use any situation to draw His children and if it’s a bad situation or a false religion He can still work in that. Someone that is truly saved and honestly seeking truth will continue to seek and hunger for God’s Truth. They will not stay in a false religion but eventually be drawn out. His Word will be held up through reading it or through someone pointing Scriptures out. His Word will cause those red flags to pop up against that false teaching. Now, not all will be drawn out as we know. God says that many will take the wide path to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14) and not be saved, they will hunger for the ear-tickling and not hunger for His Word.


At the end of the video, she prays and talks of how many others are watching online and calls them “brothers and sisters”. She knows she is preaching to a co-ed audience of believers or she wouldn’t say that. We know that Christians don’t call unbelievers ‘brothers and sisters’ but we call those that are true believers in Christ ‘brothers and sisters’ so this means that she believes that the people listening and attending are a “gathering body of believers” which means she is teaching the Word of God to men and women both that are presumed to be believers in the church. It’s my prayer that this helps others learn how important it is to test all things as Scriptures says.

(https://youtu.be/kfBzcvydHaM)


Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, and 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

Ok Ladies – Let’s Talk About the Women Teaching Today

Hello, dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well. Today Becca and I dropped an episode where we discuss several of the leading influences on women today. This includes Paula White, Beth Moore, Hollywood in the form of a certain halftime show, Jen Wilkin, and thankfully some Biblically sound teachers as well. We hope that this episode will be a blessing to you all, and that it will highlight the need for women to be taught theology. It wouldn’t be Tulips & Honey without some silliness, so we do try and lighten up these serious topics with some shenanigans as well as the recent addition of bloopers at the end.

We initially began planning for this episode when we saw a concerning post from Proverbss 31 Ministries that flipped the Gospel upside down. They were promoting salvation based on the fulfillment of your hearts desires, and to our surprise and deep concern, hundreds of women were proclaiming agreement. It reminded us of the need for better theological education for women, and the need to warn about these wolves. We hope that this will be helpful to both groups of listeners, and that this will encourage husbands, fathers, elders, and Pastors alike to be diligently vetted the learning recourses being geared towards women in your life. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form (eventually) on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. Below is a timestamped outline so that you can follow along, or skip ahead as needed. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Prayer Request: Meg Curry, the sister-in-Christ who we ask for prayer at the beginning of this episode, has lost her daughter Everleigh. We have been given permission to openly ask for prayer for her, and to share a GoFundMe account that we started to help support her. You can find more information about that here: gf.me/u/ximjpw

1. Boasting: TimeStamp – 00:04:55

a. Galatians 5: TimeStamp – 00:05:40

2. Paula white: TimeStamp – 00:07:10

a. Abortion quote: “In the name of Jesus, we command all satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now,” Ms. White said. “We declare that anything that’s been conceived in satanic wombs, that it’ll miscarry. It will not be able to carry forth any plan of destruction, any plan of harm.”

i.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/27/us/politics/paula-white-miscarriage-video.html

ii. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvc7TDJhksA 

3. Jen Wilkin- Women’s periods are a parable of the crucifixion: TimeStamp – 00:13:25

a. https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/12/13/jen-wilkin-of-village-church-says-womens-periods-are-a-parable-of-the-crucifixion/ 

i. WHO APPROVED THIS MESSAGE AT VILLAGE CHURCH 

b. 2nd Tier issue- Women taking a leading teaching position 

4. Go Home Beth: TimeStamp – 00:22:25

a. Social Justice

5. Superbowl: TimeStamp – 00:29:25

a. half time show 

b. sex trafficking 

6. Proverbs31ministries: TimeStamp -00:39:55

a. proverbs31ministries Instagram 

“We’re all wired to feel, think and act in certain ways in order to satisfy our core longing. But we forsake our Creator when we try to fulfill this unending craving in our own strength, and we’ll always be left wanting more. But there is good news! 

Jesus’ life, death and resurrection righted all that is wrong in us so we can bring to life our true longing and purpose. The gospel specifically fulfills each of our hearts’ cries, giving us a spring of Living Water that will never run dry. 

-Beth McCord What or who have you looked to in order to quench this thirst in the past?” 

7. Awesome Women to follow: TimeStamp – 00:47:10

a. Lindsay David, Doreen Virtue, Melissa Dougherty, Susan Heck, Michelle Lesley, Amy Spreeman, Elizabeth Prata

b. Awesome Books for women and young ladies 

i. Anne of Green Gables 

ii. Little women 

iii. PollyAnna 

iv. Susan Heck books!!!

Shenanigans: TimeStamp – 00:54:47

Becca’s Question

  1. Chocolate or Candy for Valentines Day?

Lauren’s Question

  1. What is the worst gift you’ve ever been given for Valentines Day?

Through the Narrow – Ann Voskamp Seductive Romanticism: By Tami Dykes

I know Ann Voskamp and her books is a sensitive subject with many because so many still enjoy her books regardless of her unbiblical teaching and I see her quotes being shared which some sound fine but sharing her quotes do point people to her books and studies and her odd beliefs and that is truly concerning. Ann writes and teaches mysticism, pantheism, Romanticism, sensuality, and new revelations. She’s very seductive in her speech and ideas about God and actually says God wants this with us too. Really? She’s going to seriously say this about God?
Christians, there is a huge difference between having a respectful, close relationship with God that is within biblical teachings vs. a sensual intimate relationship with God that makes most people cringe. We will all be held accountable for what we teach, practice and say about God. For her to speak of God with such a fleshy desire that expresses such human sensuality and even proclaim that this is how God wants to be with us is in great error and dishonoring to Him. “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,” (2Peter 2:18).
I’ve made my thoughts known on facebook before about Ann Voskamp. It never took long to receive replies from others of how wrong I was for calling Voskamp out as a false teacher. They were quick to tell me I was taking Voskamps words out of context and being unchristian for doing that. Quickly following that up with how wonderful, humble and gifted Voskamp is and how she always quotes scriptures in her books.
How interesting it was to me that although women tell me that I’m taking Voskamp’s words out of contexts and committing some kind of crime against her yet not once did they see or understand how badly Voskamp has taken Gods Word out of context and how very unchristian that is for her to do. I guess we can offend the Lord and twist His Holy, perfect and complete Word in such a perverted way, yet we don’t dare offend others by calling out the errors of their beloved authors or ministers?
I had a lady say to me, “How can you speak against her like that because she’s done some wonderful things in the world” and they list off some very noble, kind works that Ann Voskamp has done. They continue telling me that Voskamp is a holy woman and instrumental in raising a huge amount of money for a women’s hospital.
Yeah, I know, I don’t doubt Ann has done some good things in her life and helped others in their trials, that’s a wonderful thing for her to do and I’m sure Ann has written many good books but that means nothing if she teaches a different idea of God, changes His character and perverts a relationship with Him. It means nothing if a “nice person” that does “good things” teaches against the Scriptures. It means nothing if your good works are over and above God’s law. I’d rather stand before a Holy God and answer for expressing my disgust for Ann Voskamp’s book then have to answer for the fact that I saw danger in what she teaches and didn’t warn others about it. I want no one’s blood on my hands (Ezekiel 3:17-18). I also know that I wouldn’t want to be Ann Voskamp or any woman that condones such sensual teachings about God when they stand before Him on judgment day and have to answer for putting words in Gods mouth, defiling His name and shaming His character in such a perverted way. Matthew 15:18–19~ But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-defilement.html
God tells us not to look at another with lust or we will have committed adultery in our hearts. The crime is in our hearts even though we do not do the sexual act of it. So Voskamp is mentally steering women to think of God like this and it can cause them to commit that crime in their hearts towards God. Christians should be so upset about how Voskamp talks about God but instead, her followers correct those of us that are offended by her.
The abuse that Voskamp displays towards our Lord is repulsive and is no different than her using the Lord’s name in vain as said in Exodus 20:7. Many Christians don’t understand that it’s more than just using His name as a cuss word. We need to understand that using His name in vain is done in ways that misrepresent Him or is disrespectful and dishonoring to Him. If we claim to the world that we are Christians that serve a Holy, Righteous, Glorious God yet behave in a way that dishonors Him then we have used His name in vain.
Got Questions explains it this way: “If we profess to be Christians, but act, think, and speak in a worldly or profane manner, we take His name in vain. When we misrepresent Christ, either intentionally or through ignorance of the Christian faith as proclaimed in Scripture, we take the Lord’s name in vain. When we say we love Him, but do not do what He commands (Luke 6:46), we take His name in vain and are possibly identifying ourselves to be among those to whom Christ will say, “I never knew you. Away from me” in the Day of Judgment (Matthew 7:21-23).” https://www.gotquestions.org/Lords-name-vain.html
Even the angels were extremely careful to show reverence and respect in the presence of God, as said in Isaiah 6:5 and Exodus 3:4-5.
From Got Questions: “Isaiah was a firsthand witness of God’s holiness in his vision described in Isaiah 6. Even though Isaiah was a prophet of God and a righteous man, his reaction to the vision of God’s holiness was to be aware of his own sinfulness and to despair for his life (Isaiah 6:5). Even the angels in God’s presence, those who were crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty,” covered their faces and feet with four of their six wings. Covering the face and feet no doubt denotes the reverence and awe-inspired by the immediate presence of God (Exodus 3:4–5). The seraphim stood covered, as if concealing themselves as much as possible, in recognition of their unworthiness in the presence of the Holy One. And if the pure and holy seraphim exhibit such reverence in the presence of the Lord, with what profound awe should we, polluted and sinful creatures, presume to draw near to Him! The reverence shown to God by the angels should remind us of our own presumption when we rush thoughtlessly and irreverently into His presence, as we often do because we do not understand His holiness.” https://www.gotquestions.org/holy-holy-holy.html
The heavenly angel’s nature is to serve and glorify the Lord humbly and they are far more pure than us yet they cover themselves because they know they are unworthy.
Shockingly Ann thinks of God, the maker of heaven and earth, with erotic thoughts and romanticizes her relationship with Him and teaches that this is Christian and how God Himself behaves.
When you put words together with words like romance, lover, embrace, climax, cohabit and to make love…..then what do you think Ann Voskamp is talking about? She’s not talking about just knowing God through the Word. Where does she think people’s minds are gonna go? She is pointing out that she wants more of a relationship than just being a child of God, she wants to be something else with Him entirely in a mental, spiritual and yes, sexual way, that should make the readers cringe. She teaches others to do the same probably so she feels validated in how she thinks of Him and worships Him.
GotQuestions explains panentheism as “essentially a combination of theism (God is the Supreme Being) and pantheism (God is everything)”. https://www.gotquestions.org/panentheism.html
Biblically we know God is omnipresent as said in scriptures (Psalm 139:7-12). God is everywhere but although God is everywhere Does not mean God is found “IN” everything.
Voskamp shares how she focuses her worship of God on objects such as stones, bubbles, a bed, and even the moon. The example of the moon as holy or bubbles as Holy then people will be looking for Holy experiences with God in every object. She writes about doing dishes and she talks about the light in the soap bubbles and then says, “This is where God is” (69). She describes a bubble trembling, then states the space is holy, “The God in it”. Although creation reminds us that there is indeed a Creator, we should understand that it is not a dwelling place for the Creator. It’s not good to focus your worship for God on an object such as a bed, or on a building of stones or bubbles just because you think God is in it. Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.” Worshiping a bubble and saying that God is found in the bubble and the space is Holy is not biblical. She is idolizing it! It’s making an object an idol. Then she writes she finds God in the moon and so she puts all her focus on the moon and then says she finds Salvation in the moon. Ann: “Has His love lured me out here to really save me? I sit up in the wheat stubble, drawn. That He would care to save. Moon face glows. We are head to head. I am bare; He is bare. All Eye sees me” (Voskamp: 115).

Bob DeWaay wrote on Ann Voskamp and it is very thorough. Bob says, “The moon cannot resolve the problem of sinners’ lost condition, but the Son will if they repent” (Acts 17:30, 31).https://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue120.htm
Voskamp is skilled at describing things in terms of romanticism is enhanced by her very expressive words. Her romantic terminology creates such a wide range of emotions and feelings that causes the reader to feel how she wants them to feel. She describes a very romantic situation that should only be found with their husbands but instead is focused on God instead. Ann says: “The full life, the one spilling joy and peace, happens only as I come to trust the caress of the Lover, Lover who never burdens His children with shame or self-condemnation but keeps stroking the fears with gentle grace “(Voskamp: 146). Romanticism puts focus on our very human feelings and what we experience and completely ignores God’s truth.
Below are some of her romantic terminology excerpts where Voskamp describes in her book romantic encounters with God.
“I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God.” (One Thousand Gifts, p 201)
“I run my hand along the beams over my loft bed, wood hewn by a hand several hundred years ago. I can hear Him. He’s calling for a response; He’s calling for oneness. Communion (Voskamp: 211).
“I remember this feeling. The way my apron billowed in the running, the light, the air. The harvest moon. I remember. The yearning. To merge with Beauty Himself. But here . . .Now? Really?. . I am not at all certain that I want consummation.” ..And who wouldn’t cower at the invitation to communion with limitless Holiness Himself?” (One Thousand Gifts, p 211)
“This invitation to have communion with Love—is this the edge of the mystery Paul speaks of? “‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one” (Ephesians 5:31-32). The two, Christ and the church, becoming one flesh—the mystery of that romance. Breath falling on face, Spirit touching spirit, the long embrace, the entering in and being within—this is what God seeks? With each of us?” (One Thousand Gifts, pp 212-213)
“God makes love with grace upon grace, every moment a making of His love for us. And He invites the turning over of the hand, the opening and saying Yes with thanks. Then God lays down all of His fullness into all the emptiness. I am in Him. He is in me. I embrace God in the moment. I give Him thanks, and I bless God and we meet and couldn’t I make love to God, making every moment love for Him? To know Him the way Adam knew Eve. Spirit skin to spirit skin.” (One Thousand Gifts, pp 216-217)
Looking at her use of words, we have determined what she really means and if you have doubt look up each word to see the term.
God is called our Father… Our Father and we are His children not His intimate partner. We shouldn’t think that way or worship that way to our Father. I can’t help but think how wrong it sounds to even teach our children this kind of idea of God either. Also, what husband is alright with their wife worshiping like that? Is it okay for our husbands to think of God the Father in this way? One man said, “Where does that way of thinking put us men”? We shouldn’t think of Him like that at all, it’s just wrong. If this is pleasing to God then why doesn’t He tell us to worship like this in Scriptures? What about our fear of God? Where is her fear of God and reverence for Him and His Word?
God’s way of love is not the way Ann describes in her book that is all about emotions and flesh and objects. God’s love is Agape love.
From gotquestions it is explained like this; “The Greek word agape is often translated “love” in the New Testament. How is “agape love” different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is self-sacrifice. Unlike our English word “love,” agape is not used in the Bible to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape is love which is of and from God, whose very nature is love itself. The apostle John affirms this in 1 John 4:8: “God is love.” God does not merely love; He is love itself. Everything God does flows from His love. But it is important to remember that God’s love is not a sappy, sentimental love such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely (us!), not because we deserve to be loved, but because it is His nature to love us, and He must be true to His nature and character. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross, where Christ died for the unworthy creatures who were “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1), not because we did anything to deserve it, “but God commends His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). The object of God’s agape love never does anything to merit His love. We are the undeserving recipients upon whom He lavishes that love. His love was demonstrated when He sent His Son into the world to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10) and to provide eternal life to those He sought and saved. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for those He loves.”
God’s love is expressed not in intimate ways like Ann portrays but in the death of His Son. We need to control our imaginations and thoughts. As we read in verse, 2 Corinthians 10:5 ~Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Peter 2:2 says, “And many will follow their sensuality and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
John MacArthur says it best here, “We err greatly if we think of intimacy with Christ as some lofty level of mysterious, feelings-based communion with the Divine–as if it involved some knowledge of God that goes beyond what Scripture has revealed. That idea is the very heart of the gnostic heresy. It has nothing in common with true Christianity.”
“If we want God to delight in our worship, we must think rightly about Him. The very essence of idolatry consists in wrong thoughts about God. And conversely, true knowledge of God means knowing Him as He is revealed in Scriptures”.
A pastor I talked to just shook his head as we discussed the book and he said he didn’t understand how anyone could say it’s a good book? The pastor’s wife was very shocked that so many women support Ann Voskamp and she couldn’t believe that some people think it’s biblical to worship God in such a way when it’s not. One preacher said he read excerpts from her book but not the entire thing and like me, have seen enough of it to know that it is not good.

By Tami Dykes

 


Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.


Through The Narrow – The False & The Deceived: By Tami & Gina

Regarding the false and the deceived we could write books upon books and never be done covering all the kinds this world knows. Many have already written on and much has been talked about false teachers and teachings. The darkness won’t quit tweaking and twisting which is why we could never be done warning about all the ways satanic forces deceive. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. God has told us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, as well as his servants. They do this in countless ways. I want to talk about one of those ways that may not get as much attention but is just as dangerous.

I want to talk about some through-the-back-door approaches the occult is taking to invade many evangelical, Bible-preaching churches today — the teaching of empowerment and identity. 

Before I get to that I believe it’s important to first clarify what the occult is, generally speaking. It can simply be defined as, “Hidden, secret and mysterious, chiefly pertaining to the supernatural” and is widely known to include practices such as witchcraft, fortune-telling, clairvoyance, magic, tarot card reading and the list goes on. A lot of us know many of the charismatic churches and obvious false churches that hold to a false gospel like the Catholic churches, Christian Science churches, Mormon churches (and several others) have long embraced some occult type practices to one degree or another. I’m not talking about those churches, although they are also concerning. I’m talking about your evangelical, Baptist, nondenominational churches; you’re straight as an arrow grandparent’s country church that preaches from the Bible and claims the sufficiency and inerrancy of Scripture.

I know personally and hear story after story of churches steadily abandoning their once biblically solid foundation and quickly falling into mysticism and strange doctrines. One wouldn’t think any true church or born again believer would dare touch anything of this nature with a 10-foot pole. Most don’t intend to I’m sure. From what I’m seeing and hearing, as a former Catholic medium who was seduced by the occult herself before the Lord graciously saved me, I’ve sat in some evangelical churches that preached the true Gospel and started to notice this stuff coming in, but as a very light-weight and agreeable version. It sneaks in under the radar to many unsuspecting, well-intentioned people and within the walls of trusted churches-many times entirely unhindered. And unless by God’s grace that it is seen, warned against and snuffed out, it doesn’t take long to spread.

All the practices that can be considered occult, as it is defined, can usually be put in either of these two categories; First, desiring secret knowledge and second, desiring supernatural power. This also goes for every false religion because all humanity, in some form or fashion, desire one or both of these two things. Satan knows that and it seems the lure has been specially designed with that in mind.

Although there are several ways the occult can sneakily enter in, such as through music, like that of Hillsong and Bethel, I don’t want to talk about the music aspect at this point. 

We have the full-blown heretics that fill TBN with their heretical teachings of Christ and mysticism. We have Sarah Young and her man-centered and heresy-laden book “Jesus Calling,” Beth Moore and her contemplative prayer practices and visions, Priscilla Shirer and her public proclamations of needing more than Scripture which leads her to teach we are to listen to personal communication from God that, “makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up”. I could go on and on.

Yet with that said, there are churches whose members mostly reject TBN preachers, Beth Moore, Shirer, Young and the like for their “off” teachings, and yet a person could sit in their women’s Bible group and hear the whispers of the occult still blowing through. You sit there long enough and you will hear women say they received a sign from God regarding a decision they had to make. Perhaps the lesson goes in the direction of “know who you are in Christ” but meant in a way that God never instructed on. The focus quickly becomes what God can do for us, but in a way that seems spiritually healthy and “in touch” with God. It gets unchallenged and met with “amens” as others share their experiences of God giving them personal experiences or pep talks. They may start praying to God to hear from Him instead of going to the Word to do so (this is contemplative prayer). They claim God is doing things that are nowhere taught or supported in the Word. 

These situations may not scream, “Occult” too many people but every single one connects to the general practices and definition of the occult. Again, the occult is about the hidden, secret and mysterious things of the supernatural. It’s about seeking out the supernatural in ways the Bible never condones.

Going back to what I said earlier about the teaching of empowerment and identity:

I have seen the focus of empowerment as a common thread. Certain teachers today have found a way to take the biblical teaching of the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in believers-meaning we are empowered to love Him and obey Him- and turn it into some sort of man-centered, identity crisis; some attempt to have spiritual encounters/proofs, personal messages, and (never promised) personal blessings from God. It usually starts by sounding very biblical, with a focus on knowing our empowered identity in Christ as believers. Yet, instead of staying on Biblical tracks with it, it slowly veers into dangerous territory.

Not long ago, I sat in a church somewhere in the Bible belt, a Scripture preaching, and Gospel loving church who let in one particular teacher. It was a teacher who persuaded them with such sincerity and convincing manipulation of Scripture that we are to understand all of what empowerment of the Holy Spirit means — and if we don’t, we will not honor God or enjoy the fullness of Christ or spiritual blessings. It started to sound as if we don’t know our identity and keep focusing on it, everything falls apart. They recite the well-known phrase that is based on Scripture, “We have the same Holy Spirit living in us that raised Jesus from the dead.” That is found in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” What a beautiful passage, if we stay within the biblical context, but they don’t. 

Before people know it, they have been fed the idea, which is wrapped in some Scripture and Gospel talk, that our identity in Christ is more about expecting the cool stuff, opening our minds to what God might want to do or say to us personally, embracing the mysterious; the things the Bible never said for His Church to focus on. If we reject it and just want to know and obey and preach God’s Word, we have essentially “put God in a box” and have become automatic Pharisees in their eyes. 

It started out focusing a lot on Gospel spreading. It was agreeable. It was a community and missionary-minded. It seemed like the punchy evangelical remedy to a church that held sleeping men and seeking women. Soon after the lessons started my husband and I started seeing a shift into what we can do that Jesus did. We can be empowered like Jesus. We can do the same miracles that Jesus did. 

Wait, what?! 

Isn’t this some sort of crazy charismatic talk? We know some charismatic teachers, the well-known TBN ones especially, teach that Jesus was a mere man who was empowered by the Spirit while on earth, so, therefore, we are mere men who can be empowered by the Holy Spirit too, doing exactly what Christ did while on earth. That’s heretical. That’s not anything our church has ever condoned or taught before. So as soon as those words left the teacher’s mouth in our little evangelical, solid study group, a bomb just went off for me and my husband. Where did THIS come from? We can do all that Christ did? So, are we to start calming storms now? We were stunned this teaching was staring us in the face. We were even more stunned that all leadership and many others in the groups didn’t even question it and thought we were going to grow so much from it. Bringing up the concerns over and over didn’t help. This teacher’s teachings on Christ and Christianity, to them, are “simply said wrong, but he means this or that.” They were also quick to say, “Look at all he does and says over here and there. He cares about getting the Gospel to people and goes to a good church. He is friends with this trusted pastor and he speaks against false teachers, etc.” Truth is, leadership and many in the church liked his ideas and how he spoke. These people will speak against Joyce Meyers for her unbiblical teachings yet allow this, unfathomable.

I talked with a dear lady whose church studied under the same teacher years before. She said she was greatly concerned and would be praying for our church; she knew the destruction and the downgrade that can happen. In a few years, her church went from solid to completely unrecognizable and compromised. Our church was seemingly going in the same direction. 

Give it enough time and little rebuke, it becomes less about the Gospel and more about experiences and personal interpretations. Personal claims of what God has said or done can rarely be questioned, because “how dare we say God can’t do this or that.” People begin to think that focusing on their identity and empowerment, as taught, is spiritually enriching. People want more secret and special knowledge, they want to see more proofs of God’s approval and empowerment in their lives, in ways that are invigorating and unique. They claim to seek more of God but only invite the demonic and ungodly.

So one convincing “evangelical” teacher came in and that’s all it takes, step by step, chip by chip. It weakens and distracts so cleverly and so quickly especially when church leaders are lacking in discernment. Even when they are discerning and see this for what it is, they may hardly say a peep about it because of uncertainty or fear. “Pharisee,” “witch hunter,” “Bible-beater,” “limiting what God can do” cards are quickly pulled out. The church is left without protection from their shepherds.   

These teachers subtly and carefully introduce it in your most unsuspecting churches, to the immature in faith, the weak and lost. If we love the church, the truth; if we love the Lord we will prayerfully and carefully watch and warn.

I pray more and more people realize that the occult or pagan practices don’t stay in pagan churches, with the Wiccan or with the fringe. It doesn’t stay within the walls of the known heretical churches nor does it come from just the lips of the most heretical teachers. Demons want to bring it to the best church. It’s not innocent or secondary. 

Yes, believers and good churches can embrace these types of things as well and as a result will, stunt their growth, bring God’s discipline even judgment, stumble others and withhold honor due to God. Even after being enlightened to the truth, people have to unlearn and heal from the brainwashing of these abusive teachings. 

There is much more that can be said about this. Next time I’ll dive a little deeper into these specific teachings and why they are so attractive, who are the evangelical teachers peddling them and what other things they are teaching after you invest in their material.

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8.

By Gina Cook


Through The Narrow is written by Tami Dykes and Gina Cook, both are published authors. You can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here.

Out of Deception – How God led His Children our of Deception

Today, dear ones, with Emily’s permission, I’d like to share the testimony she’s written up on her page here. You can also listen to an interview of the couple with Doreen Virtue here. As many of you will remember if you followed my blog for long, Meyers was my favorite teacher before being saved. I’m so blessed to hear of Gods work in the lives of these two. False teachers are very good at deceiving, but nothing can stop our great God!

Paul and Emily Massey’s story began in 2008 at the church Paul was raised in since he was born, which happened to be a Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel church, yet, their faith journey has taken many twists and turns since they were married in 2009.

For several years of their marriage, Paul and Emily were deeply involved in many areas of ministry leadership at their various churches such as worship ministry, prayer ministry, drama ministry, and young adult/student ministry. At one point in time, they both were employed at Joyce Meyer Ministries before Emily became a stay-at-home mom*.

But in 2015, everything they thought they believed in got completely turned upside down after watching the famous sermon, “Shocking Youth Message” by Paul Washer on YouTube. They began to question everything about their faith, and much like the Bereans, their passion for searching the scriptures for truth, led them to cling to solely the Bible (context is King!) and forsake the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel theology that Paul was raised to believe. He spent the first 25+ years of his life involved in that dangerous movement. It was completely the grace of God that his eyes were opened to truth and that their marriage (and family) was saved from utter deception of this false gospel message. 

In early 2019, they watched the film The American Gospel: In Christ Alone and the conviction to once and for all separate themselves from the Word of Faith/Prosperity Gospel movement was so strong that Paul knew he needed to leave his job at Joyce Meyer Ministries. After searching and applying for several jobs in his specialty, in just two short months, he was finally able to put in his resignation at JMM. All ties were finally cut, and they no longer had any association with the movement that is full of distorted and dangerous doctrines.

Now they have such a strong passion to boldly and graciously expose the error and false teachings found in that movement, so that many more eyes would be opened to the truth of the pure gospel. They are on a rescue mission to snatch as many as they can from the flames (Jude 1:23), especially from this extremely deceptive system. 

All for God’s glory, all for Jesus’ Holy name.

I’m so thankful that God continues to use American Gospel to reach the lost. Please join me in praying for Emily and her family as they continue to speak truth into the darkness of false teaching. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Guest Post – Twisted Tuesday Isaiah 53:5 by Becca Barner

Twisted Tuesday; Isaiah 53:5

By: Becca Barner

Welcome to Twisted Tuesday, Dear Ones. I have the privilege of writing an article about a scripture that is often taken out of context and twisted to fit into a faith-plus-works salvation narrative. The scripture that we are going over today is:

Isaiah 53:5 ESV (English Standard Version)

“5 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.”

I cannot honestly tell you how many times I “spoke this scripture over myself” and others- as though I carried the same power that Christ has. Speaking things into existence is the name of that game; and a very dangerous one at that. It’s a doctrine teaching that the believer carries the same power and authority as Christ; as though our very words carry power. This wades into the pool of “little god” theology, which will drown you if you stay in it. We’ll talk more about this in the future, but for now let’s just say that this doctrine is extremely dangerous/blasphemous.

Graphic-by-Becca-Berean

I remember many years ago when I was heavily blinded by the “Word of Faith” doctrine. I once had a Joyce Meyer book with instructions to read many scriptures like this one aloud to make God do as I wished, like a spiritual genie. This beautiful passage of scripture is not a positive affirmation that we can say aloud to make anything happen. Here is the big theological breakdown of Isaiah 53:3… He was killed for our sins, and by his wounds or “stripes” we now have salvation. It’s that simple folks. 

Now, you’ll still find many of the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel teachers trying to twist this scripture. My questions to them are many:

Why do people suffer? Why are we still aging? Why does it hurt to give birth? Etc.

“Faith healers” and false teachers will be held accountable to their misinterpretation of this scripture; false promises, false hope, and above all, a false Gospel. They are lying to many who are possibly in their most dire of circumstances- desperate for a miracle, and so they latch on to anything that gives them hope. My heart goes out to these people, because I happen to struggle with a chronic illness. I also know what it’s like when family and friends tell me that I “need more faith” to be healed, or that there’s some secret sin keeping God from healing me. These are just two examples of the lies I believed a few years ago. 

Christ’s sacrifice is so much more than deliverance from physical suffering. It is the gift of Eternal Salvation. Reading Isaiah 53:5 now should give us so much hope of His Blessed Assurance, for it brings such hope and joy to me. 

Blessings

Historical Church Series: Early Church Heretics – Docetism and Ebionism

Hello, beloved, I hope this post finds you all doing well! Today we’re actually going to deal with two specific heresies, double trouble, Docetism and Ebionism. On Tuesday we talked about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how it’s an essential doctrine of the faith. If you missed that post, you can find it here. Alongside these two heresies I’d like to introduce you to another early church leader, Irenaeus.

Let’s start with Irenaeus, who was born around 130 ad in Smyrna, and directly discipled by Polycarp of Smyrna. He would eventually become the Bishop of Lyon, and would spend his days fighting heresy and evangelical work south of France. He would eventually be martyred by Severus, in Lyons, after nearly 80 years of serving the Lord. This man, trained by one who sat under the teaching of the Apostle John, lived and died for the glory of God. Let’s discuss the heresies he fought against so uncompromisingly.

Ebionism was the fruit of the Judaizers we talked about here. They came along in the second and third century, teaching that salvation came through keeping the Law. They also denied the virgin birth, the eternal divinity of Christ, and the Trinity. While they would eventually split into two groups, one with a gnostic bent, and the other with the original Jewish works righteousness, they were all considered heretics. It’s believed that Irenaeus was the first to address this cult, in his work Against Heresies. They do not deny the resurrection of Christ, but do not believe that it saves. You can see a modern day version of Ebionism in the Seventh Day Adventist’s.

Docitism, a heretical group which would eventually morph into Gnosticism, believed that Christ was not a real, flesh and blood, man. As such, they deny the resurrection of Christ in bodily form. The duality of docitism fit in much more comfortably with the Platonism of the age. It was appears early on by Apostles and Apostolic Fathers, leading to a more clear explanation of the humanity of Christ. That clarification is still needed today, as the modern docitism found in New Agism still declares that Jesus Christ was spirit and you can achieve Christ “consciousness”.

I hope this series continues to edify and encourage you, dear friends, to stand firm in your faith. The truth of God’s Word has always remained, never has He left His church without a defender. The gates of Hell will not prevail. If, and when, we face persecution, we will not stand alone but with the brothers and sisters in Christ that have come before us. From the end of Acts until this present day, Christ is building His church. There are many voices crying for an end to Christianity, this is nothing new. Be bold, and courageous, filled with love and deep concern for the lost. Until tomorrow, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.