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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChristMarked: The Church, Blood Bought Sinners – By Troy Paylor

The Church, Blood Bought Sinners

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”Philippians‬ ‭1:3-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬


As I look at this passage and known I’ve went through this same passage twice and every time that I come back to it, there seems to be more treasure in it than I found before, speaking of the exhaustive word of God and all the blessedness of His word. While this is true my message is to the church, mainly the Providence Baptist Church where I’m so glad to be a part of, but doesn’t exclude others from this. For I can as with Paul more clearly now that ever before get a deeper understanding of his words. Although my imprisonment isn’t in a jail, yet I can’t be at my church with the members there who with me share in a commonality that unites us all that we are blood bought sinners of Christ Jesus. Christ died in our place and rose again and church what great news that is, that our Savior who born of a virgin lived a sinless life, died in our place and rose the third day. Oh like Paul, how I long to see you and miss you all with the affection of Christ Jesus, though mine isn’t perfect I’m without brothers and sisters in Christ, though we shouldn’t let this stop us, in fact we shall advance. More than ever during this time we should be spreading the gospel of Christ Jesus, for we worship the Risen one who is seated at the right hand of the Father.

How I do long to see you all, yet I pray for you all too, that you may seek the word of God and be in communion with Him, so that you may continue grow in knowledge and discernment so that you may approve what is excellent and honor and glorify God in all you do. Continue in being sanctified by the power of the Holy Spirit for soon we shall all be together again, and at that point rejoice, but even now we shall rejoice, what a wonderful time more than ever to draw closer to our Savior. Dig deeper into the word, for the Bible is living, active, and sharp, pruning the fruits in us that are of the flesh and water and nurturing the fruits of the Spirit and in all may you all seek Christ Jesus and Him crucified. To God be the Glory, Forever and ever, amen. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:11-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬.


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

Friday MEGA List & Live Panel Discussion

Today, dear ones, we’re very excited to have the privilege of holding our first ever live panel discussion on Tulips & Honey! Joining us this afternoon to discuss church and evangelism during social distancing is Justin Peters, Susan Heck, Dawain Atkinson, Doreen Virtue, and Phil Johnson! We’re so honored to have each of these dear brothers and sisters-in-Christ joining us. If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll be able to watch live and ask questions there. If you prefer Youtube, you can head straight to the event by following the link below. Be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any future events. Next Monday we’ll be dropping an episode interviewing our brothers-in-Christ from the RazaReforma Podcast, it was such a blessing to hear their testimony and see how God led them to where they are today. If you missed it, this past Tuesday The Aquila and Priscilla Hour released an episode about Pragmatism in the church and today The Chuck and Lo Show dropped an interview with Be A Berean’s Michael Coughlin. Don’t miss Emma’s newest episode tomorrow continuing in her series on glorifying God over on Always, Only.

Live Panel Discussion

For our MEGA List today we had some help from our wonderful Humblebee’s that sent us great recommendations. Starting with Jan who recommended this homemakers Facebook group here. Luke Schmeltzer, host of Steady Anchor Podcast, recommended the free Ligonier series which will be available all summer, as well as these resources here. He’s also just released a new episode titled “Christ and Corona” which I highly recommend. As I mentioned above, Michael Coughlin is joining Chuck and Lo today, but you can also find him on his blog, or hear him refuting atheists on his podcast here. Our honorary BrotherBee, Patrick Studabaker, from Cave To The Cross Apologetics has a great video editing and website design business, a talent he uses to not only bring us great content on his own podcast, but also to bless churches. If that is something you have a need of, or you just want to support our brother-in-Christ, check it out Manos Media LLC. If you’ve tuned in to the latest Aquila and Pricila Hour you heard Emily and Zack discussing a helpful article by Tim Challies, which she recommended and you can find here. I also want to slip in a shout out to her and Zack for creating a brand new website which you can find here! Doesn’t it look great? Well done y’all! Last recommendation was added by Becca herself! She found a devotional on the Youversion app created by one of our BrotherBee’s, Joel, who has been so very encouraging to us from the start! Fear in the Time of Coronavirus is available here. Thank you to all our listeners who sent us these helpful links, you’re all such a blessing to us! I hope you’re all able to tune in today at 1:30 CST for the live panel, please pray that all goes well with technology! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

And Did the Holy and the Just – Anne Steele

As I mentioned last Sunday, dear friends, I wanted to spend some time highlighting Anne Steele’s hymns. Today is another one from her, and while it was never as popular as the last, it’s just as beautiful and God glorifying. I hope these words bless you, as they blessed me, and that you all have a sweet day of fellowship. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

1 And did the holy and the just,
The sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty man might rise?

2 Yes, the Redeemer left his throne–
His radiant throne on high–
Surprising mercy! love unknown!
To suffer, bleed, and die.

3 To dwell with misery here below,
The Saviour left the skies,
And sank to wretchedness and woe,
That worthless man might rise.

4 He took the dying traitor’s place,
And suffered in his stead:
For sinful man–oh, wondrous grace!
For sinful man he bled.

5 O Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In thine atoning blood!
By this are sinners saved from hell,
And rebels brought to God.

How Great Thou Art – By Carl Boberg

Hello wonderful HumbleBees,

Today, we have an awesome hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” We sang this recently at my church and have really been enjoying finding different versions of this song by different artist Below I am adding one of them that I think you all might like. I am also adding a Psalm I kept seeing while looking up about this particular hymn.  Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. Praying this small reminder will bless you all today. 

Happy Sunday Y’all,

Becca Barner

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXQpDDcrN-w

 


 Hello again, dear ones, I hope this finds you all doing well! I’m so thankful Becca found this hymn for us today, and created such beautiful graphics to go alongside it. I wanted to write a quick bit of history for this hymn, as I found it quite interesting. Carl Boberg wrote “How Great Thou Art” in 1885 and when Stuart Hine translated it to English he added a couple lines himself. Popularized during the Billy Graham “crusades” it ranks second here in America, following Amazing Grace as the most beloved hymn. This particular hymn is based on Deuteronomy 33:26, “There is none like God, O Jeshurun, who rides through the heavens to your help, through the skies in his majesty.” Does your church sing hymns, modern songs, a mixture of both? Which one do you prefer? I hope you have a blessed day of fellowship, as always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.


How Great Thou Art

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder

Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made

I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder

Thy power throughout the universe displayed

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing

Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in

That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing

He bled and died to take away my sin

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation

And lead me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow with humble adoration

And then proclaim, my God, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee

How great Thou art, how great Thou art

MY FAVORITE PART OF 2019

By: Becca Barner

Lauren and I get asked this question quite a bit and thought it would be great to write an article about it. I was going to write about how our year has been, but we are going to do an episode next week all about the wonderful blessings of 2019. So, I’ll tell you about my favorite part this year. 

Just to give a little back story… My husband and I had been off social media for quite some time before I met Lauren. We had been radio silent for about three years but earlier this year we wanted to start sharing what God has done in our lives and being transparent with our closest friends and family. In May of this year, we got back on Facebook. But boy was it shaky and hard to be back on. We had a lot of opposition with…. You guessed it. Family. 

I shared information about my current health and how I am learning to trust God. I would always try to mention God’s sovereignty because that’s a word I never heard back in my old days of the “Word of Faith” movement. Then I also branched into making memes on Instagram under the pseudo name of Becca.Berean. Lauren messaged me back in July with the best massage I had ever gotten on Instagram. She told me how much she loved my memes and that I was a great graphic artist. Just thinking about this again makes my heart so happy. Totally smiling in the midst of writing this y’all. 

I quickly went over to her page and right away loved all the things she posted. Then I noticed she had a blog and podcast. I could tell that the podcast only had a few episodes and offered to be on if she had an opening for another testimony, I was totally available. She was so super kind and we scheduled right away. I was so super pumped to be sharing my testimony, a lot of the ladies at my church were praying for me about it. 

I was totally nervous the days leading into our first episode together. The episode was recorded just like an audio file, so we couldn’t see each other. But Lauren made me feel so comfortable and she has the most soothing voice ever. I had so much fun recording with her, so either later that day or the next day I texted her to let me know if she needed a full-time Co-host, I was available. That’s how it all started folks 😊 I’m so grateful to Lauren, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have brushed up on my skills with photoshop, logos, blog writing, and I would never have started a podcast. It is such an honor and a blessing to be working with her, that’s why she is the best boss babe. A fun name I love to refer her to by.

Did you guys know that we have a couple of other podcasters under the Tulips and Honey Hub? Yep, I remember her telling me about her idea to have a network of other podcasters to provide more content with more biblical sound truth to more people. We have awesome podcasters, check them out HERE. Not only that but when I mentioned how I would love to write a book on suffering and children’s book, she right away investigated publishing information to help me or even creating a publishing company for us to be able to sell books. Seriously, I am overjoyed and grateful to God for bringing us together. She has sparked dreams that I thought were over in my life, all for His Glory. 

We have pretty much texted each other every day since our first episode and it’s odd to me if we don’t lol. (please don’t send hate mail for using this word lol) She became my best friend instantly. I haven’t even met her, yet God has brought us together in this awesome friendship. Little did Lauren know, that I have had the worst luck of having and keeping a best friend. 

She just texted me while writing this about how she’s excited to read this article and that I’m such a good writer. I don’t deserve any of this, I definitely do not deserve Lauren. Reminds me of that quote from RC Sproul where he says, “Why do good things happen to bad people?” That’s a perfect quote to express that thought. I am so inspired and encouraged by her, and although I’m a year older… I still look up to Lauren as a sister. It was totally worth waiting for 32 years to have finally found mine, my Sweet Tea Lauren.

Stay tuned HumbleBees because next week, we’ll get into more about some of the good from this year, as well as some of the trials that we faced together. We’ll also share what things we’ve got lined up for 2020. Lauren and I totally have to meet up…that’s going to be EPIC!!

Merry Christmas to all 

and to all a Goodnight,

 

– Becca

P.S. I am adding this scripture because it made me crack up. She and I are both clumsy and we need each other lol. It has been such a blessing to work, learn, pray, laugh, cry with you, bestie!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV

‘Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” 

 

AfterThought – Episode 19: The Big Announcement

I think I passed the fashionably late mark with this one, dear friends. However, the wait is over and you can finally hear what that big announcement is. I don’t want to give it away, and if I keep typing I know I will. So, without further ado, here is the latest episode. You can also listen on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and other platforms which are all linked in my profile.

I hope this announcement will be as exciting for you all to hear as it was for Becca and I to record. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

AfterThought Episode 6 – Interview with Tom from ExCatholic4Christ: Part 1

Today, dear ones, I dropped episode 6 of Afterthought! I’m so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Tom from ExCatholic4Christ. In this first part of this two part interview Tom shares his testimony, and explains the difference between Roman Catholicism and Christianity. He also details how ecumenism began, and progressed, in the mid 20th century to today. We’ll get more into the dangers of ecuminesism in the second part of this interview. Lord willing, that will drop on Thursday.

Tom, my brother in Christ, it was a blessing to talk to you about this important issue. Thank you for joining me on the program, and giving me so much of your time. I pray that this discussion will edify and encourage all who listen to it. If you have a Catholic friend, family member, or co-worker please feel free to share this episode and the next with them. The podcast is available on Podbean, iTunes, Google play, and Spotify. If there are other platforms you’d like to see AfterThought on let me know and I’ll take care of it. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Homeschooling Worksheets – Essential Doctrines and Polycarp

Hello again, dear friends! I hope you’re having a blessed weekend thus far, and will be edifies and encouraged through fellowship. Below I’ve attached three lessons, along with a list of the shorter Westminster Catechism. I love this particular pdf because it comes equipped with Scriptural references. This time I’ve created a short lesson on Polycarp for anyone hoping to teach their children about the early church. I’ve included this weeks Twisted Tuesday lesson, and last weeks which was not posted. So, below is a lesson on Monotheism, the Resurrection, and Polycarp of Smyrna which includes a word-search I had way to much fun creating! I want to also create lessons on the heresies and heretics of the time, and would love your opinions on what age range that would be appropriate for. You’re thoughts are always such a tremendous blessing to me! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Polycarp of Smyrna

Montheism

Resurrection of Christ

ws_catechism