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

Naming Those Heresies – and the Teachers who Promote Them

Naming Those Heresies

and the Teachers who Promote Them

Last month we played a game on social media called Name That Heresy, where we posted a quote expressing a heretical teacher and asked our followers to name what the heresy was. They were give extra entries into a giveaway if they could list Scriptures that refuted it, or name other preachers/teachers that believed the same. We all were able to learn a lot from one another, as well as open discussions up between those who were unaware certain heretical movements existed. There was so much information that one follower recommended an entire episode on it all, so that is what today’s episode is about!

We went through all 7 of the heresies which were listed, discussing the false teacher and what they were teaching. In this episode we also gave some shout outs, including one of our favorite podcasters, Women of the Table. They’re doing a series on Hell right now that has been really helpful! I also linked to Michelle Lesley, article is in the outline below, who has been plugging away at these heresies for the benefit of us all. 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 (eventually) 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.

Name That Heresy Episode Outline 

  1. Definition of Heresy: Timestamp – 00:06:19
  2. Little God’s Doctrine – Kenneth Copeland: Timestamp 00:08:03
    • “Every Christian is a god. You don’t have a God living in you, you are one!”
    • Quote from Fort Worth, Texas, K. Copeland Ministries, n.d. audiotape BCC-56.
  3. Kenotic Christ – Bill Johnson: Timestamp – 00:15:40
  4. Modelism – T. D. Jakes: Timestamp – 00:29:40
    • “There is one God, Creator of all things perfect and eternally existent in three manifestations. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
  5. 7 Mountain Mandate/Dominionism/Dominion Doctrine – Dr. James Kennedy: 
    •           “Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors – in short, over every aspect and institution of human society.”
    • Said At a “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference in February, 2005, Kennedy
    • http://libertymagazine.org/article/the-rise-of-dominionism-and-the-christian-right
  6. Selfism/Narcigesis – Steven Furtick: Timestamp – 00:47:35
    • “Come on, I need you to receive this, because you have some stuff flying at you. You have some doubts in your soul, but stay behind your shield. Come on. Duck, David. Get behind your shield. Paul said it’s the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall quench the fiery darts of the wicked. I have a shield. Is anybody shielded by the power of God? If I stay behind my shield, Saul cannot kill what God has crowned. I got the winning hand. I might not look like much. I might just be a shepherd boy, but I have a winning hand, and God is my shield.”
    • https://sermons.love/steven-furtick/3655-steven-furtick-are-you-tired-of-fighting.html
  7. Marcionism – Andy Stanley Quote: Timestamp – 01:12:45

Shenanigans

Lauren: What is a creature in the ocean that you would want to be? Do you think mermaids are real?

Becca: 

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Interviewing Rikki LeGrand – Part I

Today, dear ones, we had the joy of interviewing a sweet sister-in-Christ and beloved friend, Rikki LeGrand. Ms. LeGrand was raised Catholic, but after a period of deep depression she found herself deceived by the Word of Faith movement. God graciously saved her, and she was kind enough to detail how He led her out of that deception. It never ceases to amaze me how patient our God is with us! It took a couple years, but eventually Rikki was able to walk away from the WoF deception altogether.

Lindsay Davis Quote

It is our hope and prayer that this conversation will be helpful to any that are coming out of the WoF movement. We’ve felt the confusion, and the frustration that can come from realizing you’ve been deceived by family or friends, or people you trusted. Below is a time stamped outline, that we hope will be helpful for anyone who wants to skip through the interview to certain points. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as Podbean, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, and in video form (eventually) 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.

Ephesians 4:32

Intro- Shoutouts: TimeStamp 00:01:35

Questions:

1. Testimony – Timestamp 00:06:40

Childhood

     a. Did you grow up going to church…what kind of church?

2. WoF/Hypercharismatic experiences – Timestamp 00:32:30

3. What were some red flags to you while you were in or red flags for others who are still caught up in the movement? – Timestamp 00:32:30

4. How and when did you hear the true Gospel? – Timestamp 00:47:00

     a. What scripture was the biggest scripture or book of the bible that was most helpful coming out of the WoF

     b. Do you still feel like you are re-learning the bible?

     c.How has your family and friends reacted to your conversion?

5. What teachers/preachers/sermons/books have been encouraging to you coming out of the WoF? 

Shenanigans:

*****Pineapple Pizza?******

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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: Faith or Doubt Looking for Proof? By Tami Dykes & Gina Cook

As written previously, many in the charismatic circles seem to want empowerment and an identity that is nothing more than self-worship, in “Jesus” name. They seek power and influence that God never promised. They downplay their sin and elevate their self-worth. They even claim to be incarnational, as if they are Jesus Himself. Amongst these false teachings, there are other aspects of this movement that we want to bring to light because it’s what is sold as being real faith but is truly faithless, legalistic and in many ways abusive.

It’s the miracle-seeking that is seemingly driven by doubt looking for proof of God; people desperately looking for validation of His presence in their lives and His favor.

We first heard it put this way from Pastor John MacArthur when he said, “All these people running around, looking for miracles say, “Oh, we have enough faith to believe in miracles.” That’s not faith; that’s doubt looking for proof.” (Taken from  The Signs of an Apostle, Part 2)

We fully agree with him. We agree because we see it, not only in charismatic circles but in all religious circles, in evangelical churches, in small Baptist Bible groups, etc.

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One of us sat in a Baptist bible study many, many years ago listening to a man who was fairly new to the group express that he desired more. He was looking for wonders, for miracles. He tried to explain that this would be the wonderful boost he felt he needed in his walk. Learning the Bible and sharing the Gospel was great and all, but he wanted a thrilling experience with God. He sounded like a man not content with God and all He does through His Word. It sounds like many other people who “just want to experience the miraculous power of God” not realizing the Gospel is the power of God for salvation, which is a miracle of bringing the spiritually dead to spiritual life (Romans 1:16). The salvation of people is not the miracle they seek.

Although sprinkled within most religious circles and churches to some degree, seeking supernatural proof has been paramount for most, if not all, charismatic churches. It’s firm in their bedrock. The lack of looking at the Gospel and the miraculous salvation of souls as miracle enough gives support for all the unbiblical activity and false teachings that spring up out of it. They believe you are not experiencing the true God, the new normal, and you are not living faithfully if you are not looking for and seeing other supernatural manifestations (that were never promised or encouraged in Scripture in the first place).

From our personal experiences, if you say you don’t need to seek those types of miracles, they seem to feel sorry for you, even looking down at you. They look at you with what seems a disdain for your contentment with what you have already from God. They don’t understand it when you have peace with the mundane, obedient life or with just reading, studying, preaching Scripture. And when tragedy strikes they go into further confusion. They start desperately declaring and rebuking the tragedy in “Jesus’ name” as if doing so is the secret sauce and will undo everything unwanted.

God is sovereign and He is in control.

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We have recently heard of the debacle with the charismatic Bethel Church and the sweet little girl Olive who tragically died, whom they were trying to bring back to life through frenzied declarations, song, and dance which they called “prayer time”. The poor parents were believing in the lie that God didn’t want this death and would grant resurrection if they kept contending and declaring for Olive’s resurrection. People were expecting something God never promised or encouraged for His Church to seek. They were full of such zeal, for a lie.

Bill Johnson, the leader of Bethel Church, said, “Why did Jesus raise the dead? The reason Jesus raised the dead is that not everyone dies in God’s timing.”

Things happen outside of God’s timing? Isn’t that making God look like a confused and puny God? What an insult to God and such a dangerous thing to tell everyone about God Almighty, Who created the universe and everything in it.

“‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” Deuteronomy 32:39.

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2.

Simply put, God is in control of every life and every death and has set a time for each one- no one will die outside of God’s power, will and timing. The faithful Church understands this and has peace with it.

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Something we want to make sure to point out is that Bill Johnson’s wife Beni was seen on video saying God told her a prophetic message saying Olive would resurrect on a certain day, yet it did not happen-exposing her as false. False prophets and false teachers always show up to declare these things and stir up and exploit the people who are desperate, confused, doubting, hurting and undiscerned. Chris Rosebrough does a great job of explaining more on this very thing and even shows the videos here: F4F | Bethel, WAKE UP!

The damage done by the false teachings and abuse of these false teachers and leaders is immeasurable. What does that do to the ones already doubting looking for proof in the wrong places, when the girl stays dead? When Bethel finally announced quietly that they would cease the song and dance for Olive’s resurrection and go ahead and bury her, there were no doubt people who were left more confused and in doubt. What happens next is usually one of two things: followers seek and declare harder, try to sing and dance with more passion and muster up some more of their “faith” in order to receive the proof they are desperate for, turning into more of a legalist trying to earn and usher in God’s favor, or they eventually throw in the towel on God and walk away completely. It’s such a sad reality and it shows the desperate need for these people to be told of the Gospel message. They don’t get evangelized like many others because Christians give a half glance at their “zeal for God” and their “bold faith” and make an unsubstantiated declaration that these miracle seeking people must love the Lord; that their heart is in the right place, albeit a little over the top at times. This is a tragedy, folks. Although we can’t know individual hearts and all of their intentions, we can know that when people are embracing these teachings and behaving in such a way they have likely not received what God has already provided nor are they content with His written Word, His sovereignty and will. They do not know their Scripture and likely not the true Jesus. They are doubters looking and striving for proof.

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Those lost and doubting, if ever a witness of a supernatural work like a resurrection, would still doubt and be lost. They need to hear the Gospel to be saved and changed and to feed on the Word to be sanctified and encouraged via the work of the Holy Spirit. That is a reality we see throughout Scripture, especially in the New Testament. The resurrection of dead loved ones would still not bring salvation to those witnessing it.

“But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’” Luke 16:29

The Church seeking for signs and wonders, for supernatural healing and physical resurrections is not the point made in Scripture by the Lord:

“As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah.” Luke 11:29

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23.

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” 2 Peter 1:19.

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Even if Olive or anyone else, was raised from the dead, the Gospel is still the only thing that matters. Through Christ’s death and resurrection alone, we are saved. That is the message we are to preach, the reason for hope and joy and the miracle we should desire for others.

We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be deceived by those who say you must seek more than what the Word has instructed us to seek. We are to be content with what He has said, given and what He has chosen to do and not do. We can pray to the Lord for Him to heal and restore but with the heart of contentment and thankfulness towards Him and whatever He desires. The only thing we need to NOT be content with, is our sinfulness, our lack of understanding of the Scripture better and the lack of our zeal and love for Him and His Word, as already revealed to us.

May we keep praying for and sharing the Gospel with all those caught in this deception; from the false teachers and prophets who exploit, to the mere weak and doubting who listen to them.

“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.” Jude 21-23.


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 – 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: Steven Furtick’s Heretical Views on Satan & Sovereignty – By Tami & Gina

Why do some preachers preach like this in this video?
Steven tells everyone that the devil knows more about your destiny than you do.
Christians, you should know the devil doesn’t know our future!

The devil isn’t all-knowing like God. Only God knows our future, only God is all-knowing.

Then Steven says, “Can I preach this like God gave it to me, God said some of you are breaking generational curses and you don’t even know it.”

Now Steven is claiming direct personal messages from God.

Then Steven says, “The devil ties us up?”
What does he mean by that? How does the devil do that?
Steven says, “The devil wouldn’t have tied you up if he wasn’t afraid of what would happen if you got loose.”
Ok, first…the Devil is NOT afraid of us or what we will do. The Devil is afraid of God and what He will do, not us. Once again, it’s NOT about us, it’s about God. God is to be feared. Satan can’t just tie us up anytime he wants. However, if Satan could tie us up, then we should know it’s God’s Will anyway and God’s Will is perfect and there is a reason it was allowed. The devil can’t do anything too God’s believers without first having to get God’s permission. Just like in Job. The devil couldn’t do anything to Job till God gave the ok (and it was for God’s Glory it was done at all). The devil was even limited in ‘what’ he could do as shown in these verses below. In the first conversations about Job, God gives Satan strict instructions not to “hurt” Job. In the second conversation about Job, God allowed Satan to hurt Job with physical pain but told Satan he was not to “kill” Job. God was in full control and allowed the testing for a reason.
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.”
Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Job 1:12
Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”
Job 2:4-6
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Steven Furtick makes it sound like we are breaking strongholds all on our own, not giving any credit to God’s authority, power or His Word. Instead, Steven points to how ‘we’ are the powerful ones and that’s why Satan wants to tie ‘us’ up. Humans are below angels in power and knowledge and if the devil isn’t afraid of heavenly angels then he isn’t afraid of humans. (2 Peter 2:11Jude 1:9)
Jude 1:9 speaks of how even an angel doesn’t pass a judgment down on Satan. Bibleref explains it this way: “In this incident, Michael refused to usurp God’s authority, which stands in contrast to the audacity of false teachers to slander authorities and angels.” “The key point here is that Michael, despite being a powerful being himself, refused to slander the Devil. This proves the arrogance of the apostates Jude is discussing. They are so conceited that they’re doing what even an archangel won’t!” Quotes above from this link: https://www.bibleref.com/Jude/1/Jude-1-9.html
So the devil was not afraid of the archangel Michael as he disputed with him, showing us that the devil certainly wouldn’t be afraid of us. We also know that Michael the archangel isn’t afraid of the devil either. Michael does spiritual combat and even battles Satan in the end.
Michael isn’t in fear of the devil but instead understands he is submissive to the authority of God and does not act on his own will. To learn more about what Scriptures say about angels this link is a good one. https://www.gotquestions.org/angels-Bible.html Yes, we are weak individuals and there is nothing we can do against Satan that would cause him to fear us. Instead, Scriptures remind us we are weak and flawed humans and we need God. ( 2 Corinthians 12:9 , 1 Corinthians 1:27Luke 17:10, Job 40:4)
Watching this video of Steven Furtick the question that comes to mind over and over anytime I see him talk like this is, where is his fear of the Lord? (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Steven shows no fear of God, he only shows off in ways that benefit himself. He has manipulative speeches that work the crowd. He knows what to say and do to get his crowd all worked up. People love to hear that they have the power to overcome Satan and they will even say, “Satan, I bind you in Jesus’ name” or they say they have the devil on the run (this one I’ve heard personally). People love believing they are stronger than Satan and can scare him and almost dare him to go against them. Christian’s we need to understand real quick, IT IS NOT within our own strength to battle Satan. This is a very dangerous thing to believe or practice or teach. It’s a very prideful belief that we would think it’s within our own strength or it’s us that does the battling as we shoot off at the mouth to argue with Satan like he is standing there trembling at our words. Anytime someone preaches that we have the power to go head to head with Satan then they are teaching a dangerous thing and if we believe it and practice it then we are fools.
Scriptures say in Acts 19:13-16~ Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.

This from Got Questions:

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

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

“Probably the greatest mistake the seven sons of Sceva made was their failure to realize that Paul was not doing the exorcisms. Jesus Christ was doing the exorcisms through Paul.”

“When they came back to report to the Lord what had happened, they were excited about being able to exorcise evil spirits: ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17). Jesus immediately provided some perspective: “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (verse 20). What is greater than authority over demons? Knowing God is your Father and heaven is your home.”

More on seven sons of Sceva in this link: https://www.gotquestions.org/seven-sons-of-Sceva.html

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So, what should we do when we feel attacked or tempted or as Steven puts it, “Tied up?” 
Do we argue with Satan and scream at him? God tells us in Ephesians 6:10-17 that in order for us to be strong we have to be strong in HIM.”…Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might”. Did you catch that? It’s in His might! We have to ‘put on’ what God tells us to put on for our protection. When we read that whole verse, it says, “So that we may stand”. We are to stand in the strength of His might, not on our own just because we think we are a special Christian that is powerful and important.
Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to “stand” against the schemes of the devil.
We can’t bind Satan or command he go to hell or speak to him or command anything from him.

Yes, it’s true, the devil attacks in many ways. God says the devil will shoot flaming darts at us as said in, Ephesians 6:16, “In all circumstances ‘take up the shield of faith,’ with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one”. But Satan doesn’t do that because he is afraid, he does it because he’s Satan. 

 

Satan can do many things like use situations to discourage us, deceive us, make us doubt, make us believe we have powers, masquerade as the light, even to tempt us and mislead us with instant gratification of the flesh as said here in James 1:14-16~ Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.
God tells us how important it is for us believers to keep in His strength as said in Ephesians 6:10-17. We are too ‘put on’ the full armor of God and ‘stand’ on God’s might.
We are too ‘put on’ the belt of truth, ‘put on’ the breastplate of righteousness, ‘put on’ shoes of the gospel of peace, ‘put on’ the shield of faith, ‘put on’ the helmet of salvation and ‘carry’ the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. We were never promised a life without problems but if we are God’s then we have Him and His Word to stand on and to protect us.
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The Armor of God

Ephesians 6:10-17~ Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This should be enough to convince anyone that Steven Furtick is a danger to listen to and follow but if you want to know more than the following links below should help you out.

 


*Steven Furtick teaches that God Breaks the Law. 
So, apparently, Jesus isn’t sinless if this is the case.
And by the way, Jesus says He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.


*Steven Furtick says in this link, “Goliath had David’s sword. Goliath has got your grace”.
In 1 Samuel 17:45-46 David says exactly what he’s going to do in that fight before it starts….“You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.” 
David knows it’s all about God and what God wants, “The Lord will deliver you”. David knows God is in control and God is the one that will overcome the armies and its God that deserves the Glory. 
David proclaimed in 1 Samuel 17:47…” the Lord saves not with SWORD and spear” so David is well aware he didn’t NEED a sword to fight Goliath because David knew it wasn’t his strength because David knew the Lord was gonna do it.

*Steven said in a video that church isn’t for those that know Jesus. He says, “Let me get a phone book, there are over 720 churches in Charlotte. I’m sure we can find one where you can stuff your face until you’re so obese spiritually that you can’t even move.” 
Why do so many people continue to go to his church and listen to him then? Does this mean they are not saved because according to him if they are attending his church they are not saved? If they are saved, they wouldn’t be going there? 
I’d have to agree with that part of it, don’t go there.

*Steven says Christians that want to be fed God’s Word are fat, lazy Christians! 
Quote: “We don’t teach from Books of the Bible because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don’t offer different kinds of Bible studies because it gets in the way of evangelism. We don’t teach doctrine because it gets in the way of evangelism. If you want to be fed God’s Word or have the Bible explained to you then you are a fat lazy Christian and you need to shut up and get to work or you need to leave this church because we ONLY do evangelism.”
~Steven Furtick~
I do agree with him on this one as well when he says….”you need to leave his church!” – 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.