Are They in Your Hometown?
Everyone knows there are well known false teachers everywhere such as Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine, Joel Osteen, Bill Johnson, Steven Furtick, etc. but we also need to be aware that there are small-time false teachers locally in our own hometowns.
It’s those preachers and teachers that teach the same kinds of stuff that we have heard from the well-known Bible teachers about prosperity, name it-claim it, mysticism, revelations outside Scriptures, on and on but live in the same town we do.
These false teachers zone in on people in their hometowns and spread their unbiblical beliefs where they can such as women shelters, homeless shelters, jails, and one of the popular places they like to target is the colleges. They invite students to their churches or even to Bible studies on the campuses. Many college students are from out of town and they leave their homes where they had friends and family to rely on for spiritual guidance and so they are looking to reconnect with new Christian friends, looking for a place to worship, and maybe find a church to go to. Some don’t know enough of how some preachers or teachers can deceive them and probably were never taught to test them by comparing what they are being told to God’s Word. Some never went to church and don’t know God at all. So, please, if you have a kid going to college, warn them. Have them do some research on wherever they go to church or for a bible study. They need to be discerning and not to just blindly start attending any Bible group without researching them first.
Just because a group calls themselves Christian doesn’t mean they are. Just because a place of worship calls themselves a church doesn’t mean they are a Biblical church. It’s important people do their homework! We need to be aware of all the unbiblical churches and ministries around our towns because they will work just as hard as any to convert your kid and as many as they can. I’ve seen many times local ministries or churches push the community to attend unbiblical events that many people in different denominations go to.
These groups will not reveal themselves right off the bat. They normally start off with an introduction on enrollment day handing out pamphlets and drawing students by inviting them to cookouts on campus. Student get to know each other at the cookout and begin to become friends which draw them even more because they like who they are meeting, and they have fun. After a few visits through the weeks, everything seemed good and students are enjoying meeting new people and learning about God and they feel comfortable there.
It’s not long till they slowly introduce their teaching to the students by approaching one at a time, telling the student that God just spoke to them and they have a message for them. In some cases, it might be that God told the leader the student isn’t saved, or they don’t have faith in Jesus or that God told them their childhood was bad.
I had learned that the ministry in our hometown told a young student that they needed to take the next step in becoming “no longer a sinner”. This leader told the student they could get to a place where they would no longer be a sinner ‘if’ they would live in faith with the Holy Spirit.
Wow, there is so much wrong with this statement. To start with….None of those students could test what that leader said about hearing a message from God because it’s in their own mind. So those leaders were aware the students didn’t know much of what was Biblical or not. Tagging God’s name on such a message is wrong because God tells us we learn from His Word not from what other people think, feel, or hear in their own head. They are false teachers claiming things about a young student that isn’t true, God didn’t tell them that.
My thought is this: If they believe, “when you are saved and have the Holy Spirit, you are no longer a sinner” then why would the Scriptures teach us we still struggle with sin even though we are saved? Such as these Bible verses.
1 John 1:7-10~ “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us”.
Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 26:41~”Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Paul says in Romans 7:15-24~”I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?”
If those leaders claim to prophesy a Word from God, and hear personal messages from God, then they better be sure it was from God. Scriptures warn people about this type of practice. God does not speak audibly anymore because the cannon is closed (Hebrew 1:1-2). To tell people that God speaks to us today is adding to His Word (Proverbs30:5-6, Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32). If people claim they hear a Word from God, then it’s to be treated Holy and that means the Bible isn’t closed and it also means that these new revelations are not written in the Bible because they were just spoken which means the Bible isn’t authoritative because they can’t be proven. However, a ministry like this has proven they are false because the teacher had tagged God to her own words and said, “God told me that you had a bad childhood”, do you believe God really said that? God didn’t say that in His Word to that student, they gave an untrue revelation that discredits them as Bible teachers.
Justin Peters says: “God cannot speak less authoritatively on one occasion than He does on another. Friends, if God is speaking, God is speaking, and whatever He says carries the exact same authority as does John 3:16 or Romans 10:9 and 10.” So, when others claim, “God said”, it should be added to the Bible.
Again, let me give you a word of warning, we also need to remember God tells us NOT to take anything away from Scripture or add anything to Scriptures because it has harsh consequences. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18–19)
When people claim new special revelations today, they are adding to God’s Words. Deuteronomy 18:20~But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’
This ministry also teaches our local students that if you are saved, you can still lose your salvation. So, let’s think about this.
If one can lose salvation, then WHY do they also teach you can become “no longer a sinner”??? How does that work? If you’re no longer a sinner then you are perfect, correct? So how can you have any chance of losing your salvation if you are perfect? The two cannot exist together because they contradict each other in every way. Scriptures say that salvation is God’s work, not ours.
It says in John 10:28-29~ “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Titus 3:5~ “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit”.
There is nothing we can do that’s good enough to get us to heaven and there is nothing we can do that can undo God’s salvation. If salvation is given to us as a free gift by faith in Christ which makes us a new creation, it’s sealed salvation. The old has gone, the new has come. If we were bought at a price with the blood of Christ how can we then lose the new creation?
“For a Christian to lose salvation, God Himself would have to revoke His purchase of the individual for whom He paid with the precious blood of Christ.” (Taken from gotquestions.org)
To lose salvation, the person that is a new creation would have to be turned back into the old self somehow. However, God told us at salvation the new has come and the “old is gone”. So, how would we be able to return to what God has said is gone? To lose salvation, the new creation would have to be destroyed
Basically what they believe is when we lose our salvation the new us, that was “born” as a new creation, bought by God with the blood of Christ is….revoked by God and you become unborn? Or undone? Or destroyed? Or something like that. Then apparently we return to the old self that God tells us is gone or passed away. See the confusion?
Christians I hope you know that this isn’t true. We can’t return to the old self because the old self died instantly in our salvation as said in the following verse.
Colossians 3:2-3~“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”.
It’s important to also know that some Bible study teachers aren’t truly saved either. They can talk the talk and sound like they make great points at times, but God knows the truth. God even tells us that we can know when He says, “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). In other words, you’ll see they aren’t truly Christians by their lifestyle, how they talk, what they do, what they teach, etc. They never became that new creation.
If we just look at how they approach the students they think are lost, they didn’t even share the gospel with them. All they do was tell them
*they are not saved.
*If they believed, they would no longer be a sinner.
*They would pray for God to come into their life.
So, how is any of that helpful to those students if any of them were truly lost???? Where’s the gospel? If a person is lost and doesn’t know Christ, did they even help them know who Christ was or why they need Him? All they did was say, “Let’s pray for God to come into your life” but would an unbeliever even understand that? Is that how God saves people? Is that the gospel? We are told in Scriptures to preach the gospel…Mark 16:15 ~ And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
The unsaved person first needs to recognize they are a sinner not told they can get to where they are no longer a sinner. The unsaved person needs to know why they are a sinner. Maybe they don’t think they are a bad person. We have to tell them that no matter how great we think we are, we all sin and need Jesus. They need to see they are hopelessly lost without Christ. Why do they need Christ? Well, because they need forgiveness for their sins. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reality of a person’s sin needs to be acknowledged in order for them to realize they need to repent. Why do they need to repent and turn to Jesus? Because their sins have made a separation between them and God and they need to understand the consequence of their sin. They need to see that that consequence is death. (Romans 6:23). They need to understand the only way we get saved from Hell is through Jesus. They need to know that Jesus died for our sins otherwise we’d go to Hell because we can’t pay for our own sins. We aren’t perfect enough. Without this understanding of truth, it doesn’t make sense to just pray for God to come into their life. How would that save them? Sin against a perfect God requires a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice and the only one that could pay for our sins and remove the sting of death. It cost Jesus His life to save us, but Jesus offers His salvation to us as a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), (Ephesians 2:8–9). Does an unbeliever know it’s a free gift or do they think they have to work for it???
(From: ‘Grace to You’)
“Once people see Scripture as less than the final, complete, infallible authority for faith and practice, it has opened the doors to theological chaos. Anyone can claim to be speaking God’s revelation—and almost anything can be passed off as divinely revealed truth. And make no mistake; some of the best-known charismatic leaders have abused their people’s trust by claiming they are receiving new truth from God when what they are really teaching are lies and fabrications.”
I just want to warn people with kids that just because your kid is a college student doesn’t mean they are smart enough to see through that stuff. As a parent, I did my own homework on our local ministries I found so many things that disturbed me. I ended up in an online conversation with two ladies in the ministry.
This same ministry believes in being “slain in the spirit“. Now, if you don’t know what that is then you’re blessed, but I’ll explain just so you know how unbiblical it is.
When a person is slain in the spirit what you will see is a person will collapse to the floor, ‘supposedly’ overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If you study your Bible you will learn that being slain in the spirit is not biblical at all in any way. They say it’s the Holy Spirit, but it truly isn’t! Don’t believe it! The Holy Spirit lives within us at the point of true salvation and repentance of sin. The Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn’t throw people to the ground making them unaware of what is going on around them or making them behave like they are ‘OUT OF CONTROL’ to the point of shaking or mumbling on the ground. (Galatians 5:22-23).
When we submit to the Bible as sufficient and as the final revelation of God’s Word, then there is no need for being “slain in the spirit”. If you are a discerning Christian, then you wouldn’t want anything to do with “being slain in the spirit”. No thanks! The whole scene of a person falling down on the ground, becoming stiff as a board, and some foam at the mouth or even shaking as if they are a fish flopping around is quite scary. Some people don’t speak and some just babble but most start doing very odd things.
Now, I’m NOT saying that what a person experiences when they are supposedly “slain in the Spirit” is fake. I’ve heard how some people claim they feel energy or a feeling of some kind that overcomes them and cause them to fall back and do these very odd things. However, what I am saying, is it’s something else and not of God. I don’t believe it’s the result of the Holy Spirit. They probably are feeling something of some kind of force rushing through them but from reading the Scriptures it sounds more demonic to me. Such as when I read this verse :
Mark 9:17-18~ A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid.
And this one as well: Galatians 5:22–23~ “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Did you catch that?????? Self-control!!
If ‘self-control’ is a fruit of the Spirit of God, how can uncontrollable falling down or uncontrollable shaking or uncontrollable passing out also be a fruit of His Spirit? I think they should explain to those students what it is because some have never seen it before and that can be a little disturbing, to say the least, to see someone do that.
This ministry also practices what they believe to be “speaking in tongues” for today.
The purpose of tongues throughout the early church was indeed biblical and given as one of the gifts from God. However, true biblical tongues require each and every time an interpreter. The interpreter translates to everyone listening to what is being said. If someone is just speaking gibberish with no interpreter, then they are not truly speaking in tongues and defiantly not being biblically correct.
Speaking in tongues also is a real language that is spoken somewhere in the world. Speaking in tongues means you speak a different language that you have never spoken before such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Navajo. It’s for the benefit of a person that doesn’t know your language and needs to know the Gospel. They can preach the Gospel to them or give a message from God through tongues (through the lost person’s own language). So, if someone is speaking anything that is not intelligible it’s not true tongues and is not biblical.
1 Corinthians 14:9,16,17,19,22~ 9″So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.”
16 “Otherwise when you are praising God in the Spirit, how can someone else, who is now put in the position of an inquirer, say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since they do not know what you are saying? 17 You are giving thanks well enough, but no one else is edified”.
19 “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue“.
22 “Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers”.
So it’s probably safe to say, no one needs to speak in tongues in the church of believers. If a church or ministries have people speaking in tongues and everyone speaks the same language then it’s unbiblical.
They have personally told me that God is NOT in control and they publicly teach this belief. They continued to tell me, “God wants to be in control but needs our permission first.”
I was shocked they said that. Wow, if God’s not in control then I’M AFRAID and you should be too!! Because that means He is not sovereign. That comment makes God look very weak cuz if He WANTS to be in control but can’t…….UNLESS we let Him then he’s not God. Their words teach that because Gods not in control, we are. We are more powerful than Him because God can’t overpower our wants. So, does this mean God doesn’t have the ultimate authority? Where is His authority? Where is His power? That’s not the God of the Bible that I know, it’s a whole different god and it’s not my god. Here are just a few verses that say otherwise.
Proverbs 19:21~Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.
Proverbs 16:9 ~The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
Jeremiah 29:11~For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Psalm 115:3~Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
This ministry is not biblical and it’s just wrong and gives empty harmful beliefs. Ministries talk to college students, addicts, people in jail, the homeless shelters, and women shelters but they are not leading them to God’s Word correctly but instead leading them astray with all this foolishness. If a lost person doesn’t understand salvation then they are only saying empty words that hold no water, it doesn’t mean anything.
We are told in Scriptures to warn people about false teachers. Mark them and expose them. Ephesians 5:11~ ”Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Romans 16:17-18–Paul said, “I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ but their own body, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent.”
These Ministries are dangerous because they claim to be from God and to speak for God.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15~ ”For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”
I pray for those lost and want desperately to know the truth of God’s Word.
Above is an article written by Tami Dykes, Gina and Tami write Through the Narrow here at Tulips & Honey Hub. They’ll be posting articles every other Tuesday. Both are published authors, you can find Tami’s book here, and Gina’s book here. We’re blessed to have them apart of our team, and pray their writing will be as edifying to you as it is to us. – Lauren Hereford