There are men here, from different Christian denominations, discussing what unites us as a body of believers, from the Gospel of John.
The final episode will be uploaded today – Resurrection Sunday! Their audio discussions are always excellent.
Christ Is Risen! 💛
He Is Risen Indeed!
Christ TOLD us (MORE than once) that the Old Testament Scriptures are about, and point to HIM! Why do we keep ignoring that fact? If we study/read only the New Testament (or portions of it), we have an incomplete Bible!
The day my eyes were really opened to this, and I began reading the Scriptures that way (SEEING the many types and shadows of Jesus, and WHY many were looking forward to The Messiah, and that we each NEED a propitiation for our sins, and that all of those “Bible stories” also show us the genealogy of The Messiah and that they are NOT stories (or promises to me, personally) for ME to pattern my life after…), was the day that almost ALL Scripture began to REALLY make SENSE and has only served to increase my sense of wonder and Faith. I can see God’s “signature” ALL OVER the pages of Scripture, and that there is NO WAY that ordinary human beings “came up with it to “control” the masses” (a lie I believed many years ago)…!
~[Jesus speaking] You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. (John 5:39-41 ESV)
~And he [Jesus] said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27 ESV)
~Then he [Jesus, after His resurrection] said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49 ESV)
My prayer is that MANY more souls will actually see this in the reading of their Bible, and have their minds opened in this way also!
May the Peace that only The Lord can give (shalom), be with you,
We all know them, the kids who were raised in church. They were stars of the youth group. They maybe even sang in the praise band or led worship. And then... they graduate from High School and they leave church. What happened?
It seems to happen so often that I wanted to do some digging; To talk to these kids and get some honest answers.
So I will start by saying that this is our first year (ever) that we are celebrating Reformation Day. I must admit that it wasn't until recently that I even knew what Reformation Day WAS (funny as it is that our family has claimed to be reformed for the past couple years, LOL). This is our first year in an actual reformed church as well, so all of this is new to us.
8 Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones). 9 But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you! 10 But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts–by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish). 11 Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah! ~Jude 8-11 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
I come to all of you, with a very heavy heart and under great conviction, right now.
Back in August of 2010, I did an online radio program testimony, that is probably still “out there” on the internet “somewhere”… It was my story of getting out of Neo-Paganism and New Age spirituality, and then, sliding right on into the Word-of-Faith movement, as a brand new Christian. I then was able to gradually, by reading God’s Word for myself, get out of the WOF, also. Unfortunately, at the time of that interview, my mind still was not totally out of all of the erroneous teachings that I had learned while in the WOF church, and under those teachings. I am sure I will continue to find even more of those beliefs, that may still be lingering in my mind, as I continue in The Lord’s Word.
The teaching that I am apologizing, and publicly repenting for, is that of railing against the devil, and his demons. I cannot, in good conscience, say that there is a solid biblical precedence for doing such things, if the scriptures cited by those teachers are taken in their full context! If even the archangel Michael (in his undefiled form) as a finite (a created being, having a beginning), but glorious angelic creation of God‘s, dared not to do this… I do not think that it is any coincidence that this little, but powerfully packed, book of Jude is placed right before The Revelation with its many strong warnings, to us! What in the world made me think that I should do such a thing?! The only thing I could come up with was a deafening, resounding answer… It was my own irreverence, arrogance, and PRIDE! One of the sins God hates the MOST!
16 These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren. ~Proverbs 6:16-19 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
As a matter of fact, looking back, pretty much everything I learned (and allowed myself to continue to believe, and “buy into”), in that church (and the teachers they subscribed to), was from a self-centered, feel-good, prideful, arrogant, man-centered, scripture-twisting, meetings out-of-order and chaotic, chasing after signs/wonders/miracles/visions, point-of-view (may sound harsh, but it is the truth)…! Even now, when I happen to hear any of these types of preachers on the TV, radio, or internet, I am continually appalled at the lack of humility, or any semblance of a reverential fear of The Lord! The longer I have been out of the WOF, and into The Word of God, the more I see it.
Also, I helplessly watch how the errors inherent in these teachings, and the “different” false Jesus that they offer, ruins the minds, hearts, and spirits of so many of those who follow, previously followed, or just happen to “run into” these false teachers. So many of these damaged, and broken, people are practically unreachable, because of the inherent spiritual abuse, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, longings for a “Word from the Lord” (outside of the Bible), dependency on “feelings” and emotions, the addiction of chasing “signs and wonders”, and sometimes even deep brainwashing (mind control) that they have gone through! It is an ongoing, dark, and terrible, travesty…!
One thing that these misled individuals REALLY need to know, is the following truth:
14 And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; 15 So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds. ~2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
I daresay, and testify, that since totally abandoning the practice of “railing” (along with teaching my children to stop this, also), the demonic activity, AND horrific nightmares, have almost COMPLETELY come to a halt in our household (after so many years of wasted, railing battles)! What we DO need to do is continue to be subject and obedient to The Lord, continuously keep on the armor of God, and proceed in His righteousness!
I (and my children) now simply either say, “The LORD rebuke you” (following the archangel Michael’s example), or simply call on the name of Jesus Christ!
It IS a battle we are in, but it is a “different” kind of battle. An individual, spiritual battle. Not a battle where we need to shout, and rail against the devil and his demons. It is a battle to keep ourselves (through the help of the Holy Spirit within us) in the ways that are listed in the scriptures below. It is from a place of making sure that we are in right-standing subjection and obedience to The Lord, that we are even able to resist the devil, so that he cannot get an easy foothold (or open doorway) into our lives.
6 But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). 7 So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].9 [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. 10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant]. ~James 4:6-10 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
11 Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah).12 The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light.13 Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy.14 But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts). ~Romans 13:11-14 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. 16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. 18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). ~Ephesians 6:11-18 (AMP) (emphasis, mine)
It really is very simple, yet not always easy to do. With the help of the Holy Spirit, though, it does get easier, as each day goes by.
Even if after all of this, I find that the Lord lets the devil have his way with me, I now know that it is only to keep me humble (not just because I did not have “enough faith”, or I am “not doing something quite right”, or I do not have the “right positive confession” or “life verse”, or a myriad of “other” reasons I was given, by the WOF followers, and leaders), and to refine me by fire (to see if I really do stand with God), like silver is refined to become pure.
3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tries the hearts. ~Proverbs 17:3 (AMP)
First, apologies to my “regulars”! The past four to five months have been both harrowing, and very physically painful… I have learned a lot about how our spines work, and what can happen when something is NOT working right! I also learned a lot about our medical system… The good (even sometimes great), the bad (sometimes horrible), AND the ugly (what it is like to have to be totally dependent – even in toileting… Yikes)!
I went from a very active, spur-of-the-moment woman, to feeling like I was almost twice my age! I was rapidly reduced to only being able to walk with a wheeled walker, when two canes were no longer enough! Actually, my Neurosurgeon said that when they opened my spine up, they all gasped, and she could not believe I was still able to walk, AT ALL! It was only by The Grace of God, and the tenacity He has given me, because I was in SEVERE pain with every move I made!
Anyway, if you want to see what happened from my spine operation (which was on October 28th), forward, here is the link where my husband and I put updates about the experience, for friends and family… It starts just before the surgery, and I still update it, periodically. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annettehobart/
So, I am now still in the healing process, and ready to start blogging, again. If you just hang in there, with me, I do have a couple of blog posts I am already working on. One, having to do with believers in Christ needing to use critical thinking skills, and the other on some of my other past experiences. I have also realized that I need to continue our family story of how we arrived at where we are now, in the first place!
Hmmmm… I better get busy this next week… One thing about it is, I DO have to sit a lot, with all of my restrictions from the surgery. Now that my pain medications have been able to be reduced to a low roar, my mind-fog is also beginning to clear! So…. I guess I may as well be blogging! I can do that while sitting in the same room with my kiddos!
Hope to be posting something very soon!
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28 NASB)
The title question is just as much for myself, as it is for my readers! Are we, as ADULTS, really even ready for what may be coming down the pike? Keep also in mind that Jesus said, ”For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26 NASB)
We live (especially here in the USA) in such a pampered, spoiled, feel-good, “best-life-now” society! Most people here think we have religious freedom, and that persecution could never really happen here… I can tell you, undoubtedly, that mild-to-moderate persecution is already here, and we had better brace ourselves for the possibility of much worse, to follow. As the old saying goes, “prepare for the worst, and hope for the best”!
The Holy Bible teaches that persecution, for being a Christian, is to be expected. One such passage (and this is only one), taught by Jesus Himself, is as follows (with my own emphasis):
“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.” (John 15:18-23 NASB)
As I look around and see how things are changing in this country (and yes, even worldwide), I believe that it is quickly coming to the point that we each had better know where stand, in Christ Jesus, and prepare ourselves now. We also have the responsibility to prepare our own children for rejection and/or persecution, for simply being an uncompromising Christian. They need to be prepared for these times, just as much as we do! Things of this manner will come as a real shock to MOST of our sheltered society’s children… leaving them VERY vulnerable to crumbling, under even the slightest pressure!
I do not know about you, but I do NOT want to be held responsible, in front of the Almighty God, for not taking the time and energy in preparing myself, and my children! Plus, I cannot bear the thought of Jesus denying them, because they denied Him (Matthew 10:33 and 2 Timothy 2:12), from my own lack of preparing them for the days to come! As Jesus said, ”For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26 NASB)
Okay, now I know what you are probably thinking… “How in the WORLD am I going to be able to do this without scaring them to death?!” I have some good news! I have found some tools, that others have put together, that should be able to assist you in this most worthy endeavor! I would suggest that you go ahead and print these out, so that you have them on hand, just in case the internet were to ever be shut down on us (and yes, that IS a strong possibility)…
This first link is to stories for children, about other children, who took a stand for Jesus. They all have three sections as follows: The story, scriptures relating to the story, and ideas for discussion. Some also have new word definitions. As a homeschool mom, I really like the setup of these! http://www.crossroad.to/Persecution/stories/contents.html
This second link is for you. You need to prepare yourself. http://www.crossroad.to/Persecution/persecute.html Dig around on here. There are scriptures, stories, and situations to think through.
The final link I am leaving you with is very heavy, but rich in preparation! It is titled “Preparing for the Underground Church“. If we are able to mentally prepare now, I believe, this will help us to be able to let The Lord’s Grace take over, when, or if, the time comes. http://members.cox.net/wurmbrand/prepare.html
My prayer for you is that these resources, that some godly people took the time to put together, will provide you with the time and ability (during your busy daily life) to prepare yourself and your family. I do pray that we will never have to face most of this, but if we do, I know that I will always try to keep the following passage in mind:
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. (1 Peter 3:14-17 NASB)
May God Bless you and Keep you. ~Annette
First, let me say that I am not here to be calling out any names, or to try to “bring down” any ministries right now! I only hope to provide information to shed some light on teachings that are in error, and to show people the real Jesus Christ, of the Scriptures of the Holy Bible.
I need to say some things, to my brothers and sisters in Christ, about some misconceptions of so MANY of the people who are caught up in the Word Faith movement and Prosperity Gospel, because that is exactly what it is – they have been “snared”!
We need to have a loving heart for those in that deception… It is, many times, like being raised by a highly dysfunctional parent! Most get caught when they were 1) raised in a dead church that did not emphasize, or teach, that they needed to read the Word of God for themselves, or 2) they are a non-believer who wandered in to a WOF church – got caught up in all the emotion (the whole experience in one of these churches is a highly charged, emotional experience) – and just never learned anything else, or 3) they are brand-new Christians floundering, by themselves, and looking for direction (which was my case), or 4) they were born and raised in it, and know nothing else, but what they have been taught their whole life. Many of these church members really do not know anything else! They really do NOT need to be made fun of. They need sound doctrine, instruction, to be shown the Truth, and MERCY!
You see, I did not have the luxury of even knowing the Scriptures, yet, back when I was snared…
I was a brand-new Christian, floundering on my own, coming out of neo-Paganism and New Age teachings. I was previously a witch, tarot card reader, into yoga, entrenched in ISA (previously known as EST), into clothing-optional gatherings, dabbled in Buddhism, dabbled in Reiki and crystal healing, read and believed much of “A Course in Miracles” (before it was made “popular” by Oprah), jewelry maker of “commitment bands” (which I sold to gay couples) and crystal jewelry (I “charged” those with spells and sold them at new-age and pagan festivals), into all the positive thinking stuff, persecuted Christians and their belief system, etc., etc., etc. This, sadly, was the first “church” I ended up in… See, if you do not know the scriptures for yourself (which is the state of MOST of the people in this movement), it is very EASY to get sucked into it…!
I remember sitting there thinking, “Cool, I did this stuff for satan’s team, before (the positive confession stuff – aka positive thinking, visualisation, etc.), but NOW I am on the RIGHT team, and I can do it for Jesus!” ***sigh***
We were never really encouraged to read all of The Word, for ourselves, we just flipped from scripture to scripture, along with the pastor, and the way he did it really made it seem “right”! I read all the books the pastor said to read (which, of course, were sold in the book store that the church had), got all the tapes he said to listen to, and listened to all the teachers on TBN he said were good to watch.
It was not until I had some run-ins with some of the “leadership” (in the children’s church), the pastor, the pastor’s wife, and some of the “ushers” (more like “bouncers”, in a bar), and some emotional abuse done to my two eldest children, that we finally quit going to that church. You see, I realize looking back, I was not a really “good” cult-member (I began questioning things, and saying “no” to them). One of the “ushers” even kept calling my house, and coming to my door (always during times when my husband was not there – I did not answer either one), after we quit going. You see, that is one of the ways that they “get” people, “counsel” family members to get a family member to “get out of sin” (sin usually being – questioning anything the leadership says or does), and “keep” them in the church…
I first proceeded to wean myself OFF of the books, tapes, and TV messages… Also, I began to read the Bible FOR MYSELF! Wow, were MY eyes opened up to the depth of the deception, and how the scriptures had all been taken out of context, and twisted around to sound “right”! Then, I began to be able to (by the Grace of our LORD, and the help of the Holy Spirit) deprogram myself, from ALL of it (the Paganism, the New Age thinking, and the Word of Faith teachings – which are ALSO very “New Age” teachings)!
This transformation has NOT happened overnight, but The Lord has been FAITHFUL in the “renewing of my mind”! It has been a LONG journey, and I cannot even pinpoint the moment I really realized that I was getting OUT of all of it… There was, and still is, a LOT of JUNK, in my mind, to get rid of!
Also, please note, one of the BIG teachings (mentioned in almost every sermon) in WOF is to “touch not, the Lord’s anointed” (taken out of context, of course), thus, conveniently making it impossible to question ANYTHING that the pastors, or visiting pastors, might say or do, because if you do, you stand the chance of being CURSED BY GOD, and who in their right mind wants THAT to happen…?! These are just SOME of the ways in which these churches are very cult-like, and spiritually abusive… They are even very careful about the wording of the songs they sing in church (even sometimes changing the words in good, solid, traditional hymns – like getting rid of the word “wretch” in “Amazing Grace”!), so as to not accidentally have a “negative confession” of some kind, in the song…! Continual bondage, not Grace!
If you run into WOF people (most will go on the defensive, and actually be AFRAID to even question what they have been taught), and IF they begin (Lord willing) to REALIZE that they have been deceived, PLEASE know that they will need to go through a mourning process! They are really hurting! It HURTS to find out you’ve been believing in a “false Jesus” (more like a genie, magic 8-ball, or a Santa figure…), and that you may not really even be a true Christian! There can be sadness, anger, anxiety, euphoria (I had that, after I realized I did NOT have to worry about every single little word coming out of my mouth having the possibility of CURSING my whole life! There is SO MUCH BONDAGE in the WOF!), withdrawal, etc. and then, eventually, the Peace that passes all understanding! Please remember the following verse, and realize that most people coming out of this usally need the MERCY part!
But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 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.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 17-25 NASB)
Okay, I guess I am done, for now…
Below, you will find three talks that are really very good at explaining what WOF preachers teach, how they teach it, and explanations of how they use the scriptures, and twist them around. He is NOT a raving, rabid, speaker. He teaches it in a very matter-of-fact way, so that you can know what people in this movement are talking about, and possibly find ways to talk to them about what they are being taught.
Ever get frustrated when you download a really great resource that is in Word or Excel format, but you do not have MSOffice, thus making it so that you cannot change things in it to personalize it for your own use? Also, do you ever need a document to be a PDF file for sending to someone, because for whatever reason, they cannot accept a Word document? Ever wanted to watch or create a PowerPoint, but could not? I have a wonderful software suite that I have used to deal with all of these issues, and even more! Best of all, it is free (although they do accept donations)! It is called Open Office at http://www.openoffice.org/ To learn more about Open Office, go here. http://why.openoffice.org/
This next one is very helpful in finding bargains, freebies, and coupons for you and your family! http://moneysavingmom.com/ Psssst… Guys can use it too! You will want to grab a favorite beverage, and find a comfortable seat before exploring this site! Make sure you go here the first time, so you can learn how to get the most out of her site. http://moneysavingmom.com/beginners-page
These two should keep you busy for a while! One more thing, Money Saving Mom is updated with new items almost every single day, so if there is not something for you there one day, chances are, there will be something you can use the next day! Enjoy!