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So Many Voices Claiming that THEY Know the “TRUE” Gospel — Let’s Check the Scriptures!

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I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have asked friends, family, and acquaintances, what they understand the biblical Gospel to be. They have given me a HUGE variety of interesting, yet very disturbing, answers, and many blank stares. I have also been told that I am arrogant if I actually think that I can know what it is, without a doubt (because everyone has their “own interpretation”). I beg to differ with that, and believe that the Bible tells us plainly!

Are you confused as to what the Gospel is, because of these many competing voices that “claim” that their version of the gospel is the “right one”, or “better” than what every learned theologian has understood it to be, throughout our very rich Christian history (I heard this claim in the Word-of-Faith movement, many times. Including, that over time, we have a better understanding than the Apostles ever could! Oh really….. When they actually learned directly from Christ Himself for the three years before His crucifixion, and even continued learning from Him after He was resurrected?! What better Seminary could they have gone to? That kind of claim is actually the height of arrogance, and idolatry!)? If you are confused, I can tell you that I too used to be confused on this essential part of Faith. I invite you to take a look at the Scriptures, and see if what these other people say, can actually line up to God’s definition:

Let us begin by looking at an admonishment from Paul, originally written to the Church in Galatia, but equally applicable to any church that abandons the Gospel laid forth in the Bible. We should take heed.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Galatians 1:6-9 ESV

And what was that original Gospel that they had preached? The beautiful part, is that you can find it right here (straight up, and in a nutshell)! <–Note–> Please see the note at the end of this posting.

(Also written by Paul) Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ESV

Read ALL of 1 Corinthians 15, to receive it in its richer fullness! All of the Apostles preached the SAME GOSPEL.

Did any of the other Apostles even THINK we should take heed of what Paul wrote, and that all of Scripture flows together (not contradictory)? Take a look here {emphasis mine}:

And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability.
2 Peter 3:15-17 ESV

Yep, Peter put Paul’s writings right up there with all the other Scriptures! Check it out for yourself, in your own Bible! Your Bible is God’s Word, and it will tell you, very plainly, what His Gospel is, for you. This is the greatest gift that you can ever receive. You can know, without any confusion whatsoever, what God’s Good News truly is!

May God bless you and keep you!  ~Annette

<–Note–> Please take notice, as you read this, to the phrase “in accordance with the Scriptures”. This will help you to begin to understand that the Scriptures he was referring to would have been the Old Testament. This also beautifully shows us that the Old Testament is not in opposition to the New Testament. They actually point us to the Messiah who was to come, and which Jesus fulfilled, perfectly! (Jesus said these,about Himself, before and after His death and resurrection) You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, ~John 5:39 ESV and–> And He 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

Witchcraft and New Age Spiritualism, Veiled by Christian Lingo

This person shared one of my blog posts on their own blog, and I am very thankful for that, as this is something that all Christians need to be aware of. About the information they shared, right before my article – I have to say that I agree them, and I’m speaking from experience.

Shepherd/Guardian

http://thewordonthewordoffaithinfoblog.com/2013/02/07/ex-word-of-faith-testimony-ex-wofer-is-also-a-former-witch-who-says-the-word-of-faith-is-witchcraft/

I posted an article I wrote on Joyce Meyers at FreeRepublic.com and when someone responded that they liked her I claimed that The Word of Faith teaching is really Witchcraft veiled in Christians terms. In disbelief he said that he had attended one of Meyer’s meetings with his daughter and son-in-law and that he “didn’t really see anyone there who looked like a good advocate for witchcraft”.  To that comment I responded…

“I have never said that Meyers or her followers look like witches or advocate for witchcraft. Witches don’t have big crooked noses with moles and ride brooms,, doncha know. But I do claim the WoF power of words or confessionism teaching (you possess what you confess) is witchcraft veiled in Christian terms. And it is not just me that comes to this conclusion but many apologetics ministries that cover the WoF.

I have met over 100…

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Disturbing Things My 17-Year-Old Daughter Shared About Her Own Experiences in Children’s Church and Youth Groups…

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My 17 year old daughter (who recently turned 18) made some comments to me, a couple of months before my most recent spinal surgery (which happened on September 2, 2014), about what she learned, and experienced, in her own lifetime of attending Children’s Churches and Youth Groups in the Word-of-Faith, Non-denominational, and other Seeker-Friendly “churches” we attended over the years (we no longer even darken the doorway of those types of places). What she said was STUNNING, to me!

Before I tell you what she actually said (she did give me permission to share her thoughts on my blog), I have to say that this REALLY hit me HARD, as a parent, and starkly pointed out MY OWN SHORTCOMINGS and SINFULNESS of not teaching my children about WHAT I believed, and WHY I believed what I believed (which, really, could be a blessing, as it would have just probably confused them)!  It also made me realize my own lack of ever being properly discipled, or catechized (which has only happened much more recently), in the infancy of my own faith in Christ .

How could I have even taught them, that which I could not explain, myself?!  I really did not know WHY I believed any of what I believed over the years…!  I really was living on the “blind faith” that what I was taught must be true, because the people I was trusting, made it seem like it was right, and they called themselves Christians and Pastors (which, by the way,  is NOT the Faith spoken of, in God’s Word).

First, my daughter told me that, up until a couple of years ago, the only things she could remember, that she knew came from the Bible was, “a story about some lady, who put a red ‘something’ on one of her doors, or a window, or something, for some reason” (this would most likely be a reference to Rahab, the prostitute, who was part of the lineage that pointed to Jesus). She also said she remembered “a story about some guy, at some time, that tricked his dad into thinking that he was his brother, by putting fur on his arm. The end.”  Wow, that was really something helpful to know…

Also, up until about 3 years ago, she did not even know that there was more than one book in the Bible (she just thought it was all one big, confusing book, that others could understand, but she could not)!

Next, she told me that pretty much everything else she remembered was playing games, making crafts, watching various videos, singing fun feel-good songs (and plugging her ears because it was always too loud), temporarily learning some Bible verses – with no context or reason for why she was learning them, of course (none of which she even knows what they were), having snacks, and being picked on, teased, or just plain ignored (because yes, she is a bit “different”, and it does show, especially in larger group settings that have way too much sensory stimulation).

That’s it!  That is all she got out of being in Children’s Church, and Youth Groups, all these years!  What a waste of precious time, and energy (it is NOT easy getting 3 kiddos, that have special needs, out the door to get to church on time)!!!  Not to mention all of the MONEY wasted and volunteer time wasted, at these churches!  And we wonder WHY we are LOSING our children to the secular world and/or false teachers (whether these teachers call themselves Christians, or not)?!

These are the “impressions” that these “seeker-sensitive” models, of the visible “church” are giving so many children.  NOT anything that the Holy Spirit can even work through, because they are not even hearing actual Bible passages that are related to each other (and their significance to Christ explained), or being called to repentance of their sin (by hearing God’s Law), and then comforted by the Gospel!  My kiddos, AND myself and husband, should have probably just stayed at home, slept in, and enjoyed some family time together…!  We would have ALL received more from that, than we did in ANY of these churches.  Sad, but oh so very true.

Just in case you are wondering, this is no longer the case with her, OR any of the rest of us in the family!  We are now in a SOLID church.  The Pastors have actually spent one-on-one time with us at the church, at hospitals, and even in our own home (all within the last year, and we have only been members since March of this year)!  Also, we learn a LOT in the Sunday Bible Class (in which the two teens attend the Adult Bible Class, with us), after the Divine Service (which is filled with people in ALL the various stages of life, from infancy to old age, and is also filled with Bible teaching and receiving God’s gifts to us every week).

Our Pastors have helped us to read the Bible for what it actually plainly says, in its own context.  If the Bible is silent on something, they are silent on it also.  No more “dancing around” our questions, or ripping verses out of context to just “paste them all together” to make them say what is wanted (and not what is actually needed), or just plain ignoring or avoiding our questions altogether (which has happened at pretty much all of the other churches we had attended over the previous 19 years).

Again, I praise God for calling us OUT of these places, and keeping us THROUGH the fires of testing!

~Annette

You MIGHT Not be in a Real Christian Church If…..

Generic Church in a Stadium1) your Pastor is not teaching and preparing you for suffering, as a Christian, in this fallen world.

2) your Pastor does not comfort you with the gospel of what Jesus Christ did for you, after he has hit you with God’s laws.

3) your Pastor puts his own “vision” for your church above what God’s commands are for a New Testament church.

4) there can be no distractions in church in order to hear the words of the teacher/preacher, rather than whole families in church to hear the reading & teaching of whole passages of Scripture… in their original context!

5) the Pastor teaches you his own “vision” and rules, as if they were God’s law (ask to see it in context, in Scripture).

6) you are pushed into signing “commitment cards” for things not found in Scripture (usually after emotional manipulation in a “sermon”).

7) you are pressured into “serving the church”, even if it means detriment to your vocations in life at this present time (father, mother, husband, wife, daughter, son, citizen, employee/employer, student, etc.)!

8) your “pastor’s” emphasis is pretty much on having your best life now (what will your afterlife be like..? ***shudder***).

9) your “Pastor” takes the Lord’s name in vain (ie. “OMG”) without even skipping a beat…!

10) you rarely seek, in times of distress, comfort from others in your church, out of fear of having a “negative confession” (this is what was previously known as superstition)!

Just some thoughts as I watch what is happening in much of the “visible” church in this world…  I feel a possible “series” of posts coming on, after my LONG hiatus!

~ Annette

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A Letter from Kabwata: Why is the Charismatic Movement Thriving in Africa?

A Letter from Kabwata

via A Letter from Kabwata: Why is the Charismatic Movement Thriving in Africa?.

An Apology to All Who Heard My Public Testimony from 08/2010 (and a Humbling Lesson for Myself…)

The Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral

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For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.    Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.  And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day—  just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.    Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.  But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”  But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively.  Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. ~Jude 4-11 ESV (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 things God hates the MOST!

There are six things that the  Lord  hates,  seven that are an abomination to him:   haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  a heart that devises wicked plans,  feet that make haste to run to evil,  a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. ~Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV (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:

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. ~2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV (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.

You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. ~James 4:4-10 ESV (emphasis, mine)

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.  The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.  Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. ~Romans 13:11-14 ESV (emphasis, mine)

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, ~Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV (emphasis, mine)

It really is 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.

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,  and the Lord tests hearts. ~Proverbs 17:3 ESV

~Annette

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Are Our Children Ready for Rejection and Persecution?

“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

Time is Short – I Cannot Stay Quiet Any Longer!

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 do 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/or Prosperity Gospel, because that is exactly what it is – they have been “snared”!

We really need to have a loving heart for those caught in that deception… It is, many times, like being raised by a highly dysfunctional parent!

Most get caught for one or more of the following reasons:

1) they were raised in a dead church (not teaching GOD’s Law and GOD’s Gospel) that did not emphasize, or teach them how to properly read and study the Word of God, OR

2) they have never been taught what a Christian has historically believed since the time of the resurrection, and ascension of Christ, and WHY they believed it (they need to know what they believe, and why they believe it! DOCTRINE DOES MATTER!), OR

3) they are still an unbeliever 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 stayed, waiting for the next emotional “high” (or a promised “prophecy” to come to pass), and never learned anything else, OR

4) they are brand-new Christians floundering, by themselves, and looking for direction (which was my case), OR

5) they were born and raised in it, and know nothing else, but what they have been taught for their whole life.

Many of these church members really do not know anything else! They really do NOT need to be made fun of, or belittled. What they need is sound doctrine, instruction, to be shown the Truth, and MERCY!

You see, I did not have the luxury of even knowing the Scriptures, yet, or that I could really even understand them if I were taught properly (I just couldn’t seem to figure out how the teachers I was listening to, at that time, were able to figure out, and come to the conclusions that they did in their sermons. It was all highly confusing to me, but seemed to “make sense” when they taught it), 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), I was a 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, HATED Christians and what I perceived as their belief system, etc., etc., etc. Then this, sadly, was the first kind of “church” I ended up in… See, if you do not have proper teaching in Christian doctrine (which is the state of MOST of the people in this movement), it is very EASY to get sucked into it…!

I remember the first service I attended, and sitting there thinking, “Cool, I used to do this stuff for Satan’s team (the positive thinking stuff, visualization, tongues, positive confession, “listening” for messages to share, etc.), but NOW I am on the RIGHT team, and I can do it for Jesus!” ***sigh***

We were never really encouraged to read, and properly taught HOW to read the Word, and how to pick a GOOD, actual, translation (it was given lip-service, but there was never any instruction on how to even begin).  We just flipped from scripture to scripture, along with the pastor during emotionally-charged meetings and teachings, 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 that 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, and “counsel” other family members to get a “backsliding” family member to “get out of sin” (sin usually being – questioning anything the leadership in the congregation says or does), and “keep” them in the church (and keep getting their tithes and offerings, of course)…

I first proceeded to wean myself OFF of the books, tapes, and TV messages… Also, I began to read and listen to the Bible, IN CONTEXT! Wow, were MY eyes opened up to the depth of the deception I had been in, 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) get out from under ALL of it (the Paganism, the New Age thinking, AND the Word of Faith teachings – which are ALSO “New Age” teachings)!

This change 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, and construed to mean the leadership of their church, or one of the big-name celebrity leaders/teachers), thus, conveniently making it close to 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 (which would not be a “bad” thing, IF they were Orthodox) 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, about themselves, 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! This can take a very short, or very LONG amount of time. 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 even be a 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, or to make SURE I tithed on every PENNY that came into our household, even to the detriment of being able to pay our bills! There is SO MUCH BONDAGE in the WOF!), withdrawal, fear of being deceived again, etc.

Please remember the following verse, and realize that most people coming out of this type of teaching usally need the MERCY part, but sometimes they need to be snatched out of the fire, so as to not possibly lose them PERMANENTLY!

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 present you blameless before the presence of his glory 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 1:24-25 ESV)

 

Okay, I guess I am done, for now…

~Annette

Addendum:
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 crazily 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.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=640319236 (Part 1)

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=6603164431 (Part 2)

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=6120318137 (Part 3)

Some Helpful Frugal Sources1! :-)

A modern pair of prescription glasses with a h...

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With having special dietary needs, a need for several pairs of eyeglasses at our house, and wanting to be a vigilant steward of our finances – I thought that I would share some resources that I use, regularly, to help with our household budget spending!

The first one is, on Wednesdays, our sale ads double-up (one ad ends on Wednesday and the next one starts on that same day – so it doubles the options of saving) at Sprouts and Sunflower Farmer Markets! This is when and where I do my weekly produce, and bulk buying (and many times meats, and pre-made gluten-free items also)! Many times, there are organic produce items that are the same price, or even less than the non-organic! You just have to keep your eyes open. It is really wonderful when something is on sale, and I can add a coupon on top of it too! Also, Sprouts many times has coupon books available to you, if you just ask! 🙂  To find out if there is a location near you, and to see other ways to save at these stores, follow the links below.

http://sprouts.com/home.php  They also put up sneak peeks (on Saturday) of Sunday thru Tuesday specials that are only listed online, and not in their regular weekly ads!  😉

http://www.sunflowermarkets.com/Ways-To-Save.aspx  Enjoy!

Now, here is another really GREAT one that always gets me hyped up!  For families, like ours, where everyone wears eyeglasses, and from fairly young ages…  this can be a REAL MONEY SAVER!  You can actually get a pair of COMPLETE plain eyeglasses (including basic lenses) for as little as $6.95!  The shipping is also $5 for the COMPLETE order (at least, it was, on the most recent order of the 4 pairs of glasses that I received)!  I do have to say, that if you have children, or are rough on your glasses, in some way, you do want to get the polycarbonate lenses (they are MUCH more durable) for an additional cost of $9.  Still, where else can you get prescription glasses for $16?!  These are even great to get, just to have a spare pair on hand (great for emergency packs, in your car, a style change, or even “just in case”)!  We have never been disappointed – especially for the price!

http://www.zennioptical.com/

All you need, is to have the numbers from your eye prescription, and the Pupillary Distance (PD)…  THAT is what trips many people up…!  You see, I have yet to find an eye doc who will give you the PD (I believe that it is because that it then empowers you to go and buy glasses, on your own, rather than from them)!  What this is, is simply the distance from the middle of one eye’s pupil, to the middle of the other eye’s pupil.  First, you need a ruler marked out in millimeters.  Then, have the person you are measuring stand in front of you, and focus on something about 15 to 20 feet away.  While they are focusing on this object, take the measurement, and this is their PD (the “near PD”, for reading glasses and bi-focals, is usually about 4mm less)!  Now, you can order your own glasses!  😉

I hope that you find something helpful here, for YOUR household budget!

Some Free Bible Study Tools

Hello friends!

The most important thing we can have (besides a personal relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ) is His Word, to read and hold within our hearts.  For this reason, I wanted to share some favorite free online Bible study tools!

This first one, YouVersion, is the one that I use daily!  http://www.youversion.com/   They have an online version for your PC (not sure if it works on Mac, or not), a mobile version, and several free mobile apps.  I use the app on my iPod Touch, and I LOVE IT!  I have several of the Bible versions downloaded on my iPod, so that I can read even when I am not online!  There are a plethora of reading plans and devotionals to choose from, but you must be online to access them.  Also, while online it is very simple to share verses that really “jump out” at you on your Facebook and twitter.  This is my number one pick, for daily use.  Also, on the iPhone app, they have recently made several of the versions available on audio (BONUS!).

Another one I use quite often is the free e-sword software I have downloaded on my PC.  http://www.e-sword.net/  This one, again, has features you can use online, and offline.  There many more tools, on this one, you can use – such as, concordances, commentaries, dictionaries, topical indexes, etc.  This is very good for really digging into something in the Bible.

Next, is Bible.is…  http://www.bible.is/  This is an online audio Bible, of which there are 3 English translations, and other various languages.  They also have mobile apps, but you must be online, in some way, to use it.  😉

There are a couple more that I have not really used, but look promising.  If you end up using them, let me know how you like them!  There is at least one Mac option to download…

http://www.bible-explorer.com/

http://www.biblestudytools.com/

Enjoy, be blessed, and let me know what you like best about any of these!  ~Annette

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