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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

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)

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