Ask The Chaplain

Ask The Chaplain

Friday, January 11, 2008

What is Theology?

Theology frightens the daylights out of most people. When they hear the word mentioned, their eyes glaze over: they have visions of white-haired old men with degrees spilling out of their ears, speaking in polysyllables and attempting to complicate simplicity. They imagine lists and categories and dry barren wastes without a drop of water. Not surprisingly, therefore, many will doubt the need for theology at all, asking the pertinent question: "Isn't it true that all we need to know is to love each other and preach the good news?"
However, it is a truism that everyone has a theology, even those millions who deny there is any need for it. Everyone who reads the Bible or even thinks about God has contrived a theology of some sort. So there is a question that everyone must face: "Is my theology a good one?" By good, I mean is it accurate, biblical, coherent, and consistent? This is not a subjective question; there are objective criteria to think about.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman that those who worship God must worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). The prophet Hosea wrote:

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. (Hosea 4:6)
Why is Theology Important?

Besides keeping a lot of theologians off welfare and out of trouble, it brings clarification. Unlike the way teachers so often present it, theology is not a settled issue of firmly established facts. Theology is theory, and like theory in science, forever alive and developing. In the early Church questions arose now and then and theology - theory - to answer them had to be developed. For instance, in Acts, the church was faced with the problem of what to do with all the Gentiles who were coming to Christ. Did they have to become Jews first, before they could be saved? Or was entrance into Christianity by grace alone? And then, even if it was by grace, shouldn't they follow the laws of Judaism?
Later on, people began wondering who, precisely, was Jesus? Was he really God, or simply an emanation, or maybe a created being?
How are such questions answered? By studying the Bible - God's special revelation - and the universe - God's general revelation - and finding out what they say. This action, of looking to the Bible and the world for answers, raises a question of its own: if we are going to find out about God, if we are going to do a proper theology - formulate reasonable theories - what are the revelations of God, and how do we go about using them properly?

The Five Kinds of Theology

1. Natural Theology

Natural theology is restricted to the facts concerning God which are revealed in the universe around us. Thomas Aquinas, in a systematic fashion, outlined his belief that the existence of God may be proven from reason alone. Modern theologians such as Karl Barth, reflecting Immanuel Kant and David Hume, argued that there was essentially no validity to a natural theology, while Process theologians such as John B. Cobb, Jr., Schubert Ogden and David Griffen have argued the exact opposit. Within evangelical circles, there is a division on this question.

2. Biblical Theology

Biblical theology is restricted to the biblical revelation of God. Its sole source is the Bible, independent of any philosophical system (ideally). In reality, any approach to theology must inevitably carry certain philosophical presuppositions and perspectives.

3. Dogmatic Theology

Dogmatic theology refers to those elements of theological truth which are absolutely certain. It will avoid controversial fields of study and will concentrate on those points about which the church throughout history has held to unswervingly, such the virgin birth, the resurrection, the Trinity, and the like.

4. Practical Theology

Practical theology has to do with the actual function of the truth in the lives of people. Given beliefs and doctrines are considered true if they work in the lives of real people. In other words, if it works, then it is true. Otherwise, it is of no consequence.

5. Theology Proper

Theology proper concerns itself with the study of the person of God, apart from his works. It deals with the existence of God, the ability of people to know him, his various attributes, and the nature of the Trinity. In other words, Theology Proper is concerned with understanding and knowing God.

How Can Stress Be Relieved?

Stress relief tips: you can learn to manage bad stress by making a committment and doing one or two of these tips.

Stress can act as a motivator or energizer. Too much of bad stress can cause medical and social problems. Because the body responds to stress physically, bad stress causes the “fight or flight” reaction. The body changes, prepares to either confront the challenge or flee from it. Stress releases adrenaline (the stress hormone), heart rate increases, breathing quickens and blood pressures rises. The liver increases output of sugar and blood flow is diverted to the brain and large muscles. Symptoms of stress include, feeling anxious, feeling scared, irritable or moody. Stress affects thoughts. Thoughts of low self-esteem, fear of failure, inability to concentrate, worrying about the future, preoccupation with thoughts/tasks and forgetfulness can be present. Stress affects behavior. It can cause stuttering and other speech difficulties, bouts of crying for no apparent reason, laughing in a high pitch or nervous tone of voice, increased accident prone behavior, overeating, under eating and increased use of drugs and alcohol.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of health care is spent on stress related disorders. These ailments include hypertension, migraine, headaches, ulcers, anxiety, allergies, asthma, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Constant, chronic stress can also suppress the immune system thereby making the body more susceptible to disease, even the common cold and flu.

Major life events or changes are the greatest contributors of stress in most people. These events place the highest demands on resources for coping. On most life stress evaluation tools, the top ten stressors in life are

-Death of a spouse


-Marital Separation

-Jail Term

-Death of a Close Family Member

-Personal Injury or Illness


-Loss of Job

-Marital Reconciliation


Below are tips for reducing stress and managing the stresses in every day life.

Breathe Deeply – Inhale deeply through your nose. Pull the air all the way down, deep into the lungs. Hold the breath for a count of six. Exhale slowly through the mouth to the count of six. Do this for several minutes. Be careful not to hyperventilate. If dizzy or light-headedness occur, begin breathing naturally.

Express Feelings and Thoughts - Call a friend. Join a group. Join a community on the Internet. If you feel these avenues are not helping talk to your doctor, seek out a counselor. Use all resources after through work, church and community. If seeing a counselor is something you’re fearful of, consider getting a pet. Pets listen very well.

Make Time for Relaxation and Fun – Find an activity that makes you feel good. It may be dancing, listening to music, walking along the beach, prayer, hiking in the mountains, working in the garden, taking photographs, watching birds, going to the movies, golfing, swimming, visiting museums. Make a list of activities that give you joy. Break them down into time segments of 2-5 minutes, 5-20 minutes, 30 minutes to ½ day and ½ day or longer. List the activities that give you joy under these time segments. Do at least three of them everyday. Most people think they have to do big things, such as vacations of whole days away from work or home to relieve stress. Not so, small activities that give you joy are the best stress busters.

Exercise - Try something new, like swimming. Begin a walking program. Do some form of exercise that interests you. Make sure to consult your physician beforehand.

Laugh - Laughter is a great way to relieve stress. If you find something funny, have a good belly laugh. Watch funny movies. Read funny stories.

Learn Happy Talk - Humor your stress. Go to for a class in happy talk.

Get Rid of Negative - Take a hard look at the circle or environment you’re standing in. People who are negative and prone to “moods” spread negativity to others. Learn to say no to negativity and remove yourself from it whenever possible.

Write – Write out your complaints or troubles. Writing is no substitute for professional help but it does allow you to vent your feelings and frustrations. By writing with pen in hand or at the keyboard, you may discover an insight or solution to whatever is frustrating or bothering you.

Get A Massage – Make an investment in yourself. Massage therapy can relax muscles, easy muscle spasm, increase blood flow to skin and muscles and relieve mental and emotional stress. A massage will be one of the best investments you’ve ever made.

Be Realistic in Expectations– Don’t expect everyone to be like you or behave to your code of “shoulds and oughts”. Don’t expect to be right all the time. Don’t expect harmony all the time. Real life has conflicts in it. Be willing to confront conflict, state your needs then work at coming to a mutual compromise.

Examine your expectations of yourself - When you can’t live up to them, they will cause stress, tension and pressure. Learn to say no when unrealistic demands are placed upon you. Communicate what you can do and what you can’t do clearly. Be honest with yourself on the expectations (goals) you place on yourself. Don’t let ego and social pressure force you into being/doing something your not.

Monitor Your Communication Skills – Aggressive and hostile communication with others antagonizes and alienates. Assertive training can help you learn to express your needs without offending others or feeling ignored.

You can only change yourself - Work to grasp the full meaning of this statement. Trying to change another person causes stress to both parties. It can ruin relationships, damage relationships and cause others to withdraw from you. If you make statements such as – if only he, if only she, if only they – then you need to look in the mirror and say, what can I change about myself to make the situation better.

Accept - If you can’t leave a situation that is causing you extreme stress then accept it as it is. Adjust your approach to it. Look for ways to see positive things. Do not dwell on the negative. Above all, if the situation is abusive, either physically or emotionally (this includes work situations also) seek professional help through counseling.

Stress will not suddenly disappear in modern day life. It will remain even increase. To reduce and manage stress takes a commitment to do so. Make a commitment to practice or do anyone of the following tips and chances are stress levels will begin to fall to a range where it is manageable and causes no long-term damage to health or relationships.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Why Are Women a Man's Greatest Weakness?

When God created woman for man in the Garden of Eden she was everything man (Adam) needed or would ever want in a companion. Some of the language may be a little explicit in this chapter but it is very much biblical and needed for saints to read and understand. Many Christian thinkers and theologians have debated as to why the serpent (Satan) tempted the woman and not the man. The reason is VERY simple! A man's greatest temptation IS a woman.

A woman was made specifically and carefully, by the Lord God almighty! Man was alone and needed a companion, or as the scripture states “ A Helpmete”. In the Hebrew the word helpmete is EZER! Every time you see the word EZER in scripture it means HELP, for example the name EBEN-EZER means “The Lord is my HELP”. The woman is to be a man’s HELP! A man is not complete without a woman. This is why men that lose wives to death OR divorce USUALLY remarry. This is also why men have a capacity to be able to also love more than one woman. In many cultures it is acceptable for a men to have more than one wife. (I am not condoning this just pointing out a fact)

When the devil tempted eve he appealed to her intellect and emotions, men on the other hand are not that complex when it comes to what will get his attention. Men are visual creatures that sexually get aroused by what they see. This is why men don’t need a lot of stimuli to get sexually aroused. Candles and soft music make women happy, but a man can have sex anywhere and anytime as long as the women in question is sexually appealing in some way. The truth of the matter is the woman doesn’t have to be very beautiful. Women have an appeal to men that goes beyond beauty. The fact that she is a woman is often enough. God made women look very different for a reason, to appeal to men. A woman’s breast are large and soft, her legs are softer than a man’s are, her eyes are usually prettier and brighter, her voice softer, even her feet are pretty (some women) and her hair longer. The big DIFFERENCE is the clincher! A woman has a vagina!

This body part is what separates her from a man. Remember the woman is delicate and beautiful, even her vagina resembles a flower. Women have soft lips! I remember the first girl I ever kissed on the lips! I could not sleep that night! All I could remember was how soft her lips were. Now I need to stop because I am not trying to get YOU aroused, but I am trying to make a point! The reason Satan went after the woman was he knew that the man would give in to the woman. Satan always perverts God’s gifts. Women were created to help men have dominion in the earth. (Read Proverbs 31)

Pr 31:11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value. NIV
When a man has a woman in his life that loves God and loves him he has a great treasure. In the reverse if Satan manipulates a woman in anyway the man is in trouble. I was a Correction Officer and I met a preacher in jail that had fell in love with a woman that had a drug problem. He tried to rehabilitate her but in stead she caused him to fall back into his previous lifestyle which was filled with drug usage and bondage. How could such a thing happen? Well before I give you my thoughts just think about David.

David loved God probably more than any human that ever lived did, and he fell prey to sexual temptation. We often try and pick apart the scenario that led up to the fall of David. Yes there were many factors. 1. David should have been on the battlefield. 2. David was away from the Ark of the Covenant, which was the very presence of God. 3. David was alone, a lack of accountability since the priest and the prophets were also on the field of battle. 4. The reason we all overlook and we don’t want to deal with…BATHSHEBA WAS BEAUTIFUL! I am sure David had seen other women that looked beautiful, but the devil made sure that David would see one that would cause his libido to go into overload. All men have specifics when it comes to a woman. Some men like skinny women, some men like athletic women and some men (ahem) like voluptuous women. The devil knows your fleshly desires because the weapons of HIS warfare all deal with our FLESH (I Cor. 10:13). If you like a thick, light-skinned girl, with gray eyes and pretty legs then guess what, The devil will send her your way! If dark-skinned girls with wide hips, and large breast are your thing well the devil knows that too.

When I was a teenager I had a serious crush on Chaka Khan! I spent most of my adult live looking for a woman that looked like Chaka Khan, well if the devil was going to try and tempt me to stray sending a Chaka Khan look alike (or the real thing) would be a good place to start wearing me down. Now I have been humorous and light- hearted in this chapter, but I am a deadly serious brother, I want you to know that the devil knows just what you like on the menu.

Samson is another example of how the enemy KNOWS our flesh! Samson was called of God to kill Philistines, and he was very good at it! The anointing would come upon Samson and he would kill Philistines like Orkin kills roaches! Now we know the scripture say “No weapon formed against us shall prosper…” but Satan didn’t use a weapon in the normal sense, he used a woman. In spite of Samson’s failure he yet completed the task at hand (Rom. 8:28). God is omniscient and nothing takes Him by surprise, he created Samson! Of course he knew Samson had a weakness for Philistine women, in spite of that God still stacked the cards in Samson’s favor. I know it seems like a failure to see Samson blind and chained between two pillars, but God’s plans can NEVER be overthrown by the devil! Now I am not excusing Samson’s behavior, but I am trying to make you understand something. All men have the same weakness! Our Kryptonite is a woman. Be careful men when you choose a wife! Make sure she loves God AND that she loves you! I used to tell young men, “It doesn’t matter what she looks like”, I don’t say that anymore! Physical attraction is a part of the package, especially for men! Women look at more internal issues like “Is he kind”, “Is he a good provider”, and “Is he sensitive to my needs”! Men are not that complicated, I kid you not! Men could see a woman working in McDonalds flipping burgers, if she is fine he will pursue her! Women will often forgo looks if the brother has earning potential and a good head on his shoulders.

Some of you will accuse me of stereotyping men as being somewhat simple, but when it comes to sex and women most men are. Chris Rock the comedian once said, “A man is only as faithful as his options”. That of course was meant to be funny, but there is a thread of truth to this statement. If a man avoids temptation he won’t fall! The Bible says in Proverbs, “Can a man take fire unto his bosom and NOT be burned”, I know from personal experience that this is very true! Back in 1983 I was a young Christian about to go to Korea for the second time. I had a girlfriend that attended church BUT who was not a Christian. She wanted to have sex before I left for Korea, We necked and made out but hadn’t gone all the way. I avoided this because I knew it was wrong, but my resistance was way low! I agreed to getting a hotel room the night before I had to fly off to Korea. I had around $800.00 dollars in the bank, but I had to go to an ATM to get some money. I had decided to disobey God and fornicate, (by the way she looked a lot like Chaka Khan). I went to the ATM put the card in and it malfunctioned and kept my card! This was on a Saturday night so I couldn’t physically go to the bank until MONDAY! My flight was Sunday morning! God rescued me from sin! My anger turned to shame because I was willingly going to sin against God. I cried on the airplane because I realized how close I came to falling prey to the devil.

I share this story because this woman was EXACTLY what I desired physically! She had long thick hair, brown skin, full lips, pretty eyes, high cheekbones, and she was built like a woman in a Ruben painting. Yes I am describing a woman that looks like Chaka Khan! (By the way Chaka’s real last name is Stevens too!) Do you understand me now! I really believe the enemy can “give” us the desires of our flesh. I know the Bible say’s “delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desire of your heart…” in the reverse of this scripture, if you delight yourself in the things of this world, Satan will “give” you the desire of your flesh and emotions. We often fall prey to our emotions as well as our fleshly desires. I really liked this girl, but I knew it was wrong to fornicate! The enemy knew I was attracted to her, but he attacked me in the emotional realm (soul) as well. The young lady in question came from a troubled home. I tried to “minister” to her! Singles should NEVER try and minister to members of the opposite sex at all.

Married ministers should NEVER minister to the opposite sex without your spouse being present! She begged me to spend the night with her. I gave in for two reasons: 1. Sexual attraction 2. The need to comfort her. Both reasons would have caused me to fall, but God intervened! Praise Jesus! There is no telling where my life would have turned out if I fell that night! When I got to Korea 2 days later (it’s a long flight), That was where I accepted the call to preach and also where God filled me with the Holy Ghost. Fornicating that night would have probably caused me to get off of the airplane in Seoul ready to have a one-year tour of “sexcapades”. I praise God for the Holy Spirit and the divine providence of God! I really believe God sets up spiritual roadblocks to help us live holy. We are lying If we think we live holy because of our “will” power! When we admit our flesh is weak THEN we can experience the willingness of the Spirit to help us. (Read Psalms 32, 38, and 51)

The devil knows that we (Christians) won’t just go out on a whim and commit certain acts of disobedience. The devil will attempt to get you to start small so to speak.

In the 80’s I was big into weight lifting and bodybuilding. I even won a few power-lifting contests overseas. I was proud of how I sculpted my body through hard training. I was a Karate Instructor on base and I ran 5 miles a day. I used to read muscle magazines to see how the stars trained and ate. I would say about 1983 –84 there was a big change in the magazines. In the early seventies the magazines were just filled with pictures of men training, diets, and articles on various topics related to the sport. As the eighties came more and more there were sexually explicit pictures. Women’s bodybuilding was taking off…and so were their clothes! I remember chastising a brother about buying pornography, and the Holy Spirit immediately hit me with “Aren’t those muscle magazines pornography?” I had to confess to God, myself, and the brother I was scolding that I was guilty too! Pornography is all around us! When I go to the mall in the summer and rest on a bench, I see pornography!

The women wear shorts up to their butt cheeks! I don’t have to go on the Internet to see something that will make me howl like a wolf! I like what Job said, “I made a covenant with my eyes…” Men are visual creatures and we have to guard our eyes as well as our hearts. I don’t care how strong a brother is, if he views pornography he will end up hooked and in need of deliverance quick, fast, and in a hurry!

Internet pornographers target web sites and addresses that appear to be Christian. The enemy knows that porno is a HIGHLY addictive force in his arsenal of evil tricks. I had a bad experience with pornography myself, I am not proud to admit it, but if it will help another man get free from it Praise Jesus! When I was about 13 years old I found a trunk that belonged to my brother in the attic, it was filled with pornographic magazines and photos. I guess my brother realized I found it, because weeks later it vanished from the house. The damage was already done! Those pictures have haunted me for years. I know I have a weakness for the stuff, (all men do) so like the scriptures tell us “flee fornication…” The word fornication comes from the root Greek word PORNEA. God is saying FLEE (run in terror) from PORNOGRAPHY! When I was in the military I was surrounded by it! I had to request a change in roommates on 2 occasions because they were porno addicts. If I stayed their roommates I would have fallen back into the love of it. Even now I have to deal with images from years past. Even past relationships linger in our minds because of the power of the sexual union.

Sex was meant to give pleasure to a husband and wife, but also it is a covenant sealer. When you have sex with someone you are really marrying him or her! The act of sex is the deal sealer! That is why God never meant for you to have multiple partners. If you recall your first sexual experience, good or bad you NEVER forget it! It becomes a strong image in your soul (emotions, will, conscience). The Lord tried to warn Israel about multiple partners, Solomon is the most tragic case. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines! The scriptures say he “loved them all”. The love for these women pulled him away from his first love, GOD!

Pr 7:21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
Pr 7:22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
Pr 7:23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life. NIV

A Biblical Look at Giving

"The tithe" as part of the Law is no more applicable to us than making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem three times a year is. It is mentioned in the New Testament only a couple of times, generally in the context of rebuke to the Pharisees concerning fastidious observance of the ceremonial Law.
If God had intended to carry tithing over into the New Covenant, then the chance was missed in Acts 15. You will note tithing is not mentioned in the Acts 15 Jerusalem Council rulings; though for modern legalists this is a favorite extra-biblical "exception" or "carryover" from the Old Covenant Law.

Christians in general reject the idea that we are "under the law", yet tithing somehow gets exempted. But it is all or nothing, when it comes to the law, is it not?

Gal 5:1 (NKJ) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Gal 3:10 (NRS) All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

Gal 4:21 (NIV) Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?

So clearly, to embrace old covenant tithing is a dangerous thing indeed, however popular.
But there is another problem as well, and that is in the understanding of what the tithe really is. To find this out, Acts 17:11's advice would lead an honest inquirer to Deut 14:22, if it could be found... (Yes, I will explain.) The reality and fulfillment of the biblical tithe will likely shock a few, but is useful to understand in the new covenant.

The tithe is perhaps one of the most artificially twisted doctrines in the modern church. In fact, I detect a minor conspiracy. As evidence of this, please note that you will not find Deut 14:22 and the rest of the chapter--the largest single text in scripture concerning the tithe and its formal definition (it is even so headed in many versions)--in most Bible concordances. I have checked a dozen or so Bibles around the house here, and not one of them has this text listed under "tithe". Hmmm...

Here is a sample from the middle of the text of interest, but you ought to read the whole and in context--thus, I am deliberately leaving out the meat of it. I encourage you to stop now, go get your Bible, and read Deut 14:22 and onwards with your own eyes...

Here is a section giving specific instructions concerning "the tithe":

Deut 14:26 (NAS) "And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household."

As you can see, the Lord in the Old Testament Torah describes a very different practice of the tithe than what we moderns have been taught in our religious traditions of men.
For the Jews the tithe was a "party" (or feast, if you like) and was to be "consumed in the sight of the Lord". God's command to tithe includes consuming "whatever your heart desires", including "strong drink"! Imagine using up a tenth of your agricultural increase every year in a single party! Wasteful, extravagant, and flesh mortifying; yet God's clear command. With this Jewish (and historic) perspective, no wonder the prophet Malachi (3:8-11) asks: "How have we robbed from You, Lord, by not tithing?" If you understand the Jewish idea of party-tithing, you will appreciate his question. God commands His people to enjoy themselves by bringing the bounty together so that "There may be food in my house" and then feasting and enjoying themselves in His sight.

Beyond debunking modern misconceptions, understanding the tithe properly makes for a richer understanding of scripture. As you read Deuteronomy 14 and see the concepts of "throwing a feast", and "not forgetting the poor" and making sure to invite "the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows"... does this not have a familiar ring with teachings of Jesus? For yet another example, Moses wanted "to go the place our Lord has commanded" to... guess what? The feast of Shavuot; to tithe (Ex 5:1), and this staged the basis of the ensuing conflict. Pharaoh said "OK, but only the men... without the livestock... at the place I [Pharaoh] choose...," and Moses said, "No, we have to go to the place God selects... with all."

Rom 15:4 (NIV) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us...

Let us consider for a moment the spiritual meaning of the Old Covenant Law of the tithe. God commands the Jews to consume a tenth of the year's agricultural increase in festive and lavish celebration. Think about the ramifications of this in actual fact. A father might spend this much money on a wedding for many guests, but consider if everyone present were spending the same amount. Some reception, eh? It would be hard to figure out how to spend it all! The message is clear... God wants His people to enjoy themselves in His presence. From a carnal point of view, it would seem better and more pragmatic to horde and/or save for a rainy day. Why should this money and wealth be wasted? While God does not discourage good planning, savings and thrift, it would seem that with the tithe He is also trying to get us to see how ephemeral this world is. "Go ahead and use it up before I burn it up," seems to be the message. "He who dies with the most hoarded... loses!"
And Jesus says, "When you throw a feast [party], do not just invite those who can pay you back or help you share expenses. Rather... do not forget the poor..." (Luke 14:13). Hmmm... Sound familiar?

Jesus was accused of being a "winebibber" and glutton, and of associating with low-life people (Luke 7:34) while on earth.

"Use your mammon to buy friends for yourself in heavenly places..." (Luke 16:9)

I must return, unfortunately, to the conspiracy of deliberate collusion to maintain false "religious" notions and man-made traditions about the tithe. The pathological twist usually goes something like this. "The Bible speaks more about money than about prayer" (true). "Thus, my sermon today is on tithing..." (All wrong--about tithing--of course... and a great leap from money (oft spoken of) to an emphasis on a subject largely absent from New Testament teaching--excepting a few (negative?) references in rebuke to the Pharisees or concerning the law.) And here we must be more sober-minded than we may like, and see the situation as it really is; for many of these preachers and teachers have been to seminary, have read the Bible (including Deuteronomy 14) many times, and so ostensibly know better. Perhaps it is time to recognize that the Holy Spirit was/is right and that there are "many false prophets" among us... preferring the way of Balaam (a prophet for profit)--just as Jesus told us there would be.

Hey, the way of Balaam has paid off many a church mortgage!

Sin breeds even more sin...

2 Cor 2:17 (NIV) Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

The New Testament--and the whole of scripture--encourages giving and offerings of many kinds, just as the Old Testament has other forms of tithing, taxation, and spoils-of-war sharing as well. Generosity is a personality trait of those who have been born from above. God has proven Himself rich and lavish in His grace and loving care towards us, and if we really have His life in us, then we will be like Him.
In fact, the New Testament teaching is much more radical than the paltry Old Testament tithe. We have an entire Bible study on Money posted--accurate to the proportionate emphasis on how money is spoken of in Scripture, at: if you have not seen it already.

The verse that most sums up the New Testament teaching on giving is:

2 Cor 9:7 (NAS) Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.

This is a good one-verse answer to give to the tithing legalists spreading their leaven among us nowadays. And let us admit that there is something in us that hankers to be "under the law," even if just a little bit.

2 Cor 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

The verse is clear enough. Each one must give what the Holy Spirit has led him/her to in each and every situation with two conditions: never grudgingly, and never under manipulation (compulsion). It is impossible to imagine how legalistic adherence to the Old Testament tithe (and that woefully misunderstand!) could be compatible with this instruction.
The teaching of 2 Cor 9:7 is much more difficult than "rue and mint and cumin" at 10%. It is a John 3:8 sort of thing. There is no "law" about it (Gal 5:23b), this new wine will surely break the old wine skin. God wants us to give what He is asking now!

And this amount may be all, as in the case of Acts 5. God made a rather deadly point to underscore how serious He is about the new instruction of giving that was instituted in the New Covenant.

Heb 8:13 (NAS) When He said, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.

Let us not, then, trifle with the form of things. The reality is here. Jesus is our Sabbath rest, our tithe feast, our Lamb of sacrifice, and our leader, example, and reason for sacrificial giving and living.
Tithing is no more appropriate for believers than killing a bull in our front yards next Saturday as an "offering" with the idea that "Hey, it is commanded in the Bible, isn't it?" (Isa 66:3). God has no interest in such (Ps 50:8-9,13) and to hanker after things like the tithe may well be an indication that we like the old wine better than the new (Luke 5:39).

Gal 5:9 (NRS) A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough.
James 2:10 (NIV) For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

2 Cor 9:6-7 (NIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Do Men Grieve Differently Than Women?

Men grieve differently from women. Our cultural roles make it difficult for men to look for support, and harder again to accept it. Men are so often silent, solitary mourners who immerse themselves in activity and private, symbolic rituals. They feel profoundly, but often can't express the depth of their loss.

A man is supposed to be "strong," to support, to cope, and to plan in the aftermath of loss. His own pain must be put away.

Grief doesn't discriminate between gender or culture. Our society has placed clear expectations and requirements upon our roles as men and women. Boys learn quickly what behavior is considered inappropriate through such statements as, “Stand up and take it like a man.” “You’re the man of the house,” and the insidiously cruel "Big boys don't cry.”

Male grief tends to have four main characteristics.

1. Moderated feelings
Men have deep feelings but don't express openly, a more readily available feeling is anger. Men deal with their real feelings by redirecting their energies.

2. Cognitive Experience
Men work more with cognitions explaining their grief or with problem-focused strategies that help them adapt and protect. Men try to find a reason, a rational explaination.

3. Problem-Focused Activity
Men may adapt to loss by practical hands-on finding solutions to problems associated with the loss.

4. Desire for Solitude
Men don't seek support groups. They want to master their own feelings and also reflect the more practical behavior involved in adapting to a loss.

Societal Demands on Men
Men are expected to be “in control” of life’s demands and have to submit to the following anxiety society has placed on them. They're expected to: -

• remain emotionally and physically strong
• always be rational
• don't cry or publicly mourn
• don't ask for support or affection —-- be self-sufficient
• remain as non-expressive as possible
• provide, not nurture
• shake hands, don't hug.

These generalizations continue to hold their influence over men in pain. Let's take the old myth about crying. The truth is it takes a truly strong man to be able to cry. Acknowledging that each of us grieve in very different ways can allow men to cope with loss and pain using their own various coping methods. We all grieve despite our gender, race or culture. We grieve because we have loved and, through our journey, we can be healed. As a retired military man I can give many accounts of how men grieve differently than women.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What is a False Prophet?

False Prophets

Mat 24:3-5,10-11 (NIV) ..."Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered, "Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name,.. At that time many will turn away from the faith... and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people."
As spiritual adultery increases in the church, false prophets will flourish as highly sought after speakers, and as Christians accept more of these false teachings indiscriminately, many will fall away, believing in a phony "faith". Since we have been warned, it might be wise to seek insight into how to discern false prophecy--what are false prophets likely to say? What are they like? The Bible say’s “In the Last Days some shall depart from the faith!” This is a scary verse! We can see this in effect today! Many are being sucked in by a seducing spirit of greed and lust, and the doctrine of scripture is ignored and modified to make the lies preached palatable.
Signs and Wonders
Deut. 18:20-22 (NIV) "A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, 'How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?' If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken.

But what if it does come true? In fact, aren't we specifically warned that near the End of the Age many will show great signs and wonders? What then? Are signs and wonders "fruit"? Effective witchcraft is not the "fruit" we are to look for (Gal 5:22-23). Signs and wonders are not to be sought (Mat 16:4). Does the prophet call for repentance, for holiness and loyalty to Christ? Or is he providing an enticing strip-tease away from God?
Deut 13:1-3 (NIV) "If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul."
The Enemy Is Among You...
Deut. 13:5 -8 (NIV) "That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God... He has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you. If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you,.. do not yield to him or listen to him..."
Jer 9:2-6 (NIV) "...For they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful people. They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me," declares the Lord. "Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no one speaks the truth... You live in the midst of deception; in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me," declares the Lord.
Jer 23:33-36 (NIV) "When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, 'What is the oracle of the Lord?' say to them, 'What oracle?..' You must not mention 'the oracle of the Lord' again, because every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God."
False Prophets, And Their Followers, Reject The Truth
Neh 9:26 (NIV) "But they were disobedient and rebelled ...They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies."
Isa 30:9-11,15 (NIV) These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord's instruction. They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!" This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it."
The Message of False Prophecy: "Peace, Peace"--Without Repentance
Jer 5:11-13 (NIV) "The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me," declares the Lord. "They have lied about the Lord; they said, 'He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.' The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them..." (Ez 13:7, De 29:19)
The false prophets of Jeremiahs day told the king what he wanted to hear! They told him the kingdom was fine and that they would prosper and not fall into captivity. Jeremiah told the truth and the king had him thrown in a sewer.
Jer 23:16-18 (NIV) This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They keep saying to those who despise me, 'The Lord says: You will have peace.' And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, 'No harm will come to you.' But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word?"
Jer 23:21-22 (NIV) "I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds."
Jer 8:6-9 (NIV) "I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, 'What have I done?'.. My people do not know the requirements of the Lord. How can you say, 'We are wise...' Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?"
Lam 2:14 (NIV) "The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading."
Luke 6:26 (NAS) "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for in the same way their fathers used to treat the false prophets."
Jer 14:14 (NIV) "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries, and the delusion of their own minds."
Jer 28:8-9 (NIV) [Jeremiah identifying Hananiah as a false prophet:] "From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms. But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true." (Jer 28:15-17 tells the outcome.)
Micah 2:11 (NIV) "If a liar and deceiver comes and says, 'I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,' he would be just the prophet for this people!"

Prophets for Profit
Micah 3:5 (NIV) This is what the Lord says: "As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim 'peace'; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him."
Unfortunately our churches have departed from sound doctrine, especially the doctrine of Hell. We are so afraid of “insulting” people and hurting their feelings that we preach a “soft” Gospel. The Prosperity Message is a “soft” message; it is what the carnal minded person is dying to hear. Preachers that are more worried about their pocket books and wallets are scared to preach the truth. Many Pastors are afraid that their congregation will stop paying tithes, and stop giving speaker offerings if they preach the truth. Prosperity preachers will avoid subjects that will make them unpopular because that will affect their income. Keep people happy and they will support your lifestyle and lavish you with gifts. If these preachers preached against homosexuality, Government corruption, adultery, fornication, and materialism these guys (and gals) would not have a big following.
Jer 8:10-12 (NIV) "From the least to the greatest all are greedy for gain; prophet and priest alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush."
Eph 5:6 (Jer) Do not let anyone deceive you with empty arguments: it is for this loose living that God's wrath comes down on those who rebel against him. Make sure you are not included with them.
John 10:12 (Jer) "The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep and runs away as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep."
Eze 13:1-16 (Read from the NIV about the big whitewash and the storm approaching.)
Jer 23:30-32 (NIV) "Therefore," declares the Lord, "I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,.. I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, 'The Lord declares.' Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,.. They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least," declares the Lord.
Going To the Dogs
Mat 7:15, 20-23 (NIV) "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves... Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them... Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers!'"
Isa 56:10-11 (NIV) "Israel's watchmen are blind, they all lack knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they cannot bark; they lie around and dream. They are shepherds who lack understanding; they all turn to their own way, each seeks his own gain."
2 Cor 11:19-20 (Jer) Oh, you're tolerant all right! . Yes even to tolerating somebody who makes slaves of you, makes you feed him, imposes on you, orders you about and slaps you in the face.
Eze 13:17-19,22 (NIV) "Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them and say,.. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live... Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives..."

Can Witchcraft Work in Church?

Witchcraft in the Pulpit

The key ingredients of witchcraft are MANIPULATION and CONTROL. In my twenty-five years of ministry (five of those years serving as a Pastor), I have seen enough witchcraft operating behind the safe walls of churches than possibly any practices of witchcraft that Christians would normally ever encounter. Most of us recognize blatant elements of witchcraft and the occult and would never become involved; but what about the practices that we are unaware of just because they are done in the church? It is amazing how many self appointed “prophets” and “apostles” are in churches today. Many of these men and women function unchallenged because they have convinced the hearers that they have “a Word from God”.
It amazes me how easily saints are deceived. We hear a “new teaching” and we NEVER challenge it with the Word of God. The Bereans were so into hearing the truth of scripture that they even went back to the Word to see if the Apostle Paul was telling the truth (Acts 17:11).
Deuteronomy 18:14 (NAS) "For those nations, which you will dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so."
Acts 8:9-11 (NIV) Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great Power." They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic.
Jeremiah 5:23 (NIV) But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away.
• It is sobering to see how similar modern witchcraft (Wicca, or "white witchcraft") is to modern Christianity. Self-aware witches bless as well as curse, 'bind and loose', prophesy, pray, lay hands on, anoint with oil, etc. Some even consider themselves Christians with a superior understanding and power. A few even worship Jesus--along with a pantheon of other gods and goddesses--but totally reject the reality of Satan.
• This should not surprise us, it was the same in Jesus' day; nor should it poison our desire to practice real spiritual gifts. But given the similarity, how does one tell the difference? More importantly, are we dabbling with witchcraft? When people misuse and abuse the Gifts of the Spirit for personal gain and promotional purposes THAT is Witchcraft. Men and women in many of our churches are merchandising the Gifts of the Spirit. (Study the life of Balaam)
Isaiah 30:9 (NIV) These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the Lord's instruction.
2 Timothy 3:6-8 (RSV) For among them are those who make their way into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and swayed by various impulses, who will listen to anybody and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth. As Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith.
Deuteronomy 18:10-11 (NIV) Let no one be found among you... who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or cast spells, or who is a medium or spiritist.
Jesus, Miracles, and Technique
In one situation, Jesus spits in the dirt and rubs it in someone's eye (John 9:6). In another, He touches the person (Luke 5:13), or from a distance speaks a condition of obedience (Luke 17:12-14). Sometimes He speaks calmly (John 4:50), sometimes He yells (John 11:43). Jesus was not relying on technique; He was relying on, and submissive to, His Father (John 8:28-29). The specifics of how the miracles were performed varied. It is almost as if God was trying to make the point: trust in Me, not the procedure.
Are we relying on God or technique? If God, then the technique may change. In one case the Spirit may lead us to help someone believe with some physical act, like anointing with oil. In another, the Spirit may lead us to do something which may make it harder to believe, like rubbing dirt in someone's eye. Clearly, the technique is not the important thing; it is more like a Spirit-inspired sermon that accompanies the miracle.
Jesus' miracles were done out of love in obedience to the Father. He did not do "miracles on demand" (see the temptation of Jesus in Mark 4:1-12. The temptation to "do a miracle" without God's leading is apparently for advanced, not carnal souls.) or boast of great power. He even told many He healed to "keep it secret" to thwart the adulterous spirit of fascination with "signs and wonders" of which He warned. But heal He did, and told us to do likewise.
To be sure, some common techniques do emerge from Scripture: like the laying on of hands or anointing with oil. But these are meant to be symbolic of where the power really comes from, not to be believed in superstitiously as a power unto themselves. These techniques, even if "authorized" by Scriptural precept and example, will never work--by God's power anyway--if done by rebellious "free agent" human and not Divine will. They are not needed for God to move, except as an act of obedience when the Spirit leads. For the Holy Spirit never leads us into superstition, indifference to God's will, or self-glory.
Isaiah 2:6 (NIV) You have abandoned your people, the house of Jacob. They are full of superstitions from the East; they practice divination like the Philistines and clasp hands with pagans.
When we start relying on technique and not God, then we are flirting with witchcraft. Miracles may be done, supernatural power may come into play. But if the soul doing these works is not yielded to God's will, then it is an act of rebellion. The witch in all of us wants God "on a leash". God must perform a trick for us when we jerk His chain. Like Satan, we twist Scripture: "But doesn't God say...?" (Matthew 4:5-6, Genesis 3:1)
The destiny of those who continue to practice witchcraft as "free agents" from God is certain, even if their miracles are "good works".
Matthew 7:22 (NEB) "Many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out devils in your name, and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them to their face, 'I never knew you; out of my sight, you and your wicked ways!'"
Exodus 20:7 (NIV) "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."
Revelation 22:15 (NIV) Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
Revelation 21:8 (NIV) But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

Are We Getting Away With This?
Isaiah 57:1-5 (NIV) "The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death. But you--come here, you sons of a sorceress, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes! Whom are you mocking? At whom do you sneer and stick out your tongue? Are you not a brood of rebels, the offspring of liars? You burn with lust among the oaks and under every spreading tree..."
Isaiah 57:7-8 (NIV) "You have made your bed on a high and lofty hill; there you went up to offer your sacrifices. Behind your doors and your doorposts you have put your pagan symbols. Forsaking me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide; you made a pact with those whose beds you love, and you looked on their nakedness."
Isaiah 57:10-12 (NIV) "You were wearied by all your ways, but you would not say, 'It is hopeless.' You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint. Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have been false to me, and have neither remembered me nor pondered this in your hearts? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me? I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you."
Micah 5:12 (NIV) I will destroy your witchcraft, and you will no longer cast spells.
Balaam's Error
Balaam was a prophet for hire, a "prophet for profit". We would never do such a thing, at least not for so large a bribe. Instead, we sell out for much less: To look good, to come off as "really spiritual", to have people believe in us. But it is still the spirit of Balaam which sells out to gain, even if the wage we get for our rebellion is cheap and brief.
2 Peter 2:15 (NIV) They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
Jude 11 (NIV) Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error.
Jeremiah 14:14 (NIV) Then the Lord said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds."
Deuteronomy 13:5 (NIV) That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
Joshua 13:22 (NIV) In addition to those slain in battle, the Israelites had put to the sword Balaam son of Beor, who practiced divination.
2 Chronicles 33:6 (NIV) He... practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.
Jeremiah 27:9-10 (NIV) "So do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your interpreters of dreams, your mediums or your sorcerers... Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have."
Isaiah 1:23 (NIV) Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow's case does not come before them.
Lying Divinations
Ezekiel 13:6 (NIV) Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, "The Lord declares," when the Lord has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.
Ezekiel 13:7 (NIV) Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, "The Lord declares," though I have not spoken?
Ezekiel 13:9 (NIV) My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
Isaiah 47:9 (NIV) Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your much sorcery and all your potent spells.

Malachi 3:5 (NIV) "So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers..." says the Lord Almighty.
• True prophets and prophetess will condemn sin and preach the truth, even to their own hurt and distress. False prophets preach to line their pockets, and in doing so they LIE and tell people what they want to hear. (Itching Ears)
• The motive of a true spokesperson for God is ALWAYS centered around SOULS, winnings souls and helping people draw nigh to God!
• Being a TRUE man or woman of God COST you your LIFE, you will NOT have many friends and even other saints will treat you different because YOU CANNOT be BOUGHT with filthy lucre!

What exactly is Witchcraft?

I Samuel 15:23 "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft..."

I was stationed at Dover AFB in November 1978 when the dead bodies came to be placed in the largest mortuary on the East Coast. There were so many bodies the First Sergeants had to wake many of us up at 3 AM to help unload bodies off of the C-5/A aircrafts and move furniture to make room for the bodies. I will never forget the stench of death at Dover that week. I received a Commendation medal for helping move bodies and equipment. That was something I pray to God I never have to experience again. The real tragedy is that it COULD have been prevented if only somebody read their Bible. Before Jim Jones took those people to Guyana, it is recorded that he preached a sermon in Indiana where he uttered these chilling words, “You don’t need to read the Bible anymore, just listen to me”. I don’t know how many left the church after he said that but the church SHOULD have emptied out. How did over 900 people choose to drink cyanide laced Flavor-Aid (It really wasn’t Kool Aid) because their Pastor told them to? Jim Jones was able to take hundreds of lives in Guyana because someone refused to listen to their gut (spirit). I firmly believe in supporting the local church and helping pastors, I want to make that clear. However there is a real epidemic of spiritually stupid "saints" that don't study their Bibles and try every spirit by the Spirit. We were given the ability to discern so we WON'T end up giving our money to crooks and drinking poison Kool-Aid! Many of today's most prominent preachers would be labeled heretics hundreds of years ago because MOST clergymen were devout Theologians and serious students of scripture. Today ordination papers and licenses are given to anyone that say's they are called to preach. I agree that being Spirit-filled and called is the first priority of being a preacher, but ALSO there has to be training…SERIOUS TRAINING! A lack of understanding of just the basic Bible doctrines of the faith can lead to the types of abuses I am talking about. Martin Luther was able to stand up to the lies of Rome because he was filled with the knowledge of the truth. I am a Pentecostal preacher, I believe in the Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit, but that doesn't negate the fact that we must have a scholarly approach to the scriptures and its teachings.
In the summer of 1977, Jones and most of the 1000 members of the Peoples Temple moved to Guyana from San Francisco after an investigation into the church for tax evasion had begun. Jones named the closed settlement Jonestown after himself. His intention was to create an agricultural utopia in the jungle, free from racism and based on socialist principles.
People who had left the organization prior to its move to Guyana told the authorities of brutal beatings, murders and of a mass suicide plan, but were not believed. In spite of the tax evasion allegations, Jones was still widely respected for setting up a racially mixed church which helped the disadvantaged. Around 70% of the inhabitants of Jonestown were black and impoverished. The religious scholar Mary McCormick Maaga argued that Jones' authority waned after he moved to the isolated commune, because there he was not needed anymore for recruitment and he could not hide his drug addiction from rank and file members.[2] Consequently, he lost some of his power over inner-circle members. In November 1978, U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan led a fact-finding mission to the Jonestown settlement in Guyana after allegations by relatives in the U.S. of human rights abuses. Ryan's delegation arrived in Jonestown on November 15 and spent three days interviewing residents. They left hurriedly on the morning of Saturday November 18 after Ryan was shot and killed. They took with them roughly 15 Peoples Temple members who wished to leave. Delegation members later told police that, as they were boarding planes at the airstrip, a truckload of Jones' armed guards arrived and began to shoot at them. At the same time, one of the supposed defectors, Larry Layton, drew a weapon and began to fire on members of the party. When the gunmen left, six people were dead: Representative Ryan, Don Humphrey, a reporter from NBC, a cameraman from NBC, a newspaper photographer, and one defector from the Peoples Temple. The former California State Senator Jackie Speier, a staff member for Rep. Ryan in 1978, Richard Dwyer, the Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy at Georgetown and allegedly an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, and a producer for NBC News, Bob Flick, survived the attack.
Later that same day, 909 of the remaining inhabitants of Jonestown, 276 of them children, died in what has commonly been labeled a mass suicide. However, there is much ambiguity over whether many who died committed suicide or were in fact murdered. While some followers obeyed Jones' instructions to commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape flavored Flavor Aid[3] (often misidentified as Kool-aid)[4], others died by forced cyanide injection or by shooting. Jones was found dead sitting in a deck chair with a gunshot wound to the head, although it is unknown if he had been murdered or committed suicide. The autopsy on his body showed levels of the barbiturate pentobarbital that could have been lethal to humans who have not developed physiological tolerance. His drug usage (including various LSD and marijuana experimentations) was confirmed by his son, Stephan, and Jones's doctor in San Francisco.

When we think of witches we often get an image of the Wicked Witch of the West or some old crone with a broom and a big nose. Very rarely do we associate witchcraft with our mainstream Christian houses of worship. The verse in scripture that most accurately describes WHAT witchcraft is….is I Samuel 15:23. Saul had never given his heart completely over to God. He was a Follower of God {He knew of God}, but had never given the LORD all of his heart.

Unshakeable faith in the LORD comes from a heart stayed upon God. Rebellion comes from a heart stayed upon self. A self-willed person is actually worshipping himself. This self worship is the worship of an idol. The idol just happens to be self. You can see that to rebel against God, or to stubbornly try to have our way over God's way would bring complete destruction. Saul rejected the perfect will of the LORD, and the LORD in turn rejected Saul.

Saul had not listened intently to the instructions from the LORD before the battle, or he did not believe Samuel was speaking the will of the LORD. His disrespect for the message Samuel gave, was not disrespect for Samuel, but disrespect for God. Part of the statement above is true. He did destroy most of the Amalekites. Saul is like so many people. He tries to justify what he has done. He is like someone who is a Christian most of the time. That other time will keep a professing Christian out of heaven. The actions he takes, which are not 100% what God wants him to do, will cause displeasure from God, as well. He will not do exactly what God says for him to do. It is as if he thinks he has a better plan than God's plan.

There are leaders in Church today that lead not according to the perfect will of God, but according to their fleshly desires and personal aspirations. When a person seeks to guide or direct another human away from God’s will…they are practicing WITCHCRAFT! Yes in Christian churches there is witchcraft going on.

The Bible describes here witchcraft far more dangerous than the occult. It controls more pastors and congregations than any other kind of demonic influence. It is rebellion against the Word of God!
Don’t be quick to sit back and relax, thinking, "Thank God, that can’t possibly mean me. I’m not rebellious against Gods Word. I love the Word, I’m walking in obedience!"
That’s what I thought, too. But then God convicted me of the dangers of falling under the spell of this witchcraft! He showed me the seed of its beginnings -- exactly what erupted in the Garden of Eden! We all have the seed of this sin. In fact, you may unknowingly be under the influence of this evil charm.
Jesus gives us a parable that exposes this witchcraft! Ive read the parable of the evil husbandmen many times. Ive prayed over it. But not until now have I seen in it the witchcraft that Jesus was exposing.
There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another. Again, he sent other servants more that the first: and they did unto them likewise. But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son.
"But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons" (Matthew 21: 33-41)
This parable is more than a retelling of how the Jews rejected Gods appeal from heaven -- and how they would be cast aside and the Gentiles made the husbandmen. It is also about a great supernatural battle over an inheritance. It’s about a battle between the power of Jesus Christ and the power of Satan for the souls and allegiance of mankind! Its about who is going to rule and reign in the hearts of Gods chosen! And beloved, you’re either under the power of Jesus Christ or under the influence of Satan!
You see, this parable is about how a people of God can become bewitched by the devil and end up totally possessed by an anti-Christ spirit. Christ was talking here of a most powerful form of witchcraft -- rebellion against the truth!
Here is the Key to this parable: "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance" (verse 38). That is the devil speaking! "Let us create rebellion against the Son! Let us crucify Him! We will take control!"
It is true that when the Pharisees heard this parable, "they perceived that he spake of them" (verse 45). But Jesus is also speaking to His church! In Hebrews 6:5, we find a people who "have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come...." They have rebelled against that good Word they heard, and as a result, "they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame" (verse 6).
Who is crucifying Christ over and over again, putting Him to open shame before the whole world? Are they witches? Satanists? Homosexuals? Murderers? No!
They are those who heard, tasted and partook of the true Word of God -- and then allowed a spirit of rebellion to take root! Satan moved in, and they ended up possessed -- crucifying Christ!
Believer, I tell you on the authority of Gods Word that as long as you have this spirit of rebellion in you, it is impossible for God to revive or renew you! "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost...if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance" (verse 4,6).
I believe this means that repentance has no affect whatsoever in those who are in rebellion against the Word!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Who Are The 144,000 in Revelations?

The Jehovah's Witness organization teaches that not all members of their group can take communion. Only the 144,000 members called the "anointed class" have the right to take Communion and they are the only ones who go to heaven (Watchtower 2/15/85, page 13). In fact, the 144,000 "anointed class" within the Jehovah's Witnesses are the only ones who are "born again."

"This "little flock" of 144,000 Kingdom heirs, then, are those ones from among mankind who are "born again." Watchtower 11/15/54, p. 681. Watchtower CD.

The Jehovah's Witnesses celebrate the communion supper only once a year, (Watchtower CD, Watchtower 4/1/65, p. 199.) In their annual communion service, the congregations gather in their various kingdom halls. This is done on the 14th of Nissan, the Passover date on the Jewish calendar, which usually falls in March or April of each year in the Gregorian calendar. During the service, the cup is passed from Jehovah's Witness to Jehovah's Witness. None of them partake -- except the very few who are of the 144,000.
In John 6:53-54, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day," (NASB).
I am not here going to discuss the nature of the communion and compare Catholic and Protestant views of the elements; rather, the issue is that Jesus said to the Jews that they must take of the communion, which He later instituted in Matt. 26:26-28, and that if they did not partake, then they had no life in them, v. 6:53.
According to the Watchtower, the "life" spoken of in 6:53 is everlasting life.

"On that occasion Jesus was not speaking to those circumcised Israelites about "everlasting life" as human creatures on a Paradise earth under his millennial kingdom. Rather, he was speaking about the very same opportunity that he was setting before the apostle Peter and his fellow apostles by means of the "sayings of everlasting life." It was the opportunity to gain inherent life with the Christ in the heavens, "life in yourselves." (John 6:53) By reigning with him in heaven they could pass on to mankind the life-giving benefits of his sacrifice. Watchtower, 3/1/78, p. 10.

According to Jehovah's Witness theology, some Witnesses will be raised to "immortal life" and others to "everlasting life." Immortal life is only for the 144,000 that go to be with the Lord in heaven. They do not have resurrected bodies, but have "spirit bodies." Everlasting life is for those on Paradise earth and consists of a resurrected body that must be maintained through eating, sleeping, etc.
As we see in the quote above, according to the Watchtower, the life that Jesus was speaking of was "everlasting life"; that is, life in heaven for the 144,000. Therefore, the Witnesses teach that the communion supper is instituted only for the 144,000 Jews, not for all Witnesses.
Since Jesus bought the church with His blood (Acts 20:28), and His blood is the blood of the covenant for the church (1 Cor. 11:25), then communion is supposed to be for all Christians, not just 144,000 elite Jehovah's Witnesses.

What does the Bible say?

The Communion supper is for the body of Christ, for the believers. The bread and the wine represent the body and the blood of Christ that was sacrificed for the believer so the believer could have redemption of his sins. Therefore, Communion is only for those people who have trusted in Christ's sacrifice. Communion is not for those who are not covered by Christ's sacrifice. This is significant since the great majority of the Witnesses do not take communion.
Paul the apostle said that the bread is a sharing in the body of Christ, that there is only one body of Christ (the church) of which we all partake. Within the Christian Church, there is no limitation on the who takes the Lord's supper.

"Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar?" (1 Cor. 10:16-18, NASB).

for"And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight," (Acts 20:7, NASB).

There is no mention of limiting communion to anyone except that they examine themselves and rightly discern that the elements represent Christ's sacrifice, not a mere meal to satisfy hunger.

"But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly," (1 Cor. 11:28-29, NASB).

No place in the Bible is communion restricted to only the 144,000, as the Witnesses teach. This is a fabrication of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The fact that the Jehovah's Witnesses do not take communion is a demonstration that they are not in the body of Christ and do not have a covenant relationship with Christ. The Lord's Supper is meant for the body of believers in the true and living God who have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord's Supper is not for those who are outside the camp of Christ. Since the great majority of the Jehovah's Witnesses do not take communion, this is a testimony against them.

Who were the Scribes and Pharisees?

The Pharisees were not the priests, but rather people from all walks of life who were very pious and strict keepers of the Law of Moses. They constantly adjusted the Law to fit the changing world according to their traditions and own desires. Among the more educated of the Pharisees were the rulers of the Jews, and the Scribes, which:

"In the modern sense they [the scribes] were the religious scholars or theologians … sometimes called lawyers … or teacher of the law …could make judicial decisions based on scriptural exegesis, occupied important positions in the Sanhedrin … played a major role in bringing on the crucifixion of Jesus" and they "mainly belonged to the party of the Pharisees" (WYCLIFFE Bible Dictionary, p. 1536).

Jesus called the Scribes and Pharisees, "fools, hypocrites, blind guides, whited sepulchers, murderers, a generation of snakes," and many such epithets. Jesus called them "hypocrites" seven times in one chapter. Jesus spoke with scathing derision to the Scribes and Pharisees throughout His ministry He had a kind word but for very few of them.

And yet countless Christians write and tell me that Jesus never spoke like this or ever said a cruel or angry word in His life. Therefore when I sometimes write with an edge on my voice I am accused of not following the example of Jesus. Oh but Jesus surely did speak harshly, demeaningly, and with great anger in His voice to the Scribes and Pharisees—the religious Leaders of God’s Church. Jesus was not mild and soft-spoken when it came to the sins and hypocrisy of these church leaders. All too many have read the teachings of Jesus with rose-colored glasses covering both their eyes and their minds.

When the Pharisees asked Jesus, "Why do your disciples…?" Jesus didn’t softly answer their question, He rather retorted back with, "Why do YOU…?" Jesus was never on the defensive, but always on the offensive. Using the vernacular, He was "IN - THEIR - FACE!"

Do any believe Jesus was referencing farm animals when He said not to cast pearls or give what is holy to "the DOGS and PIGS?"

Jesus referred to the recalcitrant Jewish leaders as, "an EVIL and ADULTEROUS generation," "SERPENTS and SNAKES," and "children of the DEVIL." Why He even told the Scribes and Pharisees regarding the royal and mighty King Herod: "Go ye, and tell that FOX [that JACKAL]…"

[selections from Matthew 23]


…THEY BIND HEAVY BURDENS and GRIEVOUS to be born, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but will not move them with ONE OF THEIR FINGERS

WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… you DEVOUR WIDOW’S HOUSES… you shall receive the greater damnation.

WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES…

WOE unto you, ye BLIND GUIDES…



WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You… have omitted… JUDGMENT, MERCY, and FAITH…

You BLIND GUIDES, which strain out a gnat, and SWALLOW A CAMEL.

WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES… within they are full of EXTORTION AND EXCESS.


WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES! You are FULL OF DEAD MEN’S BONES, and ALL UNCLEANESS… and HYPOCRISY and INIQUITY…

WOE unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, HYPOCRITES!… you are the children of them which KILLED the prophets. FILL YOU UP then the measure of your fathers.

You SERPENTS, you GENERATION OF SNAKES… you KILL AND CRUCIFY… you SCOURGE in your synagogues… Behold your house is left unto you DESOLATE"!!

WOW! Every one of these comments from Matt. 23 were spoken directly to the "Religious Scholars and Theologians" in the Church of God centered at the Temple in Jerusalem. Would Jesus speak in the same manner to the Religious Scholars and Theologians in God’s Church today? Does Jesus "change"? NO. Has the Church changed in the past 2000 years? YES. It has gotten WORSE.

Now I assure you that I have never personally referred to the religious hypocrites of our day with all the descriptive words that Jesus used. Yet I am "cursed" and "condemned to hell" for merely exposing the heresy of religious leaders and teachers. Positively no one in Christendom would ever sanction such a manner of speech from a minister in their denomination. There isn’t a denomination in all Christendom that would hire Jesus as their Pastor if He were to return today. Why they would throw him out the door on His ear before He got ten minutes into His first sermon. Christians are offended that I would even point out these historical facts of Scripture. They really don’t want to believe Jesus spoke as He did, even though it’s all right there in their Bibles. Most of the followers of the Scribes and Pharisees thought them to be virtually perfect, just as the modern Church scholars, teachers, and preachers are thought by their followers to be perfect.

The Prophet Malachi bears witness of the corruption that came into the Old Covenant Church of God. Jesus dealt with this same corruption while He was building His own New Covenant Church. Just as the Old, the New also quickly began corrupting from within. Hardly a person alive believes that there is more corruption in the 21st century Church of God than in the 1st century Church of God. Get ready for some startling prophecies that prove what evils lurk in our hallowed halls of Christendom.

And except your righteousness far exceed the righteousness of the scholars and theologians in today’s world of Christendom, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Below are some Scriptures describing these conditions spilling over from the Jewish leaders into the Church that Jesus built.


Listen carefully, for these prophecies are not directed toward the world of unbelievers, but to the Church of God:

"But in A GREAT HOUSE there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth and some to honor, and some to dishonor" (II Tim. 2:20).

Just what is this "great house" of which Paul speaks? Let Paul answer:

"But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the House of God which is The Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15).

The Apostle Peter tells us that this House of God definitely needs judging:

"For the time is come that JUDGMENT must begin at The House of God…" (I Pet. 4:17).

If the "House of God" needed judgment in the days of the Apostles, how much more judgment does it need today? And what did Paul prophesy would happen in this "GREAT House" in our day, "in the LATTER TIMES?" Let’s read it from the source:

"Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking LIES IN HYPOCRISY; having their conscience seared with a hot iron" (I Tim. 4:1).

And this:

"This, know also, that IN THE LAST DAYS, perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent [without self-control], fierce [brutal], despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady [reckless], high-minded [haughty], lovers of pleasures more than [rather than] lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away… EVER learning, and NEVER able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Tim. 3:1-7).

Some Christians naively believe Paul and all these prophecies are speaking of the whole world, of mankind in general. Oh no He isn’t: It is not the atheistic heathen world which has "departed from the faith," who "blaspheme God," who have a "form of godliness," or who have "turned away from such." Oh no. It is the HOUSE OF GOD which has done these things and continues to do them.

For sure Paul didn’t say that the vessels in this great house would wax "better and better." Let Paul answer again by continuing his prophecy in II Tim. 3. We ended with verse 7, so let’s pick it up again in verse 8:

"Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do THESE [these vessels of dishonor in God’s House] also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the truth. But they shall proceed [Gk: ‘increase, advance, grow’] no further [Just as Jannes and Jambres could resist God only so far and no further, so too, will these corrupt-minded reprobates in God’s House cease to deceive God’s church, when God makes all secrets known to all]: for their folly shall be manifest unto all, as theirs [Jannes & Jambres] was." (II Tim. 3:8-9).

Notice Paul’s stern warning:

"For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:29-30).

I decided to write this paper after receiving thousands of angry emails condemning my tone of writing and teaching, all from Christians mind you. I was reminded just yesterday by email that I should not be repeating Peter’s words when He said, "…there shall be false teachers among you, who privily [smuggle] shall bring in damnable heresies…" (II Pet. 2:1). I was told this phrase carries a different meaning today from when Peter spoke it. Many warn me of dire consequences if I continue. I am regularly cursed with far worse hard-core, lewd four letter words of filth than I have ever heard in my four years in the U S Army, and these from self-proclaimed followers of Jesus Christ—CHRISTIANS!

The purpose of this paper is not to defend my style of writing, (God only knows that I do not profess to be a scholar, nor a polished orator, nor a man of eloquent words), but to rather see how Jesus really taught in public, to the masses, and particularly to the lying, hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees. We will examine whether Jesus Christ Himself did indeed use sarcasm, exaggeration, caricature, satire, irony, and anger to get across His Gospel Message.


"Yes, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS [Gk: ‘imposters’] SHALL WAX [grow] WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Tim. 3:13).

And just who is it that grows "worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived?" The men and women of the world? The pagans and heathens? Is this what Paul means? Of course not. These are the leaders of the Church.

"Preach the word; [the WHOLE Word of God]; be instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine [Who? The world? The pagans? The atheist? Why they have never had sound doctrine in the first place] but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Tim. 4:2-4).

The heathen nations of the 21st century are not "turning away from the truth unto fables." They have never as nations had the truth.

Notice also Peter’s stern warning regarding what was happening in the past in his time, and what was prophesied to continue until our time and beyond:

"But there were false prophets [a ‘prophet’ can mean one who speaks in behalf of God’] also among the people, even as there shall be [future] false teachers among you [and among US], who privily shall bring in [Gk: smuggle in] DAMNABLE HERESIES, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And MANY shall follow their pernicious [destructive] ways; by reason of whom the way of the truth shall be evil spoken of [Gk: ‘blasphemed’]" (II Pet. 2:1-2).

At the conclusion of this paper we will take a look at some of these: "FABLES AND DAMNABLE HERESIES" that the Church Fathers and Theologians have substituted over the centuries and down to our day in place of God’s sound doctrines.

Listen: Either conditions in the prophesied Church of today are MUCH WORSE than they were at the time of Jesus and the Apostles, or the prophecies LIE. So which do you believe is true?


Many times Jesus called the fraudulent religious leaders of the Church, "hypocrites." Here is the definition of a hypocrite:

"One who puts on a false appearance, to hide his real motives, one who feigns, a play actor, a fake, a fraud, a phony."

Jesus loathed the hypocrisy of these religious leaders and saw right through these play-acting fakes and frauds, just like looking through a windowpane.


I fully realize my papers grind on the spirits of those who oppose God’s Word. And well they should. Why shouldn’t we quote the Scriptures with authority--the Scriptures are authority.

"For He [Jesus] taught them as one having AUTHORITY and not as the scribes" (Matt. 7:29).

Jesus got His authority from His Father, and He used it. In fact, the very words He spoke were the words of His Father and not His own (John 17:8), hence the Father too uses sarcasm and anger in teaching us (our Lord and His God have more personality than most have ever imagined). What a broad range of colorful metaphors, parables, and colloquialisms they used. Add to these sarcasm, exaggeration, satire, irony, and true anger, and we have powerful, powerful, persuasive language and teaching.


First, let’s be clear that Jesus did not go around speaking as if He were a performer on a Shakespearean Stage. Jesus did NOT speak in archaic King James English! Jesus never said:

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not" (John 21:18, King James Version).

No, that is NOT what Jesus said in modern English. That is what He would have said had He been speaking archaic King James English to the residents of England back 1611. But to our ears this archaic English now sounds strange and affected. We no longer speak in archaic King James English. If Jesus were to speak to us today in the English of the 21st century it would sound more like this:

"The truth is when you were young, you were able to do as you liked and go wherever you wanted to; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and others will direct you and take you where you don’t want to go" (John 21:18, The Living Bible).

Jesus spoke the language of the people, the language of the day. He was natural, He was colloquial, He was precise, He was articulate, He was emotional, He was sincere. Jesus spoke EXACTLY AND PRECISELY as He was inside, because it is a Scriptural truth that, "…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Matt. 12:34).

First we will look at a few verses which describe Jesus and His ministry. Notice how mellow and tenderly He spoke to the poor and the humble, and how they record the history of His ministry.

Following this section we will contrast it with how He spoke to the religious leaders.


"I must be about my Father’s business… I must preach the Kingdom of God, for therefore am I sent… God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: Who went about doing good and healing… Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men… Why call Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God…

Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven… You are the light of the world... Love your enemies… I will come and heal him… the Son of Man has not where to lay His head… Daughter, be of good comfort… Son, be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you… I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness… Peace I leave with you… love ye one another, as I have loved you… Neither do I condemn you… He departed again into a mountain Himself alone, to pray… Be not afraid only believe… You are My friends… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself…

For the Father Himself loves you… In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit… I have spoken openly to the world… Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciple, whom Jesus loved… I have compassion on the multitude… Jesus wept…

Let the little children come to me… Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…

With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you… he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel… O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings… And when they [and Jesus] had sung an hymn…

Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done… And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do… IT IS FINISHED… they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread, Jesus said to them, COME AND DINE" (Excerpts from the Gospels).

Jesus identified with our humanity when He said: "Simon, Simon… Martha, Martha…" Jesus was profoundly human. He was after all, the humble servant as the Son of man. But He was also the wise and powerful Son of God. Jesus spoke gently with the meek, but His speech EXPLODED with the wicked.

It is only when Jesus confronts the religious leaders that His tone of voice and choice of words changes dramatically from how he spoke to the people in general. Jesus came to expose evil and hypocrisy like no one had ever done before. His voice was the "voice of a trumpet." God told Isaiah to:

"Cry ALOUD, SPARE NOT, lift up your voice like a TRUMPET, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins" (Isa. 58:1).

Likewise, as a servant of God I cannot expose the evil and hypocrisy in the Church and in this world with a song in my heart, a smile on my face, and a chuckle in my voice! Sorry, but that won’t get the job done. I laugh considerably more than almost anyone I know. But try to palm off the evil and vile doctrines of the Church to God’s "little ones," and my countenance changes instantly!

There is a time for humor and there is a time to get serious. Sarcasm can be serious business. Well did Isaiah prophesy of such:

"Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us SMOOTH things, prophesy DECEITS" (Isa. 30:10).

I would rather sound a little angry or sarcastic than to teach smooth and deceitful things. Even Isaiah used colorful language, "speak unto us smooth things." Could this be the origin of "smooth talkers?"

I'm not sure why it is automatically assumed that if one sounds angry there is something wrong with his message. When speaking of immoral and evil things that hurt and deceive people, it behooves us to be ANGRY about such things. Anger does not have to be a sin. God’s anger is mentioned a couple of hundreds times in Scripture. Many of the teachings of the Church are not only evil, but they are stupid and foolish. Sarcasm is often the perfect exposer of stupidity.