What do you think when you hear the word ‘truth’? Often, truth is defined by one’s own world view, to the many it is characterized by one’s own bias. Truth, however, deals with real things, events, facts. It is often capitalized as a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality. Spiritual reality is never subjective to one’s own world view nor by one’s own bias. Spiritual reality can only be determined by Scripture, nor is it subordinate to one’s own private interpretation. Biblical truth spotlights Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension, and return. It is a significant term prescribed to Jesus as the Word become flesh (John 1:14), who is the source and essence of grace and truth (John 1:17). Truth then, can only be identified in who Jesus Christ is. Without a proper Christology, truth can never be established. All other biblical truth becomes brittle and crumbles.
In Matthew 21:42 it says; “Did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner, this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?” The same word used for ‘cornerstone’ is also sometimes used for the ‘capstone,’ or final stone. Theologians have debated for years whether ‘cornerstone’ or ‘capstone’ is the right translation. It is possible both are right when you consider Jesus is called the ‘Alpha and Omega,” “the Begging and the End,” “the First and the Last,” “the Author and finisher of our faith.” He is the beginning (corner) stone and his is the last (cap) stone. Jesus is both the foundation of God’s work and the capstone which will finish His creation.
Because Jesus is the embodiment of truth, biblical truth is indispensable and is an extension of Himself (1 Timothy 3:16). Relativists who undermine biblical truth are like the fool who is cutting off the branch on which he is sitting. Without truth, the profession of our faith dissolves into a tumorous echo. We have not only the grounds, but the duty to confront false teachings for the simple reason that their interests is not that of our Lord. Truth then, must begin in the church, otherwise everything simply becomes a downplayed methodology of entertainment and seeker sensitivity. Compromised truth in place of biblical truth only leads to a weak and compromised faith and is a betrayal of Christ Himself, it is theological adultery.
Below is a resent conversation I had with a former Pastor in my local area. I want you to pay attention to his responses when I present Scripture to him. It must be noted that he is deeply entrenched in Bill Johnson Redding CA. Theology and has mirrored his ministry after Johnson.
I’d love to talk with you and discuss the things we see differently. But every time I have even tried to just say hello, you have refused to respond. If you were hoping to make me sad with your comments, you succeeded. If you were hoping to make me love you less, you failed. It is sad to see the loving person I once knew reduced to bitterness.
Seeing your response, the point really is you refuse to see the point, I’ve tried several times to explain it to you, it is a total waste of time. It’s the textbook response from someone who cannot or will not bring a biblical, exegetical defense concerning their own behaviors and teachings. So you resort to the typical “your bitter” or “your just full of fear” because you have nothing else to bring to the table. Or its, “I just don’t understand.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard you say these things, yet you claim to be a seasoned pastor full of biblical understanding. Funny, Hebrews 5:13-14 says, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” 2 Timothy 4 speaks of people turning aside to “fables” (Mythos). Mythos is a myth, a false account, yet posing to be truth, a fabrication which subverts (replaces) what is actually true. 2 John states clearly, “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” To many super apostles, prophets, and preachers claiming superior knowledge that contradicts Jesus’ doctrine and apostolic doctrine, of which you are deeply submerged. To many men who not only subvert Biblical doctrine, dismissing it as unessential to their own revelations as does Bill Johnson. And I have heard messages of yours which are in line with him. I’ve done my homework, Bethel (Bill Johnson), his teachings and dogma are pseudo Christian, outside of the prescribed orthodox biblical doctrine handed down from Christ to His apostles. From his view of who Jesus is and what he did to the sozo ministry, he is a false teachers, and you follow such, encourage such, support such, practice such. It is false doctrine that separates, sound doctrine unifies. I’ll leave you with this, James 3:1-2 “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” So if you want to talk about fear, maybe you should talk about your lack of the fear of the Lord and your total lack of respect for His Word, you know, that book we call the bible. But then, you teach that the scripture isn’t the word of God its just guard rails, don’t you?…remember?
Unless you have been listening to my messages, and they are available, you only know in part what I have been teaching. Your last comment about what I believe about the Word is a perfect example. The scripture IS the Word of God. I have no question about that! You heard something I said out of a much larger context. Now, as far as I can remember, we have spoken very little since you left years ago. It was that very thing that frustrated me when you went to Bellefontaine. You say you’ve tried to explain it to me? Really? Exchanges on Facebook are no substitute for two people sitting down and really looking at scripture together. I have a lot of pastor friends who don’t see things the same as I do but they haven’t stopped being friends. And, we talk… A lot. There are four of us who meet almost every week. They often don’t agree with me but they do not hate me or feel the need to attack me. One of them even made a point similar to the one you posted last Thursday morning. Here is the bottom line for me: I have never turned away from you. I have never stopped praying for you. I will always be available to you. You have on several occasions, refused to even acknowledge my presence. You seem to need justification for disconnecting from me. And, turning me into a monster gives you what you seem to need. But, while I may not have my theology as perfectly together as others believe they do, I have something that I believe is more important. I love. And if you think that your behavior towards me has been love, perhaps you should return to the scripture, especially 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, and study it again. Let me repeat something I told you before. You have a Barnabas calling on your life. Barnabas and Paul disagreed and parted company. (Though I am hardly anything like the Apostle Paul.) But when they disagreed, Barnabas didn’t reject Paul; and later, because of Barnabas’ faithfulness, Paul was benefited greatly. I miss the amazing connection we once had. And if I am so confused, I wish that friend I once had would return and help me see things more clearly!
First of all, Barnabas’s and Paul’s contention and separation wasn’t over doctrine, it was over the behavior of Mark and his unwillingness to do the work of the ministry. My issue with you is purely doctrinal, its not a personal issue for me, I got over your crap years ago. I’m more concerned for the people under you. Secondly, I’m not Barnabas nor is my ministry even closely related to his. As to your mention of 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 you might want to read the rest of the context as you miss the most important part of love which is in verse 6 Love; “Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in THE TRUTH.” Without the truth, you have no love! Its simply sloppy agape.” This is why you can meet with other pastors and walk away unchallenged and unchanged, because truth to you is both subjective and relevant. You only pick the pieces that you were taught and you bought into, or the pieces that work for you. I’m not trying to ridicule you, I’m trying to warn you. Your good at denial and deflection, that’s one reason I will not sit down with you, I have other reasons. I did sit down with you across the table and tried to warn you about Bill Johnson once and you just shook your head no and rejected it. You brought nothing to the table…I cannot fellowship with anyone involved in charismania and the Word of God tells me so!!! I cannot fellowship with those who peddle false doctrine, and the Word of God tells me so!!!
So, you have given up on me. But I will never give up on you…
Again, your answer is victimized and self-righteous at the same time and is no answer at all. You refuse to bring a scriptural response to your false teachings. Giving excuses, deflections and lastly of course try to portray the love of God by saying you haven’t given up on me but that I have given up on you. Your failure to recognize and acknowledge scriptural reference to separating from one who teaches error speaks volumes, then you play the “love” card, like a cheap trick. Your very behavior i.e. fruit is discernable and shows you have no interest in any dialog. It is disturbing and should send up red flags, when a “pastor” refuses to dialog within the confines of the Scriptures. Luk 1:3 It seemed good and desirable to me, [and so I have determined] also after having searched out diligently and followed all things closely and traced accurately the course from the highest to the minutest detail from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, [Act_1:1] Luk 1:4 [My purpose is] that you may know the full truth and understand with certainty and security against error the accounts (histories) and doctrines of the faith of which you have been informed and in which you have been orally instructed. Your lack of or refusal to acknowledging verses in context that contradict or challenge your belief system speaks volumes as to your unwillingness or inability to engage in a healthy, scriptural dialog. 1 Corinthians 13 was the very chapter you lay claim to and yet when it comes to loving the truth in verse 6 you veer off into yet another deflection of “love bombing”. Tim this isn’t love and certainly not a love of the truth.
So you can go on believing I’m just full of fear and bitterness, what ever takes the focus off the truth.
And when you have reached the end of all your arguments, I’ll be around…
You won’t be around me, your to creepy!
I laughed out loud when I saw the word “creepy”. I wasn’t laughing at you. It was almost as if I saw you say it and somehow it reminded me of some of the times we were together in the past. Those years that you were at the church were good years, at least they were for me. Which makes me wonder… You were with me for about 9 years. Was I always creepy?
A.W. Tozer was spot on when he said: “Some persons have a positive genius for getting confused, and will mistake illusion for reality in broad daylight with the bible open before them.” When you have a preacher who’s been in ministry for 30+ years openly admit he doesn’t have his theology together and hides behind the illusion of love apart from biblical truth, friends, its time to pack it up and go home. Truth is, I have on many occasion met with him and tried to explain things to him. His thinking is always magical and illusionary, rarely biblical as you can see from his responses.
I Corinthians 13:6 Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown states “The truth is the Gospel truth, the inseparable ally of Love (Eph. 4:15; 2 Jn. 1:12). The false charity which compromises “the truth” by glossing over “iniquity” or unrighteousness is thus tacitly condemned (Prov. 17:15)” I would add that the false charity which compromises “the truth” by embracing error is tacitly condemned.
2 John 1:4
“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.”
Walking in the truth of God’s Word requires us to do it, as God’s love is only demonstrated by walking according to His commandments.
2 John 1:5-6
“And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning; that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.”
It is the example of Christ which provides the standard and motive for love, He gave himself as a ransom for our sin. I would have to ask this preacher how exactly has he loved me? He downplays doctrine claiming love trumps, yet many contexts of Scripture show the two are intimate partners.
Truth is never to be sacrificed to “charity” yet is to be maintained in charity. Eph. 4:15 “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.” Truth in its essence, and highest perfection is seen in Jesus and accordingly we are to have been taught in Him. Truth is in no one else are in anything else. Truth apart from Jesus has little power, abstract doctrine has little influence apart from the truth which is in Jesus handed down through the apostles in the holy scripture.
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
Much is attributed to the Holy Spirit today yet finds no foundation in Scripture. The key to John 16:13-14 is that the Holy Spirit only speaks what He hears from Christ. His purpose is always to glorify Christ just as Christ’s purpose was always to glorify the Father. What the Spirit does in leading believers into all truth, what the Spirit speaks, draws from and conveys in the authority of Christ, and glorifies Christ in all He does.
Johann Albrecht Bengel stated:
“He who has once begun to deceive others, is the less easily able to recover himself from error, and the more easily embraces in turn the errors of others”
Unfortunately, much today which drives charismania (hyper-charismatic movement), attributed to the ministry of the Holy Spirit is chicanery and serves largely as a political advantage rather than spiritual. Ministries within the charismania movement exist absent of biblical foundations, instead, they contradict biblical truth altogether. When you consider kingdom now theology, the seven-mountain mandate, what drives the charismania spirituality is politics.
If it cannot be biblically substantiated, if it does not clearly point to and glorify Jesus Christ, it is duplicity. Much of what they collaborate to be biblical truth breaks all hermeneutical rule. This is evidenced in how their current revelations get more accolades than the Scripture itself.
Then there are the spin off ministries where Scripture is wrested out of context and formed to fit their economic agenda, “Sozo” is one such ministry, a ministry which is both problematic and divisive. Sozo requires the presence of a mediator or guide who is trained to walk Sozoees through a time of contemplative prayer and reflection that is supposed to facilitate intimacy with God. This in itself places the mediator between Jesus Christ and the Sozoee, something found nowhere in Scripture. Christ alone is mediator between God and men.
The mediator then guides the Sozoee through an ascent of the “Father Ladder,” in which the Sozoee is encouraged to visualize God and speak to the image of the Lord created in the mind’s eye. This methodology of mental journeys through visualizations and new spiritual experiences is fraught with danger as the experience is manufactured and can open one up to the demonic influences. These experience-based, extra-biblical practices of Sozo are of human invention and require human instruction, not to mention the payment of a “suggested donation.” With its visualization techniques, guided meditation, and soaking prayer, Sozo is, in many ways, closer to new Age mysticism than to Christianity.
It must be stated and understood that the methodology of the sozo inner healing ministry strains of any biblical support or examples. The goal to get to the root of those things hindering your personal connection to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit implied by the sozo ministry undermines the truth established by Scripture concerning our state and standing with God through faith in the atonement of Christ. Guided visualization superintended by the Holy Spirit is spiritualized psychotherapy, using techniques drawn from the occult. Worse, they profit financially!
They claim that sozo sessions finds issues in minutes instead of years. It then only serves as a fast food spirituality, a short cut to emotional wholeness rather than the maturity obtained through the sanctification which comes through prayer and the study and application of Scripture. Sanctification is the process which, by grace, we become like Christ, and is achieved by consecration, obedience to biblical truth and submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth revealed in the Word of God. Our relationship with God is established on the redemption of Christ merited for us, and finds its accomplishment as wee participate in the Divine nature. The sozo ministry cheats and cheapens the grace of God through extra-biblical experience.
Disclaimer: Some of this article has been taken from notes I compiled over time, If plagiarism exist, it was never my intent as I have no references. These notes are years old.