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Another excellent article by Treena Gisborn, bringing clarity and truth about the NAR’s false teachings. God bless you Treena. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds … Continue reading

Does Sozo practice demonic exorcism on Christians?….. Yes.


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Here’s an excellent article by Memory victim, who has lost much, God bless you for your faithfulness and thank you for sharing. A year ago, I purchased the book, “SOZO, Saved – Healed – Delivered” by Dawna De Silva and … Continue reading

SOZO~ Seven years later


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The first articles, on this blog, written about the error and heresy of “SOZO” ministry coming out of Bethel Church (Pastor Bill Johnson) have continued to be the number one top views on this site. After seven years we have … Continue reading



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Thank you for your faithfulness Treena, God bless you.

Ten years out and still wondering


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Been wondering and musing about some things lately. Seems like the past several months I’ve unplugged from all the “discernment groups” and the “weekly guru prophesy updates” and now I see how much I’ve needed to. This may be a … Continue reading

Another warning shot: to those who will hear; run from Jacob Prasch’s error


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by Pat Rogers For anyone not familiar with Jacob Prasch and his recent video series on teaching that women cannot teach doctrine to men. I will be referencing the video “What can women teach at conferences” and “The ox that … Continue reading

Jacob Prasch moriel ministries: more intra-seal lies!


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Written by: Treena Gisborn Reblogged by: Closingstages Jacob Prasch continues to peddle his ill conceived intra-seal “doctrine” with gusto and has recently manufactured some further blatantly untruthful statements: Jacob Prasch “Who is The Restrainer” Sept 10, 2016  1 “The … Continue reading



Destructive Doctrines “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. … Continue reading

Loving to contend or contending to love!

fight the good fight

The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending him is its inseparable effect. (Webster’s 1828 Dictionary)

Love trumps all (1 Cor. 13:13), however we cannot afford to sacrifice truth for the sake of love. To lay aside truth only means that love is of no benefit to the body of Christ. If we are going to achieve “love,” truth must be the catalyst by which love functions otherwise contending for the faith is meaningless.

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into Him who is the head, even Christ” – Eph. 4:14-15

Truth is never to be sacrificed to so-called “charity”, yet it is to be maintained in charity. Truth in word and act, love in manner and spirit, are the Christian’s rule. Truth is never to give way to false doctrine, but it must be spoken in love. Some cling to the truth tenaciously, but forget to speak it in love. “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” – Gal. 5:14-15

So what is the answer? Disagreeing agreeably equals compromise and promotes a tolerance for those who reel and are carried about with “every wind of doctrine.” It is clear they are both unstable and deceptive promoting every sort of false doctrine. Truth is real, actual, not counterfeit. Truth acts genuinely. Speaking the truth in love is to endeavor to express the truth in a loving manner. In Galatians 4:16 Paul says, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” And again in Acts 20:27 Paul tells the Ephesian Elders, “For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.” Speaking the truth in love includes telling the whole truth, not only speaking the truth, but presenting it in action as the truth and not counterfeit. It is unloving to do otherwise! We are to be true (in doctrine and profession), this falls within the boundaries of love.

Does love mean that we have to tolerate false doctrine? No! Does love mean we have to accept false teachers, prophets, and apostles? No again! It seems Paul was trying to straighten the Ephesians out on this matter, they were zealous for truth, but lacked in love. And they didn’t heed his words for Christ himself through John sent a letter warning them they had lost their first love (Rev. 2:4). I don’t believe the Ephesians problem was a lack of love for the Lord for Jesus said “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary” (Rev. 2:2-3). They had patience, they had discernment, they labored for Jesus’ name sake, they even hated evil, but the spiritual vitality springing from love had degenerated into orthodox routine. The Ephesians were combating the doctrines of the Nicolaitans who’s teachings were seducing the people of God into idolatry and immorality.

Are we not to be defenders of the faith? Yes! Jude tells us “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 3-4) The issue is not pointing out the false doctrine, teachers etc. The problem is in how we are doing it and why we do it. We are in an ecumenical melting pot today where anything goes fromOne World Religion contemplative prayer, soaking prayer, little gods doctrines to “every man does that which seems right in his own eyes” – Judges 21:25. I believe we should contend for the faith, we are to fight for the truth of Christ’s doctrine, the gospel message, we are even suppose to strive together for the faith of the Gospel (Phil. 1:27). The problem today with contending is many people are getting hurt, even shipwrecked in the crossfire. We have to learn how to contend, how to speak the truth “in love.”

Reasoning with people is out the window in our society, and apostasy is rampant! It is the sinful nature which breeds and continues to support false doctrine and teachers. And for many like myself, the root of bitterness springs up in my reaction to false doctrine and teachers. I too am guilty of contending with malice rather than love, or at least I did. And again I find myself having to retrain and discipline myself to speak and act with love without compromising God’s Word. If all of us would first take a close examination of ourselves in the light of God’s Word and make an honest assessment of ourselves from God’s point of view, well, that would be a great beginning! But…most today are too busy indulging in felt faith doctrines rather than authentic faith.

Paul makes it clear, “So then, we may no longer be children…” (Eph. 4:14). In the Greek “children” is implying negation, not speaking, that is, a simple minded person, an immature Christian. When we bite and devour and react with malice instead of love are we not immature? When the 911 terror attack occurred and the twin towers where starting to collapse thousands of people were running from the danger. Meanwhile, fireman and policemen were running into the danger screaming, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” The difference between 911 and contending for the faith is that I feel as though I’m running away from the danger while untold millions are running into it and I’m screaming, “RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!” And no one is listening. Instead I get sneers, shoved out of the way, and it is very frustrating. I feel hopeless and helpless!

dreamstime_3709247Are not false teachers the enemy? Yes! “Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ; whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their mind on earthly things” – Phil. 3:17-19. Notice Paul’s “weeping?” Today, as in Paul’s day many offer cheap alternatives to knowing Christ, and they are His enemies. Many today are perverting the foundation of Christianity by misrepresenting Jesus Christ. They shun doctrine for the sake of relationships and at the same time miss the fact that anything taught essentially is or becomes doctrine. Sound (healthy) doctrine is meant to build and mature the body of Christ and conform it to the image of Christ. But what is our response suppose to be? Jesus said; “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” – Matt. 5:44. Love is not a matter of sentiment alone, but practical concern, blessing, prayer, and positive wishes for well-being, extended to friend and enemy alike. I know, this is hard to swallow! I feel that big lump trying to slide down my throat right now, I’m convicted. Now this verse is not about the enemy, but about our conduct. It doesn’t mean there will be a great success rate, that they will be converted but it does mean we will be victorious in spite of them.

Now let me pause here and say that it’s not how much “Word” we know or how much Scripture we can quote that makes the difference, it’s how much “Word” we exercise which promotes maturity and gives discernment (Heb. 5:12-14). “…by reason of use” is the ability to discriminate between sound and unsound doctrine and between wholesome and unwholesome conduct. It’s the means by which we can identify and respond to falsehood rather it be a teacher or doctrine. Paul told the Roman Christians; “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” – Romans 12:20-21. Doing good in spite of evil form the culminating point of the Sermon on the Mount. “Heaping coals of fire on his head” is in the Old Testament the figurative expression of divine vengeance (Ps. 140:10; Ps. 11:6), and the true sense of these words seems to be, “That will be the most effectual vengeance” (Alford, Hodge). This kindness most enthusiastically may subdue him, and make him feel more intensely guilty.

dreamstimefree_2241647The institutional church is in all pretense failing the people of God. I’m not speaking of every organized church in existence, but the ungodly control and hierarchy which God has not established. The institutional church system who’s mindset and attitude is pushing forward by selfish ambition and the desire to have the preeminence. In the last two years I have met many who are leaving it, God is calling His people out. And He has placed my wife and I in a position where we can now minister to some of them, they are hurting and need encouragement. Many of them are just starting their wilderness journey, a journey I have been traveling now for several years. I am now learning to weep for them and for those who have done them so much harm. We are to be loving to contend but contending to love!

The Great Divide: Taking a closer look at who is really causing the divisions in the body/church

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1 Cor. 11:18-19 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you, and in part I believe it.  For there must also be heresies among you, that those who are approved may be made manifest among you.

Hebrews 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 

You can’t help but notice that in not only both of these verses but also in the context of these chapters including chapters 6 of Hebrews that the topic is about growing into spiritual maturity. How can we do that if there is no discerning of the things that it talks about in these verses? Paul certainly isn’t surprised at hearing that there were divisions, instead he points out that it’s necessary in order to find the truth and identify those who are not teaching it.  How many times did Christ himself warn and instruct us on this very issue?

Mark 13:22-23 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

Matt. 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed/Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Take heed is the same translation and means

Strongs: 991 βλέπω [ blepo / blep ·o /] “beware” four times, “look on” four times, “look” three times, “beware of 1 to see, discern, of the bodily eye. 1a with the bodily eye: to be possessed of sight, have the power of seeing. 1b perceive by the use of the eyes: to see, look descry. 1c to turn the eyes to anything: to look at, look upon, gaze at. 1d to perceive by the senses, to feel. 1e to discover by use, to know by experience. 2 metaph. to see with the mind’s eye. 2a to have (the power of) understanding. 2b to discern mentally, observe, perceive, discover, understand. 2c to turn the thoughts or direct the mind to a thing, to consider, contemplate, to look at, to weigh carefully, examine. 3 in a geographical sense of places, mountains, buildings, etc. turning towards any quarter, as it were, facing it.

Watch out (Matt. 16:6

Strongs: 3708 εἶδον , ὁράω [ horao / hor· ah ·o /] Properly, to stare at “take heed” “behold” “perceive” 1 to see with the eyes. 2 to see with the mind, to perceive, know. 3 to see, i.e. become acquainted with by experience, to experience. 4 to see, to look to. 4a to take heed, beware. 4b to care for, pay heed to. 5 I was seen, showed myself, appeared.

I love the meanings of these words as it gives us not only a clearer picture but calls us to action if we are to have any hopes of truly being able to know/discern good from evil. To “stare at” and become acquainted with, to discover by use and to know by experience.

Many of us can certainly say that we have “experienced” these false teachings first hand but I, like most, didn’t follow through to “perceive or “understand” what I was looking at or hearing.  So I would literally stop looking at it and push on further into the deception. Dismissing it as “just ignorant me, not knowing or understanding the “spiritual” things that these false teachers were teaching.

Not only are we to weigh carefully, examine, one translation says “as in the forensic sense. “  We’ve all seen the shows today that have forensic teams that investigate and examine everything no matter how small or insignificant in order to get to the truth. It’s a lot of very hard work at times, most times actually, but the rewards we get out of it are beyond any labor or effort that we put into it.  THE TRUTH, and anytime we discover truth, we grow and develop spiritually a little more and a little more.  Will I ever be a grown up???? I pray so, I’ve been stunted long enough.

The fact is that the separation of the wheat and tares – the goats from the sheep will not happen until the end of the age.  Just as Christ said we will always have the poor with us.  So too will the church ALWAYS have heretics’/tares/goats.  Is it any wonder then that scripture tells us over and over to take heed, watch, beware, mark those and warn other believers. This is the picture of the church today and yesterday and will be until Christ’s return. We have and will continue to have heresy in the church and scripture is clear on what we are to be doing so as not to fall into deception again.  Learn, exercise, and grow in all discernment.

Scripture also tells us that ultimately the heresies/heretic’s will become the norm of the church in the end, how else will the antichrist be able to gain control.

Mark 13:23 “if possible to deceive the very elect” so you have to assume that those who are doing the deceiving are very, very, good, even speaking truth at times.

Look at Acts 16:16-18 ”  And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination  met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:  The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show unto us the way of salvation.  And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.”

The one striking fact is that the woman that was “possessed” with a spirit spoke the undeniable truth!!!  And it wasn’t just a truth it was SALVATION! Now if that happened today!! This woman would have never been addressed and probably would have her own Christian tv show.  These types of scriptures are to give us insight into just how deceptive and manipulative Satan is.  1 John 4:1-3 sounds easy enough about testing and trying the spirits; but how good would any of us be had we been put in the same position as Paul was in Acts?

“Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:  And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist….”

Without diligent study of the Word and discernment by the Holy Spirit we don’t stand a chance at NOT being deceived.  It is only by the power of God that we can stand.
Yes we will be head butted by the goats and choked by the tares in the church.  But God in His mercy left the tares among the wheat so that not one who belonged to Him would be destroyed, He knows who are His. Let’s strive to pursue discernment in these thing’s.  As for the title “who is really causing the divisions in the body?” well the next time someone flags you out as causing division in the body because you pointed out a false teacher, you may just want to share this with them, ask them to prayerfully consider the scripture that is given and then see if they will at some point be willing to sit down and discuss this with you, so that “ they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” and those that aren’t.

Recognizing the role of Toxic Shame in abusive ministries

This short article below was written by Anne Marie Dowell and can be viewed on her personal blog site: Freedom/Deception from Spiritual Deception  I agree with her conclusions however I have to broaden this truth to other denominations.  I spent 18 years in the Baptist church and found many leaders in the denomination who did exactly what Anne describes.  Many pastors have lost site with what matters most to God, namely, people!  And instead of taking on the servant role they were commissioned too, they become self servers, and as Anne put it, “they surround themselves with hand picked yes man/women who do their dirty work to ensure that others are towing the line and following all of the rigid rules that the system (not God) expects.  Below is her article, go to her site and leave a comment to encourage her as she has suffered much for the sake of the truth.

“Toxic shame is different from healthy shame. Toxic shame tells us that we are a mistake and that no amount of problem solving can deliver us from our condition. In abusive ministries we now understand that a single ‘charasmatic’ leader holds all of the power over the direction of that ministry. That individual is the ‘mouth piece’ of God and is to be obeyed no matter how wrong their behavior or doctrine may be!! Abusive ministries are closed systems that have a single leader surrounded by hand picked yes men/women who do his dirty work and ensure that others are towing the line and following all of the rigid rules that the system (not God) expects. However they do it in the name of God and are experts at using scripture to make the people of God feel guilty if they do not obey them!!! This is nothing new and has been going on for as long as there has been religion. It is this dynamic that is permeating the church and creating new and even more abusive leaders. They require the people of God who have been purchased by the blood of Jesus to bend their knee to their insatiable need for power and money. These leaders become so used to being treated like rock stars that they begin to believe that they stand between you and God . They threaten that you are committing ‘spiritual suicide’ if you choose to leave their ministries. They use every toxic shame inducing method to obtain complete obedience and control over you and your understanding of who you are in Christ.”

Christian Illiteracy

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me” Hosea 4:6

The Hebrew word for “destroyed” in the text above is damah and means to be cut off at sight of the theophany. Essentially, it is talking about people who loose or lack in the perception of the essential nature of God manifested. Theophany is the appearance of God in visible form to a human being and interesting enough the Hebrew word for “knowledge” (daat) is not talking about knowledge one gains from study, but is defined as having skill in perception, discernment and understanding. “daat” comes from the verb ‘yada‘, meaning “to know” occurring more than 90 times in the Old Testament. The lack of the knowledge of God, that is, the peoples lack of discernment shows us that their ignorance was willful, they ought to have known God having had the opportunity. In effect, the people’s lack of knowledge was more than just neglect, they rejected it choosing false gods in place of the God of Israel and the priests had been poor examples, leading the people of Israel into apostasy. You’ve heard the saying, “those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Those that rebel against the truth can expect nothing other than to perish in the dark. A close examination of current events reveals that history is indeed repeating itself. Today there is very little Godly example to be found in church leadership, and very little real spiritual knowledge with God’s people. Truthfully, false teachers have had a heyday over the last generation or so amassing huge numbers of unregenerate, unrepentant, biblically challenged and morally apathetic followers.  Much of our leadership is intimidated by others maturity in their churches, the very thing they are to nurture and cultivate.  they promote the illiteracy and immaturity of their congregants for their own benefit, it strokes their ego to have people dependent on them.

Sound doctrine is simply correct teaching, in keeping with that of the apostles (1 Tim 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim 1:13; 4:3). The teaching is called ‘sound’ not only because it builds up in the faith, but also because it protects against the corrupting influence of false teachers, prophets, and apostles. In 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus the use of the word ‘sound’ occurs eight times (Titus 1:9,13; 2:1-2; 1 Tim. 1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3), and in the Greek it means “to have sound health, to be uncorrupt.” Clean, healthy teaching is to be the core of what we call, doctrine. Everything taught is to be judged by its harmony with the words of our Lord Jesus Christ; “If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth…” 1 Tim. 6:3-5. Sound doctrine which conforms to the teachings of the Apostles fulfills two purposes, it instructs believers in matters of faith and godliness, and it is used to prove conclusively the heresy of false teachers.

Globe - Americas [Converted]There are several characteristics which contribute to the biblical illiteracy of our time, all of which have become an epidemic to church orthodoxy. Unbiblical worldviews have infected biblical teaching in that the majority of Christians in America have developed their own faith system. Division has never been as apparent as it is today. All denominations have their pet doctrines dividing them from the rest of Christ’s body. Today you have to be politically correct and culturally sensitive resulting in a watered down version of the Gospel message. Spirituality is being built on private emotional attachments rather than on clear concise biblical teachings. And lastly, false prophets and apostles are flooding into the church with teachings contrary to that of Jesus and the founding Apostles. These characteristics are so blatant today that those who do adhere to ‘sound doctrine’ and by faith follow the teachings of Scripture are criticized, denounced, and ostracized by mainstream Christianity. Church culture today is dramatically captured in the distorted mirrors of contemporary art and the media. Destructive worldly thinking has now turned the professing church in general to pervasive heresy and compromise. Christians choose to capitulate rather than suffer criticism for standing on Biblical values and exposing the false corrupt teachings of liars. The majority lack the commitment to maintain doctrinal purity, consequently condone and even promote every sort of false teaching and practice imaginable, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

It was told to me by my daughter of two girls who went to Seminary. In Seminary they discovered that the doctrines they believed in were wrong. So instead of embracing new found truth, they both left Seminary to continue in their belief system. Sadly, this is the norm today, I have spoken to many Christians challenging them in Scripture to adhere to Biblical truth. In every case both myself and the Word of God was rejected. To most Christians today, ignorance is bliss, it’s easier to get caught up in the emotion of the moment. To those who love truth, adhere tdreamstime_3595118o sound biblical teaching, none of the above should come as a shock as Scripture is clear that this time would come. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” 2 Peter 1:19. We are witnessing prophetic Scripture come to pass before our very eyes. One such Scripture is 2 Timothy 4:3-4; “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Paul was describing a time in the future when “they” (Paul was referring back to chapter 3), the church collective, would no longer view doctrine as valid or true but would gravitate to the dictates of their own hearts. A time when the professing church would have a propensity for falsehood. He describes them as having itching ears, desirous of hearing something pleasant and positive. A time when they will accumulate a great number of teachers who will have no problem scratching their itch. A time when the church will turn away from hearing the truth having a preference for myths/fables. A time when illiteracy to Biblical truth will replace ‘sound doctrine,’ a time of apostasy, a time like today. A time when Christians will have no foundation in the Word of God. Professing Christianity today flourishes in the mega-church because both sides of the transaction cooperates. The people want the feel good, and the teachers love to give it. Those who despise sound teaching have sought out teachers like themselves, both suit their depraved tastes. The people want teachers who will give them pleasure and the teachers do not offend by teaching truths that would be rasping to their ears. Novelty is the passion of the present Church Structure as entertainment peeks the interest bringing the next wave of excitement to the crowd. Thus, Biblical illiteracy reigns over the shepherd and the sheep, or should I say, over the wolves and the goats. It seems it’s hard to discern these days between the two.

Right or wrong, good or bad, our lives are influenced by what we believe! Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “Awake to righteousness, and do not sin, for some do not have the knowledge of God...” 1 Cor. 15:34. The phrase “do not have the knowledge of God” express ignorance of God in the Greek. The Corinthians ignorance was enveloped in a wrong belief of the resurrection which lead them to deny there was a resurrection. Illiteracy leads to a skewed view of the Word of God which always leads into error. Paul finished his exhortation by saying to the Corinthians, “I speak this to your shame.” Worse yet, to remain illiterate to Spiritual truth is both unrighteous and sinful. Illiteracy is an intoxication of carnality as those who remain ignorant to Spiritual truth are over thrown by the influences of false teachers who would keep them there. Many who identify themselves as Christians today have an habitual ignorance, a willful ignorance of God in that they prefer to keep their false teachings, rather than part with them in order to know God. It is prideful, selfish, and fleshly to cling to false teachings and to remain illiterate to truth only to appease one’s own interpretation of Spirituality.

In 1 Corinthians 15:34, ignorance of God is a critical miscalculation and misapprehension of God’s moral character and of His redemptive scheme (disbelieving the resurrection) which leads to a libertine and hedonistic ethic.1 The Corinthians often boasted of their knowledge and wisdom yet we find Paul correcting them for their illiteracy in Spiritual matters. As it turns out, like today, the Corinthian Christians were freethinking in religious matters and sought self-gratification in their view of God, and this Paul says, is to their shame. Sounds a lot like what Hosea dealt with when he said “ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me…” Hosea 4:6. Just as the children of Israel lacked in their perception of the essential nature of God, and the Corinthians were missing God altogether, we see today it’s a free-for-all when it concerns God Word and Will. What it all comes down to is both Hosea and Paul are describing a people who really don’t know God at all. Their view of God Himself was not only partial, but slanted. This in itself will lead into all sorts of abnormal practices and deviant behavior, all in the name of Jesus Christ.

1 Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible New International Version; Copyright 1996 AMG International, Inc. p1574 Number 57.

Open Rebuke by Paul Proctor

By Paul Proctor
March 23, 2011

The Emerging Church controversy has caught the attention of the mainstream media again and in a big way with the latest book from Rob Bell, entitled, “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived” – a “universalist” view from a popular “Christian” author and pastor that has already drawn numerous objections from many evangelical leaders including several sharp commentaries from the president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. – the latest of which appeared in the Baptist Press, titled, “Rob Bell and the (re)emergence of liberal theology.”

As one of many who have spoken out against the Emerging Church’s errant teachings and practices, I find it encouraging to finally hear a chorus of open rebukes coming from a growing number of well known Christian leaders who aren’t afraid to name the names of heretics and false teachers at work among believers – at least a few of them – something that is quite common throughout the New Testament, but, up until recently, has been all but absent from the 21st century Church as if they were either nonexistent or unworthy of mention.

Frankly, false teachers have had a heyday over the last generation or so amassing huge numbers of unregenerate, unrepentant, biblically ignorant and morally apathetic followers that were persuaded through pleasurable feelings, emotions, experiences and appetites that few, if any, are actually going to Hell. Dr. Mohler accurately summed up the Emerging Church movement in his column as being “a mildly updated form of Protestant liberalism.” I would only add that the eastern styled mysticism taught and practiced by many Emergents carries the movement well beyond mere liberal Christianity and into the occult.

Much of these and other false teachings and practices have been aided and advanced by the widely-held assumption that public rebukes among Christians are to be a last resort only, citing Matthew 18:15 as the scriptural source, which, in the King James version, reads: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Underscore added for emphasis)

Thanks to a very small number of inconsistent Bible translations, which now incidentally includes the newest New International Version 2011, a directive intended to restrain and contain church-unity-disrupting personal offenses between two individuals was edited in such a way as to suggest that all initial chastisement and challenges between believers should be kept private, which is not at all what the Bible teaches.

Is there a better way to advance evil, error and confusion in the Church than to shame and silence the discerners of heresy, blasphemy and scriptural confusion? Not only does this undermine the proclamation and proliferation of God’s Word, it is also a great way to unequally yoke believers to unbelievers and steer them all astray with the insinuation that feelings are more important than truth.

You see, Matthew 18:15 in the New American Standard Bible reads: “(M)If your brother sins[b], go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” Omitting the words “against you,” or “against thee,” which appears in the vast majority of popular Bible versions including the 1984 NIV, gives heretics a handy hideout to not only do their dirty work but have their inaccuracies, inconsistencies and indiscretions arbitrarily dismissed through obfuscation, negotiation and consensus.

False teaching needs to be addressed as it happens, in front of those who hear it, that the error and confusion not be left to spread unchallenged. Nor should it be left up to some pastor’s public relations team or a bureaucratic boardroom of good old boys to decide if an open confession and correction would be good for the numbers.

Not only did Jesus rebuke the scribes and Pharisees publicly for their self-serving words and deeds, He gave Peter the harshest rebuke of all in front of the other disciples in Mark 8:33, telling him: “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”

The Apostle Paul also took Peter to task in front of everyone later in Galatians 2:11,14 for separating himself from those who weren’t circumcised. If anything needed to be dealt with in private, wouldn’t it be this? Paul goes on to tell Timothy: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” – 1st Timothy 5:20

In fact, the entire chapter of Matthew 18 is largely about personal offences between individuals beginning with verse six where Jesus says: “…whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea” and continues on with Peter asking Jesus; “…how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?”

Jesus goes on to answer Peter with the story of an unpaid debt between a king and one of his servants and another unresolved debt between that same servant and a fellow servant. And right in the middle of the chapter, between Jesus’ warning against offending a child and Peter’s question about forgiving a brother and the story of personal indebtedness, is verse 15, where Jesus says: “…if thy brother shall trespass against thee…” not, “If your brother sins…” as the NAS claims. In other words, “against thee” is consistent with the ongoing conversation between Jesus and His disciples and context of the chapter.

So, when an errant pastor, preacher, teacher, author or Emerging Church leader publicly distorts, disputes, dismisses or disavows core doctrines of the Bible, he ought to be rebuked and corrected in the same manner he presented them… publicly, because those he mislead and confused with his flawed theology are watching, learning and passing along to others what they’ve been taught. And, if they’ve been taught lies, and the backroom boys and PR team never get around to correcting them for the edification and benefit of all, then those lies live on, the truth remains hidden and repentance never comes.

“Open rebuke is better than secret love.” – Proverbs 27:5