|Apostasy is creeping into the church from televisions, books and star-personality tours of rich and blasphemous self-proclaimed prophets of God; many of whom are the most famous pastors and teachers in the U.S. These counterfeit shepherds teach that faith is a material substance more powerful than God, accessible to all men, and capable of creating anything man’s heart can desire by the mere utterance of faith-filled-words. This doctrine has leached into all areas of the theological systems of what are known as “Word of Faith” churches. Virtually every major area of systematic theology in this movement has been taken captive by the repercussions of this primordial error.
In this heresy, God is limited. Man is unlimited. Satan fills a necessary role in atonement for sin. Health, wealth, power and all means of temptation are heralded as virtues of the faith while millions empty their bank accounts for the promise of such ambition.
I was priviledged to have an extensive interview with Pastor David Catoe and Jeff Lege of Fresh Spring Baptist Church in Angleton, Texas concerning my upcoming book, Apostasy! on “The Storefront Saints Show.”
Apostasy!, which will be released soon, is a book concerning the turning from the true faith of the Word of Faith community. This book is aimed at people who are involved in the Word of Faith, yet know that something is wrong with what they are hearing from such pulpits. It is my hope that tonight’s interview will give a very brief introduction to the book for those who have been patiently awaiting its release.
Direct Link: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/18633140
(Video begins after about 20 seconds of opening graphic) (You must hit “play” after advertisement)
Yes, you read the title correctly. To many, Yom Kippur is merely a foreign word that appears on our Outlook calendar each year. It seems that most believers do not even know what it is, where it came from or most certainly what it represents. Yom Kippur is a good reminder of just how much rich heritage of the faith gets lost for modern Gentile believers. Because we do not serve the Mosaic requirements for Holy Days each year, we miss the richness of the Old Testament Feasts; each of which point to and are fulfilled by our Messiah, Jesus, in some way.
Yom Kippur, or The Day of Atonement in English, falls each Hebrew calendar year on the 10th of Tishrei. The 10th of Tishrei this year, on our Western calendar, is tomorrow, October 8, 2011. The celebration of Yom Kippur, for Jews, begins at sundown tonight. Continue reading
|The following is an excerpt from the author’s book, The Return of the King: A Prophetic Timeline of End-Time Events. If you find articles in this category interesting, consider purchasing the book to read the entire work!
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.
14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 “‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.’ 17 For this is what the LORD says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, 18 nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.'”
19 The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 20 “This is what the LORD says: ‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant–and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me–can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.
‘If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night no longer come at their appointed time, 21 then my covenant with David my servant–and my covenant with the Levites who are priests ministering before me–can be broken and David will no longer have a descendant to reign on his throne.
30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
18 … “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates– 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites.”
2 In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. 3 Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
The following is an excerpt from the author’s upcoming book, Apostasy! This book will be based largely on the resarch work in the Wolves in Wool series on this blog.
How We Got Here
The gospel message is – and always has been – by Christ, from Christ and for Christ. At any point this understanding is corrupted, apostasy is sure to follow. If salvation is not by Christ, then it is by some other means which will ultimately take Christ’s place as the author and sustainer of salvation. The most obvious example of this is the Roman Catholic Church, which after corrupting its gospel to a sacramental and sacerdotal system of works, became more important than Christ’s own work in the church’s now-corrupt doctrine of salvation. Continue reading
The following is a public preview of the introductory chapter to the author’s upcoming book, Apostasy! This book will be based largely on the resarch work in the Wolves in Wool series on this blog.
A cancer is spreading at an alarming rate in the modern church. It expresses a heretical doctrine which exchanges the glory of the gospel of Christ for temporal gains that were once known as the very temptations of man. Heresy has become mainstream in an enormous population of Christendom. Sadly, much of the church today is too biblical illiterate to notice. The concept of orthodoxy has been given over to a competitive attitude by which doctrine is relegated to a local flavor. While heresy has always existed in the church, never has there been a time when “exotic and unfamiliar” were considered the creative virtues of preaching that they are today. The past few hundred years have been celebrated as times when enigmatic and incomprehensible creeds have been taken to task by a doctrinally savvy congregation and errors reproved by the biblical preaching of proven men of God. The tables seem to have turned entirely. In today’s religious circles it is old-school holdouts with the audacity to cling to the scriptures who are in the minority. It is a truly remnant church today which continues to preserve sound biblical fundamentals at the persistent ridicule of a new majority of doctrinal thrill-seekers.
They scream dissent from untold thousands of books, television networks and millions of websites. Entire supposedly “Christian” publishing houses have abandoned their former scriptural faith principles in favor of new proposals which, frankly, move more books off of store shelves. Christian bookstores, devoted more to their bottom line than the Lord’s, have likewise lifted not one finger in any measurable way to dissuade them. Countless modern congregations have jumped an entire generational cog; with an old-guard too tired or unwilling to fight for doctrinal purity and a new, younger work force that will only bother to show up if things are considered hip, novel, and decidedly not-too-biblical. Bereans are sparse; having been rapidly replaced by giddy, temperamental consumer-types who crave the latest “star” pastor’s deposition over the eyewitness testimonies of the apostles. The recipe for the modern pulpiteer calls for less scriptural content and more bizarre showmanship, to the extent of being positively juvenile.
Evangelicalism is in sincere trouble. Authentic Christians are relegated to a tireless search to find a church that preaches the Bible at all, as today’s pulpits more commonly stream self-help infomercials which refuse to mention, let alone offer remedy for man’s greatest issue: sin and man’s need for redemption. Churches have redefined ministry and missions in the image of public service fraternities. The gospel being proclaimed in so many supposedly “thriving” congregations is shallow enough to disappoint a Unitarian. Reminiscent are Jesus’ words to the church in Sardis, “You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”
Fueling these trends are a growing number of pastors who have committed themselves to unadulterated apostasy on the grounds that it produces the desired results. This new breed of pseudo-theologian teaches, through contrived and corrupt exegetical processes, things which in some cases completely reverse the truths of scripture. Man is instructed not on his depravity and need for salvation, but on his alleged posture of value before God’s grateful eye. Christ is presented not as the crucified lamb but the exemplary enabler of human potential. Scripture is not promoted as the inspired testimony of God by which men are convicted, redeemed and trained for His eternal service, but the means by which they can learn the secrets of acquiring their best life now.
While such a dire state of the church is heart breaking to those who love her, it is not something which has taken the student of God’s word by surprise. This emerging apostasy has been articulately forewarned in scripture; a word of caution to each generation that the roots of their faith will be challenged from within at a future juncture.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV)
3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
Surely such times are now at hand. Paul could not have more articulately portrayed the state of the modern church. The tested and proven methodology of starting new churches today is to send a group of surveyors into a neighborhood to determine the type of church that neighborhood would want to support. We are, in effect, asking the lost to dictate the function of the church. We may as well be determining which fast food franchise to inject into a business center. With the platform for church growth being the edification of everything people want to hear, the church has become nothing more than another consumer-oriented business. To the upwardly mobile, churches promise a leadership role in the renovation of culture. They are assured to be doing the work of Christ simply because they engage themselves in the types of things that Jesus did. To the poor and lowly is a promise of redemption; not from sin, but from the poverty which has stricken them due to their lack of “proper application” of God’s Word. To the ill is the promise of God’s full earthly reversal of their sicknesses, if only they will learn how to properly ask him. The church has become utterly user-friendly, offering carefully researched theological products which are in demand by the intended congregational target.
Numerous are the magical prayer books which give the correct formulas for invoking God’s response to one’s request, as if He were a cosmic genie who must only be suitably addressed for his magic to work. At the end of this process, man has taken the role of deity, dictating his will to an obedient subordinate; and God himself is that humble servant. With cleverly orchestrated theological arguments which attempt to make this doctrine seem biblical, these false teachers have relegated man to a place of power, success and great personal glory, while almighty God becomes nothing more than a grand enabler of man’s creative capacity. Shortly, even Shirley McClain will be pleased to join one of our mainstream mega-church congregations.
In the charismatic world, the “Word of Faith” movement represents the largest organized purveyor of these types of consumer-oriented doctrines. This work will focus specific attention to this movement in the hopes of illuminating the truths of scripture as a warning to the millions who are being systematically indoctrinated by this group. Through religious television networks and an increasing number of local congregations buying into the sheer hype, the Word of Faith movement has generated non-stop sensationalistic and un-verifiable claims that challenge everything the world has ever identified as orthodox faith. This work is not an attempt to engage heresy in debate, but to reveal it to individual readers for what it is. The true church must understand the nature of what she will battle in the coming days and years. These groups are steadily permeating the wheat field with tares while a lost and dying world is being cross-evangelized by false apostles utterly incapable of presenting the true gospel; for they do not know it themselves.
The end result of this counterfeit ministry will be an ever increasing wake of souls who are either happily deceived and relegated to an eternity of death, or are so damaged from their failed foray into “religion” that they write off Christ entirely as a charlatan who must be of the same essence as his phony ministers. Too often the deceived think they have experienced the fullness of Christ’s grace and find it lacking. Sadly, many walk away from anything with the Name of Christ attached to it from that point forward.
To that end, the responsibility of identifying and preaching against false doctrines is of major importance to those who live to affirm and defend the teachings of scripture. While scripture clearly indicates that an apostasy waits the latter days, it nevertheless demands the faithful of Christ to contend earnestly for the truth which transcends all times and cultures.
As Jude warns,
Jude 1:3-4 (ESV)
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Seven Churches video series has been updated on the Video Study page. Parts 4-7 have been added, covering the second half of the church at Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamum. Our apologies for the month of missed updates!
On my 16th birthday I received, by request, a new Thompson Chain Reference NIV Bible. As a 16 year old, I had no insights- nor did I consider the need of them- concerning the integrity of the NIV translation. I simply knew that my new NIV Bible was easier to understand than the KJV I had used up to that point.
As it turns out, by God’s grace, the NIV I was ingesting was actually a pretty good translation overall. It is a good “middling” of two interpretational extremes. As a ministry student, which I became just a few years thereafter, one’s translation is never one’s only translation; it is simply the translation one preaches and teaches from. It is the translation one commits to memory. I spent over twenty five years doing just that with my (1984) NIV. Continue reading
The first church John was asked to address of the seven was the church in Ephesus; a church which received both praise and rebuke from the Lord’s letter.
This week’s study focuses on the commendation to the church. The rebuke will be dealt with in next week’s study.
Overwhelmingly, it is clear from the letter to the church at Ephesus that the faith entrusted to the saints is indeed something to be contended for: as the Lord himself gives his commendation to his church for not tolerating evil men and heresy.