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Category Archives: Idolatry

This article is part 2 of 3 in the series Exposing Dangers of Martial Arts
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PART TWO

[Editor’s Note: This article series is an adaptation from the book, Exposing the Dangers of Martial Arts, by Vito Rallo, a former five-time USA National Karate Champion. See the end of this article for more about the book.]

READ PART ONE of this article.

The Spiritual Principle of Self-Decreasing

The complete incongruity of martial arts along with these other similar so-called “self-improvement” or “self-help” kinds of involvements I’ve enumerated, and the Christian Life described and defined in the Word of God can also be summarized by relating it to the contrast John-the-Baptist described in his statement to his disciples before his execution by beheading: “He must increase; but I must decrease” (Jn. 3:30; italics added). “He must increase; but I must decrease.” While the essence of John’s statement was referring to the fact that now that the time for Jesus to be manifest as the Messiah had come and John had completed his God-assigned mission of identifying Him as same, the time had now come for him and his ministry to decrease or fade into oblivion so as to allow the Christ to take center-stage, so to speak, completely void of all distraction and deflection of attention. Continue reading “Exposing the Dangers of Martial Arts (Part 2)” »

KUNDALINI WARNING – Shocking Update
by Andrew Strom

Five years ago we put out a book and a video series called “Kundalini Warning.” It shocked a lot of people at the time.

For a long while I felt there was no particular need to update it in any way. But recently we came across some new information that completely stunned everybody we showed it to.

It comes from some of the very biggest Charismatic ministries — in their own words — bringing utterly blatant New Age practices into the church. Not in a “hidden” way. But totally open and unashamed about it. Most people who have seen it are just as gob-smacked as I was.

You will hardly believe it. It is that bad.

I have added a whole new section to my book and we will start releasing all this information very soon. But in the meantime, all three episodes of the video series, “Kundalini Warning,” are available on YouTube. The links to them are below. Each video is a little less than 10-minutes long.

Please watch them again and pass them around, my friends, in preparation for this new information. It will help a lot.

[Note: We have embedded the 3-Part continuous-play series from YouTube just below;  The Facebook links are below the YouTube embed.]

Here are the links to the individual videos.

‘SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY’ – Part ONE-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBpw2oQrvMM

‘SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY’ – Part TWO-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCcGaTRwG_4

‘SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY’ – Part THREE-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWeUNoR30_0

Special blessings to all,
Andrew Strom

Strom’s website: http://www.revivalschool.com/

_______________________

BUY THE BOOK, KUNDALINI WARNING! [Available in print and Kindle versions]

10 REASONS SOME PASTORS DEVELOP A SUPERSTAR MENTALITY
By Joseph Mattera

From the outset of this article I do not want to convey the thought that just because a leader has name recognition or becomes popular that they are not people of God. Many of my close friends in the ministry are also celebrities in their own right but do not exhibit these traits. However, It would be less then honest for those of us in the church not to admit the aberrant behavior of some of our own. The following are ten reasons some church leaders develop a superstar mentality.

1. They have a sense of entitlement.

Some folks think more highly then they ought to think of themselves and believe in their heart that they deserve better treatment then any other human being (Romans 12:3).

2. Because of their celebrity status they think they are above the law.

When a celebrity leader (could be a celebrity in a small church as well as a large church based on the adulation of the people and their own self deception) gets used to having sycophants around him – they are used to getting what they want -when they want it! Hence, they push aside boundaries and live a life that satisfies their fleshly inclinations.

3. They are unaccountable.

Superstar pastors often think nobody is qualified to speak into their life. Some pastors and leaders think that they are so spiritual and successful, they have reached a point that nobody is able to speak into their life and teach them anything. When someone attempts to speak into them, they may ask the question in their mind, “Is this person as wealthy as me? or Do they have as many people in their church as I do? — before they even consider hearing what they have to say!

4. They don’t trust anybody.

Many superstar pastors are really projecting a false self of confidence and aloofness because they don’t trust enough to have intimate relationships with anybody -including their spouse and children

5. Their self identity is subsumed by their ministry identity.

Some start off ok, but eventually their success — fueled by their driving ambition to be respected and known — becomes the primary way they view themselves. Thus, they lose their core essence and live through a false sense of success and power.

6. They become narccistic to medicate the pain of their past.

Many superstar leaders abuse their leadership privileges by manipulating others for their own advantage, and or are involved in substance abuse, adultery, excessive entertainment, frequent vacations, and others lusts of the flesh to medicate the un-dealt-with pain they have from the great responsibilities, intense life, and other pressure cooker items that make them feel trapped with no outlet. Thus, they succumb to temporary fixes that give them a reprieve from their miserable reality.

7. They erroneously equate anointing to minister with God’s personal favor.

Some believe that because they preach great messages and experience the power of God when ministering that that is a sign that God’s favor is upon them, even if they are not living a life of holiness. Scripture teaches us through the narrative of Samson that prioritizing anointing and power before the Fruit of the Spirit will eventually catch up to you and result in an untimely end to your ministry.

8. They preach a Christ without a cross and a gospel centered on self rather then on sacrifice.

Some superstar leaders preach a “rights centered” gospel that is centered upon self rather then on Christ. This results in living a life of indulgence that has no boundaries that limit their desire for the physical amenities of life.

9. They associate with other superstar pastors who reinforce this superstar culture.

The old saying “birds of a feather flock together” is a truism in which people tend to congregate mostly with others who believe like them and reinforce their belief system and lifestyle, which can be either a force for good or evil. Demigod leaders tend to associate with other spiritual divas and even have them preach in their church because they don’t want any dissident voice that will call them to account and bring a standard of holiness.

10. Those closest to them don’t challenge them.

Often the person with the most influence to speak into the pastor is the spouse. Unfortunately, often the lavish superstar lifestyle can abate the conscience of said spouse because of all the goodies and bling that come to them. When the voice of the spouse is either ignored or silent, then the person with the greatest chance of correcting them is non-existent. The same goes for their inner-circle and close friends and family who may also benefit from this opulent lifestyle.

In closing, this article was not written with the intent to arouse a critical spirit in the Body of Christ but to offer a prophetic correction so that we can turn back to the way of Jesus and the apostles. If some read this and use it as an excuse to gossip and be critical of their leader, then they are missing the point, and are just as guilty as the one they are judging. Also, as a pastor for over thirty years, I have seen these traits in leaders of all stripes, both in the marketplace and in the church. Furthermore, all believers have the same sinful root issues as these superstar pastors, hence, we need to abstain from personal judgment and allow these ten principles to convict our own soul.###

Source: http://josephmattera.org/10-reasons-pastors-develop-superstar-mentality/

How Long Will We Be Satisfied With Happy, Shallow Revivals?

By Bert Farias

Charismatic-worship

Many of our so called modern revivals are happy but shallow. This is of deep concern to me for I am not seeing the old anointings any more. My heart grieves especially for the young people who have never witnessed the real power of God.

Honestly, some things I see today are appalling. That old teaching that we are free from the Law has raised its ugly head again. Certainly, we are free from the Law written on stone, but we are not free from the Law that is written in our hearts. Continue reading “How Long Will Shallow, Spiritless Revivals Suffice?” »

In the previous post, The Outrageous Claims of Mars Hill Church “Investigators”, I indicated my strong disagreement with the conclusions of the group of elders and an overseer who identified themselves as the “investigators” who conducted an investigation into the long train of abuses, misdeeds, and other allegations against the founding senior leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Mark Driscoll. Those men concluded that “While we believe Mark needs to continue to address these areas in his life, we do not believe him to be disqualified from pastoral ministry.”

I ended that post by saying that abuse of spiritual authority is one of the most, possibly the most, egregious affronts in existence to the One who is the Source of all legitimate authority, and that in a follow-up post I would offer 25 reasons why that is so that immediately come to my mind. This post consists of those 25 reasons. Continue reading “25 Reasons Hyper-Authoritarian Church Leadership IS Disqualifying” »

Rev. Ed HirdYou may find this a stretching article in body, mind and spirit. I have intentionally avoided writing this article for years, because I knew that it might be unavoidably controversial. To be honest, I have been waiting for someone else to write this article instead of me. Like most pastors, I want people to like me. With genuine reluctance, I eventually faced my conflict avoidance, obeyed the Lord and read hundreds of yoga books in our local public libraries. In preparing this article, I have not read one book which warns against yoga. All book citations in this article are from yoga advocates and practitioners.

To many people, yoga is just the hottest new exercise fad for younger women. Twenty million North Americans are now doing yoga, including around four million men. These twenty million people are currently being trained by over 70,000 yoga practitioners in at least 20,000 North American locations.[1] Many people confuse yoga with simple stretching. Stretching and calisthenics are good things which I participate in weekly at the local gym. Yoga has not cornered the market on healthy stretching and calisthenics. Physical fitness does not begin and end on a yoga mat. I am convinced that we do well when we take care of our bodies as part of our Christian stewardship. God wants us to be healthier in body, mind, and spirit. Continue reading “The Yoga Deception” »

Dr. Steven LambertThe JEZEBEL SPIRIT, is an evil spirit obsessed with domination and obtaining control in realms of authority, that operates through witchcraft/sorcery to achieve its goal. The covert operations of the Jezebel Spirit remains to be one of the most prevalent and dastardly problems in all of Christendom—in families and businesses of believers, churches/ministries, and every other arena of interrelations of believers—as well as in every segment of secular society where human relationships exist. In psychology, the effects produced by this demonic spirit are known as “narcissism,” or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) in clinical cases (see, DSM-IV). While as a deliverance counselor with Doctoral Diplomate Christian Counseling Board Certification, I personally believe effective therapeutic relief from the effects of NPD requires deliverance (casting out of demons), the Mayo Clinic has published an information-rich and enlightening article on NPD, which, due to unusual copyright restrictions I am constrained from citing, that you can read by CLICKING HERE. [See also “How To Identify A Female Narcissist” below this article.] The references in the Bible to two different women with the name “Jezebel” are portrayed by the Spirit as being classic narcissists. Continue reading “Exposing the Jezebel Spirit!” »

Over the course of Church history, change within the Church has been a slow—at times agonizingly slow—process. Despite the great strides the Church has made since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation in 1517 A.D. in ridding false teaching, more yet remains. And false doctrine is far from being the innocuous matter it is viewed as being by many professing believers today.

To merely call idolatry “sin,” though it certainly is, somehow seems an extreme understatement, for it is the ultimate affront unto God. Yet, arguably, it is the most pervasive sin of all today among professing believers. Contributing to the prevalence of idolatry within Christendom, no doubt, is the common perception by many that idolatry is something that occurs only in underdeveloped, far-away, foreign lands, or that it is something relegated mostly to ancient civilizations of past ages, while nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading “The True Nature of Spiritual Idolatry” »

“Covenant Relationships” is a very familiar term bespeaking a commonly accepted concept in Pentecostal/Neo-Pentecostal circles, despite the irrefutable fact that neither the term nor the concepts it represents are found in Scripture and in fact are decidedly unscriptural. Moreover, the concept of human spiritual covenants was resoundingly debunked and denounced by one of the most highly regarded theologians and teachers the Pentecostal and Neo-Pentecostal streams ever had, who emphatically warned that besides the sacred covenant between the Lord and His disciples “the ONLY other valid covenant is that of marriage between a husband and wife,” and that the effect of entering into any other kind of spiritual covenant with humans “will be a CURSE!”

For more than three and a half decades, I’ve been doing all the Lord has allowed, anointed, and enabled me to do to set captives of spiritual authoritarian abuse free from the bonds of witchcraft, or the “yoke of slavery,” in which they are ensnared. I’ve spoken and written extensively in books and articles about the many profound spiritual and psychological effects hyper-authoritarianism inflicts upon its multitudinous victims. Continue reading “The Curse of Unauthorized Covenants” »

By Joseph Mattera

Here is a quote from Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford University in June 2005. (The entire speech is posted on Stanford’s website.)

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Continue reading “Another Gospel — According to Steve Jobs” »

A rather ironic and curious characteristic of the idolatry of false teaching is that essentially it is “zeal without knowledge.” It is quite common for those caught in the throes of deception and false doctrine to be quite zealous and ardent in their spiritual pursuits.

Wherever false teaching is being promulgated, the perpetrators and adherents commonly are fervently dedicated to their church-group and its purposes, beliefs, and goals. In fact, it is this zealousness by participants in aberrant and cult-like religious groups that makes it extremely difficult for concerned observers to: one, fully recognize and realize the existence of error and errancy; two, to take serious the potential for spiritual and psychological injury and ruin; and, three, to recognize the need for and actually effect appropriate remedial action.

Certainly, this is the case with those who are being duped by the fallacious Discipleship/Shepherding doctrines. They are often very zealous and even marginally fanatical in their spiritual pursuits. And, in a day when there is far too little fervency for the things of God, most any of us are understandably reluctant to do anything that might douse the fire of someone who is on fire, ostensibly, for God.

The Apostle Paul, speaking of his fellow countrymen, the Jews, said, “For I bear them witness that they have a ZEAL FOR GOD…” (Rom. 10:2). He was saying that the Jews’ zeal for God was genuine and sincere, and certainly no people had more religious zeal than the Jews until then. Nevertheless, their zeal, he went on to say, was “not in accordance with knowledge.” They had “zeal without knowledge.” Their zeal, though extremely fervent, genuine, and unquestionably sincere, nonetheless, was not founded upon Truth. Continuing, the former Hebrew of Hebrews and Pharisee of Pharisees said:

For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish THEIR OWN, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (vv. 3,4)

How profound and profoundly apropos the issue Paul addresses here is to the matter of idolatrous false teaching in that he specifically juxtaposes “zeal for God” against “the righteousness of God,” which actually is referring to “rightstanding with God,” or in other words how one obtains rightstanding with God.

When Jesus of Nazareth at the age of thirty was revealed as and took on the role of the Christ, He truly became THE (only) Way [to God], THE (only) Truth [all spiritual truth, wisdom, and understanding), and THE (only) [Eternal] Life [in communion and fellowship with God] (Jn. 14:6). From the moment Jesus was revealed as the Christ, the Messiah, the Door into fellowship with the Father, from that very moment, Judaism and the Old Covenant (not to be confused with the Old Testament books of the Bible) was made obsolete. That is to say that from the moment the Christ was manifested, faith in Christ was the ONLY way to rightstanding with God. The absolution of our sins through Jesus’ shed blood became the NEW Covenant, the “new and living way” (Heb. 10:20) by which those who believed in Him were granted free and equal access unto and communion with God.

From then on, the Old Covenant, wherein rightstanding with God was attained by strict adherence to the ordinances of the Mosaic Law, was no longer in effect. Thus, the statement: “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom. 10:4). Christ’s manifestation meant the end of the law in regard to obtaining righteousness, or rightstanding, with God through it. Now, “everyone who BELIEVES has rightstanding with God, “by grace… through faith” (Eph. 2:8).

The obsolescence of the Old Covenant and its replacement by the New Covenant does not mean, however, as some ignorantly surmise, that the Truth God revealed in the writings comprising the books of the Old Testament section of the Bible are now null and void. It was not God or His Truth that changed between the Old Covenant era and the New Covenant era, but rather only the WAY we get to God, that is, the way of attaining unto rightstanding with God.

I always find it fascinating and more than a little ironic that in the very last Old Testament Book, Malachi, God resoundingly declares: “For I am the Lord, I change not !” (Mal. 3:6, KJV). I think the Lord strategically planted that statement in that Book for the very purpose of debunking all the religious theorists’ claims that somehow He changed between the Old and New Covenants. He did not. As the verse implies, He cannot change, because He is the Sovereign and Perfectly Holy Lord. If God were to change His Nature, which is what He is, which is in turn His Word, He could not be God, for mutability signifies prior imperfection. Yet, He is perfectly perfect, and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, without any “shadow of turning.”

Because of the perfection and immutability of the Divine Nature, what God said in the Old Testament writings is just as true and trustworthy now in the New Testament age. “Not one word of ALL his good promises have ever failed” — whether they are in New or Old Testament writings, and regardless of what era He said it in. I unabashedly repeat that the only thing that has changed between the Old Testament and the New is the WAY by which we attain rightstanding with God. Otherwise, what He said and established in the Old Testament is still true in the New Testament dispensation.

If anything God said or established in the Old Testament were to have changed, He surely would have told us. Generally speaking, however, God is not given to superfluity. Redundancy is not a requirement in the realm of God, which is to say that it is not mandatory that God reiterate in the New Testament writings something He said in the Old Testament writings in order for it to be effectual in the New Testament Age. Anything He has ever said is forever settled in Heaven; it is immutable Divine Law, unless He changes it, and when He changes something He publishes that change brazenly and unmistakably. And, the implications and applications of this irrefutable assertion are great in a number of important areas of doctrine under debate and in dispute today in which mere human opinion and religious bias and tradition are being exalted by some above the revealed knowledge of God.

Getting back to the main point inherent in the Apostle Paul’s allusion to the Jews’ “zeal without knowledge,” he said, “not knowing about GOD’S righteousness,” that is to say, the way God had established for the attaining of rightstanding with Him, which is through faith in Jesus the Messiah, not knowing about that, the Jews sought “to establish THEIR OWN,” and “they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.” Now this is the ultimate problem with the idolatry of false teaching and indeed every kind of idolatry — it replaces God’s method for gaining rightstanding with Him, which method is clearly revealed in His Word, with a contrived and incongruous doctrine which has been fashioned and formed in someone’s own human mind.

Not knowing about God’s righteousness, and not wanting to subject themselves to the specific requisites of God’s righteousness, they seek to establish their own. That is precisely what all idolatry is, substituting a false gospel for the true, a false religion for God’s method for righteousness, a false god for the One and Only True God, making a god out of one’s own religious thoughts and contrived religious methodologies. It is genuine zeal for wanting to attain unto God-likeness, but on one’s own terms, without whole surrender and submission unto God Himself and the Way He has established for attainment of that very status.

It is, I understand, difficult to think of zeal as being anything other than a most commendable and desirable trait. But, not always! In fact, there are case stories in the Bible that illustrate very vividly that misplaced zeal can be quite deadly! A prime example is that of King David who with great zealousness for God in attempting to accomplish the extremely noble and virtuous goal of retrieving the Ark of the Covenant and returning it to its proper place of veneration caused one of his most loyal and beloved servants, Uzza, to be struck down dead by God Himself in an outburst of holy wrath, all because David violated certain particulars of God’s established ordinance regarding the method for transportation of the Ark.

David was full of zeal, and his zeal was not for some worldly or self-aggrandizing achievement, but for THE THINGS OF GOD! Nevertheless, his misdirected zeal got a beloved friend killed and invoked the wrath of God, despite all the pageantry, and pomp and circumstance, as David along with all of Israel were praising and “celebrating before God with all their might, even with songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals, and with trumpets” (1 Chron. 13:8).

God tells us that the real life incidences that occurred in Old Testament days “happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor. 10:11). The poignant moral of this story to all of us living at “the ends of the ages” is that as needful and desirable as the fervency of zeal is, zeal, no matter how fervent and fiery, cannot and will not ever supersede the necessity of obedience to God’s already established Word, Will, and Ways, that is, His ordinances.

Even all that we do for and as an offering unto God, must be done or offered up according to the ordinances, according to His Word, Will, and Way. We cannot do it our own way, and have rightstanding with God. Neither can we seek and serve Him according to our own doctrines for seeking and serving Him, and have rightstanding with Him.

When the fleeting vapor of our natural life is over, and we stand before the Righteous Judge to be judged on the basis of our deeds (Rom. 2:6, et al.), faithfulness and obedience to Him will be the standard, not how emotional, fervent, or zealous we were. Zeal never overrides or negates the necessity for obedience of the specific requisites of God’s ordinances. It’s either HIS Way, or NO way!###

Five other highly recommended related articles on Spirit Life Magazine:

[Original Post Date on Real Truth Digest E-zine: 12/19/99]

Editor’s note: This article is adapted from the book, CHARISMATIC CAPTIVATION, by Dr. Steven Lambert. The book exposes the widespread problem of authoritarian abuse in Neo-Pentecostal church-groups, and explains how it became infused into the very fabric, foundation, and functions of the Neo-Pentecostal church arising out of a false movement known as the Discipleship/Shepherding Movement (1970-77). References to “Discipleship” or “Shepherding” (and variables) doctrines, teachings, proponents and participants, and so forth, allude to the pertinences associated with that movement.

Charismatic CaptivationGet Print Book or Ebook

Click To Order Charismatic Captivation, by Steven Lambert

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