The Berean Library

Identifying False Teaching in Christian Bookstores

Ten Good Reasons for Believers to Abstain from Alcohol

 “Drunkenness is the devil’s back door to hell and everything that is hellish. For he that once gives away his brains to drink is ready to be caught by Satan for anything.” ~CH Spurgeon

10)  Inebriation Varies in Measurement:  Intoxication, being stupefied or excited by a chemical substance like alcohol.  For some light-weighted folks this could be achieved with just one drink or less.

9)  Drinking is Unwise:   ”Wine is a mocker and strong drink a brawler, whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).  No doubt drunkenness is clearly a sin and those “who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21).  However, it is also clear that it is UNWISE to FLIRT with the sin of drunkenness/dissipation. A lot of people can’t or don’t want to stop at just one or two drinks.  Alcohol’s powerful substance and effect can easily tempt and lure one down the path of addiction, disease and eventually death.  Death for themselves and others who may die while the drinker is under the influence.

8 )  God Wants His People to be Holy:  We are called to be holy; to reflect the nature of the LORD in Christ (1 Pt 1:13-16).  What part of being drunk, or buzzed at the minimum, reflects God’s holiness?  Alcohol opens the door for the dominoes of licentiousness to fall.  Alcohol is not to blame, necessarily.  Our own willful and depraved sin nature is.  But choosing to engage in mind-altering substances in the first place potentiates, enhances further choices and predicaments for sinfulness to come to mind that otherwise may never have appeared.  Things like adultery, pornography, fornication, homosexuality, theft, false witness, blasphemy, course jesting, crude language, disobedience to parents, breaking the Golden Rule, etc.

7)  An Abstinent Witness:  Before Christ’s ministry, the forerunner who was chosen and called to pave the way for the Messiah, John the Baptist perhaps with the Nazirite vow, did not drink; “no wine touched his lips.”  If someone is drinking, do you tend to take them seriously or not so much?

6)  Continued Abstinence Practiced with a Health-Related Exception:  After Christ returned to His Father, men of the faith, Paul and Timothy, did not drink.  Paul, as Timothy’s spiritual father, only approved  ”a little wine.”  To “no longer drink only water” to treat Timothy’s painful, stomach ailment likely due to typical, contaminated water of the day.  It was common for wine to be added to water as a disinfectant.

5)  Christ’s Rebuke:  Let’s not ignore Jesus’ disdain for his mother’s request to turn the water into wine because “His time was not yet at hand.”  Wine was to become a symbolism at the Lord’s Supper for His soon-to-be-shed-blood, sacrifice and atoning death for the forgiveness of sins. He would direct that cup to pass Him and not drink from it.  Though instructing His disciples, and thus His church, to remember His death with the taking of the broken bread and a sip of wine from the cup, He Himself would not celebrate a complete Passover meal until the Ultimate Wedding Celebration with His Return to earth with His bride.

4)  Christ Refused:  The Lord would not receive a little gall and wine in the midst of His brutal, painful crucifixion to retain all His mental faculties which would prove wise as ministering to the thief on the cross next to Him would occur.  When will we have our next opportunity to witness to beloved family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, perfect strangers?  Will it be in our next hour?  I can assure you, the opportunity is daily for the Great Commission while we are on this earth.  Let’s not allow drinking to snatch that away from us when we are called to be fire snatchers!

3)  Glorify the Lord:  Is obtaining impaired judgment and a loss of senses really glorifying to the Lord when drinking alcohol?  Eat, drink and be merry may be the way the saying goes.  However, Scripture says, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31).

2)  Alcohol is a Strong Distractor and Stumbling Block:  Alcohol is a powerful conductor to opening the door to a deceiving coping mechanism, indulgence.  If a parent-teacher in the faith, as I am, this is not a good exampling to the children we have been entrusted to train up in the Lord, trusting Him alone and leaning not unto our own understanding, or glass(es) of wine for comfort or distraction.   Instead, we are to affix our eyes on Jesus and thank Him in His strength for trials, tribulations, persecutions and fiery ordeals which we are “to count all joy” and that “refine our faith.”  Now for the stumbling block identification from the Bible.  From Romans Chapter 14, verse 21, “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.”  We don’t necessarily know which brother, or sister, we could cause to stumble if they knew we were drinking.  So, best not to drink, or anything that causes weakness in another, thinking of others’ interests more than our own, the profit of others, not our own.

1)  The Trumpet Will Blast:  The Bible says to have a “clear conscious.”  To be “watchful, alert, sober-minded and sober-spirited.” The Lord’s return is imminent!! At any moment, the next thing on God’s calendar is to call His bride to meet Him in the air!!! Ya-Hoooo! Do we want to be less than watchful, alert and sober, during the divine, long-awaited rapture to our Lord and Savior!? Be ready! The time is drawing ever-nearer for the Ultimate Wedding Celebration with He who is called Faithful and His bride, remnant believers.  He who is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  He who is All Joy, All Blessed Hope and Eternal Happiness!  He who is our Sufficient Salvation and our Forever Celebration!

After all is said and done

Beloved sisters in Christ, if we are going to drink, please let’s not divide over this with those who do not and vice versa.  It truly is a matter of conviction of the Holy Spirit and sanctification by His Word.  Not all believers are in the same place in that regard.  Let’s Be WISE and be AWARE of what we are dealing with.  As one can see, this pie has more pieces than just the slice of drunkenness.  This post may even inspire one to think of more good reasons to walk away from  alcohol’s potential, harmful effects.  In fact, I hope it does.  Please note, in offering ten good reasons for consideration to not drink, I wish to make no arguments for a biblical requirement for total abstinence or for it being biblically unlawful to partake.  The only scriptural requirement as said by Jesus, in Jn 3:3,5, is “you must be born again to see/enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I know a beloved and discerning pastor-teacher and author, who lost his pastorate, position of church eldership and teaching, instilling confusion and shock amongst his congregation and family while nearly losing his life!  All because of a severe, secret drinking habit that tail-spinned out of control from a periodic, little glass of sleeping aid.  Praise God for his physical healing and spiritual restoration to continue on in the race with us, bearing good fruit again for Christ.  This has been no easy journey, marked by pain, many tears and prayers I am sure.  He is forgiven of the Lord, we firmly believe, but no doubt paying an inevitable price in consequences.  I pray for continued perseverance by God’s strength and grace.  And that his family, friends and church are all stronger in the faith and in conviction from transforming sanctification, to the glory of God alone.

One of the Least,

-Karla Tadler

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The Harbinger ~ The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future by Jonathan Cahn (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Dr. Gary Gilley’s Review

Brannon Howse’s Review on Worldview Weekend here, here and here

Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s Review

David James’ Review

Dr. Jimmy DeYoung Moderates a Conversation between David James and Jonathan Cahn.  Points of Concern in The Harbinger from David James’ Review are Discussed such as Replacement Theology (America as “New Israel”), Correct Hermeneutics, Spiritualizing Scripture, Correct Biblical Patterns Application, Signs, New Prophecy/New Revelation, etc., etc.

Thomas Ice’s Review

Apprising Ministries’ Review here and here

TA McMahon’s Review

Berit Kjos’ Review

 Dr. Gary Gilley’s Endorsement for
David James’ Book, The Harbinger:  Fact or Fiction?
 

 

From The Berean Call website (below) David James’ Book, The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? 
 Available on Kindle
“This exclusive new book from The Berean Call encourages—and enables—readers to separate fact from fiction!

In  The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?  author David James exhaustively documents and responds to the serious flaws found throughout the New York Times best-seller from Charisma Media,  The Harbinger . Messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn believes he has discovered an “ancient mystery” in Isaiah:9:10 that “explains everything from 9/11 to the collapse of the global economy.” As Cahn states at the beginning of his book “What you are about to read is presented in the form of a story, but what is contained within the story is real.” Many have accepted Cahn’s message as being genuinely from God. However, David James has clearly demonstrated that  The Harbinger  falls far short of meeting the biblical requirements for such a message from God, being based on the mishandling of Scripture, faulty theology, misleading statements, the selective use of historical facts, and unsupported speculation.

What others are saying about  The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? :

  • “James has written this book not merely to expose error but to keep God’s people from being led astray. I believe he has accomplished these goals.” — Gary E. Gilley, Senior Pastor, Southern View Chapel, Springfield, Illinois
  • “This book gives the reader a detailed, point-by-point analysis challenging [ The Harbinger ]. James does this with clear bilical methodology while avoiding personal attacks.” — Paul Barreca, Teaching Pastor, Faith Bible Church, Vineland, New Jersey
  • “David James has done an excellent job in this review of . . .  The Harbinger , [taking] a crucial look at the biblical aspects.” — Jimmy DeYoung, President and Founder, Prophecy Today
  • “David James has used true discernment, extensive research, and biblical hermeneutics to reveal the dangerous message of   The Harbinger [and its] extra-biblical revelation.” — Brannon Howse, President and Founder, Worldview Weekend
  • “Anyone interested in  The Harbinger needs to note [its] numerous errors…as presented in James’s excellent analysis.” — Roy B. Zuck, Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary
  • “Dave James provides a fair biblical analysis for anyone wanting scrutiny of The Harbinger. I commend James’s book . . . for those seeking the truth rather than popularity.”  — Tommy Ice, Executive Director, Pre-Trib Research Center

From the Foreword:

Jesus characterized the days prior to His return by telling His disciples: “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew:24:4), and followed that by warning that the deceptions of the last days would be so overwhelming that “if possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew:24:24). What is the antidote for believers? It’s quite simple. They must be disciplined in their reading and living out the instructions of God’s Word. They must have a love for the Truth. They must become like the Bereans of Acts:17:10-11, who were commended for searching the Scriptures daily as they evaluated the preaching and teaching of the Apostle Paul.

To that end, David James has written an excellent book that will encourage every believer who reads it to grow in discernment at a time when that is greatly lacking among those who profess to be biblical Christians. If anyone thinks this is simply a critique of a popular book that has reached the top of the New York Times best-seller list, he will miss the true value of what James has written. It’s a short but very full course on biblical discernment that is a lesson to all of us on how we should evaluate everything we read that claims to teach about the things of God. —T. A. McMahon

About the author — David James is co-founder and Executive Director of The Alliance for Biblical Integrity (ABI). Dave earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and his masters in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. He also holds a diploma in Biblical Studies from the Word of Life Bible Institute. Dave’s ministry with ABI includes an extensive international teaching and preaching schedule in Bible institutes, seminaries, and conferences, as well as research and writing on current theological issues. He served with Word of Life Fellowship for 21 years, with 16 of those years as the Founding Director of the Word of Life Bible Institute in Hungary. In addition to directing ABI, Dave also directs and teaches in the School of Prophets (a ministry of Prophecy Today and Louisiana Baptist University, directed by Jimmy DeYoung) which offers masters and doctoral degrees in advanced eschatological studies. He has also taught as an adjunct professor of Bible for Grace College in the Indiana state prison system. Dave is actively involved in their local church where he serves on the board and frequently teaches. He and Karen were married in 1980 and have two grown children, a daughter-in-law, and one granddaughter.”

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Have Heart ~Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth by Steve and Sarah Berger (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Herescope’s Review, by Pastor Larry DeBruyn

Marcia Montenegro’s Review:  “Have Caution with Have Heart

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Euphemisms for The Lord’s Name: To Use or Not to Use? That is the Question… for Christians

 

My sisters in Christ, Dr. John MacArthur is preparing to finish a three-part series, at Grace Community Church (Oct 2011).  One of the titles in the series being “Modern Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.”  I have not heard the first two parts of the series, yet, but can imagine false teaching/teachers have a lot to contribute somewhere in this teaching.  As usual, I am looking forward to diving into this study!  Along with that, Dr. MacArthur’s title above brought to mind a peripheral issue I have given lots of thought to, already.  I’ve been writing this post in my head, so to speak, for at least a year.  Euphemisms for the Lord’s name ~to use or not to use?  That is the question… for Christians.

Certainly, there are many kinds of  words that unleash and express anger, wrath, malice, slander, abuse and false witness (Col 3:8-9) that are clearly sinful and contrary to “putting on the new self” in Christ.  Harsh, vulgar, hate-filled language that believers are called to “put off” in Eph 4, 5 and Col 3, for example.

In Eph 5:4, “and there must be no filthiness, and silly talk, or course jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”

And Eph 4:29, “let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only that which is good for edification.”

Filthy, crude language, has one variation or another to weaken its unwholesomeness.  They’re called euphemisms, or minced oaths.  However, we know what the undiluted versions are, regardless.  And in some cases, so do our kids.  Now, there’s a thought!  Not only is it a command from the Lord to clean up our verbs, nouns and adjectives as part of putting on the new self; for He is holy and He calls us to be holy, first and foremost (Lev 19:2; 1 Pt 1:16; James 4:4).  But also because our kids are listening and learning from us, more than anyone else, how to be or not be pleasing to the Lord.

So, is it good advice, as is often the case, to use euphemisms instead of the literal word(s)?

The watered-down versions aren’t really much better than the fully concentrated ones.  They are still course, unwholesome, disrespectful and breed aggressiveness. How many of us honestly want our children saying things like:  ”What the heck?”  or “Where’s my frickin’ gym shoes?”  or “Our God is so stinkin’ awesome!”  Not that I want to set us up as examples that could possibly be perfect in the here and now. Christ is our perfect example.  Only, let’s persevere, by God’s grace, to not be examples of unrepentant hypocrisy.  As in, “Do as I say, not as I do (or say).”  Striving to be parent-teachers and models of such perseverance in Christ; of godly sorrow, a repentance without regret, which leads to salvation (2 Cor 7:9-11).

Some may be responding to this as being too serious and sober about slang.  Allow me to press further to the slang usage of God’s holy name which is a monumental and delicate issue to Him, in the top 3 of The 10 Commandments!  If it is to Him, then it is to His people as well.

Thus, this question:  Are euphemisms, or minced oaths, of God’s name any more wholesome, or OK for us to employ, because their sharp edge of blatant blasphemy has been dulled? In regards to euphemisms where do we draw the line?  This is a provocative question, to say the least.  I am not aware of this topic ever being openly addressed in the church.  I think it is profitable for us to give their origins our consideration.

For instance,  ”Oh my gosh,” is the euphemism for the blasphemous, “Oh my G**!”  Gosh is not God’s name, of course, like we see in the biblical sampling in the picture above, but that is where we got this word, in 1757.  Other euphemisms for “God” are “golly,” “goodness,” and “gad” all equally on the same plane.  Euphemisms for “Jesus” and “Jesus Christ,” include “gee,” “jeez,”  ”cheese-n-rice” or “Jiminy Cricket,” which was made popular by The Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney’s Pinocchio.  Sacré bleu,”one meaning being “God’s blood,” is used by Lumière in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and in Disney’s Aristocats.  (Warning-extreme caution–do not click the next link if you don’t wish to inform yourself of the vast variations.  Just skip over it.  Then again you may be saying some of these and not realizing that what you are saying is from the Lord’s name and/or attributes.  That is why I am providing this next research link.  Again, warning, it will be offensive.) These are just some examples among the many minced oaths of God’s holy name.

The LORD God is holy.  This is one of His attributes.  It is how we address, recognize, adore and cry out to our God.  It should  not be used to describe a cow, mackerel, crap, smoke, molé, etc.  Robin, of the Dynamic Duo, made the “Holy ——, Batman!”  interjections popular in the 60′s with a lingering influence to our day, no doubt!  Then there’s the minced oaths of God’s name blended with minced oaths of profanity.  It all makes me cringe to say the least!

Euphemisms for the Lord’s name or attributes, by definition, try to accomplish not being offensive.  They are supposed to be the opposite of a blaspheme, but really are not as we just saw.  Further, there are these “my —-” statements that should be considered as well.  ”My word!”  No, it’s not ours, its His.  Or “Oh my stars!” Again, they’re not our stars, they’re His.

Most Christians don’t really think twice about using the watered-down versions of blasphemy since they are such a part of our contemporary language and culture, even in the church.  In fact, it is in the Christian community that we get the impression we are to use them!  Little Johnny’s mother corrects him saying, “Use ‘Oh my gosh!’ instead of ‘Oh my G**!”‘  However, if we research their origins, place that information under the lense of Scripture and pray about it, which is what I want to encourage, not divide over, we may no longer mindlessly use such phrases, desiring to remove them from our vocabularies, altogether.

Our depravity, fallen sin nature, surely is the cause when we’re inclined to respond with interjections like “my” statements and unholy euphemisms of God’s name (watered-down blasphemy).  The only thing we can rightly claim are “filthy rags” (Isa 64:6).  ”My filthy rags, my wretchedness” is spot on.  My challenge to us, is to try using something else like “Man-o-man,” “Boy-o-boy” or  ”Wow!”  If you start out with “Oh,” it more than likely will not end well.  It will feel unnatural to just leave it at “Oh.”  I promise, if you go with “Oh,” you’re going to say one of the popular euphemisms for God’s name out of sheer habit, “Oh my gosh, golly, gad or goodness” is going to slip right out.

Bottom line:  What is pleasing to the Lord?  Is the use of unbiblical euphemisms, sacrilegious mutations, of God’s name OK with our Holy God?  Does using these man-made euphemisms set us a part somehow from the world’s unwatered-down, hard-core versions?  Or is not using these choice words that are derived from blasphemy one way to please the Lord and be holy as He has called His people to be?   I would submit that it’s a learned habit that believers would be blessed to break, to the glory and blessing of the Lord and His holiness, with our hearts turned to Him; not in vain, shallow appearance.

In conclusion, all our words have origins that they are derived from, Greek, Latin, French, etc., which gives them their meanings.   Since it is “God” that such euphemisms, or minced oaths, are derived from it is clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt, without question.  Based on their origins and commands of God in His Word, these irreverent euphemisms are blasphemous at the maximum and at the minimum.  So much so, that one may actually say His holy, biblical name in vain.  Yikes!  If a professing Christian is using the actual name(s) of the Lord, disrespectfully, or without meaning, go and examine your faith (2 Cor 13:5).

Trying to Learn What is Pleasing to the Lord in All Respects (Eph 5:10; Col 1:10),

-Karla Tadler

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Rome Sweet Rome ~Our Journey to Catholicism by Scott and Kimberly Hahn (Bad Fruit)

   Biblical Resources:

Simply, providential that I caught Mike Gendron’s, “Remembering the Reformation,” from last Sunday, Oct 31, 2011, in my Facebook newsfeed this week.  Meanwhile, Dr. Gilley just published, today, two, new book reviews that are astounding examples of what Mike Gendron was highlighting just days earlier in his message.  Mr. Gendron and his wife attend  Grace Life Church of Dallas.

For another example, besides the authors of this book, take ecumenical, evangelical Chuck Colson, of Break Point Christian Radio.  He wrote The Body, in 1994, to heighten the cause of infusing the Catholic religion into the church of believers, by referring to Catholics as “our brothers and sisters in Christ,” etc.  He was a main proponent for the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration, in 2009, which continues to promote unity between evangelicals and Catholics by utilizing moral and social issues as the catalyst, not the Gospel.  I am thankful Dr. John MacArthur was not one of its signatories, an uncompromising stance for what is true and loving.  A godly example that needs to be forefront when believers are faced with decisions whether or not to become interfaith.

Evangelicals are dangerously heading back to Rome.  Brethren, be sober and take heed of this apostasaical movement that is ramping up in recent days!  It rejects the “narrow path” of the True Gospel of faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, according to the Scriptures alone, all to the glory of God alone.  This popular false movement, partnered by the Emergent Church Movement (ECM), is one part of the “wide path” that leads to destruction; back to the man-made, self-righteous, idolatrous traditions of Babylon.

Dr. Gary Gilley’s Review

Mike Gendron’s Message on God’s Providential Reformation-The Five Solas

 

 

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Born Fundamentalist Born Again Catholic by David B. Currie (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Simply, providential that I caught Mike Gendron’s, “Remembering the Reformation,” from last Sunday, Oct 31, 2011, in my Facebook newsfeed this week.  Meanwhile, Dr. Gilley just published, today, two, new book reviews that are astounding examples of what Mr. Gendron was highlighting just days earlier in his message.  Mr. Gendron and his wife attend  Grace Life Church of Dallas.

For another example, besides the author of this book, take ecumenical evangelical Chuck Colson, of Break Point Christian Radio.  He wrote The Body, in 1994, to heighten the cause of infusing the Catholic religion into the church of believers, by referring to Catholics as “our brothers and sisters in Christ,” etc.  He was a main proponent for the ecumenical Manhattan Declaration, in 2009, which continues to promote unity between evangelicals and Catholics by utilizing moral and social issues as the catalyst, not the Gospel.  I am thankful Dr. John MacArthur was not one of its signatories, an uncompromising stance for what is true and loving.  A godly example that needs to be forefront when believers are faced with decisions whether or not to become interfaith.

Evangelicals are dangerously heading back to Rome.  Brethren, be sober and take heed of this apostasaical movement that is ramping up in recent days!  It rejects the “narrow path” of the True Gospel of faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone, according to the Scriptures alone, all to the glory of God alone.  This popular false movement, partnered by the Emergent Church Movement (ECM), is one part of the “wide path” that leads to destruction; back to the man-made, self-righteous, idolatrous traditions of Babylon.

 Dr. Gary Gilley’s Review

Mike Gendron’s Message on God’s Providential Reformation-The Five Solas

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The Harry Potter Book Series by J. K. Rowling (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

As stated in the “Disclaimers and Copyright” page, this occult fantasy series, by J. K. Rowling, will be posted in The Berean Library® for access to the helpful book reviews which reveal the spiritual dangers of such material.  Marcia Montenegro, who offers these reviews (below), is a former professional astrologer, New Ager and practicing occultist.  You can read more about her background here.

Harry Potter is not typical merchandise sold in Christian bookstores, of course. Then again, there is at least one named  Logos Bookstore, in Oak Park, IL, that does!

The bottom line:  God calls His people to be holy like Him; set apart from the wickedness of the world (Leviticus 19:2; 1 Pt 1:16; James 4:4).  Believers are not to have anything to do with sorcery (magic), witchcraft (divination) or necromancy (consulting mediums, spiritists for communicating with the dead) (Lv 19:26; Dt. 18:9-14; Isa 8:19; Gal 5:20; Rev  21:8).  Such things are “detestable” to the LORD.  They are ”evil” and “provoke the LORD to anger” as Manasseh did (2 Ch 33:6).

Sisters, we are encouraged from 1 Jn 5:4 to be an overcomer of the world and all its temptations and distractions that wage war against us and our souls, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.”  And that faith is the eternal gift of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 6:23), which is joined with repentance (Acts 20:21).

Marcia Montenegro’s Reviews, From Christian Answers for the New Age (CANA):

1)  Harry Potter, Sorcery and Fantasy:  Book 1

2)  Harry Potter, A Journey to Power:  Books 2, 3, and 4 

3)  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:  Book 5    

4)  The Harry Potter Books:  Just Fantasy?    

Also recommended is Marcia’s book, Spellbound ~The Paranormal Seduction of Today’s Kids

 

 

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The Final Quest by Rick Joyner (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Let Us Reason’s Review

SO4J-TV & Video Productions False Visits to Heaven or Hell

See Also:  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (Bad Fruit)

Excerpt:  ”As always, the problems with these stories is that they undermine the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture while also being contrary to Scripture. One way this is so is the mere attempt to cite and write about such an ‘episode.’ In 2 Cor 12:1-10, Paul’s humble account was written in third person in obedience to God; to not brag or “be credited with more” while remaining controlled in the Spirit to not boast. Paul stated that even if he did boast he would not be a fool, for it really happened, as recorded in and for the Holy Spirit-inspired, authoritative writings of the Bible. Paul wrote of his experience that he “did not know if it was in the body or out of the body,” but that nonetheless, it assuredly happened, again as written in the Word of God. Later on, in the 2 Cor 12 passage, he was given a “thorn in the flesh” for further humbling purposes by the Lord, to keep him from “exalting” himself. The lesson from Paul’s thorn is that God’s grace is sufficient! We are to be content in our weaknesses and sufferings for Christ, which indicate that “Christ dwells in us.” For when we are weak then He is strong. Praise the Lord!

Not only was Paul’s overall humble description of his account to heaven true as found in the Bible, and therefore “not foolish,” but also that his visit was “inexpressible.” Meaning that it was not for this apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, who wrote 13, or possibly 14 books, of the 27 New Testament books, to be permitted to share it beyond a godly restraint. It was not to be revealed with detail or pridefulness.

[Updated (10-27-11) with further admonishment to reject the tale in this book, and all others like it, as truth]  Beware of trusting anyone who is claiming to have new revelation of truth from God. God has authored a closed Canon of Scripture. The Bible is His complete, authoritative, binding, infallible, inerrant, divine, sufficient, supreme and plenary revelation. And since the time it was closed (Jude 3), the 66 books of the Bible is how God speaks to us and allows us to experience the study and knowledge of Him (Eph 5:15-17; Col 1:9, 2 Tim 2:15). We are to turn to His Word, look to Him and trust Him for all truth (Jn 17:17), not anyone or anything or any experience that is contrary to His Book. The last revelation of Christ was given by God to another apostle, John, in the book of Revelation.

Consider, also, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, from Luke 16:19-31, as another admonishment for Sola Scriptura, as well as what is not allowed by God. The rich man, who died and went to Hades, asked Abraham to send Lazarus, who died and went heaven, to warn the rich man’s family about how real the torment, God’s wrath, is and to repent. Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament); let them hear them… If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (another emphasis for Scripture, back-to-back), they will not be persuaded even if someone comes back from the dead.” (emphasis and parenthesis mine)

Further, after His resurrection from the dead, while on the road to Emmaus, Christ employed Sola Scriptura, not His experience, again with those who were being “foolish” and “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken…. Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (emphasis mine) Later their eyes were opened and they recognized Him while He was breaking and blessing the bread. Reflecting back while walking on the road with Jesus, they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32) What a profound illustration is “hearts burning within us” when one is hearing God’s truth and yet not understanding it or accepting it.

Paul said to be “imitators of me,” in 1 Cor 4:16 and again in 1 Cor 11:1 because he, himself, is an imitator of Christ. May we carry out this command as well for Christ’s sake, in every area of our lives, by the grace and truth of God, for His glory.”

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Heaven ~Close Encounters of the God Kind by Jesse Duplantis (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

SO4J-TV & Video Productions False Visits to Heaven or Hell

See Also:  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (Bad Fruit)

Excerpt:  ”As always, the problems with these stories is that they undermine the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture while also being contrary to Scripture. One way this is so is the mere attempt to cite and write about such an ‘episode.’ In 2 Cor 12:1-10, Paul’s humble account was written in third person in obedience to God; to not brag or “be credited with more” while remaining controlled in the Spirit to not boast. Paul stated that even if he did boast he would not be a fool, for it really happened, as recorded in and for the Holy Spirit-inspired, authoritative writings of the Bible. Paul wrote of his experience that he “did not know if it was in the body or out of the body,” but that nonetheless, it assuredly happened, again as written in the Word of God. Later on, in the 2 Cor 12 passage, he was given a “thorn in the flesh” for further humbling purposes by the Lord, to keep him from “exalting” himself. The lesson from Paul’s thorn is that God’s grace is sufficient! We are to be content in our weaknesses and sufferings for Christ, which indicate that “Christ dwells in us.” For when we are weak then He is strong. Praise the Lord!

Not only was Paul’s overall humble description of his account to heaven true as found in the Bible, and therefore “not foolish,” but also that his visit was “inexpressible.” Meaning that it was not for this apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, who wrote 13, or possibly 14 books, of the 27 New Testament books, to be permitted to share it beyond a godly restraint. It was not to be revealed with detail or pridefulness.

[Updated (10-27-11) with further admonishment to reject the tale in this book, and all others like it, as truth]  Beware of trusting anyone who is claiming to have new revelation of truth from God. God has authored a closed Canon of Scripture. The Bible is His complete, authoritative, binding, infallible, inerrant, divine, sufficient, supreme and plenary revelation. And since the time it was closed (Jude 3), the 66 books of the Bible is how God speaks to us and allows us to experience the study and knowledge of Him (Eph 5:15-17; Col 1:9, 2 Tim 2:15). We are to turn to His Word, look to Him and trust Him for all truth (Jn 17:17), not anyone or anything or any experience that is contrary to His Book. The last revelation of Christ was given by God to another apostle, John, in the book of Revelation.

Consider, also, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, from Luke 16:19-31, as another admonishment for Sola Scriptura, as well as what is not allowed by God. The rich man, who died and went to Hades, asked Abraham to send Lazarus, who died and went heaven, to warn the rich man’s family about how real the torment, God’s wrath, is and to repent. Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament); let them hear them… If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (another emphasis for Scripture, back-to-back), they will not be persuaded even if someone comes back from the dead.” (emphasis and parenthesis mine)

Further, after His resurrection from the dead, while on the road to Emmaus, Christ employed Sola Scriptura, not His experience, again with those who were being “foolish” and “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken…. Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (emphasis mine) Later their eyes were opened and they recognized Him while He was breaking and blessing the bread. Reflecting back while walking on the road with Jesus, they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32) What a profound illustration is “hearts burning within us” when one is hearing God’s truth and yet not understanding it or accepting it.

Paul said to be “imitators of me,” in 1 Cor 4:16 and again in 1 Cor 11:1 because he, himself, is an imitator of Christ. May we carry out this command as well for Christ’s sake, in every area of our lives, by the grace and truth of God, for His glory.”

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Heaven Is So Real by Choo Thomas (Bad Fruit)

Biblical Resources:

Let Us Reason’s Review

More on Choo Thomas’ False Teachings by Let Us Reason 

SO4J-TV & Video Productions False Visits to Heaven or Hell

See Also:  Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo (Bad Fruit)

Excerpt:  ”As always, the problems with these stories is that they undermine the sufficiency and supremacy of Scripture while also being contrary to Scripture. One way this is so is the mere attempt to cite and write about such an ‘episode.’ In 2 Cor 12:1-10, Paul’s humble account was written in third person in obedience to God; to not brag or “be credited with more” while remaining controlled in the Spirit to not boast. Paul stated that even if he did boast he would not be a fool, for it really happened, as recorded in and for the Holy Spirit-inspired, authoritative writings of the Bible. Paul wrote of his experience that he “did not know if it was in the body or out of the body,” but that nonetheless, it assuredly happened, again as written in the Word of God. Later on, in the 2 Cor 12 passage, he was given a “thorn in the flesh” for further humbling purposes by the Lord, to keep him from “exalting” himself. The lesson from Paul’s thorn is that God’s grace is sufficient! We are to be content in our weaknesses and sufferings for Christ, which indicate that “Christ dwells in us.” For when we are weak then He is strong. Praise the Lord!

Not only was Paul’s overall humble description of his account to heaven true as found in the Bible, and therefore “not foolish,” but also that his visit was “inexpressible.” Meaning that it was not for this apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, who wrote 13, or possibly 14 books, of the 27 New Testament books, to be permitted to share it beyond a godly restraint. It was not to be revealed with detail or pridefulness.

[Updated (10-27-11) with further admonishment to reject the tale in this book, and all others like it, as truth]  Beware of trusting anyone who is claiming to have new revelation of truth from God. God has authored a closed Canon of Scripture. The Bible is His complete, authoritative, binding, infallible, inerrant, divine, sufficient, supreme and plenary revelation. And since the time it was closed (Jude 3), the 66 books of the Bible is how God speaks to us and allows us to experience the study and knowledge of Him (Eph 5:15-17; Col 1:9, 2 Tim 2:15). We are to turn to His Word, look to Him and trust Him for all truth (Jn 17:17), not anyone or anything or any experience that is contrary to His Book. The last revelation of Christ was given by God to another apostle, John, in the book of Revelation.

Consider, also, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, from Luke 16:19-31, as another admonishment for Sola Scriptura, as well as what is not allowed by God. The rich man, who died and went to Hades, asked Abraham to send Lazarus, who died and went heaven, to warn the rich man’s family about how real the torment, God’s wrath, is and to repent. Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets (the Old Testament); let them hear them… If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets (another emphasis for Scripture, back-to-back), they will not be persuaded even if someone comes back from the dead.” (emphasis and parenthesis mine)

Further, after His resurrection from the dead, while on the road to Emmaus, Christ employed Sola Scriptura, not His experience, again with those who were being “foolish” and “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken…. Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (emphasis mine) Later their eyes were opened and they recognized Him while He was breaking and blessing the bread. Reflecting back while walking on the road with Jesus, they said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32) What a profound illustration is “hearts burning within us” when one is hearing God’s truth and yet not understanding it or accepting it.

Paul said to be “imitators of me,” in 1 Cor 4:16 and again in 1 Cor 11:1 because he, himself, is an imitator of Christ. May we carry out this command as well for Christ’s sake, in every area of our lives, by the grace and truth of God, for His glory.” ~(excerpt) Karla Tadler


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