TAKING EVERY “ISM” CAPTIVE

 
By Stephen Colin   23 November 2017

Every kind of false teaching comes in the form of a pre-packaged ideology which is designed to lure people away from the Written Word of God and into error and delusion. Unfortunately large parts of the visible church have fallen prey to these ideologies which explains why there is a famine in the land for the hearing of the Word of God!

Socialism, feminism, capitalism, communism, mormonism… The English language is full of ‘isms’! The suffix ‘ism’ entered the English language in the 1600’s and by the 1900’s was being used specifically to signify a pre-packaged ideology. You might be thinking… Thanks for the English lesson, but what does this have to do with Christianity!? This has a lot to do with Christianity, in fact this has much to do with what we find eroding the foundations of biblical Christianity. Let me narrow it down. This has a lot to do with what we find waging war against the mind of every true Christian. An ideology is a system of ideas and beliefs. Over the course of Church history Satan and his spokesmen have formulated numerous pre-packaged ideologies with the two main purposes: 1. To keep the unregenerate blinded to the Gospel and comfortably on the wide road to hell. 2. To lead believers astray in order to make them ineffective in the proclamation of the true gospel which is the only message that saves. We should be grateful for the ‘isms’ because they help us to identify these ideologies and deal with them accordingly.

They are not always easy to identify, however, once you begin to dig beneath the surface it becomes evident that Satan has only re-packaged old ideologies in new boxes. It’s like a South African walking into the cereal aisle in an American grocery store. There are so many different kinds of cereal that choosing one can become an impossible and painful task. However, once you realize that many are just offshoots of a specific kind then the choice becomes easier. Much false teaching within the Church today is just an offshoot of something the Church has already identified and exposed sometime in in the past, which makes the study of Church history all the more important. Let me simplify it this way: Every kind of false teaching comes in the form of a pre-packaged ideology which is designed to lure people away from the Written Word of God and into error and delusion. Unfortunately large parts of the visible church have fallen prey to these ideologies which explains why there is a famine in the land for the hearing of the Word of God! This series will look at some of the more popular ‘isms’ which are causing the most damage to the Church and also call every true believer to stand up and ‘put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.’ (Ephesians 6:11) This is essentially a call to take every ‘ism’ captive.

The Apostle Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians provides us with invaluable insight into how we are to obey this charge. In Chapter 10 as he begins to defend his apostleship and ministry against false teachers he writes in verse 3 to 5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…”  These arguments and lofty opinions are ideas and speculations, which are ‘isms’ that raise themselves up against the knowledge of God and the Gospel. We don’t play around with these ‘isms’. We don’t entertain these ‘isms’. Paul makes it clear, we destroy these ‘isms’ by taking them captive. We do this by uncovering the christian veneer which makes them so deceptive by using ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…’ making them obedient to Christ. We expose them using Scripture and we replace the error with truth. Let’s remember that when we are dealing with false teaching our only weapon is the Word of God. The more we know our weapon, the better we will be at wielding it for the sake of our own souls and the souls of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our motivation for doing so must always be rooted in a love for Christ, which manifests itself in a desire to obey Him, that we might ‘save others by snatching them out of the fire.’ If we get our motivation wrong we might become like noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.
Coming back to the ‘isms’. The question that needs to be asked is: What are some of the most prominent ‘isms’ which need to be taken captive today?
There are too many to deal with in one series, so I have decided to focus on four which I believe are most dangerous to the church in 2017:
  1. Quietism
  2. Sentimentalism
  3. Antinomianism
  4. Legalism

In the next couple of weeks we will deal with each ‘ism’ individually. Today let’s have a look at the first one, Quietism.

What is Quietism?
Quietism is an offshoot of mysticism. Mysticism is complex. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes it this way: the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience. The ‘christian’ mystic is one who seeks an experience with Christ, to hear Christ speak through means apart from the Written Word of God with one of those means being Quietism. When we think of centering prayer, soaking prayer or a Rhema word from God we are most likely dealing with Quietism. Now immediately the Charismatic/NAR movement comes to mind. Quietism is indeed a major part of the NAR as they seek to hear God speak apart from Scripture, however it’s important we understand that this is not only a part of aberrant movements like the NAR or what I call the silly seeker sensitive movement. This has crept its way into seemingly solid churches which is what makes it so dangerous. Nathan Busenitz provides a helpful description when he writes, “Quietism—also called “higher living”—is an approach to the spiritual life that emphasizes “letting go and letting God.” It often borders on a strange dualism, where the physical world is considered frail and transient, while the spiritual world is the home of truth and joy. In quietism, prayer is stressed as the emptying of the mind to just “rest” in the presence of God. It presents the clear mind as the opposite of worry, and the spiritual mind is the one that is still, almost disconnected from the physical world around it.” That sounds very much like another ‘ism’ which the Church has dealt with, Gnosticism. The ‘presence of God’ is a big emphasis in quietism, however once we peel back the ‘christianize’ we see it for what it is: An unbiblical practice with its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism!  Quietism teaches that sinless perfection and inner peace can be achieved through contemplation and experience with the Divine. Now replace those empty words with some ‘christianese’ and you get this: “I believe you can look at solitude, community, and ministry as three disciplines by which we create space for God. If we create space in which God can act and speak, something surprising will happen. You and I are called to these disciplines if we want to be disciples.” That’s a direct quote from deceased but popular catholic mystic, Henri Nouwen, pictured below.
 Photograph of Henri Nouwen in the 1990s taken by Frank Hamilton.
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You may say, “well he’s a catholic, so no big deal”. Other than the fact that many so-called protestants are promoting unity with the Catholic church (so much for the reformation), the problem is that popular teachers within mainstream evangelicalism embrace and promote Nouwen’s teachings! For example Rick Warren quoted him in a tweet which read, “Hiddenness is the place of purification. In hiddenness we find our true selves.”
….

What does that even mean! Might as well have said “shabashabashaba.” Both have the same depth of meaning and substance. Tim Keller also quotes Nouwen in a tweet which reads, “Our brokenness has no other beauty but the beauty that comes from the compassion that surrounds it.”

No comment on that one. If you figure out what it means please let me know.
So is Quietism biblical? Is the version of prayer which suggests we need to quiet and empty our minds in order to hear from and experience God biblical? The answer is an emphatic NO! You will not find this taught anywhere in the Bible. Someone may quote Psalm 46:10, which reads “Be still and know that I am God” and claim that they have Biblical support, however that verse has nothing to do with Quietism. If you study that verse in context you’ll find out very quickly that Psalm 46:10 is not a verse you should be applying to yourself unless you would like to experience the wrath of God. That verse is a warning to all the nations that oppose God and his people. God is saying “Be still”. In other words, ’Shut up!”, “Stop your fighting!” and KNOW THAT I AM GOD! The call for stillness before the Lord is not a preparation for worship or prayer, but for impending judgment.
…..
Quietism is an imposter in the church which must be quieted (pun intended). Quietism erodes the mind of the Christian because it draws the Christian away from the Written Word of God and causes the Christian to trust his/her subjective feelings rather that the objective truth of Scripture. Quietism erodes the Gospel because it causes people to believe that there is truth within them, rather than recognizing that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick…” Instead of drawing us closer to Christ, Quietism only draws us away from Christ who paid the price upon the cross by bleeding, suffering, satisfying the wrath of God in our place, dying and raising from the dead so that a Holy and just God could forgive and justify wicked, hell-bound sinners like us. Quietism provides a false peace and draws us away from the true peace we so desperately need with God, which only comes through union with our Lord Jesus Christ. Quietism practically denies the sufficiency and authority of scripture, even if those who practice it claim that scripture is sufficient. Don’t be fooled. Rather take this ‘ism’ captive and make it obedient to Christ.

THE FRUITS OF BETHEL CHURCH – ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL, FLIRTING WITH THE OCCULT

By Rick Becker  16 November 2017

The false doctrines of Bethel church are well documented.  Word of faith heresy, prosperity gospel, dominion theology and mysticism are part and parcel of Bethel’s “gospel”   Bill Johnson & co claim to be agents for heaven invading earth; however the only invasion they are facilitating is that of false teaching in the visible church.  We examine the fruits of the Bethel School Of Supernatural Ministry based on an a testimony from a BSSM student which was published on the BSSM official school planting page.

The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) is headed by false prophet Kris Vallotton,  “Senior Associate Leader of Bethel Church and co-founder of BSSM.”  Their mission is to “equip and deploy revivalists who passionately pursue world-wide transformation in their God given spheres of influence. Students are trained to continue in the ministry style of Jesus: to enjoy the presence of God, say what He is saying, and do what He is doing.”  This is in alignment with the dominion theology of the New Apostolic Reformation – the transformation of the world through conquering the seven spheres of society.  When it comes to evangelism, Bethel promotes signs and wonders, or “encounters with God” as a means to save the lost.  The preaching of the true gospel is foreign to Bethel.  It has been replaced with an ear tickling message that elevates self and has replaced the cross with a throne.  Bethel’s “gospel” consists of a smorgasbord of errors –  word of faith heresy, the prosperity gospel, dominion theology, false signs and wonders, and mysticism to name a few.

Jesus himself condemned those who were always seeking after a sign, and was never deceived by those who “believed in him” because of his own miracles:Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25
Furthermore, scripture clearly warns of the role of false signs and wonders in the last days: The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

The official BSSM school planting page, recently posted this article (15th of November 2017) What you will read should infuriate and sadden you at the same time.  This is the fruit of a church that is deceiving thousands of biblically illiterate people – many of them desperate to create a legacy for themselves by shifting atmospheres, making declarations, performing miracles, and ushering in what they believe is the kingdom of God.  Heaven has not invaded Bethel; deception has.  Please note: I know that there are some believers at BSSM.  They love God, are passionate about serving him, and are willing to go wherever they need to in order to preach the gospel.  Sadly, their passion is without discernment, and if they truly want to serve and honor God, they will have to come out of this church and the BSSM.  Hopefully, this article will be an eye opener to the fruits of  the BSSM.

The article contains “lessons God taught” Jim, a third year BSSM student from Medowie, Australia. From the article:

Jim: “God Is More Concerned with Hearts than Our Expectations – The first time I really noticed this was when I ministered undercover at a psychic fair. We offered dream interpretations, healings, and spirit readings (prophetic words). Sadly, many of the attendees had been hurt by Christians and the Church, so we used language that was not religious or would cause them to put walls up. We built rapport by just loving them. They eventually figured out we were Christians, but without us saying anything.”

At the outset, any believer should be concerned!  Are we called to minister undercover to the extent that we compromise the gospel?  Are we taught to masquerade as psychic readers?  When Paul was in Athens, a city full of idolatry and philosophies, “he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection” and boldly declared: The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
Repentance and judgement are key elements of the gospel.  It’s common to hear stories from Bethel where people are supposedly saved, yet the gospel is never mentioned.  Under the guise of not offending people, the students used different terminology to seduce those looking for what is essentially a  personalized horoscope.  What their victims would have received would have been no different to the psychic reader in the opposite booth.  Sadly, attendees at this event who encountered the BSSM students would not have been offended with the message of the cross, which is the only message that saves.  It’s the message of the cross that tells you God loves you unconditionally, but it’s also the message of the cross that lets you know in no uncertain terms how deceitfully wicked you are.

Jim: “To reach the people at the psychic fair, we did not  say Jesus, God, or Holy Spirit. Instead, we called God the “Spirit of Creation. Honestly, this already had me on the verge of feeling offended.”

Yes, you read it correctly!

The apostle Paul:  “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..” Romans 1:16
What is offensive is leaving Jesus out of the gospel.  Without Jesus, you have no gospel.  What these students were presenting was a false gospel.

Jim: “A young man came into our booth for a “spirit reading.” I asked him if he would mind if I invited the “Spirit of Creation” into the tent, and he said that would be okay. After we prayed, we ministered to him with a bongo and maraca. The person I ministered with began to shake and wave the maraca over the young man’s head while I pounded out the most spiritual sounding beat on the bongo that my rhythmically challenged hands could manage. It felt like we were really just making fun of the new age scene, and afterward struck me as somewhat mean-spirited of us.”

Did the apostles go around offering “spirit readings” in order to “reach people?”  I’m sure a spirit accepted Jim’s invitation
– perhaps the same spirit that produces the Kundalini manifestations that Bethel are known for.  Notice that Jim is concerned that they may have offended the new age scene through their behaviour, yet he has no qualms making a mockery of scripture or grieving the Holy Spirit.

Jim: “What made the situation even weirder was that as we invited the “Spirit of Creation” through what I thought was our mockery of the new age, Holy Spirit actually responded and fell in that tent. We were all overwhelmed by tangible peace and could feel His presence on us. The young man ended up having a vision of the Trinity and then giving his life to Jesus. It was absolutely beautiful.”

No mention of the gospel or repentance.  Feelings and “visions” are the norm for many of these “revivalists” as they present a false Christ, a false gospel, and boast in their works of iniquity.  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Jim:I walked away from this experience very confused. I felt offended on God’s behalf about our behavior, and yet, He had moved in that moment. I asked Holy Spirit about it. I said “Holy Spirit, we were being absolute idiots. It felt like we were mocking other people, and You still fell. You used what we were doing even though what we were doing seemed offensive.”  He responded, “I was more interested in him encountering Me than what you guys were doing.” This was the first time I realized I am way more religious than God.  God doesn’t fit into our boxes.  He doesn’t always move in the ways we expect Him to.  He is more concerned with the hearts of people than with fitting into our expectations of Him.”

Actually, scripture is really clear when it comes to preaching the gospel, and the contents of the gospel.  It is also clear regarding the manner in which we behave.  While God does not fit into our boxes, he expects us to fit into His – scripture.  It is because God is concerned with the hearts of people (desperately wicked) that he expects us to preach the gospel which will offend the natural man.  A gospel that does not offend the natural man and convict him, is not a gospel that will save.  Jim is clearly having conversations with himself.

Jim: “This tendency for the supernatural things of God to look different, to look uncomfortable, to look outrageous, can cause us to assume it is not God moving. We can have this tendency to want to protect His reputation, or protect our concept of how He looks. How often do we use offense rather than discernment to determine if something is from God? In much of the church, we seem to be scared of offense and the mess it will create. We are afraid it will chase people away, and it just does not fit with our image of meek and mild Jesus.”

Bethel’s culture of “risk taking” is simply a pragmatic approach that opens the door to familiar spirits.  The “mess” that is created by operating outside of the limitations of scripture, is something the apostle Paul addressed when writing to the Corinthians regarding the operation of the gifts: “If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? 1 Corinthians 14:23.  Consider that Paul said this in the context of the Corinthians exercising the authentic gifts of the Spirit One gets the sense that so many outlandish stories have already been told at Bethel, the quest is on to see who can come up with the most bizarre manifestation, strategy, experience or testimony.  Contrary to the chaos being justified, order is by God’s design:  But all things should be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

Jim: “We assume offense cannot be from God, even though that is far from biblical. If we look at the Bible we can see that Jesus is not afraid of causing offense.”

Jesus did offend the religious false teachers and hypocrites of his day, but to draw a parallel between that and the shenanigans of these BSSM students and their “ministry” is ludicrous.  Discerning believers should be offended when God is mocked, His Word disregarded, and the demonic attributed to the Holy Spirit.

Jim: “A few days after the psychic fair, I found myself prophesying over a woman and her yoga business. It was one of those moments where the words were out of my mouth before I realized what they were. Yoga had always been something I had considered spiritually negative. I had always viewed it as new-age related, and a practice that God did not like. Then out of my mouth comes a prophetic word about God using her business to bring transformation and restoration to people’s lives. I was offended! How could that be God? How could God use something so wrong?”

There is nothing wrong with stretching exercises; there is something wrong with a Hindu spiritual discipline.  Manifestations of a Kundalini spirit are viewed by Bethel as the workings of the Holy Spirit, so it’s actually surprising that Jim had second thoughts regarding his spontaneous “prophecy.”  Why would God want to use what is essentially a pagan form of coming into union with a divine being, to bring transformation and restoration to people?

Jim: “This was a lesson God kept repeating for me, and through that, I learned a tool I now use regularly. I asked Holy Spirit, “Are you offended right now?” He responded, “No, and so you don’t have a right to be either.” The religiousness in me was trying to prevent me from seeing God’s heart for this woman, and for the people around her. In leading a school you are going to run into the supernatural.  Remember, the supernatural often offends and often does not look how we expect it to, but that does not make it bad or not God. We need to use discernment to tell the difference between what is God, and what is not Him, but offense is not a sign that something is not God.”

It’s fashionable these days in New Apostolic Reformation circles to say “Holy Spirit” instead of “the Holy Spirit”  If Jim & co cannot discern a Kundalini manifestation, do not preach the gospel, don’t mention Jesus, offer “spirit readings”, ignore scripture etc,  what are the chances they can tell what is from God and what is not?

Jim: “Now, whenever I see something that offends me, but does not feel demonic, I actually get quite excited. I ask Jesus if He is offended, and if He is not, then He is just showing me He is bigger than I previously thought.”

That ultimately is the method of discernment in the New Apostolic Reformation – feelings.  While there is a gift of discernment, all believers are expected to grow in discernment: for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child.  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:13-14.  Discernment begins with testing what we hear and see against scripture (Acts 17:11) Jim does not mention scripture, instead he relies on his feelings or conversations with who he thinks is God.

Jim: “If I find myself getting offended about something that God is not offended by, it means that God is bigger than my boxes for Him, and He is helping me get free of religion.  Next time you see something in your environment that offends you I’d encourage you to ask Him if He is offended. If you discover that He is not offended, view it as an opportunity for Him to show you how big He is. Jesus sometimes offends the mind to show the heart deeper revelation and deeper truth.

Next time you see something that offends you, go to the scriptures. That will clarify most issues.  Ask God for discernment, keeping in mind that discernment from God will never contradict scripture. Do you want deeper revelation and deeper truth?  Then study the word of God.  Don’t rely on mysticism or some bizarre behaviour that offends you.

In conclusion:Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits”  Matthew 7:15-20

The fruits of Bethel and the BSSM are rotten to the core.  They may be passionate and sincere, but they are sincerely deceived.  Far from bringing heaven to earth, they have become a pernicious influence in the visible church.  No doubt many of those involved will one day point to their works as evidence of their salvation, but many will be shocked when standing before Christ: Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.”
Matthew 7:21-23

Although many are caught up in the grip of the  cult like New Apostolic Reformation , our duty is to pray for them, be prepared to warn them, and guide those who do come out.

YOU’VE BROKEN FREE FROM THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION – NOW WHAT?

By Rick Becker 2 November 2017

God has opened your eyes to the deception in the New Apostolic Reformation and other aberrant teachings such as the word of faith and prosperity gospel.  You have made the necessary, yet painful decision to leave your church.  You are flooded with emotions and fears.  Perhaps you are even regretting your decision as you may find yourself isolated.  Questions arise such as why did God allow this to happen, who can I trust now, what is the alternative?

Reasons why the NAR & CO have such a powerful grip on their followers can be found here .  It can be daunting to leave a church once you have discovered the deception within it. Disillusioned with church and even God can weigh you down.  Your journey into the somewhat unknown comes with it’s own set of challenges.  Here are some simple and practical steps that may be helpful:

1 Deal with the hurts and emotions that inevitably accompany this process

Leaving a church is a painful experience, even for those who leave on amicable terms. Leaving the NAR is usually a messy affair due to the controlling nature of this movement, and few come out unscathed.  Very often just prior to your departure, things may have been heated.  There may have been a certain amount of miscommunication, which added to the confusion and frustration you feel.  False accusations may have been made and  bonds as close as a tightly knit family have been shattered.  Few things are as painful as broken relationships and these words from the book of Psalms may resonate with you:
For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together,
And walked to the house of God in the throng.” Psalm 55:12-14

It’s imperative that you confront your emotions without delay.  The longer you harbor any resentment, and replay events in your mind,  the harder it is going to be for you to move forward.  At this particular junction, it may feel as though you have nothing to lean upon.  You may feel stripped, empty, and a little lost.  Feelings of rejection and self pity are paralyzing, and it is crucial to bring your pain to the cross of Christ.  This is where you will find peace.  Inherent in this movement is the dependence on people and experiences instead of God.  This will be an opportunity to discover that God is able to heal the brokenhearted and bring restoration.  It goes without saying that you need to forgive those who have hurt you, and begin the next chapter of your life.  In time, you will see that you have learnt many invaluable lessons through the whole situation.

2 Why did God allow me to be deceived is a question many ask

You may have forgiven the people who have hurt you, but you may be bitter towards God for allowing you to be deceived.  However, It’s never a case of God deceiving his children – the Holy Spirit leads us into truth, not deception.  Some in the NAR are unbelievers, and will never be saved from the deception because they are not saved. They have rejected truth, and as a result God will send them a strong delusion: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,  and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.  

So why have some been deceived, albeit temporarily:
• Some are new in the faith and not well versed in scripture.  Due to their lack of knowledge and their inability to discern between truth from error, they believe the lies taught in this movement. 
• Some have been deceived by their own hearts.  The painful truth is that the man centered teachings of the NAR  appealed to self.  It may have been the attraction of guaranteed health and wealth, or perhaps the thought that they would become the next celebrity teacher. The lure of being part of a special new breed of anointed end time revivalists who will usher in the kingdom is just as attractive.  We know how to spiritualize carnal motivations in order to justify what is essentially just appeasing self.
• Some are ensnared by these teachings when looking for solutions to hardships. Sickness, poverty, and other hardships can often blind people to the false teachings of the NAR, as they seek the answers the NAR have on offer.  Those who are suffering in some way are desperately looking for deliverance from their afflictions.  Yet even during trials, we cannot blame God if we look for solutions outside of his word:  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” James 1:13-14  The desire to be healed, the desire to be free from any form of hardship, can tempt us to compromise on what is clearly written in scripture.

One reason God allows the testing of our faith, is to reveal what is in us.  We are new creatures in Christ, but until we leave this earth we will have to crucify our flesh daily.  The temptation to be our own little god and work miracles appeals to the flesh.  The NAR is a movement that elevates the flesh instead of crucifying it.  What really matters is that God has rescued you from a deceptive movement.  You have not rejected the truth and are not amongst those who stand condemned.  It’s time to be grateful, and learn to rightly divide the scripture in order to grow and be in a position to help those caught up in the NAR.

3 You are not alone.  Find fellowship and encouragement as soon as possible

Once you have left your church, you find yourself in no mans land.  This period of isolation can be the breeding ground to foster bitterness.  You now find yourself in a vacuum, and the best thing to do is fill it with truth.  Finding a new fellowship takes time, and you have now learned not to place your trust in any individual or ministry. If possible, find others who have come out of these movements as they can be a source of encouragement and will identify with what you have been through. They may also be able to point you to resources that are helpful, and even a church to fellowship at. There are many free resources available that will help during this time. Start studying the word of God, use commentaries, listen to podcasts, read books exposing the NAR and their doctrines so that you can understand their error and learn to rightly divide the word.

4 Don’t make the same mistake twice

A hallmark of NAR & CO churches is that they:
• teach topically, using proof texts to substantiate their false doctrines.
• employ eisegesis – they ignore the rules of interpretation and original meaning of the text; instead they subject it to their own interpretation, and narcigesis – a self centered interpretation of a text.
• relate experiences and tell stories which are usually not verifiable and are contrary to scripture.

What you should be looking for in a church is one with a detailed statement of faith so that you know exactly where they stand on various issues.  Don’t be attracted to personalities, the atmosphere during the service, the size of the church, the amount of friends who go there etc.  You have just come out of false teaching, so your primary concern should be good teaching.  Teachings should be primarily expository in nature.  A pastor that rightly divides the word of God (2 Tim 2:15)  will employ the principals of interpretation, something ignored by NAR teachers.  This critical analysis of a text reveals the true interpretation.  This is what’s going to feed you and mature you in the faith.  Some people come out of the NAR and immediately gravitate towards any fellowship that is as far removed from the NAR as possible.  Within months they may find that they are now in another church or movement full of doctrinal error.  On the other hand, some find error in every church and cut themselves off from any form of fellowship.  Keep in mind that there will always be something you disagree with, and not one of us will get to heaven and find that our own theology was perfect.  Differences in non essential doctrines are always going to exist.  What we need to avoid is blatant false teaching as espoused by the NAR & CO, and any other movement/denomination that teach false doctrines.

5 Don’t view the alternative as lacking what you believed was “spirit filled” and exciting.

A typical NAR service is no dull affair.  Lively worship with Hillsong or Jesus Culture music can stir up the emotions.  Gold dust, glory clouds, angel sightings and fantastic stories of encounters with God leave followers drooling in their seats.  After the message,  it is time for the spirit to move and prophecies are given, people are slain in the spirit, impartations and declarations seal the deal.  But now that you have left, there is silence.  What stirred your soul is gone, and you wonder if a dry alternative is all that God has to offer.  What you may not yet have realized is that the “more” you were seeking was actually poison.  People who live on junk food and a high sugar diet live in a state of toxic hunger.  They are perpetually hungry because their bodies are not being fed the nutrients that they are so desperately craving and needing.  Instead they keep giving their bodies what they think it wants, rather than what it truly needs.

In the same way, people who are fed on the NAR teachings are not receiving the nutrition that their spirits need, and so they are in a perpetual state of hunger.  They believe that this is a good hunger, but in fact it’s a sign that they have been poisoned.  Their senses have been stimulated and entertained, yet their spirits are starving.

Each year brings more prophecies of great outpourings, greater breakthroughs, double anointings, more blessing, increase, more outlandish testimonies of encounters with God, trips to heaven etc.  Stadiums are filled, and before the dust has settled, the date for the next life changing meeting is announced.  You need a spiritual detox from this garbage.  We all need to come to the point where it is Christ alone who is sufficient.

• We don’t need Shawn Bolz to tell us our dead relative is happy in heaven – we trust God that his judgement is just.
• We don’t need a global leadership seminar from Willowcreek listening to experts in their business field – experts devoid of the gospel.
• We don’t need an impartation from Patrica King, Kris Vallotton or Bill Johnson because we realise we have an anointing and God is able to fill us when needed.
• We don’t need Todd White to pray for our sore back – we can ask the elders to lay hands on us, and ask God to heal us.
• We don’t need the latest book from T D Jakes, Brian Houston, John Bevere, Beth Moore, Bill Johnson or any other teacher who twists the scriptures.
• We don’t need repetitive worship songs with lyrics devoid of truth

The transition from a feeling based to a faith based walk in Christ is but one of the incredible blessings when you leave this movement.  In the NAR, the word of God has lost it’s power;  the two edged sword has been replaced with a dull blade which is unable to discern between soul and spirit.  The word of God will take on a new meaning as you study it in context – something that rarely happens in a NAR church.  Your false view of the nature of man and of God, will be replaced with the correct view.  The declarations or readings at Bethel church during the offering, are a prime example of the wrong view of the nature of man.  Their narcissistic gospel is shameless:
I am powerful. And what I believe changes the world…I am important….Everywhere I go becomes a perfect-health zone”

Once free from this self elevating gospel, you will discover that the gospel is about God, not you, and that true Christianity is not about your comfort in this world, but about conforming to the image of Christ.  Once again, Bethel confuses the gospel with the American Dream in their offering reading:
“As we receive today’s offering,
We are believing the Lord for:

Jobs and better jobs
Raises and bonuses
Benefits
Sales and commissions
Favorable settlements
Estates and inheritances

Interests and income
Rebates and returns
Checks in the mail
Gifts and surprises
Finding money
Debts paid off
Expenses decrease
Blessing and increase..”

The continual search for impartations, anointings, manifestations and being led by what you feel, is replaced with something far more secure – the word of God.  More from Bethel, a church that flirts with the new age and demonic realm:

“As we receive today’s offering
We are believing You for:

Heaven opened
Earth invaded
Storehouses unlocked
And miracles created
Dreams and visions
Angelic visitations
Declarations
Impartations
And divine manifestations

Anointings, giftings and calls
Positions and promotions”
Source: https://www.bethel.com/offering-readings/

There is nothing new about the New Apostolic Reformation.  It is not a reformation, It’s  a deformation of the truth – repackaged false doctrine.  Thank God that you have come out of this movement that will be part of an ecumenical movement that welcomes the antichrist with open arms.