Category Archives: False Doctrines

Believing for a “Good Report”

report-card1

This is a phrase which is far more pervasive in Word of Faith circles than in others, but regardless of who uses it, this statement is at its core misleading and sometimes very dangerous.

The idea behind the phrase as I have been exposed to it is this…

If in your life you find yourself in the midst of some uncertainty, you might say, “Well, I’m just believing for a good report”. Meaning that, you are believing that whatever is uncertain will turn out for good. Now this is where things get somewhat subjective. What do we mean by “good”?

Let me offer an example…

You have a work review coming up and it is during these reviews when people are either promoted, corrected or let go. So as a Christian determined not to be anxious about anything, you say, “Well, I’m just believing for a good report”.

What does that mean?

If we mean that God will work whatever the report is out for our good, then we are on good ground so long as you are God’s child and are actively walking in love with Him, but that is going to happen regardless of your “belief”.

 

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” ~ Rom 8:28

Continue reading Believing for a “Good Report”

Is the Law fulfilled FOR us or IN us? (The Believer’s relationship to the Law)

Justice

This is a topic which has taken on a life of its own in recent years. Paul addresses the relationship between the believer and the Law throughout his writings and yet may are still confused about where the New Testament comes down on the subject.

It is a fact, that most people do not take the time to study the Bible but instead tend to gravitate towards things they have heard someone else say is in the Word. This inevitably leads to partial or total misquotations. In addition to this, many develop a theology based upon subjective experiences, rationalizations developed from partial information and favorite teachers. All of this creates a bias through which we understand and interpret the Word. A good way to discern if you fall into this category is this….

When someone can show you something plainly in God’s Word (and in context), which your heart refuses to accept but begins to look for a way around it.

If this is the case then your theology is based upon something you want to be true, believe MUST be true, but very likely isn’t true! Such is the case for many with this topic.

Many today treat Romans 8:4 as though it says,

“What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished FOR us.”

Continue reading Is the Law fulfilled FOR us or IN us? (The Believer’s relationship to the Law)

One can put a thousand to flight…?

This article is just one within a body of articles categorized as

“Misquoting God”…

In this “episode” of misquoting God I will address the phrase…

Charge“If one can put a thousand to flight then two can put ten thousand to flight”

This is often misquoted in charismatic, Full Gospel or Word of Faith circles as a colloquialism to “stand in agreement” with another person against the devil. Sometimes it is also used in conjunction with another misunderstanding in scripture of attempting to “bind” the devil from a person or event.

I know many who have used this first misquote yet, I am unaware of any of them who actually knew what the reference is nor the context from which it was taken before being misapplied.

The verse is found in Deut. 32:30 and reads like this,

“How could one man pursue a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?” 

Continue reading One can put a thousand to flight…?

Faith: Tool or Relationship

Faith – Buzzword of Christianesse

Other than Grace, Faith is perhaps the most misused and misunderstood word in the Christian vernacular.

faithtoolIn its common usage throughout scripture, and especially the New Testament, it simply means full, relational trust in someone.

Though “relational” is not technically part of the definition, it is part of the process!

Trust is a relational term at its core, but when it is used in the realm of the “religious” it often becomes a work and is therefore NOT relational. AS such it becomes a merit badge rather than a proof of intimacy. This is especially true when the concept of trust is represented by the word – “FAITH”.

In my life and in my preaching, I virtually never use the word faith anymore. This is because it comes with so much baggage and so many misconceptions that I feel the need to define it every time I use it. To avoid this I simply say ‘relational trust’. These words say more without further definition than does the word Faith. Furthermore, it avoids the largest obstacle to genuine trust in Christ, namely, the stigma that the word ‘Faith’ has received over the years due to Christian abuse of the word.

Relational trust (faith) comes as the result of having the character of a person revealed to you through relationship with them.

This is the tone and meaning of the word Faith as it is used in the scriptures in regards to Jesus in the heart and lives of true believers. Which is why, the relational trust we have in Him MUST come from Christ being reveal to us…

“And this proves that faith comes from a Message heard, and that the Message comes through its having been spoken by Christ.”  ~ Rom. 10:17

Continue reading Faith: Tool or Relationship

If My people…Part 4

Point # 4 – God is STILL talking exclusively to the Godly King Solomon. He is telling him the conditions upon which he and his descendants will continue to rule His people.

“And as for theeif thou wilt walk before Me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe My statutes and My judgments; Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom, according as I have covenanted with David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man to be ruler in Israel. But if ye turn away, and forsake My statutes and My commandments, which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of My land which I have given them; and this house, which I have sanctified for My Name, will I cast out of My sight, and will make it to be a proverb and a byword among all nations.”

God, still addressing Solomon, speaks of the conditions of his continued rule and the rule of successive generations.  “…if thou wilt walk before Me, as David thy father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded thee, and shalt observe My statutes and My judgments; Then will I establish the throne of thy kingdom”

God’s promise is conditional to the heart of the leader. God delegated the authority to lead to David and then subsequently to Solomon his son. Additionally, God offered to them a promise that their descendants would rule perpetually upon certain conditions. None of these conditions were outside of their control. The conditions were all within the sphere authority of the ruler. This promise had nothing to do with the hearts of His people Israel. The conditions of ruling perpetually were within the power of David and his descendants.

Continue reading If My people…Part 4

If My people…Part 3

Point # 3 – God is STILL talking to His Godly King Solomon. He is responding to his request (2 Chron. 6:24-31), that God hear the prayers of His people when they repent for sins which bring trouble on them by way of judgement.

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

God’s promise hear is to His king.

Notice the promise was to heal the land of the natural disasters brought on them due to judgement for their sins.

Consider the examples of disasters God mentions:

  1. No rain on the land.
  2. Any plague that devours the land (locust and such).
  3. Pestilence (sickness) in the land.

Absolutely none of this is addressing political issues!

God is not promising Israel a metaphorical “healing of the land” meaning restoration of good leadership. In fact, He would not be promising anything if a good political leader had not just humbly prayed to Him in the first place!

Continue reading If My people…Part 3

If My people…Part 2

Point # 2 –  God is STILL talking to the King. He is affirming to Solomon that He may at times bring calamity upon Israel in response to their sins – just like the king had said in his prayer in 2 Chron. 6:24-31.

If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people;”

God is addressing Solomon (not Israel) in response to his prayer. Read what Solomon prayed and then look at the issues God addresses in His response. Again, for emphasis sake, I have color coded this passage. All of the words in blue are Israel’s part (good or bad). All of the words in purple are Gods part – but PLEASE remember – this was a prayer from Solomon to God.

“And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house; Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers. When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them; Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance. If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be: Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house: Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:) That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.– 2 Chron. 6:24-31

So we can clearly see, that God heard Solomon’s prayer and is responding very specifically to all that he mentioned in his prayer to God. God is here saying in response to Solomon, that if He sends these disasters on Israel due to their sins, (which He seems to think He will or this part of the passage has no meaning) then the following is what they AS A NATION, must do…

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Continue reading If My people…Part 2

If My people…Part 1

Politically minded Christians are very aware of the promise of God in II Chron. 4:17. At least, they are familiar with part of it anyway. Quite honestly, I dove into this study as a result of the prayers I have heard in Christian circles which relied upon this verse. It seemed to me that there were several problems with its use and certainly with the prayers in which it was referenced. Nearly all of these prayers were focused on changing the nation on a political level. Prayers for deliverance from a particular agenda, President, Congress or Judges. What I failed to hear almost every time the verse was mentioned, was a heart crying out to God in repentance for the sins of His church (let alone the nation). So I decided that I needed to study these verses to discover the who, what, why, where and whens of this promise. What you are about to read is actually an over-simplification of that study.

Let’s examine the passage to see if and how it applies to our political situations here in America.

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” – 2 Chron. 7:14

Now in the Christian circles with which I am familar, this is usually misquoted to say,

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, I will hear from heaven, and will  heal their land.” – 2 Chron. 7:14

For some of you this may be a little amazing, but I really am NOT joking! More often than not, this is basically the way I have heard this verse (mis-)quoted!

Continue reading If My people…Part 1

The Truth about 1 John 1:9

The belief I am addressing concerns whether or not I John 1:9 has any bearing upon a Christian’s life, or whether these verses were intended for an entirely secular audience.

Considering I John 1:9

Now there are many different takes on 1 John 1:9, the following are the most prevalent:

  1. 1 Jn. 1:9 was not written to Christians but to Gnostics.
  2. 1Jn. 1:9 was written to Christians who were being influenced with a Gnostic distortion of the gospel.
  3. 1 Jn. 1:9 was written to Christians.

Now to be fair, there is in fact a “sub-group” of those who believe it  was only intended for the specific Christians John was writing and therefore has no bearing on the rest of the Christian church worldwide – throughout time.

This of course begs the question – “Then why did God see to it that it was included it in the canon of Scripture?”

In my experience this later view is not well known and has even worse credentials for supporting it than any of the others above, so we will not address that view directly.

Now, that John was here writing to a group of Christians who were being seduced into false doctrines seems most likely to me. Almost without question, it was the doctrine of Docetism that he was confronting.

[I know they are big words, and I can already sense a number of people are checking out mentally and in all honesty I don’t blame you. Nevertheless, I beg you PLEASE, stick it out and you will find it was well worth your while to press through the theological mumbo-jumbo (Yes that’s a real word).]

Believe it or not, Docetism (and Gnosticisim) are still very much alive today and variations of these doctrines are taught from pulpits and TV media. Oprah Winfrey’s points of view are largely a new form of Gnosticism (or Neo-Gnostic teaching). Furthermore, this very view that I John 1:9 was only written to a particular flavor of Christian as mentioned last above, is in part a Gnostic approach to interpreting this verse.

So, let’s explain some pivotal truths first, and then we will proceed with our study.

Continue reading The Truth about 1 John 1:9

Docetism and Gnosticism in the New Testament

wolf_in_sheeps_clothing1I do not enjoy writing about false doctrines, but I suspect that neither did Paul. Nevertheless, any serious reader of the New Testament cannot side-step the fact that Paul, Peter, John & James spent much of their letters addressing issues of  false doctrines and the need for solid teachers, grounded in the Word teaching sound doctrine. So with that in mind…

I am addressing both Docetism and Gnosticism predominately because I refer to it in another study on I Jn. 1:9 and rather than turning THAT study into two studies, I decided to write this one and refer to in in my study on I Jn. 1:9. Also, I am addressing this because the basics of it are very prevalent in today’s world, both inside and outside of the church (the body of Christ).

Continue reading Docetism and Gnosticism in the New Testament