It is terrible but true—sexual predators target churches. In the mind of a predator, a church offers a compelling target and, too often, an easy target. I recently worked my way through On Guard by Deepak Reju and learned that there are at least six reasons why sexual predators specifically target churches.
“…Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
1. Christians Can Be Naïve About Sexual Predators
Some sexual offenders state it outright—they go after churches because Christians tend to be naïve. Anna Salter says, “If children can be silenced and the average person is easy to fool, many offenders report that religious people are even easier to fool than most people.” Reju says, “Christian are, generally speaking, trusting folks.
Child abusers recognize this fact and want to take full advantage of it.” He quotes a former prosecutor who lays it out: “For a variety of reasons, we naively tend to automatically lower our guard when we are amongst professing Christians. This same naïveté is why offenders flock to the faith community; no other environment provides them such quick and easy access to children without fear of raising concerns.”
2. Christians Can Be Ignorant of the Problem
Christians are not only naïve, but also ignorant—ignorant of the problem of abuse and the extent of the problem within faith communities. Many Christians consider it unlikely or impossible that abuse could happen within their church, so they fail to take adequate measures, they ignore warnings and they disregard reports.
Reju says, “Many Christians don’t know how to distinguish likability and trustworthiness. They confuse the two categories, assuming that if someone is courteous and nice, they must also be trustworthy. Moreover, some Christians behave as though the problem doesn’t exist, and some look with suspicion on reports of abuse. They believe children are lying and are more prone to take an adult’s word. Sexual predators know that these dynamics operate in churches, and they know they can get away with a lot on account of it.”
3. Many Churches Offer Sexual Predators Access to Children
Perhaps most simply of all, churches offer access—and often very easy access—to children. Reju says this well: “Because churches are always looking for help with children’s ministry and often are facing shortages of volunteers, sexual offenders know that churches are desperate. In children’s ministry, volunteers are often late. Some cancel at the last minute when they had promised to volunteer.
Others don’t even bother showing up for their service. So, when a courteous, kind, reliable man walks in and offers to help, who’s going to turn him down? No other organization provides such quick and easy access to children. Sexual predators know this, so they show up at churches, eager to make themselves known and ready to serve.”
4. Many So Called Christians Abuse Authority
Sometimes authority is put in the hands of evil individuals who then abuse that authority by taking advantage of others. Christians are rightly taught to submit to authority, but not always warned that there are situations in which authority can and must be defied. “Child abusers will use positions of spiritual authority to gain access to children and abuse them.
Ask yourself: If a pastor or priest walks into a room, what’s your normal disposition? Most of us have a degree of caution around strangers until we’ve gotten to know them and built a trusting relationship. But pastors and priests are often afforded trust just because of their position as clergy.” This, of course, has been proven again and again by sickening news headlines.
5. Churches Can Be Manipulated by Sexual Predators
Church offers religious roles or language that abusers can manipulate to accomplish their ugly purposes. Child abusers often use church-based roles in order to provide rationale and cover for their abuse. An offender may take on a role like Sunday school teacher, nursery worker, youth minister, camp supervisor or pastor in order to gain the position he or she needs to access children. He may “also use religious language to confuse a child’s understanding of God, sin or faith. An offender might tell a child that he is loving the child when in fact he is abusing him.
The child might have a sense that he is sinning in some way, especially if he hears from his parents or the church that sex outside of marriage is sin. But when a Sunday school teacher or pastor or priest tells him something like, ‘God told me to do this, so you must obey me,’ or ‘This is not sin, but love,’ the child will not only be confused but will be inclined not to second-guess a religious authority figure.” Religious roles and language can provide all the cover an abuser needs.
6. Many Churches Offer Cheap Grace
Sometimes abusers are caught, but even then they may get away with their crimes. Abusers count on receiving cheap grace—grace that comes far too freely and with far too little cost. “Abusers are not dumb. They know that if they cry, offer words of contrition and promise never to do it again, they are very likely not to have to face significant consequences.
Pastors and churches are very forgiving. They are quick to apply the gospel—and very, very slow to apply the consequences that come from the law.” An offender will weep and admit that he was wrong and promise never to do anything like it again, and the church may respond by determining they will let it go this once. But when they do that, they simply allow the offender to go right back to his behavior, and allow the child to remain a victim.
In the face of all of this, it is no wonder that the Bible calls us to be “wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). But while all of these dangers are true, and while abusers are deliberate in targeting churches, this does not mean that we are left defenseless. For that reason the bulk of Deepak Reju’s book is dedicated to creating and enforcing policies that will protect the innocent—innocent children who participate in church activities, and innocent adults who care for them. Please, will you have someone in your church read the book and see how you can better prevent abuse in your church fellowship.
** Article by Tim Challies at Church Leaders – challies.com / Book by Deepak Reju called “On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church” / Photo by Adrien Olichon at Pexels
Jesus has given us an example in money-matters that all who serve Him, and all churches must follow.
When Jesus worked as a carpenter, up to the age of 30, He earned His living – honestly, without ever cheating anyone and without ever getting into debt. “Every servant of the Lord must ensure that he manifests the attitude of Christ in relation to money.”
Thereafter, He was in full-time ministry for the next 3½ years. During this period, He had some strict principles in financial matters. His apostles followed those principles exactly and rigidly. The church is the Body of Christ and therefore it must follow the same principles that the first Body of Christ (Jesus Himself) followed. All churches and all who are engaged in Christian work must follow those same principles.
What were those principles?
First and foremost, since Jesus was a servant of His Father, He trusted His Father alone to provide all His earthly needs – just like anyone working for a company would expect that company to take care of his financial needs. So, Jesus never ever told anyone other than His Father about His financial needs. He never advertised His ministry anywhere and He never gave any reports about His work to anyone to get their support. God Himself directly prompted some people to give gifts to Jesus – and He accepted such gifts. Jesus appointed a treasurer (Judas) to keep the money that He thus received.
See Luke 8:2-3: “Mary Magdalene and Joanna (the wife of Chuza, Herod’s palace-manager), and Susanna, and many others contributed to the support of Jesus and the 12 disciples, out of their private means”. And Jesus accepted their gifts.
Secondly, Jesus was very careful about how He spent the money He received. John 13:29 gives us an indication of how Jesus spent His money. When Jesus gave some instructions to Judas there, the other apostles thought that He was directing Judas to spend the money as Jesus had always spent His money. That is: (1) To buy what was needed; and (2) To give to the poor. This must be our guideline always; in the way we spend our money.
The apostles followed Jesus’ example exactly. They also trusted their heavenly Father to provide all their needs. So, they never told anyone about their personal needs or the needs of their ministry – either verbally or by letter (for that would have amounted to indirectly hinting about their need for money). Whenever the apostles urged the churches to take a collection of money, it was always for distribution to the poor believers – and never for any other purpose (See 2 Cor.8 and 9 and 1 Cor.16:1-3).
Some people misquote 1 Timothy 5:17-18and teach that pastors and Christian workers must be paid a good salary. But what do those verses actually say?
“The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of , especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing’, and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages’”.
Those verses . They only teach that elders who work hard at preaching must be given by their flock. If this verse were referring to money, then it would mean that God was commanding churches to pay their leaders double the salary that others in the church get!! That is ridiculous! Paul was actually teaching believers here to appreciate and respect the elders of their churches. He was saying, “Give them due honor, just like you allow your ox to eat the grain that it is threshing”. So, we see that an elder’s primary wages are honour (appreciation and gratitude) from his flock – and not money.
This is similar to the exhortation Paul gave in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 “Honor your leaders who work so hard for you…. overwhelm them with appreciation and love” (Message Paraphrase).
Paul does however speak about the financial support of Christian workers in 1 Corinthians 9:7-18. There he says: “Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?”
But Paul then continues, to say, “Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. It is true that the Lord has directed that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. It would be better for me to die than to have any man make my boast an empty one. For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion. Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I still have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward (my salary)? . So, I do not make use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.”
So, Paul never preached for a salary or for gifts, but because he was “compelled by his love for Christ” and because “God had committed the stewardship of the gospel to him”. He wanted to give the gospel freely to others, without any charge, lest it appear as though God were charging people money for hearing the gospel. And he asked others to follow his example (See 1 Cor.11:1 and Phil.3:17).
So, we see that the New Testament does teach that a servant of the Lord can receive gifts for his support (as Jesus Himself did). But at the same time, we also see that:
(1) No Christian worker was ever paid a monthly salary. Jesus never promised His disciples a salary. The apostles never received a salary. They trusted their heavenly Father to move people’s hearts to support them financially (just as in Jesus’ case). Such a life of faith was essential for them if they were to have power in their ministry. It also protected them from covetousness. (2) In situations where Paul saw that this provision of support was being abused by preachers, he decided not to take any money from anyone but to support himself, so as to protect the testimony of the gospel that he was preaching. He says in 2 Cor.11:7-13(Living): “I preached God’s Good News to you without charging you anything.I didn’t ask you for anything, for the Christians from Macedonia brought me another gift.I have never yet asked you for one cent, and I never will. God never sent those men at all; they are “phonies” who have fooled you into thinking they are Christ’s apostles.”
We see here that Paul did receive gifts occasionally – when the Christians in Macedonia (Philippi) voluntarily sent him some money. But he never took any money from the Corinthian Christians (as we see above), because he wanted to show them that he was different from the fake Christian preachers in that place. Paul never ever asked anyone for financial support at any time – and he never hinted about his financial needs either.
Paul did not take any money from the Thessalonian Christians either. He says in 2 Thess.3:8-10: “We never accepted food from anyone of you without paying for it; we worked hard day and night for the money we needed to live on, in order that we would not be a burden to any of you. It wasn’t that we didn’t have the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to show you firsthand how you should work for your living”.
Paul did not take any money from the Ephesian Christians either. He says in Acts 20:31-35:“All these three years I was with you, I did not seek for anyone’s money or clothes. You know how I worked with my own hands to support myself and the men who were with me. I showed you by working hard in this way, that we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus that, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “
Every servant of the Lord must ensure that he manifests the attitude of Christ in relation to money, as Paul did.
In every one of our CFC churches that God has planted, all the (more than) 150 leaders/elders support themselves. None of them has ever received a salary.This new-covenant pattern has worked perfectly for us for 47 years now (from 1975 when the first CFC church was started, and right up to now – 2022) – both in large cities around the world as well as in the poorest villages in India. This stand of ours has saved us from being infiltrated by covetous preachers who quote Scripture and exploit people for their money.
The above is the stand that all of the Lord’s servants took in New Testament times. But Christendom has drifted away from this standard through the centuries. Today, many pastors and preachers keep urging people to give them money and write moving letters to their sponsors (often with false statistics about conversions) expecting more and more financial support.
Because of this wrong attitude to money found among Christian leaders, God’s anointing is missing from most of Christian ministry today and there is no revelation from heaven in the ministry of most preachers. No-one can serve God and money (Luke 16:13).
The Lord said that only one those who are faithful in money-matters would be given the true riches (Luke 16:11) – the riches of divine revelation and the anointing of the Spirit.
There is yet another important principle that we must bear in mind: A servant of the Lord must never receive money as a gift from unbelievers or from anyone who is poorer than him. Any gift given by a poorer person must always be put into the church’s offering box and never used for oneself.
Here is a checklist that we have placed on top of our offering boxes in CFC Bangalore: Before you give your money, please check: 1. Are you a born-again child of God? 2. Do you have enough for your family’s needs? 3. Are you free from debt (other than house-loans)? 4. Are you reconciled with all people? 5. Are you giving cheerfully?
We don’t judge other churches or preachers who do things differently from us, in this area. That would make us Pharisees. But we ourselves seek to strictly preserve the standards that we see in the life of Jesus and in the lives of the apostles.
Without this transformation of the heart, these fruits can’t be produced and in this case, you are just a false convert on your way to hell unless you truly repent.
7 Fruits Of Repentance You Need To Have
Here are the 7 fruits of repentance that every repentant and genuinely born-again Christian shows when they become saved.
Willing To Forsake One’s Sins.
New Life & New Birth.
New Desire For Righteousness.
1. Godly Sorrow
One of the most important fruits of repentance that will show that your repentance is genuine will be godly sorrow for your sins that lead to salvation and the forgiveness of one’s sins (2 Corinthian 7:10).
Godly sorrow simply means feeling sorry and remorseful for your sinful actions and deeds against God because you now realize that sin hurts God.
And it’s this godly sorrow of your sins that will want you to repent and turn away from your sins once and for all because you will now realize that you don’t want to offend the Lord Jesus Christ as sin is offensive to Him.
Without godly sorrow for one’s sins, true repentance that leads to salvation and eternal life cannot occur as this still shows that one is still in love with their sinful lifestyle and has no intention of turning away from it.
It’s quite amazing that even some people laugh when they go to the altar call to repent when they must be weeping and feeling remorseful for their evil deeds.
And such people can never have real repentance in their lives unless they change their attitude and become serious with God they are offending with their sins. Have godly sorrow if you want to be truly saved as real salvation only comes through godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
2. Willing To Forsake One’s Sins
If your repentance is genuine, you will be willing to forsake your former sinful life to start now following after righteousness and holiness instead.
No longer will your past sinful lifestyle be as appealing and attractive anymore as it was when you were not saved. Living a life of holiness that is above sin is what will become appealing to you now.
Remember, the bible in Proverbs 28:13 states that it’s the one who is willing to repent, confess and forsake their sins that will receive mercy and pardon for their sins.
Sadly, most people only repent but aren’t willing to forsake the old sinful lifestyle that is just leading them to eternal damnation in hellfire as sin only brings death to one’s life (Romans 6:23).
And such people haven’t yet experienced the saving faith of our Lord Jesus Christ as they are not truly pertinent to their sins which is why they return to their old vomit just a few minutes after denouncing them on the altar call in church.
God’s forgiveness of one’s sins will only be made available to those who are willing to turn away from their sins because this is what real repentance is all about.
You can’t say you have genuine repentance in your life if you are still in life with your sins because if you have truly repented of your sins, you will bring forth the fruits of repentance that John the Baptists talks about in Matthews 3:8.
3. New Life & New Birth
Genuine repentance always comes with new birth and a new life one inherits at salvation when one truly repents of their sins.
This new life and new birth in Christ is made possible by the transforming and renewing power of the Holy Spirit that regenerates one’s life to conform to the image of Jesus Christ.
You can’t talk about real repentance without having this new life and birth in Christ Jesus because having a new life is what being born again is all about.
It’s this new birth in Christ that will now make you want to follow after righteousness and holiness of which without, no one will see the Lord or make it for heaven (Hebrews 12:14).
The bible also says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that if any man is in Christ is a new creature and the old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Implying that as a new creation in Christ, you will have a new life characterized by holiness and righteousness and you will no longer live your old life of sin.
And if you have truly repented of your sins, you will have this new life in Christ that makes you want to live godly in this present evil word by God’s grace that brings salvation to all men and teaches us to deny all forms of ungodliness and worldly lusts(Titus 2:11).
4. Eternal Life
Eternal life is by far the most important fruit of repentance you must have because, without it, you won’t be saved from the coming wrath and Judgment that will come upon all unrepentant sinners.
True repentance can’t be without eternal life and if that’s the case then your repentance is fake and a signal that you are not genuinely saved yet with real salvation that always produces fruits of repentance.
If repentance had no eternal life, then it will be futile and useless because in that case, it wouldn’t save you from God’s wrath to come.
And since real repentance always leads to salvation and then eternal life, it, therefore, follows that every truly repentant sinner has eternal life obtained after the forgiveness of their sins at salvation.
So, if you claim to be saved, ensure that you have this eternal life because, without it, you will be eternally doomed in hellfire with the devil and his angels forever.
If you don’t have this eternal life in your life, then you need to closely and carefully examine your Christian life to ensure that you haven’t missed the mark because if you do dear, it’s game over.
5. New Heart
A new heart is also among the most important seven fruits of repentance that will manifest in your life if your repentance is genuine.
Having a new heart, in this case, means that you now have a new Christ-like heart that will make you want to follow after righteousness and live a holy life that is free from sin.
The Lord in Ezekiel 36:26promises to give us a new heart and a new spirit that will make us love and serve Him as well as cleanse us from all the idols that hinder us from serving Him with all our hearts.
It’s this new heart the Lord promises to give us after truly repenting and confessing our sins on the altar call that will enable us to live godly in this present evil world by abstaining from all appearances of evil and worldly lusts (2 Thessalonians 5:17-19).
Naturally, we all have sinful and wicked hearts that make us do bad things we know we must not do due to the sinful nature we all have that we inherited from our first parents when they fell from grace by eating the forbidden fruit.
But after genuine repentance that leads to salvation and thereby eternal life, Jesus will give you a new heart that will be pure and hate sin. Instead of desiring sin, you will now desire righteousness only and no longer walk according to your former sinful lusts of the flesh.
If your repentance is fake, you won’t have this new heart that will make you hate sin and live a life of holiness and purity of heart of which without, you won’t ever see God or go to heaven.
It’s just a matter of fact that you will want to be baptized to be filled with the Holy Ghost after getting saved by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the author of our salvation.
Even God’s word says in Acts 2:38 that true repentance is always followed by baptism in the Holy Spirit that helps us live victorious Christian lives that are above sin.
Without the Holy Spirit that is obtained by baptism in water, you will struggle big time in your Christian life in overcoming evil.
While baptism alone doesn’t save one from sin contrary to what some believe, it signifies that you are now alive in Christ and dead to sin or the old nature that made you sin in the first place.
And this is why you must be baptized after you have obtained mercy and forgiveness of your sins so that you can show to the world that you are now a disciple of Christ.
Secondly, baptism is a commandment from our Lord Jesus Christ as He was baptized in river Jordan by John the Baptist.
If you aren’t willing to be baptized after repenting of your sins, then something is wrong about your repentance that you need to critically examine to see if you are truly saved.
7. New Desire For Righteousness
Wanting to follow after righteousness is another vital fruit of repentance that will manifest if your repentance is genuine.
And this new desire to live a holy life and hate all manner of evil that you once loved will be because of the new heart the Lord has given you at salvation.
If you don’t have this desire to follow after righteousness, then you have not truly repented of your sins or experienced the new birth in Christ to help you live a godly life of holiness.
It’s one of the most important signs that will show if you are truly born again. If you are not saved, you won’t desire to live a holy life, and evil in this case will be more appealing to you.
Sadly, most people claim to be saved but are still in love with their evil ways of unrighteousness but these people are just deceiving themselves, unfortunately.
But if you are truly born again, you will hate and detest the sins you once loved in your old sinful nature and shun them at all costs.
Instead, you will now dedicate your life to living godly in this present evil world which is possible by God’s grace that is more than sufficient for you to do so. Just say no sin, dear.
These are all the seven fruits of repentance you need to know to help you know if your repentance is genuine or fake.
And if you aren’t exhibiting the above fruits, it clearly shows you aren’t truly saved yet but if you want to be saved and be sure of your salvation, check out this post on how to be saved today.
In closing, if you found this post useful, kindly share it with others so that they can benefit as well just as you have. Thanks and stay blessed.
Everyone is a Christian until it gets Biblical. What do I mean?
Everyone claims to be a Christian until you start preaching the Biblical teachings from the word of God that shakes you to the core. The real substance, the real stuff. The things that Jesus said and showed his disciples that was scary. People get mad when you present their God as powerful and someone to fear when that’s who he is!
We are supposed to love God and fear God, but all we want to do is love God and believe some of the washed up teachings of some of today’s church, who teach you that, the God that destroys cities for sinning and who is coming back to destroy the world, is not the god you serve because He loves, and is too merciful to do that.
Our God is righteous and doesn’t change! Some churches teaches you its okay to sin, just repent when you do. My Saviour said my people take my grace as a license to sin and will perish for a lack of knowledge! Be sure you serve the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! That you serve the GOD of the Bible! NOT another god that grants your every wish and desire like a genie in a bottle, or some celestial santa clause, who you rub the right way and he will grant you your every desire, that is a deception! You cannot trust ANY other man to teach you the true Word! You must read it for yourself and ask the Lord for understanding, if you’re born again you have the Holy Spirit as your teacher! He will always teach you the RIGHT word! The RIGHT understanding! The RIGHT interpretation! Put all your faith in the Lord and put on the FULL ARMOUR of God for the enemies fiery darts are flying fast and hit hard.
** Random Christian at Reddit / Picture by Wendy V Zyl at Pexels
Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom withstand stedfast in your faith, knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9
That no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:11
Resist the Devil
These two scriptural passages indicate to us how full of evil devices Satan is. His basic work is to camouflage whatever he does so that people will not know it is his doing! He even fashions himself into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). All his works are done under the cover of deceit. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar and he always lies (John 8:44). Of all that he has ever done, he has never willingly and openly acknowledged anything as his work. If he were to make a public report of his works, probably nobody would want them; everyone would probably resist them. For this reason, he always disguises his work in a multitude of ways.
The Work of Satan
Satan’s works are manifold. In order for a Christian to walk well before God, he must learn how to resist Satan. In order to do that, he must discern what is the work of Satan. According to the judgment of the Bible, many so-called natural things are actually Satanic works. From a human point of view we may consider something to be incidental, natural, or circumstantial, but the Bible distinctly labels it as the work of the devil. If we are to follow a straight course, God’s children must not be ignorant of the devices of Satan—how full of wiles he is, how pretentious and deceptive. We should recognize him in order to resist him.
The Work of Satan in the Human Mind
Let us now mention a few of Satan’s devices so that we may resist him and overcome him before the Lord. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Satan surrounds man with strongholds so as to prevent him from obeying Christ. The special field of his work is found in man’s mind or thought life. Oftentimes man is bombarded with speculations or imaginations which are adverse to the obedience of Christ. Paul says the weapons of our warfare against these are not of the flesh. These imaginations must first be destroyed before we can bring our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
The sphere of Satan’s operation is in man’s thought life. He will inject a thought, an imagination, which appears to be your own. Under this deception, you accept it and use it as if it were yours, though in actuality it is his. Do remember that many things in the life of a Christian begin with speculations or imaginations. Many sins are first committed in the imagination of the mind. Many unpleasantnesses among brothers and sisters arise from these fancies.
Then there are those sudden thoughts. Sometimes a thought will flash into one’s mind that a certain brother is wrong. Many of God’s children do not recognize such thoughts as the work of Satan. A person may consider such a thought as his own and take it as true, thinking that the brother really is wrong. And yet, this is not true. It is Satan who has put the thought into his mind. How is he to resist the devil? He must say, “I do not want this thought. I return it to you, Satan.” Should he accept it, it will become his own thought. It is Satan’s at the start, but it will become his if he keeps it.
Christians need to know what Satanic temptation is. Satanic temptation enters mainly, if not exclusively, in the form of thought. When Satan tempts people, he does not attach a label saying, “This is Satanic temptation!” If people knew it was of Satan they would resist it. No, he sneaks in stealthily without causing a ripple. All his temptations are formulated so as not to easily arouse the Christians. He does not want them to suspect him; he would rather have them sleep on. So he surreptitiously injects a thought into their mind. Once they accept it, it has become a foothold for him.
This is why the children of God must learn how to resist inordinate thoughts. However, they also should be careful lest they become overly attentive. Any excess in this respect will cause further confusion of the thoughts, causing them to fall further into the wiles of the enemy. If one is concentrating on his thoughts, his eyes will not be focusing on the Lord. We must, indeed, resist improper thoughts, yet we should not be wholly occupied with our thoughts.
I would like to cry aloud that over these years I have seen two extremes: some people exercise no restraint in their thoughts, others are totally taken up with dealing with their thoughts. The latter are just as deceived by Satan as the former. Further, they are likely candidates for a nervous breakdown. So we need to maintain the right balance. We should not allow Satan to tempt us by injecting his thoughts; neither should we be engrossed in how to deal with our thoughts. If we are constantly taken up with dealing with our thoughts, then we have fallen into Satan’s temptation, for, instead of having our eyes on the Lord, they are on our thoughts.
Satanic thoughts can be quite easily withstood. There is a saying frequently quoted by many servants of the Lord that goes, “You cannot forbid a bird to fly over your head, but you certainly can forbid it to make a nest in your hair.” Do remember, then, that though you cannot prohibit many thoughts from passing through your mind, you can prohibit them from nesting in you. As a thought flashes through you, you may thrust it away by simply saying, “I do not want it. I will not accept it. I reject it.” Then you will see that it is thrown out.
Many of God’s children have great difficulty with their thoughts. They cannot easily control them. Of the many letters I have received over these past years, the one question most frequently asked is, “How can I control my thoughts?” Some confess that they find it especially difficult to control their thoughts during their prayer time. At this point there is something I would like to say briefly. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8), the Bible tells us. Think on these things! God’s children should learn to engage their thoughts in positive thinking. The more they use their mind positively, the less their thoughts will be out of control. Many are not able to control their thoughts because they do not think; they are passive in their thought life. This gives Satan the opportunity to insert some of his many ready-made thoughts into their minds.
Satan will not find it so easy to inject his thought into your mind if you learn to use your mind for thinking on things spiritual, good, righteous, holy, peaceful, and loveable. When your mind is positively engaged and your thoughts are not idle, Satan has no opportunity. But if a Christian’s mind is unoccupied and idle, then that passive, ungirded mind of his is open to Satanic infiltration.
Because of this, God’s children ought to exercise their minds as they exercise their bodies. This will prevent the intrusion of Satanic thoughts. Learn to recognize what thoughts are unclean, divisive, and slanderous, and then learn to resist them as soon as they are discovered to be of the enemy. Many thoughts are distinctly Satanic and therefore can be easily rejected. Some thoughts, though, are quite subtle and therefore not so easily repudiated. Nonetheless, we must learn to resist all of them.
Satan is neither omniscient nor omnipresent. He is, however, acquainted with many things, for through his evil spirits—the sinful angels—he has spread an intelligence network throughout the earth. When we are idle, Satan easily puts something that is known to him, but not to us, into our thought. He injects the intelligence that his secret service has obtained into our thoughts. He makes us fancy something, imagine something, and thus thrusts his intelligence into our mind. As soon as we ponder it and accept it, it becomes real to us. God’s children, therefore, must reject all communications from Satan, even if such communications do shed light on things. We should refuse to know anything that does not come to our knowledge by revelation received through prayer.
A child of God must not be curious or nosy. If he is not, he will escape many Satanic thoughts. If he is, Satan will supply him endlessly with some of the many things he knows. The Christian at first may think that such knowledge is beneficial. However, if he continues to accept these thoughts, he will soon become a pawn in Satan’s hand. Satan will employ the Christian’s mind to do his work. It is for this reason that one must resist all causeless thoughts. Whenever a thought about another brother’s fault flashes into one’s mind, if it comes from the thought of the mind and not from the consciousness of the Spirit, it should be rejected. If it is accepted, it will eventually become a personal conviction. One who thinks a brother has done him wrong will soon reckon it to be real. Consequently, he will break fellowship with his brother.
Unless these sudden thoughts are cut off at the beginning, they will get out of hand afterward. When Satanic temptations first invade the mind, they are relatively easy to deal with; but once they become “facts” in the mind, they are most difficult to get rid of. For this reason we must deal with thoughts. We must reject all unclean thoughts lest we sin. We must actively use our mind so as not to live a loose and dissipated life. Under God’s light, we shall see that many sins come through receiving temptations in the thought life.
Let me reiterate: after a thought is first resisted, the matter is considered closed. When the thought comes the second time, it should be ignored. In other words, when a thought first comes to you, resist it by faith, believing that it has fled away. Should it present itself the second time, it comes as a lie, not the truth. Therefore, you must reckon it as false and declare that you have already resisted it. Take this position until the thought flees. If you acknowledge the returned thought as true, you shall soon find it so attached to you that you can hardly throw it off. Many defeats may be attributed to this error. If you resist the devil, he will flee from you. This is the word of the Lord and it is totally trustworthy. Whatever Satan says is undependable. The Lord says, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7). Therefore, that which comes back again must be a fake and should be totally discredited.
Why are the minds of so many Christians confused? It is because they are always resisting. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” says the Bible. Resist him once, and he will flee. You ought to believe that he has fled away. You do not need to resist him many times. Simply believe that he has fled, for this is in accordance with God’s Word. Whatever then comes back is not true. You can well afford to ignore it, and, if you do, it will soon disappear. It lurks just outside the door, trying to peep in; if you reckon it as true, it will immediately step in. So, the basic principle is: resist the first time, ignore the second time. If a second time indeed comes, you do not even need to resist; all that is necessary is to not pay the slightest attention. To resist the second time is to discredit the first resistance; to resist the third time is to refute the first and the second resistances, and so on. Each new resistance means one more distrust of your former resistance. Because you do not believe what the Lord has said, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” you resist to the hundredth time. You will be occupied with resisting from dawn to dusk. The more you think, the more confused you become. The more you use your mind, the more severely you suffer. Therefore, do not resist foolishly. Simply believe that once resisted the devil will flee.
**By Watchman Nee from his book “Love One Another” / Picture by Knowledge Media
A narcissistic personality disorder is a condition in which a person has an inflated sense of self or importance. This disorder can cause challenges in all areas of life—at work, at home, in your health, and in your relationships. A narcissist is often characterized by behaviours of grandiosity. One of the root causes of narcissism is pride and wanting to exalt oneself above others, more on pride here. “Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride.” Quote by DC Robertsson.
It may be easy to spot narcissistic behaviour in someone else, but it can be more difficult to identify that same behaviour within oneself. When we’re looking inward, we often sugar coat our behaviour or deny it altogether.
If you are a narcissist, you might not think anything is wrong with you. That would be an expected response. It can be an insult to a fragile self-esteem to admit your need for treatment, but we want to encourage you to first admit there’s a problem, then seek the Lord in prayer for spiritual healing, as the Lord Jesus is also known as the Great Physician, the healer and restorer of all things. You can also seek assistance from a trusted Christian counsellor. This will help you find other ways toimprove your self-esteem and self-worth without these damaging behaviours.
It’s sad to say, but not everyone who claims to be Christian is really a follower of Christ. Many are simply pursuing their own agendas, be it money, fame, or power. These false disciples come in many shapes and forms, but perhaps none is more dangerous as the Spiritual Narcissist. A Spiritual Narcissist is someone who uses the Gospel to build themselves up while they tear others down. If left unchecked, their actions can inflict devastating harm on both Christians and non-Christians alike.
35 Narcissistic Traits
If a number of the narcissistic traits listed below are present in your life, we would encourage to reach out first to the Lord and /or a licensed Christian counsellor.
1. You ignore people’s boundaries
You might not feel like other people’s boundaries apply to you or that it’s not a big deal if you cross them. In fact, you may get a kick out of crossing them and getting a reaction out of the individual. On the other hand, you might not even notice another person’s boundaries or pick up on social cues that something is not acceptable.
When someone communicates a boundary with you, you may be shocked and feel a need for them to explain why you have to follow it and why it applies to you rather than simply respecting the boundary.
2. You feel superior to other people
You might look down on other people and feel like you are far superior to them in intelligence, looks, talent, and more. This superiority typically exceeds narcissists actual abilities or talents and is a defence mechanism meant to protect them from feeling vulnerable or putting a dent in their self-esteem.
3. You suffer from extreme perfectionism
You might suffer from extreme perfectionism and get enraged when you or others don’t perform according to your standards.
4. You have an excessive need for constant validation and attention
If you’re not getting attention or validation from other people, you may feel discouraged, unloved, and depressed. You might be incapable of validating yourself or feeling worthwhile without others telling you so.
5. You blame and shame others and never accept responsibility
If another person makes a mistake, you may intentionally shame them in an effort to damage their self-worth (lest they think they’re better than you). When you make a mistake, you also likely never accept responsibility and pass the blame on to someone else.
6. You get pleasure from putting other people down or causing them harm
You might take pleasure in making people cry or hurting their feelings, giving you a sense of power to have such an impact on that person. It may also make you feel a sense of control.
7. You lack empathy and compassion
You may scoff at someone’s misfortune or fail to feel sympathy for someone who is ill. If someone in your life dies, you may feel very little emotion and lack compassion for those who are experiencing a loss.
8. You have a sense of entitlement
You may begrudge the world and think that people owe you. You might think you deserve more than you’ve gotten out of life or that you deserve a better job, higher pay check, better partner, or more expensive car. You may look to the luxuries of the world and believe you have a right to them.
9. You are arrogant and conceited
Paradoxically, underneath it all, narcissists often have very fragile self-esteem and are hypersensitive. But, narcissists are often at the same time extremely arrogant and conceited. You may believe no one would refuse you, find you unattractive or unqualified, or not choose you for a promotion, partner, project, etc.
10. You exaggerate your skills, talents, and achievements
You may over-exaggerate your abilities or what you’ve achieved in life and truly believe that you are at the top-level when it’s very apparent to others that you’re not. When you and someone else tell a story about the same experience but there are glaring differences and inconsistencies.
11. You are preoccupied with success, power, outward appearances, or status symbols
You may be preoccupied with achieving power through money, authority, position, or leadership. You could be obsessed with obtaining status symbols such as a large home, sports car, “trophy wife or husband,” vacation home, yacht, country club membership, and more.
You might be so focused on your appearance that you spend hours obsessing over what you eat, working out, or undergoing plastic surgery. You might also demand a partner do the same, too.
12. You constantly feel underappreciated or undervalued
If you fail to receive the recognition, thanks, or applause you feel you deserve you might feel underappreciated or undervalued. Even if you do receive it, but not to the level or degree you believe you should, you may still feel this way. You might constantly think people are taking advantage of you or do not understand how lucky they are to have you in their life.
13. You are self-righteous
You may believe you do everything right and never make mistakes. You might believe that you follow all of God’s rules or obey the ten commandments and because of this, you are holier than other people.
14. You think everyone else is ignorant
You may think that everyone else is stupid or less knowledgeable than you. You may expect them to mess-up, not know what you know, or need your help if they’re going to succeed.
15. You like to control others and get them to do your bidding
You may get a power high from getting others to do your bidding or manipulating them into doing so without them knowing it. You might like to control when a partner can do something and how often. You might also go out of your way to try to control your environment and mitigate risk to your ego.
16. You despise talking about feelings or emotions
Narcissists often struggle controlling their emotions and change the subject any time feelings or emotions are brought up. They may refuse to “go there,” change the topic or huff at the idea of needing to be “sensitive or talk about that kind of thing.”
17. You don’t listen, you just wait to talk
If you’re a narcissist, you may dominate conversations. When someone else is talking, you might not be listening, but rather just waiting to talk or occupying your mind thinking about all that you’re going to say and the points you’re going to make.
18. You are unfaithful in relationships
You might get a kick out of seducing others or getting them to do things they’d never do for you. You might feel an insatiable need to ensure other people are still attracted to you and even hold that over a partner’s head, warning him or her that if he or she isn’t on his or her best behaviour, you can always get someone else.
19. You often have people end relationships with you in less than six months
If you find that individuals regularly break up with you once they’ve got time to know you and all comment on similar behaviours as a reason why you might be a narcissist.
Often times in a relationship, it takes a while for the relationship to reach a level of comfort where an individual starts letting their guard down and showing their true character. If partners have repeatedly brought up troublesome behaviours and left you because of it, you may have some narcissistic behaviours.
20. You are a serial dater or seducer
Since narcissists get their validation from other people, you might be a serial dater or serial seducer, getting your sense of worth from how many people say “yes” to you or find you charming or attractive.
21. You are hypersensitive to slights
If you’re a narcissist, you might be incredibly sensitive to slights or criticism. These slights and critiques can be highly damaging to a fragile ego and may cause extreme rage or depression.
22. You demand special favours and compliance
You may constantly demand special favours from people around you or demand extreme compliance from a partner or children. If you don’t receive those favours or compliance, you might become extremely agitated and aggressive. You will never consider that you might have asked too much, but that the individuals don’t understand your worth, value, or entitlement.
23. You struggle to deal with stress and adapting to change
Because narcissists like to control their external environment and other people, they can struggle to adapt to change or stress, which naturally make a person feel out of control.
24. You get aggressively angry when you don’t get what you want
If you don’t get what you want, you may blow up or fly into a rage that includes threatening others, breaking things, causing violence, and more.
25. You get unusually depressed or upset when you fall short or fail
You may beat yourself up (or physically punish yourself) for not achieving a certain result, making a bad decision, or failing at a goal.
Below are 10 warning signs that you may be dealing with a Spiritual Narcissist:
1. They Constantly Reference their own Achievements
The Spiritual Narcissist loves to self-promote. For them, every conversation is an opportunity to share just how superior they are to the average believer. They typically go about this by listing off their own achievements. You’ll hear them talk incessantly about their upcoming book, their latest blog post, sermon series, missions work, or that time they led someone to Christ. Scripture tells us not seek our own glory and to let our work stand on its own (Proverbs 27:2), but the Spiritual Narcissist will flaunt anything they believe might bring them praise.
The best way for Christians to counter this display is to follow the example of Micah 6:8, live justly, show mercy, and walk humbly with the LORD your God.
2. They Invade Conversations
The Spiritual Narcissist craves control, and their highest authority is always their own self-reference. As a result, it’s not uncommon for them to invade the personal or private conversations of others. They’ll often do this under the guise of “helping” or “correcting” fellow Christians, but they have no real interest in two-way dialogue. You’ll notice they also have a way of injecting their own opinions into situations, and are the first voice their complaints about recent events in the Church. The Bible warns that such people create division among believers and serve only their own appetites (Romans 16:17-18, Psalms 36:1-4).
There’s no good way to speak with Spiritual Narcissists (Proverbs 26:4-5), the best response Christians can make is stand their ground and refuse to be bullied.
3. They Twist Scripture
Someone once said, “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires”. In the same way, a Spiritual Narcissist uses scripture as a tool for their purpose instead of God’s. They approach the Bible with a closed mind, memorizing only a handful of useful verses that will justify their behaviour. Anything else, particularly scripture that conflicts with their actions, gets ignored. Like the men of Jude 1:4, they should not to be trusted.
The best defence Christians have against this kind of faulty theology is to simply read the Bible. The more familiar we become with God’s work, the more familiar we become with God.
4. They Profess Love, but Never Show It
Perhaps the easiest way to identify a Spiritual Narcissist is to see if their works match their words. Many will claim they have nothing but love and compassion in their hearts for those they rebuke, but their actions prove otherwise. Matthew 7 teaches us that we can judge a prophet by the fruit of his labours, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.” So, what kind of harvest do they bring to God’s table? Division? Disdain? Cruelty?
Love is more than words, love is action. That’s what separates the true Christian from the Spiritual Narcissist.
5. They Talk, but They Don’t Listen
Listening can be a powerful tool for Christians. Listening builds trust, creates empathy, and fosters understanding among individuals. James 1:19 even urges believers to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. The Spiritual Narcissist, by contrast, is quick to speak, quick to take offense, and incapable of listening. They enjoy being the loudest one in the room, and the idea of deferring to someone else galls them.
A true Christian listens to others, even when they might not agree with them. Listening requires that we be selfless, which is the one thing a Spiritual Narcissist can never be.
6. They Live in Echo Chambers
In 1 Kings 22, Jehoshaphat king of Judah and Ahab king of Israel join forces to wage war against a neighbouring adversary. However, before they depart Jehoshaphat decides to inquire upon the Lord for guidance. Four hundred prophets’ parade in front of the kings proclaiming victory is at hand, but Jehoshaphat isn’t convinced. When asked whether there is still a disciple of the Lord they can speak with, Ahab reluctantly admits,
“There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
Like Ahab, the Spiritual Narcissist lives in their own personal echo chamber. They surround themselves with individuals who will always affirm their existing preconceptions or opinions. Don’t make the same mistake. A wise Christian knows the right answer isn’t always the popular one.
7. They Refuse to Acknowledge Their Mistakes
No one likes admitting they were wrong. It’s a humbling (and let’s be honest, sometimes embarrassing) experience, but accepting responsibility for your mistakes is the first step towards real maturity. Naturally, the Spiritual Narcissist will have none of it. Even when confronted with insurmountable evidence, the Spiritual Narcissist will continue to defend their actions as right. For them, it’s not about the greater good, it’s about protecting their self-image.
Humility is a precious gift. It allows us to learn from our mistakes, recognize our faults, and grow into better people because of it. Take some advice from Philippians 3:13, accept what you’ve done wrong and strive to live for what comes ahead!
9. They Lead by Force, Not Example
A Spiritual Narcissist makes for the worst kind of leader. They’re petty, uncompromising, spiteful, and controlling. Heaven help the ministry which falls under their stewardship. By comparison, great leaders have always inspired their followers by example. They correct others without humiliating them, mentor those who need growth, and weigh their words carefully before speaking.
Take David, who despite his faults, showed humility and wisdom for God’s anointed rulers (1 Samuel 24). What about Peter? He spent his life testifying to Christ’s resurrection and building bridges of fellowship between strangers (Acts 10). Unlike the Spiritual Narcissist, a true leader knows their duty is to serve, not be served.
10. They Ultimately Put God Second
An expert in the law once asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. His reply,
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’” – Matthew 22:37-40
Many Christians know this verse by heart, but the meaning behind Christ’s words goes much farther than we realize. Not only is Jesus calling believers to love God with all their heart, he’s telling them our faithfulness is affirmed by our love for our neighbours. To put it simply: we can only love God if we’re unselfish. A Spiritual Narcissist will always put God second. Whether it’s by neglecting Christ’s commands, or how they treat their neighbours, pride will always make a person spiritually toxic. Don’t let yourself miss out on God’s amazing plan by being a Spiritual Narcissist.
Some More Bible Examples and Verses
Bible examples of people with one of the variant types of narcissism from covert, overt / grandiose, somatic, sexual, malignant, cerebral and spiritual: Diotrephes, Cain, Laban, Jezebel, King Ahab, Haman, Potiphar’s wife, King Saul, Nebuchadnezzar, Delilah, King Herod, Diotrophes, Ananias & Sapphira, King Sennacherib, The people of Sodom, Herodias, King Ahasuerus, Adonijah, Absalom, Judas, the Pharisees and Satan the devil.
But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5 amp)
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!” (2 Corinthians 11:13-21)
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 1-3)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Christian Counselling to Overcome Narcissistic Traits
If you recognize these narcissistic traits in yourself, getting treatment can help you overcome your internal and external conflicts for a more enjoyable life and better relationships. Reach out to God in prayer for healing (sometimes deliverance is needed) and us, for Christian counselling to overcome narcissism. You were created in the image of God for the purpose of bringing Him glory. Perhaps you are currently in a season in which you do not feel that you are bringing glory to God. Maybe you are even questioning whether you were made in His image. Many people reach a point in their lives when they feel stuck. They want to move forward, but they feel powerless and don’t know where to turn. Using biblical principles, warmth, and patience, I will work with you to seek lasting, positive change that will help you reflect God’s image and bring Him glory.
Side Note: We are all sinners saved by grace, and we all need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. May the Lord help us to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and give us much grace, discernment and wisdom in these last days.
**How to have a relationship with God : The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE
**By Benjamin Deu, MA, LMHC at Bothell Christian Counselling & Ryan Duncan at Crosswalk.com / Photo by Lilartsy at Pexels
Take away notes from David Pawson’s sermon above on, ‘once saved always saved?
The Bible warns that some will depart from the faith in the last days, you can’t depart or fall away from the faith unless you were a part of it to begin with: Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. ~ 1 Timothy 4:1
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” ~ 2 Peter 2:20-22
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. ~2 Timothy 3:1-5
The Bible warns about backsliding, you can’t back slide if you didn’t slide forward to begin with: Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62
My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. ~ James 5:19-20
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. ~ Hebrews 6:4-6
Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. ~ Jeremiah 8:5
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ~ 1 John 1:9
There’s also reference in the Bible of people’s names being blotted out of the book of life, your name can’t be blotted out unless it was written there in the first place:
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ~ Revelation 3:3-6
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. ~ Revelation 22:19
There are numerous verses that certain people will not inherit the Kingdom of God, whether they call themselves a ‘Christian’ or not:
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. ~ Matthew 18:8-9
God is holy so you must be holy (1 Peter 1:16), you need to enter into the narrow gate (Luke 13:24) and aim to be perfect as the Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48); you will be sanctified and changed overtime and conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 12:2; 8:22). If you’re born again you can still fall away. Jude refers to it as being twice dead (Jude 1:12). Remember in revelation it states the devil makes war with those who have the testimony of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments of God (Revelation 3:17). Now most people do one without the other, for instance, lukewarm Christians (revelation 3:16) have the testimony of Jesus but are living in intentional sin. The Jews keep the commandments of God, but do not have the testimony of Jesus. To say that you have eternal security but continue to live in intentional sin and don’t repent i.e., of pornography, lying, stealing, fornication etc… (2 Corinthians 5:17) is delusional. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new.
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” ~ Revelation 21:6-8
At the end of the day whether you agree or disagree, it’s better to live a life as if being saved and err on the side of caution than to get it completely wrong and think that you could live as you like and still go to heaven… those who love God seek to do His will and obey His Word. Let God be true and every man an liar (Romans 3:4). Please read God’s Word, the Bible, for yourself and remember to “put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The enemy of the saints, the devil, was a liar and deceiver from the beginning… remember Eve in the garden.
~ there is none good, but God
**How to have a relationship with God and be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE
I don’t particularly like spiders; but have you ever watched one getting ready to eat? Using just the right number of sticky threads, he carefully prepares his web and positions himself to wait for an unsuspecting victim. When one comes along and is caught, the spider feels its vibrations and immediately runs to devour his meal.
Like a spider seeking his prey, the enemy of your soul is hoping to have you for a snack. The Bible says you should “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). One of the ways Satan devours Christians is through false ministries. He strategically sets up his web of deception and waits for you; but he can only devour you if you let him.
As God pours out His Holy Spirit in these last days, you can expect to see more and more legitimate signs and wonders. But, whenever God begins to move, the devil always tries to distract people with a counterfeit move. Jesus said, “For there shall arise false Christ’s, and false prophets, and they shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive even the very elect” (Matthew 24:24). This prophecy has been in the fulfillment stage for about 2000 years but never more so than at the present time. Satan knows his time is short, and he is doing all he can to deceive God’s people. Therefore, you need to be spiritually sharp so you can avoid the devil’s web of deception. Seeing is not Believing Many people unwittingly get caught in the devil’s web of deception because of their eagerness for supernatural experiences. Even some Christians think that just because an occurrence is supernatural, it must be from God. They couldn’t be more wrong! The Apostle John wrote, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, to see if they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” We’re told not to blindly believe every spirit, prophet or prophecy, but to test the spirits and judge the prophecy. In other words, don’t just look for supernatural experiences. Instead, look for those things you are certain come from God.
When the Holy Spirit was being poured out in the book of Acts, something very tangible occurred. In fact, the devout Jews criticized what was taking place and tried to explain it away as drunkenness. Peter gave us some good criteria for judging supernatural manifestations when he said, “For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:15-18). Notice he said, “This is that.” If you cannot look at an experience and find it in scripture, you don’t want it as part of your theology!
Recognizing False Ministries
False ministers point to themselves and not to Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30). False ministers draw disciples to themselves, claiming to have spiritual insight local pastors and church leaders do not have. They have a “special” revelation from God. True ministers are messengers who always point to Jesus, not themselves.
False ministers are usually critical of local church leadership. Jude referred to ungodly men who deny the Lord as “grumblers and faultfinders who follow their own evil desires.” They were recognized as those who boasted about themselves and flattered others for their own advantage. That is what deceivers do — they attack and criticize the leadership of your local church while exalting themselves
False prophets usually bring a negative message, especially for those who resist their “ministry.” Their theme is doom, gloom, and destruction. The first time I went to Russia, someone prophesied I was going to die in a plane crash. I prayed about it and didn’t feel the prophecy was right. So, I went as planned and, in just one meeting, over a thousand people were saved. Five hundred churches were planted as a result of that trip. If I were the devil, I would have tried to stop it, too!
The Bible says we are to be led by the Spirit of God, not by prophetic words. If I had I allowed myself to be directed by prophecy alone, I’d never have gone to Russia. Just remember, prophecy should be used to confirm what God is already speaking to you.
False ministers will let you know they are “special” messengers from God. They want to make you believe God speaks to them in a way He does not speak to you. Many people have regrettably poured their hearts, their finances, and their lives into the hands of false ministers just because they were told, “God sent me to you.” Remember, a person is not necessarily on a divine mission from God just because they say so.
One of the easiest ways to spot a false ministry is by discerning the spirit of the minister. A true representative of God is teachable and humble. False ministers are rebellious and un-teachable. They feel no one but God has the right to tell them what to do. Be careful not to get involved with such a minister. If they have a know-it-all attitude, they have already opened the door to the devil’s deception. You don’t want to walk through the door with them!
False ministers display “gifts,” but their fruit is bad. Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Mat 7:15-17). He did not say you would know the good from the bad by signs, miracles, or gifts, but by their fruit. Learn to look beyond the supernatural display to examine the fruit of the ministry.
Finally, false ministers are often “drifters” who have no real roots. If you could do a background check on them, you would probably find that false ministers have gone from church to church, leaving a long trail of confusion, division, deception, and destruction. The Bible says we are to know those who labor among us. In other words, don’t blindly receive the ministry of someone who is not known or recognized by your local leadership.
Knowing the Truth
The most important thing you can do to discern a false ministry is to know what a true ministry looks like. The better you know someone, the less likely you are to be fooled by someone disguised as that person. The better you know the Lord, the less likely you are to be fooled by someone falsely representing him.
I challenge you to stay full of the Holy Spirit and to stay in the Word of God. Hold your local church leadership in high regard, recognizing that they may see things you do not see. Finally, take a bold stand against false ministries and help those who are deceived.
Signs of False Ministries
1. They point to themselves, not to Jesus. 2. They are critical of local church leadership. 3. They bring a negative message. 4. They say they are “special” messengers sent from God. 5. They’re usually rebellious and un-teachable. 6. They display “gifts” but have bad fruit. 7. They’re “drifters” who have no verifiable roots.
**By Duane Vander Klok at walkingbyfaith.tv / Photo by Pixabay
**How to have a relationship with God and be saved: The Path To Salvation, please click: HERE
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