Heresy explained

HeresyHeresy is often misunderstood as being absolute disobedience to God, but it is my opinion often something more subtle than that. I will start this essay off by giving you a real-world example. You see to understand the most dangerous forms of heresy one has only to see that if a thing is not of God it then falls into the category of Doctrines of Demons.

The example that I would like to give you is that of baking a cake. There are a few recipes that go into a cake. I am sure that Getting There would give me some great examples seeing that she recently proved her culinary skills in the kitchen with a wonderful batch of cookie. For the purpose of this essay I will grab the first one that I can find off the net

1 (18.25 ounce) packagefood cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Sounds like a strange cake, but I won’t be a critic. This cake is called Too Much Chocolate. It apparently won the author some prize. Go see it here

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Too-Much-Chocolate-Cake/Detail.aspx

Let me play the part of the food heretic. Lets say the I remove the sour cream because that just sounds awful to me and I am sure that something like sour cream does not belong in a chocolate cake.

If I was to bake a cake with this altered recipe would this still be the same cake that the wonderful woman won the prize for? No it would not. This, in theological terms, is the more extreme form of heresy that is practiced by the likes of the Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Christian Scientists and so on. They make it a habit of totally remove core doctrine from the bible such as the divinity of Christ and the blessed hope of all Christians, Heaven.

OK, now lets try something else, lets say that I like sour cream mixed with my sweet choc cake but I have a dislike for vegetable oil, but know that as a good baker I could not totally remove that ingredient because the cake might get too dry (guessing, have no idea). So I decide to place 1 ½ cups of this wonderful half rotten cow byproduct called sour cream and decrease the amount of vegetable oil in the recipe by half to ½ cup. I also decide to remove one egg and add 2½ cup of semisweet choc chips. So I have all the core ingrediants, but the cake I bake will probably not win a prize because it is not the same cake this lovely woman slaved so hard to create. This is the more subtle form of heresy. This is practiced largely in the Charismatic church, the emergent church and of course NCMI. This is why it is so hard to point out the error that is evident in these churches. They take one piece of doctrine, for instance tongues, and elevate it so high that it is hardly recognizable as what is really presented in the scriptures. They are messing with Gods recipe for man.

People have to change their approach to how they combat these churches. They cannot go in all guns blazing, expecting to find them sacrifices bunny rabbits on the alter, because the fact of the matter is; they won’t, or even be able to find anything that can totally be pinpointed to as outright heresy. They will answer to the same creeds as you, so they will worship, in theory, the same God as you, and every argument or debate that you enter into with them will come up naught. You have to point out to these people the mis-balance that exists, for that is the key to success in these cases. You need to point out to them that like them you are rescued by Christs blood, and that something like tongues not occurring in your life is no reason for them to deny you Christianity, but false tongues on the other hand is a very serious thing indeed, and I believe that we are to watch them, because if they are not from God then where are they from?

I hope this essay puts some things into perspective better enabling you to understand and indeed combat heresy effectively within the body of Christ.

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Biblically handling troubles

113360_cryingProverbs 15:13
A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken

Isaiah 53:4
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

Why me, why has gone let this happen, how could there be a God when there is so much pain? These are all question that people ask everyday. You might have lost a loved one through death, or divorce. You might have been rejected for that job that you really wanted. You might be under enormous stress in a relationship or a job. There are so many ways that an individual can suffer in this world, but the Lord our God does not abandon us in these time if we only ask.

Dealing with the pain only through God:

I think there is one chapter in the bible that would cover what it means to be protected, cared for and who we should turn to in times of grief. That chapter is Psalms 91

V Chapter Commentary
1. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. If we live in a personal relationship with God there is rest from pain (Isa 53:4)
2. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. He is our only refuge, besides Him there is not place of safety if only we trust in Him.
3. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He is able and will rescue us from where we are and the problems that we are in.
4. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection Another illustration of a caring God, but also a trustworthy God who keeps his promises
5. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Why would we be, when our God is so great and we know that He is our protector. He is able to take away the pain.
6. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. If you are hurting, do not fear the things that have happened in your life for the Lord is on your side.
7. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. How great is our God, who is so clearly our protector
9 – 10. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home Find refuge in the Lord and the problems will become nothing and you will carry on.
11 – 12. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go

They will hold you up with their hands

so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone

We are obviously special and loved by the Lord for Him to order the heavenly hosts protection over us.
14 – 16. The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” A promise from a trustworthy God. He will be our refuge if we only love and call upon Him.

If you are hurting, seek the Lord. He is happy to comfort you and protect you in your time of pain. For He is faithful to those that love Him and will always keep His promises to you.

John 16:7, 8,

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Making the right choice

I would like to take some time to address an issue that is the most important issue of all. That is the issue of Jesus Christ, who He was and why he came. I am sure that most know who Jesus Christ was, I am also sure that most of you know what He did.

I am not going to go into scriptures and get all theological with this post. All I wish to do is show you the Christ I know and why Christianity differs so much from any other religious system out there.
Through out the scriptures of the Old Testament the Jews knew that something was going to happen. They knew that the Messiah was coming and that he would be hung on a tree. The very system of sacrifice in the Temple was an illustration of Christ’s sacrifice that he would one day give. In the New Testament we are presented with the coming of the Messiah. We are presented with his birth to the Virgin Mary, part of his childhood, His ministry, His crucifixion and his resurrection. We are told that this was done because God so loved the world the he gave us His only Begotten Son. The account of Jesus is known as the Good News or Gospel.

Christ suffered an unimaginable death but not in vain, because His death heralded in a new covenant between God and man. No longer was God separated from use but dwelled in us and amongst us as illustrated by the ripping of the Temple veil, which separated the outside world from the Holy of Holies, Where God dwelt in the Temple. With Christ’s Crucifixion came a time where all Christians adopted a Priesthood and have commune with God through Jesus Christ His son who acts as High Priest and Mediator for us.
Christ crucifixion also heralded an era where Christians no longer live under the law, which was the only way before Christ to measure righteousness. With the shedding of Christ’s blood we are all made clean, holy and righteous and are showered with the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes indeed this is Good News.

To accept such a thing all we need do is ask. Repent and let Jesus Christ become the master of our lives and be lead by the indwelling Spirit.
Christianity is the only religion where we are no longer required to do any good works in order to receive salvation, although with a Saviour as wondrous as our who would not want to work diligently to spread his message to the corners of the earth? Every sin we commit is not held against us, for we have been made clean by the most powerful cleaning agent available, Christ’s Blood, shed on Calvary for no other thing than to offer salvation to humankind. A Christian’s promise is life eternal life lived out in the presence of the Most High in Paradise.
All you need do to accept this great gift is ask, repent and receive. I prayer so simple that many feel it is not enough, but it is. Simply Pray:

Lord Jesus, I accept you and acknowledge that I am a sinful man/woman. My sins are too numerous to be counted, but I trust in your blood to wash them away, making me into a new creation. Lord come into my life, guide me and keep me. Hold me to the truth and always guide my heart to seek you. Forgive me my sins and hold them not against me, for I a truly repentant. Thank you Lord for you sacrifice and never let me forget what you have done for me. Amen.

Pray it, mean it and be saved by the shedding of the Lords blood, it is that simple.

God Bless

A Picky Follower

I got to thinking lately how we all are such sheep. I remember back in 1999 when everyone was freaking out about the Y2K bug and how civilisation was going to crash come 2000. I was freaked out and believed it without question. Time Magazine even had a cover depicting a post apocalyptic scene in New York with everyone throwing their PCs out of the windows.

That year I went to a New Years celebration at a hotel in my town. It was very delightful and we all had a good meal and enjoyed ourselves. Come the strike of midnight everyone went quite waiting for the power to fail, but as you all know nothing happened.

I am not a leader and I much prefer to follow than lead. I think that this is one of the reasons I ended up in a NCMI relating church in the first place. I found it comfortable to have someone make all the decisions for me. When I left I was angry at myself for being a follower. I wished that I could be a leader.

It was only later that I realized that there is nothing wrong with being a follower, all though I believe that letting people make all the decisions in your life is wrong. I learnt that when you choose to let someone lead you that you should expect to be lead well and if they lead you poorly, then find another leader. I think that if you, like me, prefer to be lead then you should spend less time trying to transform yourself into a great leader and spend more time finding the right person to lead you. In your walk with God and your drive to Christ likeness one should accept the help placed in your path, all the while measuring it up to Gods word because the enemy can also place people in your path that will lead you astray.

False Prophets of the Charismatic Movement – Benny Hinn

This is a article that I wrote many years ago, but I thought that I will post it here for you to see.

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The bible warns us about false prophets. It is spelled out as clear as day in these following verses to name a few:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolvesMatthew 7:15

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:11

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24

Benny Hinn has made false prophecies. Just take a look at the following:

Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989.
“The Spirit tells me – Fidel Castro will die – in the 90’s. Oooh my! Some will try to kill him and they will not succeed. But there will come a change in his physical health, and he will not stay in power, and Cuba will be visited of God.”

Orlando Christian Center, Dec. 31st, 1989.
“The Lord also tells me to tell you in the mid 90’s, about ’94-’95, no later than that, God will destroy the homosexual community of America. [audience applauds] But He will not destroy it – with what many minds have thought Him to be, He will destroy it with fire. And many will turn and be saved, and many will rebel and be destroyed.”

Benny Hinn claims that the Lord revealed the above prophecies to him, yet none came to pass. I don’t know about you but I believe God is without fail, and if the Lord did give him these words, then God was wrong. It is a case of Benny lied, or the Lord was wrong. The answer should be clear to any Christian.

Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Ezek 13:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the LORD!

Ezek 13:3 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!

Ezek 13:4 Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins.

Ezek 13:5 You have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD.

Ezek 13:6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. They say, “The LORD declares,” when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.

Ezek 13:7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The LORD declares,” though I have not spoken?

Ezek 13:8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Ezek 13:9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.

The recent change of name of this Blog

You would have noticed that a few weeks back I changed the name of this site from “NCMI Fringe” to “Discover the Truth”. This was not a flippant name change and I would like to take this opportunity to explain it.

The reason for the change is that I would like to move this blog away from being an exclusively NCMI bashing platform. I believe that it is important to expose the wolves that lurk within the movement but these wolves are not exclusively NCMI and I believe that this blog should not be either. I will try to keep my focus on NCMI as this is where I learnt of the dangers of the Charismatic movement, but I look forward to presenting articles the will expose the Charismatic movement and hopefully give you some perspective as to why NCMI is wrong in many of the things that they do.

Over the next month I will be updating the site to reflect this and will be adding some great links to my blogroll. The URL for this blog will stay the same , there is no point in starting from scratch, and besides I will still be spending a lot of time and energy on my opposition to the NCMI Fringe Group.

Through the Chaos

Jumping up and down, spinning around, mass tongues, waving flags and even stage diving. These are things that anyone that has ever attended an NCMI relating church (or most NCMI relating churches) would have seen.
I loved it and saw it as a church that had found freedom in religion. These people, I thought where so hyped for God and where doing Him some great service by performing these theatrics.
Every service I would eagerly head to church excited to experience this freedom. I would hear people speak in tongues, I would hear prophecy, and I would hear what I thought to be God speaking into my own heart.
It was only later on when I started having conflict with some of the elders that the scales fell off my eyes. I started to see how everything that was happening was nothing more than experience and had very little, if not nothing to do with the bible. I was given a book called Occult ABC written by Kurt E. Koch and was shocked to see that he dealt with tongues as being of the occult. I mean how could he? My world view was totally rocked. How could a Christian say that something that I believed to be a normal Christian thing is part of the occult?
It was enough for me to start questioning, searching and enquiring. I did this at the church and via correspondence on the internet. Every time I asked a question they either ignored me or rebuked me. There was never a spirit of understanding to my concerns. This was coupled with the elders at church getting into conflict with my wife and me over a ministry that she used to run. I was also told that I believed in heretical doctrine because I was inclined to Calvinism.
After some time and much soul searching I left. I had to; I would not have felt right if I did not.
After I left I had to deal with an internal crisis. I was unsure if I was correct to have left. I am not closed minded and I knew that there was very likely a possibility that I was to blame for the fallout. It was then that I started bumping into people that where going through, or had gone through the same as me. There was not just a few, but many.
I am at peace now knowing that the choice that I made was correct. It was the only choice that I could have made. I am also comfortable that my choice to start this blog and the support forum for people that have left NCMI was also correct. I still battle, but am taking this journey one step at a time. I am finally whole.

Any information – Ray Oliver

Has anyone got any information or experience with Ray Oliver? I know that he used to head up the church that I used to attend (New Covenant Fellowship, Pietermaritzburg), but other than that I know very little. Any info in this regard will be greatly appreciated.

Deliverance – Can a Christian be possessed?

There is divided opinion within NCMI as to whether a Christian can be possessed by a demon.  Within the church that I went to, the doctrine was officially addressed by the eldership and rejected, but this did not stop the congregants from continuing the practice of delivering Christians from demonic bondage.
After the rejection of the doctrine certain elders decided to carry on the practice within the church. The rest of the eldership objected to it and said anyone that exclusively attends their church is forbidden from being delivered. The elders that where for the practice instructed people to attend the church only in the morning and another NCMI relating church in the evening. This way they where not exclusively attending the one church and could still be delivered and indeed perform deliverance.
As you can image this caused a substantial split within the church and after some time it appears that all the elders have now agreed that Christians can be possessed by demonic forces.

What argument do they offer in defence?

When I have approached people about the biblical basis of such a belief I always seem to get the same defence in return. It is a defence that is not based on scripture, but it appears to be all they can offer.
According to them a person is like a glass or cup. If they are free from demons then they are empty. If they are possessed then they will contain stone a various sizes ranging from small pebbles to large stone. These stones represent the demons.
When someone receives salvation it is like the glass is being filled up very rapidly with water (the indwelling Spirit of God). The smaller stones are dislodged and washed out of the glass and the larger ones remain.
So according to their illustration, the Holy Spirit has a limited effect on some of the more powerful demons.

How does this belief affect a Christian?
Everyone that I met that holds to this belief have one thing in common. They believe that they are not responsible for any, or very little of the sin that they commit. They believe that the only way that they can stay sin-free is to be delivered regularly. I can’t help but place connections here again with the Roman Catholic practice of confession. I am sure that I am not the only one that sees the parallel.

Let no one say when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:13,14).

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Gal. 5:1921)

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness” (Mark 7:21,22)

Well is it biblical or not?
I have to say that it is not. Demons can oppress, attack, and tempt from the outside, but Scripture is clear that a demon cannot indwell a believer and control him.

You, as a Christian become the Temple of the Most High; your body is the residence of the Holy Spirit. It belongs to Him, not to us or the devil, or any form of demonic power.

Titus 2:14 says that Christ redeemed us to be “a people for His own possession.” We are God’s property. To say that the devil can live in the body of believers makes nonsense of what the Scripture teaches:

“You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

The “He” is God, and He is greater than “he” that is in the world who is the devil. To say that a Christian can be possessed is blasphemous to the Holy Spirit, because is lowers his Sovereignty. Even to the point where he can’t deal fully with the servants of the devil without the help of men who perform deliverance. If the Holy Spirit is greater than the devil, then is He not greater that any demonic power that possesses you.

A closer look at shepherding – Cont.

The shepherding movement came as a result of the Jesus People or Jesus Movement. The Jesus Movement was a movement that formed as a result of the Hippies in the 60’s realising that there was more to life than just freedom, and turned to the Lord.
A group of men came together to bring a balanced view to this movement. This was due to the chaos of the Fort Lauderdale Ministry. This group of men thought it wise to create a system where they would mutually submit themselves to one another. This would be a system of accountability. When they had done this they reporting having a supernatural experience that bound their ministries together for life. The members of this group where:

  • Derek Prince,
  • Don Basham,
  • Bob Mumford
  • Charles Simpson

Later on Ern Baxter joined this group and they became known as the “The Fort Lauderdale Five.”
Their teachings where centred on authority, submission and discipleship. They entered a new doctrine into the church where a person was to submit to another person. It was the disciple under the pastor and the pastor under the shepherd. All major life decisions where to be submitted to this person, or mentor. This system might sound nice but it created the problem of the individual Christian having two Masters. The one being man and the other being Jesus Christ or God. Another way of looking at it could be to say that Jesus was the shepherd over the flock and within the flock there was another shepherd that shepherded you personally. What happened though was that given enough time the personal shepherd gained more and more authority over the life of the one being shepherded and Christ lost more and more of His authority in our lives.
In light of the above it begins to make sense why there are so many people out there that are willing to defend a spiritual leader without question. For instance when I point out errors in Rob Rufus’s doctrine people will tell me to stop persecuting a man of God. It is similar that when a false prophecy is pointed out lets say in the case of Bennie Hinn, all his followers will call me a heresy hunter, or tell me to stop blaspheming the Holy Spirit. They never once will stop and say, “hang on a minute, that prophecy was false” or take a look at the bible to see what God thinks of false prophets, or how that are to be expected in the end times.
When a person attends a NCMI church, they will notice a couple of important key words that are likely to enter their ears. The key words are as follows:

  • Covering
  • Covenant Friendships / Relationships
  • Spiritual Family

Regarding covering, who is a Christians covering? I believe the answer is easy; it is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Regarding Covenant Friendships / Relationships and the Spiritual Family. This doctrine is dangerous because if a person is to leave a particular group, or break off a friendship with their mentor, that where breaking a spiritual covenant. This in the eyes of the church, at least at a doctrinal level is the same as divorce. People who are reading this who have left an NCMI church would have noticed that when they left they where basically ex-communicated. People that you have been friends with for years would now not even talk to you. This is the same as the Jehovah’s Witness doctrine of dis-fellowshipping and is a direct result of the covenant relationship doctrine.
This movement is often referred to as something that was, not something that is. Because of the horrendous failure that the Shepherding movement of old had, churches today are very reluctant to associate themselves with the movement. Many churches do however believe the basic principles that the shepherding movement taught.
Within the Charismatic movement there are two branches. The Prophetic and the Apostolic. The Prophetic branch rejects the tenants of the Shepherding movement while the Apostolic accepts the tenants. NCMI falls into the latter.
A short look at some NCMI church website visions and values show you that they are in fact a Heavy Shepherding Church.

NCF Pietermaritzburg: Covenantal relationships
Westside Church: Close, covenantal relationships
Urban Life Church: Building covenantal relationships

In fact all NCMI relating churches fall under the covering of NCMI. It is a great big spiritual pyramid scheme.

NCMI churches claim to believe in the Priesthood of all believes, but you have to wonder if it is a real belief when they have a church structure like this.
As Christians we have a royal priesthood, are able to discern, interpret, as fellowship with God on our own, without the need of a priest. It is the basis of the Reformation and what separates us from the Roman Catholics. As you can see from the diagram, NCMI places people into different levels of spirituality, with everyone under each level being accountable to the one above. What this basically does is re-introduce the Priesthood to the church.