Monday, January 4, 2016

Top Ten Troublesome Teachings of 2015

Intercessory Fail in "War Room"
In the movie “War Room,” the character Mandy delivers the most effective punchline in the movie, eliciting riotous laughter as she tells her friend “Sometimes you have to duck so that God can hit your husband.” Now, I loved the movie and its theme (and I laughed too) and I have nothing but respect for the actress, but a praying wife should be interceding for her husband. All through Scripture, people intercede on behalf of others, from Moses and David standing in the gap for Israel or even Jesus saying “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Biblical submission, hupotasso, means partnership and cooperation. It is a wife’s job to watch her husband’s back, pray for him, and yes, even confront and correct him, out of love and respect, when he is wrong. Silence is not submission, Ladies. Biblical submission is about stepping up as a lieutenant to lead alongside your husband and to support his life and ministry with your whole heart (as He should support yours in a loving and sacrificial way).

Does God give Satan permission to attack us when we sin?
The night before Jesus was crucified, Satan demanded to sift Peter like wheat. He exercised a legal claim on Peter. Under the law, when a person sinned, they chose curse over blessing and forfeited the benefits of God. The next day, Jesus atoned for our sins, redeeming us from the curse of the law. A believer might open a door for Satan to attack us through sin or lack of faith, but because of Jesus finished work on the cross, permission is denied, he has no legal right to us whatsoever. When the enemy encroaches on a Christ follower, He has just attacked a child of the Most High Living God, one who has been redeemed and forgiven, an heir to the promises of God, a citizen of heaven and an ambassador of the Kingdom with diplomatic immunity on this earth. He is out of bounds and out of line. We are not under the law. We ARE the law and Satan and every demon of hell is subject to us in Jesus name. We have all authority from Christ to rebuke them, shut that door and throw them out.

Blood Moon Prophecies
Making predictions about the future by reading the moon is the sin of divination, not prophecy. Isaiah 47:10-15 tell us that such activity is sorcery. Many Christians were fooled this year by End Times Profiteers selling their prognostications in their books and on TV.  At the moment of Jesus’ return, which no one can predict, the sun will go dark, the moon will turn to blood/go dark and the stars will fall out of the sky. Time as we know it and the patterns of the moon and stars will stop. As long as they continue in their normal predictable patterns, then let your heart be at ease and pay no heed to the man behind the curtain making future predictions by astrology.

The Shemitah Prophecy
Best-selling author, Johnathan Kahn unsuccessfully predicted that the stock market would collapse last September causing epic financial disaster based on the Biblical principle of the Shemitah and his interpretation of omens. Deuteronomy 18:10 tells us that interpreting omens to predict the future is witchcraft. It is the sin of divination, not legitimate prophecy. Shemitah is the Hebrew word for forgiveness. Capitalizing on the success of his fictional book, “The Harbinger,” which relies heavily on the interpretation of omens, He predicted that God was going to crash our economy based on the ancient Hebrew principle of Forgiveness. That is ludicrous. The stock market steadily rose all through September. The Spirit-Filled life Bible, edited by Pastor Jack Hayford warns us to avoid prophecy that focuses on the mystical and to reject prophecy that isn’t Christ centered. We live in the age of grace and mercy. The principle of the Shemitah is a picture of God forgiving us of that debt of sin that we owed. Preach that.

Marriage IS the Image of God/Singles Aren’t Fully Human
This idea has sprouted up in places ranging from a popular marriage show, to classes, to the Pope in Rome. Our status as human beings, created in God's image, is not defined by our relationship status. Jesus was single and He said: "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Colossians 1:15 says: "He is the image of the invisible God." Jesus, a single person, was the perfect image bearer and reflection of the Father. Matthew 24 says that there is no marriage between individuals in heaven, and all Christians agree that we will be perfect, fully restored image-bearers of God in heavenColossians 3:10 says that we "have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Marriage is a picture of God’s relationship with the church, not a picture of the Godhead.

Jesus Is A Husband to Single Women
Jesus has not yet come for His bride, the church. The church is in preparation, under covenant betrothal, eagerly awaiting the marriage supper of the Lamb, which has not yet taken place. So, from that standpoint, Jesus is a groom-to-be who is making preparations for the Bride which He has not yet married. Sorry single ladies, He is not your individual husband. That metaphorical misunderstanding gets a little creepy if taken too far, when you think about a man’s relationship to Jesus. He is God, Lord, friend, helper and counselor to individuals. There are certainly similarities between how God relates to the church and how he relates to individuals which are beautifully illustrated by this metaphor. The parable of the virgins also uses the marriage metaphor to illustrate how God relates to individuals. But it is an illustration, not a literal reality. He loves individuals with a tremendous and powerful love. His bride is the church.

The Nephilim/Canaanite Demon Bloodline Conspiracy: 
Last summer, certain well known teachers claimed the Canaanites were not created in God’s image, but were actually descended from fallen angels having sex with humans and that God hated them because of their DNA and had to destroy their half-demon bloodline. While one guest speaker went so far as to point to a map, claiming that the descendants of the Canaanites, currently living on this earth are sub-human, part demon and hated by God, the other believed them to have gone extinct. But they have many descendants who were clearly loved by God: Judah married a Canaanite woman and their descendants became the fine linen makers of Israel who made the priestly garments. Jesus, Himself, was descended from 2 Canaanite women, Tamar and Rahab. He showed grace and mercy by ministering to a Canaanite woman and setting her daughter free. SIN was the reason the nation of the Canaanites was destroyed. Not DNA. That judgement was on a nation, but individuals were spared, such as Rahab’s entire family. Matthew 22:30 says that angels do not have marry. They cannot reproduce.  Acts 17:26 tells us that “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth.” The Canaanites were, and are human, just like us. There is no one on this earth that isn’t created in God’s image worthy of being treated with dignity and respect. The Great Commission in Matthew 28:19 bids believers to “Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations…” All people on earth, including those descended from the Canaanites are worthy of a good-faith gospel presentation and according to Revelation 5:9 people from every tongue, tribe, nation and people will be saved.

Homosexual Marriage
God created and ordained marriage. It is the joining together of one man and one woman for life.

Jesus Laid Down His Divinity
Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be born of a virgin and called Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus is 100% fully human and 100% fully divine. Colossians 2:9 tells us: “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily.” God in the Flesh. This union of humanity and divinity in Jesus is a mystery called the “hypostatic union,” and it is a foundational teaching of the church, confirmed by the Council at Chalcedon in 451 A.D., which attested to the full humanity of Jesus while again confirming the Council at Nicea's assertion in 325, that Jesus was of the same essence as the Father, Fully Divine.  You can read a detailed response in my previous blog.

The Biggest Lie of the Year
To me, the big lie is the same every year. It is the lie that Satan himself whispers into the hearts of mankind. It is the lie that God won’t forgive you, that He won’t love you and that He doesn’t want to save you. Here is the Truth:

1 Timothy 2:4 says that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the Truth.”

The Bible says that you are dearly loved and longed for. Jesus has already paid the price for your sins and mine: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”  (John 3:16-17)

The decision to believe in Jesus, to place your faith and trust in Him, to change your mind, turn away from sin and the path that leads to destruction, ask for forgiveness and welcome Him into your life and to enter into a restored relationship with God is yours to make. Don’t believe the lie. Believe the Truth. Jesus loved the very idea of you so much that He created you, knowing He would have to die for you and He gladly did it. That is the type of love and acceptance that is waiting for you. 

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