nothing wicked before me

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;

I hate the work of those who fall away;

It shall not cling to me,

A perverse heart shall depart from me;

I will not know wickedness.

Psalm 101:3-4

Happy Thanksgiving and blessings of the Lord to all who come here. May we find ourselves a people truly set apart for Him!

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18 thoughts on “nothing wicked before me

  1. Hi all – best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving – the desire for avoiding wickedness and hating false works sure rings true to me, especially with recent personal events.

    I’ve been searching the “discernment” blogs, and came across yours. I appreciate both the experience of those posting here and the thought behind the postings. That said, I really need some input that you may be able to offer:

    Family background – exWoF, exVineyard (went for the worship, but found the spiritual manifestations extreme), bounced around some community churches, now at a “mainstream” pentecostal church with balanced teaching.

    Problem – We have a friend who is constantly emailing us Bethel related links – for teaching, worship, etc. since it is “on the edge” compared to our local church. She regularly makes the trip from Canada to Redding many times a year. I don’t have a problem with the worship (what I have listened to seems to point to God without any major issues) – but I do have a problem with the teaching, as many on your blog do as well – plus with some character issues of Bill Johnson (Todd Bentley event).

    So, I’m trying to argue a case with this friend to convince her that there are issues to be concerned about at Bethel. I try to argue about Bill Johnson’s ties to NAR, his belief that God always heals and never allows sickness, that God is in charge but not in control (Bill Johnson quote) and his support for a “new thing” that relies more on personal experience than on the Word.

    She counters with:
    – what about all the healings at Bethel (pages of testimonies)
    – why would God heal at Bethel if Bill Johnson was not doing God’s work
    – what about the work of Heidi Baker (healings, miracles, and churches in Africa) after she was annointed at the Toronto Blessing – why would God bless this work if it was not of Him or if Heidi Baker/Bill Johnson was not truly following God
    (repeat with “fill in the blank” any other Bethel related person)
    – what about the level of passion of worship at Bethel – God must be doing the work here for so many youth to be on fire for God
    – what about all the miracles that are used to evangelize (“treasure hunts”) – must be God at work here (satan would not do miracles to convert people to Christ) – similar to Lakeland event argument
    – isn’t it wonderful how they are encouraging children to walk in the spirit too – no local churches do that

    Any answers here would be greatly appreciated – verses, links, etc. I don’t wish to nitpick over doctrinal subtleties, but do want to argue for the truth –
    Thanks in advance for your thoughts

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    • Hi Taher, thanks for posting.

      What a dilemma! These are good questions to ask, but the bottom line is that we are not comparing apples to apples when we compare Bethel teachings with the bible or “their god” with the one true God. This is a very important truth and the crux for dividing the truth from the lie. It is so easy to look at experiences – the healings, the worship or the passion thereof, the anointings, the gifts, etc. (This false spirit is very passionate and very powerful and such things appeal to the flesh, not the spirit.) But we are not taught in the word to look at experiences. We are taught to be aware of false teachers and to search the word for the truth. God is miraculous and supernatural and amazing things can happen in His presence. But He will never violate His character or His word. Character, referring simply to the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. His word, because He would never commend a person who walks outside or teaches outside of the clear teaching found in the word. These people use God’s name as a “tag” to get others to follow. But they are not walking with Jesus Christ. They have become separate, following the paths of false teachers gone before them and their false teachings.

      Jesus healed everyone because He is God and He came to show the way to God. These false ministers of WOF/NAR have twisted the word to make us believe healing is in the atonement. If that were the case, we would be healed upon repentance and never be sick again. As someone recently pointed out, what about believers of the o.t. who were not under the atonement yet were healed? Please see my articles on this for scrips and more info.

      Most everything here will give you what you need, scriptures, teachings of false laid against the word. The catagory under IAHR (international association of healing rooms) in which Johnson is on their board and teaches the same falsities, will give you lots of information and scriptures.

      The Toronto Blessing was not a move of God. Read on the blog roll – Weighted and Found Wanting. It is very helpful. Those anointed there, and their false prophets are alive and kicking today – Randy Clark, John Paul Jackson, Bob Jones and because they were allowed to continue they have gained strength, and many have joined forces with them.

      What they consider to be God really is not. It is only their made up version. So anything coming out of it – worship, healing, salvation should be questioned. Treasure Hunts is just a way someone made money packaging a method of false prophecy. If you compare what is considered personal prophecy with the word, again, where do you find it? Where is any person regarded for their gifts or ministry or how much they are loved and precious in the word? You will never find a prophecy like that. Yet, these are the main lies undergirding the false prophetic in which Treasure Hunting is, one in the same. This is also known in other circles as Prophetic Evangelism. Same bottom line. Sounds good, feels good, everyone is happy – so loved and with a purpose and destiny, blah, blah. In the end no one is really changed. When the prophets of old spoke it was for repentance and the people knew it. And they were not well liked. In the false everyone feels good and the false prophets are loved and sought after. No one has to change or repent because God loves them just they way they are. This is very dangerous and I shutter every time I speak of it, knowing I used to be one of them! Revelation 19:10 says For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. These false prophecies have nothing to do with the testimony of Jesus.

      In the same manner, Lakeland was a farce, the next step after Toronto. And you can see the roots of Toronto as Todd was so quick to point that out when Randy Clark joined him on the stage one night. See the article and video on the electrocution impartation. It’s very spooky. But please, when does God cause people who follow Him physical pain by his touch? He does not. This is another spirit and not the one called Holy. There were no miracles at Lakeland, only the fact that it ended. Not for long, tho, Todd’s being groomed for the next “wave”. Some say this is the judgment of God as He is allowing the people to have the “god’ they run after.

      It is wonderful to “train up a child” in the proper manner. But what are they doing to these kids? God does not manifest His glory in a cloud that can be seen, or by oil or gold dust or gemstones or even feathers raining down. I have great fear for these children who think they follow Jesus. Who will show them the truth?

      Bottom line my friend is the bible. The gospel message pure and simple. Manifestations and supernatural occurrences are subjective and can be proven false by the word. All this “stuff” going on means nothing. Remember Jesus said no sign will be given and that there will be false signs and wonders. Additionally, many will be deceived and fall away. Satan does cause these signs and wonders, and will continue to cause things to happen to lead people from Christ. The antichrist will perform signs and wonders, deceiving many, even the elect. I think this stuff we see now is just a warm up. Your place is to show your friend the truth and pray for her/him and leave the work up to the Lord. You will not be able to convince this friend of the truth until she/he is willing to hear it and the Lord reveals it. I am saying this to keep you from beating your head against the wall as I have done.

      Matthew 24:4-5, 24:23-26
      2 Peter 2

      You are welcome to hang out and read and ask questions if you would like. Those who come here are very supportive and encouraging. We would very much like to help you as much as we can. It this information is not clear, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      Thank you for standing for the truth!
      Blessings in Christ for your work, may He give to those who are blinded from the truth eyes to see and ears to hear in what He will prepare you to speak on His behalf.

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  2. Some points:

    a) Vineyard. I loved some of their worship songs, yet there was a tendency toward “me” worship : its about “me me me”, and then it degenerated into the ‘sexuality’ type of worship experience, where union with God appeared to have similarity with sexual experience, groans and all, like the song “Hungry”.

    b) Heidi Baker’s success in planting churches. The formula they follow for ‘church’ is dead easy to replicate, the Holy Spirit is not required at all. BUT one needs to have a lot of self-confidence (bad), and be willing to believe they have authority over others to control them, then they can plant as many churches as they like, bcos Christians, in the majority, are not taught what church really is to begin with, they are kept ignorant, so when anyone comes along with some musicians and a program they think it’s church. Add money to the formula then you have certain success. Anyone could plant 1000 churches in Africa if they have enough money to attract the ‘pastors’. I’m not kidding. That’s how it works in India as well.

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  3. M’kayla:
    – thanks for your reply – you were able to put into coherent words the thoughts that ramble in my mind. Totally agree with your points. Your final message was most vital – to pray that their eyes will be open to the truth.
    – I also really appreciate your blog, since I don’t feel so alone in speaking for the truth.

    Ian:
    – I appreciate your insight as well. I agree with the shifting of worship towards “me” and then sensuality. This is one of the reasons we left Vineyard. It seems that today the “worship experience” is all about how it makes “me” feel. If I feel good, then God must be there. If I don’t feel anything, then I guess worship wasn’t very good that day and God didn’t show up. So shallow. What about the persecuted church in other countries? Steadfast faith in God despite the lack of polished feel-good music.
    – Your comments about Heidi were interesting. All I hear about are the numbers, but never about the quality. I’ve heard Paul Washer talk about the time, blood, sweat and tears that go into a single real church plant in foreign countries, so I was suspicious about Heidi’s “success”. But I never met anyone with actual experience with the method behind the false churches being sponsored through North American churches like Bethel. Thanks for the education.

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    • taher,
      I understand about the ramblings. I used to be there. So, take encouragement that your thoughts will straighten out and become coherent, too. There’s a lot to take in, to consider. 🙂 Once we put our focus back on to what the word REALLY says, every thing else begins to take on more clarity. This is the point many are missing out on. But the word is our foundation and once we part from its clear teachings and start to follow signs and wonders we are lost.

      It’s good to have you here.

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  4. Thanks Taher.

    —————————————–

    On the topic of “nothing wicked before me” :

    I read this verse this morning:

    Rom 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

    Abhor that which is evil.

    I thought, i should abhor evil more than i do. Considering that to abhor it is to really hate it and have an aversion to it. How bout you guys?

    Some professing Christians don’t seem to have any or little abhorrence of evil!

    Like

    • I don’t think it is possible to truly have a relationship with the Lord and continue to cling to evil. Even the minor things seem to become a big deal. But I think it is a matter of what we purpose in our hearts to begin with and the Holy Spirit picks it up from there bringing conviction in the areas and places we need to deal with. Abhor is such a strong word, huh? It really gets your attention.

      I think this conversation plays into the Paul Washer video and the point he was making that a true believer have a dedicated life being separate from the things of the world rather than allow them to have influence and sway in our lives. If we continue in the ways of the world, what has changed? Who would notice or care? There is no testimony of Christ and as He pointed out, we become as worthless as salt that has lost its flavor.

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  5. Just stopping in for a quick comment – a little off topic.

    I just have to wonder sometimes at what it will take for some to acknowledge the truth in God’s word.

    I was over at Bibleforums.org, where there is a discussion concerning a Bill Johnson’s sermon “God is in charge, God is not in control.” The main thesis is that God gave Adam all authority, Adam gave it over to Satan in the fall, we get it back through Jesus, and God can do nothing except in response to our prayer until Jesus returns. Those in favor kept stating (paraphrased) “God can’t be in control, because look at all the bad things that happen (child rapes, Nazi’s). God can’t be in control when the bad things happen. Therefore, we or Satan are in control.” Limited scripture – mostly opinion.

    I couldn’t resist, so I put in my 2 cents worth, listing an article with lots of scripture (Dan 4 & 5 with Nebuchadnezzar, Job, Luke 10:19, Luke 22:31 with Peter) concerning God’s authority, plus referencing Sodom & Gomorrah and The Flood (I don’t recall anyone praying for those 2 horrific events orchestrated by God).

    The comment back: “I’ve read the article but don’t agree with the conclusion.”

    Translation: “I see what the word of God says, but my mind is already made up.”

    Unless God opens their eyes, they will not see.

    Like

    • taher, I’ve thought long and hard on this

      God gave Adam all authority, Adam gave it over to Satan in the fall, we get it back through Jesus, and God can do nothing except in response to our prayer until Jesus returns.

      There are so many lies in this one sentence that it makes my head spin. But, this IS the theory behind dominionist or kingdom now doctrine. I’ve heard this very thing taught from Cal Pierce (healing rooms) and others along the way. Article coming soon – it’s too juicy and too perfect of an opportunity to reveal the truth that I cannot pass it up!

      I did go to the forum to see what was being said. They are very confused, aren’t they? Someone twittered “Bill Johnson says WE are in control!!” or something to that effect. I guess they don’t read the 2nd or 3rd chapter of Genesis too often. God didn’t give Adam ALL authority. He gave him dominion over the earth. And when Adam sinned he did not hand that dominion over to satan. It was never his to give away. Satan is a fallen created being, full of lies and distortions, just like this one; and a big fat juicy one it is!!!

      Hehe, Didn’t God say in Job “where were you when I created the earth????” So, where was BJ when Adam fell and was cursed along with satan? Oh, not created yet, either. Aside from that we are told to pray. We aren’t given a guarantee that it will come out to our liking. We are told to do it and we do so because we love the Lord and we do what he says. Pardon my sarcasm, but really!!!! The 2cents of the truth you offered them was worth more than BJ’s lies will ever be! Too bad they can’t or won’t see it. Yes, their minds are made up.

      Anyway, thanks for the tip. I’ll have something up in the next day or two.

      Like

  6. This is a little off the original thread, but Re Taher and Ian’s posts regarding church planting. I follow the blog of some medical missionaries in east Africa. Their blog has absolutely nothing to do with debating third wave/charismania/wof or the like. It is simply accounts of their everyday lives fighting for AIDS patients.

    They commented one day that one of their denominational leaders came to visit and encourage them and hold a meeting simply to refresh the local Christians. The missionaries commented about how huge crowds showed up, many walking days, etc and they sort of off-handedly said this was common for almost ANY kind of event out of the ordinary. They really didn’t take it to mean anything. On the contrary, they pondered over how the whole congregation “came forward” for salvation and how they have seen many of the local people do this over and over. Actually, what it made them do was question just how much of their gospel preaching was really understood. They weren’t shouting out the numbers and slapping each other on the back. Quite the opposite, they were actually concerned about the effectiveness of their preaching ministry.

    Just a few weeks later I spoke with a missionary from west Africa and mentioned this to him. He said, oh yeah the mass response thing is cultural. It is part of the culture (where he is) to maintain harmony at almost any cost. If one person of influence goes forward, the whole village will.

    Since these comments were completely unrelated to any debate about third wave etc. or any attempt to validate themselves, they carried a lot of weight with me. I would, perhaps, have given them less weight if it came from someone with a chip on their shoulder trying to invalidate another ministry. I keep this grain of salt in my mind when I read claims of anyone’s fantastic meetings in these countries. I’m not cynical, I’m just saying claims of large numbers mean nothing. Numbers do not mean the true gospel is being preached, or that the preacher/ministry is automatically affirmed by God, or sadly, that we really even understand what is going on among the people responding.

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    • ruthsongs, that is quite a piece of information. I’ve wondered about the claims we often hear – 1000’s saved, healed, some raised from the dead and always in another country. You are right that numbers mean nothing. They didn’t mean anything in the bible either. It’s always a small group – one family saved in the flood, only a few at the cross and 120 (?) in the upper room at Jesus’ instructions. Masses followed Him, but only a few actually clung to Him.

      Thanks for letting us in on that. 🙂

      Like

      • – agree – it is not just about numbers. I believe Mormonism is the fastest growing “religion” in the US, and Islam the fastest growing in the world. The largest US church – Joel Osteen’s. Just like sheep to the slaughter, or lemmings over the cliff….

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        • Those born into Mormonism and Islam automatically become believers of their faith. Unlike Christianity, there is no “decision” to be made, they just are.

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  7. -re: Ian’s comment on abhoring evil:

    What do you guys think about imprecatory prayers (eg. Psalm 35)?

    I know Jesus had compassion for the lost, and said we are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. But He also had harsh words for the pharisees, expressed anger towards the temple moneychangers, and stated that those who cause the little ones to sin would be severely punished (better for them to have a millstone tied around the neck and tossed into the sea to die)

    Honestly – I have difficulty praying FOR those false teachers leading their followers down the wrong path, but have no difficulty praying AGAINST them. But is that right?
    Your thoughts?

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    • We pray that the false teachers, prophets, etc. would see the error in their teaching and leading others astray. We don’t pray for them to succeed in their error of course, but that their eyes would be opened to the deception. However, some may be teaching false and know they are, but do it for the gain, the money, the fame, the success. Since we don’t know for certain the condition of their hearts we should pray for them to see the truth, just as we do for those who follow after them.

      Jesus exposed the false teachings, like you said, the Pharisees and the money changers, which probably is much like the false teachers, in it for the cold hard cash. In the same way, Christians should be able to see a false teacher and expose them and leave the church or ministry, etc. Too many have failed to test, or cared to, wanting to be a part of the “in crowd” more than wanting the truth. The only way a false teacher becomes famous is in those who follow.

      Since we don’t know how God will move in the hearts of the deceived, we should pray for them simply because we are told to pray in all things and not lose hope. Only God knows the true condition of a person’s heart and He is the only one who can change it. So we are praying FOR them to see the truth, and yet AGAINST their deception. 🙂 The Lord will lead you in this.

      False teachers are not the same as “our enemies” or those who persecute us. (Unless they actually do that. In fact speak to a follower against the false teacher and see how quickly the one who once called you “friend” will turn on you becoming your enemy.) But again, in praying for our enemies, we do it because we are told to and leave the rest up to God. Not everyone agrees with this, as some believe the false teachers and non believers are part of the anti-christ. But, we have no way of knowing for certain, and I know of no clear teaching of this in the word. So I would rather default in the error of prayer, cuz I am told to pray and leave it up to God. It is a very hard thing to pray for those who hurt us and others because we want the revenge, the judgment of God to fall on them. I think some people revert to that end.

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