Guard your heart: Emotional PURITY and HOLINESS

I remember my former pastor in Heidelberg would tell a story where three young men came up to an old pastor and asked him how to abstain from sexual immorality in their thought life. This old pastor answered: “I have grey hair, but I still didn’t win this battle.” So the point of this story was that there are sins we will always struggle with and probably never be able to overcome, especially sexual impurity.
I humbly allowed myself to quote Job 31:1

I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?

“Was Job lying or wasn´t he a mere man?”, was my question.

The pastor’s answer was laughter… and he replied: “I make this covenant 100 times each day too.”
Later I was told I was too naive and had no life experience to question a man on that, but just a couple of days ago I heard an other opinion of a godly man who testifies that Job 31:1 is true even today. I address this post more to young women, while the wonderful sermon below is more intended for men.

Men tend more to slide into lusting after women (sexual thoughts), while ladies into sensuality and emotional adultery which is awakening love before it`s time (Song of S.2:7), giving away pieces of the heart to different men (romantic thoughts), getting bound emotionally to someone who is not your husband. For women to guard their hearts might be just as difficult as for men to guard their eyes.

To get to know a man who is not your husband is emotional adultery. To exchange intimate knowledge with several guys is whorish. ~ Debi Pearl in Preparing to be his help meet

“These be they who separate themselves, SENSUAL, having not the Spirit.” (Jude 1:19) This practically means that women who habitually dress themselves in a sensual way or have a seductive conduct do not have the Spirit of God… even if they attend church weekly and know all the right christian answers. Yes, it takes time for a young woman to realize the danger of sensuality and to be modest from the heart, not just obeying rules.
Just about four years ago whenever I read Matthew 5:28 “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”, I thought “to lust” means to “find a woman pretty or to want to kiss her”. And I did not understand what it really meant until I was asked to teach teen girls at a camp on sexual purity. So my mom recommended me to read a book by a christian male writer to know what men have to fight. I read it. It really is important for older women to teach younger women how differnet men and women are made by God. Modesty is a heart issue. It is an act of LOVE towards your brothers in Christ (John 13:34) and if God`s Spirit works in your life, you will commit yourself to modesty in your way of dressing and conduct. It would be an other world if men and women would act in love, helping each other not to stumble, but guarding each other`s hearts, especially in the area where we are weak – for women to be modest and for men to treat younger women as sisters (1 Tim 5:2), protecting their emotional hearts from themselves. Can you find even one lady who wants her husband to look after other women or a man who wants his wife to get emotionally attached to an other or to be desired by others because of the way she dresses or her seductive conduct (flirt)? Sadly there is barely one single lady I know who has not gone through some sort of emotional damage by christian men. And there is probably no man who has not fallen in his thought life, oftentimes caused by sensuality.

And this quote by Elisabeth Elliot in “Let me be a woman” ruins the idea of dating: [She was in a pure relationship with Jim Elliot, a martyr missionary, who “preserved” her for himself, but was not ready to marry her yet. After suffering from that situation she criticizes it. And women do suffer, because they get bound emotionally to a man and wait sometimes for years until he asks.]

Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume that she belongs to him.

And I am not even talking about physical adultery or fornication. “Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.” Eph. 5:3 75373But emotional attachments to a person of the opposite sex are not that innocent and a kiss before or outside of marriage is actually immoral (ponder on Song of Solomon 8:1). Most of you will laugh at this, but this only proofs how much MTV and Hollywood love stories influence even christians. Physical immorality and spiritual adultery towards God ruin lives like no other sins and from there many other sins flow like a river. Interestingly enough, sexual impurity is different from all other sins: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”(1 Cor. 8:18)
Look at our wicked culture! Unfaithfulness is presented as sweet and something completely common. But if christians would know the bible well enough and follow biblical rules, there wouldn’t be any brokenhearted young men and especially women who allow immature men to play games with their hearts. Those who genuinely TRUST the Lord and HIS LEADING have no necessity to flirt, present all their beauty or date countless of young people of the opposite sex to know whether it is the right person or not. God knows and He shows! He alone is the perfect matchmaker! Seek you first the Kingdom of God and He will not let you miss His signs! [Note: this is not against biblical courtship, which requieres a commitment in order to protect a woman’s heart. Watch: http://illbehonest.com/dating-courtship-and-marriage-paul-washer%5D
And before you seek God`s will concerning who you should marry, you should know what His primary will for you is:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality. – 1 Thess. 4:3

How is it that all desire to have a faithful spouse, but are not faithful during their single years themselves and even after marriage… even “if only” in their thought life? For God it is not a small thing, it is adultery at heart (Matth. 5:28).
A woman will never feel loved and cherished if she sees her Beloved gazing at other women. And a man won`t trust his wife if she is trying to attract other men by her sensuality. The enemy is trying to destroy marriage and he starts long before two people meet and marry each other, because all the sinful experiences and memories they make before marriage defile their marriage bed (Hebrews 13:4). It might not be as beautiful anymore as God intended it to be… And even if you never get married – sexual impurity will ruin your life and you will never be able to grow spiritually. You despise and offend God everytime you practice it. “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, […] will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Cor 6:9-10
GOD is a jealous God. LOVE is jealous… otherwise it would not be LOVE. Always ask yourself: “Would that what I am about to do honor Jesus and my (future) spouse or hurt them?”
We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God! All of us! (Romans 3:23) Immorality in our thought life often leads to physical impurity and is according to Jesus just as bad. God wants us to be faithful and keep ourselves from idols (1.John 5:21)! He is a jealous God and the picture of husband and wife is just as sacred as intimacy with God. To promise fidelity to a woman saying “In my thoughts I will desire other women, but physically you will be the only one” is as disgusting as if directed to God “I will serve you with my body, but in my heart I desire other gods.” “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me” Mark 7:6-7

And it is sad that many church people avoid this subject just because they seems to be enslaved by sexual impurity. The Bible says in Job 31:1 it is possible to be pure in your thought life and God promises in 1 Cor 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” And even though sexual temptation seems to be one of the strongest weapons of the enemy nowadays, God is able to provide enough strenght for you to be victorious in Christ Jesus, if you declare war on it. It does not mean you would never fall again, but it means you can overcome and not dwell on your sin habitually. [Note: To be tempted is not a sin.] There are godly men who have overcome, keep fighting the temptation and don’t give in. There is no sin that cannot be overcome in the name of Jesus!

A virtuous woman is hard to find (Proverbs 31:10). Be that exception! Live it for the glory of your God and your (future) husband! Guard your heart and your emotions. Have standards. Are you doing good to your husband ALL THE DAYS of your life (Proverbs 31:12), even before marriage? Or are you giving away pieces of your heart to someone who is not your fiancee/husband? And if you need to give up your liberties in order not to cause your brother to stumble, you better do it (Romans 14:13).
Do not compare yourself with those around you as the standard of purity or modesty. Compare yourself to Christ and pursue holiness which is far more important than to be liked and admired by people. We ought to pursue not only physical purity, but purity in every way: our thought life, our conduct, how we dress, the way we present ourselves and how we approach the opposite sex. God will bless you for His promises are true! Trust Him!

We have a strong God who died for our sins, took away our shame, made us clean, gave us the power to overcome sin and to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” 1 Cor. 10:5 He really gave us the power to overcome! Do you believe it? But you will never have victory over sin until you hate it (Psalm 97:10, Romans 12:10) and continue to pullute your mind with dirty movies. Fill your mind with the Word of God. “Sanctify them with the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17)

You can choose whether you will follow the LORD wholeheartedly or give up. Our prayer life depends on our obedience toward His Word. Examine yourself whether you are the person who will inherit God’s Kingdom by overcoming sin (Rev. 21:7) “…and it has nothing to do with legalism! There is a person living in me – the Holy Spirit, a DOVE… He is easily quenched. YOU and ME – WE must be pure!” ~ Paul Washer

Whenever I failed to display true godliness and true modesty, not doing everything in love towards my brothers in Christ and for the glory of God… seeking attention, posting pictures or comments at times which exalt me rather than Christ in me… and especially if I caused anyone to stumble, please forgive me. I fail to always examine my motives, not pleasing Jesus through all my actions, words and thoughts, but I desire to become more like Him and by His grace alone – I will. I thank Him for the Holy Spirit and the few people He put in my life who love me enough to exhort me when I start to slide away in my way of dressing or conduct.
I don`t strive after sinless perfection, that would lead me to self-righteousness, which means to hell. But I strive for holiness which leads me to see my Christ for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). I refuse to follow Jesus as an “average Christian”. I refuse to stop growing in faith and holiness. I refuse to be content with where I am now. I want to pursue Jesus above all and in every way! I want to fight, even if it means sometimes to loose. I want to win, even if it will cost me much.

Is it possible to be a faithful servant of God and have no other gods besides Him in your heart? Yes (Matthew 25:23). Is it possible for a woman to be faithful to her husband even in her thought life? Yes (Proverbs 31:11). Is it possible for a man to be faithful to his wife even in his thought life? Yes (Job 31:1). Let us encourage each other to strive for faithfulness, for the unfaithful will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” – Titus 2:11-14

Please watch the sermon below and count the costs of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Steven Lawson points it: “It will cost you popularity, it will cost you promotion perhaps at times. It will cost you an easy life. You will have to discipline yourself, you will have to buffet your body. You will have to say “No” to temptation, and you will have to say “No” to this world. You will have to break with the crowd. You will have to be willing to stand alone for Christ. You will have to be willing to walk to the beat of a different drummer. And to step out of the crowd even if no one follows after Jesus Christ. You would be willing to stand if you were the only person in the world for Jesus Christ. That’s the cost factor. […] Don’t play games (with God).”

Let us keep following Him wholeheartedly, no little compromises, trusting in His perfect righteousness, overcoming sin in our lives and finding our joy in Him. Let us live for Christ and His glory! Be holy!
“But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality” Rev. 2:20

Please watch also 4 other videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6XSRLPtpe0&list=PLjMOtDFyyoVssh4YDUWYsdnUlC8hqxt_B&index=1
1) The Battle in Your Mind to Abstain from Sexual Sin – Tim Conway
2) Choosing a Wife/Beauty is Vain – Tim Conway (very good council for young men AND women!!!)
3) If You’re Single, God Has Not Forgotten You – Tim Conway
4) Time is Short. Don’t Set Your Hopes on Marriage – Tim Conway
5) Emotional Purity – James Jennings http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=69131918460

Missions in Mexico (May, Update 2)

Teaching in Rosal last year I would always remind my students what self-discipline is all about – accomplishing things you don’t find enjoyable or abstaining from certain things which you would enjoy.. for the pain of self-discipl…ine bears much fruit.
S. Juan 12:24 “… si el grano de trigo no cae en la tierra y muere, queda solo; pero si muere, lleva mucho fruto.”

pictures (3)I certainly feel like something is dying in me while staying here! Last Friday we had to hike to a distant house just to find out that no one was awaiting us there… again! It was pretty discouraging for me besides all the things that happened on the way there. So I insisted on walking back by myself because I needed to tell God on the way how I felt… to add to this testing my shoe ripped and I got completely lost… God is probably working on my character..
When I finally saw an Indian house I hoped someone would show me the way, but no… the Indians were hiding from me. Maybe because I’m white and taller than most of them which might make me dangerous. However, I just kept on walking.. wherever..
foto (3) After a long day without food and water, I started to loose hope to get back before dark.. to spend the night without any blankets would mean for me to come to a state of freezing to death and now I was about to loose my contience because of the heat.. It’s interesting how quickly God intervenes the moment we loose hope in our own strength and wisdom! He has patience.. you better give up right away!pic (4)

Teaching Indians is another difficult task.. they don’t have any sense of punctuality. I decided not to wear my watch here either! And they don’t talk much… at first it was also strange for them why I would smile at them without a reason, but I tried to teach them and now they think everything I do is funny. It really is important to always find strength to smile, even when a wild animal is after you By that time two men were able to learn the whole ABC which is pretty good. Women seem to learn slowly.
The beauty of God’s creation, even after the fall, is stunning here… I wonder how it will be in heaven!

pic1The greater your love, the more willing will you be to suffer for other people.. sacrificing especially your time and strength. Jesus made the greatest sacrifice and I wish to have more of that unconditional love.. especially for people I don’t know. Never to complain while enduring, always be thankful and ready to invest myself in eternal things: God, His Word and in people… Indifference is the worst state of men.

Missions in the mountains of Mexico

Sometimes its really hard to stay. I wonder how people can live here at all.. maybe they just don’t know anything else and don’t strive for a better life.. maybe I’m not as strong as I thought.. simply to see the conditions in which Indians live can sometimes steal your joy. Children grow up completely uneducated, because of unfaithfulness syphilis is spreading faster than the gospel, husbands abandon their wives with many children.. and I haven’t seen even 1% of all the misery in the world. But even worse is yet the spiritual darkness..pic (15)
Sometimes I wish God would just take me away for it seems just too hard for me to handle. Life is like a flower. Lets not waste time with vanity.. passiveness.. life without a goal and passion.
My duty here is to teach Indians how to read, sharing the gospel with them. They don’t know anything about the world.. luckily also no stupid evolution theories! And I don’t need here my university degree either.. An Indian girl accompanies me daily, interpreting from Spanish into tarahumara. She is also my GPS! The roads look all pretty much the same to me. I don’t know why, but Indians choose to live far away from each other.. it can happen that we might end up sleeping in the “10000 stars Hotel” if we won’t make it back before dark.. scares me only to think about that.
Whose love for me I never doubt here, is the one of Mexican mosquitos`. They seem to never forget about me. When I come back I will be thankful for every little thing I took for granted before. I already dream of coming back home!
I thank everyone of you who has sent me encouraging words and was praying. I didn’t expect so many would think of me. It means a lot just to know that.
There are three doors open for me to go in about three months… in three different countries.. I have learned that going the wrong way always ends with regret and tears. Please pray that God would give me clarity and I wont miss His signs.
pic (6)PS: I was very sure about my atlethical abilities, but how I was trained in Germany for years is not to be compared with the lifestyle here. I could literally die only after one week daily hiking for hours. God shows me my weaknesses just in every area. And when I see what people call here “a road” reminds me of the song: “God will make a way where there seems to be no way..”… if you slip off only your name will be remembered. Please don’t report this part to my parents!
But whenever I feel discouraged I remember the persecuted church and start to thank God for my perfect health and everything I have to survive and be happy!
The wind almost blew away our tent tonight and I also don’t like the food (cooked cactus and drinks with corn… pray that I wont loose weight!) and if someone comes to visit, please bring some candlesticks! …and take me back home!
Miss you all!

He is in me, with me and for me…

When He comes into your life it will never be the same. You will be drawn to know more about who He is, His likes and dislikes. He will make you desire to read His love letter and if you neglect, inside you will feel like dying (Luke 4:4). You will read it with either a smile or tears of gratitude, meditating on it day and night (Psalm 1:2). He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, He will counsel you with His loving eye on you (Psalm 32:8). When years go by you won’t find yourself at the same spiritual level. He won’t allow your first love to grow cold. You won’t be able to flee from His presence nor escape from His hand (Psalm 139:7). The more you would try to escape or to hide, the more He would grab you and never let you go. When your strength is completely gone, questions unanswered, doubts flooding your mind and you cannot trust even your own heart, you might attempt to run away, leaving the whole world behind… yet in the midst of this spiritual war He will draw you to enter into His blessed senctuary. He will put you in a situation to hard to handle for yourself, showing you that He is the only Saviour and without Him you can do nothing (John 15:5). He is a jealous lover and He will create a storm just to proof that He alone is there for you…

You will be left alone by everyone and the pain of loneliness will cut deep into your soul. But He will be there to catch you when you fall. He will be there, reminding you of the path He had gone before you. He will teach and discipline you (Proverbs 13:24). And He will pick you up, bind your wounds and comfort you again (I John 2:1). And you will humbly return to the only true source of love and joy (Psalms 16:11) and say: “It is good for me that I have been afflicted” (Psalm 119:71) to seek Him more earnestly, to become more like Him and to bring forth much fruit. Now your prayer will be: “Safe me, LORD JESUS, from chasing vanity! Safe me, keep me and never let me go!”

The things that are seen will lose their attraction and the unseen will become more real to you. He has become your sweet refuge. His hand will guide you, His right hand will hold you fast (Psalm 139:10). He created your inmost being; He knit you together in your mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13) and He alone knows what is good for you. And you will find rest every time you remember that all the days ordained for you were written in His book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). How precious are His thoughts of you! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:17) A day in His presence will be better to your soul than a thousand elsewhere (Psalm 84:10) and you will remember it every time you take a bite of this bitter world with its deceitful kisses. You will long for the fellowship with kindred Spirits and have no pleasure to sit in the company of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1).

the Lord is for meHe will separate you from this world and set you apart for His use like a holy vessel in the temple of Salomon. He will give you the strength to cut off everything which defiles you and separates you from Him. The closer you will walk with Him, the more clearly will you see the hidden sins in your heart which you never knew existed. He will let you fall sometimes… not because He is pleased in seeing you that way, but in order to humble you and to make you seek Him even more. It will keep you from self-idolatry and others from idolizing you. In your brokeness you will be made whole and strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). Your thankful heart and love for Him will drive you do things you never thought you could. You will hate what He hates and love what He loves (Psalm 97:10).

He will lay a heavy burden upon your soul – you will not be indifferent to the dying world anymore. You will find yourself weeping for those you don’t even know and people you have never met. You will look in strangers eyes and wonder whether they know Him too. While talking about casual things, you will think about how to start a conversation about the One you love. You will look for opportunities to tell everyone what you have found in Him. His Word will be in your heart like a burning fire shut up in your bones (Jeremiah 20:9) and you won’t be ashamed to talk to a stranger, the rich or  the poor, a drunkard or a super star, to a prostitute or a self-righteous pharisee about your only treasure on earth. You will care more about the person that might die without Him, than about what others might think about you. A genuine love will find place in your heart and it won’t be your own but His in you. The tears of gratitude will make you the most joyful person on this planet earth (Galatians 5:22-23), because you have someone no one can take away from you (Romans 8:12-17) and you will want others to have Him too.

The cross will always remind you that He alone will never forsake nor abandon you. He will cause everything, even your failures and weaknesses, to work together for your good (Romans 8:28). And one day when you reach the goal, you will look back and thank Him for all the trials and pain you had to go through for they caused you to become who you are, to know Him intimately in a way many others could not.

The Holy Spirit lives in you (1 Cor 3:16), Jesus is with you (Matthew 28:20) and God the Father is for you (Psalm 56:9), not against you. The Holy Trinity, the One – He is in you, with you and for you!

Soon He will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4).

But today He aks you anew: “Am I enough?” And without His Spirit in your heart you will never be able to honestly say: “Yes, You are!”

Mexico 2014,

Elena Baumann

SYSTEMATIC DECEPTION: Speaking in tongues

* * * The greatest danger of the end times is not the natural or financial disaster, but the spiritual deception* * *

It has been upon my heart for about a year to write this exhortation with the purpose of warning  all of my friends who claim to have the “gift of speaking in tongues” as it is known in the Pentecostal and charismatic movement. Some of my readers may notice that I will mention them, not by name, but by example. It is not my desire to offend, but I am writing this for the glory of God and the love of the brethren. Lest we forget, the apostle Paul exhorted us not be tossed to & fro by every wind of teaching, but to hold to good and right doctrine, and expose error (Ephesians 4:14).

[NOTES added by Rick Wagner SO4J-TV & Video Productions]

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15

About 5 years ago I was confronted with the Pentecostal movement and the gift of speaking in tongues for the first time. At that time, I did not understand certain verses on this topic, so I read two books – one written to promote it and the other one to warn Christians of it’s dangers. Neither book convinced me, then. So I talked occasionally with some elders and pastors on this topic, but they also could not give me a clear explanation on certain passages. In the meantime, I met more and more believers who claimed to have the “gift of speaking in tongues”. Additionally, there were some preachers who supposedly spoke in tongues and their sermons were biblically grounded (David Wilkerson and Alexander Schevchenko), while others (John MacArthur) strongly opposed it. I grew weary of searching so I finally told myself to listen to one more bible teacher and see what he had to say. John PiperSo, In June 2012 I had a chance to talk to John Piper in person, whether speaking in tongues, as we know it today from the Pentecostal movement, was biblical or not. After defining it as “an angelic unknown language whereby neither the speaker not the listener understands it”, he said: “I believe speaking in tongues is from God and I myself asked God to give me this gift. I didn’t receive it yet, but I believe it is a desirable gift”. I emphasized that we are talking about speaking in tongues as it is known in the Pentecostal movement. Just to clarify: The Pentecostal movement is more conservative, while the charismatic movement is advanced in experiencing various kinds of the manifestation of  the “Holy Spirit“ which are nothing else but demonic. [NOTE: There is no Scriptural basis for tongues being an “angelic language”. Proponents of angelic tongues misinterpret 1 Cor. 13:1 (which is hyperbolic). Biblical tongues were a known language, and angels always spoke in a human language. Even in the book of Revelation in describing the future and eternal events in heaven, there is no evidence that the angels and John conversed in an “angelic” language, but rather a known human language.] Back to John Piper: I expected him to take a stand against these movements, but he said he believed it was indeed from God… Nevertheless, I tried to lay aside all my preconceptions and accept it this way. How could a young woman, such as myself, value my opinion above the opinions of older men like John Piper or David Wilkerson?! No, someone has to be wrong and more than likely I assumed that would be me…

Well, maybe the Pentecostal movement was from God and the charismatic movement from the devil? Finally, I prayed again in all sincerity: “Father, let me know the truth and make all my doubts disappear if it’s from you. I don’t want to doubt even 1% if speaking in tongues as we know it today is really from the Holy Spirit…“

*** 2012: MOSCOW***

In 2012 I went to Moscow for about two months in order to complete my internship. A dear friend of mine arranged for me a place to stay which so happened to be in an apartment with three nice girls from a charismatic church who are not merely church goers but are very active in church activities and ministry. But at first I didn’t know they were from a charismatic church and quickly became close friends with some of them. Then I started to accept their way of worship, even though I was scared at first. There was one particular virtue that engaged my desire to know more about this movement: Most of the people who spoke in tongues were very passionate about missions. They seemed to always be open to talk about the things of God and radiated some sort of joy and honesty to me. Indeed, these qualities were some that I missed in many Christians I had known previously. However, it did not take long for me to discern that most of my Pentecostal and charismatic friends had a very different understanding of important doctrinal teachings, such as:

1.    Suffering was usually proclaimed as a curse. Some tried to cast out demons from “everywhere” and “everyone”.

2.   Healings and even raising from the dead are believed to be true. I strongly believe God is able to do great miracles even today, but not as it happens on their popular TV Shows.

3.   Near-death experiences are accepted as real messages from God.

4.   The view on the end times: great awakenings would take place in different nations and many would get saved before Christ’s second return.

5.   Repentance is defined as repeating the sinners prayer whereby you are saved and have eternal life. Very often it is confined to simply “giving God your life”. People also come to Jesus for wrong reasons, not to be saved from the wrath of God, but to lead a „better“ life. God can also supposedly give a person the Holy Spirit even before He seeks God or repents of his sins.

6.   Christians can be cursed for any reason and should therefore always pray against someone’s curses (Proverbs 26:2).

7.   Everyone seems to receive very attractive “prophecies, visions, and dreams” of how God will use them for His kingdom in the future. [NOTE: Are there ever any negative “prophecies”?]

8.   Visions and dreams supposedly given by God: In the beginning these might even be in accordance with the Scriptures. Their trust arises and later people stop to compare their experiences with the Bible at all.

9. Oftentimes their messages are focused on how to build greater self-esteem and value (Nick Vujicic).

10. Many of the people I know who attend Pentecostal and charismatic churches do not read the Bible systematically, but only here and there, how the “Spirit” leads them.

11.  The Bible says the Holy Spirit blows where he wills, yet these movements try to teach methods on how to start speaking in tongues as if the Spirit could be commanded by mere men! Lets not forget that tongues will cease, not increase (1 Corinthians 13:8).

12. Prominent leaders of the charismatic and the Pentecostal movement believe that when “the Spirit touches you”, people might fall on the ground/on their back. In the Bible it was always a sign of God’s judgment (Isaiah 28:13).

13. The origins of this kind of “speaking in tongues” are  in the truest sense demonic. Speaking in tongues can be observed in many pagan religions and rituals. There are even godless celebrities who claim to speak in tongues such as Katy Perry and Megan Fox. [NOTE: Other false religions such as Hinduism and Islam have been known to claim to speak in tongues as well. That rules out speaking in tongues as “Evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.]

14. The experience of speaking in tongues are often times real experiences, however, where the power is coming from begs the question! I have read a scientific statement that when a person speaks in tongues adrenalin rises up to 4 times higher than when a person would take drugs. No wonder people can pray for hours in tongues and are unwilling to renounce such an experience that feeds their flesh.

15.  There is lots of emotionalism in contemporary music, worship and teaching: Seek the truth, and not the experience or feelings that come from a wicked heart.

16.    The role of the woman: women can stand over men, teach and preach in the church. (1 Tim 2:9-15). The Bible says „Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression“ (1 Tim 2:14). Here we also see how women believe the lies and lead others the wrong way. Sensuality is also evident in many cases.

17.  Almost in all cases popular speakers/preachers/teachers make themselves a “name” and attract more people through the media (CBN News) and big conferences with their pictures everywhere (Reinhard Bonnke, Joyce Meyer etc.)

18. It is taught that a born-again believer might be possessed or influenced by an evil spirit and has to be cast out by special words and prayers (source: “They will cast out demons” by Derek Prince). In fact two of my friends admitted that an evil spirit lives in them and can be cast out only with time, not at once. This is biblical and very scary.

19. They teach that people who would dare oppose the manifestation of the the Holy Spirit – blaspheme Him – in order to intimidate, manipulate, and bully anyone who would speak against the false teaching & lies.

20. God supposedly speaks today like back in the Old Testament through dreams, visions, and it can happen almost every single day. However the Scriptures say, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1-2) [NOTE: Dreams & visions end up replacing Scripture as they come across as more direct and exciting than Scripture (I call it “Tabloid Christianity”). They are a direct attack on Sola Scriptura, that Scripture alone is sufficient to give man salvation, guidance & knowledge.]

21. False prophets are being tolerated (Deut 18:22). I have witnessed someone prophesying something that did not come true and all the church members did not question it at all.

I remember some told me how to get this supposed “gift”: You needed to completely shut off your brain and let yourself go so the Holy Spirit could work. Is this not what happens to people who get drunk or high on drugs?! When you shut your brain off then you will have no inhibitions and Satan can do what he pleases. We can observe the same practice even in the New Age movement. The Bible tells us to watch, pray, and be sober-minded not absent minded (1 Peter 4:7)!

However, again in spite of noticing these things I still didn’t stop to fellowship with my Pentecostal and charismatic friends. The thought that they were worshiping another God seemed too bizarre to me, really. After all, there are very nice and seemingly honest people who represent this movement which would have you to believe that they hold to the truth as it is in Jesus. “And no wonder, for even Satan transforms himself as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Later my roommate recommended me to listen to a sermon by Derek Prince who is a conservative Pentecostal bible teacher. The first sermon was on the fear of God. I liked it. She then gave me some books written by him. He always seemed to use Scripture to back up his statements, but instead of building me up, his books made me even more confused. There were things I had never heard in my whole christian life! The foundation I had to stand on started to fall apart… and I cannot adequately explain to you how confused I really was. However, now I can understand more clearly what Paul meant by writing: “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you?” (Gal. 3:1). and “I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.” (1 Corinthians 10:20).

***CONFUSION***

I was more and more influenced by this deceptive movement. At one time in 2012, I had posted on facebook the cover of a book by a false teacher. Out of all my FB friends, there was only one older brother who attempted to warn me of danger, seeing that I might be deceived! Thank you brother Rick Wagner! All the same, I didn’t pay much attention to the warnings of my family and some friends anymore. Furthermore, for a short time, I even strongly desired to be given this gift of speaking in tongues as well! I prayed and even fasted to the Lord for it! But nothing happened. Some of my charismatic and Pentecostal friends prayed for me to get the gift too. Again, nothing happened. I was disappointed. I witnessed two girls who claimed this mysterious gift and they had just started visiting the church! I was intrigued how some could get this so easily, not even seeking after it nor God earnestly. Some even received this gift before their “repentance”, I heard. How can it be that someone gets this so-called gift and is not even born again? To speak in tongues means to be filled with the Spirit, so how is it even possible to be filled with the Spirit of God, when they are still dead in their trespasses and sins? No repentance, no brokenness over their sins, no fear of God. How can someone be lead by the Holy Spirit, but have no ability to discern false teachers like Benny Hinn or the witch Kathryn J. Kuhlman and more? How can it be that there is much praying in tongues in public, but so little Bible reading in private? And still some of my friends seemed to be very sincere in their service for God…

Another friend of mine was a member at a conservative church for many years.  She was worldly in her way of thinking, spoke mostly about guys, and was never deeply concerned about the things of God nor her sins. But as soon as she came into contact with the charismatic movement, guess what happened? She started to speak in tongues and changed to where she started to talk willingly about God and pray. I wondered how this could be? For in my eyes she had no testimony of true repentance before nor after. How do you explain it? Too me there were many contradictions and no clear answers at that time.

***Evangelism***

I would like to share a brief story: Some of my friends and I went to do street evangelism in a public park. We separated in groups of two. I was teamed up with an older man. When we approached two women sitting on a bench, I tried to talked to them about their sins and Jesus as the only Savior, but they seemed to be ignorant. So the older man said before leaving: “I know yesterday you did something wrong and it won’t give you sleep at night. You should repent and believe!“. We left. I asked him how did he know this about the woman. And he told me: “I didn’t. I just pretended to know. Maybe I was right! Did you see how fearful she looked at me? I think she really did something bad yesterday…” At that point I was shocked. He was speaking in the name of God, but was deliberately lying!

***The charismatic and  Pentecostal movement as ONE***

Another anomaly to me was that every time there were Youth Conferences, hundreds of young people from the Pentecostal AND charismatic churches came together, as if that was one movement, one spirit.  I spoke with the pastor from a conservative Pentecostal church I attended a couple of times in Moscow asking him: “Where is the line? Is it possible that the Pentecostal movement is from God and the charismatic movement from the devil? Why is the youth from the two movements united?” He answered smiling: “The difference between the two movements is the style. You can choose which church you like the most, what are you used to more and go there.” I did not expect him to give me such an answer. As in the beginning, I was again justified in my thinking that the charismatic movement was certainly false, but the Pentecostal movement might be from God. Additionally, after having noticed many things I wondered how could all of these teachings be in accordance with the Scriptures? Of course, different thoughts crossed my mind, trying to explain the good example I saw in some of my friends and the many bad examples all around. The charismatic youth prayed to God to be kept pure and not fall into sexual sin, but I happened to stumble upon “ministers” who were actually watching a dirty movie. During my stay in Moscow I was close to people from both movements but after some time, I really could not distinguish the difference between them anymore, only the style, as the pastor said, was different. I suppressed my doubts once again, convincing myself that there where some Christians I knew who were genuine and kept reminding myself that God is working in their lives. I didn’t want to be an “unbeliever“ doubting everything. But the longer I remained there, the more confused I became. I actually started to lose my inner peace and joy because of this spiritual confusion. I wanted to accept this new doctrine, but still just couldn’t suppress my doubts. So, I determined to find answers before things deteriorated worse. I withdrew from my internship, booked a flight back to Germany, and left within three days. Only few knew how I felt and they were praying for me.

***STRANGE FIRE***

On my way home, I started to search in the Bible for answers. How can it be that most of them burn so much for missions if this movement is deceptive? Why is there so little fire for God in many churches that I knew before? These thoughts consumed my mind. It’s either that speaking in tongues as I saw it is 100% of God or 100% of the devil. At the Sunday service our preacher was teaching something from the Old Testament. I randomly turned to a passage and started to read it, half- absorbed in my thoughts… it was Leviticus 10:1-2: “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” What fire was it? Why did God kill them? I mean they served God… are there different kinds of fire? It was like a veil fell off my eyes! I sat there totally shocked. If this kind of speaking in tongues is not biblical, then ALL who have it, have another Spirit, another fire, a strange fire for God, a worship that does not please God! One of my former favorite preacher (Alexander Schevchenko) was also from the Pentecostal movement, but for some reason he didn’t reveal this until he had thousands of followers. His sermons always had some kind of a “pearl” in them. It seemed to me he understood the Bible pretty well, after all, my parents listened to his sermons from time to time too. Moreover, I had the chance to meet him in person back in 2009. But after our conversation I was disappointed. I remember telling my parents that my impression of him was as if he had a depressed or sort of “despondent Spirit”.  I’m not sure how to explain it exactly, but out of my experience, when you meet another born again believer it seems as if you have known this person for years! Of course, this is not the case with everyone who professes to be a christian. But then again, perhaps I was wrong about my first impression of him. But, was I?

The first thing I did when I got home was research this Bible teacher. After all, I listened to his sermons for almost 2 years in 2008 and 2009, but not his recent ones. So I found his most recent sermons and listened to them with an open Bible, examining every word. I was shocked for about three days, and my parents were as well. He was mixing biblical truth with false doctrines and teaching tolerance towards other religions. I even found an interview where he spoke about his admiration of a charismatic preacher, who I already knew was certainly a deceiver! Another fact I discovered is that he invited a catholic to preach in his mega-church! He was doing these things on purpose. So he was deceiving people by his sermons systematically, very slowly, little by little, year by year. It all comes to the ecumenical movement which is a preparation for one world religion – the way for the Antichrist. It took me a while to actually believe what I heard coming from his mouth and how deceiving his teaching was. The tolerance he was teaching for years found place in my heart and I didn’t even realize it back then. He used to say: “Be careful not to judge if you don’t know whether God’s Spirit is behind it or not.. you might be blaspheming the Holy Spirit and it will never be forgiven to you!” I heard this manipulative scare tactic plenty of times from different Pentecostal teachers and I am not afraid to say now that behind the Pentecostal and charismatic movement is a deceiving spirit and not the Holy One! I know for a fact I have peace with God! Please examine yourself to see whether you are in the true faith.

*** The puzzle in one picture***

It all came flooding back to my mind and I started to remember everything I had previously noticed and witnessed while being in Africa, NYC (Times Square Church of David Wilkerson), Moscow and other places in Germany where I had dealings with this movement. Like a puzzle the picture started to get clearer. Also a dear friend of mine who had been deep in the occult before coming to a charismatic church said: “When I started to speak in tongues for the first time, I had a feeling as if I was back in the occult…” But still others convinced her that it was the devil who tried to scare her and she should trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, she is still speaking in tongues and I am still praying God will lead her and others out of this demonic teaching. Another two girls told me how they once spoke in tongues and a masculine voice came out of them. That scared them to death, but only one of them stopped speaking in tongues after that.

***REPENT and BELIEVE***

Just two years ago I thought I would never know for sure whether “speaking in tongues” is from God or not. But God answered my prayer and showed me in His Holy Word, not through visions and dreams, that this is a demonic deception. I cannot thank God enough for His protection! I was horribly close to being deceived and ensnared, but the Lord did not allow it! Looking back now, I realize that God allowed me to go through all of this for a reason. He broke my pride and showed me that I was not a wise sheep, even after reading the Bible from cover to cover for several times, I could be deceived and stumble if left to myself, however the Holy Spirit kept me in the truth. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32) It’s a shame I had trusted the appearances & flattery of people more than what the Bible clearly taught. What a shame for a child of God!  And what an amazing grace that kept me even though I was like a stubborn mule at times!

Jesus’ very first message was for us  “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:14–15) . It all starts with true repentance, turning away from sin! Many of my friends from this movement seemed to lead a moral life, serving God while others still an immoral life, confessing their sins, but without being broken nor forsaking them. And all of them claim to speak in tongues… When it comes to saving faith, the entrusting of ourselves to Christ alone, there can be no real turn to Christ Jesus unless we turn away from sin. Faith and repentance go hand in hand. Christ calls us to give up everything to follow Him, and that includes our sin and any attempt to earn favor from our good works. And so, those who make a habit of sinning are not born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are (1 John 3:8-10). The good fruit of salvation is that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice out of thankfulness to the Lord Jesus.

I asked many of my Pentecostal and charismatic friends whether they had read through the Bible at least once and as much as I remember most of them said something like: “No, I don’t read systematically, because I let the spirit lead me where God wants me to read.”  How is it possible then to be lead by the Holy Spirit for years and to not be drawn to read the Word of the Spirit regularly?! How is it possible to always pray passionately and willingly, but neglect the Word of God so much?

An older couple that once was deceived by this movement once told me that when they prayed in tongues, it was difficult for them to read the Bible, but the lesser they prayed, the more they were drawn to read the Word. You see, Satan does not care whom you worship as long as it is not Jesus Christ of the bible. And how can you worship Him if you don’t know who Jesus Christ is through the Bible? It really concerns me that most of the people in these movements are not genuinely saved, but are deceived to believe they are. These are false converts who have false assurance and they will go to hell when they die. You can serve at church as passionate as you can, you can be the most honest person on earth, you can even die for your faith BUT what profit is there for you, if you are not serving the God of the Bible? Muslims die for their faith too. Is it the proof that they are in the truth? There are many deceivers who call themselves ‘Jesus’ and they even hold the Bible in their hands! Keep in mind, Satan knows the Scriptures. He quoted it to Christ in the 40 day temptation! How do you know you are worshiping the true Jesus of Holy Scripture and not a counterfeit?

***IMPORTANT BIBLE PASSAGES***

1.   “You will not see a fierce peopleA people of obscure speech, beyond perception, Of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand.” Isaiah 33:19

2.   “And when he [the Holy Spirit] is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment […] Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truthfor he shall not speak of himself […] He shall glorify me” (1. John 16:8-14). In the Pentecostal and charismatic churches songs are being written more about the Holy Spirit than about Jesus. People pray to the Holy Spirit more than to Jesus & they worship the Spirit more than Jesus.

3.   “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). EVERY born again believer is already baptized by the HOLY SPIRIT.

4.   “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” Eph. 1:3. In Christ we already have all we need, every spiritual blessing.

5.   “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23 à Long suffering means also patience. To receive quick answers from God through visions and dreams doesn’t teach much patience. The same can be said about their practice of casting out demons: a quick deliverance from the “fleshly desires/sins” is promoted, whereby the Bible says that every day is a battle against our own flesh!

***FINAL THOUGHTS***

Jesus warned us that in the end times there will come MANY false teachers. It will be a time of great spiritual deception to deceive even the elect, if that were possible. It would be difficult to deceive genuine Christians by the charismatic movement, Jehovah witnesses, or Mormons. These deceptive teachings are more than obvious. But not so with the Pentecostal movement which has a godly appearance. Beware of the counterfeit, those who appear to be godly but deny Jesus by their rotten fruit (1 John 3:8-10). And when the Antichrist will arise, he will not be against religion or God. “Anti” means “instead” not „contra“ or „against“. He, like Absalom, will be handsome and very kind, little by little stealing the hearts of the people by warm hugs & tickling their ears with flattering deception.

The Bible says that the majority of the people will go to hell (Matt 7:14) and many of them will even be those who think they are believers! When I read Matthew 7:22-23 I can only think of the Pentecostal and charismatic movement because that perfectly describes what is going on there. “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!“.

I was puzzled for some time why God killed Uzza. He just wanted to hold the ark of God so that it wouldn’t fall on the ground. Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God.” (2 Samuel 6:6-7) He just wanted to help! He put forth effort to serve God. However, he was killed by God Himself. No matter how pure his intentions were, he disobeyed the clear commandment of the Lord. There are countless deceptions nowadays and you will never be able to discern truth from error if you don’t know your Bible and the Holy Spirit is not in you! We should our Bibles better! We should read it daily to know God, commune with Him, and no longer be tossed to & fro by every wind of doctrine. If you are truly concerned about your soul, please study your Bible and trust God to guide you, not leaning on your own understanding. Examine yourself.

***DECEIVERS BY NAME***

Here are the names of some deceivers I came across. Of course there are countless of such out there: Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Jimmy Swaggart, John & Lisa Bevere, Derek Prince, Reinhard Bonnke, Alexander Schevchenko, Gennady Mochnenko, Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Nicky Cruz, David Yonggi Cho, Rick Renner, Benny Hinn, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Hagin Sr., Kenneth Hagin Jr., Rodney Howard Browne, Mother Teresa, Ellen G. White etc.

Also pay attention to the teachings of Francis Chan, John Piper, Nick Vujicic and Lecrae.

***USEFUL LINKS***

1.   John Todd (a former leader of a satanic group) – The Purpose of the Charismatic/ Pentecostal Movement & Rock Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sTLb9XEXmw

2.   John MacArtur – Charismatic Chaos: http://www.gty.org/resources/sermon-series/219/charismatic-chaos

3.   Justin Peters on the Word of Faith Movement: http://youtu.be/eQtQinXtsKE [NOTE: Justin has a new updated DVD called “Clouds Without Water”]

Again, the purpose I wrote this is not to offend or make someone angry, but to challenge all who speak in that kind of tongues to examine what they believe with the Bible and see whether they are in the true faith. There is nothing more important than your eternal destiny.

Proofreading: Starla Tracy, Mark S. Soussou 

Систематическое обольщение: говорение на языках

*** Наибольшую опасность в последнее время представляет не экономический кризис или природные катастрофы, a духовное обольщение ***

Я пишу эту статью всем своим друзьям , которые утверждают, что они имеют библейский дар говорения на иных языках, которое в наше время практикуется в пятидесятническом и харизматическом движении.

Мои читатели могут заметить, что в качестве примера я буду приводить отдельные случаи из моей жизни, не называя имен. Я пишу в надежде, что читатели этой статьи задумаются и начнут сами сравнивать эту практику со здравым учением Библии. Помните, что апостол Павел призывает нас в Ефесянам 4:14: “дабы мы не были более младенцами, колеблющимися и увлекающимися всяким ветром учения, по лукавству человеков, по хитрому искусству обольщения”.

“Берегитесь лжепророков, которые приходят к вам в овечьей одежде, а внутри суть волки хищные. По плодам их узнаете их” (Мф. 7:15-16).

Около 5 лет назад я впервые столкнулась с пятидесятническим движением и “даром говорения на иных языках “. В то время я не имела четкого понимания в этих вопросах и решила прочитать две книги по данной теме. В первой книге дар языков, практикуемый в пятидесятническом и харизматическом движениях, был представлен как библейское учение , а во второй – как духовное обольщение. Но ни одна из тех книг в то время меня не убедили на 100 % . Иногда мне приходилось беседовать на эту тему с некоторыми старейшинами и пасторами, но даже они не могли дать мне удовлетворительного толкования некоторых стихов из Библии. Кроме того, были некоторые проповедники, которые говорили “на языках” и их проповеди были на мой взгляд вполне библейскими (например, Дэвид Вилкерсон и Александр Шевченко), в то время как другие известные служители, как например Джон Макартур, были категорически против такого явления как современное “говорение на иных языках”.

Несмотря на то, что я довольно таки долгое время искала ответ на этот вопрос, мне не удалось убедиться на 100%. В июне 2012 года у меня был шанс поговорить на эту тему с известным библейским учителем, Джоном Пайпером (John Piper), о том, соответствует ли современная практика “иных языков” библейскому учению. Определив “языки”, как “ангельские, которые не понимают ни говорящий, ни слушающий”, он сказал: “Я считаю, что практика говорения на языках исходит от Бога, и я тоже уже просил Его дать мне этот дар, но еще его не получил. Но я уверен в том что к этому стоит стремится и просить Бога об этом”.
John Piper

Я хочу подчеркнуть,что речь идёт о говорении на языках, которое практикует пятидесятническое движение (для пояснения: пятидесятники более консервативны, в то время как харизматическое движение более продвинуто в “проявлениях Святого Духа”, являющихся по своей сути демоническими).

Важное примечание: нет библейской обоснования для практики «ангельского языка” . Текст из 1-го послания апостола Павла к Коринфянам 13:1, на который ссылаются сторонники “ангельских языков”, является алегорическим. Говорение на языках, описываемое в Библии, было сверхъестественным говорением на существующих иностранных языках, а ангелы также всегда говорили в Библии на человеческом языке. Даже в книге Откровения, в описании будущих событий и вечности, нет признаков того, что ангелы или апостол Иоанн говорили на каком-то «небесном” или “ангельском” языке.

Но вернёмся к Джону Пайперу. Я думала, что он выступит против “языков”, но он считал, что это было на самом деле от Бога. Я пыталась оставить все мои сомнения и просто принять все так, как думает этот видный библейский учитель. Как может молодая девушка, как я, ставить свое собственное мнение над мнением старших, опытных учителей Библии как Джон Пайпер или Давид Вилкерсон? Кто-то должен был ошибаться, и это скорее всего была я… Может тогда движение пятидесятников от Бога, а харизматическое движение от дьявола? Я молилась со всей искренностью: “Отец, дай мне знать правду, чтобы у меня не было никаких сомнений относительно этого вопроса. Если говорение на языках от Духа Святого, то я не хочу сомневаться даже и на капельку…”.

*** 2012: МОСКВА ***
Летом 2012 года я должна была поехать примерно на два месяца в Москву, чтобы пройти стажировку, которая была необходима для завершения университета. Одна хорошая подруга организовала для меня место проживания. Я поселилась с тремя очень хорошими молодыми девушками, которые были из харизматического движения. Они были не просто прихожанками, но вели активную работу в своих общинах (в то время я этого еще не знала). Мы стали близкими подругами, хотя я в начале была немного напугана, когда они собирались вместе и молились “на языках”. Со временем я начала принимать этот новый способ молитвы, потому что мои новые друзья становились мне всё дороже. Они всегда, казалось, были открыты для дискуссий о Боге и излучали радость и искренность. Это были качества, которые я не видела во многих других христианах, с которыми общалась прежде. Особенно меня привлекало то, что они много миссионерствовали и постоянно говорили о Боге, поэтому мне захотелось узнать об этом движении побольше. Но прошло немного времени, и я осознала, что с большинством из них мы расходимся в понимании ряда важных учений Библии:

1) По их мнению, страдания часто упоминаются как проклятие, которые не должны присутствовать в служении христианина, так как Бог его “любит и всегда желает исцелить”. Болезни вызваны злыми духами и их непременно нужно “изгонять”.

2) Воскресения из мертвых все еще возможны сегодня. Я убеждена, что Бог по-прежнему творит чудеса, но не так, как представляет это ТВ-шоу (Мф. 9:27-31). Нет больше чуда, чем когда грешник приходит к Богу, и Он исцеляет (освобождает) его душу от рабства греха.

3) Опыт людей, которые вернулись “с того света” считается от Бога (сравните с Луки 16:31: “если Моисея и пророков не слушают, то если бы кто и из мертвых воскрес, не поверят”).

4) Перед вторым пришествием Христа множество людей из разных народов якобы спасутся. В Библии же ясно говорится, что в последние дни многие, наоборот, отпадут от веры (Мтф. 24:24 “Ибо восстанут лжехристы и лжепророки и дадут великие знамения и чудеса, чтобы прельстить, если возможно, и избранных”).

5) Повторив молитву покаяния, человек спасается и рождается свыше. Но духовное возрождение может быть вызвано только Духом Святым (Иоанна 3:8 и Иоанна 6:65). Многие люди “приходят к Иисусу” по неправильным причинам. Не для того, чтобы спастись от грехов и Божьего гнева, a чтобы иметь возможность вести «лучшую» или более нравственную жизнь.

6) Бог может дать человеку Святого Духа задолго до того, как тот начнёт искать Бога или покается в своих грехах, но ведь задача Святого Духа заключается именно в том, чтобы привести человека к осознанию своей греховности и нужде в Спасителе.

7) Христиане могут быть прокляты неверующими и должны всегда молиться против возможного проклятия (сравните с Притчи 26:2: “Как воробей вспорхнёт, как ласточка улетит, так незаслуженное проклятие не сбудется”).

8) В этом движении только положительные “пророчества, видения и сны “, например, как Бог хочет использовать их для Своего Царства. Заметьте что, негативные «пророчества» в этих течениях почти не встречаются, a ведь они не были редкостью в Ветхом Завете. В начале эти видения и сны могут даже совпадать с Писанием, поэтому соблазн верить в то, что они от Бога, очень большой! Со временем человек уже не сравнивает новые видения со Словом Божием и отходит от истины.

9) Зачастую многие проповеди концентрируются на том, как поднять чувство самодостоинства (например, Ник Вуйчич, Джойс Майер, Джоэл Остин и др. ).

10) Я специально спрашивала многих пятедисятников и харизматов, читают ли они Библию регулярно и прочитали ли ее хотя бы один один раз от корки до корки. Ответ был пока всегда: как “дух ведёт”.  А он ведет: иногда здесь, иногда там, что значит не ежедневно и в перемешку (выборочно).

11) Библия говорит, что Дух Святой дышит, где хочет (Ин. 3:8), но здесь есть определенные методы как самому инициировать “языки”, и эти методы практикуются массовым образом. Мы однако не должны забывать, что и пророчества прекратятся, и языки умолкнут (1-е Коринфянам 13:8 ).

12) Выдающиеся лидеры харизматического движения и многие из пятидесятнического движения считают, что если “дух коснулся кого-то”, то этот человек может упасть навзничь на пол. Но в Библии падение навзничь – это всегда признак Божьего суда, а не благословения (например, Исаия 28:13: “так что они пойдут и упадут навзничь, и разобьются, и попадут в сеть и будут уловлены”).

13) Истоки современного “говорения на языках” – демонические в самом прямом смысле. Такая же практика может быть найдена во многих языческих религиях и ритуалах. Есть даже такие “знаменитости” как Кэти Перри и Меган Фокс, которые утверждают, что “говорят на языках” (примечание: последователи других ложных религий, таких как индуизм и ислам, также практикуют “говорение на языках”. Итак, “язык” сам по себе не может быть «доказательством» того, что кто-то родился свыше от Духа Святого).

14) Современное “говорение на языках” часто не только эмоциональный , но “настоящий” опыт. Я прочитала научную статью о том, что адреналин у человека , который “говорит на языках”, может подняться до четырех раз выше, чем у человека, который принимает наркотики. Если это правда, то неудивительно, что люди часами “молятся на языках” и не готовы от такого опыта отказаться.

15) Наблюдается много эмоциональной и чувственной музыки в поклонении и учении. Библия же учит не полагаться на свои чувства, которые приходят из очень коварного и развращенного сердца (Иеремия 17:9: “Лукаво сердце человеческое более всего и крайне испорчено; кто узнает его?”).

16) Роль женщины в харизматическо-пятидесятническом движении: женщины могут властвовать над мужчинами, учить и проповедовать в церкви (сравните с 1-м Тим. 2:9-15). В Библии написано: “и не Адам прельщен; но жена, прельстившись, впала в преступление” (1-е Тим. 2:14). Женщинa больше склонна верить в ложь и, соблазнившись, повести других людей в обольщение. Также заметно, что женщины в этих течениях не скромны в одежде.

17) Можно наблюдать, что делают многие проповедники/учители из этих течений – стремятся к известности и популярности через средства массовой информации (напр., CBN News), и на конференциях можно увидеть плакаты с их изображениями крупного плана (например, Рейнхард Боннке, Джойс Майер и др.).

18) Они учат, что рожденный свыше верующий может находиться под влиянием злого духа и даже иметь его в себе. Этот дух якобы может быть выслан только специальными словами и молитвами (как, например, учит Дерек Принс в книге “Они будут изгонять бесов “). Двое из моих друзей утверждают, что злой дух живет в них (сравните с Ин. 8:36: “Итак, если Сын освободит вас, то истинно свободны будете”). Там, где живет Дух Святой, не может пребывать злой дух.

19) Чтобы запугать публику, они часто проповедуют, что те, кто осмеливается выступать против “проявлений Святого Духа”, хулят Духа Святого.

20) Бог сегодня все еще якобы говорит с людьми через сноведения и видения, как Он делал это до завершения Священного Писания. Но в Библии написано: “Бог, многократно и многообразно говоривший издревле отцам в пророках, в последние дни сии говорил нам в Сыне” (Евр. 1:1-2 ) [Примечание: и таким образом заменяются видения Священного Писания, так как новые “видения” считаются более ясными и более захватывающими. Они представляют собой прямую атаку на на Священное Писание, которое единственно достаточно для того, чтобы спасти людей, вести и учить их].

21) Лжепророки не редко делают неточные и фальшивые предсказания, но несмотря на это церкви это терпят (или игнорируют). В Ветхом Завете Бог заповедал побивать таких лжепророков камнями: “Если пророк скажет именем Господа, но слово то не сбудется и не исполнится, то не Господь говорил сие слово” (Второзаконие 18:22). Я была свидетелем того, как во время собрания так называемый “помазанник ” пророчествовал, но его слова не сбылись. Ни один из присутствующих не поставил под вопрос его наполнение “Святым Духом”. Говорится, что мы все несовершенны, и это может случиться и не так страшно.

Мне не раз говорили о том как я могу получить этот так называемый дар языков: “Надо полностью отключить свой мозг и просто позволить Духу работать в тебе”. Но разве это не то, что происходит, когда люди пьяны или на наркотиках? Мы можем наблюдать то же самое поведение в движении Нью Эйдж. Библия же учит, что мы должны быть постоянно бдительны и благоразумны (1-е Петра 4:07 ).

Но несмотря на все это и то влияние, под которым я находилась, я не перестала общаться с моими друзьями из этого движения. Мысль, что у них был другой дух казалась слишкой сумасшедшей, чтобы быть правдой, ведь многие из этого движения – очень порядочны и служат Богу. Позже соседка по комнате порекомендовала мне проповеди Дерека Принса (консервативный учитель Библии от пятидесятнического движения, ныне покойный).

В первой проповеди тема была о страхе Божием, и мне она показалась достаточно благоразумной. Потом подруга дала мне пару своих книг для чтения. Дерек Принс, казалось, подтверждает свои теории отрывками из Библии. Но вместо того, чтобы его книги подкрепляли мою веру, я все больше понимала, как она стала колебаться. Он писал о некоторых богословских учениях, о которых я никогда не слышала за всю свою христианскую жизнь.

Библейский фундамент, на котором я стояла, начал колебаться, и я даже не могу описать достаточно подробно, как я попала в зту духовную путаницу. Теперь я понимаю более четко, чем когда-либо прежде, что апостол Павел имел в виду когда писал: “О, несмысленные Галаты ! кто прельстил вас?” (Гал. 3:1) (в английском переводе сказано: “кто околдовал вас”) и “я не хочу, чтобы вы были в общении с бесами” (1 Кор. 10:20).

***Духовное заблуждение***

И вот я все больше и больше попадала под влияние этого движения и не понимала почему в окружении стольких христиан, “наполненных Святым Духом”, я чувствую себя духовно все слабее и слабее…

Как то я рекомендовала моим друзьям в Facebook прочитать книгу о влиянии “иного языка” и как держать его под контролем. Только один христианин пытался предупредить меня, когда заметил, что я попала под влияние ложного учения. Благодарю тебя, брат Рик Вагнер!

Но тогда я уже не слушала предупреждений ни от моей семьи ни от друзей. Я стала усердно молится и даже постилась, чтобы Бог дал мне этот дар, если это от Него. Почти все кто меня окружали (97%), “говорили на языках”, и я не хотела быть исключением. Знаю нескольких молодых людей, которые получили этот “таинственный подарок”, когда они были ещё детьми (6 лет) и даже не просили об этом Бога и не были возрожденными христианами. Они просто присутствовали на собрании, где дух “проявлялся”, коснулся их, и они стали “говорить на языках”. В общем, это не редкость, что даже неверующие могут быть заполнены этим духом и задолго до того, как они по-настоящему приходят к Богу. Но как это может быть, чтобы кто-то был наполнен Духом Божьим, если он еще мертв в своих грехах? Нет покаяния, нет нового сердца, нет страха Божия… Как может кто-нибудь быть ведом Святым Духом и не понимать, что, например, Бенни Хинн служит сатане? Как это может быть, чтобы человек молился на языках и так пренебрегал Библией, не читая ее регулярно, а только по случаю?!

Моя подруга , например, была в течение нескольких лет членом консервативной общины, но в моих глазах ее помышления были довольно мирскими, и она говорила больше о мальчиках, чем об Иисусе. Но как только она пришла в контакт с харизматическим движением и начала говорить на языках, то стала проповедовать на улицах и почти всегда говорила только о Боге. Смотря на нее, я постоянно задавалась вопросом, как это может быть? На мой взгляд, она никогда по-настоящему не покаилась, ни до, ни после. Но на тот момент, я видела слишком много противоречий и никаких ясных ответов.

***ЕВАНГЕЛИЗАЦИЯ ***

Один раз мы собрались с друзьями в парке для евангелизации. Мы разделились на группы по двое, и я пошла с одним взрослым братом, который считался в церкви проповедником и евангелистом. Мы подошли к двум женщинам, сидящим на скамейке в парке. После моих тщетных попыток рассказать им об Иисусе как о единственном Спасителе, мой напарник обратился к одной из женщин и сказал: “Я знаю, что вы сделали что-то плохое вчера и поэтому не могли заснуть ночью. Вы должны покаяться и уверовать в Евангелие “. Когда мы ушли, я спросила его откуда он знал что эта женщина что-то сделала. Он ответил: “Я ничего не знал о ней. Я только вёл себя так как-будто бы знал о чём-то. Может быть я и был прав!? Ты видела как испуганно она посмотрела на меня? Я думаю, что она действительно сделала что-то плохое”. В тот момент я была потрясена. Он солгал и сделал все это во имя Бога… А ведь он так страстно проповедует и говорит о Боге!

***Харизматы и пятидесятники – одно и тоже***

Я также заметила, что на крупных конференциях, которые были проведены в Москве, сотни молодых людей из обоих движений (харизматы и пятидесятники) собираются вместе, как если бы это было одно движение и один дух. Меня это немного беспокоило, и я решила поговорить с пастором одной консервативной пятедесятнической церкви в Москве, которую я в то время посещала: “Какая разница между пятидесятниками и харизматическим движением? Возможно ли, что движение пятидесятников – от Бога, а харизматическое – от дьявола? Но где линия? В чем разница?” Он ответил с улыбкой : “Разница между двумя движениями – в стиле служения. Так что это лишь дело вкуса, что тебе больше подходит и нравится”. Такой ответ я действительно не ожидала, потому что я была все еще убеждена, что харизматическое движение все же не может быть от Бога.

Во время моего пребывания в Москве я тесно общалась с людьми из обоих движений, и через некоторое время я действительно не могла больше увидеть разницу. Пастор из Москвы был прав: разница была только в стиле. Я снова подавила свои сомнения и убеждала себя, что тем не менее в пятидесятническом движении есть истинные христиане, и что Бог очевидно действует в их жизни. Я не хотела быть ” неверующей ” и рассматривать всё как вечный cкептик. Однако чем дольше я там находилась, тем больше запутывалась. Из-за моего душевного смятения я начала терять внутренний мир и радость. Я пыталась принять эту новую доктрину, но не могла подавить свои сомнения. Я прервала стажировку и полетела обратно в Германию. Мало кто действительно знал, как я себя на самом деле чувствовала, но они молились за меня. Спасибо!

***Чуждый огонь ***

Как это может быть что большинство моих друзей из этого течения горят для миссии, если огонь не от Бога? Почему так малo огня во многих других общинах, которые я посещала до этого? Эти мысли не давали мне покоя. За этим течением стоит либо Святой Дух, либо бесовский дух обольщения. В следующее воскресенье я уже была в своей церкви, и проповедник разбирал какой-то отрывок из Ветхого Завета. Однако во время служения я в мыслях все еще отсутствовала и не переставала задавать себе вопрос, как это течение может быть от сатаны, если пятедесятники и харизматы так много миссиоерствуют и говорят об Иисусе… Листая Библию, мой взгляд упал на текст из Писания : “Надав и Авиуд, сыны Аароновы, взяли каждый свою кадильницу, и положили в них огня, и вложили в него курений, и принесли пред Господа огонь чуждый, которого Он не велел им; и вышел огонь от Господа и сжег их, и умерли они пред лицем Господним” (Левит 10:1-2 ).

Что это был за огонь? Почему Бог так жестоко убил их? Они же Ему служители?! Неужели есть различные типы огня? Меня осенило! Другой огонь…, огонь чуждый, неугодный Богу!

Один из моих бывших любимых проповедников, Александр Шевченко, также из пятидесятнического движения. Однако по неизвестным причинам он объявил это только после того, когда уже имел тысячи последователей. В его проповедях всегда была определённая «жемчужинка», и я часто была под впечатлением, как глубоко и мудро он излагает Библию и сколько духовного опыта он имеет. Мои родители также с удовольствием слушали его проповеди. В 2009 году мне довелось с ним лично познакомиться, но я была немного разочарована после нашего разговора . Мне почему то показалось, что у него был довольно подавленный дух. Я не могу точно объяснить это, но знаю из опытa, что когда два христианина общаются, общая любовь к Иисусу их соединяет, и вы как бы находитесь на одной духовной волне. Но, возможно, я была и неправа, а может всё-таки и да (права)…

Когда я приехала после собрания домой , я сделала тщательное исследование этого учителя Библии. В конце концов, я два года (2008-2009) регулярно слушала его проповеди. С открытой Библией я внимательно прослушала его последние проповеди, пытаясь вникнуть в каждое слово. Результатом было – три дня глубоко потрясения. Он фактически смешивал библейские истины с ложными учениями. Кроме того, он лояльно относится к католицизму и продолжал повторять, что вы не должны мешать Святому Духу действовать, но дать Ему свободу вне “библейских стандартов”. Он прекрасно знал, чему учил. Очевидно он находится в экуменическом движении, которое направленона то, чтобы смешать все религии в одну и тем самым приготовить путь антихристу .

Лояльность к другим религиям , которое он очень изысканно пропагандировал в своих проповедях, вероятнo имело определённое влияние и на меня. Он не редко подчеркивал: «Остерегайтесь называть что-то лжеучением , если вы точно не уверенны, стоит ли дух Божий за зтим или нет … в противном случае вы можете похулить Духа Святого , и этот грех никогда вам не простится “.

Это тактика запугивания и я не боюсь сказать, что за пятидесятническим и харизматическим движения находится не Дух Божий, a дух обольщения. Говоря это, у меня мир (я имею мир с Богом) с Богом, и во мне живет Дух Святой. Tеперь у меня есть ясная картина того, что я пережила по отношению с этим (к этому движению) движениям – на миссии в Африке, когда училась в Нью-Йорке и в Москве, a так же и в Германиии. Мне страшно подумать о том, как далеко просочилось это духовное обольщение во многие христианские церкви и круги.

Я слышала от двух моих подруг, что когда они “говорили на языках”, внезапно их голос превратился/щался в мужской. Это их напугало до смерти, но, к сожалению, только одна из них прекратила “говорить на языках”, которые сегодня в пятидесятническом и харизматическом движениях считаются за проявления Святого Духа.
Еще одна девушка, которая раньше была глубоко в оккультизме, как то сказала мне: «Когда я начала говорить на языках, то мне показалось (то я почувствовала), что я вернулась обратно в оккультизм”. Другие, однако, убедили её, что это дьявол, который посылает сомнения и мешает “Святому Духу” работать в ней. К сожалению, она до сих пор “говорит на языках”. Я молюсь, чтобы Бог вывел её и других, которые находятся в обольщении, из этого демонического движения.

*** Покайтесь и веруйте в Евангелие ***

Два года назад я думала, что никогда не узнаю правду про эти “языки” . Но я нашла ответ в Писании, не через видения или сны. Я очень благодарна Богу за Его защиту. Когда я смотрю назад, то убеждаюсь, что есть причина , почему Бог допустил это: он сломал мою гордость и показал мне, что я не мудрая овца, хотя я уже несколько раз прочитала всю Библию от и до. Tолько Библия и тихий голос предостережения Святого Духа показали себя надежными путеводителями. Не наши чувства или наше лукавое сердце. Мне стыдно, что я сначала искала ответ у других, а не в Библии. И какая удивительная благодать, которая охраняла меня, даже когда я была такой упрямой и предпочитала доверять больше своему разуму и чувствам.

Самая первая весть Иисуса была : “Покайтесь и веруйте в Евангелие » (Мк. 1:15 ). Некоторые из моих друзей из этого движения живут нравственной жизнью , другие нет . Спасающую веру человека видно в его отношении ко греху, а не в даре языков. Христос повелевает нам бросить все и следовать за Ним, включительно оставить наши грехи и наши так называемые «добрые дела/ самоправедность ” на которые человек пытается опереться. А потому те, кто продолжает жить в грехе , не рождены от Бога (Римлянам 12:1), хотя даже если человек и ведет моральную жизнь, это тоже еще не является доказательством его рождения свыше… Смотрите есть ли у вас плоды Духа Святого, если хотите узнать живет ли в вас этот Дух.
Я спрашивала многих моих друзей , прочитали ли они всю Библию , по крайней мере один раз, насколько я помню ответ был пока почти всегда “нет” .” Я не читаю Библию систематически , но , как Дух ведет меня “, говорят многие.
Как можно утверждать, что ты наполнен Святым Духом в течение многих лет, без регулярного и систематического чтения Слова Божьего ? Как может кто-то молиться со страстью и в то же время днями не брать в руки Библию и не изучать каждое ее слово? Однажды я разговаривала с двумя бывшими пятедесятниками и они сказали мне , что им было трудно читать Библию , когда они много молились на языках. И чем меньше они молились на языках, тем больше они могли читать Слово Божие. Дьяволу на самом деле всё-равно кому вы поклоняетесь, до тех пор, пока это не истинный Бог Библии . И как вы можете поклоняться истинному Богу, если вы не знаете Его Слово ? Я боюсь ,что те, кто говорит на языках, к сожалению обольщены и на самом деле даже не рождены свыше. Вы можете служить со страстью в вашей церкви , быть честным человеком , и даже умереть за вашу веру … но что толку от этого , если вы поклоняетесь не Богу Библии? Мусульмане тоже умерают мужественно за свою веру. Это доказательство того, что они в истине ? Есть много лжеучителей, которые говорят они это”Иисус” и постоянно цитируют из Библии. Дьявол также цитировал из Библии, когда Христос был искушаем в пустыне.

*** Важные стихи из Библии ***

1) “Не увидишь более народа свирепого, народа с глухою, невнятною речью, с языком странным, непонятным.” (Исаия 33:19)

2) “и Он, придя(Святой Дух), обличит мир о грехе и о правде и о суде: [ …] Когда же приидет Он, Дух истины, то наставит вас на всякую истину: ибо не от Себя говорить будет, [ …] Он прославит Меня . ” В пятидесятнических и харизматических песнях часто заметно, что песни посвящены поклонению Святому Духу и молятся больше Святому Духу , чем Иисусу (Ин. 16.8-14).

3) “Ибо все мы одним Духом крестились в одно тело, Иудеи или Еллины, рабы или свободные, и все напоены одним Духом.” (1 Коринфянам 12:13) Каждый рожденный свыше верующий уже получил Святого Духа . Второе крещение , о котором упоминается в книге Деяний , было особенным случаем и единственным. Но вы не по плоти живете, а по духу, если только Дух Божий живет в вас. Если же кто Духа Христова не имеет, тот и не Его. ” (Римлянам 8:09 )”

4) “Благословен Бог и Отец Господа нашего Иисуса Христа, благословивший нас во Христе всяким духовным благословением в небесах” (Еф. 1:3) Во Христе мы имеем все необходимое духовное благословение.

5) “Плод же духа: любовь, радость, мир, долготерпение, благость, милосердие, вера,
кротость, воздержание. ( Галатам 5:22-23 ) Долготерпение – означает ждать. Получить быстрый ответ от Бога через видения и сны является противоположностью терпения. То же самое относится к изгнанию демонов : быстрая альтернатива избавления похотей и других грехов . Библия же говорит о постоянной борьбе против собственного тела!
“…бодрствуйте и молитесь, чтобы не впасть в искушение: дух бодр, плоть же немощна.” (Мф.26:41)

***Заключительные мысли ***

Иисус предупредил нас, что в конце времен будет много лжеучителей. Это будет время глубокого душевного смятения и обмана, чтобы обмануть, если возтожно, даже избранных . Пятидесятники лукавят , потому что они на вид консервативны и богобоязненны. (1 Иоанна 3:8-10 ) и (Мф.7:15-16) .” Берегитесь лжепророков, которые приходят к вам в овечьей одежде, а внутри суть волки хищные.” И когда антихрист придет, он не будет против “религии” или против Бога . “Анти ” означает “вместо” , а не “против ” . Он будет так же, как Авессалом симпатичный и очень доброжелательный. Но постепенно покорит сердца людей своей добротой и «толерантностью» . Библия говорит, что большинство людей пойдут в ад (Матфея 7:14 )”… потому что тесны врата и узок путь, ведущие в жизнь, и немногие находят их”. Многие из тех, кто будет в конечном итоге в аду, думают, что сейчас они с Богом! Всякий раз, когда я читаю Матфея 7:22-23 , я невольно думаю о пятидесятниках и харизматах . “Многие скажут Мне в тот день: Господи! Господи! не от Твоего ли имени мы пророчествовали? и не Твоим ли именем бесов изгоняли? и не Твоим ли именем многие чудеса творили? И тогда объявлю им: Я никогда не знал вас; отойдите от Меня, делающие беззаконие. “

Давайте кратко рассмотрим 2 Царств 6:6-7″ И когда дошли до гумна Нахонова, Оза простер руку свою к ковчегу Божию и взялся за него, ибо волы наклонили его. Но Господь прогневался на Озу, и поразил его Бог там же за дерзновение, и умер он там у ковчега Божия. ” Сначала я не понимала, почему Бог убил Озу, ведь он всего лишь пытался предотвратить падение ковчега . Он всего лишь пытался помочь ! Тем не менее, Бог убил его на месте. Он нарушил заповеди Господа , и поэтому не имеет значения, насколько чисты были его намерения.
Сегодня существует бесчисленное множество лжеучений и вы никогда не сможете отличить правду от лжи, если вы не читаете Библию, и если Дух Святой не живет в вас! Если вы действительно беспокоитесь о своем спасении, то ежедневно читайте Библию и доверяйте Богу , и не полагайтесь на свой разум и на людей.
” Надейся на Господа всем сердцем твоим, и не полагайся на разум твой…. (Притчи3:5,7) Не будь мудрецом в глазах твоих; бойся Господа и удаляйся от зла” Бог приведет вас на правильный путь, если вы ищете Его в Библии и в молитве.

Обольстители по именам ******

Здесь я хотела бы упомянуть некоторых известных лжеучителей по имени:

Билли Грэм, Джойс Майер, Джимми Свагарт, Джон и Лиза Бивер, Дерек Принс, Рейнхард Боннке, Александр Шевченко, Геннадий Moхнeнкo, Рик Уоррен, ТД Джейкс, Никки Круз, Дэвид Йонги Чо, Рик Реннер, Бенни Хинн, Кеннет и Глория Коупленд, Кеннет Хейгин старший, Кеннет Хейгин младший, Родни Ховард Браун, Мать Тереза, Елена Уайт, и т.д.

Кроме того, к учениям Фрэнсиса Чана, Джон Пайперa и Ник Вуйчичa следует относиться с осторожностью.

*******

Я хочу еще раз подчеркнуть, что я не написала эту статью, чтобы раздражать или оскорблять других. Я молюсь, чтобы каждый, кто говорит на языках, мог все сам сравнить с трезвым учением Святого Писания. (Ленок лучше заменить слова- трезвое учение)
“Здешние были благомысленнее Фессалоникских: они приняли слово со всем усердием, ежедневно разбирая Писания, точно ли это так.” (Деяния17:11)

“Вникай в себя и в учение; занимайся сим постоянно: ибо, так поступая, и себя спасешь и слушающих тебя.” (1Тим.4:16)

“SYSTEMATISCHE VERFÜHRUNG: Die Zungenrede”

*** Die größte Gefahr in der Endzeit ist nicht eine Naturkatastrophe oder Wirtschaftskriese, sondern die geistliche Verführung * **

Diese Ermahnung schreibe ich an alle meine Freunde, die behaupten die “Gabe der Zungenrede” zu haben, wie wir sie aus der pfingstlerischen und der charismatischen Bewegung kennen. Einige meiner Leser werden möglicherweise feststellen, dass ich sie nicht namentlich, sondern im Rahmen eines Beispiels erwähnen werde. Es ist nicht meine Absicht jemanden zu beleidigen, sondern ich schreibe dies um die Betreffenden zum Nachdenken zu bringen, damit jeder prüfen mag, ob seine Praxis der sogenannten Zungenrede wirklich biblisch gegründet ist. Denke daran, dass der Apostel Paulus uns ermahnt nicht mehr unmündig zu sein und uns nicht von jedem Wind einer Lehre bewegen und umhertreiben zu lassen durch trügerisches Spiel der Menschen, mit dem sie uns arglistig verführen. (Epheser 4,14).

[Anmerkungen hinzugefügt von Rick Wagner SO4J-TV & Video Productions]

“Hütet euch vor den falschen Propheten, die in Schafskleidern zu euch kommen! Inwendig aber sind sie reißende Wölfe.“  (Matthäus 7,15)

Vor etwa 5 Jahren wurde ich zum ersten Mal mit der Pfingstbewegung und der Gabe der Zungenrede konfrontiert. Damals verstand ich nicht wirklich was die biblische Antwort darauf war und entschied mich zwei Bücher zu diesem Thema zu lesen. Im ersten Buch wurde die Gabe der Zungenrede als biblisch und im zweiten als unbiblisch dargestellt. Doch keines der beiden Bücher hat mich damals 100% überzeugt. Also sprach ich gelegentlich mit einigen Ältesten und Pastoren darüber, aber auch sie konnten mir keine befriedigende Auslegung zu bestimmten Versen in der Bibel geben. In der Zwischenzeit traf ich immer mehr Gläubige, die behaupteten, die Gabe der Zungenrede zu haben. Außerdem gab es einige Prediger, die angeblich in Zungen sprachen und ihre Predigten bibeltreu waren (David Wilkerson und Alexander Schevchenko), während andere (John MacArthur) stark dagegen waren. Nachdem ich mich mit diesem Thema schon eine längere Zeit beschäftigt hatte, kam ich dennoch nicht zu einer 100% Überzeugung was nun die Wahrheit ist. Schließlich entschloss ich mich dazu, einen letzten bekannten Prediger zu fragen, um mich danach zu richten. Im Juni 2012 hatte ich dann die Chance den prominenten baptistischen Bibellehrer John Piper persönlich zu fragen, ob die Zungenrede, wie wir sie heute kennen, biblisch sei oder nicht. Nachdem er die Zungenrede als “eine himmlische und unbekannte Sprache, die weder der Sprecher noch der Hörer verstehen kann” definiert hat, sagte er: “Ich glaube, dass die Praxis der Zungenrede biblisch ist und ich bat Gott mir diese Gabe zu schenken. Ich habe sie zwar noch nicht erhalten, aber ich glaube, dass sie eine begehrenswerte Gabe ist”. Ich betonte extra, dass es um die Zungenrede, die wir aus der Pfingstbewegung kennen, geht. Zu Elena BaumannKlärung: Die Pfingstbewegung ist eher konservativ, während die charismatische Bewegung im Gebiet der „Manifestation des Heiligen Geistes“, die eigentlich nichts anderes als dämonisch ist, fortgeschritten ist.  [Anmerkung: Es gibt keine biblische Grundlage dafür, dass die Zungenrede eine “himmlische Sprache” ist. Die Befürworter interpretieren 1. Korinther 13,1 falsch, denn diese Stelle ist hyperbolisch zu verstehen. Bei der biblischen Zungenrede handelte es sich um eine bekannte Sprachen und auch die Engel sprechen in der Bibel immer in einer menschlichen Sprache. Sogar im Buch der Offenbarung in der Beschreibung der zukünftigen und ewigen Ereignissen im Himmel gibt es keinen Hinweis, dass die Engel und Johannes in einer “himmlischen” Sprache redeten.] Zurück zu John Piper: Ich dachte, dass er sich eher gegen diese Bewegungen aussprechen würde, aber er glaubte, dass sie tatsächlich von Gott sei. Ab dem Punkt habe ich versucht alle meine Vorurteile beiseite zu legen und es einfach so zu akzeptieren wie er es auslegte. Wie könnte eine junge Frau wie ich, ihre eigene Meinung mehr schätzen, als die Meinung älterer Männer wie John Piper oder David Wilkerson?! Nein, jemand muss hier falsch liegen, und ich nahm an, dass ich es war… Könnte es dann aber so sein, dass die Pfingstbewegung von Gott und die charismatische Bewegung vom Teufel ist? Ich betete schließlich erneut in aller Aufrichtigkeit: “Vater, lass mich die Wahrheit erkennen, sodass ich keine Zweifel mehr über diese Frage habe. Wenn das Reden in Zungen vom Heiligen Geist ist, dann will ich das nicht einmal 1 % bezweifeln…”

*** 2012: MOSKAU ***

Im Sommer 2012 sollte ich für etwa zwei Monate nach Moskau verreisen, um dort ein Praktikum für mein Studium zu absolvieren. Eine gute Freundin von mir organisierte für mich eine Unterkunft. Ich durfte mit drei sehr netten jungen Frauen, die in der charismatischen Bewegung waren,  die Wohnung teilen. Sie waren nicht nur einfache Kirchengängerinnen, sondern aktive Mitglieder in ihren Gemeinden. Damals war mir das alles allerdings nicht bewusst. Wir wurden enge Freunde und obwohl ich anfangs sogar Angst hatte, als sie sich versammelten und in Zungen beteten, fing ich an diese neue Art langsam zu akzeptieren, da mir diese Menschen immer mehr ans Herz wuchsen. Es gab etwas an ihnen, was ich anziehend fand und was mich dazu führte mehr über diese Bewegung zu erfahren: Viele von ihnen hatten ein Feuer für die Mission. Sie schienen immer offen für Gespräche über Gott zu sein und strahlten Freude und Ehrlichkeit aus. Diese Qualitäten hatte ich in vielen anderen Christen, mit denen ich davor zu tun hatte, vermisst. Doch es dauerte nicht lange für mich zu erkennen, dass die meisten von ihnen ein anderes Verständnis zu mehreren wichtigen Lehren der Bibel hatten:

1. Das Leiden wird nicht selten als ein Fluch bezeichnet. Krankheiten seien somit von bösen Geistern verursacht und diese werden ständig ausgetrieben.

2. Auferweckungen von den Toten seien heute noch möglich. Ich bin davon überzeugt, dass Gott auch heute noch große Wunder tut, aber nicht so wie es auf TV-Shows präsentiert wird. (Matth. 9:27-31).

3. Nahtoderfahrungen werden als echte Botschaften von Gott bezeichnet. Die sind eindeutig unbiblisch.

4. Die Sicht auf die Endzeit: Kurz vor dem Zweiten Kommen Christi sollen viele Menschen aus unterschiedlichen Nationen gerettet werden. Die Bibel sagt jedoch, dass in der Endzeit viele vom Glauben abfallen werden (Matth. 24)

5. Buße zu tun ist lediglich das Aussprechen eines Bekehrungsgebetes, wodurch der Mensch gerettet und wiedergeboren wird. Doch biblisch gesehen geschieht die Wiedergeburt nicht einfach, wenn man “Jesus in sein Herz einlädt”, sondern das kann nur durch den Heiligen Geist hervorgerufen werden (Joh. 3:8). Menschen kommen zu Jesus aus falschen Gründen, nicht etwa um von ihren Sünden oder von dem Zorn Gottes gerettet zu werden, sondern um ein “besseres” oder moralisches Leben führen zu können.

6. Gott kann auch angeblich einem Menschen den Heiligen Geist geben, lange bevor er überhaupt nach Gott sucht oder Buße tut. Dabei ist das eine der wichtigsten Aufgaben des Heiligen Geistes.

7. Christen können von Ungläubigen verflucht werden und sollten daher immer gegen einen möglichen Fluch beten und sich somit schützen, was auch unbiblisch ist (Sprüche 26,2).

8. In dieser Bewegung scheinen alle nur positive “Prophezeiungen, Visionen und Träume” von Gott zu erhalten, z.B. wie Gott sie für sein Reich benutzen will usw. [Anmerkung: gibt es eigentlich auch negative “Prophezeiungen”?]

9. Am Anfang können diese Visionen und Träume sogar mit der Heiligen Schrift übereinstimmen. Dadurch entsteht dann ein gewisses Vertrauen daran und mit der Zeit vergleicht die Person diese Erfahrungen nicht mehr mit der Schrift…

10. Oft konzentrieren sich viele Predigten aus den beiden Bewegungen darauf, wie man ein höheres Selbstwertgefühl aufbauen kann (siehe Nick Vujicic).

11. Ich habe mehrere meiner Freunde aus den beiden Bewegungen gefragt, wie sie in der Bibel lesen und bis jetzt äußerten sich die meisten, dass sie die Bibel weder regelmäßig noch systematisch lesen, sondern wie halt der “Geist” sie leitet: mal hier, mal dort.

12. Die Bibel sagt der Heilige Geist weht wo Er will (Matth. 24), doch hier gibt es bestimmte Methoden, um die Zungenrede selbst zu initiieren, als ob der Heilige Geist sich von Menschen befehlen lassen würde! Außerdem sollten wir nicht vergessen, dass die Zungenrede aufhören und nicht zunehmen wird (1. Korinther 13,8).

13. Prominente Leiter der charismatischen Bewegung und viele der Pfingstbewegung glauben, dass wenn “der Geist jemanden berührt”, diese Person rückwärts auf den Boden fallen könnte. In der Bibel ist das jedoch immer ein Zeichen von Gottes Gericht (Jesaja 28:13).

14. Die Ursprünge dieser Art von Zungenrede sind im wahrsten Sinne dämonisch. Dieselbe Praxis kann man in vielen heidnischen Religionen und Ritualen finden. Es gibt sogar gottlose Prominente wie z.B. Katy Perry und Megan Fox, die behaupten in Zungen zu sprechen. [Anmerkung: Anhänger anderer falschen Religionen wie Hinduismus und Islam haben auch schon behauptet in Zungen zu sprechen. Und damit kann die Zungenrede nicht der „Beweis“ dafür sein, dass jemand vom Heiligen Geist wiedergeboren ist.]

15. Die Zungenrede ist oft nicht nur eine emotionale, sondern eine “echte” Erfahrung.  Ich habe einen wissenschaftlichen Artikel gelesen, dass das Adrenalin bei einer Person, die in Zungen spricht, bis zu vier Mal höher steigen kann, als bei einer Person, die Drogen nimmt. Wenn es wahr sein sollte, so ist es kein Wunder, dass Menschen stundenlang in Zungen beten und nicht bereit sind auf solch ein Erlebnis zu verzichten.

16. Es gibt jede Menge Gefühlsbetontheit in der zeitgenössischen Musik, Anbetung und Lehre: Strebe nach der Wahrheit, die in der Bibel zu finden ist und verlasse dich nicht auf deine Gefühle, die aus einem überaus trügerischem und verdorbenen Herzen kommen. (Jeremiah 17:9)

17. Die Rolle der Frau: Frauen können Autorität über Männer ausüben, lehren und in der Gemeinde predigen (1. Tim. 2,9-15). Die Bibel sagt “und Adam wurde nicht betrogen, die Frau aber wurde betrogen und fiel in Übertretung.” (1. Tim. 2,14). Hier sehen wir ebenfalls wie Frauen an Lügen glauben und andere in die Verführung mit sich ziehen. Das unkeusche Auftreten der Frau in diesen Bewegungen ist leider in vielen Fällen auch auffallend.

18. Oft machen sich viele Redner/Prediger/Lehrer aus diesen Bewegungen einen “Namen” durch Medien (z.B. CBN News) und große Konferenzen, wo ihre Abbildungen in aller Ehre zu betrachten sind (siehe Reinhard Bonnke, Joyce Meyer usw.)

19. Es wird gelehrt, dass ein wiedergeborener Gläubiger von einem bösen Geist besessen oder beeinflusst werden kann. Dieser Geist könne nur durch besondere Worte und Gebete ausgetrieben werden (Quelle: “Sie werden Dämonen austreiben” von Derek Prince). In der Tat haben zwei meiner Freunde behauptet, dass ein böser Geist in ihnen wohne. Das ist unbiblisch, denn wo der Heilige Geist wohnt, kann kein böser Geist eine Behausung finden.

20. Um die Zuhörer einzuschüchtern wird es oftmals gepredigt, dass diejenigen, die es wagen gegen die Manifestationen des angeblichen Heiligen Geistes zu sprechen, den Heiligen Geist lästern.

21. Gott spricht angeblich heute noch zu Menschen durch Träume und Visionen wie Er es vor der Vollendung der Heiligen Schrift zu tun pflegte. Die Bibel aber sagt “Nachdem Gott vielfältig und auf vielerlei Weise ehemals zu den Vätern geredet hat in den Propheten, hat er am Ende dieser Tage zu uns geredet im Sohne” (Hebräer 1,1-2) [Anmerkung: Und somit ersetzen Träume und Visionen die Heilige Schrift, da sie als direkter und aufregender als die Schrift gelten. Sie sind ein direkter Angriff auf „Sola Scriptura“, was bedeutet dass die Schrift allein ausreichend ist, um den Menschen zu retten, zu führen und zu lehren.]

22. Falsche Propheten werden toleriert (5. Mose 18,22). Ich habe erlebt wie ein sogenannter “Gesalbter” etwas mitten im Gottesdienst prophezeit hat, was aber nicht eingetreten ist. Keiner der Anwesenden schien sein Erfüllt sein vom Heiligen Geist in Frage zu stellen.

 *******

Ich erinnere mich auch wie mehrere mir erklärten, wie man diese sogenannte Gabe der Zungenrede bekommt: Dazu sollte man sein Gehirn vollständig ausschalten und sich einfach vom Geist „leiten“ lassen, damit Er „in dir wirken“ kann. Ist das nicht was passiert, wenn Menschen betrunken sind oder auf Drogen sind? Wir können das gleiche Verhalten auch in der New Age-Bewegung beobachten. Die Bibel lehrt wir sollen ständig wachsam und nüchtern sein – nicht geistesabwesend (1. Petrus 4,7)!

Doch trotz dieser Erkenntnis und dem Einfluss, der auf mich ausgeübt wurde, beendete ich die Gemeinschaft mit meinen Freunden aus dieser Bewegung nicht. Der Gedanke, dass sie einen anderen Geist hatten, schien mir einfach zu verrückt, um wahr zu sein. Schließlich sind viele, die diese Bewegung repräsentieren, sehr ehrlich und gottergeben. Später empfahl mir meine Mitbewohnerin eine Predigt von Derek Prince (ein konservativer Bibellehrer aus der Pfingstbewegung) anzuhören. In der ersten Predigt ging es um die Gottesfurcht und ich fand sie gut. Danach gab sie mir ein paar seiner Bücher zum Lesen. Derek Prince schien seine Thesen mit Bibelstellen zu belegen, doch anstatt mich geistlich aufzubauen, haben mich seine Bücher immer mehr verwirrt. Er schrieb über gewisse theologische Lehren von denen ich in meinem ganzen christlichen Leben nie gehört hatte. Das Fundament auf dem ich stand fing an zu schwanken und ich kann nicht genug betonen in welche geistliche Verwirrung mich das führte. Jetzt aber verstehe ich deutlicher als je zuvor was der Apostel Paulus meinte als er schrieb: “O unverständige Galater! wer hat euch bezaubert?” (Galater 3,1). und “Ich will aber nicht, dass ihr Gemeinschaft habt mit den Dämonen” (1. Korinther 10,20).

*** VERWIRRUNG ***

Ich wurde mehr und mehr von dieser betrügerischen Bewegung beeinflusst. In 2012 empfahl ich meinen Facebook Freunden ein Buch von einem falschen Lehrer zu lesen und nur ein einziger Christ versuchte mich davor zu warnen, als er merkte, dass ich verführt sein könnte. Danke Bruder Rick Wagner! Doch damals vernahm ich die Warnungen meiner Familie und Freunde nicht mehr. Für eine kurze Zeit betete und fastet ich dafür, dass Gott mir diese Gabe auch geben möge, wenn sie von Ihm ist. Fast alle meiner Freunden sprachen in Zungen und ich wollte keine Ausnahme sein. Doch ich konnte nicht in Zungen sprechen… Ich kenne mehrere junge Menschen, die diese geheimnisvolle Gabe erhalten haben als sie sehr jung waren (ab 6 Jahre alt) und nicht mal danach fragten, sondern den Geist “abbekommen” haben, als sie in einer Versammlung anwesend waren, wo sich der Geist “manifestierte”. Es ist auch keine Seltenheit, dass auch Ungläubige von diesem Geist erfüllt sein können und in Zungen noch lange bevor sie zu Gott kommen, reden. Wie kann es sein, dass jemand von dem Geist Gottes erfüllt ist, wenn man immer noch tot in seinen Sünden ist? Keine Buße, kein zerbrochenes Herz, keine Gottesfurcht… Wie kann jemand vom Heiligen Geist geführt werden und nicht sofort erkennen, dass z.B. Benny Hinn oder die Hexe Kathryn J. Kuhlman von Satan besessen sind? Wie kann es sein, dass in der Öffentlichkeit so viel in Zungen gebetet wird, die Bibel aber so sehr vernachlässigt wird? Es gab gewissen Widersprüche, die ich nicht erklären konnte…. Eine Freundin von mir war zum Beispiel seit mehreren Jahren Mitglied einer konservativen Gemeinde… in meinen Augen recht weltlich gesinnt und sprach mehr über Jungs, als über Jesus. Doch sobald sie in Kontakt mit der charismatischen Bewegung kam, begann sie in Zungen zu sprechen, auf den Straßen zu evangelisieren und beinahe nur über Gott zu sprechen. Ich fragte mich wie das sein könnte. Meines Erachtens nach hatte sie nie wahrhaftig Buße getan, weder davor noch danach. Zu diesem Zeitpunkt sah ich einfach zu viele Widersprüche und keine klaren Antworten.

***EVANGELISATION***

Ein Mal war ich mit einigen Freunden in einem Park, um dort zu evangelisieren. Wir hatten uns in Zweiergruppen aufgeteilt. Ich ging mit einem älteren Prediger auf zwei Frauen zu, die auf einer Parkbank saßen. Nachdem ich vergeblich versuchte ihnen von Jesus als den einzigen Retter zu erzählen, wandte sich der Prediger an eine der Frauen und sagte: “Ich weiß, dass Sie gestern etwas Schlimmes getan haben und deshalb nachts nicht einschlafen können. Sie sollten Buße tun und an das Evangelium glauben!”. Danach sind wir weggegangen. Ich fragte ihn woher er das über die Frau wusste. Er sagte: “Ich wusste nichts über sie. Ich habe nur so getan, als ob ich Bescheid wüsste. Vielleicht hatte ich ja Recht! Hast du gesehen wie erschrocken sie mich ansah? Ich denke sie hat gestern wirklich etwas Schlimmes getan…”. In diesem Moment war ich schockiert. Er hatte gelogen und tat es auch noch im Namen Gottes…

***Charismatische und pfingstlerische Bewegung: ein und dasselbe ***

Mir ist zusätzlich auch aufgefallen, dass bei großen Konferenzen, die in Moskau veranstaltet wurden, Hunderte von Jugendlichen aus beiden Bewegungen zusammen kamen, als wäre es eine Bewegung, ein Geist. Ich sprach mit dem Pastor einer konservativen Pfingstgemeinde, die ich in Moskau zu besuchen pflegte und fragte ihn: “Wo ist eigentlich die Linie, die die pfingstlerische und charismatische Bewegungen trennt? Ist es möglich, dass die Pfingstbewegung von Gott und die charismatische Bewegung vom Teufel ist? Warum scheint die Jugend dann vereint zu sein?” Er antwortete lächelnd: “Der Unterschied zwischen den beiden Bewegungen liegt im Stil. Es ist also nur Geschmackssache was dir besser passt und woran du gewöhnt bist.” Solch eine Antwort hatte ich wirklich nicht erwartet, denn ich war immer noch davon überzeugt, dass die charismatische Bewegung sicherlich nicht von Gott sein konnte. Während meines Aufenthaltes in Moskau kam ich in Kontakt mit Menschen aus beiden Bewegungen, aber nach einiger Zeit konnte ich wirklich keinen Unterschied mehr erkennen. Der Pastor in Moskau hatte Recht: der Unterschied lag wirklich nur im Stil. Ich unterdrückte meine Zweifel wieder einmal und war davon überzeugt, dass es dennoch wahre Christen in der Pfingstbewegung gibt und dass Gott in ihrem Leben offensichtlich wirkt. Ich wollte keine „Ungläubige” sein und als ewige „Zweiflerin“ gelten. Aber je länger ich dort blieb, desto verwirrter wurde ich. Aufgrund meiner geistlichen Verwirrung begann ich meinen inneren Frieden und meine Freude zu verlieren. Ich wollte diese neue Lehre annehmen, aber ich konnte meine Zweifel einfach nicht unterdrücken. Ich brach mein Praktikum ab und flog nach drei Tagen zurück nach Deutschland. Nur wenige wussten wie ich mich fühlte, und sie beteten für mich. Danke!

*** FREMDES FEUER ***

Wie kann es sein, dass die meisten von meinen Freunde für die Mission brennen, wenn das Feuer nicht von Gott ist? Warum sieht man so wenig von dieser Leidenschaft in vielen Gemeinden, die ich davor besuchte? Diese Gedanken beschäftigten mich Tag und Nacht. Entweder war die Zungenrede, wie ich sie kannte, 100 % von Gott oder 100 % vom Teufel, denn dahinter stand ein und derselbe Geist. Am folgenden Sonntag behandelte dann der Prediger einen Abschnitt aus dem alten Testament. Während des Gottesdienstes blätterte ich halb in Gedanken abwesend in meiner Bibel und las die Stelle, wo ich die Bibel zufällig aufschlug: “Und die Söhne Aarons, Nadab und Abihu, nahmen jeder sein Feuerbecken und taten Feuer hinein und legten Räucherwerk darauf und brachten fremdes Feuer vor dem HERRN dar, das er ihnen nicht geboten hatte. Da ging Feuer vom HERRN aus und verzehrte sie. Und sie starben vor dem HERRN.” (3. Mose 10,1-2) Welches Feuer war es? Warum tötete Gott sie? Sie waren schließlich Diener Gottes… gibt es denn verschiedene Arten vom Feuers, das man Gott bringen kann? Dann ist mir plötzlich ein Licht aufgegangen!Wenn diese Art der Zungenrede nicht biblisch ist, dann haben ALLE, die in Zungen sprechen, einen anderen Geist, ein anderes Feuer… ein fremdes Feuer, welches Gott nicht gefällt! Einer meiner ehemaligen Lieblingspredigern (Alexander Schevchenko) kam auch aus der Pfingstbewegung. Aus irgendeinem Grund hat er das aber erst bekannt gegeben, nachdem er schon Tausende von Anhängern weltweit hatte. Seine Predigten hatte immer eine gewisse “Perle” und ich hatte immer den Eindruck, dass er die Bibel sehr gut auslegte und mit Gott schon viele Erfahrungen gemacht hatte. Meine Eltern hörten seine Predigten auch gerne an. Als ich ihn jedoch im Jahre 2009 persönlich kennenlernen durfte, war ich nach unserem Gespräch enttäuscht. Ich sagte meinen Eltern danach, dass es mir so vorkam, als ob er einen eher bedrückten Geist hätte. Ich kann es nicht genau erklären, aber ich weiß aus Erfahrung, dass wenn sich zwei Christen treffen, gemeinsame Liebe für Jesus sie mehr oder weniger verbindet und man sich geistig auf “einer Wellenlänge” befindet. Aber vielleicht hatte ich mich ja geirrt, oder etwa doch nicht?  Als ich nach dem Gottesdienst zu Hause ankam, machte ich eine gründliche Recherche über diesen Bibellehrer. Immerhin habe ich zwei Jahre lang (2008-2009) seine Predigten regelmäßig angehört. Mit einer offenen Bibel hörte ich seine aktuellsten Botschaften an und versuchte jedes Wort zu prüfen. Danach war ich drei Tage lang zutiefst erschüttert. Er vermischte tatsächlich biblische Wahrheiten mit falschen Lehren. Zusätzlich tolerierte  er Katholizismus und wiederholte ständig, dass man den Heiligen Geist nicht in Rahmen setzen dürfe, sondern Ihm Freiheit lassen soll auch außerhalb der “biblischen Maßstäbe” zu wirken. Dabei wusste er ganz genau, was er tat: er verführte seine Zuhörer systematisch. Er ist offensichtlich in der ökumenischen Bewegung, die eine Weltreligion anstrebt und somit den Weg für den Antichristen bereitet. Es hat eine Weile gedauert bis ich es verarbeiten konnte, dass er ein Irrlehrer ist. Die Toleranz gegenüber anderen Religionen, die er in seinen Predigten sehr raffiniert propagandierte, hatte wohl auch auf mich einen gewissen  Einfluss gehabt. Er sagte oft: “Hüten Sie sich davor etwas als unbiblisch zu bezeichnen, wenn Sie nicht genau wissen, ob der Geist Gottes dahinter steckt oder nicht… Sie könnten sonst den Heiligen Geist lästern, und diese Sünde wird Ihnen nie vergeben!” Ich kenne diese Einschüchterungstaktik und habe keine Angst zu sagen, dass hinter der pfingstlerischen und der charismatischen Bewegung nicht der Geist Gottes, sondern ein verführerischer Geist steht. Ich bezeuge, dass ich bei all dem vollkommenen Frieden mit Gott habe.

Meine bisherigen Erfahrungen waren wie Puzzleteile, die jetzt zusammenpassten. Ich habe über alles was ich in Afrika, NYC, Moskau und Deutschland erlebt habe, nachgedacht. Eine gute Freundin von mir, die vorher sehr tief im Okkultismus gefangen war, sagte mir: “Als ich angefangen habe in Zungen zu sprechen, hatte ich das Gefühl ich wäre wieder zurück im Okkultismus… ”. Andere haben sie jedoch davon überzeugt, dass es der Teufel ist, der sie durch diese Zweifel vom Wirken des “Heiligen Geistes” abbringen wolle und traurigerweise spricht sie heute noch in Zungen. Ich bete, dass Gott sie und andere gute Freunde von mir aus dieser dämonischen Bewegung rausholt. Zwei Mädchen erzählten mir, wie sie einmal in Zungen sprachen und eine männliche Stimme herauskam. Das hat beide zu Tode erschreckt, aber leider hat nur eine danach mit der Zungenrede aufgehört.

*** Tut Buße und glaubt an das Evangelium ***

Noch vor zwei Jahren habe ich gedacht ich würde niemals herausfinden, ob dieser Art von Zungenrede von Gott ist oder nicht. Aber Gott hat mir die Wahrheit in der Heiligen Schrift offenbart, nicht durch Visionen oder Träume. Ich kann Gott nicht genug dafür danken, denn ohne seinen Schutz wäre ich nicht verschont geblieben. Wenn ich jetzt zurückblicke, bin ich davon überzeugt, dass es einen Grund dafür gab warum Gott mich diese Erfahrungen machen lassen: Er hat meinen Stolz gebrochen und mir gezeigt, dass ich kein weises Schaf bin, obwohl ich die ganze Bibel schon mehrmals ganz durchgelesen hatte. Nur die Bibel und die leise warnende Stimme des Heiligen Geistes erweisen sich als zuverlässige Wegführer, nicht unsere Gefühle oder unser trügerisches Herz. Jesus hat gesagt, “ Wenn ihr in meinem Wort bleibt, so seid ihr wahrhaft meine Jünger; und ihr werdet die Wahrheit erkennen, und die Wahrheit wird euch frei machen.” (Johannes 8, 31-32) Es ist eine Schande, dass ich mich durch den Schein täuschen ließ und nicht gleich selber nach den Antworten in der Bibel gesucht hatte. Welche Schande für ein Kind Gottes! Und was für eine erstaunliche Gnade, die mich bewahrt hat, auch wenn ich mich so stur auf meinen Verstand verlassen wollte.

Die allererste Botschaft, die Jesus gebracht hatte war: “Tut Buße und glaubt an das Evangelium!” (Markus 1,15). Manche meiner Freunde aus dieser Bewegung führen ein moralisches Leben, andere jedoch nicht. Sie lieben ihre Sünden immer noch mehr als Gott, und daran kann man sehr leicht erkennen, ob ein Mensch wiedergeboren ist oder nicht. Man kann den rettenden Glauben eines Menschen an seiner Beziehung zur Sünde und nicht an der Gabe der Zungenrede erkennen. Christus befiehlt uns alles aufzugeben und Ihm nachzufolgen. Das schließt unsere Sünden und unsere sogenannten „guten Werke/Selbstgerechtigkeit“ ein, auf die der Mensch sich zu verlassen tendiert. Und so sind diejenigen, die weiterhin in ihrer Sünde leben, nicht von Gott geboren (Römer 12,1). Ich habe viele meiner Freunde gefragt, ob sie die ganze Bibel mindestens einmal durchgelesen hatten und soweit ich mich erinnere war die Antwort meistens: “Nein. Ich lese die Bibel nicht systematisch, sondern so wie der Geist mich führt.” Wie kann es aber möglich sein seit Jahren vom Heiligen Geist geführt zu werden, ohne dabei regelmäßig und systematisch Gottes Wort zu lesen?! Wie kann jemand mit Leidenschaft beten und gleichzeitig das Wort Gottes vernachlässigen? Ich habe einmal mit zwei ehemaligen Zungenrednern gesprochen und sie sagten mir, dass es für sie schwierig war in der Bibel zu lesen, wenn sie viel in Zungen beteten. Und je weniger sie in Zungen gebeteten, desto mehr konnten sie das Wort Gottes lesen. Dem Teufel ist es eigentlich völlig egal wen oder was du anbetest, so lange es nicht der wahre Gott der Bibel ist. Und wie kannst du den wahren Gott anbeten, wenn du sein Wort nicht kennst? Ich fürchte diejenigen, die in Zungen reden, sind leider verführt und wahrscheinlich nicht wirklich wiedergeboren, auch wenn sie das von sich glauben. Du kannst mit Leidenschaft in deiner Gemeinde dienen, der ehrlichste Mensch der Welt sein und sogar für deinen Glauben sterben.. doch was nützt es dir,  wenn du dabei nicht den Gott der Bibel sondern einen falschen Gott anbetest? Muslime sterben auch mutig für ihren Glauben. Ist das etwa der Beweis, dass sie in der Wahrheit sind? Es gibt viele Betrüger, die sich ‘Jesus’ nennen und aus der Bibel zitieren. Der Teufel hat auch aus der Bibel zitiert als Christus in der Wüste versucht wurde.

*** WICHTIGE BIBELVERSE ***

1. “Du wirst das freche Volk nicht mehr sehen, das Volk mit dunkler Sprache, die man nicht versteht, mit stammelnder Zunge ohne Sinn.” (Jesaja 33,19)

2. ”Und wenn er (der Heilige Geist) gekommen ist, wird er die Welt überführen von Sünde und von Gerechtigkeit und von Gericht […] Wenn aber jener, der Geist der Wahrheit, gekommen ist, wird er euch in die ganze Wahrheit leiten; denn er wird nicht aus sich selbst reden […] Er wird mich verherrlichen.” (Johannes 16,8-14) In den pfingstlichen und charismatischen Anbetungsliedern scheint der Heilige Geist viel wichtiger zu sein als Jesus und die Anbetung scheint mehr dem Heiligen Geist gewidmet zu sein, als Jesus.

3. ”Und wir sind alle mit einem Geist getränkt worden.” (1. Korinther 12,13) Jeder wiedergeborene Gläubiger hat bereits den Heiligen Geist empfangen. Eine zweite Taufe, die in der Apostelgeschichte erwähnt wird, war einmalig (Römer 8:9)

4. “Er hat uns gesegnet mit jeder geistlichen Segnung in der Himmelswelt in Christus.” (Epheser 1,3) In Christus haben wir bereits alles was wir brauchen, jede geistliche Segnung.

5. ”Die Frucht des Geistes aber ist: Liebe, Freude, Friede, Langmut, Freundlichkeit, Güte, Treue, Sanftmut, Enthaltsamkeit. Gegen diese ist das Gesetz nicht gerichtet.” (Galater 5,22-23) Langmut bedeutet auch Geduld. Schnelle Antworten von Gott durch Visionen und Träume zu erhalten ist das Gegenteil von Geduld. Dasselbe betrifft auch die Dämonenaustreibung: eine schnelle Alternative um fleischliche Lüste und andere Sünden loszuwerden. Die Bibel aber sagt dass der Kampf gegen unser Fleisch ein täglicher Kampf ist, der Ausdauer verlangt!

***Letzte Gedanken ***

Jesus hat uns gewarnt, dass in der Endzeit VIELE Irrlehrer kommen werden. Es wird eine Zeit der tiefen geistlichen Verwirrung und Täuschung sein, um sogar die Auserwählten, wenn möglich, zu verführen. Die Pfingstbewegung ist listig, da sie sich einen konservativen und gottesfürchtigen Anschein gibt (1. Johannes 3,8-10). Und wenn der Antichrist kommt, wird er nicht gegen die „Religion“ oder gegen Gott sein. “Anti” bedeutet “anstatt” und nicht „contra“ oder „gegen“. Er wird genau wie Absalom hübsch und sehr freundlich sein. Nach und nach wird er die Herzen der Menschen durch seine Freundlichkeit und seine „Toleranz“ gewinnen. Die Bibel sagt, dass die Mehrheit der Menschen in die Hölle gehen wird (Matthäus 7,14) und viele von denen, die in der Hölle landen werden. denken jetzt sie seien mit Gott! Immer wenn ich Matthäus 7,22-23 lese, muss ich an die Pfingstler und Charismatiker denken. “Es werden viele zu mir sagen an jenem Tage: Herr, Herr, haben wir nicht in deinem Namen geweissagt? Haben wir nicht in deinem Namen böse Geister ausgetrieben? Haben wir nicht in deinem Namen viele Wunder getan? Dann werde ich ihnen bekennen: Ich habe euch noch nie gekannt; weicht von mir, ihr Übeltäter!“

Anfangs habe ich nicht verstanden warum Gott Usa getötet hat. Er wollte doch nur verhindern, dass die Bundeslade auf den Boden fällt. “Und als sie zur Tenne Nachons kamen, da streckte Usa seine Hand nach der Lade Gottes aus und fasste sie an, denn die Rinder hatten sich losgerissen. Da entbrannte der Zorn des HERRN gegen Usa, und Gott schlug ihn dort wegen der Unehrerbietigkeit. Und er starb dort bei der Lade Gottes.” (2. Samuel 6,6-7) Usa war doch ein Diener Gottes! Er wollte doch nur helfen! Jedoch hat Gott ihn auf der Stelle getötet. Er hat das Gebot des Herrn missachtet und deshalb war es egal wie rein seine Absichten waren. Es gibt heutzutage unzählige falsche Lehren und du kannst niemals die Wahrheit von der Lüge unterscheiden, wenn du die Bibel nicht liest und wenn der Heilige Geist nicht in dir wohnt! Wenn du wirklich um dein Seelenheil besorgt bist, lies die Bibel täglich und vertraue Gott, nicht deinem Verstand oder anderen. Gott wird dich auf den richtigen Weg bringen, wenn du von ganzem Herzen nach Ihm suchst und zwar in der Bibel und im Gebet.

***Verführer beim Namen***

Hier möchte ich einige bekannte Irrlehrer namentlich nennen: Billy Graham, Joyce Meyer, Jimmy Swaggart, John & Lisa Bevere, Derek Prince, Reinhard Bonnke, Alexander Schevchenko, Gennady Mochnenko, Rick Warren, T.D. Jakes, Nicky Cruz, David Yonggi Cho, Rick Renner, Benny Hinn, Kenneth & Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Hagin Sr., Kenneth Hagin Jr., Rodney Howard Browne, Mutter Teresa, Ellen G. White usw.

Zusätzlich sind die Lehren von Francis Chan, John Piper, Nick Vujicic und Rapper Lecrae mit Vorsicht zu genießen.

*******

Ich möchte nochmals betonen, dass ich diesen Artikel nicht geschrieben habe, um andere zu ärgern oder zu beleidigen. Ich möchte hiermit jeden Menschen, der in Zungen spricht, herausfordern alles anhand der Bibel zu prüfen. Prüfe dich, ob du im Glauben bist.

Übersetzung vom Englischen ins Deutsche: Mark S.S/ Korrektur: Elena B.

The Creed of the Set-Apart Young Woman

“This sacred work demands, not lukewarm, selfish, slack souls, but hearts more finely tempered than steel, wills purer and harder than the diamond.”
- Pere Henri Louis Didon

more-of-you-lord

As a young woman submitted to the ruling grace of Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that my life is not my own. I have been purchased by the spilling of my Messiah’s blood. I surrender this earthly feminine vessel unto my Lord and proclaim that He may do with my life as He sees fit in order to establish His kingdom here on earth, make ready His bride, and bring about His glory.

The Sacred Intent of Femininity:
I acknowledge the sacred intent of set-apart femininity. I acknowledge that my life is to be spent wholly on the establishment of Christ’s kingdom and glory. I have been asked by the Most High God to be the bearer of His holy name, the house of His holy presence, and a demonstration of a clear, undiluted, and unmarred picture of His kingly beauty for all the people of this earth to see. I acknowledge this sacred intent and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Design of Femininity:
I acknowledge the sacred design of set-apart femininity. I understand that in and of myself, I possess no true beauty or piety, but that in covenant exchange with the Almighty, I have yielded my body unto Jesus and He desired to adorn me with His spectacular, heavenly beauty. I will no longer allow the voice of my selfish, sinful side to rule my actions and daily decisions; rather, I will submit to the voice of God’s Spirit within, leaning on His enabling grace to live the radiant, victorious, supernatural existence that I could never achieve in my own strength. May He instruct me, correct me, train me, and tenderly shepherd me in the hallowed art of being set apart for His pleasure and glory. I acknowledge this sacred design and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Priority of Femininity:
I acknowledge the sacred priority of set-apart femininity. I understand that I am made to love intimately and be loved intimately. But I choose to no pervert this innate need by seeking its fulfillment from men, but rather, that I would find this hunger satisfied in the intimate embrace of Jesus Christ. I acknowledge Him as my Prince and Bridegroom, my dearest heart-friend. I claim that my life, my faith, my hope, and my love spring forth from this wellspring, this reality. And whereas God may choose to give me an earthly groom, a mere man can never and must never replace the position Christ holds within my heart. I acknowledge this sacred priority and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Decorum of Feminity
I acknowledge the sacred decorum of set-apart femininity. I understand that my body is the temple of the Most High God, not to be tainted or defiled by what is unclean. I choose this day to agree with God and to never willfully profane His truth by attempting to make it fit my self-agenda. By God’s enabling grace, I will love the things that God loves and hate the things that God hates. I will not love the world or the things in the world, but will give my thoughts, time, energy, and attention to the sacred things of His kingdom rather than the profane things of pop culture. I acknowledge this sacred decorum and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Mystique of Feminity
I acknowledge the sacred mystique of set-apart femininity. I realize that there are dimensions of the feminine nature intended to be kept contained and hidden from all but Christ and my future spouse in the context of marriage. I understand that by maintaining the beautiful mystery of the “hidden person of the heart,” I am demonstrating the beautiful mystery of the Gospel. I choose to allow the Almighty to hide me, quiet me, and jealously guard me in accordance with His sacred sense of dignity and mystery. I acknowledge this sacred mystique and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Ardor of Femininity
I acknowledge the sacred ardor of set-apart femininity. I understand that to truly love my future husband well, I must love Him with the very love of Christ. As Christ loved me and gave Himself for me, I will seek to sacrificially love and serve my future husband both now and after marriage. Rather than fighting for my own needs and rights, my goal will be to lay my life down on behalf of my spouse. And even if no earthly love story comes my way, it will be my supreme joy and privilege to serve others and wash their feet, doing for others what Christ has done for me. I acknowledge this sacred ardor and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Cultivtion of Feminity
I acknowledge the sacred cultivation of set-apart femininity. I realize that the work of God must progress and not stagnate within my soul. I understand that I must wrestle in prayer for the fullness of Christ’s work to be made manifest in my life and in the lives of others around me. I will not accept breaches in the walls surrounding my soul, but will seek, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to place brick upon brick until every last access point in my life is sealed off for Christ’s glory. I uderstand that the Almighty must prepare me for the holy work of Christ’s kingdom by diminishing my flesh and cultivating His strength and spiritual authority in my life. I acknowledge this sacred cultivation and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Claim on Femininity:
I acknowledge the sacred claim on set-apart femininity. Christ’s blood has purchased me and is making me whole so thatI, like my Messiah, might become broken bread and poured out wine for this world. Just as the Holy Spirit has claim on my spirit, soul, and body and is authroized to do with my life as He wills, so too the Holy Spirit has asked me to become willing to allow Him to lend “His claim over me” to the lost in the world, the poor, the orphan, the widow, the blind, the lame, the deaf, the naked, the imprisoned, the outcase, the oppressed, and the lonely – that my life might become bread and drink for them, and that through my willingness to be broken and spilled, they might see, comprehend, and place their trust in the person and glory of God. I acknowledge this sacred claim and commit, by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, to seek the fulfillment of this high calling.

The Sacred Ceremony

elena baumann

Exodus 23:20

I hereby state that my body and my blood are my God’s to spend and that He has both an “intent for” and a “claim on” my feminine existence. I recognize that without the enabling power of God’s grace I am incapable of living out his high and holy pattern for femininity and, therefore, such a life and testimony of sacred set-apartness can only be achieved through a constant abiding in Christ’s life, love, and strength. Therefore, I hereby beckon the Spirit of God to tax the remotest star and the last grain of sand to assist me with this holiest of endeavors, that by His almighty power I might demonstrate clearly to the world His grand kingdom and His great glory.

“Comrades, let us be resolute. Let us, by whatever name we are called, be Soldiers, Nazarites, Priests. Some will praise us, some will blame us; let us not care too much about either praise or blame. Let us live looking up, looking on, stading true by the grace of Him who has called us.”
Amy Carmichael, 1867-1961

“Seven Hints to the YOUTH” by Paul Washer

“In the days of your YOUTH” by Paul Washer

We do not know how much time we have been given by our Creator, but through the Scriptures we are informed that even the longest life is nothing more than a passing shadow or “a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away” ( James 4:14). Our death as well as our judgment has been divinely appointed (Hebrews 9:27). How then shall we live? In his letter to the church at Ephesus, the Apostle Paul gives us the following instruction: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is…” Ephesians 5:15-17

armorofgodIf you are a young man or woman, I beg you to be extremely careful with regard to how you live your life. As a Christian in a fallen world, you stand as a soldier in the midst of an endless minefield of evil. One wrong step can lead to your destruction and the destruction of your companions. Therefore, you must be absorbed in the study of God’s Word so that you might grow in wisdom and be able to discern His will in all things. You must devote yourself to the things of God and not waste the few days tha have been given to you on trivial pursuits. In the following are set forth a few helpful hints to direct you on your way to a fruitful life as a true servant of Jesus Christ.

First Hint: Consider Christlike character to be of utmost importance. Character is everything. The  fruitfulness of your work in the kingdom will be determined by what you are. Seek after conformity to Christ and discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.

Second Hint: Devote yourself to the study of God’s Word. The fool gains whatever Little knowledgehe possesses though personal experience, but the godly man learns from every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Thus a godly and wise youth avoids the painful pitfalls of the fool who would rather “live and learn” than “learn from God and live”. The one virtue which most marks the truly useful servant of God is his or her knowledge of the Scriptures. A young man or woman would do well to follow Robert Murray McCheyne’s Daily Bible Reading Calendar which can be downloaded from the internet.

Third Hint: Devote yourself to prayer. This is not a mere suggested step to greater piety, but a direct command taken from Scripture (Colossians 4:2). We are to pray at all times and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Prayer is a multi-faceted discipline that cannot be confined to petitions and entreaties, but also includes thanksgiving, praise, and communion with God. How can a young man or woman learn to pray? By studying the inspired prayers of Scripture and by praying, praying, praying.

Fourth Hint: Fellowship with the godly. Three aspects must be mentioned here. The first is separation from evil influences. The second is fellowship with those who inspire and encourage you to greater Christlikeness. The third is opening your life to the companionship and instruction of older men and women. He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools (other youths) will suffer harm (Proverbs 13:20).

Fifth Hint: Flee from youthful lusts and pursuerighteousness. The same Scriptures which command us to stand firm against the devil (Ephesians 6:11), also command us to flee from youthful lusts (II Timothy 2:22). This tells us that the temptation of sexual immorality is overpowering and we must avoid it at all cost. If you do not fear this sin you will fall. It is not a question of “if” but “when.” Avoid Internet use without accountability and unchaperoned fellowship with the opposite sex.

Sixth Hint: Avoid trivial pursuits. You are a childof God, destined for glory, and called to do great things in His Name. Do not waste your life on hobbies, sports, and other recreational pursuits. Do not throw away the precious moments of your life on entertainment, movies, and video games. Though some of These things can properly have a “small place” in the Christian’s life, we must be careful not to give undue attention to temporal and fruitless activities. Do not waste your life. Employ the time of your youth in developing the character and skills necessary to be a useful servant of God.

Seventh Hint: Fan to a flame the gift of God which is in you (II Timothy 1:6). Seek to discover your gifts and learn to minister to others according to the grace of God that has been given to you. The Scriptures contain a long list of youths who were mightily used of God – Samuel, David, Jeremiah, Esther, Timothy… You should do everything in your power to join their ranks as early as possible. Learn the Scriptures. Be diligent to present yourself approved of God a a workman who does not need to be ashamed, who accurately handles the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15).

“Becoming Esther” by Charo & Paul Washer

“A wife of noble character who can find?…”

“… She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence n her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31

QueenEsther“Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty Treatments prescribed for the women, six months in oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics. And this is how she would go to the king…. Esther 2:12-13

I have always been amazed at the kind of preparation that the future queen Esther had to go through before she was able to come before King Xerxes. Would any of us want to go through twelve months of beauty treatments before meeting the man of our dreams? Probably not, but then again, imagine the possibilities. One year set aside for one sole purpose – becoming all you can be for the one you love the most. Precious time to cultivate beauty, to make an investment in education and etiquette, to strengthen virtue, and build character. The preparation of Esther reminds me of that precious time between the awakening of desire in a Young woman’s heart to share her life with a mate and the moment she walks down the aisle. For many, this time of preparation is seen as nothing more than a time of waiting. Single women often see themselves as sitting on the shelf while life passes them by, or as sitting on the bench while others play the game. They do not realize that they are wasting the most important time of their lives, they are robbing themselves of great joy and reward, they are robbing their future husbands of a more virtuous woman, and they are robbing God of a servant through whom He desires to do great things.

As Esther had to be prepared before she could be queen of an entire realm, so the woman must be prepared before she can embark on one of the most important and difficult callings in life – marriage and motherhood. Esther had to learn the ways of the kingdom to which she belonged, she had to learn the manners of court life, the intellectual, emotional and spiritual challenges of high position. To put it simply, Esther had to be transformed from a young lady into a queen before she could wear the title and fulfill the role. In the same way, the single Christian woman must learn the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven before she ever unites with the one that God is preparing for her. She must be prepared intellectually, emotionally and spiritually, not by court attendants in some pagan temple, but by God Himself, His Word, and by other godly women who have been prepared before her. Singleness is not a waste of time or a sitting on the sidelines, but a time that God has set aside especially for the woman, to make her into what He wants her to be, and to use her in ways that just might be impossible after marriage. Singleness is a time in which a woman is to cultivate the virtues that pertain to being a woman of God, so that she can offer to her future husband and the world something more than just a pretty face. Remember in your singleness that you are not the only one single, but your future husband is passing through the same stage as you. Would it not be a terrible thing to finally meet the man who is to become your husband only to find out that he has used his singleness to serve God and to prepare himself to be a better husband for you. And yet you did not use the freedom of your singleness to serve the Lord, nor did you take advantage of the training that God offered you? Would it not also be a terrible thing to realize that your husband spent his days as a single man praying daily for your needs and the work of God in your life, while you neither prayed for him, nor responded to the grace of God that was given you as a result of his prayers. It is a wonderful thing when God blesses a woman with a husband. That special someone who is “just perfect” for her in that he has been carefully and thoughtfully designed by God to be united as one with her. It is such a joy for the woman to look back and remember how God enabled her to wait on Him and that He was faithful to bless. It is still an even greater joy for her to know that her time as a single woman was also a time of seeking God and being faithful to Him and His purpose. That she did not for one moment wish to flee that state, but desired only to trust in God and wait upon His gracious sovereignty. By no means is it a tragedy to be a single Christian woman, but the way of the world has once again infiltrated Christianity with the false idea that it is. One of the greatest lies is that if you do not “have someone” or are not “actively looking”, there is something wrong with you. Another lie is that the single woman should be dating around as though looking for  a husband were the same as shopping in a mall. Still another even stronger lie is that the single woman should be giving her affections away indiscriminately so that she may be more “experienced” and know what to do when she finally finds the man of her choice. My dear Christian, it is a lie and an affront to God to say that experience is the best teacher, when in fact it is God who is the best teacher, and though the world.s motto is “live and learn”, the Bible.s advice is “learn and live”. You do not need to be experienced, you only Need to be knowledgeable of what God has said and obedient to it. You should not be looking for the man of your choice, but should be waiting on the man of God’s choice. And when he comes, it will not be past experiences that will make your marriage work, but past chastity, purity, and godliness. We should hide our faces from the ways and experiences of this wicked world and look upon only those things that God has placed in the path He has prepared for us.

Go knows exactly what you need and He even knows the desires of your heart better than you do. God loves surprises. He does not want you to be looking for your husband, He wants to bring him to you, and probably at a time you least expect it. If you disobey this advice, as so many other women before you, and take it upon yourself to look for a mate, you may find someone, but chances are that someone you find will not be the right one. As women, our nature desires the company and companionship of a man. This is from God and therefore good. But at the same time, we are wrong to think that death will be the result if this need is not fulfilled. Needing another as a companion is not like needing to take your next breath of air. That is, you can survive without companionship, at least until God has done His perfect work in you. Remember the Scripture, “God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear”. (I Corinthians 10:13)

I have found that there are two primary reasons why someone .desperately. needs someone else. First of all, it is because they do not know God as they should. Is God not the God of all comfort? Is not Christ the exalted Lord who fills all things everywhere? Then why do we complain about how empty and alone we feel? Could it be that God extends our time of singleness so that we might find our life in Him and learn to be complete in Him? If we seek to be married because we feel that a husband will fill our lives or will in some way make us complete, we will be sorely disappointed in our marriage. No man, no matter how Christ-like could ever take the place of God in our lives, to think such a thing is pure idolatry. If we are not filled by God now and complete in Christ in the present, then not even a marriage made in heaven will be able to change our emptiness. The second reason for desperately needing someone in our lives is plain selfishness. When we need someone in order to feel loved, or when we need someone so that our feelings of loneliness might dissipate, then we are wanting marriage for all the wrong reasons. Marriage should not be looked upon as an opportunity to have our needs met, but as an opportunity to meet the needs of another. If we have not learned to take our own needs to God, then we will probably overwhelm our husbands with our own needs and be unaware of his. I have known Christian women who spent their days consumed with their own needs and constantly lamenting about why God had not brought someone into their life. But why should God entrust a godly man to a woman that is absorbed in herself and her own needs, and does not use the freedom of her singleness to serve God and prepare herself for His purposes?  Such a woman would have little to offer a godly husband!

esther7My dear friend, being single, like being married should be considered a very special and enjoyable time in the Providence of God. It should not be considered a mere circumstance or a curse from which one should try desperately to flee. Being single is a time to learn of God and of ourselves, a time to discover who we are in Christ, and to grow in Christlikeness. It is a time to be zealous for good works and involved in ministry to others. Being single has a magic of its own that should be enjoyed in its time because once passed it may not return. There is nothing quite so sad as a woman now married who regrets what she could have been and done with her life while single. All was lost for the sake of hurrying to be married without consideration for the plan or work of God. Every season in life has a beauty and wonder of ist own. My prayer for all single Christian women is that they might enjoy their time in spite of the lies of the world. That they might be demanding and not settle for anything less than the perfect will of God. That they might wait patiently on God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift. That they might be like Esther, using whatever time God deems necessary to make them beautiful on the inside and out.”

An article first published in HeartCry magazine Volume 3, January 1998

Battles in Heaven

ddgdgIn the Book of Daniel, Chapter 10, there is a story of Daniel asking God for supernatural understanding concerning end times. For 21 tense days Daniel prayed and fasted, yet his prayers were not answered. Finally, Daniel discovered why it took so long for God to respond. The Bible describes a Star-Wars event of good and bad angels fighting. […] The Prince of Persia and his spirit minions were able to prevent the warrior of God from delivering God’s answer to Daniel. A heavenly battle raged for 21 days the forces of darkness resisting the forces of light. Finally God send the warrior angel Michael and his host to break through enemy lines and deliver the answer to Daniel. […] The angel indicated he couldn’t stay long because he had to get back to the battle and assist his comrades in the heavenly war. How strange is that?

So how does God answer prayer? He uses our prayers (requests) to send God’s forces to bring the answer. Sometimes it means a major fight between God’s forces and the spirits of darkness. Did you ever think that your prayers might be unleashing? […]

It is interesting to note the Bible tells us several times that Daniel was dearly loved by those who live in heaven. The Bible mentions several whom God loved, but Daniel was loved by those in heaven- the righteous angels who are God’s ministers sent forth to minister for those who are heirs of salvation. Why, of all people, do the residents of heaven love Daniel? I think it is because Daniel prayed, made many requests, releasing these angels to subdue the forces of darkness – something they loved to do on God’s behalf. […]

God does not force Himself or His blessings upon us. He trusts us to see the need and make a request. In other words, we direct affairs with our prayers. God may want to help, but He does not do so until we ask. “You receive not because you ask not.” […] He says, WATCH, PRAY, ASK… and it will be given to you. (Matthew 7:7) The angels wait for orders. God waits for us to ask. […] Daniel prayed and kept on praying until the answer came through.

preparing-to-be-a-help-meet-download_1This passage in Preparing to be a help meet” by Debi Pearl (Pages 22-23) has greatly encouraged me. I want to always remember that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12) Our prayers do matter and they can move the hands of a strong God. Believe it and be a woman / a man of prayer.

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” ~ James 5:13-16

Read the Bible DAILY and CONSECUTIVELY

BibleTHE MANNER OF READING THE WORD

One of the most deeply important points is, that of attending to the careful, prayerful reading of, and meditation on the word of God. I would ask your particular attention to one verse in the epistle of Peter (I Peter ii. 2) where we are especially exhorted by the Holy Ghost, through the apostle, regarding this. For the sake of the connection, let us read the first verse, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

The particular point to which I refer is contained in the second and third verses, “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word.” As growth in the natural life is attained by proper food, so in the spiritual life, if we desire to grow, this growth is only to be attained through the instrumentality of the word of God, It is not stated here, as some might be very willing to say, “the reading of the Word may be of importance under some circumstances.” That you may gain more by reading this tract, or this and that book, is not the statement here; it is “the Word, ” and nothing else, and, under all circumstances,

STICK TO THE WORD OF GOD.

You say that the reading of this tract or that book often does you good. I do not question it at all. Nevertheless, the instrumentality which God has been pleased to appoint and use is that of the Word itself ; and just in the measure in which the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ attend to this, they will become strong in the Lord; and in so far as it is neglected, so far will they be weak. There is such a thing as babes being neglected, and what is the consequence ? They never become healthy men or women, because of that early neglect.

Perhaps—and it is one of the most hurtful forms of this neglect—they obtain improper food, and therefore do not attain to the full vigor of manhood or womanhood. So with regard to the divine life. It is a most deeply important point, that we obtain right spiritual food at the very beginning of that life. What is that food? It is “the sincere milk of the Word;” that is the proper nourishment for the strengthening of the inner man. Listen, then, my dear brethren and sisters, to this advice with regard to the Word.

CONSECUTIVE READING

First of all, it is of the utmost moment that we regularly read through the Scripture. We ought not to turn over the Bible, and pick out chapters as we please here and there, but to read it regularly through. We should read carefully and regularly through the Scriptures. I speak advisedly, and as one who has known the blessedness of thus reading the Word for the last forty-six years. I say forty-six years, because for the first four years of my Christian life I did not carefully read the word of God. I used to read a tract, or an interesting book; but I knew nothing of the power of the Word. I read next to nothing of it and the result was, that, though a preacher then, and though I had preached in connection with the establishment made no progress in the divine life. And why? Just for this reason, that I neglected the word of God.

But it pleased God, through the instrumentality of a beloved Christian brother, then labouring in this very city and neighbourhood, with whom I became acquainted in Devonshire, to rouse in me an earnestness about the Word, and ever since then I have been a lover of it.

Let me, then, press upon you my first point, that of attending regularly  to reading through the Scripture. I do not suppose that you all need the exhortation; many, I believe, have already done so, but I speak for the benefit of those who have not. To those I say, my dear friends, begin at once. Begin with the Old Testament, and when you have read a chapter or two and are about to leave off, put a mark that you may know where you have left off. I speak in all simplicity, for the benefit of those who may be young in the divine life. The next time you read, begin the New Testament, and again put a mark    where you leave off. And thus go on always, whether in the Old or New Testaments, putting a mark, and reading alternately the Old and the New Testaments. Thus, by little and little, you will read through the whole Bible; and when you have finished, just begin again at the beginning.

THE CONNECTION OF SCRIPTURE

Why is this so deeply important? Simply that we may see the connection between one book and another of the Bible, and between one chapter and another. If we do not read in this consecutive way, we lose a great part of what God has given to instruct us. Moreover, if we are children of God, we should be well acquainted with the whole revealed will of God—the whole of the Word. “All Scripture is given by inspiration, and is profitable.”

And much may be gained by thus carefully reading through the whole will of God. Suppose a rich relative were to die, and leave us, perhaps, some land, or houses, or money, should we be content with reading only the clauses that affected us particularly? No, we would be careful to read the whole will right through. How much more, then, in the will of God, ought we to be careful to read it right through, and not merely one and another of the chapters or books.

BENEFIT OF CONSECUTIVE READING

And this careful reading of the word of God has this advantage, that it keeps us from making a system of doctrines of our own, and from having our own particular favourite views, which is very pernicious. We often are apt to lay too much stress on certain views of the truth which affect us particularly. The will of the Lord is, that we should know His whole mind. Again, variety in the things of God is of great moment. And God has been pleased to give us this variety in the highest degree ; and the child of God, who follows out this plan, will be able to take an interest in any part of the Word.

Suppose one says, “Let us read in Leviticus.” Very well, my brother. Suppose another says, “Let us read in the prophecy of Isaiah.”, Very well, my brother. And another will say, “Let us read in the gospel according to Matthew.” Very well, my brother; I can enjoy them all; and whether it be in the Old Testament, or in the New Testament, whether in the prophets, the gospels, the Acts, or the Epistles, I should welcome it, and be delighted to welcome the reading and study of any of the divine Word.

A SPECIAL BENEFIT

And this will be particularly of advantage to us in case we should become labourers in Christ ‘s vineyard because, in expounding the Word, we shall be able begin at the beginning. We shall equally enjoy reading of the Word, whether of the Old or the New Testament, and shall never get tired of it. I have, as before stated, known the blessedness of this plan for forty-six years, and though I am now nearly seventy years of age, and though I have been for nearly fifty years in divine life, I can say, by the grace of God, that I more than ever love the word of God, and have greater delight than ever in reading it.

And this day, though I have read the Word nearly a hundred times right through, I am as fond as ever of reading the Scripture; I never have got tired of reading it, and this is more especially through reading it regularly, consecutively day by day, and not merely reading a chapter here and there, as my own thoughts might have led me to do.

READING THE WORD PRAYERFULLY

Again, we should read the Scripture prayerfully, never supposing that we are clever enough or wise enough, to understand God’s Word by our own wisdom. In all our reading of the Scriptures let us seek carefully to have the help of the Holy Spirit; let us ask, for Jesus’ sake, that He will enlighten us; He is willing to do it.

I will tell you how it fared with me, at the very first ; it may be for your encouragement. It was in the year 1829, when I was living in Hackney, not far from here. My attention had been called to the teaching of the Spirit by a dear brother of experience. “Well,” I said, “I will try this plan; and will give myself to the careful reading and meditation of the word of God after prayer, and I will see how much the Spirit is willing to teach me in this way.”

AN ILLUSTRATION OF THIS

I went accordingly to my room, and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously. I found the blessing was so great, that all the manuscripts, which I had written down from the lectures of the professors of Divinity in the university that I previously attended, I now considered to be of so little value, that when, soon after, I moved into Devonshire, I did not think them worth the carriage. This was because I now found the Holy Spirit to be a better teacher than professors of Divinity. I obtained the teaching of the divine Spirit, and I cannot tell you the blessedness it was to my own soul. I was praying in the Spirit, and putting my trust in the power of the Spirit as I had never done before.

You cannot, therefore, be surprised at my earnestness in pressing this upon you, when you have heard how precious to my heart it was, and how much it helped me.

MEDITATE ON THE WORD

But again, it is not enough to have prayerful reading only, but we must also meditate on the Word. As in the instance I have just referred to, kneeling before the chair, I meditated on the Word; not simply reading it, not simply praying over it; all that, but, in addition, pondering over what had read. This is deeply important. If you merely read the Bible, and no more, it is just like water running in at one side and out at the other. In order to be really benefited by it, we must meditate on it.

Not all of us, of course, can spend many hours, or even one or two hours, each day thus. Our business demands our attention. Yet, however short the time you can afford, give it regularly to reading, prayer, and meditation over the Word, and you will find it well repaid.

MAKE THE MEDITATION PERSONAL

In connection with this, we should always read and meditate over the word of God, with reference to ourselves and our own heart. This, is deeply important, and I cannot press it too earnestly upon you. We are apt often to read the Word with reference to others. Parents read it in reference to their children, children for their parents, evangelists read it for their congregations, Sunday-school teachers for their classes. Oh! this is a poor way of reading the Word; read so it will not profit. I say it deliberately and advisedly, the sooner it is given up, the better for your own souls. Read the word of God always with reference to your own heart, and when you have received the blessing in your own heart, you will be able to communicate it to others.

Whether you labour as evangelists, as pastors, or as visitors,  superintendents of Sunday schools, or teachers, tract distributors, or in whatever other capacity you may seek to labour for the Lord, be careful to let the reading of the Word be with distinct reference to your own heart. Ask yourselves, How does this suit me, either for instruction for correction, for exhortation, or for rebuke? How does this affect me? If you thus read, and get the blessing in your own soul, how soon will it flow out to others.

READ IN FAITH

Another point. It is of the utmost moment in reading the word of God, that the reading should be accompanied with faith. ” The word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” As with the preaching, so with the reading—it must be mixed with faith. Not simply reading it as you would read a story, which you may receive of not: not simply as a statement, which you may ei-edit or not, or as an exhortation, to which you may listen or not; but as the revealed will of the Lord : that is, receiving it with faith. Receive,] thus, it will nourish us, and we shall really reap benefit. Only in this way will it benefit us; and we shall gain from it health and strength, in proportion as we receive it with real faith.

BE DOERS OF THE WORD

Lastly, if God does bless us in reading His word, He expects that we should be obedient children, and that we should accept the Word as His will, and carry it into practice. If this be neglected, you will find that the reading of the Word, even if accompanied by prayer, meditation, and faith, will do you little good. God does expect us to be obedient children, and will have us practice what He has taught us. The Lord Jesus Christ says If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” And in the measure in which we carry out what our Lord Jesus taught, so in measure are we happy children. And in such measure only can we honestly look for help from the Father, even as we seek to carry out His will.

If there is one single point I would wish to have spread all over this country, and over the whole world, it is just this, that we should seek, beloved Christian friends, not to be hearers of the Word only, but doers of the Word. I doubt not that many of you have sought to do this already, but I speak particularly to those younger brethren and sisters who may not yet have learned the full force of this. Oh, seek to attend earnestly to this; it is of vast importance. Satan will seek with much earnestness to put aside the word of God; but let us seek to carry it out and to act upon it. The Word must be received as a legacy from God, which we have by the Holy Ghost,

THE FULNESS OF THE REVELATION GIVEN IN THE WORD.

And remember that, to the faithful reader of this blessed Word, it reveals all that we need to know of  the Father—all that we need to know about the Lord Jesus Christ, all about the power of the Spirit, all about the world that lieth in the wicked one, all about the road to heaven, and the blessedness of the world to come. In this blessed book we have the whole gospel, and all rules necessary for our Christian life and warfare. Let us see, then, that we study it with our whole heart, ,and with prayer, meditation, faith, and obedience.

PRAYER

The next point on which I will speak for a few moments, has been more or less referred to already; it is that of prayer. You might read the Word and seem to understand it very fully, yet, if you are not in the habit of waiting continually upon God, you will make little progress in the divine life. We have not naturally in us any good thing, and cannot expect, save by the help of God, to please Him. Therefore, it is the will of the Lord, that we should always own our dependence upon Him, and it becomes us to follow in prayer the earnestness of the Lord Jesus Christ.

That blessed One gave us an example in this particular, He gave whole nights to prayer, and we find Him on the lonely mountain engaged by night in prayer. And as in every way He is to be an example to us, so, in particular, on this point, He is also an example to us. The old evil, corrupt nature is still in us, though we are born again; therefore we have to come in prayer to God for help. We have to cling to the power of the Mighty One. Concerning everything we have to pray. Not simply when great troubles come, when our house is on fire, or our beloved wife is on the point of death, or our dear children are laid down in sickness, not simply at such times, but also in little things. From the very early morning, let us make everything a matter of prayer, and let it be so throughout the day, and throughout our whole life.

A Christian lady said, lately, that thirty-five years ago she heard me speak on this subject in Devonshire; and that then I referred to praying about little things. I had said, that suppose a parcel came to us, and it should prove difficult to untie the knot, and you cannot cut it; then you should ask God to help you, even to untie the knot. I myself had forgotten the words, but she has remembered them, and the remembrance has been a great help to her again and again. So I would say to you, my beloved friends, there is nothing too small for prayer. In the simplest things connected with our daily life and walk, we should give ourselves to prayer; and we shall have the living, loving Lord Jesus to help us. Even in the most trifling matters I give myself to prayer, and often in the morning, even ere I leave my room, I have two or three answers to prayer in this way.

Young believers, in the very outset of the Divine life, learn, in childlike simplicity, to wait upon God for everything! Treat the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Friend, able and willing to help you in everything. How blessed it is to be carried in His loving arms all the day long! I would say, that the divine life of the believer is made up of a vast number of little circumstances and little things. Every day there come before as a variety of little trials, and if we seek to put them aside in our own strength and wisdom we shall quickly find that we are confounded. But if, on the contrary, we take everything to God, we shall be helped, and our way shall be made plain. Thus our life will be a happy life!

(Taken from George Muller’s Counsel to Christians, published in J. Nisbet & Company, this excerpt on reading the Bible is taken from the second chapter, and retains the original spelling)

Others May – You Cannot…

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself,
and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes
to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My
                                        sake will find it.”  
                      Matthew 16:24-25
 
If God has called you to be truly like Jesus in all your spirit,
He will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility. He
will put on you such demands of obedience that you will
not be allowed to follow other Christians. In many ways, He
seems to let other good people do things which He will not
let you do.
 
Others who seem to be very religious and useful may push
themselves, pull wires, and scheme to carry out their
plans, but you cannot. If you attempt it, you will meet with
such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you
sorely penitent.
 
Others can brag about themselves, their work, their
successes, their writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow
you to do any such thing. If you begin to do so, He will lead
you into some deep mortification that will make you
despise yourself and all your good works.
 
Others will be allowed to succeed in making great sums of
money, or having a legacy left to them, or in having
luxuries, but God may supply you only on a day-to-day
basis, because He wants you to have something far better
than gold, a helpless dependence on Him and His unseen
treasury.
 
The Lord may let others be honored and put forward while
keeping you hidden in obscurity because He wants to
produce some choice, fragrant fruit for His coming glory,
which can only be produced in the shade.
 
God may let others be great, but keep you small. He will let
others do a work for Him and get the credit, but He will
make you work and toil without knowing how much you are
doing. Then, to make your work still more precious, He will
let others get the credit for the work which you have done;
this to teach you the message of the Cross, humility, and
something of the value of being cloaked with His nature.
 
The Holy Spirit will put a strict watch on you, and with a
jealous love rebuke you for careless words and feelings, or
for wasting your time, which other Christians never seem
distressed over.
 
So make up your mind that God is an infinite Sovereign
and has a right to do as He pleases with His own, and that
He may not explain to you a thousand things which may
puzzle your reason in His dealings with you.
 
God will take you at your word. If you absolutely sell
yourself to be His slave, He will wrap you up in a jealous
love and let other people say and do many things that you
cannot. Settle it forever; you are to deal directly with the
Holy Spirit, He is to have the privilege of tying your tongue
or chaining your hand or closing your eyes in ways which
others are not dealt with. However, know this great secret
of the Kingdom: When you are so completely possessed
with the Living God that you are, in your secret heart,
pleased and delighted over this peculiar, personal, private,
jealous guardianship and management of the Holy Spirit
over your life, you will have found the vestibule of heaven,
the high calling of God.
 
By G.D. Watson

“WAIT” by Russell Kelfer

WAIT
by Russell Kelfer
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.””Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.”My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

©Russell Kelfer. All rights reserved.
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