Ask Rich

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The “Ask Rich” Page

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Do you have a Bible question for me? Questions about the economy? Family? Something else? You can now post your questions on this new web page for that purpose using the commentary feature below.

A moderator will notify me (or I will retrieve the question myself) and the answer will be posted either within that same comment (if my answer is short) or as a new blog post teaching that elaborates on that topic more fully. In this latter case, the question will also appear here on this page with a link to the new article that answers it.

Note 1: Questions will not display immediately, and I have to have time to respond, so please be patient for the answers. Also, any inappropriate or profane questions will be disregarded and deleted without ever being displayed or acknowledged.

Note 2: I no longer answer any questions about Kenneth Copeland or his family, or his alleged “ministry,” on this webpage. This page was never intended for that purpose, so the few questions about them which I have answered below will be the ONLY ones that I will allow on this page from here on out. So don’t bother asking. We now ignore such queries and comments on this page.

(KCM/EMIC “whistle blowers” and ex-KCM cult members can use the Whistleblower Contact Form on KennethCopelandBlog.com if you are in need of personal ministry, or if you want to share your testimony with us. All contacts are kept confidential.)

Note 3: The geographically-identifying IP addresses of all people who submit comments on ANY page or post of RichVermillion.com are recorded for security purposes. Unfortunately, our public stance regarding the Copeland family, and other similar religious frauds, makes this necessary.

(The idolatrous mindset that is so common among the cult-like “groupies” that follow these wolves, tends to cause their followers to become unreasonable and irrational whenever their “sacred cows” are mentioned in an unflattering manner; but this is especially true when their idols are “kicked over” by documentable facts and sound theology.)

So any threatening or hostile submissions may be forwarded to law enforcement within that person’s location for further investigation.

Lastly, be aware that I base my answers first and foremost on the Bible (regardless of the topic) and then secondarily on sound data and science (such as archeology, economics, financials, case studies, etc.). Furthermore, if you have read any of my other articles here on RichVermillion.com, or on the “biblical rebuke” KennethCopelandBlog.com,you should know that I have a tendency to “tell it like it is.” So do not expect a “pat” answer to your queries, and be fully prepared to be surprised by what I write—because quite often biblical truth is shocking.

Now with these simple caveats in mind, ask away!

____________________________

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124 Responses to Ask Rich

  1. tyrone cain says:

    so rich if these guys are shams whats in it for them do not blessings comes with giving rather it be them or someone else do you have a better means of giving some one hope the bible says the destruction of the poor is their poverty prov(10:15) is not poverty evil paul said we are to be delivered from this present evil world(gal1:4)is he talking about now or when we die is not the gospel the good news in which paul said he is not ashamed for it is the power of god and that it leads to salvation and in the greek and hebrew is not salvation more than the born again experience is not the power god’s word doesnot the bible states that all things are possible to those who believe(mk9:23)and that god is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all that we can ask or think according to the power that worketh in us(eph3:20)if the holy spirit in me bears witness with what these guys are saying according to the scriptures what then is the problem.please help a brother out not with beating and badgering the prosperity teachers but with scriptures that will deliver me from this present evil world give me hope how do a regular joe like meaccording to scripture live the abundant life that jesus died for.thank you very much sir wating for your reply.

    Rich’s Answer: Tyrone, thanks for posting your question here on the Ask Rich page. I have answered you in a new post entitled, Prosperity vs. Theological Error here on this blog. Please go there for the details.

  2. Kevin Rhodes says:

    Mr.Vermillion,
    Just wanted to send a note of thanks. I too have been ashamed of the tolerance in Faith and Charismatic groups of errant doctrines and twisted scriptures. However, for me, it has been very hard to minister to/share with these teachers and adherents due to obvious disagreements. Your page though [Rich note: I think Kevin is referring to Prosperity vs. Theological Error], has assisted me in remembering that these are our estranged brothers and sisters in Christ. This is excellent motivation to excercise the love of God and hope to restore our brothers and sisters.

    KR

    Rich’s Reply: Thank you, Kevin, for the encouraging feedback. We all surely have much work to do for the Kingdom if we are to see these people redeemed from error. Thankfully, we constantly find more and more true believers undertaking this task.

    It always warms my heart whenever I have contact with my fellow co-laborers in Christ. It is a fact that the Lord is raising up many for this worthy endeavor… and it is surely a blessing to hear from another blessed co-laborer as you, my brother.

    God bless you, as you continue to love Him, and labor with and for Him.

    Always in Jesus,

    - Rich

  3. Rachael & Paul says:

    Have you listened to Jacob Prasch – an excellent Hebraic Christian teacher. He teaches on deception in the church, says a lot about Copeland, Hinn, Meyers etc.
    Also can you explain more about the Kabbalah practices of Kenneth Copeland that you mentioned.
    Excellent teaching on Theological error page. Keep up the good work.
    Thank you for all you are doing. We have family members involved with KCM and are keen for them to know the Truth.
    Paul and Rachael (Scotland)
    _____
    Rich’s Answer: It is so nice, Paul and Rachael, to have siblings from Scotland stop by and chat here on my blog. ;)

    I have not heard of Jacab Prasch or his teaching personally, but I will Google around and check him out now that you have brought him to my attention.

    Regarding Copeland’s Kabbalah teaching (also spelled “Cabala” and other ways) Kenneth Copeland sat down for nearly eight hours one day with one Mr. Dan Stratton back in 2006 (who is an admitted and unrepentant member of the satanic cult known as the Skull and Bones). Copeland was personally taught blasphemous things by that practicing Kabbalah-ist regarding the Hebraic names of our Lord. Copeland subsequently began teaching this garbage himself publicly, and has since looked to this same perverted man at other times for additional “insights” (e.g. even during his public teaching as he consulted the man, who was sitting in the audience). I am sure there have been other times additionally beyond those of which I have direct knowledge.

    Copeland has also publicly “endorsed” this same admitted member of a known satanic cult as an “apostle” when he proph-e-lied over him at the 2007 DC Victory Campaign in the Friday night service. Kenneth and Gloria Copeland (in conjunction with pastors George and Terri Pearsons) have repeatedly allowed him to “teach” at Eagle Mountain International Church (EMIC) as well.

    Obviously, Copeland has strong connections with this false-apostle…but his connections are also with Stratton’s fellow cult members. These facts can be documented by video of several services and BVOV broadcasts, but also via Copeland’s own KCM website. Take special note thereon of all the search instances that reference Dan Stratton and Doug Wead (who is a surrogate of the Skull and Bones for many years through the Bush family).

    Thus, the depravity of Kenneth Copeland and his family is quite extreme, but I am hopeful not beyond the reach of God’s grace if they will simply repent. Of course, that brings me to the very purpose of our own Copeland-redemption project, KennethCopelandBlog.com, wherein we are “calling on the man, his family, and his ministry…to simply repent.”

    You can learn more about Mr. Stratton and how I know him from my post entitled, Comments About ‘Bonesman’ Stratton, here on this blog. There is extensive discussion on Stratton’s public teaching of Kabbalah in the commentary below that article. That will help you understand from whom Copeland was primarily influenced this blasphemous direction. My article The REAL Gospel also helps to give further clarity regarding what the Bible says about these matters.

    Thanks again for commenting and posting your question here on the “Ask Rich” page. Blessings to you both there in Scotland, as you continue to follow the True Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with all your hearts. :)

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  4. Dave Cogan says:

    Why is your rebuke of kenneth copeland got so much information that is “COMING SOON”. If you felt the way about the information you have, you would be putting it on the web and letting people know NOW.

    Otherwise, a more cynical person might be tempted to think that “COMING SOON” “COMING SOON” “COMING SOON” is just a way to make it look like you know more than you do and Kenneth is worse than you make him out to be.

    Awaiting a swift reply,
    Dave

    Rich Answer: Excellent question, Dave. Fairly comprehensive answers to your query may be found on the new FAQ page of KennethCopelandBlog.com, especially under topics 1 & 2. Of course, there is additional clarifying information under the other topics as well, so please review that FAQ page in its entirety.

    Thanks again for posting a question. I hope my reply was “swift” enough for you (chuckle); regardless, I always try to get to these questions at my earliest opportunity (as I noted above within the introductory text of this page).

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich Vermillion

    UPDATE: The KennethCopelandBlog.com project is now being more fully populated with information. Please review that website’s Table of Contents page for more information.

  5. Hello everyone!

    I guess it is to be expected, but our increased exposure regarding our KennethCopelandBlog.com project has greatly increased the number of questions coming in about the Copelands to this page. Questions about their house…their family…even one question about KCM’s similarities to Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme! (Oi ve.)

    I know I have answered some questions previously (below), but frankly this page was not intended to be a bulletin board for Copeland discussions. Additionally, I clearly stated in the About page of that blog, and within some of the videos, that we do not want to field a bunch of questions about the Copelands and their personal habits. So respectfully, I am going to refrain from answering most Copeland questions from this point forward on the Ask Rich page. (I reserve the right to make an exception, of course.)

    Any further questions posted here might be answered eventually on KennethCopelandBlog.com itself, however, especially in the FAQ page. So if you have a question, we are not forbidding you from asking. However, we are going to refrain from filling up this Ask Rich page with any more material that is better suited for that website. Thank you all for understanding.

    Media persons can still contact me by our Contact page to discuss these issues. We have received media requests for comment/information before, and will continue to answer those to the best of our ability.

    Now…if you have any questions on ANY topic non-specific to the Copelands, please feel free to post that question here. In accordance with the rules set out at the top of this page, we will do our best to answer you query.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  6. Connie says:

    Hi Rich,

    You might consider these questions dumb, but it would be much appreciated if you can answer these two questions from a Biblical perspective for the benefit of someone close to me from whom these questions came from. First question: as Adam and Eve were the first created beings by God on earth, and later Eve gave birth to Cain and Abel, who were the people Cain feared would kill him after God put him under a curse (Gen. 4:13), and who did Cain marry afterwards? The second question was: fossil remains have been discovered by scientists from the different parts of the world and they’ve always determined that these dinosaurs have existed on the earth millions of years ago, how can you explain from a Biblical perspective that this study is flawed as the earth has existed only for more than 6 years now (if my understanding is right), and that we’re now living in the last days; how is it possible for these dinosaurs to have even co-existed with people from the time of creation? I’ve always found these questions puzzling and would really appreciate it if you can shed light on these.

    Thank you much:)

    Connie

  7. Connie says:

    Hi Rich,

    Thank you for taking the time to provide Bible-based answers to my questions. I was surprised to learn that I’m not the only one who’ve asked these questions before. I’ve clicked on some of the links you’ve provided and have found the articles spiritually enlightening. I feel I can now defend the Bible regarding these issues. I will read the rest of the articles later to further my understanding of these topics.

    My apologies for the typo error–I meant to say 6,000 years and not 6 years.

    God bless!

    Connie

  8. Dave says:

    After attending the 2010 SWBC and knowing that the Partner Service was actually Friday Morning (Friday Night was a typo, apparantly) could you please redact that from your page, KennethCopelandBlog.com.

    Much appreciated.

    • Nope. Can’t do it. But I do appreciate the fact that you brought this to my attention.

      Now to explain: First, the section of KennethCopelandBlog.com that you are referring to was a press release, which has already gone out all over the world. So in essence, there is not much I can do to redact that statement now.

      Second, that information was based upon actual KCM scheduling information from the time the convention was occurring. Of course, their material on their website may have been a “typo” or they may have rescheduled. If I receive additional confirmation from others that the service occurred in the morning time slot, then I might add a clarifying statement to the page upon which I have that release (though I cannot do anything about the other copies in circulation on the Internet). Without that confirmation, however, I will leave things as they are at present. Besides, if they did change their “Partner Service” time back to the original slot (i.e. that it was not a typo on their schedule), it MAY have actually been because of our press release, which was distributed early that same morning. ;)

      Nevertheless, I am allowing your comment to display here (for disclosure sake) — though I normally do NOT allow KC-related posts on this page anymore, as I noted further above. However, at present, this will be the ONLY post on ANY of my sites regarding this issue for clarification purposes, unless I can confirm your testimony from other sources (especially sources that I know personally).

      Let me note also that I am not questioning your integrity. I just need this information from “the mouth of two or three witnesses” to make any public change regarding something that I derived from KCM sources.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Update: I contacted one of my most knowledgeable KCM resources, and their statement in the matter was as follows:

      Like everything else they do – there are several different versions. See attachment – it may help or confuse further.

      In the attachment, they had provided me one KCM source that scheduled “Increase Day” for Friday morning, another that had it Friday evening (actually the same one I saw when I was composing the press release), and then a link to the video of the actual AM service which shows that they did indeed do “Increase Day” in the morning. So in short, it would appear that KCM had conflicting information published about their 2010 SWBC Friday schedule.

      Like I said, I cannot do much about the press release other than to post an addendum under the version posted on my own site (which I just finished doing).

      Thanks for the heads up on this topic, however. I do like my information to be as accurate as possible.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  9. Rich
    Definitely the Copelands should be held accountable for any present wrongdoing. However, a lot of these sins happened a long time ago. How do you know the Copelands didn’t already repent for them?

    • Mrs. Glozier,

      Thank you for commenting and asking your question. I tend to ignore most questions about the Copelands on this particular thread, as I mentioned I would in a previous post hereon. However, your query has great merit, and is certainly a good topic to address.

      Of course, the best source for the answer is the Bible itself. Consider these passages, and my elaborations, below:

      For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God. (John 3:16-21, NIV, emphasis added)

      Note that Jesus said that those who “live by the truth” come out into the light where the rest of us can see their deeds. Why? “So that it may be seen plainly” that what they are doing NOW (i.e. as a result of genuine repentance) is being “done through God.” Now let’s note what the apostle Paul explained to King Agrippa concerning the content of his Gospel message:

      So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:19-20, NIV, emphasis added)

      So Paul, by the Holy Spirit, said very plainly that it is NOT enough for a person to simply “say” they have repented. They must also DEMONSTRATE that repentance by their subsequent deeds. Certainly, this same passage (and the one cited before it) clearly indicate also that “secret repentance” is not sufficient either. The very public nature of the Copeland family’s sin (and let me add, their ongoing sin, as they continue even today to practice deceit and fraud) makes it absolutely necessary that any genuine repentance be demonstrated publicly. Now, here is an example of this very principle, as had occurred under Paul’s ministry in Ephesus:

      This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks, and alarm and terror fell upon them all; and the name of the Lord Jesus was extolled and magnified. Many also of those who were now believers came making full confession and thoroughly exposing their [former deceptive and evil] practices. And many of those who had practiced curious, magical arts collected their books and [throwing them, book after book, on the pile] burned them in the sight of everybody. When they counted the value of them, they found it amounted to 50,000 pieces of silver (about $9,300). (Acts 19:17-19, Amplified Bible, emphasis added)

      So we see genuine repentance being demonstrated above. These people had no fear of admitting publicly what their former evil practices were, because genuine repentance had “cleansed their consciences from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). Furthermore, note that most of these FORMER evil deeds were done in secret, yet now that these people had repented, they were openly proclaiming and renouncing those evil practices. In truth, that is the only way to get free from such heinous and demonic bondage, as such a bold public declaration tends to prove that the person has made a SOLID determination to never return to such behavior again.

      Thus, in summary: If the Copeland family ever truly repents, they will come public with their confessions and demonstrate their repentance by an OBVIOUS change in their subsequent behavior. In their case, that would include public financial accountability and honest business practices. At present, MinistryWatch.com still grades KCM with an appalling “F” for a financial transparency grade. According to Jesus within the citation above, such a fact indicates clearly that the Copeland family’s deeds are still very evil.

      Lastly, please keep in mind that we have NOT posted all that we know about the Copelands’ nefarious activity and sins. We only periodically add content to KennethCopelandBlog.com when we feel impressed of the Lord to expose another aspect of their behavior. It is our sincere hope that they will repent BEFORE we have to lay bare the bulk of their heinousness. Also, though we have already exposed multiple lies and multi-million dollar frauds on the website, be assured that we have not yet posted the most disgusting things that they are doing.

      Nevertheless, we have provided enough therein for any honest observer to determine that the Copelands are “bad trees” by their very obvious—and highly documented—”bad fruit” (note Matthew chapters 7 and 12). Unless “good fruit” is similarly displayed publicly, we can ONLY conclude that they yet remain “bad trees” and should continue to be rebuked (and avoided).

      Thanks for stopping by to post this excellent question. I trust my answer was helpful.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich Vermillion

  10. Lori says:

    Rich, What do you think about John Paul Jacksons teaching on warefare? Like in his book, “Needless Casualties of War” I read the book many years ago and felt something attached, (even came to me in a dream). Now years letter I find some people talking about it, believing its completely right. While others like my pastor says no, its wrong. I can say that I did learn some good points in it, but I do not agree with all of it. Could you show through sqripture the balance on warfare? Thank you for your time, and this website. (I just found.)May God bless you even more.

    • Lori,

      Thanks for the question. It would take a book-length treatise in order to show you through Scripture a balanced teaching on spiritual warfare. Consequently, I will have to refrain from doing so here and merely comment briefly on the other points of your inquiry.

      I read Needless Casualties of War some years ago myself, and from what I remember of it, it seems my impression was the same as yours. There was some useful information therein, but several points upon which I feel there was insufficient biblical substantiation. To be fair, I would have to re-read the entire text in order to do a point-by-point analysis. Thus, I will recommend simply that you reject anything you read, written by any author, that is not clearly supported by Scripture. The Berean approach is always the safest:

      As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men. (Acts 17:10-12, NIV)

      Regarding John Paul Jackson in general, I think he’s got some useful teaching mixed in with some rather “edgy” material; mixed also with some error. (I am not aware of any outright heresy that he has propagated, however.) In general, he fits into the periphery of the category that most of the prophets that I am aware of in the USA also tend to fit: Namely, they are too emphatic on “spiritual” revelations and manifestations, and insufficiently founded upon the Word of God (though at present, my impression is that he is less guilty of this than others of which I am aware). Peter addressed the fact that even his “Mountain of Transfiguration” experience was subordinate to the “more sure word of prophesy” found within the written Scriptures:

      For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:16-21, KJV)

      I wrote about this issue some within my Preachers of Righteousness post, naming a few who blatantly fall into such a category. These types of “prophets” have fallen into the error I call, “pressure to perform.” They build their “ministries” with an air of “spirituality” that then burdens them to always put on a good “show” for their audiences. They feel that they have to act “prophetic” and thus, eventually they merely act pathetic. They begin to “prophesy” out of their own imaginations instead of by the Spirit of God (note Jeremiah, especially chapters 5, 14, 23, and 27; and Ezekiel, especially chapters 13 and 22), or they start to propagate “deep” teachings that sound “spiritual” but are sheer nonsense biblically.

      In contrast, genuine ministers—including true prophets—consider it their duty to unfold God’s Word to their hearers. They desire to feed God’s sheep first and foremost. They build their ministries on God’s eternal Truth, and not upon supernatural manifestations. When the latter occurs, they flow with it. But if a minister is lacking in the former (i.e. sound ministry of the Word), then I seriously question the “source” of the latter (i.e. there are demonic “lying signs and wonders” out there too). If the minister respects God’s Word properly, they will only feel “obligated” to teach/preach that Word, not to “perform” signs and wonders or to put on false airs of “spirituality” as the freaky persons do.

      Another tendency for such errant “prophets” is to see things happening in society around them, and then “prophesy” that such a thing is going to happen. In other words, they “predict” something that is even unsaved people can see is coming. In my post Prophets Come Lately (And Their Inept Counsel) I address this shortcoming as well. (Let me note here for fairness sake that I am not aware of John Paul Jackson being guilty of this particular behavior at present, but several I mentioned within Preachers of Righteousness do fall into this category.)

      So in general: Take everything you read by John Paul Jackson (or anybody else, for that matter) with a proverbial “grain of salt” until you can compare those things with the Word of God. As Isaiah said so well:

      To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:20, NKJV)

      I do believe there are some righteous prophets in the world today, of course. That is a New Testament ministry and reality that should be embraced. However, as was the case in Jeremiah and Ezekiel’s days, there seems to be MORE errant, “Balaamic” (see 2 Peter 2:15-16), and false prophets, in the world than there are genuine ones. Thus, you need to know your Bible and to be cautious when evaluating ANY minister. Also, NEVER get caught up in admiring the “preachers” themselves too much. Too many Christians today are “respecter of persons” and become so easily led astray if their “favorite” ministers get into error.

      I also recommend that you become very studious of this 1965 prophesy by one of the great Pentecostal Generals, Stanely Frodsham, which is certainly about THESE DAYS that we live in. He truly saw into the Spirit and identified the tactics of the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” that are too common at present. That TRUE prophetic word will also reinforce some of the points I have just made in this reply.

      Thanks for your question, Lori. I do hope my answer is helpful. Feel free to reply if you want further clarification.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Lori,

      I thought about another point or two that I would like to make in reference to all those who fall into the “quasi prophetic/apostolic” category: I am concerned about their overemphasis of NON-biblical supernatural occurrences, as well as their lack of sound biblical teaching/preaching.

      For example, there is the “orbs” phenomena. When people snap flash photographs during their services, these semi-transparent “orbs” of light can be seen in the resulting photographs (whether digital or film). I do not have a problem with God or holy angels creating such phenomena if they so choose. However, my problem is that:

      (1) This phenomena is not recorded in the Scripture (though flash photography did not exist back then, of course).
      (2) This phenomena is OFTEN experienced within “services” which are not accompanied by sound teaching of Scripture, much less a genuine Gospel presentation.
      (3) The “ministers” and people who attend these services are so focused on the phenomena that they are NO LONGER focused on JESUS CHRIST (though they may give Him “lip service” here and there).
      (4) Such supernatural occurrences CAN easily be counterfeited (duplicated) by demons as well.

      The above concerns not only apply to the “orbs” issue, but also the gold dust, gem dust, “anointing oil” flowing from the hands, and other such supernatural phenomena that occurs so frequently in some circles today.

      I cannot see those phenomena being done within the Bible specifically (nor have I have seen any scientific chemical analysis of the “gold” and “gem” dust to prove they are anything more than simply pyrite or glass). While I cannot rule out that such occurrences might SOMETIMES be done by God, the fact that the biblical supernatural signs (e.g. conviction of sin that leads to genuine repentance and salvation, healing the sick, raising the dead, physical translations from one location to another, true prophetic ministry, etc.) are NOT more prevalent in those circles, leads me to conclude that MUCH such phenomena are likely demonic and are NOT being performed by God. Anything that distracts from the KEY issues of salvation and holiness are likely not performed by the HOLY Spirit.

      Furthermore, the Bible says, “These signs shall follow them that believe…” (Mark 16:17, KJV). The problem I see in these so-called “prophetic” and “apostolic” circles is that so many people are running to these “services” chasing after the signs, and are not having the signs follow them as they proclaim God’s truth to a lost and dying world:

      And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (vs. 20)

      Signs and wonders (in particular, the conversion of sinners) are supposed to follow genuine Christians. When people chase “signs” (especially when most of then are not recorded by example in the Bible) then there is something manifestly WRONG with the focus of such “ministry.”

      I am not saying that a single service—or even a few services—might not have special manifestations of God’s Spirit that seem to override the minister’s plan for teaching. However, if the entire “revival” is of a character that it has little to no genuine teaching from Scripture—and particularly if the “signs” are predominately of a nature that they cannot be substantiated directly from the Bible—then I would avoid such “revivals” and be VERY suspect of them. I am also very wary of any “ministers” that develop (intentionally or unintentionally) a cult-like following of people who are enamored with them and their “giftings,” instead of being solely enamored with Jesus Christ. Any revival so characterized could be either:

      (1) Genuine, but the ministers are too immature to properly handle it; and therefore, the revival is likely to (or already has) dive off into severe error or even heresy.
      (2) Demonic, and the “minister” is either unsaved (i.e. a “false-brother”) or deceived (i.e. by “doctrines of demons”).

      Obviously, a case of the former would lead eventually to the latter. So all “revivals/outpourings” should be examined closely. If there are serious concerns manifest (such as I have outlined herein) then they should be subsequently shunned and avoided.

      Genuine revivals, if they are to continue and have God’s blessing upon them, MUST be Christ-centered and result in conviction of sin, and bona fide repentance that leads to salvation through Jesus Christ. They will also have sound doctrine/teaching, and not strange “super spiritual” messages that are not (or which are poorly) substantiated by the Bible. God may move in and “take over” a service here and there just to bless His people, but the general flow of the revival in aggregate will be toward convicting sinners, sanctifying the saints (i.e. Christians made more holy in thought, word, and deed), and will produce other such holy and good “fruit.”

      Healings, true prophetic ministry, and other such good and biblical manifestations of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12) could and should occur frequently if God is pouring out His Spirit. However, salvation and sanctification are the key focal points of Scripture, and thus, are the key focal points of God’s Spirit. Thus, the Word of God needs to be preeminently manifest in sound teaching/preaching, for it is only through His Word that God promises that such things will occur. Again:

      And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (vs. 20)

      Again, Lori: Thanks for asking your question and provoking me to write so much on these topics. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • Lori says:

        Thank you Rich for such a good answer, and I say Amen to it! It’s funny you would say all that, because I have been searching things out, and though I used to say I was charismatic, now I say non-denomenational. There is so much crazy stuff out there. several years ago I turned off Christain TV, my spirit was grieved by so much of it. Then when I heard about Todd B, I went on line to watch one night, Holy Spirit in me said NO! Then when many charismatic leaders endorsed and put their approvel on it I lost what faith I had in them.I thought, what spirit are they following? I know we can all be decieved, as I have been before, and I prayed for them, but I don’t follow them.
        There’s so much out there that many unsaved don’t want anything to do with the church. I’ve heard people say, the preachers are just about money. Then the other thing is, people don’t want religion, but want something that is real,(God) not this new age strange fire stuff.
        Anyway Thank you for standing on the Word, and not wavering…We need more ministers who don’t compromise.
        God told me to write a book, He gave me the 25 chapter titles, I thought I was done almost a year ago.400 pages. Now I’m going through re-reading to see if I can find anything that is not scriptually sound, as there has been so much teaching that we learn, that we really need to unlearn. This book needs to be truth, and therefore there is a couple topics I thought I’d do searches on to see what I could find. That is how I found you.

        God Bless you! Lori

        • God bless you back, Lori. And let me give you an hearty “Amen!” in response also. ;)

          I agree on the label issue. I just call myself a Christian, and a Biblicist in regards to my theological approach (based on the Bereans in Acts 17). I am Spirit-filled, and am well acquainted with biblical Charismatic and Pentecostal theologies (along with Reformed, Wesleyan, and other theologies). However, much of what is called “Charismatic” today is nothing more than demonic manifestations and carnality. Charismania would be a more accurate description. So I avoid the “Charismatic” label also, especially since it is not really biblical to use such “labels” (note how Paul called them “carnal” in 1 Corinthians chapters 1 & 3) and my biblical studies have ranged far broader than the Spirit-filled categories of doctrine alone.

          Thanks for popping back to post a follow-up reply. May God give you amazing wisdom for your book project too.

          Always in Jesus,

          -Rich

      • Kathy in Rochester says:

        Rich,

        Now I am looking at more things on your website like this page. What you said to Lori, I so needed too. It is not just that you are coming against what is wrong, you are also shinning the light in such a way I feel like a person who has been fed imitation “food” for so long that now that I have tasted the real thing-I just can not stop saying thank you. I wish you were on TV. That would give some real “food” to God’s people. Two “friends” from my past who I thought were saved but were such snakes to me, I told them of your blogs in an Email and of the Creflo Dollar video “pay tithes or die”. I had to let them know just in case they actually cared, for I had been one telling them that those preachers were good (in the past I did). Then I got nervous, I know what they are like, and what if they get on your sites saying horrible things pretending to be me.

        Can someone who is not really saved speak in tongues? One of these “friends” did. I know they never knew a foreign language, we grew up together. This person did bad things while being “saved”. I am the one who prayed with them to get baptized in the Holy Spirit. I am guessing she just backslid. Could she have backslid her way out of salvation?

        I needed what you said to Lori about the orbs and such. Since I gave up listening to Copeland, I started listening to Sid Roth and ones who came on his show like Katie Souza. Not to say they are wrong, I don’t know everything at this point. But since your comment to Lori, I will be more aware. People on tv like Kirk Cameron are so dry and I feel beaten up with his bible by the time he is done. But an expose by GoodFight ministries on Rock and Roll and such opened my eyes! I just wish there was someone like you preaching on the tv. But I know that would be a large sum of $$ to do. I don’t know the ins and outs of all of that, but couldn’t you sell commercial space to christian advertisers or something like that, I mean IF the Lord called you to be on TV. Not to stroke an ego or to highlight any man except the Lord, but man I feel the time has come for someone like you! And I wish we could bring back Walter Martin and other great preachers from the past. I mean, while God is weaning us off of the wolves, we need to see real men of God rising up.

        May you and your family be blessed!

        • Wow, Kathy. That is a very kind post, and one loaded with things to ponder. Let me quickly answer two your your questions therein here:

          (1) Yes, someone can be unsaved (even never born again) and yet speak in tongues. It happens all the time within eastern religions through demonic influence (on the one hand), and through soul-based “mimicking” (on the other hand). The demonic side is obvious, so let me address the soul-based mimicking. My 3 year old child would hear his parents praying in the Spirit, and his older two siblings doing so also, and he would “mimic” it himself just to join in. Yet, he was not born again (because he was not quite where he needs to be to understand the gravity of the Gospel yet). So it is very possible for someone to be a false convert (tares among wheat, a “bad fish” caught in the net with the “good fish”, etc.) and when prayed for by well-meaning, but uninformed people…they either “mimic” the gift, or they can even demonstrate demonic manifestation that counterfeits it. Many of the people within “Charismania” today likely fall into one of these two categories of unsaved “tongue talkers,” in fact; because their manifest “fruit” is bad, which Jesus said in Matthew 7 indicates that they are a “bad tree” and were never saved.

          (2) Can someone “backslide out of salvation”? Yes. Note the last two chapters of 2 Corinthians, and compare them with the first three chapters of Galatians, and Hebrews chapter 10. Note also 2 Peter and Jude, each in their entirety. The letters to the Churches found in Revelation chapters 1-3 are also quite applicable to this question in several instances. I addressed the Doctrine of Eternal Security somewhere else on this page in a response to Terence, so please also read that for additional points that you may find helpful too.

          I have been personally acquainted with Sid Roth and believe his intentions were originally mostly evangelistic whenever he emphasized “signs and wonders.” However, I feel he has gone off the deep end VERY far now, because he has endorsed people who are clearly demonic. His ability to discern things is extremely questionable now, as he has demonstrated serious error in this regard numerous times in recent years. So I have distanced myself from him and one of his close friends (through whom I met Sid); because these guys will run after just about any “miracle” no matter who it manifests through or around. It is a sign of the End Times: People chasing counterfeit “miracles” and being led astray by the spirit of antichrist. True believers perform PRIMARILY the signs and wonders found within the Bible–and focus on the genuine conversion of souls through a correct presentation of the Gospel–rather than doing kooky “miracles” like oil coming out of their hands (which is often done by demons) or alleged “gold dust” falling in their services (which I just cannot find in the Bible, and thus, have reason to question the validity of such things when they are so “prominent” within a particular “ministry).

          Regarding Kirk Cameron & Ray Comfort: I like those guys, actually. Your feeling like you have been “beat up” when listening to them may merely be the fact that you have just never heard such strong evangelistic preaching/teaching before. They are teaching some strong stuff regarding the proper presentation of the Gospel. Once you know how the Law is supposed to be used with the Gospel correctly, you will also know how the original apostles preached it in their day. I suggest you take the time to review the free videos available on WayoftheMaster.com and listen to Ray Comfort’s free MP3 audio recordings, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret,” “True and False Conversion,” and “What Did Jesus DO?” in that order–all of which are on that website.

          I hope this reply helps too, Kathy! Keep up the studies.

          Always in Jesus,

          -Rich

  11. GaryM says:

    Rich,

    What is your view of the “Jesus Died Spiritually” teaching?

    Thanks!

    • GaryM,

      That is a very good question, but one that requires far more time to answer than I have at present. I have been considering writing a white paper on the topic, or one really long post (chuckle). But at this time, I do not have time for either because I am working very hard to launch a new financial website to help people in these troublesome economic times.

      My short answer is I agree with most (if not all) of John Calvin’s take on the topic (as found in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 2, chapter 16, in particular, section 8 thereof) and all of John Buynan’s theological explanation (as he wrote in his book, The Doctrines of Law and Grace Unfolded). Martin Luther seems to have been of the same mind as these men on most parts as well. He well-summarized the issue in his second point of the general creed of the Christian faith by writing that we believe:

      …in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. (Luther’s The Large Catechism)

      But Luther himself elaborated that portion of the creed ONLY in brief when he later explained within his Catechism:

      Let this then, be the sum of this article that the little word Lord signifies simply as much as Redeemer, i.e., He who has brought us from Satan to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and who preserves us in the same. But all the points which follow in order in this article serve no other end than to explain and express this redemption, how and whereby it was accomplished, that is, how much it cost Him, and what He spent and risked that He might win us and bring us under His dominion, namely, that He became man, conceived and born without [any stain of] sin, of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, that He might overcome sin; moreover, that He suffered, died and was buried, that He might make satisfaction for me and pay what I owe, not with silver nor gold, but with His own precious blood. And all this, in order to become my Lord; for He did none of these for Himself, nor had He any need of it. And after that He rose again from the dead, swallowed up and devoured death, and finally ascended into heaven and assumed the government at the Father’s right hand, so that the devil and all powers must be subject to Him and lie at His feet, until finally, at the last day, He will completely part and separate us from the wicked world, the devil, death, sin, etc.

      But to explain all these single points separately belongs not to brief sermons for children, but rather to the ampler sermons that extend throughout the entire year, especially at those times which are appointed for the purpose of treating at length of each article — of the birth, sufferings, resurrection, ascension of Christ, etc.

      Note that Luther finished his brief explanation with a note to the fact that it takes quite a lot of time to properly address such subjects as these. Thus, again, I can only offer you this answer in brief for now because an appropriate treatment of the topic requires significant writing, as John Calvin’s and John Bunyan’s writings do attest also. Google around and download copies of Calvin’s and Bunyan’s texts and examine those for now. That will certainly cover the issue very well for your informative benefit.

      Thanks for the question.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  12. Terence says:

    Hi Rich, I like your blog, I have learned a lot from this website. However I am bit confused in one area. I am 20 and an aspiring politician. Does God chose leaders (political)? If yes, could you please explain the selection of Bush. A member of a satanic cult at Yale University before he came to power. I don’t Believe God choses leaders, but us people.

    I remember before and when Bush was selected people like Benny Hinn and most Christians (Televangelists) in USA saying he was chosen by God and he was after God’s heart. Did you also believe this at the time? (I have a funny feeling that you did) I mean are you also one of those people who believe that the Democrat’s are of the Devil?

    I hear that Sarah Palin might become president in the USA. Some Christians there think she has been chosen by God to deliver them from the “evil” Obama. I mean most people associate right- wing-ness with Christianity. I have got a lot to say about this.

    In the bible God chose some leaders for example King Ahab, King Saul and King Solomon to be rulers of Israel. These people turned to be WICKED.What was God reasoning in this?

    I hope you were not offended by my questions.

    • Thank you, Terence, for your kind comments and query. I have been slow to respond, however, as my schedule has been quite busy of late.

      “Does God choose leaders (political)?” Yes, and no. As you pointed out in your closing comments, God has and does choose men and women to be leaders of nations. That does not mean that He chose every one of them, but only certain ones who He designated as being His selections. You could add pagan leaders to that list too, as both Nebuchadnezzar (see Daniel chapters 2 & 4) and Cyrus, King of Medo-Persia (see Isaiah 44:28 through 45:14) were specifically chosen by God for their reigns and His purposes.

      That said, it is certainly clear from other passages that leaders were not necessarily chosen by God, but by people or appointment (the various Herods of the pre-NT and NT period are good examples). These were eventually judged for their extreme wickedness, of course; but the same thing happens to non-leaders who are extremely wicked too. In other words, judgment for sin is universal, not specific to leaders. However, for a good discourse of how God deals with the rebellious leaders, study Psalm 2.

      “These people turned to be WICKED. What was God’s reasoning in this?” The Lord always foreknows what will happen, as He is both omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent (filling both all space and all time, both of which were created by Him through His omnipotence). So Jesus was a “Lamb slain before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). Why? Because the Lord knew what would happen in the Garden of Eden before the world was even created. And if Adam, created perfect and without sin, could choose to sin and fall from God’s grace, why do you think that is any less difficult for human beings to do today, despite their calling from God? From Genesis to Revelation, we see men and women called by God, sin and fall; and some are judged while others repent.

      I believe every person born of a woman has God-given gifts and talents, which indicates that He also had designed them for specific purposes and roles within society. That would include political leaders as well. Chapter 2 of my Organic Economics™ online book is entitled The Biblical Genesis of Trade, and it addresses this topic more, if you want to check that out for more detail of what I teach on such points.

      However, let me note here that because of sin, most people are unsaved and use their gifts/talents wrongly (sinfully). It is only the redeemed of the Lord who have the spiritual capacity to do what is right (see 1 John chapter 3), but temptation to sin or make mistakes still exist. In the OT, they were particularly prone to such because they could not be born again. In the NT, we “practice righteousness” (see 1 John chapter 3 in the Amplified Bible) which implies that we are not perfected in our ability to walk righteously all the time. We make mistakes, like anyone “practicing” any task or endeavor. But genuine Christians practice righteousness, so they get back up and start all over again as they seek to perfect their walk. Sinners, on the other hand, practice sin…which distinguishes true Christians from false believers.

      I agree with you (in-part) that within democracies, the people “vote” in their leaders. That fact does not limit God’s omnipotent ability to change the course of an election, however. He is God, and if He chooses to change the course of things, who could stop Him? Most of the time He uses circumstances to discredit one candidate over another, or moves on the hearts of people when they enter the voting booth. So in short, even when He chooses to intervene in an election, He is usually doing so covertly, as most people will fail to recognize His hand at work.

      Let me also point out, however, that democracies are never reflected in the Scriptures in a positive light. The only references to a social-democracy are, in fact, in reference to the coming kingdom of the Antichrist. True republics (which are rare these days) are a better form of “representative government” as they restrict the voting population to certainly classes whose vested interests promote the overall good of the nation (i.e. educated, land owners, etc.). The United States of America used to be a true Republic, but has degenerated into a quasi-social democracy throughout the 20th into the 21st Centuries. And unless that course is corrected (as the recent election indicated might actually occur) then it will follow the path of all democracies and degenerate into totalitarian rule, or fall apart completely and the Union will cease to exist (e.g. much like the Soviet empire collapsed). In fact, Constitutional Monarchies that found their constitutions upon the principles of God’s Word, are the only truly biblical form of government (e.g. ancient Israel, though that was not His original plan even for them). Even Jesus’ coming 1000-year reign over the earth will be as a divine monarchy, and nobody gets to vote.

      So with the above said, let me draw toward this point to address your overall question: What is my position on “Dominion Theology”? This is a heresy that has become popular of late in various Evangelical and Charismatic circles within the USA. However, it was first made popular in the 20th Century in Germany as the “Christians” voted in their “Christian” leader, namely, Adolf Hitler. A very well-researched article about that era can be read here.

      In short, biblical Christian theology teaches that we are to serve God within our own calling and role within society with a pure heart and clean conscience; but that the coming “rule” over the nations will only occur once Jesus returns to take the earth over physically. The way genuine Christian doctrine tells us to change a nation is to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” In other words, we change a nation when we do our JOB to win the lost for Christ.

      By changing the hearts of the people as they are born again, then the “desires” of the people change toward righteousness, and they begin to “practice” such (as we discussed above) and the society changes–one heart at a time. This was seen during the revivals of Charles G. Finney during the mid-1800s when entire towns would come under conviction, turn toward the Gospel to the saving of their souls, and then become immersed in Bible reading, prayer, and other Christian activities. The bars would shut down, profanity would cease to be uttered in the streets, and the society of those villages and towns would be absolutely transformed by the power of God working within the hearts of the people.

      “Dominion theology” tries to usurp such biblical principles by telling people that we are to “take over the politics” and “the nation” and enforce “Christian” laws upon an unsaved population. Few realize what the article I referenced above documents: That Hitler ran for election on a “morality” platform, and actually instituted “moral” reforms in society once he came into power. The movies were censored and became morally “cleaner.” Women were forbidden to smoke in public. However, 6-million Jews, and another 6-million Christian leaders, political dissidents, and other “undesirables” who failed unwavering devotion to the “Third Reich,” were put on trains and sent to concentration camps. So the superficial “morality” that the people “voted in” became a systemic evil that destroyed lives and the soul of the nation. That is the end-game for such “dominion theology” for it is patently antichrist in nature.

      I did vote for G.W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, because I genuinely thought he was a Christian (and I did not know about the Skull and Bones thing). In essence, I was deceived along with most Christians by that man.

      After the 2004 election, however, Bush stopped using the Name of Jesus in public and began supporting ungodly one-world-religion types of initiatives. That awoke me to the possibility that the guy may not be a genuine Christian after all. After discovering in 2006 that from 2004-2006 I had been doing business with an active member of the Skull and Bones myself, I began to study about that satanic cult. So through that “wake up call”, and subsequent study of the Scriptures and godly men like Finney, Wesley, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards, and many others, I learned that the NT teaching concerning “false brethren” (e.g. Galatians chapters 1-2) is there for a REASON.

      In short, there are some who profess to be Christians (such as Hitler, his fraternity brothers, Bush, and Dan Stratton) who obviously are NOT. They masquerade as Christians to “take people captive” according to Paul, as he wrote in Galatians; and the men I have cited as examples surely have done just that.

      Further compounding this fact is that 80% or more of professing “Christians” in the USA (including among Evangelicals and Charismatics) are NOT born again, and thus, are not truly Christians. Thus, they cannot live holy lives and win the lost, because they cannot fathom redemption (having not experienced it themselves). I discuss this in great detail within How God Uses Heretics, so see that post for more teaching on this VERY important point.

      In closing, I do NOT support Sarah Palin (who advocated the murder of Mr. Assange, founder of Wikileaks), Mitt Romney (a Mormon), Mike Huckabee (a CFR member, who therefore advocates a one-world-government), or any other such false brethren. They seek power, and not service on behalf of the Lord. As Jesus said, “a tree is known by its fruit.” I have checked the “fruit” of these people, and they are rotten. Thus, the tree is known, and they will not get my vote or support. I learned my lesson on Bush, and do not plan to follow such an errant path again.

      However, I certainly believe that a godly Christian person can be called into politics in order to affect godly change and to take a strong public stand for righteousness. They will try to be a “servant of all” (Mark 9:35 and Mark 10:42-45) and not to “lord it over the people” as the heathen politicians do in their unending quest for power and self-gratification. (Such “public servants” only serve themselves of the public, and are not worthy of their posts.) A godly and humble man or woman who seeks to please God, and to conduct themselves according to biblical standards for the welfare of ALL people, would be a delightful addition to any government (provided they have the character to resist the temptations and are courageous enough to weather the severe persecution).

      Thank you for your inquiries, Terence. I was not offended at all. I hope my answers here have helped. I probably should do an entire post on this topic at some point, but for now, this will have to suffice due to my schedule.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  13. Tony says:

    Hi Rich

    Only just discovered your blogs. My wife and I were on staff in the UK for a very well known prosperity preacher, who we believe got into error re money.

    During the time we were there, our own personal finances went down and down, we got into greater debt, our situation got worse, even though we did our best to not waste money.

    Yet, we were still believing for the “hundredfold” on our giving, and boy did we need it!

    We have been left that minstry quite a while now, but because of our bad experience while with them, now it comes time to REALLY HAVE TO BELIEVE GOD AND WALK IN FAITH for His plan for our lives, we are finding it mentally difficult to trust in God’s provision!

    Ie:- “God didn’t honour our giving there, so perhaps He won’t here”. Yet we have long gone past that particular teaching now.

    I was prompted to write here because I’m reading “Midas Touch” by Rev Hagin at present and discovering the errors.

    Will we ever be able to see the Lord “supply” our needs? We are ministers who I believe have been badly damaged by the over emphasis on money.

    We just want to fulfil God’s will for our lives, which really is healing ministry & evangelism…

    Please pray and help us to get our thinking free of the “unbelief” that the over emphasis on money has bound our minds in…

    Godbless Rich

    Tony & Ann (UK)

    • Tony & Ann,

      It is a huge blessing to hear from two of my siblings in the UK. I apologize for taking so long to post your comment and to respond, but I have been very busy lately. I have several other comments in the queue to process too, but I will eventually catch up. ;)

      I know where you guys are at, having been there myself. You are in that “questioning” phase where you are doubting the teaching that you have been exposed to, and wondering what was biblical vs. what pure bunk. Let me encourage you that this is a temporary phase, and that you will come through it just fine as long as you have a “Berean” attitude (see Acts 17) which “searches the Scriptures daily to see whether these things be so.” In short, compare everything that you question with studious research of God’s Word. What does not seem to hold up, reject it, or at least put on a shelf until you can analyze it more later.

      Good teaching that balances these topics properly in accordance with the Bible, will help also. So continue to read the Midas Touch by Hagin, as that is a very helpful start. Please study my TheWisdomOfGold.com website too for some verbose teaching on financial/economics topics that goes much broader and deeper than what Hagin felt himself qualified to address. I also highly recommend that you read my Decline of the Prosperity Gospel page on EconomicTheology.com.

      Now to answer your question “will we ever be able to see the Lord ‘supply’ our needs?” the answer is YES! The Lord is still in the miracle business, and He still takes care of His children. Those are biblical concepts from Genesis to Revelation. The “prosperity gospel” heretics merely twisted that biblical truth into a “cash cow” for their own material benefit, while leaving the people bereft of genuine wisdom regarding finances and true Gospel ministry. As you settle into the will of God for your lives, and get your eyes off of material things and back onto the Lord and His Word, you will get back on track and will begin to be led by His Spirit into the fields of ministry that He has for you. He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus, so long as you are doing His work with a pure heart.

      Lastly, I recommend that you read Charles G. Finney’s “Ordination” sermon from 1842, which addresses core ministry and heart issues in a way that I feel is beyond comparison elsewhere. (There may be another one out there which is just as good or even better, but I have not found it yet…chuckle.) I do not agree with every other sermon of Finney’s, but it is extremely hard to find any point within this one with which I do not completely agree. So read it reflectively and prayerfully, and ponder each point’s application to your own lives, ministry, and those things which you have seen in others (good and bad). I believe it will minister to you tremendously. It did to me, and it has to others that I recommended it to as well.

      One quick note on Finney’s use of the phrase “disinterested benevolence”: In our modern vernacular, that would seem to be a conflict of words. To that former lawyer from the 19th Century, however, that meant “benevolence without a conflict of interest” or “benevolence without an eye toward what you can get out of it.” Everything else should be clear when you read it, as the English is still fairly modern other than that one phrase.

      Thanks for posting. Come back anytime. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  14. Terence says:

    Hie Rich. Thanks for the reply. However why don’t you make more videos and post them on youtube? I am sure a man of wisdom will be very beneficial to the body of christ in this dark hour. Youtube is free and has a bigger audience and people are starving for truth. It could be any kind of videos. Please, may you ask the Lord about this. Thank you.

  15. Donato Anzalone says:

    I am so upset at your blog against Brother Copeland. Shame on you. Wheather you are right or wrong. This is not the issue. The issue is that you are trying to build your ministry by attacking another fellow man of God. You are using Brother Hagin as well. But if you knew brother Hagin as much as you want people to believe, you would know that brother Hagin would have never used your practices… You better repentant before God and before Brother Copeland. Pastor Donato Anzalone
    PS: Let us see if you dare to put this comment on your websites. all of them.

    • Well, I am glad you stopped by, Donato! I have had several things on my heart lately, and your comment above was just perfect to help me formulate my thoughts on several issues for this website.

      However, the real issue is NOT Copeland here, nor our public rebuke of that errant minister. The real issue is your own heart, because you show several signs of being a “wolf” yourself. Thus, I am VERY concerned about the state of your own soul, and have taken the time to press forward several issues for you that I believe will help you to understand the terrible plight you are now in. So when you wrote in your comment above:

      PS: Let us see if you dare to put this comment on your websites.

      I have decided to do something even better.

      First, I have written an entire article to address your comment, and it is appropriately entitled:

      When Wolves Remove Their Clothes (Simply click the title and a new window will open up.)

      Now, you may notice that I have removed your website link from the comment that you posted. Please not worry, however. I have added TWO (2) links within that article, just in case others want to visit your website to review it in more detail.

      Of course, I have not spread your comment around my other websites as you “dared,” and I have fully explained why I have not done so within that same article noted above. (Although I did decide to advertise the above article on most of our websites.)

      So please avail yourself of the above post, and read it with sincerity of heart and mind. I spent several hours composing it for your eternal benefit, and I hope thereby that you will discover your dangerous condition and turn away from the precipice before it is too late.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Kathy in Rochester says:

      I understand you. I loved the Copelands. I spent a year or so fighting this. Especially when it came to Miriam Franklins so called prophecy of Gloria. I did not believe in Mrs. Franklin and I fought tooth and nail for my “spiritual parents”. I loved them. I don’t think that site is still around. I was under the name of Dawn Survivor back then. At first I thought just like you seem to think now. But too many things did not add up. I chose not to be blind to them. I felt a Judas to the spiritual parents who had been there for me. But I know know of ties to freemasonry and ministry watches rating of their ministry being an F. O, I just caught on. I might be a bit slow, so just bear with me…but perhaps you are like a wolf too?

      • Kathy in Rochester says:

        Let it be know that the 6/1/11 comment I just made was meant for reply to Donato. It just did not line up the way I thought it would.

        Kathy in Rochester

  16. Terence says:

    Hie Rich. In christian circles, there is this burning question that has never been truly been answered. Do you believe in the doctrine that says once saved always saved? For example if you believe in Jesus and all the necessary stuff you need to believe get saved (you know what I am saying I think) you can still go out there and live the worldly life and sin a bit or you can have balanced Christian life whereby you will be mixing with worldly stuff and YOU WILL STILL BE HEAVEN-BOUND.

    In my life, I have found out that this is impossible as sometimes I feel I am clashing with the Holy Ghost {these clashes are getting very bad}. I feel like I have to give it up all for Christ. I did not know my life was designed for Christ not my needs or to use him. Because of my stubbornness I actually feel like I am rejecting the Holy Ghost. I think if I keep on this path he might actually leave me.

    I find it very strange that some pastors these days elevate the celebrity life style and they even admire them. But the I feel that the Holy Ghost is against most of the worldly stuff that goes on. You got guys like Steve Furtik admitting that he watches Oprah, on the pulpit. Is he serious? You got Paula White mixing up with guys like Donald Trump and several celebrities.They say she is “anointed” and she is one of the biggest women ministers out there. Have you seen the way she dresses when she preaches? She looks very good. I am 20, my head wonders around a lot of times. I mean is the Kingdom of heaven this close? I recently saw a book by Creflo Dollar called “Live Big”. Does this mean driving expensive cars, you know, live for the moment ? I think I have received a different spirit from these people.

    Thanks Rich for this awesome website. I have been reading your articles: ” When Wolves Remove Their Clothes”, “How God Uses Heretics”, “When Foolish Apathy Becomes Slavery” and “Prosperity vs. Theological Error”. They have caused me to evaluate myself and consider rededicating my life to Christ. Oh yeah, don’t forget about “YouTube” issue, I don’t think you realize how much wisdom God has given you.

    • That is a great question, Terence. That is a suitable topic to touch on “briefly” here. ;) However, it would take an entire book-length treatise to do it justice.

      Let me begin by first reiterating the message of “When Wolves Remove Their Clothing” and the PDF attachments found at the bottom of that same page: Not everyone who calls themselves a “minister” is even born again. Thus, when discussing people like Steve Furtik (who I am not familiar with personally) or Paula White (who I unfortunately DO know about), the discussion is not about Christians but about wolves in sheep’s clothing. Or actually, in Paula White’s case, Proverbs 11:22 says that we may be actually discussing a “swine” who has a “gold ring” it its snout:

      As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.

      They may look good on the outside, but inwardly such women that this verse discusses are whorish pigs. Men of a “whore monger” character are no better either, I might add. Both of types of people exchanged demons with others whenever they become “one flesh” with them (note 1 Corinthians 6:15-17). So such people not only have a propensity to spread diseases, they also spread demons (which no “safe” precaution or “protective device” can prevent). Thus a pure life sexually can be the ONLY true “safe” protection against both body-destroying diseases and soul-destroying demonic influences.

      With that said, let’s discussion your question more specifically…

      The first thing to note about the so-called “once saved, always saved” doctrine is that its originators did NOT intend for that message to be propagated as it often is today. The doctrine of Eternal Security (its official title), as preached by the old timers, such as John Calvin and Charles Spurgeon, can simply be summarized as the idea that once a person is born again, nobody (not even the devil) can take their salvation away from them. It also included the idea that one could not “accidentally” lose their salvation by committing a single act of sin or some other error. In short, the Eternal Security that we have in Christ is firm and steadfast. This point is best summed up in the Words of Jesus Himself:

      All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (John 6:73)

      Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
      My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.
      (John 10:25-30, NKJV)

      All genuine born again Christians, who have come to the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance, and put their faith in HIM and HIM alone as their source of righteousness and salvation (i.e. not in their own works or self-righteousness), are the “sheep” of the Lord Jesus. The Lord promises that such people will not be cast away or lost. This was the point of the Eternal Security doctrine originally, though men have surely perverted it into the blasphemous form that you have described above. (And some even are so presumptuous to call themselves “Calvinists,” which 1 Corinthians chapters 1 & 3 testifies means that they are “carnal” at best; and their twisted doctrines themselves testify that such people are liars or deceived, and thus, they may not be born again themselves.)

      Now this brings us to our second point to note: Is the particular professing “Christian” that we are discussing truly born again? In other words, are they really born of God’s Spirit, and genuinely saved? Jesus used allegorical terms that compared truly born-again Christians with false converts. There are the “wheat” but also “tares” (Mat. 13:24-30, 36-43); “good fish” but also “bad fish” (Mat. 13:47-50); “sheep” but also “goats” (Mat. 25:31-46); “wise virgins” but also “foolish” ones (Mat. 25:1-13). And Jesus Himself said that there would be some people who thought that they were Christians, who will hear the terrifying words from Him:

      “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (see Matthew 7:13-23)

      Oh, what a horror! Nevertheless, the parable of the wise and foolish virgins seems to imply that as much as 50% of those who profess to know Christ will find themselves “in outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (See the reference given above.)

      So when we see someone who claims that they are a Christian, and yet they sin as a “lifestyle” (which is really a “death style”; see Romans chapter 8), can we possibly conclude that they were NEVER truly born again to begin at all? Yes we can:

      You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [essentially and forever]. No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him--deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].

      Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].

      No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.

      By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God's will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ). (An excerpt from 1 John chapter 3 in the Amplified Bible; but study that entire epistle to see all the “tests” that John gave to identify true Christians from the false.)

      Did you notice all the “no one” declarations above that I put in bold text for emphasis? These are absolute truths that are without debate. Those who are genuinely “born again” as Jesus stated was necessary in the Gospel of John chapter 3, have God’s nature in them. Thus, they “practice righteousness” as their manner of life. Those who continue to “practice sin” as their rule are demonstrating that they were NEVER born again—regardless of what they profess, or how strongly they argue with others about their profession of Christianity.

      Note the picture that the above passage paints: Like a child born into a family is fully human, he or she need to “practice” feeding, walking, talking, and all the other behaviors that demonstrate a mature humanity. They fall, spill, and make messes…but they keep on practicing. Eventually, they start to look like their parents in conduct, not just purely in their appearance.

      We would put it this way for an even clearer metaphor: Someone “practicing” an instrument, such as a violin, will look (and sound) pretty bad at first. However, if they are driven to master that art, they will continue to practice. Over time, their skills will grow and become more and more perfected. Likewise, a genuine Christian does not just “play church” but they truly desire to serve God, and their hearts drive them to “practice righteousness.” They make mistakes, and the “noise” can sometimes be quite irritating to others when they do (this is especially the case with those who are young in the Lord). But genuine born-again Christian just repent, pick back up where they left off, and begin practicing again.

      Those who are NOT genuine converts will only put on a “religious show” when others are around. In private, they “practice sin”, and drink iniquity like wine. They love sin, and crave lustfully to fulfill those desires. Thus, they may “play church” for others, but if you monitor their lives and speech, they will eventually show signs that their religiosity is not sincere. Their doctrines will reflect that eventually too, especially if they profess themselves to be “ministers.” Some will eventually give up putting on pretenses of salvation, as they cannot fulfill the righteous requirements of the God’s law in their own strength. Thus, the “sheep’s clothing” drops, and the wolf exposes their true nature openly. Others just “back slide” and leave the Church (which is really more honest than the former hypocrites), which is a phenomenon described again by John:

      They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (1 John 2:19, NKJV)

      A third point to note: The Bible DOES make it clear that even a genuine Christian can “walk away” from Christ in apostasy. Note, for example, Hebrews chapters 6 and 10; 2 Corinthians chapters 12-13; and the example of Judas, Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5), and even some of the people contained within some of the Bible passages cited in this answer of mine.

      So in summary and closing: I firmly believe that a genuine child of God, who has been truly born again and who has “passed from death into life” will show the genuine “fruits” of being born again. Further, they will be able to rest secure in the faith of Jesus Christ, knowing that their Great Shepherd will “never leave them, nor forsake them, even to the ends of the earth.” AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT walk away from the Lord into pure apostasy through willingly abandoning the One Who bought them with His Own Blood (see 2 Peter 2:1), true Christians can know that though they make mistakes when “practicing righteousness” God is faithful to forgive when they repent, pick themselves back up, and get back to their practice.

      However, those who are false converts, can only put on pretenses of religiosity; and their “fruit” will, on close inspection, prove that they are NOT born again:

      And when they had come to him [Paul}, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:18-24, NKJV)

      So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance. (Acts 26:19-20, NASB)

      Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:15-19, NKJV)

      Please note also that “repentance” is a core requirement for salvation too. Paul preached repentance as a part of the Grace of God in Christ. Thus, it is my observation that MOST (if not all) of those who are false converts and showing themselves “practiced in sin” are doing so because they NEVER repented of their idolatry and sinful behavior, regardless of any profession of faith that they may have made.

      Do a study of Acts chapter 8 (which I don’t have time to do for you here, having written so much already) and you will see that the ONE THING that is missing from Simon the Sorcerer’s “conversion experience” is repentance. Thus, note also in that chapter what Peter said about the man’s heart once he saw the “fruit” of the man:

      “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” (verses 20-23, NKJV)

      Some people who may read my answer to your question may think me to be “judgmental” or “hard-hearted” in my rather stern statements about Paula White further above. However, how did Peter “see” that Simon’s heart was not right “in the sight of God”? He judged the “tree” by its manifest “fruit” (see Matthew chapter 7). So I am certainly on biblical grounds to make such frank statements about people with such obvious “bad fruit” as Paula White. (And my post “The Biblical Basis for This Public Rebuke” explains that in detail with both video and text.)

      The answer for Simon’s spiritual condition was NOT faith, but it was rather repentance (though there is no record in church history that he ever repented). I similarly “judge” people such as Paula White, Kenneth Copeland, Rob Bell, and the such like, to similarly be “poisoned by bitterness, and bound by iniquity” because their manifest “fruit” indicates the true state of their unregenerate hearts. The answer for them is the same one that would have saved Simon: Repentance.

      Well, I hope my “short answer” was sufficient to help your quandary, and to encourage you into your Bible to look up the passages I cited from above within their FULL context.

      I do appreciate your zeal, Terrance. If you press forward to go “all out for Christ” as you stated above, by turning your back on the world and running to the Cross of Christ, you will be thankful that you did for ALL of eternity (though in this life you will have tribulation for the cause of Christ). I hope to sit with you in Heaven and laugh in joy with you for not only our own presence there, but also that we were BOTH responsible for bringing many others to Christ to join us there in our jubilant mirth.
      :D

      Lastly, for a detailed presentation of the Gospel that I have written (my most treasured article to date), please read The Supreme Value of Righteousness. That piece is a comprehensive biblical presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the context of God’s Holy Law—the way it is supposed to be, in order for people to properly understand it.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich Vermillion

      P.S. Lord willing, we’ll do something in video this year. Please keep that in prayer. ;)

    • Terence, let me add a quick note here to suggest that you largely stop watching MOST so-called “Christian television” as most of the people thereon are wolves that I have seen. Of course, there may be folks on there that I am not aware of, who are actually on-track. But of the “big names” on the TV, the only ones I would give two cents for (and this is a qualified endorsement, because I reserve the right to revoke it if I find that either begins to teach error, or is a Freemason or is affiliated with Freemason’s knowingly) are Ravi Zacharias and Ray Comfort. Again, there may be other good ones on there, but you will need to “learn to discern” good ministry from wolves if you are to avoid corruption through the wrong influences.

      So what I recommend is that you study the “old-timers”—i.e. the great theologians and preachers of the past, whose character we can examine through history, and whose doctrine was relatively pure (i.e. only God’s doctrine is perfectly pure…the rest of us are not omniscient, and we have blind spots). By studying their writings, you will build a foundation upon which you can better identify true ministry by modern preachers/teachers, verses the self-serving hype of wolves (and wolvesses) in sheep’s clothing.

      Here is my “short list,” in order of preference:

        John Bunyan
        Charles H. Spurgeon
        George Whitefiled
        Charles G. Finney (I recommend most especially his pre-1843 sermons, plus his biography. Note: Some pseudo “Calvinists” falsely accuse Finney of being a “Pelagian heretic” and that “Finney denied the substitutionary atonement of Christ,” BOTH of which are patently untrue. I have read their accusations, and found them the most disgusting demonstration of defamation that I have ever seen in ministry; they were using quotes out of their context and false assumptions with which to “base” their case. Anyone willing to do such a thing is either so blinded by their own doctrine that, like the Pharisees during Jesus’ time on earth, they cannot read another minister’s biography and “Systematic Theology” without blatant bias; or they are just not born again themselves. You can read about this, and my analysis of one of these so-called “Reformed” nuts, within the comments section at the bottom of my post, Back in the Saddle Again.)
        John Wesley
        Dwight L. Moody
        John Calvin (And I mean his actual works, and not the so-called “Calvinist” writings of others…which is too-often at variance with his own writings, and typically is very poor at representing his original teaching.)

      .
      And now for a “short list” of Pentecostal preachers whose sermons/writings are worth reading in conjunction with the writings of the men above:

        Howard Carter (Referring to the preacher, and not the archeologist.)
        Smith Wigglesworth (Whose sermons were inspiring and powerful, though theologically oftentimes inferior to his peers above.)

      There are tons of materials by many of these men above available for free on the Internet, and others you can buy in book form. If you dive into them—and compare their teachings with the Bible, like the Bereans did in Acts chapter 17—then you will be well on your way to spiritual maturity and rapid growth in Christ.

      Ephesians chapter 4 explains that we ALL need five-fold ministry gifts to mature and “perfect” us (even we ministers continuously need that, because none of us will be perfect in this life, we just strive toward perfection in Christ). So by comparing the above preachers with the Word of God, and each other, you can gain that “perfecting” input without any concern that you are “feeding/grazing” within the shadow of a wolf.

      Of course, please continue to avail yourself of the teaching we have posted on our own websites. Also consider the works of Ravi Zacharias and Ray Comfort, who I mentioned above.

      I also recommend the ministry of Dwayne Sheriff, who is a RHEMA graduate but considered a “black sheep” among those circles—which is a good thing. (This is because, in his own words, “I won’t bow down and pray three times a day toward Tulsa Oklahoma.”) He is Charismatic, but NOT Charismaniac. I have a relative who attends Dwayne’s church, and I have met with him myself a few times briefly. I have also listened to enough of his teaching to be very comfortable in his integrity and adherence to the Word of God to the best of his ability. (Again, none of us is omniscient.) He also offers video his website for free, and he has even had a free CD ministry (originally a free tape ministry) for many years, in which he literally gives away his materials instead of selling them (an unusual characteristic these days, for sure). One word of caution, however, if you have kids: In his church, the children are dismissed right before the main teaching begins. So he often discusses topics (even as tangent topics) during his messages that are a bit too mature for little ears to hear, though the discussions themselves are not crass or vulgar at all.

      Here are some links for all the modern preachers mentioned above:

        Living Waters and Way of the Master (Ray Comfort; the latter link has free videos and downloads thereon too.)
        Ravi Zacharias International Ministries
        Dwayne Sheriff Ministries

      Since these last three are modern ministries, these will typically give you sound teaching in reference to the current events of our modern age. (And I know of others, thankfully; but since I have provided you so many suggestions herein already I will limit the list of modern ministers to only three for now, plus our own stuff, of course.) The “old-timers” above will give you time-tested teaching/preaching by which you can safely build your foundations, and even judge the modern ministers’ doctrine (including my own). Compare everything with your Bible, however. That is of utmost importance.

      I hope this helps you, Terence! (And, of course, I hope it also helps others reading this).

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  17. Terence says:

    Hi Rich, thanks for the swift replies. I will definitely have a look at the list of the preachers online. I wasn’t aware that to repent means to turn away from your sins, I thought repentance was just admitting that you are guilt and that you need a saviour. The reason I say that is because since salvation is a free gift you don’t need to add your works [repentance] to be saved. Again thanks Rich for taking out time to answer my question.

    • Repentance is not a “work” in and of itself, Terence. It is a complete humbling of the soul, and a change of heart. It is to be either accompanied or followed by faith in the One true Savior, Jesus Christ, in order for the person to be saved. (There have been people throughout history who have been convicted of their sins, but never expressed faith in Jesus; and thus, they remained unsaved.)

      Then, appropriate “works” will follow repentance and genuine faith, because ALL genuine faith results in works. For example, do you “believe” you have a job? Then you will get yourself ready for work at the appropriate time, and go to your place of employment. Do you “believe” the chair in front of your desk will hold your body weight? Then you will sit thereon. If, however, you cease to believe either of these, your corresponding actions will change accordingly as well. You will not show up at work, because you believe you are fired or laid off. You will not sit in the chair, because you believe you will fall on the floor and risk injury. Here are a few passages that explain this faith/works nexus:

      This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men. (Titus 3:8, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?…Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (An excerpt from James 2, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      Please note that the above passage was extremely irritating to Martin Luther. He understood the fact that when the New Testament discusses “works of the law” verses faith, it does so in reference to people trying to earn their righteousness. However, Luther could not grasp the fact that faith ALWAYS results in corresponding “good works.” Thus, he wanted to have the Book of James excluded from the Lutheran canon of Scripture. (Thankfully, he was unsuccessful.) What Luther needed to do was to study more closely to see that the discourse above, written through the apostle by the Holy Spirit, was in complete conformity with what Paul preached. Note first what Paul wrote in Ephesians in this very familiar passage (given here in a fuller context), and then what he said his Gospel presentation consisted of within TWO passages from the Book of Acts:

      For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      From Miletus he [Paul] sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church. And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews; how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (An excerpt from Acts 20, NKJV, emphasis and bracketed note mine)

      [Paul speaking:] “Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance. For these reasons the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me . Therefore, having obtained help from God, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said would come—that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (An excerpt from Acts 26, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      Paul preached EVERYWHERE that men should “repent, turn to God [i.e. have genuine faith], and do works befitting [i.e. corresponding to, or appropriate for] repentance.” Or as Ephesians explained, Paul’s message explained that faithless “works” cannot save a person, but that once a person is saved he or she is “recreated in Christ Jesus” FOR good works, which God prepared beforehand “that we should walk in them.”

      Why? Because, as I said above, genuine faith always has corresponding works. A “faithless” works cannot get you to sit in a chair, for you may profess that you “believe” it will hold you, but your works betray your actual beliefs. A “faithless” works cannot save you, because despite your profession in Jesus as your Savior, you are trying to still “earn” your righteousness. However, a person who has genuinely repented of their sins, and put their faith in Jesus Christ alone as his or her source of righteousness, will be born again. Such a person will “practice righteousness” (1 John chapter 3) because the nature of God is now in them. So a genuine faith will DEMONSTRATE good works, and thus, prove the heart-level change that occurred in the born again person. A “faithless” religious pursuit of righteousness through works (e.g. such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other groups do) will prove that the person does NOT have a genuine faith in the REAL Jesus Christ, because they are trying to “earn” something that the Lord offers freely to those who repent and receive His salvation by faith.

      Now to emphasize the need for repentance in order to be born again, here are just a few MORE Scriptures that state that repentance is essential to salvation:

      Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”…Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
      Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.”
      (An excerpt from Luke 24, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
      Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
      (An excerpt from Acts 2, NKJV, emphasis mine)

      Note that Jesus said that “repentance for the remission of sins” was to be preached to all nations. Note also that Peter directly confronted the sins of his audience, in the light of God’s holy Law (i.e. “Thou shalt not murder,” the Sixth of the Ten Commandments). This brought conviction of sin which “cut” them “to the heart” and caused them to cry out, “What shall we do?” What was Peter’s answer? “Just believe!” NO! It was obvious that they already believed what he said, because they were convicted of their sins. So what did they need to do? “REPENT!” he shouted, and then told them they would need to put their faith into action by appropriate “good works” that demonstrated the sincerity of their faith.

      For a listing of all the MANY passages of the New Testament that discuss the word “repent” (in its various forms) CLICK HERE. You will readily see how much that is emphasized by the Bible, and why it is SURELY necessary for salvation.

      Not every passage dealing with salvation specifically states something about repentance, but it is implied by that passage, for it is taught throughout the entire Bible (i.e. not just the NT). For that matter, not every passage dealing with salvation specifically states something about faith either. Are we to conclude that faith is unnecessary, when the rest of the Bible attests that it is critical for salvation? Of course not. It is clearly implied in ANY passage that deals with salvation, just as repentance is as well, because the whole Bible explains that faith is required by God to receive His grace.

      Again, a close study of Acts chapter 8 will demonstrate that the ONLY thing that Simon the Sorcerer was missing was genuine repentance. Thus, he did not get born again, and he was counted among the “bad fish” that the Gospel “net” brought into the Church:

      [Jesus speaking:] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV)

      Of course, when you talk about the requirement of repentance for salvation, then some people get really upset about such an idea. However, when people display hostility toward the concept of repentance, it indicates that they have NOT repented themselves; and thus, are likely not born again. This is even true with some professed “Reformed theology” adherents and pseudo “Calvinists.” Such people betray that they are religiously zealous, but not according to knowledge (Romans 10:2); and that they have not likely experienced the new birth, despite their doctrinal arguments and claims otherwise. Note what Charles Spurgeon (considered a genuine Calvinist) said about such things:

      …And, first, the Word of the Lord becomes a burden in the reception of it. I do not think that any man can ever preach the Gospel aright until he has had it borne into his own soul with overwhelming energy. You cannot preach conviction of sin unless you have suffered it. You cannot preach repentance unless you have practiced it. You cannot preach faith unless you have exercised it. You may talk about these things—but there will be no power in the talk unless what is said has been experimentally proven in your own soul.

      It is easy to tell when a man speaks what he has made his own, or when he deals in secondhand experience. ‘‘Son of man, eat this roll’’—you must eat it before you can hand it out to others. True preaching is artesian—it wells up from the great depths of the soul. If Christ has not made a well within us, there will be no outflow from us. We are not proper agents for conveying the Truth of God to others, if Divine Grace has not conveyed it to us. (An excerpt from “The Burden of the Word of the Lord” by Charles Spurgeon)

      Does this clarify things for you? I probably should copy/paste this over into the post editor, and build it out into a new article. I believe it would help people if I did. (And I should demonstrate that belief by corresponding works, should I not?) ;)

      Thanks for your excellent questions Terence!

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  18. Terence says:

    Hi Rich thanks for your answers on the key issues in Christianity. I can’t resist asking questions. What are your views on replacement theology? Bearing in mind that, people can be Zionist all they want, they can say all the wonderful things about Israel, but if these people don’t believe in Jesus and the majority (Israelites) still don’t they will perish. Paul and Jesus made clear of this.

    I get irritated (I am being Honest) when people like John Hagee come on TV and say that we should imitate Israel’s tradition and love them above all nations. I understand God has a plan for Israel and he is not finished with them, but surely to suggest that I should love Israel more than other countries and hate the Middle East (this is implied, he usually says God will destroy Israel’s enemies) is not logical in biblical and secular terms. Are we not supposed to love anyone unconditionally?

    Peace Always

    Terry

    • Terence, I just love your questions. You are doing great, my friend. Keep the studies going, and the questions coming. I’ll answer them as quickly as my schedule allows. :)

      “Replacement theology” (the belief that the Church replaced Israel in God’s plan of redemption) is in error. “Dual Covenant theology” (the believe that Israel has its own covenant with God separate from the NT, and therefore, have their own way of salvation) is pure heresy. This latter one is what John Hagee believes, as has been documented by many other websites on the Internet.

      He, and some of his similarly-minded friends, have denied this, of course. However, what people really believe is demonstrated by their actions and teaching, regardless of what rhetoric they use in reply to confrontation (e.g. Luke 6:45 and James 2:14-26). John Hagee, Mac Hammond, the Copelands, George Pearsons, & etc., have demonstrated that they hold to “dual covenant” theological beliefs (and again, others have done a marvelous job documenting these things on the Internet elsewhere).

      First, the “replacement theology” is shown to be error (not heresy, but error) in the fact that the NT distinguishes between three people groups upon the earth today: Jews, Gentiles, and the Church of God, i.e. those redeemed out of the first two groups through Jesus Christ (or in Hebrew, Yeshua Ben David, Ha Meshiach). Here is a sample passage for this point:

      Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God… (1 Corinthians 10:32, NKJV)

      So “Replacement theology” is incorrect and in error, because what God did was to create “one new man out of the two, making peace” between Jew and Gentile in Christ Jesus (see Ephesians chapter 2). The Church of God did not “replace” anybody. We are “new creatures” in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

      On the other hand, “dual covenant theology” is outright heresy because it denies that Jesus is the sole source of salvation. Like every other heresy, such adherents (as John Hagee) conveniently overlook COPIOUS quantities of Scripture in order to “cherry pick” a few upon which to build their false doctrine. As St. Augustine correctly pointed out, “Pride is the mother of all heresies” and thus, we can readily see WHY they would dare to advance such blatantly false doctrines. Most such false teachers propagating the “dual covenant theology” (in either word or deed) are likely also Freemasons (secretly, of course) because “dual covenant” doctrine fits well with their Cabala teachings and Deist beliefs.

      That said, here are a few passages that show that the OT “Law” (Torah in Hebrew) was completely incapable of saving anyone then, and thus, cannot save anyone today. ALL people—Jew and Gentile alike—must accept God’s sacrificial “Lamb” as their sole source of salvation, because their own works will profit them nothing before our Just and Holy God:

      Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV)

      Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
      But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.
      (Romans 3:19-24, NASB)

      We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16, NKJV)

      But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:23-25, KJV)

      God created the Law in-part to point the way to the Messiah, Who is Jesus Christ (there were other practical reasons for the Law of Moses as well). The Law was never a means to salvation, for even those who were counted righteous within the Old Testament were counted so because of their faith in God’s mercy and promises (e.g. see Romans chapter 4).

      Thus, in closing: Those who teach “replacement theology” are in error, and their ability to reach the lost among the Jewish people is VERY hampered because of this errant view of Scripture. Such teaching tends to promote bigotry and antisemitism as well.

      Those who teach and/or demonstrate a belief in “dual covenant theology” (such as John Hagee and many of his friends) are heretics, and are driven by motives other than those that are characteristic of true men of God (e.g. pride). They are likely Freemasons as well, as there is very little reason for someone to “embrace” that heretical doctrine apart from having other heretical beliefs “supporting” such views. Thus, such people are either apostates, or were never truly born again.

      I hope that helps you, once again, Terence! Thank you for your questions, my friend. I am always pleased to answer sincere questions from sincere inquirers. (The others, I merely ignore.) ;)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  19. Nike says:

    May the good Lord continue to bless and enlarge your coast, amen. I have a personal question Sir…

    I was raised in a middle class Methodist family. My parents were not rich but through them I got a godly heritage. The course of my life changed forever when I married this man…He has cheated on me so many times that I’ve actually lost count of the number of affairs…He went as far as infecting me with HIV!… He tells me that as a man, he cheat but as a woman I should remain faithful irrespective. I love God and I have heard many conflicting views on this issue, please advise me as you are directed by the spirit of God.

    [Rich Note: This question was edited because of its content, to make it more appropriate for this website and "Ask Rich" page. Only the "bare-bones" details were left, in order to provide context for my brief reply.]

    • Nike,

      This “Ask Rich” page is NOT the best place for such counsel, and I am not the best person to provide you such counsel anyway since I am not your pastor. Thus, I have edited down your first question post to just the bare-bones so you know that I am addressing you personally. The other details are just not appropriate for this website, though I certainly can understand your pain.

      I will only say here briefly that you have biblical grounds for divorce in such a situation (as you have described it). The Bible is quite clear that if your spouse commits adultery, you have grounds to divorce them (e.g. Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians chapter 7). This applies equally to both male and female spouses, as each owns the other’s body within the bonds of marriage (see 1 Cor. 7) and adultery violates the “one flesh” principle and violates that part of the marriage covenant (see 1 Corinthians chapter 6, and especially verses 15-18).

      So obviously, if your husband has a history of such behavior, you have plenty of grounds to get away from the guy. Given what you described, he would also seem to have serious psychological problems caused by demonic influences (as not only HIV, but demons can be also transmitted/obtained through sexual intercourse). So for your own sanity, health, and spiritual well-being, you would need to divorce him under such circumstances.

      I would also high recommend that you get some of the books by Liberty Savard, a female Christian author with a wonderful revelation about issues that wound and hurt a person’s soul. This is a list of her titles on Amazon, and I recommend personally at least the first two books of her trilogy which begins with “Shattering Your Strongholds,” and then progresses to “Breaking the Power.” I believe these will help you tremendously toward being healed up emotionally from all that you have been through.

      Lastly, I highly recommend that you find a godly female pastor or Christian counselor to talk to who is knowledgeable of such things. Be sure to talk with them to see if that person has their own anti-male issues before you open up too much, however; I have hears of men-hating female counselors who just made things worse for the lady they were “helping” as they projected their own problems upon them. But a good and godly female Christian pastor/counselor in your local area is who you need to be talking to, and NOT to men. That is a more biblically wise and appropriate protocol at this point in your life.

      That’s the best I can do for you: Point you the right direction. Again, this page is not the appropriate forum for such questions, nor am I the right person to talk to for what you need. So please get the books above, and find a good female Christian pastor/counselor to pray with and talk to. Of course, pray and spend time in your Bible as well.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Nike,

      Let me also add here that I am concerned about how you seem to be leaning upon your godly Methodist family upbringing as your Christian heritage. Given the number of terrible decisions you have shared with me (most of of which I edited out of your question above), I highly suggest that you also take the time to study my article, The Supreme Value of Righteousness, prayerfully and in great detail. I share some of my own testimony in there, plus lots of biblical truth.

      Please avail yourself of that resource right away, and then look into the other things that I shared above thereafter.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  20. If anyone reading this “Ask Rich” page has a question about my theological position regarding the “catching away” (i.e. rapture) of the Church in the Last Days, or the timing thereof, please see my reply to that question by “Kathy in Rochester” within the comments of my article When Wolves Remove Their Clothes.

    Please note: Kathy posted several comments on that page, so look for the one where she asks about the rapture specifically in order to see my “short answer” reply.

    Always in Jesus,

    -Rich

  21. Kathy in Rochester says:

    Hi Rich,

    I am trying to go away because I see I am so full of questions and “needing to know” and I don’t want to drive anyone nuts! But I wanted to know is there any truth to reincarnation? Maybe you have already aswered it somewhere on here, just let me know where. I am trying not to sit infront of this computer so often, I feel I am starting to grow roots! “chuckle”

    A yes or no answer will be fine to. I just feel God is not the author of confusion and reincarnation would be too confusing to me.

    Thanks,

    Kathy.

    • Kathy, you may ask all the questions you wish. Please do not feel like you are a both to me or anyone else reading this website. In fact, you probably are asking questions that many people want to know; so in a way, you are helping those people too.

      No, there is NOTHING to reincarnation. That is one of many tricks of satan (whose name I use a lower-case letter for intentionally) to deceive people. Most people who “remember” something that they think is from a “former life” (General Paton is one that comes to mind) were being influenced by demons. They may not be “possessed” (which is a pretty intense condition of demonization) but they are certainly being influenced by such spirits. Obviously, since demons have been around since BEFORE the Garden of Eden (which is another topic that will have to await another day, as I do not have time to cover that here at the moment), they are familiar with historical events, people, places, & etc. So it is easy for them to feed “verifiable” information that impresses the recipient, but is nothing more amazing than a History Channel recap of the same event.

      Some people seek information about their “past lives” from everything from psychics, to hypnotists. Such “experts” operate by demons like the fortuneteller in Acts chapter 16. Thus, if the person (victim) was not demonized BEFORE they showed up for “counseling,” they quickly end up demonized AS A RESULT of seeking such demonic input. A “transference of spirits” takes place, and they walk out deceived into thinking they have some new “information” about themselves, and carrying a demon within their mind/body as well. Sad.

      Let me note here quickly for those reading this who may question the above: I was trained in hypnosis and “Nero Linguistic Programming” (NLP) before I was saved, AND I had practiced witchcraft as a teenager as well. I have long since renounced such things, of course; and I am thoroughly born again…and I mean REALLY born again (it was a dramatic experience for me…see part of my testimony here within this article). So I really do know what I am talking about here, and in regard to the tactics of the many “wolves” masquerading around as “ministers” when they are actually “ministers of satan” (see 2 Corinthians chapter 11).

      I hope this answer helps too, Sis.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  22. Kathy in Rochester says:

    Rich,

    I have read on thewisdomofgold.com the article The Supreme Value of Righteousness. You are concerned with the salvation of souls above everything. That is like a breath of fresh air in the midst of a sea of televangelists that just make it appear as they if do.

    Your answer about reincarnation blessed me. I did not think God was in to that. I would be one confused soul if I had been all kinds of different people before.

    I do wonder about the origins of demons though. But I tell myself I don’t need to know. Wow, me not needing to know something! “smiles”

    I say that because some have said that demons were God’s original creation of people. And God turned His back on them. That would confuse me. Why if that was the case would he not love that creation as much as this creation or not have His own Son die for them as He did for us? Or, are demon spirits the spawns of fallen angels?

    I have wondered about such things since as a kid I read “Pigs in the Parlor” by a couple with the last name Hammond.

    God is sovereign. He is King, and Lord. But if His love fell short for another creation, my heart would sink with the asking of “why”. Thank God for our salvation. And perhaps I should not always need to know EVERYTHING.

    But I do want to know about the mark of the beast. In times past some thought getting a social security number was part of it. Well, as a baby I didn’t get a vote! They got me one anyway. Some say it will be the microchip. Some say fight the drivers licenses that will have the chip in it and fight needing to give your finger print for things because it is bringing it all to pass.

    What exactly will the MARK be? What am I to fight? What am I to be OK with because I do not want to go against the law, I am to be “law abiding”. But as one such as the radio talk show guy Alex Jones basically says, we are to come against this whole new world order system that is being “set up” even as we speak.

    I just wish I had a teaching on when to be a law abiding good hearted citizen, and when I am to put my foot down in the name of my God and for the future of my family and country.

    I think these fake televangelists are part of this new world order. They are like the pacifier for the Christian mouth to keep us all quiet and focused on just certain things like our personal “victory” in life, when there is so much at stake.

    Please advise, and may many more like you rise up to come forth and proclaim boldly what is true. So many years I listened to the flock of preachers on stations like TBN thinking they were God’s spokes people on the earth and looking up to them. Now I so want righteousness to be proclaimed and the fakes to be shown for what they really are. I mean their fruit will reveal the truth once that fruit is exposed. I mean things like two famous preachers on TBN getting divorced because they had an affair with each other?! I can’t prove that to be true or not, but the more I see and hear, the more I cry out for Godly men and women to come forth and for the Lord to put to an open show the fake preachers that we once held in such high regard.

    Thank you,

    Kathy.

    • Thank you again, Kathy, for the kind comment. I took the liberty to link the title of my article within your comment, to the article itself. I thought that would be convenient for people reading this thread.

      Yep, the salvation of souls is what it is all about? Jesus said, “What good will it do for a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26, and again in Mark 8:36). So I think it is appropriate to ask, “What good does it do to ‘teach’ a man something without first ensuring that he is saved?” I often wonder about so-called “ministers” who are nothing more than “positive mental attitude seminar speakers” because they do little to nothing to confront sin, and address the state of their hearers’ salvation. Oh, sure…they might do an “alter call” right after teaching on “how to have your best life now.” But is that a biblical presentation of the Gospel of Christ. NO! So in effect, such things are nothing more than whitewash upon a flimsy wall, as the Lord told the prophet, Ezekiel:

      13:10 “‘Because they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, “Where is the whitewash you covered it with?” (NIV)

      You addressed some questions to me within this last post that I will have to take my time to answer, however. I am prepping to begin a new book project, so my time will be somewhat limited. I will say here that I agree with your statement, “I think these fake televangelists are part of this new world order.” Since most are Freemasons or are “good buddies” with such people, that is likely true about 90% or more of the time. However, there are a few on TV that I think may be good folks with pure intentions. I will refrain from naming names here, however, in case one decides to prove me wrong. :o

      “Pigs in the Parlor” is a Pentecostal classic, for sure. It is also a good example of how poorly they put their theology together at times. There are merits to that text, but lots of assumptions and errors too. So to be frank, it is NOT on my recommended reading list.

      Regarding the origin of demons: There are a few theories from glimpses that God has given us within the Scriptures. You seem to allude to the “Pre-Adamic Creation” theory, which is based mostly (but not entirely) upon a comparison between Genesis 1:2 and Jeremiah’s vision starting at 4:23. This theory has merit, but is not the only one out there. Further, if such a population existed, they were likely NOT created according to God’s Own Image like man was. Thus, the concept of “if His love fell short for another creation” is misapplied, because they would have been a different class of created beings. Like Lucifer (and probably with him…see Isaiah 14 and Revelation 12:4), they fell, and their fate is already decided. Regardless of their origin, however, like the angels, there is no redemption for demons (see 1 Peter 1:12 and James 2:19, and then compare that with what the demons said to Jesus in Matthew 8:29).

      Nevertheless, let me please point out that God saw fit to be a bit vague within His Scriptures on such topics, so no theory is conclusive. Since the Lord did not “major” on this topic, then it would be best to “minor” on it yourself. There are more important subjects to study in order to be sound in the faith, while this topic is more of a theological curiosity or side issue. At some point I may write on the subject within a book as a related side issue to a more comprehensive topic, such as the reality of Hell. For now, however, don’t sweat it, Kathy. It is not an important issue, and thus, should not be the focus of much of your time.

      Well, that’s about all the answers I can provide for now. I will try to get to some of your other topics in due season. Some might have to be addressed in full-length articles later, however.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  23. Kathy in Rochester says:

    Rich,

    Thank you. I will wait patiently for the other answers. But if you do see something that may be “most likely” what is to be considered the mark of the beast….SEND OUT AN ALARM!!! I mean I heard things like they want to microchip seniors with dementia and also military personnel. Sounds like a good plan to provide HELP when needed. But what if things accepted for our good and welfare can turn ugly quick! I don’t want to disobey the Word and accept something I shouldn’t or encourage an elderly parent to be chipped for in case she goes missing.

    Thank you.

    • Oh, I did forget to address that part briefly. Forgive me. Yes, the microchip in the hand or forehead is already planned. The technology is there, and already in use on animals, U.S. fighter pilots, & etc.

      However, there is good news about all of this End Times stuff, which you can read about here in this post: Economics, Gold, and The Word of The Lord (Part 2)

      In fact, the good news I have only briefly elaborated upon within the above post should be exciting for most Christians (some might want to argue it, however, and thus, not be excited about it). On the other hand, it will be absolutely shocking and horrific news to those within the New World Order (NWO) groups who think they will soon rule the world together.

      So read it, and be encourage thereby. Feel free to post comments/questions underneath it also; but again, keep in mind I may be a bit slower to respond with answers if you any ask “biggie” questions. ;)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • Kathy in Rochester says:

        Rich,

        I followed your link and read it. I now am not feeling it will be as scary as so many preachers and movies portrayed it to be. (it being antichrist and last days happenings). I don’t know if you know about Alex Jones from Radio and such, but he opened my eyes to many things. Like Bohemian Grove and NWO and such. I feel he is right about so many Christians thinking that they are just going to be raptured out before they could see anything bad happening, and that point of view makes us lazy and uncaring about what goes on around us. (I think you mentioned the same thing)

        I have been set straight on many things. I am calmer, and for the better; now that I have learned many things you have spoken about.

        Thank you.

  24. Terence Lunt says:

    Hi Rich, I really want to thank you for the list of preachers that you gave me; I have had a look at it and its great. I really like John Bunyan and Charles H. Spurgeon, can’t believe such valuable material is free. I appreciate the work you are doing for Christ through your websites and may the Lord continue to show you grace and more revelations!

    • You are VERY welcome, Terence. I am thrilled that you have been blessed by the rich treasures available within the writings of those men–Bunyan and Spurgeon in particular (my two favorites also).

      Thank you for popping back to update us, and for your kind encouragement. Blessings to you sir!

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  25. john brooks says:

    Hi Rich

    I asked this over at the wolves in sheep clothing post, so maybe it is more appropriate here regarding K. Copland’s adherance to Jesus having to be ‘reborn’ or subject to Satan for 3 days, or as some say “Jesus died spiritually”.

    What do you feel on this, let alone the 3 days spoken of in the Bible after Jesus death on the cross?

    • I am actually working on replying to your other question post under the “wolves” article now. Give the numerous questions/points you made, it is taking me a while to respond. But be a bit patient with me, and I will have a robust reply on there soon for you.

  26. Victor says:

    Hi Rich,

    What is your position on “tithing”? Do you believe that tithing is commanded for New Testament Christians?

    Also just an FYI… Tithing expert Russell Earl Kelly has refuted Kenneth Copeland on the issue of tithing here:

    http://www.tithing-russkelly.com/id173.html

    Thanks you!

    Victor

    • Victor, I can say without ANY reservation…that my understanding of tithing differs dramatically from Creflo Dollar’s murderous and heretical version! Take a look at Creflo Dollar Says: “Shoot Them All Dead”, an article written by my wife with a little input from me, for the details of that mad man’s doctrine.

      As to my own position, it would take quite a bit of text to flesh it out thoroughly. So I hesitate to get into that topic on only “one foot” (so to speak) and give people the wrong impression. Here are a few key points, however, which I will share for now:

      (1) Tithing is NOT required for salvation (as Creflo Dollar seems to think)
      (2) Tithing will NOT guarantee that you will “miss Hell” (as Creflo Dollar also seems to think)
      (3) Modern church government/methods are based on business models, not biblical models; and the “tithe” is viewed as the “revenue” for the corporation (a grievous paradigm).
      (4) Thus, the “tithe” is viewed as belonging to the office of a pastor alone…and let the other four ministry gifts of Ephesians 4 just fend for themselves (which is wrong).
      (5) Tithing is a NT principle (e.g. note Hebrews chapter 7, wherein our resurrected Jesus is portrayed as “receiving” tithes even today) but NOT in the manner taught by 95% or more of pastors, and especially NOT as the “prosperity” cult leaders (e.g. Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, etc.) like to teach it as they appeal to people’s greed.

      Now, my answer above probably leaves more questions that answers (chuckle) but again, it would take LOTS of text to flesh that out. Furthermore, I am in the midst of praying and studying through several other viewpoints on the topic as a part of a wider study of biblical church government and structures. Thus, it would be premature to get into that without the other context…and without the full study being complete. In short, I may come out with a book that covers a wide range of church life eventually (to include the tithe topic), but that is a way off since I am working on other things right now.

      Thanks for popping by and asking the question, however. I did quickly check out that link above, and would disagree with his “OT only” position because it can be proven otherwise (i.e. within a fuller exegesis). But I will examine his approach more fully later when I have more time.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • Friend in Rochester says:

        Rich,

        Thank you for “praying and studying through” instead of just giving quick answers! I respect you for that! “smiles” I had the same question as Victor did too!

        Kathy.

      • Victor says:

        Hi Rich,

        Thank you for responding to my question. In my opinion, the doctrine of tithing is the very foundation of the prosperity gospel. Let me respond to your 5th point and regarding Russ Kelly’s work.
        In doing so, I by no means find fault with you and your are doing an awesome job in exposing false teachers. Your ministry is unique and it needs to continue until Jesus comes.

        In your response:

        (5) Tithing is a NT principle (e.g. note Hebrews chapter 7, wherein our resurrected Jesus is portrayed as “receiving” tithes even today)

        It is about Hebrews 7:8

        In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on.

        1. In the Greek “he” is not there. This verse is about Melchizadek and not Jesus.

        2. Tithing is not the primary subject of Hebrews 7 but the author’s intent was to prove the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood to the Levite priesthood by comparing Jesus with Melchizadek. Hence Jesus’ sacrifice is superior to animal sacrifices offered by the Levites. The author of Hebrews want to make a point about the superiority of Jesus’ priesthood and in that process he mentions about tithing as a passing (incidental) remark.

        3. Hebrews 7 does not command Christians to tithe.

        Other facts about tithing:

        a)Tithing was only from food and livestock even in the OT but never referred to earned income (money).

        b) Jews tithed 23.3% in 6 years and in the 7th year they did not.

        c) There were 3 different tithes in the OT (all of them related to eating the tithes)

        By God’s grace I did some research about Church Father’s believed about tithing. They are in my blog.

        Again I commend your great work and thank God for using you!

        I just wanted to bring the topic of tithing to your attention because you can do a far greater and better job than others if you have that ammunition!

        God Bless You!

        Love in Jesus!

        Victor

    • Hello again, Victor! :)

      I suspected from your first comment/question that you would be back to offer another perspective. That is fine, of course. Dialog is good. However, please understand that I cannot afford too much time to dialog with you endlessly on this topic. Again, I have a full plate, and this subject is something that I plan to address more fully sometime later.

      So let me please post a “quick” response, and let’s not get into an argument here on this thread (which your kind comments in your last post tend to imply you are not wanting to do either). I will use your ordinal numbers to answer, and people reading my reply can compare it with your sequence.

      1. The Greek word “ekei” is there in Hebrews 7:8, and means “there, in or to that place” by itself, but in context, “there he [receives them]” is the proper translation. You can view the Strong’s numbers here: http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=Hbr&c=7&v=1&t=KJV#top So technically, you may be correct; but textually, it seems to be at least implied.

      That said, your point is irrelevant. The discussion is Jesus in that passage, and NOT Melchizedek. This is indicated by the phrase, “of whom it is witnessed that he lives.” That is the Greek word “zaō” and means “to live, breath, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead).” That does NOT apply to Melchizedek, but ONLY our resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ. Old “Mel” is dead. Here “men that die [i.e. are mortal] receive tithes” and the comparison is with the One Who never dies, Who is also “there.” Who does the church “witness” is alive? Melchizedek? Not me! I preach about the resurrected Jesus.

      Thus, you cannot throw out that passage as not referring to Jesus, because it clearly does.

      2. I agree with you that tithing is NOT the main subject of Hebrews chapter seven. I never said it was, and agree that it was a minor point made within the context of a major one (though I consider ANY passage of Scripture as being God’s Word, and thus, important in its own right). I referenced it because it reinforces a point I will make next.

      3. I never said that Hebrews seven “commands” Christians to tithe. My point is that Hebrews seven indicates that the principle of tithing is still conveyed within the NT and did NOT end at the Cross of Christ. However, please note my theological points under the aforementioned “Creflo” article for further points.

      a) You are partially correct. However, you missed passages such as Leviticus 27:31, which I explain more fully in the “Creflo” post. Therein, you will note that God said that the agricultural products could be “redeemed” (i.e. paid for) for 20% over the market price if the people wanted to keep the produce and pay money instead. This likely resulted in monetary payments for those who traveled great distances to come to Jerusalem because it would be cheaper (and easier) to pay the 20% premium than to transport all that stuff to the Temple. Also, note the “heaps” described in 2 Chronicles 31. The description therein would suggest that these tithes (as they were called in that passage, especially v. 6) were not just produce because of the time frame in which they were built, and also the storage that resulted. MUCH of it likely was produce…but such perishables spoil over time; so the context implies MORE than just produce. So you are partially correct that it was primarily agricultural tithes, but quite likely incorrect to insist that it was exclusively such, as there is evidence to conclude otherwise (i.e. with an unbiased view).

      b) There was no tithe on the Sabbatical year, you are correct. I have no idea how you came up with 23.3% however, since the word “tithe” means “tenth” (10%) unless you are doing some strange Calculus that I am not familiar with. ;)

      c) Note Number 10:38:

      And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

      Note the meaning of the Hebrew word for “treasure house,” according to Gesenius’s Lexicon:

      (1) treasure, store, as of corn, food, provision…especially of gold, silver, and other precious things, hence used of the treasury of the temple in 1 Ki. 7:51…

      Now note 1 Kings 7:51:

      So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.

      Note also that Abraham paid “tithes of all” to the aforementioned Melchisedec, which was from the spoil of the kings (and thus, not “fruit” of the earth, but other valuable stuff). In discussing Abraham’s promise from God in reference to the Law that came later, Galatians 3:19 says:

      What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

      So tithing was INCLUDED in the Law, but predated it. Even the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” can rightly be considered a “tithe” (of sorts) in that it was the ONLY thing from which Adam could not eat, of all that God gave him. Thus, the “law” of tithing was actually a “principle” that we can find (literally) from Genesis to Revelation (as I will elaborate on more fully toward the close of this reply).

      Thus, your point about “eating tithes” is partially true, but not entirely.

      Church Fathers: I will check that out sometime, when I approach this topic more specifically. However, I am quite sure I can find reference to early church fathers who supported the concept.

      Let me note in closing a couple of points:

      (1) As I mentioned above, tithing was pre-Law (e.g. mentioned first with Abraham), under the Law, and Eternal (Revelation 21:24-26). The Greek word for “glory” in that passage of Revelatioin is “doxa” which can mean “a thing belonging to God.” The Greek word translated as “honor” in those passages is “timē” and means “a valuing by which the price is fixed…of the price itself” and comes from a Greek word meaning “to pay.” Thus, the nations will bring “what belongs to God” and “pay” it in the New Jerusalem. What belongs to Him? Tithes, offerings, etc., are all listed in the Bible among this class.

      (2) Things from the OT under the Law come to the Cross of Christ and do one of three things: Stop there; pass through, but are altered; or pass through relatively unchanged. The determining factor is what the NT says about those things. Thus, animal sacrifices stopped, because the Lamb of God was slain and took away the sins of the world. Methods of worship continued, but were changed because the Lord wanted worship “in spirit and in truth.” The Tithe (and a few other things) continued relatively unchanged (except for a grace-based context).

      The NT supports that idea about the tithe clearly, because it NEVER says that tithing was cancelled at the Cross. You have pointed out that the NT does not “command” tithing…which is TRUE. But you have not pointed out ANY Scripture (because there is none that explicitly says this, or which can reasonably be considered to infer) that tithing has been abolished. Thus, we can understand that the NT does not “command” it because the OT already did, and the early NT saints seemed merely to have continued the practice in support of the widows, the orphans, the spreading of the Gospel, & etc.

      However, again the modern concept “business model” churches is unbiblical and ungodly, and the tithing principle has been grossly distorted by such money-centric philosophies. The “prosperity-cult” took that even further, and made “tithing” an alleged “ATM” for the Christian…but which was really an ATM for only the wolf preachers!

      If Jesus is the Lord of the tithe ( and again, Hebrews 7:8 indicates that He truly is), then He tells a person where to put it. It should go to the needy (according to Scripture), as well as toward the propagation of the Gospel. But in the latter case, it can go directly to a faithful teacher of the word (Galatians 6:6), a street evangelist, or even directly into stuff like tracts, equipment, etc. I also believe the Lord may on occasion tell the person to “eat” or “spend” their tithe because they need it, and in the NT we are “not under law, but under grace” and have relationship with the Lord that the “nations” (including Israel) never knew anything about.

      Further, it does NOT have to be paid to the “local church” (i.e. that is not required, as is so often taught today; the modern definition of “local church” is also not biblical anyway) and certainly does NOT belong exclusively to the pastor’s office (which is only mentioned ONCE in the NT, the other 4 being mentioned and emphasized far more than pastors).

      So in closing, that’s as much as I am getting into this topic for now. People reading this can pop over to your website by clicking on your name, and read what you have there for themselves and give it some consideration. But I cannot afford any more time for this topic right now, as I have other projects in process.

      Thanks for your input, however! Thank you also for your encouragement and kind remarks. :D

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  27. Rose says:

    Dear Rich
    I was just passing through your website, although here in UK I am only vaguely aware of the Copelands (which sounds a good thing from some of the comments here). I was thrilled to see that you are investigating the biblical basis for tithing, as it has been a particular ‘thing’ of mine for about three years now. Suffice to say that I changed my mind about it after looking at all the biblical texts on it. May your studies be very very fruitful and I would love to read your final thoughts on it in due course.
    With every blessing

    • Thank you, Rose, for the wonderful comment. Sorry for the slowness in approving it and replying, however. I have been a bit busy today.

      I have a good friend in the UK, so I am very pleased to have another sibling in Christ pop over from there to visit my website. ;) Blessings back to you, and please pop back anytime.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  28. Connie Ann says:

    Pastor Rich..I wish I could have a Pastor like You in Minnesota..Do You have any fellow Pastor Friends up my way In Minneapolis, Minnesota?? I’d love to find a new Truthful, BIBLE based, Humble, Serious, Joy of The Lord Church for me..Thank you..PS I like the smaller churches so I can fellowship with people..How do You get close to 5,000 congregation member churches..You are Very Serious about the TRUTH and I love it..

    • Connie, I am not aware of any churches up there that come to readily mind and which I could recommend. However, I will give the matter some prayer and perhaps check with some of my ministry friends to see if they know of any. If I do discover one, I will email you directly using the address you provided when submitting your question.

      I agree with you that smaller churches are better for fellowship. In fact, to be frank (and I should probably write on this soon), the modern concept of “church” is not biblical, but is rather based upon secular business models. The “pastor” is the CEO; the leadership structure is hierarchical (which is pagan in origin, and not biblical); they “sell” a products and services, intended to make people “feel good” rather than get saved; (and on, and on…). Thus, it is hard to find a “good” church today because the model is flawed to begin with, and it tends toward corrupting pastors into becoming mere hirelings (though there are some good men and women out there who do try to be good shepherds of God’s people despite the poor ministry model they work within). Smaller churches have less problems along these lines, because smaller budgets tend to allow more freedom for the pastors to be genuine godly teachers instead of “feel good” hirelings trying to support opulent salaries and budgets (or worse yet, wolves). Plus you can observe the pastor more directly as you check out their character and “fruit” to see if they are genuinely concerned about the welfare of God’s people and propagation of His Truth.

      Thank you for the question, and I hope my brief reply is somewhat helpful. Thank you also for the encouragement. You are a blessing. Please come back anytime. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  29. Victor says:

    Hi Rich,

    Thank you so much for your response regarding my 2nd tithing comment. Rest assured, I won’t bother you with another tithing question.

    Here is a different question:

    Are you still a Charismatic? Have you become a cessasionist since you have left KC? I have heard about some people who have left the word of faith movement have become cessasionists.
    If you are still a Charismatic, do you think the word of faith movement has hijacked the Charismatic movement?

    Thanks in advance!

    Victor

    • A very good question, Victor.

      No, I am NOT a Cessasionist. That is a rather blasphemous heresy, actually. It essentially calls God a liar, because His Word says that He never changes (i.e. He is Eternal and outside of time) and Jesus said that He would never leave us, nor forsake us. To say that He does not do miracles or supernatural things today is to assert that He has either changed His Eternal nature (which is logically impossible) or that He no longer loves (in Greek, agape or agapao) His people (which heinous assertion attacks God’s very character). In either case, it is blasphemous.

      Consequently, there are really very few bona fide “Cecassionists” today, as most people have enough sense to see through that to identify the blasphemy. Most are either quasi-Cessassionists (i.e. believe that God can do miracles today, and perhaps does once in a while…but they have “never seen one” and they doubt about every account of others, who believe they experienced one); or they are pseudo-Cessationists (i.e. just endorse such doctrine hypocritically in order to cover the fact that their spiritual life is non-existent). However, these variants are just as blasphemous by implication as the full-blown heresy itself, though they are a bit more “sugar coated” in order to hid this fact.

      Those that are “former Charismatics” have in many cases never been truly filled with God’s Spirit. Many were never born again in the first place (as false converts abound in the Church in general, and among Charismatics in particular). Thus, they were NEVER filled with the Holy Spirit as the world cannot receive Him (John 14:17). They spoke in gibberish, and NOT other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance (Acts 2:4). So when they wake up one day to realize that their entire spiritual life is a farce, they blame it upon Charismatic/Pentecostal theology, rather than realizing it is their OWN experience that is faulty. It never occurs to many of them that they were never saved.

      Of course, the above fact is greatly the fault of the preachers and their poor theology, in that they overemphasize Charismatic doctrines (or in many cases, doctrinal errors and heresies) and fail to properly emphasize the fundamentals of the Christian faith. So the biggest blame needs to be assigned to the preachers of “Charismania” and not those poor souls who were befuddled by such a pitiful grade of doctrine. (Let me quickly recommend here my article regarding the Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine for those who would like to understand how to identify good teaching.)

      So in short: I am STILL a tongue-talking, devil-rebuking, healing-believing, miracle-experiencing, BIBLE-BELIEVING, Spirit-filled Christian. I usually do not use the terms “Pentecostal” or “Charismatic” to describe myself, however, because of all the foolishness associated with such labels (i.e. because of the wolves and idiots). I prefer to simply use the term “Spirit-filled” instead, as that is a bit more generic and points toward the person’s attention towards the presence of the Spirit of God in my life, and the Bible’s account of such a manner of living in Christ.

      I do agree that the WoF movement heavily influenced the Charismatic movement for both good and evil. It started off somewhat good…but went downhill quickly, as wolves like Kenneth Copeland took the movement down the “broad way that leads to destruction”:

      Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

      Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:13-20, NKJV)

      So now, more than a few of us are working by God’s grace to get “Charismania” back under the influence of God’s Word and sound doctrine, so that people can be saved, delivered, and winning the world for Christ by both their godly conduct in Christ AND their solid presentation of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      I trust this answer helps! Thanks for popping back by, Victor.

      Always in Jesus,

      —Rich

    • Victor, let me add to what I wrote previously above the following note: Not only is there an epidemic of false converts within the Church (and Charismania in particular), but this is ALSO a problem among the ministers! In other words, one of the reasons there is so much fakery and nonsense among Charismaniac “ministers” is that many of them are unsaved. Thus, they have to fake miracles and prophecies, because they have not the Spirit of God. Here is what the Book of Jude in the Bible had to say about that:

      These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
      Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
      These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

      Or, as the great evangelist, George Whitefield (1714-1770), explained it during the days of the Great Awakening:

      Unconverted Ministers, by George Whitefield

      The Lord enabled me to open my mouth boldly against unconverted ministers; to caution tutors to take care of their pupils; and also to advise ministers particularly to examine the experience of candidates for ordination. For I am verily persuaded the generality of preachers talk of an unknown and unfelt Christ; and the reason why congregations have been so dead is, because they have had dead men preaching to them. O that the Lord may quicken and revive them, for His own name’s sake! For how can dead men beget living children? It is true, indeed, God may convert men by the devil, if He pleases, and so He may by unconverted ministers; but I believe He seldom makes use of either of them for this purpose. No, the Lord will choose vessels made meet by the operation of the blessed Spirit for His sacred use.

      Unspeakable freedom God gave me while treating on this head. In the afternoon, I preached on the Common to about fifteen thousand people. Just as I had finished my sermon, a note was put up to me, wherein I was desired to pray for a person just entered upon the ministry, but under apprehension that he was unconverted. God enabled me to pray for him with my whole heart; and I hope that note will teach many others not to run before they can give an account of their conversion. If they do, they offer God strange fire.” He preached on Monday at Westfield and Springfield, and on Tuesday at Suffield, to large audiences, and with his usual power. At or near Suffield, he met with a minister, ‘who said it was not absolutely necessary for a gospel minister to be converted’; meaning doubtless, that though conversion was necessary for his salvation, it was not indispensable to his ministerial character and usefulness. This interview gave Whitefield a subject, ‘I insisted much in my discourse upon the change of the new birth, and also the necessity of a minister’s being converted before he could preach Christ aright.

      The word came with great power, and a great impression was made upon the people in all parts of the assembly. Many ministers were present. I did not spare them. Most of them thanked me for my plain dealing. But one was offended; and so would more of his stamp if I were to continue long in New England. For unconverted ministers are the bane of the Christian Church.’ At dinner, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me again, and enabled me to speak with such vigour against sending unconverted persons into the ministry, that two ministers, with tears in their eyes, publicly confessed, that they had laid their hands on young men, without so much as asking them whether they were born again of God or not. After dinner, finding my heart much enlarged, I prayed, and with such power, that most in the room were put under concern.

      So to summarize: Many of those who are “ex-Charismatics” not only awakened to the lack of spiritual substance within their own lives, but could readily see that the same situation was evident in the “preachers” that they were listening too. Thus, they concluded the whole thing was a farce, instead of realizing the “blind were leading the blind” and that they had both fallen into the same ditch together.

      Fake “miracles” and fake “Chasismania” does not detract from the Word of God one bit, and thus, leaves the truth-loving person the responsibility of seeking what is TRUE and righteous, as distinguished from what is false and unholy fakery.

      I have to run for now. I hope this second answer helps to clarify things a bit too.

      Always in Jesus,

      —Rich

  30. Victor says:

    Thanks a lot for the detailed answer Rich. I am really impressed after reading what George Whitefield had preached.

    A related article by Oswald J. Smith

    “You Have Gone To The Inquiry Room, But Are You A New Creature In Christ —A New Creation?” is available here!

    http://romanstennine.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/you-have-gone-to-the-inquiry-room-oswald-j-smith/

    • Amen! That is a great article, Victor. It expresses my own sentiments exactly, as well as those of George Whitefield (and others, who knew their Bibles). Thank you for sharing that.

      Oh, and you are welcome for the detailed answer too. :D

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Victor, I also noticed from incoming traffic that you have a discussion thread going on the tithe issue elsewhere, and that you recently added my second response there. Thank you for encouraging that group to refrain from attacking my Ask Rich page with rebuttals. That is a very courteous of you, and I appreciate your suggested protocol for them to follow. To date, they seem to have complied. :)

      Let me encourage the group, however, to read my latest post “Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine” and understand that I am neither a novice at exegesis, nor do I state my positions without substantiation. I noticed a few that responded to you on your thread were using logical fallacies (especially ad hominem attacks, and begging the question epithet fallacies) in response to my brief comments about tithing back here on this page.

      My position is this: If one cannot state their position clearly, Scripturally, and logically, and such people resort instead to logical fallacies and emotional language to “prove” their arguments, then they really do not have any real arguments. Thus, I would recommend that they study my aforementioned article, and ask themselves if they really have the four critical elements necessary to substantiate their beliefs.

      However, again, I do thank you for your kind comments on that thread about me, and for encouraging them to follow a respectable protocol. Be assured that if any tried to express such emotional and abusive language on my own page here, it would be deleted before I ever completed reading it…and thus, it would never see the light of day on this page.

      You are a blessing, Victor! I cannot say enough how much I appreciate your courtesy, and you good hearted approach to dialog. Thank you. :D

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  31. Friend in Rochester says:

    Thank you Rich for posting my post. I respect you, thank you. Also, thank you for not riping into me. It does seem I look at things one way and then the other. But on one side of the ledger it looks bad, and then there are other things on the other side of the ledger that make you say…..Yea, but if things are completely so…Then how come such and thus?

    Thanks.

    • Howdy, my Friend in Rochester!

      I am actually in a quandary with your post, and am glad you popped back here to post a short comment. Here is what I need you to do:

      First, I need you to MOVE your comment over under When Wolves Remove Their Clothes, as that is a better place for it topically. I have stated here on the Ask Rich page that I am NOT posting new comments/questions about Copeland any longer; and though I reserve the right to make an exception, I am pretty strict about that policy. So if you can still see your comment as “awaiting moderation” within your browser, then do a copy/paste over into the commentary filed underneath that other article (if not, then you will simply have to retype it…sorry about that). Once I see that it is re-posted there, I’ll delete your first one without displaying it here.

      Second, I am working on a pretty major project right now, and am only checking my emails and responding to comments, during occasional breaks. I have just finished responding in detail to another commentary, and will likely not be taking that much time to respond again as it was quite time consuming. Thus, please be patient in awaiting my response. I’ll get to it when I can. It may be tomorrow, or within a few days.

      Thanks for your understanding. And it is good to hear from you again too. I trust you are doing well. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  32. Terence says:

    Hi Rich

    I saw in one of your posts {cant find it anymore, otherwise I would have provided a link}, that you implicitly recommended Ron Paul, for the presidency of America. However I seem to recall in that article, you pointed out his pros but not his cons…. I would like to know how you can defend his idea of abolishing social security? Any serious and sincere person, even if they are against social security they would agree its necessary. I hear that he let his previous campaigner manager die because he did not have health care coverage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8PCHis_PnM&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL.

    Speaking of politics what do you think of Rick Perry? The The Response Prayer Rally?

    Its sad these days, that Godly man can be deceived by these obviously: deviously, cunning, craft, sly, evil and these sons and of daughter Satan.

    I do not get why the so called “born again ” politicians receive so much support from the Christians when they are great deceivers and liars especially Michele Bachmann, why do they tolerate her lying? The same thing happened with Bush, it was very clear that the guy was a great deceiver, but people still CHOSE to be deceived????? and history is repeating itself with Rick Perry, what more does American need before these wolves in sheep clothing destroy the world??? What’s worrying me is that it doesn’t take too much intellectual effort to decipher that these people are crooks!

    • Howdy, Terence! A couple of things in reply:

      First, I am being “low key” on political things these days on this website this time around. I felt impressed in prayer that it would distract too much from our ministry teaching if I took too obvious a position in U.S. politics. I am already dealing with enough controversial topics on RichVermillion.com with regards to theological and ministerial matters, so to add “politics” to the mix might distract some people, who may be predisposed towards partisan politics. That might prevent them from considering what I believe (biblically) to be matters of eternal consequence (and thus, weightier and in need of more emphasis). So the articles you remember are some older ones from the 2007-2008 election cycle, as I have not (at this time) posted any articles political on this website during this election cycle.

      That said, I will briefly address your questions:

      Yes, I would most strongly support Ron Paul morally during this election cycle (though I am not very active in doing so this time around). However, you misstated Ron Paul’s position with regard to Social Security. Thus, what you consider as an immoral thing may be so; but that is NOT what Ron Paul’s position is. You just misunderstand what he believes, and thus, have spoken against something that does not apply to him. Here are a couple of quotes and links to point out some more specifics:

      ” He also believes it is immoral to tax senior citizens twice by requiring them to include Social Security benefits in their gross income at tax time. A first step to eliminating that requirement would be to repeal the 1993 increase in taxes on Social Security benefits. Then we must abolish that tax entirely.” Citation from this page: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/taxes/

      “Notice that neither political party proposes letting people opt out of Social Security, which exposes the lie that your contributions are set aside and saved. After all, if your contributions really are put aside for your retirement, the money is there earning interest, right? If your money is in your “account,” what difference would it make if your neighbor chooses not to participate in the program? The truth, of course, is that your contributions are not put aside. Social Security is simply a tax. Like all taxes, the money collected is spent immediately as general revenue to fund the federal government. But no administration will admit that Social Security is nothing more than an accounting ledger with no money. You will collect benefits only if future tax revenues materialize as hoped; the money you paid into the system is long gone.” The full article is found here: http://www.campaignforliberty.org/node/12272

      In short, the entire Social Security system is a fraud in the USA (and a tax scheme, not a retirement savings system). It is also insolvent, as the retirees will soon begin to outnumber the workers who FUND it through payroll taxes (as the government already spent the money that the previous generations put in there). Ron Paul wants to first eliminate the taxes on Social Security checks (which is an ungodly tax), and then eventually rework the system in such a way as to support senior citizens according to the “contract” that the government made with them (his words)…but in a manner which is sustainable economically. Thus, any and all hype on the Internet that tries to make it appear that Ron Paul is trying to destroy the retirement income of senior citizens is flatly untrue, and based upon misquotes and flat out lies. So please don’t buy into such tripe, Terrence.

      Along those same lines:
      The news video you linked to above was full of logical fallacies, especially the “Straw Man” fallacy that misstates Ron Paul’s positions, and the “Begging the Question Epithet” variant which uses emotion and hype to “convince” people of a point NOT proven logically by facts. The video guy stated simply that Kent Snyder had complications from pneumonia and died with over $400,000 in medical bills, but did so in such a way as to suggest that Kent’s lack of insurance is the REASON for his death (which is not true). The TV guy’s position insinuates clearly what is called in logic a “false dilemma.” The subtle suggestion he makes that either (a) the government takes over the insurance industry to help such people, or (b) people die and/or go bankrupt. That is a “false dilemma” because there are a myriad of other options, several of which have been proposed by Ron Paul (who is a medical doctor, by the way, and knows how these things work). For example:

      (1) Reform medical malpractice law to eliminate much of the wasteful law suits that run up liability premiums for medical professional, thus reducing the cost of health care.
      (2) Improve the free-market system in this realm by reducing needless paperwork in the health field created by overbearing regulation, and let the states supervise their own health systems (which is constitutional, as the US government does not have jurisdiction over health care constitutionally). This reduces health care costs even further, while improving the quality of health care.
      (3) Reduce the TAX BURDEN on everyone, so that charities can once again pick up and help those in need. (This is my point.) You have to understand that prior to recent decades (especially prior to World War Two), MOST of the major hospitals in the USA were run by Christian organizations that would forgive debts on many patients that couldn’t pay. The USA tax system effectively depleted them of their sources of revenue over time, while turning the US government into the “granny” who would take care of the population. Many of the former “church” hospitals are not corporate businesses in essence, and have lost that charitable aspect (though some still have that, as I know of at least one case personally). In short, the Church was deprived of its prerogatives and cannot help people like it once did, and the government is “playing god” in its place.

      Today we have an overcomplicated and over-regulated medical system, that is priced too high for most people, and it ridiculously complex in regards to Federal government interference. (My mother is retired from working in the medical system, so I know of what I speak.) The solution is to REVERSE this trend, and bring the system BACK into constitutional guidelines by kicking the US government out of the health care business, and freeing up the tax system to allow charities to once-again pick up the difference when needed.

      This is essentially Ron Paul’s position (with my added point about the charities), and the guy on the video you provided above misstated the entire situation and thus, lied about Ron Paul. One can easily infer from that fact that the TV guy is either (a) totally misinformed, and spreading his ignorance; or (b) lying intentionally, because he has an ulterior motive (e.g. another political agenda).

      That said: You asked, “[you did not point out] his cons.” That is because PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD, Ron Paul has very few “cons” at all. I agree with his positions 98% of the time, and where I differ it is typically on points of approach and not substance. Here is his “issues” page, with which I agree substantially on virtually all points, and which also includes his statement of faith: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/

      Thus, since I disagree substantively with MOST of the other candidates on MANY issues, I cannot see any benefit to be found in nit-picking minor details about Ron Paul when he would obviously (in my opinion) be so far superior to any alternative that is out there. Few “cons” = few “reasons” to point them out within the context of such political hypocrisy, as is evident within the other candidates (excepting Herman Cain, who is largely unknown).

      Again, Ron Paul PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD is right on 98% of the issues, in my opinion, and FAR MORE biblical in his approaches to the problems the USA faces than ANY other candidate in the field. Thus, he is a threat to MANY groups with ulterior motives and anti-Christ agendas, and thus, he is often misquoted (especially out of context) and misrepresented by those who wish to undermine his candidacy.

      I do not care for Rick Perry at all, as having lived in Texas I am well-aware of his hypocrisy and flaws. However, I will refrain from going into further detail on that because others have documented his errors elsewhere, and I don’t want to wade into that fiasco here on this blog for reasons I already stated above.

      I will simply point out that SUBSTANTIVELY, one can look at ANY of the other candidates (except Herman Cain, who does not have a political record) and see what they REALLY believe (i.e. in contrast to their campaign rhetoric). Thus, one does not have to take the common tactic of using “straw man fallacies” and emotional hype to “discredit” any of them. They simply need to cite the public record accurately, and let the public come to their own conclusions. The opposite is true with Ron Paul, as his public record is 100% in agreement with his public policy statements and campaign speeches. Thus, the need for political opponents to misrepresent the man in an effort to paint him as a heartless villain.

      As far as the “born again” candidates: Jesus said simply “look at the fruit” in Matthew chapter seven. John explained this same concept in this way:

      Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:7-10, NKJV)

      In short, their behavior and history speak much louder than their rhetoric. GENUINE Christians have the fruit that proves that fact, while any hypocrite can put on a show for the cameras…or for that matter, put on a show for a couple of hours on Sunday. If the “pews” are full of unconverted professors of Christianity, why should we expect any less in politics when they are motivated to get elected?

      I hope my reply helps.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  33. Terence says:

    Hi Rich

    Thanks for the reply, I apologize if I came across as rude. American politics is incredibly fascinating to watch, however its sad at the time, because you would expect sound politicians from one of the most powerful nations in the world. However it seems like the politicians all liars and devils.

    Ron Paul has won so many straw polls, how come these guys in the media they never bother to mention his name? What’s their beef with him?

    • Oh, please do not mistake my reply for being angry with you at all, Terence. I did not in ANY way think you were being rude at all, my brother. I was just wanting to refute some of the misinformation you have been exposed to on these subjects.

      The answer to your question about media bias is simple: They hate Ron Paul. Most media pundits are Socialist Liberals (aka, Marxist-light), and most of those that claim to be conservative are actually Socialist Conservatives (i.e. Keynesians). In short, they all want some form of a socialist system in the USA, and they absolutely hate true free market principles.

      In contrast, Ron Paul is a bona fide economist and historian, plus an expert on many of his policies (especially health care, since he is a medical doctor). Thus, his arguments are well-grounded on facts of logic and history; and his monetary science is VERY sound as well. That is TOTALLY unacceptable to people with either Socialist or “New World Order” agendas. They want a big government, and he wants a small one. That is actually how the media and political “establishment” treated Ronald Reagan, but he won anyway: http://www.ronpaul2012.com/2011/10/10/from-outsider-to-leader-of-the-movement/ So the similarities are striking between Reagan and Ron Paul, are they not?

      Anyway…just watch the fireworks from a safe distance and lets see what we end up with in the USA. I have high hopes that Ron Paul may pull this off; but I am not concerned that God our Father will be surprised one bit by the election results, whatever they may be. Since God is eternal, He is also outside of time and already knows what will happen; and has it calculated into His Divine end game. The Lord will return VERY soon (no…I am NOT naming dates…that is stupid and unbiblical, and Harold Camping is both a fool and heretic for doing so); the “signs of the times” indicate that fact. So I am at peace about the matter, and will only lift my proverbial “pen” (i.e. typing on the computer keyboard, such is in my replies) when I feel it is appropriate. I am laying low for the time being in this election cycle other than that, unless the Lord tells me otherwise at some point.

      Thanks for popping back, Bro. “Cheers!” to you and your family there in the UK! :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  34. Ray says:

    Rich, I appreciate what you are doing to expose the apostasy that is in the Body of Christ. I found your blog yesterday and read almost everything in it and gave us insight about what is going on in the circles we have been involved in for years and we have had questions about certain weird manifestations and false prophets. Thank you for the sound biblical truths you give concerning the days we are in. Bless you!

  35. Terence says:

    Hi Rich

    Here we go again, it seems that America preachers right now, want America to attack Iran, believing that, America will get blessings for defending Israel.They also believe that the reason that America has been going down, is for not supporting Israel enough. Rich, do you believe this too?
    It seems more than 95% of preachers believe this.

    I am deeply confused about this whole issue. America has been supporting Israel for a long time and clearly they have not been receiving God’s blessings. America has been a curse upon mankind in the last 50 years: {Hollywood,Satanic music, World -class false preachers, promoting secularism, Pornography, False democracy, Homosexuality}.The biggest threat to Christianity, is the American Christianity, were God is used to satisfy or serve Human beings (abomination).

    American Christianity is truly poison, it sells a God, who is all loving and caring. This is wrong, thousands upon thousands, will wake up in hell because of this. So how have been Americans been blessed for supporting Israel?

    Something is not right!

    • Howdy Terence! Or rather, since you are in the UK, “top of the day to you, gov!” ;)

      No, I do NOT want the USA to attack Iran. No, it is NOT biblical to do so, because we do NOT have a legitimate right to do so.

      Most of the preachers who advocate such tripe are either (a) Ignorant of the Scriptures; (b) Ignorant of world affairs; (c) Stupid; (d) Freemasons (who are looking for a third world war in the middle east to bring about their new world order), but masquerading as Christian ministers (i.e. wolves in sheep’s clothing); (e) Are heavily invested in oil futures; (f) or a combination of one or more of the above.

      (I am joking about the oil futures, by the way…most of these guys are not that market-savvy.)

      I wish I could disagree with you about the American brand of “Christianity” (which is really apostasy), but I cannot disagree one bit. However, the supporting Israel thing is a misnomer. We have bullied and harassed Israel, and have repeatedly tried to dictate their foreign and domestic policy. Is that truly “supporting” them? I think not. Again, there is a Masonic connection on this point — most U.S. politicians and ambassadors are Freemasons. Thus, the connection with the apostate “preachers” mentioned above should now be clear to you.

      The United States of America is NOT presently a “Christian nation” by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. Thus, the nutty stuff going on regarding Iran is a demonstration of apostasy, and nothing more. I am a former U.S. Marine, but now a born again Christian. So while I can see defending our country from an attack as being biblically supported…I cannot see “nation building” or harassing other nations for their domestic and/or foreign policy, to be in the least bit biblical. I cannot invading another country without TRUE provocation to be compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

      And I do not buy the “nuclear weapons” argument, because Pakistan has nukes, is Islamic, and hates Israel…but has not been stupid enough to attack a nation that has MORE nukes than they do! It is well known that Israel has a “Samson Scenario” in regards to defending its existence. If you remember, Samson was willing to DIE in order to have vengeance on his enemies, and brought down the entire pagan temple upon everybody in order to avenge himself:

      Judges 16:30: Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.

      Israel is KNOWN to have the same strategy in mind should they fear that their existence is threatened — and everybody in the Middle East governments/military know that. So do you think they want a decisive nuclear response from Israel’s 100+ silos? No, they do not.

      So I agree with you that all of this is an unbiblical farce, Terence. The good news is that NONE of the goofy stuff planned by such wicked people will actually happen, because God already said it would not. So be comforted by my article Economics, Gold, and the Word of The Lord (Part 2) in which I discuss these things from an eschatological perspective. :D

  36. benthe says:

    Rom 15:5 Now may God, the source of endurance and encouragement, allow you to live in harmony with each other as you follow Christ Jesus,
    Rom 15:6 so that with one mind and one voice you might glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Rom 15:7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ accepted you, for the glory of God.

    Php 1:15 Some are preaching Christ because of their envy and rivalry, while others do so because of their good will.
    Php 1:16 The latter are motivated by love, because they know that I have been appointed for the defense of the gospel.
    Php 1:17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition and without sincerity, thinking that they will stir up trouble for me during my imprisonment.
    Php 1:18 But what does it matter? Just this, that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is being proclaimed, and because of this I rejoice. Yes, I will continue to rejoice,

    i was thinking how dangerous “wolf judging” is?

    • Thank you for your question, Benthe. I presume since you are in Finland that English is a second language for you. So please forgive my use of some technical terms in my reply. I will link the most difficult ones out to online resources for additional information, just in case you are not familiar with the term being used. If I fail to provide a definition link for a word that you do not understand, however, simply use one of the pages for the other words to look it up manually on that website. :)

      Now, first I want to commend you for wanting to see peace and unity in the Church of Jesus Christ. That is a VERY good and desirable thing, indeed.

      That said, you have fallen into what I call the “equivocation trap” in your interpretation of the Scriptures that you have cited. Whereas in informal logic, “equivocation” is typically when someone switches the definitions for the same sounding (or even same-spelled) word, what I am referring to is “contextual equivocation” where you have assumed that the Romans 15:5-7 and Philippians 1:15-18 passages are referring to “wolf judging,” when they actually have NOTHING to do with that subject. Thus, you have “equivocated” (i.e. “made equal” within your own mind) the situations being addressed in those passages, with the subject of “wolf judging” (to use your term), and have reached a FALSE conclusion as a result.

      Let me illustrate the problem here by pointing out that if YOUR interpretation of the passages above (written by the apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit) is correct, then Paul was a hypocrite. Note what he wrote to Timothy:

      1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. (NKJV)

      And note also what he wrote to the Galatians:

      Galatians 2:11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 12 for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

      14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews?… (NKJV)

      So if Paul meant what YOU have assumed within the passages that you cited, then he contradicted those precepts within the passages that I just cited above. That would mean that his epistles are all necessarily “suspect,” because how can they be authored by the Holy Spirit (i.e. Divinely inspired, see 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:19-21) if they are logically self-contradicting? Under your interpretation of the passages that you cited, therefore, ALL FOUR of the epistles that you and I have cited MUST be considered of human origin. Thus, your reasoning logically ends with a heresy, and thus, an absurdity (both biblically and logically speaking).

      Furthermore, you have brought the very ministry of Jesus Christ into question with your interpretation of the forgoing Scriptures that you cited. Note that Jesus not only TOLD us HOW to “judge wolves,” but actually rebuked TWO churches in Revelation for FAILING to do so:

      Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (NKJV)

      John 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (NKJV)

      Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. (NKJV)

      Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. (NKJV)

      So Jesus Christ HIMSELF told us to judge “wolves,” told us how to identify them, and then later chastised two churches for failing to hold such people accountable as He had commanded. In other words, the two churches in question above “allowed” the wolves to operate through passivity. If they had acted upon the precepts given by Jesus within the Gospels, they would have necessarily had to confront those wolves/heretics and drive them away from God’s “sheep” in order to avoid the rebuke that they received for FAILING to do so.

      Thus, we can see the following fact: For your thesis regarding the passages you cited to hold true that we should NOT “judge wolves,” then most of the New Testament would have to be discarded as self-contradictory writings of mere men, because God CANNOT self-contradict Himself (see 2 Timothy 2:13 and Titus 1:2). Therefore, your entire thesis has to be rejected as necessarily fallacious, and of course, unbiblical.

      Okay, so where is the problem with your thesis? Simply that you “equivocated” the subject matter being addressed in the Romans and Philippians passages, with “judging wolves,” when those two passages are NOT talking about that at all. So what are they talking about?

      The Romans passage is addressing the need to avoid petty (minor) “schisms” (e.g. differences of opinion on minor theological or traditional issues, but NOT regarding major doctrinal points). We should certainly all strive to do just that, and endeavor to walk in the “unity of the faith” (see Ephesians 4:1 and 13) with other genuine believers whose traditions/opinions in minor issues differ with our own.

      The Philippians passage is referring to some schismatic (partisan) people who were actually trying to get Paul into MORE trouble! (What ungodly nuts those people were!) In other words, Paul is telling the Philippians that there were actually people who were — for their own ungodly purposes — actively trying to get him into MORE trouble with the Roman authorities. These people were opposing a TRUE minister of Christ being persecuted by the governing authorities, in HOPE of creating MORE problems for the man!

      So do either of these passages you cited have ANYTHING to do with genuine “wolves,” “heretics,” “false ministers,” or the like? No. Not one of them has ANYTHING to do with that subject whatsoever.

      So is it “dangerous” to “judge wolves,” in the sense of possibly creating problems within the Body of Christ or violating Scripture (as I assume you mean to imply)? Well, let me answer that question by asking you this one in return: If Jesus chose the metaphor of “wolves” in relation to “sheep” to describe the activities of false ministers in relation to the Body of Christ, IS IT “DANGEROUS” to confront wolves when they threaten a flock of sheep? I think we can all agree that it is FAR MORE DANGEROUS for the sheep (and even the shepherds) if they FAIL to confront wolves when they are on the prowl, correct? Yes, that is the case.

      Jesus knew what metaphor to use, as it conveys the clear image of the NEED to chase off hungry “predators” when they stalk God’s people for their own personal gain (and please note 1 Peter 5:1-4, Acts 20:17-36, and both the books of 2 Peter and Jude in their entirety, to see the attitude that the apostles had about this very subject).

      I hope this reply clarifies things for you much better. I believe your heart is right, but you need to learn to apply SOUND biblical reasoning to properly understand the Scriptures. As a part of that, you need to take into account the CONTEXT of what is being addressed when comparing various passages of Scripture. As the English proverb says, “You need to compare apples with apples, and not oranges” in order to reach the correct conclusions. To help you with that, I would like to recommend the following articles to you:

      Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine

      When Wolves Remove Their Clothes

      The Biblical Basis for this Public Rebuke (i.e. of Kenneth Copeland specifically)

      The “Convenient Doctrines” of Preachers in Sin

      The last two above are on our redemptive project website, and clearly explain from the Scriptures (using both video and text) the fundamental theological foundations of BOTH public rebuke/judging of “wolves,” as well as the “defensive” doctrines that they have come up with in order to avoid such confrontation. The first two articles above, however, are found upon this very website you are viewing. I suggest that you begin with those first, as they discusses in some detail four key points that can help you ensure that your doctrine is correct and truly biblical, and some very specific issues regarding “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

      Thank you for your “Ask Rich” question.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • Let me post a quick clarification, Benthe, since I am assuming you speak/read English as a second language.

        I want to clarify that I was NOT accusing you of denying the veracity (Divine inspiration) of Scripture, but merely pointing out that the ONLY way that your thesis COULD be correct, was if the majority of the New Testament was false. In other words, I was merely pointing out the logical significance of your thesis.

        Thankfully, we know that ALL the sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible are the infallible and Divinely-written Word of God. So we can know the veracity of Scripture is here to support us, as long as we “rightly divide the word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:!5). Thus, we can safely assume that your thesis is false and not the Bible itself. As Paul wrote by the Spirit:

        2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

        Amen! :D

        Always in Jesus,

        -Rich

  37. Lou Ann says:

    Rich, this is a question I have had on my heart for quite some time now, concerning nepotism in the church. Personally I feel there is great danger when a leader uses this method for choosing or appointing people in leadership positions. My feeling is that, and is obvious by what I have read thus far on your site, that it helps to create secretive and insulated covering for wrongdoing, and little if any place for correction. As well as leaving the impression that the wrong way is OK, creating more wolves to continue on to the next generation.

    Several years ago I was going through a time of questioning much of what I was hearing from the pulpit, in prayer I asked The Lord to show me what the problem was, thinking I had the problem. The Lord answered me through a dream in which a lamp approached me from a distance, but as it got close enough I could see that is was a wolf wearing a sheep skin, it was wary of me and would not come any closer. I was standing in front of the Church building. How awesome and literal is the Lord, there was no way I could mistake or make a wrong conclusion. I did write a letter to the pastor…who is to my knowledge still on the same path. And creating new leaders who teach the same garbage. It is so sad. Do you have any suggestions as to approaching this problem to others who are being mislead? Thank you.

    • Lou Ann,

      Thank you for your question here on my “Ask Rich” page. I would suggest that you have reached accurate conclusions about both the purpose and effect of nepotism.

      It is used intentionally for the purpose of keeping a protective distance between the sheep and the wolves wearing sheep’s clothing, so as to help avoid detection. When they know that they are in error, nepotism also serves to insulate those errant “leaders” from criticism, as well. When such practice is done without these explicit motives, however, it still tends to insulate the leadership and can create an atmosphere wherein those leaders can eventually become wolves (in time).

      Let me quickly define “nepotism” for others, before commenting further. The World English Dictionary, via Dictionary.com, tells us that it means:

      favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those with power or influence

      [C17: from Italian nepotismo, from nepote nephew , from the former papal practice of granting special favors to nephews or other relatives]

      It is interesting to note the Roman Catholic historical connection to the root meaning to this word, is it not?

      Regardless, it is VERY common among wolfish “clergy” of all denominations/groups to use nepotism. This is done in-part because they don’t trust anyone other than their fellow wolves (especially family members, who typically have vested financial interests in the continuation of the wolfish practices). Even with the chosen leaders are not related to the leader in a family sense, they will typically choose those with poor character because “wolves of a fur will pack together for sure” (that is my modification of the old “birds of a feather” proverb). I know of instances where wolves have promoted sinful people into higher and higher leadership BECAUSE of their sin. Why? Those people have their own “skeletons in their closets,” and thus, they can be “trusted” by the leader-wolves to not expose the skeletons of their superiors and peers.

      As to how to approach this type of problem with others who are being misled, I will primarily point you to my articles, “How God Uses Heretics” and “When Wolves Remove Their Clothes.” Within these two articles you will learn a whole lot about the nature of wolves, but also the fact that they serve a purpose in God’s spiritual “ecosystem” just like they do within His natural ecosystems today. In short, wolves prey upon those who love lies and have rejected God’s Truth. Thus, as you read these articles you will see a very sobering truth: Namely, that many of those being “misled” by these wolves are under the judgement of God because they have refused to embrace to His Truth:

      When Wolves Remove Their Clothes

      How God Uses Heretics

      So what are you to do? Is there no hope? Is there nothing you can do? Well, thankfully, the Bible does tell us what to do in these last days with regard to people who want to run after “fables” instead of “enduring sound doctrine.” Study 2 Timothy in full, but here are a few choice quotations that will get you started:

      2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was….16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

      2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

      In short, you must realize the times that we are in. You must stay in the Word of God yourself, in order to be “equipped” to refute false doctrines and to help others. And lastly, the MORE they run after false doctrines, the MORE you need to preach the truth to them! :)

      I hope this brief reply helps, Sis. The articles I provided you above will add considerably more to what I shared here too, so please avail yourself of those, as well.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  38. Lou Ann says:

    Thank you for your response, I will defenatly read the scriptures, interestingly I just read a portion of 2 Tim.. My husband and I are looking to find a good place that teaches the pure Word which is difficult these days. I have already read several of your articles which helped very much. There have been times when I doubted myself, but you have only confirmed my unease. Thanks again, in Christ

    • It is a blessing to be a blessing, Lou Ann. Thank you for coming back and posting such a kind reply. :)

      • Lou Ann says:

        I appreciate your work. Have you researched Steve And Phil Munsey or Kevin Gerald by the way? I was under the leadership of Gerald for several years, wolf…..he is the brother in law of the Munsey’s. same false teaching.

        • No, I have not spent any time on the Munseys. I have heard of them, but have not looked into them enough to speak about their conduct or doctrine specifically. There are too many wolves, frankly, to keep up with them all. So I just occasionally address the few that I feel led to comment upon, and leave the others alone (unless something brings them to my attention). I just don’t have the time to diversify too much in that area. :)

          Thank you for the kind comment again, Lou Ann. May God’s blessings be upon you and your family, as you continue to seek the Lord Jesus Christ and sound, godly doctrine by His Spirit, through His Word.

          Always in Jesus,

          -Rich

  39. Lou Ann says:

    Rich, so true. I have about worn myself researching, I think for now I have the same attitude. If something comes up, then I will check it out. I thank The Lord for you and others who are bold enough to reveal these false doctrines, may you all be blessed .

  40. Roger Williams says:

    Rich, is your entire ministry that of tearing down other ministries? I wonder if many are saved reading your diatribes. You can scriptualize anything. Satan quoted Scripture.

    • Roger, if even satan can quote (more accurately, “misquote”) Scripture as he tries to convince others of his twisted doctrines, why cannot you at least do that much too? ;)

      If you want to know the breadth and depth of my ministry, then I would suggest you start reading my website. Given the limited comprehension thereof as revealed within your question, I am fairly convinced you have read very little of it. In fact, your question “Rich, is your entire ministry that of tearing down other ministries?” betrays the fact that you know very little about my ministry. Thus, I would suggest you give the following articles a gander in order to get started:

      Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine
      The Supreme Value of Righteousness
      The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel

      Perhaps those three will help you to understand that I do not spend all my time criticizing “other ministries,” but rather, like every righteous minister in the Bible, I spend my time teaching God’s Truth — and simply confront the heretics and those in error, as either I run across them or the context of my teaching seems to indicate that it is appropriate. :)

      I certainly appreciate your stopping by to post a question. However, before closing, let me please note that you were rather hypocritical in your comment. You have “attacked me” for allegedly “tearing down other ministries.” In short, you have done the very thing that you falsely claimed that I have done. Thus, I would suggest that before you read the above three articles, that you read the following very apropos article of mine. It addresses the very behavior you have demonstrated here:

      “Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical

      I would also suggest that you spend some time reading the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and take note how often those three (which are only three out of the many) righteous ministers of the Old Testament spent considerable time addressing false “ministers” directly or indirectly as a NECESSARY part of their ministries. Then spend some time in Matthew chapter 23 and take note how Jesus Christ did the same thing too (and that is just one of many examples where He did so). Then keep right on reading over into chapter 24 of Matthew in order to see how the Lord Jesus warned of false ministers deceiving people in the last days (i.e., like the false one’s that I confront).

      Then please stroll on over to Galatians chapters one and two and note how Paul stressed the need to accept ONLY the original Gospel preached by the apostles, and how he confronted Peter for failing to live in accordance therewith. It would probably do you well do read the Book of Acts all the way through and see how often ALL the apostles dealt with such issues, but certainly spend some time in 2 Peter chapters 2-3 and Jude studying along these lines. And please let me quote the word of Jesus Christ wherein He REBUKED two churches for FAILING to confront false ministers, so that these passages can demonstrate quite clearly how I am very on-track with what I am doing by obeying the Lord in exposing wolves in sheep’s clothing:

      ** Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.[a] 16 Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth. 17 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches….

      ** Revelation 2:20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow[c] that woman[d] Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce[e] My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.[f] 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their[g] deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

      Now, back to my opening question: Why do you not quote Scripture in order to establish that your doctrine is based thereupon? The answer is simple: Your false doctrine cannot be justified by Scripture. :) Only when one has correctly “reasoned from the Scriptures” can they then demonstrate that fact by providing logical exegesis from the Bible.

      Jesus quoted Scripture profusely during His ministry in order to demonstrate that He was perfectly aligned thereto. All the apostles quoted Old Testament Scripture copiously when writing the New Testament for the very same reason. In fact, Paul was in the habit of “reasoning from the Scriptures”:

      ** Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.”

      And the Bible commends those who similarly reason from the Scriptures, even as they examine the doctrines of others:

      ** Acts 17:10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.

      ** 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

      So the Bereans were more “fair-minded” than the Thessalonians, and thus, Paul wrote to the latter in order to encourage them to act more like their Berean neighbors. (Obviously, this concept of “reasoning from the Scriptures” was very important to the apostle, Paul.)

      Now, you are PARTIALLY correct that satan often MISQUOTES Scripture as he seeks to deceive people. However, the devil is not capable of “reasoning from the Scriptures” in the manner that Paul and the Bereans did. You have demonstrated a similar misuse of the Scriptures that satan has often employed, while failing to demonstrate a biblical ability to form sound doctrine based upon an accurate use of Scripture. Then in upon your fallacious thinking (which is based upon the fallacy of “begging the question,” mixed with the fallacies of “straw man” and unwarranted “ad hominem) you falsely accused me of doing what you alone are doing. (BTW: That is known is psychology as “projection.”) On the other hand, I have demonstrated throughout this website an ability to reason from the Scriptures using sound logic, and copious references to the Bible. (Again, read The Four Characteristics of Sound Doctrine to learn how this is done.) Thus, once again, you have demonstrated yourself to be hypocritical instead of biblical.

      I do hope my rather blunt confrontation of your absurdities will help you to wake up, and realize that you are very deceived. It is quite plain that you have a very faulty understanding of the Bible AND regarding what I am doing on my various websites. Thus, I hope you will spend time reading the articles I mentioned above in order to cure yourself of your latter deficiency, but also spend some time reading the Bible passages I have noted herein in order to cure yourself (hopefully) of your more dangerous ignorance of the Scriptures.

      Regardless, thank you for posting on my “Ask Rich” page. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  41. Bobby Romo says:

    quite worn out of all the long list of false teachers put out by various watch groups, i ask you as I have asked others, then give me a list of who you say is a true teacher without any faults – I see Billy and Franklin Graham on some list of false groups, focus on the family as a false minister, what about Charles Stanley? isn’t he divorced? i find no one left except those called extreme fundamental baptist, is that what you are? Not trying to be argumentative, just tired of all these “watch groups” telling us who is false and the list seems to include people I though were “safe” to listen to.

    • I can understand your concern, Bobby, and that is a valid question. If you search this very page, however, you will find that I have already recommended several ministers from times past (e.g., Spurgeon, Finney, Wesley, Bunyan, Luther, etc.), and have given tentative endorsements to a few contemporary ones too (Ray Comfort in particular). I say “tentative” because I reserve the right to revoke my endorsement if a person comes out and denies the Deity of Christ, turns out to be a Freemason, or for some other reason, seems to disqualify themselves.

      Regarding Charles Stanley: I do not follow his ministry/teaching, so I don’t endorse him because I don’t know what he is saying. (I never endorse someone with whom I an not familiar; call me picky, but I have trouble endorsing people that I don’t know.) However, the fact that he was ever divorced does NOT along disqualify him from ministry in my view of the Scriptures. It is my understanding that his wife divorced him (although I may be mistaken), so to blame him for her decision is not reasonable. Moreover, even if he was entirely to blame for the divorce, there are some situations where that might have been the best solution (and I don’t know his details, so I cannot say one way or the other in his case). Moreover, regardless of his level of fault, if he has gotten his spiritual life on track since then, then restoration to fruitful ministry is certainly possible. So in short, I don’t consider his divorce to be a categorical disqualification for ministry, although it would indicate that a person might want to check him out more thoroughly before listening to him. (Please note, again, I do not endorse Charles Stanley because I do not know what he is teaching; this is just a discussion of that issue in more general terms, because I do not know the specifics involved.)

      In my mind, heresy is the primary reason why an alleged minister should be avoided. Freemasons (such as the Grahams) are automatically included among heretics because of their duplicity and blasphemous beliefs, oaths, practices, & etc. Another criteria that would get someone listed on my “wolf” list is if they are patently a false prophet (see Matthew 7:15-20). Still another criterion would be if they are known to be self-serving greedy people, living lavishly off of the wealth of “donors” (Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5 both list “covetousness” as equaling “idolatry,” which means they serve the false god of “Mammon” that Jesus denounced in Matthew chapter six and Luke chapter sixteen). Blatant sin (e.g., homosexuality, adultery, other forms of fornication, murder, theft, fraud, habitual lying, & etc.) are all “bad fruits” that likewise indicate that we are dealing with a “bad tree” as discussed in Matthew 7:13-23 and Luke 6:43-45. Hence, “bad trees” are ONLY going to bear “bad fruit,” and thus, they are NOT biblical ministers of Christ.

      And of course, if more than one of these criteria are evident in the same person, it is a clear “no-brainer” that they should be avoided. ;)

      So in summary: There are MANY “bad trees” out there today, because as the Bible says, there is widespread apostasy in these Last Days:

      1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…

      2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

      Thus, I can understand your frustration that it seems that the “false ministers” lists seem LONGER than the ones people publish regarding true ministers of Christ. However, that is more of a product of our time in these Last Days than a fault in those of us who happen to expose some of the wolves out there.

      For the record: I do not really keep a “list” of the false people, and only address those with whom I have some familiarity and/or have a reason to expose. There are numerous websites that focus more on “listing” such people and their doctrine, etc., and those website are actually handy to check out when evaluating people. Nevertheless, just because someone “made the list” on such a website does not necessarily mean they are bad. I always check the reasoning behind why they are listed there in order to see if those accusations are valid. If not, I ignore their presence on such a “list.”

      So that is my “two cents” in reply. I hope that helps. Thank you for the question.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

      • Mo says:

        [comment content deleted]

        • “Mo,”

          You spent a whole lot of time writing five ranting comments (on the wrong page) only to display what are known in logic as “fallacies.” To be more precise, you displayed:

          (1) The fallacy of hasty generalization, in that you ignored the many Scriptures that refuted your false thesis in “cherry picking” the ones you wanted to apply.

          (2) The fallacy of a “double-standard,” in that you tried to impose a “rule” upon me that you were violating yourself SIMULTANEOUSLY. While accusing me of spreading “gossip and slander” you were gossiping and slandering me. Hence, to be rather frank about it, you are a self-contradicted hypocrite. (Please note Matthew 7:5 and Romans 2:1.)

          (3) The fallacy of presumption known as “begging the question” in that you assumed your false theology and assumptions about me was correct, without having been able to prove them so. While you may think that all the passages you quoted did prove your point, the fact is that your false interpretation of those passages (i.e., taking them out of context and misapplying them in a hypocritical manner) put you in the heretical position of indirectly condemning Jesus Christ, the apostles Peter and Paul, and virtually EVERY godly minister in the entire Bible, for they all did the very same things that I am doing in holding wolves accountable for their actions. (I actually used their actions as my example; for instance, study Matthew 23, Acts 8, and Galatians 2.)

          To understand the above points (especially points 2-3) more clearly, I would suggest that you read the following article of mine. Therein, you will discover WHY you are self-contradicted, self-refuted, and (unbeknownst to you) you have demonstrated yourself to be a complete hypocrite:

          “Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical

          Let me also note that I rarely allow cowards (i.e., those who refuse to use their REAL name) to rant and rave on my website, but this is especially when such self-refuted and cowardly people post multiple SLANDEROUS comments (and even more particularly when they post them on the wrong pages of my website; this is a Q&A page where such a ranting was certainly NOT appropriate). Hence, even in this fact you have once again demonstrated substandard critical thinking skills by you having falsely assumed that your hypocritical and cowardly comments would ever see the light of day. ;)

          I hope you get saved (or rededicate your life to the Lord) sometime VERY soon, given that you are obviously a false-accuser, and thus, a hypocritical liar:

          ** Exodus 20:16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

          ** 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…

          ** Ephesians 4:17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness….25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

          Because ALL such people have their place in the Lake of Fire:

          ** Matthew 24:50 …the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

          ** Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

          I can see where it is biblically possible that you are simply a misguided carnal Christian, of course. However, I am quite worried that the venom-filled, hypocritical, cowardly, false accusations, that you attempted to post, MIGHT be indication that you are actually an unsaved religious person who has no idea that they are on the “broad way” that leads to “destruction”:

          ** Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are MANY who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are FEW who find it….21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 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?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

          The “many” of verse 13 are the very same “many” false “Christians” who will hear the terrifying words of Jesus Christ when He says to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” In contrast, comparatively “few” who THINK that they are on the “difficult way” that “leads to life” really are. So I am QUITE worried about you.

          Regardless, you would do VERY well to read the above article that I provided above in order to understand that what you are accusing ME of doing, I am NOT doing–but YOU are doing EXACTLY what you falsely accused me of doing; and what I am doing is purely biblical, while what you have attempted to do is purely hypocritical (and cowardly). In so doing, I am hoping you will realize that you are NOT right with Jesus Christ. Again, I cannot say if you are simply a carnal person who needs to “awake to righteousness and sin not”:

          ** 1 Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

          ** 1 Corinthians 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

          Or if you are just an unsaved religious nut. Whichever the case may be, I would highly suggest that you also read my salvation-focused article too, because frankly, I am VERY worried about YOUR eternal welfare:

          The Supreme Value of Righteousness

          In short, please concentrate on getting YOURSELF straight first. Meanwhile, STOP demonstrating such utter hypocrisy by spreading slander and lies against a Christian minister who is exposing DOCUMENTED frauds and heretics (i.e., “wolves in sheep’s clothing”) in a BIBLICAL manner.

          While this reply of mine is surely intended to be blunt, I am hoping that you will eventually come to understand that my direct rebuke herein is ALSO quite BIBLICAL — AND that it is the proper thing for me to do in reply to your obvious SIN and bitter hypocrisy (e.g., compare James 5:19-20; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus chapters 1-2; Galatians chapter 2; Matthew chapter 23; Revelation 2:12-29; & etc., & etc., & etc.).

          Always in Jesus,

          -Rich

  42. daniel says:

    is pat robertson a false minister/teacher/prophet?

    • Yes, I do believe VERY STRONGLY that Pat Robertson is a false minister/teacher/prophet, indeed. He is a well-known Freemason, which automatically qualifies him as these things. His “fruit” is very “bad” too, and that simply confirms what the first point already tells us, in the light of Jesus’ statement:

      ** Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

      Here is a page about Pat Robertson that I can recommend because it contains links to several other resources on this page: http://apostasywatch.com/Wolves/WolfReports/PatRobertson/tabid/115/Default.aspx

      You can also Google “Pat Roberson Freemason” to find videos, images, and articles, detailing facts surrounding that issue specifically.

      Thank you for your question. I hope my reply proves helpful.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  43. Dear Rich,

    Not so much a question, but a true expression of gratitude for your site about the abuse within the Body. Myself, have been victimized by such “wolves” who conned valuable resources from well-meaning and loving people.

    Much to my dismay, this is rampant, particularly here in the United States.

    Again, thanks.

    All His Best,

    Nick

    • Thank you, Nick. It really is quite nice to receive encouragement periodically from kind people like yourself. :) It counter-balances the many fallacious criticisms and malicious attacks. ;)

      -Rich

      • You are welcome. I have experienced this type of fleecing first hand from a group that called itself a “ministry” and so I am going to be a bit biased towards anyone who proposes that we attend to this type malfeasance by addressing the problem straight in the face.

        What I have found, however, is that due to a disconnect from the truth, rarely do these individuals repent. In fact, what I have found to be true is that they truly believe that they indeed ‘have an entitlement’, a God ordained edict or mandate to engage in this type of behavior in order to further ‘God’s plans’. This is based on the truly fallacious precept found in the Pentecostal ethos that “Rhema” over rides Logos, giving themselves permission to act with impunity, based solely on “A Word” from God that they received.

        It is this fundamentally religious mindset that made the Pharisees enemies of God—-meaning man ( species ) over rides God through man made traditions that benefit the arbitrator of said ‘traditions’.

        A verbose way of saying they give themselves permission to steal. Bottom line for me is that I have come to place that, in my opinion; you are harboring a criminal when you allow this to continue.

        It is a sad state of affairs when the Gospel is used to destroy the Body.

        Respectfully,

        Nick

        • Nick,

          Your added comment was very well written, quite biblical, and I completely agree with your analysis. There is a whole lot of substance within what you wrote above, so I hope others reading this thread will take your points to heart. :)

          Thank you for sharing again. God bless you and your family.

          Always in Jesus,

          -Rich

  44. Rich,

    I appreciate your kinds words. I believe many find what you are proposing on your site, to be hard to comprehend as real and not mere empty accusation because most people within the Body have pure motives and intentions, so it hard to imagine that someone does not operate the same way, particularly someone who put them self in a position of authority.

    Most people have not experienced this type of behavior themselves, therefore, It is hard to believe that someone would be so arrogant, to challenge God to such an extent by fleecing the flock. There is more than ample scripture warning the reader about this type of behavior fueled by the wrong motivation. Yet, the better part of our nature reasons: “Why would anyone roll the dice and defy God to such an extent? Who would be that arrogant?”

    Yet, it has been going on for generations.

    In addition, there is a very fatalistic viewpoint within the Church in regards to wealth being equivalent to God’s Blessing and Approval. In other words: God’s love is measured by how much money you have. This is a horrendous theological error, yet it is a trap that many of us have fallen into–myself included.

    The truth of the matter is, God had to have me go through a similar experience first hand to understand the profundity of the situation in the contemporary church today. I was that naive to the depth of the disdain harbored for God, expressed brazenly and without restraint by those who pretend to be His. There was no way, in a million years; that I could have understood this with theory or “school room” teaching or even simply reading the Bible. Keep in mind that for over two thousand years, the Body of Christ has been warned about “wolves” in the church, even Jesus Himself used the Pharisees as an example on how not to treat God’s people, and yet, I had remained naive and did not understand until the Holy Spirit matured me and showed ‘how the world works’, so to speak.

    The enemy’s only “ability” is deception and it is through this ability that there was and has been a blind spot to what has been occurring within the Church. A blind spot that only experience, guided by the Holy Spirit; oftentimes reveals.

    To be direct, I still find it a challenge to comprehend the amount of temerity required to operate in a manner to which the “wolves” have granted themselves the “authority” to abuse the Body of Christ. To abuse their trust, steal their time, their resources to such an extent that the victimized are often a mere shadow of their potential selves. Many walk away from the Church, many quite tragically, have turned their hearts away from God completely.

    That is the enemy’s objective: To get people to turn their hearts away from God. That is why this is not to be taken lightly. The issue is not about money, what is at stake is not financial liability. What is at stake is the potential damage that results in the turning away from God by the very people with which God desires to have a relationship.

    The relationship that Christ died to make possible.

    Thank you for letting me add to the thread, hope I have not hijacked it too much.

    I remain Yours in Christ

    Nick

    • Thank you again, Nick, for sharing your thoughts on this subject in the light of your own experience and study. (Yes, you hijacked my thread, but I will let this one through moderation again. The content is excellent. ;) )

      I agree with most of what you wrote above. However, there are a few shades of perspective to this situation which you seemed to not have fully recognized yet. You wrote above (excerpted for emphasis):

      In addition, there is a very fatalistic viewpoint within the Church in regards to wealth being equivalent to God’s Blessing and Approval. In other words: God’s love is measured by how much money you have….To be direct, I still find it a challenge to comprehend the amount of temerity required to operate in a manner to which the “wolves” have granted themselves the “authority” to abuse the Body of Christ. To abuse their trust, steal their time, their resources to such an extent that the victimized are often a mere shadow of their potential selves.

      Now compare what you said above with the following passages from the Bible:

      ** 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words…18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

      ** 2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!…12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived….16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at[a] His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

      ** 2 Thessalonians 2: 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

      Notice that the Bible says something rather shocking and profound within the passages above: Those who are led astray by “wolves in sheep’s clothing” are typically those who are vulnerable to deception BECAUSE of their own lusts and cravings. The are covetous (greedy), and thus, wolves can appeal to that idolatry that is within their hearts (see Eph. 5:5 and Col. 3:5) in order to milk them for all that they are worth! In other words, this entire situation is understood best in terms of simple supply/demand economics: Because there is a DEMAND for the deception, there is a SUPPLY of wolves there ready to deceive them.

      The Bible says above in 2 Thessalonians that people actually LOVE lies, and hate the truth. Paul warned Timothy that this would be a distinguishing mark of the Last Days, and that “fables” (Greek, “mythos” from which we get the words “myth” and “mythology”) is that to which they will turn instead. And why will they do this? It is “…because they have itching ears,” which fact is “according to their own desires” (or “lusts,” in the KJV). Because of their own DESIRE for lies, they turn away from “truth” (Greek, “alethia,” which is substantive truth that can be verified, as opposed to the fine-sounding “mythos” that has no substance to it).

      If we put this into a psychological framework, we would state it this way: Because of their own greed (i.e., intense desires), people WANT to believe certain things so much that they prefer “lies” over truth, as long as the “lies” conform to what they crave. Hence, people often become WILLING victims of wolves simply because the wolves provide them the lies that they want! Oh, and the Bible is full of examples of this phenomenon too. For instance, notice what the Lord said to Jeremiah (bold emphasis mine):

      ** Jeremiah 5:30 “An appalling and horrible thing
      Has happened in the land:
      31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
      And the priests rule on their own authority;
      And My people love it so!
      But what will you do at the end of it?

      Now, please do not get me wrong: There are many people victimized because wolves took advantage of them in their time of NEED. This happens all the time in the world too, such as when “pay day loan” companies charge exorbitant loan fees and interest in order to exploit the poor. In the church, this can manifest in a scenarios such as a struggling single mother, elderly person, or family, who hears some wolf say, “God will give you 100-times what you send to our ministry and give you a miracle!” Out of sheer desperation (mixed with wishful thinking and gullibility), they may be victimized by that wolf. I am not minimizing such outright chicanery at all.

      Nevertheless, the Bible is quite clear that SHOCKINGLY MANY people are deceived because they WANT to believe the lies they are told! THOSE are the people who are the easiest prey for ANY con artist, including the religious ones.

      Yes, many do wake up to the fact (eventually) that they were “taken for a ride” when reality sets in for them, just like you said. And yes, too often such people blame God or Christianity itself for their troubles, despite the fact that the Bible warned them from the very beginning that things would happen in this way (as you noted too within your last comment):

      ** Matthew 24:23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

      I love how Jesus said, “See, I have told you beforehand.” It is rather absurd to “blame” God for what He already warned us ahead of time would happen, is it not? Yet, as you pointed out too, people do it all the time.

      I will cut this reply off here lest we take over this thread any further. If you wish to reply, then please keep it short since we are filling this page up with this single discussion. However, let me say that I am thrilled with the substance of your commentary and I do appreciate your input on this page. I may write an article on this subject sometime in the future, so let me invite you ahead of time to contribute more to the comment section of any such relevant post.

      BTW: I am working on a book (when I have the time) that deals with these very issues in great depth. So please pray for me to have time to get that resource completed, perhaps even by sometime in 2014. Thank you. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  45. [Testimony deleted for the sake of the author's privacy.]

    • Nick,

      Thank you for coming back and sharing your testimony in response. However, it was too detailed for me to allow it to pass out of moderation intact. I am very concerned that your privacy might be compromised thereby because your name is on your comment, and your approximate location and several personal details were revealed in the body thereof. Therefore, for your protection, I deleted the comment’s content, although I do consider it to be well written, sincere, and very humble. :)

      Let me note in closing that you can use the contact form on this website to contact me anytime, although I am sometimes very slow to respond because time constraints prevent me from checking that inbox very often.

      Thank you again for your participation within this thread. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  46. Joe says:

    Sir, Thanks for your web site and the work that you are doing. I have moved in the so called circles of word of faith. Whilst I had some good teaching, I was also able to pick some things that I did not find to be Biblical. My question is more directed at what rather than who – the so called practice of being Baptized by Spirit which I believe is for everyone, however the association of speaking in tongues as suggested by most of these circles is questionable. For it to be true, an assumption has to be made that there is an omission in the Biblical text that it happened every time, however was not recorded every time. The so called act of being slain in the spirit is something that I am doubtful of from a Biblical standpoint (?). Your answer/direction would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your questions, Joe. I have been slow to respond, but nevertheless I did finally get over here to do so. :)

      I will start by answering your question about “tongues” and its applicability to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

      First, it should be noted that it was not necessary for the Holy Spirit to explicitly state that people baptized in the Spirit were speaking in tongues, every time they are recorded receiving this experience. That would be totally redundant, and we do not even do that in everyday speech. For example, if you happened to say to someone, “I stopped at the grocery store (e.g., Tesco) on the way home,” they would assume that you made some sort of purchase without your having to explicitly state that fact too. The very fact that you made a stop, and that it was a store (implying commerce), leads the other person to understand that you were making a purchase. If you did not happen to make a purchase, then you would have to clarify that fact because it would be an exception to the already assumed rule that when people stop at a store on their way home, they did so in order to buy something (e.g., milk, bread, etc.). If we had to explicitly state every detail, then communication would be very complicated, lengthy, and redundant. Thus, we don’t stay, “I stopped by the grocery store on the way home to make a purchase” every time we make the statement, because the latter part is assumed unless we state otherwise.

      Likewise, it is completely unnecessary for the Bible to be explicit on something that can rightly be assumed from other passages on the subject. Several examples exist in the Bible regarding this matter: Being “born again” was stated as being critically necessary for anyone to “see the kingdom of God” by Jesus in John 3, but most passages in the Book of Acts that refer to people being saved never use the term. It is assumed, because Jesus said it was necessary. Another example is repentance. Jesus said in Luke 24:47 “that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem,” and Peter explicitly stated that this was critical to be saved during his first post-resurrection sermon:

      Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

      Many passages in the Gospels and Book of Acts explicitly state that repentance is key (e.g., Acts 26:19-20). Nevertheless, NOT ALL passages where the Gospel was preached is this statement explicitly stated. Yet, it should be ASSUMED because it is a necessary part of faith in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:1). Hence, any reasoning that says that a given point of doctrine (e.g., repentance, the new birth, tongues, etc.) has to be explicitly stated in EVERY passage on that general topic, in order to be valid, is fallacious. We do not do that in everyday conversation, and there is no valid reason to assume that the Bible would do that on every topic (and in fact, it does NOT because that would be unnecessarily redundant).

      Second, let me point out additionally that in every place of the Book of Acts where the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is mentioned, but tongues it NOT explicitly stated, it is STILL implied by the context. For example:

      Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

      18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

      The passage above does not explicitly state that they spoke in tongues, but it DOES say that “Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given.” How could he have SEEN the Holy Spirit? There is no statement to indicate that the Spirit manifested Himself physically, such as He did when Jesus Christ was baptized in water. So what in the world could Simon have “seen” that indicated to him that the Spirit had indeed been received by these people? Given the passages that proceeded this one (e.g., Acts 2) and the ones that followed (e.g., Acts 19:5-6), we can safely understand that it is implied here that they were speaking in tongues — a manifestation of the Spirit that can be both heard AND seen, because anyone with eyes can see another person talking, as well as hear them.

      Hence: There is no logical OR biblical reason to deny that those who are baptized in the Holy Spirit CAN (and in fact, SHOULD) speak in other tongues. Not all DO so, but they all CAN and SHOULD.

      To elaborate upon this further, I will reply after I post this comment with three more about this subject. These will be copy/paste texts that I have written elsewhere before, so it will save me some time explaining these things further for your benefit. So wait a few moments, and I will post those next. Then I will address your second question in my fifth reply. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

    • Okay, here is the first post (again, this was originally written to someone else and is a copy/paste for this thread):

      Comment 1 of 2:

      I think there is a bigger problem here: Namely, that Pentecostals/Charismatics have OVER emphasized the tongues, without realizing that there was a “package” of things associated with the infilling of the Holy Spirit BESIDES that one manifestation. So this has caused several problems:

      (1) Unsaved people have mimicked “tongues” because it was expected of them when hands were laid upon them, and often because they were coached in how to make the sounds. In other words, the “goal” of tongues was the end-result sought, and not their genuine salvation and a subsequent infilling of the Spirit.

      (2) Genuinely saved and Spirit-filled believers who NEVER spoke in tongues (e.g. due to poor teaching, or by being fully ignorant that such an experience could occur, etc), but who DID demonstrate the OTHER signs of the infilling of the Spirit, were denounced and/or ostracized by well-meaning but ignorant people.

      So what are the OTHER signs of a genuine infilling of the Spirit? Well first, we have to look at the signs of being genuinely SAVED:

      ** Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 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.

      Does the person show evidence of “practicing righteousness” (1 John chapter 3) by the manifest grace of God, and thus, indicate that they are genuinely born again? If so, then we can look toward the other evidences of being filled with the Spirit:

      ** Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

      What is the PRIMARY PURPOSE of the infilling of the Holy Spirit? Tongues? No, because Jesus one MENTIONED tongues to the original disciples ONCE beforehand, without much elaboration. Therefore, that manifestation seemed to be somewhat of a surprise to them in Acts chapter two when it occurred for the first time.

      So what WAS the PRIMARY PURPOSE of the infilling of the Holy Spirit? To EMPOWER them to be “witnesses” unto Jesus Christ — i.e. to EMPOWER them to PREACH THE GOSPEL to the lost…just like He had commanded them!

      ** Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

      ** Mark 11:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

      19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

      Now, we have often heard much elaboration on verses 15-18 to prove the “initial sign” dogma, but few realized that they were teaching out of context. The “signs” that were to follow (as stated in verse 17) are explained in full context in verse 20. In other words, these signs were to FOLLOW THEM WHICH BELIEVE as they TELL OTHERS about Jesus Christ.

      Yes, tongues as a personal prayer language is part of the “package,” and has some VERY necessary and specific purposes. For one thing, it is how we “recharge” ourselves when we are “drained” (1 Cor. 14:4); and for another VERY important thing, the Holy Spirit wants control of our “tongues” so that He can steer our lives in the right direction (see James chapter three). However, the MAIN purpose of being FILLED with the Holy Spirit is NOT the tongues…it is the evangelism, and the POWER that enables one to be effective thereby.

      Three of the greatest soul-winners of the Second Great Awakening — Charles Finney and D. L. Moody in the USA, and Charles Spurgeon in England — were ALL men with a passion for soul-winning, but who ALL received the infilling of the Holy Spirit at some point, and who became EVEN MORE effective at soul winning thereafter. In fact, we remember these men today because of their great POWER in winning souls! None of them can be confirmed as to having spoken in tongues, however, because they did NOT seem to understand that they could have done so. But the evidence of their ENHANCED ability to win souls AFTER their experience with the Holy Spirit is unmistakable.

      Now let me pick up from here to illustrate this within my second post…

    • Here is the second part of that:

      Comment 2 of 2:

      Here is how Finney explained the NEED to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, and thus, this reveals how these men viewed the experience. This is from Finney’s famous “Ordination Sermon” of 1842, to 14 candidates for the ministry:

      [Begin quote]

      “5. …Take heed then that you are truly converted men–not merely convicted sinners, but regenerate men, men whose hearts are right with God, and whose great motive in entering the ministry is to glorify God in the salvation of men. Remember if you are not converted men when you enter the ministry, you are almost certain to go to hell yourselves, and, so far as you have influence, to take your hearers with you.

      “And remember too that it is altogether too common, for it to be taken for granted on all hands that ministers are really converted men, I must say, and dare not say less, that every year’s experience and observation forces upon me more and more the conviction that it is becoming alarmingly common in these days of pressing so many young men into the ministry, for multitudes to enter upon that sacred office who are not truly regenerate men. We have had, in this place, instances, not a few, of your men coming to this Institution to prepare for the ministry, who have turned out to have no religion at all–have been here convicted and for the first time converted–young men who had been supposed in Churches from which they came, and by which they were recommended, not only to be truly converted men, but your men of more than common piety, and promising candidates for the Christian ministry. And but for those powerful revivals in this Institution which broke up their delusions, numbers of them would no doubt have been this day, in all their sins, engaged in the sacred office of the ministry.

      “Take heed then to yourselves, brethren, that you know what it is to be born of God, and that you know what it is to have an eye single to his glory in entering upon this sacred work….

      “7. Take heed that you are especially anointed by God to this great work, and do not confound a call to the ministry with the anointing to the work. Christ’s disciples were called to the work long before they were specially anointed and endued with power from on high for its effectual prosecution. Remember conviction is one thing. Regeneration is still another. A call to the ministry is distinct from both. And a special anointing to the work of which I am speaking, is
      another, and a gift distinct, and by itself.

      “The peace of the gospel, the rest of faith, and communion with God, are entirely distinct from that power from on high with which a minister needs to be clothed to be efficient in his work. A man may be truly pious, ardently so, and know what it is to live and walk with God, without that spirit of power which a minister needs to make his words cut like a two edged sword. Indeed the grand distinction between efficient and inefficient ministers consists more in this than in any thing and every thing else. A man may be learned and pious, and yet inefficient as a minister. He may be unlearned, in the common acceptation of the term, yet with a special anointing for the work, he may be a most efficient minister.

      “I beseech you, then, let this be well settled in your mind, that unless you take heed to be anointed with a special anointing of the Holy Spirit to this work, you will do but little good, and that if we hear from you at all, it will be barely that you are doing pretty well, but that there is nothing special under your ministry. Brethren, you ought to have such an anointing that whenever you open your mouth to preach, the people will feel that you are sent of God. You ought to know that there is such a thing as that. If you are anointed to the work, your hearers will feel that you speak with authority and with power. And by power I do not mean vociferation and noise, but that your words will be sharp, like a two edged sword.”

      [End quote]

      The three men I named were so anointed by the Holy Spirit that their words “cut like a two edged sword” when they spoke. The Bible says as much of the GENUINELY saved and Spirit-filled believers in the early church:

      ** Acts 6:3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. 7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

      And how sharp were the words of Stephen, under the power of the Holy Spirit?

      ** Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

      54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

      57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

      NOW THAT IS A SPIRIT-FILLED MAN OF GOD!!!!!

      Show me a man or woman who demonstrates a desire toward holy living and a real POWER in soul-winning, and you will have a GENUINELY Spirit-filled believer on your hands — regardless of whether they speak in tongues or not! However, show me a typical “tongue-talking” Charismaniac who lives in the flesh, and has no demonstrated ability to TRULY win souls to Christ, and you have an unsaved and unfilled (unless demonized) person on your hands. Show me a person who demonstrates a real love for God, and a desire for holy living, but who seems to NOT have any effective power at soul-winning, and you likely have a genuinely SAVED person who simply needs to be filled with the Spirit so that they can do the works of Christ.

      Amen!

      I believe in tongue-talking, for sure. And I do believe that EVERY genuinely born again and Spirit-filled believer is ABLE to speak in tongues (whether they actually do or not). But to MAJOR on that ONE manifestation is to ENTIRELY MISS THE POINT about the PURPOSE of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Poor theology has been the hallmark of Pentecostal and Charismatic circles for over 100 years now. It is time we get more scriptural, and teach people CORRECTLY…so that they (and we) can truly be about our Father’s business in Jesus’ Name. :)

    • Here is another one on this topic that will help you a whole lot, and it deals with the THREE types of “tongues” revealed in the New Testament:

      “Tongues” are actually categorized in three different ways:

      (1) The initial manifestation after being filled with the Holy Spirit (e.g. Acts 2 and 10, and elsewhere), which is actually the “prayer language” of our own born again spirits (1 Cor 14:14-15). Paul said “I will pray in the Spirit.” This is done “at will” by the Spirit-filled believer.

      (2) “Diversities of Tongues” (1 Cor. 12:10) which is different, because it is “different tongues” by the action of the Holy Spirit and not the “prayer language” of someone who was filled with the Holy Spirit. Paul said “all these worketh that one and self same Spirit.” This is a Gift of the Spirit, and manifests only as He wills (1 Cor. 12:6-11).

      (3) And the church ministry of “tongues” (with interpretation) wherein someone is used in the Gift of the Spirit consistently (1 Cor 12:28). Note how this is listed among ministries given by God to the Church in verse. 28. So this is a “ministry gift” and thus, another thing entirely.

      I believe that the Bible supports the idea that EVERYONE filled with the Spirit by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is capable of speaking in tongues. However, they may NOT do so, if they do not know that they can. Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, and D. L. Moody, all believed in AND experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit…but there is no clear evidence that they ever spoke in tongues (though I found in Finney’s biography one section that seems to indicate that he may have on one occasion).

      Another thing entirely is “groaning in the Spirit” (see Romans 8), and Charles Finney DID practice this, as did many people saved under his ministry and with whom he was associated. This is NOT tongues, because Rom. 8:26 says that they “cannot be uttered.” The Greek (#215) means, “not to be uttered, not to be expressed in words” (Thayer’s). However, tongues IS speech. Thus, the two are different manifestations, and “groaning” are primarily for intercession (Rom. 8:26).

      BUT…not every born again Christian is filled with God’s Spirit…and NOT every Spirit-filled Christian KNOWS that they can speak in tongues (as many are either ignorant, or taught incorrectly). However, to say that if someone does NOT speak in tongues they are NOT saved, is pure rubbish. To be more precise, it is extreme error bordering on heresy. So I just had to run those guys off because they were so abusive toward others with their strange beliefs.

    • Lastly, Joe, you asked about being “slain in the Spirit.” This will will be a shorter answer than mine to your first question:

      First, let me note that MUCH of what goes on in Pentecostal/Charismatic circles has SOME truth to it, but is largely tradition and hype. In short, I would suggest that about 98% of what goes on in church prayer lines when someone is allegedly “slain in the Spirit” is pure nonsense, and NOT an actual working of the Holy Spirit at all. Like one old Pentecostal minister once said, they are laying “empty hands” on “empty heads.” The rest is just religiosity, and nothing more.

      Second, I do not like that term “slain in the Spirit.” The phrase itself is NOT biblical. Whenever someone was TRULY “slain in the Spirit,” they were buried afterwards. For example:

      Acts 5:But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? 4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

      5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. 6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

      So I think people who use that phrase are being silly on more than one level. Not only are most people “faking it” when they fall down, but the very term is inappropriate.

      CAN someone be overcome by the power of God during a prayer service, or angelic visitation, or some other phenomenon, wherein they fall down? Yes, that is in the Bible. For example:

      Daniel 10:4 Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, 5 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! 6 His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

      7 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. 8 Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.

      10 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. 11 And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

      So it is conceivable. However, there are NO explicit instances of people falling down after prayer in the Book of Acts. In fact, I cannot think of any people falling down when Jesus prayed for them either. Thus, it would seem to be over-emphasized by Pentecostal/Charismatic people.

      And to be frank about it, it is more of a pride thing for the alleged “minister,” who wants to look “powerful” and “anointed.” It is also often a pride thing for the people who fall because they want to seem “spiritual” themselves (although some might do it simply because they think it is expected of them).

      I would suggest that no more than 2% of such behavior within those circles is legitimate. One of the reasons I say that is because everywhere I have ministered, and told the people in the prayer line that we are NOT using “catchers” (i.e., ushers to break their fall), people seem to be able to stay on their feet when I pray far more easily. ;)

      Thank you for your questions, and I hope my replies help. God bless you, Joe.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  47. Joe says:

    Sir,

    Thank you for your time in replying my questions. You have explained things well to me. Thanks for the Tesco example. It truly is not necessary that things be repeated again and again and that applies to the tongues too. You have put it so well – the purpose of being filled with His spirit is not so much for tongues, but be empowered to fulfill his plans. As for the “slain in Spirit” part, your explanation is very affirmative of the conclusion that I came to after examining the scriptures. I will once again go through everything that you have replied, just to make sure that I am not missing anything or reading between the lines. God bless you sir.

    in Christ,
    Joe

  48. Diane says:

    I Pray for the peace of God that surpasses All understanding to guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus..I also pray for Gods grace and presence to bring you peace.and joy.

    • Thank you, Diane.

      Donna and I do walk in a large measure of God’s peace and joy, but we are certainly open to doing so even more. So your prayers are appreciated. :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  49. Christine shepherd says:

    Hello greetings from Southern England. I have just found your blog when I was doing some research into kcm due to an increasing discomfort with them. I have been partner for several years.

    I would like to ask you a question and hope you won’t think it stupid !! I have read a particular book by KC and have found it such a blessing and very instructive. When reading your blogs and knowing that what you say aligns with my uneasiness, I keep thinking about that book. In it KC seems to have real insight into the Blessing of God. I know that God can use anyone to bring His message but I would really like your opinion on this. It is really heart breaking that we have been deceived. I apologise asking a KC question as you have said you will not discuss them on this blog. I understand that but I do t want to discuss them , just want some charity on this matter. I have enjoyed the book so much I bought copies for some friends so I need to know I haven’t done them a disfavour.

    Thank you and all blessings to you. I appreciate your honesty .

    • Thank you for your kind comment/question, Christine. I will answer it briefly here, and direct you to articles where you can get further information.

      The concept of “the blessing” that Kenneth Copeland teaches is a false doctrine. He has stated publicly–and repeatedly–that “the blessing” is why Christ came and died for us. However, the Bible says this is the reason:

      ** 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

      ** Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 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.

      ** Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

      ** John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

      & etc.

      To understand his false doctrine, you have to first understand that Kenneth Copeland’s “god” is nothing other than the pagan deity called by Jesus “Mammon”:

      ** Matthew 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

      When Copeland talks about his version of the “gospel,” he is referring to his twisted interpretation that CONFUSES financial increase with this term. According to Copeland, “What is good-news to a poor person? That he will be rich!” In other words, he uses a fallacy known as “equivocation” to switch definitions: He replaces the biblical definition of “Gospel” with his own false definition by taking a SPIRITUAL thing and turning it into a CARNAL thing. The Gospel of Jesus Christ does NOT promise wealth upon the earth, as Jesus Christ Himself stated, and as Paul and Barnabas both preached to the churches they founded. Please note:

      ** John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

      ** Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.

      Now please note what kind of tribulations that CAN include:

      ** Hebrews 10:32 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. 35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:

      37 “For yet a little while,
      And He who is coming will come and will not tarry.
      38 Now the just shall live by faith;
      But if anyone draws back,
      My soul has no pleasure in him.”
      39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

      ** Hebrews 11:32 And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33 who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again.

      Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— 38 of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.

      39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.

      The Hebrew Christians to whom this epistle was written had had their “goods” confiscated because of their faith in Jesus Christ (10:34 above). The faithful of the OT and saints of the NT faced similar things many times, as they were often killed, lived in caves in abject poverty, and etc. So for what were things things endured? Were they “believing God” for new cars, houses, high-priced donkeys, and worldly riches? Nope. Note “10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul….11:39 And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.” SALVATION FROM HELL was the “reward” that the so earnestly sought, and NOT earthly wealth.

      Even Paul highlighted his SUFFERING for the TRUE Gospel’s sake — in the face of false “apostles” and “ministers of satan,” like the Copelands — when he explained his bona fide qualifications for his office (see 2 Corinthians chapter 11).

      Now, does God answer prayer? Sure! Does He help us in our times of need, when we call out to Him in faith? If it is genuine faith in His Word, and we are living for Him and not ourselves, then YES! Thank God, we have had many answered prayers of provision ourselves! However, as the examples above indicate, earthly wealth is NOT a PROMISE to us–especially when persecutions are heating up. Moreover, as James and John both explained, those who live for earthly pleasures find themselves with UNANSWERED PRAYERS because of their earthly mindedness:

      ** James 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

      6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

      “God resists the proud,
      But gives grace to the humble.”
      Humility Cures Worldliness

      7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

      ** 1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

      In short, people like the Copelands teach people to be COVETOUS, and thus, they actually DISTANCE those people from God:

      ** Ephesians 5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

      ** Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

      So I am NOT saying that God “promises poverty” as others falsely claim. That is the other extreme on this subject, and just as much in error as Copeland’s “wealth” message (to include his false “blessing” message). Rather, I am pointing out that the Gospel does NOT “promise” anything to us in this life EXCEPT SALVATION itself. While material provision and physical healing CAN be included therein, neither is “automatic” as the many sick and poor saints that went to Heaven do attest.

      However, time would get away from me if I attempted to answer your question fully here. So let me point you to some existing articles of mine in which these issues are already addressed, so that you can get the information you seek AND I can save myself from typing information I have already stated elsewhere. (I have to watch my time these days, because it is so limited.) So these are the ones I recommend you navigate to now, each of which will open into its own new window (if your browser does not block that operation) so that you can return to this list in order to read the next one:

      Prosperity Vs. Theological Error (Start here to see what I believe in these regards even more clearly.)

      When Wolves Remove their Clothes (This covers several points.)

      Is Kenneth Copeland SAVED? (This highlights the fact that being demonstrably covetous, the Copelands cannot possibly be saved.)

      Are the Copelands FREEMASONS?: Separating Fact from Fallacy (This new series will prove even further that the Copelands believe in a different “Jesus” and “gospel” than that of which the Bible speaks…see 2 Corinthians chapter 11 again, with regard to this point.)

      This last one above is the first of a series of articles that document the evidence that the Copelands are, in fact, Freemasons. However, that series is stalled at the first post simply because I have not had the time to continue it. Nevertheless, it does provide three basic evidences therein, to include their connection with Mormons. It also explains why this is such a major deal, i.e., why, if they are Masons, is this a problem? Well, read that article and find out. There are also FREE downloads on there that will explain the details even more — including how in the “knight” degrees, they drink wine from a real human skull in what is know the rite of the “Fifth Libation” (which satanists also participate in within their own ceremonies). Hence, to understand the ROOT of the Copeland family’s many false doctrines and errors, you have to understand their false belief systems upon which they are based.

      You can also peruse around on my website The Wisdom of Gold to study more of what the Bible REALLY says about money, commerce, trade, and other such things. In short, it does NOT say that you can send an offering to some nut on TV and expect a Brinks Armored car to deliver bags of money to your front door, as the Copelands and their ilk tend to lead people to believe (and yes, I am exaggerating a bit to mock their false doctrines, as they are not that obvious; but the point is the same). The Bible teaches about the right application of wisdom in investing, commerce, business, getting a job, etc., in order to make money. Yes, God does bless those who take care of LEGITIMATE ministers of Christ so that they can spread the TRUE Gospel. However, there is a big difference between supporting a street preacher, missionary, godly pastor, etc., and sending money to the Copeland and their buddies in order to support their extravagant “jet-setting” lifestyles.
      ;)

      I hope this reply helps. God bless you, and thank you for asking your question.
      :)

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  50. Angela says:

    I don’t have a question, just have a comment. …[the rest of this comment was deleted]…

    • I am sorry, Angela, but this page is not for “comments” but “questions.” (Hence, the name of the page.) Therefore, I deleted most of your comment before replying.
      However, I do want to help you out a bit.

      First, most of the issues you raised have already been addressed within my article “Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical on this very website. So please read that for further information, for you were self-contradicted in numerous ways within your original comment above.

      Next, you misused the “casting stones” Scripture. I have just written the new article Casting “Boomerang Stones” that explains why you are again self-contradicted for even mentioning that Bible story. While this new article is in-part in reply to your comment, I have actually planning to write on this subject for a few months now. So your comment merely encouraged me to do it sooner rather than later, while I had the time.

      Thank you for understanding, and I hope these two articles above prove helpful to you.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

  51. grannie says:

    Hi Rick, A question . What does it mean to be born of the water? is this water baptism of repentance? Thanks.

    • A great question! This is a passage that is often misunderstood, so let me quote the key citation from this passage first:

      ** John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

      4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

      5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

      Jesus is talking about two types of birth, using the first to explain principles about the second:

      (1) Being born of the flesh through natural child birth.

      (2) Being born-again spiritually by the Holy Spirit.

      Now, notice the connection: Being “born of the flesh” includes a woman’s “water breaking” when the amniotic sac ruptures. This can happen with a small “water break” in which there is a slow leak of fluid. However, in many cases (such as with my wife’s first pregnancy) there can be a rather sudden gush of fluid when this happens. This fluid is clear (unless there is a problem) and thus, looks like “water.” It is THIS natural birth process to which Jesus was speaking when He said that a person needs to be BOTH “born of water” (i.e., come into the world through natural child birth) and “born of the spirit (i.e., be born again spiritually by the Holy Spirit) if they are to “see” the Kingdom of Heaven.

      In other words, unless a person is born naturally (here implying the entire conception to birth process) then they DON’T EXIST AT ALL. A person certainly needs to exist before they can proceed any further toward the Kingdom. However, due to sin (e.g., read Romans chapter 3) ALL human beings are alienated from God (see Ephesians chapter 2) and need to ALSO be “born again” in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven. So the absence of the first (natural conception to birth) means a person does not exist, and the subject of the Kingdom is rather irrelevant regarding non-existing human beings. The absence of the second means that an existing human does not qualify to see the Kingdom Heaven. :)

      Here is a good article at the Mayo Clinic that describes what is going on when a woman’s “water breaks” during labor, so that you can read up on this natural process somewhat: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/water-breaking/art-20044142

      So essentially, people who have had religion on their minds instead of the natural childbirth process (who were also mostly MEN, and thus, not thinking about the details) simply projected their own views upon this Bible passage from John. They assumed that the “water” here is “water baptism,” but there is nothing in this context that suggests that idea (although water baptism is mentioned later in the chapter within a different context). Rather, Jesus is comparing natural child birth (in which they are “born of water” when the water breaks during labor) and the new-birth that happens spiritually as our spirits are “born again” by the Holy Spirit. Thus, while the people were perhaps sincere, their assumptions were not based upon the immediate context of what Jesus was discussing, but on subsequent events (specifically, verses 22-26) or other passages in the Bible.

      The theological error here is known as “eisegesis,” which simply means that people read their preconceived thoughts or doctrines into the Bible. Eisegesis can be dangerous (although it is a minor error in this instance) because people can essentially make up their own religion by twisting the Scriptures, if their views are strong enough. Thus, what we need to practice is “exegesis,” which is letting the Bible define our beliefs for us as we use logical analysis to examine the Scriptures. A very good introduction to the difference between these two approaches to Bible study can be read at this link: https://answersingenesis.org/hermeneutics/eisegesis/

      For some great resources on logic, evangelism, and apologetics, please see my Recommendations page. For some FREE online resources, use the following link to view a video and read a variety of articles about these subjects: https://answersingenesis.org/logic/

      So in summary: There are many passages in the New Testament that discuss water baptism. However, this passage from John is NOT one of the. In this instance, being “born of water” is referring to the process of natural childbirth in which the “water breaks” during labor. The subject is physical birth in contrast to spiritual new-birth. Thus, this is actually a “parable” in which Jesus is comparing a natural thing to a spiritual thing, by drawing an analogy between them as He taught Nicodemus (and us) about the need to be born again. By applying logical exegesis and studying this verse within its own immediate context, we can easily see this fact. :)

      I hope this answer helps. Thanks for the question.

      Always in Jesus,

      -Rich

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