Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

November 20, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’

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A "spoof" of Joel Osteen's book, "Your Best Life Now," which portrays Joel as a Hindu, and is entitled, "Your Best Life Next Time" (referencing reincarnation beliefs).

This widely circulated “Hindu Edition” spoof of Joel Osteen’s famous heretical book, “Your Best Life Now,” was just too funny and too appropriate for me to not use for this post. (Click to enlarge.)

If you have ever watched Joel Osteen’s “church” services from Lakewood “Church” in Houston, Texas, you have probably seen him lead the congregation and television viewing audience into making a “positive confession” right before he begins his teaching. What you may NOT know about that “confession” is that Joel — consciously or unconsciously — is programming his audience to receive his false doctrine without ANY question or discernment.

(Let me note briefly that I have hyper-linked many of the words in this article to Dictionary.com in order to provide definitions for terms that might not be readily understood, especially by those for whom English is a second language. So if you do not understand a particular word or phrase, simply hold your cursor over it to see if a message appears that indicates there is a link there for you to click.)

“Now,” someone might object, “How can you say that about Joel’s innocent confession? It is simply a profession of faith that we are going to be teachable and to learn from God’s Word.” Oh, is it? We will take a closer look at that confession and find out that there is more to it than readily meets the eye.

However, before we get into that detailed examination of the “Lakewood Church Confession,” let us first take a look at the word “mantra” which I used in the title of this article. You will readily see as we progress how accurate a word this is for us to use to describe what Joel Osteen encourages his followers to do (and why I picked the spoof book graphic to the right for this post). Here is the definition:

1. Hinduism: A word or formula, as from the Veda, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.

2. An often repeated word, formula, or phrase, often a truism: e.g. If I hear the “less is more” mantra one more time, I’ll scream.

(Source: Dictionary.com)

Now as we get into studying this “confession” of theirs, you will find that the NET EFFECT thereof is the same as the “mantra” definition #1 above: Namely, that it is an “incantation” (of a sorts) that takes place, through which the people are led into programming themselves to be deceived by the man.

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Word of Faith, or Word of Poison?

To begin, let me note that this “Lakewood Church Confession” was actually created by John Osteen, Joel’s father, many years ago. John was a very respected leader within the “Word of Faith Movement,” and had the typical “confession” theology that prevailed in those circles for many years and even today (though “money” now dominates their attention more than “faith” or “confession” typically). That brand of theology contains a mix of biblical truth with significant error. As it has proliferated since Kenneth Copeland became more prominent within the movement back in the 1980s, it is also mixed with Masonic doctrines as well.

I came out of that background myself, and even served as an Associate Pastor on the staff of a then-4,000-member “Word of Faith” church. So I know “the good, the bad, and the ugly,” of those doctrines. (And Osteen’s use of  “confession” is one that comes under the category of the “ugly,” as you shall soon see.) However, rather than get into a detailed analysis thereof, let me just offer here a few observations for the purpose of this article…

There is a fairly old saying that points out that, “Rat poison is actually 98% perfectly good corn meal.” Obviously, just 2% of poison is enough to turn a perfectly good “dinner” into a “death sentence” for any rat that dares to feed on the meal they are offered. Likewise, heretics often mix their spiritual “poison” with Scriptures that seem to support their thesis only at first glance.

There is a term within the legal profession that goes by the Latin phrase, prima facie, whereby they describe a lawsuit which appears legitimate at first, but has not yet been tested in a court of law against all the available facts. Heretics absolutely THRIVE on presenting “plausible looking” doctrines which seem to be authentic, but which are actually incapable of surviving close scrutiny. A closer examination of their false doctrines reveals that what appears to be truth is actually a myth.

(By the way, I teach on this subject of “truth verses myth” at some length in my free MP3 audio series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, which you can download FOR FREE by clicking here to visit the download page.)

In the case of the “confession” theology found within the Word of Faith circles, this mixture of error and Masonic heresies with God’s Word, creates a dangerous mix of “spiritual rat poison” for those who accept or study it. Thus, I highly recommend that you stay away from such teaching, as any effort to “feed on the good” necessarily causes you to mentally “ingest” the “poison” that is mixed therein.

But since I do not want to expand this article too far from it’s original topic, I will leave this subject here at present. I will have to write on this issue separately at a later date. Please check back to this website frequently to read it when it is posted, or simply sign up for our Feedburner™ notifications by clicking here to be updated about all our posts.

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Confession of Deception

Getting back to the “Lakewood Confession”: The DANGER with Joel’s pre-instruction confession is NOT found within the first two sentences. That opening portion is actually pretty nice, and tends to lull the person into not questioning the remainder of the mantra.

So the DANGER of the “confession” that they repeat before EVERY service at Lakewood “Church” is found in what FOLLOWS, starting at the third sentence. Here is the full confession (as copy/pasted from the Lakewood FAQ page, last accessed on November 20, 2012):

This is my Bible. I am what it says I am, I have what it says I have, I can do what it says I can do. Today, I will be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess; My mind is alert, My heart is receptive, I will never be the same. I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I will never be the same, never, never, never, I will never be the same, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let’s now begin to dissect this mantra and find out where the danger lies therein…

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Begging the Question

The FIRST problem found in the Lakewood mantra is that it is founded upon a logical fallacy known as “Begging the Question” (aka “Circular Reasoning”). The confession first ASSUMES that the “teaching” which is about to follow is BIBLICAL, and thus, will actually convey genuine Christian doctrine.

However, logically, one should not merely ASSUME something is fact (or true), but rather they must PROVE it to be so — especially if there is any question in the matter — BEFORE accepting it as such. So in terms of doctrine, one should always prove that a doctrine is sound and congruent with the Scriptures BEFORE accepting it as being true.

This is certainly the biblical thing to do because “gullibility” is to be avoided:

Test all things; hold fast what is good.

(1 Thessalonians 5:21, NKJV, emphasis mine)

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.

(Acts 17:10-12, NASB, emphasis mine)

Paul preached truth, and these people were receptive to what he was preaching as he quoted extensively from the Old Testament prophecies to support his assertion, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ” (verse 3). However, these people were NOT gullible; and they wanted to move beyond the prima facie appearance of plausibility, and to put this doctrine of Paul’s to the test. So they examined “the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” BEFORE they “believed” what the man proclaimed.

As the passage from 1 Thessalonians above reveals, Paul actually wrote a letter to the Christians in Thessalonica to tell them that they were to be similarly “noble-minded.” Like their Berean brethren habitually did already, the Thessalonians were told to likewise “test all things” and only accept that which “is good” (i.e., those things that pass a closer examination).

But does Joel Osteen encourage people to “test everything” that he says? No, he does not. He instead “begs the question” whether what he teaches is biblical or not — and through the Lakewood mantra, Joel has all the people predetermine beforehand that they will “accept” whatever he teaches as being “biblical” BEFORE Joel has PROVEN anything from the Scriptures.

Worse yet, the instruction that follows the Lakewood mantra is generally NOT biblical teaching. Rather than dive into his heresies here, however, let me first refer you to a few resources of mine which discuss Joel’s “other gospel”:

And let me also suggest the following “Joel Osteen” resource pages, each of which provides a generous list of other websites that document his errors and heresies (listed alphabetically):

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Switching Definitions (Equivocation)

The SECOND problem found in the Lakewood mantra is that it is also founded upon another logical fallacy known as “Equivocation.” Equivocation generally occurs when people switch the definitions for words in how they use them, in order to either obscure the the truth (i.e., to hide something) or to deceive another person (i.e., to interject a lie into their mind).

(Note: Some people “equivocate” because of sloppy thinking and/or because they were themselves deceived by someone else, and are just repeating what they were told. However, I am primarily addressing within this article the intentional use of equivocation as a tool of deceit and manipulation, although is is possible that the “deceived deceiver” scenario might be the case with Joel Osteen. Regardless, he is deceiving others — whether intentionally or unintentionally — which makes him a dangerous “leader” who should be avoided, and not “followed.”)

So to illustrate: When a Mormon — or a “Latter Day Saint” (LDS), as they prefer to call themselves — comes to your door and claims that the “Jesus” of Mormonism is the “same Jesus that is in the Bible” they are equivocating. I had this happen to me recently, and I refused to let them do that. I replied to these Mormons, “The Jesus of the Bible NEVER came to America after His Resurrection as you claim, and thus, your ‘Jesus’ is NOT the same one.” They tried to use equivocation on a few other terms in an effort to hide the distinctions between Mormonism and GENUINE Biblical Christianity, but I kept catching them at their tactic and REDEFINING the terms according to the Scriptures — i.e., in CONTRAST to how they interpret them. Those two Mormons were quite confounded by that (as I guess they had never run into someone who knew their heretical tactics) and they soon looked for a way to exit the discussion (but I kept re-engaging them and extending the conversation…hee hee.)

(Click here if you want to learn more about the Mormon’s many absurd heresies, and their ties to Freemasonry, as I have to move on beyond this example and get back to our main subject.)

As you can probably guess, this fallacy of equivocation is another TOP favorite among heretics. Understandably, therefore, the Bible specifically addresses this practice of theirs in numerous places. Here are a few selections for us to discuss (of the many which could be cited):

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Jude vs. 3-4, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Jude warns that these ungodly men (and women) would “turn the grace of God” into something that the Bible does NOT describe it as being. (Joseph Prince falls into this category, by the way.) Such heretics will redefine “grace” according to definitions which will actually produce “lewdness,” and that even actually DENY the Lord Jesus (by either word or deed…please note Titus 1:16). Such “changing the definition of grace” is an example of the use of equivocation as a tool for deception.

Now look at one of the things that Peter discussed along these lines:

Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(2 Peter 3:14-18, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Peter discusses how heretics “twist” the Scriptures, to include the New Testament writings of Paul. This “twisting” is typically manifested by heretics through how they apply both “equivocation” to the terms they use, and how they apply still other logical fallacies in order to lead people to wrong conclusions.

Now let’s look at how Paul discussed this use of “definition switching” by false ministers (heretics):

Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches ANOTHER Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a DIFFERENT spirit which you have not received, or a DIFFERENT gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

(2 Corinthians 11:1-4, NKJV, emphasis mine)

I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a DIFFERENT gospel, which is NOT ANOTHER; but there are some who trouble you and want to PERVERT the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

(Galatians 1:6-9, NKJV, emphasis mine)

It is important to note that Paul was writing by the Holy Spirit to churches that he had founded himself. He was concerned that because of the outright carnality (i.e., fleshly mindedness) of the Corinthians, that they seemed to be “easy prey” for false teachers to deceive through the use of equivocation.

When he wrote to the Galatians, he was shocked that they HAD ALREADY been taken prey by such heretics using this very tactic. A “different gospel” had been presented to them, and they were in danger of losing their salvation thereby — not only by being “accursed” for spreading that heresy themselves, but also for “falling from grace” through a works-based religion (see Galatians 5:3-4 for Paul’s statements regarding this last point).

ALL of these heretics were preaching different things than what Biblical Christianity teaches, but were using the subtle tactic of “equivocation” in order to confuse their hearers and to lead them astray with their false doctrines. They say “jesus,” “cross,” “baptism,” “gospel,” “holy spirit,” “salvation,” “christianity,” & etc., but mean entirely DIFFERENT things than the TRUTH of what the Scriptures reveal about those Persons and things. (Note: I used lower-case letters intentionally above, though not grammatically correct, because I wanted to differentiate these false terms from the REAL ones of the Bible.)

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Conclusion

So what is the problem with the Lakewood mantra, which the people “confess” before Joel Teaches? What is wrong with them saying that they are going to “receive” the “Word of God” and accept it from Joel Osteen without questioning it or putting it to the test?

By getting all the people (and his television audience) to “confess” this mantra, Joel Osteen is doing the following:

  1. Equivocating his FALSE doctrines with the GENUINE doctrines of Christ….
  2. …and fallaciously ASSUMING that they are the same (i.e., “begging the question”) without first PROVING that they are actually sound biblical doctrine…
  3. …and thus, he is PROGRAMMING his audience to “receive” something that is often NOT BIBLICAL as if it truly is biblical….
  4. …when the BIBLE tells us that people should INSTEAD be taught to TEST THINGS that they hear — instead of just “swallowing” it like a fish, “hook, line, and sinker,” without questioning its validity and veracity.

Thus, the PROBLEM with the Lakewood “confession” is NOT the first two sentences of it, which are actually quite nice and sound good. Rather, the problems are found within the REST of the confession — because it softens the minds and discernment of Osteen’s audience in order to make them more receptive to his false doctrines and gross heresies.

Thus, I highly recommend you do NOT ever make such “confessions” whenever ANY alleged “minister” wishes you to do so before they teach you. A genuine minister of Christ will always want you to learn the truth for yourself, and to “test things” to ensure you both understand their teaching, and have confirmed that it is truly biblical.

Again, in closing, my audio teaching series, The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel, actually explain how to discern true from false doctrine — AND true and false ministers as well. I hope you will obtain your own copy of this FREE series today, and begin to listen to it — searching the Scriptures daily as you do, to “see if these things be so.”

Thank you for reading this article. I hope it was helpful. The comments section is open below if you would like respond or to add your thoughts to this discussion. (And yes, comments are moderated.)

Now in closing, let me offer you the following benediction from the Bible itself:

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Ephesians 6:23-24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

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P.S. Someone created a BIBLICAL version of the “Lakewood Confession,” at least with regard to how sinners (including Joel Osteen) need to come to Christ. So in order to provide additional contrast between Joel Osteen’s ‘Mantra’ and what the Bible says about everyone’s need for the Savior, I thought it would be useful to share it here at the bottom of this article: ;-)

This is the way it SHOULD be done. ;)

This is the way it SHOULD be done.

By the way, I believe that the person depicted in the graphic is John Calvin. I am NOT a Calvinist, but after reading large portions of Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” I did develop a great respect for his scholarship. No, I do NOT agree with his every point, but I was surprised to discover with how much of his writing I did agree.

Moreover, I was particularly surprised to discover how much his writings disagree with what most “Calvinists” that I have met express as their doctrines. (It is quite funny to consider the fact that John Calvin did not agree with many of the things that modern “Calvinists” promulgate in his name. Oh, and you should see how they react on Facebook whenever I quote Calvin in reply to some of their statements.) ;)

Be that as it may, I certainly agree 100% with the “modified” confession found within the graphic above. It is biblical, brilliant…and funny! :D

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Christianity: Are You Missing the Point?

November 9, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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Christianity: Are You Missing the Point?

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Shepherd's StaffThere is a VERY fundamental question I would like to ask you: If you are a Christian, do you REALLY understand what Christianity is all about?

Some people think that Christianity is all about having a good marriage and raising decent kids. Others think it is about getting their personal needs met. Still others believe that Christianity is a about social projects, such as feeding the poor or helping out within their communities. Still others believe that Christianity is about political action, and “get out the vote” drives.

While these things might be good in their own place, they ALL miss the point: Christianity is about CHRIST. The “sheep” are supposed to be following the “shepherd.” Somehow Jesus Christ — and His Gospel — have seemed to be forgotten by many of those claiming to belong to Him.

Have you ever noticed the ROOT WORD of the term “Christianity”? We don’t have to get really deep in order to understand this concept. Let’s just start off this article with an examination of the term by which our religion is named. The root word of “Christianity” is the word “Christ.”

So while the things names above might be good in their own place, they are SECONDARY (at best) to the principle message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, our faith would have different names:

  • “Family-anity” would be the name if it was about about marriage and raising kids.
  • “Prosperity-anity” would be the name if it was about money and financial/material issues.
  • “Social-ianity” would be the name if it was aboutt community projects.
  • “Political-ianity” would be the name if it was aboutt getting the “right” people into public office.

But since God’s Word calls it “CHRIST-ianity” (Christianity), then it should be pretty evident that NONE of the above “ideas” are primary to the biblical faith.

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Only One Faith

Jude said something pretty bold about genuine Christianity. He basically said that there is ONLY ONE true faith in Jesus Christ, and that all other “versions” (to include those I mentioned above, as well as many more which could be named) are NOT the real thing:

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

(Jude verse 3, NKJV, emphasis mine)

There is only one faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints” by the Lord Jesus Christ through His apostles. And these apostles made it pretty clear WHO and WHAT genuine Christianity is all about:

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth….

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

(An excerpt from Colossians 1:3-18, NKJV, emphasis mine)

Note that “in all things” Christ is to have “the preeminence.” The Greek word originally used in the writing of the New Testament within verse 18 above is, “prōteuō” (πρωτεύω, Strong’s #4409). This word is used only ONCE in the entire New Testament, and it means simply, “to be first, hold the first place” (Thayer’s Lexicon).

This same Greek word, however, is derived from another Greek word, “prōtos” (πρῶτος, Strong’s #4413), which is far more prolific in the New Testament, having been used by the original writers about 100 times. It means “FIRST” in a couple of important ways:

  1. FIRST…in time or place, in any succession of things or persons.

  2. FIRST…in rank, influence, honor; chief; principal.

(Source: Thayer’s Lexicon)

In other word, Jesus Christ is to be FIRST and FOREMOST the focus of genuine Christianity, because He was first in time and place; and He is the FIRST in rank, influence, honor — being the “Chief” and “Principle” of the Church. Look again at the passage from Colossians chapter one above, and notice what it said. ALL these elements of Jesus Christ being “first and foremost” (i.e. “preeminent”) are included in the description of Him.

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The Definition of Idolatry

So this bring us back to our original question above: If you are a Christian, do you REALLY understand what Christianity is all about?

If you thought it was about ANYTHING other than Jesus Christ and His Gospel, then you do NOT have genuine Christianity. You might have a religion; but any OTHER religion must — by definition — be man-made. It cannot possibly be the faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints,” because your version of “Christianity” does NOT match the one revealed in the Bible.

Thus, ANY alleged “Christianity” that is in conflict with the one delivered to the saints by the Bible, is a form of idolatry…and thus, sin (see Exodus chapters 19-20).

What is an idol? A “god” that one has invented. What is idolatry? The “religion” that was invented along with that “god” as a method of “worship” of that idol.

So ALL man-made religions, are by their very character, idolatry — EVEN if they call it “Christianity.”

Please listen: A very REAL Jesus went to a very REAL Cross, and died a very REAL death for your sins and mine. This very same Jesus was raised from the dead in a very REAL resurrection, and appeared to His very REAL apostles, and dictated to them the very REAL Gospel they were to give to the world through their preaching and teaching:

Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”

(Luke 24:44-48, NKJV, words of Christ in red)

Having delivered His REAL Gospel to His apostles, do you know what they preached and taught? The very thing Jesus commanded them to preach:

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”

(Acts 10:36-43, NKJV, emphasis mine)

In other words, the REAL Gospel is the same thing that was preached by the original apostles. NOTHING ELSE can possibly be that same faith that was “once for all delivered to the saints.”

And if you thought Christianity was about ANYTHING other than Christ and His REAL Gospel, then you are either unsaved — or at the very least, you are lacking the proper foundation upon which you can build a solid genuine faith in Jesus.

That is why I gathered a team of volunteers around me to help me produce the FREE audio MP3 series,The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel.” Therein, I walk you through the Scriptures, ancient history, and even some logic, in order to reveal clearly from the Bible what the REAL Gospel is — and what it is not.

The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel (cover art)

(Click the graphic to view the MP3 DOWNLOAD page within a new browser window.)

Again, this series is absolutely FREE and available for download right now. Either CLICK HERE or upon the cover art above graphic, in order to go to the download page for this series. Once there, you will find download instructions on that very page, along with further information about this series.

My team and I certainly do hope that you will take advantage of this FREE teaching. So please view the download page for more information about its contents.

Always in Jesus,

-Rich Vermillion

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The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel (FREE Audio MP3 Series)

October 27, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel
(FREE Audio MP3 Series)

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(Update October 28, 2012): Additional download instructions were added to the bottom of this article.
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The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel (graphic)Donna and I are very pleased to announce the release of a major new ministry project, “The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel” audio MP3 series. This project was truly a labor of love for the last couple of months, as an international team of volunteers joined with us to create this series and to make it available to the public for FREE.

There is NO OTHER SUBJECT more important than the REAL Gospel itself. It is only by that Gospel that men can be saved, and thus, ALL genuine Christian doctrine begins at this core tenet of the faith.

Rather than describe the series myself, however, I will allow someone else to do the honor.

The following descriptive text was written by the prolific Canadian Christian author, Ronnie Dauber, in collaboration with our entire project team. After listening to this series in its entirety, she penned this description in order to explain how she and the whole project team view the content of this MP3 series.

Below her description of this FREE audio MP3 teaching series, you will find the Creative Commons licensing information that permits you to share this series with others. And below that, there is another link to the download page where you can obtain your own copy of this FREE audio teaching.

Donna and I — and the entire project team — pray that you will be blessed by each of these teaching sessions tremendously, in the Name of Jesus. Amen. :)

Always in Jesus,
-Rich Vermillion

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The Fundamentals of the REAL Gospel
MP3 Audio Series

by Ronnie Dauber

Don’t get caught in the wrong net! There are false preachers with household names who are fishing for men and women to commit to their “gods” and not to the REAL Jesus. It is easy to get snared when our hearts are seeking God for the wrong reasons — and the outcome of our ignorance is death, not life.

Brought to you by an international team of volunteers, “The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel” is a seven-part MP3 series divided into eight individual MP3 files (or “album tracks”). This series teaches with simplicity and with clarity who the real Jesus is — and the truth of HIS Gospel. It’s exciting! It’s challenging! And it’s convicting! This series includes:

  • easy-to-learn basics of the real Gospel that you can apply to your life
  • simple-to-understand lessons that are powerfully explained by an inspired teacher
  • profoundly detailed content to equip you with the ability to discern truth from false teaching
  • mini-teachings on associated subjects interspersed throughout the series
  • BOLD — but rational — commentary on controversial topics such as women in ministry

Under God’s anointing and with His wisdom and knowledge, Rich Vermillion teaches The Fundamentals of the Real Gospel and explains how we can discern the truth of the Gospel from false and erroneous teaching. He exposes the deceptions and the heresies that are saturating the Christian world today.

The Christian world is flooded with doctrines that claim to stem from the Gospel of Jesus, yet they are in conflict — either obviously or subtly — with Truth of God’s Word. The message in this series is simple and yet absolute: it is the fundamental truth of the REAL Gospel taught in a down-to-earth fashion that is easy to relate to and comprehend.

While this series is designed to enlighten the Christian with biblical truth, it firmly confronts several of the false “gospels” as well. Also known as “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” heretics are exposed as the message of the REAL Gospel is revealed. Beyond this, Rich actually explains how heretics weave their seemingly endless varieties of myths as he teaches how to easily identify the true from the false by providing:

  • facts accurately researched for correct Scripture translation
  • non-sectarian (non-denominational) instruction from the Bible
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Rev. Vermillion has been an ordained Christian minister for over two decades and is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author. He has been featured on multiple television and radio broadcasts around the world. Nevertheless, his eternity-focused goal is simply to please his Lord Jesus Christ by winning souls and serving God’s people, through accurate ministry of God’s Word.

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“Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical

May 14, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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“Judging”: Hypocritical vs. Biblical

 

Judgement-Hypocritical_vs_Righteous

A contrast of opposites: The “hypocrite” on the left is wearing a dark suit to demonstrate his dark character, and looks away from the light to admire his “white mask” of pretense and hypocrisy. The righteous man looks to the light, and has taken a firm stand for truth. Which are you, when it comes to “judging” others? (Click to enlarge)

Donna and I have been very blessed by all the encouraging comments and correspondence that we receive for our ministry efforts here on this website, as well as our several other online outreaches (the list of which is in the column to your right under “Rich’s Other Websites”).

The outpouring of gratitude from those who have been set free from lying doctrines and false “wolves in sheep’s clothing” has been so fulfilling to us, and of course, a great source of motivation to keep going in our efforts — even in the face of persecution and opposition.

Yes, it may surprise some (though certainly not to many others) that we do get some very angry correspondence too from time to time. Most of the time, those are filed away (without being fully read) in a special folder which we have entitled, “Fools and Blind,” based on the use of that phrase by Jesus Himself:

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?

(Matthew 23:16-19, NKJV, Words of Christ in red)

The thing to note about Jesus’ use of that phrase above is that He applied it specifically to a group of people who invented their own doctrines in OPPOSITION to the Truth of God’s Word. Similarly, many of those who contact us have either invented their own twisted doctrines, or alternately, have embraced the twisted doctrines of others. So in their “folly” and “blindness” they consider themselves “experts” on the subjects that they address — just like the “fools and blind” that Jesus rebuked above — while all the while, their doctrines are unbiblical and full of logical fallacies.

So rather than bother reading that tripe (since we are so often busy and would rather invest our time into responding to those with either sincere questions, or are in genuine need of ministry), these “fools and blind” comments and emails simply get tossed into the folder we have set aside for that purpose…once we see which way such notes are going. This is especially true with those that are openly hostile and/or contain the use of profanity — however, those typically get deleted before being fully read, instead of merely being “filed.” ;)

From time to time, however, I consider it helpful to our readers if we make examples out of some of these absurd correspondences by dissecting them within a full article. This allows us to have some “case studies” intermixed into some helpful teaching, whereby our readers can learn true biblical practice/doctrine — AND even get some “ammo” to use in response to similar situations whenever they may face such things themselves. (Besides these benefits…these are just flat interesting and funny!)  :D

Of course, numerous people were made “examples” in the Bible by God — many of which were surely NOT funny to behold at the time. For example, there was. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5, and Simeon the Sorcerer in Acts chapter 8. Paul wrote about heretics and their false doctrines (“Hymenaeus and Alexander” in 1 Timothy 1:20, and “Hymenaeus and Philetus” in 2 Timothy 2:17).

Even the apostle, John — who is often called the “Apostle of Love” because of his frequent use of the Greek words “agape” and “agapao” (Strong’s #s 26 and 25 respectively) in his writings by the Spirit — took the time to rebuke a man BY NAME in one of his own letters, promising to do it again IN PERSON should he come later to that town:

I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us. Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.

Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Demetrius has a good testimony from all, and from the truth itself. And we also bear witness, and you know that our testimony is true.

(3 John vs. 9-12, NKJV, emphasis mine above, and in the Bible quotations that follow)

It is interesting to note that not only did John stated that the behavior of Diotrephes was “evil,” but he explicitly told the man to whom he was writing (Gaius) that he should NOT follow such evil people — and even suggested he stop attending that evil guy’s “church” !!! (And when we do that very same thing today, it STILL gets false pastors upset…because such “evil” men STILL always “love to have the preeminence.”) John then went so far as to name a good man of God (Demetrius) whose congregation Gaius would do well to attend.

Nevertheless, my main point in citing that passage above is to point out that “naming names” and calling their behavior “evil” (or unbiblical, ungodly, or any other such term justified by the facts at hand) is quite biblical and appropriate.

Consequently, I have taken a couple of the correspondences that were sent in to us in the past, and made examples out of them on this website. For instance, in When Wolves Remove Their Clothes I cited the identity and comments made by an alleged “minister” (who actually dared me to post his comments…chuckle), and then proceeded to dissect his fallacious tripe in order to reveal its heinous and unscriptural nature.

Similarly, in Why Do Glenn Beck’s “Fans” Hate Him So Much? I dissected the foolish comments submitted by an alleged “Christian” who tried to defend Mormons, despite admitting that they believe bizarre doctrines not found in Scripture (that is, the BIBLE only…excluding all the demonic heretical Mormon books that Joseph Smith, Jr. pawned off on them by deceit). Therein we revealed that the man was NOT truly “loving” those people, as he supposed — but HATING them instead, as he obviously could not care less if they went to Hell or not. As I said in that article, “If ‘friends don’t let friends drive drunk’ [as the old TV commercials used to say], they certainly do NOT let them go to Hell for eternity.” I believe that to still be true today, don’t you too?

Nevertheless, since we have gathered a few more since those articles were written, I thought it was about time to once again make examples out of a couple more emails. These will serve wonderfully to reveal how hypocritical those people are who profess to believe that we are not to “judge others” — for they obviously do not have any problem judging others fallaciously and erroneously, when they attempt to make that very point. Hereby, we can also clearly see — by both precept and example — the difference between “judging” hypocritically verses doing so biblically.

Let’s begin by exposing an alleged “pastor” who surely is not a genuine minister of Christ…

 

A False Shepherd

This first guy was intriguing, and a marvelous example of pure hypocrisy in regard to “judging others.” He said his name is “Stephen Garrepy,” and he was writing me from a location in Plymouth, Wisconsin (though I have no idea where his alleged “flock” itself might be located). See if you can detect the self-contradiction in what he wrote in this note dated March 6, 2012, before I elaborate upon it myself:

___________________________________

Everything on your website is very entertaining. As I often tell my sheep, “We don’t need to be a Holy Ghost Junior, God is able to take care of those who are leading the sheep astray.”

Please, sir, get a life and stay the course and concentrate on the Gospel.

___________________________________

 

Do you see the self-contradiction above? This guy begins by referencing his “doctrine” (if you can call it that, as it was something he obviously made up or learned elsewhere, for it is NOT found in the Bible — which fact, of course, qualifies him as a “fool” and “blind” as Jesus stated further above). He defines his absurd thesis both explicitly and implicitly to contain the following points:

  • That people are not to oppose those who are leading God’s people (sheep) astray.
  • That God Himself will take care of such “wolves in sheep’s clothing” Himself.
  • That anyone trying to interfere with such false ministers and heretics is trying to play “Holy Ghost Junior,” i.e. that they are trying to do the job of the Holy Spirit…
  • … and thus, that such people have NO BUSINESS criticizing those they feel are in error.

Question: If this guy REALLY believes what he said he teaches…THEN WHY was he writing me? Is he not playing “Holy Ghost Junior” according to his own stated doctrine? Why did he not leave me to God for Him to “take care of” instead of trying to get in the way of what God wanted to do?

In short, this man does NOT believe his own professed doctrine, because he acts directly in opposition to what he stated that he teaches others? What does that make him, therefore? Note:

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things….

Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

(An excerpt from Romans chapter two, NKJV)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

(Matthew 23:25, NKJV, Words of Christ in red)

Mr. Garrepy stated what he teaches OTHERS, but by so doing, demonstrated that he does NOT follow that false doctrine himself. He seems to have no problem teaching “his sheep” (which nasty phrase we will address shortly) to essentially “mind your own business,” while he himself seems to easily to the opposite. He has refuted himself through self-contradiction, and thus, completely negated his criticism of me.

However, since I will address the essence of this type of hypocrisy further below in detail, let me turn to what I wrote him as I utterly refuted his alleged “doctrine” directly in my reply. Before you read my rather blunt reply, however, please keep in mind the following passages from the Bible:

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

(James 3:1, NKJV)

Those [elders] who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

(1 Timothy 5:20, NKJV, bracketed note added)

Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; 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. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

(Galatians 2:1-3, NKJV)

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My Rebuke of a False Shepherd

In short, by identifying himself as a [false] pastor in his correspondence, his hypocrisy demanded a VERY stern response in “stricter judgment” as I opposed his absurd notions very bluntly. With that in mind, here is my reply to him:

___________________________________

[Mr. Garrepy,]

I gather from your email that you do not know it, yet; but you have just insulted Jesus, the apostles Paul and Peter, Jame and Jude (the half-brothers of the Lord), and EVERY prophet of the Old Testament. Here are only a few examples from the New Testament of how utterly absurd your stated doctrine really is:

Jude v. 3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ….22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

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.

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.

Now, pay attention to that last passage above in particular: Jesus was ANGRY with the Church in Pergamos because they “allowed” false teachers (heretics) in their midst. What do you think the Lord’s attitude might be towards the way you are instructing people to essentially do the SAME THING? You said below that you TEACH “YOUR” sheep not to interfere with others, when the NT clearly says otherwise!

Um…and let me fill you in on something…they are NOT “your” sheep, you foolish man:

1 Peter 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

I normally do not resort to “ad hominem” on the rare occasion that I reply to such ignorant emails, but in your case it is clearly justified by the facts at hand. Thus, it is not fallacious ad hominem but warranted because (1) It seems to be factually true; and (2) Certainly relevant to your email’s content. It is also a biblical term:

James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

I would suggest to you in reply that you REPENT of claiming God’s Blood-bought sheep for your own, and for teaching them absurd doctrine that is so blatantly contrary to the Bible’s message.

Then learn to read your Bible and how to form good theology instead of that tripe that you were so brazen to send me. Your “Holy Ghost Junior” doctrine might be cute in your eyes, but it is flatly unbiblical — and ungodly. You could NOT care one bit about a MAN’S SOUL? How can I call you ANYTHING but a “foolish man” when you are so blind to your own state?

Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you’re not saved yourself, be sure of that!
-Charles Spurgeon

Always in Jesus,

-Rich

[End of my reply to Mr. Garrepy]

___________________________________

 

Of course, this man — who is biblically qualified as a “fool” according to his own behavior in the light of many Scriptures — never did reply with any further correspondences (and that reply above was sent to him over two months ago). His “doctrine” was profoundly unbiblicaland easily proven to be so — and his email hypocritical. So it is no wonder he thought best to keep his “Holy Ghost Junior” opinions to himself from that point forward. ;)

 

Another Hypocrite

About a week ago, someone else used our contact form to send a note to Donna and I about her post Lifting Up Their Faces (Surgically). Like the false pastor’s note above, this one was also strikingly hypocritical.

However, instead of being indignant within my reply to this second person, I had a hilarious time responding to them as I attempted to explain the difference between biblical judgement of others, and the hypocritical variant which he (or she…I’m not sure which they might be) was demonstrating in their email.

Once again, you are about to see how silly the people we deal with are at times. More beneficially, however, you will also see how sometimes I deal with such unbiblical, fallacious , and self-refuting people (though, again, most of the time I merely ignore them). Moreover, as we progress through this article you will discover how such a hard-line response is clearly biblical and appropriate, if we truly love such people (i.e. not in human affection, but in the “agape” covenant-love in which Jesus commanded us to walk, see John 14:15). In other words, I will demonstrate biblical “judgement” (and confrontation of error) in contrast to the hypocritical “judgement” that they demonstrated through their self-contradiction.

Here is what “Lineo” wrote us, from a location in South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria (with his/her typos corrected):

 ___________________________________

Guys, guys, guys! Opinion is one thing but lambasting other Christians? What about the scriptures where JESUS says we are NOT to judge?

What makes your opinion so right? Are you holier than Gloria Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White and those you are lambasting?

Please! REPENT!

___________________________________

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I am quite sure the self-contradiction of “Lineo” should be clear to most of my readers by this point. Yet, how I handled it in my reply, should prove to be very interesting to those of you who have run into similar “judge not” opposition from others who claimed that you were doing the “wrong thing” by trying to oppose heretics and evil people.

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Of Myths and Fables

Now before we get into my reply, let’s once again begin with some introductory remarks. Please notice that this person has swallowed one of the most common MYTHS in Christendom: That Jesus told us to “not judge others.” Actually, the OPPOSITE is true. Not only did He condone it…He actually COMMANDED us to judge the “fruit” of others:

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 7:15-20, NKJV, Words of Christ in Red)

Jesus clearly explained that “trees” are known by their “fruits” as He used a metaphor to explain how to know true ministers from false “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” But how can you “know the fruit” if you did not JUDGE the fruit? Obviously, you have to use your God-given intellect to make a “judgment” about the nature of the “fruit” in question, in order to properly discern true and false ministers.

Note also how Jesus addressed the subject of confrontation of personal offenses:

Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

(Matthew 18:15-17, NKJV, Words of Christ in Red)

Do you see the section I underlined above? The Greek word translated as “tell him his fault” is elegchō (Strong’s #1651), which The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament Edition, explains as meaning:

To shame, disgrace, but only in Classical Greek. In the New Testament, to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus to shame him. (I) To convict, to show to be wrong…to convict of error, refute, confute. (II) By implication, to reprove, rebuke, admonish…. to reprove by chastisement, correct, chastise in a moral sense….”

So we can easily see that to “tell him his fault” is more than just a quick comment about the matter. Rather, the picture painted by this Greek verb is to expose their error (Thayer’s Lexicon; see its use in Ephesians 5:11 & 13) through very direct confrontation, as one PROVES that the other person is clearly wrong, and thus, brings them to a point of shame about what they did.

Does that sound like you should “not judge” them? How absurd! You cannot possibly bring that level of confrontation to bear against a person’s behavior UNLESS you have not only personally “judged” them AND their behavior. Moreover, you have to actually go so far as to “build a case against them” by which you are intending to “convict” them of their faults!

 

Of Hypocrisy Condemned

But what did Jesus condemn if not judgment against others in general? Well, let’s look at the main passage in question and find out:

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

(Matthew 7:1-5, NKJV, Words of Christ in red; compare also Luke 6:41-45)

Please note that Jesus clearly stated NOT merely “judge not” but “judge not that you be not judged.” In other words, the myth that Jesus condemned all judgment of others is based on quoting HALF a verse — and ignoring the next four verses too!

Jesus said that when YOU judge another person, you are inviting scrutiny of yourself on THAT point — and even related issues. Thus, “with what judgement YOU judge, YOU will be judged; and with the measure YOU use, it will be measured BACK to YOU.” So Jesus continues with a metaphor about a “speck” in relation to a “plank,” ending it with the CLEAR admonition, “HYPOCRITE! First remove the plank from your own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

In other words: We are SUPPOSED to removed the “specks” (and “planks”) from our brothers’ eyes — but NOT until we have examined ourselves first to ensure we are NOT being hypocrites when we do.

So Jesus ONLY condemned HYPOCRITICAL judgement…but at the very same time, clearly articulated the need to be concerned about our brothers and sisters in Christ — which, of course, requires us to “judge” that SOMETHING is “in their eye,” when we do address their faults.

 

My Reply

So what was my response to “Lineo’s” note? Well, first I had to point out very blatantly that “Lineo” was being a hypocrite. Why? Because with the “judgment” he (or she) judged us, I had to judge him (or her). And with the “measure” he (or she) used against us, we had to measure against him (or her).

So here was my reply (with a few minor edits for additional clarity, and my own typos corrected as well):

___________________________________

“Lineo,”

Please forgive me for being rather frank in my reply, but you are hilarious! Do you realize that you just “judged” us, and then told us to “repent”…which is exactly what you are criticizing us for doing???? You don’t even believe your own doctrine! LOL!

;)

Of course, by hypocritically doing the VERY thing that you accuse us of doing, you have negated your “correction” — and demonstrated that it is in error. You negated it, by “correcting” us for what you are doing — which means that either what we are doing is actually RIGHT (and thus, that is why you are doing it too) or what YOU are doing is equally wrong (and thus, you have a plank to remove from your eye).

However, your doctrine is in clear error, because Jesus NEVER said what you think He said:

** Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Note: Jesus said that we ARE to remove the “specks” from our brothers’ eyes…but ONLY after ensuring that we are NOT hypocrites, doing the same things ourselves! (See also Romans chapter 2.) Thus, your doctrine is FALSE, and you actually violated the very passage you professed to be exhorting us to follow. Here are a few other passages that clearly indicate your doctrine is wrong, and thus, why — in your heart — you do not even believe the silly “do not judge” doctrine that you profess:

** John 7:24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

** James 5:19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

** Galatians 2:11 Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed…

What do these passages above demonstrate? That we are to TRULY judge people according to their deeds and actions, and to bring godly correction when they are in error — even REBUKING them when necessary:

** 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.

The Greek word translated as “convince” in the NKJV above is Strong’s #1651, and means “to convict, to prove to be wrong, to the point of bringing them to shame” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, NT edition). Sometimes it is translated as “reprove” or “rebuke,” but “convict and prove to be wrong” would be the best phrase to use, with “convict” being the best one-word equivalent.

It is used in many places of the NT in regard to confrontation of sin and error in others, to include this passage in 1 Timothy 5:20, “Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.” In other words, such “convicting” is often done even publicly. Here is another place (in bold) where that word is used:

** Titus 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. 12 One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Oh, wow! Paul sure is being “judgmental” is he not? He even told Titus to do the same thing!

Obviously, your professed doctrine is silly, because the New Testament (NT) is FULL of people “judging” other people ACCORDING to God’s Word, and trying to do something about their error — even PUBLICLY confronting them! In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, TRUE men and women of God have done that throughout ALL of history!

Moreover, the Greek word translated as “rebuke further above in the 2 Timothy 4 passage is Strong’s #2008, and means simply a REBUKE regardless of the effect on the other person (i.e. regardless of whether it brings them under “conviction,” which the first Greek word emphasizes). So we are to REBUKE people (i.e. perform the act) and do our best to bring “conviction” upon them for their error when we do — but regardless, we are to confront their sin and error in TRUE biblical love, if we are to “turn them away from their error” as James said above. (See also 1 John chapter 3 in its entirety.)

ALL OF THIS requires us to first “judge” the fact that their behavior is CONTRARY to biblical precepts. Thus, your professed doctrine is VERY unbiblical, but also ungodly — and you do not even believe it yourself anyway.

I hope you will appreciate the fact that I took the time to reply and to point out your hypocrisy — which, by the way, is true love for me to do, as I just explained above. So my behavior in replying to you so bluntly is not only biblical — but it is without hypocrisy.

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Let me insert a note here to emphasize what I said immediately above in my reply to “Lineo”: Namely, that this very reply to him (or her) was a demonstration of consistency in my practice and doctrine. In other words, I am not only articulating what the Bible REALLY teaches on these subjects, but actually acting upon that very doctrine in replying to this individual. Thus, my demonstrated behavior was consistent with my professed beliefs. However, in contrast, “Lineo’s” email professed to believe something that his (or her) actions clearly denied. Now back to my reply…

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As Paul said in Romans 2:1, “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.” So I would suggest that you re-evaluate your OWN behavior before attempting to tend to our behavior any further (see again Matthew 7:1 above too).

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Let me insert another note to point out that I just told “Lineo” to remove his (or her) “plank” from their eye, in order to clear their vision. This is, of course, what Jesus commanded in Matthew 7:5 above. Back to my reply, as I turn my attention toward my concerns about their eternal welfare…

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I also encourage you to also consider soberly the warnings of Paul in 2 Corinthians:

** 2 Corinthians 13:5 Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?

His warning above, was in the light of the SINS of the Corinthians that he had just described in chapter 12 previously, and his concern for their OWN eternal destiny. This, of course, is perfectly congruent with Jesus’ teaching LATER in Matthew 7, in regard to making sure that you are truly SAVED, and not following “wolves” down 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.

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.

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!’

In the light of your email, I have the same concern for YOU that Paul did for the Corinthians. So please be prayerful about that, for your eternal welfare depends on you getting through the “narrow gate” that leads to the “difficult narrow way” which itself leads to “eternal life.”

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This is another important point to emphasize: It is of little value to refute the person’s hypocrisy if you do not also turn their attention toward the possibility that they may NOT actually be saved — especially when the person’s doctrine is so poor, and so obviously influenced by false teachers.

Note in Matthew 7:13-14 above that Jesus said that the TRUE Gospel of Jesus Christ is a “narrow gate” that FEW find…and that the “way” (or “road”) behind that gate is both “narrow” (i.e. specific, and constrained by the Bible to certain specifications) and “difficult” (i.e. contains persecution, problems, and other things which result specifically from the fact that one is on that “path of righteousness”…see also Psalm 23). In contrast, Jesus further explained that “MANY” find the “broad gate.” What is that? ANY alleged “plan of salvation” (or “blessing”) that does NOT conform to the VERY SPECIFIC one given by Jesus to His apostles, and handed down to us through the New Testament (see also Galatians chapter one, 2 Peter chapters two and three, and the entire book of Jude).

Behind that “broad gate” is a “broad way” (or “broad road”) that leads to “destruction” (i.e. damnation). Thus, in Matthew 7:21-23 above, Jesus explains that “MANY” (i.e. the same quantity that He previously stated will find the “broad gate”) will discover — to their HORROR, and TOO LATE — that despite their profession of faith in His Name, that they were never born again. Thus, “MANY” such people will hear the terrifying words, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”

Oh, the HORROR! We must “evangelize in the pews,” my friends, because “many” sitting there are on the “broad way” that leads to eternal damnation, while only “few” are truly born again through the “narrow gate” of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ! (And to read more about this, please see my article The Supreme Value of Righteousness here on this website right away, to ensure you and your loved ones are not counted among this terrified number.)

Now back to my reply, to see how I addressed “Lineo’s” closing question about our “holiness”…

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Oh, and in answer to your question at the end, “Are you holier than Gloria Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Paula White and those you are lambasting?” Yes, we are. And the documents that detail the sins of these people on that article about them, as well as on KennethCopelandBlog.com (in regard to Gloria), attest to that fact.

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Let me also note here that we are much holier (biblically speaking) than Joyce Meyer too, which is obvious by the fact that she is teaching Masonic doctrines about the “all seeing eye” of Freemasonry, which is demonic heresy. We are also MUCH holier (biblically speaking) than Paula White too, given her wolfish behavior in general, coupled with her propensity to be caught in extra-marital affairs (and click here for more about her ungodly behavior). Now, back to my reply…

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Just like Titus was holier than the Cretans, and needed to rebuke them for their error, we are ourselves much holier than these wolves — in the biblical sense of the word — for we are not “wolves in sheep’s clothing” as they demonstrably are. Thus, we are not being hypocritical in our analysis of them (i.e. as you were regarding us). And, in fact, we are demonstrating TRUE LOVE toward them, as we “convict, prove to be wrong, and shame” them for their many sins PUBLICLY — in hope that they will eventually repent of their error (and in further hope to warn others to stay way from those wolves…as TRUE ministers of Christ are supposed to do).

Always in Jesus,

-Rich

[End of my reply to “Lineo”]

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Jesus’ Attitude

Now, some reading the above replies might be tempted to “judge” them as being unloving (and please note the appropriate pun that was intentionally made in this sentence). In response, let me first point out that the “Fools and Blind!” passages quoted at the top of this article clearly indicate that Jesus was not always “nice” toward those He corrected when walking the earth two-thousand years ago.

However, to further avert the potential of someone defaulting to such an erroneous opinion, let me ask you a direct question: What was Jesus’ attitude toward hypocrites? Let’s find out by consulting the Scriptures:

Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips,but their heart is far from Me.'”

(Matthew 15:7-8, NKJV, Words of Christ in red)

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” And He left them and departed.

(Matthew 16:2-4, NKJV, Words of Christ in red)

But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold?… Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of Hell?

(Matthew 23:12-17, & 33, NKJV, Words of Christ in red)

One thing is VERY clear from the above passages: Jesus HATES hypocrisy, and was VERY confrontational about such behavior when He ran across it.

Consider this also: Jesus walked the earth as “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Timothy 3:16) because He is God Himself (e.g. John 1:1-4 & 14; Hebrews 1:8-12; Colossians 1:13-18; etc.). Furthermore,”God is love” (Greek, agape, Strong’s #26; a covenant-love that is NOT based upon emotions, but upon covenant relationships; which “love” can also be hostile toward those OUTSIDE of that covenant, as Psalm 136 clearly attests, as does Revelation 21:8). THEREFORE, since Jesus was “Agape manifest in the flesh” then TRUE agape-love is NOT the emotional “touchy, feely” kind of affection that people falsely assume, but a very specific kind of “love” that will kill people (Psalm 136, which uses “agape” in the Greek translation of that Psalm for the Hebrew word “chased,” which is translated into English as “mercy”); AND such covenant-love will even throw people into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8) if they are OUTSIDE of that VERY critical covenant that offers them eternal life (the benefits for which are listed in the previous verse).

So if you want to know what REAL love is toward hypocrites, then you need to study and emulate the example that Jesus gave us — which surely includes NOT being “nice” to such people any more.

(But first, of course, make sure you are NOT a hypocrite yourself! Look for both “planks” and “specks” in your own eye, BEFORE looking for those same things in the eyes of others…Matthew 7:5.)

Since we are commanded to do what He did (e.g. John 13:34 in comparison with John 14:15) and to walk as He walked (e.g. 1 John 2:3-6), then it necessarily follows that GENUINE ministry in the Name of Christ will consistently be doing just that. Again, we pointed about above that Paul COMMANDED Timothy by the Spirit to:

Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 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; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

(2 Timothy 4:2-4, NKJV)

And again, the Greek word translated as “convince” in the NKJV translation of the passage above is elegchō (Strong’s #1651), which The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament Edition, explains as meaning:

“To shame, disgrace, but only in Classical Greek. In the New Testament, to convict, to prove one in the wrong, and thus to shame him. (I) To convict, to show to be wrong…to convict of error, refute, confute. (II) By implication, to reprove, rebuke, admonish…. to reprove by chastisement, correct, chastise in a moral sense….”

So Paul was NOT commanding Timothy to be “nice” but to be VERY DIRECT, and to the point — even bringing people to SHAME by proving their error. Moreover, Paul even explained by the Spirit to Titus that this is a requisite trait (i.e. required characteristic) for genuine ministers of Christ, in order for them to be QUALIFIED for ministry:

For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you — if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

(Titus 1:5-9, NKJV)

Once again, the Greek word correctly translated as “convict” in the NKJV citation above is this same word, elegchō. (It is also interesting to note that in the passage above — as well as in 1 Peter 5:1-4 and Acts 20:17-38 — that the words “elder” and “overseer”…transliterated into English as “bishop,” are unused interchangeably to denote the SAME office. But that is another sermon for another time…)

Paul even told Titus, by the Spirit, to do that very thing a few verses later when he wrote, “

This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth.

(Titus 1:13-14, NKJV)

And once again, the Greek word correctly translated as “rebuke” in the NKJV citation above is this same word, elegchō.

So to be a TRUE minister of Christ, a man or woman of God must be able to “convict” others of their error (even being rather rude about it at times), by the sound doctrine they themselves hold dear. In so doing, they are imitating the very attitude of Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 5:1-13) toward those manifesting evil and hypocrisy — as the quotes of Jesus provided further above clearly attest.

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The Even Bigger Picture

However, there is another thing that is very clear from Jesus’ statements to hypocrites:

THEY GO TO HELL!

Again, Jesus said things like, “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of Hell?“ when addressing people He had already called “hypocrites” and “fools and blind.” This is VERY serious, and to be pondered soberly!

(And for those of you who have used “hypocrites” as an excuse for not becoming a Christian…please keep in mind that you will spend eternity WITH those very hypocrites in torment, if you do NOT stop being a hypocrite, repent, and get saved YOURSELF. Again, please read The Supreme Value of Righteousness without delay.)

So which is more loving?

Hypocrite-masks-red_background

  • To act like Jesus, and VERY directly, boldly, and lovingly, confront a hypocrite in firm rebuke, in regard to  their error, sin, and the state of their souls?

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  • Or to “be nice”  in reply — and thereby perhaps allow them go to Hell because they were not boldly “convicted” beforehand by someone who loved them enough to confront them in righteousness?

Personally, I think the first answer above is the more correct. Please note again, in closing:

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

(James 5:19-20, NKJV)

Yep! Though unpleasant, both Mr. Garrepy and “Lineo” received very strong holy “dosages” of TRUE Agape-love in those replies. May they take that clear and irrefutable “conviction” to heart, come to their senses, and repent of walking on the “broad way” that leads to destruction.

Always in Jesus,

-Rich

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“Recommendations” Project Launched

March 5, 2012 Posted by Rich Vermillion

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“Recommendations” Project Launched

 

Announcing that our "Recommendations" project has been launched!After a tremendous amount of work, Donna and I are pleased to announce that a new resource has been added to RichVermillon.com. This new “Recommendations” project is intended to provide our website’s visitors with a handy list of the “best of the best” of the study materials and resources that we ourselves own—and which we have often recommend to others individually throughout the years.

The first phase of this project is complete. The Logic, Apologetics, and Evangelism materials that we most frequently recommend to others have been listed and explained upon one page. However, this is not a mere catalog of what we have on our own bookshelves. Rather, this robust resource contains also the following:

  • Introductory teaching on the subjects of logic, apologetics, and evangelism.
  • Some important teaching about the necessity of the Bible to the Christian faith.
  • Demonstration of the use of logic within several of the discussions.
  • Brief explanations of some powerful apologetic concepts.
  • A description of the ONLY biblical method of evangelism—i.e. the one that Jesus and the apostles used.
  • Detailed explanations of the materials that we most often recommend to others in these categories of teaching resources.
  • International links by which our readers from around the world can easily research these materials further and/or acquire them for themselves.
  • Some personal testimony, and thus, a unique “glimpse” into the Vermillion household that is not found anywhere else on the Internet.  ;)

There’s more to the first phase of this project than the simple bullet-list above (and those pages explain themselves more fully). But the items listed above will hopefully give you at least some idea of the benefit we expect that this project will provide for our readers—as well as the labor that was involved in preparing it.

We are hoping that this proves to be a VERY useful resource and reference for all our website guests—and most especially for our regular visitors, who frequent this website to enjoy the teaching that we offer on here free of charge to everyone.

Please feel free to share it with others if you deem it a blessing. You can do this by email, and by hitting the “Like/Tweet” buttons. We also have a “Share/Save” feature at the top and bottom of every page that is very handy for both bookmarking the page for easy future reference, as well as to spread the word through social media websites and other methods.

Other phases to this Recommendation project will be forthcoming as our time allows, and as reader enthusiasm for the first phase encourages us to create more pages. There are other categories of study resources and faith-building materials that we ourselves use and would like to recommend to everyone on here as well. :)

Donna and I have other various projects in the works also. So there will be more announcements in the weeks and months to come regarding those. If you are not already signed-up, please feel free also to subscribe to our Feedburner email list in order to be updated when those are released.

However, please avail yourself of this new Recommendations project resource in the mean time.

Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

(Ephesians 6:23-24, NKJV)

Always in Jesus,

-Rich

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