Friday, January 1, 2016

And Deliver Us From Evil

I would rather post something light and encouraging to kick off 2016 but given the alarming rise in apostate religion, made virulent and so easily accessed by the World Wide Web, I believe a serious note is in order and the time has finally come that I should share this. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear. 

On New Years Day 2009, I quit working for a web-based “Bible-based ministry'. The day of my resignation did not come suddenly but was actually two plus years in the making. 

In 1999, I dived in to help what seemed to me to be a man who was all that he claimed to be, humble, simple, truth-seeking. Then, over time and by the fifth year of my involvement, cracks began to form in his teachings. Contradictions, reversals, and unbiblical interpretations emerged to reveal that the ‘anointed one’ was really just a very human control freak with his own personal weaknesses and strongholds. 

What appeared in the beginning as fresh revelation became nothing more than cleverly crafted un-doctrine that sounded good but in practice was nothing more than legalism redefined–rules and laws for striving to perfection, devised and prescribed by one imperfect, flawed person who knew how to employ ‘signs,  wonders, dreams and visions’ as mysterious, revelatory ‘secret other knowledge’ that is so attractive to so many nowadays. Unfortunately it is a subtle snare that promises great supernatural empowerment to followers even as it gently enslaves them to the persuasive power and mindset of the leader.

The undeniable tell is the fine-tuned skill that enables him to turn scripture and natural spiritualism into a weapon of psychological control with perfectly executed sincerity, self-denial and servility. 

What amazes me, in the clarity of hindsight, is that I stayed so long after I could see something was definitely wrong. I can make excuses all day, I can claim I had formed friendships that I hated to upset or abandon. I can whine that I was brain-washed or rationalize that I needed the experience to make me a strong voice of opposition in the aftermath, to be able to sound the alarm when necessary.

While some of that might be true in part, I think it mostly came down to me being just too invested to let go. Even though it was a volunteer position, it was like a real job and I had put so much into it I hated to just give it up and walk away and admit I was a fool or that I had been so wrong. So, my feet dragging was likely just a human ego thing. That I eventually was able to break the ties that bound me can only be attributed to God’s intervention. For that I am truly grateful because I know some continue to stay for nothing more than fear to leave. 

Fortunately, I was too naive to be subject to the fear thus I was never a full-fledged devotee. Perhaps because I lived in a different state and was not a part of the day to day operation, although I knew many of the inner workings that could be described as dirty secrets that all such organizations hide (think $$$) but my function was more mechanical than ministerial. 

There was one individual close to the cult-leader (and that is what he was and still is) who later came out who eventually contacted me and told me how shocked he was to discover that I had been such an integral part of the ministry because the leader never mentioned me as anyone other than “the lady who prints my books”. 

That he kept my existence minimized did not shock me. I knew he did not like that I often challenged him with questions, especially toward the end. Crazy me, I didn’t know that you can’t do that to a cult leader who requires unwavering devotion to his words and deeds. It’s easy to conclude he only kept me on board because I was useful to him in spite of being a thorn in his side. Turned out, according to him, I had a “Jezebel Spirit” that made me so contrary.

But again, hindsight is so 20/20. You see the big picture much more clearly when all the unrecognized or denied pieces are revealed and fitted together. 

Sadly there are still many who are being drawn into this man’s religious delusion  (and it is his delusion because he truly believes what he teaches) even as others have escaped. Which begs the question, why do some see and others do not? Is there a personality type that is attracted to fear-based religion? Can it be said there are those who desire to be controlled? And can this not also be said of the polar opposite kind of ‘just do what feels good’ religion that attracts even more devoted followers, that there is some fundamental weak spot in human makeup that makes us vulnerable so we can easily be drawn in to that which seems so right to us? 

When I left I expected to be vilified in his website, as he had done to so many others (how is that Christ-like?) because he does not take kindly to people opposing him and/or leaving his lair (a classic cult descriptor). But for some reason, likely God’s intervention again, he chose not to, I have often wondered if he had of called me names and posted our private emails would that have opened some eyes to see this man for what he really is? A charlatan, a tyrant who demands undivided loyalty, respect and fear of him who adroitly uses Scripture like a whip to keep his herd in line–who some have actually come to believe is an equal to Jesus as he ever so humbly accepts the honor because, as he claims, God has already told him he was but he still needs the prayers of the brethren so he can fully rise to the position. 

That’s not even a hidden snare. 

The point of sharing this is to warn that there are all kinds of tricksters in the great wide world. Some are quite secular and operate successfully in all manner of positions of authority especially politics, but way too many hide under the sheep wool of religion and righteous sounding religious vernacular and behind the mask of false humility.

A good rule of thumb is: if it sounds good, it might be good but watch what it does first before you dive in, believe, follow, support or be involved with. Satan is prowling in overdrive now and he has all manner of ways to pull you away from the Truth and thus render you spiritually disabled. If one way is too obvious, he will try it another way. Never doubt that Satan can use signs and wonders too.

Going the extra mile to be discerning, to pay attention to even the smallest red flags, to measure the questionable things before dismissing them, might save some time, trouble and unnecessary grief, not to mention your life savings. For all its negatives the Web is an easy way to do a small amount of research. All one has to do is type in a name. 

As is true of all who find they are trapped in a cult, waking up and admitting you’ve been had is the first step to escaping. But fear of leaving is a sure sign you surely need to escape. 

Which means the most difficult extraction from any cult, especially apostate religion, is of those who have been duped but then, even when the truth is clear, consciously continue to choose to trust and fear the wrong one anyway. 

One can’t help but wonder why.

For Him,



  1. This is scary for sure. I have a close relative who is really into someone who sounds just like this. It’s like she worships this guy more than Christ. I guess I understand why you didn’t mention this man’s name. But if you are sounding a warning how can someone know who to avoid? Just wondering.

    1. Yes it is very scary to think how easy it is to be pulled into someone else’s control. If one pays attention to the formula and pattern, this warning can be applied to anyone under all manner of circumstances, not just religion. The ‘who’ is not as important as the ‘what’. In truth this man’s name is Legion. (Mark 5:9) And he asked him, What is thy name? And he saith unto him, My name is Legion; for we are many.

  2. When this was posted I was prompted to comment but was not quite sure what to say so I mulled it over for a bit.

    First, thank you for being so honest and admitting this. There is so much in being able to face up to the facts and then act accordingly, well, I admire your courage.

    Thank you, again, for publishing this. It is truly an encouragement to me. Whenever we see that someone else has gone through the fire and came out better on the other side, it helps those of us facing a similar situation.

    And thank you for the warning. I was always troubled by the "if possible even the elect would be deceived" statement in Scripture. There is - or so it seems to me - an increasing number of false teachers/preachers out there today. We have to be ever vigilant, constantly checking God's Word for His Truth. Sometimes the lies appear very believable.

    Praise Jesus that we have Him.

    1. Thank you, Nann, for commenting.

      Here’s what I think is an interesting update:

      I prayed for several days over this, whether to post it or not. I never intended to launch a word/accusation war with the leader or his supporters. Based on experience, I knew from the outset nothing I could say could or would change anything. Those who are devoted to him cannot see the truth until he does something egregious to them personally to open their eyes.

      But what nudged me to bring it all up again, was an experience brought to my attention that someone else had recently with dogmatic, legalistic, immoveable “Christians” who damned him to hell for mentioning Christmas in his blog. It sort of brought back some unpleasant memories that I thought I had managed to overcome. Since it had been seven years since I had been liberated I just felt that it was time to air it out.

      Here’s the interesting part - The day after I posted it, I was reading in Matthew and suddenly I felt this horrific conviction. I had never looked at it through the lens of how many people I had led away from truth by enabling and helping this man. I spent the rest of the day in abject repentance. Acknowledging my part, my complicity, was a dark burden. To realize it took seven years for me to finally get it - that I literally helped him get his false teachings out, knocked the breath out of me. I never thought of myself as a ‘victim’ because diving in was my free will choice. But on the other hand I never considered that what I had done pulled many people into his false doctrine mindset. Some of these are eople who are still with him, who have seen the evidence and still support him.

      So, now I am left to trust that that which satan meant for evil, God will turn to good. If someone is awakened or called out, or stopped from entering into any false doctrine because of my testimony, then I guess it’s all worth it.

      Repentance is where the rubber meets the road in this reprobated age. He calls, we either hear and obey or we risk having the door closed in our face and told that He never knew us.

      For Him,

  3. Perhaps you could elaborate on this a bit. I am reading Ezekiel 13 regarding false prophets. I often cry out to God asking how do we know which is the false prophet?? It reads that they "envisioned falsehood and lying divination" but how do we know? How long will we be duped before the truth surfaces? How much damage will be done? They "smear whitewash" over God's truth, but sheep look to the shepherds . . . that is why God ordained shepherds, to help the sheep find Him. This frustrates me. I try to study for myself, but when I need some assistance, who do you trust?? Hopefully I will mature enough to hear and know God's voice but until then, what??

    This posting really sparked something in me. How widespread is the deception? Too many times I have heard people "back-paddle" on something they had taught - people that seemed trust-worthy in their teachings.

    1. I understand your frustration completely. The pat answer, of course, is that you’ll know a false prophet by his fruit (or lack thereof) but it is so much more complex than that. For one thing, I have come to realize how easy it is to fool people with just a seed of truth at the center of a doctrine. In fact, it’s a classic trick of satan to kill a truth by simply taking it and turning it into a falsehood wrapped around a truth.

      I can only address this tough topic from my personal experience and walk. First of all, it must be established that we are not bound to the very same walk. God made us all different for a reason. We are supposed to be synergistic but instead we use our strengths and weaknesses against each other. I think this drive to be exactly alike is what causes us to seek a leader who can tell us what that means.

      I was held out at an early age and so I didn’t grow up understanding the dynamic of ‘churchiness’. I didn’t know the language. The decade that I got involved with a religious group was really out of character for me but the man in charge had some things to say in the beginning that spoke to me. The very first thing was that God is Sovereign. He and satan are not equals. I don’t know why that was so significant to me but it opened other concepts. Honestly I can’t explain it. I do know that at the five year mark I knew something was definitely wrong - and yet I stayed on. :-(

      So, back to the topic, how to tell if someone is a false prophet or even someone who is a teacher of false doctrine? At this point, based on my journey, I test everyone. I’m not sure anyone has the whole truth anyway. We’re humans, we have things that influence us. Which means, no one is perfect. For me, the first test is arrogance. Is the teacher claiming to know everything? Red flag!

      I read something this morning that seemed to bring some things into focus. I don’t know this person, I have no idea what his core beliefs are. But this is how I try and test things. I read and study the Bible and when I am ready for some reason to see a thing I never saw before, something that edifies me and grows me a little, I sit in wonder at the whole thing. I prefer reading the old timers who taught timeless truth, most of which have been with the Lord for years. But I'm open to read anything so long as it puts Christ in the center and isn't a pitch for selling something.

      Here’s the pdf of the thing I read this morning.

      For Him,

    2. Thank you for your insight. That article is also helpful.

    3. Thank you for commenting.

      I don’t think I am alone in this that I feel a great shift in the continuum, as though we have reached a point where the Remnant needs to narrow our focus on the simple gospel - which is - (John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

      No dogma needed. There is not a single doctrinal difference among those who call themselves Christians that can disable this fundamental truth. Why seek another way of receiving what God has clearly already given in John 3:16? 

      For Him,