Screwtape Legacy

by Sandy Simpson


The book by C.S. Lewis called “Screwtape Letters” was a clever idea in exposing a number of tactics of the enemy.  Those principles are still at work today in many churches.  Following is a list of some of the things the enemy wants to see in churches and Christians in order to bring them down.


Backbiting and slander


This is a huge problem even for churches that are true to the Word.  Gossip quickly turns into backbiting and backbiting then inevitably ends in slander.  Gossip is bad enough, but slander is a very hard issue to combat.  The person being slandered often does not know exactly what has been said about them and so does not know how to answer the invisible charges.  But those charges nevertheless get tried in public court and the person’s reputation is hurt, even in the eyes of those who do not know them.  This is why the Bible warns about gossip and slander.


2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slandersgossip, arrogance, disturbances;

2 Timothy 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

Proverbs 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

Proverbs 16:28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

Colossians 3:8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slanderand abusive speech from your mouth.


Churches need to nip slander in the bud.  That means they need to ferret out who is passing around slander and tell them to stop.  We are to put away slander, put it aside.  Slander often turns into malice, even when the slander is not based on real facts.


A false sense of a superior anointing


The idea of a hierarchy of anointing is being promulgated by many New Apostolic and Word of Faith churches.  But the fact is there is only one Anointing and it is only available through the second birth, not a “second blessing”.  Upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He then gives gifts and empowerment to do the will of the Father throughout the person’s life as they submit.  If someone tells you that you may be a Christian but do not have the Holy Spirit and they can give Him to you, give them this answer:


I am a born again Christian, therefore I am already sealed (Eph 1:13,4:30; 2 Cor 1:22) and baptized (1 Cor 12:13) by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is working (1 Cor 12:11; 2 Thes 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2) within me (John 7:38; 1 John 3:24,4:13; Jam 4:5; 2 Tim 1:14) convicting (1 Thes 1:5; John 16:7-8), empowering (Eph 3:16), sanctifying (2 Thes 2;13; 1 Pet 1:2), bestowing grace gifts (1 Cor 12:4-11), and producing fruit (Gal 5:22). The Holy Spirit of God is sovereign (Heb 2:4; 1 Cor 12:11) and He cannot be transferred “by” human hands, which was the misconception of Simon the Sorcerer (Acts 8:18-23). A few times in Acts the Spirit was given “at” the laying on of hands (Acts 8:17; 19:6) which was always done in submission to the will of God and in agreement with His purposes (1 John 2:17). The Holy Spirit, in this age, immediately indwells all who believe (Eph 1:13-14) which does not necessitate the laying on of hands. (“What Should I Say?” by Sandy Simpson,


There is much talk about all kinds of “anointing” today by false teachers.  That is because they don’t understand what the Anointing is.  There is only one Anointing, that is the Anointing of the Anointed one, Jesus Christ. 


God is the One Who gives the Anointing (2 Cor. 1:21-22). 


2 Cor. 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come


There is only one Anointing (1 John 2:20), the Anointing of the Anointed One (Ps. 2:2, Acts 4:2), Jesus Christ, King of Kings. 


When a person is born again, they are anointed by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21-22, Eph. 1:13), foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified (Rom. 8:29-30).  We share in Christ’s anointing through the Holy Spirit when we believe that He is God and that He died and rose from the dead.


Tit. 3:4-7 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.


No one can or should try to transfer the Holy Spirit to another person, as the Anointing is the person of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18, Titus 3:5).  This is what makes slain in the spirit not only unbiblical but dangerous.


Listening to and following false prophets and their prophecies


For some reason teachers are being invited to many churches without proper vetting.  I have seen many classic liberals, who deny certain core doctrines, invited to biblical churches.  When that happens leaven is introduced which becomes quickly almost impossible to remove without complete repentance.  The Bible is quite clear that we are not to associate with false teachers and false prophets.


The Church and individual Christians are commanded by the Lord to reject false teachers -- heretics.


Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; (KJV)


A heretic is defined by Peter as one who lays error alongside of truth, secretly introducing destructive heresies.


2 Peter 2:1  But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them-- bringing swift destruction on themselves.


Christians are to reject those who preach a false gospel because they are condemned by the Lord.


Galatians 1:8-9  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!


Even Paul, a foundational Apostle, encouraged his listeners to test his teaching against the written Word of God, and he stated that those who teach must not "go beyond what is written."


Acts 17:11  Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 
1 Corinthians 4:6  Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.


Believers are to be discerning.


Phil. 1:9-11 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-- to the glory and praise of God. 
Proverbs 15:14  The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly. 
Proverbs 17:24  A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool's eyes wander to the ends of the earth. 
Proverbs 18:15  The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. 
Proverbs 28:7  He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father 
Proverbs 3:21  My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;


Why do we test teaching against the Scriptures? Because we are commanded to remain in sound doctrine, to keep the faith, to follow the teachings of the prophets, Apostles and Jesus Christ.


2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 
Titus 1:9  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. 
Titus 2:1  You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.


False teachers are liars and do not remain in sound doctrine.


1 Timothy 1:10  for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers -- and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine


Exalting new revelation above the Bible


New revelation is the hallmark of the new Gnostics.  The Gnostics believed that they had greater and newer revelation over the written Word.  They always claim to have a new way of doing things and new concepts of God and doctrine.  But they are liars and should be avoided.  Even back in the first century false teachers were coming around saying they were equal to the Apostles.


2 Corinthians 11:12-14 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.


We are commanded to stay away from new revelation that is not in line with what the written Word teaches.


Jeremiah 23:25 I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dreamI had a dream!’


If teachers try to introduce ideas that do not hold to the basic doctrines of the church, they are not true believers. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing (Mat 7:15; Acts 20:29). There are many doctrines, but here are five that are at the core of Christianity.


1. The Trinity: God must be one "What" and three "Whos" with each "Who" possessing all the attributes of Deity and personality.

2. The Person of Jesus Christ: Jesus is 100% God and 100% man for all eternity.

3. The Second Coming: Jesus Christ is coming bodily to earth to rule and judge.

4. Salvation: It is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.

5. The Scripture: It is entirely inerrant and sufficient for all Christian life.


Study what they teach carefully. They may state that they agree with the above doctrines, but by what they teach and “do” a false teacher will deny one or all of these core doctrines. The Third Wave teachers have proven over time that they do not hold to these doctrines by teaching heresy that undermines them.  For instance, when they treat the Spirit as a substance, an “it”, both Deity and personality is denied, thus denying the Triune nature of God. Or when they preach a gospel of “repent and come to Jesus” without mentioning the cross or resurrection, salvation by grace through faith in Christ is denied.  Be on the alert and study to show yourself approved, rightly handling the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15).


Elevating personal joy and finances above being satisfied with what God gives


This is the disingenuous platform of both the Positive Thinking/Positive Confession crowd of Norman Vincent Peale, Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen and others as well as the Word of Faith “name-it-and-claim-it” followers of Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn etc.  They have made getting rich as a “King’s Kid” more important than the biblical precept of being thankful and happy with what God gives.


2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.

1 Timothy 6:8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.

Hebrews 13:5 Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”

Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.


Demanding that God give you stuff because you claim a relationship with Him actually proves you are either a rebellious child or no child at all.  Those who teach we should declare things to God instead of having faith in Him are actually teaching a type of blasphemy.


Falling down under the power of “slain in the spirit” instead of getting up to preach the Gospel


Those who fall down under the control of a “spirit” are not under the control of God as He does not operate that way, but rather under the influence, even possession, of another spirit.  If a person is truly born again they cannot be possessed by an evil spirit, though they can be tempted and impacted in other ways that do not cause a person to do things against their will.  But those who fall and cannot get up or do other things against their own will are clearly in need of salvation.  “Slain in the spirit” is actually an occult practice in a number of cultures with shamans.  It has direct correlation and effects that mirror the Hindu practice of “Shaktipat”.  God calls us to get up and preach the Gospel.  The conversion of Saul is our guide in this.


Acts 26:16 But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;


The devil wants “Christians” on their backsides; God wants us on our feet so we can effectively witness to people, not put them on their backs.


Substituting the Gospel for pragmatic methods


Jesus demonstrated repeatedly a lack of pragmatism in healing, raising the dead, and many other things.  That is because the Gospel is not a magic trick.  It is not a way to get certain results (Acts 8:18-23).  It is a witness of the Good News, which then allows the Holy Spirit to open a person’s eyes to Himself and their condition and realize the Truth.  It is then up to that person to believe that God became a man to die in our place for our sins and resurrect to life.  You cannot lay hands on a person and cause them to be saved.  You cannot tell them a prayer to pray or words to repeat that will bring them salvation.  You cannot teach them certain rituals that will be salvific for them.  You can only stand as a witness, preaching the Gospel, which is our duty since the Great Commission.


Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.


Lest we forget, we are also to follow up with making them disciples of Christ.


Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,


Using worldly methods to attract people to Church


The day of “seeker friendly” churches came to fruition with Robert Schuller, Bill Hybels, C. Peter Wagner, Rick Warren and countless others.  We were told in order to grow a church you have to make that church into something that appeals to everyone, nonbelievers included.  We were to go out and survey the community and ask what they wanted in a church.  Not surprisingly, when they tallied the results many of them included a number of worldly things such as cloning secular music, providing coffee to be consumed during services, offering a number of “social gospel” services in the community, and promoting popular politically correct issues of the world.  We were told by Emergent Church leadership by men like Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet that the church needed to become more postmodern in order to effectively reach a postmodern world.  We were even to teach the Bible as if it were teaching postmodernism.  Later, as it turns out, the methodology of making the churches more reflective of the world only worked to get more people in, but not to promote the maturity of people who were actually saved by the Gospel.  The Gospel and discernment were cast to the wayside in favor of the glitter of the world, the flesh and the devil.


Titus 2:12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

Jude 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.


Building bigger and bigger churches that become impersonal monuments to self


There are so many of these structures dotting the modern landscape it is hard to miss them.  How do these reflect the type of Christianity modeled by the first century early church?  They do not.  They are a monument to money, power and self, not to the way of humility and godliness.  They are a monument to the efforts of men, not God.  One review of a popular mega church here in North Carolina sarcastically stated that if one wanted to worship money they should attend that church.  He is not far off.  Instead of being humble like Paul strived to be after finding out just how deceived he was on the road to Damascus, these churches uplift their head pastor as some kind of guru.


2 Cor. 2:1-5 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.


Faith that rests on anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ is a faith that majors on the wisdom of men and lacks the power of God for salvation.


Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek (or “Hellen” which also covers, in a wider sense, all Gentiles).


Singing music that sounds good but ends up brainwashing people with false ideas


Modern “worship music” is generally extremely repetitive to the point where it puts people into a sort of diaprax trance.  This technique it used, either wittingly or unwittingly, by almost all secular musicians, and of course was then duplicated in the modern churches by modern music composers.  They do this to allegedly make their songs more memorable, as their secular counterparts attempt, but at the same time they are driven by other forces to brainwash people by the mnemonics of repetition.  This is one the issues in testing music that I bring out in my articles on that subject.


Not only are many modern “worship” songs repetitive but, frankly, a lot of them leave much to be desired in the area of musicality, just as secular music does.  They may sound impressive when performed at extremely loud volumes to large enthusiastic crowds, but if you have musical ability and step back for a moment objectively, you will often find a lot of it sounds the same, based on only a few chords, using very similar techniques.  The church, again, in emulating the world with the goal of attracting the world, has fallen into the trap of worldly subpar music.  The main issue of modern “worship” music is that lyrically most of it is not very useful in teaching sound doctrinal concepts and can even be harmful when often laced with heresy.


Allowing books and program materials by false teachers to be studied instead of the Bible


I first ran into this many years ago in a church that used to support us, in fact a church that was one of the churches my father pastored.  They told me they had been using Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life” for two years in their Bible study meeting.  I wondered how they could continue to call it a “Bible study”.  Many churches now study books by modern false teachers.  These books slip into the churches through women’s groups and youth groups in particular.  Many pastors, even if solid biblically, seem to think that allowing women and youth groups to sort of “do their own thing” is a good way to handle these issues instead of testing everything that comes into the churches because they are to be and under shepherd to God’s flock.  I see more and more women’s groups studying materials by heretics like Joyce Meyers and Beth Moore simply because these false teachers pump out so much stuff specifically geared to the needs of small groups that they are readily snapped up by churchgoers who are too lazy to study and teach the Bible.  Yet Bible study is a hallmark of a mature, effective church.


2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


Inviting speakers to church that have not been vetted and tested by the Bible


Often pastors will be invited to a conference somewhere.  They hear an exciting speaker and come back to their churches eager to share that speaker with their people.  But they rarely investigate the doctrinal background of that speaker and unwittingly can allow heresy entrance into their churches by promoting them and their materials.  This is why it is so important for church leadership; in particular, to be careful to test everything, hold on to the good.


2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 
Titus 1:9  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. 
Titus 2:1  You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.

Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them 
Eph. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them 
2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye received of us 

2 Tim. 3:5,7 Concerning the last days, he says that some will have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away" for such people are "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" 
2 John 10:11 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds " 
2 Cor. 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch no the unclean thing; and I will receive you 
Jude 1:12  These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm-- shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted-- twice dead.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test everything. Hold on to the good.


Sending youth to youth camps that are not teaching sound doctrine


Youth retreats are another place false teaching gets ladled into unsuspecting and undiscerning young people.  They can then be exposed to the heresies of the Emerging Church as well as the Third Wave.  They may even attempt to slay your child “in the spirit”.  They will introduce them to contemplative prayer.  They will teach them all kinds of unbiblical stuff and tell them stories that have not been substantiated.  False teachers love to go after youth.  They are an easy target.  For prime examples of this cultic technique, watch my series on Bethel Church of Redding, CA. and their two “Holy Ghost” DVDs.


What a horrible result, to have your son or daughter come home with a whole new perspective on Christianity which is not in line with what the Bible teaches.  Try talking them out of that stuff!  Again, Roman 16:17 applies.


Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them 


Supporting mission work by agencies that are Biblically compromised


I hate to say it but many bible translation groups and societies are compromised these days.  Did you know that the name Allah has been placed in 90% of Arabic Bibles to placate Muslims?  Did Allah create the heavens and the earth?  If you answer yes you have already been absorbed.  They have stated that the first thing they do, when confronted with translating a Bible into a language that has not been done, is to ask around in that culture to find out what the name is of their “supreme being” and put that in the Bible in the place of the true name of God.  So instead of using YHWH and other proper attributes of the name of the true God, they substitute the names of gods worshipped in cultures that the Bible states “do not know God”.


Gal. 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 
1 Cor. 1:21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 
1 John 3:1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 
Rom. 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 
1 Thess. 4:5 ...not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God... 
Ephesians 2:12-13 ...remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. 
2 Thess. 1:8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.


There are also many heretical mission agencies, and even ones that were formerly biblical.  The National Prayer Day’s agenda is formulated and put together by the New Apostolic Reformation out of the World Prayer Center.  Many missions tied to specific denominations that have been changed into Third Wave promoters, should no longer be supported by true biblical Christians.  It is incumbent upon believers to test agencies they are supporting.


Allowing people mired in sin to continue to serve in the church


One thing I have seen happening in many smaller Biblically based churches, is that when they follow Scriptural principles in rebuking and admonishing sin among their membership, some people reject the opportunity to repent of their sins. They then leave that church and join a mega church where they can blend in and will never be asked again about their sinful activities.  Gays will join a church that accepts homosexuality.  Fornicators will gravitate toward a church whose pastor has been involved with a number of women in their church, yet not been rejected by the members.  Those involved in money scams will usually end up in a Word of Faith “name-it-and-claim-it” church.  Those who want to do yoga and TM end up in a church promoting the teachings of the Emergent Church.  There seems to be a church out there readymade for almost any sin.  Where are the churches that will stand their ground even while losing some of their membership who want to continue their evil ways?


1 Cor. 5:1-8  In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Praying with false teachers and other religions on National Prayer Day


As mentioned above, National Prayer Day is a day when Christians from all different denominations are encouraged to pray.  Yet they often do not realize or don’t fully understand that they are praying with people from cults of Christianity such as the Catholics, and even other religions such as the Muslims.  How can Christians pray with people who are worshipping false gods?  How can they pray in Spirit and in Truth when others are praying in another spirit and without the Truth?  My advice to true Biblical Christians is to organize prayer meetings in their own churches so they can be sure they are praying according to the will of God and to the True God. 


Acts 1:14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.


God does not look at how many people get together to pray.  He looks for righteousness, even if it is only represented by a few.


James 5:16b The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


Giving lip service to glorifying the Lord on Sunday while living like the dickens the rest of the week


Unfortunately this seems to be an almost universal symptom in the modern church.  For many who call themselves followers of Christ, their “Sunday” life does not seem to follow them into their “work week”.  Many seem to live a schizophrenic existence.  It almost seems like they come to church to make themselves feel better or to impress their kids, then during the week they almost revert back to their unregenerate selves.  This is what makes me question how these kinds of people can call themselves born again.  When one is born again they are to leave the old self behind and embrace the new man.


Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

Ephesians 4:23-25 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.

Colossians 3:9-11 Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created hima renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.


And I would be remiss if I didn’t add that you can even live like the dickens in many churches today that sponsor alcohol, dancing, and allowing attendees to act out in any way thinkable after being “slain in the spirit”.


Having a disdain for doctrine and testing false teachers


There are many prominent teachers, especially in the Third Wave and Emergent Church, who have expressed in messages and books their disdain for doctrine, as if teaching doctrine ruins churches. 


"I don't preach doctrine, I preach faith." (Kenneth Copeland, Following the Faith of Abraham I, side 2.)


"...the heresy hunters that want to find a little mote of illegal doctrine in some Christian's eye and pluck that little mote out of their eye when they've got the whole forest in their own lives and in their own eyes. I say to hell with you! Oh hallelujah. If you want to argue doctrine, if you want to straighten out somebody over here, if you want to criticize Ken Copeland for his preaching on faith, or Dad Hagin. Get out of my life! I don't even want to talk to you or hear you. I don't want to see your ugly face! Get out of my face in Jesus' name." (Paul Crouch, "Praise-a-thon" broadcast on TBN, recorded 4/2/91)


“The Church has little idea how unorthodox it is at any given moment. If a church can't yet be perfectly orthodox, it can, with the Holy Spirit's help and by the grace of God, be perpetually reformable.” (Brian D. McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, ... emergent, unfinished Christian)


 “The Christian experience is not primarily formed by our liturgy, doctrine, or ecclesiology, as important as those might be. We are formed by the dangerous stories of our great hero.” (Michael Frost, Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture)


They forget that true Biblical teachers will always be teaching what is in line with the Bible’s doctrines.


Titus 2:1-3 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance. Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

1 Timothy 4:6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

Titus 2:1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.


Don’t the people who put down the teaching of doctrine to believers realize (1) what they believe is a “doctrine” for them and (2) they are the fulfillment of 2 Tim. 4:3.


Teaching people to “judge not”


This has been going on for years, particularly in the Third Wave counterfeit revivals.


"There's a groups here in California that thinks they are the judgment seat of Christ.  Dear God in heaven, I wish I just could just ... they call it a ministry, my foot.  You know I've looked for one verse in the Bible, I just can't seem to find it. One verse that said, "If you don't like 'em, kill 'em."  I really wish I could find it." (Benny Hinn with Paul Crouch, TBN)


John Bevere : "I am so tired of criticalness being called discernment. Do you want to know true discernment? Paul said "That your love may abound in all discernment." When you are willing to die for somebody that is when you are actually discerning them. Jesus could call the Pharisees hypocrites and snakes because he went to the cross and died for them. So the next time you are quote "discerning" about somebody ask yourselves the question could you die for them? If you can`t say yes, you're critical because the love of God is to lay down your life for them, and discernment is rooted only in love. Got it?" (John Bevere, The Christian Channel Europe "The Messenger" 26/3/98)


The “judge not lest you be judged” mantra is one of a three legged stool to suck people into the Third Wave and leave their discernment behind.  The first is “judge not” applied to everything, the second is “touch not the Lord’s anointed” misapplied to false prophets, and the third is Gameliel’s argument that if a movement is of God it cannot be stopped and we should leave it alone.  The problem is that there are many movements that invoke the name of Jesus Christ that are cultic and heretical.  Many false teachers and unbiblical churches use their “Statement of Faith” as a smokescreen to continue in the debauchery of “slain in the spirit” and other occult practices.  So true Biblical Christians MUST test, discern and judge.  When an individual or movement claims to be “Christian”, within the orthodoxy of true Christianity, the following verse applies:


1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?


The issue of leaven, from the Old Testament to the New is consistent.  We are to get rid of the leaven before it leavens the whole lump.


1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.


Replacing spiritual things with soulical practices that appeal to the emotions


I believe that this is a major problem today in many churches spanning a number of denominations.  People have been taught in society to value emotional content over spiritual content.  They are being taught that soulical experiences are actually spiritual in nature.  But the carnal world is a far cry from the spiritual world.  They mistake experiences like “slain in the spirit” for an encounter with the Holy Spirit when it is more likely either a product of their vivid imaginations or even demonic forces given a foothold.  But all those things that tickle the ears and arouse sensuality have nothing to do with the spiritual.  In fact they are used by the enemy to get people who claim to be followers of Christ to become followers of feelings.


1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.


Not defending the core doctrines


Not only do many Christians not defend the core doctrines, many of them don’t even know what they are.  Yet we are to use sound doctrine to argue for the truth.


Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.


To sit under the teaching and influence of someone who distorts, twists and even denies one or more of the core doctrines of the Faith is to not defend core doctrines.  If you cannot stand up for the core doctrines of Christianity, which are what distinguishes us from unbelievers and false religion, then you cannot call yourself a follower of Christ.


Making unity for unity’s sake more important than separating from those living in lifestyle sin


Ecumenism and interfaithism have invaded the churches under the guise of “Christian” unity.  But the Bible is clear that true Christian unity is begun at salvation in the unity of the Spirit and brought to full fruition in the unity of the Faith.  The unity of the Faith is to be unity in the core doctrines.  Without that there is no unity.  We are told to strive to keep both the unity of the Spirit and unity of the Faith.


Ephesians 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.




The enemy is scheming to corrupt as many people who call themselves “Christians” as possible.  Don’t fool yourself.  The devil is after you every day of your life and the only victory is initiated by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and holding on to that Faith through every trial, whether great or small.