The sooner we realize that we've replaced God's truth in favor of man's knowledge and spiritual fantasies, the sooner we can return to God's pure doctrine that gives life and truth to all.
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.
It was in 1990 that I first noticed large numbers of fundamentalist Christians and others slowly moving away from the true gospel of Christ in favor of another. The result of this shift was spiritual foolishness, superstitious nonsense, none of which could be validated by scripture.
I plan to give you first hand accounts of the nonsense I witnessed during those years when I observed this "takeover". The best way to describe this move: It was as if Christians had closed their bibles and decided to center on their own feelings and trust their own imaginations rather than the word of God.
Since that time, I have staggered upon the topic of "Gnosticism" and now believe that if I had to apply a name to this strange new man centered doctrine invading many Christian churches, I would call it "Christian Gnosticism". This is only my personal opinion.
A Gnostic believes in knowledge all right, they believe in "Self" knowledge over and above the knowledge one can acquire from God's Truth.
A religious orientation advocating gnosis (knowledge) as the way to release a person's spiritual element; considered heresy by Christian churches
the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis (knowledge)or *knowing*
GNOSIS: Greek gnOsis, literally, knowledge
Gnostics rely on gnosis, (knowledge) rather than faith. Gnosticism has been around for 1000'S of years. However, It has experienced a renewal of sorts in the past twenty years. Some elements of gnosticism pre date Christianity.
Man's Fascination with all things Spiritual
Man is at all times thirsty for things spiritual. There is evidence of this by the staggering profits made by those offering spiritual books, manuals and conferences of every kind imaginable. Yet there will never be a substitution for real truth, which can be gained only from God's truth combined with the leading of the Holy Spirit. We as humans, created by God, and in the image of God, have a side of our nature that is empty if not filled with the Comforter, the Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit was sent by God the Father when Jesus ascended to heaven after rising from the dead. This same Holy Spirit was meant to dwell in us and to bring us into all truth and knowledge of who we are in Christ Jesus.
Who dwells in us?
Now IF we do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have given a place for any or all deceptive influences to dwell within us.
Although in life there is usually no black and white, but shades of gray at times, There is an EXCEPTION here. We know by scripture that the question of who dwells in us IS a black or white issue!
Either the Holy Spirit is dwelling in you OR he is not. If he is not, you are without God, full of SELF (man centered spirit), and you are in rebellion toward God and His spirit. Hence, the emptiness will be ripe for deception.
Note the following scripture:
The Return of the Unclean Spirit - Jesus spoke the following:
Matthew 12: 43-45
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
The emptiness Jesus spoke of is that same emptiness I refer to when I said that IF the Holy Spirit of God is not present in you, then that leaves PLACE for spirits of deception.
Notice that the last state of the man Jesus says, is WORSE than at the first.
Another Doctrine: Strange Winds Blowing
Over the past 10 years or so, I have witnessed everything from Christian preachers seldom opening their bibles when giving a sermon, to giving outright questionable if not blatant false prophecies. When the bible isn't opened, what is replacing God's word and commentary on it during a sermon? MANS KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCES.
Experience in a man or woman's life does hold certain credibility, yet not above the credibility of God's word. When a pastor, one who is in authority in a church is not following God in his own life, he cannot be counted on to benefit and direct his congregation. When God is not sought after, our focus is ALWAYS going to be dimmed spiritually and the result is self - that's all that is left. Self rises up and God is thrust down. Sadly, because of man centered doctrine and the grip it's had on the multitudes in the Christian Church, the fruits of Christ are not grown but are rather absent from the branches altogether.
Red Flags and Warning Signs
I have talked with people who have quit their churches because of the adherence the church had to strange doctrines. Many pastors and congregations fall into "Shepherding" type movements.
One red flag that should go up is when members have to go through a type of "chain of command" in order to ever speak with a pastor or those close to the pastor. This may seem outrageous, but nonetheless is true.
Another red flag? Little or No Bible.
Another red flag? Churches that exalt prophesy above all. In many churches, bibles which represent God's leading and direction, are passed over in favor of prophesying and prophetic utterances. This is wrong and churches that allow this are in strong error.
Another Flag? The overwhelming preoccupation and emphasis on Prosperity Teachings. I have seen many churches and movements that would not mention Jesus's name, yet "prosperity" was key in all of their meetings. This is placing man's desires of achieving "wealth" above all. Anyone who would suggest otherwise has already been deceived and it will be very hard to reach them no matter what you say.
What to Do?
I have said repeatedly that if you attend a church in which the BIBLE is not held as the final authoritative word on all matters of life, GET OUT OF IT! LEAVE IT NOW!. I have had to do this. I know what I am talking about. It is essential that you leave that place soon because the lack of truth quickly breeds chaos, confusion and all manner of dark deceptive works. It is far better to stay home on a Sabbath day than to walk into a church that doesn't defend and uphold the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I've heard it said that we can never hope for a "perfect church" because there are none. But what I'm speaking of is a church that does NOT adhere to the teachings and commands given to us in the HOLY BIBLE. There are no perfect churches, but EVERY church that is known as a "Christian Church" must not compromise the truth of the Gospel, if it does it is a fraud, it is darkness portraying itself as light. It is error calling itself truth.
My prayer for you
My prayer for you is that you flee such a place as if you're escaping a burning house! And consider yourself extremely blessed of God in that you have enough truth and discernment in you to recognize it for what it is and to leave it quickly! You have no idea how many people are living in deep deception to this day because they had none of God's truth to alert them of churches overtaken with deception. These people had man's truth but none of God's truth, therefore they were deceived and led astray very easily. We have to be bold in our faith in these last days. Lies, deceit and deception is rampant and seems to be engulfing many like never before. However, there is still a remnant that will have the ability to know Jesus's voice, and a stranger, this remnant will NOT follow after. They will respond only to the voice of that great shepherd of the sheep - JESUS CHRIST- and his infallible truth, The Word of God.
Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.