Saturday, December 16, 2017

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In these days of the Great Deception, when people prefer a reassuring lie rather than the inconvenient truth, this is a collection of articles I have written about the truth found in God's Word, the need for biblical teaching, and sound doctrine.  It includes articles that refute false doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the prosperity movement, the eternal security doctrine, agnosticism, relativism, atheism, humanism, ecumenism, the New Age movement,  the Jehovah's Witness, the Mormons, also known as the Latter Day Saints (LDS), as well as the oneness doctrine of Unitarians.

As the Scriptures say:

“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.”  (Tit 1:9)

"I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints." (Jud 1:3b) 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2Ti 2:15)

"In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures." (Jas 1:18)

"Jesus *said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" (Joh 14:6)

It is my prayer that these articles will lead you to pray earnestly and seek the Lord's face, as well as search the Scriptures, regarding what you have been taught and have come to believe, so that you will not miss the glories of heaven and wind up in hell for eternity.  “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (Joh 8:32)

Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church New Age-New World Order The Holy Trinity
What is Truth? Tradition vs. Truth What's Wrong with the Prosperity Gospel?
Pope Francis Supports Homosexuality Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshiping Idols Children of God
Accurately Handling the Word of Truth Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint Pagan Symbols of the Popes
Pope Francis Validates Evolution and Big Bang Theory Restored Truth Exposing the JMS Cult
Exposing Heresy Is it Always a Sin to Not Tell the Truth? The Cult of Mormonism
Not Enduring Sound Doctrine Unbiblical Practices of the Russian Orthodox Church TGRM Issues and Concerns
Gabriel Doufle Issues and Concerns The False Gospel of Eternal Security The False Gospel without Repentance
Rhema vs. Logos – Is there truly a distinction in the word? Heresies of C.S. Lewis HOREMOW Issues and Concerns
The Nature of False Prophets Exposing the Darkness within HOREMOW The Creation Gap Theory
The Shack is an Attack Pope Establishes One World Religion Harry Potter is the Devil's Snare
Why Infant Baptism if Not Scriptural

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note:  You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org. Partner with us online by giving to DMI.

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Friday, December 15, 2017

Why Infant Baptism is Not Scriptural

Water sprinkled on infant in the Catholic Church
There are many errors of the Roman Catholic Church that have been carried over into other churches, which many people do not realize and simply take for granted. One of those is infant baptism, which has been adopted by the Orthodox Church, as well as many Protestant churches, such as the Anglicans (Episcopals), Lutherans, Presbyterians, Congregationals, other Reformed denominations, Methodists, some Nazarenes, and the Moravian Church. Since the Word of God is our sole rule of faith, any practice we engage in for the sake of Christ must have its foundation in Scripture, and baptism is no exception. Please allow me to explain.

Original Sin
In my article, Where Will You Go When You Die?, in the section where I debunked the false doctrine of limbo, I stated:

"In Catholic theology, it has been taught that babies must be baptized...The notion that babies must be baptized in order to be saved comes from the false notion that God will not allow them into heaven due to the stain of Adam’s original sin on their souls. The ancient Catholic theologians thought that these babies were not pure enough to go to heaven but would not go to hell, since they had never committed any sins of their own. But as I said, this is foreign to Scripture."

First the premise for infant baptism is the belief that babies are born with the "original sin" of Adam. This is not taught in Scripture. The apostle Paul taught that in Adam all die. He stated, "Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned." (Rom 5:12, NIV).

It's true that sin entered the world through Adam, and he eventually died because of his sin. In this way death came to the human race, because all sinned. This is a general statement about all people, so we must be careful not to incorrectly apply it to babies. Paul taught that the reason death came to all people was that "all sinned." We know that all people are mortal and have to die sometime, including babies. It is appointed to each man once to die, but then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27). However, since babies have not yet committed any sin, there is nothing they could be judged for that would deem them unfit for heaven.

A person must first reach the age of accountability, before God holds them accountable for sin. And while the age of accountability is probably a lot younger these days than it was thousands of years ago, due to various societal factors in most cultures, babies have certainly not yet reached the age of accountability. They do not know right from wrong yet.

The concept of original sin began with a theologian named Augustine and became an important Catholic doctrine. However, we must realize that while every human being is born with a natural tendency or urge to sin, they cannot be held accountable for sin until they have reached the age of accountability, when they know right from wrong. Therefore, babies are not guilty of Adam's sin or any sin at all before God. They are innocent! This is explicitly stated in Scripture. Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord declares:

"For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die." (Ez 18:4, NIV).

The Lord said that a righteous man "will not die for his father’s sin; he will surely live. But his father will die for his own sin." (Ez 18:17b-18a). If that is true of a man, how much more does it apply to an innocent baby!

In the natural sense, Adam is the father of us all, including every baby born into the world. And the Lord declares: "The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them." (Ez 18:20, NIV, 1978). A baby will not share in the guilt of its father, its grandfather, or any of its forefathers all the back to and including Adam. That's a fact, and you have God's Word on it. It is only the one who sins who will perish.

Once you understand that babies are completely innocent, you realize that when they die they go straight to heaven. There is no such thing as limbo. That term and that concept is not found any place in Scripture. So there is no reason to baptize infants, since it is completely unnecessary and provides no assistance for babies in reaching heaven. It serves no purpose, but is merely a superstitious practice.

No Infant Baptism in Scripture
In my article, Where Will You Go When You Die?, I further stated that infant baptism is completely foreign to Scripture, where we never see babies baptized but only those who have made a commitment to follow Christ. There is not one single instance in Scripture of infant baptism. It simply doesn't exist.  I wrote:

"Jesus always welcomed little children and blessed them. He never pronounced one warning or rebuke to a child, although He rebuked the people who tried to keep the children from coming to Him. Jesus said you must become like children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Then He said the kingdom of heaven is such as these. And He said that God has ordained praise from the mouths of babes. So if we go by what the Word of God says, we will never find anything but complete acceptance in God’s heart for little children. He would never turn away one of these little ones."

Let me also add that when Jesus was baptized, He was not a little baby. Joseph and Mary didn't take Him to be baptized as an infant. Rather He was baptized as a fully grown adult in order to fulfill all righteousness. He knew what He was doing, but a baby does not know what he is doing. We are to follow the example of Christ and walk as Jesus did, so we should not baptize infants.

Only for Disciples of Christ
As I stated in my article, Holy Washings I, water baptism is an outward sign of what we have already demonstrated by our repentance and faith in Christ. In fact, you must be baptized after you repent and give your life to Jesus.  The Lord commanded it when He gave the Great Commission to His disciples:

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 'Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" (Mat 28:18-20)

We see that the apostles and other disciples who preached the gospel followed this pattern. Notice the sequence. The Lord commanded them to go and first make disciples, and then baptize them, as well as teach them to observe everything that Jesus commanded the first apostles. He did not commission them to first baptize people, then make them disciples of Christ. Neither did he tell them to first teach people everything He commanded them before baptizing them.

The Ethiopian eunuch
When the Ethiopian eunuch got saved, he was baptized immediately afterward when they came to some water (Ac 8:36-28). He had asked Philip if there was anything to prevent him from being baptized, and the only condition that Philip had given him was, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." Once the eunuch confessed his genuine faith in Jesus Christ, then he was baptized into Christ.

There are also other examples of disciples being baptized after they first experienced repentance and faith in Christ.

Peter's Listeners at Pentecost
One such example is the people to whom Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, who became convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin at the preaching of the gospel.

"When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Brothers, what shall we do?' Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" (Ac 2:37-38, NIV).

Samaritan Believers
Another example is the people of Samaria who were saved at the preaching of Philip:

"But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Ac 8:12, NIV).

Saul of Tarsus
Then we have the example of the apostle Paul himself. It was only after he, who was then known as Saul of Tarsus, personally met Christ and was converted that he was baptized.

"But the Lord said to Ananias, 'Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.' Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, 'Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.' Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized." (Ac 9:15-18, NIV).

Notice that the Lord already considered Saul His chosen instrument and Ananias acknowledged that, when he referred to him as "Brother Saul."

Cornelius and His Household
Yet another example is Cornelius and his household, who were baptized in water after they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, proving that they already belonged to Christ.

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 'Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.' So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." (Ac 10:44-48, NIV).

Furthermore, we can learn even more from the explanation Peter gave to the elders of Jerusalem for his actions in the home of Cornelius. He explained:

"'So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?' When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, 'So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.'”  (Ac 11:17-18, NIV).

The elders understood that God had granted these Gentiles repentance that leads to life and they had come to believe in Christ. The elders also understood that repentance must precede baptism.

The Philippian jailer
The Philippian jailer is another example.

"The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.' Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized." (Ac 16:29-33, NIV).

First there was the jailer's conviction for sin and repentance, then his question how to be saved, followed by the answer that he must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. And after preaching the Word to him and his household, the apostles saw his faith expressed in love as he washed their wounds. Immediately after that, they baptized him and his household in water.

The Ephesian Disciples
There is also the instance when Paul found some disciples in Ephesus, who had only received the baptism of John, and after explaining things to them, he baptized them into Christ.

"Paul said, 'John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.' On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

The fact that they had received John's baptism was evidence of their repentance. And once Paul explained that John taught his disciples to put their faith in Christ, the necessary requirements of repentance and faith in Christ were met, so that the disciples could be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Putting it All Together
There is a clear order in Scripture regarding the timing when baptism should take place. It is taught explicitly and demonstrated practically in the Bible. The Lord commanded us to go and first make disciples, and then baptize them, as well as teach them to observe everything that Jesus commanded. There is no basis in Scripture for any other order, nor is there any evidence of such.

Since the Bible is our sole rule of faith, we must go by what is written in it. That is why a true Bible- believing Christian should know that infant baptism is not something God requires or condones. In fact it is a hindrance to the gospel, because it gives people the false sense of security that they were saved when they were baptized as a baby, even though they had never repented or put their trust in Christ to save them. They may say, "I've been a Christian all my life." This false sense of security has led many to think they are going to heaven, and that they are true Christians, even though they have never been born again according to Scripture.

Attribution notice: Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, NIV. Photo of infant baptism from Wikipedia and used per the Fair Use Act for educational and commentary purposes only.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this article, I recommend also reading The Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic ChurchHoly Washings - Part IYou Must Be Born Again, Scripture Alone, Entering the Kingdom of God, and Do You Want to Know Jesus?

I strongly recommend viewing the videos I have posted on my Eternal Destinations blog about a young Ecuadorean girl who has visited hell twice.  She testifies to some things about the Catholic Church that she saw in hell.  Don't miss Angelica Zambrano's First Visit to Hell, Angelica Zambrano's Second Visit to Hell, Messages from the Lord for Catholics Worshipping Idols, Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint, and Pagan Symbols of the Popes.You may also like the other posts in this blog, such as Exposing Heresy, Accurately Handling the Word of Truth, Tradition vs. Truth, and Pope Frances Supports Homosexuality. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Harry Potter is the Devil's Snare

I want to address the believers in Jesus Christ who enjoy occult forms of entertainment, such as Harry Potter, and see no problem with it. This is not for those who don't believe in Christ, but for the ones who consider themselves true followers of His, and confess the name of Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and yet choose to read Harry Potter books, or watch the movies, or others with a similar theme.

The Word of God says that the sorcerers all end up in the lake of fire:

"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev 21:8)

Scripture also tells us that they are shut out of heaven: "Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying." (Rev 22:15)

You may wonder how this could be and what is wrong with having a little fun with magic. In order to help you see what is so wrong with this, I call your attention to a passage in Deuteronomy that says,

"When you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to imitate the detestable things of those nations. "There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. "For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you. "You shall be blameless before the LORD your God." (Deu 18:9-13)

We must not imitate occult practices or find them entertaining, since they are detestable to the Lord our God. If you found something detestable, you probably would not think it was entertaining to watch. The Lord does not find witchcraft, sorcery, or casting spells to be entertaining. Rather, these are Abominations in the Sight of God. Magic is considered witchcraft. Throughout Scripture, all forms of witchcraft are considered wicked and are condemned. (Deuteronomy 18:10–16; Leviticus 19:26, 31; 20:27; Acts 13:8–10). There is no distinction made between black magic and white magic, good magic or bad magic. It is all evil. Harry Potter and other secular movies or books that have a magical, sorcery, or witchcraft theme have no place in the blood-bought Church. What fellowship is there between light and darkness?

If you are a Christian who's into Harry Potter, you may also enjoy C.S. Lewis. But let me warn you about him, too, that he was a heretic, as I have already said in my article, Heresies of C.S. Lewis. He was one of those authors whom many consider to be a Christian, and is still very popular among Christians, yet he believed white magic is good. Forget about what everyone else thinks about him, or whether they think his books are great reading for believers. Let's get back to the Word of God.

All true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ keep His Word, which means we live under His Lordship. He is the eternal Rock. That's solid ground. Everything in heaven and earth that can be shaken will be shaken, so that only that which cannot be shaken remains (Heb 12:27). So get ready. Jesus is coming back right away! But He's only coming for a pure Bride without spot or wrinkle. Here's a word to all who want to make heaven: "Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." (Heb 12:14, NIV).

"Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and, 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.'" (2 Tim 2:19).

If you have been entertaining yourself by reading books about Harry Potter, watching the movies about him, or involved in other similar forms of entertainment, then I urge you to repent, turn away from such wickedness, and return to the Lord, in order to avoid coming under judgment. The Lord loves you and does not want you to perish.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Other quotes taken from the Holy Bible New International Version (NIV). Image used according to Fair Use Act that allows its use for educational and commentary purposes. Federal Law allows citizens to reproduce, distribute, or exhibit portions of copyrighted motions pictures, video tapes, or video discs without authorization of the copyright holder. This infringement of copyright is called "Fair Use", and is allowed for purposes of criticism, news reporting, teaching, and parody.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend Abominations in the Sight of GodSeparation from the World, Sins That Will Keep You From Heaven, Zipporah Mushala’s Second Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala’s Third Testimony of Hell, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, James Agboola Revelation of Heaven and Hell, Eudoxia Varga Testimony of Heaven and HellIs the Harry Potter Series Truly Harmless? (offsite), and Heresies of C.S. Lewis. You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pope Establishes One World Religion

When the Pope arrived for his 2015 visit to the US, people chanted as if worshiping him when he disembarked from the plane. He was greeted at the foot of the stairs by Barack Obama, who at that time held the office of US President. The news report said he was the "rock star pope", because of his popularity.

On September 24, 2015, the Pope addressed a joint session of the US Congress, which is the first time this has ever occurred in history. He did so upon invitation from the leaders of Congress. Behind him at the podium sat two of the most prominent Catholics in the country, Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker John Boehner. And the Pope later met with Barack Obama privately. The White House would not say what the two of them discussed, and there was nobody in the room with them except for translators.

Could it be that in this meeting, the Pope discussed plans for a one world order with a one world religion? It is certainly possible, based on the words he spoke in his address before Congress and his actions later at an ecumenical gathering in New York City.

Pope's Address Before Congress
Pope Francis Addresses Congress, September 2015
First, I would like to quote from the text of the Pope's Congressional speech to provide proof that the he did in fact call for a one world religion of peace.

"Our world is increasingly a place of violent conflict, hatred and brutal atrocities, committed even in the name of God and of religion. We know that no religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. But there is another temptation which we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners. The contemporary world, with its open wounds which affect so many of our brothers and sisters, demands that we confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps. We know that in the attempt to be freed of the enemy without, we can be tempted to feed the enemy within. To imitate the hatred and violence of tyrants and murderers is the best way to take their place. That is something which you, as a people, reject."

"Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace and justice. We are asked to summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises. Even in the developed world, the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good."

"The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation, which has accomplished so much good throughout the history of the United States. The complexity, the gravity and the urgency of these challenges demand that we pool our resources and talents, and resolve to support one another, with respect for our differences and our convictions of conscience."

"In this land, the various religious denominations have greatly contributed to building and strengthening society. It is important that today, as in the past, the voice of faith continue to be heard, for it is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery, born of grave injustices which can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus."

"Politics is, instead, an expression of our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace, its goods, its interests, its social life. I do not underestimate the difficulty that this involves, but I encourage you in this effort."

"This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation."

"...in times of crisis and economic hardship a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost."

"It goes without saying that part of this great effort is the creation and distribution of wealth."

"In Laudato Si’, I call for a courageous and responsible effort to 'redirect our steps' (ibid., 61), and to avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. I am convinced that we can make a difference and I have no doubt that the United States – and this Congress – have an important role to play. Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a 'culture of care' (ibid., 231) and 'an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature' (ibid., 139)."

"It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same."

" A good political leader is one who, with the interests of all in mind..."

"Being at the service of dialogue and peace also means being truly determined to minimize and, in the long term, to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world."

Now let's take these words he spoke to Congress and couple them together with what he did in New York City.

Pope's New York City Ecumenical Meeting
Indeed, the one world religion is rising. During his visit to the US, the Pope met with leaders of many different world religions in New York City to talk about healing. The pope prayed for peace with those religious leaders, which shows that he wants to bring all religions together. At that event, the people were singing a song about peace.

This is not the first time such an event has happened. Pope John Paul II did the same sort of thing at the Interreligious Talks in Assisi in 1986, and so did Pope Benedict at the 25th Interreligious Talks in 2011, which I wrote about in my article, New Age-New World Order.

Pope's Address at Ground Zero
As he spoke at the Interreligious Meeting at Ground Zero in New York City, he said that the we must build global unity on the basis of our diversity of religions. He said, "For all our differences and disagreements, we can experience a world of peace. In opposing every attempt to create a rigid uniformity, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and lift our voices against everything which would stand in the way of such unity. Together we are called to say “no” to every attempt to impose uniformity and “yes” to a diversity accepted and reconciled."

Pope's Address to St. Patrick's Cathedral
As he began his address to the audience gathered to hear him at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City, he made a reference to his "Muslim brothers and sisters." This assumes that those of the Muslim faith are brothers and sisters with those who follow Christ, but this is not a biblical concept. For more on this, please see my article, Children of God.

Personal Relationship with Jesus is Dangerous
Incidentally, I also want to make you aware of the fact that the Pope has stated that it is dangerous to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This statement of his goes directly against Scripture. At his weekly Wednesday address to a general audience of 33,000 people in January 2014, he said, "There are those who believe you can have a personal, direct, and immediate relationship with Jesus Christ outside the communion and mediation of the Church. These temptations are dangerous and harmful. They are, in the words of the great Pope Paul VI, 'absurd dichotomies.'"

Moreover, he has described fundamentalist Christians as mentally ill. The following are excerpts from an article on LifeSite, in which several reporters heard the Pope saying these things on the papal plane in November 2015:

Fundamentalism is a sickness that is in all religions,” Francis said, as reported by the National Catholic Reporter’s Vatican correspondent, Joshua McElwee, and similarly by other journalists on the plane.  “We Catholics have some — and not some, many — who believe in the absolute truth and go ahead dirtying the other with calumny, with disinformation, and doing evil.”
They do evil,” said the pope. “I say this because it is my church.”
We have to combat it,” he said. “Religious fundamentalism is not religious, because it lacks God. It is idolatry, like the idolatry of money.”

The Pope had also said previously in 2014 that “A fundamentalist group, even if it kills no one, even it strikes no one, is violent. The mental structure of fundamentalism is violence in the name of God.”

This helps to explain what kind of one-world religion he is advocating. It embraces all religions, except those which believe and teach that you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without the mediation of the Catholic Church. If you are a fundamentalist who believes that God's Word is absolutely true, then you don't fit into his one-world religion, because he believes that you are "sick," "violent," "doing evil," and that he must "combat" you.

Prophecies Regarding the False Prophet and Beast
The Pope was Time magazine's Person of the Year in their December 2015 edition. Interestingly, in the cover photo of him, the top of the letter "M" in "Time" was positioned in exactly the right spot to make it appear as if he had tiny lamb's horns on his head.

It reminds me of the verse about the false prophet that says, "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon." (Rev 13:11).

In my opinion, Pope Francis definitely fits this description. For more on this, please see my article, Pope Francis Supports Homosexuality

That same passage in Revelation 13 tells us about the relationship the false prophet will have with the first beast. "He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed." (Rev 13:12)

In order to find out what the first beast is like, we go to the beginning of the same chapter, which states: 

"And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain." (Rev 13:1-8)

This is the description of the first beast, who will amaze the whole earth by his fatal wound that was healed. He will have authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation. All who dwell on earth whose names are not in the Book of Life will worship him. This is the antichrist ruler that the false prophet will work closely with. He is also called "the son of destruction" by the apostle Paul.

In speaking about the coming of the day of the Lord, Paul said, "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God." (2Th 2:3-4). He meant that before the day of the Lord comes, there will first be a great falling away of those who profess Christ, and the son of destruction will be revealed on earth. The man of lawlessness will come to the fore and take his seat.

The Nature of the One-World Religion for "Peace"
You need to understand that ecumenism and the one-world religion for peace is the goal of the Roman Catholic Church. At a “world peace” gathering in Fatima, Portugal, where each year people from religions around the world convene to pray to Mary (known as "Our Lady of Fatima" and "Our Lady of Peace"), Jesuit priest Jacques Dupuis defined the nature of this religion when he stated:

"The religion of the future will be a general converging of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all. The other religious traditions in the world are part of God’s plan for humanity and the Holy Spirit is operating and present in Buddhist, Hindu and other sacred writings of Christian and non-Christian faiths as well. The universality of God’s kingdom permits this, and this is nothing more than a diversified form of sharing in the same mystery of salvation."

Putting it All Together
We can learn a lot from the words the Pope spoke during his address to Congress and from his actions at the Inter-religious prayer gathering in New York City in 2015. In his address to a joint session of Congress, he emphasized the following points:

  1. Guard against fundamentalism: "No religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism. This means that we must be especially attentive to every type of fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind."
  2. Guard against seeing the world as good and evil, righteous and sinners, and instead blur the lines: "...we must especially guard against: the simplistic reductionism which sees only good or evil; or, if you will, the righteous and sinners...we [must] confront every form of polarization which would divide it into these two camps."
  3. Join together to bring hope and world peace: "Our response must instead be one of hope and healing, of peace...Being at the service of dialogue and peace..."
  4. Join together as one in a global brotherhood with solidarity for common good: "We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good."
  5. All religious denominations and all people must cooperate together globally as one: "The challenges facing us today call for a renewal of that spirit of cooperation...the various religious denominations...the voice of faith...is a voice of fraternity and love, which tries to bring out the best in each person and in each society. Such cooperation is a powerful resource in the battle to eliminate new global forms of slavery..."
  6. We must have a new global consensus (i.e., general agreement among society worldwide): "...grave injustices...can be overcome only through new policies and new forms of social consensus."
  7. We need unity and solidarity among the global community in order to share in peace: "...our compelling need to live as one, in order to build as one the greatest common good: that of a community which sacrifices particular interests in order to share, in justice and peace... a spirit of global solidarity must not be lost... It is my duty to build bridges and to help all men and women, in any way possible, to do the same...with the interests of all in mind
  8. We need to redistribute the wealth: "...the creation and distribution of wealth."
  9. We need to save the earth from destruction by humans: "...avert the most serious effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity."
  10. We need world peace: "...to end the many armed conflicts throughout our world...[and] the abolition of the death penalty."
I ask you to consider these ten points together with his words at Ground Zero that we must build global unity on the basis of our diversity of religions, so that we can experience world peace, and that we must raise our voices against everything that would hinder such unity. Consider how he refers to Muslims as brothers and sisters, and how tolerant he is of all religions.

Consider how negatively he views those people who believe you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ without the mediation of the Catholic Church, and how leery he is of every type of fundamentalism, including the religious kind, which he seems to equate with ideological extremism. Keep in mind that he did not exclude from his black list those Christians that are deemed to be fundamentalists, who believe the Bible is actually true, but in fact considers them to be sick, violent, evil doers that he must fight against. Recall the horrific persecution of Protestant Christians throughout history by the Catholic Church, especially by the Jesuits who are avowed enemies of Protestant Christian liberty. Remember that the Pope himself is a Jesuit. Learn from history that one of the Jesuits' crucial tactics, which they have used successfully against their Protestant enemies, and are still using, is to infiltrate their ranks and undermine them from within. Of course, it is well-documented that another one of their key tactics is to persecute the Protestants, even unto death.

I am one of many who believes the Pope will join hands with a political world leader to establish a one world religion of peace, which may have already occurred at this point, in light of all that took place during his 2015 visit to the United States. This one world religion is going to be accepted by all the political leaders of the world, because it promotes and guarantees peace. Many Christians will also embrace it. Beware, people! Don't be deceived by it along with the masses.

Jesus said, "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division." (Luk 12:51)

The apostle Paul wrote, "While they are saying, 'Peace and safety!' then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape." (1 Thes 5:3)

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Photos of pope used according to Fair Use Act that allows their use for educational and commentary purposes. Federal Law allows citizens to reproduce, distribute, or exhibit portions of copyrighted motions pictures, video tapes, or video discs without authorization of the copyright holder. This infringement of copyright is called "Fair Use", and is allowed for purposes of criticism, news reporting, teaching, and parody. For the full transcript of the Pope's messages at these gatherings, please see this link.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, I recommend New Age-New World OrderPagan Symbols of the Popes, Pope Francis Supports Homosexuality, Former Pope in Hell Declared a Saint,  and Unbiblical Practices of the Catholic Church. I also suggest visiting this site about the Jesuit Vatican.  You may access more of my articles on the Main Directory of this blog, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Shack is an Attack

I have never read the book called The Shack, but what little I have read about it from some of the reviews shows me it has serious theological problems known as heresies (falsehoods). Rather than try and reproduce another review of my own, I will instead link to some of the reviews that already exist. I recommend the following:

The Shack Heresy

Thirteen Heresies in the Shack

CARM's Take on the Shack

The Shack -- The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

I hope you will take a moment to read these articles and consider what they are communicating from the Word of God about that book, which The Shack movie is also based on. Based on what has been presented in these articles, the book is a myth that tickles people's ears. "They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Tim 4:4). Let me encourage you to read my article, Not Enduring Sound Doctrine.

This is not just a book, it is an assault on sound doctrine. Now they have come out with The Shack movie based on the book, which is endorsed by many pastors and ministry leaders. In fact, they even have The Shack Outreach Campaign for churches, so they can buy an official copy of The Shack Movie Church Kit and a license to show the movie in church. The Shack Campaign Kit is a 5-Week kit that comes with five sermons, film clips, a planning guide, digital resources like web and social media graphics, PowerPoint templates, bulletin insert templates, and sample invitation tools to invite people to come and see the series at church. Moreover, they even sell a separate study guide for The Shack Campaign, which contains discussion questions and personal applications, so that small groups, families, and individuals can study the things presented in the book and movie. Obviously this goes beyond mere entertainment into the realm of preaching and teaching the concepts of this movie and book in the Church, as if they were biblical truths.

Although these slick marketing resources are presented as an invitation to experience the ultimate truth about love, loss, and forgiveness, that is simply a facade. In reality, this is an attempt to make a deeper penetration into the Body of Christ with this heresy. This is brainwashing propaganda for the masses. The Shack is not based on fact, but rather is an evil attack from the enemy to bring mass deception. Beware! Don't be one of the millions who are being deceived by it. And don't let those you love be deceived by it either. If God has used this this article to open your eyes, then share this article with them, too.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The Shack image used according to Fair Use laws for commentary and educational purposes only.

Author's note I also recommend reading Not Enduring Sound DoctrineSins That Will Keep You From Heaven, The Top Ten Things Jesus Taught, Only the Holy -- Three Shocking TestimoniesAsk for the Ancient PathsHolding Fast the Faithful WordAvoid Becoming a Corrupted ChristianGod Forgives and ForgetsThe Law of ChristDeleted Scriptures in the Bible?Costly GraceIs Obedience Optional?Is Practical Righteousness a Lost Truth?Practicing Your RighteousnessFaith Works!The Ways of LifeScripture AloneAccurately Handling the Word of TruthExposing HeresyThe Rise of AntichristsMichael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, Angelica Zambrabo Hell and Heaven, The Cost of Discipleship, and Striving to Enter the Kingdom of God. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Creation Gap Theory

I used to believe in the creation gap theory, which is the belief that there is a gap of some indefinite period of time that elapsed between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 or between 1:2 and 1:3. Now the Lord has helped me to see that this is not true and does great injustice to the Scriptures. Let me show you what I mean. There are many good articles out there that treat the subject exhaustively, but I don't intend to do that. I simply want to show you some of the most compelling reasons I found.

First of all, let's look at the passage in question. It states:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, 'Let there be light,” and there was light.'" (Gen 1:1-3, NIV)

If you are like me, you may have thought that God created the heavens and the earth before the creation week, and then they were in place as raw materials for Him to work with when He made everything else. You may have believed that the earth either became formless and void at some point after God created it, or that it remained in that state until the first day of creation when He created light. However, this is not what the text says, if we read the meaning directly out of it.

No Verse Divisions or Break in the Text
In the original Hebrew Scriptures there were no verse numbers to provide any break in this text. Moreover, there is nothing in the Hebrew grammar to indicate that there was any break in the narrative. As Dr. Jonathan Sarfati  of Creation Ministries points out in his article, How Genesis 13 Undermines the Gap Theory, in Genesis 1 "there are grammatical terms, called the waw consecutive and waw disjunctive." Essentially what we learn from these is that in 1:1 the narrative begins, then in 1:2 there is a disjunctive clause, which we can identify by the structure of the verbs. A disjunctive clause is a side-step or parenthetical remark that comments on what was just stated. The Scripture states, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." Then in 1:3 there is a consecutive clause indicating that the narrative which began in the first sentence in 1:1 is now continuing. It's like saying in English, "And then..." The Scripture states, "And [then] God said, 'Let there be light,” and there was light.'"
If you will consider that, it is a very good reason why there could not be a long gap between any of those verses.

No Death Before Adam's Sin
One reason why some people adopt the gap theory is to try to synchronize the Bible with the claims of modern science. Since scientists claim that the geological column (or layers of fossils) proves that the earth is millions of years old, they see the need to add a gap before the first day of creation to allow for a long period of time when another race of beings lived and died upon the earth. They feel this best explains how there could be fossils that are believed to be so old, dating to a time long before the period of Adam and Eve.

However, according to the apostle Paul, death came into the world as a result of Adam's sin. He states, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned." (Rom 5:12). This means there could be no death before the sin of Adam, hence no fossils.

Nothing Visible before the Six Days of Creation
However, for me the most compelling reason was that the Lord created everything in the natural, visible realm in six literal days, and his act of creating the heavens and the earth occurred during those six days.

We know the days of creation are literal, because at the end of each day of creation is says, "And there was evening and there was morning," then it says the number of the day, such as day one, the second day the third day, etc.  We know that when an evening and morning pass by, we are talking about a 24-hour period or literal day.

Secondly, Genesis 1:1 states, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." If we say that God created the heavens and the earth before He began the six day creative week, we contradict the Scriptures. For they say that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth. Here are the passages where this is explicitly stated:

"Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven." (Gen 2:1-4)

"For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (Exo 20:11)

"It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed." (Exo 31:17).

According to the apostle, all that we see in the visible realm was made out of that which is invisible. "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible." (Heb 11:3). God did not make the heavens and the earth out of visible matter that He had previously created. It says He prepared the worlds by His Word and made that which is visible out of that which is invisible.

While the gap theory was taught in the early nineteenth century by a notable Scottish theologian named Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), it was Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, whose Reference Bible (Oxford University Press, 1909) helped to popularized it. However, more recently another man named Jack C. Scofield has written an article disproving the gap theory. He sums it up better than I can in his article called The Gap Theory of Genesis Chapter One, in which he states:

"The gap theorists would have us believe that a long break occurs between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 and then in verse three the 're-creation' week begins. This reasoning would separate the 'creation of heaven and earth' from the rest of the week by some indefinite time period, and certainly then, by their own reasoning, the ‘heaven and earth' creation cannot be considered to be a part of the re-creative week which follows. There are some Scriptures which disagree with this logic, namely Genesis 2:1 to 4 and Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. These verses clearly include the creation or making of the “heaven and earth” within the six creative days. To insist on a creation of the “heaven and earth” separate from the six stated days does great injustice to these texts. It must be pointed out that the Genesis 1:1 statement is the only creative statement in the entire first chapter with reference to “heaven.” If we are to understand the words of the Exodus verses in the sense of their clear, plain meaning and common usage, then we must conclude that day one began with Genesis 1:1, and therefore no gap."

I hope that this has helped to explain why the gap theory cannot be true, according to the Word of God.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Deception" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm all rights reserved by the artist. Please view it on his official website, Inspired Art.

Author's note I also recommend reading Understanding the Gaps in Scripture, Pope Validates Evolution and Big Bang TheoryHolding Fast the Faithful Word, The Origin of Sin, Satan, and Secular Music, The Rise and Fall of Lucifer the Musician. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Exposing the Darkness within HOREMOW

The issues and concerns that I have with the Holiness Revival Movement Worldwide (HOREMOW), which I covered in my first article, are not limited to those pertaining to Michael Sambo. This matter is not about Paul Rika and Michael Sambo. It is much larger than that. In this second part of my report, I would like to document the broader issues.

Growth by Divine Revelations
HOREMOW began with Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, which I have written about in my article by that title. At the beginning, it was just Paul Rika traveling and speaking with Michael Sambo.

Then more people that had divine revelations joined HOREMOW on their own, while some others claimed that God directed them to HOREMOW. Still others were told that there are people God is using to change the world through divine revelation messages. So they all joined together under the HOREMOW banner in that organization led by Paul Rika.

Paul Rika, HOREMOW Int'l Director
He himself keeps saying that God has given him the call to mentor all these people with divine revelations, so that they don't speak error, because he knows the Scriptures.

It is very obvious that HOREMOW grew by the instrumentality of Divine revelations. At one time everybody that had received a divine revelation spoke at the HOREMOW conferences in Abuja, Nigeria, as well as at meetings in some other locations, and people love to hear such testimonies.

There were certainly genuine revelations that were spoken in those meetings. However, there were clearly fake ones, too, according to my source. They came speaking many words of praise to Paul Rika, who likes the praise of men (Joh 5:41,44;12:43). Whenever anyone says something that praises him, he considers it to be from God, but if anyone says something that does not favor him, then he considers it to be from satan. A man is tested by the praise he receives, and those who flatter their neighbors are spreading nets for their feet (Pr 27:21; 29:5).

This is how HOREMOW was established initially and later grew. Moreover, some of the people joined because Paul Rika personally invited them to speak in HOREMOW meetings. Many of them later became part of HOREMOW, but when some of them discovered Paul Rika wanted to subject them under his control, they left one by one.

Control
This brings me to my next point, which is that Paul Rika is seeking to control people. For example, he was angry with Mike because he chose to rent a home without his knowledge. Paul had looked for a two-bedroom apartment for Mike, but the one he found was not suitable for Mike, who chose instead to look for a house.

Michael Thomas Sambo
Mike eventually found a two-bedroom apartment of his own choice, after which he informed Paul. But Paul complained that this apartment was too expensive, so he told Mike, “Whenever there is money, we shall pay,” because HOREMOW had just finished holding their December conference, as well as their leadership conference in January 2014, where the Rika's wedding ceremony was conducted. Although Mike waited, Paul Rika never did pay Mike's rent as promised. Neither had he ever paid Mike's rent previously.

Later Mike got a larger, three-bedroom apartment for the same price, which God provided him with the money to pay for. After he paid for this accommodation of his own choice, he informed Paul that he did so, but that it was now a different one. Even though it did not cost any more than the two-bedroom one, Paul got angry.

He was also agitated with Mike for establishing a poultry farm without informing him before doing so, claiming that by establishing the farm, Mike is pursuing money by having poultry, and that he had forsaken preaching the gospel.

This is controlling and manipulative behavior, which is used to lord it over others, and not the loving, tenderhearted, compassionate way we are commanded to treat one another (1 Pe 5:3). We are not supposed to allow people to control us (1Co 7:23).

Moreover, there is no Scripture against a minister of the gospel working for a living. Those who preach the gospel have a right to make their living from the gospel (1 Cor 9:1-11,13-14). However, they may choose not to use this right (1 Cor 9:12,15). After all, even the apostle Paul was a tentmaker (Ac 18:3), who did hard work toiling with his hands (1 Cor 4:12a).

There is also no Scripture against a disciple owning or renting property. On the one hand, the Lord did say in His Word, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luk 14:33). But is all ownership evil? If it were, then when God told the prophet Jeremiah to buy land, that would have been a sin (Jer 32:6-15). What about when Boaz bought the field of Naomi (Ruth 4:1-10)? What about the field he already owned before he bought that one (Ruth 2:3)?

In the New Testament, the disciples all had their own homes. It says, “So the disciples went away again to their own homes. “ (Joh 20:10). Peter and Andrew owned a house, in which it appears that Peter’s mother-in-law also lived, so it could not have been too small (Mk 1:29-30; Mt 8:14). Martha welcomed Jesus into her own home (Lk 10:38). Jesus ate at the house of Matthew (Mt 9:10), and He said to Zaccheus, "I must stay at your house today" (Lk 19:5). He was anointed at the home of Simon the Leper (Mt 26:6). In making arrangements to eat the Last Supper, He instructed His disciples to ask permission from the "owner" of a house to use a guest room (Lk 22:11). He sent out His disciples with instructions to stay in the home of a worthy person, whenever they entered a town or village (Mt 10:11). He referred to a prophet having his own home (Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4). John took Mary into His own home (Jn 19:27). Peter once stayed at the home of another disciple named Simon the tanner, who owned a house by the sea in Joppa (Acts 9:43; 10:6,32). Paul once stayed at the house of a disciple named Judas on Straight Street in Damascus (Ac 9:11). The saints gathered together and prayed at the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark (Ac 12:12). Yet not a word of condemnation is spoken against any of these disciples for owning homes.

If ownership were evil, then stealing would not be a sin. Yet the Lord commands us not to steal (Eph. 4:28). This means that there is such a thing as people owning property.

Linda Paul Rika
Let me give you one more example of control. Following Mike Sambo’s hearing on 22 September 2015, he initially accepted and submitted to Paul Rika’s discipline for a brief period. But after further consideration, he recalled that Paul Rika had made some outstanding statements to people that he could never work with Mike. He began to understand the strife he had suffered since the beginning of the HOREMOW ministry, and realized that while Paul Rika had initially wanted Mike's testimony, he did not want him as a person. He had blocked Mike from many preaching engagements both within and outside Nigeria just because he wanted to have control, assert himself, and edge Mike out. So Mike decided to continue with his ministry. He left for Ghana on a ministry trip, and upon his return Linda Rika came up with a revelation that Mike, his wife, and his two children would face the judgment of God just as God dealt with Korah, Dathan and Abiram in the book of Numbers.

In other words, she implied that the ground was going to open up and swallow Mike and his family and all his property, because he did not submit to her husband’s indefinite discipline of Mike. Or perhaps she meant to imply that they would soon die suddenly. Either way, that is clearly a form of intimidation, manipulation, or control, which has no place in the Church. And since her words never came to pass, this is another example of one of Linda’s false prophecies.

Character Assassination
In addition to the ways that Linda has used false prophecies to attack brother Mike, there are yet other abuses as well.

The HOREMOW coordinator for Ebonyi state in Nigeria shared a dream he had that someone very close to Paul Rika was hurting him and wanted to betray him, and that Paul had been monitoring him for a while. This was shared on 31 January 2015, and that very same night a committee was set up to investigate Michael Sambo. During the investigation, Mike said he was not the one the coordinator dreamed about, and besides he was not planning to betray Paul.

Moreover, Paul separately told Mike’s friend, brother Titus who was then the Gombe state coordinator, that a revelation (i.e., supernaturally) had come forth indicating that Mike had committed adultery, but that Mike did not want to confess because of pride. He also told brother Titus that the women’s coordinator of Gombe state had a revelation that someone working very close to Paul Rika wants to kill him, and that this revelation is also pointing to Mike. He added that the revelations regarding Mike are numerous. Later Mike heard from Emmanuel David that he was even being accused of having a child out of wedlock as a result of this adultery. This slanderous rumor had been spread within Nigeria and the West African sub region with absolutely no evidence. In fact the video crew brother that recorded this false revelation from sister Linda about Mike told him that he was the one that recorded it in Paul Rika's house in the Apo Legislative quarters of Abuja. Mike was in Ghana and Uganda for ministry, and there he was told that this is what they heard her say.

Not a shred of evidence was ever shown to prove this; no woman was ever named as the mistress and there was no evidence of any baby out of wedlock. No witnesses were produced to testify of such things. It was all based on Linda’s revelation and the coordinator’s dream, even though the Scripture says not to entertain an accusation against an elder, except by two or three witnesses (1 Tim 5:19). It does not say we should entertain an accusation against an elder based on two or three dreams or revelations.

On 1 February 2015, a meeting was held to hear the committee's report of their findings from the investigation in connection with the Ebonyi state coordinator's revelation. In attendance at that meeting were Mike Sambo, his wife, brother Mikailu, Paul Rika, and Paul’s administrative Secretary, pastor Nathan. Paul began to tell Mike that he had looked around the entire HOREMOW movement and had not seen anybody to be examined except Mike. He said, “You are the only one to be examined under the revelation of the Ebonyi State Coordinator,” and he began saying, “You are under judgment. I say you are under divine judgment. Your name is not in the book of life. If you die today you will go to hell." This all happened in the presence of Mikailu, Nathan, and Mike’s wife. He also said, "Go and pray whether God will give you another chance in HOREMOW. God will answer us, because He will speak. And whatever God says, I will do it. I will not respect any person." This was said with with emotion. Yet until now Paul Rika goes from place to place stirring hatred against Mike, telling people in the crusade grounds that Mike is under the control of Satan and evil spirits.

And Mike is not the only one in HOREMOW who has been the object of character assassination or mistreatment from Paul and Linda. I am aware of others, including the former Rivers state coordinator, the former Lagos state coordinator Joseph Abueh; a certain pastor Hanson; Danasabe Yakubu; the former Cross River state coordinator Israel Abasi; the former Sierra Leone coordinator named pastor Baimba Sesay; and many more people are victims of Linda’s revelations. According to one of my sources, all of them were dropped, and are no longer in HOREMOW. This pastor Baimba worked tirelessly in spreading and establishing HOREMOW. He was the one that brought Linda and her sister Finda to Nigeria into HOREMOW. But he was labeled, slandered, and dropped. This list will expand as I am given permission to do so.

No good shepherd would even treat his sheep like this. How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! "Paul, Paul, why do you persecute me? I am Jesus whom you are persecuting."

A tree will be recognized by its fruit. "For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mt 12:34b-37, NIV).

The Unmerciful Servant
Paul Rika's actions resemble those of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven much, yet refused to forgive the one who owed him a relatively small amount (Mt 18:21-35). Two examples will suffice to make my point.

First of all, Danasabe Yakubu was dropped from HOREMOW in September 2016 simply because he was on speaking terms with Mike Sambo and he lay down holding Paul Rika’s legs pleading on Mike’s behalf that Paul Rika should forgive him. But Paul Rika quoted the case of Solomon, Bathsheba, and Adonijah, and asked why he doesn’t just ask for the kingdom for Mike instead of asking for forgiveness (1King 2:22).

Secondly, after Mike Sambo’s hearing on 22 September 2015, Emmanuel David and Jeff-Zanni went to Paul Rika the next morning to continue pleading on his behalf. Jeff-Zanni pleaded with Paul Rika to allow him to mediate in the matter, but Paul Rika refused saying, "When Mike knelt down and was apologizing, I wanted to forgive him, but something told me 'No, Mike was pretending.' So then I withdrew my forgiveness, because people do all manner of things against me and I keep quiet for a long time, but when I bite the person he cannot recover."

Who was speaking through Paul Rika saying, "When I bite the person he cannot recover."? That is not the Holy Spirit. We are supposed to love one another and not bite one another. "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." (Gal 5:14-15, NIV).

About two weeks later, Jeff-Zanni met him privately to challenge his decision to discipline Mike, because Paul Rika had falsely denied ever telling Mike that his name was not in the book of life, even though he had shared with Jeff-Zanni in a previous meeting that revelation had been made to that effect. But after a long argument, in which Jeff-Zanni gave convincing proof to him, Paul Rika finally agreed that he had indeed told Jeff-Zanni that Mike had backslidden and that his name was not in the book of life.

Jeff then said to him "But you denied this when you disciplined Mike, and now you have agreed with me that you said so. If this is the case, then Mike was right for not honoring the two speaking engagements, and based on your conviction the discipline you gave Mike is wrong. So what are you supposed to do now?"

Paul Rika replied, "Are you now saying I should do restitution to Mike? No, I will never apologize to Mike."

Paul Rika then asked Jeff what he thought could be the way out. Jeff-Zanni said he should forgive Mike, so that the work of the gospel can continue. But Paul Rika said "No, I will not forgive him."

Jesus said, "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Mt 6:14-15, NIV)

Pride and Arrogance
Moreover, Paul Rika is operating in pride and arrogance.

At his hearing on 22 September 2015, Mike read an email he had written to Paul Rika, to which he had never replied. Mike personally read it to the house to justify his reasons for not honoring the two preaching engagements. In response to this, after the meeting, Paul Rika later said, "Who is Mike to command me to go and read my email?” Paul Rika then compared himself to brother William Kumuyi, the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church. He asked, “Can a state overseer [in Deeper Life] command pastor Kumuyi to go and read his mail?”

Moreover, Paul has repeatedly stated that he is a righteous man and “Who is Mike?” He insists, "You cannot compare me with Mike." He also boasts, "I was a national overseer in Deeper Life." At various times he keeps saying that he is the main person within HOREMOW and not Mike, and he does not want people to see Mike but himself in this ministry. He has said, “Michael is just a small boy and was just two or three years old when the Lord called me into ministry. Are you comparing me with Mike?" And, "Mike does not know anything. I wrote that book. It's not Mike that is the leader." He has also said, "You mention Mike's name along with mine?”

Such statements are clearly prideful, because even if Mike actually were a small boy, we are not to look down upon one of these little ones, since their angels continually see our heavenly Father’s face (Mt 18:10). However, Mike is not a small boy, but a 36-year old married brother in Christ with two children, and is a statutory board member of HOREMOW. As the apostle Paul said, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” (Phil 2:3). We must prefer one another in love (Rom 12:10).

Scripture says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Prov 8:13, NIV).

Lastly, Paul Rika in a video recently said Mike's revelation is already old, but his wife's revelation is new every day and people are looking for new things. That is why he abandons Mike and goes about with Linda his wife, because she combines prophecy with revelation. His boastful, divisive statement reveals jealousy and strife, as well as his emphasis on revelations and prophecies, especially those of Linda.

The apostle Paul called it fleshly when he wrote: "For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth." (1Co 3:3-7)

"So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you..." (1Co 3:21)

"Brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us not to go beyond what is written. Then you will not take pride in one man over another." (1 Cor 4:6, Berean Study Bible). We must not take pride in one man over another, so it is not right to take pride in Linda Rika or Paul Rika over Mike Sambo.

Appeasing an Angry God
One of the things Paul Rika said in his opening remarks at Mike Sambo’s hearing was, “I saw that the case was evil. God is angry. We must do something to appease the anger of God.” He said this in the context of giving the background of Mike’s case, how Mike had failed to show up at the speaking engagements to which he had been invited, and how he believed that Mike’s “case was evil.” So clearly he meant that God is angry about what Mike had done and we must do something to appease God’s anger about that. When I heard that, I thought it sounded strange.

Then sometime afterward, my son was reading to me from a biography on the life of Samuel Morris. This was a boy from Liberia, Africa, who traveled to the United States. He recalled a witch doctor that once said that the gods are angry and we must do something to appease them. He called for the parents to sacrifice their children to appease the gods. When my son read that, I was reminded of what Paul Rika had said, and I realized that the source of that statement was not the Lord. Paul’s statement was similar to what a witch doctor would say, rather than something a Christian pastor would say.

The apostle Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom 5:1, NIV). This teaches us that we have peace with God through faith in our Lord Jesus.

Secondly, the apostle Paul said, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1, NIV).

Thirdly, the apostle said, “Then He adds: ‘Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.’ And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.” (Heb 10:17-18, NIV).

Fourthly, the apostle John said, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 Joh 2:1-2, NIV). This teaches that we have an advocate with the Father, if we sin, and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. According to the NET Bible study notes on this verse, “The Greek word (hilasmos) behind the phrase ‘atoning sacrifice’ conveys both the idea of ‘turning aside divine wrath’ and the idea of ‘cleansing from sin.’” Therefore, the sacrifice that Christ made once for all has already turned aside God’s wrath, and there is nothing more we must do to turn it away. Our hope and faith are relying upon that one sacrifice alone, not upon “something we must do” to appease God’s anger, as Paul Rika says.

The final outcome of the hearing was that Paul Rika decided to discipline Mike Sambo indefinitely, forbidding him from conducting ministry, and ordering him to attend all meetings. Therefore, this is obviously what he felt must be done to appease God’s anger, in spite of the fact that Mike humbled himself and apologized on his knees. Scripture does not support Paul’s actions, which are based on his erroneous belief.

Witnesses
I have been in contact with witnesses inside HOREMOW, who wanted their names withheld. Two of them are seasoned pastors in Nigeria, and one of them gave me permission to publish the following statement.

He states, “My first contact with HOREMOW was from Brother Michael Thomas Sambo's book. I personally met Pastor Paul Rika when I invited him to my church in 2013 for my annual December Camp meeting. He later made me to serve as a Zonal Coordinator over nine states, which work I did for about two years. Concerning the crisis in the young group, it’s unfortunate. It is a character problem aggravated by the random collation of false prophecies in place of God's word. I talked directly with Pastor Paul Rika on this issue [the collection of prophecies], but he seemed not to see it as a major assault from Satan. I was one of the last two persons hand-picked to reconcile Brother Sambo and Pastor Rika, but all that failed. The whole mess today in this movement by my understanding resulted from greed.”

This pastor believes the revelation that God gave to brother Mike, and recently had Mike as a guest speaker at his church's retreat. When I asked him to give me his feedback on my first article about HOREMOW, and this present one, and to confirm whether these things are true, he responded, "I've read your materials. They are the very analysis I've made. Thanks very much."

Furthermore, he confirmed to me something that another source within HOREMOW had advised me, which is that nearly everybody who was somebody when HOREMOW began as a ministry, including Michael Sambo the visioner, have disagreed with Paul’s handling of things and left.

Response from HOREMOW
Paul Rika giving his diatribe
Since I published my first article at the end of October 2016, I have received no response from Paul Rika personally. However, his office secretary Ande recommended that I view a three-part series of videos that he has posted online, apparently in response to my first article. I did review the videos in part, and sadly they do not contain any repentance at all from Paul Rika. Instead he has responded with a nearly two-and-a-half hour diatribe justifying himself and further criticizing brother Sambo without producing any evidence to prove his false accusations.

It is the practice all over the world that the burden of proof is always on the one who alleges, so the burden still remains upon him to prove all the serious accusations he has made against brother Sambo. This should be done before an impartial group of brothers with Mike present. However, since he has no such proof, he records a meeting in which he defends himself before a few men who are still willing to believe him, and uploads it to the internet. Paul Rika stated in the video, "It's like we are in a court of justice and I am giving my statement."  At various times during his video, he calls upon certain men to stand up, apparently to prove his statements, and after they begin to say a few words that provide no proof of the accusations he has made against Mike, he tells them when to stop speaking. It is also obvious that certain remarks of his are edited out.

Although the videos are titled “Know the Truth and Be Free,” they contain lies, misleading half-truths, exaggerations, and insinuations, as well as prideful statements, such as his claim that there is no such thing as an assistant General Superintendent of a movement. He said this in his attempt to show that he alone is the singular head of HOREMOW, and he used an unbiblical title to make his point.

Those videos have shown the world his true character, which has only further helped to emphasize the points I have made in my first and second articles exposing his ungodly actions. If he does not repent and make restitution to brother Mike, those videos will haunt him for the rest of his life. He has brought the name of the Lord into disrepute. By going public with such allegations he has demonstrated for the world that some Christians are incapable of settling the least of matters between themselves, and yet he is supposed to be a leader.

Putting it All Together
In summary, I have documented that there is unforgiveness, control, pride, arrogance, and character assassination within the top leadership of HOREMOW. These are serious character issues. Not to mention a false understanding of the gospel and an erroneous belief that we must do something to those who have repented of sin, as a means of appeasing the anger of God. Paul Rika is seriously under delusion. It is a satanic and self delusion, which is one of the main causes of all these problems I have documented.

In case you did not already reach this conclusion yourself, the practices of HOREMOW resemble the mind control techniques commonly used by cults to control their members. If you would like to educate yourself about that, please see the article by Cult Watch entitled "How Cults Work."

I am not saying that everyone who is a part of HOREMOW is evil or that everyone who has had a revelation who affiliates with that movement is a fake. In fact, I believe many of the testimonies that I have heard through this ministry are genuine, such as Michael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, and many others that I have published on my blog Eternal Destinations. However, what I am saying is the following: This organization has grown by divine revelations. According to Scripture, that is not the foundation of the Church. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Church (1 Cor 3:11), and His Word is Supreme. We must not only know what it says, but put it into practice (Lk 6:48-49). The Church is supposed to grow as we go and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 28:19-20), who multiply disciples, not by accumulating people and churches under the banner of any movement or its leader.

Any organization that grows by revelations or by collecting people in this manner can easily be compromised by the enemy. All the devil has to do is to deceptively introduce false prophecies and revelations through some trusted people who have been deemed genuine. And when everything is heavily controlled by one man or one couple, then again it is very easy for the devil to compromise it. All he has to do is compromise that one man or couple, and everyone who follows them will become ensnared in his trap. He can then do a lot of damage this way, using the leadership and the organization to kill, steal, destroy, and enslave people.

"Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.'" (2Ti 2:19).

I think there are many sincere people within HOREMOW that love the Lord Jesus, desire to please Him, and seek to live holy lives. And I believe they need to be warned about what is happening at the top of this organization, so they can beware and protect themselves as well as their families from the enemy's schemes before they get seriously hurt. I sincerely hope you will do just that as a result of this article. I also ask that you please pray for Paul and Linda Rika to realize what they have done wrong and repent. May God's mercy, grace, and peace abide with all who love the Lord with an undying love.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB,except where noted otherwise. Other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, where noted.

Author's Note: This article originally stated incorrectly that the Sambo's wedding was in January 2014, but that was the date of the Rika's wedding. The Sambo's were married April 21st 2012.

I also recommend reading HOREMOW Issues and Concerns, Judging Revelations, Visions, and Prophecies, Grieve and Lament for the Church, The Nature of False ProphetsLeadership Approach Reveals View of GodMichael Thomas Sambo's Revelation of Heaven and Hell, A Tale of Two Kings, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets, Accountable, correctable, and teachable, Loving Deeply, Filled Up to All the Fullness of God, Angelic Escape from Terrorist Assassins, Interview with Brother Michael Thomas Sambo, The Wardrobe of the Saints, Whatever You Do, Do All Like This, How to Treat Leaders, Our Senior Pastor, The Shepherding Role of Elders, Exposing Heresy, Divorce -- Two Divine Revelations, Adultery According to Jesus, Holy Living in a Perverted World, Purge the Evil from Among You, and The Rise of Antichrists. You can access the Home page of this blog for more articles on Truth and heresy, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master.
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.