This is a list of ministries, denominations, and other religious groups I evaluated to have false and harmful teaching.
Their materials should be avoided, because demons spread easily when we accept false teaching, like false gospels (see The True Gospel and Imposters for more)
and other spiritual teaching.
Some of the Christian groups listed here are well meaning Christians and do get some good guidance from God, but their interpretations and teaching is influenced by the enemy. I do not want to diminish the contribution of anybody in the Body of Christ, since I also got false guidance and we need each other to work together (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; 1 Corinthians 3:3-9). I also got guidance from God that goes with truth and good guidance that
was given to some groups listed here, for "we know in part and prophecy
in part" (1 Corinthians 13:9).
I know it was God's plan for me to go through bad spiritual paths to learn about spiritual things and warfare. I could only see what was wrong when I came out of the spiritual blindness or brainwashing that accepting lies and false guidance creates.
If you want to look at the teachings of the groups listed here, I suggest extreme caution. It takes experience and an objective mind, free from false beliefs and false teachings, to see bad teaching and false spiritual guidance.
Below is a summary of the kind of bad teaching these ministries and churches promote. For more complete details see Light Within
- Take His Heart Ministries and Roy Sauzek - I worked with this ministry and their teachings for over six years, so I have intimate knowledge of their workings and spiritual guidance. Roy is their lead pastor and writes most of the teachings on their website. They did get some good guidance from God and truth mixed with false guidance, but I found they are misled by a false-christ spirit and spread a spirit of slavery with their Brideship teachings, such as mandatory tithing and other mandatory acts. They use a form of guided meditation and emphasize spiritual revelation that is also used by the next groups. These practices invite demons since it is a form of divination. Their website includes a lot of false guidance, like dreams, words, and visions that are not from the Lord.
- God Calling[3.1.72] book and ministry and other teachings by the "Two Listeners," such as God Calling 2: God At Eventide
- Arthur James Russell (A.J. Russell) and his book For Sinners Only - AJ Russell is also the editor for God Calling and God Calling 2: God At Eventide. In fact, the Two Listeners started their spiritual practices because one of them read AJ Russell's book, For Sinners Only[3.1.73]. However, after using the God Calling book, I found it is false guidance from a false-christ spirit that is very similar to the one spread by Take His Heart Ministries.
I actually got the God Calling book from Roy Sauzek at Take His Heart, who said it should be called God Speaking. His ministry believes it is God's direct voice as I used to believe, but after coming out of brainwashing from accepting false guidance, I could see that the God Calling spirit and Take His Heart's spirit contradict each other. However, they both use truth, more carnal ways of following God, and techniques of brainwashing to control and prevent deeper thought. One of the Two Listeners was also Roman Catholic[3.1.73], which is a denomination giving false gospels and teaching.
- Paramahansa Yogananda and his teachings and books, like The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels - Paramahansa Yogananda teaches meditative spiritual practices that invite demons. These practices are similar to Take His Heart's, A.J. Russell's, and the Two Listeners - trying to listen for spiritual guidance in quiet surroundings and recording what you get. I noticed similarities in how these groups get shared revelations and spiritual guidance, like visions and words, among more than one person. Roy thinks this shared revelation is a sign things are from God, but I have since found out that demons can affect more than one person at the same time and over great distances, so shared revelation is not a test of validity for guidance from God.
Also, even if you pray and ask for God by name when you try to get spiritual revelation or guidance, demons will interfere and often replace God as I have found with these practices, because meditation or self-realization techniques to focus on getting spiritual guidance is a form of divination. We should simply pray and let God speak and guide as He sees fit. We should not focus on getting spiritual guidance in the moment, because God does not always reply quickly or through individual guidance. He can use other people and events you encounter to guide as well.
- Amighty Wind Ministries and Elisabeth Elijah (Elisheva Eliyahu) - Their teaching includes guidance from a false-holy-spirit, which they call Mother Shkhinah/Momma Shekhinah. They treat this spirit as God and pray to and worship her much like some Catholics worship and pray to the Mother Mary and other saints. Amighty Wind Ministries also have many prophecies and other spiritual guidance on their website that I do not believe are from the Lord.
Elisabeth Elijah has spiritual roots in the Pentecostal Church, which overemphasizes direct personal revelation and spiritual gifts like the first groups listed.
- Charles E. Newbold, Jr. and his books have false teaching that is very similar to things taught by God Calling. After reviewing some of his work, I could see a lot overly religious, bad teaching and errors. I do not recommend reading any of his material.
- Pentecostal or Apostolic Church - This branch of Christianity overemphasizes a personal relationship with God through baptism of the Holy Spirit. Eternal salvation through a personal relationship with God is a false gospel and spiritual powers and false-gifts-of-the-spirit are easily faked by the enemy. Things like visions, words, and dreams should always be tested and examined closely (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).
- The Catholic Church teaches false gospels or ways to be saved and other bad teaching. They also practice the worship of saints and angels, which is idolatry and has brought imposters of the Lord, saints, and angels that perform miracles and other signs that are not truly from the Lord.
- The Mormon Church or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church) - Teach a false gospel and maintain false-scripture, such as the Book of Mormon[3.1.35].
- Jehovah's Witnesses teach false gospel and adhere to misinterpretations of Scripture (their New World Translation Bible). For example, they do not believe in the divinity of Jesus or that the Holy Spirit is a person of God[3.1.29].
- The Church of Scientology, like Islam, is not a Christian organization, but is listed here because their spiritual beliefs and teachings should be avoided. They also use spiritual revelation like the first groups teach. They are also known to use intimidation and brainwashing techniques[5.2.1, 6.3.4]. Scientology even misleads people by using Christian symbols, like the cross and dove, on their website homepage[5.2.2]. However, they do not believe in God or the divinity of Jesus. Their notion of God is of a supreme being universe "force" or "urge toward existence as infinity" they call the Eighth Dynamic[5.2.3].
- Islam was founded in the 6th or 7th Century[5.1.1], but is not a continuation or correction of Christianity as some Muslims claim. It is a corruption of the truth and Scripture. The founder of Islam, Muhammad, claims to have been taught by the Archangel of God, Gabriel[5.1.1], but much of their teaching contradicts the Bible and Muslims do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. They maintain false-scripture in their bible called the Quran.
- Other ministries using false scripture and teaching include: The Urantia Foundation and Urantia Book.
They tout testimonies of miracles and communication
with angels, however, Islam does the same but was deceived by an
imposter of the Archangel Gabriel (see Islam above). Just because
spiritual signs, wonders, and miracles are given does not mean they are from God. Writings and teaching need to be examined closely and can often be quickly dismissed by identifying red flags, such as the use of false gospels (see The True Gospel and Imposters for more), overly religious teaching, and uncommon "cult" language that refer to things in unusual ways.
Much of the contemporary church and ministries teach false or incomplete gospels (see The True Gospel and Imposters
for details) and share other bad teaching like the groups above, however, I only listed the ones above because they promote more harmful teaching than most of the church.
I would leave the churches and organizations listed above, but I would give other churches and ministries the benefit of doubt, but use discretion and evaluate whatever they teach, as all Christians should not simply follow blindly (1 Thessalonians 5:20:21; Deuteronomy 13:1-3). I would especially be wary of and closely examine people and ministries sharing spiritual guidance, like visions, words, and dreams. I invite everyone to examine the spiritual guidance I got as well.
Be wary of churches and teaching that preach eternal salvation by having a personal relationship with God or adoration for Him and other saints and angels. It is a false gospel and is similar to the Pentecostal Church's beliefs[3.1.38]
. The first groups I listed also emphasize this kind of more carnal worldly way of following God. It invites imposters of the Lord that usurp your relationship with God. They want your adoration and attention and will take the love you give God and use it against you to make you follow them and accept false teaching.
God never taught more carnal adoration for Him in the Bible. That is not the kind of love for the Lord we should show (see True Love - What does it mean to God? for more about loving God)
. God wants our loyalty and righteousness, and He values our enthusiasm for Him, like when King David danced and rejoiced in public when they brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14-15)
The enemy, though, will use our love for God against us. This happened to Take His Heart Ministries and Elizabeth Elijah of Amighty Wind Ministries when they were urged by their spirits to spread teaching. Elizabeth said in one of her pages she was afraid to not obey out of fear of sinning, and Take His Heart behaved similarly. We should certainly fear God if we do sin since He judges all sin and it is what He refers to by "fear of the Lord" (Colossians 3:22-25; Ephesians 6:5; Psalm 34:11-22, 111:10; Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 10:27, 14:27, 16:6, 19:23; 22:4; Job 28:28; 2 Chronicles 19:7-10).
However, that refers to true sin. Imposters and religious spirits preach false sin, like mandatory tithing, and use fear to get absolute obedience. The spirits of slavery being spread by Take His Heart Ministries, God Calling, and other groups here also use this fear to get obedience, which is a part of brainwashing people. They offer a solution (their ways and thinking) to remove punishment and pain they inflict to get obedience[6.3.5, 6.3.6]
God does not shackle us with a demon or spirit of slavery just because we stop tithing or obeying a teaching. We do not receive "a spirit of slavery leading to fear again" when we live in Christ (Romans 8:15). Yet this is what happened when I stopped practicing Take His Heart's ways, though I continue to tithe out of my own will, and when a 3rd-Party working with Take His Heart stopped tithing. A literal spirit of slavery actually interferes with us physically and tries to control us, but "where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17), since we are not slaves to law and our yoke with Christ is easy and light (Matthew 11:30).
I would also be wary of ministries and teaching that overemphasize evangelizing, like the Jehovah's Witnesses do by going door to door or going to public places and evangelizing or preaching at random. Overzealous evangelizing is a symptom of religious spirits and we do not need to be so zealous in our recruiting for God.
This was prophesied by Jeremiah, "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them" (Jeremiah 31:34).
Most nations and communities now know who Jesus is and what the church believes. However, I am not saying we should never evangelize or preach. There are still peoples who need to turn to God and missionaries are doing good work. And we should be witnessing and using our knowledge and Godly wisdom to help people we encounter and live with.
We should not be constantly pestering people about Christ or trying to teach them what is right. Instead, try to correct people, especially believers, a few times and leave them alone if they don't want to change (2 Timothy 2:14-18; Titus 3:9-10). This is what God does (Psalm 81:11-12; Proverbs 1:23-33) and teaches; "Blessed is the man who does not... stand in the path of sinners" (Psalm 1:1).
I also want to say that we should not judge people belonging to the groups I listed. Most of them are well-meaning people who were just taught wrong or believe in the wrong things. We should judge their teaching and organizations.
My family was sponsored by Catholic people and charities when I grew up, and God has used people in the groups above to do His will, whether they belong to Him or not. God has control over all things in creation, even demons and people influenced by them, but not all things are directly from God, like the acts of Hitler and the Nazis or pagan societies. God brought these people and kingdoms into being and some of their acts were and are God's will, but they also live or lived in sin and are influenced by the enemy, so not everything is directly from God.
May you be blessed by further knowledge and truth, through HaMashiach Yehoshua-Christ Jesus. Amen.