1 Corinthians 14:33, "God is not the author of confusion" (KJV) or "God is not a God of confusion" (NASB) is often used to say God does not give confusing or misleading things.
However, that is not the context of the verse, which is talking about keeping order in church congregations. That verse should be read, "God is not a god of disorder," which is how the NIV Bible translates it.
God does create and speak in very confusing ways. His heavenly host can act as lying spirits who He sends for various reasons (1 Kings 22:19-23; 2 Chronicles 18:18-22), and all of creation was made very confusingly to test faith in man to see if we trust God or what we see with our eyes.
Also note how God made the universe and our world to appear ancient - billions of years old - and what appears to be "Evolution" without God and its evidence in fossil records and DNA is not as straightforward proof for a godless universe as the world thinks.
God hid the details of how things work very well. He hides the truth to test us and He did the same with scripture and other spiritual guidance, like dreams and visions. Many of His parables and prophecies are deliberately confusing.
The disciples of Jesus were even confused by things He said. God obscures things because it is His will; it tests us, and God hides the full truth so those who consider themselves wise and learned will stumble in their pride, and some people are made blind to the truth - cursed, so they cannot easily understand, repent, and heal (Isaiah 6:9-10; Matthew 11:25, 13:14-15; Mark 4:11-12; Luke 10:21; Acts 28:26-27; Romans 11:7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:19-31; John 9:39; Galatians 1:8-9).
Some examples of this are how Jesus replies to Jews in cryptic ways, like in John 9:39-41, He said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind," and Pharisees asked in return, "We are not blind too, are we?"
Jesus replied, "If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, 'We see,' your sin remains." This response is not clear without further thought. If read too quickly He seemed to say, they sinned by not being blind to God, but He is referring to their pride and sin in claiming they were not blind to God, the truth, and righteousness when they were wrong about them.
Another confusing response is discussed in the first example of the next misconception.
SSL is an acronym meaning Secure Sockets Layer, which is a standard of communications encryption over the Internet. God guided me on how this also refers to how He encrypts multiple messages or meaning into His word and guidance that often isn't obvious until its deeper meanings are revealed.
God revealing the meanings is important, because anyone can interpret His word or guidance any number of ways, which could be incorrect. The Jehovah's Witnesses did this and created false scripture from mistranslating true scripture. We can never jump to conclusions using our own thinking, but we need the help of God's mind or Spirit in us to get the correct interpretations using all the necessary information.
This means we need to be reborn with God's Spirit and truly belong to God, so His mind is a literal part of us. The True Gospel and Imposters discusses how this works in detail. Otherwise, we would have to be anointed with God's Spirit somehow, like the prophets in the Old Testament. Having God's mind or Spirit in the Christian Age is not the same thing as being anointed or baptized with the Holy Spirit, like at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-36) and in Acts 10:44-47 where the Spirit comes upon people who believed in Christ. These were temporary comings of the Spirit in power and not the rebirth of the Spirit in us we need to be saved.
The SSL or deeper layer of encryption in God's guidance can be seen in scripture and His live guidance. I've noted this quality in prophetic guidance many times over the years by God instructing on one subject in the moment while also revealing meaning or prophesying about another subject using the very same guidance.
I must also note that even though God puts multiple meanings into prophetic guidance, we can never jump to conclusions about that either. We should let the correct interpretations come in their time. Clamoring for revelations is sure to be full of mistakes and invites the enemy to come in with false guidance and interpretations.
Examples of this multi-layered guidance are:
In Matthew 23:26 and Luke 11:40-41, Jesus tells the Pharisees they must clean the inside of the cup or bowl first, and then the outside will also be clean. He said in Luke that God made both the outside and the inside and that giving charitably would make them clean. However, it does not make much sense if you take those words literally, because simply giving charity does not make "all things clean" for us as Jesus says there. And for the Jews, charity had nothing to do with being clean in the Law of Moses.
Common interpretations of this scripture assume God is only talking about giving out charity to people or having a righteous heart, but God is talking in parable and metaphor to the Pharisees. Cleaning the inside of the cup and plate is also a metaphor for the cleansing of our body and spirit through being reborn with God's Spirit when we are truly saved into His kingdom. The symbolism doesn't just refer to wanting to do righteousness in our heart.
This inside cleansing through the New Covenant and rebirth of God's Spirit in us is noted in Hebrews 9:13-14 and Hebrews 10:19-22. It allows us to come near God behind the curtain where God's presence is in the Most Holy Place, simply as we are, because we have been cleansed inside and out by His Spirit if we are truly saved.
This is analogous to how the high priests went behind the curtain in God's temple where the Ark of the Covenant and God's presence was after they were sure to be ceremonially clean.
Once we understand the metaphor of truly being clean on the inside through our rebirth with the Holy Spirit, we can see Jesus is telling the Pharisees that they need to acknowledge Him and be saved and reborn by His New Covenant as well as to have a righteous, charitable heart. Only then could all things truly be clean for them.
God's dual meaning of becoming saved and reborn and also of walking with a righteous heart here, is further linked in John 13:10-11 to say that Judas was not saved or "clean" like the other disciples were, at least when he betrayed Jesus. However, there's nothing in scripture to say that Judas did not become saved after he realized what great wrong he did to Christ, so I hope in the time between he realized his mistake and his death that he did confess belief in Christ to someone to gain his eternal salvation. God's love and grace in the New Covenant is so great such that all our sin is forgiven if we fulfill its terms. See The True Gospel and Imposters for details.
The Book of Zechariah tells about rebuilding the Lord's temple after the Jews' return from exile in Babylon and also prophesies building the Lord's Bride today - the current "temple" or city without walls, which is His New Jerusalem (Zechariah 2:4; Revelation 3:12, 21:2).
Zechariah 5:5-11 also talks about the woman called "wickedness," which is also the Harlot, Babylon the Great of Revelation 17 and 18, since she is flown to "the country of Babylonia" in Zechariah 5:11. More about the Harlot will be discussed in The Harlot and Leaving Her section.
The verses of Jeremiah 1:11 and 2:13 have significance in the meaning of the verses going with the meaning of their numbers. In my Personal About Page, I speak about being given the numbers 111 and 213 and their meanings. I was also guided to the page spread[1.2.1] of Jeremiah 1:11 and 2:13 in my first Bible that started and ended in these two verses exactly.
Jeremiah 1:11-12 states:
"The word of the Lord came to me: 'What do you see, Jeremiah?'
'I see the branch of an almond tree,' I replied.
The Lord said to me, 'You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.'"
God fulfilling His word goes with the meaning of the number 111 I was given - that it represents God in the Holy Trinity, the beginning of the Christian Age, and how Christ's first coming, death, and resurrection made the Trinity complete, because the Holy Spirit coming in power to Christians would not have happened otherwise (John 16:7; see The Meaning of Numbers and 111 for more). Christ came to fulfill the law or God's word (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44), so 111 and Jeremiah 1:11-12 align with this theme.
Jeremiah 2:13 states how Israel has forsaken God by rebelling against Him and by "digging her own cisterns" or wells that cannot hold water. It links to the meaning of 213 representing the end of our current age just before the second coming of Christ. This scripture and number went with my ministry's work in correcting the church's false beliefs today, because her broken cisterns also refer to the church letting God's live guidance and the truth leak away.
213 also has the number of God's promise in it, 13 (see The Meaning of Numbers and 13 for more), and goes with God's promise to build the Bride and my role to help by showing the truth that she lets leak away. This is meant to remove sin and correct the church so she can attain the purity and glory God wants of His People - a People prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17).
Understanding what sin really is is an important part of this, so it's discussed in greater detail in this document.
All together, these verses and numbers represent God fulfilling His word to make His Bride a reality, His New Jerusalem (Revelation 3:12, 21:2) or Hephzibah (Isaiah 62:4), and to prepare Her for His return.
Acts 10:9 to 10:48, gives a more obvious example of the deeper encryption in God's guidance I'm talking about. In Acts 10:9, Peter gets a vision and words telling him that all manner of food can be eaten. That was the first revelation. Then later, Cornelius, a centurion, gets Peter to come to his house because an angel told him to call on Peter for a message (Acts 10:22).
When Cornelius meets with Peter, Peter got the revelation that his visit to a Gentile or non-Jew, went with the guidance about not segregating food as clean or unclean to symbolize God's gift of eternal salvation in Christ was also not meant to be segregated by Jew or Gentile.
God welcomes and forgives anyone if they fulfill the conditions of the New Covenant, no matter their circumstances or what they had done or are doing wrong (Acts 10:34). An important thing to point out in this is that Peter got the revelation with help from the Holy Spirit within him. If we jump to our own conclusions about guidance it can lead to serious errors and create different interpretations, which can be seen in the many translations of the Bible that have bad interpretations and differ in meaning.
I got a revelation in a similar way as Peter about how the New Covenant works as a conditional covenant to save us and how that reconciles statements in the New Testament about certain sins preventing people from being saved or getting the kingdom of God. See The True Gospel and Imposters for details.
During my years in ministry I've seen Christians and churches giving unreasonable restrictions to what Bibles they use; some even make only one Bible the only standard they want to use. This is a serious problem if you want to understand God as He wants, because I have not found any Bibles to be free of translation errors and I've seen many with serious problems of interpretation. We need good translations of God's original words to understand what He meant and that requires learning from more than one good translation as well as original language resources to double-check things.
On the other hand, other ministries are not selective enough in choosing their Bibles. Some Bibles are too liberal in their translations of God's original words or are very bad or misguided translations, all of which can skew interpretation, so that the truth or God's meaning is lost.
Many teaching errors in the church come from using bad interpretations of scripture, and though some churches and denominations restrict Bible study to their "official" Bible(s), it is a bad policy, because there are many bad Bibles we should avoid and even good Bibles have errors. We cannot limit ourselves with only one or two Bibles, since there are no Bibles free of error.
Religious spirits also blind people into restricting use of more Bibles or resources and lead people to make any Bible sacred and inerrant, so people won't look any further for the full truth. Our scripture and especially our translations of God's words being inerrant is a false belief that blinds people into bad teaching and incomplete truth.
See Choosing a Bible for suggestions on picking good Bibles.
The first three misconceptions above give examples of why interpretation is not automatic or easy. In 1c. Myth: There's only one way to interpret scripture and God's guidance, I also noted how we need to be reborn with God's Spirit to have His mind. This helps us understand what God means, but it is no guarantee we will be free of error and misinterpretation.
Correct interpretation of scripture and God's other guidance is not always automatic and easy, and the enemy is good at faking spiritual guidance and forcing wrong interpretations on us. That is part of the brainwashing I've talked about in this document.
The following two verses mislead people into thinking that any Christian has God's mind and does not need any other teacher than the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 2:16, "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ," and 1 John 2:27, "As for you, the anointing which you received [of the Holy Spirit] from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him."
These verses are misleading because not every believer in Christ is saved or reborn with God's Spirit. The True Gospel and Imposters explains this more clearly.
The statement in 1 John 2:27 about not needing a teacher other than God's Spirit is also misleading, because it does not take into account the times we're in now of many spiritual imposters, like false-christs, false-holy-spirits, and false teaching, being common.
1 John 2:27 is also about being loyal to God through Christ, since John was talking about antichrists and people trying to deceive believers into denying Jesus was truly the Christ. That is the teaching that John said, "and just as [the Spirit] has taught you, you abide in Him."
However, it isn't clear John is only speaking about the Spirit in them teaching them, but also referring to the Spirit teaching them through him and others, since they likely learned not to deny the Lord from the disciples.
John and the other disciples also had to further instruct these believers, so they weren't taught everything only by the Spirit within them. The Body of Christ has many parts that need each other for its functioning, and God will continue to anoint servants and teachers to teach the church and each other until there is unity in God's People (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Paul also noted how we need each other in 1 Corinthians 3:
"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men?
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:3-9).Learning only from the Holy Spirit would work if the enemy was not around to impersonate God and His Spirit and give false guidance in His name. That is not the age we're in. We are in the age where the enemy occupies the kingdom until the end of the age. See the section titled Unity only at the end and the Parable of the Tares and Wheat in The True Gospel and Imposters for more details.
The age where Satan is shut out from deceiving man is during the thousand-year Millennial Reign (Revelation 20:1-3) after the Rapture or first resurrection of the dead when we reign with the Lord after His Second Coming (Revelation 20:4-6).
"You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? For when one says, 'I follow Paul,' and another, 'I follow Apollos,' are you not mere men?
What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building" (1 Corinthians 3:3-9).
These false beliefs come from the warning in Revelation about adding to or removing from that book (Revelation 22:18-19). People jump to the wrong conclusion that it means we cannot reveal more about what is said in Revelation. However, that is not what God meant. It refers to modifying that scripture specifically by adding or removing words from the prophecy or vision given by John of the Book of Revelation.
God has revealed more meaning and continues to reveal more about Revelation and scripture in general to His servants since Christ came and since the Book of Revelation was written. Much of what I write about was revealed to me and others; guidance that needed to be put together, as I noted above.
How is God supposed to reveal more about His prophecies, parables, and other hidden things throughout the Bible if we don't talk about what He taught us?
Not every "wrong" act is sin. The Biblical definition of sin is the transgression or breaking of God's laws and commands, not man's laws or what man may think are God's laws (1 John 3:4; Romans 3:20, 4:15, 7:7).
The enemy promotes condemnation and all kinds of false sin, like using birth control is actually not a sin. However, sex outside of marriage is sin. Another example is divorce. Divorce in itself or being divorced is not a sin. It is only that God allows divorce in certain circumstances and if a couple divorces outside of that, then their intimate relationships with new partners or spouses is considered adultery. See Sex and Marriage - The Plain Truth for more about these issues.
Other false sin comes from the teaching of other religions, like some Asian philosophies believe killing any animal is a sin or killing certain animals is a sin.
Generational curses are still active today. This is easily seen in inherited curses, like genetic disorders and predispositions to cancer, illnesses, anger, addiction, etc. Generational curses can also be seen when children suffer from curses that are not from their own sin, like cancer, serious illnesses, abduction, premature death, and other bad events.
The following scripture supports generational curses: Exodus 20:5, 34:6-7; Leviticus 26:22, 26:39; Numbers 14:18, 16:25-35; Deuteronomy 5:9, 23:2, 28:18; Joshua 7:24-26; 2 Chronicles 29:6-9; Jeremiah 2:9, 9:16 32:18, 36:31; Lamentations 5:7; Hosea 4:6; 2 Peter 2:14.
Many of those verses only refer to sin in the Law of Moses, but there are also references that are generalized to all of mankind, so generational curses are not limited to the Jews.
Confusion about generational curses often comes from statements in the New Testament about Christ setting us free from the law (Galatians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 3:17). However, that is not referring to generational curses in general, and more specifically refers to setting us free from needing to obey the Law of Moses as Jews must.
Other scripture that makes people erroneously think generational curses are void include:
Deuteronomy 24:16, "Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin," and 2 Chronicles 25:4, which references Deuteronomy 24:16.
This is a command from the Lord on how to treat people and is not about generational curses He brings.
John 9:1-3 where the disciples ask Jesus, "Who sinned, the man or his parents, that he was born blind?" And Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him."
Some people think that because the man was not blind from his or his parents' sin, that it means generational curses no longer happen. However, Jesus did not say that. He only said the man was born blind to show God's miracle working, so his blindness not being caused by sin only applied to him in that one case, and does not apply in general.
Jeremiah 31:27-40 and Ezekiel 18:1-32 talk about days coming when Israel will no longer say, "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge" (Jeremiah 31:29; Ezekiel 18:2). This refers to the coming of the New Covenant and times we are in now.
The statement about sour grapes goes with curses in the Law of Moses for sin that will also affect descendants, like stated in Deuteronomy 28:18 and Leviticus 26:39. So the verses about sour grapes refer to the end of generational curses coming from those stated in the Law of Moses for the Jews. This does not refer to statements about generational curses that are outside the Law of Moses, like for idolatry in the Ten Commandments and other Old Testament references above that are not only for the Jews, so Christians and other peoples still get generational curses today.
I've seen many Christians say this, and I believe it comes from the modern church that overemphasizes love and God's love. They teach a more romanticized version of God that blinds them to where judgment ultimately comes from and God's full character. This mentality also comes from false guidance that teaches people to have a more intimate, worldly relationship with God. I will discuss this below.
We must remember that God is Judge as well as Father, and He makes both the good and bad (Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:5-7; Isaiah 45:7; Lamentations 3:38; Job 12:23; Jeremiah 31:28; Ecclesiastes 7:14; 2 Chronicles 25:8; Proverbs 22:2).
Something related to this is how some Christians don't believe the 9-11 terrorist attacks were from God, but He has shown through the work of Johnathan Cahn and prophetic images in American currency that show His hand in 9/11. See 9/11 Prophecy for details.
All these misconceptions are handled in Properly Handling God's Money and Our Taxes.
This is addressed in Another kind of slavery that thrives undetected.
This false belief may have to do with the popularity in the modern church of being saved by faith or belief in Christ alone. After all, the New Covenant is a free gift of God that is not determined by our works, "for it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 5:15-16, 6:23).
However, that is not how all of God's promises work and especially not how His conditional covenants work. Unconditional covenants, like God's promise to not kill all life on earth by flood again (Genesis 9:8-11), His promises to Abraham of an heir (Genesis 15:4-5) and the Promised Land (Genesis 15:7-21), and His promise to David to establish his name and throne forever (2 Samuel 7:9-16)[2.800.1], were all unconditional promises that the recipients did not have to do anything to have fulfilled.
The original Promised Land was and still is God's unconditional covenant for the descendants of Abraham, which means God's People will possess the land in and around Israel not matter what. However, that doesn't mean everyone gets the promise.
Sin or disobedience to God affects some promises. For example, Moses and Aaron did not get to enter the Promised Land because they did not do things as the Lord directed to get water out of the rock of Meribah (Numbers 20:8-13; 20:24), and many people who rebelled against the Lord to take the Promised Land did not get to enter either (Numbers 14:21-23). The People were made to wander the desert for 40 years because of their unfaithfulness (Numbers 14:28-38) and Aaron and Moses died before they could enter the Promised Land (Numbers 20:22-29; Deuteronomy 34:1-8).
The New Covenant, though, is a conditional covenant like the Old Covenant was. See the next misconceptions and The True Gospel and Imposters for details and misconceptions about being saved.
How Conditional Covenants Work
Since the New Covenant is a conditional covenant, we need to understand how they work in general. I first came upon this knowledge from Take His Heart Ministries[3.1.56] in October 2010 after I started studying their teachings. However, I do not recommend studying their materials anymore, because I found they are being misled by one or more false-christ spirits and are likely influenced by other demons. I will go into detail about these things later in this document, but a summary can be found at Ministry Warnings.
Because Take His Heart and their lead pastor, Roy Sauzek, are being misled doesn't mean God isn't with them as well. He has given them good guidance, some of which I had to connect with mine to get a better picture of the truth, so do not judge anyone for being misled. I fell to the same spiritual brainwashing that accepting false guidance and lies brings, and I've seen a majority of the church has fallen and is being misled as well.
We can keep truth out of bad spiritual paths, though, as I said, and one part of the picture is how God's conditional covenants work. They are promises that come only after certain conditions or terms are fulfilled or are promises that remain if the conditions are kept. This means if we do not uphold the conditions of the covenant, the promises of the covenant are taken away or not given in the first place.
The scripture of Joshua 7 is an example of how God’s conditional covenants work. There, Achan and his family broke the covenant God made for plunder taken in Jericho (Joshua 6:17-19). Items of value were to be put in the Lord's treasury, but Achan and his family secretly kept some. This was a sin that broke the covenant and took away God's protection in the battle after Jericho to take Ai (Joshua 7:4-5). When Joshua lamented the loss, the Lord told him it was because His covenant was broken (Joshua 7:10-11).
It only takes one instance to break a conditional covenant, so if it was only Achan taking one banned item, the covenant would have still been broken. In this case, his whole family was blamed for taking many items, and many others died when the people were cursed afterwards.
The original Passover in Exodus 12 gives another picture of how conditional covenants work. God commanded the Jews to apply lamb's blood on their doorframes, so He would not strike down their firstborn with the rest of Egypt's (Exodus 12:7, 12:13, 12:22-23). This act of putting blood on the doorways was a covenant promising protection for the Jews during the last plague of Egypt. When God saw the blood on the door in accordance to the covenant of protection, He would pass over that household and leave the occupants unharmed (Exodus 12:13, 12:23), which is where the passover term comes from.
The important thing to note from this is, if a Jewish family did not obey the covenant by putting blood on the doorframe, God would not have passed over that household and their firstborn would have died just the same as the rest of Egypt's, because the covenant of protection would have been unfulfilled. It was not the state of being Jewish that protected the Jews, but it was obedience to God's covenant that promised safety.
Other very important examples of how conditional covenants work are given in The True Gospel and Imposters.
All of these misconceptions are covered in The True Gospel and Imposters.
This is untrue because scripture states the Rapture comes after the Tribulation when Christ comes back to destroy the last Antichrist.
God's People are to suffer great hardship by the Antichrist during the Tribulation as foretold in Daniel 7:21 and Revelation 13:7, and Revelation 20:3 explicitly states the believers who are resurrected in the first resurrection were confronted and killed by the Antichrist, because they did not receive the mark of the beast. However, the church takes statements in scripture out of context about the Rapture that note how God will "snatch away" His people, using a word often meaning "to grab suddenly from harm"[2.900.4] (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Even though the "snatching away" or Rapture is true, we cannot jump to conclusions about how or when it happens. Some words referring to "keeping" us from the Tribulation can also be translated as keeping us through it[2.900.8] (Revelation 3:10). This shows how putting more meaning into God's word than is stated leads to error.
More truth about the Rapture is shown by including other scripture with Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 and 20. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 says our gathering up to God will be after the Antichrist or "man of lawlessness" is revealed, and 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 notes how the dead in Christ will rise first and come with the Lord, then we who are still alive will be caught up in the air with them as well. This is the part of the Rapture the church believes will save her from the Tribulation.
However, the dead in Christ rising refers to the first resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6, which is after the Great Tribulation, because it comes after Christ returns to defeat the Antichrist, False Prophet, and nations gathered together against God in Revelation 19:11-21. The first resurrection also comes after Satan and the enemy are bound, so they do not mislead mankind during the Millennial Reign (Revelation 20:1-3), in which the resurrected believers of the Rapture will be a part of (Revelation 20:4).
Christ coming to defeat the Antichrist and False Prophet is also referred to in Daniel 7:21-22. That scripture notes how Christ comes after the saints are being overpowered by the Antichrist. This is also when the saints take possession of the kingdom of heaven, which goes with our reigning with God during the Millennial Reign once the Rapture occurs (Daniel 7:22; Revelation 20:4-5).
Other important things to consider are that the Lord's two witnesses prophesy during the time of the Antichrist and they will be killed by him in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:3-7). These witnesses are obviously not resurrected, saved Christians. Furthermore, God had to cut short the days when the Antichrist is in power "for the sake of the elect," (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20) who are also saved Christians.
After understanding these details, we can see that the church's notion of being saved by the Rapture is not correct. God will spare people during the Tribulation, but it is not how the church expects. It is by righteousness or more specifically, acts of righteousness and keeping from sin, that will save us from the worst of the Tribulation.
The most important act of righteousness is to get and keep eternal salvation through Christ. That is the door no one can open or shut in Revelation 3:7-8 (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39 also note nothing can take away eternal salvation in Christ). This is very important, because no one is considered the Lord's unless he is truly saved, which goes with Jesus saying we must be reborn with God's Spirit to enter the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3-7; Romans 8:9).
This happens when we confess our belief in Christ to someone, and to keep our salvation we must keep our faith and must not deny it in front of others. See The True Gospel and Imposters for complete details on how we are saved.
The Church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3 was/is faithful to uphold those conditions of the New Covenant. They kept His word to acknowledge the Lord and did not deny His name (Revelation 3:8). They held fast to those terms, and were kept from the Tribulation, "the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth" (Revelation 3:10).
Having eternal salvation in Christ is not the only thing giving us protection, though. Sin affects us in bad ways and it can have us and our families come to judgment and die prematurely. The enemy constantly accuses us of sin before God (Revelation 12:10), and try to bring us judgment and curses sooner when the Lord must judge our sin.
So to have the best protection from the Tribulation and judgment or curses is to belong to the Lord and be righteous and blameless as Job was. Job was blessed and protected or had "a hedge about him and his house and all that he had on every side" (Job 1:10)[3.1.59], because he was righteous, "a blameless and upright man, fearing the Lord and turning away from evil" (Job 1:8).
Job knew what was right and quoted God, "The fear of the Lord - that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding" (Job 28:28), so shunning evil or keeping from sin and not supporting it are important (Romans 1:32).
And so in Revelation 3:8, to the Church of Philadelphia, righteousness is important for getting through the Tribulation, because the Lord also said, "I know your deeds." Our righteous deeds or acts or lack of them can affect us, since inaction can also be sin (2 Chronicles 19:10; Ezekiel 3:18-21, 33:6-9; Proverbs 24:11-12; Deuteronomy 22:1-4), so to prevent judgment or curses coming on us and our families, we need to try and eliminate sin from our lives. Some sins are not obvious and are discussed in this document and other writings on this site.
Unity in the People of God is a long time dream that hasn't been a reality since God brought the Jews out of Egypt. It was soon after their exodus that they worshipped the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-10) and when it was time to take the Promised Land the people rebelled out of fear and insufficient faith (Numbers 13:31-14-38). Sin constantly brought the people at odds with each other and God throughout Biblical history, and the church's history is no different.
Keeping divisions or factions is a sin that can keep people out of the kingdom of heaven as noted in Galatians 5:19-21. Paul also urges us to be united, "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another, so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought" (1 Corinthians 1:10).
However, because of sin, judgment, and the spiritual war, it is God's will there is division in God's People and the world. The Parable of the Tares and Wheat make it clear it is God's will that the enemy is in the kingdom until the end of the age. This was brought up a couple times above. For more about it, see the section titled Unity only at the end and the Parable of the Tares and Wheat in The True Gospel and Imposters.
Jesus also said about division, "Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on, five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law" (Luke 12:51-53).
Other examples where division comes from God are when He divided the Jews into two kingdoms because of King Solomon's idolatry (1 Kings 11:9-13, 11:34-36) and He broke the staffs of Favor and Union to separate God's People further (Zechariah 11:4-14).
There are actually two corroborating methods of calculating Christ's birth to be on Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashana instead of Christmas. See those holidays in The Lord's Holidays and Sabbaths for more information.
During my years in ministry, the Lord taught me how man-made and pagan traditions often get confused with and mixed up with God's holidays and traditions. Jews, Christians, and most people even, are very obstinate about their beliefs and traditions, and claim their holidays and traditions are sacred and therefore should not be touched.
However, I've seen how much error and false belief God's People and the world live in, and have tried to correct myself and teaching to align with the truth instead of keeping to error. If unity in Christ is important to you, then leaving behind bad teaching about God's holidays needs to be a part of living with God as well. See The Lord's Holidays and Sabbaths for more about holidays and sabbaths.
We need to remember the name Jesus is the English translation of Latin and Greek translations of the Hebrew name "יהושע" (Yehoshua/Yeshua/Joshua). Christ, his family, and disciples spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, so Jesus would not have been called by His English name.
It is important to know God's original names in Hebrew, because those were the ones He gave and stated we are to remember forever (Exodus 3:15). Religious spirits and false-christs also overemphasize the name Jesus and using God's other names as we will see in the section about demons and identifying the enemy.
They make the scripture stating "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12) a blind to the fuller truth and God's complete character.
A reason to do this is to redirect a person's focus on the false-christ instead of God, because they stand in between you and God to usurp your relationship with God.
We need to remember that "no other name" in Acts 4:12 above refers to God in completeness and His other names, since He said, "I am Yehovah, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another..." (Isaiah 42:8). I used God's given name Yehovah in that quote to make it clear what He said, since most Bibles replace God's Hebrew names with "Lord".
Since Jesus Christ is glorified as God and He does not give His glory to another, His name is also Yehovah and is the same person. This backs up the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and also means imposters of the Lord that use Jesus and any of His other names have stolen God's identity.
After seeing how imposters of the Lord use the name Jesus, I prefer to use God's Hebrew names and am more careful to direct my focus on God in prayer instead of any spirits that may be impersonating Him. I will talk about this more below. See HaShem - The Name for more about God's names and titles.
Fortune telling may seem like a harmless activity, but it is a form of divination and connected with the prophesying Python spirit (Acts 16:16). People who use forms of divination, like making and using horoscopes, tarot cards, numerology, astrology, palm reading, Ouija boards, mediums, and spiritualists invite these spirits into their lives and often get demonic attachments.
We should not use any forms of divination even if they can give you truth. Demons have real powers to prophesy, but they also lie, mislead, and attach to people, so they cannot be trusted. See Divination, Idolatry and the Curse of False Gospels for more.
The church has erroneously taken New Testament statements of Christ triumphing on the cross to mean Satan and other demons were completely defeated and no longer have power over Christians.
This comes from scripture like Hebrews 2:14, which says, "...through death [Christ] might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil," and Colossians 2:13-15, "When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him."
These verses note how our salvation by the New Covenant gives us triumph over sin and entry into God's kingdom. The triumph over the enemy, rulers, and authorities was that Christ was able to bring the New Covenant, atone for all sin, and was resurrected from death despite all opposition.
These scriptures are not saying Satan and the enemy were or are completely defeated. In fact, the apostle John stated, "...the whole world lies in the power of the evil one [Satan]" (1 John 5:19). And when Apostle Paul talked about the Armor of God, he specifically noted that our fight is still against this enemy - the spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world and in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12).
This spiritual fight is within as well as among us, as Paul stated about his wretched state of a conflicting nature - one who wishes to do good but continues to do evil because of the fight with the sin and evil dwelling in him (Romans 7:14-25). However, so many Christians are influenced by bad teaching that many don't believe demons can indwell, control, or "possess" them or even believe they exist at all. This mentality gives the enemy victory over you and the church to affect and control invisibly and through deception by making you think all your thoughts, urges, and spiritual guidance is either your own or from God, when the truth is, those things are mixed up with what demons do and give.
The testimony and knowledge given in this document gives a lot of proof that Satan and demons are not defeated and powerless against Christians. The amount and types of sin you and your ancestors had, as well as God's will, all affect how much demons can influence you.
Preachers and theology scholars, like John MacArthur, who teach that believers cannot be possessed or have demons indwell in them are blinded by their own misconceptions, false teaching, and rejection of witness testimony from ministries and people, like myself, who have much more first-hand experience with demons and spiritual happenings than ministers whose experience is largely academic. Academic scholars have much useful knowledge, but their experience and wisdom is incomplete if they do not accept the truth of how spiritual things really work from those who have personally witnessed them.
In his article, "Can Christians Be Demon-Possessed?," MacArthur uses scripture out of context to try and prove that "true believers" cannot have demons[3.1.111], however, all the references he uses do not state demons cannot affect or indwell believers. Most of the scripture he uses are similar to the ones I quoted above - they are only general references to victory in Christ and eternal salvation and have little to do with how demons affect believers.
MacArthur's use of 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 about not being bound or yoked to unbelievers also does not state that demons cannot indwell believers. That scripture only notes we should not partner with unbelievers because their desires, thinking, and morality is ruled more by dark worldly and spiritual forces than Godly ones.
MacArthur is correct that there is no irrefutably clear example in the Bible of a believer being inhabited or invaded by a demon, however, verses related to the apostles Paul and Peter can be instances of them having indwelling demons.
When Jesus rebukes Peter by saying, "Get behind Me, Satan!" after he tried to go against God's plan to have Jesus suffer and die (Matthew 16:21-23; Mark 8:31-33), could have been Christ addressing thoughts and actions given to Peter by a demon either within or around him. A hard truth the church is often unwilling to accept is that people are born with demons from generational curses, such as an ancestral history of divination, fortune telling, witchcraft, and other sins can bring spirits, like Python a fortune telling spirit, into future generations. An ancestral history in false teachings can spread religious spirits in the same way.
A clearer example of a demon affecting a believer is
Paul's "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). It was a demon, "messenger of Satan," that tormented him so that he would remain humble despite the great revelations God gave him (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul asked the Lord to take it away three times, but the Lord did not take away the demon and replied, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).
Knowing how demons affect people, that they can indwell saved and reborn believers with the Spirit, and seeing that Paul stated his demon was a "thorn in the flesh," I believe he was speaking of a demon that was indwelling his body.
This is not so uncommon as most people, especially in the church, think. I already noted that people are simply born with demons, but most people are unaware of how they are influenced by them. How much they affect a person depends on the sins and urges they have hooks in as well, for example, sexual and religious spirits have more influence in situations related to sex and false teaching, respectively. Most of the time, though, the control spirits have over you is not detectable, especially if you deny they exist or have influence on you.
I have also personally witnessed professing Christians be controlled or "possessed" by demons, especially during deliverances. Demons also more easily come forward to take control when a person becomes excessively intoxicated from alcohol or drugs, or when they are in certain mental states, like during meditation or when spiritual mediums allow demons to speak and act through them.
However, demons can manifest to control and speak through a person at any time depending on the sins and curses the person has. Their state of eternal salvation in Christ has nothing to do with it. I personally know of instances where believers had demons act and speak through them while they were completely sober and conscious.
Ministers like MacArthur would say that these believers are not "true believers" or truly saved into God's kingdom and "converted" by showing a desire and active life of righteousness[3.1.111]. However, stating that is an arrogant error of the church and a part of false gospels that depend works of righteousness.
The true gospel does not depend on works for us to have eternal life in Christ, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, faith alone is also just the beginning of salvation and not the only thing necessary to be eternally saved into God's kingdom. For a detailed discussion of that see The True Gospel and Imposters.
Paul would rebuke ministers, like MacArthur, today by telling them about the man he gave over to Satan for the "destruction of his flesh" or premature death, because he married his mother or step-mother (1 Corinthians 5:1-5). This was done because he was living in a great sin and so "his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Corinthians 5:5). That clearly notes how sin in general does not take away our eternal salvation in Christ (see The True Gospel and Imposters for more details).
We have no place to say that a confessing believer who falls in sin is not saved. Jesus made people think about their own judging and state of sin when a mob wanted to stone a woman caught in adultery. Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Everyone ended up leaving without doing anything (John 8:3-11).
Instead of making unrighteous judgment, keeping to erroneous doctrine, and dismissing the testimony of many witnesses to the truth, people, especially ministers, should examine their sins, beliefs, and practices that have given the enemy hooks into them. Accepting this reality and knowing how and why the enemy affects you, allows the removal of their hooks. Without this knowledge and correcting the sins they attach to, we cannot be permanently be rid of demons in this age. They will simply come back, sometimes worse, if sin persists (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26).
Spirits, whether angels or demons, can influence us, read minds, and give thoughts, visions, dreams, etc. without possessing us, so these powers are normal for spirits.
The Bible has many examples of this, such as dreams given by God through His Spirit or angels when Jacob saw the ladder to heaven at Bethel (Genesis 28:12-15), when a pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar were warned about the future (Genesis 41:1-32; Daniel 2:1-45, 4:4-37), when Joseph, husband of Mary, wanted to divorce her (Matthew 1:19-25), when they had to flee to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-15), and twice again when they should return (Matthew 2:19-23). The three magi or wise men were also warned by God in a dream to not go back to King Herod (Matthew 2:12).
People with demons, either in or around them, can converse with them entirely within their minds. This is evident in witness testimonies of people encountering demons and can feel their influence without being possessed or having an attachment from sin, such as feeling intense rage, hate, fear, etc. when the demons are around. I've heard testimony where everyone near the demon felt its effects, which goes with the next myth 5c. Myth: Satan and demons can only affect one person at a time.
False-christ spirits and other demons often communicate through a "mind voice," especially during quiet meditation or prayer time. God's word, though, is "audible" in that it sounds like a real person speaking to you in the world. This is shown in 1 Samuel 3:3-10 where Samuel repeatedly went to his mentor Eli when the Lord called Samuel's name. However, after two times of Eli denying he called him, he told Samuel it was the word of the Lord.
However, audible words and sounds can be faked by the enemy as well. They can influence all of a person's senses, so having audible spiritual guidance is not a foolproof test that things are from God.
Spirits and demons are not physically bound to one place at a time as we think of most people and objects. I realized this some years ago when I heard a popular spiritualist on the radio who has the gift to deliver people from demons.
After delivering someone, he noted how he delivered siblings from a similar demon that gave them bad dreams - the same dream at the very same moment, even though they were hundreds of miles apart. This ability of spirits to influence people over great distances at the same time can also be seen in Take His Heart's "Golden Meetings," which they conduct with people around the world by Internet and phone.
After seeing how demons could affect people over any distance at the same time, I realized shared revelations from demons during group prayer or meditation was also shown by Paramahansa Yognanda when he and another person shared a vision while they meditated together, I believe in his book The Yoga of Jesus: Understanding the Hidden Teachings of the Gospels.
I started to read the book when someone suggested it while I was debating Christianity in 2008. I cannot find the book available to read online anymore to give an exact reference, but I noted this after reading a few pages. I did not read any more of the book at the time, which was a good thing because I now understand it has harmful teaching in it.
Paramahansa practiced meditative spiritualism and taught false teachings or what he titled "hidden teachings" about Christ and the gospels that tried to unite Christianity with Yoga, which belongs to spiritual beliefs and practices like Buddhism and Hinduism[3.1.37]. Most of these Eastern philosophies deny Christ as truly Lord God and Savior, so can be quickly dismissed as false teaching. See 1 John 4:2-3 (below) and 5f. Myth: Satan and demons cannot make miracles, signs, or wonders for more.
I also read in The Miracle Detective by Randall Sullivan about shared spiritual influence with the apparition of the Virgin Mary of Medjugorje and her believers, which I do not believe is the true Virgin Mary. I've also personally witnessed shared group revelation and spiritual happenings with Take His Heart Ministries that are not from God.
Take His Heart believes shared revelation among many people at once is a sign things are from God. I also thought it was a good sign that guidance was valid, but after realizing demons can affect many people at the same time over any distance and that Take His Heart is getting a lot of false guidance, I knew shared revelation could not be used to test validity for guidance from God.
This false belief mainly comes from James 4:7, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you," as well as faith in our standing as Christians to use God's name with power. Rebuking the enemy can work, but it will be temporary if sin gives them hooks in you. See John Dau's Dream for more information.
Truth is truth no matter who gives it. Demons also have real spiritual powers to prophesy or tell the future. They also know scripture better than we do and use truth to mislead us, so they can skew it and make us misinterpret scripture or spiritual guidance from God. I will give more specific examples in the next section about the enemy's tactics.
Satan and demons were all God's angels who all have spiritual powers of one kind or another. Satan can make fire come out of the sky (Job 1:16; Revelation 13:13), and I've witnessed all kinds of supernatural things from demons, like psychokinesis, telling the future, physical objects materializing and dematerializing, and computers and electronics being controlled.
Imposters of the Lord, saints, and angels have used these powers to make miracles and wonders that get people to worship Mother Mary, other saints, and angels. This is the activity of Satan who uses "all power and signs and false wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9).
Islam was founded by Muhammad who claimed to be taught by God's archangel Gabriel[5.1.1]. However, the spirit must have been an imposter, because Islam also teaches that Jesus was not Lord and Savior, but just a man who was a prophet, which does not pass the test of 1 John 4:2-3, "By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world."
However, this test does not work with false-christs or false-holy-spirits that actually claim to be God in that form.
This misconception is related to 2c Myth: Curses and other bad things don't come from God where I noted how God brings both the good and bad.
He also created all the angels, which includes Satan and demons, and has control over them. That doesn't mean all their activity is directly from God or is His will. God gives them domains to reign and act in.
God uses demons and wicked spirits for whatever He wishes. He sent a wicked spirit to King Saul (1 Samuel 16:14-15, 18:10, 19:9) and between Abimelech and the men of Shechem (Judges 9:23). God decided to let one of His heavenly host to be a lying spirit to entice King Ahab into battle (1 Kings 22:19-23; 2 Chronicles 18:18-22).
God also used Satan to test Job, and Apostle Paul gave people over to Satan to be disciplined and judged (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20). The man given over to Satan in 1 Corinthians 5:5 also has importance in understanding salvation in Christ. See The True Gospel and Imposters for details.
God continues to use Satan and wicked spirits to this day for our testing, training, and maturation as His disciples. I know much of my trials and hardships with spiritual warfare were predestined for me to go through (see my Personal About Page for details), and I'm certain others have had similar experiences to test and mature them as well.
Note: the need of more than one translation of scripture highlights problems with only using one or two translations. If the translations you use lack the correct interpretation or information, then you likely won't see God's meaning in it. See Choosing a Bible for more about bibles.
[Note: The verses after Mark 16:8 are also only in later manuscripts[2.820.8.1, 2.820.8.2]]
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)
"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." (Psalm 126:5)
"Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure." (Ecclesiastes 7:3)
"Sinners in Zion are terrified; Trembling grips the godless. 'Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can live with everlasting burning?'
He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion [or unjust gain], and keeps his hands from accepting bribes; who stops his ears against plots of murder, and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil - this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and view a land that stretches afar" (Isaiah 33:14-17)