Another Gospel

Posted on August 6, 2022

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If you have been a believer any amount of time you are familiar with the verse from Galatians, warning about “Another Gospel.” If you are like me, you may have associated this with Jehovah Witnesses or maybe Mormons. More and more I am beginning to see the zeal for a few passages from the Bible and making them more important than anything else is most likely what the Lord was warning us about.

Galatians 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:

The Galatians were doing just that, taking Jewish tradition and practices under the law as Jews, and imposing them on new believers.  I have witness many today get pulled into this exact trap.  One of the largest proponents of this in the central valley, in past decade was said to renounce Christ and adopted Judaism and swinging many good believers.

Bewitched

 Galatians 3:1  O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Wow if I were to make that statement today, which I am and others are doing the same, we would be called the heretics and not those that have been bewitched. Bewitched is a strong word and it needs to be, this is serious.  The prophet Samuel told King Saul that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.  Understanding rebellion and witchcraft and combining them is how we can understand what is being said.  Separately rebellion would appear to have no connection to witchcraft and vice versa.  When you look at who’s will is being done then they become the same.  King Saul was in rebellion because he was doing his own will, not the will of God.  Witchcraft is about imposing one person’s will on another person whether the intention is good or bad.  We think about a witch casting a spell to cause harm or manipulation to a person to make a better outcome for the witch or a customer of the witch.  We also look at witchcraft as something strictly supernatural not understanding there are levels of witchcraft.  Also there are many don’t believe in witchcraft at all.  Witchcraft is real both in the demonic realm and sadly among believers.

As I began writing this, my intention was speak only on “Another Gospel” but it is so important to understand how witchcraft is foundation of pulling good people into the trap.

Levels of Witchcraft

1. Wrong Prayers

The lowest level of witchcraft is prayer.  You may think how can a prayer ever be wrong? If you remember Jesus in the garden saying, “Not my will but thy will be done,” this was Jesus expressing a personal desire of not having to walk out the cup given to him but yielding to the authority and will over his life, the will of the Father.  This is a very common scene in families and churches where people under or equal in authority pray to change things to the outcome they would like, rather than the outcome that the subject person or would be God’s will.  Sometimes we can prayer and it be God’s will, but God still never takes a person’s free will from them.

Example of a Wrong Prayer

In a situation which is found in many of our lives, let’s say hypothetically that a person is called to be a missionary in a dangerous place, like an Islamic nation.  This person has heard from God and has been confirmed from several sources.  The parents of this person a very scared and worried about this person going to this field so they begin praying that something will happen to stop the mission.  As an example of a prayer, “Lord I prayer that the mission board will not approve the mission.”  That’s just one example, there could be many prayers for roadblocks to moving to that mission field.  These prayers are motivated by personal desire and fear, not faith that pleases God.  This is a Christian example just think about demonic prayers seeking help from Satan or the demonic realm.

2. Intimidation

The next level of witchcraft is intimidation. This kind of witchcraft is very blatant and present in our America society.  We have groups that are formed specially to impose their will on others, even to the point of passing laws to control others.  God never takes any one’s free will away from them and we should never do so either.  I know of a situation where a person felt like God had told them to go to Jerusalem to pray and this person’s spouse told them that they had to take the spouse too or they would be looking at divorce. It was not practical at the time for both to go and the trio never happened.  God’s will was decreed and another person steps in and tries to change the will and actions to fit their desires through intimidation.  In another common example, I was in a church that group of people were upset with the pastor, so they influenced the church board to reduce the pastor’s salary, eventually forcing him to resign.  I have given to situations that happen often in various ways in the homes and churches of many of us and these are Christians that have behavior that is purely witchcraft.  Outside the church you see much the same with labor groups, political groups, and others of special interests, like maybe the legalizing of pot for example as well as all the homosexual agenda seen today.  The examples I have shared seem negative and obvious, imagine subtle and convincing teachings to promote a particular doctrine, such as described in Galatians.

The media today is the greatest outlet for this kind of subtle intimidation and mind control.  Casual people that don’t think for themselves and are busying living life are lead around like an animal with a carrot dangled in front of them and don’t even know it.

3. Supernatural Powers

For myself and many others, due to the influence of Hollywood, thought that supernatural powers was the beginning of all witchcraft but the truth is it just a stronger and more desperate attempt to get your way or your will be done.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

People have spiritual gifts that are all from God, He is the creator of all things, and some people use their gifts for God’s will and others use their gifts for their own will, in and out of the church.  Most of us have seen movies where some person is evoking the powers of a spirit or Satan himself to gain more power and control over more people and we think that if this situation was real that the power came from Satan only.  If you stop and think, who created Satan? The answer obviously is God, the creator of all things and all the power that Satan or any other fallen angel has was created by God for God and is being missed used.  Likewise, there are people that have prophetic gifting from God for God but have chosen to use it for self-promotion and power both in the church and in the world.  This third level is very easy to see how tapping into spiritual power and knowledge for personal gain is witchcraft, your will be done.  Again, someone playing with an Ouija board to get answers, the depths of practices in Voodoo, or a palm reader all are plainly occult but if a minister is flaunting his or her healing or prophetic gift to gain power or let’s say a large offering they are operating in witchcraft at this third level.  Ministers operating like this are masking their desire to make money, gain popularity, and or power with their spiritual gift from God. It is very scriptural to bless a minister for their service with their gifting, but we all have witnessed the hype for large offerings both in person and on TV and it is simply witchcraft and manipulation.  In this generation as well as recent past generations of gifted and anointed ministers of God, we have seen a blossoming ministers operating in the power of the Spirit, shift after time into a focus on strange doctrines.

4. Sorceries

Often preaches and teachers will share about the definition of the word sorceries in the New Testament as being pharmakeia, a Greek word we get pharmacy from.  Like the word wine in the Bible, which is used for anything from grapes, alcoholic or not, sorceries is also used for all kinds of witchcraft, not just witchcraft using drugs. However, in this fourth level I want to talk about witchcraft using drugs.  Again, we can think of a Hollywood movie where someone under a spell is fed some potion or drugs that keeps them in a zombie state and under the control or out of the way of the person that is controlling them.  This scenario may lead us to think again, how could this be in the church?  If you watch any TV you know that a large majority of the commercials today are for drugs, many of them for mood care or our psychological wellbeing.  Whether in church, in the family, or in the workplace, it is very common for people to be so stressed by situations that they have been put on medication so they can live life.  Often the effect of this medication takes away much of a person’s drive, concern, and compassion for what they do, are getting Zombie-like yet?  We hear things about those being medicated like, seems like all he wants to do is lay around and sleep now.  These people are put out of service, if not fully, partially. For a believer that means you not being what God called you to do.  How many pastors are on psychotropic drugs because of the stress of pastoring and possibly of control and submission issues within the congregation or a board?  No one person put the pastor on these drugs but often people create situations that direct people to the drugs to calm the pain of what they have to deal with. The final results is not much different than the witch secretly slipping the drug to an unsuspecting person to render them useless and not a problem for the witch.

Back to Another Gospel

The Good News or the Gospel is especially good when it is new to our life or new to family member or close friend.  Sadly, we all tend to lose our first love and the good news becomes old news.  That’s where revival comes in and we become refreshed. Recently I listened to an audio book about the Azusa Street Revival and the author said one profound thing, “Revival is like smelling salt, its to wake up the church, not to live on.”  Revivalist today want to live on and in revival and often talk down about the traditional church and import role it plays in the world.  To feed the desire of the revivalist or even the unenthused believer, churches come up with social programs and revival leaders come up with “Another Gospels.” We certainly get weary in well doing and desire some new excitement. 

Five-Fold Ministry

If you have been around Pentecostal or Charismatic ministries in the decade or two you have heard this term many times and if don’t read your Bible much you probably think this term is actually in the Bible, well its not.  First off I believe in apostle, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelist but the Bible does not support the current teaching and promotion of this so called five-fold ministry.  I am not going to go off on this doctrine but its is great example of another gospel.  The five-fold ministry is taught as it is an essential part of the local church and if not in place that church is missing their best from God.  Jesus never said this nor gave an example of it in any way.  The apostle Paul mentioned then list once but never gave an example or admonition to a person or local body of believers to have it in place as an established leadership pattern and function.  All the other New Testament writers never mentioned it either, so where did all the fuss come about? If you search five-fold ministry on Amazon.com you will get an entire page of books on the subject.  We go to a conference on it buy CDs, videos, and books and don’t realized we have been bewitched.

More New Gospels

This subject has been stirring in me to write about but sadly a post I saw this week pushed me to the point I have to do this.  A young minister that I have known for some time and watched as they have moved about in ministry and historically have heard some powerful prophecy spoken over this life, post something on Facebook, in which they went overboard in pointing out one of the more upcoming New Gospels, The Seven-Mountain Mandate.  I have heard of it, but literally knew nothing about it, other than the fact that it not in the Bible.  In a hundred forty word post the word “mountain” was mentioned four times and was quite secondary to what the post was about, yet important enough to mention that many times. That sound like some new good news which this person is really sold on.  This is just one and a more current example of people following every wind of doctrine and often missing the basics of loving your neighbor.

The Power of Influence

As I mentioned above, anointed, and gifted people have a great influence over those that follow them.  Often many are moving in the power of God and start off good bad sadly become bold in who they are and their influence and drift away.  Being a new believer and being influenced and taught by one of these leaders often makes us their disciple for life and I see this happening to many with Bethel Church Redding.  I had some great times through this ministry in the past but soon saw them as a broken record and mostly lost contact with the ministry.  More and more I hear personal testimonies and the writings of other how the ministry has drifted into lots of New Gospels.  Some are waking up but most people I know are still “Glassy Eyed” followers and defend errors at least and demonic turns at worst. A minister and I were having a discussion on a couple things in the Bible and he told me if there was a passage or doctrine that was not clear to him, he had another minister that was his mentor and model, and he accepted what ever he said it meant, because of his respect for that person he trust him.  The Bible has to be our standard, no person, no matter how great they have been or seem to be.

Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.