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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Prove All Things!

by A.M. Kisly

We would like to take the opportunity to announce that we have created a new page that will provide resources specific to the New Apostolic Reformation.  This page is listed under the Apologetics tab.

"The New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR, is an unbiblical religious movement that emphasizes experience over Scripture, mysticism over doctrine, and modern-day “apostles” over the plain text of the Bible. Of particular distinction in the New Apostolic Reformation are the role and power of spiritual leaders and miracle-workers, the reception of “new” revelations from God, an over-emphasis on spiritual warfare, and a pursuit of cultural and political control in society. The seeking of signs and wonders in the NAR is always accompanied by blatantly false doctrine." - from gotquestions.org 

I just wanted to quickly address a growing concern among our followers. I have been observing more and more posts regarding spiritual warfare and language that strongly resembles the false teachings by NAR/Dominionist proponents, and their Word - Faith counterparts in our social media groups.  

A few words...

Do Christians need to study mystic techniques for confronting and commanding evil forces, "binding" the devil, "breaking the strongholds, dispatching angels for protection and prosperity??? Where are the scriptures to back up these claims? Do we as believers have ALL authority? I will say a few words on the matter here, but we have provided you with plenty of other resources at the link below:
New Apostolic Reformation

The Christian's armor described in Ephesians 6 is SUFFICIENT to stand against Satan's attacks. One of the glorious truths of our sufficiency IN Christ is that we are already MORE THAN CONQUERERS in this spiritual warfare (Romans 8:37), and Satan IS ALREADY A DEFEATED FOE.
Colossians 2:15 -
“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

1 Peter 3:22 -
“Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” 
What do they mean by Binding Satan?  What do scriptures teach? 

Matthew 18:18-19 are the Scriptures often used in defending Christians binding Satan.   Let's take a look.  
Matthew 18:19 and 18:18 have nothing to do with Christians binding Satan but, rather, are talking about church discipline. Let me repeat that again, in the context of this portion of scripture, these verses are talking about church discipline. The verses teach that if church leadership declares someone is bound by sin and their declaration is in accord with what the Bible describes as sin, then heaven agrees with that assessment. If the individual that is bound in sin repents as described in the Word of God, then heaven agrees with that as well. These verses describe how church leaders can determine if someone is forgiven and has repented of a sinful practice or lifestyle or if he or she is still in sin. Back up and read the previous few verses and you will quickly understand this.

The NAR and Word of Faith also use verses from Luke 11:21-22 and Matthew 12:28-29 out of context to justify their binding of Satan - particularly these verses I've cited. First, it is important to understand that in both Matthew and Luke, Jesus is the One casting out demons. 
Luke 11:21-22 reads:
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.

And Matthew 12:28-29 says:
But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
In context, these verses describe Satan as the strong man and Jesus Christ as the stronger man. Jesus defeated-or bound-Satan through His death, burial and resurrection.
Colossians 2:13-15 speaks of this:
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
Hebrews 2: 14-15 speaks of the victory that is ours through Jesus Christ who freed us from the bondage of sin and death and defeated Satan:
Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
In Jude 9 we read where Michael the archangel did not attempt to "bind" Satan nor engage him in an argument:
Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Satan is on a leash held by God Himself. Our rightful response to Satan is found in James 4:7-8:
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Are we in an ongoing struggle? Yes we are. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12). But Christ is already the Victor in this spiritual war.

When the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians, he was not suggesting that they view their conflict with the powers of darkness as a battle whose outcome still hung in the balance. He was telling them they need to "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of HIS MIGHT" (Ephesians 6:10).
  • What are we to do?  Ephesians 6:11 - Stand Firm! 
  • How do we stand firm?  Ephesians 6:13 - We are equipped with His spiritual armor!
  • What is the spiritual armor? Ephesians 6:12-18 - Truth, Righteousness, The Gospel, Faith, Salvation, and God's Word and Prayer. That is how we resist the devil.
We don't chase the devil! We don't try to hunt him down!  We don't attempt to bind him!  We don't command or rebuke him with some incantation! 

What do we do? James 4:7 - "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Why? 1 John 4:4 - Because the One who indwells every believer is greater than the devil. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world”, and all the powers of hell know it:
Matt 8:28-32 -

28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

30 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

32 And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
It is clear that believers are in an intense spiritual struggle with the forces of evil. We do not have the authority, nor the knowledge to command Satan, consign him to the pit, or otherwise rebuke him into submission. Nowhere in scripture are we instructed to do so. Born-again Christians are not enslaved to Satan or to sin, though we are often subject to temptation.

How can we fight back?
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us that though we walk in the flesh, we don't war according to the flesh.

Ephesians 6:13-18 is our spiritual weaponry. The pieces of armor are all spiritual commodities: truth, righteousness, faith, the gospel, God's Word, and prayer. These are the assets that every believer inherits in Christ.

1 Timothy 1:18, 19 tells us how we wage a good warfare, by holding faith, and a good conscience. Paul tells Timothy to focus on keeping the faith (sound doctrine) and a clear conscience (righteous living so the conscience cannot accuse).

2 Timothy 2:3-4 Paul writes, "...endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."
 The two crucial principles for success in the war against the powers of darkness:
  1. Disentangle yourself from worldly things. 
  2. Commit yourself to the will of the Lord. 
Winning against Satan is not a question of claiming some kind of authority over him, scripture tells us we simply need to pursue righteousness, avoid sin, and stand firm in the truth. Satan cannot defeat any believer who lives that way!

This barely scratches the surface of what these groups are teaching. There are so many false teachings that have taken hold in the church. Christians are running around thinking they are binding satan and demonic strongholds, commanding angels to do their bidding, claiming territories for the kingdom of God, while thinking they are going to change the world so that Christ can come back.  These things simply cannot be found in scripture, and it is high time to get back to biblical truth, and flee these false doctrines.

Scripture admonishes us in the strongest of terms to TEST ALL THINGS by the WORD OF GOD. We are to HOLD FAST to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21; Acts 17:11). Jude exhorts us to content earnestly for the faith (Jude 3). Why? Because the bible warns us that there are MANY false teachers and prophets who teach doctrines of demons, and as a result undiscerning Christians and churches are falling prey to lying deceptions.

So what are we to do? On a practical level, take for instance the things we allow to enter our minds, everything we hear, read or watch on tv. These things should go through a grid of discrimination in our minds to differentiate truth from lies. Why? A careful inspection (the recognition and understanding of the differences between one thing and another) will identify erroneous and false claims, teachings and doctrines. How do we deploy such method? By careful examination of God’s Word. Not only are we to know what God’s word says, we need to understand what it means.

2 Timothy 2:15 - “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Knowing the word of God!

To know God’s Word, we have to read it and study it. Seems obvious enough. Yet too many believers only know what they have been taught by other men. Problem is, many of these men teach doctrine that is blatantly false, and too many Christians have become students of men’s words, not God’s. Why? Because they do not apply themselves to the discipline of reading and studying of God’s word.

We must seek the Lord in prayer and in His word to see if what the pastor/teacher/lecturer/author is saying is true, so that we do not become easy prey to wolves.  False teachers will take scripture out of context, stretch the meaning, add to the scriptures or take away from them, and undiscerning Christians have no clue. Only a student of God’s word will be able to discern what is right, what is true and what is biblical. Further, it is the duty of every single Christian to discern, and able to judge whether something is true or false according to the Word of God.

If I were to invite you over to my house and show you my library of books, not only would you know what I read and study, but you would notice that a lot of the margins have been marked. You would see highlighted areas, areas that have been underlined and the scripture references that I have penned in the margins. In some areas you would see a big question mark, or a strike through line through a paragraph with the word WRONG written across it.

Why do I do that? Simple, the only sure WORD that exists is Scripture alone. Everything else should be scrutinized against the Word of God. I don't just gobble up the words of men and believe them, I scrutinize them under the lens of scripture.  

Our passion should be to know what GOD’S Word says, to know and love the truth so that we can proclaim it with true conviction and authority, and that we will not fall prey to false teachers.





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