Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Can I Recognize A False Teacher / False Prophet?

 Question of the Week

Question: "How can I recognize a false teacher / false prophet?"

Answer: Jesus warned us that “false Christs and false prophets” will come and will attempt to deceive even God’s elect (Matthew 24:23-27; see also 2 Peter 3:3 and Jude 17-18). The best way to guard yourself against falsehood and false teachers is to know the truth. To spot a counterfeit, study the real thing. Any believer who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) and who makes a careful study of the Bible can identify false doctrine. For example, a believer who has read the activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Matthew 3:16-17 will immediately question any doctrine that denies the Trinity. Therefore, step one is to study the Bible and judge all teaching by what the Scripture says.

Jesus said “a tree is recognized by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33). When looking for “fruit,” here are three specific tests to apply to any teacher to determine the accuracy of his or her teaching:

1) What does this teacher say about Jesus? In Matthew 16:15-16, Jesus asks, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and for this answer Peter is called “blessed.” In 2 John 9, we read, “Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.” In other words, Jesus Christ and His work of redemption is of utmost importance; beware of anyone who denies that Jesus is equal with God, who downplays Jesus’ sacrificial death, or who rejects Jesus’ humanity. First John 2:22 says, “Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.”

2) Does this teacher preach the gospel? The gospel is defined as the good news concerning Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As nice as they sound, the statements “God loves you,” “God wants us to feed the hungry,” and “God wants you to be wealthy” are not the complete message of the gospel. As Paul warns in Galatians 1:7, “Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.” No one, not even a great preacher, has the right to change the message that God gave us. “If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:9).

3) Does this teacher exhibit character qualities that glorify the Lord? Speaking of false teachers, Jude 11 says, “They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.” In other words, a false teacher can be known by his pride (Cain’s rejection of God’s plan), greed (Balaam’s prophesying for money), and rebellion (Korah’s promotion of himself over Moses). Jesus said to beware of such people and that we would know them by their fruits (Matthew 7:15-20).

For further study, review those books of the Bible that were written specifically to combat false teaching within the church: Galatians, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, and Jude. It is often difficult to spot a false teacher/false prophet. Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), and his ministers masquerade as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:15). Only by being thoroughly familiar with the truth will we be able to recognize a counterfeit.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Christian Woman and Her Frightening Experience With Yoga

Eyewitness Account of the Devastating Power of Yoga

By: Dr. John Ankerberg & Dr. John Weldon

We first met Carole as a result of exchanging information on the famous Indian guru Swami Rama. The following information is taken from material sent to us.

Carole was very sick, and the doctors were unable to find the cause of her illness. She decided to go to a physician-nutritionist recommended by a friend. In his office she found some literature about the Himalayan Institute, of which the doctor was a staff member. The institute was founded by Indian Swami Rama, one of the most scientifically studied of the gurus, beginning with famous biofeedback researcher Dr. Elmer Green. Carole decided to attend the institute and began lessons in hatha yoga. Eventually she was initiated and received her mantra, or word of power, from Swami Rama. As he laid his hands upon her head, the typical transfer of occult energy began (termed shaktipat diksha). Carole was in heaven:
"Currents of electrical energy began to permeate my head and went down into my body.... It was as if a spell had come over me, the bliss that I felt was as if I had been touched by God. The power that had come from his hand, and simply being in his presence, drew me to him irresistibly."
The night after receiving her mantra, Carole was actually visited by a living spirit being who claimed to be the spirit of Swami Rama himself. Although no one had ever mentioned the spirit world in her church (they did not believe in such things), Carole felt that this was the means of directly communing with God. She proceeded to experience wonderful, powerful forces and energies, while thoughts were impelled into her consciousness with a magnetic-like force.
"Electrical currents were pulsating around my body and then moved into my hand, the currents were shaking my hand and strong, almost entrancing thoughts were being impressed into my mind, "Meditate, meditate. I want to speak with you." It was a miracle. I was communicating with the spirit world. I had found God. Sitting in the darkness of my living room I began to repeat my mantra. A presence seemed to fill the room. I began to see visions of being one with the universe and the magnetic thoughts were now leaving and I was hearing a voice, which identified itself as Swami Rama, saying he was communicating with me through astral travel. 
Within one week, after meditating many hours each day and still in constant communication with this spirit, forces began to come upon me and gave me powers to do yoga postures; I was floating through them, the forces giving me added breath even... postures that before would be very painful to do."
However, after two weeks of daily meditation, Carole became engulfed in a nightmare of utter dread and terror. Voices which once claimed they were angelic turned threatening, even demonic. She was brutally assaulted, both physically and spiritually. During meditation, in the midst of being violently shaken, she could sense that the very same energy received at initiation, energy which was now felt to be personal, was attempting to remove her life-essence from her physical body-in her words, "to literally pull the life from my shell of a body." She sensed an overwhelming and implacable hatred directed toward her, as if "monstrosities of another world were trying to take my very soul from me, inflicting pain beyond endurance, ripping and tearing into the very depths of my being."

The intermittent suffocation and torment seemed to be interminable; her fears only increased as she realized there was no one to help her. Finally the attack subsided. But unfortunately, it was merely the first of many to come.

It seems that nothing could stop the assaults. Her agonized pleas to the spirits were ignored; her husband was powerless. Her father wanted her to see a psychiatrist; others also doubted her sanity. In desperation, her mother contacted psychic friends from a local church of the Unity School of Christianity. They laid hands on Carole and commanded that "the divinity within" deliver her, but to no avail.

Dr. G. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., entered the picture. He is a noted neurosurgeon, a former professor at Harvard University, past president of the American Holistic Medical Association, and the author of Occult Medicine Can Save Your Life. Dr. Shealy also works in conjunction with psychics and spiritists such as Carolyn Myss. Dr. Shealy was unable to help and referred Carole to Dr. Robert Leichtman, M.D., a spiritist who is coauthor of several dozen books received by revelation from the spirits.[1]

Leichtraan admitted that Carole's situation was not uncommon among followers of Eastern gurus. In fact, he told her some have died as a result of similar psychic attacks. But he, too, was unable to help. His instructions, such as visualizing herself in the white "Christ light" of protection were useless. By this time, Carole was near the end:
I had to endure the torture, unable to free myself. To those around me I was insane. No one believed me and no one could free me. The hopelessness I felt was unbearable. No one believed me except the psychics... and they could do nothing. 
I was defenseless against these never-ending attacks... hundreds of presences filling my room, which itself would be filled with thick, ice cold air, my body drenched with perspiration as my whole being fought against them. 
After spending several weeks at my parents' we decided perhaps I could try returning home. But that night the spirits started to exert their full power. 
First, against my skull. It felt as if they were trying to crack it open, like the air was being cut off to my brain. Incredible pressure was exerted upon my back and chest, pulling with a wrench-like grip. It felt like they were trying to pull my shoulder from its socket, pressing on my eyes trying to blind me, pushing on my throat trying to choke me. Filled with fear and exhaustion, on the brink of death I screamed to my husband, "I'm dying; I can't take it anymore. Get me to the hospital." 
I was taken to the hospital where I laid like a scared dog cowering on a cart. I could hardly speak but at least the spirits were gone-temporarily.... The doctor on duty recommended a psychiatrist who saw me the next morning. He told me I was covering up some deep problems with this "talk of evil spirits." 
"There is no such thing as the devil," he said coldly.
Carole admitted herself to the hospital, but once more no one could help. The attacks finally subsided and she was released.

Upon returning home, the attacks began again. More unimaginable torment. Although she was terrified of death, death was now her desire. Wishing to take her life but too fearful of dying, in desperation she readmitted herself to the hospital. Once again, she was placed in a locked ward. She felt that here she would die-alone and in torment.

But today, Carole is alive and well. Even her psychiatrist was amazed at the miraculous transformation. She was now in perfect health, both mentally and physically.

Carole knew she was free from the spirits. But how? Carole was unable to help herself. Her best friends could not help her, nor her parents or husband. Neither the medication nor the medical profession could do anything. The psychics were the most powerless of all. Today, Carole attributes both her health and her life to a living Jesus Christ who delivered her from a desperate plight.

Reflecting today on her predicament, she is awed that such terrible destruction could be purchased at the price of a simple, supposedly harmless form of meditation.[2]

- Excerpt from The Coming Darkness


↑ E.g., the 24-volume "From Heaven to Earth" series with medium D. Kendrick Johnson (Columbus, OH: Ariel Press).
↑ Condensed and edited from material sent May 28, 1981.
Retrieved from ""

photo credit: lululemon athletica via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Apply Your Theology

When knowledge only sticks in a man’s head, and has no influence over his heart and life, it becomes a most perilous possession. And when, in addition to this, its possessor is self-conceited and self-satisfied, and imagines he knows everything, the result is one of the worst states of soul into which man can fall. There is far more hope about him who says, “I am a poor blind sinner and want God to teach me,” than about him who is ever saying, “I know it, I know it, I am not ignorant,” and yet cleaves to his sins. The sin of that man “remains.”

Let us use diligently whatever religious knowledge we possess, and ask continually that God would give us more. Let us never forget that the devil himself is a creature of vast head-knowledge, and yet none the better for it, because it is not rightly used. Let our constant prayer be that which David so often sent up in the hundred and nineteenth Psalm. “Lord, teach me your statutes give me understanding – unite my heart to fear Your name.”

- J.C. Ryle

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day & Chocolate Cake

Posted by Christine Pack

I was pregnant with my firstborn son at the same time that my twin sister (who helps write this blog) was pregnant with her second-born child (a girl, as it turned out). My sister and I have always been close, and sharing our pregnancies together was almost unbearably sweet to me, and knitted our hearts together even more, if it were possible, than they already were. Here are some fun Sola Sisters pregnancy facts:
◆ Our due dates were about a week apart 
◆ We each found out that we were pregnant just before a large scheduled family vacation together during which we both tried to hide the fact of our pregnancies from each other because both she and her husband, and I and my husband, wanted to do a big surprise announcement one night over dinner to everyone gathered 
◆ We both had intense morning sickness which, looking back on this, should have made the whole hiding-it-from-each-other thing impossible to do, but somehow we managed 
◆ We still call her daughter and my son "the twins" in light of the fact that they were born to twins, and their birthdays ended up being so close together 
◆ My sister had the most adorable labor and delivery....during which she reported to me on the phone (after having just given birth) that she had her new baby girl cradled in her arms, and a friend had just brought her Starbucks blueberry scones and a latte 
◆ I did not have an adorable labor and delivery. My labor started on a Thursday and finally ended Sunday morning. 
◆ My sister had her daughter on Mother's Day 2001 
◆ I was obsessed with chocolate cake during my pregnancy with my son. And when I say obsessed, I mean that in the pursuit of perfecting my chocolate cake recipe, I averaged making about two cakes per month. That's right folks, if you have done the math, you've come up with about 18 chocolate cakes, give or take, over the course of my pregnancy.
In addition to my first son, almost two years later to the day, God gave me another son. And next to my husband, my children truly are the light and joy of my life. I love being a mother, and I love watching these little guys grow toward manhood. And of course, I desire for them to love and cherish God above all other things.

In honor of Mother's Day 2011, I am sharing the chocolate cake recipe I finally landed on during that first pregnancy. And before you think to yourself, oh, it's just another cake recipe, please consider this: a pregnant woman (think intense food cravings) made eighteen cakes (give or take) in the pursuit of coming up with this recipe. And please also consider this: this cake became known in our church as "the cake." As in, "Jim, are you and Christine coming to the covered dish supper? Oh really? Well, is Christine going to bring the cake?"

It's not me, folks, I promise, it was just the crazy hormones at work that made me do it. But let me just say in're welcome.
Chocolate Cake
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 cups strong coffee, boiling hot
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs (must be room temperature, trust me on this!!)
2 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Combine cocoa with boiling coffee and whisk till dissolved. Whisk in cold half and half and set aside to cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9" round cake pans, and line with a circle of waxed paper or parchment paper. Grease again and dust liberally with cocoa.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oil, sugar and vanilla, and beat till fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Alternately add dry ingredients and room temperature cocoa/coffee/cream mixture to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  When just combined (do not overbeat), scrape down sides and beat about 15-30 seconds more.

Pour into prepared pans and bake till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (30-35 mins).  Cool in pans completely before removing. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter, room temp
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 boxes powdered sugar

Mix together till smooth. Enough for one heavily frosted cake or 2 cakes frosted with a common sense amount of frosting (guess which kind of family we are?)
Happy Mother's Day!!

photo credit: LexnGer via photopin cc

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bear Fruit To Stand At The Last Day

by J.C. Ryle

"Let us always remember, that baptism, church-membership, reception of the Lord's Supper, and a diligent use of the outward forms of Christianity, are not sufficient to save our souls. They are leaves, nothing but leaves, and without fruit will add to our condemnation. Like the fig leaves of which Adam and Eve made themselves garments, they will not hide the nakedness of our souls from the eye of an all-seeing God, or give us boldness when we stand before Him at the last day. No! we must bear fruit, or be lost forever. There must be fruit in our hearts and fruit in our lives, the fruit of repentance toward God, faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and true holiness in our conversation. Without such fruits as these a profession of Christianity will only sink us lower into hell."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Prince Charles and "Eco Hypocrisy"

Irish filmmaker Phelim McAleer has just released the video below which details the sharp contrast between what Prince Charles of Great Britain professes to believe and his own personal lifestyle.

Yes, I recognize that royals, as public figures and leaders, must maintain a certain amount of protected space around them, but if Prince Charles truly did believe that we only have six years to save the planet, as he has stated, then wouldn't it be incumbent upon him to lead the way by actually living out his beliefs? Oh the rich, rich irony of a man who splits his time between palaces but urges his subjects to "live with less." Reminds me of another royal who was hopelessly out of touch with the plight of the working man:
Courtier: "Majesty, the villagers are starving! They have no bread to eat!"
Marie Antoinette: "Then let them eat cake!"

photo credit: University Hospitals Birmingham via photopin cc

 Additional Resources 

Not Evil, Just Wrong

Earth Day, The High Holy Day of Paganism

Monday, May 2, 2011

Contact Information

You may contact Sola Sisters at this email address: