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#1 Meema

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 04:05 AM

I don’t recall if I ever posted this or not but I am compelled to share this testimony. 

 

In 1999 I came across a website of a man who seemed to have a new fresh understanding of Scripture. He was quite wordy and had no clue about grammar or properly formatted paragraphing, but I admit something in his wall of words attracted me. I guess it was partly timing. I was hungry for higher understanding and weary of religiosity and he seemed to have a handle on a simpler interpretation. Although, once he was able to garner a following his interpretations went far afield of ‘simple’. 

 

Long story short - I ended up volunteering to edit for him his many many words and helped him publish a book. Since I lived several states away I wasn’t involved in the day to day business of his growing ‘ministry’ so I like to believe I might have bailed sooner than I did if I had been able to see the truth about this little big man. When I jumped ship ten years later, after he had built himself a small empire and his true self-righteous Napoleonic nature was revealed to me, I repented and asked for forgiveness for being an instrument in helping this man deceive so many. 

 

It’s been ten years since I left - and over this decade many others eyes were opened and they left his now fully established cult as well. But I admit, for the tough experience I had by being a part of the rise of this example of how many ways satan can manipulate what seems so good, I can say that I am well trained to spot this kind of wolf in sheep clothing. Whenever I see the signs I feel compelled to speak out.

 

Even though satan has all sorts of tricks, the most common being the delusion of self-righteousness, there are repeating formulas, if you know what to look for. Although there are many other signs, I think the most important can be identified in eight particular attributes:

 

 

  • Call to perfection as a condition that can only be defined by him
  • Demand to be seen as ultimate translator of Scripture
  • Uses Scripture like a weapon 
  • Perceives himself to be holy
  • Cannot be corrected or accept that he could be wrong
  • Believes he alone hears from God
  • Believes all thoughts he has are from God
  • Adroit and skilled at the art of gently rebuking any challenger

 

For Him, Meema

 

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#2 Candice

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 06:54 PM

Hi Meema,

 

It's good to hear from you here on the forum.

 

I've been duped before and can relate to needing to repent of being duped.  I recognize these attributes, and you've summed them up very well. 

 

My husband and I hosted a small "bible study" a couple of years ago.  Our neighbor, a nice and friendly guy offered to lead the study in how end times relate to the feasts as described in the Old Testament. This sounded brief and interesting.  SO, we began.  He had spent many hours developing a feast days chart and correlations to the end times, in many interesting ways.  Of course, this all was before that big "blood moon" deal that was written about by many well-known preachers.  It was just a few months before that all was to take place, which was in September I believe.  He seemed to really stretch out the teaching and started in on many other side bars like reptilians and illuminati, and began saying that the Prince of Wales is the antichrist, that Cain was the offspring of a sexual union with Eve, on and on. Maybe there's something to these conspiracies, but this wasn't the place for discussing that in my opinion.   He was very firm that all his interpretations were correct and yet often emotional when he taught.  He often raised his voice, wept and was unwavering in all he said.  This was no exchange, just a giant monologue.  After several weeks, my husband and I decided we needed to get on with it.  Perhaps selecting a study in another book of the bible?  He said prophecy is most of the bible.  Shut us down fast.

 

We had a new believer in the group, and I was concerned she was hearing this and taking it in which would not be good.  SO, I kindly rebuked him when he stated the exact date for Christ's return -- a specific date in September when the blood moon was to occur.  No questioning this guy.  The other blood moon teachers were WRONG.  I don't get into that stuff.  What was feasts and end times turned into date setting.  My husband had checked out, but had failed to tell me that this guy had done this at a church a few years before, selecting another date for Jesus's return (which was wrong), and was strongly rebuked by his church leaders.  If I had known, I would not have allowed him in my house!

But, it all turned on me and he accused me of this and that. Nothing he said was true. I had been only kind to him and everyone --but I got gaslighted to death for questioning him. 

 

SO, all your attributes you describe apply to him.  I learned to not encourage any bible study--not to ask ANYONE to teach/lead a bible study ever again.  I attend a bible study with a leader/pastor who simply goes through the Word verse by verse and precept on precept.  Simple and he's HUMBLE.  No end time topic nor any other topic for that matter.

 

A bible study leader I had years ago was an incredible teacher.  The key was humility and not being so ready to launch into giving advise and know-it-all guy.  He told me that, since I have the gift of discernment, it can turn negative because I see the blatant stuff and I have to be very careful how I approach people with their false stuff.  I was so careful in the situation above.  I was so cautious not to hurt him or anyone.  But, in the end, I was wrong to have solicited this with such a LACK of discernment on my part.

 

Thanks for sharing Meema!  I appreciate your ideas here.


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#3 Meema

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Posted 11 January 2019 - 04:00 AM

Hello Candace! Good to hear from you too! 

 

I think it’s vitally important for people to share their experiences because although it is much easier to fade away when you have been duped, (which is what I did for many years), your testimony, your willingness to speak out, to warn others of what to be on the look out for, gives value to your hard lesson learned. First hand knowledge is the best way to teach others and hopefully interrupt satan’s quest. Repenting is good but armoring up and speaking out is even better. The wolves are out there. Tozer preached about that. 

 

I agree that humility is the underlying attribute of a good teacher. Though, as we do battle with dark principalities, I recognize certain patterns. False humility is a bit tricky to spot but, as you pointed out, gaslighting is a huge tell. Soft words that have hidden barbs is not true humility.



#4 Charles Miles

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Posted 23 January 2019 - 09:48 AM

Thank you both for the testimony. I can`t say I have never been duped by anyone.(Is that a double negative?) But I am not the sharpest businessman in the world, and by pocketbook has been lightened a few times in the horse business. On more than one occasion I have been approached by "religious" men or groups that seem to be authentic at first blush, but then there comes a word or action that just doesn`t seem quite right.  Whether it is money or power they seek, they will eventually make mistakes that cause questions to arise way back in my mind.

 Usually it is some off hand comment that seems strange coming from a "born again child of God". I can remember an evangelist who told his congregation that God wanted him to have a private jet and then proceeded to ask for donations to buy the plane. Maybe God did want him to have one, maybe not, but it just didn`t sound right or ring true. Sure enough, the next year, the man said was told by God that he should have a bigger jet! 

 People who claim to have a direct line through which they hear directions from God on all they do worry me. "on the way to work today God spoke to me about..."  Last night God told me to tell you about some faults of yours....." "God told me in a dream last night all about the meaning of....."  Not saying that the Lord God cannot or does not speak to people, I am sure He does.  But every day, about everything?  The Holy Spirit is here and I truly believe He guides us with gentle urging and conviction about things that are good and things that are a sin. I am convinced that one is much more likely to feel these urgings when involved in earnest Bible study rather that barging down a crowded mall. Don`t get me wrong, God can speak to anyone anywhere about anything. I just believe the gentle urgings of the Holy Spirit are many, many times more frequent than the audible spoken Word of God. Also, any instructions from the Lord would never be in conflict with the written word of the Bible. 

When anyone tells me that the Lord told them to leave their family and go live with another person...well, that invites a step back and some wonder about just who it is they are speaking with.

 Many people over the years have come to me with "a word from God" on a subject. It is always worth a listen, but then a trip to the Bible after praying. 

 We are all invited to have a relationship with the Father and it can be a close as we want, but requires effort. Salvation, once Christ is accepted as our savior, is a done deal, but a really close relationship with the Father takes effort. When anyone comes to you and tells you that he/she has a closer relationship than you with the Lord, there are only 2 possibilities...1. They do, and you need to find out why   2. They don`t, but they want you to think they do

 

Just some thoughts on a rainy day in Mississippi

 

Charlie


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#5 Meema

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Posted 26 January 2019 - 04:27 AM

Hi Charles! Good to read your gentle post. I agree completely. Fortunately, we are given the right to test the spirits and, in this age of deception, it is a valuable and much needed skill. As I have matured in the spirit, having chosen to lean on Christ for guidance in all things, I still find myself falling back into determinations of ‘self’ now and again, which always nets me nothing and almost immediately I know what to do to set it right. 

 

Maturing, growing up and aging in the spirit, ever seeking to fine-tune our personal relationship with Christ brings us into the glorious condition of the Deeper Life, where we are accountable to Him and Him alone. We are tuned into the still small voice and it creates for us a shelter where we are hidden from the madding crowd, the zealots as well as the wolves in sheep clothing and those who are determined to make Christ’s simple truth difficult. I am so very grateful that I don't have to be judged by anyone else but Christ alone. 

 

When I left the cult, the leader, who claimed no one could be blessed if they left his flock, accused me of having a "Jezebel Spirit" because I dared to challenge his authority. His common tactic was to openly vilify those with opposite views in his website, including posting private email exchanges. I thought, 'bring it on - openly chastise me as though you are the voice of God so others can see the truth of you'. But, funny thing, he didn't. I think he knew it would be a step too far. I chose the high road not to vilify him in other sites as some had done. Eventually several people, who had been put through the wringer by this self-proclaimed wanna-be PROPHET, reached out to me to apologize for believing the worst of me. I thought that was a confirmation that I did the right thing in not engaging in a word war with him. In the end I am not his judge either.