I would like to start off by saying I deleted the last half of this original post because I no longer agree with it. When I originally wrote all of this I was in deep turmoil and my heart was extremely heavy with confusion and doubt. I’ve since discussed a lot of my concerns with my pastors, and although they didn’t squelch all of my concerns, I walked away with a new found peace. I’m leaving up everything else I previously wrote, not to slander anyone, but to show where I was currently at in my quest for truth. I’m still on that quest. I deleted the Justin Peters video because, although he did speak truth on some things, he caused more confusion in me than he did peace. He is a cessationist and believes that none of the gifts are meant for today. I do not share this belief. But I do believe we, as believers, need to proceed with caution. Also, please note the updates at the end of this post!
A few weeks ago I believe I was finally delivered of depression. Since then God has been showing me deceptions in my life as well as around me. It started with marijuana, which I have since renounced and repented of. It was a true repentance God granted me and it occurred after I realized my daily vapor sessions were habitual sin, which is clearly stated in the bible as reason NOT to inherit the kingdom of God. We are to be sober minded. That realization terrified me to the core and quickly brought me into a place of deep sorrow over what I had chosen to do for almost ten years of my Christian life. What’s worse is that I had turned from it once before only to fall back into it harder than ever.
Now it seems false teachers have been brought to my attention. Some I already knew were not of God, like Benny Hinn (sorry if that offends anyone but the proof is in the pudding) and Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar. They teach, among other false doctines such as prosperity teaching, that we are little gods. But I’m now understanding Joyce Meyer to not be all I thought her to be, but then again, she really does love the Lord. It can be confusing. Problem with false teachers is that most of what they speak is true. Not sure I would go so far as to say she is a false teacher, but then again, I don’t agree with her prosperity teachings. But Joyce Meyer opened my eyes to a lot of selfish behavior and what-about-me attitudes. I used to throw a lot of self-pity parties for myself and she did open my eyes to a lot of things. She really did help me but it’s been a long time since I’ve had any desire to see what else she’s been talkin’ about. I think I got all I could from her and then moved on to new teachers. But curiosity about false teachers crossed my radar when I stumbled upon Justin Peters who then got me to wondering more about Bethel Church and Bill Johnson (I’d already had my doubts and I don’t believe those “glory clouds” and falling feathers are from God). I’d even had twinges of doubt deep in my belly about Heidi Baker. I’m even questioning Todd White, whom I was crazy about when I first encountered him. Some of his teachings leave me confused and I’ve been questioning the company he chooses to keep. My problem is that my church, which is a Vineyard church, loves many of these people (maybe not Creflo or Kenneth, but definitely Benny and that has ALWAYS bothered me deeply). I just wonder why they they don’t seem to sense the same things I am sensing when some of this stuff is pretty obvious.
I’m now concerned that my experience of being “slain in the spirit” was never really of God. It frightens me to think something that seemed to be so good could have come from something so bad. I did experience that “light feeling” a couple of other times too and am now wondering if it was a false holy spirit, such as a Kundalini spirit. And when I received my deliverance from depression I also fell backwards that time, as well. Was it really of God? I never did test any of these spirits as the bible directs, but I do know this evangelist who prayed for me was teaching sound doctrine. Yet I can’t seem to find this phenomenon happening anywhere in the bible. I want to know what is TRUE and what is a LIE. I don’t want my feelings and experiences to trump God’s Word. I’m just concerned that my fellow church mates aren’t concerned in knowing if they have been deceived…they’re so deep in it. And not just the thrill of supernatural experiences, but many of them are deep in habitual sin themselves. The thought of having to leave this church saddens me. I’ve developed relationships with a lot of the people, especially the pastor’s wife. I love them all so much. They’ve played a major role in helping me work through the damage caused by a seriously dark, life-long depression.
I’m wondering if all these revelations are now happening because I am no longer a slave to the strongholds that once bound me? Am I now able to see what I couldn’t see before? I tend to think so. But I’ve been struggling with momentary feelings of distress over some of the things being taught and encouraged in my church for some time now….like fire tunnels. They also love to use the term “everyone gets to play” when talking about their School of Kingdom Ministry. That has never sat well with me. It’s not a game and laying hands on people and casting out demons can be dangerous, especially if you’re not right with God. I considered taking the class but struggled with extreme turmoil over that very consideration. I know it was the Holy Spirit telling me something was off. I just couldn’t figure out what it was that troubled me so. When I decided not to enroll I finally had peace of mind.
At least the one thing I do feel I finally have confirmation on is the gift of tongues. In 1 Corinthians 12: 11 (NKJV) it says concerning spiritual gifts, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” It also says it here in Hebrews 2:4….“while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.”
For many, many years now, well-intentioned Christians would ask me if I have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. It always confused me. They would say how every Christian is supposed to receive the gift of tongues and then they would proceed to pray for me to receive this gift. “Oh, don’t worry. It will come.” One even told me, after praying over me and touching my jaw, I now have it and to start making noises with my mouth until my new spiritual language manifests. That is not scriptural! Never in the bible did anyone need instruction on how to speak in tongues! I would bring up this scripture but they would always deny it in their own special way. But I know what it says and I know that not every single believer is meant to have this gift. As it plainly says, the Spirit distributes to each one individually as He wills! Yes, Paul did say in chapter 14 that he wants us all to speak in tongues, but that doesn’t mean we all will. I’m open to receiving the gift of tongues but I’m no longer worried about why I don’t have it while this or that person does.
UPDATE ON TRYING TO UNDERSTAND THE GIFT OF TONGUES:
I just came across this teaching on the gift of tongues and I found it quite helpful. I think I understand it more now than what I had last written.