The real enemy
Satan’s Secret Strategies against Catholic and Protestant Christians.
Division and hatred
In the Bible, Satan is called the Accuser of the Brethren, so it is he who has cultivated the Christians to accuse and attack each other so viciously, instead of love. Division and unforgiveness are Satan’s hallmark.
Revelation 12:10 'And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. ‘
The division and hatred between Christians over centuries, has been a major embarrassment for the Church and served to discredit God in the eyes of many onlookers. This contempt has softened in recent years and the Holy Spirit is causing more curiosity and respect between denominations in His Church during these times. The opposite of division and hatred is love and appreciation.
The Counterfeit Grace message
“We are talking about an amazing, major end-time move of the devil … one of the major heresies in the church … spreading throughout Christian radio, TV, books and conferences … it is called ‘The Counterfeit Grace message’… and I want you warned so it doesn’t touch you and your loved ones!”
Sid Roth – Christian TV presenter of ‘It’s Supernatural’ programme.
There is an increasingly recognise error which, according to a life-changing prophetic vision given to evangelical Pastor Tony Kemp is presently sweeping many Christians to Hell. http://tonykempministries.net
Pastor Tony Kemp is known internationally for his Scripture based teaching condemning a ‘Counterfeit Grace’ message, which is being both actively taught and passively assumed by Christians, both Catholic and Protestant at this time.
Essentially this ‘Counterfeit grace’ message is believing that God is so loving and forgiving that you can stay in your sinful habits because He will understand - that a loving, kind and good God would never condemn a person to the lake of fire. This is unscriptural.
For Catholics, since the Second Vatican Council, there has been a swing away from being petrified of a stern God who is hyper-aware of your sins and demands fasting and penance or you’re in big trouble. This is good because our loving God desires us to love Him in return and not fear Him. However, it is possible to over-swing in the other direction and presume that God is like a foolish parent who will not discipline us, nor is He capable of sending us to Hell. Yes God is forgiving of everything and all understanding of our weaknesses – but the condition for forgiveness is repentance and asking for forgiveness. To sin without repentance is to play with damnation.
In the Protestant camp, the Calvinist teaching of perpetual salvation: that once a person is saved, he cannot lose his salvation no matter what sins he may subsequently commit, has been steadily losing support over past decades amongst Protestants, with even Calvinists being rather embarrassed by it, realising that a Christian can indeed go to Hell, as the Bible points out;
Romans 11:22 'Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity towards those who have fallen, but God's kindness towards you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off'.
Matthew 7:21-23 'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?" Then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers."
Similarly, according to Pastor Tony Kemp, the loss of awareness of the importance of sin seems to have caused many Protestants (and Catholics) not to feel a need to repent of their sins at all. Again, this is contradicted by Scripture:
1John 2:3-6 Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. Whoever says, 'I have come to know him', but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: whoever says, 'I abide in him', ought to walk just as he walked.
Much is sometimes made amongst advocates of this Counterfeit Grace message, by referring to the partial Scripture of there being ‘no condemnation for anyone in Christ Jesus’. However, the rest of the Scripture is telling:
Romans 8:1-6 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace'.
Therefore, for anyone to live in a state of unrepented sin like e.g. pornography, envy, greed, anger or gossip, etc. is to set our minds on things of the flesh and to experience a death.
Despite Catholics’ greater awareness of sin, taught to them as children and the need for repentance in order to fully receive Grace, similarly too the Catholic Church is losing a sense of sin, and has seen a massive reduction in attendance at the sacrament of Confession (also called ‘Reconciliation’). It is also clear that the vast majority of Catholics attending mass, routinely receive Holy Communion – when, because the confessionals are virtually empty, they may not be in a state of grace (as Catholic teaching calls it). Again, this is a Counterfeit Grace message, causing a dulling of the awareness of personal sin, and repentance is so often overlooked. Interestingly, according to the Bible, many Catholics may be experiencing sickness or worse, as a result of still receiving Communion when in a state of sin:
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 ' Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord. Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.'
Protestants have little apparent understanding of the theology of Grace, and so they have been more easily misled into a message of ‘Counterfeit Grace’, as Tony Kemp has highlighted. But for Catholics, who are well versed in the ‘law of Grace’ : whereby God cannot abide with sin and so we must repent if we are in any grave sin – or we will live without God abiding in us, and to die in that state means we will go to Hell. This is the ‘law of Grace’ – how Grace works! - wonderful and forgiving as God is, repentance for our sins is an essential requirement – and when we are in a state free of grave sin, we are again open for Grace to pour into our lives.
Dynamic relationship with God and a theology of indwelling (sanctifying) Grace which departs from us when we sin gravely (until we repent of that sin), should be encouraged and taught more from the pulpit. For an individual to live increasingly filled with Grace is a wonderful state of peace and joy, which should be so normal for us Christians that other people witness it and want what we have. Especially in a world so filled with fear and stress, we Christians have what everyone needs.
Matthew 10:13 'If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.'
John 14:27 'Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.'
It is enlightened self-interest for any individual to repent of their sins, so they can be filled with the Holy Spirit and grace anew. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace – who doesn’t want that in a world full of stress and panic attacks? Don’t wait, just repent!!
Galatians 5:22,23 ' By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.'
Insecurity and Inferiority - Another Secret Strategy of Satan
In his book ‘Satan’s Dirty Little Secret’, Pastor Steve Foss shares a profound and very interesting prophetic vision given to him, in which he was shown the deep, deep roots, which allow the many and varied demons which torment people with persistent sin, to resist spiritual warfare and direct prayer against them. These roots are two-fold – Insecurity and Inferiority. Insecurity and Inferiority are the doorways through which every other spirit gets it entrance and manitains it hold.
Insecurity is experienced when the foundations which we base our lives and beliefs on, seem to be discredited; and inferiority comes when we measure ourselves against others and to see our relative inadequacy in relation to them. These two attitudes of mind, also caused the original fall of Adam and Eve and are still widespread and extremely effective today. http://www.stevefoss.com
Pastor Steve Foss elaborates the implications of this insight in considerable detail, including highlighting the advertising and entertainment media deliberately provoking inferiority to cause us to buy products; and expensive lifestyles, cars, houses with big mortgage payments, keeping us insecure from debt and money-centeredness.
Another application of this insight given to Steve Foss may be relevant in the context of this message for Christian unity:
The highly respected prophetic pastor Rick Joyner, shares an anointed vision (book ‘The Vision’ – Rick Joyner), in which he was shown large groups of people huddled together in a prison camp, according to their specific age group or ethnicity amongst prison guards and authority figures who are insisting that ‘we are all the same’. In the vision however, Rick points out and argues that we are evidently not all the same, but those indoctrinating that whole generation cannot hear him and are threatened by his question.
Across our societies presently, much is being made of ‘political correctness’, whereby whole populations are being manipulated and are not permitted to comment upon such things as ethnic traits, or even many observations about gender diferences. It is not unusual in the United Kingdom for the test question to be put: “Would you have said that if the person was not a woman? – or man - as appropriate?”.
Why this political correctness is such a damaging lie for everyone, is that if we are insisting that everyone IS the same, and so by definition - denying the positivity of the differences and diversity between us – the effect is that when we then look at other people who are more gifted in this or that area of talent and diversity, we inevitably feel inferior and insecure in the comparison.
The opposite would be to be very aware of our diversity, to celebrate it, and even if another person has strengths I do not have, I am confident that I have strengths that they don’t have too – and we can all respect and appreciate each other in diversity.
A modern parable, would be like the sibling who realises that his sister is much better at science than he is, who may then feel low self esteem as a result - but the wise parent will point out the fact that he is better than his sister at art and languages, so everyone’s self esteem and mutual appreciation is encouraged.
Women and men are equal but certainly not the same – what a joke! Who is it that is sweeping us all into this insistence on ‘sameness’, when our diversity is so obvious that it should be appreciated and embraced?
Ephesians 4:14 'We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming.'
Even if the average person in the world doesn’t know who or what they are, this should not be so for us Christians. We do know that we were all uniquely created by a loving Father God, in His image and likeness – and we can undo our inferiority and insecurity by embracing our uniqueness and trusting our dear loving Daddy (Abba) God more and more strongly. Indeed, in Rick Joyner’s vision, it is when Christians come to know the unconditional love of the Father, that they are strongest and most resistant to the arrows and tricks of Satan. http://www.morningstarministries.org
The accusation of heresy
As something of a Post-script, it may be constructive to make a comment about the word ‘heresy’.
In history, the word ‘heresy’ has been used as if it were the most terrible of all sins, and indeed many people were burned at the stake for committing this offence, by all sides.
The Catholic Church, particularly, has been rigid in determining and guarding historical truths and interpretations that it feels have been handed down to it, and why heresy is such an important word in that context.
In the history of the Catholic Church, much has been made of the word ‘heresy’ or the labelling of someone as a ‘heretic’. Perhaps the single biggest reason is the Eucharist or Holy Communion in the Catholic Mass.
When Jesus taught a large crowd of disciples that if they did not eat His body and drink his blood, they would have no life in them, most Protestants believe that Jesus was speaking figuratively and not literally; that taking communion in ‘The Lord’s Supper’ is a ‘remembering’ of the last supper, and not a spiritual event, consuming the real food and drink of Jesus’ Body.
Let us look again at the Scripture:
John 6:51 - 67
'I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.' The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, 'How can this man give us his flesh to eat?'
So Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.' He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, 'This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?'
But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, 'Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But among you there are some who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. And he said, 'For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.' Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, 'Do you also wish to go away?'
Please note that when many of Jesus’ disciples found this teaching intolerable and left him, Jesus did not say “Wait, stop, you have misunderstood me – I was only speaking metaphorically, using symbolism!”. No – Jesus allowed them to leave, he had spoken literally.
Similarly today, many non-Catholic Christians have found this teaching unbelievable, although the Lutherans and many Anglicans do believe that the Communion is the real presence of Jesus, and the Catholic Church for 2000 years has certainly held to this belief.
This understanding however, comes with a caution:
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 'Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be answerable for the body and blood of the Lord.
Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgement against themselves. For this reason many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.'
1 Corinthians 11:29
For whoever eats and drinks from it being unworthy, eats and drinks a guilty verdict into his soul for not distinguishing the body of THE LORD JEHOVAH. Aramaic Bible in Plain English
So the Catholic Church holds strongly to this interpretation, (borne out by several well documented miracles – where a consecrated bread host has turned into real cardiac muscle) that the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper actually becomes the Real Body and Blood of Jesus.
(This Biblical caution is also the loving and protective reason why Catholics resist Protestants from receiving the Eucharist in Catholic services – so that their action will not bring condemnation upon themselves.)
As a consideration: if a Protestant minister had a sliver of bread on his kitchen table which was the real Body of Jesus – what would he do; how would he conduct himself; would there be a certain way that he should proceed? After all, we recall what happened to Uzzah:
2 Samuel 6:7 'The anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there because he reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God.'
Well this is the situation within the Catholic Church, and after the historical model of the Levitical priests, who were specially selected, trained and performed a definite ritual to enter the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament; similarly to show due reverence to the presence of Jesus in their Communion Service, Catholics have specially prepared priests, who undergo set rituals in preparing and approaching the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. Though Protestants may not believe this, Catholics do.
Now placed in such a position: of on one hand believing the Real Presence of Jesus to be present in the elements of the Lord’s Supper, and also being aware of the strict caution not to approach these elements unworthily or they will bring condemnation on themselves – the Catholic Church has been obliged to remain very close to it’s original and historical traditions.
Therefore, the Catholic Church feels it has had valid reason to be robust in its defence of the truths that it has received through history. It has at times been severe with those who hold to different views – the definition of ‘heresy’ is ‘a belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious doctrine’. (Concise Oxford Dictionary)
On the other hand, Protestants have been free to ‘do Church’ in diverse styles and ways since they left the Catholic Church, even if they may also be missing something that the Catholic Church holds very dear in the Eucharist.
Brothers and Sisters, let us pray not to be deceived again into hating each other just because of diversity and differences, which are allowed by God for His purposes.
Indeed, when the thousands of different Christian denominations recognise with love and respect, the beauty of the diversity which God has arranged and allowed in His Mystical Body the Church, united in love and mutual respect – then we will be able to also bring the Nations of the World to also recognise their respective strengths and talents and be united in Love.
1 John 4:7,8 'Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.'