Home Page

Photo Page





Contact Us :

Favorite Links Page

Guest Book Page:


Standing For a Lifetime
By Robin V. Richardson

While studying the lives of the Apostles Paul and Peter, I could not help but ask, how were these men able to stand a lifetime for the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Word of God? Let us take a look at Acts Chapter three:
Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Act 12:6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.

We see Peter in prison, SLEEPING between to guards. I do not know about you, but I do not know if I could sleep in a situation like that. Lets take a look at the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians:
2Co 11:24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
2Co 11:25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
2Co 11:28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

The whips that Paul received the 39 lashes with were not like whips in the Wild West. At the end of these whips were pieces of metal or bone. When the whip would come across a person’s back, it would tare up the person’s flesh. Could you imagine what his back looked like?

These men were humans with feelings, concerns, passions, loves, and desires, like we have. The one thing they had was energy in their commitment.
How did they get to this point of no return, do or die attitude regarding their faith? They kept their focus on these vary important points: 1) The Hope of the return of Jesus Christ. 2) The ministry that God gave them was vital and they saw their work past their own lifetimes. 3) Keeping their hearts focused on the things unseen, in spite of what was going on around them.
Living life in the light of the return of Christ is one of the keys in getting to the point of no return in your faith. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 tells of the return of Christ:
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

No matter what happens, in our lives, we can have the comfort that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back. We will forever be with our precious Lord. Peter had this promise from the beginning:
Act 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Act 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

I Corinthians also specks about the return of Christ:
1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

These verses are the foundation for our Christian living. Without the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ from the dead, all we would do would come to naught. From this foundation we can build the great truths reguarding the return of Christ, in our lives. We need to keep theses in our memory.

1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1Co 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Some of the believers in Corinth were teaching that there was no resurrection of the dead. If this were true, then Christ was not raised, and we have no hope. Our faith would be in vain. The word “vain” in this verse, is the word kenos which means, “empty, devoid of truth, of vessels which contain nothing, destitute of spiritual wealth, of one who boasts of his faith as a transcendent possession, yet is without the fruits of faith.” A person in this state is described in 2 Timothy 3:5 as a person who, “ Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” This is not a place where we want to be in our Christian walk with the Lord. Paul continues in I Corinthians 15:15-28:
1Co 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
1Co 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

The Oxford Annotated Bible has the 2nd part of verse 19 translated, “ we are of all people most to be pitied.”

Paul continues the point that if Christ is not raised, those who have died in Christ are gone forever. If Christ is not coming back for us, and we have hope that he is, we are of all men most miserable. It just would not be worth going on. Lets take a look at the next verse…

1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

These things would be true, BUT Christ is risen from the dead. Not only is he raised from the dead, he will not be the only one raised. Our great hope is that, when he returns for us, we that are dead in Christ will get up.

1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

There is another enemy that will be destroyed. That enemy is Satan. This is also part of our hope. The thing is, Satan knows he is a goner.
Gen 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Satan Knew since Genesis 3:15 that his end will come. He tried time and time again to stop Jesus’ coming the first time. I will tell you right here and now, Satan could not stop Jesus from coming the first time and he will NOT stop him from coming back! Jesus Christ is coming back as Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is going to set things straight and knock some heads together. Lets get back to 1st Corinthians:

1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Look at verse 54.

1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

All will be under Christ and Christ will put all things under God the Father that the Father may be all in all. What a wonderful day that will be! Those who have died in Christ will get up, in their new bodies. Those who are still alive will be changed. Those who have the hope of Christ’s return burning in their heart will receive the Crown of Righteousness:
2Ti 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

The Question is, not only today, but also day-by-day do you love His appearing? The answer to that Question will put energy in your commitment. Remember that our labor is not in vein, for we have the hope that he is coming back!


When we say, “see the ministry past your own lifetime”, what do we mean? That’s a good question. The answer to that question is another one of the keys of having the energy of your commitment. What we do today will determine how much of the Word of God Lives in the lives, the minds and the hearts of future generations of believers, yet unseen. Another words, what deliberate actions are we going to take to ensure that the Word of God lives, in these future generations?
There is a good pastor friend that has this vision of the ministry past his lifetime. He told me more then once, “ Do you know what a pastor’s job is? It is to equip the saints, so they can be about the Fathers’ business.” A pastor’s responsibility is to train the church to the end that if any thing happen to him, the church could continue on, not skipping a beat. That’s seeing the ministry past your lifetime.
The first thing born again believers (Romans 10:9,10) need to realize is that they have a ministry in the church given by God. While it might not yet be that of a Pastor, Evangelist or Teacher, they do have the Ministry of Reconciliation committed to them by God. We are also ambassadors of God according to II Corinthians 5:17-21:
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

In verse 17 to be “In Christ” is fellowship with the Father. Christ in you is what we received when we were born again. This is called Sonship. Each time we are walking in fellowship with the Lord, we are a new creation. With the ministry of reconciliation we have the legal right to reconcile people back to God. God says we are also ambassadors. The question is are we going to be good ambassadors or bad ambassadors?
Part of this seeing the ministry past your lifetime is found in II Timothy 2:2:
2Ti 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

The truths of God’s Word we have been taught we are to commit, to teach to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others. That’s one of the ways the Word of God lives in future generations, yet unseen. Acts chapter 19 shows what can happen when faithful men, teach faithful men.
Act 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Act 19:7 And all the men were about twelve.
Act 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Act 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
Act 19:10 And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Within a space of two years and three months the entire known world, at that time, heard about the Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful men were teaching other faithful men.
It is exciting to see others come to Christ. It is equally exciting to be able to teach people God’s Word to the point they can teach it to others. In turn, they teach it to others. To be able to fully see your ministry in operation, go find “a Timothy” to teach. In doing so, you will ensure the life of God’s Word past our lifetime. Remember one important thing, its not about us. We do not preach ourselves. It is about the greatness of God and His Word living and the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is a song I learned years ago titled “ Turn Your Eves Upon Jesus.” The refrain goes as follows:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of his glory and grace.
The more we look at the things of this world, the more discouraged we can get. The more we look fully in the wonderful face of our Lord Jesus Christ, our problems and troubles grow dimmer and dimmer. To be able to stand a lifetime we need to keep focused on things unseen.
2Co 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

To keep your eves on the things unseen will keep you from fainting, in your mind. Also we received mercy which means, “God’s withholding of merited judgment”. Another words because of what Christ did for us; we did not get what we deserved. We have no good reason to faint, or give up.
2Co 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
2Co 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

I told you earlier, it is not about us. We do not preach how great we are, because we have received mercy. We also do the ministry honestly, not handling the Word of God, deceitfully. Neither do we hide the gospel; we let others know so they too can look on the wonderful face of the Lord Jesus.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
2Co 4:8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
2Co 4:9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Things happen, but we continue to let that light shine because God has commanded the light to shine out of darkness. As we keep our eyes on the unseen things of God, we get the strength from God, to move on.

2Co 4:10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2Co 4:11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
2Co 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you.
2Co 4:13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
2Co 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.
2Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
2Co 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

There is a verse in Romans chapter 8 that ties in with this:
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We as believers will go through troubles Jesus said this. Some of the things we go through will be very hard, very difficult to go through. The Word declares that anything we go through on earth, no matter how difficult, is a light affliction, compared to the glory we will have in eternity.

2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal

The believers in the first century church had their share of troubles and problems they could dwell upon. Instead they pressed on with the things of God, “being about the Father’s business.” They kept their minds and hearts on the Lord Jesus, knowing the things of this World were temporary.

The book of Hebrews chapter 11 and 12 have truths regarding looking at the things unseen. Hebrews 11 is known as the hall of fame of the Old Testament believers. The Old Testament believers’ hope was the first coming of the messiah. This enabled them to go through unbelievable persecution. By their example, we can look to our hope the Lord Jesus.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Heb 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

God delivered these believers from terrible circumstances; some were tortured, not accepting deliverance. Do you know what the sheepskins and goatskins meant in verse 37? These skins were sowed, on a person, wet. As the skins dried, they would shrink, and suffocate the person wearing it.

Heb 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Heb 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Looking unto, (away from all else) Jesus the beginner and finisher of our faith, will prevent us from being wearied and faint in our minds. When Jesus was dieing on the cross, he was doing the Father’s will. Verse 2 says, “for the joy that was set before him. Joy and happiness is not the same. Things on the outside make us happy. Joy is an “inside job,” a spiritual thing. Jesus knew he was doing the Father’s will and that gave him joy. Beginner and finisher of our faith means, our faith is complete. When Jesus said, ”It is finished,” he was not specking of his death. He was specking of your redemption and mine. With the finished work of Christ we have everything we need, as we continue to look fully at his wonderful face.

Keeping these three points high in our focus. 1) The hope of the return of Christ. 2) Seeing your ministry past your lifetime. 2) Looking at the things unseen, even unto Jesus, the beginner and finisher of our faith, we can stand on God’s Word a lifetime. Then when all is said an done, the Father can say to me and you, “ this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

Copyright 2002 by Robin V. Richardson


By Jeff Rath 3-99


Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

Sometimes the ministers who are supposed to help God's people are the ones doing the harm. The place of fellowship and worship has sometimes become the place of abuse and destruction. Some of these abusive ministers have driven God's people to depression, divorce, disease, destruction, and even death.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

God warns us of these false prophets and false ministers. They devour God's flock instead of feeding the flock.

2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

These abusive systems continue to get worse and worse. The longer a Christian is in an abusive system the worse off he is.

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

When a ministry or a church or a man overemphasizes the teacher disciple relationship there is a danger of an abusive, controlling, legalistic, works based system. Then the followers become disciples of the man and not of God and Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

It is my goal to expose abusive practices that are practiced in the name of Christianity and the name of God. I want to give you a way of measuring an organization according to the Word of God to see if it is abusive or not. If you have a suspicion that the group you are in is abusive, then put them to the test. See if they are doing what would qualify as abusive or not. It is not my goal to trash churches or ministries. I only want to see God's people get deliverance from abuse.

You can either use the Word of God to help people or to hurt people. In an abusive system the Word of God is used to hurt people. If the Word of God is spoken in love, it helps people, but if it is spoken with other motives then it can be used to abuse and hurt people. In the book of Job the miserable comforters used the Word of God to attack Job and increase his misery. They should have used the Word to help Job.

Job 16:4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Breakthrough or Breakdown

Unfortunately some of the Ministers and Ministries that people go to for God's help are not providing help at all - - in fact some of these Ministries actually drive people deeper into their problems instead of helping them. One of the signs of spiritual abuse is that the abused person will feel like he or she is both on the verge of a breakthrough and on the verge of a breakdown.

This is an excerpt from a book that I recommend highly.

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse 1991 David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

Jeri sat in the office of a Christian counselor, explaining that she felt desperate, and felt like she was going crazy. "Either that," she said dryly, "or I'm on the verge of a major breakthrough in my spiritual growth."

"Those are two big opposites," the counselor noted. "How did you come to that conclusion?"

"Well," she began, choking up, "I went to my pastor a few months ago because I was feeling depressed a lot. He pegged the root problem right away, but I can't seem to do anything about it."

"Root problem…" the counselor repeated. "What was that?"

Jeri looked down at her shoe tops. "I guess I would have to say the problem is, well, me. My pastor says I'm in rebellion against God."

Jeri's pastor was either incompetent or an outright liar or both. Instead of offering compassion, love and spiritual tenderness this pastor came up with a "root problem." Quite often those who are so very quick to accuse others of having a "root problem" have an even larger problem themselves.

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Jesus Christ called the spiritual abusers hypocrites, because they were quick to jump on the faults of others and refused to acknowledge their own faults which were even worse. The spiritual abusers will hold their followers to a standard that they themselves do not follow, and they will demand that people try to earn what God has already freely given them.

False Accusations

Jeri's Pastor gave her some Scriptures to memorize and she was told to get her mind off of herself and onto others. When the pastors instructions did not help Jeri then she became a problem. She exposed the pastor's incompetence and the pastor cannot let his people see that he doesn't really know how to solve the problem, so he has to accuse her of having some "root problem."

John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

Jesus Christ was accused of having a devil - - those doing the accusing were spiritually incompetent and they were liars. Accusing people of being possessed of devil spirits is one of the false accusers' favorite tools. I have met numerous people who were falsely accused of being homosexual, spiritualists, or some other evil thing. The one common thing that these people had in common was that they disagreed with an abusive spiritual leader. They therefore became a problem and the way a spiritual abuser deals with problem people is to falsely accuse them. Often the more outrageous the accusation the more effective it is. These false accusations work in several ways - - they silence the person accused, they intimidate those who stay, and they keep those who stay from communicating with those who leave. In a spiritual abuse system discerning of spirits turns into the counterfeit - - "Genuine Spiritual Suspicion." That way you don't even need revelation from God to accuse people of being possessed. If it looks like a duck it must be a duck. I call this "five senses discerning of spirits." It takes the spirit of God out of the equation and allows the spiritual abuser to let his devil spirit fantasies run wild. He can dream up all sorts up new types of devil spirits. The problem here is that when someone focus' on devil spirits they can start to see them everywhere. It is not good to get obsessed with devil spirits.

2 Corinthians 2:11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

We need to be aware of Satan but we can't be obsessed with evil spirits to the point that we see spirits where they don't even exist.

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

It is not the knowledge of how bad the Devil is that leads people to God. It is the Goodness of God.

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

If you are looking for something bad in someone you will be able to find it. If you are looking for something good in someone you can find that too. The spiritual abuser looks for the evil. He may do it under the guise of some good reason like "keeping the household clean." God's people are NOT trash that needs to be removed from the household of God. The only way that you can have a completely clean household is to get rid of ALL of the people, because we are ALL imperfect. If you look hard enough for devil spirits in people then you will see them even when they are not there, because you will imagine them and you will convince yourself that they are there even when they are not.

One of the great weapons that a spiritual abuser has in his arsenal is the accusation. Hitler proved that if you tell a lie often enough then people will believe it. Spiritual abusers are very adept at accusing others. They quite often do this screaming at the top of their lungs. This makes the lies and accusations more formidable.

When I was little my family attended a Lutheran Church. My father's ancestors came from the part of Germany that Martin Luther was from. As a result my family were Lutherans. One Sunday my mother asked the Pastor a question how could innocent little babies be born in sin. This is a logical question, but the problem is it exposed the pastor's ignorance and inability to explain so out came the accusation: "That's just the Devil in you making you ask that question." Well we did not attend that church after that because my parents had the sense to go somewhere else when they were being abused. Martin Luther started the Reformation by rebelling against the abusive and corrupt Roman Catholic Church, but years later the Lutheran Church no longer represented the beliefs and principles that Martin Luther stood for. When an organization was started by a great man of God there is no guarantee that this organization will continue to follow his teachings after he is dead.

You can't stay and you can't leave

The spiritual abuser will quite often make it both hard to stay and hard to leave. This is a really cruel manipulation. The poor Christian is told that other groups are devilish, and counterfeit. They are told that if they leave something terrible will happen to them, or that God will be very displeased with them and that He won't answer their prayers. Yet if they try to stay then they will be told that they have to live up to some impossible standard to earn God's love and praise. This is called performance based Christianity. This is the opposite of grace based Christianity, because the believer has to earn what God has already freely given him. The problem here is that nobody can live up to the standard - - not even the spiritual abuser himself lives up to the standard that he is promoting. Jesus Christ was the only man that ever walked perfectly - - the rest of us can only make it by God's grace. Then when people don't measure up to the standard they are kicked out, excommunicated, marked and avoided, or some other form of removal from the group that they are now desperately trying to stay in. This is where fear motivation, control and demanding of obedience are manifested.

There is a great record in the John Chapter 9 - - this is the record of the man that was born blind. One of the miracles that proved that Jesus Christ was the Son of God was the healing of a man born blind. This had never been done before. The Pharisees were spiritual abusers who were not interested in the blind man's deliverance. They were instead interested in accusing and kicking out those who didn't follow their religious standards.

John 9:26 Then said they [the Pharisees] to him [the man born blind] again, What did he [Jesus Christ] to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

9:27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

9:28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

9:29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

9:30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

9:31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

9:32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.

9:33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

9:34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

Here the Pharisees kicked out the man because he was healed on the wrong day and he had the courage to stand up to them and question them and because he was not intimidated by them.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Jesus Christ did not kick out his followers. He kicked out devil spirits, and he backed down Scribes and Pharisees, but he didn't turn on his own followers. But spiritual abusers will often accuse people of having devil spirits, but instead of casting out the spirits they cast out the people. The reason is that the people don't have spirits to cast out because the accusation was false to begin with. There are occasional situations where someone may have to be asked not to attend a church or fellowship. But if removing people from the fellowship is the norm then there is something wrong.

In an abusive system the follower is taught that the ONLY truth and protection come from staying in the group. This puts a deep fear of leaving into the follower. The follower will do anything to keep from getting kicked out, and the follower would not even dream of leaving even though the treatment he receives in the group continues to get worse.

Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

35:9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

I have seen these verses used to teach that "the way of holiness" is staying in the group and that those that leave the group will end up being devoured by the lions and other ravenous beasts. This again builds fear and negative believing so that people don't have the courage to leave or that when they are out they are convinced that something terrible will happen to them. When people get in that state of mind they will quite often get what they fear.

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

Legalism - "How To" versus "Have To"

Another form of spiritual abuse is legalism. Are you being taught how to do God's Word or are you being taught that you have to do God's Word. The first is deliverance the second is bondage. Jesus Christ taught his followers how to receive the great things of God's Word but the Pharisees required people to do what they said the law was.

John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

8:5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

The Old Testament law said that if a man committed adultery with a married woman then he and the woman should be put to death. It is interesting to note that the Pharisees did not say that the woman was married and they did not bring a man to be stoned either. Here the Pharisees were not interested in the truth of the law they were interested in making Jesus Christ look bad, and they were willing to kill the woman to achieve their goal. The Pharisees were twisting the Old Testament law and making and trying to misapply it to this situation.

8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

Jesus Christ thought about this situation and he considered the scriptures that applied to the woman. The heart of Jesus Christ and God his Father was love and forgiveness not legalism.

8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

How did they know she was an adulteress, maybe she was found pregnant without a husband. Where was the man that committed adultery with her? If she was caught in the act or pregnant then there must have been a man involved. Maybe this woman was servicing the Pharisees' sexual desires. I don't know, but it is quite common that spiritual abusers are also sexual abusers of their followers. In 1 Samuel chapter 2 it is recorded that those who were supposed to be priests would lay with women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle. They used the place of worship as a place to find women to have adultery with. They were sexual and spiritual abusers.

8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Jumping Through Hoops

Another form of spiritual abuse is where the leader requires his followers to "jump through hoops" to earn his and God's approval. This is performance based Christianity. This is nothing more than causing Christians to earn what God has freely given them. Another problem here is that not only does the poor Christian have to jump through hoops; but the hoops keep moving. Just when the poor Christian is getting used to jumping through hoops all of a sudden the hoops move. The standard keeps changing. There is "new light" or "new revelation," I have also heard it taught as the new "present truth," as if truth changes all the time.

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

God never desired for his children to be lead about by abusive leaders who keep setting up performance standards that the believers must adhere to in order to earn God's approval.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Salvation is so big that there is nothing that we can do to earn it. It HAD to be given to us. There are no good works we can do to earn it. There are no bad works we can do to lose it.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse 1991 David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

"Many will easily recall the story of "The Wizard of Oz." Curiously, we can gain some insights about spiritual authority from this popular tale. Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion go to the Wizard because they believe he has the power to give them what they need. Dorothy needs to go home; the Scarecrow needs a brain; the Tin Man needs a heart; and the Lion needs courage. The Wizard sends them out on a quest to get the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. If they bring back the broomstick, he will give them what they need. They accomplish their mission by melting the witch and getting the broomstick, then return to the Wizard's place to ask him to deliver on his promise. But, in fact, he is not expecting their return, and is quite put out at being held accountable to keep his promise.

Our heroes enter the huge chamber where the Wizard of Oz conducts his business. They are met face to face by the Wizard himself, a big, scary head--not a real person, just a serious face, surrounded by billowing smoke and fire, making a lot of noise. With a thunderous roar, the Wizard demands to know how these four dare to challenge him. Here is the point: it's at this moment that Dorothy's dog runs over to a small room and pulls back a curtain, and what is revealed to us is a simple, flesh-and-blood man who has been hiding behind a mask of power. He operates behind a curtain pulling levers, making smoke, fire, and noise. The result looks impressive but is only a facade. Even when he roars "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

The "Wizard" is in fact a power abuser. He controls a whole city with a facade that postures power and punishes people for noticing. In a kingdom where the problem was that the Wizard couldn't deliver, Dorothy and her crew became the problem for noticing there was a problem.

It is sad to think how often religious power-brokers control their spiritual kingdoms with power facades. They rain Bible verses on people about authority, submission, judgement, prosperity, or the end times. They penalize people for noticing the "the man behind the curtain" is just human, with no authenticity or authority at all.

As a maddening, last lesson from the story, after all is said and done the Wizard tells them, "You already have what you needed all along." They had risked life and limb for what they already had.

In too many Christian families and churches, Christians are told to jump through spiritual-performance hoops to earn God's approval--something they already have for free because of Jesus' death on the cross."


Another way that a group can be abusive is control. This will destroy the individual's courage to ask questions or dare to believe something different from what is taught in the spiritually abusive system. I have fellowshipped with five different groups in my lifetime. One of them started out wonderful, but after time changed into an abusive system. This group originally encouraged its followers not to just take the teacher's word for something but to ask questions. So I asked what chapter and verse gave them the right to look into my personal finances when they were coercing me into selling my house. This question made them very mad. I had the courage to challenge their abusive actions - - I therefore became the problem. They had to either intimidate and control me or kick me out, or both. They gave me three verses to back up their actions. The first one was because the reverend said so. Well I looked all through my Bible and there is no verse with that reverend's name on it. The second was Acts 5 - - this was misapplied because that verse talked about people who lied about their giving to the church. I had been honest when I told them how much I made and how much that I gave - - in fact I had already given them more information than they had a right to know. The third was a verse that was misquoted - - they had left out a word. I finally came to realize that they were incompetent and liars. Therefore I no longer had any desire to fellowship with them.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Galations 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


How do you identify a spiritual abusive system? First and foremost you will know anything, anybody and any group by their fruits. Is the fruit joy or fear? Is the fruit deliverance or destruction?

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The spiritually abusive system will steal, kill, and destroy. But true Christianity will bring forth life more abundantly. There are several questions that you can ask to determine if a system is abusive or not. If you get the wrong answers to these questions then you may have experienced spiritual abuse.

1 What is the fruit?

2 Are you allowed to disagree?

3 Can you talk to those who have left?

4 Is the system grace based or legalism based?

5 Are you allowed to ask Questions?

6 Is the standard always changing?

7 Are a lot of people being ostracized?

8 Are you required to "jump through hoops" to earn God's approval?

9 Are people being falsely accused?

10 Do you have to answer to leadership on small personal matters?

11 Are other groups outside the system always portrayed as evil and wrong?

12 Does the system teach that only they have the real truth?

13 Is there more confronting than comforting?

14 Are you required to give money rather than asked to give money?

15 Are you required to win new recruits to the group?

So what do you do if you get the wrong answers to these questions? Well you should consider leaving. Unfortunately many victims of spiritual abuse will give up on Christianity. Some people will find a church that will treat them nice and they will go there even though they disagree with the doctrine. But it is available to find groups that love people and also teach the Word of God rightly divided. God will raise up new ministers to replace the abusive ministers; that is a promise from the Word of God.

Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.


For further study see:

"Legalism Versus Grace" by Jeff Rath

"Owe No Man Anything" by Jeff Rath

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

Twisted Scriptures A Path to Freedom From Abusive Churches by Mary Alice Chrnalogar

Churches that Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth

Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue

Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen

When God’s People Let You Down by Jeff VanVonderen

1984 by George Orwell

Copyright 1999 Jeff Rath



By Peter Wade

The explosion of knowledge continues to amaze the majority of people in the world. I write most of my articles on a computer. Thirty years ago a computer with a similar amount of memory would have cost over a million dollars and taken up one whole floor of an office building! Such is the rapid advance of technological knowledge. Christians too should be increasing in knowledge, specifically the knowledge of God's positive Word. We should be know "what God has freely given us". I want to share with you the usage of the word "to know" in the New Testament, and in particular in the epistles to the churches. A key verse will set the stage for our discussion. "We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand [know] what God has freely given us" (I Corinthians 2:12).
The real purpose behind the indwelling spirit is "that [with the outcome in view] we may understand" or know what God has already freely given to us, His children. The gift we receive from God is perfect and permanent with potential. We have everything we need for any situation we will ever run across, but we must know what we have. The extent of our knowing will be the extent of our enjoyment of the victorious, more abundant Christian life.God Wants Us To KnowNow God has often written in the Word that we ought to know this and we ought to know that. God wants us to know, to understand, to comprehend, to reckon, to experience all the good things He has provided for us in Christ Jesus. God never encourages ignorance; He wants us to know. Look at these statements as an example: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16). "Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough?" (I Corinthians 5:6). "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?" (I Corinthians 6:2). "Do you not know that we will judge angels?" (verse 3). "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?" (verse 9). "Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?" (verse 15). "Do you not know..." (verse 16). "Do you not know..." (verse 19). And so we could continue right through the epistles. I get the impression that God wants us to know! Knowledge is power, but only when we use it. Filling my head with Bible knowledge will not help me to be a success in life, will not keep my in health, will not even get me to heaven! I may be able to locate the books of the Bible, I may know the depth of the Red Sea or the height of Mount Ararat, but all that will be of little help in everyday life. However, when I know what I am in Christ, when I know Christ is in me, when I know Christ as me, then the responsibility is on my shoulders to put that knowledge into action. Adjusting our lives according to God's positive Word starts with renewing our minds and then acting on what we know. Knowledge Gives ConfidenceWhat we know gives us confidence. I have travelled by air many times, but that does not give me any confidence to sit down in front of all those dials in the cockpit and put the plane into flight. I can, however, sit down in front of the steering wheel of a car and drive it anywhere. I can sit down in front of a computer and guide it through many tasks. Knowledge gives you confidence. The knowledge of God's positive Word gives us confidence to live the more abundant life. Our fellowship with God, our Father, is based on our knowledge of the Word. Since I know from the Word that He loves me and wants only the best for me, I have confidence in co-operating with God to bring the best into operation in my life. I believe that one person and God are a majority. I've gained that confidence from knowing what He says about our relationship from the Word. Two Words for "Know"The first epistle of John deals with our fellowship with the Father. In this epistle two Greek words translated "know" are used some 40 times. The key verse in the epistle is I John 5:13, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know [by experience] that you have eternal life." In everyday English, the word "know" can have more than one meaning. I could say that I know Queen Elizabeth, meaning I know about her. However, I do not know her personally; I have never sat down and talked to her face to face or had dinner with her. The Greek language is fortunately more exact in these matters and there are several words used to give different shades of meaning to the concept of knowledge. In I John two of these words are employed. There is a word which means to mentally know something, oida. The Latin word "video" comes from this same root word. The implication is that the subject has come within one's perception or circle of vision. There is also the word ginosko, which means to know by experience or in a personal and true relationship. Two verses actually use both words, I John 2:29 and 5:20, and I will deal with them later in this article. Since we have already seen that knowledge gives confidence, then if we love God and want to follow His principles of living we must concern ourselves about knowing all that God wants us to know. Let's look in some detail at the occurrences of the word "know" in the first Epistle of John. We Know That We Know!The first usage is in I John 2:3, "We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands." Here the word "know" is ginosko both times -- to know in a personal relationship. We "know that we know" Him, not just as an acquaintance or someone we may have seen on television, but we have personal knowledge of Him. Doesn't that thrill you? And how do we "know that we know"? We obey His commands, what He has written in His Word. These commands are not the ten commandments of the Old Testament, they are not the commands of Jesus in the Gospels, but they are the commands written and addressed to us specifically in the epistles to the churches -- Romans to Thessalonians. Our personal experiential knowledge of Him increases every time we do what He has asked us to do. "The man who says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (verse 4). It is a contradiction to say "I personally know Him", when you choose not to do what He says. You think that He doesn't know what He is talking about. If you would only experience Him in your life, then you would really personally know Him. "But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did" (verses 5, 6). That is certainly straight from the shoulder! Do you really know Him (ginosko) or has He only just come within your range of vision (oida)? How did the Jesus of the beard and sandals walk while on this earth? The answer is, perfectly. His was a walk in love, a walk in power, a walk in constant fellowship with the Father. We could analyse every record, one by one. Jesus walked perfectly like God planned for all His sons to walk. His walk was one in alignment and harmony with God. Verse 6 says we "must walk as Jesus did". So it is not automatic; it is dependent on our knowledge of the Word. Children, Youth, FathersLet's take another set of verses, I John 2:12-14. "I write to you, dear children, because your sin have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one." The greatest knowledge that is known is set before us in these verses -- knowing the Father in a personal relationship. Only the word ginosko could have been used here. As children of God, we do not merely perceive mentally (oida) the Father. We have a real personal experience of Him, for we have His seed within us. There are other things we need to know, and one is that "many antichrists have come. This is how we know that it is the last hour" (I John 2:18). There may be only one Antichrist in the book of Revelation, but there are many antichrists; many people who are against Christ. John knew some of them in his day, and we know plenty of them today. Some are good, upstanding people in the community, some are even religious, but God is only concerned as to whether they are for Christ or against Him. There is no fence sitting on this matter! We Have An Anointing"But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth" (I John 2:20; see also verse 27). Here the word is oida, to perceive or to have within our range of vision. The truth is now in our circle of vision. Prior to joining God's forever family, facts governed our lives, for God's truth is perceived only by those who have spirit (I Corinthians 2:14). However, now that we are in the family, all truth is brought into our vision. The choice is ours to experience the truth and make it work in our lives. Part of the truth is that God is righteous. "If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him" (I John 2:29). In this verse both words for "know" are carefully employed. The first word is oida, for the truth that God is righteous came before our sphere of perception as a result of the New Birth. The second "know" is ginosko, knowing by experience that you must be born again in order to do what is right. This verse is not talking about good works but about showing forth to the world that "God in Christ" is in us. Personal knowledge in our life enables us to recognize Christ in other believers. We Are His ChildrenOne of my favourite passages in this epistle is I John 3:1-2. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." There is no question about it: we are children of God! The world, the culture in which we live, cannot know us (ginosko) in a personal and true relationship because the culture as a whole does not know (ginosko) God in such a relationship. These two negative usages of ginosko are interesting in verse one. Our confidence, based on the knowledge that "when he appears, we shall be like him", comes from the Word. Since this is a future event, a hope (verse 3), we cannot know it in an experiential manner, but only as a mental perception. This is why the word "know" in verse 2 is oida. Again we observe the accuracy of God's positive Word. Loving and Knowing"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything: (I John 3:18-20). Once again, experience is the key to knowing, ginosko. Loving with actions provides evidence of the truth (or "reality" as it is translated elsewhere) in our lives. Loving God, loving ourselves and loving others (Mark 12:30) is also how we enjoy rest within our hearts, our minds, the seat of our personal lives. When the Bible speaks of God knowing everything, the word can only be ginosko, a personal and true knowledge. "This is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us" (I John 3:24). "We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit" (I John 4:13). This is ginosko, knowledge by experience. Now the reason I am sure that the Spirit of God dwells in me is two-fold. Firstly, because the Word of God says so as a past-tense reality, and that is unquestioned. Secondly because every time I operate a manifestation of the spirit within, I have evidence in the senses world of the presence of His spirit within me. I thank God that this is not a "hope-so" truth, but one that I know by experience. Chapter four of this epistle is totally concerned with ginosko, our knowledge of the Father in a personal and true relationship. The way to know by experience the spirit of truth and error is given to us in verses 2 and 6. The way to know by experience the outworking of the love of God is given in verses 7, 8 and 16. The opposite of love is fear (verse 18), and fear thrives on ignorance. We have come to the final chapter in this epistle. "This is how we know [ginosko] that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands" (I John 5:2). We will truly love all the family of God, whether or not they wear our label. The reason we can love in this way is because we love the Father. Our relation ship with God in a personal and experiential way will help us even to love believers who do not love us or agree with us. "We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true" (I John 5:20). We mentally perceive, oida, that Jesus came to the world. Through the great love plan of the Father, the way has been opened for us to know by experience, ginosko, the true God. Adjust your life to this relationship and see His power at work. Mark Every UsageI have covered every usage of ginosko in this article, and listed here are the usages of oida not mentioned: I John 2:11, 21 (twice); 3:5,14,15,16; 5:13,15 (twice), 18,19. Mark every usage of these two words in your Bible and see what tremendous truth there is in the distinction between these words. Knowledge always brings with it the responsibility to act. Knowing the truth from God's Word likewise involves the responsibility to walk on the greatness of the truths it declares. How about it? Do you mentally perceive God, oida, or do your know Him by experience, ginosko? Only the second is good enough to ensure you a future. Copyright © 1997 Peter Wade. The Bible text in this publication, except where otherwise indicated, is from the New International Version (NIV), Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. This article appears on the site: http://www.posword.org/.


by Jeff Rath 7-98

From the world's point of view most of us are not very important. Some of us have enjoyed some degree of success in our professions, and maybe we are somewhat important where we work, but for the most part the world does not really recognize us as important. From religion's or religious people's point of view we are unworthy or even worthless, and if we grovel and suffer and beg maybe God may notice us a little. That is not what God thinks of us. To God we are very important, we are precious, and priceless. God has waited for all eternity to have fellowship with His sons. God thought so much of us that He sent Jesus Christ to die for us, and He raised him from the dead and gave us the gift of holy spirit and eternal life.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would dare to die.

5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he [God] hath chosen us in him [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

God thought so much of us that He sent his son to be our sin sacrifice, and God chose us before the foundation of the world and He made us holy and without blame before Him in love.

I John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

We are very important to God because we are His sons, we are His seed, we are His offspring, we are in the family and household of God. Those of you who are parents love your children even when they misbehave. But when people think of God the Father, they somehow let the world or religion trick them into thinking that He does not love and cherish them because they are imperfect.

Luke 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

I John 1:5b God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

If we being imperfect give good gifts to our children, then how can God Almighty do less for His sons? When the world says that we are unimportant, they only show their ignorance of God and His Word. When religion says that we are unimportant and worthless, they contradict God's Word and attribute darkness and evil to God. God is not capable of doing evil and He is Light, not darkness.

Living Victoriously 1987 Victor Paul Weirwille
"Religion has made the Word of God of non-effect by its tradition. That is why today men and women are living in deserts of spiritual despair and they drink from the stagnant pool of tradition instead of the fountain-head of God's revealed and written Word."
"You will always live below par if you go by tradition, or by religion, or by what people say."

We are important to God because know God's Word and we have the ability and desire to make it known. We speak God's Word, not the religious traditions or worldly wisdom.

II Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God.

We are God's ambassadors sent to deliver a message, the Word of God. Anyone who is an ambassador for God and Christ has to be very important; the ambassador represents God and Jesus Christ in this world. God has committed unto His ambassadors the word of reconciliation, and He has given us the ministry of reconciliation. In this day and time God has given us the responsibility and ability of reconciling man to God. Obviously He must have a very high opinion of us.

Proverbs 13:17b a faithful ambassador is health.

We are faithful to speak the Word of God in love, and then we heal and bless God's people. We can heal the broken hearted, heal their bodies, and bless their lives. This is not a small thing in God's sight.

John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

God has given us the ability to do the works of Jesus Christ, and we can also do greater works. We can lead people into the new birth and we can minister the fullness of the holy spirit so that each believer can be a son of God with eternal life, and operate all nine manifestations of holy spirit.

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

4:24 God is a Spirit: they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

We have the privilege to worship God truthfully by way of the spirit; we can speak in tongues the wonderful works of God. A lot of people in this world are not even Christians, and most of those who are Christians either do not speak in tongues or do not believe in speaking in tongues. Only a small percentage of the people in the world speak in tongues. God wants all of His people to speak in tongues.

I Corinthians 14:5a I would that ye all spake with tongues

We can also pray with our understanding and get results.

John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

When we pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ, then God listens to our prayers and He is glorified when they are answered. God is highly motivated to answer our prayers because He loves us and He gets the glory when we are blessed. We boldly go to God and ask Him for what He wants to give us, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

When we pray in the spirit, we can pray perfectly; God intercedes in situations to deliver God's people. We can suppress the evil in this world. The whole world of unbelievers and believers is blessed by our presence and stand.

James 4:7b Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

I John 4:4 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.

We are very important to God, we are very valuable to Him; therefore, He only wants the best for us.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Jesus Christ] am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.

III John 2 Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

God wants us to have a life which is more than abundant. He wants us to be in health and prosper. God promises to supply all of our needs. He says we can do all things through Christ, and He says that we are more than conquerors.

The choice is yours - believe God, or believe lies.

Copyright 1998 Jeff Rath

One man awake can awaken another,
The second can awaken his next door neighbor.
Three awake can rouse the town,
And turn the whole place upside down.
And many awake can raise such a fuss,
That it finally awakens the rest of us.
One man up with dawn in his eyes,
Author Unknown



By Jeff Rath 7-99


God promises to heal the brokenhearted. One of the ways someone can get their heart broken is to be spiritually abused. But healing is available. It is available to get your relationship back with God Almighty, Jesus Christ, and have fellowship with your fellow Christian believers. I intend to show you some simple truths by which people can recover the sweetness and fellowship that was stolen from them by spiritual abusers.

Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

2 Timothy 2:26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

God is a god of recovery, and it is His will that abuse victims recover from abuse. There is a wonderful Christian hymn "He’s The Healer Of Broken Hearts" that expresses the healing intentions of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son of God.


He’s the healer of broken hearts;

He’ll mend your shattered dreams;

He’ll pick up the threads of your broken hearts,

And mend them together again.

To your soul he’ll bring peace and joy;

Your friend indeed he’ll be.

He’s the healer of broken hearts,

This Jesus of blue Galilee.

Abuse is defined as: to maltreat, to misuse, to use with bad motives or to wrong purposes, to deceive, to pervert the meaning of, to misapply, improper treatment, application to a wrong purpose, a corrupt practice or custom. Many Christians have been either deliberately or unintentionally abused. Some abuse is accidental and no one is really hurt but some abuse is massive to the point that lives are in ruin. But God can heal the brokenhearted and abused.

It’s Not Your Fault

One of the great keys to healing from spiritual abuse is to realize that it wasn’t your fault. God did not punish you for your faults and shortcomings. Quite often when people are physically, mentally, sexually abused they will be overwhelmed with the guilt that the abuse was somehow their fault. For instance a rape victim may feel that they are to blamed for the rape along with the attacker. The victim often thinks that they did something to lead on the attacker or to deserve the abuse. You CANNOT entertain these thoughts if you want deliverance. If you were abused then someone else took advantage of you. The abuser is in the wrong not the victim.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

We cannot condemn ourselves if we want deliverance. We cannot wallow in guilt. We have a personal adversary who wants to condemn us and put us in guilt. Satan, the devil, is our adversary. He wants to hinder us, attack us, and abuse us whenever he gets the chance. Abuse is the devil’s fault not the victim’s.

Galations 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Galations 5:8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

John 10:10a The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

Our adversary has a full time job which is: stealing, killing, and destroying. He is the one responsible for the spiritual abuse that occurs in Christian’s lives. Once the victim realizes that the abuse is not from God and the abuse is not the victim’s fault, but that the abuse is the adversary’s fault, then the victim has taken the first step towards healing, deliverance and recovery.

Stop the abusive influences

I like to call this key "Stop the mouth of the abuser" or "Separating yourself from the abuse" This means that you have to get to the point that what the abuser says no longer has an influence on you. So if the abuser’s words still have an influence on you then you must get away from the abuse. In physical abuse situations the victims will be removed to a "safe house" for a while. You may have to get rid of books, tapes, and magazines that are from the abusive organization. You must remove yourself from the abusive influence for a while. This may take days or years depending on how bad you were abused.

Titus 1:10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

1:11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.

The abuser’s mouth must be stopped. However quite often we can’t actually get the spiritual abuser to shut up, but we can remove ourselves from the abuser so that we no longer hear and are influenced by the abuser. Once the victim has been separated from the abuser then the healing process can begin. When the victim is separated from the abuser then the process of stopping the mouth of the abuser has begun for that victim. The process is complete when the abuser has no influence over the victim at all. Then for the victim the abuser’s mouth has been stopped, even though the abuser may still be talking. Eventually when you are healed the words of the abuser will no longer hurt you.

2 Corinthians 11:12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.

11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Whether the abuser is a truly evil false prophet or a good man making bad mistakes. You must cut off the influence of the abuser.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

We submit to God and we submit to other believers, but we do not submit to spiritual abusers. We resist the abusers by submitting to God.

Sonship versus discipleship

Acts 21:16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.

This verse of Scripture has a unique significance. It is the last occurrence of the word disciple in the Bible. From Romans through Revelation the word disciple does not occur. God refers to the Christian with several terms such as sons, soldiers, ambassadors, etc. but not disciples.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

2:4 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.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

The Apostle Paul when referring to himself said that he was a servant and an apostle. He could have opened the book of Romans with "Paul a disciple of Jesus Christ," but he didn’t. Paul emphasized his ministry of an apostle and his service.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

Quite often well meaning ministers and ministries wanting to teach and practice Christianity will teach their followers about discipleship. But the problem is the more they focus on discipleship the more they open the door for abuse. When we focus on discipleship, we try to improve our faults and short comings. But when we focus on sonship then we see that we can not improve on what God has done for us in Christ. As a disciple we work to measure up to the standard of the Word. As a son of God we already measure up to the standard of the Word. Our flesh is so bad that there is no good work that we can do to make it worthy of eternal life. Our spirit is so perfect that there is nothing that we can do that is bad enough to corrupt it. When we focus on being a disciple then we focus on ourselves. But when we focus on sonship then we focus on what God has done for us in Christ.

Now I am not saying that there is no place for discipleship in the New Testament. Surely there are many good things that can come from a Christian disciplining himself to better serve the Word of God to others. But if the main emphasis is on the discipleship and not on the sonship then the stage is set for abuse to creep in. Then a leader can say to a disciple "You only studied the Bible for half an hour today, you need to do better than that if you want to live sanctified." The poor abused Christian often accepts this even though there is no scripture that commands us that we have to read a certain amount of Bible verses each day. The poor Christian is coerced into doing something to earn what God has already freely given him. The really sad part is that before the Christian enjoyed reading his Bible but now he does it out of either fear or obligation. Abusive discipleship relationships can destroy the joy and love in a Christian’s heart. We need to motivate people from the inside with love, not with discipleship forced upon them from the outside.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

When we get too much into discipleship then we are thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think. But God has given each one of us the same measure of faith when we get born again of God’s spirit. We all have the same measure. Nobody can get any more for being a good disciple, and you won’t get any less for being a bad disciple. It is SONSHIP! We got it by grace.

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Galations 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

An over-emphasis on discipleship is like the foolishness of beginning in the spirit and then trying to please God by perfecting the flesh.

Know who you are in Christ

To gain deliverance we must know who we are in Christ. We must also forget what the abuser said about us. We reach forward for deliverance and forget the things of abuse that are behind us.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

The word "forgetting" in this verse is not the word for forgetting and never remembering again. It means that we disregard, pay no attention to, ignore, overlook, and put it out of our minds for a while and think on something else. We don’t dwell on the abuse and allow it to fester into bitterness and revenge.

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Jesus Christ suffered and died for us so that we could live for God. We don’t have to suffer, die or be abused for God. Our job is to be a living sacrifice. When we renew our minds to the Word of God then we can get over spiritual abuse.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Romans 4:25 Who [Jesus Christ] was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

We must know who we are in Christ and not let any spiritual abuser talk us out of our righteousness, sanctification, redemption, and justification. These cannot be earned they are already ours. We are ambassadors for Christ and we can operate the ministry of reconciliation. As Jesus Christ is now so are we in this world. Therefore we must know who we are in Christ to overcome spiritual abuse.

Fellowship with believers

One of the great keys to deliverance from spiritual abuse is fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. God did not design for us to go through life isolated and controlled.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.

God does not desire us to be off by ourselves without the council, advice, love, and support of our fellow believers trying vainly to figure things out. God will always make available for us to fellowship with other believers. God will never leave us alone. It is up to us to utilize this great resource available to us.

1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

God desires that we have fellowship with other believers and when we fellowship then our joy can be full. Remember that God is light, He is NEVER the source of any darkness. So if we ever get abused in any Christian fellowship or ministry we must remember that the abuse is not from God. The way to deliverance is to fellowship with loving Christians, and leave behind the spiritual abusers.

God’s Love

The Love of God is very healing. It will energize your believing. It will cast out your fear. It will motivate you to be the Christian that you really want to be. It will heal the wounds of Spiritual abuse. That is why fellowship is important because we must put ourselves in a place to be around those who live and manifest the love of God.


Galations 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh [is energized by] by love.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

4:12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

God’s love energizes our believing. God’s love casts out our fear. This topic is closely tied with the fellowship topic because you really see God’s love manifested in groups of fellowshipping believers. God commands us to love our brother also. The best way to do that is to have some sort of fellowship with him. Then when we are walking in the love of God we can help others who need healing from spiritual abuse by fellowshipping with them and showing them the love of God.


Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

When Job finally realized that the miserable comforters/spiritual abusers were worse off than he was he prayed for them. Job quit looking at himself and he began to look at the needs of others, then he gained deliverance. He got rid of his fear and regained his trust and believing in God.

Matthew 18:21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

18:22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

When we get to the place that we can forgive the spiritual abusers and get rid of the bitterness and hatred towards them then we also can recover what was stolen from us. Now by forgiving I don’t mean that you have to get to be good friends with the abusers and put yourself right back into an abusive situation. What I mean is that you can get rid of the venomous and vicious hatred for those who are spiritual abusers. You can move on and regain the sweetness in your fellowship with God and His Son Jesus Christ and your fellow believers. If someone is continuing to spiritually abuse Christians then there is no way that you should fellowship with or support them in any way. But you don’t have to carry a vendetta and try to get even. God keeps the score and God will carry through justice.


Spiritual abuse is NOT from God. It is God’s desire that you be healed. We must go to the Word of God and see who we are in Christ. Then we can cut off the abusive influences and stop dwelling on the abuse that was heaped upon us, and instead reach forward to God’s deliverance. We must continue to focus on our sonship and what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. We must avoid over emphasizing discipleship, and thereby focus on what we do instead of what God has done. We can’t earn what God has already freely given us, and we must never compel others to try to earn what they already have. We must seek out the fellowship of loving Christians and never let ourselves be too far removed from their healing presence. We must learn to forgive the spiritual abusers. We can then let go of bitterness and hatred.

In John 9 Jesus Christ healed a man that was born blind. This man was then excommunicated and marked and avoided by the Pharisees because of their hatred for Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ went and found the man who had been abused and mistreated by the Pharisees for having the courage to tell the truth about his healing, and Jesus Christ taught him the Word. This teaching goes on into John 10, and many of us are familiar with verse 10:

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

This context of this verse is the continuation of teaching the man who was spiritually abused by the Pharisees. Jesus Christ has come that we might have life and have it more abundantly. This includes recovery from spiritual abuse. There was a whole group listening to Jesus Christ teach and some believed and some didn’t. The choice is yours . . . you can choose stealing, killing, and destroying or you can choose the more abundant life that Jesus Christ came to make available.


For further study see:"Legalism Versus Grace" by Jeff Rath

"Owe No Man Anything" by Jeff Rath

"Spiritual Abuse" by Jeff Rath

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson & Jeff VanVonderen

Twisted Scriptures A Path to Freedom From Abusive Churches by Mary Alice Chrnalogar

Churches that Abuse by Ronald M. Enroth

Healing Spiritual Abuse by Ken Blue

Tired of Trying to Measure Up by Jeff VanVonderen

When God’s People Let You Down by Jeff VanVonderen

1984 by George Orwell

Copyright 1999 Jeff Rath