KJV 1Corinthians 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”

NLT 1Corinthians 8:1 “Now let's talk about food that has been sacrificed to idols. You think that everyone should agree with your perfect knowledge. While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church.”

ESV 1Corinthians 8:1 “Now concerning1 food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up. 2 If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.”

In the garden of Eden, God gave mankind (represented by-in Adam) only one commandment: not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil.

I would like to talk for a bit about knowledge and its relationship to sin. To do so, we need to first take a look at the different kinds of knowledge.

(1) There is the “head kind of knowledge” which is academic or intellectual pertaining to the mind. This academic knowledge can also pertain to spiritual things when the understanding is on an intellectual level.

(2) There is the “heart kind of knowledge” which pertains to the mind of the spirit. The origin of this kind of knowledge is from God to man. The knowledge that is “of God” pertaining to God and to the things of the Kingdom of God is imparted to man by God’s own Spirit. This kind of knowledge is not from man but from God. God teaches His kind of knowledge is received by revelation through God’s word based upon the wisdom, counsel and understanding of the Spirit of Knowledge —which is of God’s Holy Spirit which is the Spirit of Truth.

And then there is Love. The agape of God which is the “God kind of love” is the giving up of self kind of love. The God-kind of love far surpasses our kind of human knowledge and it goes hand-in-hand with the wisdom and the God-kind of Knowledge.

The difference between the two kinds of knowledge mentioned above can be seen or perceived in the difference between “the letter of the word” and “the Spirit of the word”. The letter of the word applied only in the understanding and knowledge of men is destructive, in fact the scripture tells us that the “letter of the word” brings death but the “Spirit of the word” is Life.

If you consider “the right use of knowledge to be wise” then the right use of knowledge must come from God, who is the only Wise God, who gives wisdom to as many as will ask.

Much the same way as there is a tremendous difference between “the letter of the word” and “the Spirit of the word”, we can also see a huge contrast between the wisdom of men and the wisdom of God. In the Bible in the Book of James, the Apostle James contrasts the wisdom of men and the wisdom of God. James tells us that the wisdom of men is from below and he even warns that the wisdom that is of man (and not of God) is from below and is devilish. James tells us that God’s wisdom is “from above, it is pure, peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. {partiality: or, wrangling}”. But the wisdom that is from below is not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish, {sensual: or, natural}, for where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work, {confusion: in the Greek, it means tumult and unquietness}. The so-called wisdom of men
The wisdom of God produces good fruit, but the wisdom of man lends itself to envying and strife: James 3: 13 “Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. James also warned the believers not to hold grudges against one another because God our Judge “stands at the door”. If we want to be forgiven by God, we must forgive others. We cannot harbor grudges or hold on to offenses but must freely forgive others as we ourselves want to be forgiveness.

The wisdom and the knowledge of men is detrimental to our spiritual growth. We must forgive one another, love one another, seeking the wisdom, knowledge and counsel which is of God and not of men.

This brings us back to the different kinds of knowledge that was mentioned earlier;

KJV 1Corinthians 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”

The phrase “puffeth up” means:

The head kind of knowledge is directly related to touching things does not lead to wisdom, certainly not to the wisdom of God. In fact, the academic or intellectual kind of knowledge will cause man to be proud, knowing nothing yet as he ought to know. It will also lead one to hypocrisy and to living a life according to our own wants, desires and even our lusts.

Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” One of the ways or paths that seems right unto man is the pathway of the pursuit of knowledge itself. This is the path that I ended up on. I thought I was growing in grace and in the knowledge of God when in fact, I was accumulating academic or “head knowledge”. I turned from pursing the Lord to follow after so-called spiritual knowledge. Somewhere along the way, I began to pursue the power of knowledge pertaining to what I thought were godly “spiritual” things, taking hold of “teachings” which I thought were useful. I began to equate learning about spiritual things or so-called life changing teachings and doctrines of men as a means by which I could better myself and better serve God.

In reality, I had been seduced into following doctrines that were not of God but of man. I went astray following to follow after my soul or minds lust for knowledge and the power thereof. I was led to believe that by following after and practicing certain doctrines that “I could” change my life. I equated knowledge with power to make me wise, not knowing it would only lead me away from trusting Christ Jesus for my salvation.

I who thought I was so wise and understanding in the things of God was through pride and lust for knowledge and its power was duped into turning aside from walking by faith to a back to a religious walk in which I was unwittingly turning from trusting Jesus to follow a path that leads to suffering and death.

The path of intellectual or academic knowledge is empowering and has a form of godliness but not unto godliness which is by faith that is in Christ Jesus alone! The kind of knowledge that puffs us up in our fleshly mind deceives us and made me think I was walking in the faith of Christ, when in fact, I was serving my own self, I was walking according to the soul’s own lust for knowledge and for so-called spiritual empowerment. I had unknowingly turned from following Jesus to follow a path that seemed right to me in my own sight. If this path is not repented of, it not only leads to a false (hypocritical) form of godliness, it leads to death and destruction.

In the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Lord warned the churches against the seductive (religious) doctrines of Jezebel. Jezebel represents (to me) the false end-time churches, their false teachings and ungodly doctrines which the Holy Spirit warned would come in the last days. The scripture warns us that her ways are devilish! In the scripture the Spirit of God even calls her doctrines, “doctrines of demons”. In the last days, the Spirit warns that Jezebel will lead people astray; she will seduce God’s servants to commit fornication (be spiritually unfaithful to God through idolatry etc.) and that she would cause them to eat things sacrificed to idols.

Jezebel’s deceptive teachings are seductive and they do lead people astray. Jezebel’s teachings supplant (undermines) and replaces the knowledge “of the Truth” —which is of God, with the knowledge and wisdom that is “of men and not of God, even by the doctrines of demons. Her ways appeal to the mind of the flesh. The mind craves knowledge because knowledge is power. One of the most basic lusts of man is for power. Remember, the temptation of the woman was to eat of the tree of knowledge for by it (knowledge) she perceived it was able to make her wise, to make us like God!

Among the most insidiously evil false doctrines *heresy found in the early churches was Gnosticism. In short, Gnosticism is a means or the power by which one transforms one’s own self to become as God, through knowledge. It is this same heresy that is now prevalent in the churches (all of them) in the last days.

The following is paraphrased from the Strongs Concordance and the Thayer's Greek lexicons.: Various Greek words can be translated as knowledge. The word “knowledge” as it is used in the verses above is “gnosis” (Strongs #1108). Gnosis refers specifically to knowledge “by itself”. There is another word for knowledge (Strongs #4678 which is not used in the above verses that refers to knowledge “with understanding” —it refers to knowledge which is “exhibited in action”. This kind of knowledge (Strongs # 4678) adds the power of reasoning and wisdom in the “application of the truth.

Knowledge is different from Understanding that is from God, even as the wisdom and knowledge that is of man differs entirely from wisdom and knowledge that is of God by His Holy Spirit.

Paul the Apostle used reason with spiritual understanding from God, as he instructed the early Church. Paul spoke in the wisdom and power of the Spirit. 1 Cor. 8:1 “Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”

In the above verse, the Apostle Paul instructed the believers regarding the proper course of action concerning whether or not it was right for Christians to eat the meat that came from animals that had been sacrificed to idols.

When pagans made their sacrifices to their idols, the meat from the animals was afterwards sold in the marketplace (in the shambles). A controversy arose among the Christian converts as to whether or not they should eat that meat because of its origin. Some of the Christians thought it was ok to eat the meat because they knew the idol was nothing.

[Personally I believe the question might also have to do with certain pagan beliefs. It is not uncommon even today among pagans —to believe that meat from an animal that had been sacrificed to a pagan deity (an idol) actually contained the power of the idol.] The Christians rightly understood the idol “has no power” —consequentially the meat sacrificed to the idol would not have any power. In any case, some believers questioned whether or not it was right to eat meat from “pagan sacrifices”.

The issue came down to a question of personal liberty of the believer as well as the difference between walking according to knowledge, versus walking “in love”. According to the knowledge, some of the believers figured the idol is nothing so it is ok to eat the meat. According to the law of liberty, the liberty of the believer who is in Christ, we are free from religious bondage concerning what we eat or do not eat. Christians are not condemned if they eat meat, or if they do not eat it. And so as far as knowledge (in and of itself) it is not prohibited to eat the meat sold in the shambles whether it came from the temple sacrifices or not. But there is also a difference between walking according to knowledge versus walking in love one toward another.

We are commanded of God to walk circumspectly as our conscience allows, but we must also walk in love, guided by the wisdom and counsel of the Spirit.

Knowledge —in and of itself, brought about a controversy ....but love edifies:

The he “law of liberty” pertains to the believer’s liberty “in Christ” to eat the meat, or not eat it according to each person’s conscience. Paul counseled the believers to follow a higher law, the “law of Christ” which is love.

Regardless of our personal freedom in Christ, even though it would be lawful to eat the meat from the pagan sacrifices, it would be better (out of love) for the sake of others whose faith might be weak, not to do anything that would give occasion to cause a brother to stumble.

If another believer whose conscience does not permit him to eat meat sacrificed to an idol (if to him it is sin) and if he sees you eating it, he may violate his own conscience by trying to follow your example. According to the “law of Christ” (which is love) out of love for one another, we are to do nothing that might cause another person to stumble.

Obeying the letter of the word in what is lawful to us is not the same as obeying the Spirit of the word, which requires us to walk in love. The doer of the word is guided by the Spirit walking according to the word in Spirit and in Truth guided by the higher law of Christ which is love. (M. W.)

In 1Cor. 8 verse one and the verses which follow, we can see the different kinds of knowledge contrasted in the teachings Paul gave. (1) intellectual or head knowledge (by itself) lacks wisdom and understanding; (2) knowledge “with reason and understanding also requires wisdom. But then, there is the counsel and wisdom of the Spirit, walking not according the letter of the word but by the Spirit of the word: according to the higher law, the law of Christ which is love.

Knowledge by itself (gnosis) “puffs up” but love edifies (builds up). We are not edified by knowledge itself but by love, by the agape of God, which is the giving up of self kind of love; even the giving up of our lives for the brethren. (See 1John 3:16)

2Peter 3:18 —we are to grow “in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” Increasing in knowledge (by itself) is not the same as growing “in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”. In fact, the kind of knowledge that puffs up will inevitably result in hypocrisy.

I fell into the trap of trying to increase my faith through knowledge. Spiritually speaking, I thought I was growing in grace, I thought I was seeking the Knowledge of of God which is in the face of Jesus Christ. But I had been waylaid, set upon by false guides whom I unwittingly followed. Yet I am without excuse because I was led of my own mind of the flesh to covet the power that supposedly came by knowledge, to make one wise.

Religious knowledge cannot produce righteousness. Acquiring vast amounts of knowledge puffs us up. No matter how much “knowledge” of scripture we possess, it cannot produce holiness; because holiness is of God.

Scripture gives us examples of the detrimental effects of relying upon knowledge rather than growing in grace and in the Knowledge of God: no one can say the Sadducees and Pharisees did not have considerable knowledge of scripture. Even though the Sadducees and the Pharisees spent their lives learning studying God’s word, and many thought they were “wise” teachers, Jesus Himself said they did not “know God”. In fact, Jesus said they did not know or receive Him because God’s word was not in them!

Although the Sadducees and Pharisees were well-versed in scripture, in spite of the fact that they knew every dot and every tittle in the word, the term “pharisee” is nearly synonymous for (religious) “hypocrisy”.

Jesus told the religious leaders —you search the scriptures and in them you think you have eternal life but they (the scriptures) testify of Me. The thief on the cross was saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone. The thief on the cross was not saved by man-made religious teachings, nor by the doctrines and commandments of men. The thief on the cross was saved simply because by faith he called upon Jesus (the salvation of God).

Likewise, our salvation is not according to the wisdom of men nor religious teachings or knowledge of men. Our salvation is not based on how much knowledge we have or how learned we are. Salvation is “not a what” but “a who” —Jesus Christ “is” our salvation. His Name is who HE IS. It is written, “His Name shall be called ‘Jesus’ for He shall save His people from their sins”.

Jesus is the salvation of God. His Name not only tells us who He is, His Name also tells us what HE will do for all those who will receive Him (and His salvation) by faith that is in Him alone. Believing on the NAME of the Only Begotten Son of God, believing in or on the “Name of Jesus” means we believe HE is our salvation by the gift of grace though faith that is in Him.

The Pharisees thought they knew God because they knew the scriptures (gnosis) but they did not know Him; they did not know the salvation of God. There is no question the Pharisees were increased in intellectual, religious-minded knowledge of scripture. Because of their vast knowledge of scripture and by strict adherence to the law, the Pharisees were seen as the model of holiness, par excellence. But Jesus said they were sepulchers full of dead men’s bones, white-washed walls, hypocrites. They did not receive Jesus (He said) because God’s word was not in them.

The more we rely on knowledge, the more hypocritical we become.

The Lord once asked me, what was the one sin the Pharisees would not acknowledge and confess? I replied that I did not know what it was and asked the Lord (if it pleased Him) to tell me. The Lord proceeded to show me from scripture that the one sin the Pharisees (religious leaders of the day) would not confess was their own apostasy —they had departed from Him, the Fountain of living water and had hewn out their own cisterns, broken cisterns that could hold no water. [Took God’s word and made up their own rules and regulations. It spite of all the knowledge of scripture they had, they honored their traditions, and followed the teachings, doctrines and commandments of men, and by their traditions Jesus said they made void the word of God.

The Pharisees were blind to their own hypocrisy and would not admit they had departed from God.

I said all of that to say this:

I was indoctrinated in Roman Catholicism from the time I was able to walk. When I first accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I had little to no understanding of what being born again meant. When I first prayed the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I understood that Jesus had died for my sins but I had trouble really trusting that He had actually forgiven all my sins. I had no understanding of what it meant to be saved by grace alone and not by my works; I did not even understand what grace was.

But I was so grateful for His promise to save my soul that I was determined to please God by being the best Christian I could be. I set about the work of striving (in the flesh) to become what I thought a devout Christian should be. I read my Bible every day, I fasted twice a week, we (my husband and I) tithed, we gave offerings. If someone asked to borrow of us, we gave and expected nothing in return. If the church doors were open for any function, church service or otherwise, we were there.

I went to the church every day to pray, not to be seen of men but because the Lord asked me to do so. As a new believer, I was eager to learn. I wanted the Lord to teach me His ways, I wanted to know His voice, I desperately wanted Him to reveal Himself to me. I started to gain a little knowledge about God’s word. I felt like a sponge, I wanted to know all anyone could know about God. I reasoned that the more I knew about Him, the closer I could be to Him.

Although I was gaining knowledge of scripture, somewhere along the way instead of pursing God, I was sidetracked to the pursuit of knowledge for the sake of knowledge. I was being taught that by growing in the knowledge of God’s word, I would grow spiritually. Notice how fast and how subtle the transition was: I started out trusting Him for my salvation by grace through faith in Him but soon knowledge became the thing in which I placed my trust.

Unfortunately, in the Full Gospel and Pentecostal churches we attended, we were encouraged to grow in the knowledge of who we are called to be. If I just learned who I was in Christ, I could walk according to knowledge, to be like the disciples were. In short, the pursuit of knowledge (Gnosis) meant spiritual power, and empowerment was supposed to produce more Christlikeness.

I wanted to grow spiritually and so I began pursing knowledge to get power to be what the TV evangelists said I could be and do what they said I could do — after all, they would tell their listeners—those who do know their God will be strong and do mighty exploits. It wasn’t long before I began to think I knew God’s word better than anyone I knew. I did not notice that I was learning the teachings and doctrines that were of men and not of God. I was not in fact, learning God’s word at all.

At the same time, God was taking me to His word and trying to show me how His word —was not the same as what I was being taught. He tried to warn me against being taken in by Jezebel. I began to think God had called me to warn others about the great falling away (apostasy) of the churches, Even though these things pertaining to the apostasy were right there in His word, I was sure that because I saw these things, that meant that I was not being taken in by the deception in the churches. I was sure that I was walking in the revelation of the truth that God was revealing to me. Instead, He was trying to call me to repent of doing the very things I was sure I was not doing.

The more faithful I became in prayer and the more I fasted, the stronger I thought I was becoming as a Christian. The very fact that I fasted regularly and because I had become an intercessor (praying day and night) I was unaware of the fact that I was now trusting in my own works rather than in the work of God through the cross of Christ. I was convinced I was doing everything God required of me as a believer. I tried to follow all the rules laid down by the churches.

Even though I avoided the “how to” self -help seminars and learned not to follow after every crusade that came to town, I was bent on increasing in knowledge to get power to be what I thought God wanted me to be. Before long, I had replaced my own knowledge about the written word in the place of learning of Him and trusting in Him alone. The more knowledge increased, the more puffed up and hypocritical I became.

Without realizing it at the time, I was being indoctrinated by the teachings and doctrines of the WOF (Word Of Faith) movement. I had accepted the fallacy that God has given us the right to “tap into” (and use) the power of His word. I believed it was up to me to “learn how to” use the power of God’s word to take dominion over my circumstances.

By learning how to supposedly “tap into the power” of God’s word, I was learning to speak things into existence; I had no idea I was departing from the truth of God’s word and was now pursuing metaphysical mind science. I had wandered away from the truth of God’s word and was now substituting my pseudo-spiritual works for His grace.

Before he went to work in the morning, my husband would usually pick flowers for me, I would often wake to find that he had put a rose on the dining room table or on the night-stand next to my bed. On this particular day, he had put a solitary variegated pink and white rose in a bud vase on our dining room table. Trying to practice what I was learning, I flippantly commanded that flower to become blood-red in color, “in Jesus’ Name”. I waited a minute or so, looked at the rose and saw no change in its color and so, I thought “oh well, so much for that” and then left the room.

I came back to the kitchen about ten minutes later to make myself a cup of tea. When I looked from the kitchen towards the dining room, the rose was now a beautiful dark red. I mistakenly believed that was proof that what I was learning was of God, it was in fact, pure metaphysics. It was a form of pseudo-spiritual witchcraft. By the power of the speech, by the power of the tongue, by my faith in what I could do because of the new found knowledge (power) I now had, that rose underwent an a purely metaphysical alchemical change.

I soon learned there was not only power in the word but also power in fasting and power in praise. It was not long before, I was pursuing power instead of Christ. I was trying to walk in the power of knowing (Gnosticism) who “I AM” in Christ . I was now pursuing power to do what ever God was calling me to do. I was convinced that I had discovered the key to tapping into God’s power and it was now up to me to “learn how to” use that power so that I could “be all I could be” (which I later learned is not the Gospel but is in fact, the humanist manifesto.

I was being indoctrinated into the power of the new age movement, I was unknowingly becoming a Gnostic practitioner of metaphysical mind science, I was unknowingly practicing witchcraft —which is what it was in the sight of God But I did not have a clue what was happening. I truly believed I was becoming a victorious over-comer, I was more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus... and the key to my victory was my ability to apply what I was learning. By my use of the power of God’s word, I was now able theoretically able to direct and redirect the circumstances in my life...I was now striving to learn how to be the spiritual architect who could learn how to manage and even change all the circumstances in my life. I was theoretically limited only by my ability to believe!

During all these years of teaching and preaching about the dangers of humanism and psychology invading the churches, all the speaking out I had done about false forms of spirituality, false forms of godliness, little did I know I was doing the very things I was warning against! I was not walking in the revelation of what God was trying to show me, I was doing exactly what God was trying to tell me I needed to repent of... But I was convinced that because He was telling me about the things His people were doing that were an abomination in His sight, since He was showing me about the apostasy and about the dangers of metaphysics etc. I was absolutely sure that I was not partaking of these things. He was not only showing me about the transformation that was taking place in the churches, He was not only showing me how His people were turning from the truth, I was doing exactly what He was telling me the churches were doing forgetting that His warning was to me as well as to the churches.

In my vanity, I continued to believe I was exempt or an exception to what God was telling me was going on with His people. I really believed that since I had “revelation knowledge” about the times and the season the churches were in, since I had “revelation knowledge” about the devices of the enemy that were at work in the churches to deceive God’s people. I was exempt from any of the pitfalls God was warning me against.

It did not occur to me that Satan did not care if God was showing me the evils that were being committed in the churches; Satan did not care if I knew all about the apostasy that was now underway, as long as I did not see my own falling away in turning from the truth, as long as I was turned from trusting Jesus to relying upon by own works to save me.

I could not see the effect those false teachings and false doctrines were having in my own life. I continued to believe that I was doing everything I knew to do to be a real Christian. But meanwhile, the harder I tried to be patient, the more I blew my temper, the more I tried to be holy and righteous, loving and kind, the more I failed. I became judgmental and critical.

The more I found sin increasing in my own life, I prayed all the more for the power to overcome it. I never understood that only Jesus has the power over sin in my life. By His grace only He could deliver me. So I prayed more, I praised more and fasted longer.

Even though I read about dead works done in the flesh, (in Romans) I had no idea that’s what I was doing. When I read the book of Galatians, I had no idea that I had been bewitched, that I was trying to complete in the flesh that which was begun by the Spirit. I did not understand that God does not empower us to work His works. Instead God works all things by His Spirit through His Son, by Christ in us. I believed I was gifted with knowledge and thought I had discernment. I did not understand that the gifts are in the Giver and the gifts only “operate as the Spirit wills” (not as I will).

The more I tried to do and to be what I thought God had called “me to be” in Christ., the worse things got in my life. Even though I talked the right talk: saying that it is not about who I am in Christ but who He is for me in my place, even though I said it is not about me (I did not believe it). Even though I knew that it is all about who HE IS in us and not about us or about our works, it did not stop me from working my dead works or trying to empower my flesh. I was not hearing, I was blind and deaf to what the Spirit was actually trying to say to me! God was not just telling me the error of the churches, God was trying to warn me about what I WAS doing.

I thought the messages about repentance were for everyone else but not me because I believed I had already repented.

I was becoming my own highest authority. I now determined what was and what was not “of God” based on my own use of my knowledge of the word. I was oblivious to the fact that God was trying to counsel and correct me through His word. I was striving in the flesh to please God and it was making the cross of Christ of none effect for me, I did not know that my dead works, I was supplanting the Truth of the Gospel. I did not know that by trying in the flesh to please God, not only was it an exercise in futility, I had no idea that what I was doing was an affront to God, the undoing of the work of God which He has worked for us in Christ.

While I was moving farther and farther away from the truth of the Gospel of grace, the more I found myself struggling to be free of sin. The harder I tried to please God by my own works, the more sin revived and increased in me.

Meanwhile, the corrective judgments in my own life were becoming more and more severe. It was the last thing I would ever think of that God was trying to turn me, that He was trying to correct me. No matter what I was suffering in my personal life, I really believed that I was suffering because I was doing everything God required of me.

It was several years before it ever dawned on me that I must be doing something wrong. I just did not want to admit that what I was doing was not working. If I was doing everything “spiritual” that I knew to do, then why was all this bad stuff happening in my life.

I was now fighting a losing battle with lust.

At the times that I was trying to be the most spiritual, lust would hit me seemingly out of no where, even though I wasn’t thinking lustful or unclean thoughts, all of a sudden lust would just come over me. I do not know what others think of masturbation but to me it is sin and it left me with a lot of shame and condemnation. I confessed it, prayed and trusted the Lord to take it away from me, but it continued to plague me most of my life. It seemed as though the more I prayed, the more it hit me. Not all the time but regardless of how infrequently, it seemed to be the worst when I would go to pray.

But I was determined to pray, if I did not pray God would be angry with me, I could not give up prayer so I continued to struggle against the lust that came over me when I tried to pray. It never occurred to me that I had turned prayer into a dead work that I was now trusting to save me!

I tried to reason the whole problem with sin away. I tried to rationalize it away. I was so convinced I was doing things right spiritually, this had to be a “thorn in my flesh” because of all the “knowledge” I had been given (what a farce!).

I finally quit going to prayer as often and eventually did not go to pray at all. I did not quit talking with the Lord or asking Him to teach me, and I kept asking Him to grant me repentance and lead me in the way I should go. I prayed according to the psam: search me O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting —I earnestly prayed this from scripture. I begged the Lord to tell me what I was doing wrong. The more He taught me, the more articles I wrote about how we sin (lie) against the truth of the Gospel when we trust in any of our works to save us. The more I wrote about what He was telling me, the more I was certain I must be walking in the things He was making known to me. I thought that because certain truths were being made known to me from His word, then I must have be walking in the revelation of those things and therefore, I could not possibly be doing them.

The more I prayed asking Him what I was doing wrong, the more He showed me about the apostasy in the churches, the more He showed me about the differences between the letter of the word and the Spirit of the word... He showed me about the mechanisms of our mind, our soul by which we vaunt ourselves, He counseled me about that which is of the Spirit and that which is of the soul of man. Still I never applied what He was telling me, to me and my ways and doings.

I was ever learning but not coming to the knowledge “of the truth”. The more I learned the less I applied it to myself! Talk about being puffed up with pride in knowledge!

In an effort to avoid the occasion of sin,. I decided that if didn’t pray so much, then I would not have to deal with it and eventually I stopped all my regular prayer times.

Surprising as it seems during the worst of my struggle against lust the Lord began telling me that the reason Jimmy Swaggart and other ministers were overcome by lust, and the reason so many ministers were involved in porn was directly related to the false doctrines they had embraced. I thought I understood what He was telling me about the apostasy, I thought I understood about Christian-Humanism as the pursuit of power, to try to transform one’s own self by any power, even trying to be like Christ-in the false Christhood of the Believer. But I never realized I was doing the very things I was writing and teaching about!

I was so sure I was being blessed with revelation knowledge that I closed my eyes and shut my ears, the furthest things from my mind was that the LORD was not just telling me what time and season the churches were in, HE was also speaking to me. I would tell others that I believed that what HE says to one, He says to all, I would even admit that the things HE was teaching me about were to me FIRST and to the churches second.

But in my own heart I really did not believe there was anything amiss in my relationship with God. In fact, I was all the more convinced that I was set apart, chosen, part of the elect of God...

I never realized I was not seeking the Lord with my whole heart as I thought I was. I was totally unaware that I had long since turned aside to follow after what I thought was my gift and my calling in the pursuit of knowledge to make one wise, thinking that knowledge was power that would enable me to be holy.

By the pursuit of knowledge (or rather the knowledge as a power) and by my own dead works, I was gullible enough to believe that I could revamp dead Adam and make myself acceptable in the sight of God. I was not really trusting Jesus Christ to save me, I was not really resting in the finished work of God which HE worked through the cross of Christ by His suffering, His death and His resurrection. I was not trusting in Him as my all and in all. I was not trusting Him to stand in my place as my Holiness, as my Righteousness, Instead I was trying to complete in the flesh that which was begun in the Spirit.
I was so busy trying to please God by doing all the religious things I thought were good that I refused to hear what He was saying to me. I really thought I was crucifying the flesh, I thought I was dying to self, when in fact I was substituting my own religious deeds, my own righteousness and my dead works done in the flesh in place of salvation by faith through the gift of grace.

I had no idea that the things I was doing to try to avoid hell and gain heaven had put me back under the law, and not under grace. By my own dead works, I was contradicting what I said I believed. I could not trust Jesus to be all that HE is for me in my place but was instead busy about building my religious facade.

The more spiritual I tried to be, the more hypocritical I became, the more carnal, the more base I became. The more I talked about how to be spiritual —to be it all and do it all, the more of a hypocrite I became.

Here I was writing all of these articles according to knowledge. I was gaining knowledge but not growing by grace. I was not seeking the Lord Jesus Christ for His Wisdom, His Counsel and Understanding by His Spirit. As much as I talked about resting in Christ, the more I was ignoring my own true condition, pretending I was what the word says I am, and that I can do what the word gives me the power to do. I really thought that what I was doing was acceptable to the Lord, never knowing that my dead works and hypocrisy would be my own undoing.

While I was trying to ignore the sin that continued to testify against me, I refused to face the fact that in and of my own self, I am none of the things I am called to be. Yet I was going around acting like I knew it all and had it all and that I was walking in all the revelation knowledge I had been given . It never dawned on me that I was lusting for power and knowledge had become my holy grail. Even though I spoke against the error of those who were pursing the knowledge of who MAN thinks he is in Christ, I thought I KNEW WHO I WAS in Christ.

I did not have a clue why the Lord was allowing sin to plague me, I was blind, and deaf. I was quick to point out the reason why so many Catholic priests were homosexual and/or were child-molesters, because they were molesting the people with false teachings, they had a false form of Christianity, THEY had been given over to perversity and lust because of their false ways, yet I still had not let go of my own idolatry of self, I still clung to my own idols not the least of which was the Roman Catholic “Blessed Mother” or “Mary”.

Even though I knew the scripture clearly teaches that there is NO mediator between God and man but the Man, Christ Jesus! But I wanted to believe there was at least some truth to the visions of Fatima and Lourdes.

The Lord even testified against me of my own stubbornness (idolatry) in wanting to find some validity to the ministry of the “Blessed Mother” as a fount of grace. At the very least I wanted to believe there was something to the so-called prophecies of Mary. The Lord had me buy a statue of Mary, paint it and put it in my front yard facing the road for everyone to see. I told the Lord I did not want that IDOL in my front yard where everyone in Texas could see it.

BUT it was ok (?) to have that same idol set up in my heart ? It was ok to refuse to denounce and repent of false beliefs in Marian theology and Marian visions. I refused to acknowledge my idolatry of mind or admit I was still defending a secret belief in the visions (or admit I was wrong for me to be sharing them with others.

This was the height of hypocrisy! I did not want anyone to see my idol in public, I just wanted to secretly pick and choose (for myself) what I would or would not believe about Mary. In my heart, she was no less an idol than that statue was out in my own front yard. I was so embarrassed by the fact that right in the Bible belt, in Baptist country—the LORD had me put that statue up in my own front yard. I was more worried about it ruining my credibility than I was concerned that I was up to my neck in stubbornness and idolatry. I even tried to rationalize why it was there. It was there as a testimony against me, because I steadfastly refused to repent of my own stubbornness and idolatry even when it was staring me right in the face!

In reality, I was no different than the idol, I was blind and deaf. I stubbornly refused to acknowledge —the very things against which I was speaking and preaching— were as much my own sins and my own part in the apostasy as it was within the rest of Christendom. The fact that I would not admit this, only added to my hypocrisy.

The lust He had given me over to reflected the fact that I was writing about His testimony against His people regarding our wicked ways and false practices, but I would not acknowledge how much of it applied to me! I foolishly assumed that if He was having me speak out about against these things, then surely I was not practicing these things; I could not possibly have been doing the same! (It was unthinkable).

It was only after the Lord turned me over to the enemy and I was smitten in my flesh, it was not until after the LORD took me through what has turned out to be a horrific ordeal spanning several years. The Lord has bit by bit, painstakingly wrought my deliverance and has brought me to repentance by His grace –a process that continues to date. He has brought me to His feet, humbled me and so, I repent in dust and ashes acknowledging HE is God (I am not). HE is Holy and HE is Righteous and in HIM and HIM ALONE I must place my trust.

HE alone is my salvation, I am not saved by any of my own works. He saved me through NO merit of my own. He has confronted me with my own idolatry, my own perversity of mind and heart. He has taught me that I have no power over sin except by Jesus HIMSELF. Jesus IS the WORD of God and HE IS the “Power of God” who hides me in Himself by HIS grace ALONE. I am now trusting Him to bring me from religious hypocrisy and pride of the pharisee to the heart of the publican.

I am undone, I am so broken I do not dare to lift my eyes to heaven, and my prayer is now: God have Mercy upon me A SINNER.

IT WILL BE ONLY by the grace and Mercy of God that HE will receive me unto Himself, it will certainly not be because of what I know, or any good that I have done. I trust in Him who is my Hope.

I do not blame the churches or anyone else for my sins or for the deception I was under, it was according to my own lusts. I have forgiven all knowing how much I need to be forgiven by all.

I hope anyone who reads this will not make the same mistakes that I did, or engage in the same folly as I. I pray that every one who names the Name of Jesus Christ will consider all their ways and doings asking the Lord to do whatever HE has to do to open our eyes and ears and cause us see and hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

There are a lot of hard things that we do not want to hear. We need His grace to see what we don’t want to see and we need to repent of all the ways in which we sin, admitting that we sin in ways we know not.

We must seek the LORD for the grace to forgive and make sure we forgive others, or He will not forgive us. We must humble ourselves before Him as the publican, acknowledging that we are SINNERS WHO can be saved only by His Mercy and His grace..

We need to remember that we are not saved by our own ability “to believe” but BY GRACE THROUGH THE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST, trusting in God the Son in whom we believe unto the saving of our souls. We need to be aware of the many devises the enemy has to turn us from faith that rests on HIS merit alone, trusting only in His virtue alone, His performance alone and not our own.

After entreating the Lord to do whatever HE has to do to bring me to the knowledge OF THE TRUTH, HE has not only disclosed my hypocrisy, idolatry, various forms of lying and stealing, false forms of godliness etc.. He has forgiven me the blasphemy of exalting myself (in the place of Christ), of trying to be like Him who is “the Most High God”, for touting my own self as the Spiritual New Man — which is not us but is instead “the Lord from heaven” (see 1 Cor.15:47)

I have also repented of trying to be “as God” and of vaunting myself (i.e., who “I am”) in Christ. I repent of believing that “I AM–anointed” [Jesus is the Anointed One in whom and by whom we must be slain and hidden] and by grace I trust I “shall be saved” by the multitude of His Mercy, by Him alone and that by grace through faith by Hope which is in Him.

What does all this I just said have to do with the study of a verse of scripture about eating or not eating meat sacrificed to idols?

Our own highest form of idolatry is our stubbornness regarding what we choose to believe or not believe; we are idolatrous in our own way of thinking, which is contrary to God’s word. Contradicting the truth of God’s word is idolatry.

Jesus is the Bread of Life, His words are Spirit and they are Life, but when the pastors, teachers, ministers and preachers twist God’s word, when we turn, twist and pervert the meaning of scripture according to false teachings, and pet teachings, according to the traditions, doctrines and commandments of men, we are actually receiving Jezebel’s counsel.

She seduces God’s servants “to eat things sacrificed to idols” which is what we do when we twist God’s word. When we take the Bread of Life, every word that comes from the mouth of God and we twist its meaning according to this mental shredder that we call the mind, when we allow devious thoughts and twisted beliefs of the human mind to twist God’s word or pervert His counsel, this is idolatry.

Our mind, will and emotions are of the soul of man. The soul of man is enmity against the things of the Spirit. So when we twist and turn God’s word to teach things that are not of God, we end up with trampled down fodder and muddy water. We end up with ungodly doctrines that make man the center of all things, we end up with another gospel that is pure metaphysics. We end up with ungodly food that Jezebel has prepared for us to eat, so-called meat that has been sacrificed to our own idolatry of mind. Eating false teachings and consuming or embracing false doctrine is actually a modern form of eating things sacrificed to idols. But the meat of Jezebel’s sacrifices has no life changing power, it has no Life of God’s Spirit in what she teaches.

Her twisted teachings, her doctrines of demons are the product of sacrificing the truth of God’s word to the idol. When we accept and embrace Jezebel’s false teachings, we are being seduced to eat things sacrificed to idols.

When we see teachers supplanting the truth of God’s word by abusing the scripture to teach contrary to the truth of the Gospel, contrary to the truth of God’s word, it is like sacrificing the truth of God’s word to OUR idol, the ungodly thinking and musings of the human mind, the mind of the flesh is manipulated and misled by the lying counsel of ungodly spirits.

When the people are taught the fundamental of the word of Faith, how to supposedly tap into and extract (for our own use) the POWER of God’s word, that is idolatry of mind. It is creating an ungodly thing–from man-made teachings by which we undermine the truth of God’s word; meanwhile, lies masquerade as absolute truth.

Some examples of this are the pseudo-scripture “mantras” and so-called scripture-based “positive affirmations” that are used in the Word of Faith movement, the Kingdom Now movement, and the Manifest Sons of God movement, also in Dominion Theology and the Hebrew Roots Movements etc. —not to mention the psychology behind these false teachings.

All the twisting and saturating of God’s people with false doctrines pertaining to the empowerment of man to be like Christ, showing us how we can overcome by the (Gnosis) KNOWLEDGE of who “we” are, seducing us to believe we are empowered to enter into our so-called divine heritage to be like Christ through the empowerment of man by the power of knowledge so we can “all we can be” is a Gnostic form of humanism that is actually a false godhood quest.

False teachers intertwine the false doctrines of the Humanist Manifesto and a teachings about a false Christ-hood or godhood of the believer, cleverly disguised as biblically sound teachings. These teachings are heresies and one heresy leads to the next in a succession that leads eventually to a false anointing that opposes and exalts itself against God and His Christ by claiming to be like God by the power of another christ, the AntiChrist and the mark.

The Power of Positive Thinking — which cause people to ignorantly worship the god of forces via false doctrines that promote positivism versus negativism, the psychological transformation of man that vainly attempts to revamp dead Adam (our sin nature to make it acceptable in the sight of God.

Man’s sin nature cannot be made acceptable to God, yet Jezebel is seducing the people of God that IF we can learn to walk in THE POWER OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST. This is a Gnostic heresy that makes it incumbent upon us to achieve our own Christ-hood, godhood or Christ-like-ness, whereby we become like God [instead of resting in the finished work of God in Christ by trusting in and relying upon Him who is God].

This how we are being seduced by false teachings and false doctrines to “eat things sacrificed to idols”.

I have asked the Lord to expose and uproot all the false teachings, false doctrines, false beliefs and false practices I have embraced. I have asked Him to and show me all the ungodly ways I have adopted and have come to accept as biblical.

False teachings and doctrines do not produce godliness but only a false form of godliness, a hypocritical form of religious piety. I have asked the Lord to grant me repentance and help me forsake every false way [that I may rest in Him, who alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life].

If you look in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, in His letters to the seven churches (which are also to us), Jesus warned about false teachings and false practices of the apostate church:

Rev. 2:20 ‘Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.’

In the book of John 6: 53 we read: “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

It is my hope that anyone who has been the recipient of the false teachings and false doctrines by which Jezebel is seducing God’s people to adopt false beliefs and false practices, will honestly allow the Lord to examine their own life.

If you are struggling against lust, anger, gluttony or are in bondage to any of the other sins of the flesh, please, please, I entreat you to run to the Lord and ask HIM to expose the perversity of doctrine that has given rise to the sins of the flesh in your life.

Find out from the Lord which ungodly things you have falsely believed and ask Him to remove those things. Ask HIM to instruct you by His Spirit according to His word in Spirit and in Truth. Allow Him to renew your mind by the washing of water by the Word! Plead the blood of Jesus Christ over your life, cling only to the merit and virtue of Christ’s own Life. Ask Him to forgive your sins and wash your robes, making them clean by the Blood of the Lamb.

Forsake the dead works done in the flesh (Roman chapters 7-10) that make the cross of Christ of none effect. Trust Him for your salvation and Him alone! As long as your have breath in your body, on this side of eternity there is repentance from dead works, there is repentance if we stray from the truth because He is ever interceding for us, as many as can be turned will be turned by His mercy and His grace.

In Christ,