Victims of Bill Johnson’s SOZO Ministry speak out

Many churches are bringing a practice called SOZO into their ministry, at the peril of damaging the sheep and possibly shipwrecking their faith. SOZO Prayer is a technique based on psychology and used by so-called “inner healing ministries” sweeping churches today.

This psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology is designed to exorcise demons from Christians. Not that a Christian can be possessed by demons, but that is one of many apostate teachings from the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR. (See, What your church needs to know about NAR.)

This technique came out of Bethel Church, invented by NAR apostle Bill Johnson himself. The Bethel SOZO website says SOZO will heal your broken connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called and reach your potential.

During SOZO sessions, counselees receive help opening their minds to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They may be told that they have a spirit of Jezebel, or a Squid spirit, or some other creature or demon living inside of them.  Once the demons are excorcised, their spirit-filled minds are now healed, and their broken connection to God is restored.

Furthermore, SOZO counselors are taught to guide their clients (called “Sozoees”), through the “Five Doors” and “Father Ladder” concepts. The Five Doors through which demonic lies enter our brains are: Hatred, Sexual Sin, Occult (which SOZO actually is), Thievery and Fear. (More about these doors and ladders in the article, “Has SOZO given me evil spirits?”)

In my series of 50+ articles titled, Leaving the NAR Church, many of the testimonies included tales of SOZO happening in their churches. If you’ve experienced SOZO, I encourage you to share your story in the comments section or email it to me for a future anonymous article series to Bereanresearch@gmail.com.

Here is an eye-opening article from 2012 titled, Victims of Johnson’s Sozo Ministry Speak Out, and am sharinga part of it here for more information:

My daughter attended a Sozo session at Bethel eight years ago. While in that session she experienced a so called “Recovered Memory” that I had molested her from the age of three to thirteen. That was the end of our relationship and almost the end of my life. Her mother and siblings know and have testified that it is completely false, but the damage is done. None of us in our family will ever be the same.

When I found out about this I tried to contact Bill Johnson for help. Apparently, being falsely accused of a crime that can carry a life sentence (and that resulting from one of Bethels’ ministries) is not quite enough to get his attention. I could not get past the “counseling center”. When I related what had happened to them they expressed how sorry they were at my experience and actually tried to get me to set up a counseling session. Yes, a counseling session. I declined that invitation.

I contacted two attorneys with “false recovered memory” experience. Both were shocked that regressive therapy was being practiced at all. Both attorneys told me that the whole recovered memory issue died out in the 1990s when it was exposed for the hoax that it is. After a few therapists were sued for big dollars the practice stopped—until Theophostic and Sozo started it up again. Both Theophostic and Sozo therapy includes regressive therapy techniques.

I have had several conversations about this with Tom Rutherford (look up Tom Rutherford and false recovered memories). He now has a ministry to victims of false recovered memories. I asked him if he knew of others that had been accused based on Theophostic counseling. He said that he was currently dealing with 80 families across the US and Canada that had lost children due to this therapy. He went on to say that one young lady that had accused her parents of sexual abuse had just taken her own life. Without Reverend Rutherfords’ support and encouragement to me that same day my fate would have been the same as that young ladies’.

There is real danger with this therapy. My family and I are living proof.

Memory Victim

Furor over false memories puts hypnotherapist in the spotlight Sunday, June 28, 1998. Hypnotherapy has been proven to be ineffective and many cases have shown that Therapist have planted false memories into people during hypnotherapy sessions.  Below is an actual case which landed several therapist in prison in the 90’s.

“All she wanted was a few counseling sessions to help her cope with depression and get on with graduate school. Instead, she spent four years and tens of thousands of dollars in the bizarre world of a hypnotherapist who talked to ancient deities and convinced her she was the victim of satanic abuse. She came to believe she’d been raped as a child by her father, the leader of a satanic cult that also included her mother, brother, grandfather and a neighbor.  She thought she had served as a high priestess – sacrificing babies in secret caves throughout Southern Illinois and killing who knows how many innocent people.”  Her therapist, Geraldine A. Lamb of Kirkwood, thought so too. It was that horrific abuse that was the root of her depression, she said Lamb told her.  So the young woman cut off all ties with her family for more than a year. Lamb told her that was the only way she could hope to recover.  On Friday, St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge John Kintz sentenced Lamb to 30 months in state prison, the dramatic end of a criminal case with national significance.

(To see the entire transcript: Click here)

By now you might be asking, so what does hypnotherapy have to do with Sozo?  Allot!, if you study and understand the steps of a Sozo session you discover that hypnotherapy is a big part of the process.  For sake of time I won’t get into it here but you can read several other of my articles which goes into the Sozo session.

Read the rest of this series here.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Berean Research Articles, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Victims of Bill Johnson’s SOZO Ministry speak out

  1. Manny1962 says:

    This is what SOZO is based upon:

    “Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s. NLP’s creators claim there is a connection between neurological processes (neuro-), language (linguistic) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (programming), and that these can be changed to achieve specific goals in life.[1][2] Bandler and Grinder also claim that NLP methodology can “model” the skills of exceptional people, allowing anyone to acquire those skills.[3][4] They claim as well that, often in a single session, NLP can treat problems such as phobias, depression, tic disorders, psychosomatic illnesses, near-sightedness,[5] allergy, common cold,[6] and learning disorders.[7][8]

    NLP has since been overwhelmingly discredited scientifically,[9][10] but continues to be marketed by some hypnotherapists and by some companies that organize seminars and workshops on management training for businesses.[11] There is no scientific evidence supporting the claims made by NLP advocates and it has been discredited as a pseudoscience by experts.[9][12] Scientific reviews state that NLP is based on outdated metaphors of how the brain works that are inconsistent with current neurological theory and contain numerous factual errors.[13][14] Reviews also found that all of the supportive research on NLP contained significant methodological flaws and that there were three times as many studies of a much higher quality that failed to reproduce the “extraordinary claims” made by Bandler, Grinder, and other NLP practitioners.[10][12] Even so, NLP has been adopted by some hypnotherapists and also by companies that run seminars marketed as leadership training to businesses and government agencies.[11][13]

    Sociologists and anthropologists—amongst others—have categorized NLP as a quasi-religion belonging to the New Age and/or Human Potential Movements.[99][100][101][102][103][104][105][106][107][108] Medical anthropologist Jean M. Langford categorizes NLP as a form of folk magic; that is to say, a practice with symbolic efficacy—as opposed to physical efficacy—that is able to effect change through nonspecific effects (e.g., placebo). To Langford, NLP is akin to a syncretic folk religion “that attempts to wed the magic of folk practice to the science of professional medicine”.[109] Bandler and Grinder were (and continue to be[110][111]) influenced by the shamanism described in the books of Carlos Castaneda. Several ideas and techniques have been borrowed from Castaneda and incorporated into NLP including so-called double induction[20] and the notion of “stopping the world”[112] which is central to NLP modeling. Tye (1994)[113] characterizes NLP as a type of “psycho shamanism”. Fanthorpe and Fanthorpe (2008)[114] see a similarity between the mimetic procedure and intent of NLP modeling and aspects of ritual in some syncretic religions. Hunt (2003)[99] draws a comparison between the concern with lineage from an NLP guru—which is evident amongst some NLP proponents—and the concern with guru lineage in some Eastern religions.

    In Aupers and Houtman (2010)[103] Bovbjerg identifies NLP as a New Age “psycho-religion” and uses NLP as a case-study to demonstrate the thesis that the New Age psycho-religions such as NLP are predicated on an instrinsically religious idea, namely concern with a transcendent “other”. In the world’s monotheistic faiths, argues Bovbjerg, the purpose of religious practice is communion and fellowship with a transcendent ‘other’, i.e. a God. With the New Age psycho-religions, argues Bovbjerg, this orientation towards a transcendent ‘other’ persists but the other has become “the other in our selves”, the so-called unconscious: “[t]he individual’s inner life becomes the intangible focus of [psycho-]religious practices and the subconscious becomes a constituent part of modern individuals’ understanding of the Self.” Bovbjerg adds, “[c]ourses in personal development would make no sense without an unconscious that contains hidden resources and hidden knowledge of the self.” Thus psycho-religious practice revolves around ideas of the conscious and unconscious self and communicating with and accessing the hidden resources of the unconscious self—the transcendent other. According to Bovbjerg the notion that we have an unconscious self underlies many NLP techniques either explicitly or implicitly. Bovbjerg argues, “[t]hrough particular practices, the [NLP practitioner qua] psycho-religious practitioner expects to achieve self-perfection in a never-ending transformation of the self.”

    Bovbjerg’s secular critique of NLP is echoed in the conservative Christian perspective of the New Age as represented by Jeremiah (1995)[115] who argues that, “[t]he ′transformation′ recommended by the founders and leaders of these business seminars [such as NLP] has spiritual implications that a non-Christian or new believer may not recognise. The belief that human beings can change themselves by calling upon the power (or god) within or their own infinite human potential is a contradiction of the Christian view. The Bible says man is a sinner and is saved by God’s grace alone.”

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-linguistic_programming

    Read that last sentence again!

    Like

    • Memoryvictim says:

      Manny1962

      Regarding sozo’s connection with “Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)”

      Having researched sozo for many years, I doubt that sozo is based upon NLP. Not that I know anything about NLP, it is just that I don’t think sozo has any kind of organized technical basis. With that said, you very well may be correct.

      Manny1962, I write the rest of this to anyone interested and is not directed toward you specifically.

      Sozo therapy (disguised as ministry) is a big and varied club. Anything seems to go, and this is based on a pseudo Biblical argument which is composed of providing the definition of the word sozo. In other words, the sozo proponents give an alleged Greek definition of the word ‘sozo’ claiming it speaks of healing to the whole person. This, they claim, gives permission to engage in any type of therapy in which they think the Holy Spirit has revealed to them. It may seem hard to believe but the definition of this word is always presented as the Biblical argument to support the practice.

      I just read an article in the current issue of Charisma Magazine in which the author, Taylor Berglund states:

      “But sozo also connotes inner and external healing. The Greek word is found in Scriptures related to God’s healing power, like the woman with the issue of blood who crawled through a crowd to touch the hem of Christ’s garments (Matt. 9:21-22) and the demonized man Jesus set free (Luke 8:36).

      Despite the biblical backing, many Sozo practitioners are getting hate mail and accused of spreading New Age deceptions with bad theology—but they’ve also witnessed miraculous results in the lives of believers who were once bound by darkness.”

      Please notice two things about his comments. First, the pseudo Biblical argument I referred to earlier (this appears to be the totality of the “biblical backing”). Second, the immediate segue into defending it from accusations of new age inner healing. He didn’t mention inner healing obviously, but I did because I know this conversation very well. The reason he went there is because that is where they want this conversation to take place. They want the nebulous discussion of ‘inner-healing’ to be the predominant discussion. Why? Because it goes nowhere and it keeps the focus off the Scripture.

      The new age, inner-healing discussion is a loser. It goes nowhere. The discussion should be conducted on two fronts. The first:

      Where does the Scripture tell us to look back and heal our memories? Where are the examples in the Old or New Testaments? (I have carefully studied this and there are no examples, therefore they are going beyond what is written.) In fact, the Scripture commands us to press forward while not looking back.

      The second:

      Why are they practicing regressive memory therapy when the worldwide mental health community rejected it because of the dangers of false recovered memories?

      Forget the ‘soaking prayer’ criticisms for the same reason not to engage in the ‘inner-healing’ debate. Why? Because these are just terms than could be used to refer to actual Biblical doctrines. These terms only mean whatever the user ascribes to them. For instance, I try to remain quiet before the Lord every morning. If I chose to refer to this as soaking prayer who would want to dispute the notion? It is only a term.

      Press them to get specific and to provide a solid Scriptural argument supporting healing one’s memories. Defining the word ‘sozo’ is not a Biblical argument. In other words, have them present one single example of Jesus healing anyone’s memories—or the apostles for that matter. Make them prove their claim of “biblical backing.”

      Press them to provide a reason for practicing regressive memory therapy when it has been rejected by the mental health community.

      Our primary discussions should center around the Scripture. However, there is ample secular evidence indicating we should avoid regressive memory therapy at all costs.

      I would like to thank everyone for the discussion.

      Memoryvictim

      Like

  2. Phil says:

    I am not a theologian. I am just a simple old man. I read about these New Age ideas, and in my youth looked into some (I will admit). I came to the conclusion that when I analyzed them, they just repeat one of the multiple lies of Satan in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:5 “ye shall be as gods”. That really seems, to me, to be the lie being pushed by every New Age group that I have looked into. People, in their pride, wanting to be as a god. The results of believing that lie are as devastating to the person as it was to Adam and Eve.

    Like

    • Manny1962 says:

      God bless you Phil, simplicity is a virtue forgotten in this Brave New World we live in. Fortunately Jesus’soon return will set things right. Maranatha!

      Like

    • Sheryl says:

      Phil, sir, I have much respect for “simple old men” as my Dad was one. As simple as he was, he was a humble Godly man of wisdom. You, too, sir, speak plain words of wisdom and truth.

      When people believe they are “little gods,” then they can easily conclude that they are self-sufficient, sinless and are capable of achieving their own salvation. It blinds the reality that they are sinners who cannot save themselves in need of a Savior to redeem them.

      Like

    • Sheryl says:

      This “little gods” doctrine of demons is believed by arrogant false teachers who proclaim to have the powers and authority of Jesus. I once heard the infamous Creflo Dollar preaching it to his congregation, telling them they were “little gods” upon the earth, and then he said that if he got stranded out on the ocean, he would expect to stand up on the water and walk to dry land! WOW! And his congregation did not rise up and flee through the doors! I would love to see him prove his claim in a swimming pool. Yeah, roll that video tape, Creflo! Liar!

      Just as arrogant is another false teacher, Kenneth Copeland, who claims to be able to control the weather. His ministry is based in Texas. Where was he when Texas needed him the most, with hurricane Harvey bearing down on them? What an opportunity to show forth his powers, silence his critics and give glory to God, right? Then what’s the problem? I’ll tell you – Liar! (There’s just something creepy about that man’s eyes.)

      Another false teacher, Benny Hinn, who claims to have the gift of healing, allowed his buddy, false prophet Kim Clement, to endure surgeries and then DIE and Benny didn’t intervene on his behalf. What a lousy friend to withhold his healing powers from Kim. Liar!

      Disgusting liars, the whole brood of them! These men and more (including women) claim to be “little gods,” fail at their professed powers, but still maintain a faithful following donating money to them. Amazing! Deceived and deceiving!

      I sometimes wish God would place them in the predicaments they boast about.

      Their cry one day will be, “Lord, Lord, did we not… (Matthew 7:22) The answer is not good news…”Depart from Me…” They had better enjoy their “best life now” because this is as good as it will ever get for them. God condemns them (Jude 4), declaring them to be accursed (Galations 1:8, 9).

      Like

  3. James says:

    According to scripture… we are actually gods in the sense that we now choose our own destiny which is to walk with the Lord or to not walk with the Lord, and Jesus will let a person go either way because He created us with choice (see Galatians 6:7,8 showing we are the ones who decides what we sow)

    The smart ones choose to yield to the Lord and humble ourselves under the leading of the Holy Spirit Who always leads according to God’s written Word.

    It’s always interesting to see the creative ways some who claim to adhere to God’s Word try to explain away these verses:

    Genesis 1:26,27
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    Psalms 82:6
    I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

    John 10:33-35
    The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
    Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
    If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

    Daniel 11:36
    And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

    Revelation 19:16
    And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

    Romans 8:29
    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    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.

    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.

    Ephesians 5:1
    Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children
    *In context, read Ephesians 4:24 thru Ephesians 5:14

    Like

    • Darrel says:

      James,

      You left out Romans 3:10-18 and a few hundred other Scripture that completely destroy the notion that any one has a free will. The Father chooses, not James or anyone else. Until you understand this, that God is Sovereign in all things (especially a man’s salvation) and that you never possessed any thing that remotely resembles a free will, you will NEVER understand the Word of God. Time to rethink the insanity of free will and stop rebelling against the Lord Jesus.

      Like

  4. Q says:

    Romans 3:10-18 says nothing about man’s will or his ability or inability to receive the gospel or to exercise faith to a God actively seeking them.

    Not seeking ≠ Unable to respond.

    Like

  5. Sheryl says:

    Sorry, Q, you don’t have enough understanding of scripture or wisdom to intelligently discuss the Bible as it is intended to be understood. You don’t even comprehend that God is describing the depraved, condemned state of mankind who has no ability nor desire towards God and would remain in that state until death without God’s intervention to save them from themselves. And you refuse to learn from others who attempt to correct you. Realize that who you are actually contending with is God Himself for it is His word that you continually, fearlessly, arrogantly, irreverently slander and oppose. “Woe unto him that strives with his Maker!” Isaiah 45:9 Do you not even have enough wisdom to fear the Lord God Almighty?! Ignorant indeed!

    Like

    • Darrel says:

      Sheryl,
      Do you remember a guy that called himself “Edwitness” who commented on this blog? He and Q have a lot in common, brazen arrogance of the kind that only comes from the devil himself, a constant & contentious spirit that thrives on controversy with no end in sight, “arguments” devoid of Biblical truth with no logical conclusion, no words EVER of praise to the Lord Jesus, no gratitude for his breath muchless the “salvation” he claims to have acquired via his ‘free-will’, but most of all there is no fear of God whatsoever accompanied by zero humility toward Him. If they are not the same person, then certainly twins.

      Like

      • Sheryl says:

        No, Darrell, I’m fairly recent to this blog. But your description is accurate. He is drowning in a Quagmire of lies, proudly flaunts it and doesn’t even recognize it. He deems his techniques so clever. He’s devoid of wisdom, logic and reasoning so much so that he has no fear of mocking God and His word – the nature of the serpent, indeed. He’s so consumed with vilifying the doctrine of election that he’s unknowingly promoting the knowledge and accurate understanding of it through the words of our defense from scripture. That’s the beautiful irony. And I chuckle at the way God is turning his intent to His purposes. That’s the only reason I sometimes answer his questions, but I don’t read his personal opinions for I place no value on them. And he mistakenly assumes that if he has the “last word,” that somehow makes him right or the “winner.” I personally believe he’s an infiltrator. Either way, his attempts have miserably failed. The truth of the gospel has gone forth in a greater way due to his efforts to demonize it. Once again, I chuckle.

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        It is highly likely that there are multiple “personalities” (demonic) at play here.

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Darrel, I think you’re right. I think we may actually be seeing another one of them in play.

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Or possibly a made up one.

        Like

      • Q says:

        You two have zero discernment and give those who do a bad name. People mock discernment ministries because of you!

        Like

    • Q says:

      Sheryl, quit obfuscating and address what I said unless you lack the understanding, intellect and wisdom to do so with scripture and reason like an adult. That was easy.

      Again Romans 3:10-18 says nothing about man’s will or his ability or inability to receive the gospel or to exercise faith to a God actively seeking them.

      Not seeking ≠ Unable to respond.

      Like

      • Sheryl says:

        There you go again flaunting your lack of reading comprehension and attempting to distort the issue of God’s sovereignty in election.

        “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…” 2 Timothy 4:3 You do not adhere to sound doctrine, nor care to learn.

        “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:4 Your ears are turned away and all your words are fictitious from your own imagination of what God should be like.

        “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” Mathew 7:17,18 Your rejection and proud argumentation against the doctrines of Christ are rotten fruit.

        Your flippant, arrogant words against God are of the crafty, deceptive nature of, “Did God really say…”

        You are fighting so hard to promote the lie of man’s free will to choose God’s salvation when an abundance of evidence has been presented to the contrary, that I am very suspicious of you as an infiltrator and desire to warn others of your cunning, deceptive tactics.

        You will no doubt be disappointed to know that you have actually helped to advance the truth of the doctrines of election, for God will take what you meant for evil and turn it for His good. Many scriptures have been presented revealing the truth and God will use His word to help teach those with less wisdom who are reading here and are searching to know the truth. Your distortion of scripture and mockery cannot hinder that.

        “For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows that they are really enemies of the cross of Christ.” Philippians 3:18

        Like

      • Q says:

        Sheryl you are great example of the fruit of the so called ‘Doctrines of Grace’ and that is anything but grace. The God you have is a cruel God who created most people, billions, just to send them to eternal torment in hell for his own glory because for some arbitrary reason he won’t open their ears to hear so it’s no wonder you behave like your God but it’s not the God found in scripture.

        The true God found in the bible is loving, kind and just.

        The truth is God loves ALL MEN and doesn’t want Any to perish –

        God desires “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”
        1Timothy 2:4

        and

        “is…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”
        2 Peter 3:9

        I would say to anyone out there reading this, read and search the scriptures to see what is true!

        Like

  6. lyn says:

    Romans 3:11, “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God”

    “To understand is used in the sense of being wise; or of having such a state of moral feeling as to dispose them to serve and obey God. The word is often used in the Bible, not to denote a mere intellectual operation of the mind, but the state of the heart inclining the mind to obey and worship God.” A Barnes
    Yes, this passage does speak of inability to ‘understand’ God and His truth.

    Matthew Poole’s Commentary
    There is none that understandeth; a more particular proof of the corruption of the soul, and the faculties thereof; and first of the mind, taken out of the forecited Psalms, which may be compared with the scriptures which speak of the ignorance and blindness of the mind, Deu 32:29 Job 32:9 Isaiah 1:3 Jeremiah 4:22 10:14.

    There is none that seeketh after God; a proof of the corruption of the will, which follows also in the forecited Psalms.

    Like

    • Q says:

      Romans 3:10-18 is concluding all men are under sin including the Jews (Romans 3:9). It’s not speaking about how one is saved or his ability or inability to respond to the gospel when enlightened John 1:9, convicted John 16:8, and drawn John 12:32.

      Not seeking ≠ Unable to respond.

      Like

  7. lyn says:

    Wrong again, as stated in Romans 3:11 – none can ‘understand’ this is in the present participle active mood, meaning it is ongoing, continuous action of the verb. What is it all do not understand? All are under sin, all cannot grasp/understand/perceive God’s truth. Why? Because of the sin nature, because of the bondage to sin, because of the natural love of darkness and hatred of the Light.

    This is why Christ commanded Nicodemus in John 3:3, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God – ‘see’ – perceive, discern.

    Without the new birth, no sinner can see/understand/discern God’s truth, which includes the Gospel. That is the clear teaching of God’s word.

    Like

    • Q says:

      You didn’t hear me or consider the verses…

      Plus what is the kingdom of God?

      Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Just what does “Q” stand for – “Q”uarrelling, “Q”uestioning? Since you love questions so much (but ignore the answers that you hate and deflect with other meaningless questions), here’s one for you from scripture that carries the weight of God:

        “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” Romans 9:20

        You are over your head in a “Q”uagmire, a “Q”uandary and continue to sink deeper still. Wisdom escapes you. But you’re not really concerned with that at all. Cunning deception, arguing and confusion are your trademarks, which are total failures in the light of truth recognized by those with spiritual discernment.

        Like

      • Q says:

        When you start calling people names (Ad hominem https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ad%20hominem) you’ve already lost. It’s done when a person has no real answers to the argument. It’s a form of abuse.

        “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?”

        If I was a Calvinist I’d say, Why I’m the man you molded and predetermined to talk back to you so you could ask me who I am to talk back to you of course.

        Wacky world of Calvinism^^^

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        You have been taunting everyone defending the doctrines of Christ throughout these threads with your technique of continual questions, in which you have no interest in the true answers, and irreverently, fearlessly mocking God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ by your complete incompetence of scripture, denying that He is sovereign over His creation to do with as He pleases. Then when someone calls you out on your goading behavior, you get offended. You’d be wise to ‘Q’uit and repent.

        And you still arrogantly reply against God, not me, with your foolish response. God keeps accurate records of your words, Q, and one day you will be accountable for them to Jesus face to face.

        I can never be a loser, Q, for I have been purchased by the blood of the Lamb and I belong to Christ. He has made me a winner for all eternity.

        Like

      • Q says:

        Sheryl, I’ve never questioned God’s Sovereignty, but your and the other Calvinists on this blog understanding of it. Unless one of you is God?

        I didn’t reply to God, the imaginary Calvinist did, Paul uses the same type of argumentation in the bible.

        And no one ever said you were a loser but using Ad hominem attacks, like the ones by you above, is done by people incapable of responding with reasoned argument and not wanting to admit they are wrong.

        And guess what I was purchased also.

        Like

  8. lyn says:

    “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.” Wherein does this inability lie?
    First, it does not lie in any physical defect. If in coming to Christ, moving the body or walking with the feet should be of any assistance, certainly man has all physical power to come to Christ in that sense. I remember to have heard a very foolish Antinomian declare, that he did not believe any man had the power to walk to the house of God unless the Father drew him. Now the man was plainly foolish, because he must have seen that as long as a man was alive and had legs, it was as easy for him to walk to the house of God as to the house of Satan. If coming to Christ includes the utterance of a prayer, man has no physical defect in that respect, if he be not dumb, he can say a prayer as easily as he can utter blasphemy. It is as easy for a man to sing one of the songs of Zion as to sing a profane and libidinous song. There is no lack of physical power in coming to Christ. All that can be wanted with regard to the bodily strength man most assuredly has, and any part of salvation which consists in that is totally and entirely in the power of man without any assistance from the Spirit of God. Nor, again, does this inability lie in any mental lack. I can believe this Bible to be true just as easily as I can believe any other book to be true. So far as believing on Christ is an act of the mind, I am just as able to believe on Christ as I am able to believe on anybody else. Let his statement be but true, it is idle to tell me I cannot believe it. I can believe the statement that Christ makes as well as I can believe the statement of any other person. There is no deficiency of faculty in the mind: it is as capable of appreciating as a mere mental act the guilt of sin, as it is of appreciating the guilt of assassination. It is just as possible for me to exercise the mental idea of seeking God, as it is to exercise the thought of ambition. I have all the mental strength and power that can possibly be needed, so far as mental power is needed in salvation at all. Nay, there is not any man so ignorant that he can plead a lack of intellect as an excuse for rejecting the gospel. The defect, then, does not lie either in the body, or, what we are bound to call, speaking theologically, the mind. It is not any lack or deficiency there, although it is the vitiation of the mind, the corruption or the ruin of it, which, after all, is the very essence of man’s inability.
    Permit me to show you wherein this inability of man really does lie. It lies deep in his nature. Through the fall, and through our own sin, the nature of man has become so debased, and depraved, and corrupt, that it is impossible for him to come to Christ without the assistance of God the Holy Spirit.
    First, it lies in the obstinacy of the human will. “Oh!” saith the Arminian, “men may be saved if they will.” We reply, “My dear sir, we all believe that; but it is just the if they will that is the difficulty. We assert that no man will come to Christ unless he be drawn; nay, we do not assert it, but Christ himself declares it—”Ye will not come unto me that ye might have life;’ and as long as that “ye will not come’ stands on record in Holy Scripture, we shall not be brought to believe in any doctrine of the freedom of the human will.” It is strange how people, when talking about free-will, talk of things which they do not at all understand. “Now,” says one, “I believe men can be saved if they will.” My dear sir, that is not the question at all. The question is, are men ever found naturally willing to submit to the humbling terms of the gospel of Christ? We declare, upon Scriptural authority, that the human will is so desperately set on mischief, so depraved, and so inclined to everything that is evil, and so disinclined to everything that is good, that without the powerful. supernatural, irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit, no human will ever be constrained towards Christ.
    Again, not only is the will obstinate, but the understanding is darkened. Of that we have abundant Scriptural proof. I am not now making mere assertions, but stating doctrines authoritatively taught in the Holy Scriptures, and known in the conscience of every Christian man—that the understanding of man is so dark, that hecannot by any means understand the things of God until his understanding has been opened. Man is by nature blind within. The cross of Christ, so laden with glories, and glittering with attractions, never attracts him, because he is blind and cannot see its beauties. Talk to him of the wonders of the creation, show to him the many-coloured arch that spans the sky, let him behold the glories of a landscape, he is well able to see all these things; but talk to him of the wonders of the covenant of grace, speak to him of the security of the believer in Christ, tell him of the beauties of the person of the Redeemer, he is quite deaf to all your description; you are as one that playeth a goodly tune, it is true; but he regards not, he is deaf, he has no comprehension. Or, to return to the verse which we so specially marked in our reading, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned;” and inasmuch as he is a natural man, it is not in his power to discern the things of God.

    C.H. Spurgeon, from archiveDOTspurgeonDOTorg/sermons/0182.php

    Like

  9. Q says:

    According to lyn, Sheryl et al., a person can’t hear until God regenerates them. So why did Jesus talk in parables if they couldn’t hear?

    Like

    • Lyn says:

      Why would God need to regenerate you IF you already had ‘ears to hear’? This is the absurdity of the ‘free will’ heresy and what it produces.

      Like

      • rascott247 says:

        Lyn it may not be obvious to you but you use Calvinist definitions, have Calvinist presuppositions therefore it is fair to categorize your opinions as Calvinism.

        You ask “Why would God need to regenerate you IF you already had ‘ears to hear’?” The answer is simple —having everlasting life is not same thing as having ears to hear and being spiritually dead is not the same thing as having no ears to hear. You love Eph 2:1 but the definition for spiritually dead is in Eph 2:2-3. Dead men walk according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. Dead men conducted themselves in the lusts of their flesh. Dead men fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Dead men hear, Dead men believe. Dead men are made alive by grace through faith. Eph 2:12 tells us that at the time we were spiritually dead we were “without Christ” (opposed to being in Christ were election is) “having no hope and without God in the world”.

        Dead men do. Dead men suppress truth. Dead men hear. Dead men believe. Dead men are made alive. Alive men are chosen to be seated with Christ in heavenly places. Alive men are predestined to the adoption of sons. Dead men were once far off, without Christ. Alive men were formerly dead but made alive in Christ through faith by the grace of God.

        Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        No, it is not fair at all. I defend God’s truth with God’s truth. Throwing a label on that truth and categorizing people in a certain camp is not how to rightly divide. Ears are closed to the doctrines of grace and insults and labeling are the result. Then some whine how horrible ‘Calvinists’ are, yet their own comments are riddled with the very things they accuse others of. IF someone cannot be mature and debate using only scripture and NOT titles and labels, then stay off the internet, or avoid addressing that person. This has gone beyond ridiculous, ‘Q’ seems to be stalking anyone who holds to the doctrines of grace on every thread here and spewing out his childish remarks. Is that the marks of a regenerated, mature Christian?

        As Darrel stated, I will continue to correct the errors of the damning ‘free will’ theology because it is not found in the Bible. For those who disagree, at least have the maturity to use scripture and not make opinionated accusations.
        Enough of the mudslinging….

        P.S. dead men do not hear unless God opens the ear first and quickens.

        Like

      • rascott247 says:

        You have it backwards. The dead hear and are then made alive!

        John 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

        Dead hear according to Jesus! The dead that hear will live!

        You are defending Calvinist’s dogma plain and simple. You copy and paste Hyper Calvinist Pink. You did not even address how Eph defines “dead” because your mind is made up, fixed on the dogma you defend. You will not find anyone outside of Christ who are said to be predestined. Predestination is to the adoption of sons. Predestination is not the same as election, Election is in Christ only.

        Like

      • rascott247 says:

        I assume you believe that God is triune, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Oneness people argue against the trinity deductively, and point to a myriad of verses that tell us God is one. They deduce “if God is One He cannot be Triune”. Like the Oneness people, you have your mind fixed that if God is Sovereign His creatures cannot have volition. Then you use proof text to defend your deductive conclusion. But the doctrine of the trinity is arrived at inductively. So too, is the doctrine that man, while depraved and effected by sin in every area of his life, has responsibility to respond to the Gospel. As unbelievers we were dead spiritually, separated from God, unable to sow to the spirit and all our righteousness is as filthy rags. But this means we could do righteous acts; they are just useless toward gaining everlasting life. But God credits faith as righteousness. Faith is not a righteous act that merits life. Life is a free gift given by grace through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

        It’s funny to me how Calvinism went from Calvinism to “the doctrines of grace” to “the doctrines of Christ”. The RCC people try to pull this too. They have the Church going from the body of Christ to the councils of Rome and then call it ‘the true Church”.

        Like

  10. Sheryl says:

    Hey, lyn. This is so sweet, its actually amusing. The message of the doctrines of election are being “broadcast” daily here because the one who hates and opposes God’s plan of salvation so much and won’t let it rest keeps sinking deeper into a quagmire with continual questioning that “they” apparently consider to be so clever. We have the answers, however, much to “their” dismay. The light is shining brightly to expose the dark false teaching of free will and is being defeated daily here and “they” enable it and don’t seem to realize it. This is so rich! I am thrilled to proclaim the truth. That is our goal. (It really makes me chuckle, to the glory of God. He is getting His message out in quite a humorous way that the enemy apparently doesn’t perceive.)

    I presume the question has been posed about why Jesus spoke in parables because “they” don’t have an ear to hear so as to understand, which exactly proves the point of why Jesus spoke in such a way.

    The misconception that has been taught and preached is that Jesus spoke in parables using everyday concepts so that the people would easily grasp His message. That is quite an astonishing, inaccurate interpretation since Jesus Himself answers the disciples’ question as to why, and then explains the meaning of the parables to them exclusively.

    The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables? He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. Matthew 13:11, 13

    And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.” Mark 4:11, 12

    And when the disciples asked him what the parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ Luke 8:9, 10

    Then Jesus went on to explain the meaning of His parables to the disciples.

    This was very intentional on the part of Jesus, so that He would NOT forgive the people. This clearly demonstrates God’s sovereignty in who He determines He will reveal understanding of His secrets of His kingdom to, whom He will forgive, and all others remain outside His kingdom in confusion, with no “invitation” or “offer” to come in. Jesus was not dismayed that “all” were not granted this privilege, nor did he plead with them to “receive” his words. God reveals Himself to whom He chooses and intends to save and the rest remain unable to see and hear His words.

    Those who remain outside the kingdom of God by His choice cannot be baptized into it, prayed into it, feared into it nor influenced into it. It is God’s salvation to “distribute” to mankind according to His will that He predetermined before the foundation of the world. This is a hard doctrine, but it is Christ’s doctrine and it bothers Him not if you object. Your objection clearly exemplifies your rebellion and denial of His sovereign authority over all His creation to do with as He pleases.

    As throughout all of scripture, God once again demonstrates His exclusive control over who He enables to understand His message, given by Him to particular recipients.

    Lyn, (and Darrell, too) I would be interested in your comments on these scriptures. I was very brief here and I’m confident you’d be able to expand further.

    Like

    • Darrel says:

      I’m so glad you brought this out. Also, Isaiah 6:9 & 10 is quoted by the Lord (as you pointed out above) and in John 12:38-40; in Acts 28:26 & 27. Rom. 11:8-10 expands on this theme and quotes David as well, Psa. 69:22 & 23. There are other verses that teach this as well and no matter how much objection is raised it will come to naught.

      For those who think it proper to rebel against the Lord and refuse Him His rightful place on His own Throne read 1 Sam. 15 23, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” Reasoning with a witch can be an interesting endeavor.

      Like

  11. Lyn says:

    Sheryl,

    I cannot dispute anything you presented, I agree with you. It seems every thread here is getting turned into a debate over the heresy of free will. Personally, I am done with it. God is the only one who can give anyone ears to hear, as you well know. May He do just that.

    Like

    • Sheryl says:

      Lyn, dear sister, I encourage you to not grow weary fighting on the battlefield, for you are armed with the powerful, sharp, double-edged weapon of the sword of the Spirit. You have much wisdom given to you by the Holy Spirit to share with readers to teach and encourage them. No one else can speak it your unique way, and you have no idea of the persons God will direct to read your words to edify them. Although we may not perceive the results, God’s word of truth is being proclaimed and His word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish that which He sends it forth to accomplish. (Isaiah 55:11) You are one of Christ’s chosen “few” and your fellow brothers and sisters need you engaged in this battle alongside us. One day all these lies from the pit of hell we contend with will be consumed with fire and the universe will be enveloped with the truth and knowledge of Christ. Oh how we long for that glorious day! But for now, the battle rages on a little while longer and we look to Christ for strength to carry on.

      Like

  12. Q says:

    If Calvinism were true Jesus would be mocking mankind when he cries out “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” to those who can’t respond because he won’t allow them to hear, then sends them to hell for not responding.

    Calvinism^^^

    Like

    • Maggie says:

      Q, perhaps the rigidity of extreme (?) Calvinism is man’s way of systematizing doctrine because it is hard to grasp the tension in Scripture between the invitation to all to receive salvation through Jesus Christ and the understanding that God has predestined those who are saved. Someone here previously (maybe you?) suggested that the cognitive dissonance that results from this tension is too difficult for some Christians to reconcile. I, for one, have appreciated hearing both sides, minus the snarky remarks from some commenters. Thanks, Q.

      Like

      • Darrel says:

        Maggie,

        You said “…it is hard to grasp the tension in Scripture…”

        There is no “tension” in Scripture, anywhere, on any subject. The “tension” is a creation of blind men who refuse to allow the Lord His rightful place on His own Throne and seek to replace Him with themselves. IF you ever come to a knowledge of the Truth this will be one of the first things that is opened to you. This nonexistent “tension” allows for the “free will” of man to coexist with the Sovereignty of God in His selection of the redeemed. It does not matter to those who teach this lie that the two doctrines are diametrically opposed to one another; they will allow for the ‘coexistence’ just so long that in the end man is still “more sovereign” than God. This IS the doctrine that you defend; it IS the usurping of the Authority of God Himself.

        This “free-will” doctrine IS another gospel (Gal. 1:6-9) and it is the one that promotes and defends this “another gospel” that is condemned—the person, not the message. Continue on in this lie as you like, but be aware that ecumenism, universalism, and a host of other aberrant doctrines are in your future; already the “love card” mantra has overtaken you which blinds you even further to the truth. One day soon enough both your knees will bow before Jesus Christ, and your tongue will confess that He is LORD to the glory of God the Father. LORD, not some pathetic, hand wringing, nervous, “savior” who hopes that someone, anyone, will take him up on his “offer” of salvation. Do you seriously want people to believe that the Lord Jesus suffered all that He did at the hands of evil men, was crucified and buried, raised from the dead just so He could make an “offer” to dead men who HATE Him of salvation? This is the god you have constructed, He IS NOT the God of Scripture, just a product of the wicked and rebellious imagination of dead men. 1 Sam. 15:23 “For rebellion is as the sin of WITCHCRAFT” do you wish to keep company with witches?

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        “They are Arminians to a man; they deny the absolute sovereignty of God, his eternal choice of an elect people, and that Christ bore their sins only. They deny the total depravity of man, for they insist that he possesses a free will and can accept Christ and be saved by a decision of his own; thus directly repudiating God’s word, as found in John 1:13; 6;44; 8:36; Rom 9:16, and other passages. And where any teacher or preacher is unsound on these basic truths, no confidence must be placed on him on any other subject. If he is all wrong at the foundations, his superstructure is bound to be faulty.”

        Taken from a “Letter to Lowell Green, August 19, 1934″ by A. W. Pink (1886-1952)

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        here’s another ‘gem’ quote from J.C. Ryle…

        Beware of manufacturing a God of your own . . .
          a God who is all mercy–but not just;
          a God who is all love–but not holy;
          a God who has a Heaven for everybody–but a Hell for none;
          a God who will make no distinction between godly and ungodly in eternity.
        Such a God is an idol of your own–as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own imagination and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible–and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        Indeed! Two men that spoke wisely in their time. Not too many of these around any more, what a shame. May it please the Lord to ‘strengthen that which remains’ as this fight ‘ain’t over ’til it’s over!’

        Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

        Like

      • Q says:

        Maggie, thanks! Many Godly men saw man’s free will and God’s predestination in salvation as both true and yet unable to understand saying it’s a mystery but the bible teaches both. I believe the bible teaches only men who believe are predestined and that predestination is to service and blessings.

        Like

      • Maggie says:

        Q,
        God brought me to conviction of sin, repentance, and faith and I suppose I “responded” by receiving the gift of salvation by grace through Jesus Christ. The means was hearing the true gospel preached.

        I’m grateful I’m not a baby Christian or newbie to this site because I would have been put off by some of the hostile comments here from supposed fellow Christians.

        Like

      • Q says:

        PTL Maggie. I certainly hope others can see what you do.

        Like

      • SusanJ says:

        Maggie, lovely simple testimony re the gospel. The scriptures are full of situations where people were to “respond”. Some rejected or failed to make the right choices. We all agree that the unsaved need to “believe” which is a response, however one looks at it. As is a change of mind.

        I sense you are a kind gentle person and want to say I am sad for the hurtful words you have received, as well as others like Q and myself.

        I am not one for forming groups or ‘being buds’ as we have been accused of on such comment sections because we do not know each other and can only read between the lines but felt I needed to just write this. So… I am done here and will say ‘goodbye’ sister. Thankful to be together ‘in Christ’.

        Like

      • Maggie says:

        SusanJ,
        Thank you for your kind words. I was not hurt by any harsh comments because I expected them to fly from certain people. I hope you and others can keep that perspective, too.

        I was drawn to this website, firstly, for discernment and, secondly, for the zeal shown for serving our Lord, for understanding the Bible, and for reaching others with the gospel. True fellowship is sweet, and needed, even if in cyberspace, in the Comments section. :o) I hope this incident has not soured you and that you will continue to have a voice here.

        Like

  13. Q says:

    Darrel said- “there is no “tension” in scripture then makes one.

    “The “tension” is a creation of blind men who refuse to allow the Lord His rightful place on His own Throne and seek to replace Him with themselves.

    Here he is admitting man’s free will “men refuse”.

    Calvinist contradiction again^^^

    How can a dead man refuse something he supposedly can’t hear? lol

    And who created blind men? : )

    Like

  14. Sheryl says:

    Hey, Darrel, there goes that pesky devil again trying to confuse, outwit and distort God’s divine truth. That’s all the devil has to offer, you know, for no truth can be found in him. Being attacked repeatedly for speaking words of God’s wisdom is a sure sign the enemy knows he’s being defeated. And his servants doing his bidding are blind to even realize their own defeat and continual promotion of the truth they hate that its laughable. How awesome are God’s ways! It is so plain and wonderful to witness. God is so confounding Satan and twisting him up in knots that he’s just acting insane. Keep up the good work, brother. Persecution is promised to us, but so is victory and Satan’s defeat.

    Like

    • Darrel says:

      It is laughable and sad at the same time. “Twist-o-matic” is in full on mode, ruled by the resident insanity of the witches that rebel. They are so blind they cannot see that their will is bound up in the death of sin, they have no possibility of extracting themselves or “making it all better”; all they can do is sin, there is no ‘choice’ involved. They are locked in to rebellion and love that they are. There is no fear of God before their eyes; the “Jesus” they claim to love is “another Jesus” and not the Christ of God. They speak fluent “Christianese” and quote their favorite “bible” (any aberrant ‘translation’ will do, the NIV being the favorite of modern day heretics) as if that makes them the genuine article—which it does not. They speak ‘great swelling words of vanity’ and expect people to swoon at their pontifications (just like their pope), and get upset that no one bows down to them—just like their fearless leader, the devil. Blab on! Fill up the condemnation your have been predestined to, while God hardens your heart even further as it pleases Him to show His wrath and power in you. Face it, some are marked out for this destruction. Are you one of them?

      Like

  15. Q says:

    I know it would be arduous but if anyone is willing they can check out the accusations made by Sheryl, Darrel, lyn and others, on this blog, and see how many times they have made false allegations and condemned those who disagree with their warped view of God’s sovereignty and character. Some of those they have condemned are clearly believers. The bible teaches you will know them by their fruit, I suggest you be a fruit inspector. Don’t be fooled by their agreement with each other or their long posts, they do not understand what they so confidently confirm.

    I have personally clearly given the gospel and encouraged people to read and search the bible for themselves and they have not commented on those posts, when I point out a contradiction of theirs they call me a “devil”. Notice above they don’t address the contradiction I pointed out but attacked with ad-hominem and other abusive tactics.

    Inspect the fruit.

    Like

    • Maggie says:

      Sheryl and Darrel seem to delight in deriding others who disagree on any point.

      Like

      • Lyn says:

        If one argues truth using the bible, how is that ‘delighting in deriding others’? It seems YOU delight in falsely accusing, and thinking you know the motive of their hearts. You have been given truth, and you cling to heresy, free will, which is from the pit of hell. The Jesuits implanted this lie long ago and you took the bait, hook line and sinker. May God have mercy on you. All He rebirths will in fact understand how they were saved, as He gives them ears to hear.

        If you cannot support your view using the Bible, and that doesn’t necessarily mean a translation, but going into the Greek if necessary, then you have no leg to stand on. That is proven by your unfounded attacks.
        I remember holding to the ‘free will’ view, due to being in an SBC church. When I started to study God’s truth, I saw the error of what I’d been taught to believe. I praise God, in His sovereignty, He showed me my error. The only thing I contributed was my sin.

        Like

      • Maggie says:

        Lyn, I said they “seem to delight in deriding others” not because they simply shared their understanding of doctrine, but because of their name calling and smirking, which is abusive, bullying, and uncalled for. You surely must see this. Do you approve of this behavior?

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        Is this why you launched your cheap shot attack against Lyn on 9-5-17 @9:55 am on the Hillsong thread? Go buy a mirror. It’s ok for you to deride whomever you please, but it’s not ok for those who speak the truth—the truth that you not like because it exposes your idol, yourself. “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” how long will you rebel?

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        I will continue to “deride” your doctrine because it is false and from hell. If your personality gets caught up in it whose fault is that? “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”

        Like

  16. SusanJ says:

    Brothers and Sisters

    1Co 13:1-2 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge…….. Paul.

    I like the simplicity of the NLT so many times : Heb 10:24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. “Provoke” from the KJV. There is the opposite to this verse too.

    We cannot show love on a website, to people we do not know, apart from to use loving words and try and type kindly and in a way that will encourage others to keep standing firm in these dark days.

    At least Maggie and I have made appeals. But the results were not good.

    To speak to other believers we know little about in such ways and use the awful derogatory words and terms like I see here and more, is beyond my comprehension and makes me very sad. Why the questioning of another’s salvation and continually urging them to repent and putting them down about their well studied out beliefs and doctrines etc. There are many acceptable bible versions and there is not one version that is without fault and it is a person’s choice. I mostly use the NLT. For a variety of reasons not known to any of you so don’t judge me.

    “Evil” “Devil” ” Free willies” “Twice the son of hell” “enemies” “hate Jesus” “followers of the pope/Jesuits” “IF you ever come to a knowledge of the truth…” And much much more.

    People. I only know one person who claims to be Arminian. A lovely lady who is very clear and sound on the gospel and all glory to God. Many of our closest friends are Calvinists. Lovely loving people who love the Lord. Yes we might differ here and there but it does not get in the way of true fellowship and support in gospel work. And yes they proudly call themselves Calvinists, and would promote some of the same verses and interpretations that I see from Lyn Sheryl and Darrel but NEVER have I heard them speak in such ways.

    Q – nobody needs to be counting or checking it out. Over the months and years I have been coming here, it has become very obvious to me who jumps on others and picks at every word or phrase they do not like. Over and over. Repeating the same arguments. Copying and pasting the same stuff from other websites and authors. (Personally I have not one bit of desire to read Pink. From what I do discover about him I suspect he was a very sad man and he estranged himself from many of God’s true children and became lonely fellowship wise. But if others like to read him that is their choice and they can derive a blessing from it) AND – I HAVE seen where this continual debating usually starts. I read their spouting and am provoked probably in the same way as you Q but…..

    Please AMY SPREEMAN, I did write an email to you about this but again I am asking –
    can you step in. Or if you are approving of it then it is your website and just let us know.

    Re the subject of this page – I know a dear family, full time faithful servants for the gospel, who were devastated and destroyed by Sozo /Theophostic counselling. Thank you Amy for exposing for others to be educated.

    There are many hurting people wherever we live and work and serve. Hurt believers and lost souls for whom Christ died who have yet to hear the gospel clearly.

    Like

    • Lyn says:

      Tell me Susan, where did I, or anyone here, ever, ever proudly call ourselves a ‘calvinist’? Where did I quote John Calvin?

      I have given scripture, broken it down from the original language, and proven your free will to be false, and all you can come back with is that I am a ‘calvinist’? That is nothing more than a standard answer from someone who is clueless to how God saves sinners.

      Only God can open your understanding. Until you swallow your pride and see you have nothing to do with helping God save you, you will continue to misinterpret His truth and call it ‘Calvinism’. That is a lazy way of NOT studying for yourself the doctrines of grace, which were inspired by the Holy Ghost and not John Calvin.

      Tell me, who wrote the following verses? John Calvin or God?
      ‘And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins’ Eph. 2:1

      ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him’ John 6:44a

      ‘Then Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him.” John 6:65
      ‘Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word’ John 8:43

      That is enough for now…who wrote those verses and where is ‘free will’ even mentioned?

      Argue from scripture to prove your point, and not by cherry picking other verses out of context. Take these verses one at a time and study them. Go into the original Greek and study each word. Cross reference them with other verses….but most of all – pray and ask God to show you the true truth. Don’t label His truth as something it isn’t.

      Like

      • Q says:

        The so called “doctrines of grace” are also known as “The 5 Points of Calvinism” and by the acronym TULIP. A simple google search will easily show this to be true, imply otherwise is deception.

        As far as the scriptures you listed they talk about the drawing of God but where do they say anything about the ability to believe or the will of man?

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        Again, who wrote the verses I stated? Why is this question avoided? It seems that the only answer I ever get is either crickets or a rabbit trail diverting away from the question.

        IF God wrote those verses, IF they are inspired by God the Spirit, then why do you keep calling them the five points of Calvinism? Not all who adhere to the doctrines of grace see them as ‘five point Calvinism’. I see them for what they are, God’s truth.

        Satan has had a field day diverting God’s truth away from its origin and using labeling as a way to suppress that truth. I refuse to let God’s truth be put in any man made camp and rejected as a result.

        Like

      • Q says:

        lyn said –

        “Again, who wrote the verses I stated? Why is this question avoided? It seems that the only answer I ever get is either crickets or a rabbit trail diverting away from the question.”

        No one answers because it’s a stupid question. No one ever claimed or implied Calvin wrote scripture.

        But to put your question to rest – Men wrote the bible under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit.

        The question isn’t about who wrote the bible, whether it is God’s word or whether people disagreeing with you believe it but your faulty understanding and interpretation of it, which is blasphemous, and your abusive tactics to those who love God and his word.

        You are upholding what is known as and called Calvinism, FACT. To imply otherwise is a lie. A simple google search of ‘the doctrines of grace’ or ‘TULIP’ or ‘5 points of calvinism’ will prove this. Or ask any Calvinist LOL.

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        I won’t waste any more time with you ‘Q’, because of your false accusations and divisiveness. You did prove my point. I gave scripture to back my beliefs,and you accredit ‘Calvin’. Thanks for proving my point.

        Like

      • Q says:

        lyn, Why run from the name of your theology namely Calvinism, the ‘Doctrines of Grace, and TULIP?

        Like

      • Q says:

        God decreed in eternity past lyn wouldn’t be able to acknowledge the name her theology has been given. : P

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Obviously, Q, you don’t know that Arminianism has its own set of TULIP doctrine. But you practice it well.

        T = taunt Christians
        U = undermine God’s sovereignty by mockery
        L = lofty lies
        I = ignorance of scripture
        P = perpetuate false doctrine

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        The story behind the so-called ‘TULIP’ is interesting http://www.gospelpedlar.com/articles/Church%20History/calvinism.html
        The protests of Jacob Arminius’ followers is what led to ‘tulip’.

        What I object to is calling God’s doctrines of grace, as laid out in His word, ‘Calvinism’. This is an affront to God, who is the author.

        Like

    • Q says:

      SusanJ, I have wondered myself why the blog owners allow the name calling, condemnation and other abusive comments. The “Comment Policy” isn’t enforced.

      In one thread I asked Amy about the link she gave to an article that said you have to be baptized to be saved and if that was her belief (Q August 25, 2017 at 7:26 pm #), she never responded.

      I’ve seen the owners make comments of agreement or displeasure so it does make a person wonder if they read all comments.

      I did send Amy an email one time and didn’t get a reply.

      Like

      • Maggie says:

        Q and SusanJ,
        Amy has said she needs to be alerted if there is something of concern going on because she gets busy and misses comments. I know Darrel and Lyn were previously barred from this website.

        Like

      • Lyn says:

        I don’t honestly see how you haven’t been banned.

        Like

      • Maggie says:

        Lyn, I have appreciated many of your comments. I just want you to understand that when you are short-tempered or insulting, it detracts from the substance of what you say.

        Like

    • Darrel says:

      Susan,

      Since you are so against ‘name calling’ and personal attacks do you think we should just let the derogatory comments you made about a deceased brother, Arthur Pink, slide by and not call out your hypocrisy? That would be showing partiality, would it not? Why, yes, that is blatant partiality AND hypocrisy. Since you NEVER answer any one else’s questions there is no reason to expect you to start now. Your “free-will” Jesuit and demon infested doctrine is a lie, no where to be found in Scripture (if it were you surely would have cited the book, chapter, and verse by now, but you have not and can not) so by your own “love standard” you expect me to just let you continue on in your favorite lie and NEVER speak the truth? Is that what “love” is to you? That IS NOT the Love of God, for GOD IS LOVE, and He will NEVER allow His elect to continue in their belief of their favorite lie (it’s called being born again, from above and that NOT OF YOURSELF). Call it what you want, complain to management (did you really think you could scare us into silence?), you ARE NOT exhibiting the Love that you so glibly demand of me, Lyn, and Sheryl. Buy a mirror. “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”

      Like

    • Sheryl says:

      Lyn, Darrel and I fiercely defend the doctrines of Christ because we LOVE Him and His truth that has been revealed to us and we are commanded to “earnestly contend for the faith.” Jude 3 We see His truth being maligned and His name being defamed (Q likened God to a “monster” and a “devil” – do you recall? is that acceptable?) Pardon me, but I don’t recall you rebuking Q in God’s defense. It seems to me that your love is centered more on humanity and hurting their feelings than on loving Christ and defending His word at the expense of being attacked by others. Lyn, Darrel and I don’t care about being popular. We care about being right as God defines it. We are not a part of the “unity,” “can’t we all just get along” crowd, no matter the doctrines of that crowd. And “love” is not some warm, fuzzy feeling. Love is actually telling others the word of truth and warning them of God’s wrath. Lyn, Darrel and I have spread truth through scripture verses all over these threads, and it hasn’t been received by those who claim to belong to Christ. That’s who has been scoffing and mocking the most – and be sure of this, that it is not towards us that evil is spoken but AGAINST GOD HIMSELF! No fear of God! But that’s OK. Continue as you will. Reject the truth that’s been proven. Lyn, Darrel and I are confident of our cause and doctrine and will remain engaged in the battle for the glory of our King. He will not be defeated, thus we will not, either.

      Like

  17. Darrel says:

    It is difficult to see someone as “Christian” when they NEVER glorify the Lord Jesus. When their main and only concern is to be able to control the speech of those whom they oppose. Sublime ‘threats’ are made as if to scare their opponents into oblivion and still the only reason given for the desired silence is that their “tone” offends their ears. They NEVER present a cogent biblical argument and yet they will quote Scripture till one is ‘blue in their face’ their only reasoning is their convoluted version of “love” which is no love at all, it is nothing more than a worldly, sloppy, sentimental, pity party that does no one any good. In total contrast, the Love of God (GOD IS LOVE) takes the necessary action to benefit the object (His elect) of His Love by doing what is needed for the elect’s benefit: the giving of His Son to be crucified, buried, and raised again in order that He may justified to forgive the sins of the elect, and ONLY the sins of the elect.

    You don’t like the truth of God’s Word? That’s your problem. Only satan and his disciples seek to silence the Word of God and those that speak it.

    Like

    • rascott247 says:

      Well thank God you are not the One who justifies. Thank God He does not council with you as to who is glorifying Him. But that doesn’t seem to stop you from taking it upon yourself to fill that role. It would have been pretty hard to see Peter as a “Christian” while he was denying Christ three times. But Jesus did not stop seeing him as a believer.

      John 13:38 -14:1 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

      Do you think Satan didn’t use this to accuse Peter? Do you suppose that Satan does not accuse you Darrel? Or are you beyond reproach?

      I have studied “the doctrines of grace” from the writings of “leading” Calvinists themselves and find the “doctrines” lacking Biblical support while leaning heavily on philosophic deductions by way of proof texts.

      Like

      • Phil says:

        I have been following this thread since it started. I once had doubts about the Calvinist beliefs of predestination and lack of free will as concerning myself. Am I chosen? How would I know?

        I am old, I try for simplicity as I also believe that God did not intend for his word to be understood only by lawyers. I am not a theologian parsing words for a purpose. I prayed much on this and the below is the thought process and result. I would appreciate it if you have additional comments to let me know where I am wrong. I tried to stay within the words of the New Testament. I am a retired engineer, I do not know how to read and interpret the Greek much of it was written in and must rely on other translation and interpreters.

        My favorite verse, in the Bible, the words of Christ, 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”. I considered that “whosoever” includes everyone which means me too.

        John 12:32 Again the words of Christ ” if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” I believe that “all” is inclusive, and means me too. Everyone, not just the “elect” are drawn to God. Not everyone, though, responds.

        Romans 10: 9 and 10
        9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

        10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

        Have I confessed with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, absolutely and I completely believe that God raised him from the dead. Is that choice? I think so as one must choose to confess, that is free will since God does not force a confession. In Ephesians 2:8 ” For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”, I think that a big part of that gift is the ability to have faith to believe that God raised Christ from the dead.

        The words of Peter from 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” The “not willing that any should perish” seemed to me to be pretty much everyone has the opportunity to come to repentance, including myself.

        I was troubled by the Matthew 22:14 “many are called but few are chosen”. I think that an English/Greek context, translation thing. I looked up some translations and they are all pretty much the same other than “The Message”, which I know nothing about so do not trust it. One comment, that I found, is that we are “chosen” by God, because we choose to follow God. The implication is that it is our choice otherwise, it would seem to contradict the preceding references.

        If I am out there somewhere wrong, I would appreciate some additional guidance. Thank you in advance.

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        Phil,

        “I once had doubts about the Calvinist beliefs of predestination and lack of free will as concerning myself. Am I chosen? How would I know?” The question you should ask your self is “have I been born again?” and then “How would I know?” If you hold to the doctrine of man’s “free will” when it comes to salvation you will likely be plagued with doubts as to the sincerity of your “salvation experience.” I have yet to meet, hear, or read any person who claims to have been saved because it was their own “free will choice” who does not also believe that their “salvation” can be lost at a future date due to any number of reasons, sin being the most prominent.

        The Scriptures you cite and the comments that follow are a ‘dead give away’ as to the fact that the Sovereignty of God does not enter in to the salvation ‘equation’ you have manufactured from your own imagination. The key phrase of John 3:16 IS NOT “whosoever will”, but “that He gave His only begotten Son.” In John 12:32 you are adding to the text by saying that not everyone responds. Don’t forget that “many are called, but few are chosen.”

        Rom. 10:9 & 10 is not the whole ‘story’, read on. Verses 11-21 should not be ignored. Confessing Jesus goes a lot further than simple words like ‘I believe’ or whatever else is thought to be appropriate at the time. Real confession includes the total Sovereignty of God over man in EVER respect—including salvation. It includes repentance from sins to the point that aperson knows that there is nothing good in himself at all. It includes recognizing Christ as God’s only remedy for our sins and that His sacrifice is sufficient to redeem a man from his sins. The simple “I believe in Jesus” or “I believe He rose from the grave” become meaningless unless you have been born from above by the Spirit of God, it’s called being born again. As a young man of 20 I prayed the prescribed prayer, got wet in a baptismal pool and went on to continue in my favorite sins. My “prayer”, my “confession” were useless because I was not yet born from above and would not be for another 34 years. I was born again at a time of His choosing and like it says in Rom. 10:20 “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” My “will” was not a factor, I was not consulted or given the “choice to accept or reject” what God did in me in an instant. My sins, all of them, were before me in an instant, the Goodness, Mercy, and Love of my Savior were there in that same instant and I knew beyond shadow of doubt that the Lord had just saved me. There was no “decision” to be made, no need for time to “consider the offer” (there was no “offer”, just forgiveness, mercy, and redemption). Read further in Ezek. 36:21-32.

        Eph. 2:8 is about the gift of God and no where is there mention of a man’s will being necessary in any way, don’t allow others to cause you to read into that verse their fantasy version of how things ought to be.

        2 Peter 3:Peter is speaking to believers throughout this chapter, he is not speaking to the whole of mankind. To say that God does not want any man to perish for his sins is to negate the Righteous Justice of God and usher in the other heresy of universal salvation, that is all men from every corner of the earth who ever lived starting with Adam will “be saved” in the end.

        It is good that Matt. 22:14 troubles you, but you will never find the conclusion you reached in Scripture, “we are chosen by God because we choose to follow God.” Such a statement makes Jesus a liar when He said “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” John15:16.

        It is the popular teaching of 99% of today’s “churches” to blaspheme the God of heaven by interjecting the “cooperation and consent” of a man’s supposed ‘free-will’ to subjugate the Sovereignty of God to the will of a pile of dirt. The “free will of man died when Adam made his choice to rebel against his Maker and eat the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Adam’s punishment was instant death of the spiritual kind with physical death following thereafter. Today’s “free-will” advocates will tell you that the “free-will” of man did not die (Gen. 3:1-4) but is alive and well and able to thwart God’s will and purpose at the drop of a hat. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? That’s because it is ridiculous, but still taught in nearly every “evangelical church” today and in all of the catholic “churches”. The false teaching of the ‘free will’ of man began in the catholic ‘church’ and is still one of their main doctrines; in fact, one can be a catholic in good standing with the pope and not believe in the free will of man. The same holds true in 99% of the “churches” in America today, you will be ‘shown the door’ if you speak against their favorite idol.

        Make no mistake about it, the ‘free will’ of man is and has been an idol for centuries. The figure head of this false god is a man’s ‘free will’; but the real false god is the person himself who believe this lie and demands that others believe it also. Beware of such people, expose them for the frauds that they are. May the Lord open your eyes to the glories of Christ Jesus and may your life be a praise and an honor to Him.

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Phil, sir, I can greatly understand your confusion. My father passed away at the age of 90 and I’m quite certain that he was unsure of his salvation up until the moment of his death. He had not been taught that his salvation was secure in Christ and he believed that he could lose his salvation depending on his actions. He would often speak of his failures. Therefore, that was my upbringing as well. I can tell you its a fearful position to be in. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after he passed away that the Holy Spirit revealed to me God’s wonderful plan of salvation. I so wished I had had the opportunity to explain it to my Dad, for I believe he would have listened and it would have brought him much peace. I came to understand that God chooses whom he will for salvation, then at His appointed time the Holy Spirit draws that person to Christ and regenerates that person and seals that person until the day of redemption and, therefore, that person cannot fall away from salvation for Christ preserves that person in the faith. Remember, Jesus said He is the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) We are so familiar with verses that sometimes we don’t stop to contemplate the message. When the Holy Spirit revealed the finished work of Christ to me in that way, I was awestruck! It changed my whole perspective. It was so clear. Then I recognized the language of it in scripture EVERYWHERE! Make no mistake and forsake man-made doctrines, God is in COMPLETE COMPLETE control of His universe, His creation, and we are here for His purposes and He does with each of us as He pleases for His glory. (Daniel 4:35) He has designed vessels of mercy and vessels of wrath fitted for destruction. (Romans 9:22,23). Consider how God revealed His purpose for Pharaoh; although Pharaoh was unaware of it, he fulfilled God’s purposes for His own glory – and God takes the credit for raising him up! (Romans 9:17) Read all of Romans 9. Carefully. Very carefully. Repeatedly. Let those words sink it. God does not require you to be a theologian to understand His message to you.

        Here are two websites that I highly recommend that have wonderful studies on them describing how men actually get saved that I know will bring you much wisdom. They have helped me tremendously. Recognize that you are leaving the milk fit for babes and moving on to the meat of maturity. But it will provide satisfaction, peace and rest for your soul. God will indeed become more awesome to you! I hope you will be as awestruck as I was.

        God bless you, sir. DO NOT be confused by those who will try to persuade you towards free will. That doctrine originated with a foolish man, Jacob Arminius, NOT the Lord Jesus Christ. The doctrine of free will can be likened to the Titanic – there are a lot of people on board, but the ship is going down. JUMP, sir, JUMP!

        https://justifiedbychristalone.com/

        http://salvationbygrace.org/audio-archives/

        Please enjoy these studies and ask if you have any more questions. Lyn, Darrel and I would be thrilled for you to come to the knowledge of the truth!

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Phil, sir, I’m experiencing some problem with trying to attach the links, but please go to YouTube and listen to these Bible studies by Jim Mcclarty:

        2 Peter 3:9
        1 Timothy 1:4
        How People Get Saved

        I think they would be most helpful to you. He’s a very wise teacher in simple terms.

        Like

      • Sheryl says:

        Phil, sir, I have been thinking about you and hope that your studies are going well and that confusion is being replaced by clarity. I pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to gain the wisdom and truth you are searching for.

        I came across another video that I think will be of great advantage to you. The preacher is an elderly gentleman that I just love to listen to, but I can’t find what his name is. I wish I had known of him before my Dad passed away, because I think my Dad would have liked him as well and he could have corrected some of those errors my Dad had been taught all his life.

        Please take a listen, sir, if you will. It is entitled, “The Rotten Pillars of Arminianism.”

        https://justifiedbychristalone.com/2011/09/18/the-rotten-pillars-of-arminianism-video/

        God bless you, sir. Have a wonderful day.

        Like

      • Q says:

        Phil, I do not doubt my salvation because it is not based on me. Salvation is based on Christ. His death, burial and resurrection. He died for our sins and was raised for our justification. The resurrection proves God accepted his perfect sacrifice.

        When a person puts their faith in Jesus they become born again and receive eternal life. Jesus said, ” “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”.

        In 1 John the bible says “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life”.
        John 5:13

        If a person has eternal life and could lose it it wouldn’t be eternal life!

        Eternal security isn’t based on us or we would not only have reason to be concerned but we wouldn’t make it. Eternal security is based on Jesus, his perfect sacrifice, character and his promise to keep us. The better we get to know God through his word the greater our faith in his love for us and our confidence and trust grows that he will and is able to keep his word to finish the work he began in those who believe.

        I hope that helps.

        Like

      • Darrel says:

        rascott,

        Will you justify yourself? Every time you speak of “being saved” because you chose to ‘be saved’ you are attempting to justify yourself by bypassing the Lord Jesus. As for Peter, he repented of his denial of the Lord Jesus, have you? Satanic accusations only lead to a greater reward; it is the convicting work of the Holy Spirit that should concern you; which seems to be lacking or you would have repented long ago. Perhaps you should discard your library of “Calvinists” in favor of the Word of God where the ‘Doctrines of Grace’ originated. But most of all, pray for wisdom, James 1:5, which is so sorely lacking in all your words. Ezek. 36:22-32 is a great place to start as it shows the final result of the will of man always ending in sin and death and God BY HIS OWN CHOOSING rescues His elect from themselves through HIS ACTIONS ALONE. Tough to see when you are blind, isn’t it?

        Perhaps (who knows?) the “free-willies” are like the Pharaoh in Exodus 4:21 whose heart was hardened by the Lord according to His own purpose. Would your god do something like that? No, not your god, but the Lord God Almighty does, even to this day. “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.”

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s