Are Christmas Trees Idols?

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One of the arguments presented by Christians who oppose Christmas celebration is that Christmas trees are idols.

I think the first material where I encountered this teaching was one of the Alberto series titled “The Force” published by Jack Chick. In it, Alberto Rivera, a self-acclaimed ex-Jesuit priest, said without a shred of documentation:

“As time passed, all over the world on the 25th of December, the sun was worshipped by these various names: Tammuz, Horus, Osiris, Sol, etc. It was a time for orgies, sacrificing of babies to Baal, drunkenness, and merriment. Semiramis ordered trees to be decorated with little balls representing the sun. God fought this evil holiday by forbidding the Jews to decorate trees as the heathens were doing (Jer. 10:1-4).” (The Force, The Crusaders Vol. 15 by Jack T. Chick, 1983, p. 26).

You don’t have to be a scholar to see how groundless these statements are. All you have to do is enter the names of these idols into a search engine and you will realize that there were no specific fixed dates on which they were worshipped, much less on December 25th.

The hackneyed tale of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz often tied to Christmas by some religious groups is not my issue here. I’ve addressed that hypothesis in my article, The Mirror Image Syndrome.

Also, if you need more info on the yak milk and powdered sparrow eggs being put out by Chick Publications, you can read this. My main concern here is that Bible passage often trotted out, Jeremiah 10:1-5 (KJV):

“For one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the ax. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree…”

Using the principles of sound Biblical interpretation, here are reasons why these Bible verses do not refer to Christmas trees:

1. One of the ways to properly interpret the Bible is to cross reference, to examine parallel passages. It’s dicey to build a doctrine on just one verse of the Bible, especially when other passages go in an opposite direction.

For instance, the passage says, “One cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman.”

Reading this, one would picture a lumberjack going into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree, but this is not the intended meaning.

When you read the entire chapter, you will see that this “workman” was one who took material—in this case the wood from a tree—and formed it into an idol.

Later in this passage, the “workman” is portrayed as plating an idol with silver and gold. He was clearly not a lumberjack; he was fashioning a “graven image… they are all the works of cunning men” and they are “the gods that have not made the heavens and the earth” (vv. 9-14)

In a parallel passage, we read, “The workman melteth a graven image…”

Then he makes an idol with wood from a tree:

“He… chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image…” (Isa. 40:19, 20).

Therefore, the “workman” was an idol carver. The Hebrew word is “charash” meaning “an engraver” or “artificer.” And we all know images of idols were fashioned out of wood, gold, silver, brass or adorned with them.

2. One of the ways to have a good understanding of the Bible is to read it in a clearer and more accurate modern translation.

For instance, the tool the workman uses is called an “ax.” Though the word ax (or axes) appears 18 times in the King James Version, the Hebrew word here (maatzad) translated ax is a different word.

It is not the ax that a lumberjack would use to cut down a tree, but is a carving tool or tong. The workman would use this tool to form an idol from the tree already cut down.

Some translations, more correctly, use the word chisel: “…they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel” (NIV).

3. Just quoting a Bible passage isn’t enough, we must look to see if the passage actually describes what we are saying. Otherwise, we are unfairly reading our preconceived notions into it.

The idol described in Jeremiah 10, was carved from the “stock” of a tree (margin: “wooden idol,” vs. 8). Positioned “upright as a palm tree,” it was fastened with “nails and hammers” so it would not fall over (vv. 4, 5).

While this could be true of a Christmas tree, what is described here is a wooden idol in a standing position. Being lifeless, it cannot stand on its own, and must be fastened down to avoid falling over.

4. Reading the preceding and proceeding verses of a passage is vital to Bible interpretation.

When we take a look at the whole of Jeremiah 10, it’s contrasting the Living God who made the heavens and the earth to man-made idols that “cannot speak…have to be carried, for they cannot walk.”

It speaks of “the living God and the everlasting King” and derides man’s idols “for his images are false, and there is no breath in them” (vv. 5, 10, 14 RSV).

The prophets commonly pointed out the foolishness of believing in “idols…the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not; noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not” (Psalms 115:4-7).

The idols Jeremiah described, “speak not”— implies a mouth, but no speech. This would make no sense if Jeremiah was speaking of a Christmas tree— after all, no one expects a Christmas tree to talk!

These idols apparently had legs, yet could not walk. They must be carried, “because they cannot go” (Jer. 10:5).

Had Jeremiah’s subject been a Christmas tree, his whole argument would break down at this point since everyone knows a Christmas tree must be carried—no one expects a Christmas tree to walk.

5. The idols that Jeremiah was describing were dressed in clothing: “…blue and purple is their clothing” (Jer. 10:9).

A Christmas tree may be decorated, but no one puts clothing on it—not blue, purple, red or any other colour of clothing.

The fact that he even uses the term “graven [carved] image” (v. 14) to describe them is proof that he was not referring to a Christmas tree but an idol carved in the likeness of a man.

Isaiah described the same thing (Isa. 44:9-15). Though the wood from a tree can be carved into the shape of an idol resembling a man, it is merely a lifeless idol. “There is no breath in them” (Jer.10:14).

Again, the subject could not be a Christmas tree – no one supposes a Christmas tree has breath! (cf. Hab. 2:18, 19).

It has been documented that the custom of decorating with a Christmas tree, as we know it, extends back 500 years to Europe, especially Germany. But the custom originated among Christians.

They were not apostates trying to inject paganism into the church. Fruit or round decorations placed on the tree, to them, spoke of the fruit on the Tree of Life in Scripture. The traditional star at the top represented the star that guided the wise men to the place of Jesus’ birth.

While the Bible condemns worship of trees and fertility deities (such as Baal and Asherah) under green trees, it also shows us that trees were created by God. There were trees in the garden of Eden and even trees in the New Heaven.

Yes, we need to guard against pagan influxes, but at the same time, we also need to guard against extreme and fanatical teachings that see paganism behind every wall, shadow and everything God has created. That mindset is not typifying freedom but spiritual bondage.

That a Christian decorates a tree doesn’t imply idolatry unless he/she is worshipping or praying to it. That I have pictures of a dozen birds in my room doesn’t mean I worship birds or I’m a sorcerer.

I don’t know of any Christian that bows to Christmas trees or looks up to them as a conduit of sympathetic magic, so what is this false accusation based on?

Come to think of it, if Christians regarded these decorations as deities would they be throwing them out in the trash after a while?

The true Christian conduct is to avoid passing judgement on issues that are disputable. If you believe Christmas trees defile your faith, fine, don’t buy one, but then, don’t judge others doing so as idolaters.

Further Reflections on the Integrity Challenged Warriors – I

 

 

 

 

 

Since 2016 when I first wrote about Rebecca (Brown) and Daniel Yoder, I have been intrigued by many sincere Christians who still zealously soak in and disseminate the teachings of this pair.

Paul Gifford in his work, African Christianity: Its Public Role noted that Rebecca’s books are very popular in Nigeria and Ghana.

With such popularity that their materials have attained in Africa, it’s very vital that their contents and authors are thoroughly scrutinized. This is an essential aspect of discernment and let no one misconstrue it as “persecution.”

Granted, spiritual warfare, deliverance, evil supernaturalism and the occult are spiritual realities that tend to resonate more with Christians from African and Asian backgrounds, yet we need to exercise discernment before queuing up behind wrong banners.

The Bible says “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit” (Matthew 7:18).

When a person speaks in God’s name, quotes His Word, claims to have supernatural experiences and his/her teachings are widely circulated within the Body of Christ, it is our responsibility as Christians to examine the fruit of his/her life and the content of his/her teachings.

When you test such teachings and lives and you find rottenness, falsehood and error in them, then – regardless of how much of “the other side” they expose – they are bad trees.

There is a Biblical code of honesty, integrity of character as well as purity of doctrine which Christians are expected to abide by.

In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Tit. 2:7).

Do not lie to each other since you have taken off your old self with its practices” (Col. 3:9).

Much of what Rebecca and Daniel Yoder present on their website and social media (accompanied by fantastic visions) are largely based on their first 5 books and these will be evaluated here.

I will also reference a transcript of their Closet Witches tapes with Jack Chick in 1986 (a summary of their first two books) and quote from some documents that belie their tales.

This series will be divided into three sections:

• Ethical problems

Doctrinal aberrations

Logical problems

If you still want to take this pair as your spiritual teachers after reading these articles, it’s your choice, but as someone who has personally been led into errors by the Yoders before, I owe it to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to share what I researched about this pair.

Ethical Problems

Perhaps the most striking ethical blot was Rebecca Brown’s gross negligence in the practice of medicine: knowingly misdiagnosing patients, giving patients excessive amounts of narcotics, writing illegal prescriptions, and drug addiction.

These made the medical authorities to revoke her medical license (A “Finding of Fact: Conclusions of Law and Order” Before the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana, Cause No. 83 MLB 038, Ruth Bailey M. D. Respondent).

Daniel Yoder has also been arrested and charged with falsifying motor vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses, and falsifying social security records by using the social security number of a dead man (Department of Correctional Services, Third Judicial District, Petrial Release form of Danie [sic] Yoder. Sept. 9, 1991).

However, in their books, neither Rebecca nor Daniel admit to their criminal history, but conveniently blame a satanic conspiracy for it.

  1. The first time Rebecca mentions anything about a “frame up” or “set up” in conjunction with the revoking of her medical license was in her third book. This was after her sordid past was exposed by Christian ministers (Paul Blizzard, Kurt Goedelman, Richard Fisher) of the Personal Freedom Outreach (PFO) in 1989:

Few stop to think that Satan usually destroys people by framing them and setting up all sorts of accusations against them, which is what happened to me” (Becoming a Vessel of Honor, Whitaker House, 1992, Introduction).

In a letter by Pastor Charles C. Younts of the Calvary Baptist Missions, Toledo, Ohio, to Pastor Paul Daniels of the same church – more than a year before Rebecca was exposed – he recorded on tape a personal discussion he had with Elaine in which she admitted Rebecca “lost her license to practice medicine in Indiana for writing illegal prescriptions.”

Research by PFO indicated that investigation by police, federal agencies, and medical authorities – not an occult conspiracy – caused Rebecca and Elaine to flee Indiana in 1984. Several eye witnesses at the final hearing led by the Indiana Medical Licensing Board testified:

“That Respondent [Rebecca] has been witnessed routinely receiving non-therapeutic doses of at least 3 ccs of Demerol on an hourly basis by injecting herself in the backs of her hands, the inside of her thighs, or wherever she could locate a vein” (Finding of Fact, no. 22).

In his response to the PFO, Jack Chick of Chick Publications accused them of “neglecting to include that many of the prescriptions for Demerol were obvious forgeries.”

Rebecca too wrote: “Sedona has a hand in the satanist’s set-up and frame job they did on me when they destroyed my medical practice” (Becoming, p. 36).

Quite intriguing, but the burden of proof is on the persons making this claim to prove they were forgeries.

Investigation by PFO found that Rebecca had written over 100 prescriptions for Demerol, which authorized purchase of 330 vials of the highly addictive painkilling drug from several pharmacists.

Affidavits from the pharmacists confirmed she had written the prescriptions, many of them in the presence of the pharmacists.

The “Case Compliant Report” at her hearing says: “All the pharmacists are familiar with Dr Bailey [Rebecca] and said she would come in almost all the time that she wrote the prescription for [Elaine] Edna Moses and pick up the medicine herself.”

But in Rebecca’s books, she clings to a narrative that can get her off the hook: the Satanists said I did it! That’s a cutesy twist to that line: “It wasn’t me; the devil did it.”

  1. Jack Chick also questioned why PFO didn’t “include any of the material submitted to the Medical Licensure [sic] Board in Brown’s defense?” In her third book, “Joyce” (who I suspect was Rebecca’s alter ego) rehashed this same line:

The thing that irritates me is that the Christian community is so eager to pass around those false accusations … without even wondering why none of the documents submitted in your defense are included with the package of accusations” (p. 37).

Please note that Rebecca didn’t appear to defend herself at the hearing. Notwithstanding, PFO researchers mentioned a key document concerning her defense on page 13 of their article (“Answers of Ruth Bailey To Request for Admissions”).

They didn’t quote it in detail because Rebecca responded to the Medical Licensing Board’s inquiries mailed to her with either the word “Admit” or “Deny.” These admissions or denials did little for her defense.

Had these responses been included, they would have damaged her credibility even more.

For example, the “Request for Admissions” revealed that Rebecca Brown denied that she believed that Elaine “is, or has been possessed by demons or evil spirits” and further denied that she and Elaine are “spiritual sisters.”

These denials contradict the claims she made in her books. Either she lied to the MLB or she lied to those who read her books.

  1. Another argument Chick made in Rebecca’s defense was that the medical authorities “had ONLY paid off testimonies of people – NO photographs or hard evidence. The whole thing was an extremely good frame-up.”

This excuse itself lacks hard evidence. One must ask, what happened to the “close to a thousand people” Rebecca said she brought out of Satanism through her “underground railroad?” Couldn’t just 50 of them testify in her defense?

She said she helped them with food, clothing, transportation and medical care; couldn’t they do a little bit of favour in return for a sister in need?

The Christians who investigated her story examined hundreds of pages of state’s evidences, including affidavits submitted in the hearing against Rebecca. They also spoke with witnesses, including police, hospital officials, medical licensing board authorities and family members. Their statements about Rebecca and Elaine did not contradict one another.

On the other hand, Rebecca and Elaine repeatedly changed their stories. Here are some examples:

a) In the original edition of He Came to Set the Captives Free published in 1986 by Chick Publications, Elaine claims to have been Satan’s international representative, meeting with foreign government dignitaries:

“I became one of Satan’s representatives on an international level. I made many trips out to California to meet with government officials from the U.S. as well as foreign dignitaries. Representatives of foreign governments came to the mansion in California to petition for money on arms, etc. Most knew they were dealing with Satan, a few did not … Mann-Chan also gave the interpretation of what those people were saying. I could not begin to speak the many different languages myself, but Mann-Chan knew them all.

“I also made a number of trips to other countries. I have been to Mecca, Israel, Egypt, also the Vatican in Rome to meet with the Pope. All my trips were for the purpose of coordinating Satan’s programs with satanists in other lands, as well as meeting with various government officials to discuss aid to their countries in the form of moneyThe Pope knew very well who I was. We worked closely with the Catholics (especially the Jesuits) and the high-ranking Masons” (pp. 62-63).

In the investigation published in The Quarterly Journal, it was revealed that Elaine remained in New Castle, Indiana, from the time of her divorce in 1967 until the late 1970s, working at various jobs including car-hop at a drive-in restaurant and a car wash attendant, and she later worked as a nurse.

If we go by her story, she was initiated into the cult in the mid 1960s and met Rebecca at Ball Memorial Hospital circa 1980. So when precisely was she gallivanting around the world and meeting with the Pope?

Bear in mind that if Elaine was ever a top representative meeting foreign dignitaries and rock stars and travelling to those countries, she wouldn’t have been an obscure figure. Some photographs and videos of her at public functions would have showed up all these years.

After the truth about Elaine’s background was exposed in 1989, the above claims appearing in bold were removed (the words in green were also re-worded) from the book’s revised edition published by Whitaker House in 1992!

The tales of working with the Pope and high ranking Masons (which were obviously fabricated to fit Jack Chick’s Vatican conspiracy tales) slithered back into the dark!

b) In He Came to Set the Captives Free, Elaine said:

I have spent most of my life in hospitals and operating rooms because of my persistent refusal to bow to Satan in this area. I flatly refuse to participate in human sacrifice … I have had cancer four times with many surgeries … The cancer was directly given to me by Satan as punishment for my refusal to participate in human sacrifice.”

She said she always escaped from the ceremony because she held human life very, very dear.

It strains one’s credulity to believe that Satan’s bride – said to be “one of the top witches in the U.S.” – could so easily get away from killing rituals.

She said her demon guide, Mann-Chan “was something evil and rotten and was eating away at my soul and body, causing me much suffering and much pain, many, many times because I would not uphold or participate in human sacrifice.”

But in the Closet Witches tape, she admits to being a murderess before and after the fact, ordering the (attempted) murder of Rebecca and her pastor patient.

In 2011, Pamela Rae Schuffert, a New World Order conspiracy buff, said she had interviewed Elaine at her home in Florida where she admitted she was a female assassin in the Satanist cult and participated in human sacrifices but intentionally lied in Rebecca’s books for legal protection.

By implication, her claims of being afflicted with cancer four times and tortured by demons for not participating in human sacrifices in that book were also false.

Little wonder, she said Satan made all her bodily scars disappear so she wouldn’t be able to later show people. How convenient.

c) In Prepare for War, Rebecca wrote: “After I finished my residency in internal medicine and critical care, I opened a medical practice in a small town [Lapel]…” (Whitaker, 1992, p. 228, italics mine).

But in Closet Witches, she said God told her to resign from her residency program and she did. As a result, she lost all her friends within one week and her superiors tried to put her in a mental facility (#2A).

The real story is that officials at Ball Memorial Hospital had had enough of Rebecca’s bizarre behavior conducting exorcisms in the ICU and telling patients “that she was chosen by God as the only physician able to diagnose certain ailments and conditions” (Finding of Fact, no. 11 Cause #83 MLB 038).

Finally, the hospital officials asked her to leave.

It was obviously the glaring ethical issues surrounding Rebecca and Elaine that convinced Jack Chick to stop publishing her books.

  1. Ordinarily, with the toga Rebecca weaved around herself in her books, one would expect her to have a working knowledge of the occult, but this is not so. For instance, her statements on pages 43 and 49 of Becoming a Vessel of Honor betray her cluelessness about Wicca and how it differs from Satanism.

Wiccans don’t believe in the existence of Satan, so the statements “Joyce” made about Satan teaching them on how to put demons into Christians ring hollow.

Rebecca also made reference to an unnamed individual “who has accessed one of WICCA’s main computers” and found a “complete ‘hit list’ of Christians they want to discredit and destroy.”

The man she’s alluding to is John Todd, the supposed ex-Druidic high priest who has been exposed as a fraud, rapist and drug addict.

Todd is the only one who has ever made such an outlandish claim. His spurious and hilarious “confessions” were published by Jack Chick in three comic magazines which Rebecca took as fact. This is a classic example of an appeal to dubious authority.

It is unethical to spread lies and misinformation, even about cults.

6. Some statements made by Elaine in He Came to Set the Captives Free also cast much doubt on the veracity of her testimony. Describing the satanist group she was in, she said:

This group which secretly calls itself The Brotherhood, is made up of people who are directly controlled by, and worship Satan … This is the same cult written about in Hal Lindsey’s book, Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth and in Mike Warnke’s book, The Satan Seller. It also the U.S. counterpart of the group in England written about in the book Freed from Witchcraft by Doreen Irvine.”

The “brotherhood” sounds more like a male satanic group that might not accept female membership. Her vague description aside, Mike Warnke’s claims about being a member of The Brotherhood have been investigated by Christian journalists and found to be wholly fabricated. Any real ex-satanist would have already figured this out.

Moreover, Doreen Irvine never identified the satanist group to which she belonged as “the brotherhood,” so again, Elaine’s appeal to authority is dubious.

Elaine also said:

There is a group called the Illuminati made up mostly of people who are directly descended from the Druids of ancient England. They are extremely powerful and dangerous people and are linked to the Brotherhood.”

This is straight out of John Todd’s spurious “confession” in Chick Publication’s comic titled Spellbound.

Reading Elaine’s story carefully, she appears to have borrowed some scenarios (e.g of witches’ national competition and coronation as queen) from Doreen Irvine’s testimony.

Apparently, Rebecca and Elaine picked up strands of ideas from other books and embellished them with their own imaginative details.

7. In Unbroken Curses and Standing on the Rock, we are told that Daniel Yoder was raised in an European “boarding school … a center of Cabalistic practices” where he “was subjected to severe ritualistic abuse.”

For those in the know, the European or Ashkenazi Kabbalah (that’s the proper spelling) is rarely, if ever, taught outside a strict setting and certainly not in a boarding school.

For one to qualify for the Ashkenazi Kabbalah, one must be a seasoned Jewish rabbi, 40 years old, married with at least 4 children and that doesn’t even guarantee that one won’t be finally kicked out.

Daniel’s story appears to be tailored along the line of Elaine’s but it was better spurn than hers. I have pointed out some other problems with Unbroken Curses in another article.

8. In a YouTube video titled Through the Black (posted Nov. 1, 2017), Dr. Gregory Reid of Youthfire Ministries, a retired Private Investigator and a Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) survivor, revealed that he met Rebecca and Elaine about the time they published their first book.

Starting from 22:13, Dr. Reid (who has written an autobiography chronicling his experiences), said he was the “Allen” whose story was relayed in Prepare for War (1992; pp. 268-270). But Rebecca laced his story with fabricated details. His words are in blue:

This is one of those instances where I don’t have too much fear of what I’m about to say, because I met Dr. Brown and Elaine way back in the day, I think it was in 1986 … I met them because I was trying to find out what in the world that happened to me. I met them in California. This is my opinion just from meeting them … Dr Brown has absolute 100 per cent complete control over Elaine. She wouldn’t let her talk to me about certain things. We had probably a two-hour dinner meeting and then we lost contact…

I had some real questions about the first book, He Came to Set the Captives Free. A lot of it didn’t ring true to me in terms of the way spiritual warfare really works, [inaudible] but I saw everybody’s warning, you know.

So, I got to the second book and I got to that portion in there where they were talking about a particular person named Larry [actually “Allen”] and I thought wow, that does sound a lot like my story. Sounds a lot like my story. Oh my gosh! They took my whole story and changed the facts in it and printed it in their book!

And they made it sound [sensational]… they said my parents were satanists; that I had attempted suicide – none of which was true. And when I found out, I thought that, you know what, this is why we can’t have nice things. This is why we can’t have credibility.”

Most, if not all, of the “case histories” relayed in Rebecca Brown’s books were possibly embellished in the same pattern. Although, Dr. Greg appears to be off the track on some facts, his final take was quite spot on:

“I think Dr. Brown was poisonous to her [Elaine’s] work and produced so much false information that has hurt us tremendously.”

 

 

 

Further Reflections on the Integrity Challenged Warriors – II

Doctrinal Aberrations 

Rebecca Brown’s teachings, though good in some aspects, are also plagued by flawed Bible interpretation, warped theology and strange ideas about spiritual warfare that can mislead those who blindly accept them.

  1. Spirit bodies

She taught that the human spirit body can act independently without the person’s knowledge. But a careful reading of the Bible texts she cited (2 Cor. 12:2-4; Rev. 4:12) reveals that while the persons’ spirits left their bodies (or didn’t leave), they were clearly aware of what they perceived. She wrote:

If you hate someone, Satan can step in and use your spirit body to attack the person you hate. Such an attack can produce all sorts of illness, accidents, emotional problems, and even physical death. The person doing the hating usually is never aware that Satan is using his spirit body.” (He Came, p. 177).

This teaching unjustly incriminates Christians as occultists. The Bible calls hatred a sinful work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19); it doesn’t turn Christians into part-time witches.

In her third book she wrote:

Even though we do not see the armor of God, it IS real armor in the spirit world. We can use it in the physical world if the Holy Spirit directs” (Becoming p. 82).

This is an error. We do not wear Roman armour on our spirit bodies! They are spiritual qualities. Just because Apostle Paul employed metaphors such as “helmet”, “breastplate”, “belt” etc. does not mean they are literal pieces.

  1. Standing in the gap

Have you ever experienced a time of intense intercessory prayer after which you felt completely exhausted? That is because, while you were praying with your physical body, God had taken your spirit body and put it into combat with the demonic forces you are praying against … The fatigue you felt is mostly a reflection of the stress your spirit body experienced” (Prepare, p. 287)

She misapplies 1 Cor. 5:1-4 to support this idea, but there, Paul was using a metaphor. It’s quite common for a person to say he is with us in the spirit if not in person, meaning that he is sympathetic to our situation even if absent.

Apostle Paul was not astral projecting to be with the Corinthian church. He was simply responding to reports of sin there.

She also wrote:

In other words, any demonic powers directed the minister must get past you first. This will mean suffering for you – both physical and emotional … You will rarely be consciously aware that you are ‘in the gap.’ This is because the Lord has complete control of our spirit bodies” (Ibid, pp. 286-287).

There’s no scriptural precedent for the interpretation of bearing others’ physical pain and sharing in their affliction as “bearing others’ burden.”

When Paul told the Galatians to bear one another’s burdens, he was speaking about restoring a brother taken in a fault (Gal. 6:1-5).

Yes, we are to help others in need but there is no Scriptural teaching that we are to suffer pain so someone else will not have to.

Rebecca also misapplies Ezekiel 20:30-31 to “prove” her teaching that bearing another’s pain is equivalent to “standing in the gap.”

In these verses, God was merely saying that He was going to destroy the land because He found no one to stand in the gap i.e. intercede in prayer for them. Jesus is the One who took our burdens on the cross.

It’s interesting to note that during the hearing for the revoking of her license, eye witnesses testified:

“That Respondent [Rebecca] has stated on numerous occasions that she possessed the capability of ‘sharing’ her patients’ illnesses in fighting the demons, devils and other evil spirits that were allegedly causing the various ailments and conditions and that she was, in fact ‘sharing’ Edna Elaine Moses’ leukemia”  (Finding of Fact, no. 20).

On page 319 of Prepare for War, she alludes to this bizarre idea: “I asked the Lord if He would be willing to remove Rene’s pain and let us share the pain.”

  1. Rebecca as Elaine’s Saviour

Rebecca said God sent an angel with a sword to kill Elaine after becoming a Christian for refusing to enter into a covenant with Him to protect her from being killed by Satanists. Elaine’s words too were revealing:

I can fight and protect us. I know our enemy well. After all, I spent 17 years serving him, I should know him! I’m not a weakling, why should I go running to God to protect us? … God is insulting me. Why should I ask Him to protect us when I can fight just as well?” (Prepare, pp. 16-17).

Note: these are not words that would come from someone who has been born again by the Word of God and has the Spirit of God in him/her.

In this scenario, Rebecca says she asks God to let His wrath fall on her instead of Elaine and it so happened.

She cites Moses as an example, but Moses didn’t suffer in his body or spirit for Israel. There’s no scriptural precedent for God pouring His wrath on His children, let alone an innocent child for the sake of a guilty child.

There’s no scriptural evidence that God would destroy one of His children for not entering into a covenant. And there’s no scriptural precedent for God forcing anyone to enter into a covenant with Him. All His covenants are open to rejection or acceptance.

God never forces himself on anyone, let alone send an angel to kill someone who refused to enter into a proposed covenant. We have one God and one Mediator, Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5). His blood cleanses us from our sins, not a woman’s idea of self-sacrifice.

  1. Guardian angels

The angel also told me that God created all his angels with so much love that every person has a special guardian angel who guards him or her because he has so much love for that individual that he petitioned the Father for the job of guarding him from his birth” (He Came, p.127).

The idea of every individual having a guardian angel from birth is unbiblical. Here’s what the Bible says:

“Are not angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Heb. 1:14)

There’s no mention here or elsewhere in scripture of a special guardian angel given to each person. Angels are ministers only to the heirs of salvation.

When the Bible says “He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways,” it was specifically referring to God’s people (Ps. 91:11).

Rebecca said she accepted the angel’s teachings because no fallen angel can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. She based this on 1 Cor. 12:3, but she was in error: this verse applies to men, not to spirits of deception.

The historical context of the verse mandated that expression of faith, but the test today is not whether someone says “Jesus is Lord,” but whether what they teach is wholly backed up by the Bible (Gal. 1:8).

  1. Covenanting with God

God makes a covenant with each of us when we ask Jesus to forgive our sins and to become our Lord and Savior and Master … [God still] desires to make a covenant with us even as He did with Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua and so on…” (Prepare, p. 25).

This is not quite accurate. Jesus established the new covenant with His disciples and commissioned them to invite whosoever will to enter into that covenant (Matt. 26:28; Jer. 31:33-34).

There is only one covenant. We do not all have separate covenants in Jesus’ blood, although we have individual relationships with the Father through that one covenant.

When we make Jesus our Lord and Saviour and Master, then we don’t need to make other covenants like Noah, Abraham or Moses did with God because the new covenant is “superior” to theirs and is “founded on better promises” (Heb. 8:6).

Indeed, there could be times when God would lead individuals in a specific assignment and attach certain promises to it, that may be called a “covenant” in a sense, but the type Rebecca teaches is a deliberate kind of formal oath that Christians must enter into with God. God doesn’t require such oaths (Matt. 5:34-37). Besides, God is sovereign; He’s not bound by any covenant we initiate.

She continues:

My first covenant with the Lord was at the time of my salvation. My second covenant was when I made Jesus the total Master in my life by making that total commitment. I was the initiator of these two covenants.”

This statement betrays her lack of understanding of the new covenant. She has it backwards.

At salvation, God initiates a covenant with us through Christ’s blood. Making Christ Lord and Master over our lives is part of that agreement.

One cannot enter the new covenant in Christ’s blood without making Him Lord (Rom. 10:9-10). The idea that Jesus can be our Saviour without being our Lord is in error. Where it becomes apparent that her idea of covenanting is legalistic is seen on page 32:

I anguished over the decision for about a week, counting the cost as best as I could. I knew without a doubt that once I made such a covenant, there would be no opportunity for backing out … If I did, I would lose my relationship with the Lord.”

The new covenant is based on grace. We have access to God the Father through the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of grace. It’s heretical to teach that God would condition our salvation on entering into an oath with Him.

Even Rebecca’s personal life evinced her deceptive doctrines. She had claimed God told her to be covenanted to Him and not get married, but she later says God released her from that covenant and commanded her to marry Daniel Yoder (Standing on the Rock, Solid Rock Family Enterprises, 2002, pp. 33, 82).

  1. Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Perhaps in a bid to impress Jack Chick who had much gripe against Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, Rebecca goes out of her way to misrepresent their teachings in order to demonise them.

On page 176 of her second book, she tells a story of a Christian lady named “Lea” who met a woman who tried “to get her to speak in tongues” and when she couldn’t, “the woman told her she was grieving the Holy Spirit. The woman accused Lea of refusing to let Him speak through her in tongues.”

No informed Pentecostal would say the Holy Spirit “speaks through people in tongues,” a more accurate expression would be for a person to “speak as the Spirit gives utterance” (cf. Acts 2:4)

After Lea was prayed for by a guest pastor, she began to speak in tongues. Rebecca said Lea received a demon of false tongues because “she subjected herself to a person whom she did not know, accepting whatever he chose to give her.”

On the contrary, it’s the Lord who baptises with the Holy Spirit not man (Lk. 3:18).

Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:11-13).

It falls outside the sphere of biblical and balanced thought to posit that when a Believer prays to God to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he/she will receive a demon because the person ministering to him is not known.

Our God is not so weak as to leave us unprotected even when we are ignorant. Rebecca’s stories present a warped picture of God

Again on page 181 she throws out another straw man about speaking in tongues:

This is probably the area where Satan has had the greatest success in our day … People involved in TM and many other forms of Eastern meditation speak in tongues.

This is an argument anti-Christians use: “If pagans pray to their gods, then prayer is of pagan origin!”

In Transcendental Meditation and other form of Eastern meditation, folks don’t “speak in tongues.” What they chant is called “mantra” and its concept is far different from speaking in tongues as taught by Scripture.

  1. Counter-petitioning Satan

Still on her second book, Rebecca tells of being taken up to heaven where Satan was petitioning God to allow him sacrifice her and Elaine at the Black Mass and she presented a written covenant to counter petition him (Prepare, 22). This is what she calls “counter petitioning Satan.”

She says, “Satan is daily standing before God asking him for various people on the Earth” (Closet #2 A).

But she gets alerted by God whenever Satan is petitioning Him for someone or something within the sphere of her work and ministry.

Satan can do so much because God’s people don’t bother to counter-petition his requests.” Because God is just, “He must grant Satan his petition if it is not contested.” (Prepare, pp. 98, 146).

In Standing on the Rock, while Daniel was repenting and praying over his sins, Rebecca claims to be transported in spirit to God’s throne room where Satan was present as well:

Suddenly, as Daniel reached about the fifth ritual, I realized that each ritual was indeed being wiped out!” and then she petitioned God “that Satan will not be permitted to kill or torture him or destroy him [Daniel] in revenge for turning to [Him]” (p. 81).

Where does this leave Jesus Christ our Mediator? Where does this leave His blood of the new covenant?

In her visions, she doesn’t see Jesus our High Priest mediating or interceding for Believers before God, she sees herself petitioning on behalf of other Christians. Isn’t that suspicious?

When God allowed Satan to afflict Job and sift Peter, it was to test their faithfulness – and they were restored without being taken to heaven to “counter petition Satan.” To conclude from these two cases that God must honour Satan’s petitions on His people is bad theology.

His Word says “the Father himself loves you” (Jn. 16:27). The Bible shows us over and over how God protects His people from harm and evil orchestrated by the devil.

When Satan accused Joshua the high priest, God sent His angel to take away his filthy garments and put on him a rich garment (Zech. 3:1-4). No need for “counter petitioning Satan.”

As Jesus was facing the cross He said: “Now the prince of this world is driven out” (Jn. 12:31). He also said: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk. 10:18).

Through the blood of Jesus we have peace with God and have become “members of God’s household” (Eph. 2:19). God loves His household!

Yet, in Rebecca’s fifth book, her warped idea is seen in what her “Father” tells her:

Satan’s kingdom is so unified and so persistent and their petitions so numerous that if you don’t do something I will have to honour their petition and allow you to be killed” (Standing, p. 163).

So her “God” answers the prayers of witches and Satanists! Believe me, this book is a riot.

Her materials depict a weak Jesus and a powerful Satan and that’s exactly what Satan wishes to plant in the mind of Christians.

Go to Part III