Iocane Powder – Holy Ghost Movie

In the movie Princess Bride, the Dread Pirate Roberts is in a battle of wits with Vizzini. Pouring two goblets of wine, he laces the cups with poison. Speaking to Vizzini he says: “Iocane powder. It is odorless, tasteless, dissolves instantly in liquid, and is among the more deadly poisons known to man.”

Of course, Vizzini loses the game and dies from drinking the poison. The heroine, Buttercup speaks to the Dread Pirate Roberts and says, “And to think, all that time it was your cup that was poisoned.”

To which the Dread Pirate Roberts responds, “They were both poisoned. I spent the last few years building up an immunity to Iocane powder.”

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With that introduction, I want to share the caveat that I have not watched the movie, but neither did I go to see much-hyped “Son of God” by Roma Downey or “Noah” with Russell Crowe. That may turn some of the readers off, but before you go, I want to also say that I have never spiked my cup of tea with strychnine or cyanide or even “Iocane powder” to see if it really is poison like experts tell us it is.

Neither have I sought to “build up an immunity” to the Iocane powders that are invading the evangelical church of America. There are some things that we just understand are not good for us.

What I have done is spent time reading and studying the Word of God. This accomplishes several things. First, when heresy comes along, I do not have to worry about getting sick from the Iocane powder. I recognize it for what it is and instead of trying to see if my immune system is strong enough to handle another dose of poison, I avoid it altogether.

The church is being inundated with slick, social media driven, so-called Christian movies. They are taking the church by storm, and to some, this is a good thing. But to others, like myself, we are watching a largely biblically illiterate church membership being fed more Iocane powder. The results are predictable. The more Iocane powder that is being drunk is turning churches into havens for worldliness, rank ungodliness, and a demeaning of the true holiness of the Triune God.

For the sake of time and space, I intend to point out a few huge doctrinal problems with the movie with the prayer that you and anybody you know will stay away from this movie. Review these words with a discerning spirit and see if what you are hearing about the movie is merely hype or whether it has been dead-reckoned with the Word of God. Please, please, PLEASE, let the true Holy Spirit be your Guide as you peruse the wonderful words of life that God has left to us. This is His love letter and His only Guide as we walk the dark shadows of this life.

Sadly, I know that some are going to go and watch the movie and come out thinking and saying things like, “Isn’t the Holy Ghost great?” Or, “I want more of the Holy Ghost in my life.” Or, “I am so glad that there are great Christian movies that are being made and I hope that others will go see this and come to Christ.” – THAT would be a TRAGEDY!

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So, let’s begin with the dissection.

The trailer opens with Bill Johnson, who styles himself as the pastor of Bethel Church, Redding, California. We could stop right here and end the post because this was enough to send the red flag of HERESY flying from the ramparts. We have addressed the problems and the false teaching of Bethel Church Redding at Defending Contending on many occasions.

The cast is a veritable who’s who of people within the Signs and Wonders movement that has been sweeping throughout the world. The list even includes several pastors from the false ranks of the Vineyard and Willow Creek religious organizations. Our website at Defending Contending has spent several years warning our readers of the heresies and errors that this movement has perpetrated on its followers.

One person that caught my eye was William P. Young, author of “The Shack Outhouse.” This book that does not belong in any true Christian bookstore is nothing more than blasphemy but which has made its author a large amount of money. Here is an excerpt from “Writer’s Digest” magazine dated 2009. “In Young’s story, Jesus is a dark-skinned Middle Eastern Jewish man who thwarts Mack’s expectation of a hunky blonde Jesus. God isn’t a white-haired wizard figure, but rather a matronly black woman who calls herself “Papa” in an attempt to challenge Mack’s preconceived notions. The Holy Spirit is a transparent creature named Sarayu who can’t be seen directly.”

Has the Iocane powder made you throw up yet in your morning breakfast?

If you have any more questions about “The Shack”, we recommend you go this blogpost. Read and weep at what is being found in so-called Christian bookstores.

On the promotional website for the movie, the question is asked, “Why is it called Holy Ghost?” Here is part of the director’s answer, “Early on in the film Darren claims that his desire is to ‘make God famous.’”

Seriously?!

The next question asks, “What do you mean when you say ‘led by the Holy Spirit’?” This is very telling. Here Darren claims that God still speaks to people through many different ways. He employs prayer walking and forms of contemplative mysticism to attain a “dialogue back and forth with God.” In his own words,

“Sometimes he heard a still, small voice in his head; sometimes he and those around him had dreams directing them where to go; sometimes he would get a familiar feeling in his stomach that, in the past, always told him that God was on something.”

These are the words of somebody who does not discern truth through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. In John 16:8, Jesus tells His disciples that they will be guided into all truth and that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of coming judgment. The Holy Spirit is not a Jedi force. He is the 3rd Person of the Trinity. He is equally God just as God the Father is and as is God the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ).

Feeling the effects of the Iocane powder yet?

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The trailer continues with people seeking to “impart” the Spirit of God to anonymous individuals that they stop on the street. This can be seen as the main characters walk up to somebody, rub their hands together to generate heat, and supposedly transfer the Holy Spirit to those who have experienced no new birth. This is heresy. Only God has the ability to make a person a new creation in Christ and when they become one of His children, then they are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption.

Michael W. Smith states that he wants to come to the point where he never ever is offended by anyone again. This goes completely contrary to what we saw in the life of the early New Testament Church and the writings of the apostles. The gospel will always cause offense, and we, who are true believers, will be offended when the Triune Godhead, His Word, and His Church is slandered.

One final point – Korn! Where in the world do we begin? This band has stated repeatedly that there inspiration is a long list of heavy metal bands whose life and lyrics are totally opposed to everything that is pure and holy. A quick perusal of their lyrics and music genre will show the discerning reader that Korn is NOT led by the Holy Spirit of God. They are perverse, vulgar, and are leading people astray from the Bible just as Bill Johnson, William Young, Michael W. Smith, and others are.

Now you have a choice. You can THINK you are building up a resistance to Iocane powder or you can flee back to the Word of God. You can swallow the lies that continue to penetrate the church through the filters of hell, or you can strive for a life of holiness that is based on the ONLY way that God speaks to us today – through His perfect, inerrant, and infallible Word, the Bible.

I have used this illustration before and conclude because I think it is so appropriate. Suppose I had a barrel of apples sitting on my porch and inside just one of those apples, I had placed one drop of cyanide. I invite you to take one, but tell you first that you need to know that somewhere in the barrel is one apple with just one drop of poison. However, don’t worry, the chances of you picking that one apple is very slim, so enjoy whatever apple you want to eat.

Nobody in their right mind would dive into that apple barrel to even touch the apples, much less have a desire to eat one. As a sane, rational human, you know that the entire barrel has now been tainted. It would be dangerous to attempt even one small bite.

Friends, listen to me. The barrel of apples has been tainted with more than just one drop of poison. It is riddled with the Iocane poison of the world. What is being offered will kill you just as surely with one drop as with an entire cup of poison. Flee from heresy. Run back to the Lord Jesus Christ and plead with Him for mercy and forgiveness. There is true healing at the cross, not in the heresy that is being put on offer by the makers of this most recent cinematic drivel.

This is the bottom line – the “Holy Ghost” is poison. It is Iocane powder and it is NOT of God. It will NOT present the true gospel, because the characters do have a true gospel to present. They are heresy spreaders. False teachers. Wolves in sheep’s clothing leading Christians astray.

Will the Real Christians Please Stand Up?

This is different than probably anything I have ever written. I have wanted my writings to be a means of encouragement to those who are struggling or who need a pick-me-up. I do believe, however, that God laid this on my heart so I hope you will bear with me for this very solemn post. I am sure most of you have heard about what is happening over in Iraq; however, if you can’t handle the details, feel free to skip to the second paragraph.

I have read a couple short articles on the atrocity that has been happening in Iraq the past few days. I didn’t read more than that because, honestly, I can’t handle it. My heart is breaking for those people, however, as I pray for their strength and comfort. Many watched their children beheaded or cut in two. They had to flee their homes which have now been taken over by this terrorist group. I am reminded that Christian persecution has not ended. For a while, it has been out of sight and out of mind, but I am endeavoring to begin praying for the persecuted church like never before.

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Here in America, we have had it so easy. Any persecution we have faced has been really minor compared to what our Brothers and Sisters in many other countries have experienced. I am grateful for this but I don’t believe this freedom will last forever. We very well may live to see the day when our lives are in danger as well. If this doesn’t happen in my lifetime, my children and grandchildren may see that day. Would I stand firm as so many martyrs have done and boldly declare that Jesus is my Lord? The Sunday School answer is, “Yes!” I know that’s easier said than done though. I think I would probably have the boldness to die for Christ but what about being tortured day in and day out for months on end? Or what about seeing my children tortured in front of my eyes? Is my faith and devotion to Christ strong enough to withstand those things?

I am not trying to scare anyone. Life is plenty scary and uncertain without me adding to that. But I do want to tell you that this is the time to choose who you will serve. This is the time to get as close to God as you can without any compromise. If you are not fully surrendered to Him now and willing to do whatever He asks of you, you will not be instantaneously willing to suffer for Him when that day comes. Second Timothy 3:12 tells us that “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It’s not a matter of “if”; it’s a matter of when and to what degree. The call is still the same, however. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13).

I am challenging myself as I challenge all of you. Whether you agree with me or not that America will see immense persecution, I hope you will at least agree that this is a wake-up call. Christians in other countries are being massacred while we live a life of extreme ease. If this doesn’t break your heart, it is way too hard. We do not live here because we are special. We have been the recipients of God’s gracious mercy. Every day that we wake up, we should be rejoicing and asking God how we can best serve Him with the time that He gives us on this earth. God told the lukewarm Church in Laodicea that He would spit them out of His mouth. I can’t imagine anything more dreadful.

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God, give me a renewed determination to live for You wholeheartedly. Remind me daily to pray for my Brothers and Sisters who are being persecuted for Your name’s sake. Fill me with the fire of Your Holy Spirit so that I do not become lukewarm or mediocre. Continue the work that You’ve begun because You are faithful! And please give comfort and a special grace to Your people in Iraq who have lost their homes and seen friends and family members brutally murdered. No one could get through that with You. Let them feel Your presence in the midst of their grief more than ever before.

Superman Goes to Church?

Yesterday evening, I posted this on my Facebook wall. No, this was not some off the wall church, but a long-established church considered well within the realms of evangelicalism. Some preachers of old came from this particular denomination and would probably roll over in their graves if they knew what was being spoon-fed to gullible sheep.

“Well that church visit was a one-timer only! We knew we were in for a treat when the sermon notes had a picture of Clark Kent / Christopher Reeves with a big Cross in place of the “S” on his chest. The sermon title says it all, “Super Christian, A Fat Woman, and an Old Camera.” Wow, two hours of our lives we will never get back.

During the message inspirational talk, the first large chunk of the time was taken up trying to get the hearer to see how they relate to the Superman of the movies. Basically, we each have our Kryptonite and the reality is that we are far from being SuperChristian. However, if we work hard, in 5 years, we can become closer to the SuperChristian ideal than we are today. It only takes a desire on our part to use our willpower to change.

Here were a couple of quotes from the person who was tasked with delivering the whole truth of Scripture, but failed miserably:

“Love is the most powerful change agent in our lives. So we must love God and love ourselves. The change process includes asking Him to be your Lord and GIVE Him authority for what you become in the future.”

Shades of Joel Osteen. How much biblical knowledge does a person have to unlearn in order to spout these kinds of comments to a listening congregation? Even worse, how shallow does a believer have to be in order to accept these comments from the pulpit?

Let us clarify a few things here. 1) Yes, love is important and is the greatest of faith, hope, and love. However, for believer and unbeliever alike, only God can be the most powerful change agent in our lives. An unbeliever cannot truly love with a biblical love unless he or she is completely and powerfully changed by the God of the universe. For the believer, we are called to renew our minds and to die to self daily, not to love ourselves.

This kind of thinking quickly devolves into the false teaching that we must forgive ourselves and there are even churches that are teaching that in order to move forward in our lives, that we must learn to forgive God as well. This is blasphemy. God has nothing for which He can be forgiven. Only a sinful creature needs to be forgiven, and this comes from God for our wickedness against His holiness.

Here is another quote –

“God loves you just how you are and will love you completely EVEN if you never change.”

Excuse me while I get sick. My stomach should be ok in a few days, but my head will struggle for awhile. This is absolute drivel to coin a good Greek word. Is it true that God loves each of us? First, John 3:16 makes it clear that God loved the world that He gave the ultimate gift of His Only Begotten Son. However, in that same passage, Jesus continued and said in verse 36 that for those who do not believe that the wrath of God abides on them even now. God hates sin. God detests sin. God loathes sin.

This is the problem with much of evangelicalism. It wants to focus so much on the love to the complete, or almost complete, exclusion of the wrath of God. God is equally a God of love and a God of wrath. If there was no wrath, there could be no love exhibited. God had to hate sin infinitely in order to love infinitely.

Further, this last quote smacks of a complete misunderstanding of Biblical truths, and here is why. 1) God does NOT love you just how you are for you and I were once dead in trespasses and sins. The wrath of God bore down upon our heads and we were bound for destruction. God could not place His love upon that which rises in ultimate rebellion against His holiness because He accepts you the way you are. No, no, NO! If God loves you the way you are, then there would have been no need for Jesus Christ to have become the ultimate sacrifice.

2 Corinthians 5:17 makes this abundantly clear. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

God will be glorified in all things and one day, every knee will bow down before Jesus Christ. This will be true of those in heaven, or earth, or in hell. However, the Bible is clear that when God sets His love upon you and redeems you from the slave market of sin that you WILL NOT remain the same. You CANNOT be the same person and choose to abide in your sin with no discipline or correction.

If there has never been a change or if you never change, the wrath of God will remain upon you and one day, in the pits of hell, you will find yourself cursing God with all of your being.

If you are a true believer, then you will not be able to keep from changing anymore than a baby can by willpower choose to remain an infant.

So, while the sheeple were being entertained, the Holy Spirit must have been grieved. The music and announcement time comprised right at 60 minutes of the total service time. Many swayed and clapped with the music driven by the band at the front, but few sang. People laughed at the jokes and little anecdotes, and I presume they went away feeling like they had accomplished something special by filling in the Church/God box of their lives for another week. Yet, there was no change.

It was a very sad commentary on what happens when the pulpit gets away from the Bible as the standard, and a very sad commentary on what happens when the people in the pew have no clue whether what is being said is actually in the Bible or not. We were grieved at the realization that here was another full church full of people who had no clue what it means to biblically worship a holy, righteous God.

Superman is not real, but God is real. Superman does not belong in church, but God does (Rev. 3:20). Our God came into the world to save sinners and to change them. He doesn’t turn us into SuperChristian, but His Holy Spirit guides us into all truth so that we become more like an image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How Much Do You Love Christ?

Oh Father, may you reawaken the first love we had for Christ when we were rescued from the pit of hell and from having to undergo Your wrath. May our hearts be overwhelmed with Jesus Christ so that there is nothing that will ever be first above Him.

Christ does not want prominence (first among many), He demands that preeminence. He must be the first and only one we worship.

Carnal Means to Attract Carnal People

Paul Washer speaks poignantly and directly to both pastors and church members. The Bride of Christ needs to wake up and remove those from their midst who keep them from following Christ. If you are following a church leadership that hates the true gospel of the Lord Jesus, you would be better to have a millstone tied around your neck and thrown into the sea then to sit under such teaching and leadership that is bound to the works of the flesh. Such a leadership is not honoring to Christ. If you know the truth and ignore it, you will be held accountable for what you know.