4. Every cult (and every world religion) is based upon human effort rather than the grace of God and the sacrifice of Christ.

Galatians 3:1-4 “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” NIV

5. God’s wisdom is always open to reason. The fruits of wisdom are the fruits of the Spirit.

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” NASB

6. Test the spirits against God’s Word. Jessie-Penn Lewis said that deception often rides on the heels of revival.

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” NIV

I now know why blind followers take suicide pacts, commit polygamy and kill in the name of God. We humans are easily deceived. It is only by the grace of God, the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word that we stand.

For over twenty-five years, Dr. Julie Barrier has been in demand as a national and international conference speaker, addressing topics such as marriage and ministry, developing healthy relationships, biblical study, and women’s issues. She is the founder and director of the Preach It, Teach It website, www.preachitteachit.org, providing sermons, devotionals, blogs, and videos by internationally renowned teachers and authors such as Francis Chan, Josh McDowell, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, David Ferguson, Jim Cymbala, Larry Osborne, Mark Batterson, Stanley Toussaint and many more. International resources are also offered in ten languages. Since its inception in June 2008, Preach It, Teach It has received more than five hundred thousand hits from 203 countries. For many years, Julie also taught Biblical Foundations of Worship, Conducting, and Arranging as an adjunct Professor at the Dixon School of Church Music at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She has served as a minister of worship, orchestra conductor, and arranger at Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Barrier has also performed as a concert artist and orchestra conductor. Dr. Barrier is the author or composer of over fifty published works: books, choral pieces, orchestral works, musical theater scripts, and journal articles. Her latest book is Bored in Big Church: Recollections of a Church Brat and Tattletale (Xulon Press, 2011). She and her husband, Roger, have two beautiful daughters and two sons-in-law. If you wish to book a conference with the Barriers, go to www.churchthrive.com.

This article first appeared on Dr. Barrier's blog at Preach It, Teach It. Used with permission.

Publication date: September 20, 2011