Real Stories of Rescue

These are stories from people around the world “saved” out of the mystical-miraclemolly_watson_photography_cleveland_photographer_allardale04 movement and supported by our Defining Deception team. We’d love to hear from you. If you’re willing to share your story of “rescue” please use the comment form below.

“I’m an ORU grad, and former Methodist. My church started introducing the Brownsville revival footage right before I graduated high school to go to ORU. I was there when Richard Roberts was at the helm. My husband and I were very oppressed by Word of Faith teaching on tithing, seed faith, and speak things into existence. We were never content with our lot in life, and we were always sowing into ministries (700 Club, Perry Stone, Rod Parsely) on top of tithing. All the while we were going deeper into debt. We were set free after watching a “Wretched” video by Todd Friel on YouTube of a pastor calling out a self-appointed prophetess. That led us to a video of John MacArthur rebuking Joel Osteen. We were hooked. We watched sermon after sermon of John MacArthur, which prepped us just in time for his Strange Fire Conference. The Lord had graciously prepared our hearts to receive that message, and draw us both to deep repentance. We are so humbly grateful for the faithful ministry of John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Justin Peters, Steve Lawson, James White, Chris Rosebrough, Todd Friel, Alistair Begg, RC Sproul, David Platt, Mike Abendroth, and so many more! Most of all, to Jesus for His mercy in saving us! Now, my husband is a fervent student of the Word of God, and is currently helping with biblical counseling in our Bible church here in Oklahoma.” –Amy, 38, Tulsa, Oklahoma

“My academic background is philosophy and theology. How did I end up in a Word of Faith church? Sadly, I suffer from depression. I had been involved for years in Charismatic churches. During one dark period of my life my mood took a nosedive and I ended up in a very vulnerable place. My wife and I got an invitation to a Word of Faith church and in my fragile mental state I became convinced that they had the answer to my mental health problems. I could speak the Bible out into my life and command by mind to be well. The trouble is – the health & wealth theology doesn’t deliver. It didn’t work for me, and it didn’t work for an elder in that church who ended up dying of cancer – a physical and spiritual wreck. After witnessing some ugly spiritual abuses and manipulation we left that church after two years. Gradually my mental health returned as I began to see the fullness of the true gospel again. God guided me to the work of men such as Justin Peters, and I have since felt a calling to challenge Word of Faith doctrine wherever it raises its ugly head.” –Stephen, 39, Belfast, Ireland

“In 2014, I became a shut-in due to a medical condition. It was then that I came upon recordings of John MacArthur’s “Strange Fire”, Justin Peter’s “Clouds Without Water” series, and Ray Comfort’s “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.” God not only delivered me out of fourteen years of false conversion, He systematically delivered me from every false teaching that I had been deceived by such as: Word of Faith, Health & Wealth/Prosperity Gospel, mysticism, and a few others. In a providential way, God used my affliction to keep me shut in and away from my doctrinally corrupt church. Two years later, a quick and unexpected move to a different city placed me close to a wonderfully biblical church. As I write this testimony, my Geneva Bible rests beside me. If it were not for God’s mercy, I would be still deceived and most likely reading the Joyce Meyer Bible. Praise the Lord!” –Pamela, 43, Ontario, Canada

“My husband and I did not grow up in Christian households and had few Christian friends. When God opened our eyes and saved us, we both had come to faith in Jesus by reading the scriptures alone at home. We certainly didn’t have a mature understanding of the Bible but believed in Jesus and were compelled to be baptized. We began attending a charismatic church, and kept reading our Bibles diligently. Soon, as we witnessed excessive scripture-twisting tactics, we knew it was time to leave. At first, it shipwrecked our young faith because we couldn’t understand why the teaching and practice didn’t match the scriptures. For sometime, we couldn’t step foot into another church again. Eventually my husband introduced me to R.C Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. From there, our lives were changed forever. We found a biblically faithful church soon after and have never looked back!” –Sylvia, 27, Melbourne, Australia

“I was “saved” at 16 years of age and baptized by a Pentecostal preacher, a woman, in her bathtub. She was the mother of my step-mother. This family had get-togethers where they prophesied to each other and I was always pressured to seek the “baptism of the Holy Spirit.” I prayed, begged, pleaded and pretty much everything but stand on my head. I spent years in condemnation and questioning my faith. I finally just gave up. I am so thankful that God did not allow me or my husband to stay in our ignorance. My journey out of the WOF/NAR/Prosperity movement started with a Jay Adams book, which led to Voddie Baucham sermons online, which led to John MacArthur online, including “Strange Fire”, and many other Biblical teachers. After a long search, we are now members of a Reformed Baptist church. After so many years of being told to get my mind out of the way and listening to what I call “cotton candy” messages; all sugar, no sustenance, it is refreshing to hear the “meat” of the Word week in and week out.” –Tami, 51, Willis, Texas

I was raised in a non-denominational church that thrived on health and wealth theology. Speaking things into existence was what it was all about! Our pastor got a new Porsche every spring and had deacons appointed to keep church members from talking to him after the services. My father was one of his deacons for a while but we left the church after a while. I discovered John MacArthur and Justin Peters through my new pastor in our Baptist church. Unfortunately, my father is still following teachers like Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, and many others. Some of my best friends are really big followers of Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland and one has sadly become an “Apostle.” My wife and I wasted a lot of time and money on deceptive theology but we are thankful to be walking in truth now.” –Clint, 27, Texarkana, Texas

“I wasn’t connected to a traditional church. I was a part of a house church movement.  The teachings were closely related to that of the New Apostolic Reformation. The idea was that we could experience miracles like instantaneous healing or even raise the dead if we “prayed in the Spirit” long enough.  Everyone was supposed to prophecy and receive extra biblical revelation.  I was made to feel as though I was not growing in the Lord if I didn’t have a revelatory dream or prophetic word.  It caused me to manufacture prophetic words that I thought were from the Lord.  It wasn’t until I didn’t get the healing I desired that I began to question why we didn’t look like the church as it was described in scripture. Soon I realized that my beliefs, and our supposed church was a mockery. After that I became alone and lonely. I cried out to God for truth – I begged Him. Providentially, I came across a Paul Washer sermon and my life changed completely. Shortly after that eye-opening moment, God provided a doctrinally sound church that has been a great blessing to me.” –Yolanda, 32, Raeford, North Carolina

“In 2003, I was a teen who began getting involved in a Word of Faith church. We practiced things such as tongues, healing, prosperity, and stayed in it until 2010. Many confusing things occurred that were awkward during my time there. After the pastor passed away, the church went downhill from there with his wife leading the church. Many services were full of things are found nowhere in the Bible like holy laughter for the entirety of a service instead of preaching, to tongues that were just people repeating the phrase, “Hot dog, hot dog.” I ended up leaving there to go in the Army and over the course of five years, I abandoned those practices. After leaving the Army in 2015, I began studying God’s word and He opened my eyes to truth. I have many family members still caught up in the Word of Faith movement.” –Mark, 25, Gardner, Massachusetts

“I got saved at a hip charismatic church. Besides forgiveness of sins, we were taught that Jesus died for our health and abundant life; that we needed to tithe, give, serve and speak only positive words in order to be blessed. One failed marriage later, I began to wonder why my life wasn’t bearing much good fruit. The pastoral couple had a TV show, preached sermons on relationships and sex, but were hardly available to counsel. Blaming myself, I resolved to follow Jesus even more fervently, which lead me straight into a heavily NAR-influenced congregation. They taught that we would be outside of God’s will if we failed to follow directions revealed only to our “prophetic” elders. Something didn’t feel quite right. It was time to change strategies. So, I actually open the Bible and seek out the truth concerning biblical teachers. Pirate Christian Radio was a huge blessing to my growth. After a brief disillusionment, I abandoned the “different gospel” (Galatians 1:6) I had followed.” –Daniela, 43, Gig Harbor, Washington

“My husband and I were saved out of the charismatic and Word of Faith movement 7 years ago. The Lord used Ray Comfort’s “good person cartoon” to present the gospel to me and I repented and believed. Then my husband and I started listening to Todd Friel, who then led us to John MacArthur and RC Sproul. From there, we began to understand theological truths more than ever before. In the years that have followed, God has continued to grow us in His truth and we have been trying to reach those and still in the Word of Faith movement.” –Callie, 33, Bonham, Texas

16 thoughts on “Real Stories of Rescue

  1. I am a Musician from Mumbai India, I was never in the Word of Faith Movement or the Charismatic movement. Infact I was raised in a presbyterian Church and as I grew older joined a Fundamental Baptist type Church. However I used to watch a lot of faith prosperity preachers and Television Preachers, such as Andrew Wommack, Joyce Meyer, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. I had my mind influenced with a lot of junk. However to make the long story short I ended up so confused that I almost began to lose faith in God. As time progressed I was introduced to Reformed teachers such as RC Sproul, John MacArthur, Justin Peters and many others and gradually much of my confusion ended.Today I have a solid faith because of Sound Teaching which has answered so many questions. Now I can rest in Gods providence. A large part of my extended family are all trapped in this false movement. Many relationships ended due to my Reformed Understanding. and made more critics. But God is faithfull I have Sanity of Mind which I never had when I flirted with Word of Faith movement which ios like the Trojan Horse. My Prayer is that God would help me open peoples eyes to the false Charismatic Movement and Word of Faith Theology.
    Sushil Melville
    Mumbai India

  2. I grew up going to a Pentecostal church and I must say it wasn’t all negative. Fortunately God put a sound Baptist Pastor in my life and I attended their Youth Group. I have been attending a Christian Misionary Alliance Church for a few years and I can see problems coming. Youth pastor is heavily into HillSongs and disregarding hymns. He is extremely Liberal and it is hurting our church. His dad, who is the Pastor doesnt agree and there is conflict between him and our Elders. Pastors wife is our secretary.
    We have a family in total control and this is often causing conflict of interest.Please pray for us.

  3. I spent quite a bit of time in the New Apostolic Reformation from about 2008 to 2010.
    Prior to this, I was raised in the Church of the Nazarene. I knew a lot about God, but didn’t really take it seriously until I became an adult. The Church of the Nazarene has had a hard time when it comes to dealing with Pentecostal/Charismatic issues. It wasn’t that long ago when they would excommunicate people for speaking in tongues. Thankfully, times have changed.
    I started attending a Vineyard Church in Meridian, Idaho in October 2008. I was still a part of a Nazarene church plant that met on Saturday nights, so my Sunday mornings were free. Meridian Vineyard used to be a Nazarene church plant called Living Hope Church of the Nazarene. The founder and senior pastor was very much involved in the Church of the Nazarene. However, due to lack of financial support from the Intermountain District, this senior pastor and his congregation decided for him to give up his ministerial credentials and go independent. Eventually they associated with the Vineyard.
    My senior pastor lost his first wife to cancer in April 2007 and he was devastated. No matter how hard he tried, he could not “do the stuff” as he was taught by the late John Wimber. I felt really bad for him and his family.
    When I arrived in October 2008, the Meridian Vineyard was a nice and fun place to be. Very loving, lots of contemporary worship. This was also when I first heard about Bethel Church out of Redding, California. I started getting a gut check in my spirit almost immediately.
    I received the gift of prophecy through dreams and visions. I received the gift of tongues on November 7, 2009, the day after my birthday, and I certainly wasn’t expecting it or praying for it. It just happened.
    I was in between jobs so I took advantage of attending some of the Vineyard School of Supernatural Ministry sessions. I did like the prophecy conference with Kris Vallotton and Leif Hetland streamed from Bethel. Later on, we began to get visits from various speakers such as Hetland (who scared me from death when he touched me and I thought I was going to go out onto the floor), Kevin Dedmon (his teachings turned me off), Bob Craine (one of the few speakers I liked listening to), Shawn Bolz (another speaker I liked), Danny Silk (the first time he came, the teaching was practical, the second time he came, it was the same garbage out of Bethel and that’s when I called it quits.)
    There was an insurrection, as in a major church split that happened about 2011 or so. The church went from 200 people on Sunday to only 50 to 75 people on Sunday. The insurrection was started by the former worship leader who said to the senior pastor and I quote, “if you don’t expose this, I will!”
    So not only did the worship leader and his family leave, but the former associate pastor and his wife, the former youth pastor, his wife and family, the children’s pastor, and many others.
    When things went south at Meridian Vineyard it was really driven by the senior pastor’s new wife. She is a very broken person and does not know how to live outside of her own protected bubble. The Senior Pastor began to teach what I call himself more than he was teaching the Bible and he and the wife were actually kicking people out of the church because they were questioning his teaching.
    And it just so happened I was reading “Churches That Abuse” by Ronald Enroth at the time, and wouldn’t you know it, the Vineyard was mentioned in the book. Other good books are: “Strange Fire, Holy Fire: Exploring the Highs and Lows of your Charismatic Experience” by Michael Klassen, and “Post-Charismatic?” by Robin McAlpine.
    I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit about the Charismatic Movement while watching the late Caryl Matrisciana’s wonderful documentary series “Wide is the Gate,” especially Volume 3 which focuses entirely on the New Apostolic Reformation.
    The NAR is very self-centered. All they talked about was signs, wonders, and miracles. They never talked about sin, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, communion was rare, very little in the way of music ministry opportunities, lack of real relationships and compassion for others, especially when tragedies would take place.
    I’m thankful I memorized this Bible verse as my life verse because it has served me well over the years. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 NIV)
    I’ve also adopted the late Timothy Leary’s maxim of “think for yourself, question authority.” Jackie Alnor once stated, “don’t let experience be your guide, only the Word of God is infallible.”

    Brian, 44, Meridian, Idaho

  4. I was raised in the pentecostal movement. Around 2e years ago i started attending a “church” (NAR cult) in the town i was living in. After 3 years God graciously opened my eyes to the mind numbing nonsense & we left in a hurry.
    I was then given tge name of an American Bible teacher (Jon Courson) & when i looked at his website found that he had verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book teaching through tge entire bible.
    Out of curiosity i was first drawn to his intriduction to the book of Revelation with it’s title being “Revelation, it’s not a hard book to understand. I was drawn to that because all i had ever heard in my over 40 years at that time was tgat Revelation is hard to understand so it was never preached from let alone taught from.
    After 20 minutes I was hooked & knew that after 40 years growing up in & attending pentecostal churches found out why i always thought something was missing. That something was the fact that i had never heard anyone actually teach the Word Of God.
    I then also listened to Justin Peters Biblical critique of tge WOF movement which absolutely nailed it for me & my family who will never set foot in a AOG (Now Australian Christian Churches) again.
    I thank God for his Grace & Mercy for opening our eyes & saving us!!!

    1. Hi Trevor, thanks for sharing your testimony about leaving the NAR Church, especially the mention of Jon Courson. I had not heard of him before so I looked up his website and am excited to get into his bible studies. Just what I have been looking for. Also you might be interested in another American Pastor Dr Andy Woods who also teaches through the books of the bible. I also live in Australia and have just come out of the Pentecostal Church/NAR

  5. From Joyce Meyer to Paul Washer.
    Before I was saved, I would attend a good solid Reformed Baptist church in upstate New York from time to time , so I was actually hearing the word of God , but I was not a saved man back then. When I did finally get saved , I started attending a good Baptist church in North Carolina , which did preach the word of God. But, I was shy and did not fellowship with anyone, or reach out to be discipled or taught. Being as I was all alone, with no mentors or guidance , I started watching TBN. There I was , watching Joyce Meyer, Jesse Duplantis, John Hagee and a bunch of other false teachers. I did notice that none of the “Churches” that I seen on TBN looked anything like a regular church , they were huge with all kinds of pretty lights and expensive camera equipment , which was a red flag. Well, one night I was driving along in my car listening to a christian hip-hop cd, and I heard two skits in between the songs. One was Paul Washer and the other was John Piper. I went home and jumped on YouTube and looked these two men up, and the first video that popped up was of Piper, MacArthur & Washer on Joel Osteen. from that moment on I was hooked. I began to find others whom I liked also , like Steve Lawson, Alistair Begg, RC Sproul , Wretched and the list goes on. I stopped watching TBN for good and actually started to warn others of the false teachings of these charlatans. I found out John MacArthur is my fathers favorite pastor and my old pastor in New York is a big supporter of Alistair Begg. I know go out and preach the gospel at abortion clinics with a strong team of like minded brothers and sisters , and I probably would not be sharing the gospel if I stayed watching TBN (I would probably be a sissy Pro-Choice Benny Hinn if I kept on watching that garbage). But here I am, many babies saved, over 25,000 followers on facebook, internet saves, and the gospel has went forth. Glory to God , and God alone. ~ Chris Pantalone

    1. Brother Chris, thanks for sharing. Powerful to hear of your conversion AND of how you’re saving lives. Honored to have you as family, and as a fellow soldier, in service of our good King. -AW

  6. My name is Mugisha Fredrick from Rwanda, I was saved in 2014 in a charismatic church, but by God’s grace i started longing for the word of God and the more i read it the more I started hating prosperity gospel which caught the whole country up to this day ( it is actually getting worse and worse). I used to watch Joel Osteen’s Sermon and i loved this guy.. But the more i was growing in faith the more i started questioning his sermons, then my friend introduced me to John Piper’s sermons, from there to Paul Washer, John Marcharthur, R.C.Proul and other many reformed preachers. I still go to that church because there is no other option, but it hurts to see more than 1000 people shouting amen when you know the guy at the pulpit is telling lies.

    I praise God, for saving me from this movement.

    Pray for my country my church and friends who are in this movement.. I believe there are faithful servants and faithful church in my country but very hard to find.

    1. Fredrick, I’m deeply touched by your testimony and praying for you today. It is a beautiful promise that no matter how dark the days, Jesus WILL build His church. May His grace continue to strengthen you as a light to your friends and family. -AW

  7. I came across Andrew Strom, then Justin Peters, and now Costin Hinn. I fully agree with your position on Word of Faith/NAR, etc. I can see various times over the last few years where i was “sucked in” or nearly. I’ve seen the light now for sure. Hoping that you reach many with your important message!

  8. It is good to see stories of people leaving the NAR behind…I have to say though when you are in it, you can’t see what is wrong with it. Part of this is their idea of a “culture of honor” which is just another way of saying the Pastor can never been wrong and we shouldn’t test him (or her in some cases). They claim any form of criticism is “unloving” especially if names are named. This is ironic since Paul frequently named names. Since leaving the NAR, I’ve found most people who are in it once you leave suddenly think you are trying to destroy the church, or are misguided, or question any of the new ministers you listen or read. I’ve been trying to get one of my relatives to come to their senses, but whenever I give them a resource they go “well where are they coming from, you have to ask yourself.” If the person is not “open to the gifts of the spirit—i.e. doesn’t believe in modern-day prophecy or speaking in tongues” then my relative simply dismisses them- despite if it is a sound book and nothing about either of those things is being mentioned. I’ve tried so very hard to warn them of these dangers. They’ve grown slightly more skeptical, but can’t see how all the NAR people are connected to one another in a mutual admiration society. Bill Johnson, Che Ahn, Gabe Ahn, Rick Joyner, Heidi Baker, Kim Clement, Patricia King, Joshua Mills, Johnny Enlow, Lance Walnau, Bob Jones, Chuck Pierce, etc are all one voice. It is a false voice with a false gnostic Christ. These people minister and break bread together both privately and publically. There is no distinction. It is the same strange spirit. I attended a NAR church for 8 years before leaving because of my relatives. I grew ZERO during that time as a Christian, and I believe my family went far off the rails and into the toilet. Despite all their “declarations” and “prophecies” given to them, none of them have come to pass. But of course, the church they attended got money, and the pastors a new house from people’s donations. And, as Christians, they have stagnated. I see no growth in their lives. I don’t know how to get them out of this horrible hole. They can see some of what Bill Johnson does is unusual or off, but they don’t want to associate the same bad behavior with their pastor (even though it is obvious). Worse yet, they are steeped in Word of Faith. I tried telling them it was mind science and I got yelled at. They think Hagin is the best teacher out there, and I don’t know how I can convince them otherwise. I look forward to the day when I can burn and throw out the books they have of his, Copeland, and the like… 😦 . Please pray for me and my family that they come out of this soul-destroying garbage.

  9. I’ve studied and restudied James 5:14-16 for many years with an open mind and have always come to the same conclusion. It’s a promise of Divine healing for all sick Christians, contingent upon the Holy Spirit’s instructions being followed.

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