July 24, 2016

Clouds Without Water

by Mike Riccardi

Clouds without Water

For more than four decades, John MacArthur has led the fight for the supremacy of the truth and of sound doctrine—not only within the walls of his own church, but also throughout the evangelical church at large. Surrounded by other defenders of biblical teaching, Pastor John has devoted his ministry to safeguarding the inerrancy of Scripture, the lordship of Christ, and the literal truth of the creation account in Genesis. But perhaps the most far-reaching and pernicious error that our he has battled against is the damning doctrine of the health, wealth, and prosperity “gospel.”

Three years ago, Grace to You hosted the Strange Fire Conference at Grace Church in order to defend the truth against the heresies of the Word of Faith movement and other Charismatic aberrations. Faithful pastors like R.C. Sproul, Steve Lawson, and Conrad Mbewe stood alongside Pastor MacArthur to declare the absolute sufficiency of the written Word of God.

Another of those faithful men was Justin Peters, a longtime friend of The Master’s Seminary and Grace Community Church. Justin suffers from cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. Believing he could be healed by a Word-of-Faith faith healer, like thousands of others he became disillusioned when he was not healed. This launched him into critical study of Charismaticism, and today his ministry is devoted to exposing the damaging and damning effects of the doctrine and practice of the Word of Faith movement, sounding the call for discernment among Christ’s flock.

Justin will be with us again on July 29–30 as the featured speaker of a weekend conference hosted by the GraceLife fellowship group. Entitled “Clouds without Water: A Biblical Critique of the Word of Faith Movement,” the conference consists of four seminars that explore such topics as the biblical definition of discernment and common objections against it, the cultic origins of the Word of Faith movement, a critical evaluation of Charismatic practices (e.g., abusing tongues, being slain in the Spirit, supposed visits to heaven, etc.), and the question of whether it is always God’s will to heal.

Jude calls the false teachers troubling the early church “clouds without water” (Jude 1:12), because they promise spiritual benefit (as clouds promise rain) but never deliver, leaving the church hopeless and disillusioned. We must be on guard against such teachers, and must be equipped to help others be discerning as well. We are confident that our church family will be served by Justin’s ministry. If you’re in the Los Angeles area this next weekend, we hope you’ll join us for what will be a special time of practical instruction from God’s Word.

Clouds Without Water Conference

July 29–30 • Grace Church Family Center
Cost: $15 (includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday)

GraceLife is partnering with the Logos Bible Institute for this event, so those who would like to attend this conference for Logos elective credit may do so.

For more information or to register, visit, https://www.gracechurch.org/logos/posts/960.
Note: Registration closes Monday, 7/25 at 11:59pm, so be sure to register right away.
Note also that childcare is not available for this event.

Mike Riccardi

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Mike is the Pastor of Local Outreach Ministries at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles. He also teaches Evangelism at The Master's Seminary.
  • Jane Hildebrand

    Will there be any livestream option or perhaps available online afterwards?

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  • bglick4

    Saw him do part of this conference at my church last week. Excellent. Wish his time wasn’t limited. Wish I could see the whole thing. It really shook things up.

  • Agree with Jane…I would pay the same admission just to get access to online after the fact.

  • Jason

    This conference should be hugely rewarding for anyone who attends. Understanding that God is in control of our struggles as much as he is when life is easy is one of the most comforting truths of scripture largely missed in today’s culture (we’ll all be wearing full body armor and rebreathers soon “just in case”, the way people are terrified of any possible harm!)

    The false teaching that trials are a sign that we aren’t “using” God rightly not only prevents people from ever having true comfort, it also keeps people coming back to the false teachers to be exploited further.

  • Mike Yonce

    Hi all. I agree, I hope GTY will be able to make this available to the public, either livestreamed, recorded, or both. I’m sure Justin will have some new material in addition to what he has taught in the past. However, I do recommend at least going to Justin Peter’s website and ordering his DVD series “Clouds Without Water”, and the excellent book written by Justin’s pastor, “Truth or Territory: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare” (http://justinpeters.org/store/ ). Besides being very educational to you, they can be loaned to anyone willing to listen/learn about the errors brought to light in these materials. If the person is not ready, don’t bother, as they will simply double down and dig their heels in, and so praying for them is the best course until God opens their heart for truth.

    As Justin brings out, the health, wealth, and prosperity gospel of the Word of Faith movement is just the 10% tip of the heretical iceberg. He also goes under the surface of the water to see the really damning doctrines of WoF teaching. He also hits on the errors of the charismatic movement as a whole, and how this leaven has spread into the whole lump of the evangelical church. Titanic beware!