Death, Eternity, and the Armor of God


Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Eph. 6:14-18).*

This morning I was thinking about the breastplate of righteousness as a spiritual heart protector, but the helmet of salvation is a spiritual head protector. It is the covering that protectors our minds so that we do not become disoriented in the throes of spiritual warfare. The helmet of salvation blunts the blow of death. It enables us to view our circumstances from the perspective of eternity.

How different is postmodern culture which seeks to deny death by driving death into the closet, or by trivializing death treating it irrelevantly, or circumventing it through the use of cleaver clichés. In such sharp distinction, Christianity demonstrates that death is defeated. Cultural thanatologists may urge us to accept death as a friend, but Christian theology sees death as the enemy (1 Cor. 15:26).

That’s the message that radiates from the lips of righteous Job. Satan had wielded the sword of death with devastating fury. He had butchered Job’s livestock. He had murdered Job’s legacy. If God had permitted him to do so, he would have snuffed out Job’s life. The Devil’s devastation was so complete that Job’s wife lost all perspective, and with her mind careening out of control, she cried, “curse God and die” (Job. 2:9).*

Job, however, saw his plight from the perspective of eternity. He had donned the helmet of salvation. He was empowered, therefore, to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me (Job. 19:25-27). That ultimately was the perspective of Job. The certainty of salvation not only assured him that in his flesh that he would see God but it assured him that in his flesh he would once again see his children.

Thinking about all of that and more as tomorrow morning I am doing the funeral for my son-in-law who died at age forty-seven. The whole idea that I am going to be communicating is that life afterlife, afterlife is not a crutch. It’s not a copout. It is a certainty. As Christians, we stake our lives on the hope that God will transform our lowly bodies so that they would be like His glorious body (1 Cor. 15).

Death is the enemy. There is nothing wonderful about death. But, the Christian does not grieve like the rest of those who have no hope, because we know that Jesus died and rose again, and so we know that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in the end (2 Thess. 4:13-18).

I was taught that the belt of truth is the Bible. Can you give me more insight on this sword of the Spirit, I thought it is something about prayer, but I’m not quite sure?

The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. That is how the sword of the Spirit is defined by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6.

As far as the belt of truth is concerned, it is like all the other pieces of the full armor of God. It is an aspect of the nature of God Himself. Therefore, to put on the belt of truth is tantamount to putting on Christ (Rom. 13:14). As the Bible points out, Christ is truth (John 14:6), and as Christians we are called to be the bearers of truth (Eph. 4:25; Col. 3:9-11; Zech. 8:16). The moment we drop the belt of truth our view of reality becomes seriously skewed. The belt of truth, therefore, is essential to a realistic worldview. I often say, “When it’s buckle breaks, the covering crumbles, reality is clouded, and the unthinkable happens.” We live in a postmodern culture that denies truth, and in many cases, it makes truth nothing more than a social or cultural construct. But, truth is ultimately rooted in the person and work of Jesus Christ Himself.

In terms of the sword of the Spirit—as I mentioned earlier—it is defined by Paul as the Word of God. I’ve often talked about the ultimate spiritual battle where the Creator was alone and hungry and the most powerful creature in the universe poised and ready to strike. Remember Jesus had fasted forty-days and forty nights and sensing His vulnerability, the tempter seized the moment. The words are epic, the Devil said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (Matt. 4:2). Well, Jesus could have responded by unveiling His divine glory, but He did not. He took up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. I have often thought how that ought to be the template for us as well. What does that mean? It means that we should memorize the Word of God. We should meditate on the Word of God. We should mine the Word of God for all its wealth. The Word of God ought to be central in our life because ultimately we know what is true. We know that which corresponds to reality because we have a test for truth and it is the Word of God. Again, the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.

—Hank Hanegraaff

This blog was adapted from the October 24, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.


Halloween: An Opportunity for Christians to Be the Light House in the Midst of the Storm


Since Halloween is coming up, my nephew asked me to go to a haunted house. I said, “No,” because I looked on the haunted house’s web site, it looked demonic, and it had a cannibal scene. I want to know if it is ok for followers of Christ to visit haunted houses, or attend costume parties, but dressed in non-scary costumes?

I think we can learn a lot on how the early Christians responded to Halloween. October 31, the eve of prior to All Saint’s Day, was actually by early Christians designated as a spiritually edifying holiday. By the way, we get the word “holiday” from holy day. This was a holy day on which to proclaim the supremacy of the Gospel over the superstition of ghost. All Hallows Eve (All Saint’s Eve), from which the word Halloween is derived, was actually an attempt on the part of Christianity to over overwhelm the tradition of ghouls and ghosts with the truth of the Gospel.

Certainly, Halloween, as you allude to in the prologue to your question, is once again predominately pagan, but there is a silver lining. I think the trick is to treat Halloween as a strategic opportunity rather than a time of oppression. To recognize that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).* If you look at spiritual warfare in general, you realize that the emphasis is on the power of God to protect rather than the power of Satan to pillage.

I think we can involve ourselves in those things which are right, good, and morally beneficial to society. We also can have fun in the process. The real issue is understanding what the early church did. How they responded. It is a great lesson for us today. It is not just a matter of cursing the darkness, it is as I like to say about building a lighthouse in the midst of the gathering storm.

If someone has children, can we do something like my grandmother did, she used to give us activities to do, but they were fun activities at the church, is that fine?

Yes. You can have fun with it, but there is something more foundational that I am trying to communicate, and that is make sure your kids know what is really going on. In other words, this is a wonderful teaching opportunity. Rather than just saying, “No,” I taught my kids what Halloween represented, the origins of Halloween, and what the early Christian church did respecting this holiday. They did not try to de-paganize it, they really in a sense setup a rival celebration. Focus on those things that are good and honorable, as opposed to those things that are about ghouls, ghost and hobgoblins, which are superstition.

Once I explained that to my kinds and they understood what was going on, I was not that worried about my kids and certainly did not want to tell them they could not have fun. What I wanted them to do was to be knowledgeable so that they could communicate with their own peers what was really going on. That is why I actually write the entry “How Should Christians Respond to Halloween?” in the Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition, updated and revised.

Halloween is rooted in the ancient Celtic feast of Samhain (sha-ween). The druids believed that on the eve of Samhain the veil between the present world and the world beyond was pierced, releasing demons, witches, and hobgoblins to harass the living. In order to make themselves immune, people disguised themselves as witches, devils, and ghouls. They were trying to ward off evil spirits by carving grotesque faces on gourds and illuminating them with candles; and placating the spirits with a variety of treats. That is kind of the backdrop to it. You can curse the darkness or you can build a lighthouse in the midst of the gathering storm. That’s precisely what the early Christians did.

Now we think of the word Halloween we do not realize that it is derived from All Hallows Eve. There was a method to the “madness” of the early church. They were building a lighthouse in the midst of the gathering storm.

—Hank Hanegraaff

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8).

For further related study, see also our Trusted Resources for Reformation and All Saint’s Day.

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.

This blog adapted from the October 20, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.


How to Pray in the Midst of Spiritual Warfare

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Spiritual Warfare Prayer“But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 9).*

I’ve been in situations wherein someone is sick and another decides to pray for that person. Then the one praying starts addressing the Devil, “You foul creature from the pit of hell! You take your hands off this person!” The praying goes on in that manner. Now the Scripture in Jude 9 indicates Michael disputed with the Devil about the body of Moses, and my recollection is that Michael did not bring a railing accusation against the Devil. Is rebuking the Devil an inappropriate way to pray? What is the biblical way to pray when dealing with spiritual warfare? How do I reconcile this contradiction?

You do not. It is an absolutely improper way of praying. In fact, there is no sense to address Satan in prayer. We must address the Lord. It is the Lord who protects us. The power in spiritual warfare comes from the Lord. We need to “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:10-11).

Now in Jude, we are told that that we should never feel that we have the wisdom or the power to engage Satan apart from complete dependence on the Lord. Therefore, rather than making railing accusations against Satan, I think we are much better served to learn how to put on the full armor of God so that we can take our stand in spiritual warfare.

I wrote The Covering: God’s Plan to Protect You from Evil because spiritual warfare is something that we are all engaged in. It is not a matter of whether or not we will engage, we are engaged in spiritual warfare. I have often said that if we have not learned to put on the full armor of God, what I call the covering, we are guaranteed casualties in spiritual warfare. If we do learn how to put on the full armor of God, we are invincible in spiritual warfare.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Is the “Binding and Loosing” of Demons Biblical? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Armor (Hank Hanegraaff)

Q & A: What is Spiritual Warfare? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Territorial Spirits and Spiritual Warfare (Eric Villanueva)

Spiritual Warfare—God’s Way (Elliot Miller)

How to Win the War Within (Elliot Miller)

Deliverance Ministry in Historical Perspective (David Powlison)

The Covering: God’s Plan To Protect You From Evil (Lee Stroble interviews Hank Hanegraaff on The Covering)

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.

Blog adapted from “What is the biblical way to pray when dealing with spiritual warfare?


Why was King David Punished for Taking a Census?

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-David Census

Again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, “Go and take a census of Israel and Judah” (2 Sam. 24:1).*

Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel (1 Chron. 21:1).

Q: Did God tell David to take a census and then punish him for it? Why?

Hank Hanegraaff: We have to look at this in context. I mean in the context of all of Scripture, because that passage is cited at different places in the Bible. If you look at 2 Samuel, you’ll find that God told David to take a census (2 Sam. 24), and if you look at Chronicles, it says Satan incited David to take a census (1 Chron. 21). The passages demonstrate that although Satan incited David, ultimately it was God who allowed Satan to carry out the provocation. Satan’s design was to destroy David and to destroy the people of God in the process. But it was God’s plan, and it was His purpose to humble David, and then to teach his people a valuable lesson.

Here’s what’s going on. Instead of trusting solely on God, David had begun to trust in his military might. David himself—you see so clearly in context—has a sense of guilt, there’s also an uneasiness on the part of his general Joab, and that indicates that they were both well aware that they were on dangerous ground in taking the census. So they already knew that to fall for the provocation of Satan was to distrust God. They knew that this was against the very command of God, and yet, they failed the test, because in the end they wanted to depend on the arm of flesh as opposed to depending on the arm of God.

Q: David was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14), and this was stated in his early life; however, yet later in his life he sins dispassionately, one example being the incident with Bathsheba and Uriah (2 Sam. 11; cf. 1 Kings 15:3 and Psalm 51). At the end of his life was he still a man after God’s own heart?

Hank: I don’t think there’s any question about it. He’s Israel’s quintessential king, he’s a man after God’s own heart. That is not because he doesn’t sin. It is because he desires fellowship with his heavenly father and therefore confesses his sin, most notably in Psalm 51 where he says “Have mercy on me, O God | according to your unfailing love | blot out my transgressions | Wash away all my iniquity| cleanse me from my sins” (vv. 1-2). And he asks God to restore to him, grant to him a willing spirit and the joy of his salvation. “Create in me,” he says, “a pure heart, O God | and renew a steadfast spirit within me. | Do not cast me from your presence | or take your Holy Spirit from me. | Restore to me the joy of my salvation | and grant a willing spirit to sustain me” (vv. 10-12) And then he says “Then I will teach transgressors your ways | and sinners will turn back to you. | Save me from blood-guilt, O God, | the God who saves me, | and my tongue will sing of your righteousness” (vv. 13-14).

David was well aware that he not only had an affair with Bathsheba, but as a result of that affair he had to have Uriah killed on the battlefront. So he had blood on his hands and this was pointed out to him in no uncertain terms when Nathan pointed a boney finger at him and said “You are the man…You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own” (2 Sam. 12:7, 9). And Nathan used an illustration to get through to David, who was living in denial with respect to his own sin. And this was not even the greatest of his sins. I mean, it was a great sin, but there were many other great sins in David’s life, including the census that he took, demonstrating that he was leaning on the arm of flesh rather than on the arm of God.

David is not just anyone, he is the leader of God’s people and therefore his responsibilities and his judgment is a stricter judgment, very much like what James says about teachers. “Not many of you should be teachers because in teaching there is a stricter judgment” (Jas. 3:1). So David sinned horribly, but he had a heart that panted after God “as a deer pants after streams of water” (Psa, 42:1).

For further related study, see the following equip.org resources:


Taming Bible “Discrepancies” (Rachel Ramer)

Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty (H. Wayne House)

Does Satan Have Access to Our Minds? (Hank Hanegraaff)


New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (B106) by Gleason Archer

Questioning the Bible: 11 Major Challenges to the Bible’s Authority (B2023) by Jonathan Morrow

The Covering: God’s Plan to Protect You from Evil (B665) by Hank Hanegraaff

* All Scriptures cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984).

This blog adapted from “Did God tell David to take a census and then punish him for it?” and “Science Affirm Intelligent Design and Q&A.”


Job and the Power of Satan

Hanegraaff, Hank-Job and the Power of Satan

Q: Does the Devil have creative powers? Does the enemy Satan have no powers to cause infirmities and the like? Yet in the Book of Job it seems like Satan has the power to cause storms or cause armies to go out and kill people, can you help me on this?

A: I think, first of all, that it is Satan inciting God. “Though you incited me against him,” against Job, “to ruin him without any reason” (Job 2:3)* is the retort of God when Satan appears again in chapter 2. This is by the power of God.

Certainly Satan can take the Sabeans or the Chaldeans and tempt them. We are well aware that Satan has the power to sit on our shoulders, whisper into our ears and tempt us to do all kinds of things. It is not the physical ear, but the ear of the mind. There is mind to mind communication that takes place. We do not know how that works anymore that we can explain how the mind can cause the physical synapses of the brain to fire; however, it is biblically incontrovertible that temptation through mind to mind communication takes place.

What’s going on here in the Book of Job is that God is permitting Satan to do what he’s doing.

Only God has creative power, and that’s why when the resurrection of Jesus Christ took place, the Lord was able to say, “a spirit does not have flesh and bone as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). If Satan had creative power, he could have masqueraded as a flesh and bone substitute for the resurrected Christ. (If that is true about Satan, we would lose epistemic warrant for the central truth of Christianity.)

God can use Satan as His agent, but God is always the author. As I said so often, Satan is a lion on a leash the length of which is always determined by our Lord

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following:

 Does Satan Have Access to Our Minds? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Is Satan Always the Cause of Sickness? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Armor (Hank Hanegraaff)

Spiritual Warfare—God’s Way (Elliot Miller)

The Covering by Hank Hanegraaff

Spiritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

* All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), unless noted.

This blog adapted from “How much power did Satan have in the book of Job?


Generational Curses: Are Children Punished for the Sins of their Parents?

Hanegraaff, Hank-Gen Curses_Consequences Sin3

This is in regard to generational curses. Jeremiah 31:30 tells us, “But everyone shall die for his own iniquity.”1 In the next chapter, verse 18, the prophet prays to God and says, “You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them.” How to resolve this?

The principle of Scripture is very clearly stated in Ezekiel 18, which actually references Jeremiah 31:29.2 There are consequences for the sins of the fathers that follow for generations, and you can imagine that. The consequences of sin follow inextricably like night follows day, but every man and every woman is responsible for their own sin. This is made explicit by the Lord through the prophet Ezekiel. In fact, the Word of the Lord comes to Ezekiel, and the Word of God is

What do you mean by using this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, “The fathers eat the sour grapes, But the children’s teeth are set on edge”? “As I live,” declares the Lord God, “you are surely not going to use this proverb in Israel anymore. Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die” (Ezek. 18:2-4).

So, it’s not the father eating a sour grape and then the son’s teeth being set on edge. No. If the father eats a sour grape it will be his teeth that are set on edge. What is the point here? The Lord through the prophet Ezekiel is saying, you are misinterpreting my word. In other words, you are misreading Jeremiah 31.

Here in lies a greater principle. We need to take narrative passages of Scripture and allow them to be interpreted through the didactic or what’s known as the teaching. Didactic means teaching passages of Scripture. They explain those passages for us.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following:

Are Generational Curses Biblical? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Territorial Spirits and Spiritual Warfare (Eric Villanueva)


  1. All Scripture cited from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), unless noted.
  2. “In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ ”

(This EquipBlog adapted from “Are generational curses biblical?”)


What role do angels play in our lives and how do we discern angels from demons?

Bible-Heb. 1.14_blog

What role do angels play in our lives and how do we discern angels from demons?

Let’s look at the opposite side of the coin for just a moment. We fight against the world (1 John 2:15), the flesh (Gal. 5:16-24), and the Devil (Eph. 6:10-20; 1 Pet. 5:8; Jas. 4:7), don’t we? But even in fighting the world, the flesh, and the Devil, we are called to put on the full armor of God so that we can stand against the wiles of the evil one. It’s never our prerogative to try to figure out where is the temptation coming from: Is this the world, the flesh, or the Devil? It is very hard to delineate between those categories. What we do is we put on the full armor of God so that we can withstand the wiles of the evil one. If we put on the full armor of God, we are going to survive spiritual warfare. If we do not we are going to be a guaranteed casualty.

I think the same thing is true with angels. Angels are ministering spirits but we don’t know precisely how God uses them in our life. We know in principle from texts like Hebrews 1:14, but we do not know what role angels play with regard to any specific circumstance.

I don’t deny the presence of angels and demons. We cannot deny this on the basis of biblical theology. The reality is this: angels are real and demons are real. Just as demons can be used to lead us into deception, so angels can be used by God in a ministering capacity. I’m simply saying that taking any given specific circumstance in our lives, it’s very difficult to directly apply an angel to the process, and say, “This was done by a ministering angel,” just as it is very difficult for you to say, “The temptation came from a particular demon.” What we know is that we are going to be tempted in general by the world, the flesh, and the Devil. Which one is the instrument at any given moment is something we cannot be absolutely certain about.

—Hank Hanegraaff

For further related study, please see the following equip.org resources:

Can Christians be demonized? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Does Satan Have Access to Our Minds? (Hank Hanegraaff)

Is Satan Always the Cause of Sickness? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Armor (Hank Hanegraaff)

Spiritual Warfare—God’s Way (Elliot Miller)

Can a Christian Be Demonized? (Brent Grimsley and Elliot Miller)

Learn more about spiritual warfare in The Covering: God’s Plan to Protect You from Evil (B665) by Hank Hanegraaff Another recommended book to read is Spiritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life (B182) by Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

(This blog adapted from “What part do angels play in everyday life, and how can I discern between angels and demons?” )

Journal Topics

Who is Perry Stone?

Perry Stone, an ordained Bishop with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee),1 which is a charismatic Pentecostal denomination that affirms essentials doctrines such as the inspiration of the Bible, the Trinity, and salvation through Christ;2 however, much of what he propagates through his ministry is controversial and, at points, heretical.

Divine Healing through Communion and Prayer Cloths. Stone teaches that divine physical healings are normative for Christians. He teaches that healing can happen through daily communion in a book entitled The Meal That Heals: Enjoying Intimate Daily Communion with God (Charisma House, 2008). The book description on his Website says, “Through a daily, personal Communion service with God — right in your own home — you can experience spiritual renewal and physical healing in your life.”3

Stone appears to be arguing that if one takes daily communion that God will guarantee healing. This is a stronger statement then even Stone himself makes in his statement of faith when he says that “healing is provided for all through the sufferings of Christ.”4 The frequency in which the Lord’s Supper is to be partaken is a secondary issue that Christians can debate but not divide (Please contact us again for additional information of the frequency of partaking in the Lord’s Supper).

Many who endorse modern-day prayer cloths — such as Stone in the above quote — reason that if you say God does not use prayer cloths, you are denying His power, as well as Scripture, for He used the handkerchiefs and aprons that Paul touched to heal the sick in Acts 19:11-12. However, this response is inappropriate for several reasons. First, despite many modern claims that people today possess the same prophetic or apostolic authority as Paul and the other apostles, the Scriptures do not support this claim. (Please access “Are There Apostles and Prophets Today?”, and “Fivefold Ministry Makes A Comeback” at our Web site for this information.) Second the text specifically indicates that “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul” (Acts. 19:11, UNASB); therefore, this was not meant to be normative, or a regular occurrence. Third, God used these miracles as an evidence to attest to the unique role that Paul had as apostle to the Gentiles. Fourth, one must realize the cultural setting in which God worked these miracles through Paul. This miracle, along with the others in Acts 19, occurred around the town of Ephesus, which “was widely reputed for its trade in magic and the need for exorcisms and protection against evil spirits.”5 So strong was Ephesus’ connection to magic and superstition that the “phrase ‘Ephesian writings’ (Epheisa grammata) was common in antiquity for documents containing spells and magical formulae.”6 It is within this cultural setting that the original recipients and readers after the fact can see that one need not trust in pagan superstition or magic, but that our trust should be in the God of the Bible.

Therefore, no one is denying that God used handkerchiefs for some type of healing in the time of the apostles; however, these healings were not normative, but were usually done to illustrate an apostle’s authority and presence in a certain region, and were for a specific purpose.

God can and does heal. Many believe healing is provided for in the atonement but it is by no means guaranteed, as Stone suggest (see “Does God Always Heal?” and “Healing: Does God Always Heal?”).

Deliverance Spiritual Warfare. Stone also propagates an erroneous deliverance model of spiritual warfare. He communicates the idea that believers that harbor unforgivness can be tormented by demons. In regards to Matthew 18:35, he points out that “if you, as a believer, do not forgive a person who has wronged you, you’ll be delivered over to a tormentor,” but then goes on to say, “the example is King Saul — a tormenting spirit.”7 What Stone apparently missed was that the order of this event for King Saul was very important. The evil spirit didn’t torment King Saul until after the Holy Spirit left him. This is extremely important because the Bible says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise until the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). Also, demons cannot touch a believer because they have the Holy Spirit in them and they can’t coexist at the same time (John 8:49). The more accurate interpretation of Matthew 18:35 regarding forgiveness is that sin does separate us from God and others in a relation way. If we harbor unforgiveness towards others when we have been forgiven this will harm our relationship both with God and that other person.

Stone moreover affirms that Christians can be unduly influence by “generational patterns and spirits” in two CD’s he offers entitled “Reversing the Family Curse”8 and “Breaking Familiar Spirits”9. Although he does make the distinction that only the unsaved and not Christians can experience “generational curses,” the whole idea of generational curses is foreign to the biblical text.

There is no evidence in Scripture that demons are automatically transferred from one generation to another. We never see Jesus, Paul, or anyone else casting out generational spirits. Leviticus 20:6 and related passages speak of “familiar spirits” (NKVJ). These spirits are wrongly understood to mean a “family” spirit. Actually, the Hebrew word used here (‘ovb) refers to a python by whom people were believed to be possessed. In essence, it carries the meaning of a soothsaying demon.10 1 Samuel 28:7-11: Saul requests the medium of Endor to divine to him “by the familiar spirit” (v. 8, KJV). He then requests that Samuel be conjured up. Obviously, Saul did not consider Samuel to be a blood relative. Hence, the concept of “familiar” equals “family” spirit falls apart. Although it is true that the punishment of sin is carried on to future generations of haters of God (Exod. 20:5; 34:7; Num. 14:18), there is no evidence that the generational punishment necessarily consists of demonic possession or oppression. Yet, if children follow in the occultic practices of their parents, or if such parents dedicate their unregenerate children to the forces of darkness, then such possession or oppression is more likely.

Bible Codes. Stone also endorses the highly faulty concept of the Bible Codes, even championing himself as somewhat of trailblazer saying that “a decade before most Americans had ever heard of the Bible code, Perry had not only heard of it, but had begun informing churches about this now famous phenomena.”11 The use of Bible Codes, while sensationalistic and fanciful, abandon sound methods of biblical interpretation, offer no new revelation to its practitioners, and comes directly out of the world of the occult (see “Magic Apologetics” and “Back to the Future? Does “Bible Code” offer New Clues to Coming Events?”)

Newspaper Eschatology. Stone practices “newspaper eschatology,” which involves lining up current events with certain passages from Scripture as a way of forecasting the time of Christ Second Coming, particularly the propagating of sensationalistic stories to establish Bible prophecy are presently being fulfilled in modern Israel. He purports to be one of the first Americans to confirm and publicize on the search for the ashes of the Red Heifer, as well as the first to present to the American people the ideas of “the earthquake fault line under the Mount of Olives, the huge birds of prey in the Golan, and the healing of the Dead Sea.”12 The Newspaper Eschatology, employed by Stone and many others, is a faulty method of interpreting Bible prophecy, which comes as the result of having a fundamental misunderstanding of how to read the Bible for all its worth. Although not addressing Stone’s teaching in particular, Hank Hanegraaff tackles the serous problem of Newspaper Eschatology in principle in The Apocalypse Code (Nelson, 2007), which is available through the Christian Research Institute. (For further information on the errors of newspaper eschatology please access “Apocalypse When? Why Most End-time Teaching Is Dead Wrong,” “D-Day Declarations”and “The Perils of Newspaper Eschatology.”)

Given the abovementioned problems, CRI does not recommend the teachings of Perry Stone. For further study on related issues, please consider the following bookstore resources:

The Apocalypse Code (Paperback)

Christianity in Crisis 21st Century

Counterfeit Revival

The Covering


1. Voice of Evangelism, “About International Evangelist Perry Stone” (http://www.voe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=48).

2. Voice of Evangelism, “Statement of Faith,” (http://www.voe.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35), accessed on 12/19/08. Cf. also Church of God, “The Church of God is…” (http://www.churchofgod.org/about/church_is.cfm).

3. Voice of Evangelism, “Meals that Heal,” (https://store.voe.org/p-457-meal-that-heals-hardcover.aspx).

4. Voice of Evangelism “Statement of Faith,”

5. Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarstity Press, 1993), 378.

6. Richard N. Longenecker, “Acts” The Expositors Bible Commentary: John-Acts, vol. 9, gen. ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, Publishing House, 1981), 496.

7. Praise the Lord, TBN, May 16, 2004.

8. Voice of Evangelism, “Reversing the Family Curse,” (https://store.voe.org/p-426-cd-reversing-the-family-curse-2cd066.aspx).

9. Voice of Evangelism, “Breaking Familiar Spirits” (https://store.voe.org/p-147-cd-breaking-familiar-spirits.aspx).

10. H. W. F. Gesenius, Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament, trans. by S. P. Tregelles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949), 18.

11. Voice of Evangelism, “About International Evangelist Perry Stone”

12. Ibid.