Heaven is For Real – This Story is Not

Heaven is for Real

Heaven is for Real – This Story is Definitely Not

Today I will give a review of “Heaven is for Real – A little boys astounding story of his trip to heaven and back”.  I went to a local Christian book store called CUM Books stores here in South Africa to find hundreds of copies of this book stacked under the ‘Best Selling’ section.  I picked one up and thought to myself, “Satan’s smart, he is now using little kids to sell his story.”

To give a brief summary of the story, little Colton aged 4, complains of stomach pains and runs a high fever.  His parents, Todd and Sonja Burpo take him to a hospital where the doctor fails to diagnose the problem. The little boy is now deteriorating to such an extent that they remove him out of the hospital and take him to another one where he is diagnosed for a burst appendix.  Rushed into surgery, little Colton while on the surgery table experiences something many people never do.  He apparently goes to Heaven and meets Jesus.  After he is home he starts to recount his story to his parents, as best as a 4 year old can, of his trip to Heaven and back.

There have been many books written by many people on their supposed trips of Heaven where they meet a ‘Jesus’ type person. One being Choo Thomas’ “Heaven is so Real” and then Don Piper’s “90 Minutes in Heaven”, who just happens to endorse Heaven is For Real.  In the front of the book on the ‘Praise for Heaven is For Real’ pages, there are praises from 12 different people telling you why you should by this book, all reasoning as to why Colton’s story is just as good as that of the bible, and why you should “allow a little child to lead you.— Don Piper, Speaker and Author, 90 Minutes in Heaven

Todd Burpo is a pastor at a Wesleyan church.  This helps to cement the trap.  First we the reader would surmise that a 4 year old child would never lie like (Alex Malarkey “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”), and to top things off the father of the child is a pastor – Satan would never go after a 4 year old child of a pastor, would he? Especially if the pastor is biblical sound in his doctrine, or is he?  Throughout the book Heaven is for Real Todd Burpo points to scripture to try and back up his sons ‘visions’ but with terrible inaccuracy.  For anyone not knowing scripture, they would agree with Todd, being non the wiser.  After all he is a pastor, he should not be telling untruths to his church, let alone the whole world.

Heaven is for Real and it’s problematic areas:

I am now going to take you through the book Heaven is for Real, looking at all the problematic areas.  We are going to deal with this book biblically which includes being logical.  God gave us a brain to use – let’s use it.

False visions from Colton:

1)  On page xix of Heaven is for Real,when Colton first tells his parents about his trip to Heaven he states that the angels sang to him. He says, “Dad, Jesus had the angels sing to me because I was so scared.  They made me feel better” ..at the time… “I was sitting on Jesus lap”.  Now Colton was scared because he was having surgery.  Immediately we have a problem with this statement.  If you are sitting on Jesus Christ’s lap, surely you will not be scared? But yet Colton is scared and this Jesus figure has to get the angels to sing to him in order to make him feel better.   The bible tells us:

John 14:27  “27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Philippians 4:7  “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

2)  Colton tells his father about Jesus’ horse, he says; “Hey dad, did you know Jesus has a horse?”….”Yeah a rainbow horse, I got to pet him.  There’s lots of colors”.  pg. 63

In Heaven is for Real, Jesus has a horse that resembles that of a My Little Pony? And we as Christians are supposed to believe this? Rainbows are also very significant in New Age teaching.–(This we will discuss in more detail later).  Todd tries to justify his son’s vision by telling us about scripture of “the rainbow colours described in the book of Revelationpg. 66

3) Colton also tells his father that this Jesus figure had a crown; “Yeah a crown, and it had this… this diamond thing in the middle of it and it was kind of pink…” pg.66

In Heaven is for Real, it would appear that the Jesus of Colton’s vision not only has a My Litte Pony but appears ‘plastic’ as well.  A pink like stone in his crown? Who are we kidding here! The Jesus that appeared to Colton certainly does not look anything Jesus Christ the Son of God as spoken about in the book of Revelation – visions given to John.  Now this vision we can believe because it’s in the bible:

Revelation 1:12-16  “I turned to see whose voice it was that was speaking to me and when I had turned I saw seven golden lamp stands, and among these lampstands I saw someone ‘like a Son of Man’. He was dressed in a long robe with a golden girdle around his breast; his head and his hair were white as snow-white wool, his eyes blazed like fire, and his feet shone as the finest bronze glows in the furnace. His voice had the sound of a great waterfall, and I saw that in his right hand he held seven stars. A sharp two-edged sword came out of his mouth, and his face was ablaze like the sun at its height.

The Purple Sash

4) Colton also says his Jesus wore white with a purple sash in his book Heaven is for Real he says, “Jesus was the only one in heaven who had purple on, Dad Did you know that? pg 65

Todd then tries to confuse the reader of Heaven is for Real by saying the following,  “In scripture, purple is the color of kings. A verse from the gospel of Mark flashed through my mind:  “His clothes became dassling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them” pg 65.

If we look at this scripture what Todd is referring too, it says nothing of purple.  This is when Jesus was transfigured (Mark 9:3).  The only time Jesus had purple on was just before he was going to be crucified.  Note, he was being clothed as a human King – Jesus Christ is now King of all Kings.  He is not Colton’s description of a Jesus figure, which is more like a fairy-tale Jesus.

Mark 15:17  “And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head”

Mark 15:20  “And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.”

Later on in the article we will have a look at what Colton’s Jesus actually looks like – yes we have a picture.

5) Something that stuns Colton’s father into submission is the fact that Colton’s Jesus showed him his hands and feet and Colton says, “Jesus has markers” pg 65

Todd does not understand that this Jesus in Heaven is for Real is not the real Jesus Christ of the Bible;  a vision and the reality of Jesus Christ really returning to earth are completely two different things.  Yes when Jesus Christ returns we will see the marks of where he was nailed to the cross, but this vision of Colton’s is a vision and another Jesus.  Satan can mimic anything he wants too.

6) Todd asks Colton what everyone looks like in heaven and Colton replies, “Everybody’s got wings.” pg 72 informing his father that everyone sort of looks like angels.

This is absolutely incorrect. We know from scripture that we will most probably look the same as we did on earth, but we will be perfect in every sense of the word. We also know from scripture that the resurrection of believers’ physical bodies has yet to take place, anyone who dies and is destined for Heaven, their form now in Heaven must lack physical attributes.   Just to note:  Some people were raised from the dead and transformed at the time of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.  Matthew 27:52 says that their “bodies…were raised.”  But do they have wings? No they do not.  Philippians 3:21 says that Jesus “will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body.”  Does Jesus have wings? No he does not.  We are made in the image of God according to Genesis 1:27, does God have wings? No He does not.  Is Colton’s Jesus pulling this child’s leg and everyone else who believes him?  Yes he is.

7) Another strange addition to our bodies in Heaven is for Real is that in heaven is a halo.  Colton tells his father that, “All people have a light above their head”.  pg 73 To try and persuade the reader that dear little Colton is telling the truth Todd goes on to tell us about angels in the bible and “when angels show up, they’re sometimes dazzlingly bright, blinding almost”. pg 73  He also tells us about Stephen who’s “face became as bright as an angel’s” pg 73  not long after he was stoned to death.

Hmm, and what has that got to do with people in heaven having “lights about their heads?” Nothing.  Again Todd’s examples from scripture to try prove his point are ridiculous to say the least. Interestingly enough Todd does say that he actually can’t “…remember angels having lights over their heads specifically-or halos, as some would call them.” pg 74  But never the less chooses to believe his sons story as being true and goes on to tell the rest of the world a lie.

8) In Heaven is for Real, Colton meets his grandfather and his little sister in heaven.  It would appear that everyone goes to Heaven because his little sister tells Colton that she can’t wait to meet her parents (Todd and Sonja) one day in heaven.  What would happen if either Todd or Sonja were to reject the Gospel? Would the little sister’s hope be crushed?

Colton’s little long lost sister tells him that God (who is called Jesus’ dad) – adopts all babies that have died. Now this story of God adopting children will pull at the heartstrings of a billion mothers who have lost children through miscarriage and other tragedies.  The pain of losing a child is unlike anything a parent should face. But now we have the story Heaven is for Real by the Burpo’s, tapping into the heartache of millions of women (like it did with Sonja Burpo) and blinding them into believing that the vision Colton experienced was true; that he was indeed in Heaven and that the Jesus he met was indeed the true Biblical Jesus, when we know, based on all the evidence that Colton’s experience was demonic.

Who’s on the left side?

9) Colton explains to his father that Jesus sits on the right hand side of his ‘dad’.  Todd then asks who sits on the left side and Colton replies, “Oh, that’s easy, Dad, That’s where the angel Gabriel is, He is really nice”. pg 101  This is another lie. No where in the bible does it tell us who sits on the left side of God because there is no left side, only a right side.

“In (Ephesians 1:19-21) here we see God exalting Jesus above all others by seating Him at the right hand of the Father.”

“The term “God’s right hand” in prophecy also refers to the Messiah to whom is given the power and authority to subdue His enemies (Psalm 110:1; Psalm 118:16)”

The fact that Jesus Christ is at the “right hand of God” was a sign to the disciples that Jesus had indeed gone to heaven. In John 16:7-15, Jesus told the disciples that He had to go away and He would send the Holy Spirit. So the coming of the Holy Spirit in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13) was positive proof that Jesus was indeed in heaven seated at the right hand of God. This is confirmed in Romans 8:34 where the Apostle Paul writes that Christ is sitting at God’s right hand making intercession for us.

Therefore, what we can say that “God’s right hand” refers to the Messiah, the LORD Jesus Christ and He is of equal position, honor, power and authority with God (John 1:1-5). The fact that Christ is “sitting” refers to the fact that His work of redemption is done and when the fullness of the gentiles is brought in (Romans 11:25), Christ’s enemies will be made His footstool as the end of the age comes, all prophecy is completed, and time is no more.”  –http://www.gotquestions.org/right-hand-God.html

The Holy Spirit

10) But it get’s worse, Colton tells his father that he sat with the Holy Spirit and it was kinda hard to describe him, other than “he’s kinda blue”.  Colton was sitting by the Holy Spirit (in Heaven) praying for his father because as Colton said to his dad, “You needed the Holy Spirit, so I prayed for you”.  pg 102 This is a very telling statement.  The bible tells us that when you become a Christian the Holy Spirit comes to abide in you.

John 14:16-18  16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever,  17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you”

Romans 8:9-11 “9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17  16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

1 Corinthians 6:1919 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”

Todd is supposed to be a Pastor, and Todd is a professing Christian yet according to Colton’s Jesus, he does not have the Holy Spirit in him. This means that the following verses and many more applies to Todd Burpo:

Matthew 7:21-23  “21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied [preached] in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

11) To make matters even worse Colton says that the Holy Spirit shoots down power to his dad when he is preaching in church, “It’s the Holy Spirit, “I watched him, He showed me”… ” He shoots down power for you when you are talking in church.pg 126  This is totally unscriptural.  Because we have proved above that the Holy Spirit abides in born again believers here on earth.  The Holy Spirit does not give you power either.  This Holy Spirit that Colton speaks of is false, along with it’s Jesus.

John 16:7-15  “7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Rainbows in Heaven is for Real

12) Colton becomes obsessed with rainbows.  Even to the point that he prays for a rainbow and one supposedly appears in the sky the following day. Todd Burbo uses the one and only scripture of Revelation 4:3 to try and backup his sons visions. “And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.”

Because we know from everything else that we have read that there is something seriously demonic regarding Colton’s visions, therefore it’s only obvious to look at New Age teaching regarding Rainbows to see what they have to say.  I did an article here on the 7 Colours of the Rainbow and the 7 Chakras, please read.

This is what New Ager’s have to say about the Rainbow:

“The experience of seeing the colours of the rainbow, when the sun is shining and it has been raining, is one we all can share. The experience often has a magical quality to it as though it is stirring some deep inner response. Such is the wonder of the light that forms the colours of the rainbow.The heavenly principle is to GIVE AS WE RECEIVE. We are not intended to absorb the light of the rainbow, enlightenment, joy and happiness, rather we are intended to transmit it; and in doing so to unfold its meaning for others, and for ourselves too.”     http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/colours-of-the-rainbow.htm

“The rainbow represents the regenerate spiritual person – one who has lived out the path of enlightenment, whose potential has opened out like the lotus flower of the east, each stage represented by a new colour developing out of the one before.

The main seven colours symbolise wholeness or holiness. There are a variety of rainbows sometimes seen around those in the spiritual realms – the rainbow of the ‘aura’, as it is sometimes called, picturing the spiritual state of the person.

Yoga teaches that there are seven centers or chakras in the human body. These are spiritual centers – you will not find them described in a materialistic medical book.”    http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/colours-of-the-rainbow2.htm

Akiane and Colton Burpo’s Christ

13) In the book, Heaven is for Real, The Burpo’s were themselves totally obsessed with finding out what Colton’s Jesus looked like “…as pastor, I wound up spending a lot of time at hospitals, in Christian bookstores, and at other churches–all places where there are lots of drawings and paintings of Christ….When we came across a picture of Jesus we’d ask Colton, “What about this one? Is that what Jesus looks like?’ pg 93.  Finally Todd came across information of a girl by the the name of Akiane Kramarik who too had began having visions at the age of four.   And as it turns out her descriptions of Heaven appear to be the same as Colton’s – so they say.  Akiane is a Prodigy and paints the most beautiful paintings, “she states that God has given her the visions and abilities to create her artwork” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akiane_Kramarik.  One of her paintings is that of the Christ of her visions, she calls him her ‘Prince of Peace’.  Colton, turned to his dad when he saw Akiane’s Jesus and said, “Dad, that one’s right.” pg 145.


What does the bible tell us:

Exodus 20:4-5  4You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

That applies to images of Jesus too, be it statues, or any other religious paintings, even the movies. It leads to idolatry, breeds superstition and leads to occultism.  If Jesus wanted us to know what he looked like there would be a full description of Him in the bible, but He has not because we are to believe by FAITH.

Corinthians 5:7  “7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

1 Peter 1:8 “8 whom having not seenyou love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory”

John 20:29  “29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Therefore all and I mean all representations of Jesus are false and have no backing by scripture.

Akiane is now 16 years old, this is what she has to say about Jesus,

“Jesus shared with us: ‘I am the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to my Father, but through me.’ I feel that he invited us to participate in the divinity. Each of us is one of kind [ sic ] original path to the way of truth and light, and without our individual love and effort we cannot understand and reach God”  [Emphasis added]  http://akiane.com/blog/?tag=akiane.

She rejects Jesus as being the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God. She opposes what Jesus Christ taught in favor of Satan’s promise of divinity to Eve in Genesis:3:5. Akiane has clearly met another Jesus and if Colton’s Jesus looks the same as Akiane’s then we can be certain that Colton’s Jesus is anti-Christ too.

14) Besides all the other unbiblical nonsense that Colton saw in his ‘trip to Heaven’ that was penned down in his book Heaven is for Real, the one that will bring fear into people the most is the one where he speaks of the coming war. “There’s going to be a war, and it’s going to destroy this world.  Jesus and the angels and the good people are going to fight against Satan and the monsters and the bad people. I saw it”.  pg 136  Colton tells his father that he saw his father fighting in the war too, fighting for Jesus who wins the war in the end.  The problem with this eschatological view (the study of the end times) is that it’s wrong.  The Body of Christ (Church) are ‘raptured’ to Heaven before the Tribulation starts. The ‘church’ that remains is but the false church of the antiChrist – the Roman Catholic church who have it as their mission to take over Jerusalem for themselves.  The time of the 7 year tribulation is for Israel – and everything will happen in Israel.  God turns back to Israel as he seals 144,000 Jewish witness to do the preaching instead of gentiles along with the 2 witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation.  Anyone who professes Jesus Christ as their saviour will be beheaded. The time of the Tribulation is for God’s Wrath upon the earth. God deals with mankind and the anti-Christ very severely – but will mankind repent? No.  If Todd Burpo is still going to be on earth during the Tribulation according to Colton’s vision he has then missed the ‘Blessed Hope’. (Titus 2:13)

See all these articles on the rapture here:  Rapture, Caught Up, The First Resurrection

Colton is the new Jesus. 

15) Colton’s babysitter, Ali, one night hears Colton’s story regarding his sister in heaven and that he missed her terribly. Ali, shocked at his story ends up crying her heart out.  She is deeply touched. Ali had grown up in a Christian home but had entertained doubts regarding her faith, for e.g., not knowing if all religions lead to the same God or not. “But Colton’s story about his sister strengthened her Christian faith” pg 130

So Colton’s story is more impressive than anything the Bible could offer.  Even though the Bible is TRUE and Colton’s story is not. Satan loves to use emotions to tug at the heartstrings of unsuspecting victims. And he is bargaining on you not going to the Bible to check to see if what he is telling you is true or not.  And the longer you refrain from testing these evil spirits, the deeper and deeper you are pulled into deception through more false teaching, until you are completely swallowed up with no where to go.

Paul’s Rapture, John’s Prophecies and Lazarus and the Rich Man:

16) On page 80 of Heaven is for Real, Todd tells us about the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 12 about a man he knew personally (obviously, Paul himself) who was caught up to Heaven. And Todd also tells us about the Apostle John who had an angel appear to him and he penned a number of prophecies and described Heaven in great detail.  Todd then quotes scripture from the Book of Revelation

Revelation 4:1-3  “1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3 And He who sat there was  like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.”

Basically Todd is trying to convince the reader that Colton’s vision is equal to that of Paul and John, but if Todd was a genuine Christian Pastor he would know the following:

“If I told you that I had recently visited there and only communicated what I knew was recorded in the Bible about it, you couldn’t object to what I said on the basis of my being biblically inaccurate. Accuracy, however, is not the only criterion for biblical discernment. There are many other instructions and examples that we must take into consideration. For example, the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12 of a “man in Christ” (no doubt Paul himself) who was caught up to Heaven. He didn’t know at the time whether it was an experience in which his spirit had left his body, or a vision while his spirit remained in his body. Nevertheless, he states that what he saw and heard in paradise was not lawful for a man to utter. Paul’s experience was followed by a humbling infirmity, which he states that God allowed him to suffer lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations… (2 Corinthians:12:6-7)

That isn’t always the case in Scripture. The Apostle John obviously was given permission to declare what he witnessed in Heaven in the Book of Revelation. This would seemingly apply as well to the writer of the Book of Job.

But can we be sure that the visions and personal experiences of these writers are true? Absolutely–because their words are found in the Scriptures . Of the Word of God, the psalmist writes, “Thy word is true from the beginning…,” and Jesus said, “Thy word is truth” (Psalm:119:160; John:17:17).  That is the ultimate verification that the experiences of those men of God indeed took place as they described. Furthermore, since the canon of Scripture was closed in the first century A.D., no one since that time can have his vision of-or his alleged visit to–Heaven  validated in the same way.

Jesus gave us another insight to help our discernment when He told of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man, who had died, was in a place where he was tormented and suffering remorse. Yet he begged Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers so that they would not end up with him in “this place of torment.” Abraham’s response was: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.” And again, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead (Luke:16:19-31)  [Emphasis added] —  http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/search-the-scriptures-daily/read/articles/is-heaven-is-for-real-for-real-an-exercise-in-discernment-13365.html

Todd Burpo’s deceptive faith:

17) On page 62, Todd Burpo was still trying to come to terms with Colton’s story, he said, “If Colton really had a supernatural encounter, I certainly didn’t want to ask him leading questions. We had taught Colton about our faith all his life. But if he really had seen Jesus and the angels, I wanted to become the student, not the teacher!”

Todd himself would appear to be duped and does not approve in proper biblical testing as per 1 John 4:1-6.  He instead says that we must “be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when it is hard”. pg 75  So even though Colton’s story might be a bit hard to swallow, just believe it with childlike faith.

Todd also wanted to become a student of a 4 year old child instead of taking instruction from Jesus Christ (The Word of God).  Is a 4 year old child now more truthful than the Word of God?  The Bible  says:

2 Timothy 3:15-17  “17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”

Mark 13:31 “31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Proverbs 30:5 (Amp)  “5Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.”

18) On page 82 of Heaven is for Real, we are told that “Roman Catholics practice confession as a sacrament, sharing their sins and shortcomings with a priest.  Protestants practice confession too, though a little less formally, often confiding in God without an intermediary.”  When I started reading this book I kept my eyes peeled for the Roman Catholic connection and was not really surprised when it showed up.

1) Catholics practice confession, genuine Christians do no not practice confession.  Christians ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness of their sin. 2) Confession and asking for forgiveness (repenting) is two different things.  3) The statement by Todd that he confides to “God without an intermediary” is very concerning for the bible says,

1 Tim 2:5 “5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus

Todd prays to the Holy Spirit.

19) He says, “I breathed a ‘prayer of thanks’ to the Holy Spirit, who had clearly “shot down power,” giving me an answer for this grieving woman…” pg 146  Well we know that Todd lacks Jesus Christ as an intermediary, so he needs a new substitute; the holy spirit (lower case because it’s a false spirit)

No where in the bible are we told to pray to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always point you to Jesus Christ the Son of God.

John 14:26 “26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 16:14  “14 Jesus speaking of the Holy Spirit said, “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you

The bible does tell us the following about the Holy Spirit regarding prayer:

Romans 8:26  “26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Jude 1:20 “…build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”

Scripture suggests that we pray “in the Holy Spirit”, which means we permit the Holy Spirit to guide our prayers and give us the right words to say, and during times when we don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit automatically prays on our behalf with words that cannot be uttered, because He knows exactly what we need.  This new idea that we pray to the Holy Spirit is a New Age concept – The false New Age holy spirit represents the 6th Chakra or the Third Eye.

When we pray, we can pray to God our Heavenly Father – Psalm 5:2 “Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray”.   To the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray as to the Father because they are equal.  Or you can pray to our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ – it does not matter, what ever makes you happy. Prayer to one member of the Trinity is prayer to all, because all three are One.  Stephen, when he was being martyred, prayed –  Acts 7:59 “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” .  We are also to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Paul said, that we are always give –  Ephesians 5:20 “thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” .  There is no fixed rule, to add a rule on how to address God is wrong.

Jesus Christ’s crucifixion

20) On page 149 in Heaven is for Real, Todd makes the most unbelievable statement regarding Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, he says, “The scripture says that as Jesus gave up his spirit, as he sagged there, lifeless on that Roman cross, God the Father turn his back. I am convinced that he did that because if he had kept on watching, he couldn’t have gone through with it”   This kind of thinking is very similar to a man by the name of John Dominic Crossan’s (Jesus Seminar), who has had a great influence the Emergent church:

“If we are to believe that God deliberately sent his only son into the world to be brutally tortured and crucified, then I take that to be transcendental child abuse, and I will not have it.”  — John Dominic Crossan, Speech at Duke University Conference on “Jesus in Context: Who Was He?”, February 19-21, 1998

For the undiscerning reader reading this book and does not understand the crucifixion, let me please explain so that you may know the truth and nothing but the truth, because you are not going to get it from Todd Burpo.

Isaiah 53:10  “10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. “

“And about the ninth hour Jesus “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46. This cry is a fulfillment of Psalm 22:1.

Isaiah 53:4-5 tells us that  Jesus “bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; that by his stripes we are healed” and Galatians 3:13 tells us “He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us”.

In those awful moments on the cross, Jesus was expressing His feelings of abandonment as God placed the sins of the world on Him.   2 Corinthians 5:21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” and  1 John 2:2 “2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” – and because of that God had to “turn away” from Jesus.   As Jesus was feeling that weight of sin, He was experiencing separation from God for the only time in all of eternity.  Jesus became sin for us, so He felt the loneliness and abandonment that sin always produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours.

But then Jesus cried out from the cross,  when Jesus uttered those words, John 19:30 “It is Finished”  He was declaring the debt by mankind (the debt of sin) owed to His Father was wiped away completely and forever.

The Catholic connection.

21)  One of the biggest warning signs today for a genuine Christian is to note any Roman Catholic connection.  Todd says on page 152 in Heaven is for Real, “A lot of our Catholic friends have asked whether Colton saw Mary, the mother of Jesus.  The answer to that is also yes. He saw Mary kneeling before the throne of God and at times, standing besides Jesus. “She still loves him like a mom”.    The Roman Catholic Church is spoken off in the book of Revelation as:

Revelation 17:4-6  “4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:   MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.   6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”

The Catholic Mary (Queen of Heaven) is non other than a demonic goddess posing as Jesus’ mother.  “The Queen of Heaven in the bible is a Babylonian goddess whom people worshiped.  She has been incarnated to Roman Catholicism under the name ‘Mary’, Mary-Queen of Heaven.  Many Catholics would deny that Mary worship is part of Catholicism but unfortunately this is not true as she holds a special place in the hearts of many.” — Please read more on Mary Queen of Heaven – Whore of Babylon

Jeremiah 7:18 (Amp)   “18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead the dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger!


As you can see from the heaps of evidence above that was taken directly from Heaven is for Real that the ‘altered states of consciousness’ that Colton experienced was not genuine.  Why? Is is due to his fathers sin of following after false doctrines. Have the Burpo’s delved into things, i.e, contemplative spirituality, that they should have not been delving into.  Is this story even a lie?  What ever it is, one thing is very clear, the story is not true, and if you choose to follow after this false Jesus with a pink stone in his crown and a pink pony, you will be following after a New Age Jesus.  The bible says:

2 Timothy 4:1-5  “1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Please share:

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

Name or Username
Privacy Policy

Editing Comments: After commenting you have 15 minutes to EDIT your comment. Click the gear icon at the bottom right corner of the comment box, then click EDIT.

Previous Comments: Please read all previous comment pages if there are any. Thank you.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank you Scarlette, I agree with everything you have said. Even the movie, if Jesus looks like that so be it, he is very good looking. I am 25 years old with a child’s heart is that ok, meaning I don’t feel like I am 25. SCARLETTE NESTOR wrote:


Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)


That’s precisely why God never used a child to reveal spiritual things to people. The Bible does not say that children shall have dreams and visions. It says that young men shall have them. The word “neaniskos” refers to a male between the ages of 25 and 40. The word for child is “paidion.” Please don’t comment before you are sure what Bible verses truly mean and don’t add anything to it to make it fit your agenda. It is dangerous. Indeed, you are mis-using or abusing Scripture. Are you sure knowledge won’t get you to heaven? Jesus said:

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee (ginōskō=to have knowlkedge of God and his doctrines) the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Joh 17:3)

John Andrews UK/Ireland

macleata wrote:

Thank you Scarlette, I agree with everything you have said. Even the movie, if Jesus looks like that so be it, he is very good looking. I am 25 years old with a child’s heart is that ok, meaning I don’t feel like I am 25. SCARLETTE NESTOR wrote:

macleata, you and Scarlette are obviously of the opinion that you would rather spend time on a bunch of lies that Colton’s father has made into a book. The Bible is clear in its message if you would but read it. You are wasting time to try and denounce the Scripture as irrelevant. A clear message about “travel between this planet, heaven and hell is a one way journey for everyone except Jesus.

Luke 16:19-31 (NKJV)
The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell[ from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

God does not change and will not let us be bluffed that someone like Colton (yet a little boy) would be able to go on a day trip to heaven and back, BECAUSE if you do not believe the GOSPEL you will not accept Colton as sufficient evidence to repent and be saved. Also the Bible does not contradict itself, so you will not find a Scripture passage to even remotely say that Colton’s father is NOT a liar. He is a liar as the Bible tells us so.

Luo Ge

This seems to be a website for modern-day Pharisees, who cling to the letter of scripture, miss the Spirit, and especially miss what a God is doing on the world today ( just as the Pharisees of 2000 years ago did). Do you imagine this to be a time when God does not work in the world (oftentimes confounding those who think they know God better than He does Himself)? Do you imagine that there ever was a time when God did not work in the world?

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Luo Ge,

Certainly, God works in the world but so does Satan, but you don’t know how to differentiate between God’s work and Satan’s. Be careful, you are playing with fire.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

John Andrews UK/Ireland

Luo Ge wrote:

This seems to be a website for modern-day Pharisees, who cling to the letter of scripture, miss the Spirit, and especially miss what a God is doing on the world today…..

It is obvious that you do not accept the gospel of Christ as written in Scripture, and you miss the Holy Spirit that reveals “truth to those who seek” and not “proclaim an opinion”. What do you really believe? You would change the bible to suit what you want to believe? It does not work that way. You question the bible, or alternatively interpret the bible incorrectly. Take your pick of your two options…..

The biggest problem in the church today is lack of discernment.

With bible in hand, without discernment, you could die of a thousand heresies?


Dear Luo,

Ah the old Pharisee name-calling card. One of the all time favorites of false teachers to silence the Bible believer. The Pharisees didn’t cling to the letter of scripture. They added their own man-made traditions. The people who clung to Jesus’ teaching, Jesus did not call Pharisees, he called them his disciples! The Pharisees likes to be up on stage in fancy clothes for all to see.

Jesus called the Pharisees white washed tombs who looked good on the outside but inside were corrupt and wicked. Brood of vipers, Jesus called them. Jesus said the Pharisees were full of greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23 What came out of their mouth was evil, proving that what was on their heart was wicked. Matthew 15.

Matthew 15:8-9 Jesus said of the Pharisees: “These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”

So why is it when Bible believers test false teaching against the Word, they are called Pharisees? We are called to test all things! I Thessalonians 5:21. It’s a straw man argument. Only used to silence those who seek the truth. Those who love God’s truth and want to warn others of the dangers they are facing believing the wolves in sheep’s clothing. And they are so many today. My heart aches for my friends who want their ears tickled by the false teachers who say, “Live your life, love your life, love yourself and be happy, change is not necessary – be yourself – Jesus makes you a better you – seek the supernatural experience to feel his presence – everyone goes to heaven – look at all the people who have ‘died’ and seen heaven! It’s all about you!”

The church has become a place of self-worship. Those who do not love the 2 Thessalonians 2:10
“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”

God works in the world, but satan works in the world, too. The Bible says that Satan is the ruler of this world and presents himself as an angel of light. Be careful you are not following him, instead of the Jesus Christ of the Bible.

Danie Smit

Dear sir / mam.

If the child did saw our Messiah, he is really blessed. We can not say he did or did not. I watch this movie, yes and enjoy it very much. It is after all better than the junk they show lately on DSTV. I also agree with you on your study about this movie. I was nearly 20 years involved in the occult, high priest in Satanism.You must always remember that a child of that young describe things totally different as how we as adults see it. Remember that our heavenly Father YWHW also uses children just like Satan does. If this movie can bring non believers in YHWH to accept Yahshua as his/her Savior, then it serves its purpose. Yes there are things in this movie which I also disagree upon, but so are there many gospel movies and music which is not inspired by the Holly Spirit Ruach, like Joyce Meyers, Joel Ossteen, Benny Hynn, T.B. Joshua, etc. These are top sellers by CUM Books. This I say, I rather watch this movie ten times before I watch Sewende Laan, rugby on the Sabbath or Binnelanders. So is the Passion of the Christ which is not Biblical, but occult motivated. Mel Gibson never use the holy scriptures as a guideline, but a book from Deloris. This he said himself.

For me Heaven is real, our Father YHWH and His Son. So is Lucifer. It exist, this I can assure you. If you does not believe in it as real, then what is the use of reading the Bible and believe in our Messiah?


Danie Smit

Dear Deborah.

I am not to argue about Hebrew roots or the Hebrew Names of God. This is surely not the place. The religion which I follow is this, the Gospel of our Messiah and Savior.I believe in the Holy Bible, and accepted it as my teaching to Salvation. You rather have to read my comment again as to jump to any conclusions. I said “I also agree with you on your study about this movie. Remember that our heavenly Father YWHW also uses children just like Satan does. If this movie can bring non believers in YHWH to accept Yahshua as his/her Savior, then it serves its purpose. Yes there are things in this movie which I also disagree upon” Your question “And why are your insistent on calling God YHWH and Jesus Christ Yahshua” If I had insisted, I would have said so, This is what I know, you can’t change a name. If you have a problem with the Names of Yahshua and YHWH, then remove me from this blog. I am not here to argue or get involve in any arguments with you or any other reader on this subject. Let us stick to the original subject about this book and movie.

I never typed that the child did saw heaven or our Father, this is what I typed” If the child did saw our Messiah, he is really blessed. We can not say he did or did not” If means ” which I doubt” and the heaven ” which heaven”? If I really believed he had seen the real heaven, I would have typed the following which would have been as follows…… ” Yes I surely believed in this child’s visions, this book is based on the Holly Scriptures and you can accept it as the truth” In the occult they also believe in ” a heaven”

Why I enjoy this movie, because I have two teenagers which I teach the truth in our Heavenly Father and His Son. I used this movie as a teaching to show them the misleading in the movie, the occult involved in it. Yes I used this movie as a lesson, to teach them to compare. This is why I enjoyed it. If it does not compare and agreed with the facts of the Bible, with the scriptures, they must reject it, even if it look and sound RIGHT. The first thing I noticed and that is why I watched it three times was that Clinton saw God. No one saw Our Heavenly Father and will live according to Exodus. He describes YHWH as a huge angel with wings. Remember that Lucifer is also known as the light bearer, was an angel in Heaven.

Remember also, the rainbow was original set there as a reminder that the earth will not be destroyed by water again. Sadly it was hijacked by the occult and Satan and they gave another meaning to it. So are there many good and wonderful things which is hijacked by the movie industries and is twisted into a money making scam.

I understand more in this movie than you would have ever imagine, That is why I used it in a teaching for my children. I also typed….”You must always remember that a child of that young describe things totally different as how we as adults see it.” This is the truth, and that is why it worked like a charm in this movie. This child’s imagination was used to make money. If it was the truth and based on the truth, why now all of a sudden a second ” Heaven is for real” movie and book?

“Tell me what religion are you following that you keep the Sabbath?” This you can for surely noticed, otherwise I would have typed Saturday. What this movie did to my inside was that it stopped me in my tracks, there are things which is not right in my life, like some music and movies which I usually watch and listened to.

This I realized with joy in my heart that there is a place call Heaven. That our Father and His Son is real and does exist. That I am forgiven for my sins by a Gracious God

Remember Deborah, to just jump to any conclusions without asking questions is not fair.

Good topic. I enjoyed it.

Take care

Danie Smit

Dear Deborah.
Just one more thing. I do not disagree with you on any of the facts you put here. It is accurate. The painting. It looks good and right. My question…. If Father YHWH would allowed us to have a painting of Him or His Son, then there would have been paintings in Biblical times of Him. What would have happened? Just go to the Catholics and see they worship it. Such a painting will distract you in your believes in our father YHWH, you will on the long run only put all your hope and faith in it. Just another misleading of Lucifer. I am much convinced that this is not Him or His Son. This so called painting of Yahshua is already been sold for over a million dollars. Another money scam. Go to the following links


Anyway, I asked Colton whether there were any other stories that he had remembered, but which hadn’t been told in either the best-selling book Heaven Is For Real or in the movie. (See, I was hoping for a “scoop”!)“Oh, yes!” Colton assured me. Then Todd stepped in, explaining that he didn’t want people to misunderstand and think that the other stories were from an entirely different child–but that as Colton grew, his vocabulary increased and he remembered and recounted still other stories, many of them. Todd and his father told me about two other books: Heaven Changes Everything is a sequel, written when Colton was a little older, which goes into more detail; and Heaven Is for Real for Kids. In the kids’ version of the book are illustrations; and Colton told me that he had worked with the artist to ensure that the art, as nearly as possible, represented heaven just as Colton had experienced it. See the whole story at

My question is. If he as a child really experienced it, why now things ad to it. Another Film or book on its way? I remember many things of my childhood as clear as daylight.

Another discussion you may find interesting http://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2014/04/how-the-movie-heaven-is-for-real-contradicts-the-book.html


YaHWeH bless you.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Danie Smit wrote,

If this movie can bring non believers in YHWH to accept Yahshua as his/her Savior, then it serves its purpose.

The notion that a film such as this can serve a purpose to bring unbelievers to God is totally unbiblical. I haven’t seen the movie. However, does it mention the Gospel of God even once? God and his Word alone (his Gospel) can bring unbelievers to God. (John 6:44; 12:32).

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:13-17)

Danie Smit

Dear Thomas.

“If this movie can bring non believers in YHWH to accept Yahshua as his/her Savior, then it serves its purpose” You may see it in any light as you wish. It does not matter. If this movie can bring a non believer to investigate the Bible and the Word of Yahweh bring an unbeliever to accept Yahshua as his Savior, then it serves a good purpose.It can also happen the other way around. A movie, neither a book will convince a person to believe in Father or His Son, it is only the Spirit of Father Yahweh which will do the real work of accepting and convince you. Remember many atheists also read the Bible, and yet they still don’t believe in the existence of a God. I use it for a good purpose in the teaching of my teenagers to recognized the deceive. That is why Yahshau warned us that we must be careful not to be deceived. This is what this movie and book did. That is why I use such motion pictures to my advantaged to make use in the study of the Bible.

Take care.

May you be Blessed in your research and good work.

Danie Smit.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Danie Smit wrote:

“If this movie can bring non believers in YHWH to accept Yahshua as his/her Savior, then it serves its purpose” You may see it in any light as you wish. It does not matter. If this movie can bring a non believer to investigate the Bible and the Word of Yahweh bring an unbeliever to accept Yahshua as his Savior, then it serves a good purpose.It can also happen the other way around. A movie, neither a book will convince a person to believe in Father or His Son, it is only the Spirit of Father Yahweh which will do the real work of accepting and convince you. Remember many atheists also read the Bible, and yet they still don’t believe in the existence of a God. I use it for a good purpose in the teaching of my teenagers to recognized the deceive. That is why Yahshau warned us that we must be careful not to be deceived. This is what this movie and book did. That is why I use such motion pictures to my advantaged to make use in the study of the Bible.”

Sitting on the fence is going to get you nowhere. You cannot suggest that the movie could bring unbelievers to Christ or “it can also be the other way around.” You are in effect saying a bad tree can either bear good fruit or bad fruit. You must either make the movie a tree bearing bad fruit or one that bears good fruit. You cannot have it both ways. That is what I call “hellish pragmatism” and I suggest that you repent of your nonsense because you are doing your own kids a lot of harm.


“If this movie can bring a non believer to investigate the Bible and the Word of Yahweh bring an unbeliever to accept Yahshua as his Savior, then it serves a good purpose”

No. These books and movies do waaay more damage to Christians than any good to a non believer. Satan uses these so called Christian books and movies to enslave people through false doctrine and lies.

I have personal experience. I still can not believe how very dear friends (I thought well grounded in their faith) departed from the faith so easily. It all started with rubbish they found on the internet the SDA, movies about Christianity(made by Hollywood atheists), prophesies by Siener Van Rensburg, and ended in the Hebrew Roots movement. We had a bible study home group they facilitated. The new found wisdom that they collected from all and any source started to become such a burden that it slowly eroded and ultimately destroyed our fellowship.

From that experience I have learnt one thing: Read your bible, and stay away from books, movies and New Age Prophets that claim they know the way to salvation. Read the Bible it’s all there.

By the way. Do you keep all the Sabbath laws?

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Hi Randomperson,

First off, I want to say that I appreciate your openness to say that you are not a Christian (“I am a non-Christian”). Most people – when asked whether they are a Christian – immediately answer in the affirmative simply because they belong to a Christian church or had been raised in a Christian family or had been baptized with water by a pastor or a priest. Some even believe they are Christian because they once prayed to God to deliver them from some sort of crisis and God answered their prayer. They forget that God’s patience, longsuffering, kindness, goodness and compassion is salvation (wants to lead them to salvation). (2 Peter 3:15). Believe it or not, God sometimes answers the payers of unbelievers but then sends a leanness (a hunger and longing) in their souls so that they may begin to seek Him for their salvation. (Psalm 106:15; Deuteronomy 4:29).

None of these things make you a Christian. Instead, the persons who say these things have been lulled into a mind-set of complacency and self-confidence, making them perfect candidates for an eternity in hell. Please bear with my own forthrightness because if I am not honest and frank with you, I will have to give an account to God one day for not telling you the truth.

You wrote:

I currently attend a Pentecostal charismatic church (Does this even matter?) that I was recommended by a friend and I am learning more about God, Jesus and the Bible.

Yes, it does matter a great deal and this is the reason why. To preach the Gospel in a church setup, the Pastor must be someone who had been called by God to preach the unadulterated Gospel of God, and to care for and protect the sheep of his flock against wolves in sheep’s clothing (false prophets, apostles and teachers). Those who are self-appointed pastors are hirelings who do not care whether the flock is led astray by their own false teaching or that of other wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are in it for the money and a spectacular show of miracles and wonders. (John 10:11-13). Jude calls these hirelings clouds without water who “have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:11).

You are correct in saying that the notion to give money to the Pastor so that God may bless you personally logically doesn’t make a lot of sense. In fact it is not a blessing but a curse and this is why. The Pharisees in the time of Jesus believed that poverty was a sign of God’s displeasure and that wealth and prosperity was a sign of God’s salvific blessings. Wealth and prosperity tend to turn people away from God instead of turning them to Him for their salvation. I base my statement on the narrative of the rich man in Matthew 10 who came to Jesus and asked “Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus, who knew peoples’ hearts inside out, dealt with the one thing that kept him away from God and salvation – his vast riches and told him to get rid of the one thing that kept him away from God and eternal life. We all know what happened then. He was sad and went away grieved when Jesus pinpointed his riches as being the stumbling block that kept him from God and eternal life.

These so-called pastors – who are nothing but hirelings and teach you that health, wealth and prosperity is a blessing from God – are actually teaching you how to stay away from God and eternal life. Jesus said the following of them:

Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.” (Luke 11:52).

With regards to your experience with some people who say they are Christians and are not and those who are compassionate and non-judgmental, I would like to say the following. I don’t know what you mean by judgmental. However, I would like to say from the very outset that most people to whom genuine Christians present the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ, usually experience it as being judgmental. They don’t like to be told they are sinners and need to repent and receive forgiveness for their sins lest they die in their sins and are ultimately cast into hell. They hate it when genuine Christians tell them these things. Of these Jesus once said:

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21).

I can assure you that the genuine Christians who may seem to be judgmental because they tell you the truth outright are the most compassionate people on the earth because – like Jesus – they don’t want anyone to perish but receive eternal life. And to achieve their goal they tell people the truth because it is only the Truth that sets you free and nothing else.

So, lets us now turn to your questions.

You asked:

1. How can I discern what is from God or not? I understand humans are not perfect and we made mistakes (even pastors can preach message that doesn’t line with the Bible) Especially with media, what the Pastor preach etc.

I commended you on your frankness in admitting that you are not a Christian and therefore I urge you to bear with my frankness when answering your questions. Unbelievers often have more discernment than Christians and it is not I who say so but Jesus Christ Himself. “And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8). However, the discernment unbelievers have are an intuitive discernment and not a spiritual discernment. I say this on account of the the following passage in Scripture,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. (Romans 1:18-19).

It says that God gave all men the ability to discern between what is right and wrong, good and bad, etc. Whereas this kind of discernment enables unbelievers to detect what is right and wrong but not really knowing why it is right or wrong, spiritual discernment enables genuine Christians to discern between what is from God and what is not. My daughter summed it up perfectly when I spoke to her in Holland via Facebook last night. She said: “It is not a case of discerning between what is right and what is wrong; it is a case of discerning between what is right and what is almost right.” What she said ties in perfectly what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15): “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”

Spiritual discernment is a gift every repentant sinner receives when he or she receives Jesus Christ as their Saviour and the Holy Spirit quickens and indwells his or her spirit. You may ask: But why are so many genuine Christians being led astray? The main reason is outright disobedience to God’s command “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”(1 John 4:1).

Your next question was:

2. Should I be reading one version of the Bible? I currently read the Message but recently swapped to King James version because Message is very confusing and twist a lot of words that it changes the meaning (Yes, I compared Bibles)

As you said, the Message by Eugene Peterson is very confusing and twists a lot of words. If I were you I would stay away from the Message and rather read the old KJV. Don’t let the thou’s, thee’s and thine’s bother you.

Your last question makes me very sad because I have seen so many people’s faith being wrecked by false teachers and prophets. You wrote:

3. If I decided to follow God and Jesus Christ I am scared that I might turn up like so many Christians I know who are even more selfish, ignorant, uncompassionate, etc before they knew God. I want to be a good person and help others but I see many Christians who only help themselves (Ie: other christians) but not the poor, the sick etc.

Helping the poor and the needy is very commendable and indeed Christians should care for the poor, but that is not God’s main purpose for them. His main purpose is summed up for us in Matthew 28:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20).

There are a few things I must bring to your attention.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10).

When Christians are given an opportunity to do good to unsaved poor people, they are told to do so but God’s main concern is for them to help and tend to the needs of their brethren in Christ first.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:3).

The word for “charity” is “agapē” and means to love someone with a godly love and you can only love someone in that way if you have God living in you. Therefore, I urge you to turn to Jesus for your salvation. Go to Him in prayer and ask Him to save you from God’s righteous wrath and to cleanse you of all your sins. Mention one by one all the sins that you know you have done and receive Him as your Saviour. Paul wrote:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13).

From thence onward He will accomplish his will because “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ’” (Philippians 1:6).

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

Someone once said, procrastination is the devils paved road to hell.

Danie Smit

Dear Deborah and readers.

Maybe I must type the following in my mother tongue. Through this I hope to put things better in the hope of understanding.

Graag wil ek eerstens Gideon se vraag aan my aangaande die Sabbat beantwoord met die volgende, onderhou u dalk alles wat deur Vader beveel word 100 % volgens die Heilige Skrif, die Bybel? Dit wat u aan uself antwoord sal my antwoord aan u wees.

Ek het die blad besoek en kommentaar in my eenvoud as persoon gelewer. Ook het ek kom inloer in die hoop om ook te deel en kennis te bekom om sodoende my kennis aangaande die sekere onderwerpe te verbreed. Dalk kennis op te doen wat ek nooit geweet het nie.

Dalk het u my verkeerd verstaan of miskien nie regtig geweet wat ek probeer verduidelik het nie. U moes net gevra het, dit was al. Al wat ek ervaar het was dat u gedurig op die verdediging uit was. Ek kon met u en menigte kennis gedeel het rondom baie dinge. Kennis wat u en elkeen kon help in die stryd.

My vraag is aan u en menigte. Hoe kan jy dan kennis bekom as jy nie vra of navorsing doen nie.? U het self die boek gelees, daarom dat u inligting uitdeel oor die onderwerp.

Ek het nog nooit in enige van my bydraes u of enige persoon aangeval, beledig of persoonlik te na gekom nie. Ek het nie u of enige persoon aangevat omdat hulle Here, God of Jesus Christus se Name gebruik het nie. Ook het ek nie een van u aangevat oor u wat op die Sondag kerk besoek nie. Ook het ek nie eenkeer Die Bybel in twyfel getrek of bevraagteken nie.

U het eerder skimpe geslinger oor Hebreeuse wortels en herkoms toe ek die Hebreeuse Name van Vader en Sy Seun gebruik.

Toe ek uit die Okkulte, Satanisme weg gebreek het, het ek Christene , pastore, predikante, ens genader om hulp. U weet wat? Hulle almal het my die rug toegekeer. Ek het geleer wie Christene werklik is. Hulle haal Skrifte aan en verse, maar werklik was dit ‘n koudheid in hulle. Te bang jy betree hulle wereld. Ek was eerder beskou as ‘n bedreiging. Ek was op my eie. Die bittere smaak van teleurstelling en verwerping het maar swaar in die keel af gegaan. Ek het werklik na ‘n Lewende God ten Hemele geroep, die het my verhoor. Ek het net geweet Hy is daar, Hy hoor. Die eensaamheid was verskriklik. Vandag kan ek my oe ten Hemele slaan dat Hy my kans gegee het. Vader Yahweh weet presies wat ek met elke letter, komma en punt bedoel het. Hy ken my hart.

Ek het die rolprent gebruik om my twee kinders die gevare uit te wys, waarna hulle moet oplet. Daardeur het ons studie in Die Bybel gedoen. As my oorlede ouers enige kennis oor die okkulte gehad het sou my jong lewe wat vermors is heel anders daarna uitgesien het. Daarom deel ek die kennis wat ek in my Hemelse Vader gevind het met my twee kinders.

Dus dit wat ek weet oor die Okkulte sal saam met graf toe gaan. Dit wat ek gesien het en ervaar het, wat ek eerste hands beleef het sal vir altyd verborge bly. Goed wat u nooit in boeke of enige rolprente of wat ook al sal kry of sien nie.

Daarom sal ek u nie weer pla met enige bydrae nie, of u blad besoek nie. As u enige vra het, voel vry om my te nader by my e-pos. Maar op u blad sal ek nie weer insae lewer nie.

Dankie dat u my ook ten minste ‘n kans gegee het om ‘n bydrae te lewer, alhoewel u dit in ‘n verkeerde lig gesien het.

Mag Vader Sy Kosbare Genade en Aangesig oor u laat skyn en u seen in u werk.

Sterkte in u werk en alle voorspoed


Danie Smit.

Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Danie Smit,

In my kommentare aan jou, het ek gefokus op dit wat jy oor die fliek “Heaven is for Real” gesê het en nie oor die moontlikheid dat jy in die “Hebrew Roots” beweging of enige ander beweging betrokke is nie. Aan my maak dit nie saak of jy “Jesus” of “Jeshua” of “Jashua” gebruik nie. Nietemin, sodra jy dit doen om jou betrokkenheid by bewegings soos die Afrikaner Israeleisme of Brits Israelisme of die “Hebrew Roots” of wat ookal te artikuleer, dan moet ‘n mense ernstige vrae begin vra.

Hoe dit ookal sy, ek is die Here ewig dankbaar dat Hy jou siel uit die okkulte en Satanisme gered het. Dis wonderlik. Kan ek jou vra om ons te vertel hoe jy tot redding gekom het. Broer Petrus sê ons moet bereid wees om verantwoording te doen aan elkeen wat van oons rekenskap eis omtrent die hoop wat in ons is, met sagmoedigheid en vrees. (1 Peterus 3:15). Sal jy dit doen? Baie dankie




Please please do not leave this site.

The only reason I commented is because I have seen the damage that can be done.(I prefer reading to showing my lack of eloquence in writing:-)

If you start delving into these books, movies and movements it will destroy you and your family.

Like I said before. I have lost very dear friends to these same things. When I asked why they dabble in literature and movies from people that have strange doctrine, the answer was: “We only take the good stuff and ignore the rest”.

I now have friends that has shunned me because I did not want to get on the bandwagon! I wish I was part of their lives because they really could use a friend.

They decided to “leave Babylon” and move away (they also got that from some DVD someone had made to deceive and destroy). Their eldest son had a child out of wedlock and they knew full well that he was not ready or equipped to look after a woman and child. They practically abandoned him by packing up and leaving him behind to sort out his mistakes.

My wife and I tried our best to be part of the young man’s life by helping where we can, but they chose otherwise. This young man was locked up in jail on drug charges, lost his job and heaven knows what is happening to his baby boy.

I know that they find themselves in a very dark place at the moment. I pray that they swallow their pride and admit that they chose the wrong path before they lose everything.

The hardest thing for me is to let go. If someone do not want to associate with you I suppose there is nothing you can do.

John Andrews UK/Ireland

Danie Smit wrote:

Dear Deborah and readers.
Maybe I must type the following in my mother tongue. Through this I hope to put things better in the hope of understanding. *(Deleted to save space)
Mag Vader Sy Kosbare Genade en Aangesig oor u laat skyn en u seen in u werk.
Sterkte in u werk en alle voorspoed
Danie Smit.

Danie, Onthou dat onse hemelse Vader nooit ‘n opregte soeker na die waarheid sal verwerp nie. Alles werk ten goede vir diegene wat Hom liefhet en daarom het ons ons naaste lief. (Die twee gebooie wat Jesus beaam)

Ons moet nooit “mense van die kerk” goedsmoeds afskryf, of verbitter wees oor hulle “koudheid” teenoor ons nie. Ons paadjie met die Here is soms ‘n eensame pad, maar God sal jou hart sien. Hy sal nie vir jou ‘n slang gee as jy om “kos vir jou siel” vra nie. Waar vind ons ‘n onfeilbare hulp vir ons siel? Die woord van God – dit is die swaard van die Gees.

Efesiërs 6:13-18 verskaf ons ‘n beskrywing van God se wapenrusting wat aan ons gegee word. Ons staan vas met die gordel van waarheid, die borsharnas van geregtigheid, die evangelie van vrede, die skild van geloof, die helm van verlossing, die swaard van die Gees en ons hou aan bid in die Gees. Wat stel hierdie gedeelte voor in ons oorlogsvoering? Ons moet die waarheid praat teen Satan se leuens. Ons moet berusting vind in die feit dat ons regverdig verklaar is vanwee Christus se offer vir ons. Ons moet die evangelie verkondig maak nie saak hoeveel teenkanting daar is nie. Ons moet nie in ons geloof wankel nie al word ons baie ernstig aangeval. Ons belangrikste teenstand is dat ons alreeds verlossing ontvang het, daardie sekerheid wat geen geestelike mag van ons kan wegneem nie. Ons aanvals wapen is God se Woord en nie ons eie gevoel of interpretasie nie. Ons moet ook Jesus se voorbeeld herken dat sekere geestelike oorlogsvoering slegs deur gebed oorwin sal word.

Ek is in Europa en sien die taktiek van Satan – hy het nie verander nie – hy probeer twyfel in God se woord saai net soos met Eva heel aan die begin. Hy saai verwarring (bedrog, misleiding)
As jy ‘n Afrikaanse bybel gebruik sal ek uit “liefde vir die waarheid” voorstel dat jy die bybel as jou verwysing gebruik en gebruik die name van Jesus en God soos hulle in jou bybel geskrewe is. Daar is sekere kerke en groepe wat ons sal mislei om “hipergeestelik” te wees en name soos Yeshua/Yashua te gebruik. Dit is nie jou moedertaal se gebruik om die Hebreeuse vorme te gebruik nie. Van die groepe se leerstellings is nie suiwer nie. Ek is nie bewus van Afrikaanse bybels wat die name so gebruik nie.

Trek die volle wapenrusting van God aan, sodat julle staande kan bly teen die liste van die duiwel. Want ons worstelstryd is nie teen vlees en bloed nie, maar teen die owerhede, teen die magte, teen die wêreldheersers van die duisternis van hierdie eeu, teen die bose geeste in die lug.

Kies die pad wat God en ons verlosser Jesus vereer en die boeke en opinies van mense sal verminder in jou lewe. Ek hoop jy vind ware hulp as jy vra by mede opregte gelowiges daar in SA. Jou hulp is van die Here en nie van mensgemaakte organisasies nie.

John Andrews UK/Ireland

Deborah (Discerning the World) wrote:

Ahhh John, I didn’t realise you were South African, no wonder you understood previous comments that were in Afrikaans – I thought you used a translator, my goodness I am just blonde sometimes lol.

Deborah, It’s OK to be blonde, but not to be deceived by the wiles of the devil. Our inability to even translate from one known language to another known language and getting the context perfect just tells me once again that “speaking in tongues” as in the Pentecostal/Charismatic mode must be from a false spirit, even Satan. They don’t “translate” they “fabricate”. How sad is that.

Makes me think of the YouTube “blonde Mercedes advert”:


Enjoy your laugh a day medicine…….

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x