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Poisonous As A Cobra
With their tongues they have practiced deceit. The poison of asps [cobras]1 is under their lips. (Romans 3:13)
Jim Cobrae's deceit is as poisonous as a Cobra. In other words, his teaching is deadly. Cobrae,
is the founder and Senior Pastor of one of the largest and fastest growing churches in the United States, The Rock Church and World Outreach Center. (www.rockchurch.com/pastors_staff/)
Sadly, his poison is spreading. For examples of some of Cobrae's deceit, please see the following:
Jim Cobrae's deadly poisonous lips can be heard in an interview entitled, "How to Give Aggressive Altar Calls." About two minutes into the interview Tony Cooke, who is interviewing Jim Cobrae, says,
One thing you did in last night's service, that uh, I haven't seen many people do. Uh, right at the beginning when you came up after the worship, you got down on your knees, and you prayed for the other churches; and you were real specific. You were praying for churches, the other churches, the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Baptists, that were, that that preach the gospel. How long have you been praying for other churches in your church services?
Uh, we've probably been doing that for a number of years now, and uh, what we're doing is we're, we're gettin' alot of people from alot of different areas and alot of different backgrounds. We want people that come in to be comfortable. And we want them to know that we're not an elitist organization. And often times in churches in America we feel like we have the goods and no one else does have the goods, or we feel like we're better than someone else, or, you know, it's us against them type of an attitude; and, we forget the true principle of oneness and unity together; that we are all on the same side. If we're preaching the gospel, my Baptist brothers and sisters, Adventist brothers and sisters, Catholic brothers and sisters, and Pentecostals, Charismatics, Lutherans and Methodists, all, each one of them, are telling somebody about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And so I always conclude that prayer with, with this, Tony. I always say, "Um, you know, we want everybody to know, Lord, that we're not thinking of ourselves as better than them, but we see ourselves as co-laborers together with them. And we thank you, Lord, for the diversity in the body of Christ as well as the diversity in the types of churches so that everybody can find a church that they're comfortable in." And, uh, were finding that this helps build the body of Christ in unity and oneness with other churches, keeping them out of competition, or keeping them out of that elitist type of thinking.
Tony Cooke responds with,
Not good! These words are only good for the destruction of souls (2 Peter 2:1). They blaspheme the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2), and promote a broad way that leads to nowhere but destruction (Matthew 7:13-14). For an explanation of this broad way, please see www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html.
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. (Titus 1:16)
Jim Cobrae and his wife profess to know God, but they are disobedient to His word. His wife, Deborah Cobrae, is a pastor.
Pastor Deborah has labored alongside her husband as they have watched the ministry grow from a congregation of twelve to over seventeen thousand members. (www.rockchurchfamily.com/ourchurch/pastors/pjdbio.htm)
Through positive insights, Pastor Deborah's dynamic and practical teaching on God's word will equip you with the "how to" on living right in a world gone wrong. (ibid.)
Cobrae and his wife are part of that "world gone wrong." They disobey 1 Timothy 2:11-12.
Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
The Cobraes breach both the "teach" and the "authority" prohibitions of verse 12. They refuse to give heed to God's word, which, is not given because of the culture of the day, but because of God's creation and the subsequent fall of Adam and Eve.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Timothy 2:13-14; see also 1 Corinthians 14:34-37)
This is the reason given for women to be silent and not to teach or have authority in the church (1 Timothy 3:15). The Cobraes have their own agenda, and so they discard the word of God.
III. False Gospel
Cobrae's church, The Rock Church, in their "Recovery Group" follows after the folly of Alcoholics Anonymous.
The Rock Solid Recovery Group is a 12-step Christ-centered program that recognizes Jesus as Lord and Savior and our need for Him in our lives. (The Rock Solid Recovery Group, pamphlet obtained from The Rock Church on 4-8-07, hard copy on file)
Actually, this "Rock Solid Recovery Group" denies Jesus as Lord and Savior. They state they are,
PROVIDING A CHRIST-CENTERED LIFECHANGING PLAN OF RECOVERY OVER ADDICTIONS, COMPULSIONS, HURTS, AND HABITS IN A SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT. (ibid.)
But, it is not Christ-centered when it denies His very words. Jesus Christ says,
If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
It is the truth of His word (God's word) that frees from the dominating power of sin (James 1:21). There is no "plan of recovery" or "12-step . . . program." It is simply Jesus Christ Himself that one needs to have power "OVER ADDICTIONS, COMPULSIONS, HURTS, AND HABITS," as Jesus says,
Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)
Yet, The Rock Church states,
This is a program designed to bring support to the individual to overcome addictions, compulsive behaviors and other destructive hurts and habits. (ibid.)
If the individual had Jesus Christ, there would be no need for a "program" to "support the individual to overcome" these things, because the person would have already overcome and would be set free by Jesus Christ (John 8:31-36), as Paul said to the believers in Rome,
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)
So, instead of believing in the simplicity of the gospel (i.e. Jesus is all you need), The Rock Church has been "corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3) and believes in a program, rather than in the living Savior.
We spend half of our time in a biblical teaching on how to overcome drug and alcohol addictions; compulsive behaviors; destructive hurts and habits and low levels of anger management.
But, if they believed the gospel, they would preach that and spend no time "on how to overcome," because they would know that all one needs is true faith in Christ, as it is written,
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Part of the fruit of the Spirit is "self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23). That's all one needs, the Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9), to overcome.
This is not their message nor Jim Cobrae's. If it was, they would have no "program," no "12-step," no "plan of recovery." They would simply preach the gospel (Revelation 14:6-7; Proverbs 8:13; 16:6b) and people would be saved from "drug and alcohol addictions" and the dominating power of sin (Romans 6:14), and no program would be necessary. But, when you are a well without water, as Jim Cobrae is (2 Peter 2:17), you have to come up with other ways to look like you are distributing salvation (Jude 1:12). He claims to be leading people to Christ, but sadly, instead he is giving people a false hope and false assurance (Proverbs 25:14).
IV. Money Hungry
Speaking of false teachers who secretly bring in destructive heresies, 2 Peter 2:3 warns,
By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.
False teachers are covetous (2 Peter 2:14), and sometimes this covetousness manifests itself more clearly than others (1 Timothy 5:24-25). One way Jim Cobrae's covetousness and exploitation is manifest is via "The Rock School of Ministry."
The Rock School of Ministry is a two-year program. Students have an option to complete only one year, although two years is recommended. The first year courses focus on laying a foundation of key truths that will equip you for a lifetime of fruitful ministry as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our goal in the first year is to equip you with the tools to know and worship God more intimately, and make Him known to the world through a lifestyle of witness. We also bring a practical and relevant emphasis to the sound doctrinal teaching that is offered. (www.trsom.com/firstyr.htm, hard copy on file)
So, you can learn "key truths" be equipped "to know and worship God more intimately" and get supposedly "sound doctrinal teaching" all for a price.
Tuition for the entire 2006-07 school year is $1080.00. This fee includes books, printed class material, yearbook, and graduation cap and gown. In order to be enrolled, students must pay a $30.00 non-refundable application fee when they submit their application, and a $150.00 non-refundable registration fee at the time they are accepted. (http://www.trsom.com/tuition.htm, hard copy on file)
Many people may think nothing of this, because it is the way of the world. But, it is not the way of God. Paul wrote,
We are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
God's word is all one needs to be equipped, to know God more intimately, and to have sound doctrinal teaching (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and it ought to be given freely.
When Jesus sent out His disciples, He said, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). He did not tell them to charge people for their services or for the truth. Yet, unlike Christ, Cobrae threatens to withhold these "key truths" and "sound doctrinal teaching" if payment is not made.
Students who fail to keep current with their payments may not be allowed to continue or graduate. (ibid.)
That statement speaks for itself.
1. The Greek word for asps (aspidôn) in Romans 3:13 is the same word used for translating the Hebrew word for cobra (peten) in the Old Testament in the LXX (Septuagint, Greek translation of the OT). This Hebrew word for cobra is found only in Deuteronomy 32:33; Job 20:14, 16; Psalm 58:4 (Hebrew vs. 5); 91:13; and Isaiah 11:8. The LXX translates peten (the Hebrew word for cobra) with aspidos (asp) every time except in Job 20:16. There petâniym (plural form of peten) is translated with drakontôn (dragons or serpents). Also, Romans 3:13 apparently is taken from Psalm 140:3 (Hebrew vs. 4) where the LXX translates the Hebrew word `akhshuv (only found here) also with aspidôn (KJV "adder," NKJV "asps," NAS "viper").
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