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The Illustrated Gospels

See how one Bible publisher creatively illustrated the gospels.


Translations Transforming Lives

Watch testimonies of comminutes transformed by the Bible being translated into their native language.



The Power of the Word

Watch as Craig S. Keener discusses the power found only in the Word of God.

Move into the Light

Have you made it a priority to seek out dark situations to bring the light?


Handling A Shattered World

At age 33, evangelist Christine Caine found out a secret so powerful it changed how she viewed her past, present and future. Her mother confirmed that she and her brother had been adopted. What Caine believed about her birth and heritage was false. She thought her world had been shattered.
What do you do when it feels as if everything is crumbling around you? Watch the video below as Caine shares her testimony of overcoming one of her greatest struggles and tells of how Christians should view circumstances that are out if their control.{youtube}5LMdiBmhf-Y{/youtube}

10 Lies the Church Tells Women

Here are 10 erroneous views about women that for too long have been circulated in the church, preached from pulpits and written in the study notes of popular Bible translations. I believe we must debunk these lies if we want to see the church fully released to fulfill the Great Commission.

Lie #1. God’s ultimate plan for women is that they serve their husbands.

How sad that so many Christian men view women from a selfish perspective. This view is often promoted by misreading the account of Eve’s creation in Genesis 2:18-25, in which Adam is provided a “helpmate.” The Hebrew word used here often is translated “companion,” denoting intimacy and partnership. But through the centuries it has been used to imply that Eve was some type of domestic appendage.

We men have assumed that God gave Eve to fulfill Adam’s sexual needs as well as to serve as his cook, laundress and maid. But the Genesis account does not say this.

After Eve’s creation, God did not tell her: “You are Adam’s helper; I command you to serve him well.” She was not created for servitude; she was fashioned to be a co-laborer with Adam so that they might rule together over creation as God commissioned them to do (see Gen. 1:28).

Lie #2. Women can’t be fulfilled or spiritually effective without a husband.

From the time she was released from a German death camp in 1944 until her death in 1983, Corrie Ten Boom taught the world about a Savior who could forgive the cruelest Nazi. Yet she never married. Did the fact that she did not have a husband make her less “complete”? Some Christians would say yes.

We have spent so much energy defending the concept of the biblical family that we are guilty of idolizing it. We’ve preached that a woman’s primary responsibility is to find a godly husband, have lots of babies and stay home to raise them for Christ.

But marital status is not a qualifier for ministry. The Bible does not even state whether certain key followers of Jesus, such as the 12 disciples, were married or not.

The highest calling of all believers—married or unmarried—is to develop a relationship with Jesus. Any other earthly relationship is secondary, and Christ Himself warned us never to allow people we love to become idols that distract us from Him.

Lie #3. Women shouldn’t work outside the home.

Many evangelical churches have preached that women who work outside the home are breaking a scriptural commandment, but this conclusion can be reached only by distorting the biblical record. The woman described in Proverbs 31 is often used to bolster a traditional view of the June Cleaver-style matron who spends her day baking casseroles while her husband is at the office. But a careful reading reveals that the Proverbs 31 woman, in her ancient Middle Eastern context, functioned as a real estate agent and ran a textile business.

Titus 2:5 instructs women to “take care of their homes” (New Living Translation). But most scholars would agree that this passage simply exhorts married women not to forsake their children.

It is true that, because of ambition or materialism, some Christian women neglect their children even though the Holy Spirit has urged them to put their career objectives on hold. But rather than placing a legalistic burden on women by telling them that having a career is ungodly, we should tell both men and women to submit their career plans to the Holy Spirit’s direction.

Lie #4. Women must obediently submit to their husbands in all situations.

A distraught Christian woman who was regularly beaten by her husband finally gained the courage to seek counsel from her pastor. After she told him about her husband’s fits of rage, the pastor responded, “If your husband kills you, it will be to the glory of God.”

The pastor reached this irresponsible conclusion because of a distorted view of “male headship.” We often portray marriage as a hierarchy, with husbands on the throne and wives at the footstool, and we use Scripture to justify this view: “Wives...submit to your husbands as you do to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22).

We assume this verse means women have no say in family matters or that their opinion is second-rate. In extreme cases, women have been told to submit to abuse in order to honor male headship. But this is not a Christian view.

Paul also told the Ephesians, “submit to one another” (5:21, emphasis added). I have heard teachings by male clergy on the subject of male headship, but I’ve never heard a pastor encourage men to submit to their wives! Yet in a loving marriage, a man and woman will defer to one another as they make decisions.

In my 16 years of marriage, my wife and I have had plenty of disagreements. But when we reach an impasse, I don’t announce, “I am the head of this house, so what I say goes.” Rather, Deborah and I either agree to pray about the matter, or we choose to defer to one another.

The point is never who is in charge. I view my wife as an equal. I am not “over her.” We function as one.

Lie #5. A man needs to “cover” a woman in her ministry activities.

This idea came from a distorted interpretation of the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:3, “the head of woman is man” (NKJV). People have used these words to bolster the idea that women are subservient to men or that they cannot approach God without a male authority figure in their lives.

Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 11 about head coverings is a difficult passage, and Bible scholars don’t agree on its meaning. However, most teach that Paul is addressing specific cultural concerns in first-century Corinth and that he is calling for propriety and order in a society where immorality and paganism had blurred gender distinctions.

Paul was not placing men in a position of generic rulership over women. Because there is “no male or female in Christ” (see Gal. 3:28), women can pray, worship, study the Bible or minister without a man present. How silly to think that a man, because of his gender, could add credibility to prayer or Spirit-empowered ministry! To believe this would be to trust in the flesh.

Lie #6. A woman should view her husband as the “priest of the home.”

Search your concordance. Scripture never describes men as “priests of the home.” This man-made concept was popularized in evangelical churches in the last century. We have one priest, Jesus Christ, whose blood atoned for our sins. It is a mockery of the gospel to suggest that any human being needs an additional priest apart from the Son of God.

The Bible says all believers are priests (see 1 Pet. 2:9, Rev. 1:6); there is no gender restriction. Husbands function as priests when they pray for their families or when they minister the Word of God to them, and wives also function in this role.

My experience in marriage has been that God speaks both to me and to my wife. He doesn’t say to me, “Since you are the head of this house, I’ll tell you my plans for your family, and you can tell the others what I said.” Often God has revealed His plans to my wife before I heard anything!

Christian men need to stop being defensive and recognize that God has called us to function in unity with our wives. We need to listen to their counsel, consider their opinions, and pray together for the mind of the Lord rather than putting our foot down and shouting, “I am the leader of this family, and what I say goes!”

Lie #7. Women are not equipped to assume leadership roles.

The most common mistake we make in biblical interpretation occurs when we take one isolated verse and build a doctrine around it—even if the verse seems to contradict other passages. This is often what we do with 1 Tim. 2:12, “I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man” (NASB).

Most theologians believe that this passage was addressing an isolated situation in Ephesus. They came to this conclusion after studying the myriad of references in the Bible to women in spiritual authority. The Old Testament records that Deborah was a judge over Israel—and God blessed her leadership in battle (see Judg. 4-5). Other women who held authority over men include Miriam, Huldah and Noadiah.

Jesus issued His first gospel commission to women (see Matt. 28:1-10), and both men and women were empowered to preach on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). Priscilla, Chloe and Phoebe were leaders in the early church, and one woman, Junia, is called an apostle by Paul (Rom. 16:7).

The promise of the prophet Joel was that “sons and daughters” would prophesy after the Holy Spirit was given to the church (Joel 2:28, emphasis added). Yet we have taken one misunderstood verse from Paul’s writings and used it to negate hundreds of other passages that support the full release of women into ministry.

Lie #8: Women must not teach or preach to men in a church setting.

Since 1 Timothy 2:12 obviously contradicts the overall biblical endorsement of women in authority, how are we to understand it? What is Paul actually saying in this passage?

In their book I Suffer Not a Woman, Richard and Catherine Clark Kroeger explain that certain cultic worship practices involving female priestesses of Diana had invaded the first-century church. These priestesses promoted blasphemous ideas about sex and spirituality, and they sometimes performed rituals in which they pronounced curses on men and declared female superiority.

What Paul was most likely saying to the Ephesians was this: “I do not allow a woman to teach these cultic heresies, nor do I allow them to usurp authority from men by performing pagan rituals.” He was not saying, as some Christians have assumed, “I do not allow godly Christian women to teach the Bible.” In his day, Paul would have been thrilled to have had more skilled women who could teach the truth!

Lie #9. Women are more easily deceived than men.

This idea has been taught by twisting the meaning of 1 Timothy 2:14, which says, “It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression” (NLT). Some have suggested that because Eve was tricked by the devil, women have a stronger propensity toward deception. Others have gone so far as to insist that women are to blame for all the evil in the world and are therefore under a greater curse than men.

No respectable Bible scholar in the church today would promote such a view. The Bible clearly states that Adam and Eve were both held guilty by God for their disobedience, and they were both punished. In 1 Timothy, Paul cited the creation account not to place extra blame on Eve but to refute a bizarre teaching that was circulating in Asia Minor.

In the first century, Gnostic heretics were mixing Christianity with paganism. One of their teachings stated that Eve actually liberated the world when she disobeyed God and gained secret knowledge from the devil.

Paul was not teaching that women are more prone to deception. He was explaining that what Eve did was not right, and that the Christian view of the creation was that Adam and Eve sinned when they listened to the serpent.

Women are certainly capable of spreading deception because they have a fallen nature as men do, but there is no evidence that they have greater gullibility. That view is rooted in demeaning stereotypes and prejudice.

Lie #10: Women who exhibit strong leadership qualities have a “spirit of Jezebel.”

Once I was listening to Bible teacher Cindy Jacobs speak at a prayer conference in Colorado. When she approached the pulpit, two men who were sitting in front of me turned to each other and began to pray softly.

“Lord, we bind the power of the devil from bewitching this audience,” one man said, adding, “We bind the power of Jezebel in the name of Jesus.” These men believed that the crowd would automatically come under a spirit of deception when Jacobs taught them—simply because she was a woman.

How absurd! Was Barak “deceived” when he took orders from Deborah? (See Judg. 4:14.) Did baby Jesus come under a harmful influence when Anna prophesied over Him? (See Luke 2:36-38.) Was Apollos spiritually emasculated when he submitted to the teaching of Priscilla? (See Acts 18:26.) Of course not!

To associate godly women with Jezebel, a wicked Old Testament despot, is unfair and offensive, yet men in the church today often pin Jezebel’s label on strong, anointed women because they feel threatened by them.

Let’s stop the insults. If a woman is using manipulation to usurp authority or if she is spreading heresies, then she certainly deserves the Jezebel label—as do men who do such things. But women who walk in spiritual integrity and preach the Word of God with power deserve our respect.

J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, is the author of, Ten Lies the Church Tells Women (Creation House).

Dream Center Transformations

Watch how the Dream Center is transforming lives and hear testimonies below.


Handling a Shattered world

At age 33, evangelist Christine Caine found out a secret so powerful it changed how she viewed her past, present and future. Her mother confirmed that she and her brother had been adopted. What Caine believed about her birth and heritage was false. She thought her world had been shattered.
What do you do when it feels as if everything is crumbling around you? Watch the video below as Caine shares her testimony of overcoming one of her greatest struggles and tells of how Christians should view circumstances that are out if their control.{youtube}5LMdiBmhf-Y{/youtube}

NBA Star Dwyane Wade's Mother Shares Testimony

NBA superstar Dwyane Wade's mother has been to hell and back—and now she's making hell tremble with a deliverance ministry that sets the captives free. Watch Jolinda Wade share details of her drug abuse, life as a fugitive and her dramatic redemption.

More About Sydney Browning

Killed in a church shooting, Sydney Browning never had a chance to meet the 62 second-graders of Granada Primary School. But today she's changed their lives, thanks to a university's 11-year promise fulfilled. To learn more about Sydney Browning and her scholarship check out the links below.

Mike Bickle on the Praying Church

Listen as Mike Bickle, director of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Mo., teaches on the praying church and spiritual warfare.

Debt-Free for the Holidays

The average American spends almost $700 during the holiday season—most of that on credit. This year, refuse to be average. Discover how God helped financial adviser Amie Streater dig her way out of $100,000 of credit-card debt, and join her in living debt-free.

Mary Alessi: Pressing on Through Adversity

Mary Alessi has been ministering through music ever since she was a young girl traveling with her family. Now, she pastors Metro Life in Miami with her husband, Steve. This mother of four is also a worship leader, and she recently released her third album, Pressing On. Alessi spoke to Charisma about her music ministry and the inspiration behind her new album.

Charisma: Tell us about your music ministry.

Mary Alessi: I am a pastor’s wife, a worship leader and I’ve been leading worship almost 20 years ever since I started out many years ago I started leading worship. I traveled with my family as a kid and my dad and mom were evangelists, and we traveled, so ministry and singing are definitely in my soul, it’s in my blood.

Worship really is the theme of my life. That’s my style. That would probably be what would define me. I don’t consider myself a worship artist; I am a worship leader. That’s what I do every weekend and my projects carry a worship experience. My calling is to lead people into a greater walk with the Lord, not just sing a song but also really have an experience with the Lord through their worship.

Charisma: Your new CD, Pressing On, was inspired by a difficult season. Could you explain what happened?

Alessi: Three years ago, the day after Father’s Day, my husband had a severe heart attack; actually they labeled it a “widow maker.” We had no idea that anything like this would come; it just really hit us broadside. Steve had no health issues, never had any scare, no fear, no warnings from the doctors, nothing. He was very fit, very healthy. His heart attack came out of nowhere. It took the paramedics 45 minutes to bring him back to where his heart was stabilized so that they could tell me whether he would be OK or not. It was devastating, very traumatic.

Being a worship leader, we always say that in the deepest darkest moments we will praise God. We’re always encouraging people that when they’re going through it to sing a song of praise. The reality of it for me is that there are times where you’re going through something and a song just doesn’t come. When I was sitting in the kitchen praying, calling family and friends saying, “Please pray. Steve is dying. He’s having a heart attack. This is serious,” I couldn’t think of a song. All I could really call on was the name of Jesus. It was in that moment that God began to do an even deeper work in my heart and in my life even in that area of what worship truly is. It’s just a heart’s cry.

Did you ever question God?

Alessi: We questioned. Why God did you let this happen to Steve? Why is a part of his heart damaged, they call it dead? Why would you let that happen? Lord, we’ve given our entire lives for you. All we’ve known is ministry from the time we were little kids. We’ve never strayed. We’ve given everything to you. God why would you let this happen to the people you love? Will this bring any future occurrences? What does this mean?

In questioning, God just really began to speak to both of us that if there’s a limp in your life, then better you have that limp and live your life to the total fullest than somebody who doesn’t have a limp in their life and they still complain about where life is. We just said that we’re going to take this situation, we’re going to move on, we’re going to overcome and we’re going to do even great things because of this. We’re just determined to live even a greater existence with this limp in our lives.

The song “Pressing On” came out of that; I am pressing on because I don’t want live an ordinary life. I don’t want to just be ordinary. I want extraordinary things in my life because I know what I’m capable of with God on my side. I’m not going to get out of focus. I’m going to just press on. I think that’s the theme of our world today, and definitely should be of Christians, that no matter what adversity faces us, no matter what comes our way, we still have to get up and make a decision to say, “I don’t know where I’m going, but I can’t stay here. I’m pushing forward and I’m pressing on toward the mark of the high calling.”

What is something you learned going through such a traumatic event?

Alessi: I would say first and foremost leaning what grace is and what grace is not. We aren’t lucky boys and girls, sons and daughters when nothing happens to us. … I used to say, “Look at our lives. None of our kids are sick. Neither one of us had ever had an issue in our bodies. Look how blessed we are. Look how God has shined on us.” Well, when something bad happens, how do you say that and who do you look to? You think, OK God, what’s up?

What I thought was favor and blessing God began to show me, “No, no, Mary, when you walk through a deep dark valley but I sustain you and I hold you, that’s when you’re favored, that’s when you’re blessed.” It took me to a completely different understanding. … What grace became to me was that He gave me peace in the middle of the storm. He began to speak even stronger in the middle of this valley, “I don’t care, Mary, what adversity slips through and affects your life, you can overcome it. You can come out of it and live an even greater existence with it in your life.”

What do you most hope listeners will sense when they listen to Pressing On?

Alessi: This is not and overly emotional “Out of the ashes, I rise” cry. I’m not saying that. Sometimes when people go through terrible, traumatic experiences, worse than me, and we try to tell them, “You’ll rise again,” they don’t want to hear that. That’s a knowledge for later. They’re not there right now. That’s not where they’re at. I wanted to put together from my experience a simple song, more of a song you could sing to remind yourself that life happens, things happen. Don’t get mad at God. Don’t overemotionalize it. Don’t overstate it. Things happen in our lives. Just remember that there is a God who loves you and He will give you the ability to press on. You don’t have to start believing for a year from now, just believe for today, just believe for this next moment, this next step. Just press on, just push on.

You don’t have to have all the answers right now. You may not know where you’re going but you know you can’t stay where you are right now. So just get up and move forward, even if it’s just one step, one step after another. And then let God do the rest in your life, press on.

What I really hope that through the whole theme of this project is that people get that God is a redeemer. He redeems all of your days, the Word says. So even in adversity, any day that you feel like you’ve lost, He will redeem it. Somehow, someway He will give it back.

I would not trade the experience of Steve’s heart attack for anything in the world. Would I wish that Steve’s heart were fully functioning and whole and perfect? Absolutely, I do, and God is the healer. But it won’t stop me. It’s not an excuse. It’s not a hang up. It’s not an argument with God. I press on because God has called Steve and me to great things, even with a partially damaged heart. It won’t stop us. It won’t hold us back. The old us is gone. We have a renewed sense of acknowledgement of how precious life is, how amazing this life He has given us is, and we’re going to live it all the way out, squeeze every bit of juice out of it.



Sounds of Revival

Worship leaders say a new song is coming out of Israel. Watch video from some messianic praise and worship artists below.

Joel Chernoff

Paul WIlbur

Marty Goetz

Karen Davis

Ted Pearce

Jordan Elias

Chuck King

Barry & Batya Segal

Scriptures on Grief

My soul melts from heaviness; Strengthen me according to Your word.
-Psalm 119:28

Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh.
-Luke 6:21

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
-Matthew 5:4

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
-Psalm 34:18

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.
-John 14:27

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
-2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
-Psalm 43:5

" Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, And the young men and the old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, Will comfort them, And make them rejoice rather than sorrow."
-Jeremiah 31:13

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people, And will have mercy on His afflicted.
-Isaiah 49:13

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
-1 Thessalonians 4:13
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.
-Psalms 147:3

As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you;
-Isaiah 66:13

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
-Revelation 21:4

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
-Joshua 1:9

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
-Isaiah 40:31

For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, Yet He will show compassion According to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, Nor grieve the children of men.
- Lamentations 3:31-33

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
-Philippians 4:6

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
-1 Peter 5:6-7

Why "Christian" Can Be Offensive

Charisma editor Marcus Yoars talks with Eitan Shishkoff as Shishkoff details why it could be offensive to call a Messianic Jew a Christian. We apologize in advance for the poor sound quality of this podcast. It is sometimes unavoidable when conducting international interviews.

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