‘CHIEFS AND INDIANS’ or, HOW CHRISTIANS MAKE REPEATED MISTAKES

In the not far distant past, the great spirit began to speak to the Indians in the north, in the Western Coastlands and on the Eastern Flats. Little bands began to meet in their tepees to rediscover their common life in the great spirit and to make deep friendship. They held Pow Wows, spoke wisdom and smoked the pipe of peace. Each group were a band of equal brothers, freely serving and sharing gifts with each other.

After a while each band began to recognise a warrior who seemed to have a deeper knowledge of the great spirit, to whom they would listen with respect or go to for advice and look to for organisation. They decided to give him a feather to wear and he was soon known as “One Feather.” After three moons, One Feather ceased to hunt and fish. The others brought him gifts to sustain him. He told them Great Spirit’s Words, how to plan their lives, how to bring up their children. Some Indians found it more difficult to hear the great spirit for themselves, finding it easier to listen to “One Feather”.

It was not long before a One Feather, with a larger band than most, was given a pony by his people and began to travel. He met with other bands and eventually called a meeting of One Feathers. “We need to get more organised,” he told them, “the present situation is a woolly mess”. One Brave asked, ‘Didn’t the great spirit bring it about himself?’ . ‘Of course,’ replied the Pony Rider, ‘but he has told me that things must change.’

So the One Feathers decided, as leaders, that they themselves should have a leader. So it was that Pony Rider became Little Chief Two Feathers! He had an appropriate head-dress and a special tepee. He would not have time to share with the ‘no-feathers’ now, but would instruct the One Feathers who would pass his teachings down. Some One Feathers now found it more difficult to hear the great spirit for themselves and found it easier to listen to Little Chief Two Feathers.

Some moons later Two Feathers, who now had a horse and travelled more widely, holding many gatherings for the One Feathers, came across others like himself. They met together in solemn conclave and decided that they too must be ‘covered’. (A curious term arising from an ancient writing when a squaw was covered by a famous chief’s blanket!) After some fuss and a lot of Pow Wow, Big Chief Many Feathers was to emerge.

He was given a many-horsed chariot and a team of Two Feathers to travel the country with him, giving input and guidance. Some Two Feathers now found it more difficult to hear the great spirit for themselves and found it easier to listen to Big Chief Many Feathers. Meantime the great spirit began to speak to many ‘no‑feathers’ in the North, in the Coastlands and on the Eastern Flats.

Little bands began to gather in their tepees to share their common life in the Great Spirit and to enter into deep friendship…”

—ooo—

{Alan Halden, ‘Sarntalk’ (undated) 27 Daggs Dell, Hemel Hempst. {We trust that we offend no one, but isn’t it true of human nature and how people miss the “Priesthood of All Believers” Ed. See 2nd Peter 2)




REVIVAL OR APOSTASY?

by: Dave Hunt, “THE BEREAN CALL” – October, 1997

Knowing that we are in the last of the last days, with an imminent Rapture a very real hope, our thoughts often (and indeed should) turn to the signs which Christ said would herald the nearness of His return. The signs which are most widely cited include “wars and rumours of wars…[when] nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…and …famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…these are the beginning of sorrows” (Mt 24:6-8).

Unquestionably, these specific “sorrows” have been both prominent and accelerating since Israel again became a nation in 1948. Since that time, the intensity and frequency of these signs have increased like the birthpangs of a woman approaching her time of delivery, exactly as Christ foretold. However, the first sign Christ gave has been largely overlooked and His solemn warning neglected:

  • And Jesus answered and said…Take heed that no man deceive you.
  • For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…(Matthew 24:4,5)
  • And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many…(v11)
    For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (v 24) [Emphasis added.]

Concern for this prophesied deception has marked this ministry. Let us take a closer look at the religious deception Christ foretold. He issued a warning: “take heed [beware] that no man deceive you.” Its seriousness is emphasized by being thrice stated. Its nature is specified: false Christs, false prophets, and false signs and wonders. His repetition four times of the word “many” indicates a worldwide deception of multitudes.

Paul issued a similar warning: “Let no man deceive you by any means…” He explains that the spiritual deception to which Christ referred will infect the professing church. That is evident from his words “falling away,” or apostasy:

…for that day [of the Lord] shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition” (2Thes2:3).

While a true Christian cannot fall away, a false Christian can. Fall away from what? From the faith in Christ which he or she has outwardly professed without inward reality. Those few apostates who announce themselves as atheists or convert to Buddhism or Hinduism are not the concern of Christ and Paul. They are warning of a turning from the truth within the professing church. Other scriptures confirm this, as we shall see.

Paul warns us not to be deceived into thinking that the apostasy won’t come. It must. Such a warning can only mean that in the last days many will reject the biblical teaching that apostasy is inevitable. The false prophets to whom Christ refers will use their signs and wonders to support their false teaching that revival, not apostasy, is underway. Paul therefore warns not to be deceived with talk about revival: the apostasy must come or Christ will not return!

“Then the LORD said to me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” – Jeremiah 14:14

That fact is clarified by other scriptures. False signs and wonders will be an integral part of the apostasy. The departure from the truth will be spearheaded by apparent miracle workers, and the delusion will be made possible by a prevailing emphasis upon experience over doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2Tm4:3). Christ declares,

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (Mt 7:22-23).

These apostates of whom Christ speaks do not lose their salvation; they were never saved (“I never knew you”). Yet they are high-profile Christian leaders apparently performing signs and wonders in the name of Christ. Tragically, they seem to think that their ability to prophesy and to perform wonders proves that they belong to Him. The signs and wonders are so impressive that doctrine no longer matters -exactly what we see today!

Surely these of whom Christ speaks in Matthew 7 must be the same “false Christs and false prophets” to whom He refers in Matthew 24. Moreover, the signs and wonders they are able to perform are apparently so impressive that without discernment by the Holy Spirit even the very elect would be deceived by them. Obviously, something more than mere trickery is involved. These miracle workers are backed by the power of Satan, whom they unwittingly serve in the name of the Lord.

Clearly, the Bible predicts a last-days signs and wonders movement-but it will be of Satan, thus a delusion that will deceive many. After a solemn warning that in the last days “perilous times [not revival!] shall come,” Paul makes this remarkable statement:

“Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these [apostates] also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2Tm3:8).

Jannes and Jambres were the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who, through the power of Satan, duplicated (up to a point) the miracles God did through Moses and Aaron. Paul thus declares that the last days opposition to the truth will not come so much from outside the church but from those within who are reprobate concerning the faith, depraved men who corrupt the truth. And they do so by performing apparent miracles in Christ’s name but which (when more than mere trickery) are actually of Satan. In that way, they deceive and lead many astray-not out of the church, but into false doctrine and thus a false hope within the church. Satan has no more effective tactic to damn souls!

Consider the example we gave two years ago of Benny Hinn on TBN (with Paul and Jan Crouch giving full support) telling with much merriment of a man’s wig flying off when he fell “under the power” after Hinn touched his forehead. The man pulled the wig back on, a bit askew, got up and Hinn touched him again just to see him fall and the wig fly off. This occurred five times, boasted Hinn with a laugh. Was this God’s power on display, the Holy Spirit at work? Surely not! Then what was it-this power that Hinn claims to pick up at the graves of Kathryn Kuhlman and Aimee Semple McPherson?

Such questions involving the whole gamut of today’s revival scene, from Toronto to Pensacola, must be seriously faced! Videos of the services show people crawling on the floor, howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, going through bodily contortions impossible without the aid of some spiritual power, unable to speak or even remember their names when they try to give a testimony – and worse. Many of those being baptized at Pensacola seem to lose consciousness or shake so violently that they must be carried out of the baptismal tank or they would drown. Others flail about so wildly as to require several men to handle them. Such manifestations were also found in past “revivals” among the Shakers, the Mormons and many other cults. That such things could now be accepted widely as evidence of the Holy Spirit can only testify to the depths of the delusion!

Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Contend against whom? Surely not primarily against godless enemies outside the church. The warning concerns those within: “For there are certain men crept in unawares” (v4). Crept in can only mean inside the church.

Paul confirms Jude in addressing the Ephesian elders: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). The spiritual deception of which Christ warned would be rampant within the church.

In further confirmation, Christ warned His disciples that “the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Jn 16:2)-a most remarkable prophecy. He can’t be referring to the slaughter of Christians by the Caesars or by Mao or Stalin or Hitler, for they did not believe they were thereby serving God. Yes, when the Jews killed the early Christians they thought they were serving God; so did the Roman Catholics when they slaughtered the true Christians before and after the Reformation; and so it was when Muslims killed Christians. But none of this was the complete fulfilment of Christ’s prophecy.

“Whosoever” is the key. Neither the Pharisees, the popes nor the Muslims were alone in killing Christians. Others pursued them to the death at the same time. But Christ is saying that a time is coming when whosoever (in other words, everyone) who kills Christians will think he is serving God. That can only mean that a world religion to which everyone must belong is coming, a religion that will seek to exterminate true Christians in the name of God. John saw the same scene in the future:

And it was given unto him [Antichrist] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them….

And I beheld another beast…he exerciseth all the power of the first beast…and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast….

And he had power to…cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed (Rev13:7-15).

To summarize, the scriptural warnings foretell the very delusion we find in our day: 1) a false signs and wonders movement led by many false prophets; 2) many being deceived through these seeming miracles; 3) the rejection of the biblical teaching concerning apostasy and the insistence that we are in the midst of, or at least are building up to, the “greatest revival in the history of the church.” Such is the prevailing teaching today among charismatics and increasingly among evangelicals. The promise of revival will be part of the last-days deception, Paul warns, so beware. Instead, in the days preceding the Rapture there will be a great apostasy, a falling away from the faith. Don’t be part of it!

“Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48)

That we must earnestly contend for the faith against those who have crept into the church implies that the battle is not so much one of faith against unbelief, but rather of true faith against false faith. And that, too, is precisely what we see today. Articles in leading medical journals cite studies showing that those who have any “religious faith” are more likely to recover from illness. Christianity Today recently ran a major article naively promoting these studies as though they were supportive of the truth.1 Instead, God has been reduced to a placebo that can come in any shape, size or colour.

Multitudes of Christians imagine that faith is believing that what they are praying for will happen and that if they truly believe, they will have whatever they ask. Obviously, if things happen because one believes they will, then one does not need God. This is mind power, not the “faith in God” Christ taught (Mk 11:22). It is faith in faith, which Kenneth Hagin and his followers such as Copeland and Price teach, calling it “the law of faith,” which even non-Christians can use to get alleged miracles.2

The great tragedy is that evangelical leaders who ought to expose error commend false prophets instead. A prime example was Norman Vincent Peale. In 1984, on the Phil Donahue program, Peale said, “It’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine …I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.” Shocked, Phil Donahue responded, “But you’re a Christian minister; you’re supposed to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?” Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere.”3 Yet Peale, whose many heresies and occult practices were flaunted before the world and church, has been praised by evangelical leaders, from Billy Graham on down, and his books and magazines are read by millions of evangelical Christians!

The topic on everyone’s lips and mind today is revival. Christian TV and radio and bestselling books persuasively argue that we are in the midst of the greatest revival of Christianity in the history of the world. Enthusiasts point to the signs and wonders occurring in such places as the former Toronto Vineyard, the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, Benny Hinn’s church in Orlando, Florida, his huge televised crusades, etc.

It comes as a shock to many to learn that the word “revival” does not appear even once in the entire King James Bible. The hope of revival which excites so many today is not even a biblical concept. Ask yourself a few questions: Is Christ not indwelling us? Is He not in our midst each time we meet? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spint at all times? Is not the Word of God sufficient? Why, then, run after signs and wonders as though unusual manifestations prove that God is at work, while neglecting what God has already given us? We will return to this topic in the future. In the meantime, undertake a study to see what the Bible says. Check every source (including The Berean Call) against Scripture! Be a Berean.

Endnotes:
1. Christianity Today (Jan 6,1997), 20-30.
2. Kenneth E. Hagin, Having Faith in Your Faith (Rhema,1980), 3-4.
3 Christian News (May 12,1997),11.




WE ARE CREATED FOR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (From a concept raised at Kings Church, Gold Coast, Australia)

My desired Outcome for this writing is two-fold. Firstly, it is for you to know that you were expressly created to have a personal relationship with our Creator, God. Secondly, that you will be able to understand fully why your role in creating such a relationship is to make a special effort get to know Him, yield to Him, and please Him – with help from God’s agent, the Holy Spirit. You may be thinking, “Why you need to get to know the Holy Spirit and be in a relationship with Him. I’ve been in church since I was a child?” The answer is simply that it is essential to know Him, for our own spiritual growth and ministry. Such a relationship enables us to successfully walk with God in the Spirit and to live the Christian Lifestyle successfully.

Statement 1: The Bible teaches us that the Godhead is a Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are in perfect harmony and relationship with each other. So, isn’t it logical, that when we become children of our Father God, that we should in time come into harmony with and relate to Him as our Spiritual Parent? Mankind was created to be in a relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” twice. See John 10:16 & 27

Statement 2: Sadly, something that remains true in the church today, is what Kathryn Kuhlman had to say ofmany folk in the charismatic/pentecostal movement in her day, now many years ago. She said,

“There are literally thousands and thousands in the great charismatic movement who have never become acquainted with the person ofthe Holy Spirit, only with His gifts” (See 1 Corinthians 12:1-12 & Hebrews 2:4)

Therefore, we should be provoked to ask ourselves: “Am I part ofthe many ‘thousands and thousands,’ or, am lone ofthe few people who know and are currently in a real relationship with, and fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit? If, after your deliberations you should feel that you belong to the larger number, then you can be assured that there is a way outlined in the Bible that reveals very clearly how to become acquainted with and fellowship with the Holy Spirit!

The Bible way to live life in the Spirit: The Bible says, in John 4:23-24

“… the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. “

From the foregoing, we see clearly stated that God the Father, is a Spirit! Note that He is expecting two things ofus when we first accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and are truly Born-again, that our goal should be to worship Him in both, “spirit and

truth”. However, there is a problem in the church today, in that many people ‘go . –­

the spirit’ with very little truth; or, they can become ‘overzealous for the truth’ and spend very little time in worship, or none at all! What we need to do is to strike a balance between the two. However, in this writing I am addressing ‘worship and fellowship with the Holy Spirit’. (I will address the ‘truth aspect’ in another article.)

By now, you may be asking the question, “What must I do to become a worshipper of God in spirit and truth”? The answer o f course is that you desire to do this you need to become a repentant sinner and a saved follower ofJesus Christ by being Born-again of the Spirit o f God – there is no other way!

The Lord Jesus, during his night-time discussion with Nicodemus – who was a Pharisee and ruler ofthe Jews – explains what one needs to do. Sadly, there are many very religious and devout people in church today who are just like Nicodemus! They have never become the ‘spiritual person’ that is able to relate to the Holy Spirit! Jesus was very definite and he made it very, very clear, when he said to Nicodemus that one could not see, or even enter the Kingdom of God, unless he was Born-again!

Question Time:
You may be reading this and realise that you have never truly been Born-again? For convenience, I quote the following Scripture from John 3:1-7 in which Jesus discusses with Nicodemus what is called ‘the New Birth’:

  1. There was a man ofthe Pharisees namedNicodemus, a ruler ofthe Jews.
  2. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. “
  3. Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom o f God. “
  4. Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born? “
  5. Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom ofGod.
  6. That which is born o f the flesh is flesh, and that which is born o f the Spirit is spirit.
  7. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ‘

I would suggest that you should help yourself first, then help your family and friends. If you don’t already know where they are spiritually, you could lovingly ask them to share with you their ‘testimony’ ofwhen and how they first became a Christian. This can be an excellent opportunity to lead someone to the Lord! In particular, you need to ask when they asked the Lord Jesus into their life to be their Lord and Saviour and what they did to do that? Please remember, you should not tell a person at this stage, that you are wanting to establish if they are genuinely Born-again of the Spirit from Above? You should not be surprised at some of the responses that you may receive? (See below) There is a ‘Test’ in the Bible that one must be able to pass, ifhe is to be accepted as a true Born-again Christian? It says,

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you are disqualified.1

The importance of being able to answer in the affirmative is that, as every Christian should know, that ‘Jesus Christ lives in us’ – but, not until we ask him to – ifhe does not live in us, then we’ve failed the test! If he is living ‘in’ us, as the Scripture says, then we would have had to invite him in at some point in our lives?

Let’s go back to Verse 6 in John 3. From this Scripture we gain insight into how a person becomes a ‘spiritual’ person’ in the true sense. The Holy Spirit is ‘the Father’s Agent’ who ‘Regenerates’ a repentant person’s spirit and it comes alive unto God. Once a person is Born-again, he then must seek to grow spiritually and move on to develop a meaningful relationship with Godthe Father, through the Lord Jesus Christ, aided by the Holy Spirit:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “2

It’s so important to know how and what has to take place for one to be truly Bom­ again! Importantly, we found the ‘key’ for an Unsaved, or Nominal Christian to enter into the deeper things of God. The verse says,”…that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

To receive this ‘new birth’ experience can be likened to a birth where one’s spirit comes ‘alive’ spiritually and opens up to the Spirit realm ofGod – which has to happen because by his very nature he is a Spirit Being. For example, to be Born-again gives one the ability to live life walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:25); to walk in the Spirit (Ibid); is to understand the truth of God’s Word (1 Thess 1:5); to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4 & 8:14-17); we are enabled to show the Fruit ofthe Holy Spirit in our lives (Gal 5:22-23); we are empowered to use the Gifts ofthe Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:4-11) and it helps us to be there for and to minister spiritually to others.

When one becomes Born-again, through the agency ofthe Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity is available to lead us into becoming mature Christians. It’s only after we are alive in our spirit that we can say we are ‘regenerated spiritually from above,’ by the Holy Spirit and that we’ve become a child ofFather God, having been born and translated into the His Heavenly Family! We can now be as one with our Father because we are both now on the same spiritual plane.

Therefore, just as in a normal family, children tend to take on a likeness to their parents, so too should we, as we grow in our relationship with the Holy Spirit. This is why we should become more like our older brother, Jesus Christ! We really were created to have a relationship with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit!

To illustrate: How many times have you heard others say about you, when they notice your response, idea, comment, action, or reaction to something. They say, “You’re just like your father!” or, “Your just like your mother!” That’s why in our journey with the Holy Spirit people should able to see changes in our outward behaviour. Even our attitude, habits, language and ethics change for the better when we grow in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Please note the expression of praise to God, known as a ‘doxology’ from 2 Cor 13-14 which says,

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.”

Therefore, are to be in fellowship with the Holy Spirit – the Lord really expects it from us! You may be thinking, “How can I pursue and ‘fellowship’ with the Holy Spirit?” Jesus himselfpromised that after he had gone to be with the Father, he would ask Him to send another in His place, which is recorded in John 14:16-17,

“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever – 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. “

The Promise made to us is that Jesus would ask the Father to give us another ‘Helper’ [Gk: “another like myself’], many translations use the word, “Counsellor”. He was of course referring to the Holy Spirit. Jesus walked in a relationship with his disciples for three years and He wanted this one who was to come, to be there for them too! So, if the ‘Helper’ being promised, was to be like Him and he was to function as their Counsellor, just as Jesus himself had been there for them, then what would be His role?

If the role of the Holy Spirit in our life is to become our adviser; consultant; guide; mentor; confidante; coach; tutor; healer and teaching and leading us into all truth ­ these can only be accomplished in relationship! He graciously, as we build our relationship with him, he equips us to use His Gifts with which we are to minister to others. It obviously would be very wise to seek to know and desire to be in a relationship/fellowship with Him in order, when we have run this race, stand before Him and hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant… “3

Let us go back to the Beginning: Mankind was created to be a naturally gregarious being. He was meant to enjoy being in the company o f and in relationships with others. Creator God wanted to be in a relationship with mankind. From Genesis 3:8 we have a record of the LORD God coming in the cool of the day to Eden and walking and talking with Adam! I think many would agree that for a person to live alone and in isolation from others, living like a hermit, is not a very healthy or natural lifestyle.

Sometime after Adam was created, the Bible book of Genesis records that God saw there was a need for someone similar to Adam to share his life with him. That someone I believe, in God’s mind, would have to complement, or improve and emphasise Adam’s existing qualities! They would have to be comparable to Adam; to be a helpmate for him, complement him and lovingly live in relationship with him. This is why God said,

“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”4

The outcome, ofcourse, was the creation ofthe first woman, Eve! She was ofthe same quality as Adam and most worthy of such comparison.
Similarly, the Lord Jesus felt the same way about his disciples and followers that were to come. He knew he was leaving them and that they too would need ‘someone’ to share life with them. Jesus obviously, like the Father, wanted that ‘someone to complement, improve and emphasise their good qualities! That someone would have to be comparable to Himself; a helper for them and one they could have a living and meaningful relationship with – just like they had with Himself! Jesus did as he said he would. When he arrived in Heaven, he asked the Father to send mankind a Helper, and He did, the Holy Spirit! One needs to make a quality decision, after being Born­ again, to diligently seek the Baptism in the Holy Spirit!

(Note to Leaders: Ask your listeners, to relate their own experiences of when they believe have heard the Holy Spirit speak to them, or what their relationship with Him is like – this will encourage your audience to understand this teaching.)
Testimony 1: My personal experience is typical of many in the Church today. The first time I raised my hand in a meeting to give my life to Christ, the preacher stayed in the pulpit and prayed and that was it! However, I received Jesus as my Saviour and was truly Born-again when I was 17 years-of-age. Sadly, again there was no one was there to disciple me! I was given 5-6 basic Scripture cards and told to read the Book of John! I lived, for many years, in a ‘spiritual wasteland’ and stumbled through life doing things I felt shame for and made many mistakes, as many others have done! I was even deceived by a ‘christian cult’ for several years because they told me what I wanted to hear. To me the Bible was just another book and prayer was practically non-existent­ it only occurred in a crisis! When I was eventually truly discipled by one ofmy own brothers, who prayed with me to be reconciled and restored to the Lord, the joy ofthe Lord flooded again into my soul, just like before it did when I was 17! Scriptures that I had known for years came alive to me and I could see their true meaning; my prayer life began and I soon noticed that my prayers were being answered! My brother also encouraged me to seek out fellowship with true believers and he sowed the seed by encouraging me to seek the Lord for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t all that long before I went on to fulltime ministry – what a blessing!

Testimony 2: Knowing the Voice of the Lord. Being in a relationship with the Holy Spirit can even save your life! A police officer in the US would probably be now dead if he did not know the voice of the Holy Spirit! He was shot in the line of duty. “It was a hot St. Louis July night,” the efficer recalls. After a long shift the heat was taking its toll on him and the officer took off his hot bullet proof vest. He had been checking doors and gates in the upmarket area when he noticed several individuals on the street around 4:30 a.m. “They were just walking”, he said. “There was nothing particular about them but the hairs on my neck stood up,” he recalls. “And at that point there was a voice that told me to grab my vest. I know it was God!” He put the vest back on and says that the decision saved his life. He was sitting in his car, in uniform, when he noticed three of the suspects, as well as another, pull up directly in front of his vehicle. A man exited the passenger side of the vehicle and opened fire on him striking him in the chest. The sergeant returned fire as the shooter fled on foot and the vehicle drove away” The reality is that If he hadn’t recognised the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to him to put his vest back on he would now be dead!

“We were created for relationship with the Holy Spirit”

© Fred Grigg, BR.Ed, D.D. 13 Aug 2015

1. Corinthians 13:5

2. John 3:6

3. Matthew 25:23

4. Gemesis 2:18




SUMMARY OF CHRISTOLOGY

Christology, which is the doctrine of the Person, Nature and Work of Christ, is where all cults, that claim to be ‘christian’, deviate from true Historic Christianity. This is their most obvious and deadly error. Deadly because you can be right in every other point of your theology and practice, but if you are wrong and have taken on board the wrong ‘jesus’ then you will lose your soul for all eternity!

Cults that claim to be Christian (there are many that don’t) are usually anti-Trinitarian, and therefore, they do not accept the Holy Spirit as a co-equal member of the Triune Godhead. Some cults go to great lengths to explain that the Holy Spirit is just an impersonal ‘force’; or ‘a divine influence’; or ‘a spiritual enablement that comes from God’ (whoever they believe god to be?).

Cults will always have some extra-Biblical figurehead that is their “Messiah” or “christ-substitute”. They will accept ‘the substitute’ without argument his specific person and his particular interpretation of the Bible and of world affairs. The following facts are worth remembering:

(a) The people who start cults are usually people of great personal charisma and magnetism. They seem to have an unusual ability to attract and inspire (or coerce, is perhaps the better word?) followers in whom they generate great loyalty, zeal, dedication, and sadly, even sacrifice. These leaders are, therefore, usually people with giant egos and great ambitions and often suffer from what has been termed as “messianic complexes”.

(b) The leader usually bases his authority on some ‘new’ or ‘further’ revelation which he credits with personally having received from ‘god’, or some ‘angelic being’? The much hackneyed source is, “…it came from years of ‘personal research and study’. This sort of so-called ‘revelation’ over the passage of time, is sometimes ‘progressive revelation’ – in other words, he may add to, or subtract from it, to suit his circumstances or whims! Therefore, such ‘revelations’ are often found to be contradictory. Revelations will sometimes completely supersede earlier ones, in order to fit a newly-developed situation. Classic examples are, Joseph Smith Jnr. of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormonism), and Charles Taze Russell of Jehovah’s Witnesses! Both are good examples of false prophets who have given ‘progressive’ and contradictory revelations.

(c) Invariably, if one looks to the roots, or beginnings of a cult, one will usually find that the particular group began with some authoritarian pronouncement by its founder who claimed it was the result of a revelation that he ‘received during a period of retreat of fasting and prayer! These leaders usually emerge from such periods of contemplation proclaiming that “the Lord God revealed himself to me and told me …”?

Victor Paul Wierwille, now deceased, founder and president of ‘The Way International’ is a good example of this. He reports his so-called revelation from ‘God’ this way – “I was praying … and that’s when he spoke to me audibly, just like I’m talking to you now. He said he would teach me the word as it has not been known since the first century if I would teach it to others”.

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, also deceased, of the Unification Church, also claims the ‘Jesus’ appeared to him in 1936, and commissioned him to be ‘The Latter-day Prophet’.

[nb: In case you feel you may have been given a revelation such as this, we strongly recommend that you check it out with some mature Christians!]

(d) Most of these founders and leaders, as you can see, are not commissioned or sent out by any legitimate, orthodox, biblically-based denomination, or body (as were Paul and Barnabas, who were sent out by the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1-3). However, these ‘latter-day prophets’ go out ON THEIR OWN AUTHORITY, which constitutes nothing other than self-appointment, because they are not validated by a responsible Holy Spirit-guided Christian Body.

(e) In most cases, since these ‘prophets’ are appointed by ‘their own authority’ – logically therefore founder and leader of their own group – they alone are responsible for all the decision-making within the group and have therefore appointed themselves to ‘think for’ their followers. The leader is usually recognised as being above question. He is followed with blind allegiance and obedience, with his followers being told what they should believe. Those of you who have had contact with a member of any one of the cults will realize that the followers are simply ‘parroting’ their leader’s beliefs and teachings to their hearers. Instant and unquestioning obedience to their leader is imperative for a cult member! As Moon said to his followers: “I am your brain … I will do your thinking for you”. Usually, an attitude of complete closed-mindedness to any other opinion or interpretation exists among cult members. With the result that most followers of such leaders are not interested in a rational, intellectual, cognitive evaluation of the facts of a matter.

(f) With these groups there is usually a ‘gap of knowledge’ between those who make up the ‘inner circle’ and a new member (even old members are kept in the dark!). This is a very esoteric approach (such ‘gaps’ exist in JW’s, TM, Mormonism and The Way, et al). The leadership of the cult is very tightly controlled by one man, or woman, or by an elite inner core of senior members, if the founder has passed away. They are often cloaked in a veil of mystery and aloofness. These types of leaders often live in luxury, while the cult members live rather a bland, austere life of self-denial which sometimes leads to begging, selling or peddling on the streets to support the extravagant and wealthy lifestyles their leaders live. The Governing Body of the JW’s, Rajneesh of the Orange People and Sun Myung and many others have all been good examples of this!

© Fred Grigg 1986 & 2015




The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson

“At that time I could not find a single Christian leader who shared a similar interest in finding out if there were truths hidden in the New Age. Now we are beginning to hear more and more revelation that is in line with what New Agers have been saying all along and we are hearing more and more teaching about Christians “taking back truths” from the New Age that really belong to citizens of the Kingdom of God.” [1]—Ellyn Davis, co-author, The Physics of Heaven

In Redding, California, Bethel Church has become one of the largest evangelical churches in North America. Many people from around the world travel to Redding to attend the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, and C. Peter Wagner (“founder” of the New Apostolic Reformation movement) has called Bethel’s senior pastor, Bill Johnson, an “apostle.” Given that title with claims on the church website that Bethel has a “global impact as a revival resource and equipping centre,”[2] it is expedient and responsible to examine Johnson and determine if he is indeed an apostle sent from God to the body of Christ. The Physics of Heaven, a recent book Bill Johnson contributed to, and his personal assistant co-authored, reveals a very different picture than that of the apostles described in the Bible. It appears that rather than an apostle of God, Bill Johnson may be poised to serve as the vehicle that carries the New Age and quantum spirituality deep into the Body of Christ. Being drawn to New Age ideas is not something new to Bethel’s leader. In a 2006 book titled Dreaming with God, Johnson writes, when referring to a practice associated with the New Age:

Many prominent pastors and conference speakers add fuel to the fire of fear by assuming that because the New Age promotes it, its origins must be from the devil. I find that form of reasoning weak at best. If we follow that line of thought we will continue to give the devil the tools that God has given us for success in life and ministry. [3] (emphasis added)

Stop and think about what is being said here: “the tools that God has given us” somehow ended up in the New Age? How did that happen? And which tools is he talking about? Why would a professing Christian say something like this? New Age teaching is in total opposition to the Word of God. To suggest that New Age practices are really just hijacked Christian truths is utterly absurd.

Research analyst Ray Yungen explains the basis of New Age thought:

Everything that exists, seen or unseen, is made up of energy—tiny particles of vibrating energy, atoms, molecules, protons, etc. All is energy. That energy, they believe, is God, and therefore, all is God. They believe that since we are all part of this “God-energy,” then we, too, are God. God is not seen as a Being that dwells in heaven, but as the universe itself. [4]

Bill Johnson and Bethel Church exert significant influence in the body of Christ. And whatever path Bethel and its leaders travel is the path on which many will follow. We need to pay attention to what is happening here, using discernment and godly wisdom. While Bill Johnson’s approach to prayer and worship and the extreme emphasis placed on signs and wonders has concerned many, it is the 2012 book titled The Physics of Heaven (in which Johnson is one of eleven contributors) that indicates the real direction Johnson and Bethel are heading. In addition to Johnson’s own contribution to the book (one full chapter), his personal assistant, Judy Franklin, is a co-author; and the foreword of The Physics of Heaven is written by Kris Vallotton, Senior Associate leader at Bethel. Vallotton lauds the contributors as “seers.” [5]  Banning Liebscher, Director of Bethel’s Jesus Culture, adds his praise.[6] Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni Johnson, also has a chapter in the book. With all that, The Physics of Heaven undeniably has the approval of Bethel’s leaders. So what does The Physics of Heaven reveal?


The Next Move of God?

Ellyn Davis, one of the authors of The Physics of Heaven, says this:

[The contributors of the book] all agree that the next move of God will cause a shift at the deepest level of who we are—perhaps the very “vibrational level” that the New Age movement has been exploring. They also all agree that there are precious truths hidden in the New Age that belong to us as Christians and need to be extracted from the worthless.  [7]

Contributor Jonathan Welton adds:

I have found throughout Scripture at least 75 examples of things that the New Age has counterfeited, such as having a spirit guide, trances, meditation, auras, power objects, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and more. These actually belong to the church, but they have been stolen and cleverly repackaged. [8]

Welton believes:

We need to begin to use [New Age] counterfeits as signposts. Every time a counterfeit shows up, take it as the Lord presenting you with an opportunity to reclaim . . . the Church’s stolen property.[9]

This is like taking a bottle with a “Poison!” warning on it and re-labeling it, “Honey.” Contemplative prayer, which is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation disguised with Christian terminology, entered the church in just this manner.

Co-author Ellyn Davis asserts:

It wasn’t that I wanted to become a New Ager, I just wanted to find out if maybe they had uncovered some truths the church hadn’t. [10]

Davis then attempts to justify her position by claiming much of what she found “embodied biblical principles” and “could be backed up by Scripture.” [11]

In contrast to such a mindset, Scripture exhorts us:

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 5:11)
Compare Davis’ desire to sample New Age wisdom with the resolve of the newly saved Christians in Acts 19: These saints separated themselves from the occult; they did not peruse their occultic literature one last time in case there were some “truths” there. The unholy books were gathered and set on fire:

Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together and thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:19)

The action taken by these bold new believers caused the Gospel to spread.

So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed. (Acts 19:20)

Lacking basic discernment about involvement with the New Age, co-author Davis, the Bethel Redding contingent, and the other contributors have rendered a great disservice to the Body of Christ. The Bethel contributors, in particular, can potentially do the most damage because of their popularity and high visibility.

Bill Johnson’s view of Scripture may give us a clue as to how he ended up being attracted to extra-biblical leanings. According to Johnson:

Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of Scriptures enjoy a false sense of security. None of us has a full grasp of Scripture, but we all have the Holy Spirit. He is our common denominator who will always lead us into truth. But to follow Him, we must be willing to follow off the map—to go beyond what we know.[12]

This is dangerous thinking. The Bible is our map. To go “beyond what we know” is to go beyond the parameters of Scripture.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:103-105)

The Physics of Heaven, whether intentionally or unintentionally, serves to illustrate how the false church will form—or, more accurately, how it is forming. New Age practices will increasingly be welcomed into the Body of Christ. These practices will be presented as redeemed or Christian in origin. The church will be subverted—turned toward Eastern/New Age/Quantum mysticism. Language, terms, and trappings may even remain essentially “Christian”—but acceptance of the biblical Christ will diminish.

A Bridge to the New Age?

Bill Johnson has an interesting teaching about Christ that can be seen as a bridge between the two belief systems—New Age and biblical Christianity.

Johnson believes in a teaching called kenosis, an unorthodox heretical belief that the Incarnate Christ laid aside His divine attributes and walked the earth as a completely limited, human man. [13] According to Johnson, Christ “performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God . . . not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God, then they would be unobtainable for us. But if He did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything.” [14]

In other words, Bill Johnson believes the miracles Jesus performed came about because He, as a man, and only as a man, had access to the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Johnson teaches that Christians should be capable of wondrous feats of healing and miracles due to our own relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Thus Johnson’s kenosis doctrine serves to reduce the biblical Christ and elevate man. As one apologist points out:

Jesus is no longer unique, but only a special enlightened one who could lead the way to many such enlightened ones in the future. Thus we have a New Age Christ. [15]

Kenosis comes from a faulty understanding of Philippians 2:7. It is proven false by the simple fact that Christ not only created the universe, but He holds it together. If Christ had given up His divine power and attributes and had operated only as a man until Resurrection, all creation would have come apart! (Colossians 1:17). Furthermore, when Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58), He was making an emphatic statement to a claim to be both God and man—present tense!

A Second Pentecost and Quantum Vibrations

Bill Johnson further believes that select, end-times Christians will be endowed with great power to work miracles, healings, signs, and wonders. These super-powered Christians—the Elijah generation—will supposedly bring about an unprecedented revival. Johnson states:

[A] generation is now forming . . . that will walk in an anointing that has never been known by mankind before, including the disciples. [16]

In 2014, Johnson attended the Empowered 21 Conference, a gathering of Christians who are certain a “Second Pentecost” is coming by 2033. [17] Through the influence of Bethel Church, the “apostles” of the New Apostolic Reformation, and others, a large portion of the church now believes there is a coming supernatural end-time event, an outpouring of great power.

This presumed event is not the rapture. As The Physics of Heaven co-author and Johnson’s personal assistant Judy Franklin states:

The greatest error we could ever commit is to think that this world is going to get so bad that He will snatch us out quickly before we all die. [18]

This is not . . . showing the world how powerful we are because God has given us His power. [19]

Most in this camp are dominionists. Their understanding is that Adam and Eve lost dominion of the earth to Satan, the resurrected Christ appointed the Church to take it back, and Christ either cannot or will not return until the Church has accomplished its task. If you have never found this theology in the Bible, it is because it is not there.

Dr. Orrel Steinkamp states:

This dominion mentality is conceived as a gigantic end-time revival that will sweep the whole earth in its wake. . . . An elite company of overcomers from out of the larger church will subdue all things and will be so endued with supernatural power that the first church apostles will be envious of the latter day apostles. [20]

Quantum Sounds?

In light of this, consider how The Physics of Heaven describes what God is supposedly going to bring about. A theme of the book is that God may somehow bestow incredible power on believers through vibrations/sounds/frequencies/energies, with “sound” mentioned a number of times throughout the book:

This book is just a precursor to the revelation that God is going to give us when He releases a new, transforming sound. [21]

We’re talking about 10 times the power that was released at Pentecost.[22]

The sound God desires to release will chase religion from the church and bring truth. [23]

[We] suspect God is up to something new—something that will transform us at the deepest level of who we are and will be ushered in by a new form of “sound” or “vibration.” [24]

This coming new sound . . . can change DNA so we are genetically growing up. Your genetics are the same as His was. Our genetics came out of the Father in our spirit. We are becoming like an instrument being tuned, where our genetics are getting aligned with the Father’s genetics, in harmony with Him. [25]

What if there really are “good vibrations” that God has imbedded into everything He created and we just need to be open to experiencing them? [26]

[W]e became interested in such weird and wonderful phenomena as energy, frequencies, vibrations, and quantum physics. [27]

What The Physics of Heaven is doing is turning God into more of a cosmic quantum force that permeates everything rather than a Creator who is separate from His creation as described in the Bible (e.g., Romans 1:25; Isaiah 42:8; 46:9). New Agers frequently talk about sounds and vibrations as signs of this “god” force. Occult “prophetess” Alice Bailey says:

[T]here is a group of human beings, integrating now . . . upon whom is laid the burden of leading humanity. They are starting movements that have in them the new vibration, they are saying things that are universal in their tone, they are enunciating principles that are cosmic. [28]

That the contributors believe those in the New Age may understand the manner in which an alleged “next move of God” might occur is chilling. Is it a coincidence that New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard also predicts a coming spiritual shift of great significance?

Hubbard forecasts the arrival of a “planetary Pentecost” that will mean “the divisions of the religions would be over.”[29] She explains:

We would each know that God is within us. . . . If all who feel we are connected to each other, to nature and to God join in a planetary Pentecost, we shall be transformed in this lifetime. I believe in the peaceful second Coming. [30]

The false “christ” who communicated with Hubbard for decades revealed this Planetary Pentecost will instantly transform most humans (but not Christians and others who do not believe God is in everyone) into a spiritually evolved race.

What if the “next move of God”[31] that The Physics of Heaven expects and the New Age “Planetary Pentecost” are the same event? Could it be that they are waiting for the same “christ” to perform this “vibrational” shift in humanity? Is this possible? Could this be the unholy deception we have been warned about in the Bible?

[I]f any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 

(Matthew 24:23-24)

Former New Age follower Warren B. Smith warned of this years ago:

Expecting only revival and the return of the true Christ, will the Church be deceived by the one who will come in the name of Christ and pretend to be Him? Caught unawares, will the Church mistake the counterfeit Christ’s “Planetary Pentecost” for the great ‘move of God’ they had been told to expect?[32]

Bethel and Contemplative Prayer

Some may be asking, what would cause an evangelical church to become receptive to New Age ideas and concepts? For Johnson and Bethel, as with so many Christian leaders and churches today, contemplative prayer has played a significant role in “conditioning” the people at Bethel to head in the New Age direction. There is much irony in suggesting, “[E]very time a counterfeit shows up, take it as the Lord presenting you with an opportunity to reclaim . . . the Church’s stolen property,”[33] since this is how contemplative prayer snaked its way into the body of Christ in the first place.

Contemplative adherents, such as Richard Foster, have convinced Christians that Eastern and New Age meditation are actually counterfeits of the real deal (i.e., contemplative prayer). Contemplative prayer is presented as an ancient Christian tradition.

Yet, contemplative prayer is not prayer at all. It is essentially Eastern/New Age meditation thinly coated with Christian terminology. The goal in contemplative prayer is to stop the thinking process and to enter what is known as the silence. This is accomplished by repeating a word or phrase over and over (or focusing on the breath) until the word loses its meaning and the mind becomes void.

In this void—this silence—many wonderful deceptions can occur: spirit guides, ascendant masters, oneness, bliss, false “christs.” The deception that occurs through contemplative prayer destroys doctrinal soundness and ultimately even faith.

In comparison, when we are truly “meditating” on God’s Word, the mind remains active, and we ponder upon or think about the Word of God. Never do we try to cease active thought in order to empty our mind or as Ray Yungen says putting our mind into “neutral” [34] so that God can supposedly fill it.

Where does Bethel stand with regard to contemplative prayer? There is ample evidence that Bethel has embraced it. For example, Bill Johnson’s wife, Beni, oversees Bethel’s prayer intercessors and Prayer House. In a book that Beni compiled, in a chapter she wrote on prayer titled, “Mystics, Mystical Experiences, and Contemplative Prayer” she says that the chapter is “dedicated to the mystics, the contemplatives, those now and those who have gone on before us.”[35]

Like all committed contemplatives, Beni believes, “When it comes to prayer and intercession, words are important but not necessary.”[36]

Practicing contemplative prayer changes how one understands spiritual things. Beni writes:

A thin place is where heaven and earth are close. It is easier to experience the spiritual realm in these places.[37]

As Roger Oakland explains in Faith Undone: the emerging church—a new reformation or an end-time deception, the term thin place “originated with Celtic spirituality (i.e., contemplative) and is in line with panentheism.”[38] Beni believes Ashland, Oregon, parts of Ireland, and the New Age stronghold of Sedona, Arizona are thin places. She claims:

In contemplative prayer, you discover that the atmosphere around you becomes thin to the point that there is no division between Heaven and earth.[39]

Consider the following description of meditation by Bill Johnson:

Meditation has a quiet heart and a “directed” mind. Mulling a word over in our heart, with a pursuit that springs from the inquisitive child’s heart, is meditation.[40]

Ironically, just before the instruction about the repetitive use of a word (“Mulling a word over in our heart”), Johnson states:

Whereas religious cults teach people to empty their minds as the means of meditation, the Bible teaches us to fill our minds with God’s word.[41]

Johnson seemingly warns about emptying the mind and then directs how to accomplish that very thing! Contemplative prayer has also been taught in a classroom setting at Bethel.

Bonnie Johnson’s class, “The Secret Place,” was for “Instruction and activation in meditation and contemplative prayer” with emphasis on Catholic mystic Bernard of Clairvaux.[42] Her work, Union With God: A Study of Mystics, Meditation, & Miracles, is featured in Bethel’s online store.[43]

Bethel’s Alabaster Prayer House is open around the clock. According to the church website, “The Alabaster Prayer House and surrounding gardens are quiet and peaceful places to be in contemplative prayer and soaking.”[44] Its purpose is for “people to encounter the presence of God.”[45]

This Prayer House is not described as a place for Bible study, or for supplication or devotions. It is intended to facilitate contemplative prayer, and contemplative prayer has, in turn, facilitated entrance into the New Age.

A Quantum Transformation

No doubt, Ellyn Davis and Judy Franklin chose The Physics of Heaven to be the title of their book because of their fascination with quantum physics and quantum mysticism. Davis notes:

Quantum Physics suggests that everything is “vibrations,”—fields of vibrating energy. However, quantum mysticism claims that even our thoughts and emotions give off vibrations or energies.[46]

Quantum spirituality or quantum mysticism is a spiritual interpretation, one might say, of quantum physics. New Age proponents embrace it because they feel it gives validity to their belief not only that all is interconnected energy, but that all is God. Thus we are all One. Everything is interconnected. Of course, if this were true, there would be no need for the Cross as a means of salvation for mankind.

Judy Franklin has come to believe that “if this world is actually going to be what it was created to be in the beginning, now that Jesus has redeemed everything we need to know what this power is, this ‘sea of quantum light’ that undergirds everything. And, more importantly, we need to know how to access it.”[47]

“If there weren’t some universal connectedness, why would God treat us as ‘all in Adam’ or ‘all in Christ?’” asks Ellyn Davis.[48]

But Warren Smith warns:

The New Age/New Spirituality is heralding quantum physics as a “scientific” basis for their contention that God is not only transcendent but also immanent—“in” everyone and everything.[49]

In, it says that God’s “voice [is] filling every atom in the universe.”[50] This is a kind of disguised view of panentheism and is what New Age teaches. For example, Matthew Fox, quoting Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, says that God is in “the tiniest atom.”[51] New Agers teach that through quantum spirituality, man will realize his own divinity and will see that he embodies the “cosmic christ” (a christ-consciousness).

Annette Capps, daughter of the best-selling author and charismatic leader Charles Capps has been instrumental in introducing quantum spirituality to the church. In a booklet she wrote titled Quantum Faith, she states:

As I studied the theories of quantum physics, I was reminded of a prophecy given by my father . . . : “Some things which have required faith to believe will no longer require faith, for it will be proven to be scientific fact.”[52]

The definition and understanding of “God” is changing for many. This has been gradual but now is accelerating to the point where Bethel Redding’s movers and shakers (and others) are amenable to New Age “truths.”

God is not in all people. The Bible tells us only those who know Christ have God within:

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)

God is not an impersonal energy force, and people are not “God” as part of this energy force. Quantum mysticism and the New Age are in total opposition to the Bible.

Whether Bill Johnson and other Bethel Redding leaders realize the ramifications of their actions or not, their participation in and approval of The Physics of Heaven begs the question: Does Bethel threaten to serve as a spearhead for synthesis of the sorcery-science of New Age/quantum mysticism into the Body of Christ?

Author Bio: John Lanagan is a researcher and writer. He writes about issues that are affecting believers and turning them away from the truth of God’s Word. You can read more of his work on his blog at: http://mywordlikefire.com. He resides with his wife in the Great Northwest.

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=15508

Endnotes:

1. Ellyn Davis, The Physics of Heaven (Crossville, TN: Double Portion Publishing, Kindle Edition, 2013), Kindle location: 405.
2. Bethel Redding website, http://bethelredding.com/about.
3. Bill Johnson, Dreaming With God: Secrets to Redesigning Your World Through God’s Creative Flow (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2006), p. 86.
4. Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come In My Name (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2007), p. 17.
5. Kris Vallotton, The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle location: 96.
6. Ibid., Banning Liebscher, Kindle location: 85.
7. Ibid., Ellyn Davis, Kindle location: 447.
8. Ibid., Jonathan Welton, Kindle location: 808.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid., Ellyn Davis, Kindle location: 392.
11. Ibid.
12. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles (Shippensburg, PA., Destiny Image Publishers Inc., 2003, Kindle edition), p. 1113.
13. Kenosis, Christology, and Bill Johnson, Crosswise Blog: http://notunlikelee.wordpress.com/2011/06/16/kenosis-christology-and-bill-johnson-part-ii.
14. Bill Johnson, When Heaven Invades Earth: A Practical Guide to a Life of Miracles, op. cit., Kindle location: 259.
15. Bob Dewaay, “An Invasion of Error” (Critical Issues Commentary, Issue 124 Jan.-Feb. 2013, http://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue124.htm).
16. Bill Johnson, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind: Access to a Life of Miracles (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers Inc., 2005, Kindle edition), Kindle location: 1959.
17. Chris Mitchell, “Spirit-Empowered Believers Praying For Second Pentecostal Outpouring” (Charisma, 4/1/14, http: empowered21.com/about).
18. Judy Franklin, The Physics of Heaven, op.cit., Kindle location: 202.
19. Ibid., Kindle location: 203.
20. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp, “Assessing Current Teachings, Issues, And Events With Scripture: A Second Pentecost?” (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/secondpentecost.html).
21. Judy Franklin, The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle location: 188.
22. Ibid., Bob Jones, Kindle location: 522.
23. Ibid., Ray Hughes, Kindle location: 1125.
24. Ibid., Ellyn Davis, Judy Franklin, Kindle location: 471.
25. Ibid., Bob Jones, Kindle location: 534.
26. Ibid., Ellyn Davis, Kindle location: 860.
27. Ibid., Ellyn Davis, Judy Franklin, Kindle location: 470.
28. Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, “The Labors of Hercules—Labor XII,” Lecture by A.A.B.—1936, (Caux, Switzerland: Netnews Association and/or its suppliers, 2002), http://www.netnews.org, http://laluni.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/hercules/herc1062.html.
29. “Barbara Marx Hubbard and the Armageddon Alternative” Brooks Alexander, SPC Vol. 19:2/3, 1995, p. 49.
30. Ibid.
31. The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle location: 447, 1462.
32. Warren B. Smith, False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care? (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2010), pp. 119-120.
33. Jonathan Welton, The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle location: 808.
34. Ray Yungen, For Many Shall Come in My Name, op. cit., p. 19.
35. Compiled by Beni Johnson, Prayer Changes Things: Taking Your Prayer Life To The Next Level (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 2012), p. 51.
36. Ibid, p. 11.
37. Ibid, p. 65.
38. Roger Oakland, Faith Undone (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2007), p. 119.
39. Beni Johnson, Prayer Changes Things: Taking Your Prayer Life To The Next Level, op. cit., p. 65.
40. http://bjm.org/qa/how-do-i-receive-revelation; (#3).
41. Ibid.
42. The Secret Place, class, Bonnie Johnson http://bethelredding.com/get-involved/classes/secret-place.
43. https://shop.ibethel.org/products/union-with-god.
44. http://bethelredding.com/ministries/prayer-house.
45. Ibid.
46. Ellyn Davis, The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle location: 1742.
47. Ibid., Judy Franklin, Kindle location: 317.
48. Ibid., Kindle location: 1825.
49. Warren B. Smith, A “Wonderful” Deception (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2009), p. 167.
50. Larry Randolph, The Physics of Heaven, op. cit., Kindle Location: 1425.
51. Matthew Fox, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ,(San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row Publishers, 1988), p. 129.
52. Annette Capps, Quantum Faith (England, AR: Capps Publishing, 2003, 2007), p. 6.




DISCERNMENT AND THE NEED TO ADDRESS FALSE TEACHERS

By Gail Grace on August 29, 2013 and 4 September 2013

“DISCERNMENT is NOT knowing the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. It is knowing the difference between RIGHT and ALMOST RIGHT.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
– 1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

You know, there are those who always speak of “not throwing out the baby with the bathwater” or “keeping the meat and spitting out the bones”, two very anti-scriptural statements. Where the Word states, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” [1 Thes. 5:21], this does not mean we sit under false teachers and only keep the true parts. We are to abhor evil! The very best counterfeits are those which closest resemble the real; but as a good pastor I know once said to me, “How much arsenic do you want in your water?”

Now, I am aware there are some “discernment ministries” as well as certain individuals, which have done nothing but make themselves the self appointed Holy Spirit, and criticize as heresy every single doctrinal difference, whether it be essential non-negotiable doctrine, or minor secondary issues which do not pertain to Salvation. None the less, The Word of God is to be for us commandments to live by, not mere suggestions to follow if we feel like it. The warnings contained therein are given for our own sake. God has also given us the Body of believers we fellowship with, and when several within this Body try to warn us of impending danger, we would be wise to at least investigate the claims, and when they are verified, then act upon them. We should never refuse to listen, just because we may like the teacher they warn of. I trust God knows best what we need to hear, and obey, but so many would rather ignore His Word, when it means they must forsake listening to a favoured teacher. I believe God grants mercy for ignorance, but wilful rebellion is a different and far more serious matter; and all who place allegiance to any man above obedience to Him, is playing with fire, and if not risking eternal damnation, at least risk severe loss and chastising in this life.

God has not left His Church lacking for any good thing. He has called and equipped SOUND teachers to cover every Biblical topic imaginable. We have no need to pick out the good from the evil from false teachers, when through modern technology, there are so many sound sources we can access. We also have no excuse to ignore warnings issued by those who care about our souls, especially when they make an effort to furnish documentation of their warning. We SHOULD seek for this verification, however, and not simply believe slander, since Satan will slander true men of God just as well as he will promote his heretical servants.

Now these are the Words of God, what He has to say about how false teachers and how we ought to respond to them: [ please note the glaring absence of allusions to babies and bathwater, meat and bones.]

Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Gal 4:16

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:37

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said.

“I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.“And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”Says the Lord Almighty.

Ezekiel 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

Acts 20:28-31Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over that which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

Romans 16: v 17-18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such, serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Galatians 1: 8-10 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

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.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Timothy 4:2-5 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”




DISCERNMENT OR CRITICISM?


Taking a stand from a biblical perspective with regard to purpose-driven-emerging Christianity is not very popular these days. Those working towards establishing the kingdom and “getting closer to Jesus” through contemplative practices rooted in eastern mysticism are very outspoken. If you are not in favour of what they are promoting, you are labelled a hater and against everything.

One pastor wrote me a letter and asked the following question: “Before you went public with your book Faith Undone did you contact everyone you wrote about in the book personally and discuss the issues? If not, shame on you and don’t write me back.” Of course, I was shamed into writing him back. I recognize that I should always be open for correction. But “shame” is a pretty harsh term coming from one of the “brethren.” Incidentally, this man was insinuating that I was violating Matthew 18 by writing about public figures in my book. But Matthew 18 is not about challenging leaders who are deceiving millions of people.

One pastor I tried to contact sent his bulldog after me who attacked me personally with slander. He didn’t even address the facts. Should I be ashamed of myself for quoting someone who said what he said in a public forum? Does this really make me a “counter-cult-kook” as he said? The problem seems to lie in the area of perspective. When a watchman warns about teachings that are popular, the watchman is unpopular. However, popularity is not what determines truth. For example, the popular position on origins is evolution. Does that mean evolution is true? What about the facts?

Ezekiel and Jeremiah were called to be watchmen. When they warned the Israelites that they had abandoned God and were seeking after the gods, the people thought they had lost their minds. They were interested in hearing about peace not judgment. They devised harsh things to say about the prophets. Jeremiah got quite discouraged and wanted to quit his job. It is hard to have someone say you are an idiot when you are telling people the truth. He was only doing what God told him to do. He was trying to warn them that judgment was ahead.

I know a fellowship of pastors who responded the same way when facts about the purpose-driven-emerging church were presented. When they were told the truth, they didn’t want to hear the truth. They said that telling the truth was being critical or having a critical spirit. Saying that one has a critical spirit means that one has been influenced by Satan. Instead of being discerning and warning about deception, you are considered a divisive person. At least, that is what I have been told.

Another pastor wrote to admonish me by saying “the Bible teaches that we are to mark those who cause division.” I guess this is why he said I should be ashamed for telling people the truth. Of course, he had forgotten the rest of the verse – Paul said the ones who cause division are the ones who teach contrary to the doctrine. However, we know according to 2 Timothy chapter four that in the last days so-called Christians will not want to stand for sound doctrine. They will say discernment and warning about false teaching is “just being critical.”

I am Roger Oakland. This has been a biblical perspective to help understand the times.
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries: www.understandthetimes.org




5 WAYS TO PRAY FOR GOVERNMENT LEADERS YOU DON’T AGREE WITH

The Bible admonishes believers to pray for civil authorities—
even when  we don't like or agree with them. (Reuters)

The Bible admonishes believers to pray for civil authorities—
even when we don’t like or agree with them. (Reuters)

The substantial majority of readers of this site do not care for Barack Obama’s presidency. This assertion is to understatement something like a kitchen faucet is to Niagara Falls.

Yet Christians are not given the option of letting their disagreement with their political leaders prevent them from praying for those leaders. The apostle Peter wrote that believers are to “submit yourselves to every human authority for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king, as supreme, or to governors, as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and to praise those who do right. … Honour all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king” (1 Pet. 2:13-14, 17).

Similarly, Paul wrote to Timothy, “Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-3). Who was emperor when Peter and Paul wrote these words? None other than one of the most notorious political leaders of history, Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus  Germanicus, known generally simply as Nero.

What kind of ruler was Nero? He murdered his mother and both of his wives, for starters. But his grotesque brutality far transcended his immediate family. According to the Roman historian Tacitus, after fire had consumed roughly half of Rome and his popularity was in free-fall, Nero decided to blame the fire on Christians. Tacitus records that, among other things, the early Roman followers of Jesus “were covered with the skins of wild animals and then torn apart by dogs, some were crucified, some were burned at torches to light as night” (The One Year Christian History, p. 322).
Thankfully, none of America’s political leaders—local, state or federal—can claim such infamy. This does not diminish the wrong that they have done or continue to allow. For example, the silent cries of more than 56 million unborn children aborted since 1973 echo through the corridors of power. Yet we are called to pray for those in authority; God’s Word says it, and Christians must do it. How, then, should we pray for those in authority over us, whether they be persons we respect or with whose political judgment we agree, or persons whose character and official policies we cannot endorse? We should pray for their health and safety. As recorded in Ezra 6:10, the pagan king Darius asked God’s faithful people in Jerusalem to pray for his life and the lives of his sons. In light of the recent intrusion in the White House of a man armed with a knife, we certainly can pray that the Obama family and all those in power, whether in Washington or the county courthouse or anywhere in between, would be protected and upheld in good health.

We should pray that they would execute justice. Honouring and protecting those who live decently and productively and punishing those who do wrong are the fundamental duties of the state (Rom. 13:3-4; 1 Pet. 2:14). We should ask the Lord that those in authority would fulfil them well.  We should pray that they would follow the Lord’s ways and repent if they don’t. The horrific reign of Manasseh over Judah and his later repentance (2 Chron. 33:1-20) should remind Christians that for those in government leadership, personal character and political actions are entwined. Yet Manasseh should also remind us that even evil men, when they repent sincerely, can be used by God to restore what they have ruined. Pray that they would govern with wisdom for the “welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7), not for personal gain or for the advantage of a favoured few. Their concern must be for the well-being of all. That God would accomplish His purposes through them regardless of their willingness to be used by Him. Proverbs 21:1 tells us that “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.” We can petition the Most High to work through even those who are resisting Him to fulfil His purposes.

It’s noteworthy that God is unimpressed by political power, including those who think they can defy Him. Consider some passages of Scripture about how the Sovereign Lord of all views such persons: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His anointed, saying, ‘Let us tear off their bonds and cast away their ropes from us.’ He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord ridicules them” (Ps. 2:2-4).
“Certainly the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance; He takes up the coastlands as a very little thing. All nations before Him are as nothing, and they are counted by Him as less than nothing and meaningless. It is He who sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants are as grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth meaningless. Scarcely shall they be planted; scarcely shall they be sown; scarcely shall their tree take root in the earth, when He will also blow on them, and they will wither, and the whirlwind will take them away as stubble” (Is. 40:15, 17; 22-24). Terms like derision, laughter, “brings to nothing” and “as meaningless” make clear that God is not especially threatened by those who believe they can unseat His omnipotent and eternal rule. We should not be either.
Daniel 4:17 reminds us that “the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” The Hebrew word translated as “lowliest” probably refers to persons of humble origin. In other words, God can raise up a shepherd boy like David, a backwoods workman like Abraham Lincoln, or the son of a ne’er-do-well Kenyan economist like Barack Obama to accomplish what He wants, whether they want Him to or not. God’s people must never forget, and should always take great comfort, in that truth, even as they work actively for public policies pleasing to their Eternal King.
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Rob Schwarzwalder serves as senior vice president for the Family Research Council. He oversees the Communications, Policy and Church Ministries teams and manages the Policy. Accessed 20 Nov 2014: http://www.charismanews.com/us/46190-5-ways-to-pray-for-government-leaders-you-don-t-agree-with




ARE YOU A GOOD PERSON?

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PROVING THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD

Bible Study by Jack Kelley

“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20- 21.)

What If You Were God?

If you were God trying to send a message to your people, how would you prove yourself to them? Well, since everyone wants to know the future why not predict it for them, so when it happens as you described it, that would authenticate your message. That’s what God has done, over thousands of years, and with 100% accuracy. It’s called predictive prophecy. Within its pages the Bible contains thousands of predictive prophecies. The majority of these have already been fulfilled, while the rest are for a time still in our future. It’s is the proof God gives us to verify that He is who He claims to be and no one else is. Here’s how it works.

A Two Question Test

“This is what the Lord says–Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Who then is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and lay out before me what has happened since I established my ancient people, and what is yet to come– yes, let him foretell what will come.” (Isaiah 44:6-7)

Here’s the test

If you want people to accept you as their God, do these two things. First, tell them everything that’s ever happened in the past, and then tell them everything that ever will happen in the future, all with 100% accuracy. This is exactly what the Bible does for Israel and the Church, and as it impacts these two, for the world. No other so-called Holy Book authenticates itself like this. It’s been done through the writings of certain men and women, called by God to speak to the people for Him and to write down His Words, preserving them not only for their time but for all time. This explains Peter’s opening statement above.

There Will Be False Prophets Among You

From time to time some men have falsely claimed that they spoke for God, even though He had instituted a few safeguards. One is found in Deut 18:20-22. “A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death. You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him. [Whatever he or she may say to try and correct their error, the Word of God says to ‘fear him no more’; or whatever he may prophesy anew, take no notice of what he or she says! With God, when it comes to ‘prophecy’ it’s ‘one wrong strike and you’re out! Ed.]

So if what the “prophet” predicted didn’t come true, every time, he was a false prophet. What he had said was to be ignored and he was to be executed. (Where would that

leave Edgar Cayce, Jean Dixon, Nostradamus, Joseph Smith Jnr., and Ellen G. White and all the other so-called prophets?)

The Partial Fulfillment

Some prophecies were given for a time far beyond the life of the prophet. In that case a partial fulfillment often took place during the life of the prophet to validate the ultimate fulfillment. Here’s one example. Jesus said, “I come in my father’s name and you reject me. Another will come in his own name and him you will receive” (John 5:43). A little while later the people had Jesus condemned, and a murderer named Barabbaswasreleased. Somedaysoontheworld,havingrejectedJesus,willreceive the anti-Christ. Barabbas was the immediate partial fulfilment to validate the long term prophecy of the anti-Christ.

Isaiah 9:6 is another one: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”. The child was born and the Son was given, but His government is yet to come. It will be instituted in the millennium. The birth of the child proves the millennium will come.

Another safeguard is found in Hebrews 1:1-2. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.”

Jesus is the Prophet for our age. Every word spoken by Him in the name of God had to agree with what God had said before. Also, every word spoken in the name of God for the last 2000 years has to agree with what Jesus has said. Otherwise either God doesn’t really know the end from the beginning, or Jesus was a false prophet, or the one speaking in His Name is.

If It’s New It Can’t Be True

That’s the simple rule. If you hear someone say, “God is doing a new thing,” or preaching from some book other than the Bible, run the other way. Paul said, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8).

The Bible contains thousands of prophecies that validate it as the Word of God. They were part of the public record hundreds of years before the fact. Even a casual comparison of world history to Old Testament prophecy will lead you to the undeniable conclusion that this is so. In the New Testament accounts of the life of Jesus alone, there are hundreds of fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament. A mere handful would be enough to defeat the laws of chance. By any standard available, the Bible can be proven reliable beyond reasonable doubt.

Psalm 14 says, “the fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” That’s because he can’t say it in his mind. Denying God isn’t something that can be rationally or logically done following examination of the evidence. It can only be done emotionally by one who rejects the evidence without examining it. The same is true of His Word.

My purpose in writing this is not to list all these prophecies and document their fulfilment. Rather I hope to convince you to do a study of your own, because in doing so you will develop an unshakable faith, something that can’t be developed any other way. But I warn you, a study like this will change you and it won’t take searching through all of them to do so. For me it only took the study of seven to convert me from a church goer to a Born-again believer and to ignite a passion for the study of God’s word that continues to this day. But that’s a story for another time. http://gracethrufaith.com/topical-studies/ 28 Jul 2014




HOW TO OVERCOME SATAN’S LIES AND HIS EVIL DEVICES

* “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried; he is a buckler [shield of protection] to all them that trust in him…” (2 Samuel 22:31).

* “Show thy marvelous loving-kindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them” (Psalm 17:7).

* “Oh, how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust thee before the sons of men” (Psalm 31:19).

* “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of men; thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:20).

* “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).

* “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

* “The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord: he is their strength in time of trouble. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him” (Psalm 37:39-40).

* “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalm 56:4).

* “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8).

* “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever” (Psalm 125:1).

* “Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

 

The only safeguard against Satan’s lies and evil devices is to face him with the promises of God. God’s Word is still all powerful and the devil still trembles when we stand firm with this Sword in hand.  Today—now—take your stand.




SIX SIGNS OF A FALSE ‘CONVERSION’

[from: Naomi’s Table by Amy July 10, 2013]

Help! I think I might have fallen for “easy-believism”. Can I know for sure? Yes, you can. Here are six signs that you might not have really believed in Jesus Christ when you think you did. All of these signs are discussed in the parable, which Jesus told in Matthew chapter 13 known as the “Parable of the Sower”. This parable is unique, because Jesus not only told the parable, he also told the disciples the meaning of the parable. Before we learn the six signs of a false conversion, read the “Parable of the Sower” from Matthew chapter 13.

3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.
6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:
19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what as sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path.
20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.
23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (NIV)

The 6 Signs Of A False Conversion. These are all taken from the “Parable of the Sower”.

Sign #1 – Immediate Joy That Doesn’t Last
Jesus says that a sign of a false convert is a person who is immediately filled with joy upon hearing the gospel message, but followed by a quick fading away. There are two problems inherit with immediate joy that doesn’t last. First, the joy is immediate. Second, the joy doesn’t last. Let’s examine these two things more closely.

First, the joy is immediate. There is no sorrow that precedes the joy. A person who has truly come to faith in Jesus Christ has faced the conviction of their sin. This conviction of sin shows in a person through a broken and contrite heart. Many people who hear the modern gospel message only hear about the joy of eternal life, and they accept it gladly. They have never heard and come to understand the need to repent of their sins. They don’t know the wrath of God that they have been saved from.

Psalm 51:17 “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (NIV)

Joel 2:12-13 “‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” (NIV)

Second, the joy doesn’t last. This person may exhibit spectacular growth for a while, but over time the joy fades, and the person falls away. This is the person who hasn’t “counted the cost”, who hasn’t weighed all the issues.

Luke 14:26-30 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” (NIV)

Sign #2 – No Roots

False converts have no “roots,” that is, no foundations in faith and Christian learning, so they “dry up” like a plant with no roots. The Parable of the Sower, as recorded in Luke, states that these plants wither because they have no moisture. Roots are designed to gather in water and nutrients. Without these, the plant cannot live. Similarly, we as Christians must also have “roots” that seek out what we need to make us thrive as Christians – things like prayer, Bible reading, Biblical teaching, and fellowship.

Sign #3 – Unwillingness to Face Persecution

Notice in the Parable of the Sower that it is the intense heat of the sun which causes the plant to wither (verse 6). Jesus tells us that this intense heat in our lives is the heat of troubles, persecution, and times of testing. These things drive a true believer closer to Jesus, but they cause the false convert to wither and fall away. In either case, the worst thing that can happen in a person’s life is never having to face the intense heat of troubles and persecution.

Sign #4 – Preoccupation with Worry

The Parable of the Sower tells us that there are people who hear the gospel message and initially respond to it, but then fall away because they are more preoccupied with the worries of this world than with pursuing the kingdom of God. When our attention is fixed on the worries of this life, the gospel gets choked out of our life like thorns choke out good plants.

Matthew 6:31-34 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)

Sign #5 – Preoccupation with the World

The Parable of the Sower tells us that there are other people who hear and respond to the gospel message, but then fall away because they are preoccupied with the pleasures this world has to offer. They are deceived by the glitter of wealth, possessions, and fame. And these things, which seem pleasurable for a season, choke out the gospel message.

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)

Sign #6 – No Fruit

The true believer must bear fruit in his or her life. What exactly is this fruit that we should expect to see? The Bible answers this question for us quite well.

First, there is the fruit of repentance.

Matthew 3:7-8 “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” (NIV)

Second, there is fruit of good works.

Colossians 1:10 “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work” (NIV)

Third, there is the fruit of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Hebrews 13:15 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that confess his name.” (NIV)

Fourth, there is the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (NIV)

Fifth, there is the fruit of righteousness.

Philippians 1:9-11 “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.” (NIV)

What does the Bible say about the so-called “Christian” who bears no fruit? The Bible says that they will be cut down and cast away into the fire.

Matthew 3:10 “The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (NIV)

John 15:1-2 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (NIV)




EXPOSING ERROR IS NOT NEGATIVE

Objection is often raised even by some sound in the faith regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching. But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry–namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as “damnable heresies.”

Our Lord prophesied, “Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.” Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived! Paul predicted, “I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch.” My own observation is that these “grievous wolves,” alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Under-shepherds in these “perilous times” will do well to note the apostle’s warning: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.” It is as important in these days as in Paul’s–in fact, it is increasingly important–to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more.

We are called upon to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints,” while we hold the truth in love. The faith means the whole body of revealed truth, and to contend for all of God’s truth necessitates some negative teaching. The choice is not left with us. Jude said he preferred a different, a pleasanter theme–”Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 3, 4). Paul likewise admonishes us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

This does not imply harsh treatment of those entrapped by error–quite the opposite. If it be objected that exposure to error necessitates unkind reflection upon others who do not see as we do, our answer is: “It has always been the duty of every loyal servant of Christ to warn against any teaching that would make Him less precious or cast reflection upon His finished redemptive work and the all-sufficiency of His present service as our great High Priest and Advocate.”

Every system of teaching can be judged by what it sets forth as to these fundamental truths of the faith. “What think ye of Christ?” is still the true test of every creed. The Christ of the Bible is certainly not the Christ of any false “-ism.” Each of the cults has its hideous caricature of our lovely Lord.

Let us who have been redeemed at the cost of His precious blood be “good soldiers of Jesus Christ.” As the battle against the forces of evil waxes ever more hot, we have need for God-given valour.

There is constant temptation to compromise. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.” It is always right to stand firmly for what God has revealed concerning His blessed Son’s person and work. The “father of lies” deals in half-truths and specializes in most subtle fallacies concerning the Lord Jesus, our sole and sufficient Savior.

Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.

Exposing error is most unpopular work. But from every true standpoint it is worthwhile work. To our Savior, it means that He receives from us, His blood-bought ones, the loyalty that is His due. To ourselves, if we consider “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt,” it ensures future reward, a thousand-fold. And to souls “caught in the snare of the fowler”—how many of them God only knows—it may mean light and life, abundant and everlasting.

Dr. Harry Ironside (1876-1951), a godly fundamentalist author, and teacher for many years, served as pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948.

 




Is Persecution Right Around The Corner?


hitler

Hitler rose to power during 1929-1934
In 1936 Germany was in the midst of economic ruin and social upheaval, facing an uncertain future. A charismatic leader by the name of Adolph Hitler was rising to power and he pointed Germans to a new direction that would bring the nation and its people back to greatness—if they only trusted him.
He consolidated power, bypassing the German legislative houses and started imposing his own laws, ignoring the due process of the German government. One of his first edicts was to control guns within society to “bring about peace”. Then he turned his attention to fundamental religion which he saw as an enemy to the state and aspirations of his Nazi regime. He successfully silenced the churches by convincing them he shared their values—but they would have to cooperate with him and his agenda to return Germany to greatness.
The church rolled over like a dog begging for scraps and within one year every bible and cross was removed from Christian churches and only Third Reich government employees were allowed to preach in church services. The rest, as they say, is history. Six million Jews were slaughtered and the world was brought into world war as Hitler rose to power in a time of uncertainty and fear.
But that could never happen in the United States of America – we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave [People say, “As goes the united States, so goes Australia!]. And besides the Christian Church in America would never allow this kind of oppression and tyranny to occur! Well, think again…
When you look at the rise of power within our federal government since the 9/11 attacks, we must concede that we might be on the cusp of a government bent on imposing its will and values upon all Americans. Through the Patriot Act every American citizen is spied upon every day and privacy is a thing of the past. Our government has now mandated that employers and health plans financially support abortion; the Supreme Court may soon rule homosexual marriage as a constitutionally protected right; and now many in Washington are hell bent on taking guns away from law abiding citizens who want to protect themselves and their families.
And if you carefully watch events at the U.N., where fundamental religion is considered the greatest threat to the survival of mankind, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to think that Christianity has a target on its chest as the next freedom that will be attacked.
Now Christians can make the argument that we should not worry about things of this world and only concentrate on Jesus Christ and spreading the gospel. But to argue that without thinking of the consequences of non-engagement is foolishness. If we are unwilling to fight the spread of tyranny and government censorship, then we better be prepared to reap the results of our inactions. We best be prepared to eventually be driven under- ground as the price we pay for not standing up and fighting for our religious values and freedoms.
Think it could never happen in America—well you better think again, and more importantly you better start reading your bible. Because it will happen, and it is starting to happen right before our eyes!
In Luke 21 Jesus is discussing the end of the age—the time just before His glorious return. “Nation will rise against nation…but before all this they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name…All men will hate you because of me.”
So stand up and peacefully fight the coming tyranny, or if you choose to, sit back passively. But know what is coming and prepare your hearts for a time when all men will hate us for Jesus’ sake. These times will come and they are starting to unfold right before our eyes. Are we preparing our hearts? Or are we one of the virgins sitting idly with no oil in our lamp? The choice is yours.
From: http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/01/is-persecution-right-around-the-corner/




Heresy Hunting – 1910

HERESY-HUNTING!

Some people have very confused ideas about hunting for heresy, and about Christian liberty. If a man advances and seeks to propagate teaching which I regard as very injurious, if not ruinous, and I assail it with vigor, such vigor as he feels unable to resist on the merits of the question, it is common for him and his friends to cry out, “Heresy-hunter! Heresy-hunter!” If a lot of us should go prying into some man’s utterances to find something wrong, somewhat as [some] hounds kept up a yelping all night . . . we might be charged with hunting for heresy; but if those hounds had seen a fox coming out of some man’s hen-roost, nobody would have objected to their giving him chase. The fox might cry out for personal liberty, and say, “I have just as good a right to take a chicken as you have to take a fox,” nevertheless, the common judgment of mankind would say that to chase the fox away would be a righteous act.

Out West there are bear-hunters. They go creeping around among the hills and rocks trying to slip up on a bear and take the advantage of him. In this they are like real heresy-hunters. But if a man is walking along the public road, and meets a bear reared on his hind legs, and reaching for him with his fore paws, there is bound to be a fight or a foot-race; and if the man should fight the bear, nobody could on this account call him a bear-hunter. The bear might say, “I am free, and have as much right on this road as you have,” and the man could answer, “I am free, too, and have as much right on this road as you have.” And if the man should also say, “You are after hugging me, and you hug everybody you can get hold of, so I will put a bullet through you,” the average citizen would say that the man was in the right. So, if heresy does not want to be shot at, it should play sly and not walk out into the public road (J. W. McGarvey, “Short Essays in Biblical Criticism,” 1910, pp. 383-384)

 




The Problem with Psychology

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,

giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1st Timothy 4:1

In my two previous TBC articles this year [March and April 2006], I addressed the destructive influence psychological counseling is having on the evangelical church. Simply put, the church has turned from God’s Word to man’s bankrupt theories in attempting to resolve mental, emotional, and behavioral problems. The greater part of the church no longer believes what the Scriptures proclaim: that God, in His Word, has given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3). The results, sadly, are what one might expect: there is often little statistical difference between those who profess to be Christians and those who do not, regarding the number of divorces, the reliance upon psychological counseling theories and methods, living together outside of marriage, illegitimate childbirths, pornography, sexual and physical abuse, and so forth.

Although such consequences are shocking, they shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who believes the Bible. Twice in the Book of Proverbs we are told, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12; 16:25). Death throughout Scripture implies separation, whether of the soul and spirit from the body in physical death or, in another sense, the separation of light from darkness and truth from error-and ultimately, from God eternally. Just as the body without life corrupts, so do one’s life choices result in corruption when they are separated from God’s truth.

Psychology, with its psychotherapeutic counseling, has been embraced by evangelicals more than almost any other unbiblical endeavor that has entered the church in the last half-century. “Christian psychologists” are generally more popular and influential than preachers and teachers of the Word. What evangelical in America, or Australia, doesn’t know of psychologist Dr. James Dobson? The psychologically oriented American Association of Christian Counselors boasts 50,000 members. The evangelical church is one of the leading referral services for secular counselors [whether they claim to be Christians or not!]. Like their secular counterparts, the second-most popular career choice for students at Christian colleges is psychology. What makes this information truly shocking is the fact that the roots, concepts, and many of the psychological counseling practices come from “seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

First Timothy 4:1 is a prophetic verse. It foretells that “in the latter times,” that is, the time near the return of our Lord, “some will depart from the faith.”
This is supported by other verses such as Luke 18:8: Jesus asked, “…when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
The implied answer is no. Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, declares under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that a “falling away” from the faith will characterize the Last Days. But haven’t many professing Christians departed from the faith since the time of the Apostles? Yes. The rest of the verse, however, indicates a condition that is unique to our present day. Those who profess to be Christians will give “heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

Doctrines of devils are designed to undermine what is taught in the Scriptures. They reflect the strategy that Satan instituted in the Garden of Eden when he seduced Eve into disobeying God. The chief of the seducing spirits began his direct communication with Eve by raising doubts in her mind as to what God had commanded: “Yea, hath God said…?” (Genesis 3:1). The serpent’s dialogue with her led her to believe that God had lied to her: “And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die.” Although God instructed Adam and Eve that the punishment for disobeying Him by eating the fruit of a certain tree in the Garden would be death (Genesis 2:17), Satan twisted that around, making God not only a liar but also the one who was withholding what they needed for their self-improvement and for realizing a supposed higher potential.

Genesis 3:1-5 contains Satan’s basic strategy for the seduction and destruction of mankind. His deception began by questioning God’s Word, and offering tempting alternatives. Eve responded by believing Satan, rejecting God’s Word, and turning to her own self-interests. The enticements were so desirable to the flesh, including immortality, enlightenment, godhood, and knowledge (Genesis 3:5), that she eagerly embraced the lie. At that tragic moment in the history of mankind, self became a god, an autonomous rebel bent on doing its own thing. What Satan offered to Eve, he likewise has presented to all of her descendants, with similar success. His deadly allurements-immortality, enlightenment, godhood, and knowledge–comprise the foundational teachings of “doctrines of devils.”

Even in a cursory review of psycho-therapeutic concepts, Satan’s primary lies are clearly revealed. Teachings [i.e., doctrines] such as the following are found in nearly all psycho-therapeutic theories. Immortality: There is no death in the sense that it should be feared. Materialist psychotherapists teach a judgment-free mortality; spiritually oriented counselors claim that we either evolve to a higher consciousness or reincarnate to improve our next temporal state of being. Enlightenment: Knowing the self, who we are, why we do what we do, and how we change, all open the critical gate to establishing our mental well-being.

Some systems teach that our problems of living are determined by traumas related to our past [including past lives], our parental upbringing, our environment, or our having been oppressed by religious dogmas. Godhood: The solution to humanity’s problems is found within the self. Self is deified, whether directly or indirectly. For instance, psychology’s “self-actualization” is a process that leads to self-deification, which ultimately replaces any need for salvation outside humanity. Knowledge: The deification process for humanity involves methods of plumbing the depths of the unconscious, which is alleged to be the infinite reservoir that holds all mysteries of life.

Sadly, these doctrines of devils now permeate “Christian psychology.” Few evangelicals realize that these demonic teachings were introduced to the “founding fathers of psychological counseling” literally by “seducing spirits.” It was Sigmund Freud who declared that “religion is the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity.” Furthermore, there is evidence that Freud hated Christianity, which he erroneously regarded as anti-Semitic. How then would this atheistic rejector of organized religion advance doctrines of devils? By founding the “religion” of psychoanalysis. None of Freud’s theories, whether psychic determinism or psycho-sexual development or belief in the unconscious, have any scientific validity; moreover, they are religious beliefs that are antithetical to the doctrines of the Bible. Research psychiatrist Thomas Szasz had Freud primarily in mind when he declared, “…modern psychotherapy…is not merely a religion that pretends to be a science, it is actually a fake religion that seeks to destroy true religion.”1

Given the fact that psychoanalysis and its associated concepts are so diametrically opposed to biblical Christianity, there’s no doubt that Freud’s “fake religion” is the product of “doctrines of devils.” Furthermore, a strong case could be made that Freud’s theories came both directly and indirectly from “seducing spirits” through the techniques he employed in analyzing his patients. He put them into altered states of consciousness through hypnosis and the highly suggestible technique of “free association.” Early on, when he was formulating some of his theories, Freud was a regular user of the mind-altering drug cocaine for his bouts with depression.2 Calling it his magical drug, “he pressed it on his friends and colleagues, both for themselves and their patients.”3

Psychiatrist and historian Henri F. Ellenberger’s classic work, The Discovery of the Unconscious, reveals, “Historically, modern dynamic psychotherapy derives from primitive medicine, and an uninterrupted continuity…through the exorcists, magnetists, and hypnotists that led to the fruition of dynamic psychiatry in the systems of Janet, Freud, Adler and Jung.”4 Psychotherapy is a modern form of shamanism, which explains why psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey rightly observes, “The techniques used by Western psychiatrists are, with few exceptions, on exactly the same scientific plane as the techniques used by witchdoctors [medicine men and shamans].”5

Shamanism is all about contacting spirit entities to gain their help, wisdom, insights, and so forth. In an interview with a former Yanamamo shaman who resides in the Amazonian rain forest of Venezuela, I was told rather bluntly that his spirit guides were liars and deceivers, from his first contact with them through ingesting hallucinogenic drugs until they left him when he turned to Christ. Their lies reinforced what he wanted to hear. It seems the same for Freud, whose concepts were a reflection not of science but rather removing his own guilt and satisfying his flesh. Freud’s theories were based mainly upon his own personal problems, most of which were sexual perversions.

In Freudian thought, the “unconscious” is a God-replacement realm without laws and judgment; morality is an oppressive neurosis-generating structure imposed by society and organized religion; sexual freedom (including adultery, homosexuality, incest, etc.) is paramount for normal mental health; dreams are symbolic messages from the unconscious and can be scientifically interpreted through psychoanalysis. These beliefs represent doctrines of devils. Although a materialist, Freud acknowledged the existence of spirit entities. He was influenced from that source, either indirectly, through his patients, or directly, through his own drug use, the ancient statuettes he used to help him write,6 and other techniques he used to explore the unconscious. The life and works of psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung clearly reveal that his psychological theories came directly from the “seducing spirits” Paul warns about in 1 Timothy 4:1. Jung is far more popular today among professing Christians than Freud [the atheist] because of his perceived affinity for religion and things spiritual.

However, though his father was a Protestant pastor [who seriously doubted his professed faith!], Jung was anti-biblical and resentful of organized Christianity from his youth. His early symbolic visions revealed Jesus as a Dark Lord and God defecating on a cathedral. His mother’s side of the family was heavily involved in spiritualism. His grandfather, pastor Samuel Preiswerk, conducted ongoing séances to commune with his deceased first wife, with his second wife and daughter [Jung’s mother] participating. The latter, who had bouts of insanity, reserved two beds in the Jung home for visiting ghosts. Jung’s doctoral thesis [published in 1902] was based upon séances conducted by his 13-year-old cousin, whom he placed in an altered state of consciousness through hypnosis in order to contact his and her dead ancestors.

In 1916, Jung’s household experienced an assault by demonic beings who claimed to be dead Christian Crusaders from Jerusalem. They were seeking counsel on redemption and were greatly distressed that their Christianity had left them in a hopeless condition. They would not leave Jung’s home until he began writing advice to them, which he received from one of his many spirit guides, his mentor Philemon, the “old man with horns of a bull.”7

Richard Noll, a lecturer in the History of Science at Harvard University and a clinical psychologist (who declares that he “is not a Christian of any sort”), makes some stunning observations in his book on Jung titled The Jung Cult. He argues that Jung’s “psychological theories of the collective unconscious and archetypes are essentially masks, a pseudo-scientific cover to hide the practices of what was essentially a new religious movement in which Jung taught people to have trance visions and to contact the ‘gods’ directly.”8

Jung’s teachings are doctrines of demons, gleaned directly from seducing spirits: the unconscious and the collective unconscious represent an impersonal form of God; archetypes are viewed as psychological rationalizations for demons, the anima and animus are terms for the female and male entities within each person; psychological “types” are determined characteristics within our make up. Jung promoted all things occult, including astrology, alchemy, the I-Ching, mysticism, necromancy, visualization, dream interpretation, the active imagination, yoga, meditation, etc. Incredibly, his theories and recommended practices are endorsed in the teachings of some of the most influential people in evangelical Christianity. In many cases, ignorance is the principle reason, yet the demonic lies are nevertheless readily promoted and accepted among the sheep.

Rick Warren’s 30 million copies of The Purpose-Driven Life include Jungian concepts, such as psychological “types.” Saddleback Church’s “Celebrate Recovery” program [see TBC Oct ’05], which has been exported to 4,500 churches and Prison Fellowship Ministries, is based on A.A.’s 12-Step principles. A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson received the 12 Steps during the time he was in contact with spirit entities. He later wrote a personal letter to Carl Jung thanking him for his influence:

…[A.A.] actually started long ago in your consulting room, and it was directly founded upon your own humility and deep perception….You will also be interested to learn that in addition to the “spiritual experience,” many A.A.s report a great variety of psychic phenomena, the cumulative weight of which is very considerable. Other members have-following their recovery in A.A. -been much helped by [Jungian analysts]. A few have been intrigued by the “I Ching” and your remarkable introduction to that work.

Warren is not the only witting or unwitting promoter among evangelicals of what Jung learned from demons. He is just the most successful and the best known. Others include Christian psychologists, inner healers, and pastors. Jung’s occult methodologies, especially his demonically inspired techniques of visualization, guided imagery, meditation, and working with spiritual directors, are foundational to the Emerging Church interests of evangelical youth and the contemplative movement supported by Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, and a multitude of others.

This astonishing development in the evangelical church is symptomatic of the abandonment of God’s Word. The result will be the advancement of the apostate “Christian” church. The antidote is found in Isaiah 8:20: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” TBC

Endnotes

Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Psychotherapy (Doubleday, 1978), 27-28.

Martin Gross, The Psychological Society (Random House, 1978), 234-36.

Ernest Jones, The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, Volume I (1856-1900) (New York: Basic Books, 1953), 81.

Henri F. Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious (Basic Books,
1970), 48; back cover.

E. Fuller Torrey, The Mind Games: Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists (Emerson
Hall, 1972), 8.

Shirley Nicholson, Shamanism (The Theosophical Publishing House), 58, as cited in Martin and Deidre Bobgan, The End of “Christian Psychology” (East Gate Publishers, 1997), 105.

C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Pantheon Books, 1963), 190-92; 182-83.

Richard Noll, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (New York:Simon & Schuster, 1994), xi-xii.