Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: A False Jesus?

10 Serious Problems with Jesus Calling

Tim Challies

https://www.challies.com/articles/10-serious-problems-with-jesus-calling/

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing down. According to publisher Thomas Nelson, it “continues to grow in units sold each year since it was released [and] has surpassed 15 million copies sold.” Nelson is involved in an expansive new marketing campaign that involves a new web site and daily radio devotionals. ECPA reports that “Thomas Nelson began its partnership with the Salem Media group to provide 60-second daily messages on Eric Metaxas’ show, which is carried on more than 100 stations nationwide and worldwide on SiriusXM Radio. The Jesus Calling radio devotional reaches more than 500,000 people each day through these segments.” With 15 million copies sold, it has marched its way into rare company.

Yet it is a deeply troubling book. I am going to point out 10 serious problems with Jesus Calling in the hope that you will consider and heed these warnings.

1. She speaks for God. Far and away the most troubling aspect of the book is its very premise—that Sarah Young hears from Jesus and then dutifully brings his messages to her readers. Jesus Calling makes the boldest, gutsiest, and, to my mind, most arrogant claim of any book ever to be considered Christian. The publisher describes the book in this way: “After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world. In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace (italics mine).” There is no way to avoid her claim that she is communicating divine revelation, a claim that raises a host of questions and concerns, not the least of which is the doctrine of Scripture alone which assures us that the Bible and the Bible alone is sufficient to guide us in all matters of faith and practice.

Jesus Calling only exists because Sarah Young had a deep desire to hear from God outside of the Bible.

2. She proclaims the insufficiency of the Bible. Jesus Calling only exists because Sarah Young had a deep desire to hear from God outside of the Bible. In the introduction she describes the book’s genesis: “I began to wonder if I … could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day.” In those few sentences she sets up unnecessary competition between her revelation and what we are told of the Bible in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” Biblically, there is no category for what she provides as the heart and soul of her book. Biblically, there is no need for it and no reason we should expect or heed it.

3. Her deepest experience of God comes through a practice God does not endorse. Young does not only endorse her practice of listening, but goes so far as to elevate it as the chief spiritual discipline. “This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need.” Notice that her solution to addressing the desire for Jesus’ Presence and Peace is not Scripture or any other means of grace, but the very messages she provides in her book.

4. She is inspired by untrustworthy models. In early versions of Jesus Calling, Young tells of her discovery of the book God Calling and the way she modeled her practice of listening on it. She describes it as “a devotional book written by two anonymous ‘listeners.’ These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. This little paperback became a treasure to me. It dove-tailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.” It is worth noting that recent versions of Jesus Calling have been scrubbed of this information. God Calling is an equally troubling book that saw much success beginning in the 1930s and has seen a revival of interest in the wake of Jesus Calling. It is at times subbiblical and at other times patently unbiblical. And yet it is a book she regards as a treasure and a model for her own work.

5. She provides lesser revelation. Young admits that her revelation is different from the Bible’s (“The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard”), but does not explain how her writings are different. Jesse Johnson says, “She does grant that the content of Jesus Calling should be measured against Scripture—but that is true of Scripture as well. In the end, there is no substantial difference in how Young expects us to view Jesus’ words to her, than how we are to view the Bible. I mean, Jesus’ words to Sarah are literally packaged into a devotional, so that we can do our devotionals from them every day.” If her words are actually from Jesus, how can they be any less authoritative or less binding than any word of Scripture?

6. She mimics occult practices. The way in which Young receives her revelation from Jesus smacks of the occult. “I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believe He was saying. I felt awkward the first time I tried this, but I received a message. It was short, biblical, and appropriate. It addressed topics that were current in my life: trust, fear, and closeness to God. I responded by writing in my prayer journal.” This is not a far cry from a practice known as “automatic writing” which Wikipedia describes as “an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words are claimed to arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source.” Her inspiration was God Calling where it is even clearer that the authors allowed their minds to go blank at which point they supposedly received messages from God. This practice is very different from the giving of biblical revelation where God worked through the thoughts, personalities, and even research of the authors.

7. Her emphasis does not match the Bible’s. Young’s emphasis in Jesus Calling is markedly different from the emphases of the Bible. For example, she speaks seldom of sin and repentance and even less of Christ’s work on the cross. Michael Horton says, “In terms of content, the message is reducible to one point: Trust me more in daily dependence and you’ll enjoy my presence.” While this is not necessarily an unbiblical or inappropriate message, it hardly matches the thrust of the Bible which always pushes toward or flows from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Horton adds, “The first mention of Christ even dying for our sins appears on February 28 (page 61). The next reference (to wearing Christ’s robe) is August 9 (p. 232). Even the December readings focus on a general presence of Jesus in our hearts and daily lives, without anchoring it in Jesus’s person and work in history.”

The Jesus of Sarah Young sounds suspiciously like a twenty-first century, Western, middle-aged woman.

8. Her tone does not match the Bible’s. It can’t be denied: The Jesus of Sarah Young sounds suspiciously like a twenty-first century, Western, middle-aged woman. If this is, indeed, Jesus speaking, we need to explain why he sounds so markedly different from the Jesus of the gospels or the Jesus of the book of Revelation. Nowhere in Scripture do we find Jesus (or his Father) speaking like this: “When your Joy in Me meets My Joy in you, there are fireworks of heavenly ecstasy.” Or again, “Wear my Love like a cloak of Light, covering you from head to toe.” And, “Bring me the sacrifice of your precious time. This creates sacred space around you—space permeated with My Presence and My Peace.” Why does Jesus suddenly speak in such different language?

9. She generates confusion. By fabricating the spiritual discipline of listening and elevating it to the first place, she generates confusion about the disciplines that God does prescribe for Christians. Michael Horton addresses this one well: “According to the Reformation stream of evangelicalism, God speaks to us in his Word (the arrow pointing down from God to us) and we speak to him in prayer (the arrow directed up to God). However, Jesus Calling confuses the direction of these arrows, blurring the distinction between God’s speech and our response.” What she models and endorses is both confusing and unhelpful.

10. Her book has been corrected. Most people don’t know that Jesus Calling has undergone revisions, not only in the introduction where she removed references to God Calling, but also in the words she claims to have received from Jesus. This, of course, casts even further doubt on the trustworthiness of the revelation she receives. After all, why would words from Jesus need to be revised? Did God lie? Did he change? Did she mis-hear him? There is no good option here, other than to doubt all she has ever claimed to receive. This comparison from CARM highlights one significant correction to the text:

Jesus Calling Comparison

The point is clear: Jesus Calling is a book built upon a faulty premise and in that way a book that is dangerous and unworthy of our attention or affirmation. The great tragedy is that it is leading people away from God’s means of grace that are so sweet and so satisfying, if only we will accept and embrace them.

About Tim Challies

Tim Challies

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Aileen and a father to three children. I worship and serve as a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, and am a co-founder of Cruciform Press

4. She is inspired by untrustworthy models.

4. She is inspired by untrustworthy models. In early versions of Jesus Calling, Young tells of her discovery of the book God Calling and the way she modeled her practice of listening on it. She describes it as “a devotional book written by two anonymous ‘listeners.’ These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. This little paperback became a treasure to me. It dove-tailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.” It is worth noting that recent versions of Jesus Calling have been scrubbed of this information. God Calling is an equally troubling book that saw much success beginning in the 1930s and has seen a revival of interest in the wake of Jesus Calling. It is at times subbiblical and at other times patently unbiblical. And yet it is a book she regards as a treasure and a model for her own work.

‘God Calling’ Inspired by-‘For Sinners Only’, by  A.J. Russell

https://christian.net/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0021a.html

Column from the Christian Research Journal, Summer 1988, Volume 11, Number 1, page 29. The Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal is Elliot Miller.

“God Calling” by A. J. Russel, Ed. (Revell, 1972). Reviewed by Edmund C. Gruss.

Christian Retailing’s list of “Christian” best-selling books in April 1988 included in the top five a book entitled God Calling. Its prominence on the list testifies to the lack of spiritual discernment in contemporary evangelical Christianity, for God Calling was written by the occult practice of automatic writing. John Weldon, author and Christian expert on the occult, remarked: “God Calling is spiritistic literature; a demon makes the ranks of evangelical best-sellers!” Weldon is not the only Christian who has come to this conclusion.

First published in the mid-1930s, God Calling has long been stocked by many Christian bookstores, where it has been a perpetual best seller. The cover of the current paperback edition describes it as “the inspiring classic” in which “Christ’s words cut a daily path of joy and peace through our troubled and confused world.”

THE ORIGINS OF “GOD CALLING”

One of the anonymous “two listeners” who received the messages contained in God Calling explained the listeners’ background in the book’s introduction. In 1932 she received a copy of A.J. Russell’s book, For Sinners Only. She was so impressed with it that she wrote down more than 100 names of people to whom she wanted to send it:

Russell, his book, and his form of “guidance” are significant here. Louis Talbot stated that one “must examine writers such as A.J. Russell” and his book For Sinners Only to understand the Oxford Group (which has been called Moral Rearmament since 1938) and its teachings and that it “practically constituted a textbook for the Group” (The King’s Business, Jan. 1962, p.14). In The Oxford Group Walter Clark listed Russell among the “journalistic converts to the Oxford Group” (p. 19).

In the January 1962 edition of The King’s Business, Talbot wrote of the book:

The Oxford Group also practiced the guidance method advocated by Russell and used by the listeners. When William Irvine surveyed the opinions of other evangelical leaders on this method he found them in one accord in their warnings against it (Heresies Exposed, third edition, p.49). What was their concern? Pastor Harold T. Commins, who had been a former member of the Oxford Group, gave one response:

Late in 1926 the Oxford Group’s base of operations moved from the United States to England. By 1935, their annual “House-party” at Oxford University, which began in 1930, had 10,000 in attendance (Clark, p.76). With the prominence of the Oxford Group in England during the 1930s, one might conclude that the listeners, who lived in England, were not only familiar with Russell and his book, but also with the Oxford Group (with which he was associated) and its teachings. This conclusion is verified in God Calling where the “Living Christ” (as he is called in the book) often uses the terminology of the Oxford Group and promotes its philosophy (e.g., see the entry for Feb. 15).

It would appear that even the book’s title originated from the Oxford Group. Walter Clark observes: “Expressions such as `God calling’….can be found on nearly every page of the volume of his [i.e., Oxford Group founder Frank Buchman’s] collected speeches” (p.108). We must also remember that Russell edited God Calling for publication.

With the connection of God Calling to the Oxford Group firmly established, one must conclude that the woman who was so impressed by For Sinners Only and the method of guidance presented in it, although sincere, lacked discernment and an adequate knowledge of Scripture.

As for the Oxford Group/Moral Rearmament, a number of evangelical writers have written on it, identifying it as a cult (see, for examples, Spittler’s Cults and Isms, Van Baalan’s The Chaos of Cults, Irvine’s Heresies Exposed, and Gaebelein’s Buchmanism).

THE TEACHINGS OF “GOD CALLING”

What about the contents of God Calling? Many have stated that they have read it with benefit and some have made reference to its ministry to them. How might these positive experiences be explained?

There is no denying that many statements in the book are inspiring. Scripture is often quoted in God Calling. But cultic literature often quotes Scripture. Reading Scripture wherever it may be found and being blessed by it does not automatically legitimize the publication in which it is included.

An experienced administrator from a mission agency observed after reading the book: “An evangelical reader can read his understanding into the text and enjoy it. A Modernist or mystic (or in some cases, even Muslim) can read his presuppositions into the text and equally enjoy it. This is not an evangelical book except as read with evangelical presuppositions.

Tim Timmons’s conclusion should also be noted: “The book is full of good thoughts, but careful examination will show that many of the concepts sound as though they originated from the angel of light (II Cor. 11:14), rather than the Living Christ. This whole experience is inconsistent with God’s Word, that is, our only reliable guide to examining this kind of activity” (Chains of the Spirit — a Manual for Liberation, p.30). The following statements, made by one of the “two listeners,” should cause a Christian reader concern: “We were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by HIM personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their churches, books and other sources.” “So to us this book, which we believe has been guided by our Lord Himself, is no ordinary book.”

If the above is accepted as true, the implications are immense:

  • 1) Personal guidance is better than the Bible. 2) God Calling has more actual words of Christ than the Bible. 3) Extrabiblical revelation is being received today. This is what the “Living Christ” told the listeners: “Truly, I said to my disciples, ‘I have many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now.’ But to you, and the twos who gather to hear Me as you do, I can declare those things now, that then I left unsaid” (p.69).

As is often true in God Calling, Christ in the above quote is made to violate the meaning of His words in Scriptural context. John 16:13 indicates that in Christ’s absence further revelation of truth would come to the apostles through the Holy Spirit: “Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth….”

The discerning Christian would question the spiritual source of a book that employs such a cult-like misuse of Scripture. 

 Space permits only a few additional examples:

 “When the Bible says,`God has purer eyes to behold evil,’ it means to impute evil in His people. He always sees the good in people…”(p.50). This portion of Habakkuk 1:13 is clearly understood when the rest of the verse is read: God’s holiness cannot regard evil with complacency or tolerate it.

 –“Remember now abideth these three, Faith, Hope and Charity….Hope, which is confidence in yourself to succeed” (p.110). Titus 1:2 explains that hope is not in self but in God, who can be trusted to carry out His promises.

– “I and my Father are one. One in desire to do good” (p.152). The first sentence is a direct quote from John 10:30. It is followed by an interpretation often given by cults in their rejection of the deity of Christ.

there are the statements attributed to Christ that do not borrow from scripture

– “I need you more than you need me” (p.60).
– “I await the commands of my children” (p.63).
– “Looking to Me all your thoughts are God-inspired. Act on them and you will be led on” (p.104).
– “See Me in the dull, the uninteresting, the sinful, the critical, the miserable” (p.111).
– “I do not delay My second coming. My followers delay it” (p.177).
– “Remember this beautiful Earth on which you are was once only a thought of Divine Mind” (p.201).
– “Wherever the soul is, I am. Man has rarely understood this. I am actually at the center of every man’s being, but, distracted with the things of the sense-life, he finds Me not” (p.55).
– “Love is God. Give them love, and you give them God” (p.72).
– “How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity [i.e., the dead] can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me” (p.145).
– “Yes! But remember the first hail must be that of the Magi in the Bethlehem stable”
(p.204)

Christ” slips up on this last one. Matthew 2:9-11 indicates that the Magi arrived at Bethlehem a considerable time after Jesus was born. Note that verse 11 mentions their being at the “house.” The Magi never did visit Jesus at the stable, but the shepherds did (Luke 2:15-20).

Much more could have been given to illustrate the errors and problems in God Calling. One need not question the sincerity of the “two listeners,” but the method of guidance they employ is not Christian. Automatic writing is never accepted in Scripture. Indeed, it is a form of the mediumship which Scripture unequivocally condemns (e.g., Deut. 18:10-12). The good thoughts and inspiring statements attributed to Christ in God Calling often are combined with faulty theology and the misinterpretation of Scripture. True communications from the “Living Christ” would not have these defects.

— Edmond C. Gruss (A longer version of this article was originally published in The Discerner, April-June 1984.)

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: A False Jesus?

https://ses.edu/jesus-calling-by-sarah-young-a-false-jesus/
A Critique by SES Alumna, Marcia Montenegro

“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” Psalm 19: 8, 10
Jesus Calling, a devotional by Sarah Young, has multiplied into a publishing empire with offerings of Jesus Calling editions for teens and for children, calendars, editions with special leather covers, accompanying journals, a Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, and even a Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.
In the first half of 2013, this book outsold the controversial bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey. According to Publishers Weekly in 2014, Jesus Calling had “sold 14 million copies in its many iterations — calendar, smartphone app, children’s book.”[1]
So could there possibly be anything amiss with this wildly successful Christian devotional?
The first noticeable thing looking through the book is that it is written as though Jesus is speaking the words. Jesus giving advice in first-person language is certainly not the normal devotional format and sets this apart from most devotionals. The logical question is: how did Young come up with these words?
There are three major issues that should be examined: The claim that Young received the words directly from Jesus; Young’s admission that a primary influence on her was the book, God Calling, by “Two Listeners;” and, finally, examining some of the messages in the book allegedly from Jesus.

A Few Words on the 10th Anniversary Edition

It needs to be noted that in the introduction to the latest edition of Jesus Calling, the 10th Anniversary Edition, removed from the original edition’s introduction was Young’s references to the book, God Calling, some of Young’s words about hearing from Jesus were altered and removed, and also changed were some of the words from Jesus in the devotional. No explanation was given for this, and no references to the original claims were mentioned by either author or publisher.
The entire account in the original book detailing how Young was impacted by God Calling, and how it became a “treasure” to her, [2] inspiring her to listen with pen in hand for what Jesus might say, was removed in the newer edition. Instead, the latter has Young writing that she wondered if she could change her prayer time “from monologue to dialogue.” [3]This changes the meaning from the original where Young admitted being inspired by God Calling, indicating in the latest edition that she came up with the idea: “I decided to ‘listen’ with pen in hand, writing down whatever I ‘heard’ in my mind.”[4] Note the words “listen” and “heard” are in quotes, as though they are not meant to be taken too literally, though this raises more questions rather than settling the issue. Either it is literal or it is imagined, but if it is imagined, then why write it down as though Jesus said it? And why listen? Why not just imagine what Jesus would say and record it?

Jesus Calling 10th Edition

Jesus Calling 10th Edition

In the original, Young is not as cagey with words, but claims that after writing this book, “I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him,”[5] (https://sesedustage.wpengine.com/a-falafel-kind-of-faith/)   implying that the messages in her book are from God (or Jesus).

This article, however, discusses the original edition though some significant changes in the newer edition are briefly noted. One can follow early red flags that led to Young’s decision to attempt to get words from Jesus.
God’s Word – Not Enough Nourishment?
In the introduction, Young writes, “I knew that God communicated with me in the Bible, but I yearned for more.”[6] Why would God’s word be seen as insufficient in delivering the spiritual nourishment God Himself claims it offers?
Contrast Young’s yearning “for more” with how the Bible portrays God’s word. In response to one of Satan’s temptations, we have Jesus quoting Deut. 8:3:
“But He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
In First Peter, we read, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation” (1 Pet 2:2; also see 1 Cor. 3:2, Heb.5:14). Paul exhorted Timothy to be “nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed” (1 Tim 4:6).
Going back to the Old Testament, we see God’s words likened to food:
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16a.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Ps. 119:103
Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. Ezekiel 3:3 (see also Rev. 10:9, 10)
One of the Bible’s themes is the power of God’s word to comfort, exhort, encourage, and nourish those who have believed. One can never come to an end of studying or knowing the Bible because, reflecting God’s nature, his word is infinitely profound and wise.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; see also Ps. 19:8;10; Matt. 22:29; John 10:35; Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).
Young’s admitted dissatisfaction with the sufficiency of God’s word appears to be based on her need for experiences. She writes that “Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace.”[7] This is also in the newer edition.[8] However, in the original, Young writes that the “messages that follow address that felt need,” whereas in the new edition, somewhat significantly, the word “messages” is changed to “devotions,” perhaps to undermine the original claim of direct revelation.

If someone is not satisfied with God’s word as the way to grow closer to Christ and to grow as a Christian, that opens the door for extra-biblical avenues of deception. While it is true that prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and worship are necessary for maturing in the Christian life, these are additional and different venues, never substitutes for God’s word. Dissatisfaction with God’s word should be a warning, and it did indeed lead Young into an avenue of communication fraught with spiritual peril.

Hearing Jesus or Channeling Jesus?

Young writes that she was inspired by the book God Calling by Two Listeners. The daily devotions in God Calling, written as though God/Jesus is speaking, came about in 1932 when two anonymous women decided to sit down with pencils and paper and wait to receive words from God.[9] The claim is made in the Foreword by editor A. J. Russell that these two women received messages “from the Living Christ Himself.”[10] 
Andrew James Russell, editor of God Calling, had become a follower of Dr. Frank Buchman, who founded the Oxford Group, first started under another name in 1921, but taking the name of Oxford Group in 1931.[11] Meeting in groups, this movement emphasized fellowship and receiving direct guidance from God.[12]

Russell writes that “I learned that it was a practice of the Group to keep a guidance-book and record in it those thoughts which came in periods of quiet listening to God.”[13]
Although Russell writes that criteria were used to measure this “guidance,” some of the criteria were quite subjective. Continually seeking guidance in this fashion, which is no different from automatic writing, [14]is opening the door to false doctrine.
Following the pattern in God Calling, and seeking something beyond Scripture, Young decided “to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.” [15]She determined that this message was “short, biblical, and appropriate,” so she wrote it in her journal. [16]Declaring that her journaling “had changed from monologue to dialogue,” she writes that “messages began to flow more freely” and she bought a special notebook in which to record these words.[17]
Aware that she might be charged with equating these messages with the Bible, she notes, “I knew that these writings were not inspired as Scripture is.” [18]One is compelled to ask, why not? Are these words from Jesus or not? (Young uses the term “God” but the messages are made to sound like they are from Jesus). In her book, Dear Jesus, she claims she wrote
[I]n the same listening-to-God mode that I used with Jesus Calling. I’ve continued to write with the help of Christs’s [sic] Spirit, who guides my thinking while I listen in His Presence. I believe the Bible is the only infallible Word of God. My writings are based on that absolute standard, and I try to ensure they are consistent with Scripture.[19]

Young is blatantly asserting that the Holy Spirit is “helping” her and guiding her thinking in writing these messages from Jesus. So why does she need to “ensure they are consistent with Scripture?” If the writings need to be checked, why does she think it is Jesus who is speaking, and if there is doubt, why record the words, especially in books to be marketed? Moreover, if they are from Jesus, which is how they are presented, then, by definition, they are inspired.
The contradictions abound. You can’t have it both ways, saying these words are from Jesus but need to be checked; they are from Jesus but are not inspired; or the messages are written with Holy Spirit’s direct aid but not on a par with Scripture.
If one reads reviews of this book on Amazon, or comments on the Facebook page for Jesus Calling, it is clear that readers regard these words as coming from Jesus. Many will say they read the accompanying Scriptures to each day’s devotion, but the fans’ statements are obviously focused on the Jesus statements transcribed by Young.
Another major red flag is Young’s positive acknowledgement of the book God Calling. Writing about the two women who authored this work, Young states, “These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and papers in hand, recording the messages they received from Him.” [20]Young’s fondness for this book and use of it as inspiration for her communication mode with God is deeply disconcerting when one examines the history, method, and content of this “treasure.”
I have read God Calling and found it to be more closely related to New Thought than to a biblical worldview. New Thought was/is a movement claiming to be Christian but also denying the essentials of the historic Christian faith. [21] New Thought was also often paired with Spiritualist beliefs that contact with the dead was regarded as a path to spiritual understanding.
Terms related to New Thought and Spiritualism are seen in God Calling entries for (but not limited to) Feb. 27, March 10 and 13, June 19, July 29, Aug. 18, and Nov. 17 and include terms such as “material manifestation,” “Spirit-life,” “Spirit-communication,” “Spirit-Kingdom,” “the material plane,” “Sprit Sounds,” “spirit understanding,” and “Spirit-world.” This language indicates a Gnostic-based spirit-material and spirit-body duality. Even taking into account when this book was written, these terms are not Christian and never have been. At least one blatant Spiritualist reading is found:
How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me. [22]
The “friends freed from the limitation of humanity” are the dead friends. This piercing glint of Spiritualism is further confirmation of New Thought influence, since the two were so intertwined at the time.

The Troubling Messages of Young’s Jesus

The content of Jesus Calling is almost numbingly repetitive, boring even. The term “My Presence” saturates almost every page. “Jesus” also says some strange things:
Ask Me to open your eyes so that you can find me everywhere…[…]…this is not some sort of escape from reality; it is tuning into the ultimate reality. I am far more Real than the world you can see, hear and touch. (July 18)
If Jesus is real, does he need to be “more Real?” Is there such a thing as “more Real?” Does He need to be the “ultimate reality?” Is not being the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Lamb slain for our sins real enough?
Elsewhere, Jesus says, according to Young:
Your part is to be attentive to My messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. (July 25)
What “messages” are meant here, and what kind of “form” might they take? “Whatever form” raises troubling questions: does Jesus give messages in multiple venues that we need to watch for and then figure out? More crucially, how do we know the messages are from Jesus?

Jesus' Face in the Clouds
Jesus’ Face in the Clouds

I think this statement to be attentive to “messages” from Jesus is proof this is not Jesus. Jesus gave his message recorded in God’s word – there are not multiple venues for messages from Jesus and there is no biblical support for the idea that they can come in any form. However, a false Jesus would say this. In fact, having read many channeled and New Age books purporting to be words from God or Jesus, I can affirm that there is always at least one statement that opens the door for believing God or Jesus can speak through anyone or any medium, thus validating the channeled message or book. This statement is the signal in this book for such a deception: an attempt to authenticate Jesus Calling by having this Jesus tell us to look for messages that might appear anywhere through anyone in any form. It gives justification to the idea these messages come from Jesus.
It is unclear as to how we should find Jesus in birdcalls or in tragedy. Beauty may point one to Jesus and tragedy may cause one to turn to Him, but He is not in those things.[23]

There are numerous passages where Young’s Jesus tells the reader to go within to hear and know Jesus, such as:
I am central to your innermost being. Your mind goes off in tangents from its holy Center from time to time….the quickest way to redirect your mind to me is to whisper My Name. (Aug. 25)
The above message is fraught with problems. How is Jesus related to “our innermost being?” All who trust in Christ are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but He is not part of our being. The Holy Spirit is never part of man’s nature. And what “holy Center” is Young referencing? This is not a concept found in Scripture; Scripture teaches that man is fallen, in sin, and needs a Redeemer. A redeemed Christian still does not have a “holy Center.”

And, one must ask, is the way to redirect one’s mind to whisper Jesus’ name? Yet these are allegedly the words of Jesus and should be obeyed, if that is true. However, no Scriptural support exists for whispering Jesus’ name as a way to “redirect” the mind.
Equally alarmingly we read:
Let Me control your mind. The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind..[…]…I risked all by granting you freedom to think for yourself. (April 21)
Downgrading thinking and the mind plays a part in New Age and Eastern spiritualities, with which I was once deeply involved. While it is true we can think evil thoughts and our minds can lead us astray, this statement goes further than anything in Scripture. Our mind and ability to think, unlike animals, is an aspect of how we are made in the image of God. Moreover, many scriptural passages exhort people to think and reason.

And does God/Jesus ever take a ‘risk?” This would imply that God does not know the future and/or has no control over things. To risk is to take action without being sure of the results. This leads to the stunning conclusion that God is not omniscient. And how did Jesus “risk all” to give man freedom to think for himself?
The term “high road” is used at least three times (Jan. 18, Jan. 27, June 16). This is a curious phrase since it has many secular and false spiritual meanings but no biblical one.

Dare to walk on the high road with Me, for it is the most direct route to heaven. The low road is circuitous: twisting and turning in agonizing knots. (Jan. 27)

There is no indication here or biblical context for the concept of a “high road.” And how is it the “most direct route to heaven?” Even if a Christian is on the “low road,” will she not get to heaven as well? If a road is the “most direct,” it means there are other roads to heaven that are less direct. But the Bible knows of no indirect roads to heaven; there is one way through faith in Christ; all other ways end in death.[24] This ambiguous term and rather confusing statement is not an idea found in scripture. Moreover, faith in Christ is the only way to heaven, not walking some kind of road. This statement is, not surprisingly, very reminiscent of the messages one finds in God Calling.
Come to Me. Come to Me. Come to Me. This is my continual invitation to you, proclaimed in holy whispers…[…..]…Open yourself to my loving Presence so that I may fill you with my fullness. (August 11)
“Holy whispers?” Is the word “holy” needed? And why is Jesus whispering? And the phrase “so that I may fill you with my fullness” is awkward and unusual when compared to the actual words of Christ. For example, this declaration from Christ is so much more comforting and meaningful:
“For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds… (Luke 12:22-24)
This makes me wonder, why are Christians looking for encouragement in the prose of Sarah Young, rather than actual words of Jesus?

There is an excessive focus on silence and stillness found in so many readings that it would be impossible to list them, implying that being silent and still are loftier spiritual practices. As in copious other sources, Psalm 46:10 is misused in Jesus Calling. Psalm 46:10, translated as “Be still” in some versions is “Cease striving” in the New American Standard, and is actually a rebuke to the nations fighting against God’s people. When read in context, it is quite clear that this has nothing to do with being physically still in order to meditate or contemplate. [25]
The focus on stillness and silence is pagan, which is usually based on using a technique to find answers or guidance from within — an inner voice, or a source within that is considered a divine part of the self (such as “the holy Center?”). This adulation of silence and being still is often elitist as well, presented condescendingly as superior to normative prayer as modeled in Scripture. This is another hint that the messages are not from Jesus; Jesus does not misrepresent or misinterpret God’s word. However, the enemy does, and in many channeled sources one finds strong spirituality along with arrogance andpatronizing declarations.

Young Woman Meditating
Young Woman Mediating Photo Credit: Lillie Kate

Is This Jesus?

The most important question to ask about this book is: Is this Jesus speaking, as Young claims it is? Aside from the troubling issues mentioned, a few more are worth considering.

Many of the entries resemble bad greeting card messages with saccharine language. For instance, “Let the dew of My Presence refresh your mind and heart” (Sept. 3; this one also misuses the “Be still” words); the sappy “Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light” (Sept. 7); and “Like a luminous veil of light, I hover over you and everything around you” (Dec. 3). Considering who Jesus is and the rich language of Scripture, why would He use such maudlin phrases?
Theologically, Jesus “hovering” makes no sense. Jesus is in his resurrected body interceding for the saints. [26] As the Second Person of the trinity, Jesus is omniscient and knows us and what we are doing but He is not “hovering” like a mist or cloud. This phrase suggests Jesus is bodiless and without form.
In other places, Young’s Jesus displays a martyr complex with a sly tone of self-admiration. “Imagine,” He says, speaking of Himself, “the self-control required of a martyr who could free Himself at will!” (Dec. 20).
For Dec. 25, this Jesus says, in part:
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby.[….]…I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions — a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me. [27]
These statements do not reflect the character of Christ; Christ does not seek our sympathy or thanks via self-pitying remarks.

The book is peppered with the term “Presence” and “My Presence,” so much so that it becomes tiresome. This seems to be another clue that this is not about the real Jesus because it is not a concept from Scripture. “Presence” is abstract and vague, and continual repetition of this word weakens the actuality of an embodied Jesus. In fact, this could be taken as a subtle attack on the physical veracity of Christ as the God-man.

Those who promote this book assert that Young is not maintaining that these words are from Jesus, but as I demonstrated earlier, she is indeed doing this very thing. There is no other reasonable way to interpret her claims. And when one reads each entry written so unmistakably as though Jesus is speaking, how else is one to take it? At the very least, it is misleading and puts words in people’s heads that some may come to believe are from Jesus.

Others who defend this book readily believe these are the words of Jesus. They defend it by saying reading the book helped them, a family member, or a friend. When statements not in keeping with the character of Jesus or with biblical principles are pointed out, these defenders ignore this evidence and will continue to maintain the book helped them. Or the person may try to argue about whether Jesus speaks beyond the Bible. Below is an example of such a statement which was posted on my Facebook page on a discussion of this book:

I have seen wonderful things with this devotional, it has opened many conversations in supermarkets, hospitals and among friends. I have bought over 100 and given out. If I’m somewhere and I see someone having a really bad day I give them one. If it opens their mind to seek God and take out their Bible and read or attend church. Yes it would be better to give them a Bible but unfortunately a lot of people would just set it down and if the devotional will get their attention then good job….If I didn’t feel she was led by scripture and The Lord I wouldn’t share or read.
As seen in this quote, the person gives Jesus Calling to people in the hopes it will lead them to seek Scripture. But she does not give evidence that the book does this. God can use a book that is not biblical but He does this in spite of its flaws; this does not mean the book is valid. Jesus Calling in this example becomes a substitute for the Bible. We must consider how this could mislead non-Christians into thinking these words are from Jesus; the priority should be truth, not what is appealing. So far, all the defenses of this book I have seen, including in dialogues I’ve had with the book’s devotees, have been subjective and based on experiences with the book.
The Jesus who comes through is not a Jesus of glory and majesty, but rather an over-emotional, breathy, sometimes whiny figure. No, I do not think that this is the real Jesus who is “calling.”

End Notes(Note: Some material is adapted from my online article on Jesus Calling at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_JesusCalling.html)
[1]: “Scott Walker Plugs a Devotional,” by Kimberly Winston, Religious News Service, 4/30/15, http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/30/scott-walker-plugs-jesus-devotional-book-sales-skyrocket/
[2]: Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), XI.
[3]: Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence, 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2014), xvii.
[4]: Ibid.
[5]: Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), XII.
[6]: Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), XI.
[7]: Ibid, XIII.
[8]: Young, 10th Anniversary Edition, xviii.
[9]: God Calling, ed. A. J. Russell (Eversham, UK: Arthur James Ltd., 1989), “The Voice Divine” in Introduction (this edition has no page numbers).
[10]: Ibid., “The Two Listeners.”
[11]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group
[12]: There are other serious problems with the teachings of the Oxford Group, which developed in 1938 into Moral Re-Armament (MRA), considered by some to be a cult; however, that topic is outside the scope of this article.
[13]: A. J. Russell, For Sinners Only, The Book of the Oxford Group, http://www.twolisteners.org/For_Sinners_Only_1.htm.
[14]: Automatic writing is an occult practice done by sitting still with a pen or pencil and paper (or at a typewriter or computer), and waiting to hear a message or voice originating from a source beyond the five senses. I attempted to practice this when I was in the New Age. This is how channeled books are written. “Automatic writing or psychography is an alleged psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. The words are claimed to arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_writing.
[15]: Russell, For Sinners Only, XII
[16]: Ibid.
[17]: Ibid.
[18]: Ibid.
[19]: Quote from “Is Deception Calling?” at http://steakandabible.com/2012/07/04/is-deception-calling-a-review-of-jesus-calling-by-sarah-young/
[20]: Ibid., XI.
[21]: For information on New Thought, read Marcia’s article, “New Thought: Making the Straight Ways Crooked,” at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_NewThought1.html
[22]: This quote, which I could not find in my copy, is cited by Edmond C. Gruss in his article “God Calling,” Christian Research Journal, at http://www.equip.org/articles/god-calling/
[23]: See CANA article on Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_OneThousandGifts.html
[24]: John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Proverbs 14:12
[25]: See CANA article on Ps. 46:10 at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_MeditationPsalm.html
[26]: Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25
[27]: The 10th Anniversary Edition omits “That was a dark night for Me.”
[28]: (Note: Some material is adapted from my online article on Jesus Calling at:   http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_JesusCalling.html)-(below)

JESUS CALLING BY SARAH YOUNG: WUI (WRITING UNDER THE INFLUENCE)

http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_JesusCalling.html

A Commentary by Marcia Montenegro September 2013

“The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” Psalm 19: 8, 10

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and other similar books by her, have multiplied themselves into a publishing empire with offerings of  Jesus Calling books for teens and for children, calendars, special editions, accompanying journals, a Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, and even a Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.

This is not a conventional review of the book or her story, nor is the purpose to analyze the whole content. Although several troubling areas are addressed, this paper is a response primarily to two issues:  1) The claims made by Young regarding what she wrote and the alleged words spoken to her by Jesus; and 2) Young’s admission that a primary influence on her was the book, God Calling, by “Two Listeners.” Due to Young’s admiration for and admitted inspiration from this latter book, it will also be examined.                                      

EARLY RED FLAGS  

God’s Word — Enough Nourishment?

Jesus Calling offers daily devotions composed of words as though spoken by Jesus, with accompanying citation of verses. Before looking at the content, it is crucial to examine what claims Young is making about the source of these words: why she wrote this and how she wrote it.

In the introduction to her first book, Jesus Calling, Young writes, “I knew that God communicated with me in the Bible, but I yearned for more.[1] Why would God’s word be seen as insufficient in delivering the spiritual nourishment God Himself claims it offers?

Contrast Young’s yearning “for more” with how the Bible portrays God’s word. In response to one of Satan’s temptations, we have Jesus quoting Deut. 8:3: “But He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”  

In First Peter, we read, “As newborn babes, long for the guileless milk of the word in order that by it you may grow unto salvation” (1 Pet 2:2; also see 1 Cor. 3:2, Heb.5:14). Paul exhorted Timothy to be “nourished with the words of the faith and of the good teaching which you have closely followed” (1 Tim 4:6).

Going back to the Old Testament, we see God’s words likened to food:When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Jeremiah 15:16a.How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Ps. 119:103Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. Ezekiel 3:3 (see also Rev. 10:9, 10)

One of the Bible’s themes is the power of God’s word to comfort, exhort, encourage, and nourish those who have believed. One can never come to an end of studying or knowing the Bible because, reflecting God’s nature, his word is infinitely profound and wise. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17; see also Ps. 19:8;10; Matt. 22:29; John 10:35; Acts 17:11; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:19-21).

If someone is not satisfied with God’s word as the way to grow closer to Christ and to grow as a Christian, that opens the door for extra-biblical avenues of deception. While it is true that prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and worship are necessary for maturing in the Christian life, these are additional and different venues, never substitutes for God’s word. Dissatisfaction with God’s word should be a warning, and it did indeed lead Young into an avenue of communication fraught with spiritual peril.

Hearing Jesus or Channeling Jesus?

Following the pattern in God Calling, and seeking something beyond Scripture, Young decided “to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believed He was saying.”[2] She determined that this message was “short, biblical, and appropriate,” so she wrote it in her journal.[3] Declaring that her journaling “had changed from monologue to dialogue,” she writes that “messages began to flow more freely” and she bought a special notebook in which to record these words.[4]

Aware that she might be charged with equating these messages with the Bible, she notes, “I knew that these writings were not inspired as Scripture is.”[5] One is compelled to ask, why not? Are these words from Jesus or not?  (Young uses the term “God” but the book titles use the word “Jesus” and the messages are made to sound like they are from Jesus). In her book, Dear Jesus, she claims she wrote 

[I]n the same listening-to-God mode that I used with Jesus Calling. I’ve continued to write with the help of Christs’s Spirit, who guides my thinking while I listen in His Presence. I believe the Bible is the only infallible Word of God. My writings are based on that absolute standard, and I try to ensure they are consistent with Scripture.[6]

Young is blatantly asserting that the Holy Spirit is “helping” her and guiding her thinking in writing these messages from Jesus. So why does she need to “ensure they are consistent with Scripture?” If the writings need to be checked, why does she think it is Jesus who is speaking, and if there is doubt, why record the words, especially in books to be marketed? Moreover, if they are from Jesus, which is how they are presented, then, by definition, they are inspired.

You can’t have it both ways, saying these words are from Jesus but need to be checked; they are from Jesus but are not inspired; or the messages are written with Holy Spirit guidance but not on a par with Scripture. Does Young not see the incredible claims being made and the resulting insoluble contradictory problem? Apparently not.

As someone formerly involved in the New Age, I am bound to say that listening for a message from a supernatural being in order to write down words heard from or dictated by this being is a form of automatic writing, an occult practice. There is no other fitting term for this. If Young had confined this method to herself, it would be a matter between her and God. However, marketing these messages, which are written as though spoken by Jesus, places the book(s) in a public forum, and obligates Christians to examine Young’s claims and the purported messages from Jesus.

Another major red flag is Young’s positive acknowledgement of the book God Calling, which she asserts became a “treasure” to her. Writing about the two women who authored this work, Young states, “These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and papers in hand, recording the messages they received from Him.”[7] Young’s fondness for this book and use of it as inspiration for her communication mode with God is deeply disconcerting when one examines the history, method, and content of this “treasure.”

GOD CALLING: A CALL FOR DISCERNMENT

The Two Listeners

I first encountered God Calling as a very new believer while browsing in a Christian bookstore. Curious, I picked it up and saw it was a devotional for each day of the year. Reading through several of these, I was alarmed at some of the concepts and ideas because many were reminiscent of New Age views. Although at that point I did not know the Bible very well, I recognized statements I knew were not compatible with what I had read in the Bible and knew of God. I almost went to the clerk about my concerns, but being such a new Christian, I was not confident enough to say anything.

The daily devotions in God Calling, written as though God/Jesus is speaking, came about in 1932 when two anonymous women decided to sit down with pencils and paper and wait to hear words from God.[8] The claim is made in the foreword by editor A. J. Russell that these two women received messages “from the Living Christ Himself.[9]

One listener, writing in the introduction, declares how grateful they were to receive this direct communication “when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their churches, books, and other sources.”[10] Here again, as with Young, is the dissatisfaction with God’s word and the normal channels of guidance for a Christian. The listener states that this book “is no ordinary book,” thereby claiming a special status for it. In fact, the Jesus of this book affirms it in the May 15 reading:

You are very privileged, both of you. I share My plans and secrets with you and make known to you My Purposes, while so many have to grope on. So the rest of the Christian world is left to “grope on” with the implied paucity of God’s revelation in the Bible? This is alarming!

Roots of “Listening”

Andrew James Russell, editor of God Calling, became a follower of Dr. Frank Buchman, who founded the Oxford Group, first started under another name in 1921, but taking the name of Oxford Group in 1931.[11] Meeting in groups, this movement emphasized fellowship and receiving direct guidance from God.[12]

Russell writes that “I learned that it was a practice of the Group to keep a guidance-book and record in it those thoughts which came in periods of quiet listening to God,” and The Guidance must come in all those who surrender to God’s will. As Ken Twitchell announced the Quiet Time the undergraduates fumbled for pencils and guidance-books and began to “listen in” to God. This was not simple meditation, which may be concentration on some aspect of Christ or the Gospel, but something more.[13]

Although Russell writes that criteria were used to measure this “guidance,” some of the criteria were quite subjective. Continually seeking guidance in this fashion, which is no different from automatic writing, is opening the door to false doctrine.

Apparently, the “two listeners” were followers of this method and undoubtedly part of the Oxford Group. So it is not surprising that so many unbiblical statements are made. For example, one that is repeated a few times and is one of the most egregious is this:

Truly I said to My Disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” But to you, and the twos who gather to hear Me as you do, I can declare those things now, that then I left unsaid. (April 14) 

This statement is being used as though Jesus was referring to people later on, like the two listeners and others, who would receive further revelation. However, Jesus is not saying that. Jesus is speaking to his disciples and makes it clear in the next verse what this means:

I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.  John 16: 12, 13

This was referring to when the disciples would receive the indwelling Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the further teachings through Scripture.[14] To turn this into an endorsement of listening and writing down what one senses coming from God is mangling the text. This is the type of Scripture twisting done by cults. Other examples of Scripture twisting pepper the book.[15]

New Thought Philosophy

I noted New Thought concepts embedded in God Calling, although I did not find anything online that critiques the book from this viewpoint. This explains why the book struck me as New Age when I first looked through it.

New Thought, a movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, claimed to be Christianity but actually taught that all men are innately divine, Jesus was just another man who realized this, and that the way to true wisdom was to realize this truth and change one’s perceptions. Man is naturally connected to God, and by affirming these new truths, one’s thinking is changed, thereby bringing one’s spiritual status (consciousness) to an alleged “higher level.”[16] While referring to Jesus and acknowledging the biblical story, New Thought imbues the biblical text with entirely different meanings. The New Age adopted the core of New Thought as yet another facet of its massive corpus and so the two often overlap.

Terms noticed in entries for (but not limited to) Feb. 27, March 10 and 13, June 19, July 29, Aug. 18, and Nov. 17 include “material manifestation,” “Spirit-life,” “Spirit-communication,” “Spirit-Kingdom,” “the material plane,” “Spirit Sounds,” “spirit understanding,” and “Spirit-world.” This language is used in New Thought and the New Age, denoting a Gnostic-based spirit-material duality. Even taking into account when this book was written, these terms are not Christian and never have been, and some are used in Spiritualism (although one reading ironically condemns Spiritualism).[17]

At least one blatant Spiritualist reading is found: How often mortals rush to earthly friends who can serve them in so limited a way, when the friends who are freed from the limitations of humanity can serve them so much better, understand better, protect better, plan better, and even plead better their cause with Me.[18] The “friends freed from the limitation of humanity” are the dead. This piercing glint of Spiritualism is further suggestion of New Thought influence, since the two were so intertwined at the time.

The God Calling God is a servant to men, a tool for manifesting their joy and happiness, as it is in New Thought. The April 3rd devotion has God saying, “I, who could command a universe — I await the commands of my children.” This idea is also in the Jan. 28 piece.

For March 16, God declares, I am actually at the center of every man’s being, but distracted with the things of the sense-life, he finds Me not.

This concept, emphasizing the innate divinity of man as well as the spirit-material duality, is New Thought. It is more apparent in the Jan.20 entry:

If you realize your high privilege, you have only to think and immediately the object of your thought is called into being.and similarly,To dwell in thought on the material, when once you live in Me — is to call it into being.” and similarly, To dwell in thought on the material, when once you live in Me — is to call it into being.”

In other words, once your mind is turned onto the New Thought wavelength, which is awareness of one’s divine nature, you can manifest into reality that which you are thinking. This is exactly the same message given by the bestselling book and DVD, The Secret.[19] This popular work teaches that one can produce what one thinks through certain techniques and is derived directly from New Thought teachings. (Many early New Thought teachers are quoted, and author Rhonda Byrne crafted this work as a result of reading New Thought teacher Wallace Wattles.)

Furthermore, this New Thought ability to manifest applies to “the spiritual plane” as well, so one must take care in how one thinks. This is the concept that gave rise to the  “positive thinking” craze (“spiritual plane” is an authentic Spiritualist and New Thought term):

So you must be careful only to think of and desire that which will help, not hinder, your spiritual growth. The same law operates too on the spiritual plane.

New Thought terms for God, such as “Divine Mind” (used more than once; this is a term used in Christian Science for God), “Divine Force,” “Divine Voice,” and “Divine Spirit” are found throughout the book, including Jan. 31, Feb. 9, Feb. 15, Aug. 17, Sept. 29, Dec. 18 and elsewhere.  “Divine alchemy” is found in the Sept. 5 entry — would Jesus even use such a word, which describes a form of sorcery? The Feb. 9th reading is brief and has a striking New Thought ring: 

The Divine Voice is not always expressed in words. It is made known as a heart-consciousness.

Most chillingly, an unsound view of the atonement is found in the Jan. 14 devotion:

When I died on the Cross, I died embodying all the human self…..As you too kill self, you gain the overwhelming power I released for a wearying world…..it is not life and its difficulties you have to conquer, only the self in you.

The self in New Thought is the false self springing from the false perception that man is separate from God. The New Thought Jesus came and died so that this false perception could be destroyed, enabling man to have the correct perception of his True Self, which is divine. Salvation comes not from faith in Christ, but as you “kill self,” the false self. Note that this Jesus says his death “released” a power. This is a New Thought metaphysical view of Jesus’ death, which released a power (similar to Agnes Sanford’s belief, who exhibited New Thought thinking throughout her life).[20]

An odd command (though not odd for New Thought) is given for Sept. 5 in words reminiscent of New Age bestseller Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch:Higher,

Higher, ever higher, rise to Life and Beauty, Knowledge and Power. Higher and higher.

A. J. Russell was deeply involved with the Oxford Group at a time when New Thought influence was strong. What I read in the book, in my view, echoes New Thought beliefs in the tone, language, and ideas.

FROM GOD CALLING TO JESUS CALLING

There is much more material that indicts God Calling, but enough has been given to make a point. The point is that since this book inspired Young and gave Young her method of “hearing” from Jesus, and because Young considers this book to be such a “treasure,” then Young’s discernment must be questioned. She used the same method and model for her other books.

The content of Jesus Calling is almost numbingly repetitive, boring even. The term “My Presence” saturates almost every page. “Jesus” also says some strange things, like this: Ask Me to open your eyes so that you can find me everywhere….[….]…..this is not some sort of escape from reality; it is tuning into the ultimate reality. I am far more Real than the world you can see, hear and touch. (July 18)

If Jesus is real, does he need to be “more Real?” Is there such a thing as “more Real?” Does He need to be the “ultimate reality?” Is not being the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Lamb slain for our sins enough?

Elsewhere, Jesus says, according to Young: Your part is to be attentive to my messages, in whatever form they come. When you set out to find Me in a day, you discover that the world is vibrantly alive with My Presence. You can find Me not only in beauty and birdcalls, but also in tragedy and faces filled with grief. (July 25)

What “messages” are meant here, and what kind of “form” might they take? “Whatever form” raises troubling questions: does Jesus give messages in multiple venues that we need to watch for and then figure out somehow? More crucially, how do we know the messages are from Jesus?

The other part is similar to panentheism — finding Jesus as part of creation. I do not find Jesus in birdcalls or in tragedy. Beauty may point one to Jesus and tragedy may cause one to turn to Him, but He is not in those things.[21]

There are numerous passages where Young’s Jesus tells the reader to go within to hear and know Jesus, such as: I am central to your innermost being. Your mind goes off in tangents from its holy Center from time to time….the quickest way to redirect your mind to me is to whisper My Name. (Aug. 25) The above is similar to Eastern meditation concepts, especially the “holy Center” comment. This is not a biblical concept. Equally alarmingly we read:

Let Me control your mind. The mind is the most restless, unruly part of mankind..[…]…I risked all by granting you freedom to think for yourself. (April 21)

Downgrading thinking and the mind is a tactic of the New Age and Eastern spiritualities, about which I steadily warn. While it is true we can think evil thoughts and it is true our minds can lead us astray, this statement goes further than anything in Scripture. Our mind and ability to think, unlike animals, is part of how we are made in the image of God. Moreover, many scriptural passages exhort people to think and reason.

And does God/Jesus ever take a risk? This would imply that God does not know the future and/or has no control over things. To risk is to take action without being sure of the results. This stunningly leads to the conclusion that God is not omniscient.

The term “high road” is used at least three times (Jan. 18, Jan. 27, June 16). This is a curious phrase since it has many secular meanings but no real biblical one.

Dare to walk on the high road with Me, for it is the most direct route to heaven. The low road is circuitous: twisting and turning in agonizing knots. (Jan. 27) The point is to trust, but how is trust (assuming that this is what the “high road” refers to) the “most direct route to heaven?” Even if a Christian is on the “low road,” will she not get to heaven as well? If a road is the “most direct,” it means there are other roads to heaven that are less direct. This ambiguous term and rather confusing statement is not an idea found in scripture.

There is an excessive focus on silence and stillness found in so many readings that it would be impossible to list them all, implying that these are superior spiritual practices. As in numerous other texts, sermons, and online websites, Psalm 46:10 is misused. Psalm 46:10, translated as “Be still” in some versions is “Cease striving” in the New American Standard, and is actually a rebuke to the nations fighting against God’s people. When read in context, it is quite clear that this has nothing to do with being physically still in order to meditate or contemplate.[22]

THE QUESTION

The most important question to ask about this book is: Is this Jesus speaking, as Young claims it is? Aside from the troubling issues mentioned, a few more are worth considering.

Many of the entries resemble bad greeting card messages with sappy language. For instance, “Let the dew of My Presence refresh your mind and heart” (Sept. 3; this one also misuses the “Be still” words); “Feel your face tingle as you bask in My Love-Light” (Sept. 7); and “Like a luminous veil of light, I hover over you and everything around you” (Dec. 3). Considering who Jesus is and the rich language of Scripture, why would He use such maudlin phrases?

In other places, Young’s Jesus displays a martyr complex with a sly tone of self-admiration. “Imagine, He says, speaking of Himself, “the self-control required of a martyr who could free Himself at will!” (Dec. 20).  For Dec. 25, this Jesus says,

 I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions — a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me.

These statements do not reflect the character of Christ; Christ does not seek our sympathy or thanks via self-pitying remarks.

Those who promote this book will say that Young is not maintaining these words are from Jesus, but as I demonstrated earlier, she is indeed doing this very thing. There is no other reasonable way to interpret her claims. And when one reads each entry written so unmistakably as though Jesus is speaking, how else is one to take it? At the very least, it is misleading and puts words in people’s heads that some may come to believe are from Jesus.

My answer to the question: No, I do not think that this is Jesus who is “calling.”

[NFROM GOD CALLING TO JESUS CALLING


[1] Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), XI.

[2] Ibid., XII

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Quote from “Is Deception Calling?” at http://steakandabible.com/2012/07/04/is-deception-calling-a-review-of-jesus-calling-by-sarah-young/

[7] Ibid., XI.

[8] God Calling, ed. A. J. Russell (Eversham, UK: Arthur James Ltd., 1989), “The Voice Divine” in Introduction (this edition has no page numbers).

[9] Ibid., “The Two Listeners.”

[10] Ibid, “The Voice Divine.”

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_Group

[12] There are other serious problems with the teachings of the Oxford Group, which developed in 1938 into Moral Re-Armament (MRA), considered by some to be a cult; however, that is outside the scope of this article. See Resources for further information.

[13] A. J. Russell, For Sinners Only, The Book of the Oxford Grouphttp://www.twolisteners.org/For_Sinners_Only_1.htm .

[14] Some commentaries on John 16:12 are found at http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/16-12.htm

[15] For more examples and an analysis of this book, see Edmond C. Gruss, “God Calling,” Christian Research Journal, at http://www.equip.org/articles/god-calling/

[16] See CANA article on New Thought, http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_NewThought1.html

[17] New Thought was heavily influenced by Spiritualism and many New Thought teachers openly spoke of communication with the “spirit world” (the dead). So although one of the entries denounces Spiritualism, that does not mean there is no influence from it.

[18] This quote, which I could not find in my copy, is cited by Edmond C. Gruss in his article “God Calling,” Christian Research Journal, at http://www.equip.org/articles/god-calling/

[19] See CANA articles on The Secret at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_Secret.html and http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_SecretMore.html

[20] See CANA article on Emmet Fox and Agnes Sanford, http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_FoxSanford.html

[21] See CANA article on Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_OneThousandGifts.html

[22] See CANA article on Ps. 46:10 at http://christiananswersforthenewage.org/Articles_MeditationPsalm.html

A Falafel Kind Of Faith -Footnote 

(Response From 2nd Article Above) By Jim Damron https://sesedustage.wpengine.com/a-falafel-kind-of-faith/

Note: The only way I could refute such claims and defend the Christian faith is because of the training and education I received from Southern Evangelical Seminary. In this particular case, it was the writings and teaching of Dr. Thomas Howe that enabled me not only to have the ability but the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Stacy and Phil were a young couple I met on a recent trip to Israel.[1] They were visiting Israel for the first time and were looking forward to experiencing all the Holy Land had to offer. They couldn’t hide their excitement as they anticipated looking over the Dead Sea from atop Masada, taking a boat ride in the Sea of Galilee, and walking along the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. Finally they would personally experience the land where Jesus lived, walk in His footsteps, and gain a deeper sense of His presence. As we journeyed throughout Israel, the couple and I had the occasion to have a few lengthy conversations about faith including, doctrine, the problem of evil, and other various topics of Christianity. But one theme kept reoccurring with each conversation, hearing God’s voice.

Stacy and Phil were no strangers to hearing God’s voice. Apparently, they heard it all the time. God spoke to them and directed their path each and every day. He gave them guidance on career choices, where to live, and even told them to take this journey to Israel. The more they discussed it the more intrigued I became but something did not seem kosher (when in Israel…) “How does God speak to you?” I asked one evening.

“I pray, and I hear his voice,” Stacy replied somewhat flippantly.
“How do you know it’s God’s voice?” I asked.
“I just know,” she replied dismissively.
Further questioning resulted in similar reactions so at the risk of ruffling any unnecessary feathers, I let the matter drop.
The next morning, Stacy came rushing up to me in a slight panic and said hastily, “Jim, I need your help!”
“Certainly,” I replied, “What do you need?” “Last night I had a dream,” she said worriedly.

“I was in a large room with all the travelers on this trip. Everyone was by themselves painting a picture on their individual canvas. Some were painting mountains, some ocean vistas, and some were painting faces of loved ones. Then when I approached my canvas I looked and discovered there was nothing on it. It was blank! What do you think that means?”
“Maybe you just ate some bad falafel,” I replied somewhat facetiously (Truthfully, I was actually being a great deal facetious but, in my defense, I am not a morning person and I was trying to prove a point). My point was, as I later explained to Stacy, that not every voice you hear in your head is necessarily the voice of God. Not every opportunity is an opportunity from God. Has God spoken to us through other people? Sure. Has God spoken to us in dreams? Of course. Just look at how many Muslims have met Christ through dreams. But the primary way He speaks to us is through His written Word. Stacy seemed to be looking everywhere but God’s Word for His voice. I explained this to Stacy and she listened and even commented on how important Scripture was to her.

Check out our degrees! What Does This Passage Mean for You?

“Yes, the Bible is vitally important,” Stacy commented. “When my husband and I read verses we ask ourselves what this passage means to us and use this understanding for direction.” Ah, there it was, the reason for my concern. Unfortunately, Stacy’s comment is not an uncommon one when people approach Scripture because some people assume the meaning is to be found in themselves. As Al Mohler once said,
“I don’t care what you think the passage means, I care what the passage means.(Albert Mohler, Ligonier Conference, 2007).

This is important. If the meaning of a particular passage of Scripture is found inside my head or my feelings, then the meaning is subjective. If the meaning is subjective, then it is not objective and only relative. If it is not objective and only relative, then it possesses no real authority outside of how it may suit my arbitrary preferences and feelings. But, Scripture claims to be much more than this. It claims to be authoritative and the very Word of God (2 Tim 3:14-17). Opponents argue that we cannot really know that it is the very Word of God because no ONE interpretation is more correct. It’s like the blind men and the elephant illustration, they would say. One blind man grabs the tail and interprets it as a rope. Another grabs the trunk and interprets it as a hose. Still another grabs a leg and interprets it as a tree. We are all blinded by sin, and none of us can be sure that what is interpreted is correct. But, the only way we know that the blind men are misguided (pun) is because we have access to the thing necessary to make a correct interpretation, in this case the true picture of the elephant. If the correct biblical interpretation is unknowable, then we would never know it was incorrect. To say there is no correct interpretation, is to say that that interpretation is the correct interpretation.

Subjectivity & Catholic Morality

This idea has also found its way in the teachings of Catholic morality. Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), moral theology has been renewed to highlight, among other things, Scripture as the “soul of all theology” (D.V. 24). This was an important refocus. In fact, I recently completed a class in Catholic morality where one of the required textbooks reiterated the importance that Scripture has in our lives but also highlighted the importance of context when interpreting and applying Scripture. This was a great encouragement to me. Maybe the Catholics have it! Yet a few pages later the same textbook explained how the meaning of the Bible grows and develops. Then again, maybe they don’t. At first I thought this was just a semantic confusion where the term “meaning” was substituted for “application” or that the meaning of a passage does change in terms of its impact on the reader. But this was not the case. Then I asked myself where does the author think the change is occurring? Is it in the words themselves or in the understanding of the reader?

The author, as efficient cause, communicates meaning. This is done verbally or written. In the case of Scripture, the author’s intended meaning is completely inaccessible because: 1) to explain his meaning the author would have to create another verbal text which would need an interpretation as well, ad infinitum, and 2) all the human authors are dead. Thus, the meaning of a given text can only be found in the text itself. When the author communicates a written text the meaning is then carried to our minds via the text. Moreover, for every particular passage there is one specific meaning. Though the meaning does not change there may be a multitude of changing applications.

So the next time you are trying to discern God’s voice, first read and meditate on what He has already said in His Word. And if you wake up after a disturbing dream and wonder whether God was speaking: pray, seek guidance, and review your diet. It just might have been some bad falafel!

Endorsers of ‘Jesus Calling’ https://web.archive.org/web/20181205214012/https://www.jesuscalling.com/media/endorsements/

The New Gnostics in Today’s Church

Final Gnostic Assault From Within

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletters/2019/newsletter20191227.htm#article50
By Bill Randles

The church is undergoing perhaps her final assault from within, as she has been beset with a new wave of Gnostics who have entered in. T
By Bill Randles
(Author of the new release, War Against the Saints)
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. (1 John 2:21)
The church is undergoing perhaps her final assault from within, as she has been beset with a new wave of Gnostics who have entered in.

What is Gnosticism? One definition of Gnosticism states:

“What is Gnosticism? One definition of Gnosticism states: Gnosticism was built on Greek philosophy that taught matter was evil and the Spirit was good. . . . So-called “Christian Gnostics” said since matter was evil, God could not really incarnate in a human body; He only appeared in human form and only appeared to suffer, but basically, it was an illusion. . . .

Prior to Christianity, the Gnostics taught that man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. The body and the soul are man’s earthly existence and were considered evil. Enclosed in man’s soul is the spirit, a divine substance of man. This “spirit” was asleep and ignorant and needed to be awakened. It could only be liberated by a special knowledge that would be later called “illumination.”1

The apostle Paul saw that Gnostic influences were coming into the church, and he addressed them in his epistles (Colossians 2:8-23, 1 Timothy 1:4, 2 Timothy 2:16-19, and Titus 1:10-16).

Gnostics (“knowing ones”) redefined the knowledge of God (i.e., what it means to know and communicate with God). They were elitists who sought “deeper knowledge” than that which is revealed in God’s Word. Gnostics despised doctrine, dismissing it as mere head knowledge.

They held forth a view of “salvation” which was, in fact, merely a self-realization rather than the rescue from sin and judgment through the blood of Jesus (which the Bible says is the only means of atoning for sin).
Gnostics believed that self-realization wasn’t for every Christian but only available to elite Christians who are let in on the secret knowledge (the so-called “secrets of the kingdom” available only to the initiated). The same attacks are presently being launched as dogma also. The “dry, dusty doctrines of another day” are being jettisoned by the “new” Gnostics of today who eagerly covet “new revelation” or “present truth.”

Gnostics influenced me early in my walk with Jesus. I was given a pack of Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin teachings and entered into the “deep revelations” of the Word Faith heresy. I learned such “revelations” as the following: the believer is just as much an incarnation as Jesus was, faith is a force, and we all can learn to use the laws of faith to get what we need. (If this were true, we wouldn’t need God; we would simply learn the laws of faith and control it like the force. )

The deepest, darkest core of the Gnostic teaching was that we believers are in “God’s class of being.” In other words, “we are little gods” who just don’t realize it yet.

According to the modern Gnostics, Jesus Himself was a man of faith upon whom the Holy Spirit came. He knew all of the laws of faith, which was why He could die on the Cross. Anyone could do so if he or she had the same “revelation knowledge” as Jesus.

Kenneth Copeland, the Word Faith preacher, is certainly one of today’s Gnostics. Here is a sampling of some of his teachings:

Every prophet that walked the face of the earth under the Abrahamic covenant could have paid the price if it were a physical death only. When He said “It is finished” on that cross, He was not speaking of the plan of redemption. The plan of redemption had just begun; there were still three days and three nights to be gone through.2

The Spirit of God spoke to me and He said, “Son, realize this. Now follow me in this and don’t let your tradition trip you up.” He said, “Think this way—a twice-born man whipped Satan in his own domain.” And I threw my Bible down . . . like that. I said, “What?” He said, “A born-again man defeated Satan, the firstborn of many brethren defeated him.” He said, “You are the very image, the very copy of that one.” I said, “Goodness, gracious sakes alive!” And I began to see what had gone on in there, and I said, “Well now you don’t mean, you couldn’t dare mean, that I could have done the same thing?” He said, “Oh yeah, if you’d had the knowledge of the Word of God that He did, you could have done the same thing, ’cause you’re a reborn man too.”3

What blasphemy! A whole generation of Christians has been swept away and corrupted on the deepest level by accepting this man’s unbiblical teachings.

John Wimber was a Quaker who came into the charismatic movement. He eventually taught a famous course at Fuller Seminary, MC510 “Signs, Wonders, and Church Growth,” which launched a “signs and wonders” movement that spread Gnostic teachings throughout the Earth. Eventually, this movement became the Vineyard Fellowship.

Of interest is that Wimber taught that a “paradigm shift” in thinking was necessary to bring the church into “power evangelism.” In my book, Weighed and Found Wanting, I explain:

Wimber, Kraft, White and Williams, as well as many other Third Wave teachers, have been calling for a “paradigm shift” for some time now . . .  A paradigm shift is a total exchange of your world view! . . . What is the shift? It is from a primarily Western, rational, logical, objective point of view to an Eastern, subjective, experiential paradigm. Haven’t we been subtly taught over the years that the Western mind set is cold, calculated, rational, based on just the observable facts? On the other hand, allegedly, the Eastern is mystical, from the heart, and based on experience?

Wimber teaches, “We must remember always that the Bible was written in the Middle East, not with rational assumption, that we bring to it as we try to understand it, but with an experiential assumption.”4 I interpret him to be saying that the Bible is not so much an objective book, but a subjective one. Not so much for understanding God mentally, but for experiencing Him intimately.

In another tape, Wimber explains: “You tell someone from the Far or Middle East that cotton only grows in warm semi-arid climates. England is cold and wet. [Ask them] Does cotton grow in England? The answer you’ll get is, ‘I don’t know, I haven’t been to England.’” Or, “I can’t say unless I’ve been there, (experience).”5 This is the new paradigm, a down playing of doctrine or “head knowledge” in favour of mystical experience. Another variation of this is, “God is bigger than His written word,” translated, God wants to bring you into experiences that aren’t in the limits of scripture. Just knowing God “doctrinally” is not sufficient, you now must have self-authenticating experiences. All of these attitudes are the end result of the New Paradigm. This is the shift from primarily objective to subjective thinking in our approach to truth.6

Perhaps the premier proponent of Gnosticism in the evangelical and charismatic church these days is Bill Johnson, the senior pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California. Johnson’s church is the current version of the Toronto Airport Vineyard and Brownsville Assembly of God pilgrimage sites where people influenced by Gnosticism come to “experience” God.

Through Bethel and most notably through their worship team (a popular rock band called “Jesus Culture”), Bethel reaches hundreds of thousands with its Gnostic message of anti-doctrinal, experience-based, New Age-emulating  “power” evangelism.

*I believe Bethel literally represents the final stages of the apostasy, the slide into the occult which I wrote about in the revised version of my book, Beware the New Prophets.

Here is an example of this redefinition of Christianity and the knowledge of God in occult terms promoted by Gnostics such as those associated with Bethel. An article in The Christian Post titled “Bethel Responds to Christian Tarot Cards Controversy” reported that Bethel “was accused of working with a Melbourne, Australia-based group known as Christalignment, which claims to have worked with many churches in that country to do such readings.”7 According to the article, Bethel denied using “Christian tarot cards.” The article stated:

Bethel admitted the leaders of Christalignment, Ken and Jenny Hodge, are connected with several of their church members as the Hodges are the parents to church evangelist Ben Fitzgerald, and said the church leaders “have a value for what they are seeking to accomplish.”

“They (Christalignment) stand in agreement with the Scriptures that all occult practices (like tarot cards) have no place in the Kingdom and should not be used,” Bethel said in a statement.

Christ Alignment staff describe themselves as “trained spiritual consultants,” and say on their website that they “draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit.8

Christ Alignment staff further stated that,

We practice a form of supernatural healing that flows from the universal presence of the Christ. We draw from the same divine energy of the Christ spirit, as ancient followers did and operate only out of the third heaven realm to gain insight and revelation.9

Satan has seduced large segments of the professing church into Gnosticism and the occult. Like King Saul in the last desperate hours of his life, some have gone into darkness seeking power and a “word” of comfort, having already rejected the true Word of God.

Endnotes:

  1. Mike Oppenheimer, “What is Gnosticism?” (Let Us Reason Ministries, http://www.letusreason.org/Current48.htm).
  2. Kenneth Copeland, “What Satan Saw on the Day of Pentecost,” audiotape #BCC-19, side 1.
  3. Kenneth Copeland, “Substitution and Identification,” 1989, tape #00-0202, side 2.
  4. F.V. Scott, “John Wimber and the Vineyard Ministries” (Passport magazine), p. 19.
  5. John Wimber, “Ministering in England” Audio Tape (Media Spotlight Report); John Goodwin, “Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard” (Media Spotlight Report, 1990).
  6. Bill Randles, Weighed and Found Wanting: Putting the Toronto Blessing in Context (St. Matthews Publishing, 1995), p. 81.
  7. Anugrah Kumar, “Bethel Church Responds to ‘Christian Tarot Cards’ Controversy” (Christian Post, January 6, 2018; https://www.christianpost.com/news/bethel-church-responds-christian-tarot-cards-controversy-212796.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.

“Spiritual Formation” Teachers Rick Warren and Ruth Haley Barton

GC2 Conference on Mental Health Includes “Spiritual Formation” Teachers Rick Warren and Ruth Haley Barton
On December 12, 2019, Christianity Today posted an article by “new” Christianity pastor Ed Stetzer, giving a recap of the GC2 Summit that took place on December 6th. The article, titled “Lies Pastors Believe, Part One,” states:
Two months of planning for our GC2 Summit on Facing Hard Truths & Challenges in Pastoral Ministry couldn’t have prepared us for what we saw God do this past Friday. Over 400 leaders joined us in person and nearly 80 livestreamed in from all over the world to hear pastors and counselors talk about leadership, burnout, and mental health. If you were unable to join us, you can purchase the full day’s recordings through the GC2 website. They will be available until January 10, 2020.
The messages from leaders such as Rick Warren, Derwin Gray, Ruth Hayley Barton, Drew Hyun, David Wang, Philip Ryken, Margaret Diddams, and others reflected the most important messages pastors need to hear today
.

With at least three of the nine speakers being strong advocates for Spiritual Formation (a synonym for “contemplative spirituality”)—Rick Warren, Ruth Haley Barton, and David Wang (a pastor of Spiritual Formation)—it is clear that organizers of GC2 believe Spiritual Formation is a crucial element of “the most important messages pastors need to hear today.”

Spiritual Formation is the entry point for bringing New Age meditation into the church
as Lighthouse Trails has time and again documented. The GC2 is yet another example of how Spiritual Formation has become saturated in today’s evangelical church. In fact, it is so integrated now that it’s difficult to find many lines of distinction. Ruth Haley Barton and Rick Warren illustrate this perfectly.

Both Barton and Warren have been long-time activists for contemplative spirituality (i.e., Spiritual Formation). Rick Warren began endorsing it with his first book The Purpose Driven Church saying that the movement has a valid message to the church (p. 126) and continued promoting it in The Purpose Driven Life. Ruth Haley Barton, after training at the highly New Age panentheistic Shalem Center in Washington, DC many years ago, moved into Willow Creek to work with John Ortberg. Together the two created the Spiritual Formation/Contemplative Prayer curriculum for Willow Creek. Today, Barton runs The Transforming Center, a contemplative outreach that trains thousands of pastors in Spiritual Formation.

The GC2 Summit (which was a conference for pastors and church leaders) focused primarily on “burnout,” “mental illness,” and pastoral care and was at least in part to be a remembrance of Rick Warren’s son who passed away in 2013 from suicide. We cannot even imagine the suffering a family would go through from such a loss, and we would not wish that on anyone is this world. We also recognize that the incidence of suicide by young people has reached epidemic proportions. People are looking for answers understandably. Unfortunately, as with the issue of racism that we recently wrote about, the church is looking to the world (and to the New Age) for its answers.

It was no accident or coincidence that GC2 organizers brought in to the discussion of mental health issues prolific Spiritual Formation teachers. They obviously believe that Spiritual Formation is a major part of the answer to mental illness and pastoral burn out. But as we have shown for nearly 18 years, Spiritual Formation, contemplative and centering prayer, lectio divina, Yoga, mindfulness meditation, energy healing, and other New Age-based esoteric experiences and practices will not bring lasting relief for those in mental anguish. Quite the contrary as even secular studies are now showing (see links below).

If your church or someone you know is involved with any of the practices mentioned above, first bring yourself up to speed on understanding these issues; then, pray and do what you can to help others who are caught up into something that is very spiritually (and mentally) dangerous. Remind them that the Lord and His Word are what will bring true peace of mind, comfort, and rest for our souls. The world, and worldly carnal practices, cannot give these things.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
(Psalm 34:18)
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
(1 Peter 5:10)
Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.
(Jeremiah 17:14)
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
(1 Corinthians 10:13)

Related Articles:

Meditation! Pathway to Wellness or Doorway to the Occult?

Many Just Now Learning About the Dangers of Spiritual Formation

Beware: Mindfulness Meditation, Especially for Children, is Dangerous

Out of My Mindfulness

The Occult Source And Influence On Latter Rain/ Manifest Sons Of God/ Manchild Doctrine-

https://watch.pairsite.com/rain.html

NEW AGE PARALLELS

However inconsistent it may be with the Word of God, Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God eschatology agrees on every point with the New Age Movement’s anticipation of the exaltation of mankind to godhood and the establishment of a New World Order. The following appraisal of Latter Rain theology by New Age Unity pastor, Rev. Earnest Ramsey was cited in Constance Cumbey’s book, A Planned Deception, The Staging of a New Age Messiah,

 “Rev. Ernest Ramsey, an associate pastor at Unity’s Kansas City’s Founder’s Church, Unity on the Plaza, is an enthusiastic follower of the Alice Bailey and Benjamin Creme teachings. In his Research Report #2, he tells of something he was led to by a spirit guide – what he terms ‘Neo-Pentecostalism.’ An aberrant branch of Pentecostalism, this is more commonly known as the ‘Manifest Sons of God.’ That movement is also referred to as ‘Sonship’ or ‘Overcomers.’ Ramsey concludes based on even less evidence than I have personally collected that this is part of the New Age Movement.

“Ramsey’s work for his organization, ‘Synthesis Fellowship,’ first came to my attention in early 1983. His major report, entitled “An Evolutionary Basis For The Reappearance of the Christ and his Executives, the Masters of Wisdom” was inspired by Benjamin Creme’s appearance and speech at Unity on the Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri. . . The most interesting section of Ramsey’s report dealt with ‘Neo-Pentecostalism.’ Ramsey spent a semester at one of the Neo-Pentecostal or Manifest Sons of God seminaries (in upstate New York). . . Already familiar with the Alice Bailey writings, he was amazed to see that there was a branch of Pentecostalism that embraced the same teachings — albeit using sometimes different terminology.

“Like those seeking the ‘Age of Aquarius’ these people too were seeking a ‘New Age.’ Like the other New Agers, these people taught that ‘The Christ’ was an anointing – not necessarily one man. They taught that Jesus was a pattern son who was to be a sign of something even greater to come – the ‘Manifestation of the Sons of God.’ They too believed the earth was to be cleansed of evil. And chillingly like the other New Agers, they believed they were to be ‘God’s’ instruments to do such cleansing. The New Agers believed they were gods. The Manifest Sons of God likewise taught that if one accepted their ‘new revelation’ that they themselves would actually become Christ at the time of the unveiling or manifestation of the Sons of God.”(10)

Occult Infiltration Agenda-Highly Successful

 Other prominent New Age leaders have openly expressed the intention of their movement to infiltrate the Christian Church in order to introduce their esoteric teachings and to “draw away disciples after themselves.” In The Unfinished Animal: The Aquarian Frontier and the Evolution of Consciousness, Theodore Rosak revealed that, “Charismatic congregations in main-line churches are entry points into the Aquarian frontier.”(11) Alice Bailey, Theosophist and mother of the modern New Age Movement, revealed an ingenious plan in her 1957 volume, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy. Cabalist agents would infiltrate the Christian Church to modify its message, while adapting it as a vehicle for the Universal Religion of the 21st Century. 

“…The church movement, like all else, is but a temporary expedient and serves but a transient resting place for the evolving life. Eventually, there will appear the Church Universal, and its definite outlines will appear towards the close of this century… This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the TRUE second Coming has been accomplished… the Christian church in its many branches can serve as a nucleus through which world illumination may be accomplished… the church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance. The prime work of the church is to teach, and teach ceaselessly, preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages. Teachers must be trained; Bible knowledge must be spread; the sacraments must be mystically interpreted, and the power of the church to heal must be demonstrated.”(12) (Italics added)

Red Flags of Deception

/tag/rick-joyner/https://kimolsen.net/tag/rick-joyner/

The following is a list of ‘Red Flags’ that are symptoms of deception in a person or group. In developing this list, I was concerned, not so much with addressing specific doctrines, but in identifying characteristics that are symptomatic of deception. I started writing this list when I noticed the many similarities between the Walk and the prophetic movement gaining momentum in Vineyard/Charismatic circles. These characteristics of deception predominate in Charismatic/Vineyard groups and in the Walk.

  1. Spiritual elitism. This is the root of many delusions. Any kind of elitist belief is a certain indication of deception. Elitism is the belief that God has given a certain group special revelation/power/anointing that other Christian groups or previous generations have not entered into. They are on the spiritual cutting-edge, rising to spiritual levels not attained by other groups. It’s often dressed up as “Joel’s Army”, “Gideon’s Army”, and Elijah Companies of super anointed end-time warriors. Elitism is seen today in the ‘this-is-the-greatest-generation-ever’ kind of preaching we often hear. It can be found in the need to search out so-called ‘deeper’ truths and discover new, hidden mystical insights.
  1. A tendency to marginalize the written Word. Watch out for any talk that plays down devotion to Scripture, such as “God is bigger than the Bible” or “God is doing a new thing, so put away your Bibles.” Marginalizing the written Word can take many forms:
  1. a) Ignoring the Word. Neglecting private Bible study in daily life is a strong symptom of deception.
  1. b) Disregarding the Word. A careless attitude towards obedience. I’ve seen examples of this in wild revival meetings in which people mockingly quote the verse, “Let all things be done decently and in order”, while they enjoy a good laugh over their disorderly and drunken behavior. Any teaching that plays down our requirement to be doers of the Word is a sure sign of delusion.
  1. c) Deceived groups that marginalize the Word are often those who have an emphasis on prophecy. Beware of any emphasis on the revelatory, prophetic word, especially where there is a sidelining of the written Word. We are not to despise prophecy, but the real meat of the Word that nourishes the saints and builds them up in the faith is the written Word of God, not the prophetic. Teaching that would make Christians dependant on prophets or apostles for ‘current’ truth effectively marginalizes the Word of God.
  1. d) “Fools despise knowledge.” Any kind of talk that does not give the Word the high regard it is due, effectively marginalizes the Word and is a sure sign that deception is at work in the group. As the Word says, “Choose my instruction instead of silver.” Love it more than anything else.
  1. Prayerlessness in private. Neglect of privateprayer time, alone with God, is a strong indication of deception. If it is prevalent across a church or movement, it indicates deception is taking hold of that group. Please note that deceived people will often continue to attend and even enjoy public church functions, especially when there is good sound, light or music – but private quite time loses its appeal.
  1. Disdain for Berean[31] spirited searching of the scriptures. Any kind of anti-Berean, anti-discernment teaching that discourages people from questioning what is going on or being taught is a sure sign of deception. If you ever hear the leadership of your church group say anything along the lines of “put away your Bibles”, or “don’t worry about being deceived”, then head for the exit as fast as you can.
  1. An inability to separate Godly criticism of their words from personal attack. Equating ‘Berean’ (Acts 17:11) activity with criticism. Such leaders may often talk about the ‘Jezebel spirit’ and the ‘accuser of the brethren’ and warn people about moving in a fault finding or critical spirit. What they are driving at is that if you question what is going on, or challenge what is being taught, you are being critical and run the risk of incurring the Lord’s disfavor.
  1. Lack of accountability. One common trait among the new wave of apostles and prophets rising to prominence these days is that they do not like to be held accountable for their teachings and failed prophecies. Any criticism of their teachings and prophetic utterances is taken as an attack against their ministry.
  1. Discernment primarily the prerogative of leadership. A tendency to see discernment as a special gift or anointing not available to everyone to the same degree, or that increases with higher spiritual office. The ‘higher’ you are on the prophetic ladder, the more discerning you are. Since leaders supposedly have better discernment as per their higher office, followers tend to trust the opinions of their leaders over their own, since the ‘apostle’ or prophet must have better understanding anyway due to their higher standing in the spiritual ranks[32]. Believers are not encouraged to trust their own discernment, or are encouraged only so long as it agrees with the overall word as set forth by the leaders. Discernment among the ranks becomes little more than a faculty (an inner witness of the spirit) that confirms what the Apostle or Prophet is saying.
  1. Any form of Mystery Religion. A mystery religion is a religion that has successive levels of knowledge and ‘deeper’ truths, which are not necessarily available to all, at least not at first. Those in higher levels will know things not revealed, nor available, to lower levels. A new ‘believer’ comes in on the ground floor, and then progresses up through successive levels of spiritual understanding and empowerment as he is introduced to the ‘deeper’ truths.
  1. Heightened interest with spiritual levels and rankings. Higher ‘spiritual’ rank is equated with greater closeness to God. Gifts and callings are typically ranked, and those higher in rank are seen as closer to God in some practical way, such as hearing from God more frequently and being more privy to God’s inner secrets. Those on higher spiritual levels have a privileged access to God that is not available to those holding lesser callings. As a result of their higher standing or special calling, God visits them more often and they receive greater mystical experiences than the rest.
  1. Heightened interest in dreams, visions, new revelations and novel insights. This may not necessarily be explicitly stated in their Creed, and they may claim to believe the Bible as the Word of God. But in actual practice dreams, visions and revelations are the preferred stock-in-trade over sound Bible teaching and exposition of the basics.
  1. An increase in subjectivity. Looking for subjective impressions, personal ‘prophetic’ words and ‘revelation’ for guidance and direction. Seeking the mystical ‘inner voice’ as guide over the written Word. You can be sure that if a person is seeking new personal ‘words’, it is because they are not in the Word, and serious deception cannot be long avoided.
  1. Detractors dismissed as having inferior vision. They see themselves as being in tune with God, and anyone who is also in tune with the Divine will agree with them. Detractors are obviously not in tune with God and have inferior vision. This sets up a very neat circular reasoning that is almost impossible to get past. It is a defensiveness which is very difficult to penetrate, because they are convinced that detractors don’t have the same level of anointing or discernment as they have. As they see it, if detractors did have the same level of anointing, they’d be in agreement. They dismiss any criticism of their teaching or conduct as bitterness, jealousy or fault finding, while they themselves feel they have very sharp spiritual perception. People are truly discerning only as long as they support their movement.
  1. Dismissive attitude towards detractors. Detractors given derogatory labels, such as ‘religious’, ‘old order’, ‘old wineskins’, or ‘Pharisees’. Detractors denounced as not being able to ‘handle it’, or they have a ‘Jezebel spirit’, or a ‘spirit of criticism’. They are ‘accusers of the brethren’, that sort of thing. Threats of God’s judgment on detractors and critics are a sure sign of a cultic mindset and delusion.
  1. A ‘get-on-board-or-else’ mentality. A fear that you’ll miss God’s new move and be left behind if you don’t join up. God is doing a new thing and if you do not go along with it, regardless of how long you’ve been faithfully serving God over the years, God will pass you by and you’ll get left in the dust.
  1. New thingism. God is doing a ‘new thing’ and you’d better get with it. There is now a further requirement if you want to remain a first class Christian and in God’s highest favour, which is to be a part of the new thing represented by the group. If you don’t come along, you run the risk of God passing you by.
  1. A special anointing. A certain person or group has been anointed by God to introduce something to the rest of the Body. God has given it to them, and other believers can come to them to ‘get it.’
  1. A priesthood. Placing a person or group in an exalted status with God, so that they become special intermediaries, is a sure sign of delusion. False movements and false religions invariable try to interject some kind of priesthood between the believer and God. This is seen whenever a person or group claims to have received something from God that can be received from their hands. They become an intermediary between you and Jesus Christ if you want more of God, and people are encouraged to go to the ‘anointed’ of the Lord to get it.

We see this today in certain revival circles where it is necessary to get more from God at the hands of a specially chosen vessel. Worship leaders have ‘an anointing’ to lead us into the presence of God. Prophets and apostles have a privileged access to receive  things from God that the rest of the church needs. False religion always reverts to some form of human priesthood.

  1. “Don’t think about it, just jump in” type of teaching that encourages people to throw caution to the wind. Encouraging followers not to worry or think things through, that God won’t allow them to be deceived. Just jump in before it’s too late or you may miss the boat.
  1. Glorification of the vessel. An excessive focus on the ‘anointed’ person of God.
  1. Old Testament ‘typed’ anointing. (A ‘Phineas’ anointing. The mantle of Elijah, etc.)
  1. An excited interest in peripheral subjects not central to the gospel. A de-emphasis on the central themes of the gospel. They claim to agree with the gospel, but the bulk of their teaching, writing and prophetic messages show a greater interest in peripheral topics, novel insights and new revelation.
  1. May talk unity, but bring division along lines of gender, age, race or nationality.
  1. Watch out for leaders who love to surround themselves with minions who affirm their special anointing.
  1. More interest in breaking through to new levels and remaking the church along new lines rather than reaching the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ.
  1. False spirits love to show off and love center stage. They love to parade their subjective impressions and experiences up front for others to see. Publicly sharing highly subjective impressions and insights that cannot be proved or disproved one way or the other is a real “Red Flag”.
  1. Conference chasing. Running from place to place to meet God. Any emphasis on experiencing God corporately more than privately is a symptom of delusion. Whenever people need to go to a conference or certain location to receive a ‘fresh’ touch, something is very wrong.

There is a whole generation of believers now who are bored with ‘quiet time’ alone with God, who don’t know how to meet God in the prayer closet, and can only meet with God and experience Him in public settings that provide the right mood and atmosphere, usually involving the right music. The reason so many are chasing God at conferences is because they are not in the Word and prayer at home.

  1. The ‘anointed’ leader has a privileged access, a hot relationship, with God that the rest have yet to attain. They get angelic visitations, dramatic visions and prophetic insights, and they publish ‘prophetic bulletins’ to keep others abreast with what God is doing. Because the apostles and prophets are in such a privileged position of receiving the latest hot word from God, the rest are reduced to second hand status, anxiously awaiting the latest prophetic bulletin. Watch for groups that tend to place emphasis on the leaders anointing or relationship with God. This results in Christians running to conferences for a ‘fresh touch’ from those who seem to have ‘it’.
  1. The Holy Spirit is seen more as coming to bring an experience rather than a greater understanding of the Scripture.
  1. A tendency to distinguish between people who accept their movement as a true move of God and those who don’t.
  1. Beware of any dichotomy between the Spirit and the mind. Any anti-intellectual position, such as the belief held in many charismatic circles today that exercising the mind will hinder the Holy Spirit, is a real indication of deception. Deceivers like to parrot phrases like: “God will offend the mind to reveal the heart.” This cute little mantra often repeated in certain revival groups sounds very spiritual, but is very false. A careful reading of the Word tells us the truth: God will inform the mind to convince the heart. Jesus often did offend the Pharisee’s – by telling them the truth! The Holy Spirit leads people to Christ by shining the light of God’s Word into their minds and convicting them of its truth.

The Destroyed Foundations – The Word

http://www.banner.org.uk/res/lastdl2.html

by Don Clasen
The Kingdom Gospel Messenger,
Vol.8, No.4, August 1996

“I consider it [the Latter Rain revival] to be one of the most important events in the history of God’s restorative plans. It’s the least understood, but has had profound effect on many of the present ministries involved in what God is doing today. The Word of the Lord that came out of that revival continues to reverberate and influence Christians world-wide. It seems like the streams that flowed out from that divine encounter–Restoration, Sonship, Kingdom Now, Life, and Immortality messages–these have remained on the fringes of the mainstream Church. However, many leaders have been profoundly influenced by this revival but have not endorsed it, nor have made explicit reference to it, because of the controversies and misunderstandings of what God actually did during those times.” – Paul Van Elst in a letter to Richard Riss, Feb. 1995

As the Latter Rain Movement spread out from its beginning in North Battleford, it began to coalesce into a loose movement of independent churches and ministries with varying degrees of relationship with one another.  Some of the more influential centers that were identified with it beyond the “Sharon brethren” were Elim Bible Institute and Assemblies out of Lima, New York; Bethesda Missionary Temple in Detroit with Mrs. Myrtle Beall; Portland Bible Temple in Oregon; Peniel Bible Institute in Argentina, and many other places. 

Among the more influential persons to emerge from these circles over the years were Ern Baxter who ministered extensively with William Branham from 1947 to 1953 and later became part of the “Ft. Lauderdale Five” Shepherding experiment of the 1970’s; Bob Mumford out of Elim and John Poole, both of which were also part of the Ft. Lauderdale Christian Growth Ministries; J. Preston Eby of El Paso; Bill Britton of Springfield, Missouri; Bill Hamon of Port Washington, Florida; David Ebaugh in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Winston Nunes in Toronto;  Kevin Connor who has written some profound books on Old Testament typology; Ralph Mahoney of  World MAP;  and many, many others too numerous to mention.

As was said in part one of this series, the period immediately following World War II was a time of broad-based revival across the spectrum of the Body of Christ around the world, with the movement that became known as the “New Order of the Latter Rain” being just one stream among many enjoying this season.  In light of this, it is instructive to note that no less stalwart a promoter of  Latter Rain doctrines than Bill Britton admitted that a sovereign move of the Spirit hit the Assemblies of God’s Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri in the fall of 1948.1 

I say this is instructive because  the Latter Rain movement tended to see the  Pentecostals out of which they came, to be backslidden and of the “Old Order” of things.  In fact, as the movement turned more and more inward, all denominations came to be seen as “Babylon”.  This development reflected a view that, on the one hand, “jumped the gun” as regards what indeed will yet become the ultimate nature of the denominational system (“Mystery Babylon”), while on the other hand, does not understand that belonging to a sect of  Christianity does not mean one is necessarily sectarian.2                  

Nevertheless, within the atmosphere of this grace being poured out upon many, it seems there must have been an assumption that somehow the blessing of God they were enjoying was therefore a sign of Divine approval upon everything they were doing, including the doctrines they were developing.  The Pentecostals, however did not agree, and since it was taking root in many denominational Pentecostal churches as well as independent ones, it did not take long before friction and controversy began to erupt.  Less than two years after the North Battleford outbreak, the 1949 General Council of the Assemblies of God passed a resolution officially disapproving of these new doctrines.  It identified six of their biggest objections at that point:

1. The overemphasis relative to imparting, identifying, bestowing or confirming of gifts by the laying on of hands and prophecy.

2.  The erroneous teaching that the Church is built on the foundation of present-day apostles and prophets.

3.  The extreme teaching as advocated by the “New Order” regarding the confession of sin to man and deliverance as practiced, which claims prerogatives to human agency which belong only to Christ.

4.  The erroneous teaching concerning the impartation of the gifts of languages as special equipment for missionary service.

5.  The extreme and unscriptural practice of imparting personal leadings by the means of gifts of utterance.

6.  Such other wrestings and distortions of Scripture interpretations which are in opposition to teachings and practices generally accepted among us.3

At that council, the venerated Stanley Frodsham, one of the pioneers of Pentecost and the Assemblies in 1916 and the editor of their magazine The Pentecostal Evangel, resigned to join the Latter Rain circles.  The fact that this sort of thing had happened at all explains why the ten denominations of the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America feared the Latter Rain Movement was going to literally split the Pentecostals in two. 

In another censure thereafter, the Assemblies of God, fairly or otherwise, singled out Winston Nunes as representative of the Latter Rain doctrines, even though Nunes taught a more radical idea than most that saints this side of the Second Coming “can experience the resurrection body in this life.”4 Nevertheless, developments such as this indicate the directions some were beginning to take.

>Daryl here. An interesting side note: Winston Nunes was Benny Hinn’s mentor -early 70’s

That Was Then, This Is Now…

What this direction was is not easy to summarize, for we are talking here about an incredibly diverse collection of teachers and doctrines that varied much in content and emphasis.  It seems however that two broad categories emerged, one of a very radical bent that is little more than outright New Ageism now, and another more representative of the current status and trends.

The New Age movement is basically a return to the ancient paganisms that every people group of the earth have somewhere in their past.  It believes that what we Christians call the creation is itself God, and therefore we human beings are a “part of God” too.  Since God then has become depersonalized, spiritual attainment is no longer a matter of the pursuit of a right relationship with a Person by means of truth or doctrine, (and from that an accurate discernment in our experiential walk with Him).  Rather, it is the pursuit of experiences per se and esoteric knowledge, from which the seeker will experience and know oneness withGod”.

These mystical experiences are achieved by the pursuit of altered states of consciousness through means as varied as drugs, sex, yoga, dancing, chanting, music, fasting, frenzied emotion, epileptic fits and the like.  The “enlightenment” is attained by means of esoteric gnosis or occultic (“hidden”) “knowledge” whereby the initiate walks an ever-ascending path to deeper and deeper levels of “truth” akin to that which was promised by the serpent in the Garden whereby “your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen 3:4).

These New Age beliefs have been translated by some into a “Christian” form whereby terms and concepts found in the Bible are redefined to take on New Age content.  Prominent in this sort of trend have been people like Barbara Marx Hubbard, the Catholic theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, psychologist M. Scott Peck, Presbyterian Bruce Larson, and many others.  In this scheme of things, Jesus Christ is not God incarnate but a high level adept who, through “revelation knowledge”, attained to the “Christ principle” or “Christ anointing”.  So likewise, since there’s a little spark of God in everyone, we too can follow in Jesus’ steps and attain to the same “God consciousness”.

Within the Latter Rain logic that the Church is Christ’s Body and that during the Manifestation of the Sons era, believers will experience a corporate “spiritual Second Coming” in them, this radical version simply goes a step further and states that all believers are God.  LR teachers like Irene Lindsay and Al Henderson have stated as much.5  Norman Grubb, biographer of his famous missionary father-in-law C.T. Studd, left his position as a stalwart of Evangelicalism to form Union Life, and is now teaching that, “If everything is He [sic] in one form or another, negative or positive, then there is nothing in the universe but He…Nothing but God exists.”6 

A similar kind of thinking can be found within the Faith Movement wherein Kenneth Copeland, Frederick Price, Casey Treat and many others speak of the Christian as “a little god” who, by means of “revelation knowledge”, can learn to control life’s circumstances to one’s advantage.  This is pure metaphysics, and ironically a far cry from the Biblical concept of faith as, for an example, trust in a God who sometimes leads us into circumstances we would not ordinarily want, and then delivers us in what time and way seems good to Him.

That this radical version of Latter Rain teachings was capable of going so far as into outright cultism is illustrated by the story of John Robert Stevens and his network of churches called, “The Walk”.   Stevens, a Pentecostal pastor who was in his early days “mighty in the Scriptures”, nonetheless had some serious traits that did him in.  One was a predilection to want to hear anything “new”, no matter what, nor from whom.  He seemed to be always looking for “new revelation”.  Another was his fiercely independent spirit.

>Daryl here. Winston Nunes also laid hands on John Robert Stevenson

Then, by his own admission, Stevens in 1950 disobeyed the Lord’s warning for him not to get involved with the Latter Rain.  Instead he allowed Winston Nunes to lay hands on him, changing his life forever but in the wrong direction.  Stevens developed his network of some 94 churches thereafter by teaching his people that he was not just an Apostle, but the Apostle of the Kingdom who would break through into the ultimate revelation “in the heavenlies”, leading his flock into it with him.  Basing his views on such a subjective foundation, it is not surprising to find that he eventually got into the occultic practices of spiritualism, reading auras, astral projection, psychic warfare, hypnosis and what amounted to “white witchcraft” (but witchcraft all the same).7 Stevens and The Walk are to this day universally considered among researchers to be a cult.

Further History

An affinity of the Latter Rain people with the later Word of Faith movement was also founded in other similar or mutually-held concepts as we shall see.  But the contact may have been established almost from the beginning.  For the Latter Rain people, like most Pentecostals of their day, felt particularly drawn to the great healing revival of the late 1940’s and  early 50’s wherein many evangelists–(now Word of Faith teachers) such as Kenneth Hagin, Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn and others–got their start, and wherein some cross-pollination may have already begun to take place.. 

But with their being ostracized from the Pentecostal denominational churches, many Latter Rain teachers were forced to keep a low profile, develop their “revelations” and doctrines, and wait for a better atmosphere to work within.  It is this reality that may have contributed to the practice among some to remain coy about what they believe, as the quote at the beginning put it, “because of the controversies and misunderstandings” surrounding them. 

This “better atmosphere” came about with the inception of the Charismatic Movement in the 1950’s.  The Charismatic Renewal was the attempt to bring Pentecost to the mainline churches, since the mainline churches would not come to Pentecost.  The resulting blessing was mixed however, because with the ministry of the Holy Ghost came the need to accommodate everyone and their beliefs.  The outcome was a much greater emphasis on “unity”, but not a unity based on the pursuit or discussion of truth as on downplaying truth so as not to offend anyone.

This however, suited the Latter Rain teachers just fine, because it provided a setting wherein new and novel “third-party” theologies could respectably fill the doctrinal vacuum, and if the Latter Rain doctrines were anything, they were certainly new and novel.  In fact, this situation was so tailor-made to their purposes that Bill Hamon, a leader in the development of Latter Rain prophets, entitled a chapter in his book “The Eternal Church”: “The Charismatic Movement–An Expansion of the Latter Rain Movement”.8

The Charismatic Ecumenical Renewal provided them many things:

(1) A Body of Christ out of which they could form the Manchild Company;

(2) The opportunity to create a “paradigm shift” in the Church away from theology to experience to prepare the people to receive the revelatory leadership of the coming Apostles and Prophets;

(3) the opportunity to offer a false unity based upon submission to these ecclesiastical authorities, and

(4), the opportunity at the same time to come out smelling like roses, appearing as real heroes for “peace and unity”, even while they await to fill the vacuum with their own divisive doctrines.

THE QUANTUM WORLDVIEW

http://apprising.org/2012/05/30/quantum-mysticism-in-the-church/

Chuck Missler also promotes other unbiblical ideas more akin to Eastern mysticism than to orthodox Christianity. Consider this material excerpted from a book Missler wrote entitled, Cosmic Codes – Hidden Messages From the Edge of Eternity, Chapter 23:

Quantum Teleporting, Part 2: Our Holographic Universe

There seems to be evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it are only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so beyond our own that the real reality is literally beyond both space and time. The main architect of this astonishing idea includes one of the world’s most eminent thinkers: University of London physicist David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein’s and one of the world’s most respected quantum physicists…. One of Bohm’s most startling suggestions is that the tangible reality of our everyday lives is really kind of an illusion, like a holographic image…. Bohm calls this deeper level of reality the implicate (“enfolded”) order and he refers to our level of existence the explicate (unfolded) order. [emphasis/italics mine][49]

Compare Missler’s teaching with a passage found in Marilyn Ferguson’s The Aquarian Conspiracy, a book called the “New Age bible” by some:

…[Karl] Pribram mused that the answer might lie in the realm of gestalt psychology, a theory that maintains that what we perceive “out there” is the same as—isomorphic with—brain processes. Suddenly he blurted out, “maybe the world is a hologram!” …Were the members of the audience holograms? …Soon afterward, he spent a week with his son, a physicist, discussing his idea and searching for possible answers in physics. His son mentioned that David Bohm, a protégé of Einstein’s, had been thinking along the same lines…, Pribram read copies of Bohm’s key papers urging a new order in physicsBohm was describing a holographic universe. What appears to be a stable, tangible, visible, audible world, said Bohm, is an illusion…. What we normally see is the explicate, or unfolded order of things, rather like watching a movie. But there is an underlying order that is father to this second-generation reality. He called the other order implicate, or enfolded. [italics in original, bold mine][50]

In discussing occult author Lola Davis, Christian researcher Constance Cumbey, author of A Planned Deception, connected the “Holography Theory of the Universe” to the New World Religion. Cumbey states:

In 1980 she [Davis] wrote her first book to date called Toward a World Religion for the New Age. The book was successful in New Age circles. Lucis Trust [formerly Lucifer Publishing, ed.] itself undersaw its distribution. One can count on one hand the number of authors other than Alice and Foster Bailey that Lucis Trust has so honored. Lola Davis believes and evidently Lucis Trust concurs that holographic phenomena will be a very important part of the ‘New World Religion.’ Her book gives that topic nearly half a chapter. [bold, italics mine][51]

In a technical article written by Noel Huntley, PhD, “A Holographic Universe?,” he connects holographic theory to fractal (quantum) theory:

…by taking a small part of our universe that it (the small part) in itself is holographic… this small part reflects the same characteristics as other parts of the universe, ranging up to the whole…. This is what holographic means: the whole is reflected in any part or subpart…. In holistic systems, all parts are in resonance or coherence, which quantum regenerates the whole…. We are familiar with the philosophical statement, ‘As above, so below’ which is based on the axiom of Hermeticism, ‘What is here is everywhere; What is not here is nowhere’. This again is the holographic property…. Leading physicist David Bohm stresses quantum interconnectedness and unbroken wholeness…. Science writer Fritjof Capra speaks of the universe as a hologram, in which each part determines the whole…. The fractal nature of the world is well established. We know that fractals are self-similar patterns on different dimensional scales. This is clearly a property of the holograph… consciousness could be analysed in terms of fractals, tying in with our other approach of relating consciousness to the learning pattern and in turn with its holographic character. Thus consciousness and freewill are inherently holographic…. The universe is holographic fractally (as opposed to infinitely holographic), for example, the levels, planet, solar system, galaxy, are fractal levels similar to the relationship of wrist, elbow, and shoulder…. What is this holographic background? It would be the true nature of unity. Unity, beyond spacetime, must be intrinsically holographic…. [emphasis mine][52]

The connections here should be obvious. Quantum spirituality is the very deception that Warren B. Smith warns about in A Wonderful Deception:

It seems clear to me that quantum physics, the “new” biology, and the “new” math of fractal geometry are being used to provide a seemingly scientific basis for “proving” the “as above, so below” contention that God is “in” everything. We are being asked to believe that all of creation is an interconnected quantum field of energy and “oneness” that is “God.”[53]



https://carolynandloren.com/resources-ecw/book/ – Exposing Witchcraft In the Church

New Age Laughter Will Unite With ‘church’

http://jbeard.users.rapidnet.com/bdm/Psychology/holylaugh.htm

Holy Laughter – Rodney Howard-Browne and the Toronto Blessing – jbeard.users.rapidnet.com

BRAINWASHING 

Those who know anything about brainwashing techniques and the ability to induce altered states of consciousness in mass meetings will recognize that, often, these techniques are utilized in hyper-charismatic services.

Dick Sutphen, a professional hypnotist, conducts seminars on persuasion and brainwashing techniques. His purpose is not to teach his listeners how to subvert other’s minds, but to educate on how government, the military, cults, and religious groups utilize certain techniques to induce control and gain converts to their particular causes.

He points out that many who use these techniques are not necessarily aware that they are using them. They may well have learned them from watching others use them successfully. In any case, the bottom line is control; the intent may be perfectly altruistic, it may be beneficial in the mind of the controller. But the fact remains that people are being controlled, often with the belief that the Holy Spirit is doing a work in them.

Sutphen is not a believer in Christ. In fact, he is anti-Christ and a New Ager. But his logic and knowledge cannot be argued with. This is because he is not addressing the Faith or holy laughter; he is addressing a subject that he knows: brainwashing.

Sutphen believe that religion is valid, but that manipulation in the name of God is not:

“So, to begin, I want to state the most basic of all facts about brainwashing: IN THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF MAN, NO ONE HAS EVER BEEN BRAINWASHED AND REALIZED, OR BELIEVED, THAT HE HAD BEEN BRAINWASHED. Those who have been brainwashed will usually passionately defend their manipulators, claiming they have simply been ‘shown the light,’ or have been transformed in miraculous ways” (Sutphen undated transcript, ‘The Battle for Your Mind: Persuasion and Brainwashing Techniques Being Used on the Public Today,” p. 1). (Emphasis Sutphen’s.)

Sutphen gives an example of how manipulators set their marks up. The first step is to give information that the listeners will agree with. This gets them in the frame of mind to trust the speaker. Once trust has been instilled, they are open to suggestion:

“… Assume for a moment that you are watching a politician give a speech. First, he might generate what is called a ‘YES SET.’ These are statements that will cause listeners to agree; they might even unknowingly nod their heads in agreement. Next come the TRUISMS. These are usually facts that could be debated but, once the politician has his audience agree, the odds are in the politician’s favor that the audience wont stop to think for themselves, thus continuing to agree. Last comes the SUGGESTION. This is what the politician wants you to do and, since you have been agreeing all along, you could be persuaded to accept the suggestion” (Sutphen, p. 10). (Emphasis Sutphen’s.)

In the same manner, false teachers will preach from God’s Word, sharing obvious truths. That’s phase one — the “yes set.” As well they will share what may be considered deep insights — ideas that are debatable but not necessarily untrue. These are the “truisms.” Then comes the suggestion. It is generally toward the end of the evening — sometimes after two or three hours or more — that the false teaching or inducement toward activity will be implemented. This is exactly what one witnesses in the holy laughter movement, not to mention the charismatic movement (particularly the word-faith movement) in general.

Sutphen points out that different entities may use different techniques — the military may use some techniques that the government, dealing with civilians, may not use. Religionists and cultists will use still other techniques. Most techniques involve taking the subjects through stages or phases of conversion. Says Sutphen:

“With the progression through each phase, the degree of conversion becomes more effective and complete. The ways to achieve conversion are many and varied, but the usual first step in religious or political brainwashing is to work on the emotions of an individual or group until they reach an abnormal level of anger, fear, excitement, or nervous tension. The progressive result of this mental condition is to impair judgment and increase suggestibility. The more this condition can be maintained or intensified, the more it compounds. Once catharsis, or the first brain phase, is reached, the complete mental takeover becomes easier. Existing mental programming can be replaced with new patterns of thinking and behavior” (Sutphen, p. 3).

Most people who attend the hyper-charismatic meetings that result in pandemonium and out-of-order behavior are normal, everyday folks. They may be professional people and hold responsible jobs. Many are normally “dignified” or “reserved.” But they come with a sense of expectancy to receive something from the touch of the preacher — something they are inclined to believe they can’t receive from God on their own. They believe that God has placed a special anointing on the preacher, probably because they have been induced with a clergy-laity mentality that is the norm for most churches. Because they are so normal — even possessing a reserved personality — they can’t believe that they can be brainwashed or manipulated. But the manner in which excitement and fervor builds in some meetings catches them off guard. They are susceptible to suggestion — even the suggestion that they have been healed. To not be healed often generates feelings of guilt, an emotion that is easily exploited by the preacher. About alleged spiritual healing, Sutphen states:

“For some, the healing may be permanent. For many, it will last four days to a week, which is, incidentally, how long a hypnotic suggestion given to a somnambulistic subject will usually last. Even if the healing doesn’t last, if they come back every week, the power of suggestion may continually override the problem — or sometimes, sadly, it can mask a physical problem which could prove to be very detrimental to the individual in the long run. I’m not saying that legitimate healings do not take place. They do. Maybe the individual was ready to let go of the negativity that caused the problem in the first place; maybe it was the work of God. Yet I contend that it can be explained with existing knowledge of brain/mind function” (Sutphen, pp. 4-5).

Sorry to say, Sutphen is correct in his assessment. New Agers testify of healings by laying on of hands, too. And the scenarios are all to common among those who claim to have healing ministries in the Church: Short-term healings; people neglecting proper health care because they believe they’ve been healed when they haven’t been; even death from diseases whose symptoms disappeared. The preacher will tell those whose healings didn’t last that it was because they “let go” of the healing. They didn’t have enough faith to maintain it.

The difference between God’s work and the work of the flesh is that God’s work will always be validated by His written Word. And God doesn’t play games with us. If He heals us by His sovereign will, we will be healed, period.

TOWARD THE NEW AGE?

 What we are witnessing in new evangelicalism and the charismatic movement is a subjective approach to God’s Word. If something seems to work, it is accepted even if it cannot be validated by Scripture. Since it cannot be validated, it is assumed to be a new work of God. Those who reject it on the basis of its unbiblical or extra-Biblical character are regarded as faithless when, in fact, they are faithless toward the subjective religious philosophy of the “new thing” — not toward God.

This subjectivity is necessary if Satan is going to meld humanity into a one-world religion. As the masses open themselves up to beliefs and practices that are not validated by Scripture, they leave themselves open to deception of the highest order, often presented in the name of Jesus.

The first step toward melding Christians into the New Age religion is not dissimilar to brianwashing techniques. The “yes set” is to get us to agree that all denominations share a common belief system. This is the motivating force behind the ecumenical movement sponsored by the Vatican and the major players in new evangelicalism and the charismatic movement.

The “truisms” will be that we also share common beliefs and values with aberrant Christian cults and monotheistic religions such as cabalistic Judaism and Islam.

The “suggestion” will be that we have a common spiritual bond with all of mankind. This suggestion will be implemented through the observation of signs and wonders construed to be of God. And if God can honor the faith of non-Christians, who are we to dissent from unity with them? 

Anyone who thinks he is above falling into this snare is hopelessly naive. In fact, he is an excellent candidate for deception.

It is not merely coincidental that holy laughter has found its place among the mystically inclined whose beliefs lean toward New Age philosophy. Leanne Payne, a disciple of inner healing guru, the late Agnes Sanford, has also indulged in holy laughter. (Her experience is recorded in Karen Mains’s book Lonely No More.) Payne blends New Age mysticism,  Jungian psychology, and Christian philosophy. Her ministry team is headed primarily by women who share this integrationist methodology. To Payne, all sin is linked to lack of self-acceptance and failure to recognize God’s affirmation of oneself. Of course, this is a simple explanation of her more involved theology.

*Is it merely coincidental that her disciple, Karen Mains, wrote of this holy laughter experience in 1993, essentially the same time Rodney Howard-Browne’s notoriety and the Toronto blessing began? And is it merely coincidental that a phenomenon similar to holy laughter is found in the New Age movement is exactly at the same time?

*Hubbard New Age ‘Laughter’ Will Transcend All Barriers To Unity

*Barbara Marx Hubbard is the founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, and a leader at the frontier of social and spiritual change for the New Age. At the same time holy laughter began to ripple through the churches, she wrote as one channeling the thoughts of God. The instruction given was to expect planetary transformation and a quantum leap in evolutionary personal transformation through uncontrollable joy. This uncontrollable joy of which Hubbard speaks will transcend all barriers to unity. False signs and wonders will likewise break down those barriers to unity (Mk. 13:22).

We can expect the holy laughter people to defend their practices as being of God, while these other practices are counterfeits. But holy laughter as we know it today came lately. All attempts to link it to Scripture or early revival history are without merit. Its real precedent is coincidental to New Age philosophy. Does God mimic something Satan originates? Or is He taken off guard by Satan? I think not. Else He would be guilty of causing confusion among His people. And God is not the author of confusion. (1 Cor. 14:33). 

REORDERED THINKING 

What is transpiring in the Church is similar to what is transpiring in the world. In conditioning men’s minds to accept a globalist mentality, the New Age change agents call for unity in diversity with no judgment — no concern for what others believe or practice. If it doesn’t fit for us, well, we just have a different truth. Let’s just focus on our common objectives.

But we’re not dealing with one human philosophy vs. another human philosophy. We’re dealing with all of man’s philosophies vs. God’s Word. The world’s rules don’t apply here. This worldly assessment of truth is behind criticism of those who expose error in the Body of Christ; just because we don’t understand it, we shouldn’t be critical of it; it doesn’t matter if it cannot be supported by Scripture; God may be doing a new thing we don’t understand; we just don’t have the same truth that the popular preacher has.

This can be intimidating to those who don’t know Scripture. But those who do know Scripture have a responsibility to expose those who are in error. And it doesn’t matter if they are 99.99% correct in their teachings. If the .01% error is sufficient to lead someone astray, it must be challenged.

Paradigm Shift Into Totally Different New Age Christianity- Bringing Spiritual Civil War!

https://www.equip.org/article/the-counterfeit-revival/

Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. Leaders of this Counterfeit Revival, such as Rodney Howard-Browne and John Arnott, have peppered their preaching and practice with fabrications, fantasies, and frauds, seemingly unaware of the profound consequences. Many of the followers who at first flooded into Counterfeit Revival “power centers” have become disillusioned and have now slipped through the cracks into the kingdom of the cults.

John the Apostle warned, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). This warning is particularly relevant today, as Christianity is undergoing a paradigm shift of major proportions — a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation. This paradigm shift is what I call the Counterfeit Revival.

Prophets of the Counterfeit Revival claim that a bloody civil war is going to polarize the entire Christian community. On one side will be those who embrace new revelations. On the other will be those who obstinately cling to reason. One “prophet” went so far as to say, “God is going to renovate the entire understanding of what Christianity is in the nations of the Earth….In twenty years there will be a totally different understanding of Christianity as we know it.1 1Mike Bickle Overview of Corporate Long Term Vision (n.p.), 5 January 1986; audiotape.

The Book of Enoch is a Dangerous Demonic Snare

http://www.zephaniah.eu/index_htm_files/The%20Book%20of%20Enoch%20is%20a%20Dangerous%20Demonic%20Snare.pdf

by Jeremy James

We need to remind ourselves every day that we live in a time of astounding deception.
The Enemy has designed so many distractions and diversions that true believers can
waste hours of precious time on matters of absolutely no value. Worse still, he has
devised so many traps and snares, so many illusions and lies, that without the Word of
God to protect us we would be crushed like sheep beneath an avalanche.
In order to enjoy this protection we must read the Word of God every day and
immerse ourselves in it. We must believe it and lean on it, trusting it to enliven and
enrich our understanding. It is primarily by reflecting on the Word that we hear what
the Holy Spirit is telling us.

The Enemy Hates The Word

The Enemy hates the Word and is doing everything he can to pollute it, to shake our
faith in it, to discredit it, and by various devious means to weaken our reliance upon
it. One of his most successful and best known devices has been the augmentation of
Scripture. This comprises, not just the inclusion of spurious works in the canon of
Scripture, but the elevation of uninspired, theological writings to the point where they
color our understanding of Scripture and lead us astray.
The writings of Ellen G White are a good example of this. A member of the Seventh
Day Adventist church may study the Bible with all sincerity but, by doing so through
the lens of Mrs White’s writings, he cannot understand it. The distortions are subtle
but destructive. The same is true of Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon and The Pearl of
Great Price. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, has added a number of
Apocryphal books to the Bible and, by doing so, has grievously polluted the purity of
God’s Word. Moreover, it has added to this confusion by raising Papal encyclicals and
equally flawed human documents to the level of holy writ.

Any book that dominates one’s understanding of Scripture can have a similar effect.
In this paper we will examine one of the most dangerous of these duplicitous works,
the so-called Book of Enoch.

Background

At the outset it should be understood that The Book of Enoch is really five separate
books by different authors, bound together as a single work comprising 108 chapters.

The first book, chapters 1-36, deals with The Watchers and the ephilim.
It is undoubtedly the one that exercises the greatest influence over modern
speculative writing. The Watchers are a group of fallen angels, while the
Nephilim are the offspring produced from their sexual union with women.

The second book, chapters 37-71, contains The Parables of Enoch. There
are three parables in all. The first deals with the nature of heaven, the
second with the Enochian concept of a messiah, and the third with the
nature of the earth.

The third book, consisting mainly of chapters 72-82, deals with
astronomy and the movement of the heavenly bodies.

The fourth book, chapters 83-90, contains an apocalyptic vision of the
Flood, a vision of the millennial kingdom, and the history of Israel to the
time of the Maccabees, expressed as events that had yet to happen.

The fifth book, chapters 91-108, also called the Epistle of Enoch, contains
admonitions to his children, as well as prophetic reflections on the
destinies of the righteous and the wicked, respectively.

The Book of Enoch (presumably comprising all five books, though no-one knows for
certain) was familiar to post-Apostolic writers, some of whom seem to have regarded
it as genuine, though how this affected their interpretation of Scripture is also unclear.
However, when the constituent books of the Bible were selected and endorsed by the
ecclesiastic authorities in the fourth century AD, The Book of Enoch was not included.
It remained forgotten until its rediscovery over a thousand years later.

The Book of Enoch was at no time part of the Jewish canon of Scripture and was not
included in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament which was
completed around 130 BC. [Hereafter, when we speak of The Book of Enoch, we
mean all five books, except where a lesser number is indicated.]

The only complete version of the ‘book’ (i.e. books 1-5 in a single volume) is in Ge’ez
or Ethiopian, dating from the 16th century or thereabouts. Copies of this version were
discovered by the Scottish explorer, James Bruce, in 1773 and brought back to
Europe. The first translation in English was not published until 1821.
The Dead Sea Scrolls contain fragments in Aramaic from four of the books (No
fragments from The Book of Parables were identified). These fragments contain
enough text to allow their place in The Book of Enoch to be determined, but not nearly
enough to confirm that the version found by Bruce is substantially the same as the one
on which the Qumran fragments were based.
Scholars have made a tentative estimate of the periods in which the books were
written. No scholar of repute, as far as we know, attributes the work as a whole to
Enoch, the son of Jared, mentioned in Genesis 5:18. It is universally agreed that, like
virtually all Apocryphal literature, the Book of Enoch was written in what is often
called the inter-testamental period, after the last of the Old Testament books had been
written (c.400 BC) but before the appearance of the earliest works of the New
Testament. Such works were often made attractive to naïve readers by falsely
attributing them to a person of note, such as Solomon, Noah or Enoch. A similar
technique was used later to propagate the so-called Gnostic gospels, where bogus
writings were attributed to the Apostles, such as The Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of
Philip, or The Apocalypse of Paul.
While there is seemingly no consensus as yet as to when each of the five ‘books’ were
written, it is generally agreed that portions may pre-date the Maccabean revolt of 167
BC, while other parts may have been penned in the first century BC but before the
arrival of the Romans in 63 BC. The Book of Parables, on the other hand, was
probably written late in the first century A.D

The attack on God’s Word has been ongoing, not just in Apostolic times and
thereafter, but from the Babylonian Exile, if not before. For example, during the Exile
an influential group of apostate Jews initiated the Talmudic tradition in which
commentaries by learned rabbis were taken to be as authoritative as Scripture. Jesus
berated the Pharisees for elevating their “traditions” in this way: “Full well ye reject
the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” (Mark 7:9) He even
described them as a generation of vipers and serpents (Matthew 23:33). In light of this
we should hardly be surprised that these various hypocritical and apostate groups
were willing to give credence to works which had no place in the canon of Scripture.
God preserves His Word

God Preserves His Word

God said He would preserve His Word. The canon of Scripture was closed in 96 AD
or thereabouts when John completed the Book of Revelation. In doing so John would
have been able to confirm for his disciples the contents or constituent books of the
New Testment, as well as those of the Bible as a whole. The Roman Catholic Church
likes to perpetuate the myth that the contents of the New Testament were not finally
determined until the 4th century A.D., but she does this primarily to assert her hold
over the Bible.
When John penned Revelation 22, the last chapter in the book (and the Bible), he was
formally closing the canon of Scripture and, in doing so, must have known exactly
what that canon was:
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of
this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him
the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away

from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part
out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which
are written in this book.”
(Revelation 22:18-19)

Since God’s Word is an organic whole, we know that these verses apply to the Bible
as a whole and not just to the Book of Revelation. This means that, from the start of
the 2nd century, the church, the body of true believers, knew exactly which books
were in the Bible. The Book of Enoch was not one of them.

The Modern Fascination With The Book Of Enoch

Today The Book of Enoch has come to be regarded by many as a book that “should”
have been in the Bible but was inexplicably excluded. Its admirers claim that it
answers so many questions and fills in so many gaps in our knowledge that it must be
true. Even early Apostolic writers spoke well of it, including Clement of Alexandria,
Irenaeus, and Tertullian. Furthermore, since there is no record of why it was excluded
from the Bible, they argue that it must have been dropped for purely political reasons.
Many contend that it was actively suppressed by the Roman Catholic Church since it
contained ideas that were inconsistent with Catholic theology. Some even believe that
God allowed it to disappear until our modern age when it contents would be vital to
our understanding of prophecy and the well-being of the End Time church.

There is an entire industry devoted to this book, with one prophecy conference after
another extolling its revelatory gems. The literature relating to this book is quite
extraordinary. Numerous popular authors, including many who claim to be Christian,
continue to produce books and videos which treat The Book of Enoch as a factual
historical text.
A major prophecy conference held in July 2016 in Colorado Springs – a popular
location for New Age, esoteric, and occult events – featured a long list of speakers
who are pushing the Nephilim agenda, including Tom Horn, Gary Stearman, L A
Marzulli, Doc Marquis, Cris Putnam, Josh Peck, Michael Lake, Ken Johnson, Derek
Gilbert, and Stan Deyo. Similar prophecy conferences in the past have included such
well-known Nephilim aficionados as Chuck Missler, Russ Dizdar, Rob Skiba, Doug
Hamp, and Michael Heiser.
In addition to those who profess to be ‘Christian’, there are many teachers and socalled prophets of the New Age who offer a ringing endorsement of The Book of
Enoch. Why? Because it fits perfectly with the New Age vision of the future, where
‘highly evolved’ beings come to earth from another ‘galaxy’ to save our ‘planet’ from
destruction and lift the ‘initiated’ remnant into a state of ‘cosmic consciousness’.

Reasons Why The Book Of Enoch Is A fake

There are so many reasons to reject The Book of Enoch, not simply as a book that
should be excluded from the Bible, but as a book that cannot be trusted on any level.
Let’s start with the reasons for excluding it from the Bible:
Imagination, not inspiration

Imagination, Not Inspiration

  1. It was plainly part of the archive of Aramaic literature that blossomed after the
    return from the Babylonian exile. The Jews had been exposed to a wealth of pagan
    ideas in Babylon, and then to the Zoroastrian philosophy of the Persians and Medes
    after the fall of Babylon in 539 BC. With the rise of the Seleucid empire and the
    gradual Hellenization of many Jewish communities, the mythology of Greece and the
    metaphysics of Plato left their mark on the Jewish imagination. The former was
    steeped in tales of women mating with the gods of Mount Olympus to produce human
    offspring that possessed supernatural abilities. Greek mythology was also replete with
    stories of hybrids that were part animal and part human.

Several authors speaking in the first person

  1. The Book of Enoch was originally five separate works by different authors, all
    speaking in the first person. Apart from the later inclusion of a few editorial passages
    to link them together, they have no continuity of thought and no connection with the
    message of the Bible or with the progressive revelation that we find in Scripture.
    What is even more striking is the extent to which it ignores Biblical truth, and in
    numerous places makes statements that actually conflict with what Scripture has
    revealed.
    A false god
  2. The Book of Enoch makes no convincing reference to the God of the Bible. Its ‘god’
    is the god of Plato and Greek metaphysics, a god with whom man cannot have a
    personal relationship. As some commentators have noted, the god of ‘Enoch’ is very
    similar to the Great Architect of Freemasonry.
    A false doctrine of sin
  3. The Book of Enoch teaches a deeply heretical concept of sin, one that makes a
    complete mockery of Biblical revelation. As far as its various authors are concerned,
    sin entered the world through the fallen angels. Mankind was the victim of an angelic
    invasion which fatally polluted the human germline and produced – in a way that is
    never clearly explained – a sharp demarcation between the righteous and the wicked.
    At some future date a messiah-type figure will emerge who will purge the earth of the
    latter and usher in the millennium.
    A purely human messiah
  4. The messiah-type figure in The Book of Enoch is not the Messiah of the Bible – of
    Isaiah, Zechariah, and the Psalms. There is only a tentative portrayal of him as a
    saviour and no indication whatever that he is divine

No doctrine of Redemption

  1. Without the Biblical doctrine of sin, The Book of Enoch never teaches, or even
    implies, that sin is repugnant to an awesomely Holy God or that man, in his fallen
    state, is completely alienated from God and needs a Redeemer. Rather earth is seen as
    a battleground in which good eventually triumphs over evil, where grace and mercy
    have no real meaning, and where death itself is but a phase in a cosmic struggle. The
    idea that sin must be punished and that the wages of sin is death is completely alien to
    the strange theology running through this book.
    Not part of the Jewish canon
  2. The Book of Enoch was never part of the Jewish canon of Scripture and was never
    recognized by Christians as part of Scripture.
  3. Reasons why this book is simply not trustworthy
    Now let’s examine the integrity of this book from an historical standpoint. Even
    though it is not part of the canon of Scripture and was not divinely inspired, is it
    possible that some of what it teaches is factually correct? For example, did it set out in
    written form an oral tradition that had been handed down for centuries from the time
    of Noah and, to that extent, rather like the First Book of Maccabees, contains material
    based on actual events?

As we shall see, the evidence clearly shows that The Book of Enoch is unreliable on
every level. Here are some further reasons for rejecting the book in its totality, in
addition to those already cited above:

  1. It was not written by the son of Jared
    The book masquerades as a work by Enoch, the son of Jared and grandfather of Noah,
    who lived more than three thousand years earlier. This shows that its authors were
    attempting to pass off as a true prophetic work a fictional composition of their own
    devising. Had the work been based on a long-established oral tradition and written in
    the third person, there would have been no need to engage in such a deception. So,
    either it was a bona fide copy of a document written three thousand years earlier by
    Enoch, or it was a deliberate fraud. The problem with fraudulent material is that none
    of its contents can be trusted. We have no way of knowing whether some parts, if any,
    were either factually true or based on actual events.
  1. We don’t know the source of Jude’s quotation
    Defenders of The Book of Enoch like to point to the quotation in the book of Jude and
    argue that, if Jude quoted Enoch, he must have been acknowledging the historical
    accuracy of the work known as The Book of Enoch:
    “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying,
    Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute
    judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all
    their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their
    hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
    (Jude 1:14-15)
    We know Enoch said this because the Bible tells us so. Where? In Jude 1:14-15. We
    have no way of knowing whether Jude consulted a text known as The Book of Enoch,
    that he regarded it as part of the canon of Scripture, or that he endorsed any other part
    of the book. All we know is that the Holy Spirit inspired Jude to include that
    quotation and its attribution in his letter.
    Paul quoted Epimenides (without attribution) in Titus 1:12 (“All Cretans are liars”)
    but we do not for a moment imagine that he was recommending the writings of
    Epimenides, a pagan, or that any part of his writings would edify believers.

Heresies in Chapters 1-5

Take the opening chapters (1-5) which describe the work of creation and conditions
on earth after the Tribulation. There is no indication here that the Son of God
incarnates and lives thereafter among the righteous. Salvation merely means living in
“light and grace and peace”. While the author does envisage the absence of sin and the
desire to sin, he goes on to say “they will complete the number of the days of their life
and their lives shall be increased in peace” (4.9) This is an outcome that could just as
easily have arisen without a Messiah, without salvation, and without any
reconciliation between God and man. He also confuses the millennium with the
eternal state and deals with the question of sin in an infantile way, as something that
will simply no longer exist. The staggering price that must be paid to achieve this is
not even hinted at. These chapters (1-5) read more like a fairytale than a vital part of
God’s revelation to man.

Heresies in Chapters 6-11

Okay, let’s look at the next six chapters (6-11). These are without doubt the ones that
have contributed most to the notoriety of The Book of Enoch by twisting the plain
interpretation of Genesis 6 into a science fiction drama. It begins with two hundred
angels conspiring together to invade earth and make wives of human women. The
following statement is attributed to ‘Semjaza’, the leader of this renegade group: “I
fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty
of a great sin.” In all 19 of these fallen angels are named (6:7), none of whom are
mentioned in the Bible. Given that only two fallen angels are named in the Bible,
Lucifer/Satan and Abaddon/Apollyon, and only two righteous angels, Gabriel and
Michael, we find here an obvious attempt to portray these rebels in heroic or
sympathetic terms.
They then take one wife each and, after defiling them, teach them “charms and
enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants.” (7:1)
This conflicts with the account in Genesis where Adam was created with the skills he
needed to carry out the job that God had given him, which would have included a
knowledge of botany (just like his knowledge of zoology). So it was not an occult
skill that could be acquired only through the intervention of fallen angels, but a gift
that mankind had already received from God.

The book then claims (7:2) that the giants born to the human women grew to a height
of “three thousand ells” in height. Since an ell is about the same length as a cubit (18″
or so) these giants were meant to have attained a height of 4500 feet, which is absurd.
Some defenders of The Book of Enoch imagine that this passage should have read
“three hundred ells”, making the giants 450ft tall, but that too is ridiculous. Even if we
assume that a height of “thirty ells” or 45ft was intended, we still end up with a
physical impossibility.
Apart from the obvious fact that a woman could not give birth to a child that would
later attain a mature height of 45ft, human physiology and the laws of anatomy set an
upper limit (literally) on how tall we can grow. If we double in height we also
increase substantially in volume. This creates serious problems for our internal heat
regulation since the ratio of our total mass to our total surface area (our skin – through
which we lose most of our body heat) is greatly reduced. If we were 45ft tall, we
would risk dying from heat stroke if we undertook any sustained physical exercise.
Our skeletal structure is also designed to deal with normal stress loads, such as those
produced, for example, when we turn our head suddenly. If we were 45ft tall, the
axial stress on our cervical vertebrae would be immense and any sharp movement
could cause our neck to snap (This is similar to shaken-head trauma in infants).
The Bible speaks of giants with specific reference to their height in only a few places.
Goliath was about 9’4″ in height, while Og, the king of Bashan, had a bed that
measured about 13’6″ in length. We can see therefore that the height attributed to the
“giants” in The Book of Enoch is both physiologically impossible and entirely
inconsistent with what the Bible says about giants.

Factors affecting the size of humans

It should also be noted that abnormally oversized people were not very common, even
in Biblical times. After the Exodus, when the Israelite scouts returned with news that
the people of Canaan were unusually tall, they were referring to the inhabitants of a
land that was “flowing with milk and honey.” They enjoyed optimum nutrition for
many centuries, while the unfortunate Israelites had been oppressed, malnourished,
and overworked for generations.

It is well known that a low protein diet greatly affects the overall height of a
population. Undernourished mothers bear smaller children, who in turn go on to give
birth to even smaller children unless their nutrition improves. Racial grouping is
another factor. The average height of an adult male in Denmark today is 6ft. Compare
that with the average height of an adult male in Indonesia (5’2″) or Bolivia (5’3″). It is
quite possible that the Israelites who left Egypt at the time of the Exodus were
significantly smaller in stature than the people of Canaan for perfectly normal reasons.

Sharp conflicts with the Genesis account

The Book of Enoch then goes on to say that these enormous giants “devoured
mankind”. This is generally taken to mean that they actually ate human flesh, though
it is also possible that they simply exploited and oppressed mankind to the point of
extinction. But this conflicts with what the Bible tells us. Noah spent 120 years
building a huge ship and no-one ate him. And no-one ate his sons or their wives. And
the giants didn’t interrupt the construction of this great ship – which must surely have
been visible to all as a project that defied the giants and their authority. According to
chapter 7 of The Book of Enoch, the giants then “began to sin against birds, and
beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another’s flesh, and drink the blood.”
So, when they were finished eating mankind, they began killing and eating each other.

If chapters 1-5 were akin to a fairytale, then chapters 6-7 are a gothic horror story
penned by an imaginative schoolboy. According to this bizarre book, there were
virtually no humans left on earth when God sent the Flood. These psychopathic giants
had eaten nearly everyone, plus many of their own kind, and had even sinned against
birds and beasts, reptiles and fish (though in what sense is never explained). This
entire scenario contradicts the Genesis account in an outlandish way, to the point
where it even seems to be mocking God’s Word.

Remember, we have examined only the first 7 chapters (out of 108) and found a large
amount of apostate material, some of which conflicts so strongly with God’s Word
that we cannot understand how anyone could have thought it might be a ‘lost book’ of
the Bible!

It would take a lengthy treatise to deal adequately with the rambling, self-indulgent
and sometimes incoherent material in the remaining chapters. The ‘author’ portrays
himself as a great prophetic hero who travels back and forth to heaven as an
intermediary between God and man and, incredibly, between God and the fallen
angels. Along the way he has more divine encounters and heavenly journeys than any
of the prophets. He is even shown around hell and the celestial regions. His vaunted
stature is well captured in the sub-title to one of the many books on ‘Enoch’ that are
available on the bookshelves today – Greater than Abraham, Holier than Moses (see
image above).

Even more heresy

We will now examine a few of the more jarring passages in the remainder of the
book. As our grandparents would have said, some of them stick out like a sore thumb:
“And again the Lord said to Raphael: ‘Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast
him into the darkness…the whole earth has been corrupted through the
works that were taught by Azazel: to him ascribe all sin.'” [10:4&8]
Seemingly all sin is ascribed to the leader of the band of fallen angels known as the
Watchers – to just one entity. Not to the fallen angels or to any member of the human
race. The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans
3:23) – but not according to the false prophet known as ‘Enoch’.
There is no suggestion anywhere in the Bible that the fallen angels could possibly be
redeemed. In order to redeem man, Christ had to become a man. The fallen angels
have no redeemer and no possibility of redemption. But ‘Enoch’ tries to prise the door
open just a little bit:
“Then I went and spoke to them all together, and they were all afraid, and
fear and trembling seized them. And they besought me to draw up a petition
for them that they might find forgiveness, and to read their petition in the
presence of the Lord of heaven.”
[13:3-4]
When he came before God “the Lord called me with His own mouth, and
said to me: ‘Come hither, Enoch, and hear my word.’…go, say to the
Watchers of heaven, who have sent thee to intercede for them: “You should
intercede for men, and not men for you.”” [14:24 and 15:2]

We are meant to imagine a scenario where the most dangerous of the fallen angels ask
a mortal man to intercede before God on their behalf. The Bible makes it quite clear
that all men are fallen, so how can a man in need of redemption approach God and
request clemency and redemption on behalf of the fallen angels? It is utterly absurd, a
blasphemous perversion of what the Bible plainly teaches. We see yet again how The
Book of Enoch trivializes sin and the damage caused by sin. It also glorifies a
particular man, namely ‘Enoch’ himself, and even has the audacity to portray him as a
Christ-like figure.

A different gospel

Later, just before the Flood, we see Enoch undertaking another journey to God – he
seems to be able to travel back and forth to heaven whenever he chooses – to
intercede on behalf of man:

“And now, O God and Lord and Great King, I implore and beseech Thee
to fulfil my prayer, to leave me a posterity on earth, and not to destroy
all the flesh of man, and make the earth without inhabitant…
” [84:5]
The Bible says “…there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man
Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), but not according to the false prophet known as ‘Enoch’.
This apostate book is teaching a different gospel, as well as a completely false
account of the relationship between God and man in his fallen, alienated state

Blasphemy
Later it tells us that ‘Enoch’ was sent back to earth to record for the benefit of mankind
the many revelations given to him in heaven:
“And I observed the heavenly tablets, and read everything which was written (thereon) and understood everything, and read the book of all the deeds of mankind, and of all the children of flesh that shall be upon the earth to the remotest generations.” [81:2]

“One year we will leave thee with thy son, till thou givest thy (last) commands, that thou mayest teach thy children and record (it) for them, and testify to all thy children; and in the second year they shall take thee from their midst.” [81:6]
In making these claims, it is ascribing to fallen man the ability to do what Christ alone
can do:
“And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” (John 3:13)
Yet again we see how The Book of Enoch diminishes the stature of Christ and
contradicts the Word of God in the most outrageous fashion.
Its demonic origin is also evident in a cleverly blasphemous statement in chapter 18.
On one of his many celestial journeys ‘Enoch’ claimed to have seen “the firm
foundations of the earth”, including “the corner-stone of the earth” [18:2] The
cornerstone is an important Messianic figure, familiar to all who love God’s Word, but
here it is deliberately stripped of its redemptive connotations and presented merely as
an inert lump of matter. The dark angel who channeled this work must have taken
great satisfaction in this.
Christ is also mocked in a later chapter when ‘Enoch’ relates yet another of his many
visits to heaven and describes what he calls “the four presences” before the throne of
God:
“And he said to me: ‘This first is Michael, the merciful and long-suffering…'” [40:9]
He is referring here to Michael the archangel and ascribing to him an attribute of
Christ. This is a common theme in the occult, where Christ is equated in some manner
with the angel Michael. Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Seventh Day Adventists,
for example, confuse the pre-incarnate Jesus with Michael.

The character of God and of the righteous angels is also mocked:
“And your Creator will rejoice at your destruction…” [94:10]
“And the angels of heaven rejoice over your destruction
.” [97:2]

These passages refer to the fate of the wicked. But they contradict the Word of God:
As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked…”
(Ezekiel 33:11)
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” (Luke 15:10)

Gnosticism

The Gnostic mindset of the authors of this apostate book is clearly evident in the
following passage (which relates to the Flood):
“And all the waters shall be joined with the waters: that which is above the heavens is the masculine, and the water which is beneath the earth is the feminine.” [54:8]
We have here the occult principle, As Above So Below, and a related principle, the
merger of the masculine and feminine to produce the right spiritual outcome. These
are central to the Babylonian religion (gnosticism, cabala, freemasonry) but are
anathema to all who love God’s Word.
The Gnosticism of this strange book is carried even into the heights of heaven. In
chapter 14 ‘Enoch’ describes a crystalline structure in heaven, surrounded by tongues
of fire. When he entered it he found “its ceiling was like the path of the stars and the
lightnings…” [14:11]. He is then led from this “house” into an even greater one, “built
of flames of fire.” He said it was beyond description, that “its floor was of fire, and
above it were lightnings and the path of the stars…” [14:17]. He then saw a great
throne from which streams of flaming fire went forth: “And the Great glory sat
thereon, and His raiment shone more brightly than the sun and was whiter than any
snow.” [14:20].

Incredibly we have here a description of the inner courts of heaven, the ceiling of
which is covered with “the path of the stars” – the Zodiac! This is the Babylonian
concept of heaven, where the constellations or “path of the stars” are displayed in a
great Astrological panorama above the throne of god.
The Tower of Babel had – or would have had – a similar astrological motif at its
pinnacle:
And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:4)
The words “may reach” are in italics in the KJV, indicating that they had no Hebrew
equivalent in the original text. If these supplementary words are omitted, the clause
would read “whose top [is] unto heaven” – or as some commentators put it, whose top
would comprise a representation of the constellations. The Tower of Babel was
planned as an astrological temple, a shrine to Satan.

COnclusion

The Book of Enoch is part of the great End Time deception. It was concealed like an explosive mine in the depths of time by the Great Deceiver, in readiness for the day
when its particular brand of poison would be most effective.
There is no doubt that this is a channeled work, planned in detail by demons and
transmitted to the world through willing human vessels. In this regard it is similar to
the writings of Alice Bailey, who channeled a large quantity of occult philosophy on
behalf of her ‘spirit guide’, one of the fallen angels.
In her autobiography Far Memory, Joan Grant describes how she channeled word-byword a work which made no sense to her at the time since different portions of the
book were transmitted to her in a random sequence. It was only when she had finished
the manuscript and arranged it on the floor of her living room that she was able to
piece it all together. And it fit perfectly. The book is known to the world as the occult
bestseller, Winged Pharaoh.

We are seeing today a great inundation of occult writings, composed in the
supernatural realm and given to the world via willing servants of darkness. The Harry
Potter books are a good example of this, a cunningly crafted introduction to
witchcraft and esoteric doctrine – aimed mainly at children.
So what did the authors of The Book of Enoch hope to achieve? Here are just some of
the ‘benefits’ that the authors and their spirit guides could have expected from this
subversive work:

  1. Anyone who believed the book would misinterpret the Word of God. In
    particular they would imagine that fallen angels mated with humans at
    some time in the past and corrupted the human genome.
  2. The idea that a Nephilim bloodline still exists will cause mankind to
    believe that an alien intelligence is at work in our modern world, and
    may even be part of a plan to invade the earth with UFOs.
  3. The Biblical understanding of sin is replaced by a false concept in which
    all responsibility for sin is placed on the fallen angels. Righteous men,
    who are saved by their good works, have no need to repent.
  4. It raises the possibility that evil itself is produced by a ‘serpent seed’ or
    demonic gene and that, if all carriers of this evil gene are destroyed, the
    earth will be at peace and the millennium will commence. Much the
    same idea was promoted by William Branham, a widely admired false
    prophet who died in 1965.
  5. It portrait of a messiah-type figure could just as easily apply to a New
    Age ‘Ascended Master’. Even though the ‘Parables’ in chapters 37-71
    contain several references to ‘the Son of Man’ and ‘Mine Elect One’,
    there is no indication anywhere that the Messiah is the Son of God. In
    fact, ‘Enoch’ himself is depicted as a messiah-type figure, with the ability
    to ascend to heaven and return with knowledge that will benefit mankind
    and lead, seemingly, to perfection on earth.
  6. It gives a portrait of God that is completely incompatible with that of the
    Bible. The god of ‘Enoch’ is the god of Plato and the mystics. He will
    spare the righteous because of their good works, but the wicked – who
    received forbidden knowledge from the fallen angels – will be destroyed.
  7. It contains many ideas that are plainly pagan. Those who thrive are the
    ones who possess the secret knowledge brought from heaven by ‘Enoch’
    himself. Salvation (which is little more than eternal prosperity) is found
    through good works and the application of this knowledge.
    How can anyone claim to believe God’s Word and yet regard this work as a ‘lost book’
    of the Bible? It is impossible!

The apostle Paul warned us not to pay heed to “Jewish fables” (Titus 1:14), of which
The Book of Enoch is a stunning example. Indeed, the apostle Peter could have been
referring to works of this kind when he said “For we have not followed cunningly
devised fables…” (2 Peter 1:16)

They Lie In Wait To Deceive

This particular fable is likely to receive additional impetus in the coming years, not
only from the ongoing stream of books, movies and prophecy seminars that eulogize
the Nephilim, but from an unexpected source. Seemingly someone is claiming to have
found on the international antiquities market a manuscript purporting to be a complete
copy of The Book of Enoch in Aramaic. According to a former chief editor of The
Dead Sea Scrolls, now deceased, the scroll is well preserved and has been
microfilmed. It was allegedly found in one of the caves at Qumran in 1956.

If it exists and if it is proven to be ‘authentic’ it will confirm – according to the experts
– that the prophecies in The Parables (chapters 37-71) relating to ‘the Son of Man’
were written before the time of Christ (a question that has long been disputed). Since
these allegedly make important predictions about the true messiah, this scroll will
authenticate The Book of Enoch as a whole and prove beyond all doubt that it is truly
a ‘lost book’ of the Bible.
Sadly, many will fall for this deception. Having drifted far from the Bible they will no
longer hear its cautionary words:
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” Ephesians 4:14


Jeremy James
Ireland
May 5, 2017
For further information visit http://www.zephaniah.eu
Copyright Jeremy James 2017

John G. Lake Re-Examined Part 2

Testimony Of 50 Year Resident Of Spokane Washington Discounts Lakes Claims And Impact

Battle Lines’ 

Christian Research Ministries Newsletter -Spokane Washington U. S. A 
https://files.meetup.com/1768370/JohGLake1.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2n7fNxV1hhbRYZtQk82yLAAMttmc5hzU3kmvBNtbRjEPkrcoclZRUrLwM

The Revival Of John G. Lake’s Ministry

Following Toronto & Brownsville: What’s really being revived? January 1, 2000 

Table of Contents 

The Prophecy -Examine Everything Carefully- Lake’s Foundation: John Alexander Dowie -The Silence of the Ministry of Lake    The Fruit of the Poisonous Tree -Dominion and The Manifested Sons -A Look at the Teachings of Lake-Patterns Of Contradictions -Were Lake’s Claims Exaggerated? -Healing Methods: Divine or Induced? -How Believable Was Lake? The Final Analysis References

The Prophecy Re: Spokane Washington

 (Failed Prophecies Of John G. Lake -1924 & Bobby Conner 1997) 
A couple of years ago I had heard there was prophecy that the faith healing ministry of the late John G. Lake was going to be revived in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Lake had this ministry in the early 1900s in Spokane, Washington, and briefly in Portland Oregon. He claimed to have healed over 100,000 people in Spokane while he ran his “Healing Rooms” at what he called “The Divine Healing Institute”. He is said to be one of the founders of the Apostolic Church, which appears Lake started in South Africa before he came to Spokane around 1914. Lake died in 1935. 
These prophecies have turned the Pacific Northwest of the United States into the proposed continuation of the activities and doctrines of Toronto “Blessing” and the Brownsville “River”. Interestingly, many of the same motivating forces [including people] of Toronto and Brownsville are also behind this new one. They are calling it, The Pacific Northwest Revival. 
Initially there were two prophecies concerning a revival, by Lake himself. One was made in 1920 while Lake was in Portland. Another was uttered in Spokane in 1929 based upon a vision he said he was given in Portland in 1924. More recent was a vision that Bobby Connor said he had in 1997 that was somewhat “interpreted” by Rick Joyner, announcing the revival of Lake’s ministry. Bobby Connor has a ministry called A Demonstration of God’s Power, in Moravian Falls North Carolina, and Rick Joyner is associated with the Kansas City Prophets and has The Morning Star Bulletin. Word of this recent prophecy was also heard at the Brownsville gathering in Pensacola Florida. As we will see, there are interesting connections and commonalties with Lake, Brownsville [and Toronto], Kansas City, and the groups behind them.

In Portland, Lake claimed to have had a visit from an angel while in Mt. Tabor Park. Mt. Tabor is a, for now, extinct volcano in Portland. I won’t go into the whole prophecy, but it said in part that this angel appeared to Lake, opened up a bible to the second chapter of Acts and spoke to Lake saying, “This is Pentecost as God gave it through the heart of Jesus. Strive for this, contend for this. Teach the people to pray for this. For this alone will meet the necessity of the human heart and have the power to overcome the forces of darkness.”
The second by Lake was made in Spokane in 1929, but he refers to it coming to him in 1924. Lake was angry because of dissension among his ministry leaders after he left Spokane and went to Portland. He said to them. “Five years ago when my heart was broken, in the agony of my heart I disappeared into the woods of Oregon for 21 days with God, and he Showed me a church in Spokane that would be as pure as Jesus Christ. When it will come, I don’t know, but it will never come from a lot of slop and evangelistic mess, but when we live our lives on God’s alter.”2  I’ll go further into these two prophecies later. 

Connor’s vision had to do with seeing an intense white light, hearing a voice and seeing a train coming down some tracks through an area of snow capped mountains. On the front of the train were the words “Judgment” and “Mercy”. Connor said the voice told him this train was God’s “Gold and Diamond Train” and then “God’s Goal Train”. But Connor said he saw the train was not filled with gold or diamonds, but with coal. Connor said the voice told him, “There will be plenty of true diamonds and real gold after the heat and pressure that are coming”. Connor said of this, “I knew he was speaking of refining, and the passage of Malachi 3 came into my heart.” Connor then quoted Malachi 3:1-3 that says; “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come into his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who shall abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap: and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” 

Connor then said that the voice told him that some coming volcanic activity in Bend, Oregon would be the announcement of one of the greatest healing revivals in history. He said that the voice told him the revival would start around Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, go across Canada to Vancouver, down the Northwest coast of the U. S. and then to the Far East. Connor continued; “I was then told to spell locomotive, “local-motive”. The Lord said that this local area in the Northwest was a seedbed of the healing anointing that was upon John G. Lake. The sign of the volcanic activity around Bend, Oregon, is that the Lord is turning up the heat, but it will bring about a refining and purifying of His people so He can release healing in the earth in an unprecedented way. The voice which was speaking then said to me, ‘Have you ever seen anything like this”? 

Examine Everything Carefully

The Word of God is explicit in warning us concerning false teachers, prophets and prophecy in the last days. While saying not to despise prophetic utterances, the Word also warned to “examine everything carefully”. When one hears of such seemingly excessive claims of healing 100,000 people, prophecies of a revival of this healing ministry and some of the way it was presented, the “spiritual” experiences, and the interpretation, it would be folly not to look into these and the other things involved in it. This is the content of this newsletter. 

First we need to consider Lake’s prophecy of 1920. The “being” told Lake “This is Pentecost”. That was almost 80 years ago. What happened to this “Pentecost”? Did John G. Lake have “favor with all the people” as those in the real Pentecost Did? Did it “turn the world upside down” as the real Pentecost did? Or did it die, as opposed to Pentecost? What happened in the Portland area, in the Spokane area?

Lake’s Foundation: John Alexander Dowie 

Lake’s beliefs and healing ministry was largely the result of having John Alexander Dowie as his mentor and instructor. Dowie, a self-proclaimed healer, apostle and prophet, was founder of The Christian Catholic Church, and large commune called Zion City in the Chicago area in the early 1900s. Dowie was a highly followed person in the Pentecostal Movement in his early years; but was he a man to follow and pattern after? 

While highly esteemed among those in this movement, the people of Chicago saw a different side of what was happening back then. One report in 1895 said of Dowie;  “Dowie’s whole scheme of money making is founded upon the natural gullibility of a large proportion of the people and the advantages to be obtained from skill and sailing just inside the limits of the law. His scheme seemed perfect, He claimed to charge nothing for his personal ministries he established what he called his ‘Divine Healing Homes’. To these he invited the sick and crippled to come for healing ‘as his private guests’, not as patients. Of course it would only be fair to contribute toward the rent of the building and pay for the food, so a charge of $10.00 a week was imposed on these ‘guests’.”

Dowie had these “guests” renounce doctors, medication, alcohol, etc. He told them that all illness was the work of the devil and was the “invisible evidence of possession”. Dowie told them their cure would come from God only by Dowie’s request. We need to ask if these things are scriptural. That answer is, “No”. There no scriptural basis to say all illness is evidence of possession. And, Jesus is our only mediator, not any man. (p. 4)

Two of the most important aspects of concern cannot be overlooked in determining Lake’s foundation. Dowie, as many others in the Apostolic/Prophetical movement today, claim for themselves as Dowie claimed; he came in the spirit of Elijah. Now while many at that time thought Dowie had lost it, this is still a part of the Dominion Theology today, and those pushing this new revival. Recall that the verses in Malachi concerning Elijah came to the mind of Connor in his vision. And there are many “Elijah” type ministries out there today, some involved in this very movement. 

Dowie claimed that his Zion City was the “New Jerusalem” and would be the capital of the world, “the starting point of the restoration, the city from which God would personally direct the affairs of his kingdom.”10 The theme of Dominion is still in this as well as the declaration of a spiritual center for revival. Not much difference in this prophecy and that of the one’s of Lake’s ministry revival; spiritual centers. By the way, those in the occult also have them.  So, after Zion City, and a mission stay in Africa where he founded the Zion Apostolic Church, John G. Lake came to Spokane.

The Silence Of The Ministry Of Lake

 Now since I was born in Spokane, Washington and have lived here fifty years, I wondered why I had never heard of John G. Lake until 1997? You would think that a man who ushered in Pentecost, and healed 100,000 people, would have a sacred place among Spokane’s history and be some sort of man of renown, his deeds carried on through time. But as I started researching, I found this was not the case.

The Spokane Library had only a few old newspaper articles on Lake. The Spokane Historical Society had less. For a man who made all these claims, he did not leave an impressionable impact, I thought! And what of the fruit of this early ministry in Spokane? 

“I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain….” John 15:16 There did not appear to be any evidence that this Pentecost and the healing ministry remained. It seems quite the opposite has happened, both noted historically, and through time observation. When Billy Graham came here with his Crusade in the early 80’s, he said there was a dark cloud over the area. He was right. Yet, even after the crusade, this dark cloud remains. Here are some examples. 
The Mormon influence in the area is such that they built a temple in Spokane this year. The church most sought out when it comes to spiritual matters and public influence is the Catholic Church. The region is an immigration place of Christian Identity [Aryan, white supremacist, constitutionalists], and similar type persons. It is also considered a spiritual site by those in the occult. So they grow in numbers here. In 1988 there were about 1,500 practicing witches in Spokane11. How many more today along with the other occult influences? Many. 

And what about health and healing? Spokane is known for it’s medical facilities and the medical field is one of the largest “industries” in Spokane [Lake considered anyone who went to doctor a heathen]. Spokane is also noted for having the second highest rate of MS in the world. 

Where did this Pentecost go? Doesn’t the Word of God say that light overcomes the darkness? Why was there so little information on Lake’s time in this area other than the claims uttered by himself and reprinted in books and newspaper advertisements I found? Lake himself said, 

“I traveled around the United States evangelizing until April 1928, when I returned to Portland and took up the old work. But I found it so wrecked, so depreciated in faith, and the fire of God gone out of it to the degree that it would not be any harder to have gone into a new field and established a new work; than it would to rebuild the old one.” John G. Lake – His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, pg xxv 

We again must ask if this being that spoke to Lake and the one that spoke of the revival to Connor were of God. So, in less than four years, despite all the professed miracles, despite the angel’s declaration of Pentecost, Lake says there was no more faith, no more fire, nothing but a wreck. This does not say much about signs and wonders keeping things going; does it? Or, did the signs, wonders, and experiences cease and take faith away? 

The first prophecy died and was seemingly swept under the carpet. God’s true messengers do not tell fables or exaggerations. We are instructed, for a good reason, to test the spirits. There is no indication from Lake or Connor that they did this. 

Then let’s consider the concept of “revival”. Revival is not needed unless something is dead, is it? So the second 1997 prophecy comes into question; Pentecost of a wrecked Pentecost [a dead one?]. This did not seem to make sense. The further I researched into Lake’s sermons, claims, and the historical aspects of his time in Spokane and Portland, I found more reason to question the prophecies, past and present. I began to understand the “why” of the silence in this area concerning Lake in that era. (pgs.4-5)

Necromancy Is All Right?

 After Lake’s first wife died, a woman with a bad eye contacted him. Lake said that the “Spirit” came over her while she was sitting in a chair. Lake gave this account;  “She arose from her chair, her eyes quite shut, and came in my direction. I got up and moved my chair. She walked right around and came to me. She slipped her fingers down, gave me a little chuck just like my late wife would have done, and said, ‘Jack, my Jack, God is with you all the time. Go right on. But my baby, my Teddy, I am so lonesome for him, but you pray so hard, you pray so hard’.“21  

According to Lake, this was his deceased wife talking to him. Also, according to Lake, there is nothing in the Word that says contacting the dead is wrong. Lake said, “Listen, it is not dragging spirits up, and it isn’t dragging some spirits down. There is nothing about calling spirits down from God in the Word; only about calling them up out of the depths.”22 “Now I want you to fix this in your mind. The blood washed always go there [3rd heaven] and if you ever talk to anyone that is over there you will GO TO THEM. They are not going to leave the throne, but they will say, ‘Brother, come up here’. That is the only way you will ever communicate with them.”23 

This is quite a misuse of scripture to fit an occult practice. Another New Age teaching of today. What does God say about mediums and contacting the dead, period? “…thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you one that…useth divination, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord….” Deut 18:9, 10, 11, 12 Was Lake right, or again did he contradict scripture? How can the next spiritual phenomenon be excused away? 

Spiritism

In one of his stories, Lake told of a sick man in the woods of Kellogg, Idaho who was going to die. Lake said,  “The son had been in much prayer about this matter. One day he stood on a log road and presently he said a man appeared a little distance ahead, and as the gentleman approached he addressed Mr. Hunt saying, ‘I am Mr. Lake. I have healing rooms in Spokane. If you will bring your father there, the Lord will heal him.’ He was so impressed, that he got his father and brought him to me for prayer, and the Lord healed him….”24  If this story is true, whatever spoke to the son was not Lake, yet it said it was. Therefore it lied, and was what? A lying spirit. Lake had many such stories of this type, including the following example of several.

Speaking of the same woman who acted as a medium to channel a spirit that was supposedly his wife, the following is a continuation of the instance; same time, same room. Lake said,  “After a while she sat down and the Spirit came upon her [Wait a minute; Lake had previously said the spirit was already upon her!] Presently she said it seemed as if she escaped out of herself and traveled so far and so fast…. Presently she said, ‘I observed I was being approached by a beautiful lady who was tall…She said her name was Jean…’.” Being said, “You come with me. I will take you to Jesus….”25 

Lake said that all this happened in his office. He gives several instances of this type of Out of Body Experience, more commonly known among the occult as soul travel. Some are of him traveling by spirit from Africa to America to heal someone, or being lifted up over Africa and seeing the state of the country, or being projected into the future into Africa and seeing the church building he was going to minister in, etc (p.8-9)

How Believable Was Lake? Stock Fraud

As I researched the claims of Lake, I noticed there seemed to be so much difference in what was in his sermons [healing claims, spiritual manifestations, dominion, man of God attributes, and others], and what was not said in the sermons or other pro Lake writings concerning the real historical life of Lake. Aside from all the previous noted frauds and contradictions, more things were evident that make all of his claims and motives suspect. 

Where Did Tithes Go? 

Lake said, “The ministry of God must ever be without money and without price… For ten years God has privileged me to preach the gospel without salary without collections. I never asked a man for a cent in my life, and I have lived, bless God, and been able to minister every day. God has met me every time….”59 This sounds all rather good, righteous, spiritual and displays integrity. But is this the way it really was? What Lake said was not happening in 1921 as seen in the following accounts. The headlines in the Oregonian read;  “STOCK BONUS FOR TITHE; Letter From ‘Healer’ Lake Offers Gift For Money; Early payment of religious dues by Spokane couple urged to get mining shares.60  Is this how God met Lake every time, by Lake taking tithe money and investing it in his own mining company and giving a bonus to those who gave him their tithe? Is this how he was able to minister without collections and follow his own statement that the ministry of God must ever be without money and without price? It seems that the historical does not match the books; does it? Lake was arrested in violation of stock laws. The methodology he used was revealed in a letter he sent to one of his church members. The letter was printed as part of the article in the previously mentioned headlines. In part it read;  “In my conversation with you…you told me it was your plan to pay $500 tithes this year…. If you will pay the $500, if possible, in one installment, by October 4, I would make you a gift of the note for $200 that you gave to…. …I want to advise you to hold that stock until such time as I tell you to sell it…. Trusting that you will see the advantage of this offer and regard it as the fulfillment of God’s promise to him who faithfully and honestly keeps the covenant with God in tithing. Of course you understand that to do this it will be necessary for your tithes to be paid to me for this work. Let this letter be a matter of confidence between ourselves, as I would not want to arouse jealousy on the part of others.”61 

Of course this was not honest. It was, in fact, fraud. Tithes were deceptively given directly to Lake for stock investment. This was not honest, nor was his statement to the people he wrote the letter to; there was nothing faithful or honest to think that one would receive God’s promise as a result of deception as Lake told these people. There was an advantage to the offer; but only to Lake. Why would he want to keep this transaction a secret if, as he said, giving tithes to him would bring about the fulfillment of the promise of God. Wouldn’t he want the rest to know this? No, because he would be found out! If it was God’s promise, then God was a liar, because several people did not get any of the promised returns. They sued Lake; one couple asking for the return of $58,000. In one such instant;  “Though $1000 was paid, Lake refused to deliver 2000 shares of unsubscribed stock”62 

One former member of one of Lake’s churches said in an affidavit that Lake, “…used his church work to promote his various mining schemes with the idea of first gaining the confidence of people through the common ground of religion and then selling to the members of the congregation stock in which he was interested in.”63 Describing false teachers, the Word says, “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 2:2
There are many making a lot of money from this Pacific Northwest Revival and the streams of people flocking to it. Jack Hayford’s Cleansing Stream Ministries is one. Seminars teaching people the heretical “Deliverance” ministry are charging over $200.00 to attend. And people are paying for it along with many other things attached to this “revival”! Angrily rebuking the people in His temple, Jesus said, “Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house a house of merchandise.” John 2:16 BUT THEY ARE DOING IT! (p.12)

The Final Analysis

One of the larger problems in the realm of the church today is that many are people, personality, and experience followers. Because of this, many just believe everything without considering that there just may be something amiss. Impressed by boastful claims of miraculous signs and wonders, the need to have spiritual experiences, and the hope that some good will happen, also can blind us to the reality of what is happening today. And as I read the so-called prophecies from the self-proclaimed prophets of today, it is disturbing that people awe at what they say without any reservation. 

Let me tell you something; God is not offended if you test or question anyone who claims to be a prophet or apostle. God is not offended if you test or question their prophecies, their teachings, their signs and wonders, because God commanded us to do so. Why? Because God said there would be deception in the last days, false signs and wonders, false prophets and prophecies. But this whole revival movement and all that is associated with it speaks different and in opposition to what God said; Question, Test! Some leaders in this movement have warned their members not to question as we have seen. Some use fear tactics, saying if you don’t follow, don’t agree, it may effect your being in the kingdom. Some in this group of prophets and apostles say if you do not listen to them, you are opposing God. Some say to question, to say anything they consider negative about their prophecies or teachings, is touching “God’s anointed”. Some say, just like the occultists say, if you do not listen to the prophets and apostles, you will be removed from the earth. All these oppose what is true and are in opposition to the command of God. Do not listen to anyone who tells you, do not question! 
Let me ask you something. If they are of the truth, what would they have to be concerned about with people questioning and testing? Why don’t they want you to do what God told you to do? You don’t have to be in a commune in Waco or South America to be deceived into bowing to the words of the self proclaimed chosen voices of God today. Are not they saying, “follow me or else…?”. The reason that they do not want any questioning is they stand a chance of loosing control, control of what is true, and control of the people. The true prophecies of the last days are written in the Word of God. 
“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 shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim 4:3-4 “An wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jer 5:30-31 

 Almost Believable…Almost

The prophecies of this revival based upon the early ministry of John G. Lake would be almost believable except for, the foundation of his doctrine that he and all Christians are gods; except for the fact that while claiming dominion power, the historical accounts and his own showed he had none; except for the fact that he said there was light in religions that oppose God; except for the fact that he said mediums and channeling the dead were all right; except for the fact that he said in his sermons he could discern diseases, but some stories showed otherwise; except for the fact that he claimed he soul traveled like those in the deep occult claim; except for the fact that in opposition to scripture Lake claimed science could discover the ways of God; except for the fact he was deceptive; except for the fact that the being that gave the prophecy to Lake was wrong about “Pentecost”, except for the fact that none of this is scriptural. In short, this proclaimed revival is based on the legend of a person, and a person who proclaimed more New Age doctrine that truth. Would God give a prophecy of the return of something filled with falsehoods, deception, and doctrine that is contrary to His own Word? Yes, but noting his opposition to it. However, these current prophecies were not negative about it. They looked forward to it. But what is their source? Prophesied Unity… But With Whom?

So in ending this newsletter I encourage those of you who follow these things and the people who teach them, to realize the inconsistency and distorted legend that this revival, it’s doctrines and experiences are based upon; and to question. But I know that some of you will not see this, but continue with it, succumbing to these prophets warnings not to check out information such as this, and like the Jehovah Witness that left my house when shown the truth, will get mad; even to the point overlooking the lie of lies that is the root of the beliefs; you can be like god. I hope this is not you. 

Battle Lines-Christian Research Ministries Newsletter -Spokane Washington U. S. A

THE HEALING ROOMS MOVEMENT- WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DqbW4NSHL-rPjeXcFh88XKLZHLYgYMH8/view

John G. Lake’s Clandestine Affair

https://www.themessedupchurch.com/blog/john-g-lakes-clandestine-affair

John G. Lake, considered to be a great divine healer in the early 20th century, is said to have healed over 100,000 people in his lifetime.

ClandestineDef.jpg

The city of Spokane, where he resided during part of his ministry is reported as being the healthiest city in the U.S. if not the entire world. Many popular Charismatic authors also make huge claims about Lake’s healing ministry. For example, in his book “The Rewards of Fasting,” Mike Bickle, the director of IHOP goes so far as to say: 

“He went to South Africa for five years and birthed hundreds of churches, seeing an estimated 500,000 healings, which included people being raised from the dead. He led untold thousands of people to Christ in those days.”

— “The Rewards of Fasting.” Apple Books.

Bill Johnson and Roberts Liardon make Lake out to be a man of great integrity, whose only desire was to see God’s power and healing in the life of every person:

“If there was ever a man who walked in the revelation of ‘God in man,’ it was John G. Lake. A man of purpose, vision, strength, and character, his one goal in life was to bring the fullness of God to every person.”

— Roberts Liardon: God’s Generals

And Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding California, says:

“God’s love poured through him. He saw people as lost sheep, and the passionate desire of his soul became the proclamation of the salvation message of Jesus, accompanied by powerful healing and blessing.”

— “Face to Face with God: The Ultimate Quest to Experience His Presence:

As a matter of fact, in many of Johnson’s books Lake is either mentioned, quoted, or praised. 

“Reading John G. Lake furthered my quest along the way. His insights into the Spirit-filled life are the greatest I have seen anywhere. His insights and stories ruined me.”

— Bill Johnson- Essential Guide to Healing

Bill Johnson loves John G. Lake so much that he put Lake’s photo (along with Kathryn Kuhlman) on the homepage of his website: Bill Johnson Ministries. Johnson has been building a collection of artifacts he calls the “House of Generals.”


But was John G. Lake the great man of God that Bill Johnson and these leaders make him out to be?

The answer to that question is, no, not at all.

And as you’re going to see, all it takes is a little digging to see that Lake was indeed a complete fraud. 

Who Was John G. Lake?

Who was Carol Goodenough?

Carol Goodenough was the teenage daughter of the Goodenough’s who provided a cottage for Lake and his family to live in after they arrived in South Africa as missionaries from 1908- 1913. In 1909 Lake returned to the States in order to raise funds for his mission work there. On the ship was 17 year old Carol Goodenough. She was returning to the States by the direction of her brother to go to school. Lake’s late wife Jennie and Carol were friends. Jennie died only 6 months after arriving in South Africa. After Jennie’s death in December of 1908, Lake became engaged to Ada White. Ada died from malaria that same year. Shortly after Ada’s death, Lake became engaged to Carol Goodenough. He was 38, she was 17. 


These early newspaper articles from 1909 tell the story of an affair that Lake’s biographers didn’t want anyone to know about.    

The Clandestine Affair

I hope that the information provided in this video will be helpful to those who are duped by modern day Charismatic leaders into thinking that John G. Lake was a man greatly used by God. Actually as you will see Lake was a liar and a fraud.

https://www.themessedupchurch.com/blog/john-g-lakes-clandestine-affair

Daniel Long is co-host of The Long For Truth podcast, and the Long For Truth blog.

John G. Lake-FormativeYears 1870-1908-Construed Biography

Part 1

Barry Morton

https://www.academia.edu/7005594/The_Making_of_A_Con_Man

During his career as a faith healer, John G Lake constructed a falsified biography that served to both legitimize his leadership in the Pentecostal movement and to provide evidence of miracles that he effected. This paper, which focuses on his activities prior to his South African mission of 1908-13, shows that the vast majority of his early biography is mere fiction. He was never an ordained minister as he claimed, nor was he a successful businessman. Later on, after he became involved in a series of brutal killings in Zion, IL,  in 1907, he was forced to reinvent himself after fleeing the area. In order to hide this sordid past, he invented a series of visions that allegedly called him to minister in Africa.

*(For full biography open link above)*

Contradictory Conflicting Accounts

Early Life And Move To Chicago

Lake was born in 1870, in a small village named Avonbank a few miles from the small town of St. Mary‟s, Ontario. 6 His father, James Lake, was an immigrant from Scotland who worked for a farmer named James Graham. On 1862 James Lake married Graham‟s daughter, Betsy, and the two would spend fifty one years together. Betsy would bear fifteen children, of whom seven would survive infancy.7 John Graham Lake was at least the fourth born. His eldest sibling was his sister Maggie, while his older brother (also named John) died the year before his birth. This made John G Lake his father‟s heir. 8

Sometime during the 1870s James Lake began to turn to self-employment. He rented stalls in the St. Mary‟s market, and sold produce and meat there. By 1878 he had a permanent butcher‟s shop in St. Mary‟s, and it would appear that the family had moved to the town. A picture of St. Mary‟s High School showing its “Senior Staff and Pupils” in the mid-1880s shows the young John GLake— our first known picture of him (Figure 1). His attendance at the school would certainly indicate the family‟s residence there. 9

In 1886 10 the Lakes moved from Ontario to the growing new center of Sault Ste Marie in Michigan‟s Upper Peninsula. The explanation for the move can probably be laid down to the boom times in the Upper Peninsula fostered by the opening up of the Soo Locks. These locks, which connected Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, allowed large freighters to trawl upper Great Lakes. A huge logging boom also occurred, following which the entire Upper Peninsula was stripped of its massive forests in a huge burst of primitive accumulation. During the process, Sault Ste Marie grew and attracted new residents drawn to opportunities in transportation, shipping, trading, and logging.As far as can be told the Lakes bought a house on Bingham Ave in central Sault Ste Marie soon after arrival 11 This three-story four-poster structure served as a butchery/produce shop on the ground floor, while the family lived in the second floor and third story attic.

John G Lake lived in Sault Ste Marie for only three years during his youth, and we have minimal information about his time there. Apparently having finished his schooling in Canada, Lake did not attend further high school in Sault Ste Marie, and he is not mentioned as being part of graduating classes in the years following his family‟s immigration. 12 Some of his siblings,though, are frequently mentioned in newspaper lists of school honors in the 1890s. The young Lake, then, presumably went to work. We can assume he aided his father, or else began employment as a carpenter, his profession until 1904.

There is very little qualitative information about the Lake family. Lake himself emphasized his family‟s sickly nature and its piety, although his descriptions are not overly convincing. He claimed that the deaths of eight infant Lake children affected family morale greatly. “A strange train of sickness, resulting in death, had followed the family,” Lake recalled. 13 Lake claimed to have suffered from serious constipation as a child and youth, while many of his siblings allegedly had serious ailments. This led to the Lakes turning to religion for comfort. According to Lake, his family was Presbyterian in his early years, and then became Methodists while in St Mary‟s. He himself was apparently baptized as a Methodist as a fourteen year-old. 14 Following this, the Lakes remained Methodists in Sault Ste Marie. Lake almost surely exaggerated the nature and impact of these issues. His“ chronic constipation” was almost certainly an invention.Almost all faith healers (such as Charles Parham, Carrie Judd Montgomery, and Maria Woodworth-Etter ) of Lake‟s era claimed to have suffered from severe childhood illness, as would all of Lake‟s successors. So his “chronic constipation” is more of a genre statement than an actual illness. His youthful piety cannot also be confirmed. There is really no independent evidence of the Lake family attending church, even though such newspapers such as the Sault Ste Marie News and Sault Ste Marie Democrat routinely reported on church news from the late 1880s to 1890s. The Lakes were clearly not active members of any Methodist or Presbyterian congregation in Sault Ste Marie. Based on an argument of silence, the most likely explanation is that they were very occasional churchgoers, at most.

There is really no independent evidence of the Lake family attending church, even though such newspapers such as the Sault Ste Marie News and Sault Ste Marie Democrat routinely reported on church news from the late 1880s to 1890s. The Lakes were clearly not active members of any Methodist or Presbyterian congregation in Sault Ste Marie. Based on an argument of silence, the most likely explanation is that they were very occasional churchgoers, at most. One very rarely finds honesty in any of John G Lake‟s writings, but a throw -away line in one of his later sermons would appear to explain a lot about his early years: “when I was a boy…I was surrounded by as vile a set of men as have ever lived.” 15

As to what “vile” acts his family members were involved in, we cannot be sure. But this characterization of his family seems far more apt than one stressing their suffering and piety. What is clear is that John G Lake was set on becoming a religious con man from quite early on in adulthood, and the vast majority of his family members showed no compunction about assisting him in his deceptions… (Academia-p.4)

Problematic details with Lake’s biography- 1888-90 regarding claimed attendance a Methodist Episcopal Seminary in Newberry

Problematic details with Lake‟s biography first appear in the 1888-90 period, and appear to result from systematic deceptions on his part. According to the persona he later shaped as a faith healer, between 1888 and 1890 he attended a Methodist Episcopal Seminary in Newberry, MI.16 After being ordained, he was then offered a post in Pestigo, Wisconsin in 1891. 17 However, Lake declined to accept the appointment, because by this point he had developed a strong belief in “divine healing”, and he felt that the Methodist church had abandoned the true precepts of John Wesley. 18 Having declined to enter the ministry at this point, Lake moved to the new industrial suburb Harvey, Illinois on Chicago‟s South Side, where he claimed to have founded Harvey‟s first newspaper..19 All of this, though, is demonstrably false.

Lake did not attend seminary in Newberry, since no seminary of any kind existed there. Burpeau, Lake‟s apologist biographer, has attempted to reconcile this problem by maintaining that Lake “participated in the Sunday School Institute conducted by the Newberry, Michigan Methodist Episcopal Church.” 20 The local newspaper, the Newberry News, makes it clear, though, that Lake never attended the Sunday School Institute (which in any case lasted only 1 day!) in Newberry. He did not attend the event in November 1888, 21 nor did he attend the subsequent Quarterly Conference afterwards, and nor was he associated with the church‟s 9 -week revival in March 1889. 22 Nor is he listed as having attended or participated in any of the many church events and socials that were commonly reported on in the newspaper at any point between 1888 and 1890.

Lake, to put it simply, was not an ordained minister, although he wished to appear as one from his early 20s onwards. Burpeau also maintains that Lake took courses at Evanston‟s Garrett Bible Institute in the late 1890s, even though the university has no records of his registration! 23 This also could simply not be true, since Lake was a resident of Sault Ste Marie at the time. Moreover, Lake was listed in the 1900 Census as having less than ten years of formal education, meaning that he could not have attended seminary.

Lake’s Rejection Of Methodist Appt. Anachronistic

Another problem with Lake‟s version of his decision to reject the Methodist appointment is that it is anachronistic. Lake claimed to have rejected Methodism because of its unwillingness to recognize “divine healing”— a practice that John Dowie and A.B. Simpson introduced to the Midwest after 1890. Lake could not possibly have encountered Dowie or Simpson‟s churches until moving to Chicago after allegedly rejecting his pastoral appointment. His story is thus both contradictory and anachronistic, since Dowie only moved to the Chicago area in mid-1890 from California. Nor did Dowie even become well-known in Chicago until 1893. Interestingly,although Lake seems to have lived in Harvey from 1890 to 1896, he did not join the newly-formed First United Methodist Church that was started in 1890. 24 This seems to be a strange omission for someone who was ostensibly recently ordained and was being offered a pastorship at this time.

We have very little independent information about Lake‟s time in Harvey. It is clear that he moved there around 1890, as in July 1891 the Chicago Inter-Ocean lists him as on his way back to Sault Ste Marie for a vacation. 25 Lake did not start the Harvey Citizen newspaper as he claimed.This newspaper was owned by the industrial consortium that founded and built Harvey, Il.26 The editor of this conservative paper was not Lake, but Lucy Gaston, the famed temperance and anti-smoking agitator.27

Bearing in mind Lake’s claims to have converted to Christianity as a teenager, it is possible that he was attracted to the new suburb of Harvey by its evangelical ethos. The town was founded by a group of evangelical industrialists who developed it specifically as a dry, religious, pro- business town. Since Lake was definitely not a practicing Methodist while in Harvey, it is worth asking what religious group he was affiliated with at the time. The best answer appears to be that he frequented meetings at an outpost of A.B. Simpson‟s Christian and Missionary Alliance which held revival meetings in the Chicago suburbs from mid-1891 on. 28
Since Lake was clearly not a journalist, we can infer that he made his living in Harvey working in the construction trade. Harvey was a planned industrial suburb, and included a large residential section where Lake probably was involved in building new houses. In 1914, for instance, Lake said in a sermon that he had been a “builder” while in Harvey, and that he had considerable experience in roofing and foundation work. 29 It would seem obvious that Lake, having picked up some construction skills in Sault Ste Marie after leaving high school, migrated to the Chicago area to take advantage of well-paying work to be found there. (Academia-pgs.1-6)

Lake’s Marriage To Jennie Stevens

Lake‟s marriage to Jennie Stevens certainly did occur in his Harvey years, although many writers on Lake get the details wrong. Jennie, like Lake of Scottish descent, was three years older than him. She had grown up in Newberry, MI, where her father seems to have been a rather unsuccessful farmer. By 1888 his wife and daughter no longer lived with him at his shack in Newberry, but instead resided in Sault Ste Marie. They only visited the town occasionally, and he occasionally went to see them.33 Based on the 1900 census, it seems that the rest of the Stevens family resided two doors down from the Lakes on Bingham Ave, and that Lake met Jennie since she was a neighbor. Based on the absence of references in both Newberry and Sault Ste Marie newspaper reporting of church events, Jennie and her family were not active churchgoers. Hence Lake‟s story of how he met his wife is definitely embellished:
“When a young man, I stood in the aisle of the Methodist Church and was introduced to a young lady. As I touched her hand the marvelous moving of our natures was revealed. Presently something from her soul, that subtle something that Christians know and recognize as spirit, her spirit passed to me….she told me later that she had beeni n the habit of searching a young man‟s spirit to know if he was pure; but, she said, “In your case, the strange thing was, that my spirit made no such search. I just knew it. 34Following their marriage in Illinois in February 1892, 35 the Lakes soon began to have children. By the time of Jennie‟s death in 1908, they would have six, and would adopt another. Jennie was commonly described as a woman with many incurable ailments by her husband, although his many conflicting statements about her health, along with her dubious testimony regarding miraculous cures that she had undergone, lead one to doubt that she had any ailments at all. Lake maintained that she had tuberculosis and repeated paralysis in the mid-1890s, but these afflictions seem inconsistent with a woman delivering healthy children at the same time. 36
Jennie Lake was the perfect wife for Lake. A prim, quiet, ostensibly religious woman, she repeatedly was willing to testify on numerous occasions to miraculous healings that she never in fact experienced. From fairly early on in their marriage, Jennie was willing to support Lake‟s various cons and never deviated from his own narratives.

How Did Lake, Then Meet Dowie?

How did Lake, then, meet Dowie? Lake claimed that “I knew him from the beginning,” 42 whichwould seem to indicate that he encountered Dowie in his early Chicago days barnstorming the suburbs. If Lake indeed attended Christian and Missionary Alliance meetings after arriving in Chicago as alluded to earlier, his earliest contact with Dowie would have occurred in mid-1891,when Dowie and the Alliance conducted revivals together in the suburb of Western Springs. Dowie, though, fell out with the leader of the Alliance, A.B. Simpson, after a few meetings, and launched a vicious expose regarding Simpson‟s use of a runaway convict in a fraudulent healing ceremony at one of them. 43 Lake, though, is not mentioned as being one of Dowie‟s early Chicago members in 1890-1, and nor is his healing mentioned in any of Dowie‟s publications at this time. Given that Dowie publicized practically any successful healing he was responsible for,one could say with certainty that Lake was not healed by Dowie in in the early 1890s. 4

A potential key to the solution is the picture of the young Lake in the early 1890s, sitting on a porch wearing a priest‟s outfit and holding a bible in his lap. 45 Lake was not an ordained minister, but he clearly was willing to dress up as one and to have his photo taken as one. Hence, Lake had taken to impersonating a Priest while living in Chicago (in later life he would be twice arrested for impersonation). Did he do this on behalf of Dowie, or did he become attracted to Dowie after recognizing him as a fellow “religious adventurer”? 46 Given that Dowie‟s close friend in Australia, the aforementioned con man Holding, was known to impersonate clergymen,it is not far-fetched to assume that Dowie encouraged Lake along these lines. 47 Another potential answer to the early Lake-Dowie relationship would seem to lie in a series of dubious healings that Dowie claimed to have undertaken from 1894-6. During these years a number of “Harvey” residents were healed in public ceremonies, yet it would seem that none of them were actual Harvey residents (or even real people for that matter). The first of these “healings” involving a putative“ Harvey” resident was that of an alleged“ Civil War veteran” named“ James Nichols”. 48 Like almost all of the rest of the Harvey healed, Nichols cannot be found in local records, nor in modern databases. 49 During the next two years “Mrs H Cowan”, “George W Madden”, “Lewis Breaw”, and “Captain Redman” were all healed as well. The only Harvey resident cured by Dowie who can be identified in the historical record was the famous Lucy Gaston, the editor of the Harvey Citizen and famed temperance advocate. 50-(50-Leaves of Healing 3, 28 (1897): 433-4. In later years, Lake claimed to have been the Harvey Citizen editor at this time)

It would seem, therefore, that Lake‟s early role with Dowie was to supply him with individuals who could provide fake healing testimonies.After Lake returned to the Soo in 1896 there are no more claims of Harvey residents being healed in Dowie‟s publications. Lake claimed to have learned the art of faith healing from Dowie and nobody else: “Personally, I received my ministry in the gospel of healing though John Alexander Dowie, a man whom I have loved with all my soul.” 51 If that is the case, it would appear that he got his start organizing false testimonials and by acting as an audience plant (such as by impersonating a minister) for him. (Academia pgs.11-12)

Lake decided to leave Chicago in 1896 with his growing family, just as Dowie formed the new Christian Catholic Church. Lake‟s explanation for moving back to Sault Ste Marie was that his wife had been “pronounced incurable of consumption,” and needed to move north to a different climate. 54 This seems highly dubious on a number of levels. In the first place, Dowie preached that all sickness was caused by the Devil, so “incurable consumption” would indicate in Zionist terms that Jennie had lost her Christian faith! Additionally, the presence of Dowie as a formidable healer would mean that he had failed to cure her! Jennie Lake‟s “consumption”, then, was probably a fiction and not the reason for the move. More logical explanations, such as the end of the construction boom in Harvey, would seem to be more germane, as would the growth of Sault Ste Marie following the completion of the new locks in 1895. Whatever the case was, after returning to Sault Ste Marie in 1896, Lake was busy using his construction skills on local projects there, and Jennie‟s “consumption” is never mentioned again.

Foot Note -Conflicting Account 54 – Lindsay, John G Lake, 3. Jennie Lake gave a highly contradictory account of this period some six years later, by which time she had been involved in several other “distant cures”. She maintained that following the birth of her third child she developed curvature of the spine, then diphtheria and consumption. Doctors could not cure her,and advised her to move north. Once in Sault Ste Marie, she began reading Dowie’s literature, and asked her husband to pray for her. While praying, she heard the voice and Jesus and was instantly cured of all her ailments! A year later she was also cured of pneumonia! See “Written Testimony of Mrs. Jennie Lake,” Leaves of Healing 9(1901): 226

The Sault Ste Marie Sojourn, 1896-1901

For a five-year period, Lake pursued his career in his hometown as an independent “carpenter”and building contractor. Initially he was distant from Dowie‟s organization, only helping him to stage a few fake miracles. In 1898, though, he rejoined Dowie and organized a Zionist chapter in Sault Ste Marie. He would run this small congregation for three years, before deciding to migrate to Dowie‟s new urban utopia, Zion Illinois, in 1901. These years were the first in which Lake tried to pursue faith healing on his own, and he also began to draw in more of his family members as his accomplices.

In later years Lake would claim that on his return to the Soo, he started up the Sault Times newspaper and that he taught Sunday School classes for the Methodist church. Both of these claims are false, as local newspapers make clear. 55 Lake‟s ambition on arriving back in his home town was clearly to establish himself as a builder. On first arriving home halfway through the year, he bought a house on Easterday Ave and spent more than $1000 upgrading it. 56 Not long after he obtained “several important contracts” in his wife‟s hometown of Newberry, which he completed in December. 57 Lake sold the Easterday Ave residence, and in 1897 purchased a new house on Adams Ave, which he spent $800 upgrading that year despite the house being struck by lightning! 58 In other words, Lake was purchasing houses, upgrading them, flipping them, and moving on. Lake did not try to make it big, and never advertised in newspapers or tendered for large government contracts. Today we would refer to him as a “house-flipper”, and he was listed in the 1900 census as a “carpenter”. 59During 1898 the Lakes moved on to another residence, but in this year began a new Zionist chapter in Sault Ste Marie. After a year the congregation had twelve official members, with roughly twenty-five attendees a week. Meetings were held in the attic of the Lake family house on Bingham Ave and Lake‟s first account of starting the church was published in Leaves of Healing in 1899. 60 From the very beginning, the Sault Zionists were focused on faith healing. Some of these faith healings were conducted by Lake himself, while others were done by Dowie in absentia.

Conflicting Accounts Of Jennie’s ‘Accidental Gunshot Wound’

By 1900 Lake was becoming better known as a preacher in Sault Ste Marie, and “cited numerous cases of alleged healing in the county through faith.” 67 He was not yet an official in Dowie‟s church, although he was referred to as a “Conductor” in northern Michigan. He had pleaded in the Leaves of Healingfor Dowie to send an official to organize the area, an eventuality that never occurred. A number of local doctors had petitioned versus “Illegal Practitioners” of medicine 68, but the Zionists did not attract a lot of comment until Jennie Lake was accidentally shot in the summer.In July 1900 Jennie had ventured to Chicago with her husband, when he was appointed a Deacon in the Zionist church. On this trip Dowie once again cured her (this time for“rheumatism”) and “new life poured through [her] bones.” 69

Soon after their return, on August 2, she had gone to the home of a friend, Mrs Samuel Richards, taking her son along. According to Jennie, Otto Lake pulled a revolver out of a drawer, and, thinking it was a toy, shot her in the back with it. The bullet passed through her back, just missing her spine, and lodged in her stomach just underneath the skin. 70 Subsequent events are not easy to unravel, despite the existence of several eyewitness and newspaper accounts. After being shot, Lake and some others took Jennie back to her home on Bingham Ave and refused to allow doctors to treat her. Once home, messages were sent to Dowie, and Mrs Lake felt better after his in absentia prayers. After falling asleep, she had a vision: “A Voice answered me saying, “This is God‟s Holy Hill of Zion, and you are healed.” 71 She felt better immediately and her fever passed.

Meanwhile, large groups of people had assembled on Bingham Ave (Figure 4), and their numbers increased following newspaper reports of the incident. “Mr Lake believes that it is prayer alone that saved his wife.”72 Crowds continued to mill around the house, since the Lakes refused to let outsiders in, and public opinion was against Lake preventing a doctor to see her, “the head of the family is taking chances.” 73 After a few days the Lakes felt it was advisable to allow some outsiders in, but this action led to immediate relapses on Jennie‟s part: “In my wife‟s critical condition I found that when persons came near the sufferer who in their hearts even entertained a doubt of God‟s power or willingness to heal, she was immediately injured….the presence of an unbeliever checked the healing.” 74

Foot Note -Conflicting Testimonies Of Shooting Incident 69-Leaves of Healing 7 (1900): 441. / 70 –“God’s Witnesses to Divine Healing,” Leaves of Healing 9 (1901): 225-6.71– “Written Testimony of Mrs. Jennie Lake,”Leaves of Healing 9 (1901): 226. / 72 – Sault Ste Marie News August 4 1900. / 73 Ibid.74 -“Confirmation of his Wife’s Testimony by Deacon John G. Lake,” Leaves of Healing 9 (1901): 227

Dowie sent one of his promising young officers, Daniel Bryant, from Wisconsin to help quell the situation. On arrival, Bryant found that Jennie Lake had relapsed,was “lame” and unable to move. Meanwhile the bullet “had lodged just beneath the skin.” Just as disturbing “an incensed doctor organized a gang of men, who, under his leadership, were to mob us last night, and smash up the furniture and destroy the literature in Zion‟s little hall.” What happened next was a miracle. Bryant and Lake prayed relentlessly for Jennie, and relayed requests for in absentia prayers back to Overseer Piper in Chicago. Then“ in a few days, however, [the bullet] was gone.” 75 After the miraculous disappearance of the bullet, Jennie Lake improved rapidly, and was walking around Sault Ste Marie within a few weeks.

The Vanishing Bullet Miracle

The “vanishing bullet miracle” was ascribed by Bryant and the Lakes in public testimonies to prayers by Overseer Piper back in Chicago. A far more logical explanation can be given—the Lakes lived on top of a butcher‟s shop, and Lake‟s father was a butcher. How difficult could it have been for the Bryant and the Lakes to obtain a sharp utensil and extract the bullet that lay just under her skin? When people asked Lake, “Where is the bullet?” he responded, “I don‟t know where the bullet is, and I don‟t care. God will look after it and attend to it.” 76
The vanishing bullet miracle calmed the crowds on Bingham Ave down and ended the controversy. Within a week Jennie was recuperating well. 77 Bryant subsequently returned to the town several times before the end of the year, holding large services at Bingham Ave and other locations. Zionist baptisms increased, although the Sault Ste Marie congregation never grew particularly large. 78 The controversy surrounding the incident seems to have hurt Lake‟s reputation rather than enhanced it. When he returned to give a lecture in early 1903, he received death threats stating “he would be given a chance to try again the efficacy of divine healing on bullet wounds”! 79 (Academia pgs.13-17)
Testimony Of Witnesses75-“Confirmation of Mrs Jennie Lake’s Testimony by Elder Daniel Bryant,” Leaves of Healing 9 (1901): 226. / 76 -Ibid.77– Marquette Daily Mining Journal August 13 1900.

More Conflicting Accounts Of Lake’s Activities

In 1902 Lake was considered worth giving some evangelical duties to, and he began proselyting for Dowie in southern Wisconsin. At various times he was in small towns such as Kenosha and Racine, not far from Zion, 86 and it would seem likely that he undertook this work on weekends, taking the train north. Working with some future Pentecostals such as Cyrus Fockler and Fred Bosworth, Lake reported no miraculous healings and very few converts and baptisms from these efforts. Nor do his activities seem to have generated any coverage in the Wisconsin Press. 87 In short, Lake was not particularly successful at this second attempt at evangelism. It is at this time that we have our first independent description of his preaching style, which he had only been working on for a few years. Several years of preaching for Dowie had clearly moved Lake some way towards realizing the bombastic, domineering speaking style he aspired to cultivate on the pulpit. Now bearded and attired in his trademark black suit, it was clear that his persona was crafted:
20 “Mr Lake was very earnest and when warmed up to his work of exploiting Dowie‟s doctrines on the humbug of medicine, he became positively vindictive….His face was not illumined with the fire which is usually an accompaniment to martyrdom….His enthusiasm was apparently a cloakto be donned and doffed at will. The writer judged that Lake was reciting a well-learned lesson, with his foot on the loud pedal at all times. At no time did he appear to be possessed by a divine mission.” 88 (“Deacon Lake Held Forth,” Sault Ste Marie Evening News 2 February 1903)

Although Lake later maintained he left Zion in 1904, this does not seem to be the case as he remained a resident until late 1907. In late 1904 he did become a victim of the shambolic financial situation of Zion, when wages were slashed across the board twice, and Dowie began to lay off his employees in the face of bankruptcy proceedings. 89 By this time millions of dollars his congregation was forced to deposit into his pseudo-bank were unaccounted for. Dowie, who had declared himself first the reincarnation of the prophet Elijah, and then the “First Apostle” of the entire Christian World, was losing both his grip on reality and on Zion City.
With so many problems paying his employees, in 1904 Dowie gave permission to Zion City residents to seek employment elsewhere as long as they deposited their wages in his unregistered bank. The building of a new trolley from Zion to the main rail line made commuting an option for the first time, and Lake seems to have taken the opportunity to use the Zion-Waukegan trolley to seek new work there. 90 By 1906 he was selling land and insurance in Waukegan for a local speculator and entrepreneur named E.V. Orvis, working out of modest office space in downtown Waukegan. 91 Just as in Sault Ste Marie, Lake was a small-time operator,running small advertisements for his services in the local newspapers. In addition to hawking Orvis‟s properties, Lake also sold fire and life insurance for the People‟s Life Assurance Society. As an evangelist, Lake maintained that he had founded People‟s Life Assurance himself with the backing of an array of Chicago‟s leading industrialists. In fact it was a small company founded by other people. *92A clear fabrication
92 * (People’s Life was run by the insignificant Elona G Nelson and Fremont Hoy, whereas Lake maintained he was financed by Jim Hill, Tom Lawson, Ed Harriman, and Thomas Ryan. The latter four were heavily involved in developing the suburb of Harvey Illinois in the early 1890s when Lake was a builder in that town. As his biographer notes, there is no evidence that Lake knew any of these magnates, all of whom were conveniently deceased by the time he began dropping their names. Cf ibid, and Burpeau, God’s Showman, 39ff)

Lake, then, was living as a small-town insurance salesman after his job with Dowie ended. He does not appear to have been a particular success, unlike his patron, E.V.Orvis, whose presence graced the society and business pages of the local papers on a very regular basis.After establishing this new career, Lake entered into a new and volatile period of his religious life in which he emerged as a religious leader in his own right for the first time. Between late 1906 and 1907 Lake was associated with, and came to co-lead, the Pentecostal “Parhamite” sect in Zion. Because of the dramatic and lurid events that occurred there, Lake and other Parhamites such as F.F. Bosworth did their best thereafter to minimize any knowledge of their involvement with it. 93 (Academia pgs.18-21)

The Downie Downfall & The Parhamite Sect

The Parhamite sect had its origins in the dissolution of the Dowie empire. After having the courts seize his bankrupt empire in 1904, 94 Dowie spent much of the remainder of his life outside of the United States. Increasingly senile and losing followers and the tithes that he relied on to finance his lavish lifestyle, he lost touch with both material and financial reality. His carnal relations with younger female members of his entourage were exposed, as were the unaccounted for millions of dollars looted from the unregistered Zion Bank. Beginning with the removal of his deputy, Charles Speicher, in January 1906, 95 Dowie and the Zionists were to feature regularly in most of the nation‟s newspapers for the next year. This was due to the tragicomic decline of the organization, along with the unbridled fight for power that continued with each new sign of the leader‟s demise. During April, a leading Zionist, W.G. Voliva, led an open revolt and seized control of the organization. In doing so, a vast expose of Dowie was made public. 96 Misappropriations, mistresses, and a whole other host of abuses were laid open in order to discredit Dowie and legitimize Voliva. 97 When Dowie finally returned to Zion, he ended up being humiliated in court. 98 In short, the affairs of the Zionists became tabloid fodder, and the church a laughing stock across the entire world. Once Dowie was removed from the scene in mid-1906, the internecine squabbles between Voliva and other pretenders to the Zionist crown would further keep the church in public view for another year.

To say that Dowie‟s followers were discouraged would be an understatement. Lake‟s close friend, F.F. Bosworth, noted in the lugubrious language of Pentecostalism, “the time was at hand, when, as a Christian he was to wake up to the utter falsity of the claims which were even thedeveloping in the mind and purpose of the mistaken, tho really great leader of Zion City, and to decline to have further association with so misguided a man.” 99 Into this morass stepped Charles Parham, the originator of the Pentecostal faith. Parham, whose followers had found the gift of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, had sparked a new Pentecostal movement that was to sweep the Christian world following the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in 1906. Parham and most other early Pentecostals preached that speaking in tongues was evidence of an individual‟s “baptism in the holy ghost”. Moreover, the recovery of speaking tongues was interpreted to mean that the world was reverting to the apostolic stage of Christianity found in the Book of Acts, and that the Second Coming of Jesus was imminent. On a broader level, Pentecostalism privileged religious ecstasy, feeling, prophecy, and testimony over Scripture, and hence appealed largely to marginalized workers and urban migrants across the world. Faith Healing and other “Signs and Miracles” played a crucial role in convincing Christians to join this movement.
“I have come to save the people of Zion from the selfishness and bigotry of their leaders….Four months ago I saw Zion City in a vision, and troubles of its peoples were made clear to me. “Arise and go to Zion and take up the burden of an oppressed people,‟ a voice said to me. I am here and will bring you out of all your difficulties if you will trust in me.” 100 The reported crowd of some three hundred people enthusiastically received this message in Zion: “the fervor aroused at the Parham meetings is said by those who have attended to surpass the old-time camp meetings.” 101 Unfortunately, those who gave Parham their trust found that this association would only dramatically increase their “difficulties” thereafter. John G Lake was one of the early followers of Parham, as was Bosworth and a number of other prominent Zionists. By late 1906 Lake, Bosworth, and others were preaching and speaking in tongues on the street corners of Waukegan, and in early 1907 Lake made the newspapers when he spoke in tongues at a Parhamite meeting. 102 Lake was not initially in a leadership position amongst the Parhamites. Parham himself was resident in Zion for several months, based in a large, brazier-heated tent that he erected in the face of Voliva‟s refusal to allow him to use worship facilities in Zion. In late January 1907, however, the municipal water tower collapsed and fell on the tent, and Parham vacated the city, saying he did not want to be seen as “a Dowie”, but as only “one man in the movement”. 103 Despite this hasty and permanent departure, Parham‟s followers continued to pay him tithes and to show considerable resiliency in the face of opposition they encountered in Zion City from the Voliva faction during a time of “divisive strife” 104 in Zion. Tom Hezmalhalch (Figure 7), who arrived in Zion from Azusa Street not long after Parham‟s departure, seems to have played a considerable role in stabilizing the group. 105 Although his weakness for the pleasures of the flesh had disgraced him in Azusa Street circles, Hezmalhalch was able to get William Seymour to visit Zion City and to otherwise keep the group connected to the burgeoning Pentecostal movement. 106 Lake himself rose in prominence within the group over the course of the year, and by summer was leading services and was generally considered (along with Hezmalhalch) as the unofficial leader. (Academia pgs.21-24)

Zion Il 1907, Glenn Cook, F F Bosworth, Tom Hezmalhalch (back row) William Seymour, John G Lake

Collective Frenzy Of Insanity, Demon Possession, And Murder.

Lake‟s increasing prominence within the Parhamite sect coincided with the group‟s descent into a collective frenzy of insanity, demon possession, and murder. The trigger for the Parhamites‟ implosion was the July arrest of Charles Parham in Texas for soliciting sex from a teenage boy in Texas. These charges appeared to confirm rumors about the latter’s “heinous sins” that Seymour‟s Midwestern deputy, Glenn Cook, had warned the Parhamites about, and which would ruin his reputation in Pentecostal quarters thereafter. 107

Parham‟s fall, which came in the aftermath of John Alexander Dowie‟s long slide into disgrace, meant that his followers had seen two cherished leaders exposed as frauds in quick succession. In the meantime, Zion City‟s economy was struggling and most of the Parhamites were in financial straits. To make matters worse, the Parhamites‟ biggest enemy, W.G. Voliva, was tightening his grip on Zion City‟s theocratic structures. In the face of these setbacks, the Parhamites evidently viewed the source of their problems as being diabolical. In the weeks following Parham‟s downfall, nine (seven women and two boys) Parhamites would be possessed by demons.108 *(More research required to confirm or deny this report, which was publicized by W.G. Voliva, in Zion Newspaper)

As the frenzy continued the Parhamites met practically daily for long, emotional services: “insanity becomes common, ravings of lunatics are heard on every hand, adulteries are committed.” 109 Both the Parhamites and the Voliva faction had been preaching about the imminence of the “end times” since early in 1907, which undoubtedly contributed to a heightened atmosphere. Meanwhile, Voliva and the mainstream church members in Zion City were relentless in their attacks on the Parhamites, calling them “intoxicated,” “demon-inspired,”“a fanatical set,” “an abomination,” and a “barbarian horde.” Denunciations of the new “Tongues Church” were a regular feature of sermons and newspapers. Meanwhile lurid descriptions of the Parhamite services, which featured excessive “emotionalism”, including dancing, jumping,waving hands, “insane ecstasies”, shouting, rolling on the floor, spasms, trances, and visions, were accompanied by warnings from Voliva that this behavior “would lead to demon-possession.”110

To deal with these possessions the Parhamites fell back on Dowie‟s teachings, which maintained that insanity and mental illness were caused by Satanic forces that had invaded and taken control of an individual‟s body and mind. They also relied on Dowie‟s old exorcism techniques, which relied on prayer to invoke God‟s assistance, combined with the use of physical force to expel the demon from the body. The possessed individual would be tied up and restrained, while the healer would then use physical force to twist the demon slowly out of the body, limb by limb. These attempts could last for days at a time, and typically the afflicted individual would also be denied all food, water, and comforts in order to induce the demons to exit the body. 111

These exorcism methods ultimately led to the deaths of three sect members. Hezmalhalch and Lake did not conduct the sessions themselves, apparently because they felt they lacked the “necessary spiritual power.” Referring back to this period several years later, Lake recalled that he and Hezmalhalch “had been praying for greater power for the healing of the sick and the casting out of demons at this time.” 112 Instead, Harold Mitchell, who was a regular attendee of their services, 113 had a vision “in which Mitchell was ordered to quit work and devote his time to casting out demons from the sick.” 114 Because the Zion City undertaker was a Parhamite, the three corpses were not officially registered with the State coroner. Many unnatural deaths did not get reported as such—as had been going on throughout Dowie‟s tenure in Zion City. 115

In the case that brought the Parhamites to national attention, Mitchell and four others held down a possessed, bed-ridden woman named Letitia Greenhaulgh in her bedroom against her husband‟s wishes, and during a marathon exorcism eventually killed her after breaking her arms, legs, and neck while trying to force the demon out of her. 116 Over the next few days, lurid photographs of both the accused and of Greenhaulgh‟s mangled corpse were published in newspapers across America and evoked extensive outrage.Her son‟s eyewitness account makes for difficult reading:
“Mitchell took her by the hand…and pulled her arm away from the body. She screamed, oh, she screamed terribly. I jumped forward. Mitchell held me back, and put his hand over my mother‟s mouth and stopped her cries. He said,“of course, I shall not hurt her. Those cries are not her cries. That is the screaming of the demons and the devils as they leave her. She is all right….Mitchell and his wife again drew near to my mother. They took her arms and drew them out straight. There was a crackling sound. I found out afterwards that they broke the bones. They did the same with her legs. They pulled at her head. They pinched and worked with her flesh. She groaned and cried out. They said she would be all right. Then mother seemed to become quiet. She looked at me. She said, “I was in hell. I am in heaven now.” I thought she meant she was getting better….When she said that they started working on her with renewed vigor.” 117

Two other deaths soon surfaced, although they were never prosecuted due to lack of sufficient evidence given the Zion coroner‟s cover -up. One involved a 15-year girl named Bertha Young, apparently also exorcized by Mitchell. A third involved a teenage boy, Frank Crowe, whose healers were never apparently determined:
“The boy suffered from typhoid fever, but his parents, who were Parhamites, are alleged to have denied him medical attendance. Instead, he was subjected to the treatment of “driving out devils” and the “gift of tongues”. Those who were at his bedside when he died assert that he cried piteously for water, which was refused, the fanatics telling him that the Lord would provide water. They are also said to have thrust their fingers down his throat to reach “the devils that were tormenting him.” When death put an end to his torture, it is allege d that his tongue was found to have been slit as though with a knife.”118

Could this latter healing have involved Lake? There is a cryptic passage in Lake‟s later writings where he and fellow Perhamite Cyrus Fockler at this time treated a boy with “typhoid fever,” although in this case Lake claimed to have succeeded. 119

Because Lake and Hezmalhalch were not directly implicated in the exorcisms, they were not prosecuted by the authorities. But neither of the two showed misgivings about what had occurred. Three days after the Greenhaulgh killing, Lake did denounce Mitchell at Zion City in some what muted terms. 120Even so, he remained obsessed with demon-possession in month following the Greenhaulgh tragedy. Immediately after decamping from Zion City he went on along fast. According to his own testimony on the fifth day the voice of God came to him and told him that “from thenceforth you shall cast out demons.” 121 Soon after this, Lake claims to have cast out a demon successfully in Indianapolis. In early 1908 he was boasting to newspaper reporters about his power to “heal the insane,” maintaining that “insanity is a kind of demon–a “nutty‟ demon.”122  (Academia pgs.25-26)

If the state authorities did not hold Lake and Hezmalhalch responsible for the exorcism deaths,the local population of the Zion City area did. W.G. Voliva, the town‟s theocratic mayor, demanded that all the “Wizards and Necromancers of Hell” be “driven from Zion.” 123 Further declaring that “Parham, Tom [Hezmalhalch], Lake” were “responsible in a greater or less degree ” for the Greenhaulgh outrage, Voliva declared that “the time has now come for these religious fanatics to cease forever proclaiming their hellish doctrine and to forever quit our town….they have put themselves outside the rights of citizens. They are enemies of sane mankind, though claiming to be religious….They must move on.” 124 Secular voices were no less harsh: “it is too much to expect Lake County people to stand any more for the Parhamites of Zion City, which these ferocious fanatics are said to belong to, and the entire sect should be driven out of Zion City and out of Illinois without mercy.” 125

In the face of these threats Lake and Hezmalhalch moved quickly to Indianapolis, 126 while the rest of the Parhamites scattered too. Within a month, newspapers reported that “you cannot find a Parhamite in town anymore.” 127

Only one Parhamite was left in Zion in the aftermath of the killings. Harold Mitchell, who was convicted of manslaughter in November 1907 for Greenhaulgh‟s death, was freed on a technicality early the next year. Given that the Greenhaulghs had fled Zion for Wisconsin and could not be found, Mitchell was let free due to the lack of witnesses against him. 128 He would also receive legal assistance from Voliva, was given a job at the church-owned Zion Lace Factory, where he would work until his death in 1931 (when he was buried near John AlexanderDowie).

Despite the nation-wide outrage over the killings, the main reprisal for Lake and the Parhamites was their impoverishment at being forced to leave Zion. Because they had signed 1,100 year leases on their property, they effectively forfeited their houses.

All the Parhamites, including Lake, Hezmalhalch, and Bosworth, covered up their involvement in the gruesome events of September 1907, which have only come to light recently. (Academia pgs. 26-27)
126 – (Lake’s final act before leaving was to go to court on October 7th to recover money owed to him by another individual. This is a far cry from giving away his million dollar fortune as he later alleged he was doing at this time! See Waukegan Daily Sun 8 October 1907) )

Sojourn In Indianapolis: October 1907-April 1908

(Lake met up with Hezmalhalch in Indianapolis where he led a church overseen by William Seymor, while raising funds to take a missionary team to Africa.)
He forge forward to craft a new mystique about himself, and establish himself as a leading figure in the Pentecostal movement. While doing these things, Lake also raised funds for the first Pentecostal missionary expedition to South Africa. Once his group left for Africa in April 1908, he gave up his leadership of the Indianapolis Pentecostal community.
Lake‟s elevation to a position of formal religious leadership for the first time led him to craft a new, devious biography for himself that would hide his Parhamite past. The first part of this new biography was his personal calling, which he maintained had occurred earlier in 1907. A key part of this narrative was Lake‟s alleged decision to leave Dowie and Zion in 1904 in order to start a business career. His protégé Gordon Lindsey has summarized the rest of the story:
“In 1904 he moved to Chicago and bought a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. At the time he handled Jim Hill‟s Western Canadian land and made a personal friend of this great railroad man and financier. The first day Lake opened his office he made $2500 on a real estate deal, and at the end of one year and nine months he had $100,000 in the bank, real estate amounting to $90,000 and also a $30,000 paid up life insurance policy. Representing the Chicago Board of Trade he met Harriman and Ryan and others who were celebrated financiers. He was employed by Ryan to form a trust of three of the nation‟s largest insurance companies. Appointed manager of agencies he was offered by the company a guarantee of $50,000 a year to continue in this business.”135

Despite this amazing success, Lake claimed to have been perpetually felt himself to be “disobedient” to God, refusing to take up life as a preacher of the Gospel. After receiving the Gift of Tongues and Baptism in the Holy Ghost he had a vision, in which “a Voice began to talk to me out of that light” and to remind him again of his “disobedience.” Soon after, he was called by a friend to heal a lady who had been suffering from “inflammatory rheumatism” for over ten years. After praying for the woman, she was healed miraculously. In light of Letitia Greenhaulgh‟s experience, the description of this imagined event is enlightening:
“He took the crippled hand, that had been set for so many years. The clenched hands opened, and the joints began to work, first the fingers, then the hand and wrist, then the elbow and shoulder.” 136
Following this experience, Lake “could not follow successfully the ordinary pursuits of life and business.” He soon quit, and “disposed of my estate and distributed my funds in a manner I believed to be in the best interests of the Kingdom of God, and made myself wholly dependent upon God for the support of myself and my family, and abandoned myself to the preaching of Jesus.” 137 Not long afterwards, he went on an extended fast, and prayed for the power “to cast out demons.” The Holy Spirit then appeared to him, saying, “ from henceforth thou shalt cast out demons,” which he began to do within days. 138

It goes without saying that Lake‟s story bore little relation to actual events that transpired in Waukegan and Zion between 1904 and 1907.

An additional feature of Lake‟s new persona was his newly-derived “calling” to go to Africa.William Bryant, Lake‟s old boss in the Zionist church, had been sent to South Africa by Dowie in 1904. In a couple of years, he had developed the Zionists‟ biggest foreign congregation there. 139 Although most members of the church were impoverished African peasants, Bryant had also organized many successful tithes-paying white congregations on the Rand, includingKrugersdorp, which was called “one of the most profitable centers” in the entire church. 140 During the period from 1904 on Bryant‟s region reported far more baptisms than any other section of the church, and was clearly the most successful.141Following Dowie‟s demise, Bryant had emerged as a minor contender to the Zionist leadership, but was eclipsed by his hated rival W. G. Voliva. This defeat prompted Bryant to pull his South African congregations out of theZionist church. 142But rather than remaining in South Africa, Bryant decided to relocate to California. As a result an existing, profitable, leaderless organization was thus ripe for the taking. Lake clearly decided to try and take it over, although, being penniless, he lacked the means to get there with an entourage.
Lake‟s divine calling to go to South Africa, as usual contained two notable elements: lots ofsmall details meant to convince; and plenty of dubious logic to make his leadership role ineluctable:
“I went to Indianapolis, Indiana for a 10-day visit with Bro. Tom [Hezmalhalch] who was preaching there. Then I assisted with the services and work. While visiting the home of a Bro. Osborne…the Spirit of the Lord came upon me and God talked to me concerning Africa….for years I had felt that one day God would send me to Africa, but never possessing what I regarded as the Divine Equipment necessary for a successful Christian worker. I had banished the thought and stifled the voice within….God gave me at this time a spiritual vision of Africa, especially of the Zion work there— so accurate, that when I arrived in Africa 14 months later I found it correct in every detail.” 143
Not long later after this alleged incident, Lake went to pray with “Bro. Pearse” back in Zion City:
“As we knelt to pray, my soul was in such anguish I felt myself being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, then commenced the most vivid spiritual experience of my life….Oh how he showed me His love for me. He showed me the lost world, dying souls, the sick and suffering, saying “all this I did for thee, what hast thou done for me?” until my heart broke and, in anguish, I cried and told him I would go all the way with Him even unto death….Then the Spirit said, Will You Go? I said, “Yes Lord, any place, anywhere. But, Oh Jesus, the burden must be yours, the responsibility is yours. Then came a series of different visions of different cities came before me: first, Zion City, IL, where the Glory of God overshadowed the old Dr. Dowie tabernacle in Shiloh Park as a heavenly light….Then he showed me the down-town district of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, and the same illumination of God‟s glory….Then, Johannesburg, South Africa, and a wonderful illumination of God‟s glory lighting up the whole 31 land….Again, I heard the voice, “Will you go?” “Yes, yes,” I cried, “if you will prepare and equip me and go withme.”…”Lord, I will go. I‟ll go at once.”144

[As an aside, it is worth noting that Lake‟s two sets of visions, both of which happened soon after the other, were inherently contradictory. In the first place, he was told by the Holy Spirit to give away all his possessions and to become a preacher. Not long afterwards, he is told to go evangelize in Africa, but of course he is now forced to beg for money. How Pentecostal scholars and layman have failed to see through this problem is beyond me.]Once again, Lake skillfully hid his personal own personal agenda in these visions. According to his rendition, he is merely acceding to divine will in his actions, and his own desires to seek fame and fortune as a “religious adventurer” are conveniently obscured. By early 1908 he was clearly communicating with Bryant, who seems to have inserted him as his heir-apparent prior to hisown departure in April.] 145

During late 1907 Lake pushed forward his agenda to launch a South Africa mission, and got the go-ahead from Seymour. In January 1908 Seymour publicized an upcoming convention in Indianapolis where the evangelizing group would be organized and funded, and directed all donations to Lake‟s address.146From late January to early February the conference met. Attendance was not that strong, some keynote speakers failed to arrive, but the attendee maintained that “the power is greatly in evidence. 147 Once the conference began, it was clear that the core of the missionary party was to consist of Hezmalhalch, Lake, and Lehmann. Lake explained to the attendees that the party was planning on “specializing just now on the art of healing….Brother Tom and I have just returned from Zion City….Now, Tom and I, when we went up there, didn‟t have very much of the power of healing, and as the people up there expect you to deliver the goods, we had to work mighty hard….Now we are doing much healing.” 148

One of the highlights of the convention was the alleged glossolalic outburst of one Sister Starrattin Zulu. Lehmann, who had preached among Ndebele mine workers in Rhodesia, maintained that her uttering of “Toola Lop” (which he rendered as “cease talking”) was a divine intervention to make a dissenting speaker shut up. 149 (Academia 28-31)

Africa Bound

Not very much money was raised at the convention itself. However, after it was over, a donation was made, apparently by Los Angeles-based George Studd, the wealthiest man in the Pentecostal community. 150 Lake‟s version of events was the following:
“One day during the following February my preaching partner said to me, “John, how much will it cost to take our party to Johannesburg, South Africa?” I replied, “Two thousand dollars.” He said, “If we are going to Africa in the Spring, it is time you and I were praying for the money.” I said, “I have been praying for the money ever since New Year . I have not heard from the Lord or anyone else concerning it.” He added, “Never mind, let‟s pray again.” A few days later he returned from the post office and threw out on the table four $500 drafts saying, “John, there is the answer. Jesus has sent it. We are going to Africa.” 151

Barry Morton Department of History, University of South Africa mortonb@wabash.edu

http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1017-04992017000200002#top_fn11 – Morton’s response to Marius Nel

*>Barry Morton reveals much information conflicting with a great deal of present biographical material on the life of John G. Lake.* In link above as well.

“In recent years I have published or put online several articles making the case that John G Lake, the initiator of Pentecostalism in southern Africa and the founder of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM), was a fraud.1 In 2016, Marius Nel, who is considered by the AFM to be a major authority on the church’s history,2 wrote an extensive critique of my work in Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae. About five years ago, I began to investigate Lake as I was looking for a topic that connected the state of Indiana (where Lake’s mission party was based and where I reside), and Africa. After being drawn to the Lake story, I began to investigate local source material. I started off reading sources such as Reidt and Lindsay, as well as Lake’s own writings,9 all of which Nel believes are authoritative, but found quickly that the information they contained was unreliable. Lake, I found, was rarely at the places he claimed to be at. Much of his established autobiography was contradicted by material I was examining. What I came to realise was that Lake was consciously fabricating a whole back story about his life and experiences.”

A quote purportedly made by Cecil John Rhodes about Lake, serves as an example as to why I realised Lake was a charlatan; an example that also illustrates Nel’s blind spots:

Cecil John Rhodes: “His message has swept Africa. He has done more toward South Africa’s future peace than any man.”11

Nel believes that this quote is true, since he cites it word for word in his AFM history.12 What I would like to ask Nel is this: If your own historical methods are so rigorous, and mine are so “dubious and unacceptable”, how could you possibly believe that this quote is legitimate? Cecil Rhodes died in 1902, six years before Lake ever set foot in Africa. – Barry Morton

One More Example Of Conflicting, Contradictions In Life Of John G. Lake

LAKE’S SO-CALLED BUSINESS CAREER

A major part of Lake’s charismatic appeal was his insistence that he had given up a lucrative career in business in 1907 to “turn all my attention to bringing men to the feet of Jesus”.39 Yet, despite Lake’s claims to have built up major businesses in Sault Ste Marie and Chicago, contemporary records indicate he had a very, very modest career as a carpenter and salesman.

According to Reidt, Lake first built up an extensive “real estate business” with over $90 000 worth of property following his move back to Sault Ste Marie in 1896.40These claims cannot be verified and border on the ridiculous, as contemporary reports demonstrate. The 1900 census lists Lake as a “carpenter”,41 while Sault Ste Marie newspapers in the 1890s show that in the 1896-8 period he was buying single properties, investing money in them, and reselling – i.e. that he was a “house-flipper”. The value of all these properties, which he owned one at a time, was under $2 000.42In comparison to other construction firms in the town, Lake ran a very small-scale one-man operation. He did not advertise his services in the newspapers, and nor did he bid on large public projects.43 In an extensive review of the local real estate scene in 1900, Lake is not even mentioned although dozens of other contractors were.44 Nor was he a journalist at this time either, despite his claims of founding the Sault Times newspaper (which Nel refers to as the “Soo Times”). There are no extant copies of this short-lived paper available, but reports in Sault Ste Marie indicate that this newspaper was founded by one “George Ferris”, while no mention whatsoever is made of Lake.45 Once again, the historical record shows that Lake was not doing what he claimed to be doing.

A host of varying sources from Illinois also demonstrate the falsity of Lake’s claims to have been a wealthy businessman in Chicago. Lake claimed to have moved from Sault Ste Marie to Zion, IL, in 1901 to have become the leader of Dowie’s real estate operations.46 In fact, he was just a repairman in the maintenance department – as his colleagues noted later on.47 After Dowie’s empire began to crumble, Lake maintained that he moved on to bigger and better things:

In 1904 he moved to Chicago and bought a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. At the time he handled Jim Hill’s Western Canadian land and made a personal friend of this great railroad man and financier. The first day Lake opened his office he made $2 500 on a real estate deal, and at the end of one year and nine months he had $100 000 in the bank, real estate amounting to $90 000 and also a $30 000 paid up life insurance policy. Representing the Chicago Board of Trade he met Harriman and Ryan and others who were celebrated financiers. He was employed by Ryan to form a trust of three of the nation’s largest insurance companies. Appointed manager of agencies he was offered by the company a guarantee of $50 000 a year to continue in this business.48

All of these claims are unfounded, with each detail being easy to disprove. In the first place, Lake did not move to Chicago in 1904, and is not listed in any city directories from 1905 to 1907.49 Instead, he remained a resident of Zion as he owned a property in the city until he fled to Indianapolis in late 1907. As Lake noted in his diary: “[I]n October 1907 … I was called at my home in Zion, IL.”50 Additionally, Chicago Board of Trade membership records from this period make no mention of Lake at all, either as a member or as a prospective member.51

If Lake was in fact not working in Chicago as a high-level financier, what was he doing? A host of records show that he was working as an insurance salesman and property broker north of Chicago in the town of Waukegan, which was connected to Zion by trolley. During 1906 Waukegan newspapers featured small advertisements placed by Lake. These advertisements show he was brokering properties for E.V. Orvis, the town’s most prominent businessman. Lake also acted as an agent for the “People’s Life Assurance Society”. His very own advertisements show that this company was not formed by Ryan, Harriman and other “celebrated financiers”, as he claimed, but by Elona G Nelson and Fremont Hoy.52 Although Lake also claimed to have conducted business in lavishly-furnished offices in downtown Chicago, he actually worked out of extremely modest office space in Waukegan.53

Having read through hundreds of newspaper articles about Dowie’s Zion City, as well as his church’s publications during this period, I can assert that John G Lake was not a prominent member of Dowie’s church, and he is nowhere mentioned as being a wealthy member of it. Because Dowie’s empire went into receivership twice and was financially bankrupt from 1903 onwards, the wealthiest members of the Zionists were all well known as potential saviours. Lake is never mentioned in this regard, even though he later claimed to have been rich at the time.54

Nel maintains that I have no proof of Lake’s financial or business status at this period, since I lack such documentation as bank statements. On the contrary, I have convincingly cited evidence of his modest occupations and status at this time, while also proving that his illustrious business career was a pure fantasy. According to Reidt and Nel, Lake made a “great sacrifice” to abandon his business career and follow the Lord in 1907. In fact, based on the documented evidence, he gave up absolutely nothing.

Exposing The Past To Reveal The Present Dilemma

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Mat.24:24

If we do not realize that these days have indeed already been upon us for sometime, then we are already deceived and led astray!

May we seek the Lord to show us how and where this has been taking place, and respond properly.

etter

The “Trance Evangelist” – “Voodoo Priestess.”

“Faith healer evangelist MARIA BEULAH WOODWORTH-ETTER (1844-1924) had a vast influence in the early Pentecostal movement. The Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements says that “she was a monumental figure in terms of spreading the pentecostal message” and notes that “most early Pentecostals looked at Woodworth-Etter as a godsend to the movement and accepted her uncritically.”

When she conducted a five-month healing crusade in Texas for F.F. Bosworth, “the list of influential Pentecostals who flockedto Dallas was like a ‘Who’s Who’ of early Pentecostalism” (Ibid., p.365). Her meetings were characterized by spirit slaying, prophesying, trances, and general pandemonium. “She often went into trances during a service, standing like a statue for an hour or more with her hands raised while the service continued” (Dictionary of Pentecostal, p. 901).

She was thus dubbed the “trance evangelist” and the “voodoo priestess.” She falsely prophesied that the San Francisco Bay area would be destroyed by an earthquake and tidal wave in 1890. She accepted an invitation from Mormons to preach in Nebraska in 1920.” https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!msg/alt.fan.gene-scott/LDkQG4-cP-0/kjqfIiUgPpkJ

The Shakers (1770+)

To understand influences prevalent during Maria Woodworth Etter’s time we need to look at the Shakers and Quakers of her time.

https://www.understandingministries.com/docs/The%20Origins%20of%20Pentecostalism.pdf p.19 pfd

The Shakers are usually seen to be the followers of Ann Lee (1736-1781), the wife of a blacksmith in Manchester, but the movement really started amongst the Radical Quakers. Becoming a Shaking Quaker at 22, she married at 25 and had four children. After losing all her children in infancy, Lee’s distress was funnelled into religious enthusiasm. She agonised over her sinfulness and resented her marriage, subjecting herself to rigorous penance.
As a result of these exercises, in 1770 she was overcome by divine ‘revelation’ and received a new gospel, which was based upon a hatred of sex: human depravity was caused by the sex act. Eventually, she saw herself as the messiah, a second version of Christ and was known as Ann the Word or Mother Ann. This, and other doctrinal heresies accompanied her teaching on the restoration of end time spiritual gifts including tongues and healing, the most serious deviation being the rejection of the inspiration of the Bible.

In 1774, upon ‘divine’ command, she immigrated from England to New York State, near Albany, with 8 followers, and in 1787 her growing followers, many from Baptist churches, were organised into the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, a millennialist, perfectionist sect. As well as basic Quaker beliefs of simplicity, frugal living, equality, honesty and charity, they believed that the source of evil was sex, pride and greed. Salvation was by good conduct. God was a duality of the masculine and feminine, with Lee as the counterpart to Christ, commissioned to complete his work. Christ’s physical resurrection was denied. Celibacy was enforced along with communal property and strict regulation of ethics, including diet.
Their worship was a wild and exuberant spontaneity which included the shaking off of sin and vigorous dancing (hence the name ‘Shaker’). Visions, tongues, healings, revelations for guidance, prophecies, signs and other gifts attracted attention, many being convinced by Lee’s end-time restorationist message.

One source states that they danced together naked, whilst speaking in tongues, in order to mortify the flesh and learn how to control sexual temptation. They were the original Pentecostals in the States. The dancing later became more ritualistic, and tongue speaking was reduced after Lee’s death as Joseph Meacham brought order to the wild worship.
Numbers dwindled, but the movement later prospered in the wake of various religious revivals in America, especially in the West, particularly the Cane Ridge Revival. Lucy Wright had taken over from Meacham in 1796 and reinvigorated the movement, provoking missionary expansion on the Western frontier and re-introducing previous excesses like: singing, added dancing, hand motions and worship marches.

Mother Lucy’s reforms prospered the Shakers so that by her death in 1821 numbers had grown. In 1825 there were 6000 members, but by 1837 they had become steeped in occult spiritualism. As religious fervour faded, their numbers declined and only one active Shaker community remains today but the effect of their teaching and church life impacted many other groups and paved the way for the future pentecostal experience.

Even a short look at their doctrine and practice is sufficient to show that it was blasphemous and Christ-dishonouring. Their prophetic words were given under ‘compulsion’ by a spirit (demon): ‘Those instruments who spoke by Inspiration would besuddenly seized by that mysterious power of influence, … severely disciplined, apparently to compel them to yield and to speak what was given by the spirit’. This contradicts 1 Cor. 14:32.
The occult ministry of Rebecca Jackson manifested all the revelation gifts practised by modern Charismatics and modelled by William Branham, including: the word of knowledge, word of wisdom and prophecy.Both claimed to be instructed by spirit beings, not Jesus! What is more, the Shakers openly practised spiritualism. Messages were regularly received from the dead Mother Ann, and other deceased Shakers, who conversed with the recipients who were called (by themselves) ‘mediums’ or ‘instruments’.

Furthermore, they willingly accepted the entrance of indigenous tribal spirits into their bodies (i.e. demonic counterfeits). In a willingness to embrace different peoples, they took on spirits of Eskimaux, Negroes, Chinese, Red Indians etc. in order to receive ‘light’ from their religious cultures. ‘The elders then urged upon the members the duty of “taking them in”, whereupon eight or nine of the Sisters became possessed of the Spirits of Indian Squaws and about six of the Brothers became Indians: then ensued a regular “Pow Wow” with whooping, yelling, and strange antics’. The results of such demonic manifestations and direction were the adoption of native songs, dances and visionary effects.

These people cannot be considered to be Christians in any sense but their contribution to revivalism and the holiness movement is very significant. They were considered to be heretical in their own day, and should be seen so now. In fact, one writer declares that the Shakers were the forerunners of modern spiritualism. (p.21-21 pdf file below)

Trances

Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844-1924) was a famous holiness preacher who embraced the Pentecostal bandwagon as it emerged after 1912. Unusual manifestations began to attend her meetings before the events at Azusa Street in about 1885. Her powerful spiritual experiences date from a Quaker meeting in 1879 when she renewed her commitment to God. Her experiences on stage were so unusual that she was once nearly put into an asylum by doctors present at a meeting in St Louis.

By 1912, Maria was Pentecostalism’s most popular evangelist. Her description of her call to preach is instructive. Apparently, she spoke to Jesus face to face and complained that she did not know what to say in preaching the Gospel, neither did she understand the Bible properly. The Lord is supposed to have told her that he would be with her and the answers would come, “Then a glorious vision of a large open Bible appeared on the wall, and suddenly the verses stood out in red letters. The glory of God shone around and upon the Book. I looked and I could understand it all…I saw more in that vision than I could have learned in years of hard study.” Marie Woodworth Etter https://books.google.ca/booksid=EoJrHDirVQUC&pg=PA417&lpg=PA417&dq=Marie+Woodworth+Ettera+glorious+vision+of+a+large+open+Bible+appeared+on+the+wall,+and+suddenly&source=bl&ots=zY

Often she would go into trances, remaining motionless with hands raised while the meeting continued without her. People were supposed to have been converted while approaching her in this sublime state. If she laid hands on people she was able to pass on the trance like experience; she also ministered healing and prophecy operated in her meetings. It was with Maria that the manifestation of being slain in the Spirit became more widely known in denominational meetings.

Up to 25,000 people at a time would flock to her camp meetings and she became known as the ‘trance evangelist’ because of her power to cause people to be slain in the Spirit. She was so famous that secular newspapers continually reported her exploits as one of the biggest news stories of the time.
Her life was not without incident, however, as she was charged, at one time, with obtaining money under false pretences, and at another with practising medicine without a licence. In fact she was derisively called, ‘the voodoo priestess’. Some prophecies associated with her was outlandishly false, like the claim that San Francisco would be destroyed in 1890 which caused thousands to flee to the hills.
She taught a post conversion experience called, ‘the power’, which was likely to involve a trance (altered state) and a vision; although tongues was not a major feature of her type ofsecond blessing.” p.34-35 pdf below https://www.understandingministries.com/docs/The%20Origins%20of%20Pentecostalism.pdf

Reassuring Contact With Departed Ones

During the 1880s and early 1890s, Wood worth-Etter’s, ability to induce trances in revival-goers caused great wonder and agitation. Entranced participants would lay cold and rigid, with significantly reduced pulses, for hours on end; upon coming to, they often would describe glorious visions of heaven and reassuring contact with departed loved ones. Woodworth-Etter herself frequently went into trances. See, for instance, Trials and Triumphs, 187.Google Scholar For an example of the controversy caused by trances, see “Ring the Riot Alarm!” and “Flora Briggs’ Story,” San Francisco Examiner, 9 01. 1890, 1.Google Scholar https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/church-history/article/redeemed-bodies-the-functions-of-divine-healing-in-incipient-pentecostalism/46F1CE7B8B3A38D7F7465B5B29419F3C

https://www.harrisonhouseblog.com/2019/05/23/signs-and-wonders-in-the-ministry-of-maria-woodworth-etter/

In Mrs. Woodworth’s meetings, some individuals were so affected that they could be pricked by a pin or picked up and carried, without disturbing them at all. Those attending Woodworth’s meetings sometimes remained in the trance state for as long as eight days.

In some cases they did not fall at all, but simply became frozen in their tracks.

Then they might resist all attempts to bring them out of that condition. Oftentimes their eyes were wide open, while not a single muscle of their body moved.

https://www.iheart.com/podcast/966-the-long-for-truth-show-30189910/episode/tongues-before-parham-the-early-shakers-52784336/

Radio/video report on Woodworth- reading newspaper articles from the time, reporting on her meetings-one 17 year old girl went into a trance for 5 days and they tho’t she might die.

https://www.themessedupchurch.com/blog/etter-madness-maria-woodworth-etter-demonstrator-of-the-demonic

Epilogue-The Restorationist Evolution View of Christian History

https://www.understandingministries.com/docs/The%20Origins%20of%20Pentecostalism.pdf -(pgs.121-125 pdf above)

What spurs modern charismatics on in their claims for revival, power and dominion? What is the source of their burgeoning optimism? Why do they fail to see Biblical statements about a coming global apostasy before the end? The answer is that they have a certain view of history, particularly church history, which fails to address some of the facts which we have looked at .

This idea goes back at least to A. B. Simpson (1843-1919) and Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), but it was a specific tenet of Latter Rain teaching. A quote from George Hawtin, his reaction to seeing Branham, will exemplify this.

*All the great outpourings of the past have had their outstanding truths. Luther’s truth was justification by faith; Wesley’s was sanctification; the Baptists taught the pre-millennial coming of Christ; the Missionary Alliance taught divine healing; the Pentecostal outpouring has restored the baptism of the Holy Spirit to its rightful place. But the next great outpouring is going to be marked by all these other truths, plus such a demonstration of the nine gifts of the Spirit as the world, not even the apostolic world, has witnessed before.*

Many Latter Rain teachers state that Jesus cannot return, even if he wants to, until the
church has completed this work of restoration as a result of wrongly interpreting Acts 3:21.

The usual view is that after the initial burst of life in the early church, things went from bad to worse, ending up as a long period of dark ages prior to the Reformation. The Former
Rain had been and gone and we were left with a dry wilderness for 1400 years. Already
this is erroneous as it misses out long chunks of history where God did amazing things
e.g. the building up of the church under several church Fathers in various lands,
missionary expansion into India and China, revival amongst warlike pagans and the virtual Christianisation of much of Britain and Ireland under Celtic missionaries, which was only extinguished by a vicious Roman Catholic strategy.

After this dark age, Restorationists see the first gleam of light in the Reformation which
restored the truth of justification by faith, enabling later pioneers to build up more truth from this basis. Again this is inadequate as the Reformation restored much more than this and, instead of moving on to new discoveries today from this initial start, we actually need to rediscover the fulness of truth that emerged in the Reformation: sola scriptura (the Bible
alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), soli
Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone), semper reformanda (the continual reformation of the church), and the priesthood of all believers so that a normal Gospel message becomes:
salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone
making me a priest to God.

What can we say to all this? Facile is the word that comes to mind first. This evolutionist version of history, supposedly leading towards a powerful charismatic super church ruling the earth, is woefully short of objective historical facts to support it. Frequently, historical movements are painted in glowing colours and less pleasant features are washed away with a reductionist stroke of the pen. If anything, history reveals a pendulum effect; first an emphasis this way, then the opposite way. All the supposed blessing which charismatics look for in a church have appeared at various stages of history already, without having the build up which supposedly came later.

There is no Restorationist evolution going on in history. If anything, there is a subtle plot of the enemy to gradually bring in a Trojan Horse of ancient occult experiences to pervert the true church.

Epilogue-The Restorationist Evolution View of Christian

https://www.understandingministries.com/docs/The%20Origins%20of%20Pentecostalism.pdf

“What spurs modern charismatics on in their claims for revival, power and dominion? What is the source of their burgeoning optimism? Why do they fail to see Biblical statements about a coming global apostasy before the end? The answer is that they have a certain view of history, particularly church history, which fails to address some of the facts which we have looked at.”

This idea goes back at least to A. B. Simpson (1843-1919) and Aimee Semple McPherson (1890-1944), but it was a specific tenet of Latter Rain teaching. A quote from George Hawtin, his reaction to seeing Branham, will exemplify this.
*All the great outpourings of the past have had their outstanding truths. Luther’s truth was justification by faith; Wesley’s was sanctification; the Baptists taught the pre-millennial coming of Christ; the Missionary Alliance taught divine healing; the Pentecostal outpouring has restored the baptism of the Holy Spirit to its rightful place. But the next great outpouring is going to be marked by all these other truths, plus such a demonstration of the nine gifts of the Spirit as the world, not even the apostolic world, has witnessed before.*

Many Latter Rain teachers state that Jesus cannot return, even if he wants to, until the church has completed this work of restoration as a result of wrongly interpreting Acts 3:21.

The usual view is that after the initial burst of life in the early church, things went from bad to worse, ending up as a long period of dark ages prior to the Reformation. The Former Rain had been and gone and we were left with a dry wilderness for 1400 years. Already this is erroneous as it misses out long chunks of history where God did amazing things e.g. the building up of the church under several church Fathers in various lands,missionary expansion into India and China, revival amongst warlike pagans and the virtual Christianisation of much of Britain and Ireland under Celtic missionaries, which was only extinguished by a vicious Roman Catholic strategy.

After this dark age, Restorationists see the first gleam of light in the Reformation which restored the truth of justification by faith, enabling later pioneers to build up more truth from this basis. Again this is inadequate as the Reformation restored much more than this and, instead of moving on to new discoveries today from this initial start, we actually need to rediscover the fulness of truth that emerged in the Reformation: sola scriptura (the Bible alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), soli Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone), semper reformanda (the continual reformation of the church), and the priesthood of all believers so that a normal Gospel message becomes: salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone making me a priest to God.

What can we say to all this? Facile is the word that comes to mind first. This evolutionist version of history, supposedly leading towards a powerful charismatic super church ruling the earth, is woefully short of objective historical facts to support it. Frequently, historical movements are painted in glowing colours and less pleasant features are washed away with a reductionist stroke of the pen. If anything, history reveals a pendulum effect; first an emphasis this way, then the opposite way. All the supposed blessing which charismatics look for in a church have appeared at various stages of history already, without having the build up which supposedly came later.

*There is no Restorationist evolution going on in history. If anything, there is a subtle plot of the enemy to gradually bring in a Trojan Horse of ancient occult experiences to pervert the true church.“*

>Daryl here– All progressive revelation of God, from God, is contained in His written Word, given to us. All thro’ church history, there have been those who, in earnestness for ‘more of God,’ more intimate knowledge of God, have succumbed to relegating the Scriptures, and the powerful truths of the gospel, to a place of secondary importance, pursuing ‘experiential knowledge,’ apart from the revealed truths of God’s inspired, established written Word.

George Fox established the Quaker sect in 1652, and William Penn, upon founding churches in the 13 colonies in 1700, had a tremendous impact upon many divergent ‘ christian streams’ thereafter, right up to the present time! A brief Quaker history provides insight.

Remember that the Shakers came out of the Quakers, and even they bore influence in America, along with the Quakers, all thro’ the ‘1st and 2nd ‘Great Awakenings’, including Finney’s ‘revivals right up to and beyond the Azusa St. ‘revival.’

The Society of Friends (Quakers, 1652+)

Founded by George Fox (1642-91) who had a profound experience of the ‘Spirit’ in 1652 during a vision. From this time he concentrated on the notion that God speaks directly toindividuals. The term Quaker was applied to him and his followers due to the trembling that came upon them when in the Spirit. It was their church practice to wait in silence for theSpirit to move upon a person, who often ‘quaked’ before speaking under the power. Fox was said to have exercised a significant healing ministry and his reputation for praying over the sick preceded his evangelistic travels to the States in 1672. In his journal and Book of Miracles he reported that many were healed through the laying on of his hands.

Though Quakers were people that lived austere, ‘holy’ lives, Quaker teaching is riddled with error: their final authority is not the Bible, but resides in the individual (the inner light), women are encouraged to be ministers (as they are in Pentecostalism), they believe in the universal brotherhood of all people, there is no creed or confession of faith, they are universalistic as regards redemption, and modern Quakers have become completely liberal in doctrine.

Quaker William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a holy experiment and by 1700 there were Quaker assemblies in all the 13 colonies. In 1827 the movement split; one group followed Elias Hick who believed that people should follow the inner light, the other group were more evangelical. Early Quaker literature records visions, healings, prophecies and a power from God similar to Acts 2. Some Quakers also spoke in tongues, but Fox suppressed this and the experience died out. From the very beginning, a more radical group developed whose following of the inner light resulted in the experiences of tongues and shaking in worship; they originally met to enthusiastically express mourning for their sins. These were called the Shaking Quakers whose first leaders were Jane and James Wardley.

Shaking Quakers often cried out warnings about Christ’s imminent return and cosmic catastrophes to fall on sinners. Shaker populariser, Ann Lee, became involved with the Shaking Quakers when she was 22 years old. The Shaking Quakers were very influenced by the French Prophets. Pentecostal historians are keen to look to the Quakers for encouragement and use some of their arguments regarding ‘life in the Spirit’. p.13 pdf

https://www.understandingministries.com/docs/The%20Origins%20of%20Pentecostalism.pdf

“For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” Mat.24:24

If we do not realize that these days have indeed already been upon us for sometime, then we are already deceived and led astray!

Indeed, false signs and wonders have pretty much always been with us. The ‘more’ that is so often sought, is not found in mystical experience, nor esotericism, nor in a great sovereign move of God, not even in some spectacular ‘breakthro’ either personally, or in someone else’s ‘ministry, or ‘revival breakthro’ in various alternate settings, nor in some ‘prophesied season’ ahead! Paul Fahy – Understanding Ministries, sums this up well!

Instead of moving on to new discoveries today from this initial start, (the Reformation) we actually need to rediscover the fulness of truth that emerged in the Reformation: sola scriptura (the Bible alone), sola fide (faith alone), sola gratia (grace alone), solus Christus (Christ alone), soli Deo gloria (to the glory of God alone), semper reformanda (the continual reformation of the church), and the priesthood of all believers so that a normal Gospel message becomes: salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone, making me a priest to God.

Exposing The Past To Reveal The Present Dilemma

Lessons learned from being burned.