‘Angel’ feathers positioned on the floor, indicating location and direction of approaching ministry action, affirmation of angelic presents (angels have no wings!)- gems and gold dust, God’s favour and manifest presents,- double-yoke eggs, a sign of future prosperity,- re-occurring numbers on the clock, significant message to observer,- license plate messages from God,- cloud formations,- weather patterns,- signs in the sky,- constellations, astrology – coins found, indicating change,- daily life circumstances, indicating omens – sports team outcomes,- football/Superbowl omenology! – Superstitions regarding daily actions and outcomes.
What is an omen?
“Omens are signs that tell of an event to come, whether good or bad. For example, the superstitious see finding a penny heads up as an omen of good luck to come, or having a black cat cross your path as an omen of bad luck to come.
Omens are most often connected to superstition and are related to fortune-telling and divination. Simple superstitions are easily explained, such as breaking a mirror supposedly resulting in seven years’ bad luck. But those who believe strongly in omens might see a diviner to explain the omen or receive instruction on how to avoid the back luck on the way.” (a common ‘prophetic practice.)’ https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-an-omen.html
Deuteronomy 18:10–12: “There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you.”
Lev.19:26 “You shall not interpret omens.” There’s a form of this that is common among Christians who go through life trying to read the will of God out of daily circumstances or events. You hear it in Christian jargon. We describe what appear to be favorable circumstances as “open doors” and try to feel at ease moving forward, assuring ourselves that the easier or clearer path must be what God intends for us. In fact, there’s nothing in Scripture that encourages us to do this. And besides, we’re never 100% sure we’re doing the right thing and often have the lingering fear that we are “out of God’s will” (which again is more jargon than theology). https://cpcissaquah.org/2013/…/12/omens-and-the-will-of-god/
Charmed Christian Life “As followers of Christ, we aren’t immune to superstitions and talismans. Too many Christians fall prey to the temptation to use the good things of the Lord to control our fates apart from him.
I remember the talisman-like power I placed on the amount of time I spent reading the Scriptures in college. If I missed a morning session of Bible reading, I felt like anything bad that happened that day was caused by missing my ritual. I was less concerned with the sincerity and reverence of my behavior toward God than with checking off that box to ensure a good day for myself.
We can turn anything into pious superstition, even church attendance and participation. If I just show up Sunday morning or join the right ministry team, God will bless my life. Others might even join the church’s leadership, hoping that being a professional Christian will better ensure the blessings of God.
Superstition, Omens-‘Prophetic Signs’ one & the same
Looking at the subject of superstition & omens, and comparing them with ‘prophetic signs,’ they seem eerily similar, and are actually one and the same! Reading omens is practicing divination and being superstitious can bring a curse!
The ‘prophetic movement,’ is rife and rampant with omens and superstition, which can be seen when doing the comparison, and are addressed in Scripture as divination! Yes, the ‘prophetic movement’ has gone over the edge in omens, embracing yet another occult poison! The state of the ‘prophetic’, how and why!
“Signs, signs, every where the signs, breaking up the scenery, messing with my mind!”
There is a never ending supply of ‘signs’ speaking to, messing with, many ‘prophetic’ minds. Any and everything can be interpreted to mean just about anything. The ‘prophetic,’ has truly gone over the edge, turning, twisting, transforming, the mundane into the bizarre.
Bob Jones told someone, the appearance of a feather was indicating the Lord’s rest coming to them. Books could be written recording these omen messages, being received and relayed to thousands upon thousands of deceived, deluded, propheteers and followers. Many ‘prophecies’ are full of omen readings, prompting the most bizarre and ridiculous messages out of every day events, occurring around people’s lives, interpreting omens, and forcing the mundane into ‘divine’ meassages.
Shawn Boltz and myriads of ‘cheer leader’ ‘prophets,’ are betting their ‘end time revival dollars,’ on Kansas City Chiefs, to usher in their ‘apostolic chiefs,’ and ensuing ‘revival.’ I predict, that any unusual, out of the ordinary, seemingly supernatural, occurrences, if the Chiefs should win, will be attributed to the divine, setting themselves up for further entrenchment into omenology delusion, and what ever would transpire that is not from God.
Endless ‘omenous’, Kansas City & Superbowl diatribes are now flowing thro’ the ‘prophetic pipeline’, signs, signs, everywhere are signs, breaking up the serenity, messing up their minds!
Hmmm. “If the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl on Sunday, it will usher in the third spiritual Great Awakening in America and possibly “the greatest in-gathering of all time.”Rick Joyner 2016
“In the Bible, eagles represent the prophetic ministry because of their keen eyesight, seeing things clearly from far away. Just as the Eagles arose to win the Super Bowl, the prophetic ministry is now arising in the earth to the place God intended, as foundations of the Church as recorded in Ephesians 2:20. The ministry of apostles and prophets were given by God as foundations for His house because they’re founded upon the solid rock of revelation, insights revealed to them directly by God, not just the written Word of God, but that’s the very thing that makes them seem spooky and weird to much of the Church, which is why they often get treated like outcasts.
It took 52 Super Bowls before the Eagles finally won one, but their long drought finally ended. In the same way, many of God’s people have patiently endured a long dry season of many losses and disappointments, filled with waiting and hoping, but not seeing the fulfillment of promises given to them by God long ago. Their story closely parallels the career of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles.
Many of God’s people have felt like giving up, like their dreams were never going to be fulfilled, like God’s promises to them were just lies because they waited far longer than they ever imagined, yet it looked like nothing was happening and as far as they could tell, nothing was ever going to happen. Their faith level waned and their passion for God’s word grew cold, but now God has started doing a new thing, shifting the winds to blow in their favor, causing hope to arise in them once again. Like Nick Foles, their outlook is being completely reinvigorated.
“For the first time ever, the Eagles are Super Bowl Champions. God is doing a new thing and it is happening now.” (Isaiah 43:19) FEBRUARY 5, 2018 9:12 AM BY JAMES BAILEY
‘Prophetic’ Catalysts For ‘Revival’- False Prophecy & Omenology!
Politicians Weighing In On Omenology
“Superstitious fans say Pence jinxed the Packers during a rally in Milwaukee last week when he not only predicted that Green Bay would win but also that they would defeat.” “Nancy Pelosi’s 49ers.”
There are secular prognosticators, who absolutely believe the football omenolgy directly reflects the country’s following year.
THE PROPHECY OF THE SUPER BOWL
“It is not very well known but there is a Super Bowl Prophecy that happens every single year like clockwork. The basic gist of it all is that every year, the two teams that are in the Super Bowl represent how the year will go. For example, if the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills ever got in a Super Bowl together again their helmets symbolism would tell us all we need to know about the 11 months after the Super Bowl.
Below I’m going to describe for you 5 distinct and important years where the Super Bowl prophecy couldn’t be even more real or ominous than it was.
We always know how the year will go if we just look at the symbols of the team, but just because I believe it doesn’t mean you have to. But the evidence is all there and the simple fact that our elections, our Presidents, and our events are impacted by the Super Bowl should tell you something right there. What will the next Super Bowl predict for all of us?” Todd Walker
James Ryle’s Football Omen Dreams – Co-Founder Of Promise Keepers
“On Aug.22, 1989, the ‘Almighty’gave Ryle a dream about football. In the dream Ryle saw ‘something like an energy field’ encircling the University of Colorado Buffaloe’s football team. He then head a voice that said, This will be their golden season.
The next day Ryle shared the dream, and it’s interpretation with Bill McCartney who was then the coach of Colorado Buffaloes and later founded Promise Keepers with James Ryle. Ryle said, Now the Lord will now fulfill promises He has made to you, by empowering the players with His Spirit…This will be the golden season.
At the end of the golden season, before the championship game, Ryle says, I felt certain we would win…the national championship...My confidence was unshakable.
Minutes before the national championship game, however, the Lord gave Ryle a tragic revelation thro’ a female buffalo named Ralphie. Via the omen of Ralphie’s broken horn, God revealed that the power of His Spirit had departed from the team.
As he stood stunned in the stadium, contemplating Colorado’s crushing 21-6 loss to Notre Dame, the ‘Holy Spirit’ gtold Ryle to turn to Is. 21:6.
After the tragic ending to the Buffaloe’s ‘golden season’, God revealed to Ryle, that He would reach out His hand a second time. (Is.11:11) And, sure enough, the following season, the Colorado Buffaloes were pitted against Notre Dame, in the national championship game. Prior to the game, Ryle checked once again for a sign, using Ralphie’s horn as an omen. This time they were intact; thus, Colorado went on to win the national college football championship. Astonishingly, the omen was confirmed for Ryle by the season win-loss-tie record, (11-1-1), which matched the passage (Is. 11:11) that the ‘Holy Spirit’ had prompted him to consult.
A Closer Look At James Ryle – Co-Founder Of Promise Keepers
James Ryle said the voice he heard was the kind that “stops you in your tracks and makes your hair stand on end. It came from above me and had an unmistakable air of authority about it. The voice simply said, “This is the mantle of Zechariah.” After three thundering knocks the voice spoke again: “James, it is the Lord!” Suddenly James understood. The ‘vast purple mantle’ that had fallen upon him in a dream was the mantle of a “seer”.
In his book, ‘A Dream Come True’ , Ryle says that the mantle that fell on him was enormous—“more than one person could handle.” Thus, according to Ryle, this blind world would soon be enlightened by an “army of seers.” Ryle believes that God not only commissioned him directly, but also called upon Vineyard founder John Wimber, to pray that he be “released as a “seer.” From that time forward, says Ryle, the frequency, scope, accuracy, and fulfillment of dreams, visions and prophetic words has been staggering.
In a book titled, ‘Hippo In The Garden,’ Ryle recollects many of the “staggering” revelations given to him by God. His book derived it’s title from dream in which Ryle watched God bring his pet Hippo into a garden. God subsequently revealed to Ryle the meaning of the dream.
The hippo represents modern day seers, while the garden represents the church. In vivid detail, God revealed that as the aroma of hippo manure was offensive in a garden, so too his seers would be an offense to unbelievers. As his pet hippo had a big mouth, so his seers would have big mouths; and as the hippo ranks first among the works of God, (at least according to Ryle), the prophetic ministry will rank first in authority within the Body of Christ. Ryle made it clear that his revelation was not merely the figment of a fertile imagination, saying, I know what I saw in my dream and I’m equally certain that the Lord showed me what it meant.
Today Ryle says that God speaks thro’ him with staggering frequency, scope, and accuracy. As a modern day seer, he now not only functions as a pastor, but also helps provide Biblical direction for men thro’ Promise Keepers.
This is the co-founder of international ‘Promise Keepers,’ GOING OVER THE EDGE IN OMENS’!
Foiling The Boasting False Prophet’s Signs-Omens Fulfilling The Oracles Of His Prophetic Servants
“This is what the LORD, your Protector/Redeemer, says, the One who formed you in the womb: “I am the LORD, Who made everything, who alone stretched out the sky, who fashioned the earth all by Myself, Who frustrates / foils / exposes, the omens of the empty / boasting / false prophets, and humiliates the divining omen readers, Who overturns the counsel of the wise men and makes their advice seem foolish, who fulfills the oracles of His prophetic servants and brings to pass the announcements of His messengers.” Is.44:24-26
You remember Ruth Heflin…She prophesied that Jesus was going to appear at Benny Hinn’s meeting LIVE! Well, that never happened at all…Instead Paula White appeared and guess what? You can find it all over the internet! However, Heflin did bring a false revival called“The Gold Dust Revival”to America!
BRAVE NEW WORLD CHURCH
Just because something supernatural or miraculous happens does not mean our Lord Jesus Christ is the author of it. Satan has the ability to work miracles also. There is much going on today in the church world in the supernatural arena that is not of our Father God. It is of and from the devil and its purpose is to lead people away from the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ into error. Revelation 16:14…“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
An evangelist from Brazil named Silvania Machado was the first to take center stage in the gold dust phenomenon that has been sweeping the charismatic churches world-wide. The late Ruth Heflin, Pastor of Calvary Pentecostal Tabernacle, was responsible for bringing Machado to America and was her biggest promoter. Machado prays for people during these services as ‘gold dust’ falls from her head. It is taken by some as a sign from God. But is it? Machado, herself, has stated that, “Some people focus on the signs instead of the fruit.”
Prior to the materialization of gold in church services, there have been other accounts of the “gold phenomenon.” In his book, Voices, Visions and Apparitions, Michael Freze states, “On June 24th, 1987 one lady stated that her rosary had turned to gold while she was visiting Medjugorje (a major Marian site of visitation). This same woman claims that over forty people, whom she ministered to, had their rosaries turned to gold. This phenomenon is not at all remarkable… thousands have come back from Medjugorje testifying that their rosaries turned to gold immediately during a prayer service in the presence of hundreds of witnesses.”
However, this does not happen only at Medjugorje, but also at Conyers, Georgia in the United States. Gold dust has been promised by “Jesus and Mary” to the Mary worshippers who gather there. From the messages of April 23, 1993, devotee Nancy Fowler tells us, “A beautiful crown appeared over the blessed Mother’s head”… Nancy goes on to say, “She was beautiful. More suffering will befall all of mankind if you continue to violate the law of God.” The blessed Mother told Nancy that rosaries will turn to a golden color and that there would be sprinklings of gold dust.” See Conyers Apparition website at https://conyers.org/conyers.html Many times when people are evangelized, especially in places where paganism is rampant, Christianity is assimilated into aberrant belief systems. History also reveals that many aberrant belief systems also find a home in Christianity.
Silvania Machado ~ Joshua Mills~PARANORMAL
The late Ruth Heflin brought Silvania Machado to America and presented her mystical ministry to America known as “the Gold Dust Revival.”
Mystics~Witches and Wizards~WITCHCRAFT CURSES
“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.” 2nd Peter 2:3
Jesus warned that “If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect,” (Matt. 24:24). Peter the apostle also forewarned that “false teachers” who shall privately bring in“damnable heresies,” even denying the Lord that bought them, that “many shall follow their: pernicious ways,” and sad to relate these “followers” are recruited from the mainstream church members, of whom the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in (II Tim. 4:3,4), saying: “The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away theirears from the truth, and shall be turned unto Fables.”
This “turning away, “from doctrinal standards and the demand for an unregenerate church membership to enhance church attendance is evil. Many church goers will not stand for sound doctrine; they will not hear those who preach the total depravity of man and the need for the New Birth through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They gather teachers who will tickle their ears, appeal to the flesh and just say whatever makes them feel good.
PEOPLE SELLING THEIR SOULS FOR FALSE HANDFULS OF CELLOPHANE GOLD
However, according to the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, D.C. Both samples of the “gold dust” – sent to them for testing by Charisma magazine – were deemed to be plastic film with no traces of gold, platinum or silver:
A Brazilian ‘evangelist’ at the center of the “gold dust” phenomenon being reported at charismatic churches across the United States and Europe says she is unfazed by scientific reports suggesting that all that glitters is not what it seems. Two independent tests on samples of the gold-colored dust that falls from Silvania Machado’s head during services have found the substance to be more like plastic glitter, with no gold content.
Machado, who attributes the manifestation to her divine healing from cancer, is untroubled by the conclusions of the analyses carried out on behalf of “Charisma” magazine. “To me, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it’s from God”, she said.”Charisma” had two samples of Machado’s gold dust analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, D.C. Both were deemed to be plastic film with no traces of gold, platinum or silver.
“I have met Sylvania Machado, and have friends that host her when she comes to the US. I have seen the “gold dust” and the “oil.” The gold dust is not gold dust, but plastic glitter. It is all done by sleight of hand. She never praises Jesus, Worships, or declares that Jesus Christ is her Saviour. The oil is a homemade concoction of essential oils in olive oil.”
High-Coven Witch Priestess
“When I met her and saw her, I was struck by the Holy Ghost and a horrible mourning came over me by the power of Christ and I begin to travail in the Spirit. Jesus spoke to me and told me that this woman was a high-coven witch priestess and that she was preying on the elect and the naive not only for money but for dark magic inroads. Our friends whom she stayed with worked at the Pentagon. Sylvania asked to be taken there to see Donald Rumsfeld. She wanted to go there and meet him and “pray” over him. They went to his office but he was not present. Her aim is to help establish principalities.
I confronted the family of what God had told me and they refused to believe me, although I had a good report with them and they respected me. They were under some kind of bewitchment.
I grieved and prayed fervently for them and began spiritual warfare against Sylvania. The woman could not look me in the eye. After I prayed Sylvania was struck quickly with a bad sickness and had to abruptly leave the country for Brazil. Shortly afterward, her host came down with a freak case of rare meningitis and had to be hospitalized. Two other friends, when she was in the hospital came to her independently of me and informed her that the Lord had told them she was a victim of witchcraft. We all prayed against the witch and our friend regained her health. She still entertains people from her delegation. We no longer associate with her in fellowship, only in friendship.”
-Silvania Machado, a woman who reportedly sheds gold dust and oozes oil. (See: Gold Dust Phenomenon Stirs Up Questions Among Charismatic’s ,Charisma News, Sept. 9, 1999). Was promoted by the late Ruth Heflin,and embraced by many people within today’s controversial renewal and revival movements.
-A mystical woman from Brazil, named Silvania Machado, was at Calvary Pentecostal Campground from August 18-21, 1998 and in February of 1999. In the process of her physical healing of four types of cancer, oil began to flow supernaturally from her body and later, gold dust began to be manifested on her face and the crown of her head. As she praises and worships, this phenomenon is seen. Her Brazilian pastor gathers the holy gold flakes and anoints the forehead of the sick and needy. Many miracles fall. Source: Reported by the late Ruth Ward Heflin, who promotes this Machado.
The Apostle Paul warned the Church of Galatians that had fallen under bewitching devils, “Gal 1:8-9),“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed,” KJV
Heflin & Friend Would Astral Project Into Various Nations
I knew something was wrong when I read Silvania’s testimony on Ruth Heflin’s web site in 1991. Ruth Heflin saw Sylvania’s paranormal mystical manifestations and believed them to be of God. However, there is simply no scriptural basis for sucha ministry. Ms. Heflin’s ministry was highly questionable also. She says that she and her girl friend would astral project into various nations’ capitols and spiritually goes inside and she would sing and dance to “change the spiritual atmosphere of the nation.” This type of spiritual activity is described as witchcraft in the crafts. However, since most of your Christian churches in America are absolutely spiritually blinded when it comes to the discerning of spirits, she got away with the new religious revival where people came looking for gold dust instead of Jesus.
Ruth’s web site said that Silvania had been diagnosed with five types of cancer. Her pours were oozing some putrid smelling green pus. Silvania explained that she went to a “voodoo hospital” and was told to go to a certain church and that she would be healed within three days. She said that after going to the church, she received her healing. She testified that the stinky oozing pus stopped and sweet smelling oil and the gold dust began to appear.
This bizarre ministry has continued and spreading by a new group that call themselves the “New Mystics. Most of these people have no religious training and the paranormal, magical powers are simply passed by the god of the air, Satan. They believe it is God because it is supernatural. People become contaminated by impartations from one person to another. However, there is simply no scriptural basis for these mystical ministries. They are sheer witchcraft,other words, not Christianity.
The popular trend of our day is to talk about spirituality without the Word of God, to talk about salvation without being born again, and to offer hope without Jesus Christ; stand before people and sing for hours as Ruth Heflin did and then prophesy psychic type personal prophecies over those attending. “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.”—2nd Peter 2:3
Polytheism, the seeking after other gods, or believing ALL PATHWAYS LEAD BACK TO GOD has captured the imagination of many Christian leaders. They are boldly teaching this blasphemous error to unsuspecting churchgoing people to seize them for the One World Religious System that is being formed for the Antichrist. If they say the name of Jesus, it is usually another Gospel, another Jesus, and another spirit.
Trance Music and trance dancing, places participants under a spell and then they dance in astupor. It is not the Holy Spirit in operation. It is spirit of bewitchment. These ungodly false Christian leaders are using the power of mass hypnotism, neurology, and psychometrics to bewitch Christian Churches.
The article is called spiritual alchemy–file://A:\gold.html Another article is Marian Apparitions and Goldfile://A:\marygold.htm
“The Lord told me that the work of the gold dust demon is cancer. Many are going to die. Sylvan appeared at the Brunswick church. Two women were talking in book store. They and many of their friends were going to see her.They said that her testimony was: That she had 4 cancers with putrid pus coming out of her pores. She had to stay wrapped in bandages. SHE WENT TO A VOODOO HOSPITAL, they said, and there was told to GO TO A CHURCH AND WITHIN THREE DAYS SHE’D BE HEALED! Unbelievable—and preachers and so-called Christians were running to let her lay their hands on them! It’s gonna get a lot worse before it gets better—if ever.”
October 15, 2000 email: “I guess you know that Ruth Heflin died on Sept. 23, 2000. Died of CANCER. The Lord told me that there was CANCER in the gold dust.“
“When this thing first started, I have it on tape that there is CANCER in this deception. We had several ministers here that went and had heart attacks immediately. If you look on Heflin’s web page, I don’t see the gold dust splattered all over it. Sylvan has moved to Mehesh’ page. You will see the link on Heflin’s page. MARCH 2001 issue of CHARISMA magazine reported that Bob Shattles has liver CANCER. July 18, 2001 – I got an email that said Bob Shattles died this day.”
The Bible says in 2nd Peter 2:3 that their “judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
Gold Dust oozing from their Skin & all Over the Prophet
MARCH 1999 Update: Gold Dust oozing from their Skin and all Over the Prophet 12 Date: Sat, 27 Feb 1999 01:43:19 -0800 (PST) Subject: Ruth Heflin’s “Gold Dust” heresy To:firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Steve, I just received an e-mail from the contender’s website showing an occulted catholic like mystical heresy being propagated from a major player in the Brownsville movement…Ruth Heflin, who along with Brenda Kilpatrick will be speaking at the Dancing into Glory Conference in Ohio in March. It concerns what they term Gold Dust from heaven appearing on who Ruth Heflin calls a “holy woman” at her campground in Ashland Virginia..[We are told that the “holy woman” is a Brazilian woman in residence there.] She also claims that gold oozes from [the woman’s] pores and that this “holy woman” has seen visions of Benny Hinn with the gold dust appearing on him. I won’t spoil anymore of the story go to the following website…http://www.revivalglory.org/camptest.htm
After the story…at the bottom of the page you can click to her home page and see inher newsletters that the gold dust is “appearing” on people at meetings in her ministry in Jerusalem. In one newsletter she boasts she is getting ready to celebrate Holy week..an obvious catholic tradition..but to no surprise she claims in her biography on her home page that she is “equally at home with Catholics..as well as being experienced in a wide spectrum of Jewish endeavors”..as you noted in your website that she is involved in the Hebrew Roots Movement…One newsletter she said she is getting ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israel and the JUBILEE…she says in her Jerusalem meetings they call the gold…”ANGEL DUST”…AND FINALLY…please read some of the quotes from her two books revival and revival glory to see the heresy that Brownsville has embraced…she has spoken there and they revere her ‘DOCTRINES’ in these books as blueprints for revival..and one pastor from a church trying to imitate Brownsville read the book from the pulpit instead of the bible as become the new guru for many of the Brownsville groupies and when you read her quotes you can see this is clearly not biblical Christianity. But this gold story takes the cake.
The following email was received on April 20, 1999: Dr. Pat Holliday wrote these e-mails and posted them on http://www.demonbuster.com“
This gold thing is spreading rapidly. It is transference of spirits just like the laughing thing. I am thinking about going over to see if its acting like the Brunswick one. I believe it is mystics’and music plays a great role in it. Ruth Heflin is from an Independent Pentecostal family. She attends a Catholic church in Jerusalem and is into something called Jewish Roots. She has been very actively involved with Brownsville[AOG in Pensacola, FL.] and the Vineyard movements. I see that the deliverance ministry is needed but ignored in these strange fire movements. I keep myself covered with blood of Jesus.
A SECOND EMAIL FROM THE SAME PERSON SAID
“A man in our ministry took the tiny little pieces [of gold dust] to a jeweler. He said it is of a high order of gold. He said it would take a bucketful for it to be of value.It is my understanding that this thing has been going on for about two years. We are going over next week to see what is happening there. I want to make two trips. One covering ourselves with the blood of Jesus and then two doing intensive warfare of binding the spirits of mammon, alchemy, bewitching spirits, blinding spirits, false prophets, etc. before going the second time to see what happens when a group goes and does the warfare.
In Brunswick, Christian Center Church, the Pastor is William T. Lignon, Sr., P.O.Box 2400 Brunswick, Ga. 31521, the evangelist name is Bob Shattles of Douglas, Ga. The gold just seems to appear from his pores and appears all over his clothes. It drops allover the floor. It looks like small pieces but you can see it. The things occurs down front in the well of the church when the people come up to praise and worship. It starts during the worship service.
When people are ministered to they fall out, slain on the floor. The spirit of divination, is working in conjunction with this phenomenon. It is during this time that people begin to manifest. One lady fell in front of us and began clutching her stomach with a look of pain on her face. She was groaning. We stretched our hands out and began to quietly take authority over these spirits, commanding them to go in the name of Jesus. In seconds, she got free. A peace came over her face and she when back to her seat. Another young began to manifest. Her tongue kept darting out like a snake while she was down on the floor. A group of women were wailing. Some had the laughing spirit on them. I believe this is a strong delusion.The evangelist claimed that the gold thing happened in Finney’s meetings and also A. A. Allen’s meetings. I have never read anything about it in my life. Chasing after gold instead of Jesus may bring a great crowd. They claim that people are getting healed.
Ruth Heflin is from an old time Pentecostal family. She went to China at age 16 years old. Then she went Jerusalem. Someone gave her a million dollar house (note:someone said it was not a million) there and Christians come to see her from all over the world. She’s written several books. She attends a Catholic Church where she developed her praise and dancing ministry. She prophesies. She sings for about three hours each time she ministers. She believes, first you praise God then you go into worship, then you go into glory. She claims to go into visions and goes to various capitals of the world and dances and prophesies God’s glory to change the atmosphere over the cities. She has a web page and you can see the woman from Brazil that this gold thing started with. I believe these things to be Catholic mysticism and be witching spirits.
“Received the following email on May 11, 1999 “It seems a couple of churches in these areas are networked with Brunswick.However, I am watching the effects on people that I personally know. They are drawn to it and are dropping out of their churches. We had one lady in our church that was a pretty good member until she visited this thing. She said the first night, something took a hold of her hands and squeezed them and that it hurt. Her hands stayed in a funny position and she was not able to move them for the rest of the night. Her hands were actually twisted, despite this, she has returned. She came to our church and I talked about bewitching, deceptive, religious spirits. We have not seen her since. Another evangelist that I know, is driving over every time they open the church doors. She is having the gold dripping from her pores. No one sees anything. I have not been back and I think that I’ve seen enough. I feel so sorry for the church. Witchcraft is everywhere.
We heard about a local church that puts two wash tubs in front of the altar. The people step into the first one to wash away their sicknesses and then they step into the second one to cleanse themselves. They have to pay the pastor $25.00 bucks to talk to him.They tie red cords around their wrist and neck to protect them from “evil spirits.” They praise until they drop. I weep for the people.”
It’s Falling on the unsaved, leaving them sick
Email of June 17, 1999 “This is really wild. My assistant and I went to this evangelist’s house.The evangelist is not in the gold thing and believes that it is a bewitching spirit. The evangelist’s daughter came into the room and joined the conversation. The daughter is not saved and was smoking a cigarette and drinking wine. Suddenly, gold dust began to appear on the unsaved daughter. It was on her face, hair, chest, shoulders and around her eyes as if she had put on gold dust eye-liner! Look, she’s got that gold dust all over her, my assistant said. The girl said, What are you talking about. We took her to the mirror and she was shocked. No one had ever told her about the gold dust before. We took her to Ruth Heflin’s page and showed her Silvania’s gold falling out of her hair. This unsaved girl said, “Look, I am not a holy person and I do not want to be a kook, what can I do to get this stuff off me?” The Next day, I went to see her. “Is the gold still there?” I asked. “No,” she replied, “but I’ve been as sick as a dog all night. My nose is stopped up and my throat is sore. Every time I move my head, it feels like my brain is floating.” I asked her, “How did you get rid of the gold?” “I washed it off. That thing is not a holy thing from God.” she said. I know this sound wild, but it really did happen.
DELUSIONAL~HERESY LAND-ANGELS-LYING SPIRITS
Stand up pastor while you still have time to make a difference. Teach the Word, in season and out season. The sheep are dying.
[By the sleight of men] The words en tee kubeia refer to the arts used by gamesters, who employ false dice that will always throw up one kind of number, which is that by which those who play with them cannot win.
[Cunning craftiness] It is difficult to give a literal translation of the original words: en panourgia pros teen methodeian tees planees. “By cunning, for the purpose of using thevarious means of deception.” Panourgiasignifies craft and subtlety in general, cheatingandimposition: methodeia, from which we have our term method, signifies a wile, aparticular sleight, mode of tricking and deceiving; it is applied to the arts which the Deviluses to deceive and destroy souls; (see Eph 6:11), called there the WILES of the Devil.From this it seems that various arts were used, both by the Greek sophists and theJudaizing teachers, to render the Gospel of none effect, or to adulterate and corrupt it.
Paul writing to the Corinthian church presents three terms that are used which are connected to being deceived. 1) Another Jesus – ( allos) is a primary word; “else,” different (in many applications) The name is the same, it=s the name Jesus from the Bible but it is not theJesus of the Bible. He is different one, with some similarities on the surface level.
2) A different Spirit-(heteros)-to number as opposed to some former person or thing the other of two; referring to quality: that is, one that is not of the same nature,form, class, or kind, to be different
3) Another Gospel (heteros) of uncertain affinity; different: altered, strange. It is not the same one Paul preached, it has a qualitative difference.
If someone teaches that Jesus didn’t obtain our salvation at the cross but finished it in hell by suffering and needed to be born again that is another Gospel. The bible is clear it is the bloodshed at the mercy seat that forgave us. If someone teaches we can all do what the apostles did, that is another Gospel.
(Gal 1:6-9),“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.But though we, or an angel from heaven,preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Another gospel; the same sort”; heteros expresses a qualitative difference and denotes “another of a different sort. “Paul speaks of “a different (heteros), which is not another” in contrast to any other Gospel (allos, another like the one he preached),
God says that there will be a time of judgment that actually starts in His House… Sadly God’s people love to hear false prophecy. “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their hands; and My people love it so. And what will you do at the end of it?”(Jer. 5:31).
IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES ABOUT THE GOLD – OCCULT- LATTER-RAIN CONNECTION
Although I have not yet had time to put all my findings into article form on the web site, I am being led to discover some pretty strange and worrying things. I believe the Lord is warning us to beware of a major new level of deception in the churches.
The gist of the new material is the MEANING of the gold miracles: that the “glory” of God is descending as the indwelling shekinah of the New Temple (The Church). This has many implications, not least of which is the belief in a Corporate Christ as the rulers of the New Order.
Many of you may already know that a man called Franklin Hall virtually single-handed launched the 1940’s Latter Rain heresies. He was revered and his books were treated like handbooks to revival by the early Pentecostals However, Hall’s books were bizarre and almost occultic. One of the things he promoted was fasting for months at a time in order to release spiritual manifestations.
You will not perhaps be surprised to know that Hall predicted that a “spiritual substance” would be seen upon worshippers, a fine gold or silver, as they entered into their transformation into immortal sons of god.
Al Dager writes:
That there is a definite occult influence on Hall’s career is evident in other writings. His book, ‘The Return of Immortality’, suggests that Christians can learn how to become immortal through stages of spiritual growth. This involves experiences with “UFO’s, and the UIO gravitational and levitation control.”
His teachings on attaining immortality in this life through psycho-spiritual exercises and righteous living were the foundation upon which many in the Latter Rain and subsequent movements based their immortalization theories. Hall’s main point in his immortalization theory is that “the sleeping, so called, unfoundationally built church”must awaken to “a real cause and calling, that when God’s word is completely acted upon and complied with, will result in bringing about the real gushers and torrents of the long, past due, RAIN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, a rain ofIMMORTALITYUPON THE EARTH that so many prophets have written about and portrayed in their prophesies”. (emphasis Hall’s).
Hall’s premise is not, however, predicated upon God’s promise of immortality for the faithful after their resurrection.
This is evidenced by his following words: “Permanent, lasting freedoms from all sickness, harmful accident things and defeat will come about. Freedom from the imprisonment of all gravitational forces will also be brought upon the whole man. This study teaches one the power and secrets of space flight. Space floatation [sic] and hovering ability. It gives the Bible formula for weightlessness, the ‘raising up’ power of those who come to immortality.”(Jn.6 chapter and Rom.2:7).”(11)
In his book, Hall gives “evidence” of his already having attained a degree of “immortality” (which allegedly affects everything that comes in contact with the immortal person’s body): “Brother Hall’s light colored jacket is seven years old and has never been pressed or cleaned or aerated in 7 years, since new, yet it has been worn repeatedly in many overseas countries and regularly in all crusades everywhere (excepting one). It has been on more than 200 airlines in travels. It has no spots, stains, discoloration or body odors anywhere on it or inside it – similar to the children of Israel’s clothes under the Glory, Immortality Cloud of Fire Power.”
The attainment of “Immortality blessings” are alleged by Hall to be more successfully attained through open-eye prayer. “Coming with closed eyes,” he stated, “destroys faith.”
Hall claims that there is an“Immortal Substance” that comes upon the believer who feeds upon it “from within Christ’s now body” – the “FIRE – IMMORTAL – PACKED – BODY”(Emphasis Hall’s).
This “Immortal Substance” is claimed to be seen on those who attend Hall’s meetings, as a fine gold and silver, sparkling material that emanates from sometimes visible “Immortal Heavenly Objects” (IHO’s), “Unusual Heavenly Objects” (UHO’s), and “Unidentified Flying Objects” (UFO’s).
In Hall’s words, “The sparkling shining FINE GOLD and SILVER are seen upon their SKIN, brought about through the faith-power of impartation. The polished brass, the beryl stone appearances are even now manifested today.”
He challenges the reader to see and behold these phenomena by attending “the International Holy Ghost and Fire Seminars of Brother and Sister Franklin Hall.”
This sparkling material Hall calls, “The shiny metal like, Jesus’ substance.” While Hall has many excellent things to say about fasting from the standpoint of good health, when it comes to spiritual matters he often transcends sensibility and delves into areas of the occult.
*Above web site also includes –Gold Dust cult is Directly from the Whore of Rome and Satan.
Heflin admitted to other occult experiences, namely out-of-body transport, otherwise known as astral projection: ‘‘I began to be conscious of the fact that I was remembering only the first line of each prophecy and the last line. I could never remember anything in between. In the end I realized that I had not been sleeping at all, but had been carried away in the Spirit. I was conscious of the first line, as my spirit was being carried away, and of the last line, as my spirit came back into my body. Later, when I got back to Jerusalem, there was a postcard there that I had sent back telling everyone about those amazing days and that I must have been carried away in the Spirit at least a hundred times during that short period.’’
Travel was her obsession
As a young woman and far into her adult life, Heflin’s main pursuit was travel all over the globe. She not only loved travel, it was her obsession. As long as she could get from church to church, she could gather the funds to move on, always making the claim that in this way she was reaching the nations.
The implicit idea is that her getting to a nation was tantamount to the nation being reached. She recounted her trip to Brazil in these words: ‘‘My trips did not always involve ministry to people. Sometimes they were for the purpose of declaration and prophetic release, as in the case of a trip I made to Brazil. … I prophesied to Rio and to all of Brazil. I was conscious that God was changing the atmosphere over the city and over the nation. … God had sent me to take care of the spiritual atmosphere over Rio.’’
Heflin actually made a career of touring...She was constantly meeting and making friends. Every new friend was a virtual steppingstone. Heflin would go on numerous paid tours with bankers or businessmen, even with airline executives to widen her sphere of influence and information. It also built up many contacts. She was a professional tourist. Heflin knew all the ropes as far as travel.
Heflin would introduce herself to travelers at airports, question them and make immediate friends. She had it down pat. The more friends (casual and otherwise) she acquired, the more homes she had as stopover places as she crisscrossed countries. She was an obsessive traveler. Having driven a car from England and across Europe to Israel, she exulted, ‘‘It was one of those trips I would gladly take again, especially if I had a nice car to do it in.’’
At times Heflin seems really delusionary. She claims a vision in which she ‘‘released all the wealth of America that would be needed for the ingathering of the last-day harvest.’’
Are we also to really believe Heflin’s report of her father’s out-of-body experience? Of course, it is Heflin’s report of what her father told her he experienced, but it makes for good story telling nonetheless: ‘‘Tears came to my father’s eyes, and he told us that while he had been praying his feet had actually lifted up off the ground, as he felt himself being lifted from the mountain earlier that morning. He immediately thought of the work that was left undone,and, in that moment, he came back down to earth. As he stood in the glory of that experience, he had to wonder if he had made the right choice.’’
Heflin promoted the idea that just being in a place effects great spiritual changes in the atmosphere and is to be equated somehow to a Gospel witness that will set up the Second Coming of Christ. While in Israel, Heflin and her friends would go outside and dance, sing and pray and claim they were opening up and evangelizing nations far away.
Just a whistle stop on a train could suffice: ‘‘One year, while I was ministering in Australia, the Lord brought to my mind something He had said to me in America. He showed me that I should travel across both China and Russia, fasting and praying as I went, believing for the release of the land and its people. I knew that it was time to fulfill that call.… At each stop, I would step out on the platform and pray and prophesy. The words the Lord gave me, different for each place, were declaring the release of the Jewish people and the spiritual release God wanted to bring to the country as a whole.’’
If Heflin visited a place, she considered it tantamount to reaching that country for Christ: ‘‘In each place God led us by His Spirit, making divine appointments, causing the soles of our feet to possess new territory, making sure that the Gospel of the Kingdom was preached in every nation for a witness before the end comes, using our voices as prophetic instruments to spark life into that which was dead. He was causing us to gather, by our prophetic voices.” Harvest Glory.’
Heflin mistakes travel for evangelism. After traveling on a whirlwind tour of 20 countries in six months she is so bold to say ‘‘by faith we had done the route. … and everywhere we had traveled, we were possessing the nations for the Kingdom of God.’’
WHISTLING IN THE DARK
Heflin claimed to have a gift I had never heard of: ‘‘whistling in the Spirit.’’ Apparently, even this could evangelize. She said it began in China and she described it this way: ‘‘I began whistling in the Spirit (something I do with increasing regularity) and I whistled into the microphone. When I did, it caused an immediate stir among those who had come. They had never heard anyone whistle in the glory and they brought people from every direction over the coming days to hear. Their lives were changed as a result.’’
In retrospect, Heflin lived an illusionary life. She traveled far and wide, met numerous people, made incredible and unfounded claims, spread false teaching, and perhaps believed her own press. One can only think of the ‘‘strong delusion’’ of 2 Thessalonians 2:11.
It Was There All The Time – ‘Faraway Places’ Syndrome
Maybe all her pull toward China and Israel were not so supernatural and mysterious as she would have us believe. Her uncle (William Ward), her grandfather and parents were great travelers. She described them as having ‘‘‘faraway places’ syndrome.’’ Her mother and father had supported missionaries in China and Heflin’s baby book had photos of Chinese pastors in it. Her grandfather had made a trip to Israel the year she was born and ‘‘had sent back postcards.’’ Heflin had been raised with travel as a family value and a family pursuit. As well, the church she grew up in stressed missions and was constantly buzzing with incoming missionaries. Travel was the way she attained her identity and approval. And without a husband, she was free to travel even more. On the last page of her autobiography, she rhapsodizes herself into fantasyland: ‘‘We are called for this day and this hour. Born for it. Destined for it. It is a time greater than the Day of Pentecost. Greater than the period of the first-century church. The end time. The time of the culmination of all things. The day of fulfillment. The day that the Apostles longed to see. The day thatwe are not only seeing, but the day we are experiencing. … Angelic hosts assist us. Signs, wonders, healings and miracles confirm us. All that has happened through the centuries has been geared for this hour.’’ And then she died!
“Stop and take some time and wonder [at this prophecy], Blind yourselves and be blinded [at its fulfillment by your spiritual incompetence]. They are drunk, but not from wine; They stagger, but not from strong drink.
For the Lord has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed your eyes, [you who are] the prophets; And He has covered your heads, [you who are] the seers.
The entire vision [of all these things] will be to you like the words of a scroll that is sealed, which they give to one who can read, saying, “Read this, please,” he shall say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.
Then the book will be given to the one who cannot read, saying, “Read this, please.” And he will say, “I cannot read.”’
Write On A Tablet…That It May Serve In The Time To Come Isaiah 30:8-13 (AMP)
“Now, go, write it on a tablet before them And inscribe it on a scroll, So that it may serve in the time to come As a witness [against them] forevermore.
For this is a rebellious people, lying sons, Sons who refuse to listen to The law and instruction of the Lord;
Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions from God”; And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right! Speak to us pleasant things and smooth words, Prophesy [deceitful] illusions [that we will enjoy].
“Get out of the [true] way, turn aside from the path [of God], Stop bothering us with the Holy One of Israel.”
Therefore, the Holy One of Israel says this,
“Because you have refused and rejected this word [of Mine] And have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them,
Therefore this wickedness [this sin, this injustice, this wrongdoing] will be to you Like a crack [in a wall] about to fall, A bulge in a high wall, Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant.”
Tho’ addressed to Israel and surrounding nations, addressed corruption in the ‘prophetic’ is still applicable to corruption in the ‘prophetic.’ Paul makes this principle abundantly clear;
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Rom.15:4
“Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” 1 Cor.10:11
It strikes me as intriguing, that a ‘prophetic’ tendency is to spiritualize Scripture to extract a meaning to validate an otherwise extra-Biblcal view, yet, to also tend to discount, ignore, invalidate, Old Testament references that are still relevant ‘instructive examples,’ revealing and communicating the mind, heart, perspectives, and character of God.
Urgent Reminder Of Jesus’ Take On The Last Days
An urgent reminder of Jesus’ take on the last days, many points of which have been seen since He uttered them, and will continue until His return!
Signs of the End of the Age 3 “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. 5 For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away[a] and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
The Coming of the Son of Man 29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Lesson of the Fig Tree 32 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 34 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
No One Knows That Day and Hour 36 “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[b] but the Father only. 37 For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. 42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Do ‘prophetic utterances,’ reflect Jesus’ prophetic insight?
How do ‘prophetic utterances,’ tho’t, teaching and focus lineup with Jesus’ prophetic insights?
If the Scriptures were thoroughly read, thoroughly believed, and thoroughly responded to appropriately, there wouldn’t be the need to rely so heavily upon ‘prophecy’ and ‘prophetic utterance,’ standing upon uncertain foundations, extrapolated from heterodox usage of isolated, unclear texts, one’s faith and focus entirely dependent ‘prophetic’ interpretation, and extra-Biblical revelation.
The aforementioned ‘prophetic’ tendencies, will leave people, unprepared, ill equipped, eschatological unsound, and prone to disillusionment, and confusion, with a false focus on non-existent, illusionary events, ‘prophetically promised,’ perhaps even down thro’ the ages.
Seemingly, most, if not all sect(arian), aberrant, heretical, off -focused, exclusive, you name it, unorthodox, in practice and belief, group, has had a ‘glorification,’ group focused ‘saviour’ eschatological mindset and belief system, birthed, promoted, supported, fueled, led and directed by heterodoxy (unorthodox) and ‘extra-Biblical revelation.’
My beliefs will all be scrutinized by Scripture
A major challenging question I have posed to myself and now the Body of Christ, is, how much of what we believe, and focus our attention on, is based on ‘prophetic utterance,’ tho’t, and extra-Biblical prophetic revelation? I can no longer pursue, and focus my attention, heart, prayers, efforts, actions, tho’ts, words and faith on things derived from the above. My beliefs will all be scrutinized by Scripture, only confirmed by ‘the prophetic.’
‘Prophecy’ and ‘prophetic revelation’ have been slowly supplanting the Word of God, in all manner of ways. This, I have been addressing and endeavouring to bring to light, revealing the state the ‘prophetic’ is in at this time. We must get back to the Word of God as our foundation, or else drift permanently and indefinitely, into the delusion God warns of, for those ‘who love not the truth.’
“Joyner leaves no doubt as to where he thinks the “Voice of the Lord” is found and it is not in Scripture:
“It is typical of our Western mind-set to want a clear formula for how to get to know the voice of the Lord. There must at least be an obvious ‘how to’ in the Scriptures, we think. Many have attempted to wrestle one out of the Word, but it is not there. The only way we can come to know the voice of the Lord is the same way that the sheep came to know their shepherd’s voice — through time spent in His presence.”8
Joyner further disparages the Bible by teaching that while Scripture is used for constituting doctrine, it is unable to provide wisdom and counsel in our daily lives. He states:
“The Scriptures alone are used for establishing doctrine, while ‘the voice of the Lord’ is used to give us day-to-day guidance as well as revealing the strategic will of the Lord. The Bible does not address some of the most important decisions we must all make — whom we should marry, our choice of professions, where we should live.”9
True to the modern-day prophetic movement, Joyner claims he is led by dreams, visions and revelations as well as Jesus Himself. In the Introduction to The Harvest he tells his readers:
“Some of the revelation came in ‘open visions.’ These were visible, external visions that were like watching a cinema screen. Others were gentle, internal visions that are like having the ‘eyes of your heart’ opened. I now have frequent visions and dreams that are filled with symbolism requiring interpretation like most of the biblical visions, but these were not that way; many of the details that you read in this book I actually saw in the visions. … Some of the understanding shared in this book came in literal conversation with the Lord. I did not hear His voice audibly but it was more intimate and real than I could ever remember knowing before.”16
AND IT JUST DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER?
Joyner may not know much about neo-Orthodoxy and Karl Barth but his view of faith is amazingly close to it and biblically off the mark. He takes us down the path to neo-Orthodoxy or what is called new liberalism.
While Joyner contends that “True faith can only come with spiritual vision,”74 God says that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Our faith is founded on the Word of God and flourishes and grows on God’s Word. Faith is trust in God’s Word.
Joyner would deny this and says, “Faith is not just believing the words of the Lord, but believing the Word Himself.”75 Again, Joyner demeans the Scriptures and sets up a false dichotomy between Jesus as the Word and the written Word. He plays this incorrect dichotomy out when he says that, “It would be impossible to put a value on this most marvelous gift the Lord has given to us, but the Bible was given to lead us to Jesus, not to take His place.”76
How can we separate the words of the Lord in Scripture from the Word (Jesus) since the words in Scripture are His words and he uttered them. If you love someone, you love their words as well and there is no false distinction between the two. Joyner is subtly suggesting that we can get a fresher word, a more up-to-date word right now and directly from the Spirit Jesus in an unmediated way. So again the Bible is belittled.
Joyner also parallels neo-Orthodoxy and Karl Barth in Barth’s demeaning Scripture with his view of God creating a contact point in man where He can give special direct divine revelation. Barth’s separation of the Word (the Bible) from the Word (Jesus) is similar, if not the same as Joyner’s emphasis.”77 By P J Miller
Subjective spiritual activity, to the detriment of the inspired, established, revealed truth of Scripture
One problematic issue we see from the observations here re: Rick Joyner, which could be applied to ‘prophetic ministry’ in general, is the emphasis on subjective spiritual activity, to the detriment of the inspired, established, revealed truth of Scripture.
“The Scriptures alone are used for establishing doctrine, while ‘the voice of the Lord’ is used to give us day-to-day guidance as well as revealing the strategic will of the Lord. The Bible does not address some of the most important decisions we must all make — whom we should marry, our choice of professions, where we should live.” (Rick Joyner)
>Daryl here. Understandably, Scripture does not address every detail of our lives, but the subjectivity is treated just as reliably as Scripture, and given precedence wrongly over Scripture, whether intentionally or otherwise.
“True to the modern-day prophetic movement, Joyner claims he is led by dreams, visions and revelations as well as Jesus Himself.” (Miller- author of this article)
In the Introduction to (the book) ‘The Harvest’. he tells his readers:
“Some of the revelation came in ‘open visions.’ These were visible, external visions that were like watching a cinema screen. Others were gentle, internal visions that are like having the ‘eyes of your heart’ opened. I now have frequent visions and dreams that are filled with symbolism requiring interpretation like most of the biblical visions, but these were not that way; many of the details that you read in this book I actually saw in the visions. … Some of the understanding shared in this book came in literal conversation with the Lord. I did not hear His voice audibly but it was more intimate and real than I could ever remember knowing before.”16
>Daryl here. From Rick’s comments above, re: receiving ‘revelation’ etc. he reveals how very subjective, all of his subjectiveness really is! Left unchecked, this highly subjective focus, will descend into far to much extra-Biblical, un-Biblical and anti-Biblical tho’t and beliefs, ending in deception.
Secondly, from the author’s article, we see, ” Joyner may not know much about neo-Orthodoxy and Karl Barth but his view of faith is amazingly close to it and biblically off the mark. He takes us down the path to neo-Orthodoxy or what is called new liberalism“.
While Joyner contends that “True faith can only come with spiritual vision,”74 God says that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). Our faith is founded on the Word of God and flourishes and grows on God’s Word. Faith is trust in God’s Word.” (author of article)
>Daryl here. Diverging from orthodoxy, in practice, (which is called orthopraxy, orthodox practice,) and in principles, exposes, and makes one vulnerable to error. God has given unto us a reliable account of truth, about God Himself, His purposes for creation, and His people. Down playing, minimizing, abusing, His Word will lead to delusion and destruction.
Two outstanding problematic issues, out of numerous ones, reveals a dangerous trend and highly unstable foundation, that much of the ‘prophetic movement,’ is prone to. I trust this helps even a little, to explain how descent in deception can transpire, yet there are even bigger or just as significant contributing factors, leading to what is occurring in the ‘charismatic/prophetic’ movement today.
My ‘Spiritual Detox’ Journey
A year ago I started talking publicly about my ‘spiritual detox’ journey. It seems like I’ve traveled a million miles since then.
To be more specific, it’s a ‘prophetic spiritual detox,’ in particular. I implore everyone not to make prophecy more than it actually is! Esp. coming into, not only the new year, and a new decade, but the enticing numbers 2020.
I used to live for the ‘prophetic’ words for a new year, and form my outlook and focus around them. My ‘detox journey’ has caused me to look long and hard at so many things, propelling me into long hours of research and study, bringing me to numerous conclusions that have drastically affected how I view some major aspects of my Christian life, walk, exp., beliefs and practices.
I have observed how much of ‘prophetic activity,’ mindsets, beliefs, even philosophies, are aligning with, increasing in similarities, more and more with new age/occult verbiage, and philosophical ideologies.
Because the ‘prophetic’ has morphed into, or even from the beginning, developed characteristics, and applications outside of their Divine intentions, ‘prophetic activity,’ is, generally speaking, unreliable right now, as difficult as it may be, to agree with, acknowledge, or understand.
I will explain in more detail in the days to come, as I have already been discussing of late. For now, I plead with everyone, to look to the Lord for one’s self for what He may want to express. Those active in prophetic ministry, I would say, lay everything before the Lord, seeking Him for truth, for His perspective.
I’m not invalidating anyone’s giftings, I’m asking all to genuinely pursue the truth, inviting the Lord to correct where correction is needed. That can’t hurt! We should always be doing that! Yet some will find it difficult or nearly impossible to do, their identity so wrapped up in what they’re ‘doing,’ that they couldn’t imagine considering that there might be error some where. It’s to threatening, to unimaginable, to literally destructive, to every thing they know and believe, to chaotic to their ‘reality.’
I went thro’ this my self last year, but like I said, I feel like I’ve gone a million miles since. It can never hurt to ask God to bring us into truth and out of error. So my word for now, is, ‘ask, seek, knock,’ knowing it’s okay to be wrong, as long as we don’t settle for being wrong, and hide from seeking and knowing the truth.
So please don’t allow ‘prophetic activity’ to feed your spirit and soul with imaginations and tho’ts outside of the mind and heart of God. Much will be made of 2020, that are speculations derived from mindsets, beliefs, philosophies, developed from faulty foundational core teachings and doctrines.
The whole number thing in dates is spurious. Extreme focus on seasons is questionable. Seek the Lord for yourself. Abide in Christ yourself, and allow His Word to abide in you, making everything else secondary, and the Lord will direct your paths.
Blessed happy new year! Detox journeying is necessary, exciting and life saving. As deception continues to increase, the Spirit of truth in us desires to lead us further into truth, as we co-operate with Him, surrendered to Jesus Christ, not our calling, our gifting, our ministry, our opinions, our way of doing things. On our faces before God is the way to enter the new year, surrendering to Him, day by day, moment by moment, surrendering our tho’ts, our way of doing things, our beliefs, everything, so He can lead us. God bless!
Dangerous, Disturbing, Troubling Trends
“I heard what I call the internal audible voice of the Lord…It was as clear as crystal. I heard the actual words. There was no guess-work. It was not impressions. It was the word of the Lord came to me. And the Lord said this, ‘I am going to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the whole world in one generation.” Mike Bickle 1. “Our Prophetic History” CD series, CD #1. 2002 Friends of the Bridegroom. Mike Bickle
“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.” Mike Bickle (1986)
The New Gnostics in Today’s Church- Final Gnostic Assault From Within
Extra-Biblical revelation in the ‘prophetic movement’ has unleashed with new fervor, the poison of Gnosticism, possibly the final assault within, presenting all willing participant as prey to one world religious order.
Paradigm Shift Of Major Proportions & Spiritual Civil War! “Christianity is undergoing a— a shift from faith to feelings; from fact to fantasy; and from reason to esoteric revelation.
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.”
Know what you believe & why you believe it. Ask, seek, knock.The truth is in the Word of God, and the Lord will reveal it!
There were legitimate reasons for the ‘Assemblies Of God,’ rejection of the ‘Latter Rain’ movement birthed out of meetings William Branham held in North Battleford Sk. in 1947. His occult past and present influences prepared him to ignite a people primed for further demonic influence, merging the occult with the ‘church’ in a new devious way.
The ‘revival of the apostolic office,’ along with the ‘5 fold ministry restoration, was suppose to usher in the ‘latter rain out pouring’ of the Spirit, in which the ‘saints would be perfected,’ (literally), the voice of God restored to the church thro’ the prophets, and God’s divine order and authority restored thro’ the apostles, bringing strong revelation to mature the Bride for her triumphant rule in the earth.
So how did that work for them? The blatant oozing sores in much the charismatic/prophetic, anemic, sin and error riddled, confused and lost, deluded, deceived, disorderly body, has produced the fruit of a rotten tree, ‘apostolic apostasy!’
The supposed ‘restored voice of the Lord,’ has, succumbed to human imagination, and familiar spirits, generating mass confusion, deception and delusion. The supposed ‘strong revelation,’ has diminished the importance of Scripture, allowed spurious ‘prophecy’ to run rampant, along with every imaginable and unimaginable, new thing, failing to establish order, and allowing disorder thro’ very unBiblical mindsets and attitudes.
How has the ‘restored order’ worked for them? – ‘Apostolic Apostasy!’
Yes, there were legitimate reasons for the Pentecostal Association rejecting the ‘Latter Rain’ sectarianism. I used to think it was because they just simply didn’t accept apostles and prophets, but that was only part of their issues with them.
This is an intro. to a blog – ‘Apostolic Apostasy,’ the bad fruit of which is fermenting, spilling over into much of evangelicalism.
No Longer A Charismatic Vs. Non-Charismatic Issue
“The majority of the Church has not taken seriously the claims of the modern apostles and prophets to be introducing a new paradigm into the Body of Christ. These claims are far more than idle boasts.Indeed the paradigm shifts have already begun in many segments of Christianity. To say that the movement has grown rapidly would be a gross understatement. The Identity Network an email list promoting the teachings of the new apostles and prophets boasts a daily readership of over 150,000 people. The Elijah List, a similar network, is read by over 130,000 individuals daily. The issues raised by the new prophets and apostles go far deeper than a mere debate over the cessation or continuation of spiritual gifts. Without intending to be alarmist, it is the contention of this article that many of the statements and teachings of leaders within this movement strike at the very heart of essential Christian doctrine and the nature of Christianity.This is no longer a Charismatic vs. Non-Charismatic issue.” ‘The Apostolic/Prophetic Movement – Keith Gibson https://discernmentministriesinternational.wordpress.com/tag/bill-hamon/?fbclid=IwAR06J29BXUu9nOgaSgk49irFz_PAz1OAiANq1cxyb3pRtxT_d7ZbH_jYSaY
Dangerous Troubling Trends Amongst Many
“In her extremely popular book, “Journal of the Unknown Prophet”, Wendy Alec relates a word supposedly spoken by Jesus Himself concerning the teachers He is raising up in this generation. Jesus allegedly states,
“For the Word alone is yesterday’s manna and even they [the prophetic teachers] have seen deep in their hearts that it is no longer enough to feed my people.” Alec, Wendy “Journal of the Unknown Prophet”, 2002 Warboys Media p.84
Whether intentionally or not, Alec’s word compares the Scriptures to the worm-infested manna that the children of Israel experienced when they gathered more than they needed during the Exodus. Whether Alec’s vision is the result of an over-active imagination or an encounter with a seducing spirit one thing is certain, the Son of God would never speak of the Scriptures in such a manner.”
Theirroot will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight! 22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,and valiant men in mixing strong drink, 23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right! 24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust;for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Eivaz: “..glory carriers often do see, hear, or feel the presence of these angels. Angels exist in this realm, and as we press into the Spirit of glory, we will encounter His angels as well. Or, we might just encounter their feathers.” (pp.132-133) According to scripture, the Cherubim and Seraphim have wings, but there is no account of angels with wings appearing to humans, or feathers being a sign of their presence.
Those who find what they believe to be “angel feathers” could quite easily submit them for DNA testing and prove conclusively that there is no fowl DNA present and that the feathers must be other worldly. How does Eivaz justify this “compelling demonstration of glory” from the scriptures? According to Eivaz it’s a concept found in scripture : “For example, the appearance of angel feathers is more conceptual, but many psalms reference dwelling in the “shadow” of His wings. (see Psalms 17:8; 36:7; 57:1).” (p.141)
*>Daryl here – In another post I discuss ‘hair splitting error,’ that attempts to make discussion of some doctrinal errors moot with rationalistic justification. We see here (above) another ex.
“How does Eivaz justify this “compelling demonstration of glory” from the scriptures? According to Eivaz it’s a concept found in scripture : “For example, the appearance of angel feathers is more conceptual, but many psalms reference dwelling in the “shadow” of His wings. (Ps. 17:8; 36:7; 57:1)
I coined this ‘conceptual theology.’ Rather creative, yet dangerous. Another avenue of rationalistic justification, to insistently cling to ‘every new thing,’ that may ‘offend the understanding.’
>Rick’s Review again – Eivaz tells the story of seeing angel feathers at a Shaun Bolz meeting. A cluster of feathers appeared at her feet, and apparently this was a sign that Bolz would be ministering to someone in her vicinity:
“I could tell by the location of the feathers that angels were nearby, and I discerned they were most likely directing the flow of ministry toward us. Within moments, Shawn began ministering to a married couple sitting right behind us through the word of knowledge and the gift of prophecy.” (p.133)
Believers are connected to Christ, but it seems as if “glory carriers” have an extra connection:
> Daryl here.More and more I see the prospect of divination, in many ‘prophetic’ actions and beliefs. The position of feathers on the floor are a supposed divine indication of something! Shamans do this! Predictions thro’ omens!?
FLABERGASTED! Increasingly bizarre, baffling, behaviour!🤭🤔😢 Led by omens, and another spirit! Think about it!
Chapter 6 – I Will Not Go Without Your Presence.
Eivaz: “Glory carriers will refuse to go anywhere He is not leading them to go, adopting the impassioned heart cry of Moses: “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). (p.113) You can probably imagine where this is going – a journey into the subjective world of feelings. To live in unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and go from glory to glory, Eivaz says you have to “learn how to follow him” and “You have to learn connection, what it feels like and what breaks it.” If someone lives in unbroken fellowship with the Holy Spirit, why would they need to be led by omens:
Another omen❗️ Really❓🤔🤭😢
“Double yoke, a ‘God-sign’ for future prosperity!” – Jennifer Eivaz😢
Precarious Prophetic Position
“We have to remain open and unoffended at the Holy Spirit when He does something outside of our grid of understanding. He is infinite in His expression and going from glory to glory means He will by His very nature manifest a new thing in our midst. (Is. 43:19).” – Jennifer Eivaz #GloryCarriers
*An Urgent Warning To The ‘Prophetic Ministry’*
>Daryl here The concern here (responding to quote above), is the ever increasing emphasis on denying our critical thinking, while highlighting the ‘infinite expressions of the Holy Spirit,’ and embracing every and any new thing, unquestioningly, with no reference to testing, examining by Scripture, or discerning spiritually. This is not good Jennifer Eivaz! This is not wise, or Biblical, and it’s lending to the increased deception coming upon the world and the church! Please, I urge a reconsideration of this direction and trend in the ‘prophetic ministry.’
AT WHAT POINT?
At what point is a ‘thinking’ believer going to say, “What a minute, let’s examine and consider what’s happening here!” Is God really telling us to suspend our thinking? Does Scripture support this? Do the rationalistic arguments, scattered with isolated texts, and ‘situational’ exp.’s of Biblical figures, clearly and satisfactorily endorse all extreme ‘expressions?’ Does ‘going from glory to glory’ really mean, “He will by His very nature manifest a new thing in our midst?” Can this Scripture reference below in Is. 43:19 be made to legitimately say the Holy Spirit is going to ‘manifest new things outside our grid of understanding,’ that we must carefully guard our selves against being offended at? Is it acceptable to take Scripture out of context, extracting a nebulous future meaning, out of a clear time encapsulated contextual reference?
At what point is a ‘thinking’ believer going to think about statements, like, “Remain open and unoffeneded at the Holy Spirit when He does something outside of our grid of understanding.”
At what point will ‘a new thing’ require consideration, examination, discernment, Biblical testing, enquiry of the Lord?
At what point are we, as the Body of Christ going to “be no longer babes, tossed and carried about by every wind of that teaching [which is] in the sleight of men, in unprincipled cunning with a view to systematized error; / according to men’s cleverness and unscrupulous cunning, making use of every shifting device to mislead./ in the sleight of men, in craftiness, unto the artifice of leading astray,/ influenced by people who use cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray./ by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.? Eph.4:14
AT WHAT POINT? – “Rather, (do we begin) speaking the truth in love…grow(ing) up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.” Eph.4:15
AT WHAT POINT? Do we grow in maturity, to where we begin to think about statements like below, about ‘prophetic expressions,’ about spiritual phenomenon, about what Scripture tells us?
AT WHAT POINT? Do we realize that it’s okay to think, that critical thinking is not Biblically censored as criticism, that scrutinizing, testing, examining, judging, discerning, are required, ye, commanded, to grow into maturity, that “cunning and clever strategies to lead us astray,” would no longer do so?
AT WHAT POINT – will the Body of Christ refuse to follow the Precarious Prophetic Position, running rampant today, and ‘renew their minds’ in the Word of God, and transforming power of the Holy Spirit, surrendered to the ” preeminence of Christ in all things.”
AT WHAT POINT – will we be free to “test and examine all things.(&) Hold fast to the good.” 1 Thess.5:21
TEST- #1381. dokimazo- put to the test, prove, examine; scrutinize; distinguish by testing, approve after testing, to show something is acceptable (real, approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine); to demonstrate what is good, i.e. passes the necessary test. > *does not focus on disproving something (i.e. to show it is bad).
AT WHAT POINT? – do we respond to statements like below, (repeated consistently in much ‘prophetic tho’t,) with, ‘This is not good!” AT WHAT POINT?
“We have to remain open and unoffended at the Holy Spirit when He does something outside of our grid of understanding. He is infinite in His expression and going from glory to glory means He will by His very nature manifest a new thing in our midst. (Is. 43:19).” – Jennifer Eivaz
“Should They Inquire Of The Dead On Behalf Of The Living?”
Isaiah 8:19–22 “Should They Inquire Of The Dead On Behalf Of The Living?”
19 “And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land,8 greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward. 22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.”
‘Hair Splitting Errors’ Making Moot To Justify Their’s
Jennifer Eivaz “My husband and I have two wonderful children, one boy and one girl. Our son, David, is a basketball enthusiast who is almost ready to start driving and then our daughter, Christiana, is quite the creative and attends elementary school.
He is the God of the Impossible
Perhaps you didn’t know that I’m physically unable to have children. Still, the Lord saw fit to show me both of my children in two separate visions well ahead of time. I saw their gender and heard their names as He prepared our home for a miracle. He really does know us in His heart before we are born, and He knew my children before they ever came into being (Jer. 1:5). Despite my physical limitations, I still became pregnant, and both children came just as He promised.
Surprisingly, I became pregnant a third time but then lost the pregnancy through a miscarriage. I was devastated and experienced a deep grief that gnawed at me for years.
As I initially prayed through the problem, Jesus gave me a clear vision shortly after the miscarriage. I found myself in heaven standing before Him. He opened His hand, and I saw our miscarried child being carried so carefully in the palm of His hand. This experience didn’t take away the pain, but it helped me to know that she wasn’t gone forever. She may have died on earth, but she was alive in Christ, and I will see her someday.”
>Daryl here – This is where the ‘hair splitting error’ comes in.
A Glimpse Inside Heaven
* “This last year, I was taken to heaven again. (By the way, these visions can seem so real that it’s hard to say if it’s really a vision or not. Still, everything must be in congruence with the Bible and so I will carefully point to the Scriptures as I describe what happened.)*
*>Daryl- Portraying these encounters as ‘visions,’ as opposed to ‘real,’ she seems to be justifying ‘meeting’ her dead daughter, in heaven, (which she lost in a miscarriage). A ‘hair splitting error’ here, is that, visions of the dead are acceptable, where as, if they were real, it would be necromancy. This ‘hair is splitting error’, making necromancy a moot point, justifying her error.
Further down, she makes a point of assuring her readers that this is not necromancy, because she didn’t seek the exp., but Jesus allowed it, to encourage her. ‘Hair splitting error’ again? If the exp. is sought after, it’s necromancy, but if not, it’s Scripturally valid? Making moot again, to justify her error.
This makes it more difficult to evaluate. So looking to the Scriptures, we can ask, “Does Scripture support such an exp., whether vision or real, whether initiated or divine?” ‘Hair splitting errors’ can still be evaluated by Scripture!*
>Jennifer“While in heaven, I saw a beautifully dressed young girl, and she was playing with a group of other children. I knew in my heart that she was my daughter whom I had miscarried on earth. She also appeared to be around the age she would have been if she had lived.
When she saw me, she excitedly grabbed my hand and took me to see the flowers growing nearby in a field. To my amazement, the flowers began to speak to me in a very soft, sing-song type of voice. I couldn’t make out what they were saying/singing, but the Bible does say that all creation speaks, and this was a fascinating example of that. (Rom. 1:20).
Then I looked on the horizon and saw the mountains. They were moving back and forth, but here it was a gentle movement and not a violent one. Again, the Bible says that mountains shift and move in His presence and at the sound of His voice (Ps. 97:5; Mark 11:23-24).
Finally, my daughter spoke to me and said, “I can’t wait to hear you tell me the stories that I’ve already read about.” I knew what she was referring to. I had read in Psalm 139:16 about the book that God wrote about our individual lives before we ever got here. Apparently, she had read my book, and at this point I sort of lost myself. I asked her, “Do you want me to just come over now?” She replied, “No. You’re not finished yet.” And then the vision ended.
*Now I want to assure you that this was not some kind of necromancy. I didn’t conjure this up or even expect it. I was clearly in heaven and saw many children who had died on earth but were alive in Christ. That’s important to clarify, because some might try in their grief to contact the dead, and that is scripturally off-limits. I believe Jesus allowed this heavenly encounter at a key time in my life so I could finally resolve the grief I still felt and be encouraged to finish my race because I’m not finished yet. And either are you. You are not finished yet. You need to finish.*
This an ex. of ‘hair splitting error,’ making a moot point, to justify the error.
The Message Of Lying Signs And Wonders
This message of lying signs and wonders, has been front and centre with me for some time now, as I researched the ‘healing revival’ of the 50’s & 60’s. William Branham was a perfect example, his occult ties clearly revealed. Many in the charismatic/prophetic movement still today speak enamorsously of pursuing or receiving his ‘mantle’, oblivious to another spirit working thro’ him, therefore oblivious to the reality of the relevance of lying signs and wonders in their midst. I could mention other ‘healing evangelists/revivalist’ in which I would be stepping on a lot of toes, whose fruit can be seen as negative, influenced by another spirit.
I totally agree, that to acknowledge counterfeit signs, wonders, miracles and healings, those embracing them, would also have to acknowledge that their ‘revival,’ ‘move of God,’ end time glory and harvest’ perspective was amiss, that the whole apparent ‘revival’, ‘move of God’ atmosphere they have given themselves entirely over to, is also amiss.
With one’s whole life given over to these delusional exp.’s and encounters, and all of the counterfeit lying signs and wonders, thinking they are in a move of God, their delusional world would crumble, and be nigh impossible for some to acknowledge that their whole reality was actually a lie.
Many of us I’m sure have been there, thro’ the pain of falsity exposed, as light began to dawn upon our darkened, deceived souls, begging the taunting question, “How could we have been so deceived? How could we we have gone along with such things for so long, believing a lie for so long.” Such is the nature of deception, that the human soul is so vulnerable to.
Embracing a focus of exp. is drawing people away from the Word of God, away from truth, callousing hearts, blinding eyes, to the wisdom and power of the Scriptures, numbing and desensitizing the believer’s spirit to spiritual matters, spiritual realities.
Many ingredients have been stirred into this poisonous charismatic pot over the years, resulting in what we have today. We must continue to shine the Light of truth into the ever increasing darkness, saving as many as will come to the glorious Light of the true gospel of Jesus Christ! Speak on, stand strong, in the Lord, and in His glorious might!
A Disturbing Look Inside The Troubled Prophetic Movement
Mishel McCumber’s journey into the bizarre world of MorningStar Ministries and her detoxifying journey out!
Truth can appear so ugly, when a lie appears so beautiful!
I do not recall exactly how it started or when the decisive moment was. I do not know how I got to the point of being so deeply entrenched in apostasy and deception. I cannot definitively point to one moment and declare it was the one in which the deception began and my destructive course was charted. I simply do not know. What I do know is that I was convinced. I was convinced of my being on the right path. I was one of God’s chosen, His elite, His enlightened ones. “Get into the River” was ourmantra and our manifesto. Mishel McCumber
Finally, The View Beneath is Available. It is Available on Amazon in either book or electronic format;
What if everything you believed to be true, everything you had built your life upon, was a lie? What if discovering the truth and turning from error cost you everything?
The View Beneath is the true story of one woman’s journey into religious deception through the teachings of Rick Joyner, a spiritually dangerous leader that many in the Prophetic and Apostolic movement consider a true prophet. After moving to North Carolina to attend his ministry school, she began her descent into a dark, deceptive movement that took her away from Biblical Christianity and immersed her in another gospel.
Part testimony, part expose, The View Beneath is an inside look at the growing invasion of dangerous false doctrine. Mishel investigates deep beneath the surface of MorningStar Ministries, and the people and movements associated with them. She candidly shares her journey as she discovers that beneath the double speak, the Christian-sounding terms, beneath the claims of trips to heaven and divine revelation, beneath the prophecy and claims of a Kingdom ruled by men, what is really being taught is the occult.
Mishel McCumber is a writer and researcher who spent close to twenty years deeply indoctrinated by the Neo-Pentecostal, Dominionist agenda. After a long period of study and detoxification, she made it her mission to educate others on the dangers of apostate faith and to instill in them a desire for sound biblical doctrine. She holds a BA Psychology, a BA Graphic Design/New Media and is a Master of Art’s Candidate in English.
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:
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
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
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 editedGod 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.)
“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.” 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,  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.” 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.” 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
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,” (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.” 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 thatcomes 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.” This is also in the newer edition. 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. The claim is made in the Foreword by editor A. J. Russell that these two women received messages “from the Living Christ Himself.” 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. Meeting in groups, this movement emphasized fellowship and receiving direct guidance from God.
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.” 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. 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.” She determined that this message was “short, biblical, and appropriate,” so she wrote it in her journal. 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. 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.” 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.
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.” 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.  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.  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?
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.
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. 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.  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.
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.  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.  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.”
“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.“ 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.” She determined that this message was “short, biblical, and appropriate,” so she wrote it in her journal. 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.
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.” 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.
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.” 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 decidedto sit down with pencils and paper and wait to hear words from God. The claim is made in the foreword by editor A. J. Russell that these two women received messages “from the Living Christ Himself.“
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.” 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 knownto 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. Meeting in groups, this movement emphasized fellowship and receiving direct guidance from God.
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.
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. 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.
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.” 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).
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. 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. 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).
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.
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.
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
 Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004), XI.
 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.
 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.
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. 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!
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.
“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)
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 ofthis 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)
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.
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.
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:
a) Ignoring the Word. Neglecting private Bible study in daily life is a strong symptom of deception.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disdain for Berean 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
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.
“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.
Glorification of the vessel. An excessive focus on the ‘anointed’ person of God.
Old Testament ‘typed’ anointing. (A ‘Phineas’ anointing. The mantle of Elijah, etc.)
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.
May talk unity, but bring division along lines of gender, age, race or nationality.
Watch out for leaders who love to surround themselves with minions who affirm their special anointing.
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.
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”.
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.
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’.
The Holy Spirit is seen more as coming to bring an experience rather than a greater understanding of the Scripture.
A tendency to distinguish between people who accept their movement as a true move of God and those who don’t.
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.
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 with “God”.
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.
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.
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]
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 physics. Bohm 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]
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]
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]
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.”
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).
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
The Book of Enoch was never part of the Jewish canon of Scripture and was never recognized by Christians as part of Scripture.
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:
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.
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)
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”1 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’.”7
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?
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
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
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.
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.