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Discovering the New Age Movement / New World Order, Part Three

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

 

This is the third installment of this introductory series.  My intention is to provide a brief overview, not an all encompassing article.  The NAM/NWO is too large to contain in one article.  You may view the first part here and the second part here if you’ve not read them previously.

 

False Ecumenism / Religious Plurality

In its best usage, ‘ecumenism’ is a movement of unity among Biblical Christian denominations.[1]  I would call this true ecumenism.  However, a push to unite all churches who call themselves ‘Christian’ including the overtly new age Unity Church[2] among others, I would call false ecumenism.  Further, the attempt to unite Biblical Christianity to any other non-Christian faith I would term false ecumenism.  Unfortunately, the practice of much of the attempted unity today is a false kind and the term ‘ecumenism’ is used for this movement. 

 

The term ‘pluralism’ according to dictionary.com is, “a social organization in which diversity of racial or religious or ethnic or cultural groups is tolerated.”[3]  So, here I deal strictly with the religious aspect of pluralism in religious pluralism.  While it is certainly alright to tolerate other religious views, (although evangelism is our goal) we are not to attempt to unify at the expense of the purity of Biblical Christianity.

 

Recall that one of the goals of the New Age movement is a syncretism of all religions.  Since Biblical Christianity is problematic to New Agers with its insistence on one way to salvation – through Jesus Christ – the only way to merge with this movement is to modify the message.  In the Alice A. Bailey esoteric/occultic book From Bethlehem to Calvary she – actually Tibetan Master DK (Djwhal Khul) who channeled through her[4] – states:

 

Christianity will not be superseded.  It will be transcended, its work of preparation being triumphantly accomplished, and Christ will again give us the next revelation of divinity

 

…Can there not be revelations of God utterly unprecedented, and for which we have no words or adequate means of expression?  The ancient mysteries, so shortly to be restored, must be re-interpreted in the light of Christianity, and readapted to meet modern need[5] [Emphasis Mine]

 

Compare this to some statements by Mike Bickle[6] [currently of the International House of Prayer[7] (IHOP)] formerly of Kansas City Fellowship[6, 8] (KCF); Bob Jones, formerly one of the “Kansas City Prophets”[6] of KCF; and, Rick Joyner of MorningStar Ministries[9]:

 

“The Lord said simply, ‘I will change the understanding and expression of Christianity in the earth in one generation.’” [10] (Mike Bickle; Growing in the Prophetic) [Emphasis mine]

 

“They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to death itself underneath their feet…a Church that has reached the full maturity of the god-man!…This generation of young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of the worldwide new order…It is going to change the expression of Christianity in a generation.”[11, 12, 13] (Bob Jones; Kansas City Fellowship Interview tape with Mike Bickle, 1988 as quoted by Jewel van der Merwe {Grewe}) [Emphasis mine]

 

“What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution.  This vision was given in order to begin awakening those who are destined to radically change the course and even the very definition of Christianity.”[14] (Rick Joyner The Harvest) [Emphasis mine]

 

And, during Todd Bentley’s “commissioning” service on June 23, 2008, Bill Johnson[15] said:

 

…We shape the course of history by partnering with you giving honor where it’s due.  You welcome the glory as well as anybody I’ve ever seen in my life – I long to learn from you in that and I bless you.  And, I pray with the rest of these that the measure of glory would increase, that Moses would no longer be the high water mark with the glory shown from his face but instead the revelation of the goodness of God would change the face of the church.  And that he would use your voice, he would use your grace, your anointing, to alter the face of the Church before the world[16] [Emphasis mine]

 

Has ‘the expression of Christianity’ and ‘the face of the church’ changed? Will it in the future?

 

            8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. [Hebrews 13:8 NIV]

 

            27But you remain the same and your years will never end [Psalms 102:27 NIV]

 

19God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change his mind [Numbers 23:19 NIV]           

 

“On October 13, 2007, …138 Muslim scholars and clerics sent an open letter ‘to leaders of Christian churches, everywhere.’”[17]  So began Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to A Common Word Between Us and You – a document signed by ‘Christian leaders’ in answer to this open letter.[18]  On the home page of A Common Word, “…Thus despite their differences, Islam and Christianity not only share the same Divine Origin and same Abrahamic heritage, but the same two greatest commandments.”[19]

 

In an apparent effort not to offend, the ‘Christian leaders’ brought reproach upon Jehovah God.  This response sent back to Muslim scholars and clerics references “the Prophet Muhammad” [yes that’s a capital ‘P’ Prophet] and refers to God as “the All-Merciful One.”  I don’t recall this as one of the names listed for Jehovah God in my Bible.  In addition, Jesus Christ, while mentioned a few times, is never referred to as the Son of God or Savior – again in an effort not to offend.

 

32Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.  But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. [Matthew 10:32-33 NIV]

 

13…Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips. [Exodus 23:13 NIV]

 

Here is a quote from “A Christian Response:”

 

When Freedom to worship God according to one’s conscience is curtailed, God is dishonored, the neighbor is oppressed, and neither God nor neighbor is loved [17] [Emphasis mine]

 

While Jehovah God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – gives us all free will to choose to love Him or not, He IS dishonored when we choose not to love Him.  And, to truly love our neighbor is to evangelize in hopes of their salvation.

 

4For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. [Deuteronomy 4:23 NIV]

 

One more quote from the “Christian Response:”

 

Abandoning all “hatred and strife,” we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other’s good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good.  Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond “a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders” and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another. [17] [Emphasis mine]

 

Following is a partial list of signatories beginning with the two individuals who were formerly speaking out against the New Age Movement referenced at the close of part two of this series:  Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church of Columbus; Richard Mouw, President, Fuller Theological Seminary; Rick Warren, Founder and Senior Pastor, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA; Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church; Lynn Green, International Chairman, YWAMDavid Yonggi Cho, Founder and Senior Pastor, Yoido Full Gospel Church, Seoul, Korea; Brian McLaren, [Emerging Church movement] Author, Speaker, Activist; Berten A. Waggoner, National Director, Association of Vineyard Churches; Robert Schuller, Founder, Crystal Cathedral and Hour of Power; Kim B. Gustafson, President, Common Ground; Steve Moore, President and CEO, The Mission Exchange (formerly EFMA); John M. Buchanan, Editor/Publisher, The Christian Century; Leith Anderson; President, National Association of Evangelicals; James A. Kowalski, Dean, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, NY; David Neff, Editor in Chief and Vice President, Christianity Today Media Group.[17]  There are about 250 in total.

 

Here’s more on Fuller Theological Seminary in which they would unabashedly promote religious pluralism as well as New Age ideals and terminology. From a newsletter from 2003 of an event co-sponsored by Calvin College and Fuller Theological Seminary:

 

Drawing on the resources of scholars from various parts of the world who represent diverse historical and religious experiences of religio-cultural plurality, the consultation will reflect together on its meaning for faithful Christian witness.[17] [Emphasis mine]

 

In the events schedule of this weekend-long conference lasting Friday through Sunday were topics on Hinduism, Islam, “Primal/traditional religions,” and others.[20]  In the newsletter’s ‘Statement of Purpose:’

 

Since 1945 the forces of globalization have accelerated with the result that people everywhere have become conscious of the ‘world as a whole’ being bound more tightly together. At the same time they experience the “local” more intensely. This global-local dialectic is a key characteristic of globalization.

 

…This project focuses on religious plurality as an important element in this larger process of globalization and pluralization[20]  [Emphasis mine]

 

The term “global-local dialectic” is interchangeable with ‘think globally, act locally’ – very common New Age terms.  What were the “forces of globalization” which began in 1945?  Most likely this is referencing the birth of the United Nations in 1945 which superseded the League of Nations.  The UN is “an international organization formed after World War II in 1945 to promote international peace, security and cooperation under the terms of the Charter of the United Nations.”[21]  On a website detailing the “Evolution of The Great Invocation[22] – a prayer to the Antichrist – is  found the following:

 

The United Nations Conference on International Organization convened on April 25, 1945 in San Francisco, for five days right at the time of the Wesak. (That year the Taurus full moon fell on April 27.)[23] [Emphasis mine]

 

The Wesak Full Moon Ritual[24] is a celebration of the “Birth and Enlightenment of Buddha.”[25]  It’s interesting that this initial meeting of the UN was held right smack in the middle of an important occultic/esoteric holiday.

 

The Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26 (exactly one month after the Gemini full moon of 1945, on May 26) and enacted on October 24, 1945, with the 51 signatures representing all sections of the planet.[23] [Emphasis mine]

 

The Pope’s ties to the United Nations

 

The papacy has had close ties to the UN since its inception.[26]  Pope Benedict XVI “supports robust global governance, in a fashion that has long bewildered neoconservative critics of the United Nations in the United States and elsewhere.”[26] [Emphasis mine]   Prior to the Pope’s visit of April 18 of this year, the President of the UN General Assembly, Serjan Kerim anticipated that the visit would be “special” since “more than a billion Catholics in the world share many of the concerns and aspirations of the UN.”[27]

 

The pope and the UN secretary-general “are two eminent moral authorities in the world,” Archbishop Migliore [Celestino Migliore, the Vatican’s UN nuncio or ‘ambassador’] said noting that the UN secretary-general [currently Ban Ki-moon of South Korea] “is oftentimes referred to as the ‘secular pope.’”

 

…The Holy See is an international actor of rank and has an important role to play in addressing a number of major international challenges,” he said.  One of those challenges, he added, is “religious interfaith dialogue, where the pope has taken important initiatives lately.

 

…Being at the forefront of the U.N. initiative for an alliance of civilizations,” he said, Spain was “particularly pleased with the pope’s call to interreligious and intercultural dialogue based on the dignity of the human being, which can only be of benefit to the United Nations and international community as a whole.[28] [All emphasis mine]

 

Is it a coincidence that the Pope’s visit to the US and the UN in New York, which commenced on the 15th of April, ended on the 20th[29] which was a full moon[30] tying into what’s known as “the Festival of the Christ?”[25] [Again, “the Christ” is actually the Antichrist.]  There are three important festivals to theosophists/esotericists.  The first is the “Festival of the Christ” in April, the second is Wesak in May and the third is the “Festival of Humanity” which is in June.[25]  All coincide with the full moon.  

 

The Papacy in the New Age

 

At the 23rd World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia on July 20, 2008 [the trip was actually 6 days total from July 15th through July 20th – note: there was a full moon on July 18] Pope Benedict XVI suggested New Age unity:[31] 

 

“In today’s Gospel, [cf. Luke 4:21], Jesus proclaims that a new age has begun, in which the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity.”[31][Emphasis mine]

 

In context the Luke verse is referring to the fulfillment of Isaiah 61:1-2 – a Messianic prophetic passage.  While there is no mention of the Holy Spirit being poured out in either the Luke or Isaiah verses, I concede that the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry would ultimately culminate in his death on the cross and outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in Acts 2.  However, this quote above sounds suspiciously similar to Latter Rain[32, 33] teaching especially when taken together with the following:

 

At the Mass, the pope prayed that the World Youth Day experience would be a new Pentecost for all the participants, marking a new outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.[34] [Emphasis mine]

 

Additionally, Pope Benedict in his push for ecumenism warned we should not let doctrine divide the Church – another aspect of Latter Rain.[35]

 

“…We must guard against any temptation to view doctrine as divisive and hence an impediment to the seemingly more pressing and immediate task of improving the world in which we live.”[35] [Emphasis mine]

 

Note that the pope uses the term ‘new age’ three times in the following short passage.  Certainly, Pope Benedict must be aware of the negative implications of the term.

 

“…Empowered by the Spirit, and drawing upon faith’s rich vision, a new generation of Christians is being called to help build a world in which God’s gift of life is welcomed, respected and cherished — not rejected, feared as a threat and destroyed,” the Bishop of Rome affirmed. “A new age in which love is not greedy or self-seeking, but pure, faithful and genuinely free, open to others, respectful of their dignity, seeking their good, radiating joy and beauty. A new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deaden our souls and poison our relationships.” “Dear young friends,” he urged, “the Lord is asking you to be prophets of this new age, messengers of his love, drawing people to the Father and building a future of hope for all humanity.” The world and the Church need this renewal, Benedict XVI affirmed. “The Church especially needs the gifts of young people, all young people,” he said. “She needs to grow in the power of the Spirit who even now gives joy to your youth and inspires you to serve the Lord with gladness…”[36]

 

And last, but not least, is the following from an article proposing on a beauty pageant for nuns.  The contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 40, “and can be either full members of an order or novices.”[37]   Does this mean one is no longer beautiful after age 40?  Is this the line of demarcation?  At least there will be no swimsuit competition and the nuns would not be wearing anything revealing according to the article.  The photos will be placed on a blog and viewers can vote on their favorites.

 

Father [Antonio] Rungi said that he expected many who applied to be young, attractive – and non-Italian.  He said: “Do you really think nuns are all wizened, funereal old ladies?  Today, it’s not like that any more, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls.”  He said there were nuns from Africa and Latin America who were “really very, very pretty.  The Brazilian girls above all.”

 

…He admitted that not all Catholics were in favor of the idea.  “I have had some e-mails from Christians who perhaps have not grasped the evangelizing spirit of the initiative, or the potential of the internet, which is a marvelous tool for spreading the Christian message.  Unfortunately, some people still have a closed mentality.”[37][Emphasis mine]

 

Does this seem like effective evangelism or does this seem wrong to you dear reader?  I agree the internet is “a marvelous tool for spreading the Christian message” but not in the way he’s thinking.          

 

 

[1] “ecumenism.” WordNet© 3.0. Princeton University.  26 Aug. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecumenism>

 

[2] <http://www.unity.org/index.php?submenu=What_we_believe&src=gendocs&ref=WeBelieve&category=About%20Us>

 

[3] “pluralism.” WordNet© 3.0. Princeton University.  26 Aug. 2008. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pluralism>

 

[4] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/publications_store/alice_bailey_books/about_alice_bailey>

 

[5] Bailey, Alice A.  “Introduction to Initiation.” From Bethlehem to Calvary. Lucis Trust; copyright 1937 by Alice A. Bailey, renewed 1957 by Foster Bailey; 4th paperback edition, 1989; Fort Orange Press, Inc., Albany, New York; p 20-21

 

[6] <http://www.ihop.org/>

 

[7] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Bickle>

 

[8] <http://www.pfo.org/growingpains.htm>

 

[9] <http://www.morningstarministries.org/>

 

[10] Bickle, Mike. Growing in the Prophetic. Creation House. Lake Mary, FL; 1996 p 30

 

[11] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “False Prophets.” Discernment Newsletter. May 1990 Volume 1, No.1 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/1990_FirstEdition.pdf  page 35 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[12] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “A New Breed.” Discernment Newsletter. June 1990 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_June1990.pdf  page 45 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[13] (van der Merwe) Grewe, Jewel. “The Anointed Seed.” Discernment Newsletter. September 1990 <http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_Sept1990.pdf>  page 5 (Kansas City Fellowship Interview Bob Jones with Mike Bickle 1988)

 

[14] Joyner, Rick. The Harvest  <http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0883685035/ref=sib_dp_ptu#reader-link> 1993. MorningSter Publications. Charlotte, NC; back cover

 

[15] <http://www.ibethel.org/>

 

[16] Johnson, Bill. “Todd Bentley ‘Commissioning’ of June 23, 2008.” <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-A05WQYi7aQ> 1:30 – 2:10

 

[17] <http://www.acommonword.com/index.php?lang=en&page=option1>

 

[18] <http://www.acommonword.com/lib/downloads/fullpageadbold18..pdf>

 

[19] <http://www.acommonword.com/>

 

[20] “Christianity and Religious Plurality in Historical and Global Perspective.” April 25-27, 2003 <http://www.fullerseminary.net/news/html/religiousplurality.asp>

 

[21] American Society of International Law <http://www.asil.org/resource/un1.htm>

 

[22] <http://www.lucistrust.org/invocation/>

 

[23] <http://www.souledout.org/gi/gievolution.html>

 

[24] <http://www.souledout.org/wesak/wesaklegend2.html>

 

[25] <http://www.wesak.us/articles.php>

 

[26] Allen, Jr., John L., “The Vatican’s Relative Truth.” The New York Times. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/opinion/19allen.html> 12/19/07

 

[27] “UN gets ready for Pope Benedict’s visit.” <http://www.unmultimedia.org/radio/english/detail/9316.html> 04/11/08

 

[28] Stagnaro, Angelo. “Diplomats welcome Pope Benedict’s visit to United Nations.” Catholic News Service. <http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0802122.htm> 08/20/08

 

[29]  Wooden, Cindy. “Pope says trip to U.S. was opportunity to give, receive hope, faith.” <http://www.uspapalvisit.org/stories/cns_0802384.htm> 04/30/08

 

[30] <http://www.farmersalmanac.com/2007-2008-full-moons>

 

[31] Flynn, Father John, LC. “The New Age of the Holy Spirit.” Zenit. <http://www.zenit.org/article-23347?l=english> 07/27/08

 

[32] <http://www.theopedia.com/Latter_Rain_Movement>

 

[33] <http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain7.htm>

 

[34] Wooden, Cindy. “Pope tells young people power of the Holy Spirit can transform world.” Catholic News Services. <http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0803760.htm> 07/20/08

 

[35] Wigen, Nancy. “Ecumenism ultimately points toward a common Eucharist, Pope tells Christians.” Catholic News Agency. <http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=13290> 07/18/08

 

[36] “Pope Prays Closing Mass Will Be New Pentecost..” World Youth Day – Cross Media. <http://wydcrossmedia.org/moduli/popupnews.php?i=602> 07/19/08

 

[37] Owen, Richard, “Priest Antonio Rungi wants beauty contest – for nuns.” The Times. <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4600534.ece> 08/25/08

I grew up attending a protestant covenant church and accepted the Lord as a young girl. I had a strong biblical background.  I began to backslide as a teenager and so I wandered for over 30 years. One day I came back to the Lord. I was so convicted of my sin that I wept in repentance. I became hungry for the Word of God. I joined BSF Bible Study when invited to attend. I hungered and thirsted for righteousness.

I was immersed in the Word and loving every minute of it. But something happened. I began to receive open visions. I saw the Lord’s hands. Gigantic numbers appeared in scenery as I was driving.

Then I began to get messages. Oh how I thought the Lord was using me. I told my mother who thought I was being extremely blessed. I began to take the advice from the voice that I was hearing. I told only a few people but one was impressed with how close I was to God and asked if I had a “Word” for him. Not being familiar with Pentecostal theology I had not heard of this. So I asked God for a “Word” for this person. Indeed I was given specific information regarding this person and shared it with him. It was an extremely joyful experience. However it only deepened my delusion.

Since I was a Christian and was “hearing” a voice, I thought surely I was hearing from God. I did not even question my experience. Satan is a tricky and deceptive being. He will use the best devices at his disposal to pull you away from God.

The messages I received were varied. Some sounded like scripture. Some were odd dreams. I dreamt about evil hanging over the city of Kansas City and the IHOP. (That one was true). Satan mixes truth and lies. I had strange manifestations at night. I once had two open visions of water flowing down the hallway in my home. A week later a water hose slipped from the connection and flooded the house. The demonic world can see circumstances around you and make you think you are prophetic. This list could go on and on.

One was an upcoming judgment of a city with a time frame of two weeks. I started to look for others who were receiving similar information.

Oh my! What I found was a whole world of prophetic people. I came across something called the The Elijah List. I poured over their predictions and visions. I was hearing some of the same things others were. I read them all. I did notice that some of the older posts had predicted future events that did not happen. One was a tsunami for the West Coast reaching up into the Willamette valley. That date had passed. I wondered about that.

But something happened…or didn’t happen I should say. The prediction I was given didn’t come true. It was a failed prophecy. I also read that these predictions are not always right that the prophet can be off, but still be a prophet. This is a standard teaching in the hyper-charismatic world.  Someone said to me that perhaps my prayers had diverted the disaster. I wasn’t buying it. Something was wrong. I started praying for the truth…constantly.

Research took up most of time at this point. I was learning about all of the false doctrine entering the church. I was shocked. Contemplative prayer, LatterRain, yoga in the church, prosperity teachings, and the prophetic ministries. Mind boggling. While I was trying to find out why I was receiving these false messages, I was learning discernment. I also learned that I already had discernment because of the doubts in my mind.

One day I opened my Bible to Deuteronomy 18. I read in verse 22 where it says, “if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken…” This sent me to the floor. I was devastated. What I had heard was NOT from God. I knew then that I had been listening to the enemy. It is hard to describe the deflation of pride that happens when the Lord reveals HIS truth. He opened my eyes and scales fell off.

I asked the Lord to take away any gifts that I had that were not from Him. The messages stopped.

A couple years before this started, menopause had hit me and my doctor prescribed Celexa, an anti-depressant because I had become rather weepy. I didn’t think much of it… because it seemed to help. Then I started having colon problems. Another doctor prescribed a pill that seemed to take the pain away. This worked too.

I didn’t know it at the time but the second pill was also an anti-depressant. I was on two powerful psychotropic drugs and I was seeing things and hearing voices. These drugs pierce a protective veil in the mind and are mind-altering. I had opened up my mind with drugs. Another factor is these drugs affect the pituitary gland. This also opens up a person spiritually and this is dangerous. I didn’t know it at the time, and I surely did not want this to happen…But it did.

I want to add that while the drugs were the catalyst for my deception the same problems can happen by being open to false teachings, eastern-style meditation, and receiving impartations from occultism.

A friend alerted me to the predicament I was in and informed me of the influences I was under with the drugs…I had my answer. Praise God for this friend of mine. I went on a tapering program to get off the drugs and now I am totally free of them.

But here is the deal. I was joyful at the thought that I was being used by God. I felt “special”. What rises in a person is thinking that you have spiritual information not available to others. This is a form of Gnosticism. Special knowledge. Now I can see that this was actually spiritual pride. What a lesson. I had only discussed my situation with a handful of people but I had to confess to those I given a “word” to. Confession…..repentance…….restoration.

I was yet to receive another blow to my pride. One night I opened to 1 Samuel and read 15:23. “Rebellion is like the sin of divination.” I had been in rebellion to God by the loving the false messages. It was sin. Later the Lord instructed me on the next step of my undeceiving.

Because I had been reading my Bible every day for six years, I was able to find the truth. Prayer was a staple I needed to get through this situation. But I can see how beguiling the prophetic movement is and how much it actually harmed me and others spiritually. What if I had decided to try to post my “revelations“, lies from Satan, on one of the prophetic sites? I would have mislead many people.

Unfortunately, my problems did not totally stop here. While the messages and visions stopped I still was suffering from some manifestations. Once while commenting on this blog  with a student of “A Course of Miracles” this young person said he was going to send me a benevolent spirit that night. A spirit did show up that night but it was anything but friendly. A cold bony hand gripped the back of my neck. I slipped to the floor and prayed it away in the name of Jesus.

It was an interesting experience. The deceived student thought the spirit he was communing with was good but as a born again believer it appeared to me in its true form as an evil spirit.  But again I began to wonder, why I was able to discern the spirit world? Is this also a form of divination?

I had a written personal journal of “messages”, or “visions” that I had received over those three years. I was then led to Acts 19:19 which said that the people burned their magic books. This would be my next step. The very next morning I took my journal and burned it on the back porch on a pizza pan. That night I saw the angry red eyes of a demon. They turned away and left. Now I was also free from the manifestations that had lingered. This demon could see I was still reading his messages to me.

This gave me much freedom from the confusion this situation had been causing. I need to warn the reader again…some of the personal visions I received, did actually happen, and I think this was to enforce the delusion. Satan can see our personal instances and the world we live in and can make us believe that we have received a personal revelation confirming circumstances surrounding us.  Some of the messages I received sounded very scriptural, but this is how Satan deceives, by mixing truth and lies together. Satan twisted scripture when he tempted Jesus, but Jesus resisted by using the Word….”It is Written” he replied. We need to resist temptation also, and we can use the Word of God and prayer as our strength and power to defend ourselves.

With all the false teachings that are abounding the one thing I fear most for the church at this time is the “anointing”. Those who desire this “impartation” must be prayed for. I have heard the stories of how these so-called prophetic powers can be passed onto someone by the laying on of hands. My situation was only one way that a person can open themselves to deception. But there are many ways. There is the impartation, false anointings, drugs, alcohol, eastern meditation, repetition of word, hypnosis, visualization (very occult) , and the seduction of today’s hypnotic music. The church is being bombarded with all these deceptions and spiritual influences. Sadly the church is embracing many of these occult methods because these methods create an “experience” of feelings, like the “soaking” we hear so much about today. Instead of serving God in humililty we are being taught to soak in ecstasy.

Whenever I hear of the church participating in something that sounds like a “spiritual awakening,” I cringe. New age techniques almost always accompany these gatherings.

It was not long ago I prayed…”Lord, why did I have to go through this? Why me?”

I knew immediately…I had been tested. Who was I going to turn to? The Lord and His Word in the Bible, or Satan and his false words outside scripture?

The church is being tested right now!….Are you being refined or are you being mislead? Can you spot deception and avoid it or are your participating in it? Are you reading and studying the Bible for truth from God or are you following the wicked paths of man?

The deceptions today will pull you AWAY from Jesus Christ if you know Him. If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord then you will have much difficulty finding the truth. Those who have compromised themselves by a false spirit cannot pray or have difficulty reading the Bible. Christians following this false spirit or desiring its power, have lost all desire for these two mainstays of the faith. If this is the case then you need to repent and turn back to the Jesus of the Bible.

Truth found in the Word of God has to be paramount today. Accept nothing else.

Please show patience and mercy to those caught up in these deceptions. Pray for them. Some truly want to serve the Lord and walk with Him. But the evil one knows who to go after. Those who want the truth will eventually listen to it. It may be a process for them.  Others are not sheep and need salvation first. Some who come out of deception seem to recover quite quickly. Others suffer for years learning Biblical truth.  The Lord works in His ways to draw His sheep back to Him. Not one will be lost.

*****************

 

 

 

Already in its second printing, a newly released book by one of the country’s most innovative pastors is fast-becoming a must-read for church leaders who really want to have it.

After seeing his church grow from a two-car garage worship experience to now services at 13 different campuses in six states, Craig Groeschel, founder of LifeChurch.tv, talks about a transformational agent he calls “it” in his new book It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It .

“We didn’t have a nice building. We didn’t have our own office. We didn’t have a church phone number … What did we have? We had a few people … We had enough Bibles to go around. And we had it,” Groeschel writes, describing his church start in 1996, in the first chapter of the book.

You can name today the churches that have it, churches that had it but lost it, and some that don’t have it, the LifeChurch pastor said at a recent leadership summit.

So what is it?

“The answer is ‘don’t know,'” Groeschel said as he addressed thousands of leaders at Willow Creek Community Church. “Honestly, I’m not totally sure.”

It has a lot to do with the Holy Spirit, Groeschel believes, but that’s not everything.

What he does know is that organizations that do have it possess seven qualities. They have a “laser focus,” see opportunity where others see obstacles, have a willingness to fail, are led by people who have it, and have unmistakable camaraderie, among others.

Moreover, it is not a system or model, nor is it something that can be created, copied or manufactured, he says. God makes it happen.

And when churches have it, they see transformed lives but at the same time, those churches with it attract critics, many of whom misunderstand.

When LifeChurch was expanding to multiple different locations and incorporating satellite video teaching into the services, the church drew its share of critics, some of whom felt video sites created distance between the churchgoer and pastor or that video venues directed all the attention to one pastor (on screen).

Still, while LifeChurch was growing, not every campus had it.

“All of our campuses were under the same leadership. The buildings were similar. The worship pastors were unique but had consistent styles. The kids’ curriculum never varied from campus to campus. All were experiencing exactly the same weekend teaching. But some campuses had it. And some didn’t,” Groeschel, who says it is still a growing idea, states in his book.

He illustrates this by showing that there was phenomenal growth at every LifeChurch campus except the one where Groeschel taught at live, in person.

He realized, “If you don’t have it, you can get it. If you have it, you can lose it.”

During the biggest periods of growth at LifeChurch, Groeschel had lost it, he says.

“When you do start growing, it really is easy to lose it,” he says. “It’s so easy … to start focusing on numbers and start looking at the big picture rather than focusing on some of the individual stories and neglecting your individual relationship with God.”

“Make sure you don’t fall so in love with success [that] you fall out of love with Jesus,” Groeschel warns church leaders.

Today, he says he has it.

But it wasn’t a “one-point process” to get it back. Over a period of a year, he stopped listening to other pastors’ messages and books and sought out God’s Word; and he saw starvation in another country and death, he explained.

“Some of you, it’s time to let God break your heart again,” Groeschel told leaders. “I pray you don’t sleep until you get it and fall in love with Jesus again.”

http://christianpost.com/article/20080820/some-churches-have-it-some-don-t.htm

Discovering the New Age Movement / New World Order, Part Two

 

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

 

This is the second part of this series which takes the bulk of its information from a video of the 2006 Radio Liberty Conference in Aptos, California by attorney, author and speaker Constance Cumbey titled “Discovering the New Age Movement.”  You can view the video here.[1]

 

You may want to first read Part One of this series located Here.

 

Connection to Nazism

 

According to Foster Bailey’s book Running God’s Plan, Cumbey states, “One of the goals of their hierarchy was to have a unified Europe… ‘We tried this before working through a disciple using the Rhine River valley and the inhabitants of that valley as a binding factor.  That attempt was unsuccessful; but, now another attempt is in full swing namely the six nation European Common Market.’”[1]  Quite obviously Bailey, husband to Alice A. Bailey, was referring to Adolph Hitler.  Hitler’s Fascism was an attempt at creating a New World Order.

 

It is well known that Hitler was dabbling in the occult before he came to power.  At the height of his regime many have noted his strange magnetism.  People were drawn to him.  Some have suggested he was under demonic power, even possessed.  Hitler was inspired by the occultic/esoteric writings of Madame Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy in 1875[2], and kept a copy of her book The Secret Doctrine at his bedside.[3]  

 

For a pop music connection: Joy Division, a Manchester, England based punk/post-punk band from 1977 to 1980, got their name from a term used in a novel by Karol Cetinskys titled House of Dolls.  According to the novel, Joy Division was the term used for the brothels of WWII era Nazis who used concentration camp victims as prostitutes.  The band name had been changed from their previous moniker of Warsaw.  By 1979, Joy Division had become an underground success.[4]

 

Lead vocalist/lyricist Ian Curtis was a frenetic performer energizing their live shows.[4]  His lyrics were very dark as evidenced in the opening track “Disorder” from their first full length album Unknown Pleasures:

 

            I’ve been waiting for a guide to come and take me by the hand

            Could these sensations make me feel the pleasures of a normal man

            These sensations barely interest me for another day

            I got the spirit, lose the feeling, take the shock away

            …Until the spirit – new sensation – takes hold, then you know

I got the spirit, don’t lose the feeling

I got the spirit, don’t lose the feeling[5] [Emphasis mine]

 

According to Jon Savage, pop music critic, who was in audience at an October 27, 1979 gig:

 

Joy Division walk out and launch into “Dead Souls”. The peculiarity of this song is that it has a long, rolling introduction that allows the group to orient themselves in their environment for the night

 

… building up to the moment when, transported by the music, he [Curtis] launches himself into the void – arms flailing and legs pumping.

 

Then he begins to sing… The lyric to “Dead Souls” is an unsettling evocation of psychic possession and the presence of past lives. The chorus is an anguished chant: “They keep calling me”.[6] [Emphasis mine]

 

Here are some of the lyrics for “Dead Souls” from their posthumously released Still:

           

            Someone take these dreams away

            And point me to another day

            Back to the personalities

            That stretch our true realities

            …they keep calling me

They keep calling me…[7] [Emphasis mine]

 

Bernard Sumner, guitarist for the band: “Ian [Curtis] said to me that doing this album [Closer, their second full length release] felt very strange because he felt that all his words were writing themselves…”[6]  [Emphasis mine]

 

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms [Ephesians 6:12 NIV]

 

After Curtis’ suicide on the eve of their first North American tour, the remaining members of the band found a replacement for Curtis, renamed themselves New Order – an obvious reference to Nazism if their previous name wasn’t – and became one of the more successful bands of the 1980s releasing the best selling 12” release of all time in “Blue Monday” in 1983.  They continued to record into the 21st century.[8]   There are many other references to occultism, neo-Nazism and the New Age permeating the pop music industry.

 

A New Age Christ

 

Cumbey again, “…Reflections on the Christ by David Spangler, who you could carry into any Christian service and not attract a lot of attention except they might think you were really pious.  But, inside that book – a chapter titled ‘Lucifer, Christ and God’ – and he [Spangler] said ‘Lucifer came to give us the final gift of wholeness if we accept it we are free and he is free. …the Luciferic initiation is a required entry point into the New Age.’”[1]

 

Not wanting to rely on just one source, Cumbey eventually found the Alice A. Bailey books from Lucis Trust – which originally went by the name ‘Lucifer Publishing’ which they denied for a time although Cumbey now has 3 books in her personal library with this designation.[1]  It is now plainly stated on their website:

 

…However, for a brief time period of two or three years in the early 1920’s, when Alice and Foster Bailey were beginning to publish the books published under her name, they named their fledgling publishing company “Lucifer Publishing Company”. [sic]  By 1925 the name was changed to Lucis Publishing Company and has remained so ever since.[9] [Emphasis mine]

 

Lucis Trust is one of the United Nations’ non-governmental organizations (NGO).  Their “Main Activity” according the Department of Public Information section of the UN is listed as “Humanitarian Affairs.”[10]  One has to wonder why the UN would endorse an openly Luciferic organization.

 

According to Cumbey’s book The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow, on April 24, 1982, there appeared a full page advertisement proclaiming “The Christ is Now Here!” in major newspapers across the world.  This ran in more than twenty major cities; and, the advertisement itself listed four different addresses at the bottom as “information centers” in Amsterdam, London, New York City and North Hollywood, California.[11]  Here are some quotes from the ad:

 

            He comes not to judge but to aid and inspire.

 

…At the center of this “Spiritual Hierarchy” stands the World Teacher, LORD MAITREYA, known by Christians as the CHRIST.  And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the MESSIAH, the Buddhists the FIFTH BUDDHA, the Moslems the IMAM MAHDI, and the Hindus await KRISHNA.  These are all names for one individual.  His presence in the world guarantees there will be no third World War.[11]  [All quotes and caps in original; underlining and bolding mine][11]

 

After coming across a book by Benjamin Crème titled The Reappearance of the Christ, she found a section titled ‘How The Plan is Working Out’ which spoke of the political developments going on at the time.  She knew she had to see him in person.[1]

 

She picked up a flyer sponsored by the local Unity church which detailed a local appearance and she attended along with eight other Christians.  It was standing room only.  Cumbey recognized many prominent people in the audience.  She asked one individual she knew what he was doing there and he replied, “Because, I’m taking A Course in Miracles…” It was a “requirement” in a “spiritual growth” class he was taking.[1]

 

When Crème walked in, he made a ‘wave’ with his hand and the crowd immediately went into a deep trance save for Cumbey and her eight associates.  She made noises in attempts to get the other attendees out of their trance but to no avail.[1]  The whole account is rather unsettling.

 

After taking a break, Crème was to lead the audience into a “mass recitation of ‘The Great Invocation’”[12] which is a prayer by Alice Bailey for “the Antichrist to come and take the world for Lucifer.[1]  From the Lucis Trust site regarding “The Use and Significance of the Great Invocation:”

 

The Great Invocation if given widespread distribution, can be to the new world religion what the Lord’s Prayer has been to Christianity and the 23rd Psalm has been to the spiritually minded Jew.[13 ]

 

Crème declared there would be a ‘transmission’ from Maitreya the Christ as soon as the prayer was finished.  “…His literature said that he had been ‘overshadowed’ by Maitreya the Christ” in previous meetings.  As the people began their prayer, Cumbey instead loudly prayed the first four stanzas of the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’  During the last two lines of their prayer she said instead, “May Jesus Christ return to earth and end the evil present in this room tonight.”[1]

 

Then, according to Cumbey the “spookiest thing of the evening happened” – actually it didn’t happen.  Crème “waited and waited;” but, the ‘overshadowing’ never occurred.  He finally “dismissed the crowd and said, ‘That will be all.’”[1]   The sword of the Spirit – the Word of God [Ephesians 6:17] – prevailed!  You have to admire the courage of Constance Cumbey to take a stand amidst the foes.

 

12For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  [Hebrews 4:12 NIV]

 

Commenting to negative remarks after the event, Cumbey said, “Well, if your new Maitreya the Christ, Betray-a the Christ, or whatever his name’s supposed to be, were everything he’s cracked up to be, one lousy Christian in the room reciting the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ shouldn’t have stopped him.”[1]

 

A Syncretism of the New Age and Christendom 

 

Unfortunately, Cumbey met with opposition within the Evangelical community.[1]  I suppose it should not have been a surprise given that she’d seen these New Age infused books at an evangelical bookstore initially.

 

In Cumbey’s second book A Planned Deception, she recounts, “…One Seattle Evangelical bookstore sells The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow under the counter in a plain brown paper bag, stapled shut and enclosed with a critical review from Christianity Today.”[14] However, the heretical books of Matthew Fox were taking up an increasing amount of space.[14]

 

As recently as 1999, Christianity Today has inferred that the NAM was no longer a threat stating “the New Age Movement has been replaced by Neopaganism”[15] – as if Neopaganism wasn’t a part of the movement to begin with!  To continue to deny the existence of the New Age Movement by a major Christian magazine is downright disgraceful to the body of Christ.  All one has to do is look at Oprah’s TV show to find out about the latest New Age guru.  Yet the magazine has no trouble referencing New Ager[16] Ken Blanchard.[17, 18]

 

Going back to Cumbey’s first book, in the chapter titled Deluded… or Deceivers? she writes:

 

“The New Age Movement is pushing for, among other things: global agencies to handle distribution of global resources, redistribution of the world’s wealth, a new world religion, experiential religion (as opposed to religion based on scriptural authority and tradition), a universal tax… …a teaching that all things are part of one whole, an emphasis on universal interdependence

 

“All these concepts are beginning to rear their ugly heads in evangelical Christian books and publications…”[19] [Emphasis mine]

 

Further in this same chapter she speaks of “a trend today toward a social exegesis of the Gospel.”[20]  This has only grown worse in the past 25 years as evidenced by the examples of Rick Warren[21] and Joel Osteen[22] among others.

 

In Year of Jubilee or Age of Aquarius Disguised? from her A Secret Kingdom? chapter in Cumbey’s second book she relates some research on then associate pastor of a Unity church in Kansas City.  In his “Research Report #2,” Reverend Ernest Ramsey “tells of something he was led to by a spirit guide…”  He was referring to ‘Manifest Sons of God’ teaching of ‘Neo-Pentecostalism.’  “Ramsey concludes based on even less evidence than I have personally collected that this is part of the New Age Movement.”[23]

 

On March 14, 1999, Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor of Columbus Vineyard Church, began delivering a sermon series sounding an alarm regarding the New Age Movement.  He begins by quoting a brief account of Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, who witnessed a man with the Playboy Bunny emblem on the bumper of his vehicle and the Virgin Mary dangling from his dash thinking that to be quite a dichotomy.[24]  Nathan then launches into the meat of his sermon:

 

Churches that use both Eastern and Western scriptures are growing; one example is the Unity Church. Fifteen years ago, there were 400 Unity Churches, and now there are a thousand catering to people who “don’t feel comfortable using one particular label for a Higher Being.” There is an Episcopalian Church in San Francisco called St. Gregory of Nyssan, where the two senior ministers have created a service that includes the worship of Jesus Christ and the ringing of Buddhist symbols. This church was built to the two ministers specifications four years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports, “St. Gregory’s has an interior decorated to Eastern Orthodox icons, a Shinto shrine and Tibetan gongs. The ministers wear tie-dyed African vestments. The congregation sings the Shema, which is an ancient Jewish prayer. People dance forward to partake of the Eucharist, which is open to believers in every religion, not just Christians. And the Episcopalian priests and the congregations invoke many different deities, not just Jesus, because as the pastor says, “In the end, they are all the same.”

 

The last common denominator that I would say is a mark of much New Age belief and much New Age spirituality is the tendency to create your own biblical interpretation. The bible is viewed by many people today in America as being like a Rorschach Ink Blot test. Many people who are into New Age spirituality will find in the Bible some really unusual and esoteric interpretation of a verse. The perspective is that everyone’s interpretation of the Bible is equally legitimate.[24] [All emphasis mine]

 

While this sort of thing is encouraging, these warnings to the flock are few and far between.  This minor victory, however, was to be short-lived as Nathan would later openly endorse false ecumenism[25] while Mouw’s Fuller Theological Seminary would openly endorse religious pluralism.[26]  This will be covered in part three.

 

 

 

[1] <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8937919448007045479>

 

[2] <http://www.blavatsky.net/>

 

[3] <http://www.freemasonrywatch.org/thenewage.html>

 

[4] Joy Division; biography. All Music Guide < http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:gbfuxql5ldje~T1>

 

[5] Curtis, Ian/Joy Division. “Disorder.” Unknown Pleasures; Factory Records, Manchester, England; FACT 10; 1979.

 

[6] <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/dark-star-the-final-days-of-ian-curtis-by-his-joy-division-bandmates-394281.html>

 

[7] Curtis, Ian/Joy Division. “Dead Souls.” Still. Factory Records, Manchester, England; FACD 07/08; 1981.

 

[8]  New Order; biography. All Music Guide < http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0ifqxqr5ld6e~T1>

 

[9] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/arcane_school/talks_and_articles/the_esoteric_meaning_of_lucifer>

 

[10] <http://www.un.org/dpi/ngosection/asp/form.asp?RegID=all&CnID=CH&AcID=-1&kw=&NGOID=3902>

 

[11] Cumbey, Constance E. “Preface.” The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow. Huntington House. Shreveport, LA. 1983, revised

edition. pp 13-15

 

[12] < http://www.uriel.org/Invocation/index.htm>

 

[13] <http://www.lucistrust.org/en/service_activities/the_great_invocation__1/the_use_and_significance_of_the_great_invocation>

 

[14]  Cumbey, Constance E. “The Incredible Heresies of Matthew Fox.” A Planned Deception: the Staging of a New Age “Messiah.” Pointe Publishers, Inc, East Detroit, MI. 1985. p 131

 

[15] <http://www.christianresearchservice.com/KenBlanchard7.htm>

 

[16] <http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1999/decemberweb-only/22.0a.html>

 

[17] <http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/february/27.24.html>

 

[18] http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/mayweb-only/24.0c.html

 

[19] Ibid. Cumbey “Deluded… or Deceivers?” The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow.  p 145

 

[20] Ibid. Cumbey p. 156

 

[21] <http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/12/cfr-and-social-gospel-part-1.html>

 

[22] Van Biema, David & Jeff Chu. “Does God Want You to be Rich?” Time. 09/10/2006  <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1533448,00.html>

 

[23] Ibid. Cumbey. “Year of Jubilee? or Age of Aquarius?” A Planned Deception. pp 171-172

 

[24] Nathan, Rich. “Christ Confronts the New Age” sermon.  March 14, 1999.  Online version Copyright 2008. <http://www.vineyardcolumbus.org/resources/sermons/sermon_detail.asp?id=309>

 

[25] <http://www.acommonword.com/lib/downloads/fullpageadbold18..pdf>

 

[26] <http://www.fullerseminary.net/news/html/religiousplurality.asp>   

Discovering the New Age Movement / New World Order, Part One

 

Submitted by Craig “Lee” Dorsheimer

 

I first became aware of the New Age Movement / New World Order in the late 1980s well before I became a Christian through an acquaintance who was witnessing to me at the time and who allowed me to borrow a book titled The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow written by Constance Cumbey, a Detroit area attorney.   I ended up buying a copy of the book.

 

A few years later, I recall being in night school and seeing on a TV in our break room President George H. W. Bush in his 1991 State of the Union address stressing a “New World Order” and chills went down my spine. 

 

…What is at stake is more than one small country; it is a big idea: a new world order, where diverse nations are drawn together in common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind — peace and security, freedom, and the rule of law. Such is a world worthy of our struggle and worthy of our children’s future…

 

…The world can, therefore, seize this opportunity to fulfill the long-held promise of a new world order, where brutality will go unrewarded and aggression will meet collective resistance. Yes, the United States bears a major share of leadership in this effort…[1] [emphasis mine]

 

And, again on March 6, 1991, at the close of the Gulf War:

 

…Now, we can see a new world coming into view. A world in which there is the very real prospect of a new world order. In the words of Winston Churchill, a world order in which “the principles of justice and fair play protect the weak against the strong. . . .” A world where the United Nations, freed from cold war stalemate, is poised to fulfill the historic vision of its founders.

 

Even the new world order cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission. Our success in the Gulf will shape not only the new world order we seek but our mission here at home.
In the war just ended, there were clear-cut objectives — timetables — and, above all, an overriding imperative to achieve results…
[1] [Emphasis mine]

 

It would be years after this that I would accept Jesus Christ as my savior.  During my B.C. [before Christ] days I began to see New Age / New World Order connections in quite a few different areas.  One in particular was music – a HUGE idol in my life.  There was Eastern mysticism in most of the different genres of music I listened to whether it was the lyrics, liner notes, artwork, music or a combination of these.  And, of course, most music stores have an entire section devoted to “New Age” music.  This genre is generally for meditational purposes since it’s usually quiet and relaxing yet repetitive – perfect for use as a vehicle for emptying one’s mind.

 

A basic tenet of the New Age Movement is a syncretism of religions with the belief that there are ‘many paths to God.’[2]  However, the main focus is to realize that God is in all – this is called panentheism – so, we just need to realize, then actualize, our own divinity.[3]  Panentheism is a further step from pantheism which means ‘God is all.’[3]  Religious tolerance is promoted and accepted with the exception of Orthodox Biblical Christianity and other monotheistic religions since these are viewed as divisive.[4]

 

Some New Agers redefine Christian terminology into New Age meanings.  A perfect example is found in the Theosophical writings of Alice A. Bailey – who claims her writings were channeled through her by a ‘Tibetan master’ named Djwan Khul – in the use of ‘atonement’ which is hyphenated to the more Eastern ‘at-one-ment.’  The redefined meaning is to become ‘at one’ or to ‘achieve unity’ with God.[5]

 

It was at a particularly low point in my life when I accepted Christ; and, the thought of the New Age Movement was far from my mind.  During my subsequent Christian walk, which was fraught with waywardness amid faithfulness, I would occasionally think about the New Age Movement / New World Order; but, the stresses and distractions of daily life in the U.S. would overshadow them.  However, around April of 2007 I was introduced to some strange teachings that I recognized as being New Age in origin.

 

Here is Constance Cumbey, who was “The first major evangelical critic of the New Age Movement” according to her own words in this clip, filmed at the 2006 Radio Liberty Conference in Aptos, California:[6]

 

 

I entreat you to set aside one hour of your time to listen to what she has to say on the subject of the New Age Movement / New World Order.  Cumbey wrote The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow in 1983 and its follow up A Planned Deception: The Staging of a New Age “Messiah” in 1985 in which she exposes the NAM/NWO having thoroughly researched this unfolding of end time’s prophecy.  She continues to research news reports and other info in her ongoing search of the NAM/NWO on her blog.[7]

 

Throughout this article and the upcoming second part I will provide quotes from this video/audio message in which Cumbey recounts her journey into the knowledge of the New Age Movement beginning in 1981.  In addition, I will bold some key New Age Movement (NAM) / New World Order (NWO) terms as I’ve already done above.  This does not mean to imply that every time one sees these words that they are necessarily referring to the NAM/NWO. 

 

While the NAM and NWO are intrinsically intertwined, for the sake of simplicity it may be easiest to see the NAM as the spiritual/religious side compared to the NWO which is its political aspect.  But, make no mistake, the intention is to establish a one world religion/one world government.  This, in fact, makes perfect sense in light of Biblical prophecy:

 

7He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them.  And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.  8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast – all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

 

13And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men.  14Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth.  He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  15He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.  16He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead,  17so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. [Revelation 13:7-8, 13-17 Emphasis mine]

 

This makes it clear that the ‘beast’ will have authority over the entire earth and all inhabitants including the monetary system.  The only way for this to occur is to have total governmental control as in a one world government.  In addition, if the ‘beast’ is going to conquer all the saints – true Christians – then either: 1) all religions of the world will be in total opposition to Biblical Christianity; or, most likely, 2) there will be a one world religion which will be at odds with Biblical Christianity. 

 

It seems quite obvious that this prophecy will not be fulfilled in a ‘one fell swoop’ kind of way but rather a process over time.  It is highly implausible that the Antichrist would just appear on the scene without some sort of plan toward this end.  Keep in mind, this is not “man” doing this – this is the power of dark forces bringing forth biblical prophecies toward their fulfillment.  And, of course, God is allowing it.

 

18Dear children, this is the last hour, and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming even now many antichrists have come.  This is how we know it is the last hour. 19They went out from us but they did not really belong to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. [1 John 2:18-19 NIV]

 

In the above what is John referring to with his words “their going?”  I believe it obviously refers to those who’ve walked away from the faith altogether; however, I also believe it refers to those who have moved away from the strict Word of God to subtle errors which in turn leads to larger errors.  Remember Jesus’ and Paul’s words regarding ‘a little yeast/leaven’ and how these can “leaven the whole.” [Matthew 16:6, 11-12; Galatians 5:7-10; 1 Corinthians 5:6-7]  Whether these folks are doing it knowingly or unwittingly only the Lord knows for sure.

 

Constance Cumbey’s Introduction to the New Age

 

In a Methodist book store across from her law office Cumbey found books with a common theme proclaiming the need for a “‘New World Order…’ for ‘transformation,’ to ‘see ourselves as part of an interconnected whole.’ Cumbey: “I started thinking I was looking at some very serious religious apostasy combined with some political elements…”[6]

 

These books were from those identified as Methodist, Baptist, Mennonite and Catholic authors; however, “…The books all sounded more like each other rather than the respective teachings of their respective denominations.”[6]

 

From The Aquarian Conspiracy by Marilyn Ferguson, Cumbey quotes, “Doctrine is losing authority and knowing is superseding belief.” [Emphasis mine]  This quote itself was taken from The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi H. Dowling according to Cumbey.  Dowling’s book spoke of a Jesus “‘who was not always ‘the Christ’ that …Jesus had earned the degree ‘Christ’ by a life of strenuous service and equipping Himself to find the ‘Christ Consciousness…’[6]

 

“‘…it is time for more revelation and Jesus is the flesh-made messenger to bring that light to man; but, in the ages yet to come man will attain to greater lights… and finally at last a mighty master soul will arise to light the way to the throne of perfect man.’  I slammed that book shut… I knew I just looked at something about and promoting and preparing folks for the Antichrist.”[6]

 

The name ‘Lucifer’ comes from the Latin ‘lucis’ which means ‘light’ and ‘ferre’ ‘to bring;’ so, ‘Lucifer’ literally means ‘light bringer’ or ‘bringer of light.’[8]

 

At a dinner with Phyllis Warren, a biofeedback instructor at Detroit’s Unity Temple who claimed she could heal Cumbey’s husband who had lost both legs just above the knees, Warren proceeds to tell Constance about the “New Age Movement” also known as “The Holistic Movement,” “The Networking Movement,” “The New Consciousness Movement,” and “Age of Aquarius.”[6]

 

Cumbey comments, “So help me, I did not know that they had a slogan ‘When the pupil is ready the master will appear.’”[6] Interestingly, I found this quote on a site on neopaganism/paganism in response to the following questions on that site, “How do I find pagans/Witches/covens/teachers in my area?  How do I evaluate them:”

 

Some of your best contacts may come from your local new age, pagan or occult bookstores.  Check their bulletin boards for notices, or ask the staff.

 

Don’t be in a hurry to find a teacher.  When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” is a popular saying in most pagan and Craft communities.[9] [Emphasis mine]

 

Cumbey quotes Warren as saying that those in the movement “‘communicate with code words and signals.’”  Cumbey began to say some of the code words which Warren agreed with, “Spaceship Earth, Global Village, interdependence… …I had noticed this strong thread of mysticism, both Eastern and Western, running through it.”  Warren further states that Marilyn Ferguson’s book understates the magnitude of the movement.[6]

 

Cumbey tells Warren that she had been reading the Bible and was “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that this may very well be what was described in the Bible as the last political/social movement that will bring the Antichrist on the scene.”  Warren, still thinking that Cumbey wanted to “come on board,” proceeds, “Oh yes, that’s VERY perceptive of you… I’ve been convinced of that for many years myself.”[6]

 

Cumbey opens her Bible to Daniel 11:38, “‘He shall honor in his estate a god of forces, a god whom his fathers knew not.’  And, I turned to a page in The Aquarian Gospel:  ‘and one may enter fully into the god of forces.’”  To which Phyllis Warren says, “You saw it!  You saw it!  That’s such an important point!  Most students of esotericism fail to grasp it immediately. …we believe that Jesus and the Christ are two separate entities, that ‘Christ’ is an office not a man.”[6]

 

Another meaning for ‘Lucifer’ is ‘force god’ or ‘god of forces’ according to esotericists such as Freemasons, Theosophists, Pantheists, etc.[10]    (Star Wars anyone?)   So, what does that say about Word of Faith adherents who believe God used the ‘force of faith’ in speaking things into existence assuming Christians can tap into this same creative ‘force?’

 

Cumbey then quotes 1 John 2:22, “‘Who is the liar but he who denies Jesus is the Christ …is antichrist he that denies the Father and the Son.’  And, suddenly she [Warren] had a mystic, crystal revelation – she told me too much.  And, she started trying frantically to take it back.”[6]

 

Phyllis Warren, after figuring out that Cumbey believed the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God with no ‘hidden meanings’ or ambiguities blurted out, “‘That’s not right, that’s not right!  …That book is simply too misleading…The Antichrist is NOT the negative thing the Bible’s made him out to be!’”[6]

 

Read Part Two of this series here.

 

[1] < http://www.c-span.org/executive/stateoftheunion.asp>

 

[2] < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Age>

 

[3] Strohmer, Charles. “Beliefs Behind the ‘Seens.’”  Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs; John Ankerberg & John Weldon; Harvest House Publishers; Eugene, Oregon; 1996; ppX-XI

 

[4] Strohmer, Charles. “Beliefs Behind the ‘Seens.’”  Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs; John Ankerberg & John Weldon; Harvest House Publishers; Eugene, Oregon; 1996; p XIII

 

[5]  Bailey, Alice A.  “Introduction to Initiation.” From Bethlehem to Calvary. Lucis Trust; copyright 1937 by Alice A. Bailey, renewed 1957 by Foster Bailey; 4th paperback edition, 1989; Fort Orange Press, Inc., Albany, New York; p 18

 

[6] <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8937919448007045479>

 

[7] < http://cumbey.blogspot.com/>

 

[8] < http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lucifer>

 

[9]<http://groups.google.com/group/alt.pagan/browse_thread/thread/a5c5bd85d1fbe8b3/b1476c8ab9e467e6?hl=en&q=%22new+age%22#b1476c8ab9e467e6

 

[10] < http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/masonry.html

 

This is a related article you might enjoy reading:

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/the-age-of-aquarius/

 

I first heard this comment or one similar some time ago.  I had just taught a lesson in Bible Study in Matthew 13 about the parable of the yeast. With this bible teaching fresh in my mind, the idea of being able to extract truth from false doctrine, rang the alarm bell.

kim

“CHEW THE MEAT;
SPIT OUT THE BONES….”

Lynn & Sarah Leslie

 

We were astonished when we first heard this statement. In all of our 50-plus years we had never encountered this phrase before. It immediately conjured up graphic images of sharp teeth roughly biting off and devouring a tough piece of meat, and rudely spewing out pieces of bone. Surely there were better table manners than this!

 

We first heard this retort when we had expressed a concern about a curriculum. Ostensibly this curriculum was a book that would embody the teachings of our local church, and it was written by a man highly esteemed and respected – a man who held many positions of leadership in parachurch groups. Yet embedded throughout his curriculum were heresies. We worried that teaching these heresies could adversely affect families in our church.

 

Like most material in the evangelical world today, this particular curriculum didn’t teach flagrant and obvious heresies. Rather, it subtly introduced new terms, new understandings, and new ways of thinking about traditional biblical concepts. When we read the curriculum we immediately recognized that it had integrated the teachings of an evangelical leader who is noted for his controversial teachings and cult-like practices. When we looked in the bibliography, sure enough, we found references to this leader – and worse! The writer was clearly influenced by these outside teachings and importing them into our group.

 

But “chew the meat, spit out the bones”? We were being told that this is the method by which the church members should read this man’s book. Where did this phrase originate and how did it become a catchphrase that so easily dismisses concerns about biblical error? A quick Internet search does not reveal the origination of this expression. But it always seems to be used in the context of justifying the inclusion of error in otherwise biblical-sounding teachings.

 

Is chewing meat and spitting out the bones a sensible plan for eating meat in everyday life? Is it a biblical concept? We’ll get to the answers later…. First, let us look at how truth gets mixed with error.

 

The Off-Center Bullseye

 

One analogy that helps to visualize the trouble with slightly off-base teachings is the shooting of an arrow at a target. A bullseye is in the center of a target. It seems like some leaders purposefully aim their arrows just a little bit off to the side of the bullseye. What they are teaching isn’t quite biblical truth. It contains just a tiny glimmer of untruth, a somewhat off-kilter idea, or a novel interpretation of Scripture that runs a little askew of traditional doctrine. Most of these little “off” statements go unchallenged, as we would like to give the writer or speaker the benefit of the doubt. It could be that we just misunderstood.

 

But if the slightly off-target statement is repeated, included throughout, or a foundational error, it becomes a matter of doctrinal concern. Below we explain why it is so subtle and hard to identify at first:

 

TRUTH (THESIS) . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . ANTITHESIS

\                   /

SYNTHESIS

 

Here is what happens: The opposite of Truth (Thesis) is Anti-Truth (Antithesis). A small-appearing lie forms in opposition to the Truth of God’s Word (1 Tim. 6:20). To create a Synthesis, this initial lie must be accepted instead of rejected. To justify the error, man will attempt to merge it into biblical Truth. It usually feels like just a tiny compromise, no big deal. What results, however, is a new “truth” – a synthesized “truth” in which a bit of error has been mixed in. This process is called dialectics; it has been around ever since Adam and Eve succumbed to Satan’s temptation in the Garden of Eden.

 

Once a Synthesis is established, more syntheses can come about by adding in a New Antithesis to the Synthesis. This creates a New Synthesis, which is even further from the original Truth. It works like this:

NEW TRUTH (SYNTHESIS). . . . . . . . . . . . . . ANTITHESIS

\                    /

NEW SYNTHESIS

 

The sequential process of adding Antithesis to truth, and creating new Syntheses can go on and on to create progressive “new revelation.” After a while, the original Truth becomes lost. In fact, we sometimes get letters at Discernment Ministries from people who believe we are seriously deluded because we hold to the old biblical Truth. They have only been taught the New Truth (Synthesis) to the point where it is a total Antithesis to the Gospel of Salvation. They believe their false gospel is the true Gospel and that we are the ones who are deceived.

 

Chewing Meat With the Bones Still In It

 

How does this Synthesis process happen to the local church today? Very cleverly, deceptively and subtly. New doctrines, practices, and concepts are “sold” to the church as a promising new way to build the kingdom of God, reach the lost, attain personal satisfaction in your Christian life, reach a higher level of spirituality, engage in a deeper walk, acquire psychological health, and even grow in prosperity!

 

The “sales” routine appeals to the five senses. Here is how it goes: You will “feel” better if you adopt this new theology. It will “meet your needs.” There is an easier way, a bypass that will save you that uncomfortable conviction of heart and dying to self. In fact, the old Truth is dead tradition. It is hindering you; it stifles your self-expression. It is too rigid and restrictive. You don’t need a bunch of dry, dead formulas for dos and don’ts. You can select which theologies meet your needs and discard the ones that seem too legalistic. This teaches you to mix and match doctrines. You can create your own Synthesis to establish your own comfort zone in the faith.

 

Churches and mission groups are susceptible to this Synthesis process, too. New programs and plans promise more effectiveness through networking, partnering, coalitions, ecumenical councils, joint efforts, etc. Your group must set aside a few of its principles, convictions or beliefs. The ends will justify the means. The other groups can hold to their own beliefs, you can practice yours – this has the appearance of separation. The two of you might even find common ground through aligning your basic core beliefs. This Synthesis particularly appeals to those who are mission minded. You are promised that fewer people will be in poverty, more people will be aided, and you would heighten your evangelistic impact – if only you would overlook a few minor doctrinal discrepancies in your partner’s theology – Synthesis.

 

Many evangelical leaders today have actually been trained to publicly present solid statements of faith, but in their writings and teachings you can catch a glimmer of another gospel. This is deceptive, but the evangelical world worships its leaders. Some men are placed on pedestals, exalted to icon status. It is not unlike the fervor over rock & roll stars or Hollywood celebrities. These men are so exalted that people flock after them en masse. Their popularity serves as a measure of protection from scrutiny. Who would dare to criticize this man? If you find fault with their teachings, you quickly learn that you are not popular. We get letters daily at Discernment Ministries from people who have been told – He’s such a wonderful man! If everyone else likes him, why are you finding fault with his teachings? He might be off on a few points, but everything else seems just fine. You are just being too picky. What is the matter with you? Perhaps you are just too “fundamentalist.” You are paying too much attention to doctrine. C’mon go with the flow!

 

What’s the Matter With A Little Bit of Leaven?

 

In our modern age of Christian bookstores and media, it is outside leaven that begins to weaken good local churches at the foundation. New “truths” come in like leaven. The whole lump becomes permeated with a perverse teaching. It is very insidious. This is also Synthesis. New doctrines can be so integrated and infused throughout a book, teaching or sermon that it is difficult to separate truth from error. One sentence could contain both truth and error! Just as one cannot take yeast out of a lump of dough, one cannot easily extricate the yeast out of a leaven-saturated teaching. We have often been asked, “What is the matter with a little bit of leaven?” as if it were a harmless little annoyance which could be easily discarded.

 

Several years ago in the Fall of 2004 Sarah performed a “science” experiment for several Discernment conferences. First she tried it in our warm kitchen at home. She mixed up a small recipe of bread dough but left out the yeast. She picked out a walnut-sized lump of dough and added a tiny bit of yeast to it. She carefully set this little lump off to the side of a big bowl. On the other side of this bowl was the big lump of unleavened dough. Soon that little lump began growing. In only a few minutes it got so big that it touched the side of the big lump. Just a short while later it was pressing in on the other lump, forming it into a crescent shape. Within an hour the two lumps had begun to mingle, and by 1½ hours the two lumps were virtually indistinguishable.

 

When we tried this experiment at the first conference in Niagara Falls, a chilly air conditioner was blowing from overhead in the room. The yeasty lump just didn’t grow. So we tried it again at the Albany conference a month later. Once again, there was a chilly duct above so we took steps to try to keep the dough more protected. An hour later, although the smaller lump had grown large enough to contact the larger lump, there appeared to be no intermingling of the doughs. We thought our object lesson had failed again. But later that night when we went to dump out the bowl we were shocked to discover that underneath the surface, which had become somewhat encrusted and dry, there was a seething, bubbling mass of leavenous dough. Although it appeared to be “separate” on the top layer, underneath the leaven had thoroughly penetrated the entire lump. The Lord had given us a great object lesson!

 

Likewise, new “truths” often come into churches under the surface, sometimes hijacking a ride on a good-sounding book, idea or program. Increasingly we are hearing reports from people that even the most conservative groups are bringing in these new teachings. New “truths” have been re-packaged in their own denominational garb, piggy-backing on familiar terminologies that are given new meanings. We have even heard reports that churches that wouldn’t have gone “purpose-driven” with Rick Warren’s programs are receiving training in the exact same concepts. This, too, is intentional, deceptive Synthesis.

 

“Foreign Body in Throat”

 

At http://www.ncemi.org/cse/cse0313.htm one can read about the medical procedures that must be followed to extricate a fish or chicken bone from someone’s throat. It is not a pleasant description! The patient must endure a series of painful and intricate examinations that can cause gagging. If the bone is not located and fully extracted, pain, fever, bleeding, and breathing and swallowing difficulties will commence. The esophagus can be punctured, and bones could become embedded in the tonsils, the pharynx, and the tongue. Complicated and invasive surgical procedures are the only way to remove the bone.

 

Why, then, would anyone suggest that we can “chew the meat, spit out the bones”? Do you eat this way? No one should do this in real life! Especially, no one in their right mind would ever give a child a piece of chicken or fish with small bones in it. How cruel to even think of such a thing! So why would it ever be acceptable to give a young believer in Christ, or a youth, a book that contains heresy? Yet, daily we hear reports from concerned Christian believers that this practice is widespread in the churches.

 

Hebrews 5:11-14 explains how to eat meat in a biblical fashion. It uses a real life analogy and applies it to spiritual principles:

 

12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meatbelongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

A baby will put anything in its mouth, both hurtful and nutritious. Similarly, a spiritual babe is unable to distinguish between sound and unsound doctrine and is more vulnerable to being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine”(Eph. 4:14). Solid biblical instruction is an antidote to this. But, negligence and idleness, or apathy towards the Word of God, especially by those entrusted with teaching “the Word of righteousness,” means that even longtime believers can be immature in understanding the most rudimentary doctrines. A babe in Christ is acknowledged to be “unskillful in the Word of righteousness,” but this should not be the case with “them that are of full age.” So what it the matter here?

 

Just as adults separate meat from bones before putting meat in their mouths, mature believers should be able to discriminate truth from error and separate themselves away from heretical doctrines. But many who should be mature believers by now have not exercised their spiritual senses “to discern both good and evil.” The word “exercised” is connected with the training of athletes. Christians should be well instructed, practiced, prepared and ready for a defense of the Gospel. They should be able to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Sadly, in the evangelical world fulfilling your physical senses has supplanted the “exercise” of your spiritual “senses.”

 

Hebrews 6:1-2 goes on to say that it is important to understand the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. It is these foundational doctrines which are subtly being twisted and synthesized with new “truths.” Daily we hear reports of how churches and families are being corrupted by an influx of new “truths,” eroding the Gospel of Salvation. Unless one has had “their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” they could easily fall prey to “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. 4:1). The “Word of righteousness” offers daily assistance with the task of exercising your spiritual senses so that you are able to discern error when it comes in. You do not need to be an expert at understanding heresies. If you know the Bible, and study it intimately, you will recognize error.

 

***printed by permission***

 

At the Discernment Conference at Spring Hill, Florida, February 2007. Speaking were Lynn and Sarah Leslie, (center and right)

At the Discernment Conference at Spring Hill, Florida, February 2007. Speaking were Lynn and Sarah Leslie, (center and right)

 

 

 

 

Volume 19  Number 4                              July/August 2008

 

 

 

 

What Language Do You Speak?

Jewel Grewe

 

Our spoken and written language is the most important aspect of our culture and identity as a people. In 1997 The Summer Institute of Linguistics noted that the Bible had been translated into 2,197 languages.  The Ethnologue Institute has a detailed list of 6,809 distinct languages. In the U.S. we recognize what part of the country someone comes from by their accent. As an American traveling overseas, my ears always perk up when an American accent floats across a crowded airport (Americans seem to speak quite loudly, especially overseas). We identify one another by our language. Our knowledge of the spoken and the written word enables us to hear and understand each other.

 

Likewise, true knowledge is gained through understanding. Understanding comes through applying oneself to the Truth. Proverbs 24:5 states that:  A man of knowledge increaseth strength.

 

The Word of God is the very fountain of all knowledge. The study thereof should be of utmost importance in the believer’s life. It will identify us as believers. Our knowledge of the Word will enable us to hear and understand His will for our lives.

 

The Language of the Redeemed

 

In I Peter 2:9 we are told that we are a peculiar people: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

 

This means that we have been set apart from the world.  We are part of a different world than that which is around us.  We speak a different language; it is the language of the Redeemed. True holiness before God is the daily goal of the true follower of Christ. I Peter 1:13&14 says: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.

 

The language of the redeemed binds us together even closer than the language of our native country.

 

It is because of this understanding that our hearts break over so many dear Christians who are not steeped in God’s Word today. They are not satisfied with the simplicity and beauty of walking by faith daily in the joy and blessings that He gives. This is the reason why Discernment Ministries has plodded along these many years weeping in the dreary dust of the crowds flittering here and there like the Athenians who spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.

 

Oh, but they say, God is doing a new thing in the earth.  That does not mean to jump ship without a life jacket.  When you hear those words, follow the admonition of Scripture – rather prefer to err on side of caution.  Listen to the language spoken. Oh, yes, websites of many errant teachers can copy a statement of belief that looks genuine. But is this what they really believe? They can make many claims that will suck in the gullible. But what are they really teaching?

 

After studying these things for so many years, it is hard to know who is deceived the most.  Is it the Leaders who have moved so far away from the knowledge of the Holy and instead, promote the profane and call it holy; or, is it the Followers who blindly run to and fro?

 

As a young girl, I grew up in Minnesota. The Voice of Healing had just started. Evangelists visited Minneapolis on a regular basis and my father, an Assembly of God pastor, supported every campaign that came through. My eldest sister was born with spinal bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down.  Naturally, the greatest desire for our family was that she be healed. We attended meetings by: William Branham, Oral Roberts, AA Allen, the Cerullo brothers, Raymond Richey, Velmer Gardner, Kathryn Kuhlman, and I could go on and on. My sister was usually relegated to a back corner somewhere as she was considered a “difficult case.” I wondered about that. William Branham told my father that “it wasn’t God’s will to heal her.” I wondered about that. In some meetings I would observe “set-ups” where people would walk in a side door, sit in a wheelchair and when the healing lines would form, they would be wheeled up and be proclaimed “healed” and walk off the stage. I wondered about that.

 

At 12 years of age we moved to Zion, Illinois where there was a lot of fascinating history.  My father had known John G. Lake personally when he had lived in Zion in his younger days.  My piano teacher would relegate us with stories of John Alexander Dowie. During this time the Charismatic movement started, and my father and I visited many Full Gospel Business Men’s Conventions as he was active in the local chapter. A whole new set of individuals became known to my father as he would drive speakers to their next engagement, and I would sit in the back seat drinking in every word. Derek Prince, Don Bashan, Nicholas Bhengu and many others passed our way.

 

Latter Rain

 

Stanley Frodsham, a dear man of God and the Editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for many years, became part of the Latter Rain Movement that started in 1948. He and many others left the fold of the Assemblies of God and joined with those who were part of the “new thing” that came out of that particular time. Stanley Frodsham and his wife moved to Zion and attended our church. Mrs. Frodsham became my Sunday School teacher. Rev. Frodsham was the biographer for Smith Wigglesworth. He and his wife had traveled extensively with him and I was fascinated with the many stories they told. When I went to Central Bible College, the Frodshams had moved there and they introduced me to the Latter Rain group called The House of Prayer. At CBC attending Brother Kessel’s class I learned one side of the story of the split in the Assemblies of God http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_January1997.pdf. After attending this particular group for awhile, I learned the Latter Rain side of the story.  I now realize all of this was part of God’s teaching process in my own life, even attempting such a ministry as Discernment Ministries.  (Many years later I questioned Stanley Frodsham’s daughter about his involvement in the Latter Rain. Her answer was: “My father was a glutton for the supernatural”).

 

Yes, there are wonderful sincere people who are genuine in their love of the Lord but are always looking for “supernatural experiences and revelations,” but in doing so cause division and harm to the body of Christ.  Yet, God in His infinite mercy has a way a working in the lives of His children who are humble and remain low at the Master’s feet, which I know was true of the Frodshams.

 

After several years of processing and growing in my Christian walk, I left for South Africa as young eager missionary to work with a 75-year-old lady with a genuine “apostolic ministry gift.” I say that because Ruth established many churches along with other wonderful  missionaries, and the work of God in the Northern Province in South Africa is a testimony to their lives and sacrifices.  Those people truly laid down their lives for the Gospel.  They gave their all! Many times Ruth would go out and spend her last mite to fill up the little pick-up truck with vegetables that she could pass out to the hungry. They gave unstintingly of their time and resources for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   It distressed me greatly when new innovative thinkers came on the scene and denigrated the work of these pioneers with a “new way of doing missions.”  They then would maneuver to get rid of those who had gone before.

 

Marriage in 1971 and arrival of a family took our lives into a different set of circumstances and new ventures in our ministry – even to then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Ultimately we came to the U.S. where many things already had changed in the church.  While pastoring in the States, we quickly became aware that Christian television was changing the whole direction of the church. A language was being spoken that somehow sounded foreign to our ears. Thankfully we realized that what at stake was the preaching of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

The Language of the Apostasy

 

It is grieving to me to write this as there are so many sincere people involved.   It is so hard for me to understand why so many get caught up in these things. My heart cries with Paul who said, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”  (I Cor. 2:1-2).

 

Please don’t dismiss me as a heresy hunter and shut up your mind to anything but your preconceived notions.  This is about Truth.  Whether you are Todd Bentley, C. Peter Wagner, Bob Jones, Paul Cain or a pastor of a church, you can be deceived.  None of us escape Satan’s devices. As simply as I possibly can, I will attempt to lay out some of the unscriptural language of the apostasy.

 

Let us examine the foundation for what we are now witnessing – from a 1993 Discernment newsletter,

www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_JanFeb1993.pdf

 

In the newsletter there is a review of a book by William DeArteaga entitled Quenching the Spirit DeArteaga makes the assertion that “God brings new truth to the church by first revealing it to cults and occult groups.”  He already had written a book in 1983 entitled Past Life Visions in which he lauds Agnes Sandford’s incredibly heretical The Healing Light and defends her belief in a pre-earth human existence (pp 145-6); seems to embrace evolution of man from a lower species (p. 126); declares the “ghosts” are “earthbound souls” (p 187) who may legitimately communicate with the living (p 182) and that the dead should be ministered to by the church (p 183). He argues that reincarnation is Biblical and was “validated by Jesus” (pp 197-209) and that such a gospel is helpful for India because it allows “the Hindu to maintain… the concept of Karma-reincarnation” (p 215); and he recommends regression into past lives as a standard method of spiritual healing for the church to adopt (pp. 151-163). [The Berean Call, Nov. ’92.]

 

The language of the occult

 

At the time this Discernment newsletter was written (1993), DeArteaga’s book was legitimized by the TBN, obviously to back up many of the teachings being promoted. There are ministries active today who have no problem introducing occult practices and call it “truth,” and claim we can use these experiences for a deeper “relationship” with God.

 

Satan’s language

 

I heard about one ministry that boasted, when invited to a Luciferian Initiation, that really Lucifer just means “angel of light” and after all, we all want “light”! Do you wonder why there is no mention of sin any longer?  Has it grieved you that the cross is a subject avoided like poison?

 

Patricia King (Extreme Prophetic) influenced Todd Bentley after his conversion.  I personally do not think he had any opportunity to sit under sound doctrine and learn the first principles. He was “channeled” into the supernatural realm to hook up with what taught him as getting “connected.””.

 

Her itinerant pastor, who doubles as a travelling DJ, calls the show “Club Mysterio”  on an online video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2i5k6WuwX4 Please compare this to the New Age version  at www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxDebb9dLKY&NR=1

 

This newsletter could actually be a large book to do justice to this vast subject. However, if it just makes one person stop, think and repent, it is worth the effort.   It is about souls for whom Jesus died that our hearts grieve.  The days for “playing church” are over, folk.

 

Revival Language

 

“Well, revivals can be messy you know”.  This is the way the weirdness is excused.  After all, we want to “move higher” into God.  We hear sincere folk saying things like: We have to move into a ‘higher place’ – a place of intimacy with God.  Jesus did the things the Father told Him to do. WE MUST MOVE INTO THAT PLACE. A place of the knowledge of the Lord that the Lord yearns us to come into. Teachings on “intimacy with God” have sold many books.  But just stop here a moment. Isn’t that what any “religion” requires? Always striving after something? Bringing offerings to the many gods in Hinduism, faithfully bowing low in the mosques, dancing into a frenzy to obtain “oneness”?

 

Let us take a breath and rest in the Scriptures a moment.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: Which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.  (I Peter 2:9&10)

 

The language of the Scripture tells us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel.  It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the power of God unto salvation. This is what this is all about.  The perversion of language is the ploy of the enemy to subvert the body of Christ to follow another gospel.

 

Matthew 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

II Thess. 2:9  Him, whose coming after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.

 

Language of Angels

 

Dear ones, nowhere in Scripture do we find angels appearing out of nowhere to just keep in communication with us.  The culture right now is crazy about angels and Hollywood is churning out movies to satisfy that desire.  To read and listen to the stories about Todd Bentley’s angels really denigrates the truth of Scripture. On his website in 2002 he talks about a particular rock on Rick Joyner’s property at Moravian Falls. This rock supposedly has some power, and as they approach it there are three young angels “horsing around, wrestling, getting each other in head-locks and giving noogies.” He learned from others that these were the worship angels who oversee the worship center.

 

Sorry, but this isn’t biblical. The worship angels are before the throne of God… and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. They give glory to God night and day without rest. We serve a Holy God.  His holiness NEVER CHANGES.  Isaiah saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And some cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts:  the whole earth is full of his glory.

 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=kSlt0_8HwMk

 

Yet Todd Bentley says, “they [the angels] have nothing in heaven to do but waiting to serve God’s purpose in you!”

 

Language of the Lie

 

Bob Jones, who obviously has had a huge influence in Todd Bentley’s life, even introducing him to his angel in 1988, said, “the children will possess the Spirit without measure – for these are the best of all generations that have ever been upon the face of the earth. And the best of all generations are those ELECTED SEEDS that will glorify Christ in the last days… they will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before. Every miracle, sign and wonder they’ll move in the power that Christ did…. They themselves will be that generation that’s raised up to put death itself underneath their feet and to glorify Christ in every way and the church that is raising up in the government will be the head and the covering for them… the chosen generation of history that will go beyond all the others in power.”  He goes on to say, “This generation of the young people that are coming are going to see the beginning of this World-wide New Order… it is going to change the expression of Christianity in the earth in a generation.”

 

From a Discernment newsletter in 1990, www.discernment-ministries.org/NL_Sept1990.pdf you will read that Gnosticism has again entrenched itself in the thinking of Christendom.  Mystical knowledge is replacing the truth of the Word of God.   And they are talking of taking over the WORLD?

 

Language of Heresy

 

The greatest sorrow of all is that the deity of Jesus Christ is undermined by this teaching.   The divine purpose of the Holy Scriptures is the revelation of Jesus Christ – the Lamb of God.  Gnosticism gives way to “higher knowledge”.  It brings about disinterest in the Bible and Bible teaching.  The “anointed seed” is now said to be connecting with the supernatural realm, and this heresy draws the masses with its instant gratification.

 

The door is being opened, Eat this fruit and ye will be as god.  Accept this lie and you will find yourself at the altar of mysticism where all of the religions of the world worship based on subjectivity, humanism and brotherhood.

 

What Language do you Speak?

 

It is time to examine ourselves – whether we are in the faith or not.  Have we been led astray by “strange fire”? Has the siren’s sweet song lulled your senses and caused shipwreck to your walk with God? Repent and return to your first love that you may be found worthy to stand in His Presence.

 

The following are two recent podcasts that I did on the subject of The “revival” and The New Apostolic Reformation.  http://sliceoflaodicea.com/slicecast/

 

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, …For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God…. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.(I Cor. 1:10a, 2-3)

 

****This article was posted with the permission of Jewel Grewe****

 

http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2008.htm

 

 

Jewel Grewe and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.
Jewel Grewe (left) and myself at the conference in Spring Hill, Florida.

Todd Bentley: ‘Unhealthy Relationship’ with Female Staffmember

Aug 15 – From the Board of Directors

 

We wish to thank all of our friends and partners for the overwhelming flood of support and compassion we have received as a ministry on behalf of Todd and Shonnah Bentley. The many phone calls and emails of concern from people who genuinely love the Bentleys and Fresh Fire Ministries have been a great encouragement to all of us here during these past few days. In particular, the rallying of support and prayer for Todd and Shonnah by prominent leaders within the Body of Christ has been a beautiful indicator of the maturity and grace the Lord is bringing to his Bride.

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

On behalf of the Fresh Fire leadership and the Board of Directors we wish to apologize to our friends and partners and to the larger body of Christ and to ask for your forgiveness. We are truly sorry for the pain many of you must feel and so regret that in the midst of great revival, the enemy has found a way into our camp. To those who have stood by us, we wish to thank you for what in many cases has been years of support. Thank you for your financial giving towards the vision of this ministry, and thank you especially for your prayers. For those of our partners, friends and supporters who may be struggling with the recent disclosures and finding continued support of this ministry in conflict with either conscience or conviction, we release and bless you with all our hearts and trust that God will redeem in your hearts the good that He has accomplished in your lives through this ministry. It is our sincerest hope and prayer that the Lord bless you and bring you into your fullest destiny in Him.

When this ministry was initially birthed in May of 1998, Todd had but one simple desire in his heart – to see the world come to know Jesus. Now, only 10 years later, Fresh Fire Ministries has grown to become a Resource Center that is literally reaching out to all the corners of the Earth. There have been dozens of associate ministries, scores of interns and hundreds of graduates from the Supernatural Training Center. Over 60 nations have received a combined total of more than five million dollars in humanitarian aid and we have seen well over one million conversions for Jesus Christ.

And so, the question can well be asked… where do we go from here? It is true that we are deeply saddened by these recent events, but it hasn’t shaken our faith in either God or His goodness towards us and with the help of wise and compassionate leaders within the body, we will do everything within our power to see our brother and sister healed and restored.

As a ministry, we can not forsake the vision and heartbeat upon which Todd Bentley founded Fresh Fire Ministries which is simply this:

 

    Matthew 10:7-8
    And as you go, Preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

 

While Todd and Shonnah each go through the necessary steps towards restoration and wholeness, we are compelled, with the resources with which God has entrusted us, to continue to spread God’s love and power all over the world.

There are many noble activities and endeavors in which Fresh Fire Ministries is involved, initiated by Todd, and to which we are still committed. We have the Supernatural Training Centre, our school of ministry, already in it’s fourth full year and with more than 50 students already enrolled we’re believing for an amazing year of biblical instruction, practical application and encounters with the presence of God. Many mature and gifted speakers and associates, graduated interns and teachers filled brim-full with the DNA and fire of this ministry are ready to pour revelation and passion into the hungry hearts of this coming year’s student body.

We will continue to host conferences in our region with speakers and worship leaders from around the nation whose message and mandates resonate with the vision and heart of Fresh Fire Ministries. In addition, we are committed to supporting the growing “OutPourings” across North America and around the world with our Associates, with encouragement and prayer support. In Todd’s own words, “What God is doing is bigger than one man”, and we now have a golden opportunity as the Body of Christ to pick up the baton and to run with perseverance for His glory.

Our missions department is progressing, as previously mentioned, with our major African crusade. With close to 100 team members in attendance, excitement is beginning to build and team members have responded that they are still believing God for the most amazing missions trip ever! Our Uganda Jesus Village in Kampala is forging ahead with the recent acquisition of 35 acres of land 30 minutes drive from our present location. Two of the 15 homes planned for the property are nearing completion, and the expanded village, when finished, will house almost 150 orphans rescued from war torn northern Uganda.

So whether in our Children’s Home in Africa, in our Supernatural Training Centre in British Columbia, in the revival meetings and outpourings spreading around the globe, or in taking teams to minister compassion and practical assistance to the poor in the far corners of the Earth, we have been and still are committed to bringing love, hope and a demonstration of the saving, healing, delivering power of the Gospel to a world in need.

Thank you all once again for your prayers and support. We bless each and every one of you in whatever decision you must make. Please know that our heart in all of this is to see the name of the Lord vindicated, and we take great encouragement from Psalm 23 and the Lord’s promise that He will “lead us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Together we look to the mercy and wisdom of our loving Father and we remain as ever, your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Fresh Fire Board of Directors

[Source: Fresh Fire Ministries Board of Directors, August 15, 2008,

 End of article.

 

**************

*sigh*

Many were alarmed at the unscriptural words of Todd Bentley. But a close look at the phrases in the above letter give reason to believe that this ministry will continue in the same fashion.

Encounters with the Presence of God.

Teachers filled brim-full with the DNA (Divine Nature Activated)

Supernatural Training Centre?

One of the reasons that ministries fall flat is that they are not centered on the Word of God. Instead we heard stories about Todd Bentley’s angels who were not biblical. The angels are before the throne of God, yet Bentley said, “they have nothing in heaven to do but waiting to serve God’s purpose in you!”

It was indicated that the Gospel was delivered at the meetings, but never once did I hear a true Gospel message of repentance, and following Christ in faith instead of feelings. Instead we hear of our divine nature which is an occult teaching, not Christian.

I believe this to be my last post on TB. I hope he repents as we all should when we find ourselves in sin. I am no better than Todd though. I too always fall short. But only the truth in the Word of God satisfies, convicts, and keeps us on that narrow path. We all stumble and can be refined when we stay in God’s truth.

 

 

Archaeology 

In what ways have the discoveries of archaeology verified the reliability of the Bible? 

 

Over the years there have been many criticisms leveled against the Bible concerning its historical reliability. These criticisms are usually based on a lack of evidence from outside sources to confirm the Biblical record. Since the Bible is a religious book, many scholars take the position that it is biased and cannot be trusted unless we have corroborating evidence from extra-Biblical sources. In other words, the Bible is guilty until proven innocent, and a lack of outside evidence places the Biblical account in doubt.

This standard is far different from that applied to other ancient documents, even though many, if not most, have a religious element. They are considered to be accurate, unless there is evidence to show that they are not. Although it is not possible to verify every incident in the Bible, the discoveries of archaeology since the mid-1800s have demonstrated the reliability and plausibility of the Bible narrative.

Here are some examples:

  • Clay Tablet, Ebla. Photo copyrighted.
  • The discovery of the Ebla archive in northern Syria in the 1970s has shown the Biblical writings concerning the Patriarchs to be viable. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses. Ancient customs reflected in the stories of the Patriarchs have also been found in clay tablets from Nuzi and Mari.
  • The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
  • Many thought the Biblical references to Solomon’s wealth were greatly exaggerated. Recovered records from the past show that wealth in antiquity was concentrated with the king and Solomon’s prosperity was entirely feasible.
  • It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1, because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon’s palace was discovered in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at Ashdod itself.
  • Another king who was in doubt was Belshazzar, king of Babylon, named in Daniel 5. The last king of Babylon was Nabonidus according to recorded history. Tablets were found showing that Belshazzar was Nabonidus’ son who served as coregent in Babylon. Thus, Belshazzar could offer to make Daniel “third highest ruler in the kingdom” (Dan. 5:16) for reading the handwriting on the wall, the highest available position. Here we see the “eye-witness” nature of the Biblical record, as is so often brought out by the discoveries of archaeology.

 

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a008.html 

 

Manuscript evidence for superior 
New Testament reliability

 

     The New Testament is constantly under attack and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics.  But, if the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writing.  Because the copies are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy.  This process has determined that the biblical documents are extremely consistent and accurate.
   There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.
1  If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.  

Author2 Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between  original & copy

Number of Copies

Accuracy of Copies
 Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C.   1100 yrs 2 —-
 Pliny 61-113 A.D. 850 A.D. 750 yrs 7 —-
 Plato 427-347 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 yrs 7 —-
 Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. 1100 A.D. 800 yrs 8 —-
 Herodotus 480-425 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8 —-
 Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 yrs 8 —-
 Thucydides 460-400 B.C. 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8 —-
 Euripides 480-406 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1300 yrs 9 —-
 Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. 900 A.D. 1200 10 —-
 Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D. 1000 10 —-
 Livy 59 BC-AD 17 —- ??? 20 —-
 Tacitus circa 100 A.D. 1100 A.D. 1000 yrs 20 —-
 Aristotle 384-322 B.C. 1100 A.D. 1400 49 —-
 Sophocles 496-406 B.C. 1000 A.D. 1400 yrs 193 —-
 Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95%
 New
 Testament
1st Cent. A.D. (50-100 A.D. 2nd Cent. A.D.
 (c. 130 A.D. f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.5%

NUMBERS OF COPIES

2, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 20, 20, 49, 193, 643, 5600

ACCURACY OF COPIES

Homer 95%

New Testament 99.5%

      As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing.  The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure.  That is an amazing accuracy.  In addition there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages.  The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.  
      Almost all biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the first century.  If Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., then that means that the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years.  This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned who could have contested the writings.  In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out.  But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the first century that contest the New Testament texts.
     Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing.  This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a first century document. 
     Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned.  Compare these time spans with the next closest which is Homer’s Iliad where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later.  Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission.  How much less so for the New Testament documents?

Important
Manuscript
Papyri
Contents

Date
Original Written

MSS
Date
Approx.
Time Span
p52
(John Rylands
Fragment)3
John 18:31-33,37-38 circa
96 A.D.
circa
125
A.D.
29 yrs  
P46 
(Chester Beatty Papyrus)
Rom. 5:176:3,5-14; 8:15-25, 27-35, 379:32; 10:1-11, 22, 24-33, 3514:8,915:9, 11-33; 16:1-23, 25-27; Heb.; 1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Gal., Phil., Col.; 1 Thess. 1:1,9-10; 2:1-3; 5:5-9, 23-28 50’s-70’s circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
150 yrs
 
P66 
(Bodmer Papyrus)
John 1:16:11,3514:26; fragment of 14:29-21:9

70’s

circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
130 yrs
 
P67  Matt. 3:9,15; 5:20-22, 25-28   circa
200
A.D.
Approx.
130 yrs
 

     If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned in the chart at the beginning of the paper.  On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors; after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others.  The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.  It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

 

http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm

Illustration of Bible text manuscript tree 
and variant readings

     The following diagram illustrates manuscript corruptions in the biblical texts that are produced, for whatever reason, and copied down to later manuscripts.  The purpose of the illustration is to show how errors are copied down from one manuscript to another, how they are counted, and how we can determine which is the correct reading.  
     In this example, of the 26 existing manuscripts (represented by solid black and red sheets) nine of them have a textual problem where a phrase was incorrectly copied.  Therefore, in this illustration, we would have a total of nine variants in 26 manuscripts.  But, it is really only one.
     However, manuscripts can be categorized in family trees by analyzing their location of discovery, jars found in, type of papyri written on, type of ink used, style of writing, etc.  Therefore, daughter manuscripts can be matched very accurately to father manuscripts.  
     In this example we see that the word “only” was omitted from a 3rd century document and copied in subsequent, daughter documents.  All we need to do is to take a look at the manuscripts and even though we see nine variants here, actually we can tell that there is only one which has been copied.  Also, we can accurately determine which is the correct reading by looking at the father document from the 2nd century.
     With this type of method, the New Testament documents can be reconstructed with an incredible accuracy.  Furthermore, the New Testament is approximately 99.5% textually pure.  This means that of all the manuscripts in existence they agree completely 99.5% of the time.  Of the variants that occur, mostly are easily explainable and very few have any effect on the meaning of passages.  In all, no New Testament doctrine is affected by any variant reading.
 

 
 


 

http://www.carm.org/index.html

What archaeological discovery has had the all-time greatest Biblical impact?

“Probably the Dead Sea Scrolls have had the greatest Biblical impact. They have provided Old Testament manuscripts approximately 1,000 years older than our previous oldest manuscript. The Dead Sea Scrolls have demonstrated that the Old Testament was accurately transmitted during this interval. In addition, they provide a wealth of information on the times leading up to, and during, the life of Christ.
—Dr. Bryant Wood, archaeologist, Associates

 What is the importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls?

One of the most important contributions of the Dead Sea Scrolls is the numerous Biblical manuscripts which have been discovered. Until those discoveries at Qumran, the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures were copies from the 9th and 10th centuries AD by a group of Jewish scribes called the Massoretes. Now we have manuscripts around a thousand years older than those. The amazing truth is that these manuscripts are almost identical! Here is a strong example of the tender care which the Jewish scribes down through the centuries took in an effort to accurately copy the sacred Scriptures. We can have confidence that our Old Testament Scriptures faithfully represent the words given to Moses, David and the prophets.

Cave 4 containing Scrolls. Photo copyrighted. 

Cave 4 at Qumran where approximately 15,000 fragments from some 574 manuscripts were found.
These articles contain compelling evidence of the truth of the scriptures and that we can truly rely the books of the Bible.  Many just don’t know that the evidence is out there.
I have a book from Josh McDowell called “More Than A Carpenter.”  I read this little book from the lending library in a resort in Mexico. I wanted this book and found it on-line and ordered the evangelization packet of 8 books.
On page 55 he says:
“After personally trying to shatter the historicity  and validity of the Scriptures, I have been forced to conclude that they are historically trustworthy. If one discards the Bible as unreliable historically, then he or she must discard all the literature of antiquity. No other document has as much evidence  to confirm  its reliability.
A book that every Christian shoul have in their library is Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands A Verdict.”
The forward says:
Thus, it is the Christian who will derive the greatest benefit from reading “Evidence That Demands A Verdict.” It will not only strengthen his own faith in Christ, but it will also provide evidence that will enable him to share his faith more effectively with others.
canada, canadian search engine, free email, canada news
 
Faith healer abandons pulpit
Evangelist leaves Florida faithful, marital friction suspected
 
Glenda Luymes
The Province

An Abbotsford faith healer has mysteriously left the Florida pulpit where he attracted hundreds of thousands of miracle-seeking followers.

Todd Bentley arrived at the Ignited Church in Lakeland, Fla., for a five-day preaching stint in early April. Five days became four months as he began drawing hundreds of people, some from as far away as Europe, to the church each night.

In an interview from Florida in April, Bentley told The Province he planned to stay in the U.S. until the crowds left.

They haven’t, but Bentley has.

A notice posted on the website of Bentley’s Abbotsford-based ministry says he and his wife, Shonnah, are “experiencing significant friction in their relationship and are currently separated.”

Staff at Fresh Fire Ministries did not return calls yesterday.

But Patsy Barnes with the Ignited Church said the healing ministry is continuing — without Bentley.

“I do not know where Todd is,” she said.

A preaching itinerary posted on the Fresh Fire website advertises a “One Night Only Revival Impartation with Todd Bentley” in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday and an Abbotsford conference on Sept. 17. It is unclear whether Bentley will attend either.

Christian bloggers across Canada and the U.S. are questioning Bentley’s authenticity.

Some speculate his abrupt departure from the Florida revival is due to marital problems, while others point to a segment on ABC News’ investigative program, Nightline.

The program, which aired in July, showed footage from the Florida revival. In one heart-breaking scene, a 15-year-old boy with spina bifida walks without leg braces in front of Bentley and the crowd. He is later shown stumbling and falling outside the church.

The Nightline reporter asked Fresh Fire for three people who can show medical proof they have been healed through Bentley. None could be provided.

When The Province earlier asked to speak to someone who had been healed through Bentley in either B.C. or Florida, Fresh Fire was unable to find someone, citing difficulties with outdated contact information and record-keeping problems.

gluymes@theprovince.com

© The Vancouver Province 2008
Thank you Bud for sending the updated information
kim
August 2008
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