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HEAVEN IS FOR REAL: A DANGEROUS BOOK FOR AN APOSTATE AGE

October 25, 2011

From Way of Life – David Cloud

Heaven Is For Real, a book about a four-year-old boy’s supposed visit to heaven, has sold over 1.5 million copies and is currently the # 6 best seller on Amazon. It has broken Thomas Nelson’s sales records and is popular with Independent Baptists. One pastor told me that it is “circulating around many of our IBaptist camps; many are recommending it.” The book is the true story of Colton Burpo, a Methodist pastor’s son who allegedly visits heaven during emergency surgery. There he meets a dead sister and great grandfather, sees Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit and Satan, and learns things not revealed in Scripture. We don’t doubt that the little boy is convinced that he visited heaven, but we don’t believe for a minute that it actually happened.

First, the book is contrary to the testimony of Scripture that the apostles were the last to see the resurrected Christ. This was one of the evidences of apostleship (Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:7). Paul said that he was the last of the apostles to see Christ, meaning that he saw Christ some time after the other apostles had seen him (1 Cor. 15:8). This occurred on more than one occasion in his life as described in the book of Acts. Paul gave this testimony in the context of giving the eyewitness evidence for Christ’s resurrection. We also know that the apostle John saw Christ on the island of Patmos as described in Revelation 1. All of the evidence we need for our faith is found in the testimony of Scripture and in these particular eyewitnesses.

Second, the book is contrary to Paul’s statement that when he had visited heaven he heard things that he was not allowed to repeat (2 Cor. 12:4). Obviously, then, a person cannot visit heaven and describe whatever he sees and hears there.

Third, the book Heaven Is for Real is contrary God’s emphasis on the priority and sufficiency of faith and Scripture. The book contains testimonies of how people have believed in God and heaven because of Colton’s alleged visitation, but the Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6), and faith comes by hearing God’s Word, not by signs and wonders (Romans 10:17). In his account of the rich man and Lazarus, Jesus taught that if someone does not hear the Scriptures, he will not “be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). All of the signs and revelation we need are found in the completed canon of Scripture (John 20:30-31). The Bible is able to make the man of God “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works “(2 Timothy 3:16-17). God has told us everything He wants us to know about heaven at this time.

Fourth, the book Heaven Is for Real is contrary to the Bible’s plain teachings. For example, Colton says Jesus’ horse is rainbow-colored (p. 63), whereas the Bible says it is white (Rev. 19:11). Colton says the Holy Spirit shoots down power from heaven (p. 125), whereas the Bible says the Holy Spirit came from heaven at Pentecost and He is the power (Acts 1:8). Colton says everyone has wings in heaven except Jesus (p. 72), that the angel Gabriel sits on the left hand of God’s throne (p. 101), that the Holy Spirit is blue and sits in a chair near the throne of God (p. 102), and “for our Catholic friends” the book is happy to report that Mary stands in heaven beside Jesus (p. 152). Some might ask, how Colton could learn secrets about his dead sister who died in the womb and facts about his great grandfather that he had not been told. The answer is demons. Paul warned that Satan transforms himself into an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14-15). The book Heaven Is for Real also promotes the visions of child progeny Akiane Kramarik, who began “seeing heaven” at age four (pp. 141-144). Colton claims that the “Jesus” that he saw in heaven is the same “Jesus” that Akiane drew from her visions at age nine. But Akiane’s religious faith is a New Age type faith in a vaguely defined “God.” It is religious mysticism rather than faith in an infallible Revelation from God and the blood atonement of Christ. Even if we knew what Jesus looked like, we are forbidden by God’s law to make His likeness (Exodus 20:4).

You can find Christine’s testimony on this link

 

http://www.solasisters.com/2011/04/testimony-of-former-new-ager.html

 

 

Caryl Matrisciana on Hinduism

 

Caryl Matrisciana, author and filmmaker, tells an interesting story here of her Hindu-influenced Roman Catholic upbringing while living in India, her delve into “new age” and the night she recognized her need for salvation through Christ. In this interview by Christ in Prophecy, she makes the striking connection between Hindu thought and current thinking that has invaded our churches.

Watch the Video HERE

STANDING OVATION FOR HOMOSEXUAL PASTOR

by David Cloud

(Friday Church News Notes, October 14, 2011, http://www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)

The first homosexual was ordained last week in the Presbyterian Church USA under a new rule allowing such ordinations. When Scott Anderson was ordained at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wisconsin, the crowd “gave him a thunderous standing ovation and began roaring with cheers” (“U.S. Presbyterian Church Ordains First Gay Minister,” FoxNews, Oct. 8, 2011).

What an amazing fulfillment of Bible prophecy to see a “church” roaring its approval for moral perversion. The hour is obviously very late.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-2).

We are warned in Scripture about ear-tickling teachers who just want to give the feel-good message to us no matter whether it’s truth or not. We’re warned about doctrines of demons, demonic lies, destructive heresies, myths, perverse teachings, commandments of men rather than God. We’re warned about speculations that lofty ideas raised up against the knowledge of God. We’re warned about deceitful spirits. We’re warned about worldly fables. We’re warned about false knowledge, empty philosophy, science falsely so-called, traditions of men, worldly wisdom, corrupters and adulterers of the Word of God. We’re warned about all of that. We’re warned about the wolves in sheep’s clothing who come along to devour us. They come as if they are prophets, they turn out to be destructive agents of Satan. I mean, we have these warnings all over the place in the New Testament. They’re also everywhere in the Old Testament.

And to put it simply, there is a world of chaos and confusion out there and Satan is very adept and very clever and very powerful and very systematic in the structure of evil that is wrapped up in the system in which we live. Against that is pitted the truth of God. We have to be able to discern the difference. 

If you understand the warnings of the Bible and you understand how critical it is that you know the truth, that you have discernment. You cannot be gullible. You cannot be sucked off into error without dishonoring God. God is truth. He is revealed truth. He loves truth. He has given you the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth. He’s given you His Word which is truth. How terrible it is to think you might drift into lies. But people do it all the time, even people who sit in churches under very often weak teaching.

http://web.gty.org/resources/Sermons/TMC209_Principles-for-Discernment-Part-1#.TmkXIOyC7T0

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There are three kinds of false prophets, I see in the Bible, three kinds, and this is a definitive statement that might help you in understanding it. Three kinds, number one, is a heretic, this is somebody who comes along and says, that’s not true, that’s a lie, I don’t believe the Bible and teaches heresy. Or even says I believe the Bible but teaches a heretical doctrine by twisting it, somebody whose doctrine is obviously, openly heretical.

Secondly is an apostate who denies the faith, who denies Christianity, who apostatizes, departs from it. The first two aren’t tough to spot, it’s easy to spot false doctrine, isn’t it? Just take your Bible and check it, it’s easy to spot apostasy because they’re denying it. And beloved may I hasten to add to you that both of these are dealt with in verse 6 of chapter 7, they are the hogs and the dogs. It says, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine or before dogs, giving that which is holy.” It’s easy to see the hogs and the dogs, they’re in the vomit and the mire. You see the first two kinds of prophets, false prophets the heretics and the apostates are made manifest. …………………….

It is the third kind of false prophet, I call the deceiver, that is the one Jesus is referring to here, this is the one you don’t see, this is the one who comes with the cloak of the shepherd. This is not the cultist, this is not the Mormon or the Jehovah’s Witness or, or somebody who belongs to Christian Science who, who openly and flagrantly teaches false doctrine, those are apostates or heretics. This is the one who talks about Jesus and he talks about the cross and he talks about God and he talks about the Bible and he talks about the church and the Holy Spirit and he hangs around with people that are true Christians and he mingles within the framework of evangelicalism, and he’s on the radio and he’s on television and he’s in the pulpit and he’s on the platform and he writes the books, and he always looks like a Christian. That’s the one Jesus refers to. Not heretics, heretics are obvious. Apostates are obvious too because they’ve denied the faith. But these are subtle. The Lord is not warning us against heretics, He’s not warning us against apostates, He’s warning us against people who sound like they teach the Gospel, who sound like Christians, who use the speech of the Bible, the speech of the Gospel, but it’s only a guise. They express orthodox terminology.

{Red Clover} from a facebook comment

(Friday Church News Notes, October 7, 2011

by David Cloud

 www.wayoflife.org

Saddleback Church recommends a wide range of books on contemplative mysticism at its web site. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Calhoun, for example, has been listed under the “Spiritual Growth” section for at least the past two years. Rick Warren, senior pastor at Saddleback, pretends that contemplative prayer is merely getting alone in a quiet place to meditate on God’s Word, but it goes far beyond that. Warren says that contemplative prayer is nothing like yoga, but as a former member of a Hindu meditation society, I can testify that practices such as centering prayer are definitely yoga-like.

Adele Calhoun recommends Roman Catholic monastic practices which were, in turn, borrowed from paganism, as we have demonstrated in our book Contemplative Mysticism. Calhoun lists Roman Catholics as “spiritual tutors,” including M. Basil Pennington, Henri Nouwen, Peter Kreeft, William Meninger, Francis de Sales, Richard Rohr, William Johnson, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Keating, John of the Cross, Brother Lawrence, Tilden Edwards, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Thomas Merton, John Henry Newman, Julian of Norwich.

Not only are these deeply misguided individuals laden down with Catholic heresies, but many were led by their mystical practices to universalism, panentheism, and even rank idolatry. (For example, Thomas Merton worshipped Buddhist idols.)

Calhoun recommends following the Roman Catholic church calendar, seeking spiritual direction from Catholic orders, and visiting Catholic retreat centers. She describes a pilgrimage she took with 30 women in her “covenant group” to visit the sites of Catholic mystics and to study their practices. She recommends a whole slew of unscriptural contemplative practices, including the Jesus prayer (vain repetition), palms up palms down (psychological visualization), lectio divina, imagination prayer, centering prayer, breath prayer, practicing the presence, silence, and spiritual direction.

She recommends the use of single words as a mantra to drive away conscious thoughts. “Choose a simple word … Let this word guard your attention. … When your thoughts wander let them drop to the bottom of your mind. Don’t go after them. … Imagine your distracting thoughts are part of the debris floating in the current of a river. Don’t try to capture these thoughts; release them and let the river of God’s life carry them away.”

In describing her mysticism she quotes Richard Rohr, “Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence.” This is not biblical contemplation; it is blind mysticism. Even when it comes to devotional reading of the Bible, Calhoun discourages “mentally critiquing or exegeting the text.” Rather, the Bible is to be used as a launching pad for mysticism as the practitioner refuses to “analyze” it but merely “listens and waits.” It is impossible to exaggerate the danger inherent in contemplative mysticism, and it is impossible to warn too loudly and plainly of the spiritual blindness of those “evangelical” leaders who are promoting it.

Only Scripture: Part 3
 
By Pastor Anton Bosch
Do not go beyond what is written
 

(1Corinthians 4:6)

 
Adding to the Scriptures is a very old problem amongst religious people. The Rabbis were particularly adept at adding many books, sayings and traditions to the Word of God.
 
This had become such a problem that Jesus said: “you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:6,9). In spite of all their knowledge, they had forgotten that written into the Law was the clear command that “You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it” (Deuteronomy 4:2). (This instruction is also repeated in Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:6 and Revelation 22:18-19).
 
Instead of learning from the mistakes of the Jews, the church perpetuated this trend of adding to the Word. These added extras take the form of traditions, church council decisions, creeds, apocryphal books etc. This had become so bad that at the time of the Reformation what the big denominations believed and practiced had become absolutely devoid of truth.
 
Full article HERE
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