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m'kayla's korner

I received the following comment in response to my article, False Healing Impartation. I am using our conversation as a public reminder and warning to others. I hope and pray it is heeded, seriously. Many false prophets and teachers are among us, and many are deceived.  The word of God and repentance for them is our only way out. I pray these moments come to all who need them.

M’Kayla, you just mentioned that his teachings is not Biblical. It seems to me that you haven’t understood the Bible from the start. Randy is a man of God, and he has lead many to Christ. Regarding impartations, God always uses people to accomplish his will. Mark 16, mentions that believers will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover.

It is so sad to see believers do this. You also mention that in their meetings they shake…

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Transcript:

 

Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon. I’m Gary Carmichael, we’re glad you could tune in. In today’s program, Tom continues his discussion with Sarah Leslie, editor and contributing writer for the discernment blogsight “Herescope.” Now, along with his guest, here’s TBC executive director, Tom McMahon.

Tom: Thanks, Gary. Joining us for today’s program–actually, this is our second week with Sarah Leslie. Sarah’s the editor and contributing writer for the discernment blog site Herescope. And, Sarah, again, thanks for coming back with us, and I want to just jump right into this. Last week, we ended with kind of a teaser, but this is an important issue that we do want to address. It has to do with the teaching today with regard to the Nephilim. I’ll read Genesis 6:1-4. I would say this is the central Scripture, these verses, at least two of them here, are central to today’s teaching of the Nephilim, and you’ll see how those who teach this, those who–not all, but many who are involved in the promotion of this have taken great liberties with the Scripture, and I think that’s being kind. Genesis 6:1-4: “And it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

Sarah, last week, as you know, we talked about the Scripture verses and, you know, back when you became a believer and when I became a believer thirty-some years ago, the idea was that, “Okay, well, here’s some verses, and we’re not quite sure how to interpret them, but we’ll take God’s Word for what He says.” But in terms of the understanding of that verse, people had different opinions. Some said that these were angelic beings that had intercourse with human women, and some said, “No, these were the sons of Seth, or of a godly line.” There were a lot of ideas about it. But the point I’m making here is that, well, fine. We can’t be dogmatic about these verses, so we’ll just look at it and try to understand it as best we can, and then kind of push on. Today, in my view, and I want you to speak to this, Sarah, nobody’s pushing on or very few are pushing on, they’re camping out on this with their own speculations, ideas, opinions, and so forth. Would you agree with that?

Sarah: Yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the things about studying Scripture is when you get to some of these verses where we don’t know, we might never know while we’re here on earth what exactly these verses meant, I was always taught–you probably were too–that you just go on. It’s interesting to think about, but you don’t dwell on it, because we don’t know the answer for sure. There’s some things that happened before the flood that we may never quite understand until someday when we get to heaven.

Tom: Right.

Sarah: But one of the things that’s also a principle of studying the Bible is that the Bible is self-interpreting. The Bible gives us everything we need to know, and then if we are searching for an answer, we go and find other similar Scriptures and start reading and try to cross-match these Scriptures to see what God is saying, and look at the bigger picture, and that’s part of a really good Bible study to do something like that. But there’s a whole group in the evangelical world now who have decided that Scripture is insufficient and may have gone to outside sources, including very ancient, pagan, occult writings, and they have decided that they need to reinterpret the verses that you just read, and so they have concocted an entirely new eschatological scenario or scenarios based on their corruption of this Bible verse. It’s absolutely amazing.

Tom: Now, Sarah, you use the term and what I’ve read from you, and I’d like you to explain this to our listeners: post-modern prophecy teachers. Explain that to us.

Sarah: Well, post-modernism–I go back to Dr. Francis Schaeffer’s definition of post-modernism, which is basically he taught that post-modernism is where you no longer have any foundation in the Word of God anymore. You’ve developed mysticism and esoteric ideas, existential ideas, that kind of thing, and so you say there is no reality, there are no absolutes, God is changing, we are changing, we are evolving, and truth is evolving. That’s post-modernism. And we call the teachers who are teaching new things about this ancient biblical Nephilim, we call them post-modern prophecy paradigm teachers, or PPP, and the paradigm–the reason we put that word in is because they intend to have an entire paradigm shift in how the church views the end times, and this is very, very striking paradigm shift, because it ends up looking very similar to the paradigm shift that the New Agers are talking about.

Tom: Right. So, to say it another way, these people have gotten away from the Bible, okay? They have legitimized in their own minds, at least, extra-biblical information, and so if you would say to somebody, “Well, that’s an interesting theory, but can you give me chapter and verse?” Well, no, they can’t. And they won’t, because they’ve written off the Word of God as the only source of truth with regard to, you know, you mentioned eschatology, spiritual teachings, ideas, whether it be the last days, whether it be, well, from Genesis on, you can see it across the board in terms of the evolutionists who call themselves evangelicals and so on. They do the same thing. But it really means that the Bible is not the absolute truth. It’s not the Word of God, or if it is, it’s just part of the truth, and, you know, because one of the lines they use is, “Well, all truth is God’s truth.” I mean, that’s a super fallacy. But the point is that it is extra-biblical information that cannot be supported alone by Scripture, and that’s where we need to be. That’s why, you know, I mentioned this last week, Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it’s because there’s no light in them.” And Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” So that’s where we need to be.

Sarah: Amen to that. One of the things that we early on discovered: these men are teaching that the reason God sent Noah’s flood was not because of what Scripture calls, “The wickedness of man and the imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” That’s what Scripture says. “The wickedness of man was great on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” That’s pretty bad. That talks about how evil mankind was. They instead are teaching now that some sort of space alien, fallen angel, hybrid, disembodied spirit creatures came to earth and mated with human women and created hybrid offspring, and that was why God judged the earth, that Noah was the only pure race, that Noah was the only pure seed. Now obviously that has some pretty ominous overtones to it, and it is very close to an old heresy that came out of the Latter Rain Movement called “serpent’s seed,” which taught something very similar, and we’ve actually written a number of posts about it. But then, they take it a step further and they teach that after the flood, this corruption of human DNA continued, and they say that all of the giants that showed up after the flood had to have been these Nephilim hybrid creatures, and that the solution for them is that we have to destroy them, and of course this has very ominous overtones to it, too, because some of the teachers for this are actually talking about profiling children to see what kind of DNA they have. And one of the guys, L.A. Marzulli, is taking a trek to Peru to try to dig up alien skeletons, what he calls space alien skeletons of these Nephilim creatures with elongated skulls. Well, they’re Native American skeletons, and Answers in Genesis’ website has some very excellent articles about giants and DNA, and I encourage everyone to read them, because it’s solid science. It isn’t this wacky stuff that these guys are teaching. But it gets way worse than this.

Tom: You know, as I–maybe I said at the beginning of this program, this stuff is incredibly bizarre. But the problem is that’s part of the attraction. People want to know what’s new and what’s exciting, but in terms of substance, in terms of biblical substance, it’s ludicrous, it’s ridiculous, yet it is drawing people by the millions. The conferences that they’re putting together, the individuals that they have at conferences, we’ll get into that in a second, because I do want to talk about some of the individuals who are what I would call major players in this. But, again, people are getting excited about it, but one of the reasons is not everybody, there are certainly those who are discerning, who are Bereans, who are checking everything out according to the Scriptures, but the sad thing is that true believers–and sometimes, they just blow this stuff off like, “Well, it’s no big deal. These are wackos. These are this or that.” You know, whatever characteristic they want to apply there. But the sad part is many of those who are being drawn into this are believers; a lack of discernment, but these are our brothers and sisters in Christ who are moving in this direction or being entertained by this stuff, which is a huge problem.

Sarah: Actually, it is a huge problem. For example, I talked to a young man about 34 years old who I have to work with closely on an every-other-day basis, and he had gotten a bit captivated by this. But why? He’s a solid Christian, yet he was raised in the Star Wars, Star Trek generation, the science fiction generation. So in a lot of ways, Americans have been desensitized to thinking in terms of outer space and space creatures and space aliens, and so people like to speculate. They love to–“Well, maybe it was this, and maybe it was that,” and pretty soon they are entertaining these ideas or these suggestions or the writings or speakings of these men without really, really, really thinking it or even going back to Scripture. Now, one of the things these guys base their entire hypothesis on is the Book of Enoch, which is not in the canon, and they go back to all sorts of other apocryphal writings. They go back to pseudepigraphical writings and they go back to ancients, to Marian legends, they go back to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, if you can believe that, that’s one of the most horrific occult books in the history of mankind, and they incorporate all of this into their writings as though it were fact and truth.

Tom: And, because they put it in such, in some cases, sophisticated language that you’re impressed by the pseudo-scientific aspect of that, and you say, “Oh, well, I don’t know anything about that, but I’ll just take his word for it.” No! This is extra-biblical information at least, if not worse.

Sarah: Yes. It’s definitely extra-biblical, and a lot of it started back in 1997 with Chuck Missler’s book Alien Encounters. Almost every single modern prophecy teacher that’s into this refers back to Chuck Missler’s book as what changed them, what changed their eschatology. And so on our blog Herescope, I’ve been doing an in-depth review of this book, and what I’ve discovered is that back in 1997, we didn’t have the internet like we have now, and people couldn’t have gone out and checked the footnotes and the sources and the names he gives as these “credible experts and scientists,” and what I found out is that it’s all a bunch of hocus pocus; that he has gone out to leading New Age writers and leading New Age sources to get all of this information, including the really wackiest fringe of the UFO cults including the Pleiadians and the Raelians and groups like that to get information, and he presents it as though it’s factual.

Tom: Mm-hmm. Well, Sarah, since you mentioned Chuck Missler, let me give our listeners the subtitle for his book, and then I’ve got a question for you. The book is called Alien Encounters, and in many circles, Chuck has been the poster boy for non-believers, for those who are into this kind of thing, whether they be UFO researchers, or just speculators, whatever it might be. But the subtitle to the book is The Secret Behind the UFO Phenomena. Now, Sarah, I ask you, you’ve been through the book, you’ve researched it and so on, what’s the secret?

Sarah: Well, the secret is that the space aliens are Nephilim, and that they’re coming back to the earth to invade us–this is the new eschatology scenario–and that we’ve got to do something about it. It’s…Chuck Missler has always liked crazies, he’s always like conspiracy theories, so the book is full of all of that, but the basic gist of it is that these Nephilim are coming back, and there’s going to be this horrible end time crisis and deception.

Tom: Now, look, I remember–let’s go back. I remember when Spiritual Counterfeits Project, many others when there was a kind of great manifestation worldwide of UFOs and so on they dealt with it back in the 80s, all right? And the bottom line was these are demons, okay? That was their point. Does Chuck come to that point? Does Chuck come to that point here, being the secret? What’s the secret behind the UFO phenomena? Does he spell it out very clearly that these are demons?

Sarah: No. In fact, that’s one of the most interesting things I stumbled on is that these are fallen angels, he says, which are different, he says, from demons. So therefore, you don’t deal with them like you would Satan and demons. Yeah, now that opens a whole can of worms theologically.

Tom: Without a doubt. But once again, my problem here is if somebody would say, “Well, what do I need to know to really be aware of how false this is? And why would I say, or anybody else say that these are demons?” Well, going back to evangelicals who have dealt with this issue over the years, that’s the bottom line, that these are demonic. And why do they say that? Because it isn’t just a matter of the manifestations that really could be answered in terms of demons, being spirit entities, but it’s also the gospel that they present. It was called the Cosmic Gospel, and it’s so contrary to the Word of God that the only mind behind it, to say that, has to be the adversary, Satan himself, because it presents a false gospel, false messiahs, all of this stuff, and it’s been that way historically. But now, with Chuck and his book and these others that are writing about this, it’s not just Chuck–Tom Horn, you mentioned Marzulli, I.D.E. Thomas, Gary Stearman, Chris Putnam–I mean, we could go on and on and on. These guys have raised this to a whole new level of so-called “sophistication,” but it’s absolutely at odds, contrary to what the Scriptures teach.

Sarah: Absolutely. In fact, the idea of physics is coming from scientists, some of them very credible scientists, who also dabbled in metaphysics and put a metaphysical interpretation–that means a spiritual, occult interpretation–on the research they were doing. So a lot of what Missler writes sounds very scientific, you know? It sounds very scholarly and most people wouldn’t even know how to deal with it, except that some of the physics that he writes about I actually recognize as having been taught in college in humanistic psychology classes, which is very odd, but it came straight out of Stanford Research Institute, Willis Harman, that kind of thing. So this is very disturbing.

Tom: You know, Chuck has done some really good things in the past. I’ve spoken at prophecy conferences with him and so on, but I have a concern here, and as you do, as well, that–and I know people that have known him for a long time, spoke with him about this issue–you need to get back to the Bible, to the Word of God. I mean, this stuff is not as complicated, although it’s maybe entertaining that way, but it really–it’s something very simple. These manifestations, UFO manifestations, this is not just occultic, but it’s demonic, and that’s the simple truth, and we need to get back to the simple truth and not buy into all these speculations and opinions and ideas and, you know, many of which are New Age, many of which are just occult, many of which are, as you said, this is the “new quantum mechanics,” all of that, quantum physics. It’s bogus, and we don’t need that. We need to get back to the Word of God.

Sarah, I want to take you to a recent event. I know you weren’t there, but you’re aware of it. I’m talking about the Pike’s Peak Summit Conference put on by Prophecy in the News which features many of the people that I just mentioned, Missler was there, Stearman, Marzulli, Horn, all of these guys, and it sold out. It’s huge. Now, what do we do about this? Obviously we’re a rescue operation. We’re trying to get this information out to people. But these people seem to have this on a big-time roll.

Sarah: They do, and honestly, up until the last couple of months, we’ve been the only ones writing about it, at Herescope, and it’s just almost by accident that we even stumbled onto this. I had–one of my research friends gave me a copy of Tom Horn’s book Apollyon Rising 2012. Well, of course that book is all about the Mayan prophecies that were supposed to be fulfilled in 2012, and Tom Horn wrote as though those were credible prophecies, and another one of my research associates, Gaylene Goodroad, had gone to a Red River Bible Conference in which she had run into a booth where they were selling Tom Horn’s book, and she comes out of an Eastern mystical worldview, too. She got born again from it, and she wrote a whole book that’s published online called My Life in the Way, because she had a number of black belts and that kind of thing. So because we both came from that Eastern mystical worldview in our testimonies, when we started reading this, we recognized what we were reading, and so between the two of us, with the help of some of the ministers that we work with at Discernment, we began to start writing about this, and we have written a multitude of articles. That’s what we’ve focused on the past couple of years, and just trying to sound the warnings, because so much of this is based on totally extra-biblical sources that are straight out of the occult. It’s very alarming.

Tom: Sarah, I couldn’t agree with you more. We’ve only got a minute or so left in our discussion here, but that’s what we recommend that believers do, not only check out your website and so on, but bottom line is they’ve got to be into the Word of God. They’ve got to ask the Berean question, “Give me chapter and verse for that.” If it’s not according to God’s Word, if they can’t find the relationship there–I’m talking about very specific relationship–if it’s not there, they have to blow past it, or encourage others who buy into this, friends and so on, to “search the Scriptures daily to see if these things are so.” What would you add to that, Sarah?

Sarah: I would just say that getting old Bible commentaries, staying in the Word of God, and just being skeptical, on not entertaining–I mean, some of this is very vivid imagery, it’s very captivating, very intoxicating. Stay away from it. It’s not good.

Tom: Amen, amen. Well, Sarah, thanks so much for your input. …We’ve raised some eyebrows, but–and I know people will be upset, because we named names and dealt with that, but nevertheless, if the Bereans who were Jews in the synagogue of the Greek city of Berea, if they were challenging–commended for challenging the Apostle Paul– that’s where we need to be, that’s where we ought to be in Jesus’ name.

Sarah: Amen.

Tom: Amen.

Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. We offer a wide variety of resources to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at P.O. Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638. Or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in, and we hope you can be here next week. Until then, we encourage you to Search the Scriptures 24/7.

We recommend that you listen to our new program at oneplace.com. Oneplace has more listening options than we have on our website. Please go to:

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I was set free from addiction to alcohol by the grace of Jesus Christ in 1984. I had to attend AA a couple of times going through treatment and I despised it. I noted that the success rate was extremely low. I called upon the Lord to set me free. It still was a struggle, but I had always put my trust in Jesus. Please read.

 

Source  HERE – 

Seances, Spirits, and 12 Steps

“[He] knew little of psychics and had heard nothing before this of my adventures.”–A.A. co-founder Bill Wilson, from his official A.A. biography, Pass It On, pg.277

“Do not seek out mediums and spiritists; do not seek out and be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:31) 

 

Author Richard Burns, better known as Dick B., has been churning out books and articles on the alleged Christian origin of Alcoholics Anonymous for years. The prolific author has written Anne Smith’s JournalDr. Bob and His Library, and many, many others. Regrettably, in his nearly thirty books Dick B. has never acknowledged the influence of spiritualism upon the creation of the 12 Steps.

 

His books, however, have deeply influenced the Body of Christ. People frequently justify A.A. attendance with statements like, “Well, Alcoholics Anonymous was originally Christian.” Or, “The 12 Steps are based on the Bible.” A common misconception is that one or both Alcoholics Anonymous cofounders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, were Christians.[1] (Read)

 

In A.A. circles the cofounders are affectionately known as Dr. Bob and Bill W. Promoting one of his more recent titles, The Conversion of Bill W., Dick B. writes, “It’s an account of the many ways the Creator seems to have touched the life of Bill W. and, through him, the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.”[2]

 

The title alone gives the impression that A.A. cofounder Bill Wilson came to Christ. It is certainly true that Wilson was used powerfully and spiritually—but not by the God of the Bible.Wilson, in bondage to spiritualism, communed for decades with unclean spirits.

 

finish HERE 

Except Ye Repent
By Dr. Harry Ironside

Pastor Harry A. Ironside

Chapter 7 – REPENTANCE NOT TO BE REPENTED OF

In any discussion of the nature and importance of repentance it would be a great mistake to overlook the fact that children of God may have as much occasion to repent as any one else. For we should never forget that, after all, saints are sinners. This may seem to be a strange paradox, but both Scripture and experience attest its truthfulness. The closer a believer walks with God, the more he will realize the incurable corruption of his Adamic nature. New birth is not a change of this nature, nor is sanctification a gradual process whereby this nature is purified. New birth is the impartation of a new nature altogether, and practical sanctification is produced by the indwelling Holy Spirit, through the cleansing power of the Word of God, bringing the whole man into conformity to Christ. By the Spirit’s power, in the yielded Christian, the old nature is kept in the place of death.

But through the infirmity of the flesh we do fail again and again — yea, will always fail if we turn the eyes of our hearts away from Christ. Hence the need of daily, and constant, self-judgment which, we have seen, is the true meaning of sincere repentance.

Failure, too, may be collective as well as individual, and thus will call for collective repentance. So God of old sent His prophets to Israel and Judah to show His people their sins and summon them to national repentance. In the same way, in the New Testament, He calls upon churches to repent, when failure and sin have marred their testimony. We shall see this in the letters to the seven assemblies in Asia, as recorded in the Apocalypse, a section of Holy Writ which we will examine in a separate chapter. At the present time I would ask the reader to consider with me the case of the church of God in Corinth.

We learn from Paul’s first letter to this group of believers that it was a church that came behind in no gift, a church characterized by great activity and zeal, but sadly divided by party spirit. Human leaders were being unduly exalted one against another. Sectarianism was rife. This had not led to actual separations into opposing denominations as today, but in the one assembly there were conflicting schools of thought. Heresies abounded, and Christ was being dishonored.

We are not surprised that there followed, in the wake of all this carnality and worldliness, positive indifference to moral evil which had found a lodgment in the church itself. One man among them, and he in all likelihood a person of some prominence, had flaunted the laws of common decency and had entered upon an incestuous relationship with his father’s wife, that is, of course, with his stepmother. Thus the grace of God was being turned into lasciviousness. The adulterer’s course was condoned and his evil life exonerated on the specious plea of the liberty of the dispensation of grace.

The infection was spreading through the church, like leaven in a lump of dough. Others were being contaminated by this vicious example. Instead of dealing with the matter as a grave offense against the Christian moral code, the Corinthians actually gloried in their tolerance and the evil-doer was permitted to sit unrebuked at the sacred table of the Lord. It was a condition calling for drastic action, but so blind were the members of Christ’s body to the affront thus offered to their Head, that they did not even pray that the wicked man might be taken away from among them.

Are there not many churches today similarly affected? Is it not sadly true that in many places discipline in the house of God is practically unknown? Are not adulterers, drunkards, extortioners, profane persons, and blasphemers permitted to retain membership in Christian churches and to defile the assemblies of saints by partaking of the communion feast unchallenged? Is not this one of the main reasons why it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach the unsaved with the Gospel? While it is no valid excuse for any man to offer as a reason for rejecting Christ, yet is it not a fact that these hypocrites are everywhere stumbling blocks in the way of the unregenerate? What need there is of a call to repentance being sounded out in the church, as well as in the world!

In the particular case before us, when news of the unholy condition prevailing in Corinth reached the Apostle Paul, he wrote an indignant letter of protest calling upon them to judge the matter in their local assembly and to purge out the old leaven by putting away from among themselves the wicked person. There probably were intimate friends and others linked with this man who might attempt to shield him, but there must be no temporizing. The evil would not admit of delayed action. Something must be done at once to cleanse the church of its leprous state.

When we turn to the second letter we are relieved to learn that something was done, and done immediately, after receiving the first Epistle. The adulterer was excommunicated, but not in any spirit of self-righteousness on the part of his brethren. The whole company, with very few exceptions, bowed before God and owned the sinfulness of their former indifference to the evil, and judged themselves for abetting in any degree the gross violation of decency that they had tolerated so long.

It is heart moving to read the Apostle’s stirring words regarding their action and its result. In chapter 2 he opens up his very soul to them and shows them how deeply he had been exercised in this matter and how hard he found it to be obliged thus to censure his own children in the faith. He was no cold, legal judge. He wrote as a broken-hearted father whose anxiety was great lest he might wound more deeply where he meant to heal. Hardly had the first letter gone forward until he had such serious misgivings that he almost regretted sending it (2 Cor. 7:8); but he rejoiced to know that they had taken it in good part and had acted resolutely upon it.

The offender had been disciplined, and proving refractory and unwilling to end his unholy relationship, had been put out of the fellowship of the local church. Now in the outside place, shunned by his former associates as a veritable moral leper, he had come to his senses. He was literally convulsed with sorrow over his wicked ways, and had manifested sincere repentance, turning from his sinful life and walking again in rectitude before God. Now, writes the Apostle, “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many; so that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him” (2nd Corinthians 2:6-8). As Christ’s representative, he assures them that, if they now see their way clear to forgive their erring brother, they may be certain that he joins as heartily in that forgiveness as before he was intensely in earnest in demanding his excommunication (2:9-10).

Church discipline should always have in view the restoration of the sinner. It is not simply a question of keeping the good name of the church free from reproach, or of maintaining the honor of the Lord; the real object is the recovery of the one who has gone astray. How often we forget this! We either condone evil by failing to take proper disciplinary measures, or we become so severe and self-righteous that we drive the disciplined one farther away instead of solicitously looking for evidence of his repentance in order that we may restore him to fellowship.

The way in which the Spirit of God wrought in the souls of these Corinthians is brought out clearly in chapter 7. Note the Apostle’s words, as we read verses 9-12: “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.”

What an insight all this gives us into the real condition brought about by the reading of Paul’s letter. And how it emphasizes the reality of their repentance. In fact, the more we weigh each word and study carefully these strong expressions, the more we will be able to fathom the depths of the self-judgment produced in the hearts and consciences of these early Christians. Theirs was indeed a complete change of attitude as a result of hearing the Word of God and being searched through and through by it.

In an earlier chapter, when we were attempting to point out the distinction between penitence and repentance we referred to 2 Cor. 7:10. Let us note it more particularly. “Godly sorrow,” we are told, “worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of.” This is sorrow produced by the Spirit of God, as distinguished from the sorrow of the world which is simply remorse because of the dire consequences following upon evil ways. It is sorrow according to piety, the penitence that a pious person feels when aware of having grieved the God whom he loves, and whom he desires above all things to please.

Note the terms used to depict this exercise. He tells them they “sorrowed after a godly sort,” because they entered into the mind of God in regard to the sin that had so defiled His house. “What carefulness it wrought in you,” exclaims Paul. Like the Israelites who searched their houses for every possible bit of leavened bread in order that they might put it away and properly keep the feast of the Lord, so they had looked into this question with most meticulous care, dealing with it in the spirit of men who would have everything now suited to God’s holy eye, that fellowship with Him might be renewed.

“Yea, what clearing of yourselves!” Heretofore they had been tacitly condoning the offense, thus linking the Name of the Lord with sin and permitting that to continue among them which rendered His dwelling place unclean. For the assembly of God is in His house, and He has said, “I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me.” He is the Holy and the True, and, if He is to manifest His gracious presence in the midst of His church, it is our responsibility to so behave ourselves as to make Him feel at home among us. Have we not all sinned terribly here, and does not our failure explain why the testimony of the churches generally is so powerless and so little is accomplished in the way of winning the lost to Christ?

“Yea, what indignation!” In Ephesians 4:26 we read, “Be ye angry, and sin not.” An old Puritan, commenting on this command, wrote, “I am determined so to be angry as not to sin; therefore to be angry at nothing but sin.” The enormity of the sin had so impressed the minds of the Corinthian believers that they looked now with utter detestation and abhorrence upon that which previously they had weakly excused as though after all it were a matter of small concern one way or another. Low thoughts of sin come from low thoughts of God’s holiness and righteousness. Sin seen in the light of what He is will fill the soul with indignation and horror. Nor will it be indignation against some particular person, but against the sin itself and against ourselves that we should ever have thought lightly of it.

“Yea, what fear!” We are warned against the fear of man that bringeth a snare. On the other hand, the fear of the Lord is to hate evil and every evil way. This reverential, not slavish, fear had laid hold upon these saints. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Hence they now put away folly and iniquity and undertook to clean house, as we say, in order that God might be glorified in their assembly.

“Yea, what vehement desire!” Another translation renders this, “Yes, what intense yearning!” meaning, yearning to do the will of God. Where this is found He will unquestionably make known His mind and guide aright.

“Yea, what zeal!” In this they but imitated Him who could say, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” To be zealously affected in a good thing is commendable and pleasing to God, as lethargy in regard to spiritual responsibilities is most offensive in His sight.

Yea, what revenge!” It was not that they were intent upon wreaking vengeance upon the wretched man and his guilty paramour who had brought such dishonor on the Name of the Lord, but they visited upon the offender that retribution which God had commanded by His Apostle, that he should be delivered “unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” It was love, not revengefulness, that so dealt with him, for things had come to such a pass that temporizing would only have bolstered him up in his iniquity and would have been the ruin of their Christian fellowship and testimony. Put outside, back as it were into that world that lieth in the wicked one, he was in a place where he could realize the dreadful state into which he had fallen. Sifted, like Peter, in Satan’s sieve, the chaff would be separated from the wheat and eventually his soul restored.

Thus in all things they had approved themselves to be clear in this matter. Their repentance was deep and real, and their behavior manifested it. Oh, if similar repentance were but characteristic of our churches today, what might God yet do, in the way of revival and blessing among His own and the awakening of a lost world!

The first step toward such a repentance would be our facing conditions, as they prevail on all sides, in the light of the unerring Word of God. Instead of sitting in Judgment on that Word, we should let it judge us. This would in turn produce that godly sorrow which results in repentance not to be repented of. Then indeed would come that revival for which many have been praying, and others debating about, but which cannot be looked for until we “search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.” We cannot expect blessing so long as He has to say to us, as to Israel of old, “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing” (Hosea 8:12).

In the history of God’s people of old we read of many dark days when the Word was forgotten, the house of the Lord neglected, and idolatry had displaced the worship of Jehovah. But time after time God granted revival to His people. In every instance this was the effect of a return to His Word, producing individual and national repentance, apart from which there could be no revival. These things were written for our learning. May we have grace given to take the lesson to heart and, wherein we have sinned, to confess and judge our evil ways, and to turn again to the Lord, who “delighteth in mercy,” and is waiting to hear the cry of a repentant church.

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

Shepherd/Guardian

KEVIN DEYOUNG

The Puritans, Strange Fire, Cessationism, and the Westminster Confession

Without trying to sort through everything (or really anything) that has been said at the Strange Fire Conference–let alone sifting through what has been said and done in response–I thought it might be helpful to take a step back and give some historical perspective on the question of cessationism.

In the first section of the first chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith we find reference to at least some kind of cessationism.

Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare…

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This is an excerpt from Ray Yungen’s  “A Time of Departing” chapter 7 “Seducing Spirits.”

Pastor Ron Comer, my good friend who wrote the forward for this book, first became aware of the dangers of contemplative prayer when he was seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As the youth pastor of a large, dynamic evangelical church, he longed to draw closer to God and hear His voice. He shared with me the following story of how he heard the voice of the Lord, but it was a much different outcome than what he expected. He spoke of how God’s grace rescued him from seducing spirits. I’ll let him recount his own experience with contemplative prayer.

One day I decided to lock myself in my office and not come out until I knew I had met God. I took from my shelf a book by Richard Foster called Celebration of Discipline. I had briefly read it years before but did not give much attention to its practical application. Now, as I began to read, I was intrigued by the freshness of Foster’s approach. It seemed so freeing to come before God and just empty me of myself. I knew God could not fill me if self was in the way.

I laid the book on the floor and got on my knees. I began to step through Foster’s teachings of how to come before God. I emptied my mind of all thought and began to repeat sacred words that brought praise to God. I found myself repeating the same words over and over. After a period of about two hours, I began to feel a release from all my cares. As contrary as it seems, my body began to feel an energy that was both exciting and relaxing. My mind was at peace and my spirit open to any experience God would share with me. I began to slip into a euphoric, mystical state. Suddenly I was struck by five powerful words that penetrated every sense of my existence. The words were firm but loving. My inner spirit had never heard such clarity. The five words were, “This is not from Me!”

Immediately upon hearing these words I began to grieve at all I was doing, and I repented — feeling polluted and foolish. I quickly realized I had not been enjoying God but had opened my mind and heart to a seducing spirit. God ended this episode by confirming in my spirit I needed to stay alert and discerning for deceptive spirits that were amazingly good at emulating the Spirit of God and masquerading as angels of light.

PP 125-126

There is an alarming promotion of the mystic contemplatives from Christian ministries lately. One would be wise to avoid Henry Blackaby, Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, Thomas Keating, Brennan Manning, Thomas Merton, etc.  I would recommend reading “A Time of Departing” by Ray Yungen to protect your spiritual life from deception. On the surface these teachings from these men may sound lovely but they are misleading you.

Source for “A Time of Departing” HERE 

50 Questionable Teachings From Experiencing God

By Reese Currie, Compass Distributors

Courses are admitted into evangelical churches, oftentimes without any sort of objective theological review. For Experiencing God, I have reviewed the materials from a Biblical viewpoint and noted any teachings that conflict with Scripture, as well as any teaching techniques that are questionable. I found 50 such teachings or techniques in Experiencing God that fall into one of the following categories:

      1. Debatable: There are subtle Biblical arguments against a point, but I am not adamant that Blackaby’s point is incorrect; I am simply saying the point is debatable.
      2. Fallacious: Using an argumentative logical fallacy to support a view.
      3. Inaccurate: The usage of Scripture is not completely accurate.
      4. Inarticulate: A carelessly applied word that can be interpreted very badly.
      5. Inconsistent: A teachers’s life choices are inconsistent with what he teaches.
      6. Misapplication: A misapplication of Scripture to a situation.
      7. Misinterpretation: A false impression of the Scripture is given due to poor exegesis.
      8. Self-contradictory: One teaching conflicts with another.
      9. Unbiblical: Directly contradicts Bible teaching.

These teachings have to be addressed in the order they appear in the book because Blackaby builds upon false premises throughout Experiencing God. You will find that some of the early teachings that I document seem quite minor, but they build into major doctrinal faults as they grow on the potter’s wheel of Henry Blackaby.

      1. Class: Unbiblical. Introduction to Unit 1, page 7. Henry Blackaby teaches that we should “operate our budgets on prayer,” budget for more than we have and hope the money will come in. This is counter to Luke 14:28, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?” The question is not whether he can get the money. The question is whether he has it now. Jesus’ words apply to counting the cost of discipleship, not church funding; however, it is plain that Jesus thought that the logic of having the resources at hand before building a tower was a given.
      2. Class: Misapplication. Unit 1, page 11. Jesus’ statement, “I am the Way” from John 14:6 is applied to ministry decisions. A quotation is given in the margin that only refers to the statement, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life:”, and the inaccurate translation quoted substitutes an unwarranted period instead of the colon from this KJV quotation. No indication is given that this is a partial quotation or a sentence fragment. John 14:6 actually reads, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” The text has nothing to do with “daily guidance” or ministry decisions, but Blackaby uproots the words from their context to make an application never intended by Christ or the Bible writers.
      3. Class: Unbiblical/inarticulate. Unit 1, page 17. “With God working through that servant, he or she can do anything God can do. Wow! Unlimited potential!” This is the first dangerous false teaching in Experiencing God. It is not true; for instance, I know of no Christian who can create a baby in the womb. Psalm 139:13 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.” This is also the first teaching of Satan to Eve, that she could be just like God.
      4. Class: Fallacious. Unit 1, page 18. King (the man who writes the exercises in Experiencing God) poses the question, “When we finish a task and feel frustrated that lasting spiritual fruit is not visible, could the reason be that we are attempting very little that only God can do?” This is what is called a complex question. To answer the question, we have to first agree that Blackaby’s principle that “we can do anything God can do” (from point #3) is correct. The question is worded so that you have to accept Blackaby’s principle in order to answer either positive or negative. This is a cultic teaching technique used by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      5. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 1, page 18. Blackaby’s statement “you come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you” is inarticulate in the extreme and suggests a works salvation. At the most, the text should say, “You come to know God better by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.” The initial coming to know God is only by repentance and faith. This teaching itself is the first sign of mysticism in Experiencing God.
      6. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 1, page 24. “Whenever God gets ready to do something, He always reveals to a person or His people what He is going to do” is self-contradictory with “Many times, as with Abram, God called people just to follow Him… He is more likely to call you to follow one day at a time than He is to spell out all the details before you begin to obey Him.” (Unit 1, page 11.) The teaching also implies that God is not in something if what is happening has not been previously revealed to anyone, which is patently ridiculous.
      7. Class: Debatable. Unit 2, page 28. “You never find God asking persons to dream up what they want to do for Him.” This point is debatable Scripturally. For example, Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Surely, thinking about what service you could offer God would be included in that definition.
      8. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 2, page 31. “Suppose He wants to do it through you. He comes to you and talks to you. But you are so self-centered, and you respond, ‘I don’t think I am trained. I don’t think I am able to do it. And I …’ Do you see what happens? The focus is on self.”I disagree with Blackaby’s point. Jesus’ teaching on discipleship requires self-evaluation. Quoting again from Luke 14:26-30, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”In Isaiah 6:5-7 we read, “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” Isaiah’s concern was not invalid. In His case one of the seraphims dealt with Isaiah’s problem. In our modern times, it could be a person who feels they aren’t trained should go get some training. 
      9. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 2, page 37. “They may ask, ‘Can’t I get a word from God from the Bible?’ Yes you can! But only the Holy Spirit of God can reveal to you which truth of Scripture is a word from God in a particular circumstance.” This view of Scripture conflicts with 2Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” All Scripture is always profitable. There is no point at time at which any word of Scripture becomes untrue or unprofitable.
      10. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 2, page 37. “You also need to be very careful about claiming you have a word from God. Claiming to have a word from God is serious business.” I agree with Blackaby here, yet Blackaby is a member of Promise Keepers which is inconsistent with his stated position. Promise Keepers’ leader, Bill McCartney, constantly claims he has a word from God in his speeches, such as his statement that “God told him” that every church should send Promise Keepers $1000, reported by the Denver Post.
      11. Class: Unbiblical/self-contradictory. Unit 2, page 38. “He speaks to His servant when He is ready to move. Otherwise He wouldn’t speak to you.” Blackaby makes it sound as if God only speaks to give high-pressure assignments and never speaks to simply address the concern of one of His children. Blackaby elsewhere claims that God speaks to us through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church. Answered prayer, therefore, is God speaking to us. John 14:14 says, “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” Therefore God does speak to us for things that are our concerns, not necessarily His work.
      12. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 3, page 48. “You, too, can so order your life under God’s direction that you come to know Him, love Him only, and become like Christ.” It is not at all God’s desire that we love Him only. “For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death” (1 John 3:14). “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8).
      13. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 3, page 53. “They seem to think that God is far off and unconcerned about their day to day living. That is not the God we see in the Scriptures.” This is a true statement. It contradicts his statement “He speaks to His servant when He is ready to move. Otherwise He wouldn’t speak to you.” On the one hand, he says God wouldn’t even speak to us if He didn’t want us to do something, and on the other hand, he says God is concerned about our day to day living.
      14. Class: Inarticulate. Unit 3, page 55. “He invites you to relate to Him, so He can accomplish His work through you.” Is this really God’s motive? That would be like getting married so that the wife could do the housework or so that the husband could be the breadwinner. God’s reason for relating to us is simply that we personally will not perish; working with Him is a gift He gives some people. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (1Peter 3:9).
      15. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 3, page 55. “His whole plan for the advance of the Kingdom depends His working in real and practical ways through His relationship to His people.” No, it doesn’t. God is pretty powerless if He needs people to accomplish His tasks. For instance, in Revelation we read, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). God is in no way dependent upon man.
      16. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 4, page 57. “You will find that the call to relationship is also a call to be on mission with Him.” False. A good example is the woman caught in adultery. In parting, Jesus says to her, “When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:10-11). There are people that were in relationship to Jesus but were called to no kind of ministry at all. Jesus asked nothing of them but simply to keep holy lives themselves. In John 5:14, the man that Jesus cured at the well was simply told, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” There is more than one example of this being the case, where Jesus made no call to mission of certain people for reasons known only to Him.
      17. Class: Misinterpretation. Unit 4, page 65. Blackaby insists, “Jesus watched to see where the Father was at work.” The verses that Blackaby derives this teaching from have absolutely nothing to say about “watching” and had nothing whatsoever to do with “where.” John 5:19 says, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Not a word about “watching.” “Seeing,” yes. But “watching” makes Jesus someone less than God and smacks of Arian heresy. “Where” has nothing whatsoever to do with what Jesus said and is simply an unbiblical addition to what was actually said. I will not make additional examples everywhere that Blackaby applies this particular misinterpretation of the Bible (there are a great number), but only say that while it may be true of us, it is blasphemous to say of Jesus. In reality, though, Blackaby’s interpretation is not even true of us. I may see God working anywhere in the world, but that does not make it necessarily God’s will that I go there and “join Him.”
      18. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 5, page 73. “Could Moses logically prove to someone else that he had heard from God? No, all Moses could do was testify to his encounter with God.” This is utterly unbiblical, and it is designed to give Blackaby authority for claiming that God “speaks to him” all the time without any evidence.In Exodus 4:1-8, God gives Moses a few means to prove that God had spoken to him. It says, “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.”
      19. Class: Debatable. Unit 5, page 75. “If you start ‘doing’ before you have a direction from God, more than likely you will be wrong.” The apostles operated full-time on only one direction: “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46b-47). We already have that direction from God. What Blackaby is talking about here is an old Pietist teaching that John Wesley called “quietism.” John Wesley did not live by that principle, taking the divine commission at face value, and won a lot more converts than the Pietists ever did. There is a “general” thing to be doing all the time, in addition to the specific things that God gives more leading on.
      20. Class: Self-contradictory. Unit 5, page 75. “God is more interested in a love relationship with you than He is in what you can do for Him.” I agree with this point. It contradicts Blackaby’s other point, “You will find that the call to relationship is also a call to be on mission with Him.”
      21. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 6, page 96. “Jesus always was looking for where the Father was at work, and joined Him.” We have already demonstrated that the concepts of “looking” and “where” are not part of the Scripture passage that Blackaby bases this teaching on; the Scriptures simply say that what Jesus does what He sees God doing, in other words, He does the same things God is doing. Doing the same things God is doing have nothing to do with watching to see where God is working and joining Him; it is simply a way of life wherever you are. The trouble is, sometimes an erroneous principle is established in Blackaby’s courses and then accepted as a given forever after.
      22. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 6, page 100. “You never know the truth of a situation until you have heard from Jesus.” This would seem to contradict Paul’s teaching from 1Corinthians 5:12-13, “For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” That means that, based on the knowledge we have already received from Christ through the Bible, we are already qualified to judge matters within the church; and it is those who are outside the church that God judges. This is another example of Blackaby trying to twist Jesus’ statement “I am the Way”, meaning, the way to God and salvation, to specific situations within a church.
      23. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 6, page 104. “Way back in my teen years I began to sense a deep burden for communities all across Canada that did not have an evangelical church.” I agree with Blackaby here that it the witness of non-evangelical churches is terrible, they don’t even preach the gospel. But Blackaby in real life is an ecumenist (see points #45 and #46), which is to view all types of churches as being equal; so it should not matter to him whether they were evangelical, liberal or Catholic. If it does matter, he certainly should not be an ecumenist.
      24. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 108. In the introduction, Blackaby reiterates his teaching that budgets should be set far higher than you can manage and God will pull through. He gives his example, that the church budget was normally $74,000, they budgeted for $164,000, and they actually received $172,000. Blackaby closes by saying, “God taught our church a lesson in faith that radically changed us all.” But my question is, does God teach a lesson about faith that causes one to disregard the principle underlying the plainly stated word of Jesus in Luke 14:27-33? That sounds more like a departure from the faith to me.
      25. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 109. “When God invites you to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for you. You will realize that you cannot do it on your own. If God doesn’t help you, you will fail.” Wasn’t one of Jesus’ teachings, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not” (Matthew 25:42-43). These are all things we can easily do for people, they are God’s work, and He has commanded us to be involved with Him in these things. There are certainly things that cannot be achieved without God’s help, but to claim that everything that can be done without God’s help are not ministries is wrong to the point of being heretical.
      26. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 7, page 110. “If we looked at all of the circumstances, would we have proceeded? No. But, what you believe about God will determine what you do. When God tells you what He wants to do through you, you will face a crisis of belief. What you do shows what you believe.” This goes directly against Blackaby’s other statement, from Unit 2, page 37, “God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.” This statement from Unit 2, page 37 is the entire tenor of the course.
      27. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 7, page 111. The statement “Encounters with God are God-sized” is directly contradictory with this true statement from Unit 5, page 78, “You cannot understand the Word of God unless the Spirit of God teaches you. When you come to the word of God, the Author Himself is present to instruct you. You never discover truth; truth is revealed. When the Holy Spirit reveals truth to you, He is not leading you to an encounter with God. That is an encounter with God.” God encounters us in some small things like understanding small spiritual truths. It does not always have to be a huge production to be an encounter with God.
      28. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 113. “When God lets you know what He wants to do through you, it will be something only God can do.” To reiterate my earlier point on this, from Matthew 25:42-43 and many other places in Scripture, we learn of things we can easily do for people that God commands us to do. I am sure that getting money together to bail out the church in Jerusalem was not presented by Paul as being something only God could do, for instance. This teaching of Blackaby’s denigrates any good work that God has called us to that isn’t impossible for man.
      29. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 116. “I have come to the point in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it is probably not from God.” It makes me wonder if we’re reading the same Bible. When God told Joseph to move his family to Egypt to escape Herod, was God giving Joseph a task that Joseph could not do? It is fortunate that Joseph did not have the same theology as Henry Blackaby or Christ would have died as an infant!
      30. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 7, page 116. “When God’s people and the world see something happen that only God can do, they come to know God.” This is signs and wonders theology straight out of the charismatic movement. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 1:21, “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” Not by signs and wonders, but by preaching, the world comes to know God. And no one at all comes to know God unless they repent. The question is given on page 118, “How will the world come to know God?” and the required answer is, “By seeing God work.” False. Everyone who comes to know God comes by repentance and faith. This false teaching of Blackaby’s is reiterated dozens of times throughout Unit 7.
      31. Class: Fallacious. Unit 7, page 119. Henry Blackaby openly proclaims his belief that God manipulated the national economy of Canada on behalf of his single church by forcing the Canadian dollar to hit rock bottom for a time so that funding coming from Texas would yield more Canadian dollars than it would have. This fallacy is called causal reductionism. It seems quite unlikely to me that God Himself manipulated the economy, putting who knows how many families in jeopardy as the parents lost their jobs.
      32. Class: Misapplication. Unit 9, page 146. Blackaby takes a Scripture, 1John 2:3-6, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” Then, Blackaby writes, “Each ‘new’ command of Jesus will require a new knowledge and understanding of Him.”But the Scripture cannot possibly be interpreted as discussing “new commands.” We are to walk even as He “walked”, past tense. And as for commandments of Jesus, I know of only two, “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:35-40).John speaks of keeping commandments from the Bible as a sign of obedience and love for God. Blackaby extends this out to some “new” commandments he thinks Jesus is giving, which is indicative of a belief in “progressive revelation.” Not much wonder Blackaby so heartily supports Roman Catholicism. 
      33. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 153. “When God purposes to do something through you, the assignment will have God-sized dimensions. This is because God wants to reveal Himself to you and those around you. If you can do the work in your own strength, people will not come to know God. However, if God works through you to do what only He can do, you and those around you will come to know Him.” This is utterly unbiblical. According to the Bible, “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (1Corinthians 1:21b). This notion that people will not be saved unless God moves mountains for them comes from Blackaby’s charismatic influence through Promise Keepers.
      34. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 160. “Some people go to much trouble studying Satan’s ways so they can identify when something appears to be a deception of Satan. I don’t do that. I have determined not to focus on Satan. He is defeated … The only way Satan can affect God’s work through me is when I believe Satan and disbelieve God.” This is the most unbiblical possible counsel from Blackaby, and it demonstrates why he is so easily deceived by Promise Keepers and the ecumenical movement. He refuses to be on guard against the devil’s work.1Peter 5:8 warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”Ephesians 6:11 warns, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”1Timothy 4:1 says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

        Blackaby refuses to consider the possibility of being deceived by the devil in any of his teachings, which is nothing more than spiritual pride.

        (By the way, the simple way of knowing the devil’s work is it is based on perversion, which is the denial of important differences. For instance, sexual perverts deny the differences between genders and generations. The devil used this strategy in the garden of Eden, telling Eve she could be like God, denying the essential difference between God and mankind. Wherever there is a denial of differences, such as in the ecumenical movement, one may be positive that the devil is at work.)

         

      35. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 9, page 160. The question is asked, rhetorically, “Does God plan your life for eternity and then turn you loose to work out His plan?” Blackaby’s answer is no, but let’s be careful about that, Henry! Paul writes, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
      36. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 162. In the introduction, Blackaby writes of a salvation experience involving a number of different members of his local church. Unfortunately, the story is spoiled by the last line, “Who won Doug to the Lord? The body did!” Far from it, Henry. John 6:44 says, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Who really won Doug to the Lord? God did. He may have used people, but let’s remember to give God the glory.
      37. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 1. “Church members need to be taught how to walk with God. They need to know how to hear Him speaking. They need to be able to identify things only God can do.” The problem is, nothing in the New Testament supports Blackaby’s assumptions. The human part of the divine commission was not to do something only God could do. It was to preach the message of repentance and remission of sins to all nations (Luke 24:47), to baptize and make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). These are things that man can do. God needs to help for the effort to be successful, but man can do everything Christ commanded. (Note that Christ didn’t command anyone to “save people”; that’s God’s part of the work.) What people need is to obey the command already given, not “watch and wait” for new commands that come out of the heads of dreamers.
      38. Class: Inconsistent. Unit 10, page 164. “Individuals often think that a work for God can be done with whatever means are necessary. They don’t hesitate to violate God’s written will in order to accomplish something they think is His will.” I agree with Blackaby’s statement here, but if he were to apply it in his own life, would he be an ecumenist, while many verses forbid even giving a greeting to a person who preaches a different doctrine? Such verses include Galatians 1:8-10; Romans 16:17-18; 1Timothy 1:3; 4:16; 6:3-5; 2Timothy 4:1-4; Titus 1:9; Hebrews 13:9; and 2John 8-11.
      39. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 168. Blackaby is speaking about “corporately” knowing the will of God when he writes, “When God speaks to a person about the church, the person should share with the body what he or she senses God is saying. As each member shares what he senses God is saying, the whole body goes to God in prayer to discern His will for the body. In His timing God confirms to the body what He is saying. Individual opinions are not that important. The will of God is very important. No single method can be given for discerning God’s will as a body.”This is not the truth. If it were actually practiced in the first church, the Corinthian church would never have expelled the man who was sleeping with his father’s wife. Paul was the one who disagreed; his “one opinion” was quite important because it was based on Scriptural teaching. Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 5:1-2, “It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.” The sad fact is, most people in churches reject much of what Scripture teaches. One opinion is much more important than that of the majority, if Scripture backs up that one opinion.
      40. Class: Fallacious/Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 169. Blackaby is discussing how he would not proceed with plans without a major consensus from the church body. Then he writes, “People often ask, ‘Did you always wait until you got a 100 percent vote?’ No, I knew that we might have one or more that were so out of fellowship with the Lord that they could not hear his voice. Another might be purposefully disobedient…. I did not get angry or disappointed with those who did not agree with the rest of the body. Their disagreement indicated that they might have a fellowship problem with the Lord.”This is utter cultism. The argument is first based on an argumentative fallacy called ad hominem. Rather than consider the validity of a minority view, Blackaby prefers to question their fellowship with God. His approach becomes unbiblical in light of 1Corinthians 5 (see point #39). In that situation, Blackaby would have to label Paul either “out of fellowship with the Lord” or “purposefully disobedient” because he disagreed with the majority opinion to have a fornicator in the church. This one paragraph from Experiencing God should put any cult researcher into a state of alert.
      41. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 10, page 170. “If the people walk with God, then I can trust God to guide them… If the people do not walk in right fellowship with God, then I depend on God to guide me in helping them become what He wants them to be.” Both of these statements are false teachings and I will deal with them one at a time. In Galatians 2:11 Paul writes, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Did Peter not walk with God? Of course Peter did. That does not prevent someone from making mistakes. When Blackaby’s entire phrasing is taken into account, however, it reveals his view that when people agree with Blackaby, they are walking with God, and when they do not agree with Blackaby, they are not walking with God. This is an incredible degree of arrogance, and it strongly suggests that Blackaby desires a “personality cult” to spring up around him.
      42. Class: Misapplication. Unit 11, page 184. “You cannot be in relationship with Jesus and not be on mission. Jesus said, ‘As the Father has sent me, I am sending you’ (John 20:21).” In actual fact, there were many people in Scripture who were saved but were not “on mission.” God does not necessarily call a person into mission. Everyone supports mission, but not everyone is on mission. In Matthew’s account of the deliverance of the Divine Commission, we read in Matthew 28:16, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.” Jesus took His eleven disciples to a mountain away from everyone else to give them the commission to reach the world. Not everyone is called to be a missionary, and it does not mean that Jesus doesn’t love them. People who have bought in to Blackaby’s teachings become very judgmental of what they call “pew-sitters,” people without whose heartfelt financial support, ministry would be utterly impossible.
      43. Class: Misinterpretation/inaccurate/misapplication. Unit 11, page 188. On the parable of the wheat and the tares, Blackaby writes, “Using this parable, Jesus teaches that some lost and evil people are mixed with true believers in churches.” Blackaby is blatantly contradicting one key part of Jesus’ own explanation of the parable. Jesus does not say that field is the church. Jesus says, “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one” (Matthew 13:38). The “true church” is not populated with any unbelievers. Acts 2:47 says, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Man’s “churches” contain all kinds of unbelievers, but the true assembly of God contains absolutely none.
      44. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 11, page 198. “Can God-like Koinonia [fellowship] exist between churches of different denominations as they co-operate to achieve greater Kingdom purposes? Yes! However, humans left to their own ways cannot achieve those kinds of relationships. Only God through His Holy Spirit can create and sustain Koinonia between His people. He wants to be King, Ruler, and Sovereign over all His kingdom. When He is allowed to rule, man-made barriers will fall.”If God is to be allowed to rule, wouldn’t everyone have to be in agreement with the things He teaches? Blackaby co-operates with many different doctrines and versions of the gospel, including the works-salvation of Roman Catholicism, and the baptismal regeneration of the Anglican communion and the Church of Christ, in addition to those churches that preach justification by faith. From a moral standpoint, Blackaby co-operates with denominations that reject the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality and fornication. How can one co-operate with such things if God is ruling over him? If God’s rule is accepted, then those who oppose His teaching must be rejected.I have a lot of verses to support this.Galatians 1:8-10, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”;

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

        1Timothy 1:3, “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine”;

        1Timothy 4:16, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee”;

        1Timothy 6:3-5, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself”;

        2Timothy 4:1-4, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”;

        Titus 1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers”;

        Hebrews 13:9, “Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein”;

        2John 8-11, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”

        Many denominations allow their traditions to outweigh Scripture. If Jesus really rules our lives, we will avoid working with such denominations.

        Jesus spoke these things about the Pharisees, whose tradition outweighed Scripture:

        Matthew 16:6, 11-12, “Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees… How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees”;

        Matthew 23:2-3, “Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not”;

        Matthew 23:13-15, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

        I will dispense with quoting parallel accounts from the other gospels. Quite a bit of Scripture that Henry Blackaby teaches you to ignore, isn’t it?

         

      45. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 11, page 198. “I am not suggesting that doctrinal differences ought to be compromised, but we can act like brothers and sisters who love each other.” This is a direct refusal to obey God on Henry Blackaby’s part. 2John 8-11, Romans 16:17-18 and 1Timothy 6:3-5 absolutely forbid any kind of fellowship with purveyors of false doctrine. People are not your “brothers and sisters” if they believe in salvation by anything other than faith in Christ or oppose God’s teachings in the Bible.
      46. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 12, page 203. “You sin against God when you: 1) Miss the mark of His purposes for you, 2) Rebel against Him, refuse to follow Him, 3) Commit acts of evil, wickedness, or immorality.” Point 1) is not Biblical doctrine. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Sin causes the coming short; but coming short is not in itself a sin. Sin defined Biblically is this: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1John 3:4). Without transgression of the Law, there is no sin.
      47. Class: Debatable. Unit 12, page 210. “Agencies of a denomination, for instance, have a place in doing God’s will that indvidual churches cannot accomplish alone.” Blackaby is speaking of agencies such as the SBC’s “North American Mission Board.” The problem with this teaching is that there were no such agencies in the Bible, and yet individual churches accomplished the work. With this teaching, Blackaby denigrates the work of independent churches and nondenominational churches. Were Jesus and the apostles negligent in setting up a first century church that had no denominational agencies? I think not.
      48. Class: Misapplication. Unit 12, page 213. “In Jesus’ commission to His church He said, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you’ (Matt. 28:19-20).” This is a relatively minor fault, but it is a common evangelical teaching that is false. This command was definitely not given to the church but exclusively to the eleven remaining apostles, who were even sent to a mountain away from everyone else to receive this command. Matthew 28:16 records, “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.” Not everyone is gifted or called to be an evangelist, and it is unbiblical (see 1Corinthians 12) to suggest that they are.
      49. Class: Unbiblical. Unit 12, page 213. “Learning to follow Christ is a life-long process. You do not learn to follow Him all by yourself.” Blackaby here is recommending fellowship with a local church, but he goes overboard on the necessity of a church. He writes, “No one can become the kind of complete believer he ought to be outside the functioning body of a New Testament church.” But what Scripture actually says is, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Timothy 3:15). I know a person who was too sick to attend a church, ministering through a web site from his home for years. He recently made a new translation of the New Testament from Greek at home. A church is very helpful, and if at all possible we should be “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). But the sort of claims Blackaby is making are unwarranted. A person can be fully functional as a Christian outside of any local assembly, if such a situation presents itself.
      50. Class: Debatable. Unit 12, page 214. “Apart from the body, a gift or ministry is out of context.” Well, the Great Awakening in England was an example of an “out of context” ministry, then. John Wesley was not permitted to speak in his Anglican church so he simply proceeded to minister on his own and through his Methodist societies, which he did not view as a church. Since it was the greatest revival England ever saw, I guess we needn’t worry too greatly about “out-of-context” ministry.

There you have 50 false teachings from Experiencing God. I eliminated six more points that I thought were too minor to bring up in addition to these. Even at 50 points, though, it constitutes one false teaching in every four pages of Experiencing God.

If there is a lesson to be learned or a recommendation to be made, it is this. Do not trust the Southern Baptist Convention’s materials to be doctrinally pure, even if you are a Southern Baptist. Instead, follow the Scriptural advice given in Hebrews 5:14, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” We are to be discerning both of things we think are good and those things we think are evil.

Courses with this sort of content should not be given to people who do not have a great deal of Scripture knowledge with which to discern what teachings are true and which are false. Other LifeWay courses, like T.W. Hunt’s Mind of Christ for instance, contain solid Bible teaching without all the charismatic psychobabble of Blackabyism. I reviewed T.W. Hunt’s Mind of Christ again, to verify what I have said about him here. The teachings are virtually flawless in his excellent course. (Interestingly, Claude V. King wrote the exercises for Mind of Christ, the same man who did Blackaby’s exercises. Yet the course is devoid of mysticism.) The difference between the two courses is night and day, and I can recommend Mind of Christ without any reservations.

But the best and safest antidote for ignorance about God is to simply read the Bible itself without having to be concerned about any of man’s errors. I would recommend keeping away even from study Bibles, as they tend to have false teachings in the notes, and from dynamic equivalency versions that contain man’s interpretations instead of the literal Word of God. Allow God to teach you His Word Himself. God’s Holy Spirit is more than patient enough to be your teacher if you will turn to Him.

 SOURCE 

50 Questionable Teachings from Experiencing God is Copyright © 2000 by Compass Distributors. Copyright is to protect content only. Permission is granted to freely distribute

So here’s a warning to the whole world, you take that mark and you are going to receive the wrath of God. Now you can make your choice, you can refuse the mark and get the wrath of the Antichrist, or you can take the mark and get the wrath of God. The wrath of God means torment with fire and brimstone and it says in verse 11, “And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever and they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image and whoever receives the mark of his name.” You take it and you will suffer torment forever.”

JOHN MACARTHUR – 1993

http://www.gty.org/Resources/Sermons/66-48

For those asking to see this article .

by Vanessa from FB

The viral clip going around taking the mark of the beast and still being able to be saved, is a sound bite from 1980, 33 years ago. All other teaching that I have come across about the topic since has stated otherwise…

The only reason I can see that this old clip is resurfacing is that it was recently aired on Brannon Howse’s radio program a few weeks ago. Other than that, I know nothing else, so I will not jump to any conclusions, as I have not listened to the radio broadcast myself, but several people have verified this fact. I will say that if my thoughts at the moment prove to be correct, then I am disappointed and a bit shocked at Brannon…

Now please bear in mind, even if that were J Mac’s stance now, which I see NO indication of whatsoever, I would have to disagree with him, but even if it were so, that does not characterize him as an ‘heretic’ and ‘false teacher’. This is not, I repeat, IS NOT, a salvic issue!! I do not agree with J Mac on all fine points of doctrine, but I still hold him to be an excellent, trustworthy and profitable teacher of God’s Word.

Please remember, we are all fallible, and not a one of us has perfect doctrine, none but the Lord, and so for this reason we need to be able to distinguish between essential and non essential differences

I am absolutely heartsick over what is happening within the body of Christ. We are attacking our own without mercy. . . God help us.

Vanessa

Here is another article worth reading.

http://www.alankurschner.com/2013/10/30/gty-responds-on-macarthurs-taking-the-mark-statement/

Acting Like Men? Mark Driscoll Crashes Strange Fire, James MacDonald Watches

The Strange Fire conference has caused no small stir among charismatics. Leaders of the movement like Michael Brown have been outspoken about their disapproval of the event in the weeks leading up to it. But so-called ‘Reformed Charismatics’ have been more silent, yet it is this group that largely should be listening to the truth taught at this conference. They have been silent, that is, until now.

On his way to James MacDonald’s “Act Like Men” conference, Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, decided to make a side stop at the Strange Fire Conference. He was not registered for the event, but felt the need to stop and hand out free copies of his own book, A Call to Resurgence.
Finish article from Do Not Be Surprised   HERE 

 

Except Ye Repent
By Dr. Harry Ironside

Pastor Harry A. Ironside

Chapter 6 – THE MINISTRY OF PAUL

In reading the Epistles of the great Apostle to the Gentiles one can hardly help noting his peculiar use of the terms, “my gospel,” and “the gospel which I preached.” He makes it clear that he did not receive it of men, neither was he taught it by those that were in Christ before him. It came as a distinct revelation from heaven when he received his divinely given commission to the apostolate. Yet when he went up to Jerusalem to see Peter and in brotherly conference laid before him and others of the Twelve the Gospel he preached among the Gentiles, we are told they recognized it as of God, and added nothing to it, but gave to him and to Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, commending them to the grace of God as they continued evangelizing the nations. In fact, a rather definite pact was made, an agreement that Peter should go to the circumcision and Paul to the uncircumcision.

Surely this does not mean, as some have contended, that the Gospel of the circumcision differed in subject matter from the Gospel of the uncircumcision. So to hold is to ignore Paul’s own declaration that there is but one Gospel. Was he pronouncing a curse on Peter when he said, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8-9)? He knew no other gospel. The mixture of law and grace taught by some in that day, he declared, was a different gospel but not another.

Why then the distinction between Peter’s evangel and his own? The difference was in the manner of approach, not in the body of doctrine. He defines his Gospel as follows: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (I Cor. 15:1-4). This is exactly what Peter and the rest proclaimed from the beginning, as we have already seen.

Only recently I noticed the statement in print that, while repentance was connected with the Gospel of the circumcision, it had no place in connection with Paul’s Gospel of the uncircumcision. Passing strange in the face of his own declarations, which I now propose to examine, for he has told us in no uncertain terms just what position he took on this great subject.

In his own conversion we see repentance illustrated in the clearest possible way. At one moment he was a self-righteous, bigoted Pharisee who actually thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth. But in another instant all this was altered. He heard the challenging voice from Heaven declaring, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.” Broken in spirit, and convicted of sin, he cried out, “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” It was the question of a sincerely repentant man whose entire attitude was changed when he realized that in opposing the Gospel of the Nazarene he was fighting against God. The depth of the work wrought in his soul was manifest in his new life and behavior. Soon we see him preaching the faith that once he sought to destroy. We have no more definite evidence of repentance anywhere in our Bible.

And his own conversion was the model for all others. That which had become so real to him was what he proclaimed to Jew and Gentile alike in all the years of his ministry. It was not that he invariably used the actual terms “repent” or “repentance.” Probably it was oftener that he did not. But his preaching was of the character that was designed to move his hearers to consider their ways, to face their sins before God, to own their lost estate, and so to avail themselves in faith of the divinely given remedy.

When he stood on Mars Hill in Athens, addressing the intelligentsia of the city, he used the very word that we are tracing out. After dwelling on the personality and power of the “unknown God” and man’s responsibility to obey His voice, he contrasted the present age with the “times of this ignorance God winked at” by declaring that He “now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). To the Philippian jailer he gave no such message, for the man’s whole attitude bespoke the repentance already produced in his soul. Therefore for him, as for every sinner who owns his guilt, the word was simply, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” But these proud, supercilious scoffers of the Areopagus were not ready for the message of pure grace. They needed to realize their true state before God. To them the call came, ‘Change your minds! Your whole attitude towards these questions is wrong. Repent and heed the voice of God!’

He who would be a wise dealer with souls cannot do better than follow his example. The fallow ground must first be broken up before it is ready for the good seed of the Gospel.

The moral order of all this comes out vividly when the same Apostle meets the little group of John’s disciples at Ephesus. He shows that John’s baptism of repentance was but the prelude to the full-orbed evan-gel of the new dispensation. And this principle abides everywhere. (See Acts 19:1-6.)

But more positive witness is yet to be adduced, as to his constant endeavor to bring men to repentance in order that they might be saved. In Acts 20 we read of his calling the elders of Ephesus down to Miletus for a farewell interview. To them he rehearsed the story of his labors among them and of the general character of his ministry. He says, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but . . . have taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Imagine anyone declaring in the face of words like these that Paul’s message had no place for repentance, and that the call to repent is for the Jew but not for the Gentile!

Paul saw nothing incongruous in linking together repentance and faith and in the order given. A new attitude toward God would lead to personal trust in the Saviour He had provided. He who sees himself in the light of God’s infinite holiness can never be at peace again until he finds rest in Christ through believing the Gospel. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

In his masterly defence before King Agrippa, Paul explains how he met the risen Christ and received from Him the commission to go forth as “a minister and a witness,” and he tells how the Lord sent him to the nations “to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me” (Acts 26:18). This is the model for all Gospel preachers. Our first business is to open men’s eyes — to turn them from darkness to light; for the great majority who need Christ as Saviour, do not realize that need. Alert enough to the main chance, as men say, wide-awake to the things of this life, bent upon acquiring wealth and fame, avidly seeking after the vain pleasures of the world, they rush heedlessly on, caring nothing for the things of supreme importance. They need an awakening message, that which will arouse and alarm, that they may realize something of their guilt and their danger. Till this has been achieved the preacher’s sweetest Gospel proclamation will be a matter of supreme indifference; or at the best the prophet of the Lord will be to them, like Ezekiel of old, “as a lovely song” and as one that playeth well upon an instrument.

McCheyne expresses well the experience of thousands in his spiritual song:

“I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, I felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah-Tsidkenu was nothing to me.”

It was only when free grace awoke him to a sense of his real condition that he was eager to avail himself of the righteousness of God in Christ.

Our Apostle tells the Ephesian elders that, in obedience to the heavenly vision, he had ever followed this order. In Acts 26:20 we read that he “shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Is there not some mistake here? None whatever! Can this be the Apostle of grace who so speaks? Unquestionably. Is he not contradicting the very principles he sets forth in Romans and Ephesians ? Not at all. He is simply insisting on the importance of the sick man recognizing and acknowledging the incurableness of his terrible disease, so far as human help is concerned, in order that he may cast himself in faith upon the skill of the Great Physician. This is why in the Roman letter he devotes nearly three chapters to the elucidation of man’s ruin, before he opens up the truth as to God’s remedy. And in Ephesians 2 the order is the same. There is no confusion here. All is perfect harmony.

In fact, the more carefully one studies these two great basic Epistles, the more evident does this become; yet both view the sinner from opposite standpoints, though with no contradiction whatever. In Romans man is seen as alive in the flesh, a guilty culprit, who is without excuse because sinning against light, and who stands exposed to the righteous judgment of God. Whether ignorant heathen as in chapter 1, cultured philosopher as in chapter 2:1-16, or legal-minded Jew as in the balance of the second chapter, there is “no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Nevertheless, God visits man in mercy, lavishing daily evidence of His goodness upon him, all designed to lead to repentance (2:4), but alas, so sordid and sinful is the natural heart that until awakened by the Spirit of God neither His goodness, as here, nor His wrath, as in Revelation 16:11, will produce repentance. Therefore the need of “the foolishness of preaching.” God’s truth proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit produces that exercise — if not resisted — which results in repentance. This is why the Apostle dwells so definitely on man’s lost condition before opening up the glorious Gospel of grace, as in the next part of the Roman Epistle.

In Ephesians man is viewed as morally and spiritually dead; alive enough to the course of this age, but without one pulse beat toward God. From this death condition he is quickened together with Christ, and that altogether apart from human merit. But this new life is imparted, as we know, through the Word, and that Word first slays and then makes alive.

Bunyan’s pilgrim was not conscious of the load upon his back until he began to read in the Book. The more he read, the heavier the burden became, until in response to his pitiable plea for deliverance he was directed to the Wicket Gate, which speaks of new birth. Even then he did not find complete deliverance until he beheld the empty cross. Then indeed he could sing:

“Blest cross; blest sepulchre;
Blest rather be the Man who
There was put to shame for me.”

To cry, ‘Believe! believe!’ to men who have no sense of need is folly. None plowed deeper than Paul before urging men to decision for Christ. His example may well be imitated by others who are anxious to see souls saved and established in the truth. In his last letter to Timothy he warns against false teachers, and exhorts the younger preacher not to waste his time arguing with them, but urges him to proclaim the Word faithfully, counting on God to use that Word to produce a change of attitude in his opponents. Note his exhortation, as recorded in 2 Timothy 2:24-26: “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” Again we are reminded that repentance is not a meritorious work, as penance is supposed to be, but it is an inward state produced by God’s Holy Spirit, and by none else.

Some may object, ‘Then you tell men they are commanded to repent, yet you very well know they cannot repent unless God produces that change within which leads them to Himself.’ Is this really a valid objection? Is it not equally true of believing? Are not men commanded to “believe the gospel”? Are they not responsible to exercise faith in Christ? Yet we know that faith is the gift of God as certainly as all else connected with salvation.

In what sense is this true? “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” If men refuse to hear the report that He sends to them, they must die in their sins. He has said, “Hear, and your soul shall live.” The faithful preaching of the Gospel and the emphatic declaration of man’s needy condition are designed to produce “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” If men refuse to heed, if like Israel they “always resist the Holy Ghost,” they will be given up to hardness of heart and must be judged accordingly. But if they receive the testimony it will do its own work in their souls, for life is in the Word.

One thing must not be left unsaid — there is nothing that is more calculated to produce repentance than uplifting Christ and calling upon men to behold Him dying for their sins upon the shameful tree. For nowhere do we get such an understanding of our guilt as in the light of that cross. One may well exclaim,

“O how vile my lost estate,
Since my ransom was so great.”

It was when John Newton “saw One hanging on the tree” for him that his proud, haughty will was subdued and he fell adoring at the Saviour’s feet. Christ crucified is the power of God and the wisdom of God. The message of the cross will break the hardest heart, if men will but hear it. Alas, it is quite possible to listen with the outward ear and never really hear the Gospel story at all. And it is possible so to tell that story that Christless men will admire and applaud the preacher while rejecting the message. Therefore the need of constant dependence on God that one may preach “not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” in order that the faith of our hearers “should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1st Corinthians 2:4-5).

One would not decry human eloquence, for we are told that Apollos was an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures. But we need to remember that eloquence is not power. It is the man whose lips have been touched with a coal of fire from the altar who is prepared to preach in such a way as to bring men to repentance. Paul actually feared that natural ability might get in the way of the Spirit of God, and so he restrained his inherent powers of persuasion in order that his hearers might trust in God’s word, and not in his personal attractiveness as a public speaker. Like John the Baptist he could say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

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

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