You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christian Books’ tag.

From – Do Not Be Suprised

EBenzBlog

Film Adaptation of ‘Heaven Is for Real’ Being Planned; T.D. Jakes to Produce

Heaven Is for Real, the story of four-year-old Colton Burpo, who allegedly traveled to Heaven and back, has mesmerized professing Christians since its publication in 2010. In two years it has sold 8 million copies and been translated into 30 different languages. Those who could not find satisfaction in what God’s Word shares about the life to come flocked to the young boy’s story in spite of the fact that Burpo’s claims about Heaven flatly contradicted the biblical text. The popularity of the book was an overt demonstration of how many Christians today allow experience to trump objective, biblical truth.

Like every good story, whether fiction or nonfiction, Heaven Is for Real now is slated to be made into a movie. The Christian Retailing website notes that not only is Greg Kinnear in negotiations to play the role of Colton Burpo’s father, Todd, but that the film will be co-produced by Joe Roth (Oz the Great and Powerful) and famed prosperity preacher T.D. Jakes.

Finish HERE 

http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/02/add-ons.html

Add Ons

Augmenting Scripture
With Diverse and Strange Doctrines

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.
We have an altar,
whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

(Hebrews 13:9-10)
That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things,
which is the head, even Christ:

(Eph. 4:14-15)

It is an age-old deception. Adding to the Scripture is one of the easiest ways to deceive believers. Why? Because error is cleverly brought in as “new information” that it is claimed will “illuminate” the Word and enrich the life of a believer. Sola Scriptura is being challenged by many new modes of augmentation. Adding to Scripture with supplemental “diverse and strange doctrines” is a form of heresy.

Today’s evangelical leaders are adding to Scripture in every possible way. The rush is on! Things that would have been considered unimaginable even ten short years ago are rapidly being incorporated into the Christian faith. The Bible plus. Adding to Scripture is a popular pastime, very lucrative, and exciting to the senses, particularly as it pertains to speculating about biblical prophecy, envisioning new revelation, or attaining deeper levels of spirituality. But what did the early reformers think about adding to Scripture? And what does the Bible have to say about it? Today’s post takes a look at Matthew Poole’s 1600s Bible Commentary* on the verses above.

Added to the Gospel”
According to Matthew Poole, “diverse and strange doctrines” are things that add to the Gospel in Scripture:

“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines“: the doctrine of Christ being immutable, it is but necessary to dehort [dissuade, ed.] His subjects from deserting it, which the apostle doth here; that they should not be wheeling or whirling about with an unstable and inconstant motion of judgment, faith, and practice, about such human doctrines which are vain rules to lead to God, such as are different in nature from Christ, one and the same rule, and those very numerous and various, strange and untrue, taught by false apostles and teachers, taken out of Gentilism and Judaism, and added to the Gospel by them, as necessary, together with Christ, to justification and salvation. [bold added]

The Gospel is being added to by those claiming that their new information is necessary, “together with Christ,” as supplementary material that enriches and enhances the plain doctrine of Jesus Christ. The following Scriptures are among those cited by Poole as evidence that believers should exercise caution lest they “carried about,” “corrupted” or “beguiled” by these added-on “diverse and strange doctrines,” i.e. heresy:

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve
through his subtilty, so your minds
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(2 Cor. 11:3)
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;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their conscience seared with a hot iron;…
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables,
and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
(1 Timothy 5: 1,2,7)
But there were false prophets also among the people,
even as there shall be false teachers among you,
who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,
even denying the Lord that bought them,
and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And many shall follow their pernicious ways;
by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

(2 Peter 2:1-2)

Have you noticed? These verses, and others like them, are seldom taught in churches anymore. There is a carefree, even careless and lax attitude about warnings regarding “diverse and strange doctrines.”  Many evangelicals think they can handle the adding-on of extra-biblical material and still stay sound in the faith. Some flatter themselves that they are immune to heresy. Others seem to think that the modern-day church is perfecting to the point where it doesn’t need to be concerned about heresy anymore. Their focus has shifted to all of the exciting methods being brought into the church world, or the “new” revelations being unearthed, or the rapidly changing global or cosmic events happening. This flood of information substantially alters how the Bible is viewed. The Bible is deemed insufficient and must be augmented with data pouring in from all sorts of spurious sources.

However, Scripture is true and it doesn’t change. It warns believers that they can be “beguiled,” “corrupted,” and “tossed to and fro.” It warns believers they are susceptible to the “sleight of men,” and can be seduced and “deceived” by “cunning craftiness.”

In Ephesians 4:14-15 the Apostle Paul uses the word “children.” This is referring to those who are weak, immature or unstable in the faith. These tender ones are most susceptible to being “tossed to and fro” when Scripture is added-onto with enticing allurements. They are most apt to be “carried about with every wind of doctrine.” They are easier to manipulate by “sleight of hand” or “cunning craftiness.” Matthew Poole, commenting on the phrase “whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” points out:

ambush; the word here used, is translated wiles (Eph. 6:11), against which the apostle would have them fenced with “the whole armour of God,” and seems to signify a laying in ambush, or assaulting a man behind his back; a secret and unseen way of circumventing, a laying wait to draw them that are weak from the truth.

In our era of pervasive Humanism, where evangelicals now believe that human beings are basically good at heart, it is hard to grasp this sober scriptural warning. No one seems worried about being spiritually ambushed. But this is what Scripture says, and unfortunately we hear many examples of shepherds fleecing and abusing sheep — their own flock as well as the sheep of other shepherds. Popular leaders sell their add-on wares in the great evangelical marketplace. They have thrilling new books, exciting new programs, arousing new theologies, provocative new revelations, unveiled new secrets, decoded new mysteries, stimulating new understandings, etc. There is great profit to be had by ambushing immature sheep with their own ***exclusive*** add-ons to Scripture.

“PUFFED UP” with “A SHEW OF WISDOM”
There is a specific danger of adding to God’s Word with “diverse and strange doctrines.” Believers are prone to becoming “vainly puffed up” with a “shew of wisdom.” Matthew Poole explained this phrase in Hebrews, and cited additional verses to make this point:

“Not with meats”: doctrines of meats and ceremonies, which are divers, and strange from Christ’s cannot make the heart agreeable to God, but only distract and divide it from Him; for whoever is not in and from Christ, is strange to God, and abhorred by Him…

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility
and worshipping of angels,
intruding into those things which he hath not seen,
vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,…
Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship,
and humility, and neglecting of the body;
not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
(Col. 2:18, 22)
But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
And their word will eat as doth a canker:
(2 Tim. 2:16-17a)
A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
(James 1:8)

“Meats” here refers to adding-on requirements to the faith that “beguile” believers into feeling they need to do more spiritually. It can lead to a “puffed up” feeling of elitism, especially when a believer feels he is privy to exclusive new information that is superior to to the old outmoded plain Bible teaching. There is a temptation to make “a shew of wisdom in will worship.” Indeed, there is a mad scramble in the evangelical world today to try to out-do one another in being hip (“puffed up”) by jumping into any new-fangled, spiritual-sounding thing. No need to exercise discernment; everyone’s doing it so it must be okay, right? As long as it is “spiritual” it must be Christian, right?  

Following “divers and strange doctrines” eventually ends up in some sort of legalism, which is why the writer of Hebrews stated “not with meats” in the context of discussing “diverse and strange doctrines.” Adding-to Scripture may not seem like legalism on its surface, but a believer soon discovers that additional teachings come equipped with additional requirements. There is a point when a believer may begin to notice an unsettled “carried about” or “tossed to and fro” feeling. How much energy is spent engaged in the added-on commitments of time, talents and money! “Diverse and strange doctrines” are man-made add-ons that promise believers a heightened spirituality, greater insights, the acclamations of man, and even prosperity if believers do certain things. Following the latest blog postings, book publishings, conferences and spiritual-sounding pronouncements of the leaders who are busily adding-on to Scripture can be a full-time job! But at what cost to one’s faith?

Note: If a leader is charging money to divulge “new” secrets or “hidden” revelations, save yourself the money and hassle. Don’t buy it! The plain Gospel of Salvation is FREE, sufficient and open to all!

Matthew Poole warned that we will reap no true spiritual benefit from adding-on strange doctrines and practicing them, in his comments on the phrase “which have not profited them”:

“which have not profited them that have been occupied therein”: those who did converse in these various and strange doctrines, professing and constantly practising them, observed times, and meats, and ceremonies, have not been profited by them; for being carnal and earthly, they could not justify them as to their state God-ward, nor could they renew or sanctify their souls, nor yield any advantage to their spiritual life; and being perishing could not profit to the attaining of eternal life…

Adding-On: Another Altar
False altars are associated with idolatry in Scripture. The fact that the writer of Hebrews mentions an “altar” in the context of “diverse and strange doctrines” is noteworthy. Adding-on to Scripture is a form of idolatry, a strange altar with strange fire. The writer of Hebrews reminds us that we have an altar, which is Jesus Christ. Matthew Poole commented:

“We have an altar”: these strange doctrines are not only unprofitable, but perilous to Christians, since they disinterest all that entertain them, as to any participation of Christ; since His subjects, adhering to His simple and immutable doctrine, have a right and just claim to, and an actual use of, Christ, as their altar, in opposition to the Mosaical; and from whom they have altar sustenance for their souls, in opposition to the Jewish meats, while they attend on Him; all the quickening benefits issuing from the sacrifice of His human nature on the altar of His God-head, as reconciliation and adoption to God, justification and perseverance therein, to the perfecting of it in glory…. We have altar sanctification of our persons and offerings in our access to God from Him…. God had but one altar under the law, and He prohibited all others, and complained of and threatened the increase of them…

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually,
that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.
(Hebrews 13:15)

Matthew Henry in his 1700s Commentary on this same verse agreed, and made the point this altar is Jesus. Any other altar, with “diverse and strange doctrines” is not the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

The Christian church has its altar. It was objected against the primitive Christians that their assemblies were destitute of an altar; but this was not true. We have an altar, not a material altar, but a personal one, and that is Christ; He is both our altar, and our sacrifice; He sanctifies the gift.

Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin,
altars shall be unto him to sin.

(Hos. 8:11) 
Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself:
according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars;
according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.
Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty:
He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images.
(Hosea 10:1-2)

Those who add on to Scripture, who dally at fascinating foreign altars, will soon find their heart is divided, as it states above. And the Lord Jesus Christ warned that “No servant can serve two masters.” We cannot serve both “God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:16) The cognitive dissonance of a divided heart ultimately results in the bad fruit of a seared conscience. And those who look for truth at the pagan altars of “diverse and strange doctrines” will not find it.

Profane ADD-ONS
Diverse and strange doctrines are “profane,” i.e. “unholy.” New teachings don’t usually come into the church in flaming colors proclaiming they are a new heresy! Rather, most heresies come in as subtle additions, challenging ideas, new thoughts to consider, speculations, etc. Add-ons can come from such scholarly sources as “scientific revelations.” Most originate from pagan sources! But Scripture takes a dim view of these “profane” teachings, likening them to “fables” and “vain babblings”:

But refuse profane and old wives’ fables,
and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
(1 Tim. 1:9)
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust,
avoiding profane and vain babblings,
and oppositions of science falsely so called:
(1 Tim. 6:20)
But shun profane and vain babblings:
for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

(2 Tim. 2:16)
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;
lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you,
and thereby many be defiled;
Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person,
as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

(Hebrews 12:15-16)

Note that it says that “profane and vain babblings” will “increase unto more ungodliness.” There is a tendency for profane teachings to spread like leaven, corrupting believers and then entire churches. Hebrews 12:15-16 refers to Esau as a “profane person,” and Matthew Poole noticed how the “root of bitterness” acts like leaven in increasing profanity:

the springing up and growing of errors, heresies, or immoralities, as profaneness, filthiness, etc., which are apt to infect churches, and as they spread, to molest, trouble, and disturb them, and to keep them from pursuing holiness.

“thereby many be defiled”: lest by but one such poisonous root, a whole church of Christians may be infected and poisoned, their sin being as apt to spread and diffuse itself as leaven, 1 Cor. 5:6, to taint the whole lump, Gal. 5:9; and how early, even in the apostles’ time, for want of obeying this caution, were the primitive churches corrupted, both in doctrine and morals, by loose, filthy heretics among them!

Pursuing “diverse and strange doctrines” will only “increase unto more ungodliness.” There is a very real defilement that takes place when anyone begins to search into occult and pagan mysteries to try to glean truth. Those who take this route find that it becomes a never-ending spiral of “new truths,” each new nugget more intoxicating. Believers will soon discover themselves lost and wandering on dark paths with no end. These are dangerous paths that do not fulfill, and do not lead to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

BE ESTABLISHED & STEADFAST
Believers, lost and unsteady in their faith, can repent and return to a sole dependence on God’s Word for sustenance, spiritual edifying and strengthening. A symptom of losing one’s moorings on Scripture can be the actual feeling of being “carried about” and “tossed to and fro.” What is the remedy for this? Matthew Poole asserts that only the mercy of God’s grace can make our hearts steadfast and established on the “simple doctrine of Christ,” which gives us a solid foundation of maturity:

“For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace”: for the goodness of heart-establishment unto God is no less than full and complete salvation of the soul…. And this is only wrought by grace, the free love of God put out in Christ, for regeneration and preservation of souls unto life eternal, carried in the simple doctrine of Christ, which is always the same,

Therefore, my beloved brethren,
be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

(1 Cor. 15:15)
Ye therefore, beloved,
seeing ye know these things before,
beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked,
fall from your own stedfastness.
But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

(2 Peter 3:17-18)
Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself,
and God, even our Father, which hath loved us,
and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
Comfort your hearts,
and stablish you in every good word and work.

(2 Thess. 2: 16-17)
But the God of all grace,
who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus,
after that ye have suffered a while,
make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle you.

(1 Peter 5:10)

*All quotations taken and adapted for blog posting from A Commentary on the Holy Bible, Volume III, Matthew-Revelation, by Matthew Poole (Hendrickson Publishers). All bold and emphases added.

SOURCE 

This is an excellent article. There is a flood of  “Christian” books that in truth lead people away from The Bible and instead lead them into a ditch.

‘Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.  Matthew 15:14

Please take the time to carefully read this information. Maybe print it out and get a cup of coffee. Pray.

*******

Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Source HERE 

Steak and a Bible

Just the other day I posted that Christians should be wary of God “experiences.” Although there are many prominent promoters of practices that claim to be ways to hear directly from God (other than by reading the Bible), it is my fear that these are really paths toward self-deception or worse.

As a follow up I’d like to share my thoughts about a book whose author purports to have received messages from God (which she turned into a bestselling book).

A couple months ago I was given a devotional book called Jesus Calling, and although I never read devotionals I began to examine the book. What I found shocked me. The author, Sarah Young, claims to have received revelations from Jesus through dialogue journaling (something she learned from two “listeners” who wrote another book called God Calling. I’ll get to that in a minute). Her book is even written as if Jesus is speaking those messages directly to the reader, which I personally think borders (or crosses into) blasphemy.

Alarm bells began to clang in my head.

Finish 

A Commentary on The Harbinger: A Warning About The Harbinger

by Christine Pack

Source

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=8385

A book called The Harbinger is fast becoming a lightning rod issue among evangelical Christians, with many Christians saying it is exactly what America needs right now to “wake up” and repent, and come back to biblical truth, but other Christians documenting that Cahn quotes liberally from extra-biblical and mystical sources for his book. The cover of Cahn’s book (right) boldly claims that The Harbinger is an “Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future.”

Could this be true? Could it be that there are hidden truths that need to be decoded and unveiled to Christians today? And if so, for what purpose? Cahn seems to think so, and has written a book which proclaims just that. The Harbinger is a fiction book, and features a character known as The Prophet who is slowly giving seals to one of the main characters. These seals contain messages (nine in all) which are meant to be put together as clues in a mystery, so that a final, distinct message will emerge and be revealed. This message, once decoded, is intimated to hold the secret to bringing America back to its moral center and becoming once again a Godly nation.

I have many concerns about this book, and so I will address them one at a time.

Gnosticism

There is an exchange between two of the characters in The Harbinger who are discussing a secret message from a mysterious character (“The Prophet”) in the book:

“It’s the appointed time, but not for an ancient nation. It’s time for the word to be given…..for the mystery to be revealed…..for the message to go forth. It’s the appointed time⎯but not for an ancient nation.” (The Harbinger, p 13)

Friends, anytime you see language like this, and like the language below (also from The Harbinger)…..

¡ “ancient mystery hidden for thousands of years……but now revealed”

¡ a “mystery” that holds a “secret” to our future

¡ “clues” needed to “unlock” a mystery

¡ “messages” that need to be “unveiled”

……what you are dealing with is an ancient heresy called Gnosticism.

Gnosticism is a very old heresy that teaches that the truth has to be decoded, uncovered, unlocked, unveiled, discovered.

Secret Knowledge = Gnosticism

Gnosticism is a heresy because, according to God, we are given all that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) in God’s word. We don’t need to decode secret mysteries, unravel sealed up messages, decipher clues, or pull back the veil on hidden things. All that we need, all that God wants us to know, is contained in the Bible. Now, I will grant that in the New Testament, Paul does talk about the mystery of Gentiles and Jews being united together in a common church and common faith (something that could have scarcely been imagined in Old Testament times). There is also the mystery of Jesus Christ, who was dimly glimpsed through types and shadows in the Old Testament, but Who was gloriously revealed in his fullness as our Savior in the New Testament. But these are mysteries which are laid open for all to see and know and understand and respond to, and not clues on a Mysterious Journey to Somewhere (which is really the more western understanding of the word “mystery”).

“I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.”(Isaiah 45:19)

As a former Gnostic, I found great comfort as a born again Christian in understanding that all that God truly wants me to know He has plainly revealed in his Word. I spent more than a decade of my life as a New Ager/Gnostic going from teaching to teaching to teaching. I lost track of how many conferences I went to, books I purchased, teachers and gurus that I sought out, all in an effort to find truth. My quest for truth was sincere, but truth proved to be surprisingly elusive to attain. By the time God saved me, I was weary. I was worn out. I didn’t have it in me to go after One More Thing. All I could think of at the end was that I wanted rest, just a little bit of rest, from all my fruitless searching. The Lord, in his infinite mercy, gave me rest by rescuing me out of the mire of man-made wisdom and giving me the elegant simplicity of his Word. There is such a lovely purity and clarity in knowing that I can rest securely in the knowledge that all that God wants me to know I can find in the Bible.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

If you are unfamiliar with the heresy of Gnosticism, please listen to Phil Johnson in this in-depth discussion of what Gnosticism is, and see if you don’t come away from that talk thinking of The Harbinger.

Fiction? or Fiction Masquerading Itself as Fact?

Much like William P. Young’s troublesome book The Shack, The Harbinger also has a fictional character who is teaching things that are contrary to Scripture, but which the author wants to claim as truth. Of course, when pressed on the biblical problems with the teachings, both Young and Cahn have resorted to saying, But it’s only a fictional character! The problem with this is that Young and Cahn both personally believe what they have written, and are seeking to teach a wide audience of readers what they believe to be true, while hiding behind the label “Fiction.”

The Truth About America’s Future

The truth about America’s future (and the future of all nations, for that matter), is that God holds the future in His hands. Yes, we should pray, we are commanded and exhorted to pray, but ultimately, we know that our sovereign Lord will work all things together for the good of those who love him and for HIS own purposes (Romans 8:28). And sometimes, in God’s sovereign wisdom, this means that He will allow countries to fall, and nations to topple. Even, that is, nations that He has used in a mighty way to proclaim his truth to the world. I certainly do not desire to see America fall, and I pray for the leaders of this country, but at the same time, we know from the Bible that God has often used times of distress and difficulty as a means of chastening and disciplining his people.

“The kingfs heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1)

When I was a fairly new Christian, I came across a resource called James Ussher’s Chronological Chart of History that helped steady my thinking in this regard. James Ussher was a 17th century Anglican bishop who painstakingly charted out the bloodline from Adam and Eve to Jesus. His chart features the Biblical timeline going across the top and the corresponding world history underneath it. It’s so amazing to look at this chart, and see God’s hand sovereignly guiding all of human history. Below the scarlet thread of Jesus’s bloodline, you see nations and kings rise and fall, rise and fall, but above it all, God’s bloodline marches steadily onward toward the fulfillment of his purposes.

As Americans, we tend to think that we are so mighty, the greatest nation on earth. Well, when you look at Ussher’s timeline, you realize that ALL these kingdoms once had their day in the sun, but where are they now? Egypt was once the mightiest nation in the world, known for the architectural magnificence of their awe-inspiring pyramids, and for taming the Nile River. Babylon, known for their acclaimed Hanging Gardens, and brilliant military campaigns led by Nebuchadnezzar. Rome, their amazing Roman roads and contributions to education and government. Where are they now? Some of them are still around, but do they rule the world? Looking at this chart is truly humbling, and it brings the deeper realization that all that is here will be one day be burned up and destroyed, when God himself creates a new heavens and a new earth. No government that exists here on earth – not even America – will be reigning in that Kingdom to come. But this is not bad news, this is glorious, good news, that should gladden the heart of all who truly love God and bend the knee to his sovereign will and purposes.

As far as America goes, all people everywhere are commanded to repent and believe on Christ for the forgiveness of sins, but that is not the basic message of this book. This book teaches that there is a secret message encoded in the Bible that needs to be decoded to be understood, and if we will only buy this book and decode this message, then we can bring America back. But as I wrote above, this is the heresy of Gnosticism. Our country does not need a “special” Gnostic teaching to tell us what we already know about repentance, salvation and the forgiveness of sins. In fact, I tend to agree with John MacArthur (When God Abandons A Nation), that when we look around us, we don’t need to wonder, will we be judged? because we are already under judgment. First came the sexual revolution of the 60s/70s/80s (Romans 1:24), then came the homosexual revolution (Romans 1:26-27), and next comes the debased mind (Romans 1:28). We are following the trajectory laid out in Romans 1, and where we are indicates not a country that is basically good and can come back to its moral center, but a country that has been given over to its depravity. So we can churn out book after book about “taking back America” and “reclaiming America” (including Jonathan Cahn’s The Harbinger), but in my opinion, America is past the tipping point. True Bible-believing Christians are in the minority in this country, and a minority is never going to reclaim a culture. We need to proclaim the gospel and snatch the few that we can from the flames.

Jonathan Cahn’s Extrabiblical, Mystical Sources

“An incredible thing, it blew me away, I found it in the mystical writings, Jewish writings, of the Zohar*….” Jonathan Cahn, discussing extra-biblical, mystical writings as his sources.

* Please note that Zohar is an extrabiblical, mystical source from which the occultic and mystical Kabbalah is derived.

The Zohar Speaks

Jonathan Cahn | Myspace Video

Jonathan Cahn Goes on Glenn Beck’s Show To Discuss How To “Save A Nation”

Harbinger author Jonathan Cahn joined Mormon Glenn Beck for two segments of Beck’s June 26/June 27 programs, and said the following things about The Harbinger:

“The Harbinger is a two and a half thousand year mystery that lies behind everything.”

“The message of The Harbinger is not to condemn, it’s to wake up and it’s to call back. This is I believe coming out now for a reason, it’s to save a nation, and to turn back.”

“We can’t maintain our blessings without God…..America is blessed as much as America follows God. If America does not follow God, you cannot expect the smiles of heaven.”

Once again, a Gnostic teaching about a “mystery” that has to be decoded, and a call for America to turn back to God. But, why is Jonathan Cahn, who is a Christian pastor, linking with a Mormon (Glenn Beck) in order to proclaim his message? Christians and Mormons do not worship the same God, and for Cahn to appear with Mormon Glenn Beck and for the two to discuss God and America turning back to God can only serve to send a very confusing message to the world about who “God” is.

Conclusion

Does The Harbinger hold clues to helping America find her way back God? In my view, Jonathan Cahn’s book is “hooking” those Christians in America who are burdened over the rising tide of immorality in our country, and who desire for America to repent and come back to the Lord. This is not a wrong or wicked desire…..it’s just that, it might not play out that way, in God’s sovereign plan. And this desire can become problematic, especially when Christians begin linking with non-Christians (as Jonathan Cahn did with Mormon Glenn Beck) in an effort to force those desires to come to fruition.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

 

BREACHED!

The Symptoms of Seduction by Spirits
 “Now it came about when Jerusalem was captured in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came to Jerusalem and laid siege to it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the city wall was breached.”
Jeremiah 39:1-2, NASB

This series of articles has been difficult for the Discernment Research Group to publish. As we read the account of Pastor Steve and Sarah Berger’s loss of their teenage son Josiah in a tragic car accident, our hearts stirred with sympathy for them and their family, for their church and their friends. Yet we rejoiced with them in their assurance that Josiah, a professing believer in Jesus Christ, was in Heaven and in the legacy he had left here on earth.

However, amidst our sympathy for them and thoughtful consideration, we decided it necessary to rebut the New Age view of Heaven that was publicly being spread amongst the evangelical community in the Bergers’ book, Have Heart: bridging the gulf between heaven and earth.[2] Openly endorsed by such high-profile church figures as James Robison, Chuck Missler and Greg Laurie,[3] and promoted by various media outlets[4] and Koinonia House,[5] this book required a public response.[6]

In a point-by-point biblical and theological analysis and commentary, Have Heart was reviewed by Pastor Larry DeBruyn in his 5-part series “Do the Dead Communicate with the Living?” The Discernment Research Group thought this review of the Bergers’ book was necessary because the issues it introduces to America’s evangelical community; namely a New Age understanding of Heaven that allows for visitations from Christian loved ones who have entered the afterlife.

Full Article  HERE

Here is a new age site that gives startling information on how to find a medium…

FINDING A MEDIUM

To find a medium of good reputation, you could try asking friends and work pals. Perhaps the best place to start would be a local Spiritualist church. You may find one advertised in your local paper. Folks there will put you in touch with a medium of good repute, and will understand and help with any questions or concerns you may have.

http://www.cherrysage.com/articles/TitleLink.php?nId=75&pageName=Psychic Mediums: How Psychic Mediums Contact the Spirit World and Communicate with our Loved Ones

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

October 25, 2011

From Way of Life – David Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

by David Cloud

Way of Life Literature

“The Shack” was in the Top Ten on the New York Times bestseller list for Paperback Trade Fiction for two years. As of January 2010, it had sold seven million copies. It is being translated into 30 languages and a motion picture is said to be in the works.

Though its author, William Paul Young, is not a member of a church and is even reticent to call himself a Christian, and though its doctrine of God is grossly heretical, the novel is being touted as a helpful Christian book.

“The Shack” has been endorsed by Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, CCM artist Michael W. Smith, Mark Batterson (senior pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.), Wayne Jacobson, author of “So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore,” Gayle Erwin of Calvary Chapel, James Ryle of the Vineyard churches, and Greg Albrecht, editor of “Plain Truth” magazine. The premier issue of Rick Warren’s magazine, The Purpose Driven Connection, refers to The Shack as a “notable best-selling Christian” book (p. 24). The Shack is recommended by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet, authors of The Jesus Manifesto. Viola said, “I will shamelessly throw my hat in the ring with those who are giving unqualified praise for The Shack” (http://frankviola.wordpress.com).

Eugene Peterson, Regent College professor and author of The Message, is profuse in his praise of the book: “When the imagination of a writer and the passion of a theologian cross-fertilize the result is a novel on the order of ‘The Shack.’ This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” did for his. It’s that good!”

William Young was one of the speakers at the February 2009 National Pastor’s Convention in San Diego, sponsored by Zondervan and InterVarsity Fellowship. The 1,500 attendees were pastors and Christian workers. Other speakers included Bill Hybels, Leighton Ford, Brian McLaren, and Rob Bell. Young had his own break-out session and was interviewed in one of the general sessions by Andy Crouch, a senior editor of Christianity Today. It was said that 57% of the attendees had read “The Shack,” and Young was enthusiastically received. Crouch treated Young as a fellow believer and did not even hint that there might be a damnable theological problem with the way that God is depicted in the book. When Young said, “I don’t feel responsible for the fact that it [“The Shack”] is tampering with people’s paradigms” or how people think about God, the crowd responded with clapping, cheers, and laughter. The emerging church loves to tamper with traditional Bible doctrine and there is no fear of God for doing so!

Young was born in Alberta in 1955 but spent most of the first ten years of his life in Papua New Guinea with his missionary parents, who were ministering to a backwards tribal group called the Dani. He graduated from Warner Pacific College, which is affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), with a degree in religion.

In “The Shack,” Young presents traditional Bible-believing Christianity as hypocritical and hurtful. The book’s main character grew up under “rigorous rules,” and his father, who was an elder in the church, was “a closet drinker” and treated his family with cruelty when drunk (p. 7).

Hypocrisy is very injurious to the cause of Christ, but hypocrisy on the part of Christians does not disprove the Bible. Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4)! All too often this type of thing is used as an excuse by rebels. I know this by personal experience. In my youth I used the inconsistencies that I saw in Baptist churches to excuse my rejection of the church. The chief problem, though, was not the hypocrisy of others but my own rebellion and love for the world. When I repented of my wickedness at age 23 and turned to Christ and received the Bible as God’s holy Word, I stopped blaming others and took responsibility for myself before Almighty God.

Rules and obligations under God’s grace are not wrong. They are an integral part of Bible Christianity. We are saved by grace without works, but we are saved “unto good works” (Ephesians 2:8-10). The New Testament epistles are filled with rules and obligations that believers are expected to keep and filled with warnings about disobedience. The true grace of God does not let us live as we please. It teaches us, rather, “that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). That is a very strict standard of Christian living.

There is hypocrisy in churches and there are false gospels that are law-based rather than grace-based and most churches today are corrupt, but the solution is not to reject the literal interpretation of Scripture and create a new God! God is amazingly compassionate and loving and He has proven that on the cross, but God is also holy and just and requires obedience and hates and punishes sin, and that side of God cannot be ignored without creating a false God.

The flesh wearies greatly of the holiness of God! I can testify to that. From time to time in my Christian life I have gotten discouraged at God. It is not a simple thing to reconcile God’s love and grace with His awful holiness and justice. On one hand, the New Testament tells us that the believer is forgiven, redeemed, justified, accepted in the beloved, blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, holy and without blame before God, and seated in the heavenlies (Ephesians 1-3). On the other hand, the same New Testament tells us that the believer must be exceedingly careful about how he lives before God. We are to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1), which is the highest conceivable standard. The believer who does not pursue this is in danger of being judged (e.g., 1 Cor. 3:13-17; 9:26-27; 11:27-32; Hebrews 13:4; 2 John 8-11; Revelation 2:4-5, 16, 22-23; 3:15-16). There is even a sin unto death (1 John 5:16-17; Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 11:30). Thus there must be many warnings in the Christian life (Acts 20:31; Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; 2:15).

These things seem to be contradictory to the fallen flesh and to the natural man, but they are two sides of the same compassionate, thrice holy God, and to reject either one is reject the true God for an idol.

In an interview with the 700 Club in February 2009 Young described a “huge personal failure” that occurred in his life at age 38. He says, “My life crashed and burned, and I had to go back and deal with some stuff from being a child on the mission field along with other stuff in my life.” He speaks of “secrets” that he kept from his childhood and guilt that he carried. He doesn’t describe any of this in detail, but it appears that he felt guilty for not obeying God’s Word and perhaps went through psychological therapy. He talks continually of “pain,” “damage,” healing childhood memories, and such.

REDEFINING GOD

“The Shack” is about redefining God. Young has said that the book is for those with “a longing that God is as kind and loving as we wish he was” (interview with Sherman Hu, Dec. 4, 2007). What he is referring to is the desire on the part of the natural man for a God who loves “unconditionally” and does not require obedience, does not require repentance, does not judge sin, and does not make men feel guilty for what they do.

In that same interview, Young said that a woman wrote to him and said that her 22-year-old daughter came to her after reading the book and asked, “IS IT ALRIGHT IF I DIVORCE THE OLD GOD AND MARRY THE NEW ONE?”

Young therefore admits that the God of “The Shack” is different from the traditional God of Bible-believing Christianity. He says that the God who “watches from a distance and judges sin” is “a Christianized version of Zeus.” This reminds me of the modernist G. Bromley Oxnam, who called the God of the Old Testament “a dirty bully” in his 1944 book “Preaching in a Revolutionary Age.”

“The Shack” explores the issue of why God allows pain and evil. It is a fictional account of a man who is bitter against God for allowing his youngest daughter to be murdered and who returns to the scene of the murder, an old shack in the woods, to have a life-changing encounter with God. The “God” that he encounters, though, is not the God of the Bible.

Young depicts the triune God as a young Asian woman named “Sarayu” * (supposedly the Holy Spirit), an oriental carpenter who loves to have a good time (supposedly Jesus), and an older black woman named “Elousia” (supposedly God the Father). God the Father is also depicted as a guy with a ponytail and a goatee. (* The name “Sarayu” is from the Hindu scriptures and represents a mythical river in India on the shores of which the Hindu god Rama was born.)

Young’s god is the god of the emerging church. He is cool, loves rock & roll, is non-judgmental, does not exercise wrath toward sin, does not send unbelievers to an eternal fiery hell, does not require repentance and the new birth, puts no obligations on people, doesn’t like traditional Bible churches, does not accept the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and does not mind if the early chapters of the Bible are interpreted as “myth.”

Note the following quotes from the god of “The Shack”:

“Don’t go because you feel obligated. That won’t get you any points around here. Go because it’s what you want to do” (p. 89).

Contrast 1 Corinthians 4:2.

“I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it…” (p. 120).

Contrast Isaiah 13:11; Ephesians 5:5-6.

“There are lots of people who think it [Eden] was only a myth. Well, their mistake isn’t fatal. Rumors of glory are often hidden inside of what many consider myths and tales” (p. 134).

Contrast 2 Peter 1:16.

“[Your heart] is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process” (p. 138).

Contrast Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23.

“To force my will on you is exactly what love does not do. … True love never forces” (pp. 145, 190).

Contrast John 8:31-32; 14:15; Titus 2:11-12; Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 2:14-16, 20-23; 3:3, 16-19.

“Our final destiny is not the picture of Heaven that you have stuck in your head–you know, the image of pearly gates and streets of gold” (p. 177).

Contrast Revelation 21-22.

“My church is all about people and life is all about relationships. … You can’t build it. … I don’t create institutions–never have, never will” (pp. 178, 179).

Contrast Acts 2:41-42, 13-14.

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. … I have no desire to make them Christian” (p. 182).

Contrast Acts 4:12; 26:28.

“Through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world … The whole world. … In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me … When Jesus forgave those who nailed him to the cross they were no longer in his debt, nor mine” (pp. 192, 225).

Contrast John 3:36; Acts 17:30-31; 1 John 5:12, 19; Revelation 20:11-15.

“The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. … Enforcing rules, especially in its more subtle expressions like responsibility and expectation, is a vain attempt to create certainty out of uncertainty. … That is why you won’t find the word responsibility in the Scriptures. … because I have no expectations, you never disappoint me” (pp. 197, 203, 206).

Contrast 1 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 5:18. In Ephesians 4-6 alone there are at more than 80 specific obligations that believers are exhorted to keep.

“I don’t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation” (p. 223).

Contrast Isaiah 2:11; 5:15; John 3:19; Romans 3:19; 1 Corinthians 11:27; James 3:1; 5:9; Jude 4; Revelation 11:18; 20:11-15.

THE SHACK’S GOD IS EMERGENT AND NEW AGE

Not only is “The Shack’s” god suspiciously similar to the one described in the books of the more liberal branch of the emerging church (e.g., Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Brian McLaren), it also has a strong kinship to the New Age god promoted by John Lennon and Oprah Winfrey.

Lennon’s extremely popular song “IMAGINE” (1971) proclaims:

“Imagine there’s no heaven … No hell below us, above us only sky … no religion too/ You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one/ I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

William Young imagines the same thing in “The Shack.” If there is a God, he is non-judgmental. There is no hell. God just wants people to do their own thing and be happy.

Oprah preaches the same gospel to millions. Man is not a sinner; God is not a judge; all is well with the universe; and I just need to surrender to the flow. Her message is the celebration of self. She grew up in a traditional Baptist church, but she has reinterpreted the Bible and moved beyond its restrictions. She says, “As I study the New Age movement, it all seems to say exactly what the Bible has said for years, but many of us were brought up with a restricted, limited understanding of what the Bible said” (“The Gospel according to Oprah,” Vantage Point, July 1998).

Many of the statements in The Shack are out and out New Age philosophy. As Gary Gilley observes:

“The very essence of God is challenged when Young, quoting from Unitarian-Universalist, Buckminster Fuller, declares God to be a verb not a noun (pp. 194, 204). In a related statement, Young has Jesus say of the Holy Spirit, ‘She is Creativity; she is Action; she is Breathing of Life’ (p. 110). Yet the Bible presents God as a person (noun) not an action (verb). When this truth is denied we are moving from the biblical understanding of a personal God to an Eastern understanding of God in everything. Thus, we are not surprised when Mack asks the Holy Spirit if he will see her again he is told, ‘Of course, you might see me in a piece of art, or music, or silence, or through people, or in creation, or in your joy and sorrow’ (p. 198). This is not biblical teaching. This idea seems repeated in a line from a song Missy creates, ‘Come kiss me wind and take my breath till you and I are one’ (p. 233). At what point do we become one with creation? Again, this is an Eastern concept, not a biblical one.

“Young reinforces his Eastern leanings with a statement right out of New Age (New Spirituality) teachings: Papa tells Mack, ‘Just say it out loud. There is power in what my children declare”’(p. 227). Rhonda Byrne would echo this idea in her book, The Secret, but you will not find it in the Bible.

“Further, we are told Jesus ‘as a human being, had no power within himself to heal anyone’ (p. 100). So how did he do so? By trusting in the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the Spirit says, ‘is just the first to do it to the uttermost–the first to absolutely trust my life within him…’ (p. 100). There is enough truth here to be confusing but not accurate. Jesus, never ceasing to be fully God, had all Divine power dwelling within Him. That He chose to limit His use of that power and rely on the Holy Spirit while on earth in no way diminishes His essence. While Jesus is our example He is not a guru blazing a trail in which in this life we too can be like God. This idea smacks of New Age teaching, not Scripture. Jesus even tells Mack that ‘God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things–ultimately emerging as the real’ (p. 112). This is pure New Age spirituality” (Gilley, “The Shack – A Book Review”).

DENYING THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE BIBLE

Another foundational problem with “The Shack” is its denial of the Bible as the absolute and sole authority. Note the following quote:

“In seminary he [the book’s main figure, Mack] had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course. God’s voice had been reduced to paper, and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects. … Nobody wanted God in a box, just in a book. Especially an expensive one bound in leather with gilt edges, or was that guilt edges?” (pp. 65, 66).

To believe that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and the sole authority for faith and practice is not to “put God in a box.” It is to honor God by receiving the Scripture for what it claims to be and what it has proven itself to be. If a father goes on a journey and leaves behind a written statement of his will for the family during his absence, the family that truly honors the father submits to that written record. To reject the Bible as the infallible Word of God is to launch out upon the stormy waters of subjective mysticism. It allows man to be his own authority and to live as he pleases, which is an objective of both the New Age movement and the emerging church.

CHANGED LIVES

The author of “The Shack” points to changed lives as evidence of the truth of the book and the grace of God in using it. At the National Pastor’s Conference, William Young told Andy Crouch that the book was setting people free from “addictive bondages and doctrinal bondages.” He said, “Even people who have been vocally against the book, people in their own family have been healed.”

Healed of what and healed in what way?

What is happening is that people who don’t like Bible Christianity, don’t want to obey the Bible, don’t want to feel guilty for their sin, and have rejected the “angry” God of Scripture, are responding enthusiastically to the man-made idol presented in “The Shack.” The following is typical of the postings at Young’s MySpace site by readers of the book:

“Your book, The Shack, is amazing! It has changed so many people’s idea of what God is really like! It has set some of my friends free!”

Miracles do not prove that something is of God. There is one that the Bible calls “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he can do miracles and answer prayers. I saw miracles and experienced answers to prayers when I was the member of a Hindu meditation society before I came to Christ. Miracles are not the proof of the truth; the Bible alone is the proof. The prophet Isaiah said, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).

CONCLUSION

“The Shack” is another building stone of the end-times Tower of Babel.

God’s people must be exceedingly careful in these days of awful apostasy. The Bible warns:

“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. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:25-26).

The willful sin described in this verse points back to the sin referred to in verse 29. It is the sin of counting the blood of salvation an unholy thing. It is the rejection of personal salvation through the blood of Christ, which many in the emerging church are doing. You can’t be saved if you reject the substitutionary atonement.

In these days we need to stay in the Bible every day and be in sweet communion with Christ, confessing our sins and walking in the light.

And we need to capture the heart of the next generation and educate them so they will not be taken captive by the wiles of the devil and the guile of false teachers.

 The bookstores abound with new-age books that seem to have Christian teachings. The reality is that these books have false teachings that do not line up with scripture. The only way NOT to be deceived is to become a student of the Bible and to examine all things against scripture.

Please read:

 Heaven is For Real: A Dangerous Book for an Apostate Age

August 18, 2011   by David Cloud 

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Seductive and Subversive “Shack”

By Jan Markell 
 
 Many have asked me to comment on William P. Young’s ragingly popular book The Shack.  Is this work of fiction really Christian?  It is called by some as one of Christianity’s most influential books.  One prominent endorser says it will “leave you craving for God.” 
 

Yet people I respect highly, including Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Seminary, calls it “undiluted heresy.” He maintains there is no way it can seriously address the issues of Christian faith.

Here is the scenario in brief. Remember, this fiction plot is going to transform lives!  A man by the name of “Mack” has a daughter murdered and he slips into a depression. He gets a message that he is supposed to meet God in the shack. Entering the shack, he is in the company of the Trinity, but now it gets weird and hard to believe anyone could be deceived by this piece of work.

 

In the shack he learns that God is “Papa” but is really an African-American female. Thankfully, Jesus is a Jewish man, but the Holy Spirit is another female figure of Asian descent. So much for Trinitarian theology!  So Christianity has been misconstrued and has been revised.  Talk about minimizing the Divine!

 

On page 110 Jesus says that He is perhaps not the way, truth, and life, but the BEST way to relate to the Father and Holy Spirit. Papa God, the African-American female, says she has many followers of many religions in different lands. This is not Orthodox Christianity, yet millions of Christian readers claim it is!  Discernment has taken a summer vacation or perhaps a permanent vacation.

 

Mack asks “Papa” God, the female, about God’s wrath. The answer is that she doesn’t punish people for sin; rather she wants to cure sin.  No mention of repentance, the shed blood, and all the things the new “seeker” environment wants to leave out in the church parking lot.

 

Former “New Ager” Warren Smith says, “The Shack is being described as a Christian novel and is currently ranked number one on the New York Times best-seller list for paperback fiction. Many believers are buying multiple copies and giving them to friends and family. The Shack reads as a true story but is obviously allegorical fiction. The book conveys postmodern spiritual ideas and teachings that challenge biblical Christianity – all in the name of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’ and the ‘Holy Spirit.’ Author William P. Young’s alternative presentation of traditional Christianity has both inspired and outraged his many readers. All the while his book continues to fly off the shelves of local bookstores.”

 

Smith, who has been on my radio program many times denouncing Oprah Winfrey’s deception, goes on to say, I was drawn into the ‘New Age Movement’ years ago by books and lectures containing parabolic stories that were not unlike The Shack. They felt spiritually uplifting as they tackled tough issues and talked about God’s love and forgiveness. They seemed to provide me with what I spiritually needed as they gave me much-needed hope and promise. Building on the credibility they achieved through their inspirational and emotive writings, my ‘New Age’ authors and teachers would then go on to tell me that God was in everyone and everything.

 

I discovered that author William P. Young does exactly the same thing in The Shack. He moves through his very engaging and emotional story to eventually present this same ‘New Age’ teaching that God is ‘in’ everything.”

As writer and researcher Berit Kjos concludes, “Yet countless pastors and church leaders are delighting in its message. By ignoring (or redefining) sin and guilt, they embrace an inclusive but counterfeit ‘Christianity’ that draws crowds but distorts the Bible. Discounting Satan as well, they weaken God’s warnings about deception. No wonder His armor for today’s spiritual war became an early victim of this spreading assault on truth.”

So The Shack opens in the context of tragedy. Four years have passed since the cruel murder of Missy, Mack’s precious six-year-old daughter. Enveloped in grief, he receives a strange invitation. “I’ve missed you,” it says. “I’ll be at the shack next weekend if you want to get together. Papa.” What could it mean?

Doubtful, but drawn to the meeting, Mack heads for the Oregon wilderness and finds the dilapidated old shack. “God” miraculously transforms it into a cozy cottage, and Mack meets his supposed maker.

No, it doesn’t get any stranger but sadly, it doesn’t get more popular with Christians who miss the point that The Shack is intended to bring about a new definition of the Christian faith. As Albert Mohler says, “This is totally seductive and subversive, but readers, even believers, don’t seem to mind.” You can listen to all of his comments at this link.

If you know of someone taken in by this, please pass this commentary on to them. You’ll be doing them an enormous favor. 

To learn more, visit Lighthouse Trails Research and the article The Shack: Father-goddess Rising.

I thank God for all of those who are speaking out today over outrageous issues like this one. I am reminded about the many false things promoted today written in 2 Timothy 3:16: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” This is a last days’ reference and if you don’t think we’re in them (the last days), I’ll sell you a beach vacation to Minnesota in January.

 

********

Here is another article by Berit Kjos

Deceived by a counterfeit “Jesus” – The twisted “truths”…..

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/08/shack.htm

Also by Mike Oppenheimer  – Shocked by the Shack

 

http://www.letusreason.org/bookR21.htm

I have enjoyed immensely Dave Hunt’s book, “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, A Prophetic Alarm for the Bride of Christ.”

I want to share these excerpts:

The situation in the church today is reminiscent of the last days of Israel’s kingdom. Instead of heeding God’s Word, God’s people consulted spirit mediums (Isaiah 8:19). Israel had sunk into the mire of occultism, astrology, and idolatry (Jeremiah 19:4,5,13; 32:29). Immorality was rampant even among the priests (Ezekiel 16:15-59; Hosea 6:9). God’s righteous judgment was about to fall, as it is upon today’s church and world.

Israel desperately needed rescue from a merciless, invincible invading army, but deliverance could only come through repentance and submission to her Lord. God had patiently sent prophet after prophet to indict Israel with her rebellion, idolatry, wickedness, and occult practices and to plead with her to repent, but she would not. She needed to face the truth, but turned instead to the numerous false prophets who lulled her to sleep with their soothing lies. [pg. 219]

While being soothingly assured by today’s “prophets” that we are in the “greatest revival ever,” the church is sinking deeper into the last-days apostasy foretold by Christ and His apostles. [pg. 220]

Isn’t this so true. The church today is embracing mysticism by walking labyrinths, centering prayers by focusing on one’s “inner-self”, and doing “Christian” yoga.

There is a new wave of Taize services being conducted in the churches. These services are created to appeal to the general worshiping public so it contains no doctrine. But you will find mind-numbing repetitions that serve to dull the thinking of the participant. This process may elevate or heighten feelings, but it is self-serving. What glory does this bring to Jesus Christ? How can we worship in Spirit and Truth, when we just want to make ourselves look and feel spiritual?

So we are repeat offenders. The church is falling into the same trap that Israel did. But God always saves a remnant of true believers.

For those who truly belong to Christ, though they mourn for the delusion and disaster they see coming upon the world, there is a joy and excitement of knowing that it cannot be long until they will hear that shout from Christ Himself calling them to meet Him in the air.

What motivation that realization give for both holy living and for declaring the clarity God’s message to mankind! [pg.221]

Find Dave Hunt’s book, “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith”

Here  at the Berean Call

An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith

December 2017
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Archives

a

Blog Stats

  • 1,463,396 hits

Donations

I do not ask or want donations for this blog. God supplies all I need to share His Word and His Way of Salvation. Revelation 21:6 says, “..I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. “