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In an increasingly secular and ungodly culture, many Christians wonder about their role and duty. Should we lobby for rights that have traditionally belonged to us? Should we make every effort to implement a Christian agenda? Should we completely reform the government? The Bible speaks clearly about our duty, and it’s all about governingour character.
Over a quarter of a century ago the late apologist and Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer asked the question, “How should we then live?” in his landmark book of the same title. The relevance of that question has not changed. If anything, it has only become more urgent for believers at the dawn of a new century and millennium.
Society has taken a nosedive into greater and greater evil, debauchery, violence, and corruption, and outside the church, the landscape seems filled with “modern barbarians.” The temptation is strong for believers to jump into the cultural fray as self-righteous social/political reformers and condescending moralizers. All the while those self-styled Christian activists forget or ignore their true mission in the world and completely miss the answer to Schaeffer’s question–an answer that God’s Word spells out quite clearly.
Full article link below:
I was rather surprised by a comment stating that apologetics do more harm than good to the Christian faith. My first thought was, yes, those who do not want their views and positions analyzed against scripture dislike apologetics. False teachers say things like …..”Touch not God’s anointed,” or “Judge not”. While we cannot judge anyones salvation, we can judge what they are teaching against the Word of God. To not do so, is very dangerous indeed.
Here is a thought from CARM in the introduction of their site.
As the Christian faith is attacked more and more in schools, the media, movies, print, etc., it is vital that Christians learn why their faith is defensible, logical, and evidential. CARM stands on the truth of God’s word and God’s truth can easily be defended just as false secular system can easily be refuted.
Here is the beginning of an article:
There are several reasons why we need apologetics.
The first and most obvious is because we are commanded to defend the faith: 1 Peter 3:15 says, “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
Second, we need apologetics because it helps Christians know their faith. This is something that is sadly lacking among believers. Most don’t know much about their faith, let alone be able to describe the Trinity, the two natures of Christ, His physical resurrection, or even to tell the difference between justification and sanctification. Apologetics helps to define and defend what the truth of the gospel is.
Read Entire Article HERE for all eight reasons.
I have a great deal of respect for godly leaders, teachers, and preachers who say things like , “Compare what I am saying against the Word of God. Check to see if what I claim is true. I am not infallible, but God’s Word is always truth. Interpret a verse in context to it’s passage or chapter.”
Acts 17:11. The Bereans listened to what Paul and Silas were preaching and they “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Knowing God’s Word takes prayer, commitment and study on your part. These are the times when Satan knows his time is short and is he is burning the candle at both ends to deceive all of mankind, even believers. He is convincing the unbelieving world that God and sin do not even exist. Confessing Christians weak in their faith will fall away because they do not even know what their Bible says. They do not read it! Worse… they think that they are above being deceived.
Put on the armor of Ephesians 6. The armor is God’s truth in His Word. Do you know His Word? Do you know how to deflect the flaming arrows of the evil one? Are you prepared for battle?
There is power in God’s Word but first you must read it. Let God speak to you through it and then actually apply the principles to your life and walk in obedient faith that God will help you conform through the Holy Spirit. This is not something that we can accomplish on our own. If you do not rely on the Holy Spirit you will not be clothed in Christ and you will fall.
There was a flyer on my door yesterday left by a Jehovah’s Witness. It contained a statement, “Each year, Jehovah’s Witnessses mark the simple anniversary of Jesus’ death with a simple ceremony.”
JW’s deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the trinity, the deity of Jesus, and his bodily return. Are not all of these the basic biblical teachings of the Christian faith? If you actually talked with a JW how would you fare handling scripture? Could you explain your faith and then find corresponding scripture to verify your Christian position?
Can you defend your faith to others? If not..why not?
“How to Try the Spirits” is from Tozer’s book, “Man, The Dwelling Place of God”, and I found it to be even more relevant today than when it was written. There are 7 sections dealing with how to test spiritual experiences by asking “How has it affected my attitude toward and my relation to:”
The Holy Scriptures
How to Try the Spirits
THESE ARE THE TIMES that try men’s souls. The Spirit has spoken expressly that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Those days are upon us and we cannot escape them; we must triumph in the midst of them, for such is the will of God concerning us.
Strange as it may seem, the danger today is greater for the fervent Christian than for the lukewarm and the self-satisfied. The seeker after God’s best things is eager to hear anyone who offers a way by which he can obtain them. He longs for some new experience, some elevated view of truth, some operation of the Spirit that will raise him above the dead level of religious mediocrity he sees all around him, and for this reason he is ready to give a sympathetic ear to the new and the wonderful in religion, particularly if it is presented by someone with an attractive personality and a reputation for superior godliness.
Now our Lord Jesus. that great Shepherd of the sheep, has not left His flock to the mercy of the wolves. He has given us the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit and natural powers of observation, and He expects us to avail ourselves of their help constantly. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” said Paul (I Thess. 5:21) . “Beloved, believe not every spirit,” wrote John, “but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1) . “Beware of false prophets,” our Lord warned, “which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Then He added the word by which they may be tested, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
From this it is plain not only that there shall be false spirits abroad, endangering our Christian lives, but that they may be identified and known for what they are. And of course once we become aware of their identity and learn their tricks their power to harm us is gone. “Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird” (Prov. 1:17)
It is my intention to set forth here a method by which we may test the spirits and prove all things religious and moral that come to us or are brought or offered to us by anyone. And while dealing with these matters we should keep in mind that not all religious vagaries are the work of Satan. The human mind is capable of plenty of mischief without any help from the devil. Some persons have a positive genius for getting confused, and will mistake illusion for reality in broad daylight with the Bible open before them. Peter had such in mind when he wrote, “Our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (II Pet. 3:15, 16).
It is unlikely that the confirmed apostles of confusion will read what is written here or that they would profit much if they did; but there are many sensible Christians who have been led astray but are humble enough to admit their mistakes and are now ready to return unto the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. These may be rescued from false paths. More important still, there are undoubtedly large numbers of persons who have not left the true way but who want a rule by which they can test everything and by which they may prove the quality of Christian teaching and experience as they come in contact with them day after day throughout their busy lives. For such as these I make available here a little secret by which I have tested my own spiritual experiences and religious impulses for many years.
Briefly stated the test is this: This new doctrine, this new religious habit, this new view of truth, this new spiritual experience how has it affected my attitude toward and my relation to God, Christ, the Holy Scriptures, self, other Christians, the world and sin. By this sevenfold test we may prove everything religious and know beyond a doubt whether it is of God or not. By the fruit of the tree we know the kind of tree it is. So we have but to ask about any doctrine or experience, What is this doing to me? and we know immediately whether it is from above or from below.
1) One vital test of all religious experience is how it affects our relation to God, our concept of God and our attitude toward Him. God being who He is must always be the supreme arbiter of all things religious. The universe came into existence as a medium through which the Creator might show forth His perfections to all moral and intellectual beings: “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. 42:8) . “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
The health and balance of the universe require that in all things God should be magnified. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.” God acts only for His glory and whatever comes from Him must be to His own high honor. Any doctrine, any experience that serves to magnify Him is likely to be inspired by Him. Conversely, anything that veils His glory or makes Him appear less wonderful is sure to be of the flesh or the devil.
The heart of man is like a musical instrument and may be played upon by the Holy Spirit, by an evil spirit or by the spirit of man himself. Religious emotions are very much the same, no matter who the player may be. Many enjoyable feelings may be aroused within the soul by low or even idolatrous worship. The nun who kneels “breathless with adoration” before an image of the Virgin is having a genuine religious experience. She feels love, awe and reverence, all enjoyable emotions, as certainly as if she were adoring God. The mystical experiences of Hindus and Sufis cannot be brushed aside as mere pretense. Neither dare we dismiss the high religious flights of spiritists and other occultists as imagination. These may have and sometimes do have genuine encounters with something or someone beyond themselves. In the same manner Christians are sometimes led into emotional experiences that are beyond their power to comprehend. I have met such and they have inquired eagerly whether or not their experience was of God.
The big test is, What has this done to my relationship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? If this new view of truth-this new encounter with spiritual things-has made me love God more, if it has magnified Him in my eyes, if it has purified my concept of His being and caused Him to appear more wonderful than before, then I may conclude that I have not wandered astray into the pleasant but dangerous and forbidden paths of error.
2. The next test is: How has this new experience affected my attitude toward the Lord Jesus Christ? Whatever place present-day religion may give to Christ, God gives Him top place in earth and in heaven. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” spoke the voice of God from heaven concerning our Lord Jesus. Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, declared: “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Again Peter said of Him, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) . The whole book of Hebrews is devoted to the idea that Christ is above all others. He is shown to be above Aaron and Moses, and even the angels are called to fall down and worship Him. Paul says that He is the image of the invisible God, that in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily and that in all things He must have the preeminence. But time would fail me to tell of the glory accorded Him by prophets, patriarchs, apostles, saints, elders, psalmists, kings and seraphim. He is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. He is our hope, our life, our all and all, now and forevermore.
All this being true, it is clear that He must stand at the center of all true doctrine, all acceptable practice and all genuine Christian experience. Anything that makes Him less than God has declared Him to be is delusion pure and simple and must be rejected, no matter how delightful or how satisfying it may for the time seem to be.
Christless Christianity sounds contradictory but it exists as a real phenomenon in our day. Much that is being done in Christ’s name is false to Christ in that it is conceived by the flesh, incorporates fleshly methods, and seeks fleshly ends. Christ is mentioned from time to time in the same way and for the same reason that a self-seeking politician mentions Lincoln and the flag, to provide a sacred front for carnal activities and to deceive the simplehearted listeners. This giveaway is that Christ is not central: He is not all and in all.
Again, there are psychic experiences that thrill the seeker and lead him to believe that he has indeed met the Lord and been carried to the third heaven; but the true nature of the phenomenon is discovered later when the face of Christ begins to fade from the victim’s consciousness and he comes to depend more and more upon emotional jags as a proof of his spirituality.
If on the other hand the new experience tends to make Christ indispensable, if it takes our interest off our feeling and places it in Christ, we are on the right track. Whatever makes Christ dear to us is pretty sure to be from God.
3. Another revealing test of the soundness of religious experience is, How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures? Did this new experience, this new view of truth, spring out of the Word of God itself or was it the result of some stimulus that lay outside the Bible? Tender-hearted Christians often become victims of strong psychological pressure applied intentionally or innocently by someone’s personal testimony, or by a colorful story told by a fervent preacher who may speak with prophetic finality but who has not checked his story with the facts nor tested the soundness of his conclusions by the Word of God.
Whatever originates outside the Scriptures should for that very reason be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in the Scriptures. “To the word and to the testimony” must always be the last and final proof.
Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with a lot of caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Over the last half-century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among the truths that were to be revealed in the last days. To be sure, say the advocates of this latter-daylight theory, Augustine did not know, Luther did not, John Knox, Wesley, Finney and Spurgeon did not understand this; but greater light has now shined upon God’s people and we of these last days have the advantage of fuller revelation. We should not question the new doctrine nor draw back from this advanced experience. The Lord is getting His Bride ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb. We should all yield to this new movement of the Spirit. So they tell us.
The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite. Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning. Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence. You cannot help him and he surely cannot help you.
Granted, however, that the Scriptures may not always be clear and that there are differences of interpretation among equally sincere men, this test will furnish all the proof needed of anything religious, viz., What does it do to my love for and appreciation of the Scriptures?
While true power lies not in the letter of the text but in the Spirit that inspired it, we should never underestimate the value of the letter. The text of truth has the same relation to truth as the honeycomb has to honey. One serves as a receptacle for the other. But there the analogy ends. The honey can be removed from the comb, but the Spirit of truth cannot and does not operate apart from the letter of the Holy Scriptures.
For this reason a growing acquaintance with the Holy Spirit will always mean an increasing love for the Bible. The Scriptures are in print what Christ is in person. The inspired Word is like a faithful portrait of Christ. But again the figure breaks down. Christ is in the Bible as no one can be in a mere portrait, for the Bible is a book of holy ideas and the eternal Word of the Father can and does dwell in the thought He has Himself inspired. Thoughts are things, and the thoughts of the Holy Scriptures form a lofty temple for the dwelling place of God.
From this it follows naturally that a true lover of God will be also a lover of His Word. Anything that comes to us from the God of the Word will deepen our love for the Word of God. This follows logically, but we have confirmation by a witness vastly more trustworthy than logic, viz., the concerted testimony of a great army of witnesses living and dead. These declare with one voice that their love for the Scriptures intensified as their faith mounted and their obedience became consistent and joyous.
If the new doctrine, the influence of that new teacher, the new emotional experience fills my heart with an avid hunger to meditate in the Scriptures day and night. I have every reason to believe that God has spoken to my soul and that my experience is genuine. Conversely, if my love for the Scriptures has cooled even a little, if my eagerness to eat and drink of the inspired Word has abated by as much as one degree, I should humbly admit that I have missed God’s signal somewhere and frankly backtrack until I find the true way once more.
4. Again, we can prove the quality of religious experience by its effect on the self-life.
The Holy Spirit and the fallen human self are diametrically opposed to each other. “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17). “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit . . . . Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8: 5, 7).
Before the Spirit of God can work creatively in our hearts He must condemn and slay the “flesh” within us; that is, He must have our full consent to displace our natural self with the Person of Christ. This displacement is carefully explained in Romans 6, 7,and 8. When the seeking Christian has gone through the crucifying experience described in chapters 6 and 7 he enters into the broad, free regions of chapter 8. There self is dethroned and Christ is enthroned forever.
In the light of this it is not hard to see why the Christian’s attitude toward self is such an excellent test of the validity of his religious experiences. Most of the great masters of the deeper life, such as Fenelon. Molinos, John of the Cross, Madame Guyon and a host, of others, have warned against pseudoreligious experiences that provide much carnal enjoyment but feel the flesh and puff up the heart with self-love.
A good rule is this: If this experience has served to humble me and make me little and vile in my own eyes it is of God; but if it has given me a feeling of self-satisfaction it is false and should be dismissed as emanating from self or the devil. Nothing that comes from God will minister to my pride or self-congratulation. If I am tempted to be complacent and to feel superior because I have had a remarkable vision or an advanced spiritual experience, I should go at once to my knees and repent of the whole thing. I have fallen a victim to the enemy.
5. Our relation to and our attitude toward our fellow Christians is another accurate test of religious experience.
Sometimes an earnest Christian will, after some remarkable spiritual encounter, withdraw himself from his fellow believers and develop a spirit of faultfinding. He may be honestly convinced that his experience is superior, that he is now in an advanced state of grace, and that the hoi polloi in the church where he attends are but a mixed multitude and he alone a true son of Israel. He may struggle to be patient with these religious worldlings, but his soft language and condescending smile reveal his true opinion of them-and of himself. This is a dangerous state of mind, and the more dangerous because it can justify itself by the facts. The brother has had a remarkable experience; he has received some wonderful light on the Scriptures; he has entered into a joyous land unknown to him before. And it may easily be true that the professed Christians with whom he is acquainted are worldly and dull and without spiritual enthusiasm. It is not that he is mistaken in his facts that proves him to be in error, but that his reaction to the facts is of the flesh. His new spirituality has made him less charitable.
The Lady Julian tells us in her quaint English how true Christian grace affects our attitude toward others: “For of all things the beholding and loving of the Maker maketh the soul to seem less in his own sight, and most filleth him with reverent dread and true meekness; with plenty of charity to his fellow Christians.” Any religious experience that fails to deepen our love for our fellow Christians may safely be written off as spurious.
The Apostle John makes love for our fellow Christians to be a test of true faith. “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him” (I John 3:18, 19). Again he says, “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” (I John 4:7, 8).
As we grow in grace we grow in love toward all God’s people. “Every one that loveth him that begot loveth him also that is begotten of him” (I John 5:1) . This means simply that if we love God we will love His children. All true Christian experience will deepen our love for other Christians.
Therefore we conclude that whatever tends to separate us in person or in heart from our fellow Christians is not of God, but is of the flesh or of the devil. And conversely, whatever causes us to love the children of God is likely to be of God. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
6. Another certain test of the source of religious experience is this: Note how it affects our relation to and our attitude toward the world.
By “the world” I do not mean, of course, the beautiful order of nature which God has created for the enjoyment of mankind. Neither do I mean the world of lost men in the sense used by our Lord when He said, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17). Certainly any true touch of God in the soul will deepen our appreciation of the beauties of nature and intensify our love for the lost. I refer here to something else altogether.
Let an apostle say it for us: “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:16, 17) .
This is the world by which we may test the spirits. It is the world of carnal enjoyments, of godless pleasures, of the pursuit of earthly riches and reputation and sinful happiness. It carries on without Christ, following the counsel of the ungodly and being animated by the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that works in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2: 2) . Its religion is a form of godliness, without power, which has a name to live but is dead. It is, in short, unregenerate human society romping on its way to hell, the exact opposite of the true Church of God, which is a society of regenerate souls going soberly but joyfully on their way to heaven.
Any real work of God in our heart will tend to unfit us for the world’s fellowship. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15). “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:140. It may be stated unequivocally that any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil and this regardless of how much purring its leaders may do about “accepting Christ” or “letting God run your business.”
7. The last test of the genuineness of Christian experience is what it does to our attitude toward sin.
The operations of grace within the heart of a believing man will turn that heart away from sin and toward holiness. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:11-13) .
I do not see how it could be plainer. The same grace that saves teaches that saved man inwardly, and its teaching is both negative and positive. Negatively it teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. Positively it teaches us to live soberly, righteously and godly right in this present world.
The man of honest heart will find no difficulty here. He has but to check his own bent to discover whether he is concerned about sin in his life more or less since the supposed work of grace was done. Anything that weakens his hatred of sin may be identified immediately as false to the Scriptures, to the Saviour and to his own soul. Whatever makes holiness more attractive and sin more intolerable may be accepted as genuine. “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Psa. 5: 4, 5).
Jesus warned, “There shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect.” These words describe our day too well to be coincidental. In the hope that the “elect” may profit by them I have set forth these tests. The result is in the hand of God.
What is it, that is so compelling to people looking for God, that they are drawn to the new age mysticism cloaked in Christian terminology?
I can surmise by my own experience. I came back to the Lord about 5 years ago and found that the churches have changed drastically. I remember as a young girl, clutching my bible in Sunday school and then listening to the congregation leaf through the pages of their bibles searching for the scripture the pastor was preaching about. But hey…we don’t need to bring our bibles anymore. Everything we need to know is printed right on the bulletin. How does one know that the truth is being taught when bibles are no longer required at services? What a dangerous situation this presents to the congregation.
Does anyone remember the days when followers of Christ lived lives of holy surrender to his will, and let the filling of the Holy Spirit guide, comfort, strengthen, and convict them? It is no wonder that there are people starving and thirsting for God because he is no longer found in many churches.
So what is being presented today? What is the New Age gospel? What is the new mysticism that is being promoted in many churches today? Those who who no longer attend church are finding their search for God in the bookstores. Unfortunately, the New Age section and the Religion section are now being blended together.
I went to the Blue Letter Bible and searched for the word “mystery” in the KJV version and came up with 22 verses in the New Testament.
Many of these verses have Paul explaining the mystery being revealed of the Gentiles being included in the Kingdom of God, and there is the mystery of the changing of our bodies from mortal to immortal at the rapture, and then the mysteries of the end-times in Revelation.
I would like to start by focusing first on:
Ephesians 1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
What is the mystery of his will? Verses 8-10 is a wonderful passage that is telling us that we need His wisdom and understanding to know His will. How is it given? The believer is given the gift of the Holy Spirit. The gifts we receive are spiritual wisdom and discernment. To those who do not walk in the Holy Spirit these are hard concepts to grasp.Wisdom to know what God’s will is for you and His will for the universe is given those who are in Christ.
Colossians 1:26-27 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Verse 27 is relating again to the Gentiles, but take a close look at this “But now is made manifest to his saints”. What does this mean? It means that there is “NO BIG SECRET” to be revealed only to a few or the elite. The problem of Gnosticism is again being addressed here. There is no secret knowledge because God is making himself known to those who are in Him. There is no secret way to discover God’s will, there are no secrets that can be obtained outside of his Word. The truth of God’s word is available for all to discover if they are truly seeking Him. The mystery is an open secret, but the truths remain impossible mysteries for those who are unbelievers.
This is why many are seeking alternate methods to find God. They cannot relate to the truth of the Bible, so one then has to find spirituality by other means. There are other methods easily available to those who seeking an easier way to God other than repentance and total committment to turning away from sin. People like their sin. They like thought processes that downplay its eternal significance. Using mysticism itself as a method to locate God is dangerous. The are two spirit worlds. If you are looking outside of the Bible and its precious word to find God…you will instead find the counterfeit. The counterfeit spirit downplays sin and minimizes it. Doesn’t this sound like the seeker friendly churches we are seeing today?
Let’s go on to:
Ephesians 3: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ
Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see that what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
Here Paul tells how the church is made one in Christ and explains that this was not previously revealed. God gave this revelation to Paul. This mystery was hidden in the past, and now is revealed by Paul to all. This message was also prophesied in the Old Testament even though the prophets did not understand the mystery was to include Jew and Gentiles alike. The church is a glorious example of faith in Jesus Christ as we await His second coming. As time goes on, the church will become more hated and ridiculed for not conforming to the world and its universal religious system being implemented today. This system is found in the form of seeking the “secret knowledge”. How this appeals to our pride, that we have found some secret knowledge available only to a few. The truth is that the knowledge of God is actually open and available to all believers.
Oh how Satan lies…the lies never change. You can be as God. You can find God within. You are God.
Why do people search for truth within themselves? There is nothing good in us and our hearts are corrupt.
Romans 7:18 For i know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth not good thing:
How is it that those involved in the contemplative prayer movement can condone the thought of “going within” to find Jesus? If we go “within”, we will find instead that our fleshy desires produce nothing good.
Let me ask you..are you so steeped in the Word of God that you would recognize a counterfeit gospel? If someone said to you…come join our group we have found a new way to Jesus, would you be wary of this approach? What about methods of worship or prayer..if someone said to you..pray the word Jesus over and over again till your mind becomes a blank… would you do it?
Many of these methods offer a mystical way to Jesus…One has to remember that there will be false prophets and false spirits posing as Jesus.
I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
We can know without controversy, there is no doubt, we all can know and understand, that godliness comes from Jesus Christ who came to us in the flesh, whose power came from the Holy Spirit is now at the right hand of God. Only through Jesus can we find godliness. We have no righteousness of our own.
So is this a mystery to you? We will never know all the mysteries of God or the universe while we are here on this earth, but we can know what God has revealed to us in His Word, and through the leadings of the Holy Spirit. We all have a purpose here on this earth. God will reveal to you the mystery of His will to you. It takes prayer, reading His Word daily, and a giving up of what it is that WE want to do. By taking up the cross daily and relenting our will to His, the mystery of God, is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
Pray daily for discernment, wisdom and that the Lord will keep you alert to the sheep in wolves clothing and hidden in His deep truths of the faith.
“Oprah and Friends” To Teach Course on New Age Christ
By Warren Smith
Oprah Winfrey will be letting out all the stops on her XM Satellite Radio program this coming year. Beginning January 1, 2008, “Oprah & Friends” will offer a year-long course on the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles .1 A lesson a day throughout the year will completely cover the 365 lessons from the Course in Miracles “Workbook.” For example, Lesson #29 asks you to go through your day affirming that “God is in everything I see.”2 Lesson #61 tells each person to repeat the affirmation “I am the light of the world.” 3 Lesson #70 teaches the student to say and believe “My salvation comes from me.”4
By the end of the year, “Oprah & Friends” listeners will have completed all of the lessons laid out in the Course in Miracles Workbook. Those who finish the Course will have a wholly redefined spiritual mindset — a New Age worldview that includes the belief that there is no sin, no evil, no devil, and that God is “in” everyone and everything. A Course in Miracles teaches its students to rethink everything they believe about God and life. The Course Workbook bluntly states: “This is a course in mind training”5 and is dedicated to “thought reversal.”6
Teaching A Course in Miracles will be Oprah’s longtime friend and special XM Satellite Radio reporter Marianne Williamson, who also happens to be one of today’s premier New Age leaders. She and Conversations with God author Neale Donald Walsch co-founded the American Renaissance Alliance in 1997, that later became the Global Renaissance Alliance of New Age leaders, that changed its name again in 2005 to the Peace Alliance . This Peace Alliance seeks to usher in an era of global peace founded on the principles of a New Age/New Spirituality that they are now referring to as a “civil rights movement for the soul.”7 They all agree that the principles of this New Age/New Spirituality are clearly articulated in A Course in Miracles, which is fast becoming the New Age Bible. So what is A Course in Miracles and what does it teach?
A Course in Miracles is allegedly “new revelation” from “Jesus” to help humanity work through these troubled times. This “Jesus” — who bears no doctrinal resemblance to the Bible’s Jesus Christ — began delivering his channeled teachings in 1965 to a Columbia University Professor of Medical Psychology by the name of Helen Schucman. One day Schucman heard an “inner voice” stating, “This is a course in miracles. Please take notes.”8 For seven years she diligently took spiritual dictation from this inner voice that described himself as “Jesus.” A Course in Miracles was quietly published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace. For many years “the Course” was an underground cult classic for New Age seekers who studied “the Course” individually, with friends, or in small study groups.
As a former New Age follower and devoted student of A Course in Miracles , I eventually discovered that the Course in Miracles was, in reality, the truth of the Bible turned upside down. Not having a true understanding of the Bible at the time of my involvement, I was led to believe that A Course in Miracles was “a gift form God” to help everyone understand the “real” meaning of the Bible and to help bring peace to the world. Little did I know that the New Age “Christ” and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles were everything the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for. In Matthew 24 Jesus warned about false teachers, false teachings and the false “Christs” who would pretend to be Him.
When I left the New Age “Christ” to follow the Bible’s Jesus Christ, I had come to understand that the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was a false “Christ,” and that his Course in Miracles was dangerously deceptive. Here are some quotes from the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles:
“There is no sin. . . “9
A “slain Christ has no meaning.” 10
“The journey to the cross should be the last ‘useless journey.'”11
“Do not make the pathetic error of ‘clinging to the old rugged cross.'”12
“The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol. . . . It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.” 13
“God is in everything I see.”14
“The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself.”15
“The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.” 16
“The Atonement is the final lesson he [man] need learn, for it teaches him that, never having sinned, he has no need of salvation.”17
Most Christians recognize that these teachings are the opposite of what the Bible teaches. In the Bible, Jesus Christ’s atoning death on the cross of Calvary was hardly a “useless journey.” His triumph on the cross provides salvation to all those who confess their sin, accept Him and follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. His victory on the cross rings throughout the New Testament. It has been gloriously sung about in beloved hymns through the ages and is at the heart of our Christian testimony. I found the Jesus of the Bible to be wholly believable as He taught God’s truth and warned about the spiritual deception that would come in His name. The “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles reveals himself to be an imposter when he blasphemes the true Jesus Christ by saying that a “slain Christ has no meaning” and that we are all “God” and that we are all “Christ.” It was by reading the Bible’s true teachings of Jesus Christ that I came to understand how deceived I had been by A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings.
I was introduced to A Course in Miracles by Dr. Gerald Jampolsky’s book Love is Letting Go of Fear. Jampolsky declared in his easy-to-read book how the teachings of A Course in Miracles had changed his life. As an ambassador for A Course in Miracles over the years, Jampolsky has been featured not only in New Age circles but at least twice on Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power. While Schuller introduced Jampolsky and his “fabulous” 18 Course in Miracles-based books to his worldwide television audience, it was Marianne Williamson’s appearance on a 1992 Oprah Winfrey Show that really shook the rafters.
On that program, Oprah enthusiastically endorsed Williamson’s book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles. Oprah told her television audience that Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles was one of her favorite books, and that she had already bought a thousand copies and would be handing them out to everyone in her studio audience. Oprah’s endorsement skyrocketed Williamson’s book about A Course in Miracles to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Ironically, all of this was happening after I had left the Course and the New Age. In fact, I was doing the final editing on my book The Light That Was Dark that warned about the dangers of the New Age, and in particular A Course in Miracles.
After being introduced to the world on Oprah, Marianne Williamson has continued to grow in popularity and, as previously mentioned, has become one of today’s foremost New Age leaders. Williamson credits Winfrey for bringing her book about A Course in Miracles before the world: “For that, my deepest thanks to Oprah Winfrey. Her enthusiasm and generosity have given the book, and me, an audience we would never otherwise have had.”19 In her 2004 book, The Gift of Change, Williamson wrote: “Twenty years ago, I saw the guidance of the Course as key to changing one’s personal life; today, I see its guidance as key to changing the world. More than anything else, I see how deeply the two are connected.”20Thus the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles are about to be taught by Marianne Williamson to millions of listeners on Oprah’s XM Satellite Radio program. Listeners are encouraged to buy A Course in Miracles for the year-long course. An audio version of A Course in Miracles recited by Richard (John Boy Walton) Thomas is also available on compact disc. Popular author Wayne Dyer told his PBS television audience that the “brilliant writing” of A Course in Miracles would produce more peace in the world.21 Williamson’s New Age colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, said his “God” stated that “the era of the Single Saviour is over”22 and that he (“God”) was responsible for authoring the teachings of A Course in Miracles.23 Meanwhile, Gerald Jampolsky’s Course in Miracles-based book, Forgiveness, continues to be sold in Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral bookstore as Schuller prepares to host a January 17-19, 2008, “Rethink Conference” at his Crystal Cathedral.24
At this critical time in the history of the world, the New Gospel/New Spirituality is coming right at the world and the church with its New Age teachings and its New Age Peace Plan. But this New Age Peace Plan has at its deceptive core the bottom-line teaching from A Course in Miracles that “we are all one” because God is “in” everyone and everything. But the Bible is clear that we are not God (Ezekiel 28:2; Hosea 11:9). And per Galatians 3:26-28, our only oneness is in Jesus Christ, not in ourselves as “God” and “Christ.” What Oprah and Marianne Williamson and the world will learn one day is that humanity’s only real and lasting peace is with the true Jesus Christ who is described and quoted in the Holy Bible (Romans 5:1).
Oprah Winfrey’s misplaced faith in Marianne Williamson and the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles is a sure sign of the times. But an even surer sign of the times is that most Christians are not taking heed to what is happening in the world and in the church. We are not contending for the faith as the Bible admonishes us to do (Jude 3). It is time for all of our Purpose-Driven and Emerging church pastors to address the real issue of the day. Our true Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is being reinvented, redefined, and blasphemed right in front of our eyes and hardly anyone seems to notice or care. If we want the world to know who Jesus Christ is, we need to also warn them about who He is not. There is a false New Age “Christ” making huge inroads into the world and into the church. The Apostle Paul said that “it is a shame” we have to even talk about these things, but talk about them we must (Ephesians 5:12-16).
If people want to follow Oprah Winfrey and the New Age “Christ” of A Course in Miracles they certainly have that right. But let them be warned that the New Age “Christ” they are following is not the same Jesus Christ who is so clearly and authoritatively presented in the pages of the Bible.
Warren Smith is a former New Age follower who at one time was deeply involved in the New Age teachings of A Course in Miracles. He is the author of The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace and Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church. His book Reinventing Jesus Christ: The New Gospel is available free online at www.reinventingjesuschrist.com
2. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, California: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975), (Workbook), p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 102.
4. Ibid., p. 119.
5. Ibid., (Text), p. 16.
6. Ibid., (Preface), p. ix.
7. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster, 2004), pp. 262-263.
8. Robert Skutch, Journey Without Distance: The Story behind “A Course in Miracles” (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1984), p. 54.
9. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Workbook), p. 183.
10. Ibid., (Text), p. 425.
11. Ibid., p. 52.
13. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 58.
14. Ibid., (Workbook), p. 45.
15. Ibid., (Text), p. 147.
16. Ibid., p. 125.
17. Ibid., p. 237.
19. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles A Course in Miracles (New York: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. ix.
20. Marianne Williamson, The Gift Of Change: Spiritual Guidance for a Radically New Life (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 2004), p. 5.
21. Wayne Dyer, “There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem,” Public Broadcasting System broadcast in 2001.
22. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
23. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue, Book 1 (New York: G.P . Putnam’s Sons, 1996), p. 90.
24. http://www.rethinkconference.com (See also WorldNetDaily.com 10/30/07 “What is Robert Schuller ‘rethinking’?” by Joseph Farah and “Rethinking Robert Schuller” by Warren Smith. See also Herescope: “Rethinking Culture” and “Rethinking and Reinventing
WILLIAMSON HAS EARNED A SPOT ON THIS APOLOGECTICS SITE: READ ABOUT HER HERE!
AND ON HERESCOPE:
There are many who are very intrigued with the mysticism that has been entering the church. I have heard it said, I need and desire the mystical side of faith. Where does it say in the Bible that we are to understand the mysteries of God and the universe? Why is it that some need to go outside scripture to “get the feeling”, or to have an “experience”? There is a good reason…It is difficult to create a euphoric bliss, a new ministry, or create a new following on revelation of the scripture alone. Therefore, we have a “new gospel”, for those who do not get enough sensations or feeling from reading the Bible or worshiping God in a traditional manner.
A social gospel is being taught, and this gospel promotes a god of love and prosperity. The problem is…….without truly following Christ by repenting, and picking up a cross daily, your spiritual life will be void of any true regeneration.
I watched a special on GODTV last New Years Eve’s featuring Mike Bickle at IHOP. He was teaching young people at a huge conference. It hit me while watching that he was just all talk and had absolutely no substance. Over and over again he was telling these young people to Live For the Lord and to be Holy, Holy, Holy. But he did not give any scripture. Without scripture and the Holy Spirit, these young boys and girls were doomed to fail. When people fail in love, have no control over sin in their life, and have not the joy in times of trouble…..they become discouraged and may turn away from the Lord. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can be holy. We have no righteousness of our own.
These are the ones who may need to reach out into an unknown mystical world for a spiritual “fix”. Gnosticism provides this spiritual fix.
First, let’s take a look at early Gnosticism. It was introduced into the first two centuries of the church and taught that the spirit was good and matter was evil. Therefore, to be saved was to be freed from the body which was deemed evil. To be freed from this slavery, one needed the special “knowledge” (gnosis). This eliminated the need for the cross and a savior. Today, much of this can be seen today…Man’s salvation is not by faith in God but rather, in the special, mystical knowledge than one can learn by experience. This experience or enlightenment is a key word in New Age religion.
This heresy flourished in the 2nd and 3rd century and the gnostics claimed to still be Christians. Please read this paragraph from a gnostic site that has a definition of Gnostic Christianity.
“A Gnostic is a person who believes that salvation is gained through the acquisition of divine knowledge or gnosis..When gnostics speak of salvation, they mean being freed from these illusions of darkness so that they can perceive Reality. Gnostic Christians have commenced following a Path of never ending increase in Knowledge, Enlightenment, Power, Peace, and every Divine Attribute. They are led along this Path by those disciples who have preceded them, a chain of initiates going back to Jesus himself.”
A spiritual fix…..What is it in the above sentence that may appeal to someone looking for spirituality? Divine Knowledge perhaps? Who doesn’t want to be in on a secret…Who doesn’t want to be part of an elite group…Is it Power? Hasn’t power corrupted men over and over again. To be powerful is to be over and above others. To be in charge or at the “Head of the Table” Ah, Divine….Divinity is self-consciousness, to find the Divine Spark within himself. Godhood. One can attain a spiritual fix by experiencing an emotional outpouring or is it “in-pouring”, of supposedly godly manifestations.
Also I was interested to find out what the Path was. Here is what I found:
The Mystic Christ
by Ethan Walker III
The light of non-duality and the path of love according to the life and teachings of Jesus. The Gnostic path is the inner path to God-realization. Buddha, Krishna, Jesus and the other great Masters are all one and in essence taught the same thing.
Meditation is the means by which the individual may achieve direct union with God. In order to attain this gnosis, one must first fully understand the mind. All through our lives, we have grown accustomed to indirect experiences.
See how Jesus Christ is grouped with Buddha and Krishna? Jesus Christ is the Son of God and here He is reduced to a great master. Another heresy is that they “taught the same thing”? Unfortunately, Gnostic trends were never totally eliminated and have always been filtering into the church and of late have exploded and taken a stronghold. Meditation is added to assure that one can reach God directly. What happened to prayer?
Have you heard any of these phrases lately?
LatterRain, Overcomers, Manifest Sons of God, Universal Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, A New Breed, The Anointed, The New Prophets, New Order, A Harvets of a Billion Souls, A New Thing, or Spiritual Warfare. This is but a thimble in a pool of phrases. Lingo is created in certain ministries to numb the mind of the believer. When jargon is heard over and over again, one ceases to question it. This is a huge issue in these end times, because the Bible teaches of end-time deception and if you do not know the Word of God, and study it in context, relying on the KJV, you may be easily deceived.
Most of these phrases come out of the LatterRain influence, and out of LatterRain we have Word-of-Faith, The New Apostolic Reformation, and Dominionism. Because we hear and read these phrases that are being used readily today, we know that Gnosticism is alive and well and is currently at work destroying the true Christian faith. If you hear these or similar phrases in your church then you need to do some research.
So Gnosticism has many names. From it flows the Rosicrucian Order and from it Freemasonry. All is a basis for New Age thought and religion. I know that many cringe at the thought that some churches today may truly be involved in New Age religion, but sadly it is so. Theosophy’s main goal was to infiltrate the church with Eastern mysticism and this is being accomplished.
According to Theosophist Alice Bailey, (she was a channeler) the Church is being used as merely a part of an overall plan to bring in world peace, world domination and to set up the “Kingdom on Earth”. This kingdom is not a godly kingdom. This kingdom belongs to Satan.
2Ti 3:1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2Ti 3:2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
2Ti 3:4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–
2Ti 3:5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
So if you are falling into the trap of Warrens Peace Plan, Wagner’s Apostolic Reformation, or IHOP’s Joel’s Army, you are furthering the plans of the “enlightened” ones. Is this what you are doing? If so, then you are not following Jesus Christ. He told us in the Beatitudes to: Mourn over our sinful nature, to be meek, to hunger and thirst for righteousness, and that we will be persecuted because of Him. Can this be any more opposite than the Gnostic gospel of self-deity?
So if you are in need of a spiritual “fix”. Get down on your knees, confess your sin, repent and turn away from sin.
11/17/07 UPDATE:::: I found someone who transcribed the entire interview…Read it here http://www.robwillmann.com/blog/2008/07/10/wotm-radio-transcript-todd-friel-interviews-doug-pagitt/
A reader sent me two audio interviews of Doug Pagitt of Solomon’s Porch in Minnesota. Todd Friel is the interviewer from Way of the Master Radio. I have already posted an article about this church here: https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2007/09/20/solomons-porch-an-emerging-church/
I do not want to clump all emergents in one defining category or imply all their theology is like Pagitt’s but all emerging churches seem to be involved in either mysticism, contemplative spirituality, a road back to Rome, universalism, ecumenism, or adding Jesus’ name to another religion.
Please listen to these audios:
These comments are from YouTube
Doug Pagitt is fulfilling
2 Timothy 4:3-4
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Systematic theology=taking your own views and imposing them on the Bible.
Biblical theology=reading the scriptures, with historical context in mind, and trying to figure out what is being said through it.
Bless his heart, Todd Friel is a radio host. He did well given the extremely combative, elusive Padgitt. It’s difficult to nail down the Emergent doctrines because they are continuing to evolve.
These comments are from the below site that also featured these two interviews:
http://reformedvoices.blogspot.com BTW i really like this site…..
- If I have to wander about in goat skins and starve half to death to preach out against this heresy I will this is a shame and is perverted enough to make me weep. Please hold fast to the bible. Thank you for exposing this garbage. Greg.
- Anonymous said…
- Paggit is just another in a long list of heretic kooks who have no understanding of the word of God, for they have not the Holy Spirit to open their blind eyes to see, yet they proclaim to be teachers of men. Unfortunately,there are too many in the church today that are not truly born again, and are willing to swallow ANY teaching that comes down the pike. They love to have their itching ears scratched. It is also unfortunate that some seem to be so complacent and gullable, that they may as well wear a sign around their neck saying, “feed me and burp me when it’s over”. In season and out of season.
- Jason L. said…
- DP didn’t surprise me one bit. One of the Po-motivators posters describes it best:”If you don’t agree with my new point of view, then it’s pretty obvious who the divisive one is”http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htmPray for the “sheeple” of these false prophets, that God would deliver them out of those places.
- Vaughan Smith said…
- I think it was funny when he almost claimed Luther, Calvin, Whitfield, Spurgeon and Moody.
When studying false ministries or New Age religion I always seem to end up at Genesis 3:5, and there is a reason for this. It is so applicable in today’s world. We always hear that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Unfortunately Satan’s lies fall under the first two categories. We can look forward to the day when Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire and destroyed but until that day we will have to stand up to him using God’s word as our armor.
Let’s take a closer look:
Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (NIV)
Consider these statements from Word of Faith promoters….
Kenneth Copeland “You’re all God. You don’t have a God living in you; you are one.”
Paul Crouch “I am a little God!…I have his name. I’m one with Him. I’m in covenant relation. I am a little god!. Critics, be gone!”
Benny Hinn “When you say I am a Christian, you are saying, I am mashiach in the Hebrew. I am a little messiah walking on earth, in other words, that is a shocking revelation ..May I say it like this? You are a little god on earth running around.”
It seems as though those who stray too far from the Word of God become unscriptural or twist its meaning. The phrase “and you will be like God” is spoken by the serpent in the garden of Eden. Oh, what power the serpent can have over us. Look at Adam and Eve. Here they were living in a virtual paradise, all their needs were met, they communed directly with God, and yet……they were tempted by the desire to know more…to be like God.
There are three temptations Satan used on Eve to entice her to disobey the commandment of God in Genesis 3:3 which is:
But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
Hath God Indeed Said?
Notice how the serpent took a commandment from God and changed it into a question. He asked Eve: “Yea, hath God said..?”or…. Did God really say? Satan created a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. Now she may have asked herself in response to this question: Why is God withholding this beautiful fruit from me? Surely, God would not hold back His blessings from me. Did I misunderstand?
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
Surely you will not die.
Now that the seed of doubt was planted, Satan contradicted God’s word outright, with “surely you will not die”. Eve’s fear of death was removed by this lie. God said that even if she touched the fruit she would die. When the consequence of disobedience is removed, sin is meaningless.
Genesis 3:5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
You shall be like God.
After Satan first questioned the Word of God then openly defied it, he then tempted with a new thought. You will be as God. Doesn’t this speak to our pride. That somehow we are in control of our own life and our destiny without Jesus Christ as our Lord. That God’s plan for our lives is not good enough for us. Our way is better than His way.
Can you see the sequence of these three temptations? Satan first used a suggestion to create doubt, then he defied scripture and then baited the trap with deity of self.
Of course this has been happening since the fall of man but you can see it easily in today’s world. The questioning of the Bible. It is authentic? Then the rejection of His word or the twisting of it by man’s sorry translations of today. Then the practices of meditation coming into the churches. Meditation invites oneself to go within. To look within for the answers.
THE ANSWERS ARE NOT WITHIN. THE ANSWERS ARE IN THE HOLY BIBLE. ALL OF THEM. ALL THE ANSWERS FOR HOW TO LIVE OUR LIFE. THE BIBLE IS OUR OWNER’S MANUAL. CHERISH IT. READ IT. PRAY WITH IT. (whew! sorry for yelling)
The New Age/Emergent Church is coming on strong and this will be the trend till the end of time. Theosophy teaching reveals that their goal is to introduce mystism, especially Buddhism and Hinduism into the West and into the churches. OUR churches. Yours and mine!!!! And I can assure you it is happening. The blending of Eastern religion into the West is rampant. Consider how President Bush just warmly received the Dalai Lama. I have read of goddess worship, labryinths, celtic worship, Taize, Yoga, meditation by contemplative prayer in the evangelican churches all across the country. These activities have been advertised in my local newspaper in the religion section. So, when is the New Age? It is NOW. It is here. It is in our churches as I speak…er…write!
There is tremendous power for the Christian who is trying to stay from deception by remembering Genesis. The three lies of Satan can help us detect deception in the false ministries, false teachings, and new age philosophy of today’s ever increasing sinful ways.
1. Did God really say? (Here read my book instead * The Bible is irrevelant)
2. You will not die. (Sin doesn’t exist * there is no hell * reincarnation)
3. You shall be like God. (God is already within all of us * man is divine * we are one with the universe)
Let’s turn this around so we can find the truth!
We are not like God. We are fallen and sinful. But when we confess our sin, repent by turning away from sin, and call on Jesus Christ and follow Him as Savior, we can have eternal life. God’s Word is true, inerrant, and available for all who believe in Him. There is only one way to resist the sin that is presented to us on a silver platter day in and day out. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When confronted with their sin, Adam blamed Eve, and then Eve blamed the serpent. Who are you blaming for your sin or disbelief? Are you puffed-up, full of pride, relying on yourself instead of God? Are you trying to do things your way instead of God’s way? Will you rely on God’s strength instead of your own?
serpent poster from:
Motivational Posters for the Emerging Church.
Will P.E.A.C.E. really come on the earth before Jesus returns?
Did Jesus say that His church would bring peace to the earth? That concept cannot be found in scripture. What Jesus did say is:
Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Christians need more discernment not more gurus with humanistic dominionist dreams
It is high time that the Church went back to the basics and studied the scriptures for themselves and stopped being led by the nose by gurus who publish their latest whim.
Recently Rick Warren caused an uproar by going to Syria where he was taped praising the antichristian dictator of this terrorist nation. Warren has future plans to go to North Korea. One might wonder how Warren gets access to these rogue nations. Warren is a member of the ultra elite Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Could it be that what is being espoused in some evangelical circles are doctrines of men or demons that have been deceptively weaved into the fabric of the many colored garments that are now displayed on the backs of multitudes of Christian dummies?
For the full article go to:
To me…one of most important statements in the above article is “Warren is a member of the ultra elite Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).”
What is the CFR and why is it important here? The CFR created in part the Social Gospel, so the fact that Rick Warren has proclaimed to be a member of this elite organization is very significant.
Here is his statement made to Joseph Farah:
“Warren explained that he had also counseled with the National Security Council and the White House, as well as the State Department, before his little courtesy call for a neighbor.”
”In fact,” Warren added, ”as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Oxford Analytica, I might know as much about the Middle East as you.”
One of the main goals of the CFR is to create a gospel that is favorable toward a world government. There are many in government today and past who are members. Just to name a few in no particular order…… Eisenhower, Cohen, Feinsten, Mondale, McGovern, Lieberman, Bentson, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Gore, Powell, McNamara, Rumsfeld, Rockefeller, Nixon, Albright Humphrey, J.P. Morgan, Gephartd, Gingrich, Kissinger, Cheney…it goes on and on. Take a look at the list at the below link.
The public knows what the CFR wants the public to know about the CFR, and nothing more.
Dr. Quigley knew a lot about the behind-the-scenes work of global power because he was a part of that power network for most of his life. In his book, Tragedy and Hope, Quigley states:
The “Hope” in the title of Quigley’s book represents the thousand-year reign of a collectivist one-world society which will be created when the “network” achieves its goal of world government. Quigley believed that the “network” is so powerful at this point that resistance by the common people is futile. Hence, those who resist the schemes of the globalist planners represent the “Tragedy.” By Dr. Quigley’s logic, there is no point in struggling against the noose around our necks, because resistance will merely guarantee strangulation.
According to Dr. Quigley, the Council on Foreign Relations is one of several front organizations set up by the network’s inner circle to advance its schemes. The ultimate goal: a New World Order.
The late Admiral Chester Ward, who resigned from the CFR in disgust after being a member for 16 years, was not exaggerating when he charged that the group’s agenda is to promote “disarmament and submergence of U.S. sovereignty and national independence into an all-powerful one-world government.” The leadership of the group, he said, “is composed of the one-world-global-government ideologists � more respectfully referred to as the organized internationalists.”
The CFR and the Social Gospel: Part 4
The concept of “peace” was re-defined so that it contained the added meaning of an international new world order by the architects of the United Nations, many of whom were leaders in the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). John Foster Dulles led the way in this effort, writing a concept paper entitled “The Problem of Peace in a Dynamic World” presented to the World Conference of Life and Work at Oxford in 1937.
“…Dulles… stated that he looked to Church leaders in particular to guide the world into a peaceful future.” (p. 86)“…[H]e challenged a new generation of pastors to guide their future congregations into the unfamiliar terrain of a new world order as the only sure hope of peace.” (p. 88) [emphases added]
These CFR leaders contrived to manipulate a new Christian ethic and era of “peace” by creating a new doctrinal ideal – that of building the kingdom of God on earth. This doctrine would serve as the foundation upon which international peace could be built.
Have you ever heard of Peter Drucker’s 3-legged stool? The three legs of the stool are…government, business, and churches. These three sectors of society must be joined or partnered to facilitate the New World Order. You can see today how the church is becoming involved with businessess, (starbucks) using advertising and marketing methods, (bring in the customer) and government (the patriotric movement) on the superficial level. On a deeper level Peter Drucker’s networking management genius is being implemented into the church and is helping to create a dominion-based kingdom here on earth.
Who are two of Druckers prominate protege’s? Rick Warren and Bob Buford.
I am reading the Dec 06 Interchange Postings Summary for the P.E.A.C.E. Briefing for Mission Agencies, held by the Saddleback PEACE team in Atlanta GA. Here are two statements:
“We must take everything we have learned [about missions] in the past centuries and infuse it in and through the local church.”
“The specific components of this Summit are still being finalized, but the goal is to bring togther many of the key P.E.A.C.E. players from churches, businessess, agencies, and government for information and interaction.”
The above statement taken from the Saddleback Church Briefing defines exactly the same goal as Drucker’s 3-legged stool, which is the incorporation of the main segments of society into the church.
Let’s take another look at this statement taken from Herescope:
“…[H]e challenged a new generation of pastors to guide their future congregations into the unfamiliar terrain of a new world order as the only sure hope of peace.” (p. 88) [emphases added]
So.. (a CFR leader) is challenging pastors (Rick Warren… a CFR member) to guide future congregations (us) into the New World Order as the only sure hope of peace.
Clearly we can see that Rick Warren has been pretty effective to date. He has one of the largest congregations in the United States and he has implemented a huge undertaking with the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. He is using the “40 Days” programs as a way of inserting his agenda into the churches and pulling them along right into the next phase as they go.
First, bring the people into the congregations by a social and weak gospel message by appealing to their desires instead of their need for the true gospel. Second, “bring together many of the key P.E.A.C.E. players from churches, businessess, agencies, and government for information and interaction”. Third…..?
Will the mega-churches unite? Is the mega-church of today to be part of the one-world church of tomorrow? Is the true mission of the P.E.A.C.E. plan to feed the poor? I wish it was. But when looking at the Big Picture…I see how the networking, the blending of the three segments of our society…is creating a church for all mankind… a church with no gospel message…a blending of all other religions with Christiantity…a new universal religious system full of mystic practices. A new religion for the New World Order. Do you see it? It is happening before our very eyes.