Thursday, July 26, 2018

The "God's Dream" Scheme

A New Warning

“I have heard what the prophets said,
that prophesy lies in My name, saying,
I have dreamed, I have dreamed.”

(Jeremiah 23:25) 

 
(Read Warren B. Smith's booklet HERE)

 “…because the term ‘God’s Dream’ has no biblical justification
and is clearly a New Age device,
we must ask the obvious question—
“How did the New Age concept of
“God’s Dream” ever enter the church?”

~Warren B. Smith[1] 

Many years ago our friend and research partner Warren B. Smith alerted us to the phrase “God’s Dream” as it was being used by New Age leaders who were envisioning a utopian new world order on planet earth. These planetary dreamers were issuing a futuristic “dream” narrative for a global reign of peace on earth. Some taught that by “envisioning” an idyllic future humanity could make it happen – i.e., a mass consciousness-raising.

A few years later Warren Smith was dismayed to discover that evangelical leaders were using this same “God’s dream” terminology, especially as they worked on a nearly identical agenda of restoring paradisiac conditions on earth.[2] Some Christians were even preaching that a return to the Garden of Eden was possible via aggressively taking religious and political dominion over seven “spheres” or “mountains” of culture.[3] Warren Smith has recently described it like this:

“The concept of ‘God’s Dream’ has been cleverly designed to bring everyone in the world and the church into spiritual alignment—into ‘spiritual formation’—into a ‘Oneness’ with the coming false Christ.”[4]

In other words, these two large amorphous spiritual groups—New Agers and evangelicals—who theologically are supposed to be totally contrary to each other, are working on a similar scheme using the exact same motif. Worse, both have a “God’s Dream” narrative that includes a messianic figure or spiritual “presence” ruling and reigning over the planet. Thus it is important to note what these groups don’t say. If one follows their plans to the logical conclusion we discover that their common utopian dream can only be accomplished through totalitarian schemes to gain control over mankind.

In some cases the two group’s dream narratives actually intersect. One of the best examples of this is Thomas Berry’s landmark 1988 book the dream of the earth in which he elevated the earth to deity status. The god of his dream was Planet Earth (often referred to as Gaia, the ancient Greek goddess). In a 2008 Herescope post titled “Earth: The Old Story, The New Story” we explained Berry’s influence upon the new “framing story” being popularized by Emergent leader Brian McLaren. We wrote:

This idea of creating a "New Story" for the planet is not a new one. McLaren has simply repackaged for a postmodern neoevangelical audience. The "New Story" is credited to Thomas Berry's concept of "Earth Spirituality," which is totally steeped in occult doctrines. A review of Berry's works posted online shows how thoroughly Brian McLaren borrowed from Berry…. 

Thomas Berry proposed that a new cosmology story, based on an evolutionary view of human nature and an emergent view of the universe, could create a new vision or "dream" for humanity's collective salvation…. 

Thomas Berry proposed "fundamentally changing our governance systems," which included reconceiving the "basic institutions of government, religion, education, and business,... from which a genuine Earth Jurisprudence might eventually emerge."[5]

Berry-inspired charts depicting the earth as a deity.*

God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme 
Warren B. Smith has recently come out with a new online booklet titled God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme. His booklet builds upon a compilation of years of research on this “God’s Dream” narrative. New research included in his article definitively connects the concept of “God’s Dream’ to the old occult Theosophists who spawned the New Age Movement. He begins his article with the following overview:

Google the term “God’s Dream,” and you will immediately find countless references on Christian websites to this popular spiritual term. An ever-increasing number of Christian authors, pastors, youth leaders, evangelists, bloggers, musicians, and everyday believers are using the term “God’s Dream” as if it has some sound scriptural basis. It doesn’t. Keep looking, and you will find that the concept of “God’s Dream” is also presented by a wide variety of New Age leaders, authors, gurus, bloggers, and false Christs. Most Christians using the concept of “God’s Dream” are unaware it is an overlapping New Age term that can be traced at least as far back as the early 1900s where it was referenced in two New Age magazines published for those interested in the occult teachings of Theosophy and the coming of a false Christ named Maitreya. “God’s Dream” was the title of a poem that prefaced an article about practical theosophy in a 1904 issue of New Century Path magazine.” “God’s Dream” also appeared in an article about reincarnation in a 1916 issue of The Theosophical Path magazine. The latter read:
We shall think then that this Earth and all her bright companions in the vast space are but drops of joy solidified, and the intense wonder and beauty of God’s dream.[6] 

Does God DREAM?
The phrase “God’s dream” is interesting in itself. Sometimes the two words are divided in the text, such as these examples: 
"Like Joseph, God's put a dream in the heart of many Christians who have spent years being prepared for strategic influence in society. There are hundred-million dollar deals-in-the-making, righteous officials trying to get elected, musicians waiting to be discovered, books that need to be published, and scientific discoveries about to happen...[7] 

“And you’ll have the opportunity to partner together to see a dream so big on God’s heart come to pass before our eyes.”[8] 

So how do we “partner together” to dream a dream with God? Is this even possible? A dream by definition is not reality, nor is it rational. It is unreal and irrational. A dream is images that pass through the mind during sleep. Or it can be a vision, reverie, daydream, aspiration, fancy, or imagination while awake. A dream is not sober-minded, but an altered state of mind.[9]

The “God’s Dream” narrative implies that God dreams and that He is dreaming new things. This esoteric idea sculpts an archetypal image of God as irrational, incapacitated, unreal or mystical. But this characterization does not fit with the attributes of God in Scripture. He is all powerful, all knowing, all sufficient, ever present, unchangeable, etc.[10] God Himself has purposed everything in its time. He alone knows and directs His own will, as He has stated:

“For the LORD of hosts hath purposed,
and who shall disannul it?”

(Isaiah 14:27a) 

“…yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass;
I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

(Isaiah 46:11b)  

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
(Isaiah 55:8-9)  

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,
neither have entered into the heart of man,
the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit:
for the Spirit searcheth all things,
yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man,
save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no man,
but the Spirit of God.”

(1 Cor 2:9-11, based on Isaiah 64:9) 

The “God’s Dream” metaphor implies that God has a new revelation superseding the revelation of Jesus Christ. Yet there are no new revelations (Rev. 1:1). The Apostle Paul wrote that he was preaching “the mystery of Christ” which is “now revealed” – “the unsearchable riches of Christ; and to make all men see 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: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Read Ephesians 3.)

Evangelical proponents of the “God’s Dream” narrative will point to prophetic dreams in Scripture to justify their motif. But these are dreams in the finite mind of men. God’s mind is infinite and our frail human brains are incapable of comprehending it. Scripture includes many warnings about false dreams and visions (see, for example, Deuteronomy 13:1-5). So just because someone “dreams” a thing doesn’t make it real, nor is it necessarily reality, nor does a dream guarantee it will come to pass. Nor can it be said that dreams are of God. Many who have had nightmares are relieved to wake and realize it was “only a dream”!

We do not enact God’s supposed “dreams” by making them physical reality. But in the evangelical world during this past generation many church leaders were trained to employ visualization techniques by creating mental visions of an idyllic future.[11] They were taught that they could dream big and make it happen. These “dream” teachings came out of the occult world. This is interconnected with the “prosperity” message that one could become healthy and wealthy simply by naming it and claiming it. Sadly, most of these people who dreamed big ended up with big disappointments.

A now-classic example of “God’s Dream” gone bad is Bruce Wilkinson, who attempted to implement this dream in Africa over a decade ago. Bruce had been closely aligned with many of the big-name “God’s Dream” promoters in the evangelical world, including Rick Warren and Robert Schuller, and he had been trained in the ideology and methodology of implementing that dream at a global level. We documented the ensuing disaster in a Dec. 23, 2005 Herescope article by Professor Johan Malan titled “Wilkinson’s Dream for Africa is Shattered.”[12]


The Truth:
This doesn’t mean that people can’t dream of a better life or hope for good things. Nor does it mean that you can’t set a goal and take steps to achieve it. These are natural, normal human ambitions and, when inspired by obedience to God’s Word and according to God’s will, our dreams can bear fruit. Yet the “God’s Dream” teachers seize on this natural human desire and take it to a mystical level – and a global level.

In sum, the god of their imagination is sleeping and dreaming, and he needs your help to awaken and achieve his planetary goals. A scary thought indeed.

In his latest booklet Warren Smith warns Christians about being seduced by the “God’s Dream” narrative:

The true Jesus Christ warned that spiritual deception—not a “God’s Dream” Peace Plan—will precede His return (Matthew 24:3-8). The prophet Daniel stated that Antichrist’s Peace Plan will seem wonderful because it will “destroy wonderfully” (Daniel 8:24)—and “by peace shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:25). The apostle Paul warned about a “peace and safety” that will precede “sudden destruction” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). We are living in treacherous times. The Bible warns us repeatedly not to be deceived. 

There is nothing in Scripture to even hint at, much less substantiate, the concept of “God’s Dream.” God doesn’t dream in any way, shape, or form. The “old men” prophesied by Joel to “dream dreams” in the last days are not today’s New Age and Christian leaders dreaming “God’s Dream.” Rather, “God’s Dream” is a spiritual device that is in the process of shifting everything toward a New Age/New Spirituality/New World Religion.[13]



Endnotes: 
1. Warren B. Smith, God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme, (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2018) https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=28521 
2. We wrote two Herescope posts about this topic at the time we were jointly researching this issue with Warren Smith: “God’s Dream? A Kingdom Building Dream,’ July 17, 2008 http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/07/gods-dream.html; and a sequel “God’s Dream = PEACE: A Global Kingdom Dream,” August 4, 2008, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/08/gods-dream-peace.html. See also:Reinventing Jesus Christ - http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/f/reinventing-jesus-christ.pdf and the Book Chapter Updates, particularly the Chapter 10 Update:
3. Read “The Gospel of the Kingdom,” Herescope, Feb. 9, 2008 and notice the opening quote: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/02/gospel-of-kingdom.html 
4. Smith, God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme, Ibid. 
5. Read “Earth: The Old Story, The New Story,” May 29, 2008, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2008/05/earth-old-story-new-story.html 
6. Smith, God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme, Ibid. 
7. This is in the opening quote in the Herescope post of Feb. 9, 2008 titled “The Gospel of the Kingdom,” describing the rise of Dominionism in the church. It is attributed to Shawn Bolz, "The Promises of God are Finding Substance Right Now," Promo piece for TheCauseUSA's Mountain Mandate Conference Feb. 7-9, TheElijahList, 1/24/08 [bold in original, color emphasis added] http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word/6097 
8. Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network, “Forward,” August 8, 2012, emphasis added. HAPN has espoused strong Dominionist intentions. This message is attributed to Jon & Jolene Hamill, Lamplighter Ministries, “8-8-12 DAVID’S TENT DC PRAYER BEGINS.” This newsletter described a prayer event scheduled for Washington, D.C. A “Third Great Awakening” where “God will tabernacle with us.” See “David’s Tent DC,” http://apprising.org/2012/09/03/davids-tent-dc/. We also did a series of 3 posts on this topic in July and August 2011: “Divorcing Baal,” http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/07/divorcing-baal.html, “Divorcing Baal for Dominion,” http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/07/divorcing-baal-for-dominion.html, and “The Baal Covenant” http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/08/baal-covenant.html
9. In this section of the article I am indebted to the late Pastor Larry DeBruyn for raising the question "Does God dream?" Before he passed away we had a lively discussion about the Jungian aspects of the God's Dream metaphor and contrasted it with biblical truth. See our article: “Altered States: A Different Gate” by Sarah Leslie and Pastor Larry DeBruyn, Herescope, April 28, 2011, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/04/altered-states-different-gate.html 
10. An easy-to read chart of God’s attributes can be found here: https://www.blueletterbible.org/study/misc/ogiwa.cfm
11. Read our article “Rick Warren & Vision Casting,” Oct. 12, 2005, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2005/10/rick-warren-vision-casting.html and also “Popular neoevangelical terms – What do they really mean?” Oct. 13, 2005, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2005/10/popular-neoevangelical-terms-what-do.html 
12. If you really want to understand what these evangelical leaders mean by “God’s Dream,” read this post in its entirety: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2005/12/wilkinsons-dream-for-africa-is.html. We also wrote of our concern about “Bruce Wilkinson’s ‘morality lite’” on January 11, 2006, http://herescope.blogspot.com/2006/01/bruce-wilkinsons-morality-lite.html 
13. Smith, God’s Dream: Satan’s Ultimate Scheme, Ibid., Italics added.

*These charts are from our own personal research files. They were used in the state of Iowa to promote global education for students. The story of how we came upon these charts and what they mean is recorded by Berit Kjos at her website: http://www.crossroad.to/charts/new-story.htm  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Herescope

New Directions

“How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace,
and bring glad tidings of good things!”

(Romans 10:15b)

On September 15, 2005 the first Herescope post went up. Steve Muse, who at that time headed Eastern Regional Watch Ministries (ERWM), Sue Conway, my husband Lynn and I, sat around my computer screen in our office as Steve showed us how to set up a blog. Steve was convinced that blogging was a useful new technological way to communicate Gospel truth, and to especially warn about error in real-time. The four of us had just returned from a Discernment Ministries conference in Bowling Green, Ohio, where we had learned about the many new heresies coming into the church. We knew that the errors of our time were serious and growing, and the warnings needed to get out quickly.

Steve proceeded to set up the blog and then asked, “What name should we give this blog?” We thought about it for a few minutes, then the logical answer came to my mind – Herescope! Herescope had been the name of a monthly column in a magazine my husband and I published during the mid-1990s called The Christian Conscience. Lynn had coined the term in late 1994 – it literally means “scoping out a heresy.” In our magazine’s monthly Herescope column we had published many articles warning about occult teachings, Promise Keepers, the Toronto “laughing” phenomena, and treacherous New Age teachings. The blog would be a continuation of that magazine column!

As we discussed the premise of the blog and how it would operate, we quickly realized that this was an immense task that would require a group effort. That very day we dubbed ourselves the “Discernment Research Group,” an ad hoc group of committed believers who had already been working together for many years researching, writing, speaking and publishing information about biblical discernment.

When we set up the Herescope blog we immediately realized it could also serve as an active outreach arm for Discernment Ministries. Lynn and I had served on the board of directors of Discernment Ministries since 2000, and we had already been working very closely with Jewel (van der Merwe) Grewe with conferences and writings since 1995. From its inception the Herescope blog blessed Discernment Ministries with much activity. In its early years I was frequently a guest on radio shows, and as a result our outreach spanned the globe. Those were the heady days as online discernment ministries (a term sometimes used as a reproach against us) were able to get out messages to warn believers about the rapidly emerging deceptions and errors of unbiblical teachings. We warned about popular movements that rocked the evangelical world: Rick Warren’s global Purpose Driven agenda; the leaders and methods trained by Leadership Network who spawned the Emergents and Neo-Calvinists; C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation and its dominion; Chuck Missler and Tom Horn and their Nephilim space aliens; and the false “Christ” voice that was speaking to both New Agers and evangelicals. In much of our writings we delved into the history of these movements so that believers could more fully understand the issues.

We sought to be above the fray – to not engage in the “ambulance chasing” of every new bad thing the well-known evangelical leaders were doing, but rather to patiently and from Scripture point out the error and contrast it with the truth. We discovered that our research format was feeding factual information and biblical truth to church people, ministers, and missionaries on the field. We received e-mails from all over the world thanking us for explaining the details about why some new teaching was not biblical. Many of our posts were republished on other blogs and even in printed publications. It was a particular blessing to realize our writings were reaching the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Pastor Larry DeBruyn passed away over the Christmas holidays, and because in recent years he had been such a major part of our ministry, we decided to step aside and take a break from our regular Herescope postings. It was time for all of us to pause, reassess, regroup, and pray for the Lord’s direction. During this time Discernment Ministries made the decision to return to its original calling and take a step away from the research. After much prayer, Lynn and I realized that we were also to go in a new direction, and so we submitted our resignations from the Discernment Ministries board of directors effective June 30th.

We will continue to publish our Herescope blog as we move in this new direction. This is all in God’s plan and in His hands. We feel profoundly blessed to have worked so closely with Discernment Ministries all of these years and it is with both sadness and joy that we move on to the next phase of our calling in the Lord. Our mission continues to be the publishing of biblical discernment and apologetics research, including testimonies and devotionals, and in the days to come we will publish a testimony on Herescope of the history of how God set up the “Discernment Research Group.”

There will be many changes coming in the future as the Lord directs us. One thing readers will be blessed to know – Lord willing, we will be publishing more of Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s works, including the books and articles he had committed to us to finish before his death. Herescope readers will be kept apprised of these developments.

We are thankful for all of our many friends, research partners, pastors and prayer partners who have together worked with us over these past thirteen years to publish the Herescope blog. There have been 947 Herescope posts put up since 2005. It is with exceeding gratefulness that we can give God all of the glory for His faithful Word which sustained us. These 13 years were not without stress, but they have been filled with joy. Some of us continually battled health issues. We also lost key members of our Discernment Research Group who passed on to glory – including Pastor Ken Silva and Pastor Larry DeBruyn. Several of our dear prayer warriors also moved on to heaven where they will receive their reward.

May the Lord bless you all. We covet your prayers. You can communicate with us directly at Conscience Press, PO Box 1863, Hiram, OH 44234 or at herescope@gmail.com 

Sarah H. Leslie, editor

“And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times,
and strength of salvation:
the fear of the LORD is his treasure.”

(Isaiah 33:6)

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Did Hell Disappear?

Creating A “Low-Intensity Faith”



The Wall Street Journal wrote last week that “Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, a friend and frequent interviewer of the pope, reported that the pontiff had denied the existence of hell.”

Sinners who die without achieving eternal salvation “are not punished,” the pope said, according to an article by Mr. Scalfari in the Itlaian newspaper La Repubblica. “There is no hell; there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”[1]  

Predictably the Vatican would later release a statement that partially denied the report, but also “stopped short of a specific denial.”[2] This clever dialectic maneuver is a perfect example of two steps forward, one step back. Now the issue of hell is on the table and up for debate, once again illustrating how the Pope Francis has “shaken up perceptions of Catholic doctrine.”[3]

The Pope is merely following in the steps of other theologians and leaders who have professed orthodoxy out of one side of their mouth while teaching new doctrine.[4] Their strategies appear to be the same. The Wall Street Journal's Vatican correspondent, Francis X. Rocca, describes it:

For more conservative critics, the pope's approach amounts to promotion of a “low-intensity Catholicism that can be easily welcomed by those far from the faith and even hostile to it,” said Sandro Magister, a Vatican expert who writes for Italy's L'Espresso magazine.[5]


An Editorial by Pastor Jim Jenkins

The nun turned her back on the class. (We were still not safe from scrutiny... we all knew she also had eyes in the back of her head.) Jimmy Cummings could make these strange voices and sounds and get us giggling… and then when the good sister turned around to find the culprit, Jimmy could instantly take on the countenance of a cherub and someone else would be blamed. His unique ability served him well. He is now Voice Actor Jim Cummings... the voice of Winnie the Pooh! 

I digress… Back to what the nun had written on the green blackboard. She took the pointer, a weapons grade staff with a rubber tip that looked like a ballistic missile, and pronounced the phrase she had written:

Ex Cathedra 

She then went on to explain that whenever the Pope was seated in the chair (also called the throne of St. Peter) whatever he said was infallible. He was not to be questioned for he was speaking in the place of God. The Latin phrase ex cathedra means “from or out of the chair” 

There was another Latin term we would learn:

Imprimatur 

Imprimatur was the term used to describe the authority of the Church when it came to anyone publishing anything that had to do with the teachings of the Church. It was an official endorsement or sanction... a seal of approval. Yet another Latin phrase would be the official Imprimatur:


Nihil Obstat 

It means “Nothing is in the way or is unacceptable or offensive.” 


Two days ago, I was listening to a national talk show. I actually got on the air and was able to engage the host on a topic that is important to me… how the media is intentionally trying to undermine our values and beliefs. After the conversation and just before the commercial break, the host teased the topic for the next segment:

“Stick around folks, did you hear the Pope said there is no Hell?”

The current Pope has made numerous remarks that seem to confute not only Catholic Dogma, but the Bible itself. He took a lot of heat when he opined about the whole issue of homosexuality. “Who am I to judge?” I mean no disrespect, but I said out loud when I heard it, “I know who you are… You are Vicar of Christ on earth, the unquestionable representative of God to over a billion people. You sit on a throne, and utter remarks that are deemed to be infallible. You and those who rule with you can excommunicate people, hence cut them off from the means of grace… ergo consigning them to the Hell you said is not what the Bible describes, and Jesus believed to be real. In the New Testament, Jesus mentioned the word Hell more than He did Heaven.”

The implications of all this are far reaching. What else in the Bible will be deemed to be inaccurate or false? Does the word infallible mean… sometimes or ‘sort of’? And what of all the tormented souls who died believing that they were damned to Hell? The Pope is reported to have said that the unrepentant ones don’t go to Hell. They just disappear. The Bible describes torment that never ends… a Dante’s inferno. 

There is an angst that is palpable in our world… Constitutions mean nothing. Vows mean even less than nothing and we, lemming-like, rush to fall into the abyss as the institutions of power in our country disassemble all that was based on God’s word. 

Listen to this noble school mission statement:  

“Christo et Ecclesia” 

For Christ and the Church! This is the founding mission statement of Harvard! Princeton had this lofty goal for its students, To know God in Jesus Christ… to live a godly sober life.”[6]

God said, “For I am the Lord. I change not, therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6) The writer to the Hebrews said under the unction of The Holy Spirit, “It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!” (Hewbrews 10:31) We have for a long time meekly submitted to the abandonment of the very notion there is such a thing as Truth. One writer quipped “God created man in his own image and likeness… and now man has returned the favor.” 

I remember preaching a message years ago in which I talked about the Bible’s use of the word authority. Now for Catholics, authority rests in a man who speaks ex cathedra… from the chair. For those who rule us politically their authority can be described as ex officio… out of the office they hold. But for the believer in Jesus, the authority that He grants us is based on our relationship with Him. The word translated authority in the Greek is exousia. It is a derivative of the verb “to be” It can be rendered ‘Out of who I AM’. 


Is there a Hell? Is it how the Bible describes it? I read in the Bible that there is a hell and that Jesus affirmed it and warned that some will go there. I have staked my life on its veracity.

I hold that the answer does not rest with a man, or an organization, or a tradition. The Bible says, “All Scripture is God breathed.” (1 Timothy 3:16) “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” said Jesus, “but My Words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33) That is proof enough for me.



The Truth:

For the truth about hell, see Pastor Larry DeBruyn's excellent article, “An Imaginary Cosmic Reality,”[7] where he refutes the denial of hell. Here is a brief excerpt:

Many, even Christians, reject the teaching of the Lord Jesus and His Apostles regarding the eternal punishment of the wicked. They point out that no biblical word expresses the concept of “eternity,” but only “a long period”or “remotest time” (Hebrew ‘olam) or “age” (Greek aion). They argue that because of these words’ multifaceted meanings there is no word in Scripture expressing a forever category of time. Therefore it is presumptuous for anyone to think hell will never end. But the Apostle John describes the state of being consigned to the Lake of Fire as one of being “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10). The time frame expressed is in multiples of forever-s, one of ages of ages. These multiples of ages is the longest concept of time the Greek language, or perhaps any language, can express (Greek plurals, eis tous aionas ton aionon, Revelation 20:10). Combined with “day and night” (Greek, hemeras kai nyktos), “for ever and ever” nuances a timeless existence in which 24/7, for ages of ages, the unholy trinity—the beast, the false prophet, the devil—and others will be confined. Together, the clauses express the “the unbroken continuity of their torment” in perpetuity.

“And I say unto you my friends,
Be not afraid of them that kill the body,
and after that have no more that they can do.
But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear:
Fear Him, which after He hath killed
hath power to cast into hell;
yea,
 I say unto you, Fear Him.”
(Jesus, Luke 12:4-5)

“Jesus saith unto him,
I am 
the way, the truth, and the life:
no man cometh unto
 the Father, but by Me.”
(John 14:6)

Endnotes:
1. Francis X. Rocca,  “Shifting lines: Pope's Uncertainty Principle,” The Wall Street Journal, March 31-April 1, 2018, p. A9. 
2. Ibid
3. Ibid.
4. See Pastor Larry DeBruyn's “Love Loses,” a review of Rob Bell's book Love Wins: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/05/love-loses.html and his article An Imaginary Cosmic Reality reviewing Wm. Paul Young's book, Lies We Believe About God: http://herescope.blogspot.com/2017/06/an-imaginary-cosmic-reality.html
5. Rocca, Ibid.  
6. Everett Piper, The Wrong Side of the Door, p. 23. 
7. http://herescope.blogspot.com/2017/06/an-imaginary-cosmic-reality.html 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Another Scripture

Part 4: Conclusion

Read Part 1
Read Part 2
Read Part 3


“Sanctify them through Thy truth:
Thy Word is truth.”
(Jesus, John 17:17)

The Pied Piper


A Report by Barbara Wilhelm

DENIAL OF SCRIPTURE IN JESUS CALLING 
Sarah Young denies the Words of Scripture. In fact, she nullifies the entire book of Hebrews and every other book in the New Testament. Notice the clarity - and finality - of Hebrews 1:1-2 and the confirmation provided by Jude 1:3:

Hebrews 1:1-2 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 


Jude 3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 
One of the versions of Jesus Calling

In the last of these days God has spoken to us in the Person - not the "Presence" of His Son. He has spoken "once, for all time." Jesus in His Word has emphatically stated that He is completely finished speaking any more words for publication. How then can a "Presence" of "Jesus" contradict Jesus? These inner voices of the "Presence" are assumed by Sarah Young to be Jesus. Therefore, she encourages her readers to assume the same. She uses journaling or, more accurately, automatic writing to keep track of these voices. She encourages listening to these voices spoken by the "Presence" as a means of direct communication between the readers and the "Presence" themselves. Normally we have been told throughout our Christian walks that our Lord Jesus speaks through His Bible to us. Now we are being encouraged to listen to the mystical voice of a "Presence" whose words contradict the Bible. This will, ultimately, lead to great confusion for the readers… or worse.

The idea of following the voices of a "Presence" reminds me of the story of the Pied Piper which, as I just discovered, is based on an apparently true event. [See: https://theportalist.com/the-chilling-true-story-behind-the-pied-piper-of-hamelin] A Pied Piper is defined as someone who induces others to follow him/her by means of false promises. [Source: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/pied-piper] I often have wondered where the children went after they were lured to follow this very colorful person who was so enticing to their eyes and ears. The children listened to an enchanting sound and it led them… to where? Isaiah 53:6 comes to mind: "All we like sheep have gone astray." 
Yet another Sarah Young book


WHY HAVE REVISIONS HAD TO BE MADE TO JESUS CALLING IF THIS IS TRULY JESUS SPEAKING? 
One of the most important characteristics of the Bible is that the Words are never to be added to or subtracted from (Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19). This is because Jesus Himself is unchangeable. Considering that, the question has to be asked: why have revisions been made to Jesus Calling if this is truly "Jesus" speaking in Sarah Young's book? Yet this is precisely what has happened. The August 23 devotion in the 2004 version of her book speaks of Abraham and Isaac and accuses Abraham of "son worship." However, while the August 23 devotion in the 2011 edition begins the same as the 2004 edition, it changes mid-stream and talks - not about Abraham and Isaac - but about Jacob and Joseph. Has the true Jesus ever been known to edit His Own Words? Has He ever re-phrased one of the books of the Bible? The real Jesus has not, and according to His Own Word, could not revise His Words. The only assumption I think we can make is that the "Jesus" of Jesus Calling is not the real Jesus.

DISCERNMENT WRITER CHALLENGES AUTHENTICITY OF JESUS CALLING MESSAGES
Warren Smith examined the multiple versions of the Jesus Calling book that were published over the years. He has published booklets and articles that elaborate even further the problems discussed above: the authenticity and trustworthiness of the messages from the "Jesus" of Jesus Calling. Warren Smith is eminently qualified to write a detailed analysis of Jesus Calling. He is an ex-New Ager and an expert on the many false New Age "Jesus" and "God" entities whose channeled transmissions appear in popular books. The very title of one of his articles/booklets - "Changing Jesus Calling - Damage Control for a False Christ" - brings to my mind the cautionary verses below:
Warren Smith's booklet

2 Corinthians 11:2-4 New King James Version (NKJV) 
2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-you may well put up with it! 
In his article, Warren Smith writes:

Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have been systematically deleting controversial material from Jesus Calling. Adding, subtracting, cutting, pasting and completely eliminating problematic words, sentences and even whole paragraphs, Young and her editors do not hesitate to put words in the mouth of their "Jesus," even as they take others away. But… these tactics are doing more to expose their problems than cover them up…. 

The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs published by Harvest House Christian publishers specifically describes God Calling as a channeled New Age book. In their lengthy chapter on channeling and spiritual dictation, authors/apologist [Christian] John Weldon and John Ankerberg explain that channeling is a form of New Age "mediumship" and according to the Bible it "is a practice forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)." Under the subheading titled "Impersonations of Christianity," the authors describe God Calling as a New Age book "replete with denials of biblical teaching" as it "subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ's personal guidance... and often misinterprets Scripture." Yet Sarah Young wrote that it was God Calling that inspired her to receive her own messages from "Jesus." In her original introduction to Jesus Calling, Young praised God Calling as "a treasure to me"…. 

Yet another Sarah Young book
The Damage Control 
In recent editions of Jesus Calling - including the 10th anniversary edition--the preceding paragraph regarding God Calling - has been removed from the author's longstanding introduction. No explanation. No apology. Nothing. Suddenly and completely gone is any mention of God Calling - how it had inspired her to receive her own "messages" from "Jesus" and how it was a "treasure" to her. Her previous praise of God Calling had become problematic as it had drawn obvious New Age comparisons to her own book. It had also become apparent that her original endorsement of God Calling was helping to popularize this New Age book among believers! While Christian leaders have been strangely silent about Jesus Calling, it was the secular media that took Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson to task for changing and deleting the problematic material in their best-selling book. 

Ruth Graham, writing in The Daily Beast, a popular online American news reporting and opinion website formerly associated with Newsweek magazine, wrote an article to question the changes being made to Sarah Young's original introduction. Graham wrote: 

The latest edition of Jesus Calling includes some important changes. The paragraph about God Calling has been deleted, and references to received "messages" have been changed to the less mystically inflected "writings and devotions." In a passage in which Young recounts her early attempts to write down what God told her, the new version characterizes this as "focusing on Jesus and His Word, while asking Him to guide my thoughts." Thomas Nelson refers to the books as "Sarah's prayer journal," emphasizing that Young is not claiming to speak for Jesus. A skeptical reader, comparing the two introductions, would see an effort by a publisher to bring an increasingly controversial but lucrative best-seller into line with mainstream evangelical orthodoxy. 

In that same article, Ruth Graham also questioned the explanations offered by Thomas Nelson publicist Katie Powell: 

In an email responding to my questions, the book's publicist at Thomas Nelson, Katie Powell, wrote that the reference to God Calling was never meant as more than "a nod," and it was deleted because it had "created some confusion." "The book's theology has always been sound," she wrote. "The changes were made to make the introduction easier to understand especially since Jesus Calling is now being read by such a wide variety of people" Thomas Nelson did not call attention to the changes, Powell wrote, because the introduction's "content did not change" between editions. But it's hard to square that with the similarities between Young's book and Jesus Calling--right down to the title. 
Yet another Sarah Young book

Graham's skepticism was right on target. And contrary to the statement by the Thomas Nelson publicist, the content of the introduction has changed in recent editions. The unexplained changes have caused many former supporters of Jesus Calling to stop using the devotional. Christian online newspaper WorldNetDaily (WND) picked up on the controversy and published two articles, "Top Christian Bestseller Accused of Heresy," and "Is Hit Book 'Jesus Calling' Publishing New Age?" Charisma magazine followed up with a similar article that noted the growing controversy. It was titled "Critics Accuse 'Jesus Calling' of Mixing Truth With New Age Error."…

The Damage Control 
In recent editions of Jesus Calling, all ten references to the words "message" and "messages" have been deleted from her otherwise longstanding introduction. What were originally described as "messages" she "received" from "Jesus" are now being described as "writing" and "devotions" that she "gleaned" in her "quiet moments."… 

Since this unbiblical contradiction was brought to light in my book "Another Jesus" Calling, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have eliminated this obvious contradiction in their 10th anniversary edition. In other words, they had their "Jesus" correct himself. Compare the original January 28th and October 15th statements that have been in Jesus Calling for the last ten years, with the replacement statements now inserted in the new 10th anniversary edition. 

January 28th Original Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen. [bold added] 


January 28th Replacement Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. I spoke these words to My disciples after My resurrection. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen. [bold added] 


October 15th Original Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My presence with you is both a promise and a protection. My final statement just before I went to heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception. [bold added] 


October 15th Replacement Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. After My resurrection, I assured My followers: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception. [bold added] 

Note: One of the 250 "messages" Sarah Young included in her yet-to-be-corrected Jesus Calling Devotional Bible (NKJV) is the original October 15th "message" from Jesus Calling--"My final statement just before I went to heaven was: Surely I am with you always." Given that this statement is clearly unbiblical, Young's justification for her messages to be included "alongside the biblical text" falls a little flat. She wrote: 

Since my writings are rooted in the infallible, unchanging Word of God, having them appear alongside the biblical text would seem to be a natural place for them. 

Yet another Sarah Young book

Jesus Corrects Himself? 
Sarah Young might argue that because Jesus never contradicts Himself, she must have heard it wrong. But if that were the case, she had to hear it wrong on two separate occasions because the unbiblical statement is in two different messages. With this in mind, an important question must be asked. Who was Sarah Young listening to when she "received" these two "messages?" Obviously the real Jesus does not contradict himself--much less correct Himself in regards to His own words and actions. 

And for those who might argue that there is no longer a problem because this contradiction and other problematic areas have been corrected, several more questions must be asked. What about the ten million readers who have trusted these unbiblical messages over the last ten years? Do you just pretend it never happened? Aren't they owed some kind of explanation as to how Sarah Young's "Jesus" could make mistakes of this magnitude? But perhaps most importantly, how can an author and publisher--or anyone for that matter-believe they have the right to put words in and out of the mouth of Jesus Christ like He is some kind of literary device--and most especially when it is for the purpose of damage control. [Extended excerpts used with permission of the author. Read the entire piece at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16349

The Pied Piper

FROM MY HEART:
Before I close this report there is one more thing on my heart that I feel I must share. John 10:10 tells us that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. How many people who previously would have gone to their Bibles when they needed comfort now go to Jesus Calling? How many who started their days reading the Bible (2Timothy 3:16, the God-breathed Word) now go to these questionable words channeled through a woman? As a result, their relationships with the true Jesus have been stolen and destroyed. He is our Shelter, our Refuge, our very present help in time of need, our Comfort, our Life, our Daily Bread, our Soon and Coming King, our Savior. This is the Jesus of the Bible. Can this "Jesus" of Jesus Calling offer all that… or is he a thief who has stolen away our relationships with the true Son of God?

Life Application: 
1Thessalonians 5:21 commands us to prove all things. This entire series of lessons is an example of obedience to that command by a variety of those in His body who care for the safety of His people. If you or someone you know have read these books, would you go back to the very beginnings of these lessons and see this action as a "kindness" that has been done to the body of Christ and share it with them to keep them safe?

Psalm 141:5 Amplified Bible (AMP) 
"Let the righteous [thoughtfully] strike (correct) me--
it is a kindness [done to encourage my spiritual maturity].
It is [the choicest anointing] oil on the head;
Let my head not refuse
[to accept and acknowledge and learn from] it;"


Bibliography: 
Bulle, Florence God Wants You Rich and Other Enticing Doctrines, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bethany House Publishers, 1983. 
A.J. Russell ed. God Calling, by Two Listeners, Old Tappan, N.J., Fleming H. Revel., 1936.



The author of this 4-part series, Barbara Wilhelm, is a long-time discerner. She recently started her own blog, Holding His Word Higher: https://holdinghiswordhigher.com. Visit her site for her weekly posts.