Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Networking Church: Part 2

Restoration Through Transformation

“You need to be aware of the signs of possible spiritual awakening in America. We’ve had two great awakenings in the history of America, and we’re a hundred years over due for the next one. If there is a second Reformation in the Church and a third spiritual awakening in the world or in American, it will come through two words – small groups.”
-- Rick Warren, Ministry Toolbox #219 [emphasis added]

“The church itself will need to go through a metamorphosis in order to find its new identity in
the dialectic of gospel and culture,..."

Cameron Crabtree, “Church Growth Scholar Advocates Radical Change in New Millennium” [emphasis added]

The small group concept is usually sold as a formula. Here is how changing the church structure into small groups usually works:

1. The “old wineskin” is bad, ineffective, inefficient, unbiblical, etc. For examples, see C. Peter Wagner has written extensively about this as have many others apostolic leaders in his New Apostolic Reformation. A classic example of this can be found in the book The Open Church by Jim Rutz.

2. Therefore the “new wineskin” of cells/small groups is said to be more biblical or a better “New Testament” model. And it promises big dividends for a global harvest. But the pattern is the "systems" networking model that has been discussed in previous Herescope posts, not a genuine biblical idea. Below is an example from Stacy Campbell, "Changing Times, Changing Seasons – A Harvest of Billions!” The "bricks" refer to the cellular structure.

Great Transformation:

 There's a great transformation going on in the Body of Christ in the globe. And the forms and the structures--they're coming down from the old wineskin, and a new wineskin is being built, but it's very hard to discern.

". . .A Harvest of Billions: There is a harvest coming that is so big, millions and millions and millions. Yea, a billion souls harvest that will need stone joined with stone, joined with stone united, and not divided!

"Discerning the life in the brick! The jagged bricks; the old, old, smooth bricks; the grainy bricks all fitting together to form a container for HIM. For HIM! For HIM! For HIM! And for Him, let it be on earth like it will be eternally in Heaven!" 

. . .“Let it be on earth just like it is in Heaven!” [emphasis in original]

3. Networking cells and organizations, by “partnering” collaboratively across the 3-legged stool (Church, State and Corporate), produces a “synergy” which “advances the kingdom” or helps to “fulfill the Great Commission” and/or the “Great Commandment.” Note the dominionism in the statements from the recent URBANA 06:

“Urbana 06 director Jim Tebbe called on the students to integrate political action and missions for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

“'Our need to leverage for greater influence in the structures and systems in this world may not be the message you were expecting at a missions conference,’ Tebbe said. . .”

“'The history of the church is full of examples of those whose faith in the risen Christ compelled them to exercise authority for the sake of the Gospel,’ Tebbe said.”

“Citing tremendous power in global partnerships, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, spoke to the students during the conference’s ‘Community Night.’ Warren presented them with a catchphrase for their generation: ‘whatever, whenever, wherever. . . .’

“Warren invited the students to begin a reformation of missions. ‘We don’t need to move the church forward; we need to move it back to the first century and do it the way Jesus did,’ he said. ‘You are the reformation generation. You must be those who bring in the reformation in world missions.’”
 [emphasis added]

4. Once the church is properly “aligned” with this new “apostolic” top-down networking authority systems structure, there is a promised restoration and a worldwide spiritual “awakening” for building this "Kingdom." Note the new theology in the statements below:

“Reaching the Nations – A networking of leaders, churches and ministries for a total invasion of the land and the establishing and advancing of the Kingdom of God for the reformation and restoration of all things.” (WVCOM Christian Mandates for Africa) [emphasis added]

“. . . Heaven cannot release Christ to return until the ‘times of refreshing, recovery, and revival’ have restored all truth back to the Church, and until the ‘period of the great Restoration’ has been accomplished in the Church. . . Jesus cannot be released from Heaven to return to Earth to set up His literal kingdom until His Church (His spiritual kingdom) has been fully established and perfected. . . .

“The Church will be the instrument that will move in the power and spirit of Elijah, restoring all things which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, releasing Jesus from the Heavens and bringing about the Second Coming of Christ.” (Bill Hamon, The Eternal Church [Christian International Publ., 1981], pp. 133, 136) (bold emphasis added)

“[W]e believe God is preparing his Church for a worldwide spiritual awakening.

“We also believe God is creating a network that will include millions of local churches – congregations that will impact our world as they fulfill God’s five purposes for his church.” (Rick Warren, Ministry ToolBox Issue #200, 3/30/05) (emphasis added)

5. Once the church is properly restructured into this networking systems model, accelerated conversion rates and an outpouring of spiritual signs and wonders are supposed to occur. Some even claim to have accelerated the time it takes for discipling. Because of the urgency of the hour in building this "Kingdom" on Earth, it is deemed acceptable to incorporate the spiritual practices of the occult into this new structure to jump-start these phenomena. The term "missional" is descriptively used to indicate this systems model. For example:

“The leadership style in a missional congregation is primarily transformational, casting a vision of what can be, and marching off the map in order to bring the vision into reality.” (“Becoming A Missional Church vs. A Maintenance Church”) [emphasis added]

“The goal [of P.E.A.C.E.] is to reduce the time between spiritual generations from decades to months to perhaps hours.”
[“Summary of the P.E.A.C.E. Briefing for Mission Agencies", Nov. 6-7, Atlanta, GA. Emphasis added.]

“Your church friends will help you to understand the cultural context so that you can begin to assessing the evil giants in the area.

Prayer-walking will give your small group a vision to see the people with spiritual eyes.” (From "EXPERT ADVICE" about P.E.A.C.E., describing the global mapping activities of the short-term mission groups.)

(This series to be continued. . . Lord willing. . .)

The Truth:

"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images." (Hosea 10:1)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Networking Church


System Countdown
P.E.A.C.E. is mobilizing a civilian force of compassion using the worldwide distribution network of local churches.
[This announcement used to be posted at]

“We have what we call our ‘20/20 vision’—10 million churches with 100 million small groups mobilizing 1 billion disciples for the PEACE Plan by the year 2020. . . .

“The Church is the body of Christ, but it has been a body without hands and feet. When you look for the places where the hands and feet of Christ are at work in the world, you get a glimpse of the radical transformation we will see when all God’s people begin to systematically attack the giants. . . .

“For too long, the Church’s hands and feet have been amputated, so we’re just a mouth. It’s time to reclaim those hands and feet and start living out the Great Commission and Great Commandment.”
[Rick Warren, “Interview With a Missions Leader” emphasis added]

“Warren plans to add two additional 40-day programs: The third will be 40 Days of Vision focusing on missional and structural renewal. It will incorporate a lay version of The Purpose Driven Church currently under development.

“The final series will be ‘40 Days of P.E.A.C.E’ which will focus on the cultural aspect of renewal, and will move people into ministry and mission. . . .

“. . . P.E.A.C.E. is not a program but a paradigm. It is reproducing disciples. . . . [to] fulfill the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.’

“The goal is to reduce the time between spiritual generations from decades to months to perhaps hours.
[“Summary of the P.E.A.C.E. Briefing for Mission Agencies", Nov. 6-7, Atlanta, GA. Emphasis added]

“P.E.A.C.E. is not a program; it is a new paradigm.”
- Lance Witt

Transforming the church -- and the world mission movement -- into a gigantic networked system of spiraling linked groups will conform the global church to the global governance model discussed in the previous series of posts. This is indeed a paradigm shift!

This idea is very appealing to those who have been trained in the networking “systems” model. Networking is all about transforming organizational structures, logistics, methodologies and applications of organizations. It also involves a transformation of the human mind and how we think.

When networking is applied to the church a new “organism” is created. It creates a new “body” with “hands and feet” that can do the will of one centralized source. This could be achieved by connecting the technology of a computer database to the literal arms and legs of one billion “foot soldiers” for a quasi-religious cause of "P.E.A.C.E." It requires re-formatting the entire global church into a networking systems “community.”

Hence, the emphasis on the small group structure. The small groups – or “cells” as they are often called – are part of a networking structure that is top-down. Upon this cellular base, the New Apostolic Reformation builds a hierarchical authority structure of “apostles” and “prophets,” who claim to be invested with special powers to usher in heaven on Earth.

The networking is also horizontal, working outside of the church and expanding the definitions of “ecclesia” to include the community. Crossing over into the “spheres” of society, it intermingles for the ultimate purpose of dominionism. Hence, the emphasis on marketplace transformation, coalitions, networking partnering, collaborations, spheres, etc.

Once the church conforms to the networking structure of global governance, it is easy to network it into other systems in the 3-legged stool – the Corporate marketplace and the State.

Small group “cells” aren’t usually marketed to the church as a networking plan. Restructuring the church into a small group structure has been presented as a church relationship-building endeavor that will produce better results and meet “felt needs.” Very seldom has the top-down nature of the hierarchy been revealed. The people in the pews have been kept in the dark for several decades about this. But now that apostolic groups are becoming more organized, they’re beginning to spell out their purpose as in this recent “Apostolic Councils Arise!” attributed to Mike McClung:

“Apostles are foundational to the body of Christ, both in ministry and person. The word "apostle" was the only one of the five-fold ministry that was not taken from a "religious" terminology. The etymology of the word ‘apostle’ goes back thousands of years before the first advent, and it meant a "general" who led an army or armada into battle.

“The word ‘ecclesia,’ translated "Church," came from a classic Greek word that described elected magistrates who made and decided on the policy of a city or locality. They declared war and made peace, treaties, and alliances. They were responsible for military actions and raising finances to support the work. The Church and its leadership is supposed to be ruling and reigning through intimacy, worship, and prayer (priestly function), hearing strategy (prophetic function), then training, equipping, mobilizing, and supplying the carrying out of the strategies (apostolic function).

“Apostles, apostolic ministries, and councils are arising, which means the Lord is calling the body of Christ to war. And this is not a war we will lose, but win, if we get in place, submit to God's order, and obey the strategies He will release as He takes His seat as Judge over cities, regions, and nations. The power of the enemy will be broken and transformation will quickly come! (Luke 18:8).”

This article goes on to proclaim that “The Army must be gathered!” and that as “these apostolic councils begin to arise and seek the Lord together, warfare will be engaged as the Lord begins to seat Himself and His authority over their cities, states and regions.” The foundational doctrinal heresy that comes with this new apostolic structure is that God is:

“. . . waiting on us to come into alignment with Him and His purposes. As we do, what is in Heaven will break into earth realm. The Lord is ready to be seated over entire cities, regions, and nations if the saints will adjust and align themselves.” [emphasis added]

“Alignment” is a word bandied about that means to "restructure the church into the networking cell/apostolic model." The plan for small groups, cells, or “New Testament”-style churches has come in from every possible doctrinal quadrant. There are different logos or brand names of the various leaders, denominations, and eschatological camps. But it is still the same plan. In fact, there has been networking amongst the leadership for years, including the Coalition on Revival and Leadership Network (note the idea of networking is embedded in the names of these two influential groups).

The restructured church then networks with the greater society via mission activities. But this new shape of mission work isn’t about the old-fashioned evangelism that saves souls through the proclamation of the Gospel message that Jesus shed His blood on the Cross to save you from your sins. The new goal of mission is about transformation of society by building the “Kingdom of God” on Earth. Luis Bush, highly influential in the evangelical missions world has identified: “Mission as transformation has emerged as a new paradigm at the beginning of the twenty-first century.” In this key article, in which Bush described 5 major evangelical transformation “streams,” he described this networking transformation:

“An effort to define a comprehensive approach to transformation must be ‘rooted in the theology of the mission of the Kingdom of God, and seeks to express the Lordship of Jesus over every aspect of life, economic, religious, personal, political.’ . . .

“As the head of the church Christ initiates and His body responds – as one body. Transformation associates are now gathering to contemplate then seek to cooperate with the beauty of God’s movements. The basic idea behind ‘transformation coordination’ is that, not only can we do more together than we can separately, but we move to a new ministry realm which operates on entirely new laws of input and output.” [emphasis added]

Leadership Network, a frequent topic on this blog, devoted an entire issue of its publication NEXT to the topic of “Kingdom Collaboration” (Vol. 4, No. 6, Sept./Oct. 1998)”, i.e. networking:

Kingdom collaboration can take two paths: single churches taking the initiative to impact their city, or groups of churches, other non-profits and organizations partnering together to target a region. The underlying focus, within both strategies, is to claim the entire city for God. . . .

"Local churches, partnering with community groups, government agencies, denominational bodies and businesses, are making an impact across the country. . . .

“’Twenty-first century churches will need to make a profound paradigm shift from “inside-out” thinking to “outside in” thinking, from simple “church growth” to “church multiplication”,’ explained Jim Montgomery of DAWN Ministries. We will have to change our frame of reference from just increasing the size of our own little turf and begin making plans for the discipling of whole cities, counties, states, regions and, ultimately, the whole nation. This will call for the whole Body of Christ, in these geographical entities, uniting in the vision of filling them with growing cells of believers capable of impacting their whole environments.” [emphasis added]

(To be continued, Lord willing . . . )

The Truth:

"Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:" (John 19:10-11a)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Affections Above

Before we continue this series about the global networking of "peace," PEACE and/or P.E.A.C.E., it seemed like a good idea to stop and take a look at what the Gospel teaching used to be on this subject.

The old Gospel teaching separated Heaven distinctly from Earth. Earth is where we now live, but it won't last forever; it will perish. Heaven is eternal, and where we go when we die -- if, in fact, we die "in Christ." In fact, this old Gospel teaching about Heaven was so manifestly adhered to that believers suffered fiery trials, persecutions and loss of life. They endured the loss of everything so that they might obtain a heavenly portion. They had no illusions about a man-constructed "peace" on Earth.

In contrast, the new teachings about networking peace on Earth are dialectical and diabolical. The modern-day church teaches that Heaven can be brought down to Earth, and that Earth can become Heaven. This will be accomplished by "networking" the "body" on Earth by an oppressive combination of psycho-social methodologies and computer databanking technologies.

Today's post is excerpted from "THE SECOND COMING" by J.C. Philpot from Chapter Fifteen of the book Meditations on the Sacred Humanity of The Blessed Redeemer. We have taken the liberty of dividing down the paragraphs and adding emphasis so that it becomes easier to read in our current era.

We have another view to take of our blessed Lord as having entered into the courts of bliss. He is gone thither as his people’s forerunner, as the apostle speaks, "Whither the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." #Heb 6:20. How blessedly did the Lord comfort his sorrowing disciples when he said to them, "In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, 1 would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

He is gone to take possession beforehand of his and their everlasting home; for he is ascended to his Father and their Father, to his God and their God. He has, as it were, filled heaven with new beauty, new happiness, new glory. His glorious Deity shining through his spotless and glorified humanity illuminates heaven with a peculiar glory, for he has fought the fight and won the day; he has fulfilled all the types and figures of the Old Testament, accomplished the purposes of the everlasting covenant; glorified God by the highest obedience that could have been yielded to his will, and having finished the work which the Father gave him to do, has returned triumphantly to the courts of bliss to receive the reward of his humiliation, sufferings, and death. In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. His glorious Person as Immanuel is become the object of heaven’s praise and adoration. The elect angels, whom he has confirmed in their standing, adore him as God-man; and the spirits of just men made perfect worship him in company with the angelic host.

What a view had holy John of heaven’s glorious worship, #Re 5 when he saw the four living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders fall down before the Lamb; when he heard their new song and the voice of many angels round about the throne, and all saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." #Re 5:12. Heaven itself is waiting for the completion of the great mystery of godliness, when the whole church shall be assembled around the throne; when the marriage supper of the Lamb shall come; when the top stone shall be brought forth by the hands of the spiritual Zerubbabel, with shoutings of Grace, Grace unto it.

Earth itself is groaning under the weight of sin and sorrow; and "the souls of those under the altar who were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held, are crying with a loud voice, How long, 0 Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?" #Re 6:9,10. Nay, the very signs of the times themselves are all proclaiming as with one voice that it cannot be long before the Lord will come a second time without sin unto salvation.

And this brings us to . . . his second coming, and the posture in which his people should be found, as looking for and expecting his return.

When the Lord ascended up on high in the sight of his disciples, "they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up," their faith, hope and love all following him up the shining way; and as they thus viewed his glorious track, they seemed to lose sight of every other consideration. But, "behold, two men," two angelic beings in human shape, "stood by them in white apparel, which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." #Ac 1:11. It was as if the angels said to them, "Jesus, your Master, your Head, your King, is not gone away from you for ever. He will one day, according to his own promise, return in the same glorious Person as that in which he is gone up, in the same divine and human nature, and in the clouds of heaven which have now received him out of your sight. For this, meanwhile, look, watch, wait, and pray."

From that moment, therefore, the Lord’s return has always been a leading feature in the faith of the church of Christ, especially in the early period of her history. Thus we find Peter at once proclaiming it, "And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." #Ac 3:21,22.

That it ever after formed a prominent point in the teaching and testimony of the apostles is plain from the inspired epistles of the New Testament, in which it is continually brought forward and alluded to. Thus, not to quote numberless passages, the apostle reminds the Thessalonians how "they had turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven;"

#1Th 1:9,10; and seeks to comfort them under their persecutions with the prospect of eternal rest, "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;"

#2Th 1:7,8; as well as to console them under their bereavements with the sweet persuasion that "if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

#1Th 4:14. To be looking, then, and waiting for the Lord’s second coming was the especial hope and consolation of the saints of old. By this prospect their hearts were comforted when they could look forward to that glory which should be revealed at the appearing of Jesus Christ, for they knew that when he should come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, he would be glorified in his saints, and be admired in all them that believe.

#Mt 16:27 1Pe 1:7 2Th 1:10. This faith and expectation had a most blessed and enduring influence on their hearts and lives. It made them feel that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth; and that their Master having promised to return, and it being uncertain at what watch of the night he would come, their "loins should be girded about, and their lights burning, and they should be like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they might open unto him immediately." #Lu 12:36. . . .

We shall. . . address ourselves to the consideration of the posture in which the church should stand as waiting her Lord’s return.

During our present time-state we are to be conformed to the suffering image of Christ, and to bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal body. Our present life is to be one of trial, affliction, and temptation, that we may walk in the footsteps of our blessed Lord. #Lu 22:28.

We are to be persecuted by the world, despised by professors, assailed and tempted by Satan, and walk in a path of tribulation and sorrow, that we may, as members of his mystical body, fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ. #Col 1:24.

We are to drink of his cup and be baptized with his baptism; for "it is a faithful saying. If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him;" #2Ti 2:11; and "we must suffer with him that we may be also glorified together." #Ro 8:17.

The world knew him not, and it is to know us not. It hated and despised him, and it will hate and despise us; for "the servant is not greater than his Lord; and if they called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household." #Mt 10:25 Joh 15:18,19.

But to suffer will not always be the portion of the church of God.

There is a day coming when Zion shall be raised from the dust; when she shall put on her beautiful garments; when the marriage of the Lamb shall come, and to his bride and spouse it shall be granted that she shall be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, and shall sit down with her Head and Husband at the marriage supper. #Isa 52:1,2 Re 19:7-9. Then those who have been partakers of the sufferings of Christ shall be partakers of his glory. Then the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever. #Da 12:3. Then the mystery of God will be finished, and there will be time no longer, for all the former things of this miserable time-state shall have passed away. #Re 10:6,7 21:4.

Now what should be the posture of the church as looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God? and what influence should this blessed truth have upon our hearts and lives?

1. First, it should reconcile us to afflictions, as feeling with the apostle that "our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." #2Co 4:17. And again, "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Weighed in such a balance, what are all our afflictions, though seemingly so heavy? Are they not light indeed, if they are conforming us to the suffering image of Christ, and preparing us for an eternal weight of glory?

2. It should raise up and draw forth heavenly desires and spiritual affections, as the apostle says, "For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." #Php 3:20. Believers are called upon "not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of their mind," #Ro 12:2, and to "set their affections on things above, not on things on the earth;" #Col 3:2; they are said to crucify the flesh, with the affections and lusts; #Ga 5:24; and by the Spirit to mortify the deeds of the body. #Ro 8:13. It is true that we are sorely hindered in running the race set before us, for we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, having to carry about with us a body of sin and death, which is our constant grief and plague; and the flesh lusting against the spirit, as well as the spirit against the flesh, we cannot do the things that we would. #Ro 7:24 2Co 5:4 Ga 5:17. We are beset, too, by innumerable temptations, have often to mourn over our darkness, deadness, coldness, and unbelief, as well as on account of the hidings of the Lord’s face, and the absence of that blessed Comforter who alone can console the cast-down spirit. Still, though in themselves grievous hindrances, spears in our side and thorns in our eyes, these things do not utterly quench that preveiling bent of the renewed heart to look up and look forward to a brighter day, when tears shall be wiped from off all faces.

As, then, a view of the glory of Christ is obtained, and his coming again is realised by a living faith, the soul looks beyond this time-state, and all the cares and sorrows of this vale of tears, to that glorious day when it shall be perfectly conformed to the glorified image of Christ, and never sin against him more. At his second coming he will change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. #Php 3:21. And "then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory?" #1Co 15:54,55.

Now, if these things are so, if Jesus is but gone before to prepare a place for us, and has promised that he will come again and receive us unto himself, that where he is there we may be also, #Joh 14:3, will not this heavenly truth, if received into a believing heart, exercise a gracious influence upon our daily walk and life? Such, at least, is John’s testimony, "Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And he that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure." #1Jo 3:2,3.

If we are led by divine teaching to see and feel that this present world is an evil world, from which Christ came to deliver us by giving himself for our sins, #Ga 1:4, and as such is under the wrath and curse of God; if we feel everything in it marred by sin and sorrow, and have a good hope through grace that when the Lord appears we shall appear with him in glory, will not this separate us in heart and spirit from the world, and lead us, with God’s help and blessing, to walk as becometh the gospel, and to speak and act as a peculiar people, zealous of good works?

But taking a general view of the professing church, can we say that such is its experience or its walk? The wise virgins, as well as the foolish, are sleeping and slumbering; and a cold, lukewarm profession is everywhere prevalent. Error abounds on every side; strife and division widely preveil; and we seem fallen upon those last days when perilous times were to come. We cannot, indeed, marvel that the world is what it ever was, a foe to God and godliness, buried in carnality and death, ignorant of its misery and ruin, and unconcerned at the awful judgment that is awaiting it, and almost ready to burst upon it. But we may justly wonder that the church of Christ, which professes to be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, should be sunk so low, and manifest so little of the life and power of vital godliness. Yet this is only what we are led to expect from the word of truth. The Lord himself said. "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" #Lu 18:8; and, "Because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold." #Mt 24:12.

Thus, instead of expecting that the world will gradually get better and better, as men idly dream, or that bright and glorious days are awaiting the professing church, we may rather expect that things will get gradually worse and worse with both, until he comes who shall come and will not tarry.

But come when he will, come when he may, it shall be well with the righteous. Unto those that fear his name the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings; and to them that look for him the Lord shall appear a second time without sin unto salvation. . . .

The Truth:

"Christ gave an account of the nature of his kingdom. Its nature is not worldly; it is a kingdom within men, set up in their hearts and consciences; its riches spiritual, its power spiritual, and its glory within. Its supports are not worldly; its weapons are spiritual. It needed not, nor used, force to maintain and advance it, nor opposed any kingdom but that of sin and Satan. Its object and design are not worldly." -- Matthew Henry

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Networking P.E.A.C.E. - Part 4

Networking to Global Governance

“A world consciousness must be developed through which every individual realizes his role as a member of the world community.”*

“Don’t let anyone think for a moment that you can run a planet without a head!”
– Donald Keys**

One of the mantras of the New Age “Aquarian” movement is “think globally, act locally.” As previous posts in this series have described, the purpose of networking was to transform the world. It would happen by restructuring the world from the tiny cellular all the way up to global governance.

None of this could be achieved without a computer. Vertically and horizontally aligned networks rely upon a central database which is able to keep track of the most remote “cells or nodes.” The computer is able to collate large amounts of data and oversee the complexity of networking processes. The computer also provides a feedback mechanism for data collection, monitoring, and assessing for compliance. For in-depth documentation on this point, see these reports on “Systems Thinking” and “The Systems Approach to World Order.”

The cellular hierarchical structure is an emerging structure of global governance transcending the nation-state. The Gaia Peace Atlas (Pan Books, 1988) contains a vivid picture of future governance models on pp 238-9, stating that in the future, “hierarchical, centralized ‘authority’ will give way to a network of interlocking levels of governance.” The title of the book is a reference to James Lovelock’s “Gaia Hypothesis,” in which he refers to the Earth in terms of this Greek goddess, and humanity as both an organism and a deity. The Gaia Peace Atlas claims that “recognizing this truth [about Gaia] is fundamental to peace.” (p. 10) And it vividly portrays a yin/yang symbol embedded within a human skull on page 164-5, saying that “Tao, or harmony, is established and peace returns” when people replace “discord and dis-ease with harmony and health.” [Dis-ease and health are not defined, ed.]

Similar cellular networking diagrams for global governance can be found on pages 126-7 of influential futurist Ervin Laszlo’s A Strategy for the Future: The Systems Approach to World Order (Braziller, 1974). (Note: These diagrams look the same as the models for cell church systems popular within evangelicalism.) Page 150 shows a "Design for a World Homeostat,” i.e., a centralized global government structure. Laszlo insists that the “world model must be hierarchical, with levels ranging from any local system or action and decision, through intermediate levels. To the global level of the world system as a whole.”

Switching over to networking as a system for global governance is often referred to generically as the “paradigm shift.” One such paper on the topic is "Paradigms, and Paradigm Shifts as Broad Context for the Transition to Health Care" by Dr. Janet Eaton:

"Evolutionary systems theory is providing an alternative to steady-state and equilibrium approaches for the design of socio-cultural systems. Within the evolutionary vision, old static theories of social change are being replaced by theories that are truly expressive of the full range of human potential. They recognize 'evolutionary consciousness which stems from our capacity to direct our own evolution in a self-transcendent mode, our unique human ability to be self-aware, to view a situation in a new light, or jump over one's own shadow.' (Bach, 1993). And new social systems design research and practice is developing new methodologies for assisting groups in 'transcending old paradigms' to move on to co-create new open systems based on the knowledge of new science (Figure 3) contrast old closed and new open systems."

(Herescope readers will recognize many of the business guru’s names in this report because of their direct influence upon leading evangelical pastors. Note how “health” is defined in this document.)

Another pivotal work in promulgating the idea of networking systems was Holonomy: A Human Systems Theory (Intersystems, 1980) by Jeffrey S.Stamps, a contemporary of Bill Clinton at Oxford. Stamps took the esoteric ideas of General Systems Theory and placed them within a human evolutionary matrix. The evolution of the consciousness of man towards a global “organism” (not unlike Teilhard’s concept of homo noeticus) could be facilitated by conscious networking from cellular level up a hierarchical ladder all the way to the heavenlies. Stamps went on to become the leading New Ager guru of networking, and he can be connected with the New Age Theosophists, particularly the World Future Society. In 1982 he and Jessica Lipnack co-wrote The Age of the Network: Organizing Principles for the 21st Century ( 1982):

“Networks are systems by another name. They have the same cross-boundary, cross-science characteristics as system. . . . (p. 228)

Another leader in the move towards systems-based global governance is Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, who wrote a paper entitled Framework for Preparation for the year 2000: The 21st Century and the Third Millennium (Quinnipiac College Press, 1994) in which he described his vision for the future. By the year 2010 he saw mankind evolving into a new species:

“We have become a new species by extending incredibly the power of our senses, physical strength, memory, and mental capacity through science and technology.

“We are a unique cosmic phenomenon in the evolution of the universe. Our duty is to help the cosmos succeed in its evolutionary experiment on this planet. Heads of state recognize that they have a duty not only towards their people, towards the planet and towards humanity, but also towards the success of the cosmic evolution on Planet Earth.

“The next phase of our evolution will therefore be a cosmic, spiritual age in which the Earth becomes a true showcase in the universe, with human beings in perfect physical, mental, moral, affective and spiritual union with the universe and time. “ (p. 22)

In practical terms, what does all of this mean? According to Dr. Dennis Cuddy, in his book Secret Records Revealed (Hearthstone, 1999) on September 11, 1984, Donald Keys (cited previously in this series), a founder of the Luciferian one-world organization Planetary Citizens, delivered an address about “Transformation of Self and Society” at a “Light of the Mountains Forum” symposium called "Toward a Global Society." Keys said:

"We're at a stage now of pulling it all together. It's a new religion called 'networking.' . . . When it comes to running a world or taking people into a New Age, . . . don't anyone think for a moment that you can run a planet without a head. . . . This planet has to be managed . . . . We have meditations at the United Nations a couple of times a week. The meditation leader is Sri Chinmoy, and this is what he said about this situation. ' . . . The United Nations is the chosen instrument of God; to be a chosen instrument means to be a divine messenger carrying the banner of God's inner vision and outer manifestation. One day, the world will . . . treasure and cherish the soul of the United Nations as its very own with enormous pride, for this soul is all-loving, all-nourishing, and all-fulfilling.'" (p. 131)

The Truth:

"And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do; and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do." (Genesis 11:5-6)

*This comes from the Club of Rome, a European think-tank with close ties to the Luciferian Theosophists, which published an ominous 1972 report about the future of mankind entitled Limits to Growth, which set the stage for the call for global governance. Cited in A Planned Deception, Constance Cumbey (1985), p 188 & 210.

**This quote, also cited later in this post, is also included in A Planned Deception p. 61.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Networking P.E.A.C.E. - Part 3

The Occult Roots of Networking

"We can turn this thing around but only if we learn to become a whole species by throwing away all the distinctions and calling together the troops.
"We can turn this thing around if we remember the future as a collaborative effort. We design our vision in conjunction with events and in cooperation with the needs and hopes of those near and far."

[Marilyn Ferguson, Aquarius NOW (Red Wheel, 2005), p. 190)

Networking was conceived of as a way to expedite human evolution and it was championed by the Luciferian Theosophists. This fact is well-documented throughout their literature, particularly in the many books written about the New Age or New World Order by leaders of this cult. These networking philosophies have rapidly become mainstream by being merged into various “scientific” disciplines such as sociology, psychology, marketing, and even medicine.

Marilyn Ferguson, in her book The Aquarian Conspiracy, which “outed” Theosophy (see previous post), devotes an entire chapter (Chapter 6: “Liberating Knowledge: News from the Frontiers of Science”) to explain the evolutionary beliefs behind networking systems theory. The basic premise is that mankind will evolve into a higher order species, and that man must facilitate and expedite his own evolution. This is accomplished by several mechanisms:

1. Developing altered states of consciousness such as meditation, visioning, etc. which opens the brain/mind to the occult.

2. Developing a “systems” worldview; i.e., viewing the entire world as one great organism.

3. Implementing networking and communal practices that are conducive to creating this one-world organism of mankind.

4. Changing the physical nature of man: “Evolution may be speeded up by certain genetic mechanisms. . . “ (p. 160)

5. Creating a one-world system of global governance with the promise of “peace on earth.”

Ferguson described the importance of networks in facilitating this evolutionary leap for mankind:

“The proliferating small groups and networks arising all over the world operate much like the coalitional networks in the human brain. Just as a few cells can set up a resonant effect in the brain, ordering the activity of the whole, these cooperating individuals can help create the coherence and order to crystallize a wider transformation.

“Movements, networks, and publications are gathering people around the world in common cause, trafficking in transformative ideas, spreading messages of hope without the sanction of any government. Transformation has no country. . . .

“To Aurelio Peccei, founder of the Club of Rome, such groups represent ‘the yeast of change . . . scattered, myriad spontaneous groups of people springing up here and there like antibodies in a sick organism.’ An organizer of a peace group remarked on his discovery of these networks and their sense of ‘imminent world transformation.’ Many brilliant, creative thinkers have affiliated internationally to help synthesize the intellectual support for an emergent vision for the planet. . . .” [Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (J.P. Tarcher, 1980), pp. 409-410.]

Donald Keys expanded on this evolutionary networking idea in the mid-1980s at a time when most of the Luciferian Theosophist leaders were openly talking about global governance changes. At this time Keys had been a major player in the creation of a global government through various Luciferian organizations including Lucis Trust-World Goodwill, United World Federalists, Planetary Citizens, The International Center for Integrative Studies, the United Nations and many other global groups. Christian research expert in the Theosophical roots of the New Age, Constance Cumbey, documented Keys’ role in promoting Luciferian Theosophy in her book A Planned Deception (1985), particularly in Chapter 16: “Networking ‘The Global Vision.’” A quotation illustrating Keys’ evolutionary worldview about networking is presented below. (We caution the reader to skip this section if they are particularly sensitive to the occult.)

“Now I want to move on with the question of the changes in human consciousness. We have the difficulty of the co-existence on the physical plane of a large number of human beings at widely varying states of unfoldment. It makes for a very awkward and ungovernable world. We still have those who are escaping from their animal period of human growth. We have another very large section which is moving into a humanistic period, a period of disidentification with the individual self, and understanding the needs and well-being of others as counting in my life. And we have another, smaller group, whose focus is becoming transpersonal or, if you like, spiritual; or, if you like, all inclusive of the human state.

“Under the impulses which are now reaching earth and taking place within the crucible in which we are fixed, humanity is not suddenly, of course, going to become a race of adepts. We are subject to the laws of growth and unfoldment, but humans at each state of growth will be enabled to accelerate their progress to their appropriate next steps, and in the achievement of those next steps lies the hope of emergence and the hope of peace on the planet as the result of the interior process reflected outward in the world.

“We need a critical mass of integral and aligned people. There is a reciprocal requirement between wholeness of globe and wholeness of people. It was so beautifully stated earlier this morning that we are the cells, in this planetary entity, and we are becoming conscious of the relationship of the cellular part to the whole. This is the threshold of awareness we are now crossing. It is the necessary next philosophic step for humanity as a whole.” [Donald Keys, “Integral People for a Whole Planet, The Beacon, May/June 1985, Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Publishing Co.]

To be continued. . . Lord willing. . . .

The Truth:

“And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heave; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)

Friday, February 09, 2007

Networking P.E.A.C.E. - Part 2

The Origins of Networking

"We're at a stage now of pulling it all together. It's a new religion called 'networking. . . ."
– Donald Keys*

“Networks and networking are the structures and processes through which the ideas and values come alive . . . inspired by a vision of a peaceful yet dynamic planet, an entirely new culture is emerging in our land. It is connected by casual, ever-changing links among millions of people . . . As short-lived, self-camouflaging, adisciplinary, crosshatches of activity, networks are invisible, unacountable (sic), and unpollable. . . Networks are stages on which dissonance is not only tolerated but encouraged, yet consensus is a common goal.”
[Networking: The First Report and Directory by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps, cited in A Planned Deception (1985), Chapter 3, "Conscious Political Networking -- Then and Now," by Constance Cumbey, p. 25]

The previous post gave an overview of the particular style of network style of marketing that is being done to propel the Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan onto the world scene. The purpose-driven media campaign, as described by Greg Stielstra in his book PyroMarketing (HarperBusiness, 2005) was built upon the idea of marketing to “like-minded people clustered so that the heat of their excitement is easily shared” (p. 69). Stielstra explains:

“If you want your fire to grow, then you must create a positive heat balance by organizing customers and prospects into communities where they can renew their passion and interest by sharing heat with others.” (p. 70)

In this form of network marketing, networks are both discovered and created, and then maintained and renewed for future marketing purposes. It is possible to market concepts, ideas, lifestyles. . . . even new theologies.

But networking isn't just about marketing. It is much more than that. Networking was originally envisioned as a method of forging global transformation. As such, the networking concept isn’t a benign idea. It has dark origins, and devilish intents and purposes.

Marilyn Ferguson identified networks as "A TOOL OF TRANSFORMATION" in her pivotal book, The Aquarian Conspiracy (J.P. Tarcher, 1980), which "outed" occult Theosophy and helped to propel it into a full-blown New Age Movement. Ferguson identified "networking" as "a tool for the next step in human evolution" (p. 213). The rapid proliferation of networks was seized upon as a method to rapidly diffuse the esoteric ideas of this obscure Luciferian cult into the mainstream of American and global society. Note Ferguson’s description of how networking systems work:

"Anyone who discovers the rapid proliferation of networks and understands their strength can see the impetus for worldwide transformation. The network is the institution of our time: an open system, a dissipative structure so richly coherent that it is in constant flux, poised for reordering, capable of endless transformation." (p. 213)

“Networks are the strategy by which small groups can transform an entire society.” (p. 214)

“ . . . [T]he network is an alert, responsive form of social organization. Information moves in a nonlinear fashion, all at once, and in a meaningful way. . . .

“Whereas a conventional organization chart would show neatly linked boxes, the organization chart [of networking] . . . would look like ‘a badly knotted fishnet with a multitude of nodes of varying sizes, each linked to all the others, directly or indirectly.’” (p. 216)

“The Aquarian Conspiracy is, in effect . . . a network of many networks aimed at social transformation.” (p. 217)

This Luciferian networking schematic was sold to the American public as independent, decentralized, autonomous, liberating, evolutionary, enriching, empowering, etc. Networks were said to be spontaneous and loosely-connected “cells or nodes” in a giant fishnet (p. 216). However, it didn’t end there. The next step in networking was cooperation, and then after that a stage called “collaboration” – i.e., connecting these “cells or nodes” together. Note this quote from Ferguson:

“Synergy, the bonus of energy that results from cooperation in natural systems, is there for us, too.”

". . . Once you have seen the power inherent in human alignment, you cannot think about the future in old terms. This explosion of networks in the past five years has been like a conflagration in a fireworks factory. This spiraling linkage -- individuals with each other, groups with groups -- is like a great resistance movement, an underground in an occupied country on the eve of liberation." (p. 215)

But there is a critical omission in these 1980 remarks by Ferguson. This “human alignment” isn’t just horizontal or haphazard. It is also very vertical! The “cells or nodes” in the network, actually create a new form of hierarchy that is able to infiltrate, diffuse throughout, and actually conspire against traditional organizational boundaries. The vertical network looks like this:


Networking “cells or nodes” can be many layers deep, but there is a central power source which relies upon the computer for maintenance of the network -- and control. Those at the bottom may not even be aware of the top. They may only see the horizontal cooperation, or a few layers of collaboration.

In her book describing the Luciferian origins of the New Age Movement, A Planned Deception (1985), author Constance Cumbey discusses the significance of Duane Elgin’s call for “voluntary simplicity” – a concept which, by the way, has greatly permeated modern evangelicalism. She described Duane Elgin as “not just another ‘hippie’” and revealed his connection to the Stanford Research Institute in California, which was headed by Willis Harman, one of the leading futurist Luciferians. (Harman was discussed in Sept./Oct. 2005 Herescope posts because of his influence over leading evangelicals). Quoting from Elgin’s book Voluntary Simplicity, Cumbey described the “computerized networking process that characterizes the New Age Movement . . . [which is to be] the ultimate vehicle for the occultization of society.” Quoting Elgin:

“These ‘people networks’ will be greatly assisted in their work by micro-electronics and computer revolution . . . .”

“At the global level, these networks will be a potent tool for mobilizing grass roots public opinion around critical issues of concern to the entire human family, and promoting global social cohesion through overlapping networks of association that transcend nation-state boundaries. Furthermore, these global networks will begin to nurture a sense of species-identity or global social character.

“The emerging communications technologies, couples with the network form of social organization, offer the potential of allowing us to develop a level of social involvement and social cohesion, from local to global scale . . . .” (Elgin, Voluntary Simplicity [Bantam, 1981], quoted on p. 42, A Planned Deception)

To grasp the potentially destructive nature of this networking, the following quotes by Marilyn Ferguson underscore the original purpose:

“The Aquarian Conspiracy is using its widespread outposts of influence to focus on the dangerous myths and mystiques of the old paradigm [Christianity, ed.], to attack obsolete ideas and practices. The conspirators urge us to reclaim the power we long ago surrendered to custom and authority, . . .

“Now we can indeed find each other. . . . We can conspire against the old, deadly assumptions. We can live against them.” (The Aquarian Conspiracy, pp. 34-35)

This topic will be continued, Lord willing. . . .

The Truth:

“Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people.” (Hosea 7:8a)

*This statement made by Donald Keys at a “Toward a Global Society” symposium, Nov. 9-11,1984, Asheville, NC. Donald Keys, a founder of the Luciferian one-world organization Planetary Citizens delivered an address about “Transformation of Self and Society” at this “Light of the Mountain Forum.” This quote is cited in Dr. Dennis Cuddy’s book Secret Records Revealed (Hearthstone, 1999, p. 131)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Networking P.E.A.C.E.

"Networks are the strategy by which small groups can transform an entire society."
[Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, (J.P. Tarcher, 1980) p. 214]

"Thanks to technology, this is the first generation with the capacity to be global Christians. . . . Now we must mobilize them. . . . To move the American church from selfish consumerism to unselfish contribution -- serving God by serving others."
[Rick Warren, November 6-7, 2006, Atlanta GA]

The apparent strategy for globally marketing Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan is networking. This takes the form of "viral" network marketing in which "Network Leaders" are selected and trained to serve as "upline" style doorkeepers to the megalithic and secretive P.E.A.C.E. database (see 10/30/06 Herescope). These Network Leaders "will have the right to share access with other churches and organizations." Viral marketing is defined by Wikipedia as:

"Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can often be word-of-mouth delivered and enhanced online; it can harness the network effect of the Internet and can be very useful in reaching a large number of people rapidly."

Specifically, it is anticipated that the 4-step strategy of "pyromarketing" as outlined in the book by this name by Greg Stielstra (HarperBusiness, 2006) will be followed to market the P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Stielstra describes how Rick Warren used a group of 1200 pastors who subscribed to to serve as the "driest tinder" which was then ignited to launch the successful advertising campaign to market the book The Purpose Driven Church (p. 78-79). And The Purpose Driven Life campaign built upon that same foundation of network marketing:

"The campaign began in affiliation networks created by a handful of churches. By dividing each congregation into small groups of eight to ten that met once each week, the campaign created network neighborhoods of ideal size and ensured that if three or four people adopted the book and its message, the rest of the group would soon follow. The four hundred thousand people in those initial churches became excited about the book and began recommending it in their other affiliation networks: their work, their school, their subdivision, their golf league, and so on. Those people took the news to their networks. Some people took their book on business trips and talked about it with their seatmate on the plane. That person bought a copy and began sharing it with their network neighborhood in another city. Soon whole communities were synchronized." (p. 168)

"Pyromarketing," in a nutshell, is a network marketing strategy based on:

1. gathering the "driest tinder" (identifying those most likely to ignite),
2. touching the tinder with a match (giving people a positive sensory experience with your product or service),
3. fanning the flames ("equipping people to spread your message through word of mouth"), and
4. "saving the coals." (p. 6-7)

"Saving the coals" means "keeping a record of the people who respond to your marketing so you can identify, understand, engage, and mobilize them for years to come." (p. 176) Keeping a record means: "Capture the information generated by every transaction." (p. 185) Stielstra describes how this databasing of contact information worked previously:

"Rick Warren could enlist twelve hundred pastors to participate in the Forty Days of Purpose Campaign with a single e-mail message because he had built a database of -- and a relationship with -- the seventy thousand pastors who used his Web site. By saving the coals as the last step in a previous campaign, he enabled the first step in the next." (p. 177) [emphasis added]

According to an Internet summary of P.E.A.C.E. briefings held by Saddleback in 2006, Rick Warren reported that he has 250,000 leaders and 400,000 pastors receiving his Pastors Toolbox. That's quite a bit of dry tinder to start with!

In a related report, "Getting Ready for P.E.A.C.E.," the marketing campaign is further detailed:

"The Saddleback team is gearing up for Church briefings to be held across the country beginning in 2007. In addition, Saddleback's 2006 Christmas service is being broadcast by the Fox network, and that service will highlight P.E.A.C.E. in some way, further fueling interest. The Saddleback P.E.A.C.E. team also is beginning to work with various denominations and groups of churches, taking the P.E.A.C.E. message to their conventions and associations.

"To date Saddleback has recruited approximately a thousand North American churches to get involved in P.E.A.C.E. Skip Lanfried, in charge of North American church recruitment, would love to see that number grow ten-fold within the next 12 months and then continue on an upward trajectory. He estimates that the number of churches actively involved in P.E.A.C.E. initiatives will really begin to explode in the fall of 2008, 2009, and 2010. . . .

"So who will buy into P.E.A.C.E.? My best guess is that younger churches will eagerly adopt P.E.A.C.E. . . ." [emphases added]

Small groups are the key to the success of this marketing campaign: "phase 2 . . . seeks to mobilize the entire congregation through small-group involvement." To mobilize small groups, the next phase of the various 40-days campaigns will be "40 Days of Vision" which will focus on "missional and structural renewal" which will "incorporate a lay version of The Purpose Driven Church currently under development."

Small groups will eventually be able to access the P.E.A.C.E. mega-database (known as "Peacepedia") which will serve as the global brain for world mission activities. Mission groups, churches, businesses, agencies, government and and other "key P.E.A.C.E. players" will interact with this database by sharing information and receiving highly-scripted e-training. Many will be invited to a P.E.A.C.E. Summit on May 15-18 this year.

To be continued, Lord willing . . .

The Truth:

"But though, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and for, and knowledge shall be increased." (Daniel 12:4)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Conversations With Satan

"Some have raised the question of whether we can receive valid information from demons themselves. Demons are portrayed in the Bible as being who have personalities and intelligence, and as beings who can and do speak. They are also portrayed as deceivers. It must therefore be concluded that they do possess some valid information. The question then becomes: Does any of this valid information get communicated to us when they speak? Obviously so, but discernment is needed to process whatever we hear from them in order to separate truth from falsehood. I once heard Ed Murphy point out this very interesting fact: Every time the words of a demon are recorded in the New Testament, they speak the truth! Is this not biblical evidence that we can indeed get valid information from the world of darkness?"
(C. Peter Wagner, Confronting the Powers, Regal Books, 1996, p. 70) [bold emphasis added]

“When Satan points out your weaknesses, agree with him . . . .”
(Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, Zondervan, 2002, p. 277)

[About today's post: Recently a Herescope reader pointed out this statement by Rick Warren above and requested that we run a post on this topic. We enlisted the assistance of the very able Anton Bosch. Below are his comments.]

Most Christians seem to struggle with, and are confused by how we should interact with the Devil. Some just ignore him as though he does not exist, some fear him, others mock him, while others enter into debate and conversation with him. For instance Rick Warren says: “When Satan points out your weaknesses, agree with him…” (Of course, he does not provide any biblical support for this statement since there is none.) So what should we do or not do when the accuser attacks, tempts or points the finger at us?

It is important to recognize that he will use truth. He knows that we won’t fall for a blatant lie and so he will speak truth to us, but the truth will be laced with lies and will be twisted to mean something different. Just like a mousetrap contains real cheese or peanut butter, every snare of the Devil will begin with truth. And just like the mouse signs his own death warrant the moment it acknowledges that the trap contains real cheese, so we play with fire the moment we step aside to even listen to what Satan has to say, let alone enter into a discussion with him.

John 8:44 says the devil “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” Note that “there is no truth in him.” No means nothing, nil, zero, zip, nada, niks. He is so much in error that even truth becomes a lie in his mind and mouth. Even when it seems he is speaking the truth, it is not the truth because it is used in such a way to turn right into wrong and wrong into right.

Maybe you have come across a person who is a very clever liar and who can lie to your face, and even though you know he is lying, you are inclined to agree with him? The Devil is the father of lies making the smoothest liar you have ever seen an amateur by comparison. If a salesman has ever been able to deceive you, then what chance do you have against the one who has more schemes than all the salesmen in the world put together? Not too long ago I came short in dealings with some used-car salesmen. I was just not a match for their tricks and schemes. I will never take a chance on a used car salesman again because I have learnt that I can’t win. Just making eye contact with these guys is dangerous, let alone exchanging greetings. Yet, we want to engage in conversation and agree with the master deceiver?

Right on the first few pages of the Bible, Satan approached Eve with a statement. It was the truth and he solicited her agreement with that truth. Surely there seems nothing wrong with that; and is this not exactly what Mr Warren is advising millions of his followers to do? But that’s the problem. We are dealing with a foe who is “more cunning than any beast of the field” (Genesis 3:1). The moment he gets your agreement on one point, he has you on his side. Once he has your agreement he will begin the whole process of twisting that truth to change black to white and “thou shall not” to “thou shall.”

What should Eve have done? First, she should not have even stepped aside to hear what the Devil had to say. Second, she should not have engaged in a conversation with the evil one who has only one agenda – which is “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). (OK, maybe she did not know that, but we do). That is where it should have stopped and if it had, Jesus would not have needed to die.

Satan also tried to engage Jesus in a “friendly” discussion and did exactly the same as he did with Eve. He began with the truth – you are the Son of God and if so, then…(Luke 4:3). He even quoted a few Scriptures for good measure. But, Jesus saw through his abuse of the truth and simply replied with the correct use of Scripture.

It is important to note that Jesus did not agree with Satan for one moment. Jesus did not say: “Yes, I am the Son of God, but…” Nor did he say, “Yes, the Scriptures do say that ‘He shall give His angels charge over you…’, but….” No, Jesus did not concede anything to Satan and neither should we.

Even though the Devil did not try to engage Job in conversation, we can learn much from Job. These days many folk are being taught to engage the Devil in a debate when he attacks them. But Job never once addressed the Devil. Job probably guessed who was behind the attacks, but he also recognized who is the Higher Authority, and so his entire conversation was with God and not with the Devil. Job recognized that it was God who is in control and who would protect him, and so he appeals to the One who has the real authority.

In a sense Pilate represented the forces of evil as he condemned Jesus to the Cross. Once again Jesus does not engage Pilate in any discussion and refuses to enter into a debate with Pilate: “But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly” (Matthew 27:14).

Paul was afflicted by a demon (What else is a “messenger from Satan”?) (2Corinthians 12:7). Again we see no conversation with Satan but rather: “Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me” (2Corinthians 12:8). Like Job and Jesus, Paul’s conversation is with God and not the Devil.

James says: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The Greek word for “resist” (Anthistemi) means to set one's self against, to withstand, resist, oppose. By no stretch of the imagination can this be interpreted to mean “agree with.” But Warren has done exactly what the serpent did with Eve. Satan began with “no” and twisted that to mean “yes,” just as Warren somehow reads “to stand against” to mean “to agree with.”

Even Michael the Archangel, who is so much mightier than we “in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, "The Lord rebuke you” (Jude 9). Here we find two words: “contending” and “disputing.” Neither can be construed as “agreeing.”

Every example of every interface between the Lord’s people and the Devil and his demons shows a resisting and standing against Satan. There is not a single example or instruction to agree with him. There can only be one who wants us to agree with the Devil and that is the deceiver himself.

So, from where did Mr Warren get this idea? You decide.

The Truth:

"And when [the Good Shepherd] putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:4-5)