Friday, December 23, 2011

The Night of Nights

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn 

As reenacted in nativity scenes and Christmas pageants down through the history of western civilization, this story, in various ways, whether in part or whole, is told:

God promised Israel a coming Messiah. God chose a teenage virgin to be the mother of Israel’s promised Messiah. The virgin was engaged to a young and moral carpenter. A crisis pregnancy occurred. An angel of the Lord alerted Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Angels announced Messiah’s birth to shepherds on a night vigil near a little Judean town of Bethlehem. Magi from the East visited the infant. To preserve the rights of his royal family to reign, paranoid King Herod ordered the infanticide of all male children under two years of age.

On the very night of our Savior’s birth, Luke, a physician turned historian, records that, “there were some shepherds out in the fields keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). Possessing gnarled and scared hands and countenancing  weather-beaten faces, these ordinary men worked the grave-yard shift protecting their sheep, some of which were probably marked for eventual sacrifice at the temple about six miles away. With slings, crooked staffs, and studded clubs, these men risked their lives to protect their sheep from predatory animals and criminal rustlers.

Unbeknownst to them, one particular night was a holy night. The sheep were resting comfortably. The only sound that penetrated the quiet night was an occasional “baaaa!” of a sheep. Whether standing or sitting, these nameless shepherds breathed in the crisp night air as they fought off sleep’s beckoning call. It was a night like many others until . . . .

The night sky suddenly exploded with the light of God’s glory, a bright light that revealed the menacing form of an angel standing nearby. The sight of the angel terrorized these veteran guardians of the night. Had the angel of death come for them? This season, Hallmark will design, print, distribute and sell millions of Christmas cards. Many of these cards will bear images of cuddly, winged, and romantic looking angels. I doubt that any will bear the intimidating visage of “an angel from the Lord” who frightened to death those veteran shepherd-warriors, and who therefore uttered to them, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 2:9-10).

In contrast to the warm and fuzzy feelings people experience during this time of year, it might strike a disconcerting note to even the casual reader of the gospels that fear was a pervasive emotion of the first Christmas. Matthew records that, “[A]n angel of the Lord appeared to [Joseph] in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife’” (Matthew 1:20). When he saw an angel of the Lord, Luke records that, “And Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear gripped him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias’” (Luke 1:12-13). The angel also told Mary, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:30). 

Contact with the supernatural angel from the Lord was unnerving. Maybe we have come to feel too cozy with the Christmas story. Perhaps we ought to be a bit more unnerved when we hear the recounting of when God visited this planet in the form of an infant who upon reaching mature manhood, would be crucified for the sins of His people.

The shepherds were ordinary men God allowed to experience an extraordinary visitation that night. James S. Stewart asks, “And is there not a world of meaning in the fact that it was very ordinary people, busy about ordinary tasks, whose eyes first saw the coming of the Lord?” Then he answers,

It means, first, that the place of duty, however humble, is the place of vision. And it means, second, that it is men who have kept to the deep, simple pieties of life and have not lost the child heart to whom the gates of the Kingdom most readily open.

To these herdsmen, God first entrusted the Good News that a baby had been born nearby during their night vigil, an infant “Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). That Baby lying in an animal feeding trough signaled to them the birth of God’s only Messiah (See Romans 10:9-10.).

To these shepherds God first entrusted the gospel message, and it was their vocation that would provide the intimate and pastoral illustration of Jesus’ relationship with His followers. He is the Good Shepherd who calls and cares for those sheep who “hear his voice” (John 10:1-14). And for reason of His call and His care, we need not fear either.

Reprinted with permission. Original posted HERE.

Friday, December 09, 2011


C. Peter Wagner's “Theology”

Exhibit A: "Kingdom Demonstration for Transformation"*

"If... the ecumenical philosophy is correct and a believer cannot be certain of sound doctrine, the commandments and promises of God make no sense."
- Brother David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia, p. 160.

On December 7, 2011 C. Peter Wagner, head of the New Apostolic Reformation, issued an “Addendum”[1] to his previous statement in an e-mail issued from his “Global Spheres” entity, titled “NAR – What are its beliefs?” (11-20-11).[2] Wagner says that he released this Addendum because he “received responses from friends (not critics, mind you) that suggested the Global Spheres statement was incomplete because it omitted certain doctrinal issues that the respondents felt were primary.” He then posits his own definition of theology:

"Theology is a human attempt to explain God's word and God's works in a reasonable and systematic way."

The remainder of Wagner's letter is an exercise in postmodern thinking. Wagner defines theology as a human endeavor that is “always susceptible to flaws.” He provides a one-paragraph superficial history of the Council of Nicea. And then he launches into one of his favorite topics, the Lausanne Congress of 1974, which issued a “Covenant” that gave the modern evangelical church a secondary mandate to that of preaching the Gospel, which was social action. This social action gospel has now become, for Wagner and others, the theological opening for Dominionism. Wagner concludes his little dissertation on theology with a paragraph from one of his books:

Please allow me to summarize my thoughts here with a quote from my book, Changing Church. In it, I have a chapter, "From a Heavy Doctrinal Load to a Lighter Load," and here is my conclusion:

"A whole new generation of believers in the Second Apostolic Age is not nearly as interested in the fine points and details of theology as past generations have been. Few people choose their church these days because of what it believes about open theology or Calvinism or modes of baptism or church government or the pretribulation rapture or sanctification or predestination or the forensic theory of justification. If God is our Father and if we are saved through Jesus' blood shed on the cross and if we are daily filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, I am convinced we can find a way to work together despite our theological differences" (p. 161).

Wagner’s “Ground Rules for Theology”

In his 1996 book Confronting the Powers,[3] Wagner challenges orthodox theology and its ground rules. On page 41 he offers the same humanistic definition of theology as he quotes in his Addendum: "Theology is a human attempt to explain God's word and God's works in a reasonable and systematic way." Wagner explaines:

“Can we first agree on a definition of theology? This would be an excellent starting point…. If we do agree on this definition, it will make a difference in our attitudes…. Through such a definition we become acutely aware that our findings have limitations because they are mere human positions, as opposed to something divinely inspired. Furthermore, we become aware that we are at best engaged in an attempt that by nature welcomes future revision, as opposed to a dogmatic conclusion forever set in concrete.” (pp. 41-42)

To agree with Wagner’s definition of theology, then, means that one must agree that it is a human thing, not a God thing. As soon as one agrees with this basis for theology, then all else becomes shifting sand, open to revision or new revelation, evolving, subject to human whims and nature, and no longer absolute. Wagner has just played a postmodern mindgame with his readers. If they agree to his ground rules and definition, they have just agreed that doctrinal truth is human and therefore not absolute, and that “theology” (i.e., doctrine) is therefore subject to evolving semantic understandings. Theology/doctrine has just been divorced from Biblical Truth and put it into the esoteric/existential realm. This is the essence of postmodernism.

And this is precisely what Wagner has done throughout his entire life. He has opened traditional orthodoxy to new words, new understandings, new doctrines, new practices, new eschatologies, and new gospels.[4] For example, in his 1988 book The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit[5] Wagner admits that he obtained his doctrines about spiritual warfare from extra-biblical sources outside of the Canon of Scripture. He cites the apocryphal Acts of Peter where he says there were highly vivid descriptions of “a spiritual ‘shootout’” and “confrontational theatrics” in the forum, and the apocryphal Acts of John where there was a “power encounter… in the temple of the goddess Artemis” resulting in it splitting in pieces “and half of the whole temple” falling down. (pp. 80-81). He says that including such extra-biblical supernatural stories can be "used to bring people to conversion to Christianity." (p. 82)

Wagner also based his life work on man-made methods for evangelism. His evangelism became mixed with the social gospel. Therefore he believes that man-centered humanistic methods of changing worldview will achieve results for his social action gospel. In fact, Wagner was one of the poster boys for Leadership Network[6] while he was developing his New Apostolic Reformation network in the 1990s. Wagner wrote in his 1983 book On the Crest of the Wave[7] that:

“Methods must be selected on largely pragmatic considerations since the Bible does not pretend to give twentieth-century instructions. Therefore, it is good strategy not only to set measurable goals but also to build in from the start of the effort instruments for measuring its success or failure. Only by doing this will it be possible to look back and know which methods God has blessed and which methods He has not blessed. (p. 119)

The ultra-pragmatic Leadership Network spawned not only the New Apostolic Reformation but also the Emergent movement,[8] both of which also contain an intrinsic mystical component that drives this new postmodern theological paradigm forward. To do this, biblical theology must be deconstructed and discarded. Wagner has just shown us how he did it.

The Truth:

Brother David W. Cloud in his Way of Life Encyclopedia[9] explains the term “doctrine” in the context of the whole postmodern worldview. His comments are excerpted below:

DOCTRINE. Doctrine simply means teaching, but the biblical usage refers to sound teaching based on the Word of God. The two Greek words translated "doctrine", didaskalia and didache, are also translated "teacheth" (Ro. 12:7) and "learning" (Ro. 15:4). These words are used more than 140 times in the N.T., which shows how important doctrine is before God. Other terms which refer to doctrine are "truth" (1 Ti. 2:4), "the faith" (1 Ti. 3:9; 2 Ti. 3:8; Tit. 1:13), "wholesome words" (1 Ti. 6:3), and "sound words" (2 Ti. 1:13). Doctrine (and its companion terms) is referred to 59 times in the Pastoral Epistles alone. "The truth" is referred to 10 times in 2 and 3 John alone.

OTHER TERMS WHICH REFER TO DOCTRINE. "Truth" (1 Ti. 2:4), "the faith" (1 Ti. 3:9; 2 Ti. 3:8; Tit. 1:13), "wholesome words (1 Ti. 6:3), and "sound words." (2 Ti. 1:13).

CAN WE KNOW SOUND DOCTRINE? ...The Lord Jesus Christ... said that a believer can know sound doctrine. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). The requirement to know sound doctrine, according to this verse, is to be willing to obey the  truth.... [T]he Lord will give him wisdom so that he will know sound doctrine from false....

BIBLE FACTS ABOUT DOCTRINE. We can know right doctrine (Jn. 7:17). We are to continue in the Apostles' doctrine (Ac. 2:42). The Apostles filled Jerusalem with doctrine (Ac. 5:28). We are saved by believing the right doctrine (Ro. 6:17; 1 Jn. 5:20; 2 Jn. 9). We are to separate from those who teach false doctrine (Ro. 16:17). We must be careful of winds of false doctrine (Ep. 4:14). No false doctrine is to be allowed (1 Ti. 1:3). Sound doctrine is good (1 Ti. 4:6). The preacher is to give himself to doctrine (1 Ti. 4:13). The preacher is to take heed to the doctrine (1 Ti. 4:16). Preachers who labor in doctrine are to be rewarded (1 Ti. 5:17). Sound doctrine is to be adorned with godly living (1 Ti. 6:1,3; Tit. 2:1). The Bible is given for doctrine (2 Ti. 3:16). The Bible is to be preached with doctrine (2 Ti. 4:2). The last days is characterized by a turning from sound doctrine (2 Ti. 4:3). The preacher must be able to use doctrine to edify and protect the church (Tit. 1:9). Our doctrine is to be uncorrupt (Tit. 2:10). We abide in Christ by sound doctrine (1 Jn. 2:24-27). True Christian love is grounded in truth (2 Jn. 1; 3 Jn. 1). The Apostles had no greater joy than to see the Christians walking in the truth (3 Jn. 3-4). Those who abide not in sound doctrine are not of God and are not be to received (2 Jn. 9-10).

1. "THE NEW APOSTOLIC REFORMATION: What Are Its Beliefs? ADDENDUM," by C. Peter Wagner (12-6-11),
2. See previous Herescope for details,
3. C. Peter Wagner, Confronting the Powers: How the New Testament Church Experienced the POwer of Strategic-Level Spiritual Warfare (Regal, 1996).
4. See, for example, "The Agenda & Teaching Of The New Apostolic Reformation, transcript of C. Peter Wagner, Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church, San Jose, CA, 10-10-2004, with forward by Sandy Simpson, 5/23/05," Also see: where Wagner is quoted as saying, “It seems that God is constantly moving us into new times and seasons. He is pouring out new wine, and we are trying to keep up by developing as many new wineskins as we can.” (Freedom from the Religious Spirit. Also see "C. Peter Wagner - Quotes & Notes 
compiled by Sandy Simpson & Mike Oppenheimer."
5. C. Peter Wagner, The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit (Vine Books, 1998). 
6. See Herescope posts: and and 
7. C. Peter Wagner, On the Crest of the Wave: Becoming A World Christian (Regal, 1983).
8. See this post at Apprising Ministries for comprehensive documentation and details:—circa-1970/
9. Brother David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia (Way of Life Literature, 2002), "Doctrine" entry, pp. 160-161. Some of this entry is reproduced here:

* This is illustrative of the new theologies of C. Peter Wagner. "Give Me This Mountain" With Bill Hamon, Lance Wallnau, Tim Hamon, Pat Francis and More! October 20-23, 2009 -- Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Paid Advertisement on The Elijah List issued Jul 18, 2009, Click to enlarge this exhibit. The purpose was billed as:
"Give Me This Mountain!"
Kingdom Demonstration for Transformation
Our International Gathering is a hallmark of transition for the Body of Christ! It serves as a "spiritual birthing center" for the next level of the apostolic and prophetic in the earth. 
Join us as we hear revelation on our next level in God from seasoned apostles and prophets! Possess your promised inheritance in government, family, business, education, arts & entertainment, media and religion.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Spiritual Warfare Eschatology

The Destiny of Enforcing a Kingdom

2012 will be a year of the release of heavenly authority to many who have turned from religion to the reality of life in God.

The enemy was in the garden with Adam and Eve but was completely powerless until he deceived Eve and then Adam. The devil must deceive human beings to usurp the authority given to mankind to rule in the world. To usurp our authority, he must separate us from the reality of life with God and entice us to follow him. The more he can make his false religion look like the reality of life in God, the more easily he can deceive people into following him and releasing their God-given authority to rule in this world.

“ [T] he manifest presence of God will lovingly bond together and prepare His people to endure the hard times immediately ahead and to eventually plant the kingdom of God solidly into the entire world.

Beyond the season of devastation, in another season to come, the fullness that is developing under cover will be released into the world. The clearing and the deep plowing of the land of this world will leave little to none of the previous world order and fully prepare the soil of this world to receive the seed of the kingdom planted by the prepared people of God. The Bride City of God will become a reality on earth.[1]

This above quotation from the December 1st newsletter released by Ron McGatllin, whose own apostolic network is working alongside C. Peter Wagner’s New Apostolic Reformation, who takes a classic Dominionist position that Satan’s deception in the Garden of Eden was a matter of keeping the church from ruling the world – thereby thwarting the church's divine destiny and purpose. The Dominionist strategy is to re-take the world via any vehicle upon which they can hitch a ride – community and civic involvement, peace promotion, political and social action, cultural and worldview change, societal engineering, corporate and philanthropic endeavors, partnerships and collaborations with global entities, etc. These methods for achieving Dominion are often called “spiritual warfare.” Additionally, various forms of esoteric, hyper-spiritual altered-state-of-consciousness activities, are practiced within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR/IHOP) Dominionist camp under the term “spiritual warfare.”

In his most recent newsletter McGatlin, like an increasing number of New Age/NAR/IHOP and evangelical leaders, is giving credence to the significance of the year 2012. Under his brand of eschatology, the “Bride of Christ” is to “manifest the presence of God” and “eventually plant the kingdom of God” on earth. In this worldview, spiritual warfare it something that is waged against external threats to the church. Lip service may be given to traditional understandings about resisting sin, but the over-riding Dominionist principle of spiritual warfare is based on the heretical premise that enemies of the Lord (however this is defined by various groups) must be conquered and ruled over, including ultimately sin and death. This, of course, negates the necessity of Christ's salvation, His shed blood for our sins on the cross. Dominion becomes a method of reversing the effects of the curse.

NAR Issues Strange Statement of Faith
In the past month, C. Peter Wagner has reiterated all of this. He issued a doctrinal defense of his New Apostolic Reformation last week. In an e-mail issued from his “Global Spheres” entity, titled “NAR – What are its beliefs?” (11-20-11) Wagner expressed dismay that some have considered him a heretic. He also explained why he has not previously issued an official NAR statement of faith; he says it is because it is a movement, not an organization. That is, by the way, the chief advantage of his downline networking structure. The NAR is a network that superimposes itself upon existing denominational and doctrinal divides and networks them under a new hierarchical structure, thereby supplanting (and eventually eliminating) denominational distinctives. This is a virulent new form of structural ecumenism.

In classic Leadership Network-trained fashion, C. Peter Wagner claims to affirm the “classical Christian Creeds.” This is a clever bait-and-switch technique devised by the change agents, who promote the idea of putting forth a conservative-sounding “public statement,” meanwhile freely embracing additional doctrines (i.e., heresies) that supersede or compromise the original. It is a very slick maneuver.

In articulating the doctrine of the NAR, C. Peter Wagner refers people to his Global Spheres, Inc. document called “The Belief system … The Revelation That Advances the Above Kingdom Entities Forward and Constitutes the Foundations for our Future.” The peculiar use of language and terminology in this document is, to say the least, exceptionally unorthodox and not technical in scholarly sense. Amazingly, the document points to books written by leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation for its source of theology rather than simple Scriptures. This whole document is strange, and very uncharacteristic of a traditional “statement of faith.” For those who are not converted, or who are biblically illiterate or dumbed down, it is an unfortunate and grievous document because it does not teach the Gospel of Salvation.

This NAR belief system document also teaches this new spiritual warfare eschatology. Here are a few snapshots:

God provided a specific order and alignment for these gifts (first apostle, second prophet, third teacher...) so that His people can be equipped to function as a mighty army in the earth.

THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND APOSTOLIC GOVERNMENT - We serve a King who is advancing a Kingdom. The King has chosen to position His Kingdom within humankind. He sends those who have His Kingdom within them into every aspect of society's culture. The Kingdom of God is here now! The seven mountains of society are meant to be influenced and dominated by the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom has Jesus Christ as the cornerstone and apostles properly related to prophets form the foundation of the Kingdom. Apostles create and execute God's prototype plan in the earth and through each nation of the earth until there is a house of prayer built for every people group. Jesus taught us to pray that God's Kingdom would come to earth as it is in heaven. (To learn more about the Kingdom of God we recommend you read Apostles Today and Apostles and Prophets.)[link added]

SPIRITUAL WARFARE - Because we represent a Kingdom, we are at war to enforce Kingdom principles and plans in the earth. We are at war and must be equipped to stand against the enemy. Accomplishing God's purposes on earth is not without opposition. . . . [emphasis added]

THE COMMISSION TO DISCIPLE and HEAL NATIONS - From the beginning of God's covenant with Abraham, His plan was to bless all the nations. One of the purposes of the nation of Israel was to show the other nations how they could relate to God. They were to live in such a way that the glory of the Lord would be on them and Gentiles would be drawn to them (Is. 60). His House was to be a joyful House of Prayer for all the nations (Is. 56:6-7). When the Jews rejected Jesus, they missed fulfilling this portion of their destiny…. Jesus sent His disciples out to fulfill this promise and commanded them to disciple the nations - helping whole nations to be disciples of the Lord. From generation to generation, the Lord develops His Church to disciple the nations until the fullness of His plan has been completed and all nations have been restored.

In the NAR/IHOP world some of this deception becomes very subtle indeed. The Elijah List just released a promotional advertisement for a January 4-7 "Breakthrough 2012 Global Celebration" event with Lance Wallnau of seven mountains dominion fame, along with a lineup of prominent NAR leaders, which says:

This gathering is for the express purpose of revealing and imparting *everything* that is available through the out-of-all-proportion solution that Jesus provided for us on Calvary.

The stated purpose sounds like it has included the cross. But read the fine print, which states that "Jesus died to make you more than a conquerer." It isn't talking about sin. This is about Dominion![3] 

What is Biblical Spiritual Warfare?

It might surprise those who have only been steeped in the error to learn what the church taught during the Protestant Reformation, now sadly dying off at a rapid pace, about what Scripture says about spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare teaching in the Bible is actually the exact opposite of what is being taught in the NAR/IHOP church world today. The Scriptures teach that man cannot perfect himself in the flesh, and the Bride of Christ cannot perfect herself on the earth, nor can she perfect the earth itself. In fact, spiritual warfare wars against this very mentality and heresy!

In the 1858 Gospel Pulpit sermon of J.C. Philpot titled simply “Spiritual Warfare”[4] one can read the old truth, what Scripture says about spiritual warfare. Below are some excerpts. The entire sermon is downloadable HERE.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Gal. 5:16-17)

It is sad to a spiritual person to look around and see how that, through the legality of our nature, and through the veil of ignorance spread over our carnal mind, men are constantly seeking to make that perfect in the flesh, which they think deficient in the spirit. They feel how short they come in knowing, feeling, and enjoying what they would know, feel, and enjoy. And in order to obtain this blessedness, they have recourse to all sorts of expedients which are not only foolish, but altogether opposed to the spirit of the gospel. Now the issue of all these attempts to make that perfect by the flesh, which is begun in the spirit, is to lead men to fall into sin; for men, being unable to live nearer to God by attempts of legal obedience, actually fall into the other extremity.

The reason of this is, as the Apostle explains in the seventh chapter of the Romans, because the movements of sin are by the law; for the law comes to condemn and curse; but God never promised any strength in the law. The only strength he promised is that which he gives in and by the gospel.…

Now the Apostle tells them a more excellent way, that which the law was never meant to give,—to walk in the spirit—and what will be the blessed fruit? Ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh: because by walking in the spirit there will be such an influence and power given that you will not actually be able to fulfil the lust of the flesh; for there is no inclination then to do so. He goes on to open up the conflict and struggle which takes place between these two principles, one of which he calls the flesh, and the other the spirit, and he tells us that the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; and that these are contrary the one to the other, diametrically opposite, so that ye cannot do the things that ye would….

So, the spiritual battle is not to take over the world, the culture, the nations! The spiritual battle is in our flesh, which is constantly being tempted. Below, note how Philpot describes the actual events in the Garden of Eden. His biblical teaching runs completely counter to the heresies currently taught by the NAR/IHOP leaders:

By the flesh we are to understand that corrupt principle which we inherit from our fallen sire, Adam. God created him innocent, there was no sin in his nature. He did not possess holiness; for that is a new covenant gift produced by the Holy Ghost through the gospel; but he was a partaker of sinless innocence, it being impossible for God to create anything but what was pure. God was not bound to give him grace; for he needed not grace; but God could do no other as being pure, than create a being which was pure also; but he created him subject to sin. He knew from all eternity that he would sin. He had no hand in the matter. He did not tempt man to sin; for he tempted no man with sin; but he permitted Satan to do it, and allowed him to fall under that foul fiend. But this is a deep mystery, and therefore I will not enter more minutely into it.

We still feel the fall, we know that we are fallen creatures, for every movement of sin in our carnal mind tells man that he is fallen; sin works in him all the day long, and every movement of sin in his heart is a proof to him that he is a fallen sinner; so that you need not go further than yourself, you need look no higher, you need look no lower than your own heart to know that you are a fallen sinner before God. And not only so, but being a fallen sinner, your flesh is diseased to the very core; it is true of you as it was true of the church of God of old that the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is nothing but wounds and bruises and putrifying sores. This then is the flesh—all we were and have as inherited from our fallen ancestor—everything we have, every faculty of our mind, every power of our body, all that we are in this time and state and have derived from Adam is comprehended in that expression used here and elsewhere,—the flesh—but still so called because our bodies are composed for the most part of flesh, and therefore the Holy Spirit has used that expression to stamp the whole of the human body and soul in what man is as having a fallen nature, and inheriting sin and death from his father Adam.

…[A] child of God has not merely the flesh that is a wholly corrupt nature and whose every member contains in itself a proof of its corruption; but he has also another principle called here the spirit, and called by Peter the divine nature, and the new man by Paul. All these expressions refer to the same thing—that spirit which is born by the Spirit, and lodged in the heart of the sinner, and just as the flesh is the seat of everything base and evil, polluted and vile; so the spirit is the seat of everything gracious, spiritual, and holy, "In me, that is, in my flesh," says the Apostle, "dwelleth no good thing."

…[T]he Apostle represents the child of God as carrying in his bosom these two opposing principles; he views them as continually in movement one against the other, two opponents who are always fighting hand to hand, one desiring to spill the blood and see the death of the other. The flesh wars against the spirit because the spirit is against it; therefore the flesh is striving against the spirit; because it is always being checked by it, and it will not be checked; the more it is tied the more it raves against the spirit which binds it. Whereas the spirit is continually striving and contending against the inward movements of the flesh, against what are the lustings of the flesh, everything that is evil, the gratification of every sensual desire, and every other wickedness, for there is nothing too evil, too base, for this flesh always to be lusting after….

The spirit is continually prompting to everything good, to prayer, to reading of the Scriptures, to calling upon God's name, to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, to hoping in his mercy, to loving him with a pure heart fervently, to watchfulness, prayerfulness, and patience in God, and to anything that is good. All this lies in the spirit, and the flesh lusteth against it….

Now there is a spirit that keeps lusting against the flesh and desiring everything contrary to the flesh, a sweet manifestation of the blood and love of Christ, a sense of God's presence, a tenderness of conscience, to walk in the straight and narrow way; and both these are opposite the one to the other; the spirit lusting toward God and the flesh toward carnal objects, these two are directly contrary the one to the other, the one loving everything that God loves, and the other loving everything that God abhors…. The flesh is always running against the spirit; but the spirit is always running against the flesh. These two can never be at peace; nor does God mean them to be so…

The spirit keeps the flesh from doing what it would, or it would break free entirely from all control, would cast away all religion, throw off all restraint; but the spirit will not permit it; therefore it puts a check upon it and holds it back, and will not suffer the flesh to rush forth into these tracks of evil, work out its desires, and speak and do as it wishes. So you will find that your flesh would work evil; but your spirit will not let you do it. When you would burst into a passion, and wicked words spring up into your heart, when you would do evil and infidelity arises in your mind, there is an internal principle that checks you: the flesh may say, "What use is prayer and reading the Scriptures? What good will that do for you? Be like other people; what do you want to be tied down to all this religion for? to be thus continually reading and praying, always going upon your knees before God?" But you say, "I cannot leave my room without bending my knees, and I must read God's word." Here is the flesh casting off everything that is good; and the spirit holding it under restraint; as the horse is held by the horseman, and held back by a powerful hand; so the spirit holds back the flesh.

Thus there is a continual struggle between the flesh and the spirit, the flesh suggesting evil courses and the spirit acting in the fear of God, and thus counteracting the motions of sin and for the most part getting the best of the day…. Looking then at one side of the picture it seems gloomy and dark; but turning the canvass then you see the evil you cannot do; so that you are kept in a straight though rough and rugged path, and the Lord will be on the side of the spirit. He will not let you be tempted above that you are able.

But now I pass on to our last point, which is to "walk in the spirit." There is a walking in the spirit, that is to walk in the light of the spirit, in the way of the spirit, in the midst of it, to be spiritually minded, which is life and peace. Now you may feel at times all the lust of the flesh, in the baser and more usual sense of the term; the movements of the mind, whether pride, or worldliness, anger, evil temper or general carnality, these are all the lust of the flesh from the early bud to the ripe crop. Now our desire in our right mind is not to fulfil the lust of the flesh. We cannot help feeling the lust; because it is not only not dead; but it thinks, moves and acts. You don't carry a dead weight of corruptions; but a principle that breathes, moves; acts, and works, and all towards evil; and you wish as much as lieth in your power not to fulfil what the flesh desires. You want to walk in a path where the flesh shall not have the power to seduce you into words and acts which are unbecoming of a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, never to fulfil the lust of the flesh by bringing forth those wretched fruits that the flesh is ever bringing forth. And you want to know how this is to be done.

The Apostle says—"Walk in the spirit" that is—live, move, think, act, dwell, walk in and by the spirit; but how? You cannot do it, God must work it in you, he must give you strength and power to walk, and act, and think, and dwell in the spirit, and then the flesh will become weakened and crippled, and unable to do the things it would….

1. “Ron McGatlin, “2012 Reality Replacing Religion,” e-mailed newsletter, Digest, December 01, 2011.
2. C. Peter Wagner, newsletter, “NAR – What are its beliefs?” November 21, 2011, including a doctrinal document issued from Global Spheres, Inc.Global Spheres Center: An Oasis for the Nations Glory of Zion International Ministries, Inc.: An Expression of One New Man, “The Belief System ...The Revelation That Advances the Above Kingdom Entities Forward and Constitutes the Foundations for our Future.” Posted here:
3. The Elijah List, Dec. 2, 2011, advertisement, "Breakthrough 2012, San Francisco, CA, January 4-7, 2012, with Georgian and Winnie Banov, Heidi Baker, Kris Vallotton, Patricia King, and Lance Wallnau."
4. J.C. Philpot, “Spiritual Warfare,” Preached at North Street Chapel, Stamford, on Thursday evening, October 13, 1858. Published in Gospel Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 14 (Old Paths Gospel Press, 406-466-2311), pp. 125-134. Also downloadable here: