Friday, February 25, 2011

On Theosis, Or Divinization

"The time has now arrived for the Body of Christ to be endowed with eyes of illumination that are flooded with Heaven's light. That is, we are to begin to embody more fully the radiance and revelation of the Lord Jesus and His Kingdom. We are not merely to have the message of the Kingdom, but become the message.

"We are to be living epistles and God's Word incarnate if we are to meet the needs of this generation and become the army prophesied in Scripture."
- Paul Keith Davis and Bob Jones*

What does it mean to be “partakers of the divine nature”?

By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

“For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” [Emphasis Added, 2 Peter 1:4, NASB]

If biblical precedent exists for attaining unto divinity, “The only biblical text which seems to bear directly on deification is II Peter 1:4, where the destiny of Christian believers is described as becoming ‘partakers of the divine nature’.”[1] So the question becomes, does Peter’s reference to partaking of the divine nature support the teaching that in this life a Christian can become deified; that a Christian, as defined by the Orthodox Church, can become subjected to “God’s full and perfect penetration . . . in which [state of being] the operations and energies of human nature cease, having been replaced by the Divine Operations and Energies.”[2] On the face of it, Peter appears to be teaching the possibility of personal divinization, but upon a deeper investigation of the text, he is not.

A Translation
To understand partaking of the divine nature, the context, grammar and syntax of Peter’s statement needs to be attended to, because if we understand what the apostle is really saying to the saints of that era (that’s every believer), we will be clear as to what he meant; and that is not that a human soul can become divinized. For this understanding, the following translation of 2 Peter 1, verse 4, is offered:

For by His own glory and excellence, the Lord Jesus has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises in order that by them—His precious and magnificent promises—we participate in/with the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.[3]

In order to understand what Peter stated in this verse, several points can be noted, some of which in the English text are obvious, and others that are not. In noting these points, it will become evident the apostle was not teaching that Christians can become divinized, attain perfection in God.

No Divinization!
First, let it be stated that contrary to the prevalent Hellenistic philosophy of his time—that once-upon-a-time human spirits were part of God, that amidst the material matrix of life these spirits have lost consciousness of their divinity, and that the soul’s goal in life is to recover the consciousness and feeling of being one with God—Peter’s text assumes human beings do not possess the potential to recover lost divinity by tweaking their consciousness. As Köster states, “2 Pet. 1:4 presupposes the distinction between our weak mortal nature and the divine essence.”[4] Kelly adds “that union with God’s being was not the natural possession of man but the effect of God’s drawing him to Himself.”[5] So Peter’s statement contradicts the prevailing Gnostic and Platonic notion of his day, namely that humanity’s collective primordial soul was once a part of God (This theosophical view of reality also prevails amongst Charismatics within the New Apostolic Reformation and Latter Rain movements, and today’s New Age/New Spiritualists.).[6] Peter’s statement indicates that they neither possessed nor participated in divinity in a mythical preexistent state of being. In his statement that Christians partake of the divine nature, Peter is not borrowing from Hellenistic philosophy as many New Testament scholars suppose, but contradicting it!

Second, to participate in the “divine nature” results from the “precious and magnificent promises” of Jesus. In his book The Mystical Union of the Eastern Church, Vladimir Lossky states concerning the achievement of deification:

If God has given us in the Church all the objective conditions, all the means that we need for the attainment of this end [i.e. deification or théosis], we, on our side, must produce the necessary subjective conditions: for it is in this synergy, in this co-operation of man with God, that the union is fulfilled. This subjective aspect of our union with God constitutes the way of union which is the Christian life.[7]

Clearly, the apostle Peter understood that any participation in the “divine nature” is based not upon synergy (God and man working together), but according to God’s precious and magnificent promises. If in the spiritual life synergy between God and man is involved, it is in the process of sanctification in which individual Christians incorporate godliness into their lifestyles (2 Peter 1:5-7; See the seventh point below.).

Third, in the clause “you might become partakers,” both the verb and noun are plural.[8] The fact that the apostle addresses all his readers indicates that participation in the divine nature is not restricted to adepts, persons who are specialists in spirituality. Participation in the divine nature is not discriminatory—only elitist Christians who through ascetic practices and spiritual disciplines might attain deification—but corporate, for all believers who for reason of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence, are involved in the process of sanctification on earth that leads to future glorification in heaven (Romans 8:29-30). As John confirms: “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” (1 John 3:2; See 2 Corinthians 3:18). Participation in the divine nature is on the group plan!

Fourth, we should note that as communicated by English translations, the verb “might become” connotes possible participation in the divine nature for Christians. But that is not the sense of Peter’s statement.[9] Believers’ participation in the divine nature is actual not potential, and will exist in continuum until they arrive in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. In accord with God's precious and magnificent promises, the time is coming when participation in the divine nature will be brought to its appointed consummation (1 Peter 1:3-5). As Paul affirmed: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6.). For every believer, a relative participation in the divine nature, an immortal and incorruptible state of being, awaits completion when we either die or Christ returns (His Parousia).

Fifth, we should note that the noun “partakers” (koinonoí) connotes “the basic idea of one who shares in what is common or shared by all and may be best translated ‘partner, participant’.”[10] Thus, partaking of the divine nature carries more the idea of doing than being. As Paul vouched for Titus: “he is my partner [koinonos] and fellow worker [sunergós] among you . . .” (2 Corinthians 8:23). Just because God gives a believer a spiritual share in His Corporation does not mean that, for reason of divinization, he or she might own it.

Sixth, and perhaps most importantly, we should note what the phrase “partakers of the divine nature” does not say (2 Peter 1:4). The Greek New Testament contains the following word order: theías [genitive adjective “divine”] koinonoí [nominative noun “partakers”] phúseos [genitive noun “nature”]. Based upon the word order employed by Peter, we can surmise that if he had intended to teach deification or theosis (thereby accommodating his statement to the Platonic-Gnostic philosophy of that era), he might have omitted the noun “partakers” (koinonoí) from the order. Then the phrase would have read that Christians were granted “precious and magnificent promises” so that they might become the divine nature (Greek theías phúseos).[11] But he did not. Instead, he inserted a nominative noun “partakers” between an adjective “divine” and a noun “nature.” Thus, Peter states that by regeneration Christians participate in the divine nature (1 Peter 1:3, 23), but they are not and will not be consumed of it. As Lewis Smedes (1921-2002) wrote of the interaction of the divine and human natures within a regenerate soul: “Christ communicates Himself in a way that changes us without diminishing us, transforms us without deifying us, [and] Christianizes us without making us Christs.”[12]

Seventh, in this context (2 Peter 1:4-7), partaking of the divine nature regards not so much a believer’s being as his/her doing. Faith does not live in a moral vacuum (Compare James 2:20, 26.). So having “escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust,” Christians are to apply and supply; to diligently seek to add “moral excellence” to faith.[13] The moral excellence consists of a list of virtues in which the first virtue becomes foundational for the next, in which the latter grows out of the former—“knowledge . . . self-control . . . perseverance . . . godliness . . . brotherly kindness . . . [and] love” (2 Peter 1:5-7). In other words, by God’s grace, as believers build these virtues into their lifestyles, they participate in/with the divine nature. These virtues are God’s. Yet if believers fail to cultivate these virtues into their lives by His power, they do not participate in the divine nature. As these qualities grow in their lives, believers will “not carry out the desire of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19). In this context to be a partaker in the divine nature has more to do with divine ethics than divine essence. Participation in the divine nature for Christian believers is relative, not absolute. As in His incarnation Jesus partook of genuine humanity without becoming a sinner, so Christians partner in the divine nature without becoming God. While we fellowship in and with the divine nature, we don’t own it.

Vladimir Lossky summarizes the teaching of deification in Christendom’s history: “God became man in order that man might become god, to use the words of Ireneus and Athanasius, echoed by the Fathers and theologians of every age.”[14] As Athanasius (c. 293-373) of Alexandria stated of Jesus: “For He was made man that we might be made God . . .”[15] And again: “He [Jesus Christ] was God, and then became man, and that to deify us . . .”[16]

The implications of the permeation of deification are far reaching. Its thinking extends to the Roman Catholic teaching of justification where Christ’s righteousness is infused into subject Christians (partial divinization) thereby enabling them to do the works necessary to help God effect their justification. Belief in mystic divinization also affects the doctrine of the Eucharist where alchemically, the elements are said to be transformed to become the body and blood of Jesus (i.e., transubstantiation), or where, by and around the Eucharistic elements, a real corporeal presence of Christ is invoked (i.e., consubstantiation).[17]

As regards our union with Christ, John Flavel (1627-1691), a nonconformist English-Presbyterian clergyman, states it is,

[Not] an essential union, or union with the divine nature, so that our beings are thereby swallowed up and lost in the divine Being. Some there be indeed that talk at that wild rate, of being godded into God, and christed into Christ; but O, there is an infinite distance between us and Christ, in respect to nature and excellency, notwithstanding this union.[18]

Yet we believers ought to rejoice in our union with Christ, a togetherness that, for reason of our being baptized in/with and by the Holy Spirit, is spiritual (1 Corinthians 12:13; See John 17:22-21). But while Christ’s dwelling in believers is spiritual, it is not substantial. It is a union and communion facilitated by the Holy Spirit Who sovereignly incorporates God’s presence, not essence, in us, this grandest of all unions being activated by faith in the atonement for sins by the Lord Jesus Christ. This hidden mystery (this musterion) then becomes, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).[19] As Daniel Whittle's (1840-1901) hymn states:

As lives the flower within the seed, As in the cone the tree, / So, praise the God of truth and grace, His Spirit liveth in me.

Christ liveth in me, Christ liveth in me; / Oh, what a salvation this, That Christ liveth in me!

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12, KJV)

[1] Rowan Williams, “Deification,” The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, Gordon S. Wakefield, Editor (Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1983): 106.
[2] Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition, Hieromonk Seraphim Rose, Translator and Editor (Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2005): Footnote 27, 221.
[3] Points of semantic, grammatical and syntactical meaning, mentioned in this footnote and the paper’s body, support this translation. The antecedents in Peter’s statement are obvious. Jesus’ own glory and excellence are sufficient cause for Him to grant believers precious and magnificent promises by which they become partakers of the divine nature.
[4] H. Köster, “phýsis [nature],” Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Abridged in One Volume, Editors Gerhard Kittle and Gerhard Friedrich, Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1985) 1286.
[5] J.N.D. Kelley, The Epistles of Peter and of Jude (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1969): 303.
[6] Dager summarizes the view of some Charismatics: “But we are now hearing from prominent teachers in the Christian media that man was created with a divine nature which was lost due to the introduction of sin. By being born again by the Spirit of God we lose our sin nature and regain our divine nature.” See Albert James Dager, Vengeance is Ours: The Church In Dominion (Redmond, WA: Sword Publishers, 1990): 22. Dager notes that the man-becomes-god teaching “is based upon a theosophical interpretation of II Peter 1:4 . . .” (Ibid.).
[7] Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Union of the Eastern Church (Cambridge, London: James Clarke & Co. LTD, 1957)196.
[8] “Apart from its general use as a companion and fellow worker . . . koinonos is used in the plural of the recipients of the grace of deification in 2 Peter 1:4, where Christians are said to be partakers of the divine nature.” See Peter Toon, “Fellowship,” Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, Walter A. Elwell, Editor (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996): 256. Kelley’s observation that the consummation of the “promised grace” is “to the individual, rather than to Christians as a body” doesn’t do justice to the plural verb and noun. See Kelley, Epistles of Peter, 304.
[9] The phrase in order that we might become consists of a conjunction (Greek hína) and a verb (Greek génesthe) occurring in the aorist tense and subjunctive mood. The aorist tense may be understood as consummative, that participation in/with the divine nature had begun and would one day be consummated. When combined with the subjunctive mood, the conjunction “in order that” (Greek hína) indicates that “what God purposes is what happens and, consequently, hína is used to express both the divine purpose and the result.” See Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996): 473. Wallace also observes: “In many cases purpose and result cannot be clearly differentiated . . . As in Jewish and pagan thought, purpose and result are identical in declarations of the divine will.” (Ibid. 206)
[10] See William D. Mounce, General Editor, “Participant,” Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006) 498.
[11] “The genitive substantive functions semantically as the direct object of the verbal idea implicit in the head noun. This is common in the NT.” See Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 116.
[13] It is recognized that full escape from the world’s corruption will occur either when believers die or Jesus Christ returns (His Parousia).
[14] Lossky, Mystical Theology, 134.
[15] A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume 4, Phillip Schaaf, Editor, “St Athanasius: Select Works and Letters, On the Incarnation of the Word,” 54.3 (Albany, Oregon: The Ages Digital Library Collection, 1997) 341.
[16] A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, Volume 4, Phillip Schaaf, Editor, “St Athanasius: Select Works and Letters, Four Discourses Against the Arians” Discourse 1.11.39 (Albany, Oregon: The Ages Digital Library Collection, 1997) 852.
[17] Robert L. Dabney, “Union to Christ,” Lectures in Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972 Reprint of 1878 Edition): 616-617.
[18] John Flavel, The Method of Grace: How the Holy Spirit Works (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1997) 35. Dabney adds: “We see nothing in the Bible to warrant the belief of a literal conjunction of the substance of the Godhead in Christ, with the substance of a believer’s soul.” See Dabney, Lectures, 616.
[19] The believer’s union with Christ is hidden; it has not yet been revealed (Colossians 3:3-4). In the sense that this union is hidden, it is mystical (mustika). “This is a great mystery [that of the husband-wife union]: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32, KJV). Many Puritan writers employ the word mystic to equate to the word mystery. However, their use of the word mystic does not “mean thereby, that . . . they adopted the views held by the ancient and medieval Mystics, who taught an essential oneness of the human intelligence with the substance of the Logos to be developed by quietism and asceticism.” See Dabney, Lectures, 616.
This may be how the fifth stanza of The Church’s One Foundation ought to be understood (“Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One / And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won.”). While there’s a contemplative mysticism that the Bible knows nothing of, there exists through the Holy Spirit a spiritual union and communion that believers have with Christ and each other. Because it’s hidden (a mystery), some believers call it mystical. I state this so that we will be careful to distinguish an orthodox use of the word mystical from the heretical.
Personally, I believe the evangelical church’s failure to preach the union of a believer with Christ and with each other has created a vacuum into which theosophy and psychology now take up space, space that was formerly occupied by pastoral preaching on the spiritual life. If this be the case, shame on us.
[20] Daniel W. Whittle, “Christ Liveth in Me,” Hymns of the Christian Faith (Camp Hill, PA: Christian Publishers, 1978): 500.

Article reprinted with permission. Original posted HERE.

Paul Keith Davis and Bob Jones: "The Light of Favor and Grace is Upon Us. And Doubt Not, Have Faith to Move Mountains," The Elijah List, 1/16/07 Emphasis in original. The context of this heretical quotation is the Latter Rain movement and the New Apostolic Reformation (For context, please see

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What Is Dominionism?

Due to heavy request for an article "What Is Dominionism?" that appeared in the Nov/Dec 2010 Discernment Newsletter by Sarah Leslie, we are publishing several links to sites where the article can be easily accessed.

The newsletter version is posted here as a pdf file:

A more complete version of the article is posted here. This version includes the video by Eric Swanson of Leadership Network, whose graphic illustration is at the top of the previous post. In this video he repudiates the Gospel of Salvation and explains the Gospel of the Kingdom (Dominionism):

Below is a snippet from the article:



The belief that we (mankind) have a mandate to build the “kingdom of God” on earth, restoring paradise, by progressively and supernaturally transforming ourselves and all societal institutions, through subduing and ruling the earth by whatever means possible, including using technology, science and psycho-social engineering; and then and only then will a “Christ” manifest his presence on earth.

Al Dager in his book VENGEANCE IS OURS: The Church In Dominion (Sword 1990) lists two further definitions of Dominionism:

A basic premise of dominion theology is that when Adam sinned, not only did man lose dominion over the earth, but God also lost control of the earth to Satan. Since that time, some say, God has been on the outside looking in, searching for a “covenant people” who will be His “extension” or “expression” in the earth to take dominion back from Satan. According to the dominionist interpretation, this is the meaning of the Great Commission.

Some teach that this is to be accomplished through certain “overcomers” who, by yielding themselves to the authority of latter-day apostles and prophets, will take control of the kingdoms of this world. These kingdoms are defined as the various social institutions, such as the “kingdom” of education, the “kingdom” of science, the “kingdom” of the arts, and so on. Most especially there is the “kingdom” of politics and government. (Dager, p. 44)

Dominion theology is predicated upon three basic beliefs:
  1. Satan usurped man’s dominion over the earth through the temptation of Adam and Eve;
  2. The Church is God’s instrument to take dominion back from Satan;
  3. Jesus cannot or will not return until the Church has taken dominion by gaining control of the earth’s government and social institutions. (Dager, p. 87)


What follows is a comprehensive list (although not complete!) of potential things to watch for that indicate that a particular teaching may be Dominionist......


Thursday, February 10, 2011

3-Legged "Health" Care

The Agenda of Rick Warren's "Daniel Plan"

"The hope for real social transformation need not rest on circumstantial evidence. One major arena, health care, has already begun to experience wrenching change. The impending transformation of medicine is a window to the transformation of all our institutions....

"The autonomy so evident in social movements is hitting the old assumptions of medicine hard. The search for self becomes a search for health, for wholeness....

"No one has realized how vulnerable the old medical model was. Within a few short years, without a shot's being fired, the concept of holistic health has been legitimized...."

"For many Aquarian Conspirators, an involvement in health care was a major stimulus to transformation."
- Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, 1980.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”
(Daniel 1:8)

When Rick Warren launched his Daniel Plan prescription for health several weeks ago as a massive campaign to alter the health of evangelicals in American, many discerning saints expressed shock and dismay at his open association with New Age doctors. While this fact is upsetting, there are equally disturbing issues about Warren's Daniel Plan that cannot be ignored.

With Rick Warren at the helm, the CHURCH is now in the BUSINESS of health care REFORM. This is the 3-legged stool. It is the integration of church/state/corporate that business guru Peter Drucker (Rick Warren's mentor) proposed as the method for restructuring Society.[2] In this model the Church assumes a powerful new role as Change Agent Provocateur, a cheerleader for change and transformation in Society (as illustrated in the diagram at the top of this post*).

The Blueprint for Health Care Reform

The pivotal book that officially launched the New Age movement was Marilyn Ferguson's The Aquarian Conspiracy, published in 1980. This book was "an important New Age manifesto [that] attempt[ed] to announce and popularize what the New Agers chose to publicly display in their Movement."[3] The book set forth futuristic thinking that has become so commonplace in our culture that an entire generation has grown up believing its basic assumptions. One of the key topics in this book was Ferguson's assertion that the radical overhaul of society could be based upon health care "reform" -- a "transformation" explained in the chapter "Healing Ourselves." Ferguson wrote:

"The new paradigm of health and medicine enlarges the framework of the old, incorporating brilliant technological advances while restoring and validating intuitions about mind and relationships."(p. 247)

Ferguson's New Age "holistic" health care model included "Bodymind perspective,"(p. 247) the exploration of the role played by the brain in the body's overall health. Ferguson's expanded definition of the "mind" incorporated spiritual things from the occult world. This broadened "holistic" health model, with its "body-mind-spirit" connection(p. 248), proved to be a key entry point for new theologies, philosophies and practices. Holistic health became the the easiest vehicle with which to deceive an entire population into adopting tenets of the eastern mystical worldview.[4]

Ferguson proposed a vast array of consciousness-expanding rituals that promised "body-mind-spirit" healing -- including "meditation, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, autogenic training, running, listening to music."(p. 251) Ferguson touted research stating that "'The yogis have learned to let go of those excess levels of self-stressing neurophysiological activity and simply quiet themselves down.'"[5] She also stressed the role of new psycho-spiritual technologies in altering consciousness. But note: meditation and its many related mind-altering activities weren't an end in themselves. According to Ferguson, they were for the purpose of changing people's worldviews:

"Just as some psychotechnologies increase the fluctuation of energy through the brain, enabling new patterns or paradigm shifts to occur, bodywork alters the flow of energy through the body, freeing it of its old 'ideas' or patterns, increasing its range of movement. Structural integration, the Alexander method, Feldenkrais, Applied Kinesiology, Neurokinesthetics, bioenergetics, Reichian therapy, and hundreds of other systems initiate transformation of the body."(pp. 255-6) [emphasis added]

This New Age blueprint for health care reform altered the very meaning of the term "health." In modern American society today the word "health" now connotes the entire "body-mind-spirit" connection. Three decades after Ferguson's book came out, the evangelical world has comfortably adopted the "body-mind-spirit" worldview of the New Agers.[6] Many eastern mystical "holistic health" ideas were simply re-written into biblical terminology and passed off to evangelicals as higher forms of spirituality. Today, meditation, contemplation, drumming, etc. are becoming commonplace. This is the face of the seeker-sensitive church. By accommodating itself to the eastern worldview, the Church fools itself into thinking it is more "culturally relevant." So the next step in the seeker-sensitive journey is for the Church to become an "agent" of "cultural renewal."

Kicking the 3rd Leg into High Gear

Rick Warren has now plunged into a role as Change Agent for health care reform in America. It is significant that he chose some genuine New Age gurus to be his partners.[7] This association provides an indication about how Rick Warren defines "health." Researcher Jennifer Pekich wrote an account of her personal experience at the Saddleback Health and Fitness Seminar. Her report on Rick Warren's new Daniel Plan revealed that the real agenda is not about healthy parishioners. It is about radical community transformation. She writes:

By the time I settled into listening more intently, the second speaker, Mark Hyman, began. It didn't take too long to figure out what the basis of his message was. We "need to heal with community" (he termed this "accompaniment"), "we're here for the sake of each other," this plan "is our way out," this plan "saved me," and in fact will "change the world." Saddleback was being told they were a "test community" to show the world how to live "healthy and sustainably."

Jennifer continues her report:

I about fell off my chair when Dr. Hyman stated, "The key to the success of the "Daniel Plan" is "group living"..."individuals" will not succeed, our only hope lies in "community." And with that, it was announced that the "Saddleback community" would be an example of "sustainable living" and would set the course to "change this world"...and the crowd went wild![8]

What is this Daniel Plan? Obviously it doesn't have anything to do with the biblical Daniel. Rick Warren was well-schooled in Leadership Network's marketing model which encourages pastors to snap up a biblical-sounding term, apply it on to any new plan or program, and voila! It becomes a marketing logo! Note the emphasis on community in this description:

The Daniel Plan is designed to help people adapt a healthy lifestyle through a comprehensive 52-week journey--not just another short-lived diet. With the inspiration to know and live God’s Prescription for Health, The Daniel Plan supports you with world-class professional Doctors, small-group support, tools, resources and an online community![ ] [emphasis added]

Being part of the community means that you go into the databank. The Daniel Plan is a massive health assessment for all evangelicals gullible enough to turn in personally identifiable health data to a Rick Warren's massive secretive databank.[9] The Daniel Plan asks users to create their own health profile online that divulges intimate medical information:

In order for us to support and guide in this journey, we need to know more about the history of your health and your current physical state. This profile will also help you track your progress, connect with others working the program, and get your questions answered. [] [emphasis added]

A broad range of health data will be collected on participants. (We guess the participants will yield their right to privacy! They will provide to Dr. Rick information that was previously confidential between them and their personal physicians.) At the Daniel Plan website, the "WEEK 1: Measure Your Way to Success!" explains:

Click "Get Started," and create your "Health Profile" where you will enter in information about your current condition. The site will save your statistics so you can compare your progress down the road. All the information is private, voluntary, and optional.

To help you get started on this journey, get your height, weight, blood pressure, measurements, and "before" pictures taken on your church campus this weekend. Then, you can add this information to your profile. We also recommend knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI), completing the Medical Symptom/Toxicity Questionnaire (MSQ), and if possible, getting a "full blood panel."

Coming soon…watch an in-depth video explanation from Dr. Mark Hyman regarding "Knowing Your Numbers." In addition, the doctors will be providing optional quizzes to help gauge your starting point.
[][10] [emphasis added]

"Private" is not defined in the above disclaimer about collecting health information. Furthermore, this personal "Health Profile" data is being collected for broadly unspecified purposes. Who are Rick Warren's partners in this endeavor? With whom will he share this data? Will this Church data be passed along to the State? Turned over to Corporations? (In other words, the other two legs of the 3-legged stool)? Given Warren's close association with Bill Gates, who is heavily involved in funding health care reform around the world, one can only guess how far-and-wide the Daniel Plan data could be divulged.[11]

Health Police

Let's just pause for a moment in this report to do a reality check about this new role of the 3rd leg of the stool. First, what is a CHURCH doing in the BUSINESS of assessing HEALTH CARE? Second, what is a CHURCH doing amassing a huge databank of intimate health data on evangelicals? Third, what is a CHURCH doing at the forefront of the health care reform agenda? Fourth, what is a CHURCH doing working with obvious New Age gurus?[12]

Note how cleverly Warren has maneuvered the Church into a position of Agent Provocateur. This fits in with the Dominionist "cultural renewal" model where the Church assumes a key role in managing the transformation of Society, i.e. transforming "culture." In this case, specifically health care. By assuming this pivotal role the Church is no longer the conscience of Society. It is not functioning as salt and light to a dark world. Rather it is acting as a Change Agent working in collaboration with the State and Corporate Business to facilitate transformation. As Change Agent the Church loses its prophetic voice against injustice. It becomes a collaborator with the State. This is the new "missional" church whose agenda has changed from that of preaching the Gospel and saving lost souls, to that of working on restructuring the health care "domain" (one of the "spheres" or 7 mountains) of Society.[13]

Since "health" is so broadly defined, and since "health" is what is being assessed, hard questions need to be asked about the intended performance "outcomes." Why is Dr. Hyman running numbers? What definitions will be applied to "effective" or "successful" measures of health improvement? What about those whose health is by nature inevitably physically declining -- the elderly, the incurably infirm, those who have a debilitating degenerative disease or irreversible handicap? What about those whose prognosis can only be measured in steady decline? How will they fit in with the "success statistics" that comprise "wellness"? In Peter Drucker's utopian world only those who possess "human capital" are deemed worthy citizens, and those assessed without it have no safe place in Society.[14] Scary. . .

To put the Church's role in this 3-legged stool into perspective, consider briefly Michelle Obama's key role in maneuvering the Corporate and State legs of the stool. A recent New York Times article explained:

"After wrapping her arms around the retail giant Walmart and trying to cajole food makers into producing nutrition labels that are easier to understand, Michelle Obama, an advocate of healthy eating, has set her sights on a new target: the nation's restaurants."[15 ]

This article explains how the First Lady has been "seeking partnerships with industry" and meeting with representatives from the "National Restaurant Association... in a bid to get restaurants to adopt her goals of smaller portions and children's meals that include healthful offerings.... Obama and her team are also quietly pressing the levers of industry and government...."[16] Food police obviously have an interest in what is happening with the health police, and vice versa. This is all about controlling your diet - what you eat! While Rick Warren's Daniel Plan is busy assessing everyone's girth and monitoring their caloric intake and weight-loss results, Michelle Obama is racing to overhaul the national diet by actually changing available food choices.[17]

So while Rick Warren activates the Church leg of the stool,[18] other pressures are being brought to bear on the Corporate and State legs to bring all into conformance with global consciousness and standards. And thanks to Rick Warren's Daniel Plan, we are provided with an obvious clue that these standards will be managed and monitored by the New Age/New Spirituality model of health care reform.

So it might be questioned, should Bible believers, like Daniel of old, choose not to defile themselves by partaking in the Daniel Plan with its obvious New Age and One World overtones and control mechanisms? How much better it would be for Christians to choose to satisfy their spiritual appetite by feeding on Him who is the Bread of Life.

The Truth:

"And Jesus said unto them, 'I am the Bread of Life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger'. . ." (John 6:35)

*"Figure 2" at the top of this post is Exhibit A, a graphic representation of what this post is concerned about. It comes from
Eric Swanson, To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010). Figure 2 comes from the Foreward, p. 11, and it provides a visual chart of the "7 domains of culture," of which Healthcare is the 7th. The Church in this diagram is seen encompassing the other 6 secular "domains." The book explains, "The missional church sees itself as the people of God... already deployed across all domains of culture." This is an incredible visual of the Dominionist church model. Swanson acknowledges Bob Buford of Leadership Network on p. 13. To see Eric Swanson's new "gospel," watch the youtube video, which is also posted in the context of an article "What Is Dominionism?" posted at

1. Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (JP Tarcher, 1980), p. 241, 257, emphases added.
2. Peter Drucker was Rick Warren's mentor, a well-known fact divulged in numerous articles in mainstream publications. See Herescope, Nov. 18, 2005, “Peter Drucker’s Mega-Church Legacy,”
3. Constance Cumbey,
The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow: The New Age Movement and Our Coming Age of Barbarism (Huntington House, 1983), p. 55. This book puts Marilyn Ferguson's book into context and explains the Aquarian Conspiracy's Luciferian history and agenda.
4. It is outside the scope of this small blog post to analyze the various holistic health movements that happened over the past 40 years. Some changes in the old medical model were obviously beneficial. But note that the New Agers sought to redefine the term "mind." See Berit Kjos's key article "Mysticism & Global Mind Change" for a more thorough discussion on this topic:
5. Ferguson, Ibid, quoting Kenneth Pelletier's research, p.251.
6. One of the subheadings in Ferguson's chapter on "Healing Ourselves" is "Health and Transformation." Transformation and reform are words used interchangeably when she discussed the emergence of the holistic health care model. It is important to note that Ferguson emphasizes the role of "spirit" in healing, but this has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. This is not unlike psychic healing, which she says "may prove a useful adjunct to medicine in the future." (p. 276)
7. A quick Google search of Rick Warren's three doctors, Mehmet Oz, Daniel Amen, and Mark Hyman, illustrates their New Age proclivities. See, for example, Marsha West's article, "Rick Warren introduces 'The Devil Plan," Jan. 24, 2011.
8. Jennifer Pekich, "Saddleback Health & Fitness Seminar - Infomercial for Sustainable Development," January 20, 2011, [emphases added]. Listen to Jennifer's interview on Crosstalk radio with host Ingrid Schleuter at
9. See the Herescope post, October 30, 2006, "Rick Warren: Is He Scary?" This article is the most important post we have ever published.
10. Note that there is a totally inadequate legal disclaimer that accompanies this program!
11. See this extremely important article about databanking personally identifiable information: "When Johnny Takes the Test," Also see the following Herescope posts: "Bill Gates Fund$ Rick Warren," 1/30/07, and "The Great Outpouring of Wealth, 8/10/10, There are many other Herescope posts over the years that pertain to Rick Warren's global endeavors, his internationalist ties, and his work to transform society that connect these points. Readers are encouraged to follow the links and read back articles if they are curious about the scope of this topic.
12. This obviously isn't about physical health or there would be no need to bring in the gurus. This is all about Marilyn Ferguson's New Age "body-mind-spirit" health. The Daniel Plan is a clever way to desensitize people in the pews to the New Age holistic health care reform model.
13. Eric Swanson, To Transform A City: Whole Church, Whole Gospel, Whole City (Zondervan, 2010), Ibid.
14. For a full discussion of this point, see the monograph, "The Pied Pipers of Purpose, Part 1: Human Capital Systems and Church Performance,"
15. "First lady wants to see healthful items on menus," by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and William Neuman, New York Times, 2/6/11,
16. Ibid.
17. See "The Pizza Choice Game," by Sarah Leslie,
and "Food Tactics," For a scary look at the New World Order component of this health and diet agenda, see Berit Kjos's excellent compilation of articles about "Global Food [& Land] Control" at
18. See this around the 15 minute mark and for the next few minutes, where Rick Warren says that "national grocery chains" are going to be getting behind the Daniel Plan. Note that the Daniel Plan is also one of the first initiatives for Rick Warren's Decade of Destiny. See and, and for background information.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Cindy Jacobs: Pray Against WWIII"

NAR Prophetess's Inflammatory Comments on the Egypt Crisis

"Also, in looking back at the prophetic word for 2011 issued by the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders..., I read the warning we issued which said that satan would try and start another third world war." -- Cindy Jacobs[1]

"Satan is going to try and start wars such as he did when the first student volunteer movement started around the turn of the 20th century.... We must pray against the starting of a third world war, as satan wants to escalate world events for His purposes." -- Cindy Jacobs[2]

On February 1, The Elijah List, chief media outlet for the New Apostolic Reformation, issued an e-mail with the heading "Cindy Jacobs: Pray Against WWIII" which featured an "Urgent Prayer Alert from Cindy Jacobs: An Open Letter to the Arabic-Speaking Christians as well as the Church Worldwide." Steve Shultz, publisher of The Elijah List introduced this alert by touting Jacobs as "one of those who is a hard core prophet and she is accurate in regards to the nations and world leaders!"

In this alert, which concerns the volatile situation in Egypt, Jacobs refers back to a "prophetic word for 2011" issued by the NAR's core elite known as the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders in which they predicted that "satan would try and start another [sic] third world war." Jacobs' alert states:

I believe we are at that tipping point, at this moment, where the situation in Egypt could destabilize the region to such a degree that just such a scenario would take place. [emphasis in original]

Jacobs calls for an "Esther Fast" and then suggests that the Egypt crisis would be a fine time for Christians to "put aside their doctrinal and denominational differences and come together in unity to pray." [emphasis in original] Observe how this crisis is being seized upon as a way to promote more ecumenical unity.

Jacobs who sees herself as not only the lead U.S. national apostle[3] but also a prophetess to the Nations,[4] is increasingly issuing political "prophetic" statements about American and world events, which we documented in our September 8, 2010 Herescope post.[5] At that time we observed that she was inserting herself into the political realm by making inflammatory statements like: "If the Church doesn't fast and pray for a faster acceleration of revival and awakening, the iniquitous sin structures in the nation will tip the scale that is teetering and there will be another great depression."[6] Also, seizing on the Gulf Oil crisis last summer, Jacobs in her prophetess role called for national prayer. This sort of ambulance chasing after every crisis is a particular strategy that she and fellow NAR false prophets and apostles are employing to gain a foothold into the Christian Right. They are tirelessly working to gain name recognition and dominance, and prayer is a useful tactic to make them seem respectable.[7]

It is against this backdrop of the characteristic hype and incendiary rhetoric of the NAR, that we offer a more scholarly observation on the biblical context of the current Egyptian crisis by Pastor Larry DeBruyn.

The Coming Middle Eastern Trifecta
Egypt in Crisis: A Prophetic Perspective

“In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border. And it will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day.” (Isaiah 19:19-21a, NASB)

Egypt in the Present

Egypt is in the news. Mass public demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak’s régime have turned violent as demonstrators, the majority of whom are against the current government, a minority of whom are for it, throw rocks and Molotov cocktails at each other. Mubarak has offered to step down in September after an orderly transition, but the demonstrating mobs want him out now. Sniper fire has also been heard from rooftops over Liberation Square (Tahrir) in Cairo, Egypt’s capitol city. A few persons may have been killed; all of which is to say, the political situation in Egypt, a country formerly aligned with the United States and tolerant of Israel’s existence, has turned dicey. Nobody, not even the expert talking heads on network newscasts, dare to forecast where this anarchical mess might lead. So far, the Egyptian military, having been trained in the West and carrying some western values, has remained neutral. How long it will remain so is unknown. But why, it might be asked, is all this happening?

Some point to the thirty years that the eighty-two-year-old Mubarak has been in power, an authoritative reign characterized by political corruption, ironhanded oppression and economic depression, a combination of factors that does not make for a contented citizenry, especially amongst the younger generation. And not wanting to let a good crisis to go to waste, sinister forces, like a pack of wolves sensing a kill, are lurking in the background measuring the moment when they might seize their political prey. As Hitchens observes: “Egypt does not have a western-type civil society waiting to step into the gap left when the Mubarak state falls.”[1]

A worldwide and complex financial network funded mostly by petrodollars, the Muslim Brotherhood lies camouflaged and skulking in the shadows behind the current Egyptian crisis, awaiting its moment to seize its victim. Founded in 1928 by then elementary school teacher Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), the Muslim Brotherhood is a network of ideological/religious Muslim groups dedicated to spreading Islam and implementing Sharia law, the sacred law of Allah that, without exception, demands the submission of all citizens, especially in the Middle East. The Brotherhood also possesses messianic aspirations of spreading Sharia law worldwide. With its no-holds-barred-totalitarian bent, the Brotherhood is the enemy of democracy and the western way of life. To that end, the Brotherhood nurtures, releases and finances terrorists as they prey upon the “Christian” West. Their motto runs:

Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”[2]

Given these goals, the Brotherhood has become fertile soil for growing terrorists and launching terrorist attacks. Though outlawed by Mubarak’s administration, the Muslim Brotherhood is established in Egypt through government representatives registered as “independents.” Few however, question where their ultimate loyalty lies, and it’s not with Mubarak, nor for that matter, with other western democracies, including Israel. As Peter Hitchens notes: “The most potent opposition movement [against the current Egyptian régime] is the Muslim Brotherhood, and the most popular cause is enraged hatred of the neighbouring State of Israel.”[3] So what would a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt mean for Israel?

Ethan Bronner, a New York Times writer, poses that a Brotherhood run at Egypt will not only result in a stronger show of Islamic force in Gaza and the West Bank, areas currently under Palestinian control, but also threaten Jordan as well; all of which would mean that, “Israel would feel surrounded in a way it has not in decades.”[4] A Brotherhood takeover of Egypt will complement the recent Hamas takeover of Lebanon and the residual hatred of Syria toward Israel. Increasingly, the prediction of Zechariah is playing out on the world’s stage. Twenty-five hundred years ago the Lord stated through the prophet:

Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. And it will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. (Zechariah 12:2-3, NASB)

Egypt in the Past

Egypt, the land of the Nile, played a prominent role in Israel’s history. At the time of a famine, Abram, father of the Israelites, sought refuge there (Genesis 12:10). Feeling endangered, Abram lied to Pharaoh to hide Sarai’s identity as his wife (Genesis 12:11-20). From Egypt Abraham took Hagar the slave who later on became a surrogate mother to his son Ismael (Genesis 16:1-6) who became the progenitor of the Arabian tribes who caused and continue to cause so much trouble for Israel today. After his brothers sold him into slavery to a passing caravan, Joseph, Jacob’s eleventh son, ended up in Egypt where he rose to prominence in Pharaoh’s government. When famine struck Canaan, Jacob’s family migrated to Egypt, first some of his brothers and then the entire family (Genesis 37-50). During the next four-hundred and thirty years in Egypt, the Lord God incubated Israel to become a great nation which Moses led out of Egypt at the Exodus (Exodus 1-19). To the Israelites, Egypt represented a place where they could seek refuge when famine or invading armies (i.e., the Lord’s judgment upon them) threatened them in the Promised Land (Isaiah 30:1-3).

Egypt in the Future

Yet the prophet Isaiah envisioned a day when “there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border,” a day when Egypt “will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them” (Isaiah 19:19-20).

In that day . . . the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord . . . They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them. (Isaiah 19:21-22)

Then the nations of Egypt and Assyria will travel on an open highway between them and join together to worship the Lord (Isaiah 19:23). Of this spiritual alliance, the Lord through the prophet announces:

In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance”. (Isaiah 19:24-25)

When will this spiritual alliance between Egypt, Assyria and Israel be fulfilled? “In that day. . . during that future time when Israel’s Messiah, Egypt’s Savior and Champion, shall institute His kingdom on Earth and bring Egypt, His people, Assyria, the work of His hands, and Israel, His inheritance, into spiritual oneness to worship and praise the Lord’s great Name! Wolff comments: “The peace between Israel, Assyria, and Egypt will correspond to the peace between the natural enemies in the animal world ([Isaiah] 11:6-9).”[5]

A day is coming, that day, when according to the predeterminate plan of the solitary and sovereign God (Daniel 2:37; 4:17; 5:18-19, 21), Egypt will be delivered by her Savior and Champion from all oppressors, domestic and religious. That day, we conclude, may be closer than any of us might think . . . Maranatha! O Lord Come.

Introductory Endnotes:
1., emphasis added.
2. "Cindy Jacobs: 2011 ACPE Word of the Lord", emphasis added. Note that this was "Compiled by Cindy Jacobs, ACPE Convening Apostle, Generals International."
3. For a full discussion, read
4. See:
7. In this regard Jacobs issued a lengthy "Prayer Guide for Egypt and the Middle East," Of course, the NAR Dominionists have a plan for world conquest that looks just as dreadful as the Islamic: and

Larry DeBruyn's ENDNOTES:
[1] Peter Hitchens, “Delusions amid the Pyramids,” Mail Online: Peter Hitchens’s Blog, January 27, 2011. Online:
[2] “Muslim Brothers,” FAS: Intelligence Resource Program. Online:
[3] Hitchens, “Delusions amid the Pyramids.”
[4] Bronner quoted by Caitlin Dickson, “The Muslim Brotherhood: The Future of Egypt?” The Atlantic Wire, January 31, 2011. Online:
[5] Herbert M. Wolf, Interpreting Isaiah: The Suffering and Glory of the Messiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1985): 125.

Pastor Larry DeBruyn's article is republished with permission. The original article can be accessed HERE.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

It's That Simple!

By Pastor Anton Bosch

We often get questions relating to some new teaching that a pastor or some book is promoting. Sometimes the subject is a really complex one which flows from different interpretations of various Scriptures. But many times the answer is very easy and very simple.

One recent example relates to a pastor teaching about pyramids and how they supposedly predict certain end-time events. In another case, the pastor was teaching a “Daniel Fast,” which is basically bringing the Catholic Lent into a “protestant” church. In both cases we can wax very eloquent about the meaning of these things, their demonic or humanistic origins and so on. (Many times such doctrines do have real demonic sources.) But the answer to these and most other questions is really very simple: If it is not taught in the New Testament then we should have nothing to do with it.

Yes, it's that simple!

But why do I say the New Testament? Because we have to be very careful about how we use the Old Testament to formulate doctrine. All our doctrine is, and should be, clearly taught in the New Testament because the New Testament is the key to the Old Testament. Now stop before you accuse me of rejecting or minimizing the Old Testament. The Old is just as much part of the Bible as the New, and Jesus Himself said that heaven and earth will sooner pass away before the smallest part of the Old Testament will fail (Luke 16:17). But at the same time, the Old Testament can only be interpreted in the light of the New. In the Old Testament things are shown in shadows and types that could easily be misinterpreted without the explicit teaching of the New Testament.

So, for example, Daniel's fast (Daniel 9:3) must be interpreted in the light of the New Testament teaching on fasting. Yes, Daniel did fast and it was a right thing for him to do. But where in the New Testament do we have an instruction to do the same? Quite simple: Nowhere! So can we form some teaching saying that Christians should fast for three weeks? No. We may fast if the Spirit leads us to do so, but we cannot establish a rule that we must fast. Besides, if you are going to follow Daniel's example then you had better dress in sackcloth and pour ashes on your head, because that is what he did. But Jesus clearly taught that we should not in that manner (Matthew 6:17— “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face” NKJV).

The reality is that we can hardly go wrong by simply following the clear teaching of the New Testament. But the problem is that most Christians have not even begun to obey the New Testament, yet they spend their time searching the world for some esoteric teaching that makes them look clever or feel good.

This is exactly why Jesus was angry with the Pharisees of His day. They had added to the Scriptures, layer upon layer of man-made teaching. So for example, in the Talmud, they added to the simple command “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8 NKJV), hundreds of rules and laws until it consumed a whole tractate consisting of 24 chapters, under 39 headings. All these rules were man-made but became as authoritative as God's Word. Jesus said “you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6 NKJV).

When we move away from the simplicity of God's Word, we do not get more light, but rather we obscure, confuse and obfuscate the Truth. In the case of the Bible, more is less. And the book of Revelation pronounces a serious curse on all who dare add to the words of the Book. “For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18 NKJV).

The wonderful thing about the Bible is that everyone can understand it. You do not have to be a Bible scholar to talk to your pastor or teacher about his fancy new theology. All you need to do is say: “Show me where it is written.”

It's that simple!

If he cannot open the Bible and show a clear and obvious teaching that Christians should fast for three weeks a year, or if he cannot find the word “pyramid” (or something resembling the word) in the Bible then he should not even be mentioning those things, let alone build an entire doctrine on it.

It's that simple!

I am flabbergasted by people who have to find material in things other than the Bible. God's Word contains so much vital information, that we could not exhaust it in ten lifetimes, let alone put it all into practice. Anyone who has taken the time to study even part of the Bible will be overawed with the wealth of material contained between its covers. There is simply no need to go beyond it. Any teacher who feels the need to preach from something other than the Bible (including Christian books and Apocryphal books) has obviously never read God's Word, does not love the Word of God and does not fear the Lord.

Such people have fallen into the same sin as the Israelites, who craved the flesh of Egypt and who said of the Manna “our soul loathes this worthless bread" (Numbers 21:5 NKJV). In the New Testament the Lord warns that this is “tempting Christ” and that this could lead to our fall (1Corinthians 10:9, 12). This is a most serious warning because when we despise God’s provision it shows that we are carnal and lust for what is worldly rather than what is spiritual. By no means is extra-biblical teaching a sign of intelligence or of depth; it is a sign of foolishness and stupidity, because we call God's wisdom foolishness and we elevate man's foolishness above God’s wisdom (1Corinthians 1:18-31).

It is exactly this kind of pseudo cleverness that Paul addressed when he said of the Corinthians (and of us) “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV). The task of teachers and leaders is not to impress or entertain people with intellectual niceties, it is to teach God’s Word in simplicity and truth.

Just in case I have not been clear up to this point: If your pastor, teacher or guru has to look outside of the Bible for things to preach, he is a false prophet and you are in danger listening to anything he has to say.

It's that simple!

Rather, let's resolve “not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Corinthians 4:6 ASV).

It's that simple!

[Pastor Anton Bosch is the author of Building Blocks of the Church and Contentiously Contending, both available HERE. This article was published in the Jan/Feb Discernment Newsletter, posted HERE.]