Friday, June 27, 2014

Evolution & the New Age Movement

How Eastern Mysticism Promulgated Evolution 

Over the past several decades America has undergone a profound transformation from a culture that was primarily Christian to one that is now largely pagan. One of the primary reasons for this change has been the widening influence of Eastern mysticism. A central tenet of all Eastern religions is the belief that man is evolving.

The Beatles with their guru

During the 1960s, changes in society first began to manifest after the Beatles traveled to India and brought back their own personal Hindu spiritual guide, the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In imitation of these popular rock stars, young people began to study the tenets of Hinduism and to experiment with its practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM). The Maharishi proved to be a savvy marketer. He repackaged TM to sell to Western culture as a way to ease stress and gain spiritual enlightenment. TM even promised world peace. Eastern mysticism regards man in an evolutionary process of self-purification that can be attained through spiritual rituals and disciplines, meditations, and an ascetic lifestyle. A core tenet of Hinduism is its belief in reincarnation. “Karma” is an evolutionary cycle where one’s good works in this life will be progressively rewarded in future incarnations here on earth until a state of perfection or godhood is achieved (“Nirvana”). Buddhism similarly teaches that man is on a journey to his own enlightenment or divinity.

Eastern mystics believe that each person determines his own truth and finds his own inner peace. Thus there are no moral absolutes. In Eastern religions Jesus isn’t THE way, THE truth, THE life; He is merely an “ascended spiritual master” who showed humanity a path to a higher spirituality. Jesus is not considered to be the resurrected Son of God who died for our sins on the cross. Rather, Jesus is put on a par with the many other idol deities who are worshipped. In Eastern mysticism, the path, or way (“Tao”), is to find one’s “god within.” 

Marilyn Ferguson, circa 1980

By the mid 1970s, a convergence of Eastern religions began to manifest. This new form of syncretism called itself the “New Age Movement.” This movement was “outed” in a bestselling book by Marilyn Ferguson titled The Aquarian Conspiracy: Personal and Social Transformation in the 1980s (J.P. Tarcher, 1980). Her book was a textbook for how to create a “paradigm shift” in Western culture, moving it from its historical roots in Christianity into an Eastern mystical mindset. Interestingly, the book cover prominently displayed a “666” logo, representing the author’s belief that they were awaiting a New Age “Christ” Messiah figure (“Maitreya”) who would unite humanity for peace on earth. Ferguson asserted that the New Age had many prominent advocates in the media, medicine, education, Hollywood and science. These “change agent” leaders were also working within the government to effect a restructuring of social institutions. 
Note the 666 logo on Ferguson's book cover.

In a landmark book, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow (Huntington House, 1983), Christian author Constance Cumbey warned evangelicals about an insidious agenda behind Ferguson’s touted New Age Movement. Cumbey’s historical research had uncovered its dark roots. In 1875, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky founded the Theosophical Society in Germany. Blavatsky was an occultist who traveled to Tibet to study the Tibetan Book of the Dead. From this she developed a doctrine of the superiority of the Aryan race. The Theosophical Society engaged in a mass distribution of tracts and literature to promote these teachings. This widespread dissemination contributed to the rise of anti-Semitism across Europe a century ago. Theosophy also embraced the tenets of Social Darwinism, the idea that “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” could be applied to social institutions.
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

Theosophy sought to unite all world religions under the banner of the “Universal Brotherhood of Humanity.” Some of the Theosophist writings originated from the channeled transmissions of a spirit calling itself “Djwal Khul.” Alice Bailey compiled his verbatim instructions and the Lucifer Publishing Company (now Lucis Trust) published her many books. Bailey laid out a precise plan for the evolution of mankind to a “New Age” and “New World Order” on earth. Theosophy could best achieve its sinister goals by remaining underground and infiltrating the world’s major religions and government (hence the word “conspiracy” in Ferguson’s book title). By the time Theosophy re-surfaced in the late 1970s as the New Age Movement, it had incorporated a wider hodge-podge of Eastern religious ideas into its tenets. Yet there was one common core belief—that humanity is evolving. 
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“The father of the New Age” is the title given to a French Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955). In addition to being a priest, Teilhard was also a paleontologist. He attempted to integrate evolution with Christianity. This effort proved to be too controversial for his Catholic Church superiors and he was subjected to punitive measures. Teilhard taught that just as human beings had evolved from apes, mankind would evolve to a higher level of collective “consciousness” and emerge as a new species he called homo noeticus. A prominent New Age leader, Barbara Marx Hubbard, would later call this homo universalis. Interestingly, Teilhard was reportedly involved with the Piltdown hoax, a major “missing link” forgery.

The New Age Movement, like Eastern mysticism, does not believe in absolute truth. Experience trumps truth. The subjective experience of each person is elevated over reason, rational thinking, and the scientific method. Thus, there is no reality. “Reality is what you make it to be.” The New Age teaches that truth itself is evolving as mankind evolves. Man’s expanding “consciousness,” especially through paranormal encounters, is believed to facilitate evolution. His spiritual progress towards perfection is enhanced as he works together collectively, in unity and harmony, for the common good of the planet.

As the New Age Movement began to influence society, various methodologies borrowed from Eastern mysticism were introduced into medicine, education, social sciences, business, and religion. These mystical practices were re-packaged to appear scientific, and rapidly gained widespread credibility through entertainment media and the mainstream press. The New Age Movement also launched a new genre of self-help books that promoted Eastern mysticism, watered-down for Western tastes. These popular books served as a platform for introducing the concept that man is on a progressive spiritual journey in which he can attain supernatural power to achieve seemingly impossible things. The easiest avenue for disseminating New Age thought proved to be alternative or holistic health. Self-healing through mind-over-matter techniques was marketed to the public as a new way of curing disease and improving longevity. Yoga is current example of a meditative ritual that originated in Eastern religions but is now being widely advertised as a healthful exercise program in the West. Yet Yoga is, in reality, an alternative path to salvation based on progressively evolving to higher spiritual levels. 
A sculpture of a Hindu yogi in the Birla Mandir, Delhi

New Age mystics believe there is a “co-creative” power inherent in the human imagination that can generate new realities. Many self-help books and business seminars promise that envisioning healing or wealth can result in positive outcomes. Thus “visioning” is now widely practiced throughout the culture, especially in the business world. New Age leaders also suggest envisioning “alternative future scenarios” for the planet. They believe this will result in peace, harmony and unity—even restore earth to a pristine environmental paradise. They teach that mankind, by collectively “vision-casting” a positive future, can forestall, intercept or alter his destiny. In this way man can bypass the “negative” biblical scenarios of Armageddon and Judgment Day. 
Sci-Fi Jedi using a mystical power called the Force

Another key tenet of New Age mysticism is the “force” or “energy” that is said to pervade everything in the cosmos. This is not unlike “The Force” of the popular Star Wars movie. They believe this cosmic energy is interconnected with man’s consciousness. A transformation in man’s consciousness will alter the very fabric of the universe. Eastern mysticism teaches that “God is everything“ (pantheism) and that God is in everything” (panentheism). Upon this faulty foundation some have attempted to integrate quantum physics with both metaphysics and religious doctrine. This synthesis has been referred to as “Quantum Spirituality.”

In her 1980 book, Marilyn Ferguson ominously suggested that “[e]volution may be speeded up by certain genetic mechanisms” (p. 160). Improving mankind’s condition by facilitating his own evolution, whether through spiritual and/or technological means, is an over-arching goal of the New Age. Scientists began to work on artificial intelligence and transhumanism to overcome man’s limitations and enhance his psychological, intellectual and physical capacity. Some believe that the original New Age vision of a “new man” (Teilhard’s homo noeticus) could be tangibly realized through advances in technology. Ray Kurzweil’s utopian concept of “Singularity” envisions a time when the exponential growth of artificial intelligence will change man’s basic nature and condition. The dark side of these technological advancements is the racist idea that “enhanced” people will be superior to others, and further along the evolutionary scale. 
Ray Kurzweil

The New Age Movement adopted the term “paradigm shift” to describe their agenda of switching culture from its former belief system over to a new worldview. They knew that the emergence of an Eastern mystical worldview would fundamentally alter the very fabric of Western civilization. If man could but realize that he is in charge of his own evolutionary destiny, he would be able to create a new future for himself. Mankind would no longer need to worship God as Creator. Man, the creature, is destined to become a “co-creator” with God. Thus this New Age “paradigm shift” can be viewed as a literal fulfillment of the warning of Romans 1:25:  

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie,
and worshipped and served the creature
more than the Creator,
Who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

Note: This summary report was authored by Sarah H. Leslie (B.S., M.S.) has been researching and publishing about the New Age Movement for over three decades. Prior to her conversion in the 1970s she was involved in the New Age Movement. To further research any of the names and terms in this article in prior Herescope posts, simply google the "term" or "name" with the word "Herescope." Since 2005 Herescope has published hundreds of articles detailing how these New Age evolutionary concepts have entered the evangelical church world. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

This is Discipleship

Part 2

Read Part 1: This is not Discipleship

Many techniques, programs and systems in the modern church are mistaken as discipleship. While those techniques may contain elements of discipleship, they are not the authentic thing. (See Part 1: “This is not Discipleship.”) This obviously begs the question: what is discipleship and what did Jesus mean when He gave us the Great Commission?

In spite of the King James’ use of the word “teach” for mathēteúō, all other translations, commentaries, and dictionaries are agreed that the word means more than simply teaching intellectual facts:

mathēteúō. Intransitively this word means “to be or become a pupil.” One reading of Mt. 27:57 has it with reference to Joseph of Arimathea; he is said to be a disciple of Jesus. In a distinctive transitive use (Mt. 13:52; 28:19; Acts 14:21) the NT also uses the term for “to make disciples.” Behind this sense possibly stands the NT belief that a call is the basis of discipleship of Jesus.[1]

μαθητεύωb: to cause someone to become a disciple or follower of—‘to make disciples, to cause people to become followers.’ πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη ‘go then, to all peoples and make them (my) disciples’ Mt 28:19.[2]

Learners and Followers 
Implicit in the word mathēteúō are the concepts of learners and followers.

The word “disciple” means above all “learner” or “pupil.” The emphasis in the commission thus falls not on the initial proclamation of the gospel but more on the arduous task of nurturing into the experience of discipleship, an emphasis that is strengthened and explained by the instruction “teaching them to keep all that I have commanded” in v 20a.[3]

These three words—learners, pupils and teaching—sound synonymous, but they are not. Pupils do not necessarily learn, and teaching someone does not mean that that person has actually learned anything. Paul speaks of those who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7). Such are neither disciples, learners, nor followers.

Besides the Twelve, Jesus also had other disciples during His earthly ministry (Matt 27:57; John 6:66; 7:3; Acts 1:15). Before Jesus, John had disciples. Disciples were simply people who followed a teacher and learned from the teacher. One can speak of the disciples of other rabbis or even of Greek philosophers. In all of these cases the purpose was for the disciple to learn both theory (theology) and practice (character and behavior) from the teacher. Disciples would later gather other disciples around them and so perpetuate the teaching. It is really quite simple and yet, as we have shown, very few practice true discipleship today. So let’s look at what true discipleship really should be.

A Relationship 
The first thing that strikes me about Jesus’ disciples is that they had a personal relationship with their Master. Based on this personal relationship, the Master knew each of His disciples personally. As a result, He deals with and teaches each of the disciples based on their unique needs, personality and characteristics. Jesus related to Peter, John and Thomas in very different ways reflecting their unique relationship to Him. Although the Bible does not use the term disciple(s) after the book of Acts, it is clear that Paul had the same kind of relationship with Timothy, Silas, Titus and a number of others. Once again, the relationship was very personal. Both Paul and Jesus lived with their followers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The idea of a disciple who does not have a relationship with the teacher, and who is a stranger to the teacher, is a contradiction in terms.

The same therefore holds true today. We cannot make disciples of those with whom we are not in a personal relationship. This automatically limits the number of people one teacher/leader can shepherd. It also excludes the idea of professional councilors or absentee pastors, or disciples that shy away from personal relationships, as well as those who attend church for an hour a week. How can a pastor of a church of a thousand know, and have a relationship with, each of the members? Several years ago I went to see the pastor of a neighboring church about folk who had left our church for his. He did not even know about their existence until he looked them up on his computer, only to discover they had been attending his church for three months!

The reason for this personal relationship is that part of discipling is teaching each one according to their individual needs, background and potential. A one-size-fits-all discipling package simply does not exist, and therefore discredits all off-the-rack discipleship manuals and programs as bogus.

Many multiplication systems have been based on discipleship. The theory is that each believer should have 12 disciples, and each disciple should have 12, etc. This is purely a multi-level marketing/pyramid scheme. Discipleship can never be forced and controlled by statistics because it is relational. And because discipleship is a relational and dynamic process, it can never be forced to comply with a statistical model. At times Paul had only one “disciple” travelling with him and at other times there were several. Neither Jesus nor Paul taught a numerical model, and it is evident that none of the Apostles attempted to recreate Jesus’ “model” of twelve disciples.

Submission to the Teacher
A vital aspect of the relationship between teacher and disciple is the willingness of the disciple to submit to the teacher. This is one of the main reasons very little discipling happens in the Free World these days. Modern Christians are just not willing to submit to leaders. Modern believers consider themselves above correction and on a par with everyone else. Generally, “submission” only occurs as long as things go well and the relationship is affirming. The moment admonition, rebuke or discipline is needed the believer tends to leave the relationship, and the church, and withdraws from the relationship.

But without this submission there is no basis for a learner/teacher, follower/leader relationship. The whole purpose of discipleship is for the teacher to train the disciple. This includes not just the transmission of ideas and knowledge but actually having a hand in the shaping of the character and behavior of the learner. Paul’s epistles are replete with instructions to rebuke, warn, correct, command, charge and admonish (2Tim 4:2; 1Thes 2:11; Col 1:28; Titus 1:13; Titus 2:15; etc.).

It goes without saying that the teacher may never overstep the bounds between legitimate and godly discipleship and heavy shepherding or abuse.

The first ingredient in the discipleship process then are disciples who want to learn and who want to follow.

Teachers With Dirty Hands
Just as you need those who are willing to learn, you need those who are willing to teach. But teaching is not just from the relative safety of the pulpit. True teachers are willing to get their hands soiled with the dirty diapers of babes in Christ. While there are many who want to preach, there are not many who want the hassle of discipling people.

Discipling is hard work. It means getting involved with people at a personal level, listening to their ideas, risking their anger when correcting them, repeating the same things over and over until the penny eventually drops. (Just think of how many times Jesus said the same things to His disciples and they still did not understand.) Discipling means feeling the pain of failure when those to whom you have become close end up falling, sometimes in the most terrible ways—think of Peter denying the Lord! Discipling means flying blind without the help of a carefully prepared script or manual. Preaching is relatively easy since the preacher is on his own turf, controls the situation and is not interrupted. Discipling provides none of those safeguards. The teacher has to think on his feet and respond to the questions, arguments and reactions of the disciple over whom he has no direct control. There is just no way of knowing ahead of time what the disciple is going to come up with, say or do, next. It is this lack of a controlled environment that scares many leaders and prevents them from descending from the pulpit and engaging on a personal level with learners. Discipling does not have regular hours because people live life 24 hours a day. The pastor who wants to work to a carefully prepared schedule does not qualify, nor will he survive in the rough and tumble unpredictable world of real discipling.

And it is this unwillingness to accept the discomfort and pain of being a spiritual parent to spiritual (often wayward) children that has resulted in so few true teachers being available to disciple true believers. Thus without learners who are willing to learn, and without teachers who are willing to teach, no discipleship can take place.

The Cross 
In addition to willing and capable teachers, and disciples that are eager to learn, there is a third vital ingredient without which no discipleship can take place and that is the cross. Jesus Himself made this an entry requirement for disciples: “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27). In all three the Synoptics Jesus said: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23).

This is not an optional extra for some disciples, it is essential for all disciples. Without the willingness of the follower to deny his own ideas, personality, desires, yea even his very self, he just cannot be a disciple. This is not because the Lord set an arbitrary standard, but because the essence of discipleship means the laying aside of self and being transformed into the likeness and image of Christ. This is not behavior modelling (see part 1), it is death (to self) and resurrection (in His image) on a daily basis.

No wonder Jesus had very few disciples. We expect it to be different for us, but it cannot be. In most cases where numbers of people are flocking to follow leaders the vital ingredient of the cross is missing. Hence the many things that are used as cheap substitutes for the cross.

Teaching How and What 
Most teaching in modern churches is about the “what” of the faith, but discipleship is as much about the “how” as the “what.” This is just where the problem often lies. Seminaries teach the “what” and those who come out of those seminaries only understand the “what.” The “how” is learned at the feet of a true teacher and in the school of hard knocks. Obviously we do need to understand the “what” but without the “how” the “what” is of no value.

In the Great Commission, Jesus gives explicit instructions as to what needs to be taught in the process of making disciples: “…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…” (Matthew 28:20).

Note that the command is to teach “to observe….” This is in contrast with “teaching to know….” The word “observe” literally means to do. The true disciple does what he was taught, thus head knowledge has to be translated into lifestyle and theory has to become practice. Very few Christians seem to know how to behave as Christians because they were never taught, neither in word nor by example. But that is what discipleship is really about. It is about becoming like Jesus (Romans 8:29) and becoming like Him is not about knowledge but it is about essence—who we are as evidenced through our lifestyle, values and actions.

Paul says: “You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;” (1 Thessalonians 2:10) and to Timothy: “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God…” (1Tim 3:15). Behavior and conduct are simply not taught any longer, yet that is the very essence of Christianity. The world is constantly telling believers how they ought to act, but the church does not. It is no wonder then, that believers act more like the world than like Christ.

The art of casting an artificial fly on the end of a fly rod is not rocket science, yet one can read a dozen books about it without ever being able to master the simple skill. It is only when an experienced teacher demonstrates how to do it, and then allows you to practice while correcting your mistakes, that you will ever learn how to present an artificial fly to a fish. Christianity is the same. It was never intended to be learned only from reading, preaching or talking. Jesus showed His disciples how to live and to die, and then expected them to put into practice what He had taught through His example and by His words.

As a result, Luke writes his Gospel concerning “…all that Jesus began both to do and teach.” (Acts 1:1)

Word Based 
Unless the personal involvement, setting an example, or active teaching is based on the Scriptures, it is simply some humanistic effort, management technique or philosophy. Paul says: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The purpose of the doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction is to equip people for “every good work.” It is not merely for the sake of knowledge and, at the same time, is not good works based on some human philosophy. True discipleship is based on Scriptural principles that result in Godly living.

Discipleship at Home 
Discipleship begins in the home. Parents are to disciple their children, teaching them by word and deed to be followers of Jesus Christ. But instead they choose to hire substitutes in the form of school teachers, Sunday school teachers, psychologists and an array of other hirelings. Meanwhile the parents are absent as they pursue their own selfish desires. These same absentee parents then turn around and blame everyone else when (not if) the child ends being more like the devil than Jesus.

Yet these same failed parents often want to be leaders in the church. Paul is emphatic that an elder must have proven his discipling skills at home (1Timothy 3:5). It is in the home that parents learn and develop discipling skills which are later used in the church. And it is in the home that children learn to be good followers and learners. It is not coincidental that the New Testament uses babes, children, and the process of growing to maturity as an analogy of the life of a Christian. There are therefore very real parallels between raising children and discipling believers. Both require the same skills, prayer, patience, observing, teaching, wisdom, correcting, encouraging, rebuking etc. Failure at home almost guarantees failure in the church.

Jesus and the Twelve
After three years with Jesus, His disciples had heard His teaching on every important subject. The fact that they did not understand much is irrelevant because, in time, the Holy Spirit would remind them of what they had learned (John 14:26). Not only had they heard His words but they had seen His life. They saw His relationship with His Father, how He reacted, how He handled different situations and people, how He dealt with weariness, frustration, temptation, anger and every other human experience.

When Jesus called them, they were a motley bunch of losers, but at the end of that time He was able to send them out as His Apostles (sent ones) to lay the foundation of the church. That was successful discipling. They knew what to do, how to act and how to react. Yes, they were still fallible men, but they had been discipled by Jesus and even their enemies could not deny that: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13).

Paul and Timothy
Paul had several disciples but the best of those was undoubtedly Timothy to whom Paul wrote, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions….” (2 Timothy 3:10-11). Notice again the juxtaposition of “doctrine” and “manner of life.” Paul taught Timothy not only doctrine, but how to live. He taught him to live a life with a godly purpose, how to have faith in trials, how to endure pain, suffering and persecution, and how to fulfill his ministry.

Near the very end of Paul’s life he wrote to Timothy “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2). Thus the pattern is perpetuated from one generation to the next.

We are not Jesus
But there is a vital difference between Jesus and us—Jesus made disciples of Himself but we do not make disciples of ourselves. Cult and other false leaders make people followers of themselves but true discipleship makes people followers of Jesus. Thirty times the book of Acts refers to “the disciples.” But never does it speak of disciples of Peter, John or Paul. “Disciples” was always understood to mean disciples of Jesus. A true teacher will always point men to Jesus and call men to follow Him—never to follow the teacher, his church, or some other human organization.

We are not called to clone or make copies of ourselves. We are to help people become like Jesus and to follow Him, and to ultimately learn from Him. The more those we teach resemble Him, the more successful they will be at making disciples.

Discipleship is not a technique or system. It is a lifestyle and is the essence of our faith. In its absence believers and churches become more worldly and less Christ-like. In spite of the proliferation of theological books and knowledge, we have abandoned our roots and failed to obey the command to make disciples. For this reason, more than any other, the church in the West has simply become an organization and has lost its life and light.

 “… when the Son of Man comes,
will He really find faith on the earth?”

(Luke 18:8)

1. Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1985). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans. 
2. Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies. 
3. Hagner, Donald A. Word Biblical Commentary. Matthew 14-28. Thomas Nelson.1995. p887.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This is not Discipleship

Some of the most frequently quoted verses in Evangelicalism are Matthew 28:18-20:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying,
“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.

The Great Commission calls for making disciples rather than preaching the Gospel. (The same command in Mark 16:15 says “…preach the gospel….”) It is probably for this reason most Christians assume incorrectly that preaching the Gospel fulfills the Matthew 28:18-20, but it does not. Preaching the Gospel and making disciples are two entirely different (though related) things. Billy Graham, and others, have illustrated very well that there is a huge difference between these two ideas. Preaching the Gospel is relatively easy, and skilled evangelists can bring many to the altar through a single 30-minute sermon. But that is only the first step of many, and on its own does not fulfill the Great Commission at all. In fact, calling someone to the altar often does nothing more than give the candidate a false sense of security—they believe they are saved because they prayed a rote prayer and signed a decision card. Billy Graham worked that out and eventually started calling these “decisions” rather than “converts.”

So while preaching the Gospel is commanded and is vital, it is NOT discipleship and does not obey the Great Commission. For instance, many young men mistakenly think that inseminating a young girl makes them a father. It does not. A father provides for, trains, and raises that child until it is an adult. So evangelization without discipleship is like giving birth to a baby, and then dropping the newborn on Main Street and pointing the infant to a range of restaurants.

The more modern, and popular, system of assimilation is also not discipleship. This method involves inviting unbelievers into a non-threatening, non-confrontational social environment, vaguely associated with the church. These events could include enjoying coffee in the foyer of the church, attending church social events, playing on the softball team, joining (motorcycle) breakfast runs, etc. Some churches even invite influential members of the public to serve in some capacity, including serving on the board of the church. The idea is that the unbeliever will gradually be assimilated into the life of the church to the point that they become full-blown members.

It outwardly appears that this method works. Such people are quite successfully drawn into church membership, and learn to talk the right language and do the right things, eventually looking just like a real member. Many of these will even get baptized, take out church membership and rise to leadership positions. In the same way children that grow up in Christian homes become assimilated into the life of the church—they learn the right clichés, when to stand and when to sit, how to blend in, how to say “God bless you” and “I am praying for you”—but remain unregenerate. In the absence of having been born again, the first step of discipleship is missing. Therefore anything they say, do or learn is without any foundation and is simply learned behavior. There is no difference between such people and the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, of whom He said: “… you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27).

Rather than teach disciples to become like Jesus, these “joiners” teach the church to become like the world.

Heavy Shepherding
Popular in more cultic groups, heavy shepherding (aka Shepherding) is seen by its proponents as the ultimate form of discipleship. In this system disciples are manipulated, controlled by fear, threatened, and coerced into becoming clones of the leaders. These leaders will make every decision for their minions, even control their thought processes, values and minutest discussions. Once again, the system seems to work as the “disciples” act and speak exactly as they have been taught. These groups are often marked by such conformity to the standard that they all dress the same, speak the same and think the same. This is sold as “unity” but it is not. This “unity” is achieved through the subjugation of the will and the mind of the individual to that of the leader(s). True unity comes about as the individuals are submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ rather than to men.

Louw and Nida confirm: “In rendering μαθητεύω in Mt 28:19 and similar contexts, it is important to avoid the implication of duress or force, that is to say, one should not translate ‘force them to be my disciples’ or ‘compel them to be my disciples.’”[1]

Heavy shepherding is most certainly not discipleship since it fails in the primary purpose of discipleship—to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Followers of these groups are disciples of men who have usurped the role of Christ in the heart and mind of the believer.

The words mentoring and discipleship sound like they mean the same thing, but they do not. A mentor is actually the name of a man who had occult abilities who lived hundreds of years ago (see HERE). In the occult world, a mentor became known as someone who was training an “adept” to have spiritual gifts that they could use to perform occult rituals. Promise Keepers (among others) brought the word mentor into the evangelical world and soon mentoring replaced discipleship in many churches.

Interestingly, the term mentoring conveys the idea of shadowing or mimicking someone else's behavior. It has to do with actions and activities that in psychology are known as “behavior modeling.” But it isn't about cognitive learning, which is a key component of discipleship (studying the Bible and Christ together). So mentoring becomes a substitute for actually delving into the Word and learning obedience to Christ. Rather it is some sort of trying to act like a leader. Hence the proliferation of popular books such as Lead Like Jesus, etc.

Bible Lectures 
On the other extreme are those who believe that by simply preaching the Bible on Sundays that people will miraculously be changed into disciples by hearing the Word. This method is partially based on the King James translation of Matthew 28:19 as “Go therefore and teach…” 

Many of these teachers do not even draw an application from the text for fear of “doing the work of the Holy Spirit.” This is a very comfortable way of doing ministry. The preacher simply prepares and delivers the Bible study and then retreats into his office in preparation for the next lecture. Members of such churches are marked by a proliferation of head knowledge about the Bible while simultaneously lacking in humility and most other characteristics of Jesus Christ.

Obviously, we do believe in the role of the Scriptures, and that the Word is indeed transformative. We must diligently teach the Bible, but this in itself does not constitute discipleship. David was very willing to say “Amen” to Nathan’s sermon about injustice, but failed to understand the message until the prophet pointed to him and said: “You are the man” (2Samuel 12:7).

Small Groups 
Many bigger, and not so big, churches have some form of small group meetings under different names: cell groups, accountability groups, men’s groups, beer drinkers groups, cigar smokers groups, house churches,[2] etc. The idea of small groups is to supplement any formal preaching on Sundays with small groups which do the work of “discipling” the individuals in these small groups. Mostly these touchy-feely groups study anything but the Bible, and are more about getting in touch with one another’s feelings than discipling. Rather than teach people to follow the Lord Jesus, they encourage people to celebrate their differences, and to feel good and accepted no matter how sinful, rebellious, or unbiblical their behavior.

Very few members of these groups have ever been discipled themselves and thus they are not in a position to disciple others. Group consensus does not make the truth and is a recipe for rebellion against God’s Word. Small groups can have value if they are led by godly and gifted shepherds, but this is not often the case.

Counseling and Psychology
Others feel the need to get more personally involved with the individual, and do this on the basis of counseling and therapy. These sessions often contain a few misquoted Scriptures used to mask the true roots of the therapy. There are many variations on the same theme when it comes to counseling. There are many techniques and ideas culled from psychology, marketing, personal experience, group dynamics, behavior modeling, the human potential movement, holistic health, the New Age, etc. Spiritual self-help books containing new techniques proliferate, and include such mumbo-jumbo as inner healing, deliverance, positive confession, Reiki, Yoga, meditation and contemplation, guided imagery, confessing the sins of one's ancestors, spiritual "gift" inventories and assessments, etc. All of this serves to assist the counselee to become self-absorbed and needy, which is hardly a path to spiritual maturity. Yet, these immature people are often put in positions of ministry and leadership, especially in works-based initiatives filled with heavy requirements on the time of the individual.

These sessions are usually presided over by one of the pastors of the church, or by a specialist either from within or without the church, or by a graduate from an earlier class. Irrespective of the method, the philosophy remains fairly constant—to encourage the individual to accept his/her own “idiosyncrasies” (politically correct lingo for sinful behavior). In other words, the counseling is palliative, aimed at relieving symptoms without evidence of the transformation of the inner man through repentance and regeneration. The focus of every one of these methodologies is the individual and is never Christ. The standard of becoming like Christ is often rejected as too legalistic and a threat to the individual’s identity and self-expression. This is of course the antithesis of the whole purpose of discipleship, which is to help people become conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). The purpose of true discipleship is not to get to know self better but to know Him better.

Elements of Truth 
Many of the techniques outlined above encompass elements of true discipleship, yet fail dismally in producing true disciples—mainly because they contain more human than spiritual wisdom and have not been based on a Biblical concept of discipleship. There is room for preaching on Sundays, small groups, individual counseling and so forth. But none of these individual components, on their own, constitute true discipling. But an even bigger problem is that each of these systems is based on a wrong premise, and seeks and produces an outcome that is in conflict with that of Scripture.

No Discipleship and True Discipleship 
If we discount all the above methods that do not constitute biblical discipleship, and add to that the many churches that offer no alternative, it becomes evident that biblical discipleship is absent in the vast majority of churches today. This is true of big and small churches alike.

In addition, instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the majority of churches in the West are preaching a false Gospel of self. Thus without the preaching of the real Gospel and without discipleship, it is no wonder the church is adrift on a sea of humanism.

… when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
(Luke 18:8) 

To be continued…

1. Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.
2. Not to be confused with true house, or home churches.  

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Is Francis the Last Pope?

Part 3

Read Part 1: Secrets of Fatima & Marian Apparitions

Read Part 2: St. Malachy & his prophecies

The story of St. Malachy injects intriguing speculations and possibilities
into the world’s rush into last-days ecumenism.

-Terry James' review of Petrus Romanus

DVD produced by WND Films
By Gaylene Goodroad

To summarize Part 1 and Part 2, the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) teachers are introducing a whole new stream of Catholic mysticism into the evangelical church world. Their particular version is not necessarily contemplative, but rather they are delving deeply into Roman Catholic mystics and their prophecies to try to discover new revelation about the endtimes. In doing so, they continue the error of the Catholic church, which mixes tradition with doctrine to create new teachings  Their postmodern prophecy formula looks like this:

Scripture + “Mystic Prophecies” = New Endtime Revelation

This new endtime revelation is a heretical admixture of truth plus error. It is a radical departure from a key tenet of the Reformation – Sola Scriptura.

To further capitalize on these false Catholic prophecies, Joseph Farah and WND Films produced a video documentary on the “Prophecy of the Popes.” This documentary is based on PPP teachers Tom Horn and Cris Putnam and their eschatological book Petrus Romanus. In the DVD description note the misplaced honor given St. Malachy, and the admission that his prophecy “cloaked in murky mysticism” is “telling a riveting story of eschatological intrigue”:

"The Last Pope?" is a documentary from WND that travels to Rome, Geneva, Belfast and the U.S. to discover the story of venerated Irish prophet St. Malachy. Lost away inside the Vatican archives for 400 years, Malachy’s Prophecy of the Popes emerged in the late 1500s at a time of great papal upheaval. Heralded at the time as a miraculous development, the origin and early years of the prophecy are cloaked in murky mysticism. According to the Prophecy of the Popes, a time of vast biblical significance is now at hand. "The Last Pope?" includes medieval historians, Vatican-affiliated experts, authors (including Tom Horn and Chris [sic] Putman, co-authors of "Petrus Romanus: The Last Pope Is Here") and others. From Ireland to Italy, "The Last Pope?" tells a riveting story of eschatological intrigue. [35] [bold, red added] 

This “riveting story” is not based upon the Bible, as we discussed at length in Part 2, but rather upon a purported prophecy of a Catholic saint, mystic, and visionary, St. Malachy. The eschatological insights presented, while intriguing, are false. As we observed earlier:

To accept this vision requires that one believes in the validity of the popes and their office! These PPP teachers are essentially agreeing with the Catholic mystics—who believe that God later added to His Word by giving visions to St. Malachy that effectually validated the office of the pope!

In March 2013, David James, author of The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?, wrote a critical review of Horn and Putnam's book Petrus Romanus in an article titled “Pope Francis – History’s Final Pope?” James' sober assessment of this book was that “much of the foundation upon which the authors have built is made up of the work of pagans, mystics, frauds, forgers, heretics and false prophets.” Below is James' summary, which also takes note of Horn's proclivity to endtime date setting (in this case 2012):

So, is Pope Francis history’s final pope? The Lord certainly knows. But that he is the final pope cannot be known based on the research, evidence and logic used by Horn and Putnam in drawing their conclusions on this point. Although they have done a tremendous amount of helpful research, the emphasis they place on the accuracy of extra-biblical prophecies and conjecture, including those from pagan sources, and the conclusions they draw from these present serious problems. As it relates to the prophecies, much of the foundation upon which the authors have built is made up of the work of pagans, mystics, frauds, forgers, heretics and false prophets. 

The following is just one of numerous examples of how the authors acknowledge the potential problems with their methods and conclusions, but seemingly dismiss those problems and proceed: 

"Please note that we do realize that date-setting has a well-documented 100 percent failure rate but, even so, we must acknowledge, there it is, 2012, brazened all over the pages of this 1951 tome. The simplest calculation which derives 2012 for the last pope is based on extrapolating the average papal reign of eleven years."

This issue is even reflected in the subtitle of Petrus Romanus—The Final Pope Is Here. On the one hand, even though in a comment criticizing this article Putnam says that he only assigns a 60-70% probability that they are right, the subtitle of the book implies that they are quite confident they have it right when they conclude that the pope following Benedict XVI would be the final one.[36][bold, red added] 

Dave James then expresses great concern over how the popularity of books like these—which weave occult elements into the Scripture—have the potential to adversely influence the Church, especially considering the wide audiences reached by the authors:

One concern with this is that despite these problems, the authors are apparently having a tremendous influence on at least certain segments of the Body of Christ. As of today, March 22, 2013, the paperback version of Petrus Romanus is ranked at #945 out of millions of books on, with it sitting at #4 in the “Religious Warfare” category, #4 in the “Catholicism” category and #74 in the “Christian Living category. However, even more telling and more sadly, the Kindle version of Petrus Romanus is ranked at #1 in both the “Eschatology” and “Prophecy” categories, and #10 in the “Christian Reference Works” category. This represents a lot of books being sold and a lot of people being influenced—undoubtedly believers and unbelievers alike.[37][bold added] 

Besides the book itself, James profiled other venues and teachers helping to market these deceptions:

However, beyond their influence through this book as well as interviews and articles, the authors are being offered major speaking platforms. For example, Tom Horn was a keynote speaker at the The Strategic Perspectives Conference in last October, which was hosted by the Koinonia House ministry of Chuck Missler, who was also a keynote speaker. (Other speakers included Jonathan Cahn and David Barton—both of whom have had questions raised about the accuracy of their work, and Joseph Farah, who continues to promote books on the WND website....) 

In June of last year, Tom Horn was keynote speaker at the 2012 Prophecy in the News Conference in Branson Missouri. Speakers at that conference included Jonathan Cahn, Joseph Farah, Chuck Missler, Bill Salus, and Gary Stearman among others. 

In July of this year, Horn will be addressing the Pike’s Peak Prophecy Summit, which is already sold out of tickets. The list of other speakers includes Cris Putnam, Jonathan Cahn, Joseph Farah, Gary Stearman, Chuck Missler, L.A. Marzulli, Mark Biltz, Lennart Moller, Bill Koenig, Ken Johnson, Paul McGuire, Jerry Robinson, Stan Monteith, Doug Woodward, Bob Cornuke, Barrie Schwortz, Doug Hamp, Bill Salus, David Olander, Samuel Hoyt, Doc Marquis, Derek Gilbert and David Brennan. I do not know about the work of some of these men, but the list does include those who are respected and have quite a bit of influence among believers. When good men join together with those whose work is problematic, especially in a conference-type forum, it can create a lot of unnecessary confusion within the Body of Christ.[38][bold added] 

Meanwhile, Horn & Putnam were feverishly laboring to finish their second collaborative writing project, tied to Petrus Romanus, in an attempt to further capitalize on Pope Benedict’s resignation, a new book titled Exo-Vaticana. This time they would add UFOs, space aliens and flying saucers into the prophecy admixture, continuing the themes developed in earlier books and writings.


Horn & Putnam book cover portraying space alien ships over the Vatican
On March 13, the day Bergoglio was named Pope Francis, PPP adherent L.A. Marzulli posted an article penned by Cris Putnam on his website, entitled: “Will Washington DC, Vatican City and Jerusalem Host the Revealing?” This post profiled Horn & Putnam’s newly published book titled Exo-Vaticana[39]; the prefix, “exo” pointing to “outer space” (UFOs) and “Vaticana” referring to the Catholic Vatican. Their book Exo-Vaticana continued the themes of Petrus Romanus.

Putnam’s perspective on Exo-Vaticana brought up its connection to Petrus Romanus and also Horn’s earlier book, Apollyon Rising 2012. (Tom Horn had predicted the return of the ancient pagan god Apollo in 2012, documented in an earlier article series HERE and HERE.[40]). In his remarks Putnam discusses“flying saucers,” “mystical, celestial journeys,” and an ancient text called the “Angel Scroll”:

In both Apollyon Rising and Petrus Romanus, a synchronicity between Vatican City and Washington DC was suggested concerning the eschatological beliefs of the Occult Elite pertaining to the return of Apollo, whom they believe will rule a final earthly empire. The capitols in both cities feature an occult architecture between a dome (feminine) and an obelisk (phallic Egyptian symbol of fertility), which seems to suggest a sorcerous [sic] birth. Our present investigation has yielded another link between Vatican City and Washington DC—a ufological one. Might these corresponding cities be the chosen locations where an Alien Savior stages The Revealing? The Revealing is the name of our friend and colleague L. A. Marzulli’s third novel in the Nephilim series. The cover of that book features a fleet of flying saucers over Jerusalem. What most people don’t know is that the back story to the cover comes from a purportedly ancient text that surfaced in the late 1990s and made a brief splash in the media before disappearing into obscurity, the Angel Scroll. Scholars derived the scroll’s name from one of its verses, which describes a mystical tour of the heavens undertaken by the scroll author in the company of an angel with the obscure Hebrew name Pnimea. The text features accounts of a number of mystical, celestial journeys, in which the author is shown the secrets of the universe… The Angel Scroll remains an enigma, but could its prediction of a UFO invasion over Jerusalem be the reason for its suppression by the Benedictine order? 

Whatever the case may be, readers will come to understand the book cover for Exo-Vaticana is not simply the product of someone’s fanciful imagination.[41][bold, red added] 

No, the book cover for Exo-Vaticana was not the “simply the product of someone’s fanciful imagination,” but was admittedly inspired by an ancient occult scroll! Besides the mention of the New Age and Jungian “synchronicity” concept[42] (applied to Vatican City and Washington, DC), these PPP authors are promulgating yet another secret plot by Vatican insiders to conceal valuable endtimes revelation—purportedly recorded on an mystical scroll predicting a UFO invasion over Jerusalem!

Photos of the two books, Marzulli’s The Revealing, and Horn & Putnam’s Exo-Vaticana, accompanied the Putnam article. The artwork of both book covers depicts a “fleet of flying saucers”; one hovering above Jerusalem (Marzulli) and the other over the Vatican (Horn & Putnam).

L.A. Marzulli's book cover depicting space alien ships over Jerusalem
In our age of Hollywoodized science fiction imagery, all this reads like a sci-fi thriller. Sci-fi works when it tricks the human mind into thinking that something could be remotely plausible. Read the following definitions:
  • According to science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, "a handy short definition of almost all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world, past and present, and on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."
  • Rod Serling's definition is "fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible." [source][emphasis added]
It is any wonder that so many people are taking these wild stories and incorporating them into their eschatological paradigm? And therein lies the danger to Christians. Will we believe the sufficiency of the Bible alone? Or are we being seductively lured into incorporating these conspiratorial speculations, pagan myths, fanciful fables, and vivid science fiction into our belief system? The postmodern prophecy paradigm is just that—a new paradigm, a new worldview—a worldview that substantially adds to the plain words of Jesus in the Bible where He told us about His Second Coming. While Christians' attentions are being diverted to flying saucers and attacking hoards of  reptilian space monsters, meanwhile the Bible encourages believers that we should be
 Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave Himself for us,
that He might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto Himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.
(Titus 2:13-14)

The PPP intrigue, mystery, suspense, and occult illumination, continues to titillate itchy ears. When news of Pope Benedict’s resignation broke in February 2013, Horn and his crew jumped into action to expedite the completion of Exo-Vaticana. A major marketing frenzy began. Horn’s Raiders News Update (RNU) was in the process of running a 20-part series of articles by Horn & Putnam based on Exo-Vaticana. On February 17, Part 13 was posted with the title: “Exo-Vaticana (Pt. 13) – Jumping Forward.” The subheading: “Petrus Romanus, PROJECT LUCIFER, and the Vatican’s astonishing exo-theological plan for the arrival of an alien savior.” An announcement, in all caps and highlighted in yellow, was displayed before the opening paragraph of the article:


The last entry of Horn & Putnam’s “investigative” series was posted March 20, a week after Pope Francis was installed as the new Pontiff. It was given the tantalizing title of “Exo-Vaticana (Pt 20): Alien Evangelists – with Leathery Wings, Little Horns, and Barbed Tails.”[44]

The day Pope Francis became the new pope, Raiders News Update (RNU) posted a “rush script” emblazoned with the defamatory caption of “Petrus Romanus is here!” beneath a photograph of Pope Francis.[45] Below this image are key excerpts from the RNU “rush script”:

RNU's caption over the graphic depiction of Pope Francis - Jorge Bergoglio

Petrus Romanus is here!

This is a rush script from Raiders News Update and we’ll be able to give you more information as we analyze this fantastic fulfillment of prophecy. 

  1. To start with, remember as we have told audiences repeatedly, the only thing needed to fulfill the Prophecy of the Popes would be a Cardinal of Italian descent and the new Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the son of Italian parents (Roman). 
  2. Even more important is that he is the first Jesuit Pope ever (or at least for a very long time, we are researching this) and this is a VERY important aspect of the prediction in our book....
As a Jesuit, Bergoglio also makes the perfect Pope to fulfill our second book's (Exo-Vaticana) Chardinian Jesuit predictions who have been secretly arguing in favor of a coming an alien savior (MUCH MORE ON THAT WITH THE BOOK RELEASE NEXT WEEK). 

Also note this Pope was elected on 3-13-13 at 8:13 (phenomenally occult numerology) Vatican time while specifically on this date (13th) Pan-STARRS (Pan-demonium, all the demons) appeared close to the moon....[46][red added] 

That last paragraph sounds like something out of an occult manual. Notice how the statements above incorporate material from occult numerology, astrology, and ufology to create new endtime prophecies. And, indeed, these men are promulgating prophecies not found in Scripture. Swirling around these wild speculations and conjectures posing as “a fantastic fulfillment of prophecy” is their identification of Pope Francis as the villainous end-time figure connected to their dark fable: the False Prophet of Revelation who partners with the Antichrist. In a NewsWithViews article “Exo-Vaticana: Part 17” Horn relied on occult numerology, based on intricate calculations involving the number 13, to suggest that:

All the same, if the predictions of St. Malachy are truly at their fruition, then the second beast, the one from the Earth called the “false prophet” (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10) may well be Pope Francis in the role of Petrus Romanus who, unwittingly or not, will lead the world to worship the dragon. Interestingly, his namesake St. Francis of Assisi would agree.

Let these ominous contentions sink in for a moment. Horn and Putnam have just pointed their finger at a man, suggesting he is the False Prophet of Revelation, based upon occult revelation, extra-biblical, and mystical speculations! Could they be wrong? Certainly the Bible does not identify either the False Prophet, or the Antichrist. Somewhere along the line the authors of Petrus Romanus and Exo-Vaticana have lost sight of the fact that Jorge Bergoglio is a mere human being, a man, not a villainous character in made-up story or myth. What a despicable witness this is to Roman Catholics worldwide (especially Jorge Bergoglio) who need the Lord Jesus Christ and His saving Gospel—not hype, speculation, and false witness in the most egregious sense.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”
(Exodus 20:16). 

Note the sensational hype in the online promotional material for Horn & Putnam’s second book Exo-Vaticana:

  • UNVEILED! THE VATICAN'S SECRET PLAN for the arrival of an alien god. 
  • DISCLOSED! SECRET FILES in the Vatican Library on the reality of the alien presence. 
  • FOUND! THE HIDDEN DOCUMENT detailing the Vatican's position on the extraterrestrials. 
  • REVEALED! PROJECT LUCIFER and the quest for "Fallen Star." 
  • THE ROLE OF PETRUS ROMANUS for the coming Alien Serpent-Savior 
  • 2013! THE YEAR top astronomers say the alien world and its inhabitants will be divulged. 
  •  UNCOVERED! THE COLLINS ELITE, OCCULTISM, and the covert breeding and hybridization program. 
  • FINALLY! THE INCREDIBLE FAMILY SECRET Tom Horn has kept concealed for over 40 years! 
  • WHAT TOP GOVERNMENT & VATICAN OFFICIALS told Tom Horn & Cris Putnam about the reality of UFOs, Extraterrestrials 
  • THE VATICAN'S TOP ASTRONOMER agrees to interview with Horn & Putnam. Read the amazing things he admitted. 
  • NICK POPE & OTHER GOVERNMENT INSIDERS open up on the alien reality, set timelines for Disclosure. 
  • BACK TO CYDONIA: Artificial structures on other worlds confirmed by the Chief of the Celestial Mechanics Branch of the NAO. 
  • THE ASTONISHING SECRET CODE on a papal proclamation and the seed of Satan
  • THE MYSTERIOUS GODDESS who watches over the divine children in whom the serpent bloodline survived and from which the serpent-savior emerged. [47] [bold, red added] 
Not one of these clandestine plots and secret government disclosures can be found in the Word of God—not a single one! Instead, Horn & Putnam have concocted these preposterous themes based on claims of hidden Vatican documents, astronomy forecasts, occult secrets, Vatican insider disclosures, Mars mythology, secret papal codes, and a mysterious pagan goddess—all describing UFOs, an “Alien Serpent Savior,” and a “covert breeding and hybridization program” involving extraterrestrials! (We wrote extensively about these aberrant “serpent seed” beliefs in some of our earlier articles. See bottom of this post for links.)

Again, these outrageous contentions are not helpful to Catholics who do not know Christ—and may even belittle them to scorn in suggesting a pathetic gullibility to believe such things. Science fiction sells, but it cannot save.

At least one of these Vatican sources listed above—“The Vatican’s Top Astronomer” who “agree[d] to interview with Horn & Putnam”—strongly disputes “the amazing things” he supposedly disclosed to the authors. Note this outlandish excerpt from Exo-Vaticana concerning Jesuit astronomer Guy Consolmagno:

Do Vatican scholars actually believe Jesus might have been the Star-Child of an alien race? Do [Guy] Consolmagno and/or other Jesuits secretly hold that the virgin birth was in reality an abduction scenario in which Mary was impregnated by ET; giving birth to the hybrid Jesus?[48][bold added] 

Consolmagno posted a negative response to these loaded questions on his website to say that his views were grossly misrepresented. Here is what he wrote in part:

About a year ago, an author (whom I will not name or link to) conducted an extensive interview with me by email. I thought he was a legitimate journalist. However, seeing the ways in which he has twisted, misquoted, and invented utter falsehoods from the things I said, I have come to suspect that he is either a knave or a fool. 

There are no Vatican secrets about UFOs. Neither I nor anyone I know has any evidence that extraterrestrials exist. We do not believe that "Jesus is a hybrid" or any of the other bizarre claims that this author makes. He is either seriously deluded, or a deliberate con-man.[49]

But the plot thickens. Consolmagno recently published an article favorably discussing the possibility of alien baptism! He has even written a book on the subject coming out in October.[50] His own bizarre claims of extraterrestrial life only add to the readers’ confusion about his true views on the subject:

Finding any sort of life off planet Earth, either bacteria or extraterrestrials, would pose no problem for religion. Stephen Dick has recently written an excellent popular book on the history of how people through the ages have viewed the possibility of extraterrestrials ("Life on Other Worlds", Cambridge University Press, 1998). He notes that most atheists seem to think discovering extraterrestrial life would be the death of religion; but, in fact, most religious people don't see it that way at all. Indeed, as it happens some of the most prominent scientists currently working on the question of life on Mars are also active churchgoers. 

God created the whole universe. There's nothing that makes one place more special than another. Religious people have been able to think in these "cosmic" terms all along, and happily speculated about "other worlds" long before the science fiction crowd had adopted the concept.[51]

And so the deception abounds. And the Gospel of salvation is still missing. Yet with all these “red flags” waving wildly in front of the reader’s eyes, note what PPP adherent Chuck Missler says in his Introduction to Exo-Vaticana (Missler’s name also appears on the book’s cover):

Warning: This book may shatter the comfort of closely held presuppositions and may result in the wholesale alteration of crucial priorities… 

This book is intended to be an introductory part of your field manual. Much of this may come as a surprise—even to those with substantial biblical literacy at their disposal. (Don’t attempt the following discourses until you have completed a careful review of this entire book. And be prepared for some well-defended discoveries.)[bold added]

In other words, Missler is claiming that those who hold to biblical “presuppositions” should brace themselves for some shocking disclosures because Horn and Putnam have dug up tantalizing new revelations about endtimes in the Vatican archives and other dark mystical places. However, those readers who truly have “a substantial biblical literacy” will discover that what they read in Exo-Vaticana is completely foreign to the Bible.

Missler’s parenthetical admonition is a clever tactic to get people to change their beliefs. This process of opening oneself up to new material will lure readers into the abyss of these mystical teachings, so as to further indoctrinate them into the exo-world of Horn, Putnam, Missler, et al. Perhaps the authors can “well defend” their “discoveries” with pagan and occult lore, false prophecies, visions of Catholic mystics, and dusty ancient documents—but not with the Holy Scriptures. Tragically, Christ (and His Word) is conspicuously absent from these recent PPP spectacles.

As an added enticement, RNU offered a free digital library of some of the darkest (heretical) extra-biblical sources to early-bird shoppers buying Exo-Vaticana.[52] These writings, in the same rotting sheaf as Marian apparitions and mystical Catholic prophecies, cannot bring light and truth.

Exo-Vaticana advertisements on RNU
In summary, the most disheartening aspect of this whole obsession with Catholic mystical prophecies and apparitions is that it does not lead people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We live in a postmodern climate where evangelical leaders are rushing headlong towards finding common ground with Rome, trying to revive ancient Catholic mystics and their contemplative practices.[53] Tom Horn and Cris Putnam, along with their fellow postmodern prophecy teachers, seem equally fascinated with Catholicism, especially mystic Catholic seers and their prophecies. By opening the door for seductive exploration into deep, dark mysteries of the Catholic occult, these men have broken down the walls between Catholic and Protestant even further. And the overall effect of their mystical admixture is to deny the sufficiency of Scripture alone, a core tenet of the First Reformation. 

Pastor Larry DeBruyn has given us a sobering assessment of attempting to gain fresh revelation outside of the closed Canon of Scripture (the Bible):

The fact that contemporary evangelicals seek “fresh” revelations from God indicates that they no longer consider Holy Scripture to be sufficient and authoritative in matters of faith (Contra 2 Timothy 3:16.). This seeking is Gnostic and mystic. Harvie Conn (1933-1999), a former missionary in Korea, noted that the “central feature” of mystical religion is its “belief in special revelation outside the Bible.” Yet if the Bible is no longer considered sufficient, the coming of “new revelations” raises the following conundrum. I repeat it. 

"If added revelations repeat what’s in the Bible, they are unnecessary. If new revelations contradict the Word of God, they are heresy. And if they supplement God’s Word, then the new revelations imply Scripture’s insufficiency, and about this Proverbs warns: 'Add thou not unto his [God’s] words, lest he [God] reprove thee, and thou be found a liar'” (Proverbs 30:6, KJV).[54]

“Then the LORD said unto me, the prophets prophesy lies in my name:
I sent them not, neither have I commanded them,
neither spake unto them:
they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination,
and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart”

(Jeremiah 14:14). 

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned
and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures,
which are able to make thee wise unto salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

(2 Tim. 3:13-15)

 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book,
If any man shall add unto these things,
God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life,
and out of the holy city, and [from]
the things which are written in this book
(Rev. 22:18-19)

35. See the WND Superstore website, “The Last Pope? DVD”:
36. See David James’ website, The Alliance for Biblical Integrity, “Pope Francis – History’s Final Pope?” Mar. 22, 2013; This article was originally published on March 22, 2013 and posted on The Alliance for Biblical Integrity website here: The article was subsequently revised by James and republished on March 26. James' note at the top of the revised article reads: Note: portions of this article have been edited to more accurately reflect portions of Petrus Romanus in response to comments by one of the authors, Cris Putnam concerning the original version of the article. The blog responses and back-and-forth discussion can be found at the original posting. Also published on Herescope with additional graphic images as Exhibits illustrating the issues: Dave James is the author of The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction? and has been threatened with a lawsuit by Charisma Media, publisher of The Harbinger by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. See: and
37. Ibid. David James. 
38. Ibid. David James 
39. Cris Putnam & Thomas Horn, Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R., and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior, Defender Publishing, Crane, MO, 2013. See also:
40. See: Gaylene Goodroad, “The Second Coming of Apollo,” Herescope, June 12, 2013;, and Gaylene Goodroad and Sarah H. Leslie, “The Resurrection of Pagan Gods,” Herescope, Nov. 4, 2013;
41. See: Marzulli’s blog, Mar. 13, 2013; Note: Putnam’s excerpt was adapted from the Prologue of Exo-Vaticana, pp. xvi-xx. The authors of Exo-Vaticana also say that Dr. Michael Heiser (Divine Council) used the Angel Scroll in his novel The Façade, calling it the “Apocalypse Scroll” (pg. xxi). 
42. See Wikipedia entry on synchronicity:
43. See: Tom Horn & Cris Putnam, Raiders News Update (RNU), “Exo-Vaticana (Pt. 13) – Jumping Forward: Petrus Romanus, PROJECT LUCIFER, and the Vatican’s astonishing exo-theological plan for the arrival of an alien savior”, Feb. 17, 2013;
44. See: Tom Horn & Cris Putnam, “Exo-Vaticana (Pt 20): Alien Evangelists – with Leathery Wings, Little Horns, and Barbed Tails”, Raiders News Update (RNU), Mar. 10, 2013;
45. To understand the explicitly offensive symbology (obelisk/dome) incorporated into the photograph of Pope Francis, note Horn’s mythological explanation from Zenith 2016, pg. 325, “ The primeval concept—especially that of sacred Domes facing Obelisks—was designed in antiquity for the express purpose of regeneration, resurrection, and apotheosis, for deity incarnation from the underworld through earth’s surface through union of the respective figures—the Dome (ancient structural representation of the womb Isis) and the Obelisk (ancient representation of the erect phallus of Osiris).” 
46. See: RNU ‘rush script,’ Mar. 13, 2013;
47. See:;
48. Cris Putnam & Thomas Horn Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R., and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior, Defender Publishing, Crane, MO, 2013, pg. 19. 
49. See: Specolations, “Br. Guy Consolmagno, the Vatican, Alien Extraterrestrial UFOs, and stuff...” posted April 4, 2013; See also: Richard Bartholomew, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, “Vatican Astronomer Claims Thomas Horn ‘Twisted, Misquoted’ His Words, ‘Invented Utter Falsehoods’”, posted May 1, 2013;
50. See the listing for Consolmagno’s upcoming book:
51. Brother Guy Consolmagno, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? - A Jesuit priest says the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe would pose no problem for religion”, excerpted from "Brother Astronomer: Adventures of a Vatican Scientist";
52. See: the Horn website devoted to Exo-Vaticana (Note Missler’s name on the book jacket); See:
(See the complete free library list at Horn’s; See: 
53. Evangelicals are rapidly finding common ground with Rome, a matter that Pastor Ken Silva at Apprising Ministries has been documenting in great details. See the following posts: THE WISDOM OF RICK WARREN: PURPOSE DRIVEN CATHOLICS, SOUTHERN BAPTISTS ASSIST THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH TO INFILTRATE EVANGELICALISM, TONY PALMER AND CHARISMANIACS EMBRACING POPE FRANCIS’ CALL FOR UNITY, and NO TEARS FOR LOST ROMAN CATHOLICS, BETH MOORE?
54. Pastor Larry DeBruyn, “The Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture”, See:

This three-part article series is a continuation of the themes in our earlier article series The Rise of End-Time Occultism:
Part 1: Homo Nephilus
Part 2: The “Return” of the Alien Super Soldier”
Part 3: Techno-Dimensional Prayer Combat
Part 4: The Second Coming of Apollo
Part 5: Nephilim are from Mars, Fallen Angels are from Krypton
Part 6: Metaphysical Mysticism Masquerading as Science
Part 7: The Resurrection of Pagan Gods: Mingling Pagan Mythology with God's Truth
Also see: Nephilim-Induced Human DNA Corruption and The Serpent Seed & the Nephilim. The Discernment Research Group has published over 50 articles regarding the new Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm, including hosting a conference in 2012 on the emerging Quantum Mysticism. Reading the above articles will link to the many earlier articles.