By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
There is an obvious pattern observed from a brief study of genealogies found in the Old Testament. When a father follows God and leads the people, overseeing in the right direction, there is absolutely no guarantee this virtue will carry over to the next generation. In other words, the saying “he is a chip off the old block” is not always the pattern we find when it comes to biblical history.
While there are many examples we could use to lay the foundation for this “father-son” relationship, I will quote God’s word regarding His promises that is found in 1 Kings chapter 9. We read:
And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all Solomon’s desire which he was pleased to do, that the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon. And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there forever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel forever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, there shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people. 
God’s warning to Solomon cannot be misunderstood. The Lord God made it clear in advance to Solomon what would happen if he strayed away from his father David’s legacy and worship the gods. While the Bible reveals that David had his own faults, he was “a man after God’s own heart” as the Bible describes. Unfortunately, Solomon, the son, while a wise man, disobeyed and rebelled.
There is another way of understanding this truth that is very simple. God stated that if a son follows his father, and the father follows God and His Word, then he will continue to be blessed. As the Scriptures clearly reveal, this was not what happened in Solomon’s life. He and the children of Israel suffered the consequences as they rebelled against God and ended up under judgment.
While this one example features the point I am trying to make in this commentary, a broader study of the Bible reveals the father-son rebellion pattern in repetitive detail. This happened over and over again, generation after generation. The lesson learned should be easily transferred to what often happens in the church today. Click here to continue reading and for footnotes.
By Ray Yungen
The New Age and Christianity definitely clash on the answer to the question of human imperfection. The former—the New Age—espouses the doctrine of becoming self-realized and united with the universe, which New Agers see as God but in reality is the realm of familiar spirits. On the other hand, the Gospel that Christians embrace offers salvation to humanity through grace (unmerited favor). Romans 3:24 boldly states: “. . . being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” In Romans 6:23, we read: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This gift is not earned or given as a reward for earnest or good intentions as Scripture clearly states:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
This Scripture that tackles the issue of pride sharply distinguishes all of man’s religions from Christianity. Religion persuades us that man is innately good and, therefore, can earn his way to heaven through human perfectibility or, better yet, through the realization of his own divinity. Christianity emphatically states the opposite view that man needs to humbly recognize his own sinfulness and fallibility, and consequently needs salvation through grace.
The Holy Spirit, through the Scripture, convicts the sinner of his sinful and lost condition and then presents to the despairing and repentant man God’s solution–salvation through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Cross: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7) and then:
[I]f you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9-10)
Salvation is entirely a gift of grace bestowed on whoever believes in Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross as both God and man. Consequently, we must receive Him as Lord and Savior, understanding that it is by grace and grace alone that we are made acceptable in Christ before a holy God. Justification is God’s gift to the believer. This saving faith, also a demonstration of God’s grace, is more than an intellectual belief in Jesus’ death on the Cross but involves committing and entrusting one’s life to Jesus as both Lord and Savior–Christ’s going to the Cross was a finished work, and we as believers are now complete in Him. Nothing else can be added to this. How totally opposite from New Age thinking is God’s plan of salvation!
It all comes down to the preaching of the higher self versus the preaching of the Cross. New Agers may say God is synonymous with a person’s higher self, and the experience of God can only be discovered by way of meditation. However, the Christian admits his or her sinfulness before a Holy God and remembers he is saved only by the grace and mercy of God through the sacrificial shedding of Christ’s blood for his sins.
The message of Jesus Christ reaches out to the lost human race with the love of God who sacrificed His only begotten Son for the Swami Muktanandas of the world. The Bible teaches that man has an inherently rebellious and ungodly nature (which is evident), and his ways are naturally self-centered and evil in the sight of God. The Bible teaches that God is not indifferent to us. The sacrifice of Christ for the ungodly to reconcile us to God reveals the Lord’s love toward Man.
This explains why Christianity must be steadfast on these issues. If a belief system does not teach the preaching of the Cross, then it is not “the power of God” (I Corinthians 1:18). If other ways are correct, “then Christ died in vain,” rendering His shed blood unnecessary and immaterial (Galatians 2:21).
Because of this conflict, we can safely say that Christianity is the most formidable obstacle to the New Age, standing like a bulwark against this tidal wave of meditation teachers and practical mystics. But, incredibly, many of the most successful practical mystics are appearing from within Christianity itself. Ironically, instead of stemming the momentum of New Age spirituality, it is our own churches that may very well be the decisive catalysts to propel this movement into prominence. Certain spiritual practices have become entrenched in our churches that, like an iceberg, seem beautiful and impressive on the surface but in reality will cause severe damage and compromise of truth. (from A Time of Departing, pp.24-26)
LTRP Note: Posted for informational and research purposes. One person who agrees with the Pope and has had a major impact on the evangelical/Protestant’s church’s move toward unity with Rome is Rick Warren through his long-standing Global P.E.A.C.E. Plan and Purpose Driven movement (accepted by tens of thousands of churches and dramatically changing the landscape of today’s Christianity).
By Nicole Winfield
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged Lutherans to set aside doctrinal differences Thursday and work with Catholics to care for the poor, the sick and refugees as he laid out his vision for greater communion before his visit to Sweden later this month.
Francis greeted about 1,000 Lutherans who were visiting the Vatican on an ecumenical pilgrimage. They had arrived in Rome from Germany, where Martin Luther famously sparked the Protestant Reformation by nailing his 95 theses to a church door to challenge the abuses of the Catholic Church.
Francis will mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation with his Oct. 31-Nov. 1 visit to Sweden, where he will participate in an ecumenical service with the Lutheran World Federation.
Like his predecessors, Francis has reached out to Protestants, Orthodox and other Christians to heal Christianity’s divisions. But unlike his predecessors, Francis has said theological differences should be put aside so Christians can work together on issues of pressing social concern, including caring for the poor, the environment and helping Christians under assault in Iraq and Syria. Click here to continue.
Age, accidents, illness, natural disasters and death, it cannot go unnoticed that these men and women who have walked with God , have each been challenged with tremendous difficulties at this present time. Is it too much to suggest that the evil one is screaming at them in anger for the good work they have done, exposing the lie and taking a bold stand for gospel truth? We do well to remember them in prayer and thanksgiving for they have been good and faithful servants. Go in peace, Ray Yungen. Your good work has impacted us also in NZ and Australia and we look forward to meeting you one fine day.
In His Service
By Lanette Irwin
I first met Ray through mutual friends in Salem, OR, at a dinner in 1984. My husband and I were attending a conference with Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey on the New Age movement. Ray, like us, were perplexed and flabbergasted learning about the New Age tactics of the anti-Christ. The false church being built seductively under our nose. A friendship was formed as we were all on the same page.
My husband and I moved to Calif in 1985, and from then on, Ray would travel down for his research a few times during each year. We attended the whole life expos (a New Age conference of several organizations, New Age leaders culminating together for a one-world movement). These conferences lasted from Thursday afternoon till Sunday. We collected hundreds of pamphlets as well as many books. Ray would stay till closing, interviewing New Agers wondering what made them tick and how they got hooked. And he was witnessing to them. I would sometimes come up the halls to see who he was talking to – sometimes a monk a or some of the more famous authors of New Age books. I did my thing – he did his.
Often, at these conferences and events, they would last until eleven at night. When we got home, we would pull out all the info and read it, talk about it, and compare notes. The copier came out and we copied what we could. We began to form packages – a hundred or more to send to pastors, friends, and leaders we had met exposing the New Age.
But Ray said he wanted to do something on a bigger scale, and he wanted to get the message out there. He said “I want to write I want to speak and expose.” He asked how do I start? I said with prayer, Ray, and more prayer.
I got to know his sweet mom. Ray had very godly parents. We would talk, and one day she asked, “What in the world is he doing with all this stuff – there must be thousands of pamphlets, newspapers, and books. He reads relentlessly?”
I answered her, “I think the Lord is going to use all that someday. He wants to be a writer and speaker to expose the New Age and become as knowledgeable as he can.”
His parents were as precious as Ray. I never had a brother, but I always wanted one, Ray was a best male friend and brother. In some ways, we were so alike, that he could have been my blood brother.
One thing I want to testify about, Ray was the godliest man I have ever gotten close to. He never married, had no children, no siblings, and his parents and aunts and had passed away. He said life was lonely for him but that he had joy at the same time. He devoted his time to researching and giving his time to others.
Ray would call me from bookstores sometimes. He would be excited and share about a book or someone he had witnessed to, asking for prayer. He was always on the lookout for opportunities to serve the Lord. He was devoted to the Lord and believed in destroying Satan’s kingdom one person at a time.
Ray enjoyed his ministry. He said it felt like a hobby at times. There were times I invited my fellowship group over for dinners. Ray acted like they were dear friends. Ray did not care if it was a guy on a corner alone or a flock of congregates, he always made time to share. Everyone was important to him. It showed by his listening and time he spent with them.
Ray also had a way of sharing and exposing false prophets in a gentle manner and a kind demeanor. Sometimes, you get to know someone so well like your family members and there are so many things you can find that may not be right. Ray was not that person. He was godly, focused on Christ, not puffed up ever, never bragged, never acted superior.
A basic man alone that loved to the very end and a dear brother I will miss and my family will miss. My loss is felt very deeply. The Lord spared him from this world, for that I say “Praise be to the Lord.”
Thank you, Jesus, that I had him for a brother and a friend and the wealth of information we shared. That information will live on to expose the darkness bringing light to the world.
Your sister and friend,
In Heaven until we will meet again
By Lois Putnam
Ray Yungen, Lighthouse Trails special author and supporter, died October 16, 2016 much to the sadness of his many Lighthouse Trails friends and readers. And although I never met Ray, his writings and warnings impacted my life many times over!
Here are a few of the things I remember from his book: A Time of Departing.
I remember reading that book, now well-marked, and well-worn, while trying to wrap my mind round all of its new ideas, and new names I was encountering.
I remember beginning to understand the scope of the New Age, and the Emergent Church and how it had impacted so many churches and denominations. I began to be able to use this new found information to “red flag” words, teachings, and persons that Ray had written about.
I remember Ray’s use of key scripture at every turn (highlighted in small gray boxes) to substantiate his findings.
I remember Ray’s writing style as never nasty nor mean, but sincere and truthful pleading with the reader to be aware of the movements that had crept into the churches.
I remember wanting to share the book with others touting its chapters, glossary of terms, list of questions, list of past Christian mystics, endnotes, and index.
I remember being amazed at the degree of, and depth of Ray’s documentation with his twenty-four end note pages. Truly Ray’s work was never just hear say or conjecture, but based on solid
research. (pp.208-231) . Click here to continue reading.