Archive for the ‘New Age movement’ Category

Churches Going Contemplative with Diana Butler Bass’ Book, “Christianity For the Rest of Us”

A Lighthouse Trails reader sent us an article this week from a Pacific Northwest newspaper* describing how members of a local church are changing the way they practice church and view Christianity, doing away with their traditional church methods and embracing what they call a “contemplative approach.” The article states that they were inspired, in part, to go in this direction from reading Diana Butler Bass’ book Christianity for the Rest of Us. 

It’s no wonder a church would head in the contemplative direction if congregants are turning to Butler Bass for spiritual nourishment. You may recall a Lighthouse Trails article in November of 2015 about Diana Butler Bass titled “New Spirituality Teacher Says ‘The Jig is Up’ to Those Who Believe in ‘the Blood of the Lamb.'”  Bass is a contemplative proponent, and like so many of her contemplative constituents who wander into the contemplative prayer world, her views toward the Cross and the atonement have become outright hostile; and those who adhere to the “blood of the lamb” and who cling to the old rugged Cross are seen as an enemy and hindrance to world peace and “restoration.”

Christianity for the Rest of Us is filled with the ideologies of contemplatives, emergents, and socialist-like figures such as  Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Eddie Gibbs, Marcus Borg, Joan Chittister, Parker Palmer, and her “friend” Brian McLaren. A prevailing theme in the book is “sitting in silence,” meditation, and contemplation. She says things like:

People need silence to find their way back to interior wisdom. They need a recovery of the contemplative arts of “thinking, meditating, ruminating.” (Kindle Locations 1789-1790).

True knowledge of the self, of love and meaning, comes only in silence. (Kindle Locations 1795-1796).

If this and other churches continue following the same path as Diana Butler Bass, they may also begin to embrace her view that “the jig is up” to those who believe in the “blood of the lamb.” Below is the article we wrote in 2015. If your church is reading books by authors such as Diana Butler Bass, please urge them to reconsider what they are doing.

New Spirituality Teacher Says “The Jig is Up” to Those Who Believe in “the Blood of the Lamb”

Every now and then something come along that presents our case in such a succinct and obvious way that we are compelled to share it with our readers with the hope it will leave no question as to how serious the present situation is with regard to Christianity in the Western world. Religious author Diana Butler Bass, who was one of the speakers at the [2015] Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, has written a book titled Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening. In it, she makes the stunning statement:

Conventional, comforting Christianity has failed. It does not work. For the churches that insist on preaching it, the jig is up. We cannot go back, and we should not want to. . . . In earlier American awakenings, preachers extolled “old-time religion” as the answer to questions about God, morality, and existence. This awakening is different . . . it is not about sawdust trails, mortification of sin [putting to death the old man], and being washed in the blood of the Lamb [the preaching of the Cross – emphasis ours]. The awakening going on around us is not an evangelical revival; it is not returning to the faith of our fathers or re-creating our grandparents church. Instead, it is a Great Returning to ancient understandings of the human quest for the divine. (pp. 36, 99).

Contrast this with 2 Corinthians 5: 18-21, which states:

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

It could not be any more clear what’s at stake here. The term “the jig is up” is a slang term that has the connotation of someone being caught at doing something wrong. It has an intrinsically militant tone that is more or less saying “you’re not going to get away with this any longer.” By Butler Bass saying “the jig is up,” there is an underlying implication of a mounting consensus that backs up that statement, such as what Ray Yungen and others we know recently witnessed at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, where 14,000 people attended and where a clear animosity toward biblical Christians was prevalent.

Inside Diana Butler Bass’ book that so openly rejects the Cross and the atonement are the following glowing endorsements of people you have probably heard of:

She’s spot-on prophetic, compelling, and most important, hopeful. —Rob Bell, author of Love Wins

Join her in rebuilding religion from the bottom up!—Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation and author of Falling Upward

She has a good nose to sniff out crappy religion, but she also has the eyes to see new life budding from the compost of Christendom. Shane Claiborne, mentored by Tony Campolo

Diana Butler Bass has a keen eye for what is happening in the Christian world these days— so keen, she is able to see through the bad news for the good news that is emerging. Parker Palmer

Bass as one of our foremost commentators on twenty-first century Christianity.—Marcus Borg

I expect (and hope) that this will be the must-read ‘church book’ for every Christian leader— clergy and lay— for years to come.” —Brian D. McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity and Naked Spirituality

We hope our readers will pass this information onto to many they know and pray it may jolt quite a number of people out of complacency or even skepticism into the realization that what we’ve been reporting on these past nearly 14 years is actually occurring.

What Butler Bass refers to as the “ancient understandings of the human quest for the divine” is what the apostle Paul called the mystery of iniquity. This is where man is deceived by familiar spirits (demons) into believing that man is God.

And when it comes to the preaching of the Cross, Diana Butler Bass, Marcus Borg, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, and Shane Claiborne are wrong. On the contrary to what they believe, the preaching of the Cross DOES work. People ARE reconciled to God when they are washed in the blood of the lamb. In other words, they’re not just wrong, they are terribly tragically wrong.

And they [the saints of Jesus Christ] overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. (Revelation 12:11)


*Note: Because our reader is hoping to reach out to this church with some information, we are not naming the church or the city.

“After Yoga, Meditation Breaks Into the Mainstream”

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purposes and not as an endorsement of the content (but rather as a warning):

By Catherine Triomphe
Agence France Presse
(from the Daily Star)

NEW YORK: It is 5 p.m., otherwise known as rush hour in Manhattan. Julia Lyons, 31, finishes work and heads straight for her daily dose of peace and quiet – half an hour at meditation studio “Mndfl.” Since April 2016, when she discovered the studio, the investment bank employee has abandoned yoga and embraced meditation.

“I have been meditating pretty regularly – probably five times a week, 30-minute sessions,” says Lyons, sipping a cup of tea on the studio’s sofa.

“I just need a moment to chill out. This city – you are always running place to place and there are not a lot of quiet spaces,” she explains. “I think it’s made me a lot happier and also just helped me make better decisions, more thoughtful decisions.”

Practiced by millions around the world, meditation promotes mental well-being through concentration, breathing techniques and self-awareness. For a long time, those singing its praises were intellectuals, celebrities or people dedicated to spirituality.  Click here to continue reading.

Related Information:

Mindfulness, Meditation Techniques Being Used in Public School Classrooms Across County on 750,000 Students

 

*Photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission.

The Impact of Practical Mystics versus Cults

By Ray Yungen
(Author of A Time of Departing)

Evangelical scholar David L. Smith correctly assessed the powerful, yet subtle, impact New Age spirituality is having on society when he made the following observations:

Not since Gnosticism at the dawn of the Christian era has there arisen a philosophy as pervasive and threatening to orthodox Christianity as the New Age movement . . . It would be difficult to find any area of life, which has not been touched or redirected to some degree by the concepts of this movement.1

bigstockphoto

Smith recognizes that, rather than just a small segment, the overall social fabric of society is being impacted. This movement has clearly evolved well past the subculture stage into something much more dynamic and sophisticated. This stunning change has been brought about by the rise of a new breed of mystic—one that presents mysticism as a complement to secular goals and one that is adept at easing the public’s natural impulse to reject the strange and unfamiliar. Some examples of this are:

A prominent, influential speaker and seminar leader, Brian Tracy, promotes the use of the “superconscious mind” (i.e., the higher self), “to improve productivity, performance and output” in the corporate world.2

An article in one major Pacific Northwest newspaper features a large color picture of a local university professor in a classic Zen Buddhist meditation pose. He has not joined the Buddhist religion but is trying to reverse his heart condition through Eastern meditation.3

A popular morning talk show entices viewers with the promise of “how to get along with your spouse.” The show then features popular New Age author Wayne Dyer exhorting viewers to “go into the silence for guidance” when they get angry with their mate[s].4

These are just a few examples of what could be called secular mysticism or generic mysticism, meditation practiced not for religious reasons but as a tool to improve life. Many Christians have a difficult time comprehending this concept. They have been trained to think in terms of cults such as the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) or the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses). But these groups are rather limited in their impact because, even if they become sizable, they remain only isolated islands in society. The advantage practical mystics have is that they only have to piggyback a seemingly benevolent meditation method onto whatever programs they are promoting—in other words, they do not have to proselytize people to a dogma, only a practice.

New Age publisher Jeremy Tarcher spoke of this challenge in an interview. Speaking of practical mystics he explained: “They have to learn to present their perceptions in appropriate language and actions that don’t arouse fear or resistance.”5

Because of their success at this effort, one writer declared that interest in meditation was currently exploding. This explosion in Western culture is unprecedented and very real.

In the West, mysticism had always been restricted to a tiny fraction of the population (i.e., shamans, esoteric brotherhoods, and small spiritually elite groups). Never before has there been a widespread teaching of these methods to everyone. Now, mysticism pervades the Western world. How did this happen?

The first such book to reach a broad audience was Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. This book could rightfully be called a practical mystic’s bible. Many people can trace their first involvement in metaphysics to this book. Since its publication in 1978, it has sold millions of copies and has influenced the fields of psychology, health, business, and athletics.6

The book became so popular because it addresses such topics as creativity, career goals, relationships, better health, and simple relaxation and peacefulness. Who wouldn’t want to have all this, especially if all it takes is engaging in a simple practice?

Gawain spells out very clearly what that practice entails. She teaches her readers:

Almost any form of meditation will eventually take you to an experience of yourself as source, or your higher self . . . Eventually you will start experiencing certain moments during your meditation when there is a sort of “click” in your consciousness and you feel like things are really working; you may even experience a lot of energy flowing through you or a warm radiant glow in your body. These are signs that you are beginning to channel the energy of your higher self.7

There had been books like hers before, but those appealed to people already in the New Age subculture. This wasn’t true of Creative Visualization. This book had just the right secular slant on something inherently spiritual. Gawain believed that one could stay a Jew, Catholic, or Protestant and still practice the teachings of the book. All you were doing was developing yourself, not changing your religion.

Gawain was merely the forerunner of what has become a flood of such books. A more recent book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which is about the “spiritual path to higher creativity,”27 has sold over two million copies.

A good example of this approach was a business in a major West Coast city that sold books, tapes, and videos on stress reduction. The owners were very active in their community. Doctors, therapists, and teachers came to them for help. They gave talks to school faculties, major corporations, and all the major hospitals in their city. Their clientele tended to be affluent, well-educated professionals and business people who were interested in personal growth.

Yet, along with stress reduction and self-improvement, another element was subtly present—spiritual awareness. One of the owners wrote how she attended a powerful workshop with “Lazaris” and discovered that his techniques were “practical and useful.”8 That does not sound too extraordinary at first glance—however, Lazaris is not a person but a spirit guide!

Because of the stereotypes about people who gravitate toward mystical experiences (such as counterculture types), we may tend to assume people associated with these practices have strange personalities or are in other ways offbeat. On the contrary, these individuals are professional, articulate, conservatively dressed, and above all, extremely personable. They are positive and likeable. A newspaper reporter who did an article on one of them told me, “She is one of the most calm, serene persons I have ever met.” The reporter added, “People want what she has!”

The health, self-help, and recovery sections of secular bookstores are now saturated with New Age metaphysical books. Christian columnist Terry Mattingly summed up the situation brilliantly when he observed: “The New Age didn’t crest, it soaked in . . . It is now the dominant theme in commercial bookstores.”9 If the self-help and personal growth sections of most secular commercial bookstores were examined, the only conclusion to come away with would be that New Age mysticism is the prominent spiritual viewpoint of this country.

A case in point: One day while strolling through a shopping mall, I noticed a New Age bookstore and a secular bookstore just around the corner from each other. Upon examination, it was clear the secular bookstore had far more New Age books than the New Age bookstore did—hundreds more. Moreover, the vast majority were not in the New Age section but in the self-help, health, and other sections. Thus, New Age bookstores have almost been rendered obsolete by the explosion of practical mystic books stocked in traditional bookstores.

This is not an understatement or scare-tactic conjecture. Take a look at book sales for some of the major New Age authors around today. Just the top two, Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra, have sold fifty million books between them. James Redfield, the author of The Celestine Prophecy, can boast of a staggering twenty million books sold, and Neale Donald Walsch, the channeler of Conversations with God, a paltry seven million.10
The basic message of these books and hundreds of others like them could be reduced to one simple word, a word that cries out a uniform consistent theme—meditate! That is to say, you’re not going to get anywhere in this life unless you get that “click” that Gawain spoke of earlier and to do it, you must meditate.

If you think the New Age movement is a colorful assortment of strange cults populated by free-spirited aging hippies and assorted oddballs who are being duped by money-hungry charlatans and egocentric frauds, then think again. We are not dealing with fringe religious groups or chanting flower-children anymore but with a broad-based concerted effort to influence and restructure our whole society. (Excerpt from A Time of Departing, chapter 1)

Notes:
1. David L. Smith, A Handbook of Contemporary Theology (Victor Books, 1992), p. 273.
2. Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement (New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1993), pp. 179, 17.
3. “Change of Heart,” (The Sunday Oregonian, September 19, 1993), p. L1.
4. AM Northwest Morning Talk Show, KATU Channel 2, Portland, OR, Interview with Wayne Dyer, March 27, 1997.
5. Jeremy Tarcher, “Living with Vision” (Science of Mind, April 1, 1992), p. 44.
6. Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 2002), back cover.
7. Ibid., 1983, 9th Printing, p. 57.
8. Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York, NY: William Morrow Co., 10th Anniversary Edition), front & back covers.
9. What’s New at Stiles newsletter, 1985.
10. Terry Mattingly, “Marketplace of the Gods” (Christian Research Journal, May/June 1986), p. 6.

Wm. Paul Young Teaches New Age Lie About Separation on TBN

By Warren B. Smith

As soon as you—all who know your potentials—can tell this vision on television, you will have begun your real work in the world.—The New Age “Christ”1

On the March 12, 2017 episode 5 of Restoring The Shack television series on the TBN Christian television network, Shack author Wm. Paul Young stated it is a “lie” to believe that God is “separate” from His creation.2 Invoking a vision that was reputedly given by God to friend and fellow author C. Baxter Kruger, Young described this alleged lie as the “lie of separation.” But as a former New Ager, I recognized what Young was calling the “lie of separation” was in and by itself a lie. What he was teaching had nothing to do with biblical Christianity and everything to do with the false teachings of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World view. In fact, what Young was attempting to convey to countless TBN viewers was the same thing I had been taught and was teaching when I was in the New Age—that there is “no separation” between God and creation because God is “in” everyone and everything.

But God is not “in” everyone and everything.3

As I read the Bible and came out of the New Age movement and saw through the God-“in”-everything deception, I came to understand how our Spiritual Adversary had turned the Bible’s 2 Corinthians 6:17 instruction to “Be ye separate” into a bold lie that turned the whole notion of biblical separation upside down. Taking the word separation and using it in a wholly unscriptural context, false teachers like Wm. Paul Young are now bringing this New Age “lie” about separation and God “in” everything into the church through books like The Shack and on television programs like TBN’s Restoring the Shack.

The God “in” Everything Heresy

The heretical teaching that God is “in” everything and therefore not separate from creation, is the foundational lynchpin of the New Age/New Spirituality/New World religion.4 Incredibly, this heretical New Age doctrine is taught in The Shack. Wm. Paul Young’s “Jesus” falsely teaches that God is “in” everything when he states, “God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things.”5 Most people reading The Shack do not understand that this statement made by Young’s “Jesus” is a New Age lie. Yet Young puts this occult saying right in the mouth of his “Jesus—a false “Jesus” who is “another Jesus” and not the real Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:4). Alert Shack readers will note that the word “Christ” can not be found anywhere—not even once—in Young’s whole Shack story.6 Inexplicably, the family cat in the story is named Judas7 but Young’s Jesus is never named Christ. Go figure.

The New Age Doctrine of Oneness

Because God was reputedly “in” everyone and everything, our New Age teachers taught us that we were all “One” and that our “Oneness” with God—our union with God—pervaded everyone and everything. We were told that because there was this “Oneness,” there was no separation between God and creation. And so it was this concept of “Oneness” that singularly expressed our New Age belief in the universal divinity of all things. It seemed very logical. We were all One because we were all in union with God because God was “in” everyone and everything. We honestly believed that a universal acceptance of this universal teaching would bring universal peace. We sensed that humanity was beginning to “awaken” and “shift” into accepting this emerging concept of universal Oneness. We believed if this New Age/New Spirituality/ New World view was universally embraced, it could save the world. Contrarily, those who refused to subscribe to this emerging worldview of Oneness—God “in” everyone and everything—would majorly hinder and ultimately prevent the attainment of this otherwise realizable goal of world peace. The New Age “God” and Christ”—channeling through designated New Age leaders—emphatically stated that the only people who stood in the way of world peace were those who believed in the “illusion of separation.” Wm. Paul Young claiming to quote “God” calls it the “lie of separation.” But what New Age leaders and Wm. Paul Young were teaching about separation was an “illusion” and a “lie.”

Doctrine of Separation

The New Age lie about Separation was cunningly devised by the father of lies to isolate, denigrate, and persecute those who believe that God is, in fact, “separate” from His creation and is not “in” everyone and everything. To not believe that God is “in” everyone and everything is to not believe that everything is connected and divine and “One.” To not believe that God is “in” everyone and everything is to not believe in “Oneness.” To not believe in “Oneness is to believe in “the lie of separation.” It is all a very seductive and devilish New Age trap. And the false New Age Antichrist/“Christ” warns that—were he to gain world power—the consequences for those who refuse to believe that God is “in” everything will be extremely severe.

Oneness vs. Separation

Thus, from a New Age perspective, “Oneness vs. Separation” juxtaposes two prevailing but opposing worldviews against each other. “Oneness” is  being hailed as the loving and spiritually correct worldview that will produce world peace and a happy humanity. Contrarily, separation is described as the spiritually incorrect and hateful worldview that hinders world peace and produces a fearful and divided humanity. As seen in the quotes below, the New Age “Christ” makes his bold case for “Oneness” and threatens those who subscribe to the “hatred” of separation. He states:

The recognition of God is the recognition of yourself. There is no separation of God and His creation.8

The oneness of the Creator and the creation is your wholeness, your sanity and your limitless power.9

Let us together show the world: that the need for war is past; that the instinct of man is to live and to love; that hatred is begotten of separation.10

I shall drive from this Earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation.11

Satan is Separation?

In the New Age, we didn’t believe in a real Satan. The only thing “satanic” was to not believe in the divine “Oneness” of all creation. The only “Satan” were those who were under “the illusion of separation”—those who did not believe that God was “in” everyone and everything. The New Age “God” and “Christ” equate Satan and the Devil with biblical Christians who refuse to subscribe to the Doctrine of Oneness. Biblical Christians then become conveniently and diabolically categorized as being into “separation.” The New Age “God” and “Christ state:

The mind can make the belief of separation very real and very fearful, and this belief is the “devil.” 12

When at last you see that there is no separation in God’s World—that is, nothing which is not God—then, at last, will you let go of this invention of man which you have called Satan.13

Your triumph over Satan, that is, over the illusion of separation, will be a victory for the universal community.14

Thank God I was ultimately shown that He is not in everyone and everything. His Holy Spirit is sent and dwells within those who repent of their sins and know and confess that the true Jesus Christ died on the cross to save us from our sins. I came to realize that God “in” everything “Oneness”—not separation—was the real lie. But most Christians watching Wm. Paul Young on the fifth episode on his TBN Restoring the Shack television series probably had no idea that the “lie of separation” he introduced on that program was totally fraught with New Age meaning and spiritual danger.

Dam Vision/Damnable Heresy

On the March 12th, 2017 fifth episode of Restoring the Shack, Wm. Paul Young used the same spiritual terminology that parallels and directly dovetails with the heretical New Age Doctrine of Separation. He tried to make his case for “the lie of separation” by recounting what friend and fellow author C. Baxter Kruger said he was shown in a vision/visual from the “Lord.” Young stated:

And Baxter had a visual and he was looking at this massive mountain range and he could see a beaver dam that was big enough to block the entire Mississippi—massive—and he asked the Lord, “What is that?” And he heard the response inside his heart, “That is the lies of pastors and theologians and the institutional church system that has been damming up the rivers of living water in the western world.” And Baxter was looking at the very bottom where these huge monster redwoods—and there was one at the center of the bottom and Baxter said, “What is that?” And he heard, “That Baxter is the lie of separation. The western world has convinced itself that it has separated itself from God. There has never been separation. That is absolutely a myth. You take that one out and the whole beaver dam will start to crumble.” Because for a lot of us, the gospel was about separation. That was the assumption.15

Young told his countless TBN viewers that C. Baxter Kruger’s vision came from the Lord—that it was the Lord who told Kruger that the “lie of separation” had undermined the true gospel and dammed up “the rivers of living water in the western world.” But the One True Lord God would never present this heretical New Age concept—much less use the same separation terminology used by the false New Age “God” and “Christ.” What Baxter Kruger saw and heard in his vision and that Wm. Paul Young passed on to TBN viewers was not from the Lord. Absolutely in no way. Having come out of the New Age movement with all its spiritual deception, I learned the hard way that voices purporting to be “the Lord” are often “seducing spirits” bringing “doctrines of devils” like the doctrines of “Oneness” and “Separation” (1 Timothy 4:1).

There is a Deceiver, and the Bible warns us to “believe not every spirit but to try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). The voice Kruger heard taught the same thing the false New Age Christ taught us in the New Age about separation. Kruger’s alleged vision from “the Lord” with its “lie of separation” was exactly what the apostle Peter was warning about when he said there would be “false teachers among you” who will bring in “damnable heresies.” What irony that it was a “dam” vision that brought in the “damnable” heresy:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. (2 Peter 2:1)

It is also ironic that it is “Oneness”—not separation—that is the” damnable heresy.” It is not the “lie of separation” but rather Wm. Paul Young’s lie about separation. It was the lie about separation that C. Baxter Kruger passed along to Young who then passed it on to countless TBN viewers. Knowingly or unknowingly, Wm. Paul Young was now teaching Christians on Christian television what the New Age “God” and “Christ” has been teaching the world for the last fifty years.

Same Separation Language

It is important to note the obvious similarities between the “lie of separation” concept Young and Kruger attribute to “the Lord” and the New Age separation concept. The following are several examples of what the New Age “God” and “Christ” have previously stated about separation:

A sense of separation from God is the only lack you really need correct.16

The only solution is the Ultimate Truth: nothing exists in the universe that is separate from anything else. 17

This is your assignment. This is your work. You are to destroy the illusion of separation.18

Separation and Young’s “Great Sadness”

The New Age “Jesus” states that sickness results from believing you are “separate” from God. Healing—according to this New Age “Jesus,” Wm. Paul Young, and C. Baxter Kruger—comes from recognizing the “lie of separation” and seeing and believing in “Oneness” instead:

A sick person perceives himself as separate from God. Would you see him as separate from you? It is your task to heal the sense of separation that has made him sick.19

Sadly, ironically, and tragically, Wm. Paul Young’s Shack “therapy” for his own “Great Sadness,” for his Shack characters, and for humanity is the same heretical New Age healing offered to us by the New Age “God” and “Christ” through their channeled New Age teachings. Young and Kruger would have the church “awaken” from the “lie of separation” and “shift” into seeing that God is at “One” and in “union” with everyone and everything. But their Shack therapy is an Antichrist/false Christ New Age therapy. It is not from God.

C. Baxter Kruger

For those not familiar with C. Baxter Kruger, he is a self-described Mississippi theologian who is the Director of Perichoresis Ministries and the author of nine books that include The Shack Revisited. Some of his many joint speaking appearances with Young are easily found on the Internet. In his introduction to The Shack Revisited, Wm. Paul Young writes that Kruger’s book will help the reader to better understand the “perspectives and theology that frame The Shack.”20 While Kruger’s account of the beaver dam vision and the “lie of separation” don’t appear in The Shack Revisited, they do show up in Kruger”s 2016 book Patmos.

In Patmos, Aidan, “a burned-out, suicidal theologian” from Mississippi, time travels to the first century and lands in a cave with the apostle John. Kruger cleverly puts his own words and theology in John’s mouth—much like Young did with “Papa,” “Jesus,” and “Sarayu” in The Shack. By the end of his novel, Kruger has the apostle John sounding more like an apostate John—most especially when it comes to a conversation Aidan and John have regarding separation. After Aidan tells John how he had to “escape the twin clutches of fundamentalism and modernism,”21 Kruger’s apostle John tells him,“There is only one battle”—“Union or separation.”22 He tells Aidan that the world’s problems all revolve around one crucial matter—“Ourselves and our ideas about separation from God.”23 Kruger’s “apostle John” contrasts the Oneness of believing that Jesus is “in” everyone with the “lie” of separation that denies Jesus is “in” everyone. Kruger’s “John” gives the time-traveling Aidan the following New Age message:

[The] lie of separation from God is the chief of all lies. It may be like a mother spider with a thousand babies on its back, but there is only one mother spider.24

Dear brother, either Jesus is in us or we are separated from him.25

At one point, Aidan asks the apostle John, “This mess, this historical quagmire of religions, wars, abuses, lust, and fear, all grows out of a single untruth?”

John answers, “Indeed my son . . . The lie that we are separated from Jesus and his Father.”

To which Aidan comments, “So in your gospel and letters, you’re trying to help us see through the lie of separation.”26

In another exchange, John tells Aidan, “The assumption of separation is the great darkness.”27 Never referring to Satan as Satan, but only as “Ophis,” John warns:

This is Ophis’s chief trick—blind us to how close the Lord is, closer than breath: we’re in him, and he’s in us. Ophis deceives the nations by one lie—separation. 28

Thus Kruger—by putting his own words in the apostle John’s mouth—has John teaching what the New Age has been teaching for decades. And that is that there is no separation between God and creation because God is “in” everyone and everything. But what Kruger is teaching is not true and is not from God. He and Wm. Paul Young are not exposing the deception—they are a part of it. The lie that is in the process of actually deceiving the nations and deceiving the church is “Oneness”—God “in” everyone and everything.

Talks Like New Age

The parallels between what the New Age is saying about Oneness and separation and what Kruger and Young are saying should be deeply disturbing to anyone who loves the truth. And while Young and Kruger would probably deny that man is God and that what they are teaching is New Age, it is a simple matter of semantics. A rose by any other name is still a rose. And a “God” who “dwells in, around, and through all things”29 and is not separate from creation is still a false unbiblical New Age “God.”

The Selection Process

The upshot of all this upside down, twisted teaching is that people may one day live or die based on what they believe regarding this cleverly contrived battle between “Oneness” and “Separation.” Or as Kruger puts it—“the battle” between “union or separation.” And that is because the false New Age Christ promises severe repercussions for those who insist on being “separate”—those who refuse to believe that God is “in” everyone and everything. This could fulfill the severe end-times persecution of the church described in the Bible but almost never talked about by false teachers like Young and Kruger.

The New Age Christ, while professing his love for all mankind, nevertheless warns there will be no place in the future for those who see themselves as “separate.” Consequently, this New Age Antichrist figure describes the necessity of a “selection process” that will select out and eliminate the resistant individuals who choose to remain “separate” as they oppose the New Age “Oneness” that falsely purports to heal and save the world. Through his chosen spokespersons, the New Age Christ has threatened those who choose biblical separation over New Age “Oneness”:

[T]he fundamental regression is self-centeredness, or the illusion that you are separate from God. I “make war” on self-centeredness.30

At the co-creative stage of evolution, one self-centered soul is like a lethal cancer cell in a body: deadly to itself and to the whole.31

The surgeon dare leave no cancer in the body when he closes up the wound after a delicate operation. We dare leave no self-centeredness on Earth after the selection process.32

I shall drive from this Earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation.33

The crime of separation, of division, of lawlessness must go from the world. All that hinders the manifestation of man’s divinity must be driven from our planet. My Law will take the place of separation.34

“Be ye separate”

Thus, separation is a pernicious label that takes the biblical admonition to “Be ye separate” and turns it back on those who dare to separate themselves from the world and false New Age teachings like “Oneness.” Bible-believing Christians are to separate themselves from men like Wm. Paul Young and C. Baxter Kruger who indiscriminately mix truth with error and present false teachings to the church. Those who think they can eat some meat from The Shack and spit out the bones are sorely deceived. They may very well choke on the bones they failed to detect—leavened bones like the God who “dwells in, around, and through all things.” Leavened bones like the falsely alleged “lie of separation.” The apostle Paul makes the Bible’s position on the danger of unbiblical leaven very clear:

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)

Paul of the Bible warned about the Paul of The Shack when he provided the true scriptural take on separation—that we are to separate ourselves from men like Young and Kruger who give us some of the truth but not all of the truth; who please men with their cunningly devised fables (2 Peter 1:16) by putting their words and doctrines in the mouths of their fictional characters; who preach “another Jesus” and “another gospel”; who instead of positively teaching about the need for biblical separation, mimic New Age teachers who falsely teach that separation is “a sin,” “an illusion,” “a crime” and “a lie.”

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.”(2 Corinthians 6:17)

TBN Supports Young

The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) continues to offer Wm. Paul Young a massive platform for his Shack book, Shack movie, and his 2017 book Lies We Believe About God where he openly affirms his belief in universal salvation35 and the New Age teaching that Christ is “in” everyone.36 Contrary to what most Christians believe, the New Age did not disappear but is now charging full steam ahead into the church through books like The Shack and into people’s living rooms through television programs like Restoring the Shack. In the meantime, the true Christ of the Bible warns us all to “be not deceived” by “false Christs” and “false prophets” with their signs and wonders that come in the form of best-selling books, Hollywood movies, and so-called Christian television. Christians need to understand that a false Christ Antichrist figure is preparing the world for strong delusion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:24)

Endnotes
1. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, California: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 74.
2. Restoring the Shack television series, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), 20 episodes that were originally broadcast from to July 9, 2017. (Restoring the Shack online at: https://www.tbn.org/programs/restoring-shack).
3. Warren B. Smith, Be Still and Know that You are not God: God is Not in Everyone and Everything (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2015; to read online, go to http://www.warrenbsmith.com, click booklets, click to read content of booklet; history and scriptural refutation of the false New Age teaching that God is in everything).
4. Neale Donald Walsch, Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge (New York: NY: Atria Books, 2004), pp. 31-32.
5. William P. Young, The Shack (Los Angeles, California: Windblown Media, 2007), p. 112.
6. Warren B. Smith, “The Christless Shack,” article posted at warrenbsmith.com.
7. William P. Young, The Shack, op. cit. p. 231. Warren B. Smith “A Cat Named Judas,” articled posted at http://www.warrenbsmith.com.
8. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume [Text, Workbook for Students, Manual for Teachers] (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1992), p. 147 (Text).
9. Ibid., p. 125 (Text)
10. Messages From Maitreya the Christ: 140 Messages (Los Angeles, CA: Share International, 2001), p. 108.
11. Ibid., p. 104.
12. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 50 (Text).
13. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 3 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1998), p. 56.
14. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit. p. 193.
15. Restoring the Shack television series, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), episode 5, March 12, 2017. Beaver dam discourse starts around the 19 minute mark. Transcribed by author.
16. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 14 (Text).
17. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 2 (Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 1997), p. 173.
18. Neale Donald Walsch, Friendship with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999), p. 21.
19. A Course in Miracles, Combined Volume, op. cit., p. 56 (Manual).
20. 9. C. Baxter Kruger, The Shack Revisited: There is More Going On Here Than You Ever Dared to Dream (New York, New York: Faith Words, 2012), p. ix.
21. C. Baxter Kruger, Patmos, Three Days, Two Men, One Extraordinary Conversation (Jackson, MS: Perichoresis Press, 2016), p. 90.
22. Ibid., p. 91.
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid., p. 93.
25. Ibid., p. 92.
26. Ibid., p. 93.
27. Ibid., p. 91.
28. Ibid., pp. 91-92.
29. William P. Young, The Shack, op. cit., p. 112.
30. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 233.
31. Ibid., p. 255.
32. Ibid., p. 240.
33. Messages From Maitreya the Christ, op. cit., p. 104.
34. Ibid., p. 248.
35. Wm. Paul Young, Lies We Believe About God (New York, NY: Atria Books, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2017), p. 118.
36. Ibid., p. 119.

The First and Final Deception

Berit Kjos

By Berit Kjos
(Author of How to Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception)

Aleister Crowley was called “the most evil man in the world.” This founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn defined magic as “the science and art of causing change to occur at will.”1

Whose will?

Not God’s! The following occult statement describes one of the most devious traps set by the evil one since the beginning of time:

[U]nless you make yourself equal to God, you cannot understand God: for the like is not intelligible save to the like. . . . Believe that nothing is impossible for you. . . . Mount higher than the highest height; descend lower than the lowest depth. Draw into yourself all sensations of everything created, fire and water, dry and moist, imagining that you are everywhere, on earth, in the sea, in the sky.2

Remember what the serpent said to Eve in the garden after tempting her to eat the forbidden fruit:

Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5)

It was a devious lie! Instead of making her like God, her sin banished her from His presence. By “knowing . . . evil” experientially, she became an unholy creature who could no longer walk in the presence of our holy God! Satan’s lofty promise was actually a deadly trap!

Yet it supports what children are taught in schools, youth organizations, and many churches. In this fantasy world, it makes sense for opposing sides—good and evil—to join hands in perfect harmony. Like the dialectic process that “frees” group members from biblical authority and values, Satan’s devious message promotes an arrogance that matches the Old Testament description of Lucifer who said in his heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).

If we choose “other gods” and yield to Satan’s temptations, we will surely face consequences. Ponder these warnings:

[They] walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart. (Jeremiah 7:24)

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:14-15)

And as it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Luke 17:26)

And what was it like “in the days of Noah”?

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. . . . The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Genesis 6:5, 11)

A vivid memory that happened several years ago sticks in my mind like it was yesterday—I was walking down a sidewalk when suddenly I was standing in front of an assortment of Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Supernaturals—an exotic collection of action figures and accessories lay scattered on the ground outside a Boston apartment. Four-year-old Jimmy, their proud owner, smiled a welcome as I stopped to watch him play.

“Which do you like best?” I asked.

“Rock-N-Roll Michaelangelo,” he answered, pointing to one of the black-belted Ninja Turtles.

As we discussed Michaelangelo and the two snakes he carried as weapons, I noticed an interesting book cover.

“May I see your book?”

“Sure. It’s Nanny Noony and the Magic Spell.”

I opened it and read a few paragraphs. “It looks like Nanny Noony put a hex on the farm,” I said.

“But she didn’t really do it,” protested Jimmy. “She’s a good witch. She just makes potions to undo bad hexes.”

Jimmy’s mother, who had been listening, asked me a few questions. When she learned that I was writing about the New Age, she announced that she was a Christian. But she liked spirit-guide Seth’s messages better than the Bible.

She went inside and returned with three paperbacks. “Here’s what I believe,” she said, handing them to me. Penned by the late trance-channeler Jane Roberts, they were filled with messages from the prolific Seth, who first “spoke” to his human medium through a Ouija Board.

Soon I was sitting in her living room surrounded by New Age literature: Seth material, a magazine called Mothering, two books about Edgar Cayce’s channeled revelations, and The Aquarian Gospel of the Christ. The last of these, written like a Bible but presenting distortions of God’s truth, fills Jesus’ “missing years” with New Age “insights”—at the feet of “higher Masters” in India, Persia, and Egypt.

What messages do these and other spirit guides like Ramtha (who has about 35,000 followers), Lazaris, Carl Jung’s Philemon, and thousands of Higher Selves bring? You can be God! Just believe in your divinity, create your own reality, and build a new world of light and love.

Jimmy’s home is tragically representative of the growing number of households, including the homes of many professing Christians, who have opened their doors to counterfeit gods. While millions have studied Seth’s teachings, thousands of amateur spiritists have learned to channel their own spirit guides. The reports of terrifying encounters with evil spirits fade in the optimism of infinite possibilities.

Unfortunately, what we are experiencing today is a synthesis of the “I am God” ideology and accelerating occult activity. In fact, the two are inextricably linked together in that they have the same source—the demonic realm. Aleister Crowley, who promoted the ancient occult maxim “as above, so below” (i.e., man and creation are equal to God and the heavenly realms), also mobilized the youth of the hippie era with his own maxim, “Do what thou wilt” as being the whole of the law.

This maxim was then propagated to the mass youth of the sixties with the expression, “Do your own thing.” Today, we have a similar onslaught from Hell that is destined to be even more devastating to children and teens as they attempt to incorporate their notion of divinity within by practicing “divine powers,” all the while being caught in the web of self, pride, deceit, and occult manifestations.

You may remember December 14th, 2012 when a horrific event took place in America. A young tormented demonized man walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and shot and killed twenty children, six adults, then himself. It shocked and shook the nation. Less than twenty-four hours after the event, then President Barak Obama, and others in government, raised the gun control issue, believing that if there is enough gun control, such atrocities wouldn’t happen. Tragically, what most do not realize is that we have turned this country into an esoteric New Age society, and the “fruit” of it is rearing its ugly grotesque face more now than ever. And these violent crimes committed by young people are only going to increase, especially if most people don’t realize what the true source of such incredible violence is.

What should Christian families do? Should we hide ourselves and our loved ones from the world’s charms and ills, or should we shine our light, work while it is day, and speak the truth in love and in boldness?

Of course, even if we wanted to, we really couldn’t hide. And though we heed God’s call to pray, study His Word, love one another in Christ, and reach out to the lost, we still can’t stop today’s rapid spread of evil. Yet Christian families can make a huge difference in the lives of untold numbers of seekers, if we let God use us to spread His light in a world growing darker by the minute.

We need to show our children how to be in the world but not of the world. We can be God’s ambassadors in an increasingly corrupt land, but we cannot allow its darkness to quench His light in us. We can demonstrate God’s concern for the poor, but we can’t compromise with a counterfeit social gospel and New Age solutions.

Let us pray that He fill us with His wisdom, compassion, patience, and love. And may God bless you as you work to accomplish His will at home with your own children and grandchildren.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. (Colossians 2:6-7)

Ten Questions for Those Who Claim the “Supreme Beings” of the Nations are the True God

By Sandy Simpson

When did ANY of the Patriarchs and Prophets in the Old Testament and the apostles or Jesus Christ in the New Testament ever claim that the “supreme beings” of the nations were Elohim/YHWH, the one True God? And yet, this very thing is being taught by popular figures within the Christian church today.

I have ten questions for the World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People (WCGIP) adherents such as Don Richardson, Daniel Kikawa, the late Richard Twiss, Terry LeBlanc, Danny Lehman, Aloha Ke Akua, YWAM as well as many in the Emergent Church (EC). The questions arise from their claim that the “supreme beings” of the nations are all the True God, YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I have included Scripture verses with each of the following questions, and the footnotes provide further documentation.

 10 Questions with Scriptural Answers

1. Did Abraham claim that the God who called him from Haran was the same as the god Baal of the Canaanites?

So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. (Genesis 12:4; emphasis added)

The word for “LORD” in the above verse is YHWH, the name of God, the I Am. Baal was a false god of the Caananites, not YHWH. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were actually a polytheistic couple, Baal and Asherah, as in all ancient cultures modeled after the false religion of Nimrod and Semiramis at Babel.1

2. Did Joseph, upon being taken to Egypt, tell the Pharaoh they had always been worshipping the true God by the name of Amen (Amon)?

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him. (Jeremiah 46:25)

The God of Israel, thus the God of Joseph, said He would bring punishment on the false “supreme being” of the Egyptians and the leaders who worshipped it. The “supreme beings” of Egypt were Amen and Mut.2

3. Did Moses, after going up to the mountain of God, come down and tell Israel their worship of the Golden Calf was good because it was the same as the worship of YHWH?

[T]hey have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 32:8)

The golden calf is contrasted against the true God of Israel by Moses. Interestingly, the golden calf was not only an idol meant to take the place of YHWH, but it was a symbol of the Pharaoh who was considered a “god” by the Egyptians.

I have established that the only god specifically called a “Golden Calf” by the ancient Egyptians in their writings is Pharaoh in the Old Kingdom Pyramid Texts (these texts exist into later New Kingdom times in reworked formats). In these texts, Pharaoh calls himself a “Golden Calf,” born of heaven, who wishes to be allowed to board the sacred solar bark or boat, which carries the Sun god each day across the heavens. Pharaoh was called “Son of the Sun” and in New Kingdom times “the Sun,” in letters from Canaanite princes addressed to Pharaoh Akhenaten (reigned ca. 1350-1334 BCE).3

So Israel wanted to go back to Egypt and back under the rule of Pharaoh who was to be worshipped as a “god.”

4. Did Joshua, in conquering the nations in Canaan, claim that Baal was the True God?

And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. (Judges 2:8-13)

During the time of Joshua, the people of Israel worshipped the true God, by in large. But a generation after Joshua died turned away from YHWH to the worship of Baal & Ashtoreth. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were the Baals and Asherahs.4

5. Did Elijah test the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel just for a good laugh because Baal was really the True God?

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. (1 Kings 18:21)

The whole conflict was between the false god Baal and the true God, YHWH. Postmodern “progressive” inclusivists of today would have never had this showdown. It would have shown that inclusivism is garbage. The “supreme beings” of Canaan were the Baals and Asherahs.5

6. Did Jonah tell the people of Nineveh to repent to their god el, who was not Elohim but the consort of Athirat?

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. (Jonah 1:1-2)

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days’ journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. (Jonah 3:1-5)

Anytime you see the word “LORD” in capitals in English Bibles, it is the word “YHWH.” YHWH sent Jonah to Nineveh, and when they heard that God was going to judge them, they repented. Jonah then got angry because they were Gentiles who worshipped false gods.

The origin of the name Nineveh is obscure. Possibly it meant originally the seat of Ishtar, since Nina was one of the Babylonian names of that goddess.6

El and Athirat were the “supreme beings” of Ninevah.7 They were not worshipping the “El” Who is YHWH but a generic singular El which means “god.” They were continuing in the polytheistic worship of Babel which was the worship of a male and female supreme beings.

7. Did David tell the Philistines to continue to worship the god Dagon because he was the same as YHWH?

And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god. (1 Samuel 5:7)

The statue of Dagon fell twice in the presence of the Ark of the Covenant, and the men of Ashdod admitted that their god was different from the God of Israel. The “supreme beings” of the Philistines were Dagon and Derceto.8 Emergent inclusivists of today would say that since Dagon was a “supreme being,” he was the true God, and they would get Bible translation societies to include his name in the Ashdod Bible.9

8. Did Daniel tell king Nebuchadnezzar to continue the worship of Marduk as the One True God?

The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Daniel 4:33-37)

Nebuchadnezzar had to be taught a lesson by the LORD (YHWH) so he would be humbled and recognize who the True God was. He had built a ninety foot statue either of himself, Nimrod, or Marduk since Marduk is a direct link to the worship of Nimrod. The “supreme beings” of Babylon were Marduk and Astarte (continued worship of Nimrod and Semiramis).10

9. Did Ezra and Nehemiah ask the Persians if they could rebuild the Temple as a tribute to the Persian god Ahura Mazda?

The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem. (Ezra 7:19)

The king Artaxerxes ordered that the temple implements be returned so they could eventually rebuild the temple of the “God of Jerusalem.” This was not for the Persian gods but for the True God. The gods of the Persians were Ahura Mazda and Spenta Armaiti.11

10. Did Paul use a clever missiological technique by telling the Greeks that God is Zeus, or the Romans that He is Jupiter or the Ephesians that He is embodied in Artemis?

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. (Acts 14:11-18)

This situation is entirely consistent with Paul teaching over and over again that the Gentiles “do not know God.” Paul was there to bring them the Gospel, not to syncretize their own god with the God of the Bible. This is exactly what he did in Aereopogus also when he explained to them Who the “Unknown God” was, and most of them did not want to hear the truth.

Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. (Galatians 4:8)

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. (1 Corinthians. 1:21)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1)

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. (Romans 1:28)

[N]ot in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. (1 Thessalonians 4:5)

. . . that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13)

[I]n flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8)

The “supreme beings” of the Greeks were Zeus and Hera, though Zeus had a number of other consorts spawning a pantheon of gods.12 Jupiter and Juno were the “supreme beings” of Rome, again spawning a pantheon of other gods.13 Artemis was a virgin goddess, never married, but was the daughter of Zeus and Leto.14

IN CONCLUSION
The obvious answer to the questions above, both from the Bible and historical records, is a resounding “No.”

. . . that ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them. (Joshua 23:7)

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. (Psalm 96:5)

For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever. (Micah 4:5)

The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. (Zephaniah 2:11)

There is only one Name (Jesus Christ) under heaven by which men may be saved.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

And yet present-day false teachers claim a person can be saved by “general revelation” of “God” without the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

This is abundantly clear in the books, messages, and DVDs put out by such teachers on this subject and now in the book by Don Richardson called Heaven Wins. The WCGIP and EC false teachers also cannot answer the many verses in the Bible, which state that the Gentiles “did not know God.” This type of teaching constitutes a grand delusion in the last-days apostasy and a new radical Replacement Theology where the one True God of the Bible is replaced with “supreme beings” from all cultures and Israel is replaced by all the nations. This heresy has even helped Bible translation societies to put the names of the false gods of the nations into the Bible! That’s how dangerous such teaching is. It undermines the very Gospel of Jesus Christ itself and puts at risk the eternity of millions of souls.

(This article is from Sandy Simpson’s booklet of the same title. It is available through Lighthouse Trails.)

Endnotes:
1. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
2. See http://socsci.colorado.edu/LAB/GODS.
3. See http://www.bibleorigins.net/EgyptianOriginsGoldenCalf.html.
4. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
5. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/canaanite-faq.html.
6. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineveh.
7. See http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa102197.htm.
8. See http://voices.yahoo.com/biblical-overview-history-philistines-1952417.html.
9. See http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/GenericandSpecific and also http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=8655.
10. See http://home.comcast.net/~chris.s/assyrbabyl-faq.html.
11. Sarah Iles Johnston, Ancient Religions (Harvard University Press, 2009), p. 199.
12. See http://www.csun.edu/~hcfll004/zeusgirl.html.
13. See http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/roman.
14. See http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Artemis.html.

Note: For more information on the false polytheistic gods of ancient times, read my article “Monotheism in Ancient Cultures is Virtually Nonexistent” at: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/monotheisminancientcultures.html. It is important to note that in virtually every culture from Babel on, the “supreme beings” were not monotheistic gods but rather male/female pairings patterned on the worship of Nimrod and Semiramis of Babel. Also note that every one of these “supreme beings” spawned a pantheon of other false gods to be worshipped.

SOZO – Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of “Father God”?

LTRP Note: Today, a caller asked us if we had any information on SOZO. While we have had inquiries about SOZO in the past, we have never posted anything about it. Below is an article from The Berean Call discussing the origins and nature of SOZO. If you know someone who is getting involved with this, please pass this article on to them.

“Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of ‘Father God’?”

By Mark Dinsmore (The Berean Call)

History and Structure of Sozo

“SOZO” is a psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology birthed out of Bethel Church in Redding, California. But though the Bethel Sozo website banner says, “[A] Ministry of Bethel Church,” the FAQ section disclaims, “The Sozo staff are independent contractors and are not Bethel Church Staff.” Apparently for legal reasons, no one wants to call this “counseling” or “therapy.” Rather, they simply call it “healing prayer” (and yet, they strongly recommend a suggested donation for receiving “prayer” for which recipients (“Sozoees”) must first sign a waiver.

For background, it is interesting to note that Bethel was once an Assemblies of God (AG) church, and Bill Johnson was an AG pastor; but he led his flock out of AG in 2006 to jump into the NAR/River Revival movement. Johnson is now a self-appointed “apostle,” and his church is now a part of his own “Revival Alliance” network, co-founded with Che Ahn (Harvest Rock Church, Pasadena, CA) and John Arnott (Catch the Fire Toronto; formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship; formerly Toronto Airport Vineyard Church).

Although Sozo got its start at Bethel, other Sozo groups have spun off, such as The Freedom Resource (TFR). Headed by author and executive director Andy Reese, TFR publishes its own manuals and presentations on how to use Sozo. According to TFR’s website, no one individual “owns” or controls the copyright for Sozo concepts and “tools” used in the program: “This particular style or format for ministry has evolved (and continues to evolve) from roots in the Argentine revivals, the understanding and writings of various practitioners of inner healing and deliverance, and from the experience of several churches and individuals including Randy Clark’s ministry and Bethel Church in Redding, California. It is changing and growing as we all learn, grow, and share experiences and tools with each other.” [Note: TFR just announced brand differentiation from Bethel Sozo and will now practice under “Freedom Prayer.”] Click here to continue reading.

 


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