Posts Tagged ‘Warren B. Smith’
The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling, click here
Jesus Calling: The New Age Implications
In my book “Another Jesus” Calling, I describe many problems regarding Sarah Young’s best-selling book Jesus Calling. In particular, there are some serious New Age implications to what her “Jesus” is presenting in his “messages” to Young and her countless readers. Nevertheless, Laura Minchew, a Senior Vice-President at Thomas Nelson publishers, adamantly defends Jesus Calling and defiantly denies that the book has any New Age implications. She told World Net Daily, “I will tell you that should anyone hint of New Age teachings in Jesus Calling, they would be sorely misinformed.1
But Minchew’s statement is both ironic and untrue. It was ironic because even as she was issuing her denial, Thomas Nelson editors were busy deleting some of the very New Age material in question. I’m not sure what Laura Minchew’s understanding of the New Age is, but as a former New Ager, I can assure you there are many New Age implications—both direct and indirect—in Jesus Calling In this booklet, I am going to present ten of them.
New Age Implications: Ten Examples
1) The New Age Book God Calling
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Sarah Young said she was inspired to receive “messages” from “Jesus” after reading the book God Calling. She stated:
My journey began with a devotional book (God Calling) written in the 1930s by two women who practiced waiting in God’s Presence, writing the messages they received as they “listened.” About a year after I started reading this book, I began to wonder if I too could receive messages during my times of communing with God. . . . So I decided to “listen” to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I sensed He was saying.2
Unfortunately, Sarah Young and her Thomas Nelson editors missed the fact that God Calling is a channeled New Age book. The “messages” received by the two women appear to be legitimate to the undiscerning reader because they are presented in the form of a daily devotional. Ironically, God Calling could have been titled Jesus Calling because its messages were reputedly dictated by “The Living Christ Himself.”3 It is worth noting that Jesus Calling is similarly titled and similarly presents its reputed “messages” from “Jesus” in the form of a daily devotional.
In The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs published by Harvest House Christian publishers, authors John Weldon and John Ankerberg provide ample evidence as to why God Calling is a channeled New Age book. In their chapter on channeling—under the subheading of “Impersonations of Christianity”—the two respected apologists describe God Calling as a book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”4 as it “subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ’s personal guidance . . . and often misinterprets Scripture.”5 Citing a number of passages in God Calling that are unbiblical and have New Age implications, the two authors explain that channeling is a form of occult mediumship and according to the Bible “is a practice forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).”6 Yet Sarah Young stated it was God Calling that inspired her to receive her own “messages” from “Jesus.” In her original introduction to Jesus Calling, Young went out of her way to praise God Calling as “a treasure to me.”7 Sadly, her lofty endorsement greatly popularized this New Age book within mainstream Christianity. As a result, God Calling is now commonly found in great numbers in various editions in both secular and Christian bookstores. In fact, it is often shelved alongside Jesus Calling.
Note: Young’s only response to criticism of God Calling has been to quietly remove all her previous references to God Calling from the new editions of Jesus Calling. No explanations. No apologies. No anything. Like the missing 18½ minutes from Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes, God Calling has disappeared from the pages of Young’s book.
2) Channeled “Messages” from “Jesus”
Ruth Graham, writing about Jesus Calling in The Daily Beast—a popular online news organization formerly associated with Newsweek magazine—reported that Thomas Nelson had specifically requested that she not use the word “channeling” to describe how Sarah Young was receiving her “messages” from “Jesus.” Graham wrote:
Thomas Nelson specifically requested I not use the word “channeling” to describe Young’s first-person writing in the voice of Jesus—the word has New Age connotations—but it’s hard to avoid it in describing the book’s rhetorical approach.8
In Jesus Calling, Young writes that “Jesus” told her “to be a channel of My loving Presence.”9 Obliging his request, her book is filled with channeled “messages” and “directives” she claims to have received from God. In her original introduction, she wrote:
I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him. The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.10 (bold added)
Regarding this type of spiritualism, Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word “channel” as follows: “to serve as a medium for (a spirit).”11 It defines the word “directive” as “a general instruction or order issued authoritatively.”12 And by Sarah Young’s own description in her original introduction, this is exactly what she is doing—being “a channel” for “encouraging directives” from a spiritual “Presence” that presents itself as “Jesus.” After receiving these “messages” and “directives,” she arranged them in the form of a daily devotional—just like God Calling.
Note: The paragraph cited above where Young originally described how she has “continued to receive personal messages from God” and “encouraging directives” from her “Creator” has been completely removed from the new editions of Jesus Calling.13
Sarah Young engaged in the occult/New Age practice of “visualization” when she “pictured” her family “encircled by God’s protective Presence.”
One morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us. I pictured first our daughter, then our son, and then Steve encircled by God’s protective Presence, which looked like golden light. When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace. I lost all sense of time as I experienced God’s Presence in this powerful way.14 (bold added)
In the same Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs that described God Calling as a channeled New Age book, a specific chapter on visualization warns about the spiritual dangers of this New Age practice:
“Visualization” and “guided imagery” have long been recognized by sorcerers of all kinds as the most powerful and effective methodology for contacting the spirit world in order to acquire supernatural power, knowledge, and healing. Such methods are neither taught nor practiced in the Bible as helps to faith or prayer.15
Sarah Young just assumed that the “light” she visualized enveloping her family and herself was from God. But one cannot assume anything in regards to spiritual experiences and spiritual encounters—especially after engaging in the occult practice of visualization. Because “many false prophets are gone out into the world,” we are told to “try the spirits” to see “whether they are of God (1 John 4:1). The apostle Paul warned of deceptive “seducing spirits” (1 Timothy 4:1) and how Satan can come as “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Also, Jesus specifically warned us to beware of a light that appears to be light but is actually darkness (Luke 11:35).
Note: Recent editions of Jesus Calling have attempted to subtly demystify Sarah Young’s mystical New Age “prayer” process. The phrase “looked like golden light” and the trance-like sentence “I lost all sense of time as I experienced God’s Presence in this powerful way” have both been deleted from recent editions of Jesus Calling.16 However, even with these deletions, Young—at least for now—continues to include her visualized prayer in the newer editions of Jesus Calling.
Jesus Calling readers are led to equate Sarah Young’s contemplative prayer process with biblical meditation. But to “make your mind like a still pool of water” as you passively wait “to receive whatever thoughts” Young’s “Jesus” may “drop into it” is much more akin to Eastern/New Age meditation. Biblical meditation, if you will, is an active attentiveness and thinking upon Scripture. Eastern/New Age meditation is more subjective and open to spiritual suggestion. In his August 5th message, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” promotes this New Age form of meditation and contemplative prayer:
Make your mind like a still pool of water, ready to receive whatever thoughts I drop into it.17
Stilling and quieting one’s mind may seem to be peaceful and godly, but passively stilling the mind (i.e., putting the mind in neutral) can provide an opening for seducing spirits to communicate with an undiscerning meditator—all in the name of “Jesus,” “God,” and the “Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:27, 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 Corinthians 11:4). Sarah Young describes how she receives these “thoughts” as “messages” and “directives” as she meditates on “Jesus.”
I have continued to receive personal messages from God as I meditate on Him. The more difficult my life circumstances, the more I need these encouraging directives from my Creator.18 (bold added)
But this kind of spiritual activity is not scriptural, and it is not biblical meditation. This is Eastern/New Age meditation. This type of meditation is what New Age channelers do to make contact with the spirit world.
Note: It bears repeating that the above paragraph containing the words “meditate,” “messages,” and “directives” has been deleted from recent editions of Jesus Calling.
5) New Age Terminology
Throughout Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” casually introduces New Age terminology in his channeled messages. Not that long ago terms like co-create,19 divine alchemy,20 Love-Light,21 Light-bearer,22 supernatural plane,23 living channel,24 paradigm shift,25 true self,26 ultimate reality,27 universal presence,28 etc., were sure indicators of someone’s metaphysical/New Age orientation. But now these terms are commonly found in “Christian” books like Jesus Calling and are rapidly becoming part of the everyday language of the church.
Sarah Young’s “Jesus” also makes indirect reference to two of the mega best-selling New Age books of the last thirty years—Shirley MacLaine’s Out on a Limb and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled. Young’s “Jesus” invites her millions of readers to “go out on a limb” with him and to take “a road less traveled”:
Be willing to go out on a limb with Me.29
You, however, have been called to take a “road less traveled.”30
Note: Obviously, these two phrases can be used in other contexts. However, the true Jesus Christ is quite aware of these groundbreaking New Age books, and it defies reason that He would make any reference—direct or indirect—to these hugely popular metaphysical books. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). And He is not going to introduce anything that might stumble someone—like nonchalantly referring to two New Age books that have already stumbled the millions of people who have read them and been influenced by them. (1 Corinthians 8:9).
6) Divine Alchemy
Regarding other overlapping New Age terminology in Jesus Calling, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” states:
I can glean Joy out of sorrow, Peace out of adversity. Only a Friend who is also the King of kings could accomplish this divine alchemy.31
However, the phrase divine alchemy is an ancient, mystical, occult/New Age term that raises multiple spiritual concerns. The word “occult” is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as follows:
. . . designating or of certain alleged mystic arts, such as magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.32 (bold added)
The Oxford Classical Dictionary underscores the fact that the “art” of alchemy has serious New Age implications. The very first sentence of the definition stated:
Alchemy in antiquity was a mixture of chemical, metallurgical, and glass technology, Greek philosophy, mystical and syncretist religion, and astrology.33 (bold added)
The same Oxford Dictionary explains the occult/New Age underpinnings of alchemy itself:
The art is distinguished from the pure science of chemistry by its mixture of mystical and magical elements with the technology . . . Alchemy in late antiquity was born of the confluence of three streams: (1) technology . . . (2) theory . . . (3) occult religion.34 (bold added)
By Googling divine alchemy on the Internet, one will see countless references to the occult. The term divine alchemy is frequently found in the teachings of New Age leaders such as Marianne Williamson. She uses the term divine alchemy to reference the same practice of meditation Sarah Young’s “Jesus” is advocating. She writes:
Meditation is time spent with God in silence and quiet listening. It is the time during which the Holy Spirit has a chance to enter into our minds and perform His divine alchemy.35 (bold added)
The Oxford Classical Dictionary describes the origin of alchemy and how it is linked to other occult sciences:
The inventor was said to be Hermes [Trismegistus], and alchemy is linked with other occult sciences in the Hermetic literature of the first three centuries A.D., along with neo-Pythagorean, Neoplatonic, and Gnostic ideas.36
Note: Once again, it is inconceivable that the true Jesus Christ would ever use a term like divine alchemy that is so highly identified with the occult. This is yet one more troublesome New Age aspect to Jesus Calling and one more reason to question the validity of Sarah Young’s “Jesus.”
Sarah Young’s “Jesus” also introduces the key New Age concept of “co-creation.” This is a New Age evolutionary concept that falsely teaches that because man is God, he can therefore co-create with God. But man is not God.
The New Age “Christ” has a plan. He is promising the world that Armageddon can be avoided and world peace can be achieved if everyone collaborates and “co-creates” with him. Speaking through top New Age leader Barbara Marx Hubbard in her book The Revelation, the New Age “Christ” uses the terms co-create, co-creation, co-creative, co-creator, and co-creatorship over 100 times. This is because co-creation is a key element in the New Age Christ’s counterfeit plan of salvation for Planet Earth. At one point Hubbard’s “Christ” states:
Here we are, now poised either on the brink of destruction greater than the world has ever seen—a destruction which will cripple planet Earth forever and release only the few to go on—or on the threshold of global co-creation wherein each person on Earth will be attracted to participate in his or her own evolution to godliness.37 (bold added)
New Age author Neale Donald Walsch has been taking spiritual dictation from his New Age “God” for many years now. Soon after the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, “God,” speaking through Walsch, proclaims that “the era of the Single Savior is over.” He says:
Yet let me make something clear. The era of the Single Savior is over. What is needed now is joint action, combined effort, collective co-creation.38 (bold added)
In Jesus Calling, Young’s “Jesus” introduces the idea of co-creation in conjunction with the term “collaborating.” Webster’s New World Dictionary’s sole definition of a collaborationist is “a person who cooperates with an enemy invader.”39 Sarah Young’s “Jesus” plays right into this New Age collaboration when he talks of humanity collaborating and co-creating with him:
This is a very practical way of collaborating with Me. I, the Creator of the universe, have deigned to co-create with you.40 (bold added)
Co-creation is a crucial New Age concept that entails the necessity of man recognizing he is God and then acting as God to affirm, visualize, envision, and to ultimately co-create with God a positive peaceful future. Thus, there is a definite overlap of terms as Sarah Young’s “Jesus” similarly teaches that humanity can partner with God through the co-creation process. Barbara Marx Hubbard’s New Age “Christ” refers to a future world peace that can be visualized and co-created by mankind. This co-created world peace is referred to as the “alternative to Armageddon.”41 But the prophet Jeremiah warned about a peace that seems to heal but is, in reality, no peace at all (Jeremiah 8:11).
Note: This “alternative to Armageddon” peace process is described by New Age leaders as an important part of God’s Dream for the world. Not surprisingly, “God’s Dream” is another New Age concept that is introduced in Jesus Calling.
8) God’s Dream
Consistent with many of the other New Age implications contained in her channeled messages, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” introduces the New Age idea of “God’s Dream” in Jesus Calling when he states:
I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach.42
In Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, the January 6th message/devotion is titled—and has “Jesus” telling the children—“Dare to Dream My Dream.”43
God’s Dream is a Deceptive Scheme
The term “God’s Dream” is yet another part of the overlapping New Age language streaming into the church. God’s Dream is a vague, loosely defined New Age metaphor that attempts to unify different religions and faith groups in an unbiblical effort to attain world peace. However, the true Jesus Christ warned that deception and the coming of Antichrist—not a “God’s Dream” peace movement—will be what actually precedes His ultimate and glorious return (Matthew 24:3-5; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5). The prophet Daniel warned that Antichrist will “destroy wonderfully” and “by peace he shall destroy many” (Daniel 8:24-25). In the future, what may appear to be a “wonderful” worldwide revival and a “wonderful” world peace will actually be a false revival and a false peace—the kind of peace that Daniel said would be associated with the coming of Antichrist, not the true Christ.
The New Age concept of God’s Dream was introduced at least as far back as 1916 by New Age theosophists in their Theosophical Path Magazine.44 Since then it has been used by numerous New Age sympathizers that include Oprah Winfrey,45 Wayne Dyer,46 former United Nations Indian guru Sri Chinmoy,47 and African bishop Desmond Tutu.48 The concept of God’s Dream was introduced into the church in the 1970s by former Crystal Cathedral pastor Robert Schuller49 and later adopted by Rick Warren,50 Brian McLaren,51 Joel Osteen,52 Bruce Wilkinson,53 Leonard Sweet,54 and many other Christian figures. The overlap factor is very apparent when comparing statements made by Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, and Sarah Young’s “Jesus” :
Oprah Winfrey: God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream foryourself.55
Joel Osteen: God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own.56
Sarah Young’s “Jesus”: Dream your biggest, most incredible dream—and then know that I am able to do far more than that, far more than you can ever ask or imagine. Allow Me to fill your mind with My dreams for you.57
Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet all used the God’s Dream metaphor to stress the urgency of achieving world peace—but at what compromised New Age cost?
Rick Warren: This weekend, I’ll begin a series of five messages on God’s dream to use you globally—to literally use YOU to help change the world! I’ll unvail our Global P.E.A.C.E. plan, and how God has uniquely prepared you for this moment of destiny.58
Brian McLaren: That in itself is an act of peacemaking, because we’re seeking to align our wills with God’s will, our dreams with God’s dream.59
Leonard Sweet: The time to save God’s Dream is now. The People to save God’s Dream are you.60
God’s Dream is a False Dream
“God’s Dream” may seem to be inspirational and have a godly feel to it, but there is nothing in Scripture to even hint, much less substantiate, the New Age concept of God’s Dream. God doesn’t dream in any way, shape, manner, or form. God’s Dream is definitely one of those crossover terms like “co-creation” and “divine alchemy” that attempt to “shift” everything into a New Age context and towards the universal acceptance of a New Age/New worldview. Sarah Young’s “Jesus” plays right into this clever conditioning when he introduces the concept of God’s Dream in Jesus Calling and in no less than three of Sarah Young’s other books.61 The prophet Jeremiah warned about those who prophesy and present false dreams like God’s Dream:
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)
Note: Because so many Christian leaders have adopted the concept of God’s Dream, it has become a popularly accepted “Christian” term and is now virtually indistinguishable from its New Age origins.
9) God “in” Everything
The New Age teaches we are all “One” and we are all “God” because God is “in” everyone and everything. This belief is referred to as panentheism and is the foundational teaching of the New Age movement. In my 2004 book Deceived on Purpose, I describe how long-time New Age evangelist Benjamin Creme, speaking on behalf of the false Christ Maitreya, presents the concept of “God in everything” as the bottom line teaching of the coming New World Religion. Creme said:
But eventually a new world religion will be inaugurated which will be a fusion and synthesis of the approach of the East and the approach of the West. The Christ will bring together, not simply Christianity and Buddhism, but the concept of God transcendent—outside of His creation—and also the concept of God immanent in all creation—in man and all creation.62 (bold added)
But the true Jesus Christ never taught that God was a universal Presence that was “in man and all creation.” He did not teach that God was “in” everything. Yet the July 8th “message” that Sarah Young said she received from her “Jesus” definitely presents this false New Age teaching:
I am above all, as well as in all . . . 63
The true Jesus Christ knows that the foundational false teaching of the New Age/New Worldview is the concept of immanence—God “in all.” The true Christ teaches that God—in the Person of the Holy Spirit—is sent to indwell those who believe and follow Him (John 14:23). But He would never teach that God is “in man and all creation” or “in all” as Sarah Young’s “Jesus” states in Jesus Calling.
Note: Many Scriptures refute this idea that God is “in” all—Ezekiel 28:2, Galatians 6:3, Psalm 9:20, Isaiah 31:3, John 2:24-25, etc. Psalm 39:5 makes it very clear that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity.” Man is not God or a part of God because God is not universally “in” everything—God is not “in all.”
10) Sarah Young’s New Agey Mystical Moonlight Conversion
In the original introduction to Jesus Calling, Sarah Young described how it was a walk in “God’s glorious creation” that led to her mystical moonlight conversion—that her “heart” was “converted” to “Jesus” when she “felt” “enveloped” by the “warm mist” of His “Presence.” Her account is reminiscent of how many of us fell prey to deceptive spiritual experiences rather than heeding warnings from the Word of God about “another Jesus,” “another gospel,” and “another spirit.” (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7; 1 Timothy 4:1). Note how Young clearly transitions right from “it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him” into her walk in the “snowy mountains” with its “cold moonlit beauty.” It is a continuous flow from one paragraph to the next. Young wrote:
It was the intellectual integrity of Francis Schaeffer’s teaching that had drawn me to that pristine place. Though the quest that had taken me there was a search for truth, it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him.
One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.” This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus. As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.64 [bold added to indicate what has been removed from the most recent editions of Jesus Calling].
But after nine years of publishing the mystical conversion account above, this original account has been suddenly replaced by a different, more traditional conversion account that Young now claims to have had prior to her moonlight walk. Instead of “God’s glorious creation” transitioning into her mystical moonlight conversion, now it’s her new conversion account that transitions into her considerably toned down walk in the moonlight. The new account reads:
Shortly after I settled into the home I shared with other students, I met a gifted counselor who had come from the Swiss branch of L’Abri to talk with some of us. I went into the room where she was waiting, and she told me to close the door. Before I even had time to sit down, she asked her first question: “Are you a Christian?” I answered that I wasn’t sure; I wanted to be a Christian, but I didn’t really understand why I needed Jesus. I thought that knowing God might be enough. Her second question was: “What can you not forgive yourself for?” This question brought me face-to-face with my sinfulness, and immediately I understood my need for Jesus—to save me from my many sins. Later, when I was alone, I asked Him to forgive all my sins and to be my Savior-God.
One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. After a while, I came into an open area and I stopped walking. Time seemed to stand still as I gazed around me in wonder—soaking in the beauty of this place. Suddenly I became aware of a lovely Presence with me, and my involuntary response was to whisper, “Sweet Jesus.” This experience of Jesus’ Presence was far more personal than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe—the One who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6 NKJV)65
This new conversion account immediately begs the question of why Young didn’t include this recent conversion account in her original writing. For nine years she described how her “heart” was “converted” in the “cold moonlit beauty” of “God’s glorious creation.” Now we are being told that her heart was converted previous to her walk in the moonlight after talking with a L’Abri counselor. The skeptical reader might see the author attempting to do some quick damage control—especially in light of the fact that a number of the controversial statements from her original conversion account have been completely deleted from the most recent editions of Jesus Calling. Gone is the original statement that transitioned to her mystical conversion—“it was God’s glorious creation that helped me open my heart to Him.” Gone is the “warm mist” that “enveloped” her. Gone is the “utterance” that was “totally uncharacteristic of me.” Gone is her being “shocked” to hear herself “speaking so tenderly to Jesus.” Gone is her realization that her “response” was that of “a converted heart.” Gone is “at that moment I knew I belonged to Him.” More succinctly—gone is her whole mystical moonlight conversion and gone are the New Age implications of what she actually experienced. Also gone for many of us is any real credibility for an author and publisher who are trying to edit their problems away without any explanation or apology to anyone—much less the millions of readers who read her original version.
It seems a bit disingenuous for Thomas Nelson Vice President Laura Minchew to deny the various New Age implications of Jesus Calling—even as they are deleting much of the very material that substantiates the New Age implications charge. A rose by any other name is still a rose. Same with the New Age. Like an octopus that shoots ink at its perceived adversaries to cloud the waters, Minchew’s attempt to intimidate critics and to dispel legitimate criticism is not credible. Laura Minchew, Sarah Young, and Thomas Nelson editors must know this or they wouldn’t be removing so much controversial material from their new editions of Jesus Calling.
When the author and her Thomas Nelson team choose to protect their multi-million dollar Jesus Calling industry rather than the truth, they betray the countless readers who have put their trust in Sarah Young’s “Jesus.” Nevertheless, some will still say—“but there is so much truth and so much Scripture, and I was so encouraged by Sarah Young’s book.” Or, “Hey, so what if they changed things. They were just trying to make it right—so what’s the problem? But it is a sad day when avowed Christians find themselves encouraged by a deceptive mix of truth and New Age error. And when an author and a publisher make significant changes to spiritually controversial material, they should provide some kind of explanation as to why those changes were made.
This much is for sure. The true Christ doesn’t mix truth with New Age teachings. This is what a false Christ does. When asked by His disciples what would be the sign of His coming and the end of the world, the true Jesus Christ said that deception would be the sign—that many would come in His name and pretend to be Him (Matthew 24:3-5). And while this might be hard for some people to accept, His warning specifically applies to false Christs like Sarah Young’s “Jesus.”
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1. Jim Fletcher, “Top Christian Bestseller Accused of Heresy” (World Net Daily, http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/top-christian-bestseller-accused-of-heresy).
2. Q&A with Sarah Young, Author Profile (The Christian Broadcasting Network http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/books/jesuscallingqa.aspx).
3. Two Listeners; Edited by A.J. Russell, God Calling (Grand Rapids, MI: A Spire Book published by Jove Publications Inc., for Fleming H. Revell, 2005), p. 5.
4. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), p. 103.
5. Ibid., p. 104.
6. Ibid., p. 80.
7. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2004), pp. Xl-XII, Printing 12 13 14 15 RRD 49 48 47 46.
8. Ruth Graham, “The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of” (The Daily Beast, 02/23/14), http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/the-strange-saga-of-jesus-calling-the-evangelical-bestseller-you-ve-never-heard-of.html).
9. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 94.
10. Ibid., p. Xll.
11. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1988), p. 234.
12. Ibid., p. 389.
13. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling; 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, 2011, 2014), Printing 14 15 16 17 18 DSC 5 4 3 2 1.
14. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., pp. X-Xl.
15. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, op. cit., p. 578. Quoted from Dave Hunt & T.A. McMahon, The Seduction of Christianity: Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1985), p. 123.
16. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit.
17. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 228.
18. Ibid., p. Xll.
19. Ibid., p. 362.
20. Ibid., p. 260.
21. Ibid., p. 139.
22. Ibid., p. 214.
23. Ibid., p. 241.
24. Ibid., p. 303.
25. Ibid., p. 85.
26. Ibid., p. 381.
27. Ibid., p. 209.
28. Ibid., p. 5.
29. Ibid., p. 360.
30. Ibid., p. 313.
31. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 260.
32. Webster’s New World Dictionary; Third College Edition, op. cit., p. 937.
33. Edited by N.G.L. Hammond and H.H.Scullard, The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 1970), p. 36.
34. Ibid., pp. 36-37.
35. Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles (New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 1996), p. 281.
36. Edited by N.G.L. Hammond and H.H. Scullard, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, op. cit., p. 37.
37. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), p. 174.
38. Neale Donald Walsch, The New Revelations: A Conversation with God (New York, NY: Atria Books, 2002), p. 157.
39. Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, Webster’s New World Dictionary; Third College Edition, op. cit., p. 273.
40. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 362.
41. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 264.
42. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 6.
43. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids (Nashville, TN: Tommy Nelson, 2010), p. 7.
44. Katherine Tingley, Editor, Theosophical Path Magazine, Volume X, February 1916, p. 159.
45. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
46.Wayne Dyer, You’ll See it When You Believe It: The Way to Your Personal Transformation (New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins, First Quill Ed., 2001), p. 108.
47. Sri Chinmoy; late resident Indian guru at the United Nations (http://www.yogaofsrichinmoy.com/god_the_author_all_good/mangod).
48. Desmond Tutu, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu Speech” (March 18, 2004, Bender Arena at American University, http://wwwl.media,american.edu/speeches/desmondtutu.htm).
49. Robert H. Schuller, Your Church Has Real Possibilities (Glendale, CA: Regal Books Division, G/L Publications, 1974), pp. 176-179.
50. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; Warren Smith, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age Implications of the Purpose-Driven Church (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2004), pp. 131-142.
51. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth that Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W. Publishing Group, a Division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006), p. 161.
52. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life”—Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday” (http://devotion.wedaretobelieve.com/2014/07/gods-dream-for-your-life-joel-osteen.html).
53. Bruce Wilkinson, The Dream Giver (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2003), p. 77.
54. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami: Sink or Swim in the New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1999), p. 34.
55. Ann Oldenburg, “The Divine Miss Winfrey” (USA Today, May 10, 2006, http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-05-10-oprah_x.htm).
56. Joel Osteen, “God’s Dream for Your Life-Joel Osteen Ministries daily devotional 28 July Monday,”
57. Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit. p. 7.
58. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “GOD’S DREAM FOR YOU—AND THE WORLD!”; op. cit.
59. Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, op cit., p. 161.
60. Leonard Sweet, SoulTsunami, op. cit., p. 34.
61. Sarah Young, Dear Jesus: Seeking His Light in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007), pp. 68-69; Sarah Young: Jesus Lives: Seeing His Love in Your Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 124; Sarah Young (adapted by Tama Fortner), Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions For Kids, op. cit., p. 7.
62. a) Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England: The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88, Cited from Deceived on Purpose (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 2nd ed., 2004), p. 156. b) Alice Bailey and Djwhal Khul, The Reappearance of the Christ, Chapter 6—“The New World Religion” (Caux, Switzerland: Netnews Association and/or its suppliers, 2002), http://netnews.org), http://web.archive.org/web/20070220093122/http://laluni.helloyou.ws/netnews/bk/reappearance/reap1025.html).
63. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 199.
64. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (original introduction), op. cit., pp. Vll-Vlll.
65. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (revised introduction), (10th Anniversary Edition), op. cit., p. xiv.
Editor’s Note: Our attempts to speak with Sarah Young about the problematic issues in Jesus Calling have been to no avail. Thomas Nelson has repeatedly stated that she is not available for interviews.
To order copies of The New Age Implications of Jesus Calling, click here
Pope Francis Elected After Supernatural “Signs Says Cardinal—The Role His Jesuit Contemplative Ways Play
According to a news article earlier this year in the UK newspaper The Telegraph, the “surprise election of Pope Francis came about because of a series of supernatural ‘signs,’ one of the leading Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church has claimed.” The article also stated:
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who was himself widely tipped as a possible successor to Pope Benedict, said he had personally had two “strong signs” that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was “the chosen one” in the run up to vote.
He said only divine intervention could explain the speed with which the Argentine Cardinal – who did not feature on any of the main lists of likely candidates compiled by Vatican experts – was elected.1
If this is true, that Pope Francis was elected through supernatural means, the question must be posed, from which side did this supernatural, “divine” intervention come? If it is indeed supernatural, it had to be either from God or from Satan (the two opposing forces). Because we know that the Catholic church is a false heretical church that believes salvation is justification through works and not the sole work of Christ on the Cross, that Mary is a co-redeemer who did not sin, and that Jesus Christ is found in the Eucharist and the Catholic Mass, we must conclude that this supernatural intervention that brought Jorge Mario Bergoglio to the station of Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not from God.
How is this relevant to the evangelical/Protestant church today? As Lighthouse Trails and Understand the Times have reported since Pope Francis began his reign as Pope, evangelical leaders are racing to the Pope’s side like never before in the history of the evangelical/Protestant church. Some of these who are rallying with the Pope are Rick Warren, Kenneth Copeland, Joel Osteen, and James Robison, while other Christian leaders, such as Beth Moore, are coming out with statements that are giving strong credibility to the Catholic church.
It is a known fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit. And as Lighthouse Trails has reported on a number of occasions, he is also a contemplative advocate. See our article Pope Francis – Spiritually “Founded” on a Contemplative Tradition. As research analyst Ray Yungen has documented, the Catholic Church is using contemplative prayer as a means of expanding her borders. Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times, has linked the mystical practice of the Eucharist to the Papacy’s New Evangelization program to bring the “lost brethren” back to the “Mother Church.” And as one can see, these efforts are having tremendous results. Ray Yungen states:
I had always been confused as to the real nature of this advance in the Catholic church. Was this just the work of a few mavericks and renegades, or did the church hierarchy sanction this practice? My concerns were affirmed when I read in an interview that the mystical prayer movement not only had the approval of the highest echelons of Catholicism but also was, in fact, the source of its expansion. (A Time of Departing, by Ray Yungen)
For thirteen years, Lighthouse Trails has been warning that when people get involved with contemplative meditation practices, they are putting themselves under demonic influence. In time, the spiritual outlook of contemplatives moves away from the Cross and the Gospel and moves toward panentheism and interspirituality.
How does all this tie together? The cover story in Christianity Today’s December 2014 issue proclaims: “Why Everyone is Flocking to Francis.” CT has its own idea of why “everyone” is drawn to the Pope. But if Lighthouse Trails is correct in our conclusions about contemplative spirituality and its outcome, then what is happening here is a “supernatural” occurrence in the lives of millions of people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who are finding themselves dramatically affected by this Pope.
While we will not try to speculate what the possible role of this Pope could be in relation to Bible prophecy and the endtimes, we will say this with surety: between the New Age and the Catholic Church, the world is being drawn deeper and deeper into darkness and closer and closer to a false christ whom the Bible says is coming.
In closing, we’ll leave you with these words from Warren B. Smith:
The Catholic Church today [is] linked to the foundational New Age/New Spirituality teaching that God is “in” everyone.
The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is the official source for all Roman Catholic doctrine today, states:
“Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God’s grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ.” (#795)
“For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” (#460) (cited from “Another Jesus” Calling by Warren B. Smith)
To Lighthouse Trails:
Just finished reading The Light That Was Dark by Warren B. Smith, which I could not put down, and immediately felt compelled to write on behalf of myself, my wife, and another couple who are close friends who we regularly Bible study with. We were all miraculously delivered from the deception of New Age/human potential movement that appears to be alarmingly spreading like wildfire across the globe and into our churches as we speak, while scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. I just wanted to say that as one who was also blinded by the false light of New Age hippiedom, we feel a very strong parallel with the path Warren was and is now on. The same urgent fire has been lit in us by the Holy Spirit to warn others that “another jesus” has breached the walls of sleeping modern Christianity, which we firmly believe is rapidly rolling out the red carpet of “strong delusion” for the Antichrist to hit the world stage in the “name of love” as prophesied in 2 Thessalonians 2.
Our beliefs are fundamental in nature, and we try to evangelize to our former New Age friends and now live near Sedona, Arizona, as we believe the Lord had placed us here to witness to its New Age spiritual darkness. My main purpose for writing this is that I feel a connection to Warren as I believe we are on the same path, which I believe is far narrower than post modern and emerging Christianity of today apathetically assumes. I believe the Holy Spirit is compelling me to write this.
I personally feel God has lit a fire of urgency in our spirits to be vocal about this subtle, yet insidious deception the enemy tries to put out, which not only comes from opposition through New Agers but even more disturbingly through those professing the name of Christ, who have often come to label us as unloving, negative, paranoid, pharisaical, etc., as what I believe is nothing more than a tactic on the part of the adversary, for us to lay down the sword of Truth, which I will not and cannot. It is a battle indeed, a very real war against spiritual wickedness in high places that does indeed require the full armor of God. Oftentimes it can be disheartening and discouraging, leaving us to feel like an archaic, unheard, or annoying voice in the wilderness.
I am including some links and attachments that may help you better understand who we are and where we are coming from. One link below is a YouTube from a Baptist pastor in Knoxville, TN we enjoy listening to, who gave an unexpected sermon regarding a testimonial letter I sent to him when my wife and I were struggling with whether to remain in the New Age snake pit of Hawaii that we were born-again in the midst of, to evangelize it, or shake the dust from our feet and leave for the well-being of my family, as he seemed to be a pastor who is indeed a rarity these days that is acutely aware of the coming new age deception, where he begins to read from my letter about 12 minutes into the sermon.
I believe God let us spend many years in wandering the wilderness of New Age humanism so we could well understand the subtle tactics our enemy, so that once He delivered us from it, we would not be saved to be silent about it, but to be vocal.
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. – Ezekiel 33:6
http://youtu.be/9DJQeiHiGf0 (go to 12 minute mark)
LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has asked Warren Smith to share a brief Thanksgiving greeting to our readers and a story from his book Watering the Greyhound Garden: Stories from the Streets of San Francisco. Many of our readers know Warren from his books that warn about spiritual deception but don’t know that he was a career social worker serving in a variety of positions over the years—including his job as a Travelers Aid social worker at the Greyhound Bus Station and on the streets of San Francisco.
A Thanksgiving Greeting
This Thanksgiving, may the Lord bless each of you as you gather together with family and friends to give thanks for His many blessings. May we remember too the countless churches, ministries, and Christian agencies that help to serve people who find themselves in need on Thanksgiving and at other times throughout the year.
My very first job as a social worker was with Travelers Aid in San Francisco. I was the night social worker operating out of the lobby of the San Francisco Greyhound Bus Station. From my ground level position I met many lost and desperate people whose lives were significantly changed—both physically and spiritually—by ministries, churches, and agencies like Travelers Aid. It was often quite amazing to watch how churches and community groups networked to help those who were experiencing hard times in the city. In my particular position, I saw people who had often reached the end of the line and had dead-ended at the Greyhound.
The Greyhound terminal was like a modern-day Jericho Road where broken-down travelers were in urgent need of help. From California dreamers and state hospital runaways to an abused housewife, a stranded grandmother, a suicidal transvestite, and a seventy-three-year-old man still riding the rails—all in San Francisco and earnestly seeking help. Their stories tell the universal story of the wayfaring stranger—the traveler in trouble. The following story from my book Watering the Greyhound Garden is about a southern man who ended up stranded, alone, and without hope at the Greyhound Bus Station. His story serves to remind us to give thanks always for the way God works in our lives. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.—Job 19:14
When I first spoke with Willis Potter, he had been sitting in the Greyhound lobby for nearly three days. He’d caught the attention of our volunteer as he periodically walked past the Travelers Aid booth to go up the stairs to the men’s room on the second floor. A North Carolina native, the seventy-three-year-old man wore wire-rimmed glasses, spoke with a strong southern accent, and walked with a noticeable stoop. His thin, silvery-gray hair framed his high pale forehead and angular facial features. Wearing a coat and tie and neatly shined shoes, Mr. Potter was very proper in his own country kind of way. His manner was gruff, and he would periodically punctuate his sentences with the characteristic phrase, “Don’t ya know.”
“I spent my whole life in Holly Hill, don’t ya know. I was livin’ with my sister there until she died two years ago. Her kinfolk kicked me out after she died. They tried to put me in a home for old fogeys, don’t ya know. But I ran away to New York. I met a Jewish woman there and lived in her home near Coney Island. Then one day we had a fight and I had to leave, don’t ya know. Been travelin’ ever since.” He told me how he’d crisscrossed the country several times over the past two years with his suitcase and three large trunks—but in spite of all his traveling he’d never found a place that felt like home.
“I miss them dogwoods in the spring, don’t ya know. That Carolina countryside is the prettiest dang thing you’d ever want to see.” His eyes seemed to glisten as he pictured the familiar scene in his mind. “But if I went back to Holly Hill they’d just try to stick me back in that home for old fogeys, don’t ya know.”
When I asked Mr. Potter what his plans were, he said, “To die.” I was taken aback by his straightforward pronouncement and asked him to explain.
“I aim to die, blast it! I arrived here at this bus station with $65 and some hoodlum robbed me twenty minutes later, don’t ya know. Social Security doesn’t even know I’m here, and they never get my checks straight anyway. I’m sick of the whole thing. I had a good life, but it was over the day I left Holly Hill. I’m too old and too tired to keep travelin’ around like this. I want to die, and this bus station is as good a place as any.”
“Die right here in the Greyhound?” I asked incredulously.
“Yes, sir. Right here in the Greyhound. Living is too much dang trouble, don’t ya know. I don’t care anymore.” He had made up his mind and that was that. The fact that he wasn’t asking me or anyone else for assistance seemed to underscore the seriousness of his plan. For Mr. Potter, the San Francisco Greyhound bus station was the literal end of the line. While most people in the lobby were waiting for a bus, Mr. Potter was waiting to die.
“Mr. Potter, when was the last time you had something to eat?” I asked.
“Three days ago,” he replied.
“Mr. Potter, you can’t just sit here and die!”
“Watch me,” he said with utter conviction.
I didn’t want to call Adult Protective Services, but he wasn’t leaving me much choice. Before taking that step, however, I made one last appeal by sharing a personal note about the city he now found himself in. I described my traveling out to San Francisco from Connecticut after being discharged from the Army. I was discouraged and depressed, but the city had given me hope and a new start. The people were friendly and open, and before long the city felt like home. I told him the reason I had my job in the bus station was because the people of San Francisco—through agencies such as United Way—wanted Travelers Aid to help people like him. I acknowledged that San Francisco was not Holly Hill, but the city had its own special beauty and charm.
Continuing my plea, I urged Mr. Potter to give Travelers Aid a chance. We could provide him with food and lodging, help straighten out his Social Security, and refer him to the Tenderloin Senior Center for assistance with permanent housing. Instead of putting him in a “home for old fogeys,” they would help him find his own apartment. I could even arrange to have Greyhound keep his trunks until he was settled.
Mr. Potter listened intently to everything I said. Perhaps too tired to offer any further resistance, he reluctantly agreed to work with me. I immediately took him over to the Greyhound coffee shop where he ended his three-day fast with a hamburger and a cherry Coke. After telling Greyhound to hold on to his three trunks, I called Mr. Patel and reserved a room for Mr. Potter at the Coronado. I then accompanied the weary North Carolina native in a cab to the hotel. After walking him to his room, I handed him several food vouchers. I told him to get some rest and that I’d be back the next day.
The following afternoon I led Mr. Potter over to the Senior Center on Leavenworth Street. Travelers Aid would work jointly with the center in assisting him. While they helped him find an apartment, we would continue to meet his immediate needs for food and lodging. We would also make sure that his Social Security payments were properly reinstated.
The Senior Center found him a small furnished apartment two blocks from the bus station in a building designed for seniors who were still able to live independently. The manager was very supportive and allowed Mr. Potter to move in right away, deferring the rent and deposit until his Social Security checks caught up with him. He even advanced Mr. Potter some money for his beloved “chewin’ tobacco.”
I was happy for Mr. Potter and visited him regularly during my dinner breaks. He would tell me tales about his childhood farm and of southern days gone by. Over time, I discovered he had his own unique vocabulary—he talked of his love for “cowpop”(milk) and his penchant for eating “cackleberries”(eggs). He was feisty and rarely smiled, but sometimes I detected a twinkle in his eyes when he delivered one of his characteristic digs at life today compared to “the good ole days.” Mr. Potter liked to tease me by calling San Francisco “Frisco.” I would remind him that San Franciscans never called San Francisco “Frisco.” Referring to the city as “Frisco” was the sure sign of an outsider—and that he was no longer an outsider.
Mr. Potter lived in his apartment for about six months. The last time I saw him he said he was moving out of the Tenderloin. The Senior Center had found him a studio apartment near the ocean in the Richmond District, which he described as “real peaceful.” The Tenderloin was too dangerous, he said, and now he wouldn’t have to be so worried about getting robbed by “hoodlums.” When I left his apartment that day, I was thankful that the man from Holly Hill would be living out the rest of his days in an apartment by the Pacific Ocean rather than in the lobby of the Greyhound bus station. His life had been uniquely shaped in the South, but Mr. Potter—“don’t ya know”—was now a full-fledged San Franciscan.
On behalf of myself and the editors and authors of Lighthouse Trails, may your Thanksgiving day be joyful and filled with God’s many blessings.
The Awesome Wonder of God’s Word by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 14 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of The Awesome Wonder of God’s Word, click here.
By Warren B. Smith
Several years ago I was at a church conference in Olathe, Kansas. In the middle of citing a verse from the book of Jeremiah, the speaker suddenly looked up from the text with a huge smile on his face. Looking out at us, he joyfully exclaimed—“I love the Bible!” I immediately and enthusiastically agreed. What an amazing book! It tells us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. While it lifts us up and shows us the way to salvation, it tells us who Jesus is, and it tells us who He is not. God’s true authentic Word—we would be totally lost without it. However in today’s compromised church, spiritual experience seems to be the name of the game. Consequently, there seems to be more interest in a word from God rather than in the Word of God. Lest we become compromised ourselves, we must never take God’s Word for granted. What a gift, what a treasure, what a wonder the Holy Bible is. It truly is the Word of God as it inspires, nurtures, guides, and sustains us in our walk with the Lord. God’s Word is awesome—so awesome, in fact, that God magnifies His Word above everything else (Psalm 138:2). And when one reads through the Scriptures to see what the Bible says about the Bible, it is an amazing thing to behold. The following verses are just some of what God’s Word says about God’s Word.
God’s Word is the Word of God
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1Thessalonians 2:13)
God’s Word is Magnified by God Above His Own Name
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)
God’s Word is Good
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
God’s Word is Right
For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth. (Psalm 33:4)
God’s Word is Awesome
Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psalm 119:161)
God’s Word is Inspired
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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
God’s Word is Sure
The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever. (Psalm 93:4-5)
God’s Word is Pure
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it. (Psalm 119:140)
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. (Proverbs 30:5)
God’s Word is Tried
As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. (Psalm 18:30)
God’s Word is True
Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)
God’s Word is Truth
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John 17:17)
God’s Word is Precious
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)
God’s Word is Sweet
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)
God’s Word is Wonderful
Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. (Psalm 119:129)
God’s Word is our Song
Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. (Psalm 119:54)
God’s Word is our Joy
Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16)
God’s Word is our Delight
Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction. (Psalm 119:92)
God’s Word is Powerful
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
God’s Word is Light
The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
God’s Word will make you Wise
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 Timothy 3:15)
God’s Word Quickens
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:107)
This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me. (Psalm 119:50)
God’s Word is like Fire
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23:29)
God’s Word Cleanses
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalm 119:9)
God’s Word Upholds
Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live: and let me not be ashamed of my hope. (Psalm 119:116)
God’s Word gives us Understanding
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:104)
God’s Word Delivers
Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word. (Psalm 119:170)
God’s Word is our Counselor
Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. (Psalm 119:24)
God’s Word is not Bound
Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. (2 Timothy 2:9)
God’s Word will not Return Void
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
God’s Word is Everlasting
The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live. (Psalm 119:144)
What is Our Response to God’s Word?
We are to Tremble at God’s Word
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:2)
Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. (Isaiah 66:5)
We are to Rejoice in God’s Word
I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. (Psalm 119:162)
We are to Praise God’s Word
In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. (Psalm 56:4)
In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. (Psalm 56:10)
We are to be Comforted by God’s Word
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)
We are to Hope in God’s Word
Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:114)
They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. (Psalm 119:74)
My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. (Psalm 119:81)
I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. (Palm 130:5)
We are to Trust in God’s Word
So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. (Psalm 119:42)
We are to Desire God’s Word
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. (1Peter 2:2)
We are to Study God’s Word
Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
We are to Meditate on God’s Word
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. (Psalm 119:97)
My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes. (Psalm 119:48)
I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (Psalm 119:99)
We are to let the Word of God Dwell in Us
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (Colossians 3:16)
We are to Live by the Word of God
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3)
We are to Order our Steps in God’s Word
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psalm 119:133)
We are not to Corrupt the Word of God
For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:17)
We are not to Handle the Word of God Deceitfully
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully. (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
We are not to Add or Subtract from God’s Word
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32)
Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:6)
We are to Glorify God’s Word
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)
We are to Gain our Faith from Hearing God’s Word
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)
We are Saved by God’s Word
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
We are to be Doers of God’s Word
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
We are to Hold Forth the Word of God
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. (Philippians 2:16)
We are to Preach God’s Word
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (2 Timothy 4:2)
We are to Continue in God’s Word
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
We are to Resist Temptation by God’s Word
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:3-4)
We are not to Forget God’s Word
I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. (Psalm 119:16)
I am small and despised: yet do not I forget thy precepts. (Psalm 119:141)
We are to Hide God’s Word in our Heart
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. (Psalm 119:11)
We are to Keep God’s Word
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. (1 John 2:5)
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. (Revelation 3:8)
But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (Luke 11:28)
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (Psalm 119:1-2)
My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly. (Psalm 119:167)
We are to Stand Fast in God’s Word
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. (2 Thessalonians 2:15)
We are to Battle Using God’s Word
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:16-17)
We may be Slain for the Word of God
And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held… (Revelation 6:9)
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
God’s Word Stands Forever
For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)
Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. (Psalm 119:152)
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7)
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8)
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
A Homeless Man & God’s Word
Years ago, I directed a storefront ministry in Northern California that served the homeless mentally ill. One afternoon a young man came in and told me how he had recently been released from prison. He said he had noticed that men who had become born again Christians in prison were getting out of prison early. He said he wasn’t stupid. He got himself a Bible, went to the Bible study, and feigned being born again. Sure enough, he got an early release. He told me that when he left the prison that last day, he hung his Bible on the prison’s front gate and just walked away. He had outsmarted the system and was leaving prison and all that Bible stuff behind. But while he left his Bible hanging on the prison gate, he was surprised to find that the Word of God had been firmly planted within his heart. Recognizing that God’s Word was active and alive in his life, he soon committed his life to the Lord. Now he truly was born again and only too happy to call himself a Christian.
God’s Word is Awesome Because God is Awesome
Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. (Psalm 33:8-12)
Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psalm 119:161)
To order copies of The Awesome Wonder of God’s Word, click here.
Warren B. Smith on Stand Up For the Truth Radio – Regarding Thomas Nelson and Sarah Young: Whitewashing Jesus Calling
By Amy Spreeman
Stand Up For the Truth Radio
This radio Episode with Warren B. Smith and Amy Spreeman
What if you are a major publisher like Thomas Nelson and you suddenly discover that your mega best-selling book Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book? And what if you find out that some of the “messages” your author “received” from her “Jesus” weren’t really from Jesus because they contradict what the real Jesus Christ says in the Bible? Do you deal honestly with these problems with your millions of readers? Or, do you protect your multi-million dollar franchise by whitewashing the red flags?
The brand new special 10th anniversary edition of Jesus Calling has undergone a sudden, miraculous “transformation,” without any explanation from the publisher or the author.
Want proof? Warren Smith, a former New Ager who wrote the book, Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church through Contemplative Prayer,” has just published a new 16-page tract, Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ. Warren is here with us today, and we’re going to give away 10 of those pamphlets in the next segment.
If you’ve never heard our original interview with Warren about Jesus Calling, you’ll want to take some time and listen to: Which “Jesus” is calling? An interview with Warren Smith. It’s an interview that many of our listeners have shared widely with their loved ones.
Warren spent many years in the New Age practicing the very types of spiritual exercises put forth by Contemplative Prayer proponents. He knows full well that not every experience is from God but in fact can be from familiar, seducing spirits. Warren and his wife Joy have committed their lives to Jesus Christ and to warning others about the false christs that are deceiving masses of people and coming in the name of the true Jesus Christ.
Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklet Tracts are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ, click here.
By Warren B. Smith
What if you are a major publisher like Thomas Nelson and you suddenly discover that your mega best-selling book Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book? And what if you find out that some of the “messages” your author “received” from her “Jesus” weren’t really from Jesus because they contradict what the real Jesus Christ says in the Bible? And what if your best-selling author has introduced a host of other problems in her book that your usually sharp editors had somehow overlooked? What do you do given these issues are already in the pages of ten million previously published books? If you want to be fair to your readers, you deal honestly with these problems as they are brought to your attention. However, if you are more interested in protecting your product rather than in protecting the truth, you do everything in your power to make these problems disappear. One thing is for sure. Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have made some of their problems suddenly disappear in recent editions of Jesus Calling—most especially in a special 10th anniversary edition of Jesus Calling released on September 30, 2014.
Like the Watergate Tapes
Perhaps taking their cue from the missing eighteen-and-a-half minutes from Richard Nixon’s Watergate tapes, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have been systematically deleting controversial material from Jesus Calling. Adding, subtracting, cutting, pasting, and completely eliminating problematic words, sentences, and even whole paragraphs, Young and her editors do not hesitate to put words in the mouth of their “Jesus,” even as they take others away. But like the Watergate tapes, the missing evidence and their in-your-face tactics are doing more to expose their problems than cover them up.
“Another Jesus” Calling
In the fall of 2013, my book “Another Jesus” Calling was published by Lighthouse Trails Publishing. I was not the first person to express concern about Jesus Calling, but not much had been written up to that point. As our concerns were publicized, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson obviously became aware of our objections. Without a word of explanation to anyone, significant alterations have been made to recent editions of Jesus Calling. With “now you see it, now you don’t” editing, some of their major problems suddenly disappeared from the pages of Jesus Calling. To illustrate the lengths to which Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have gone to protect their book and their multi-million dollar Jesus Calling industry, I will provide five specific examples—and there are many others—to demonstrate how readers of Jesus Calling are being managed and manipulated. Make no mistake about it—damage control is in full swing at Thomas Nelson, and it is especially evident in their special 10th anniversary edition of Sarah Young’s book.
(1) Jesus Calling was inspired by a channeled New Age book
Jesus Calling was inspired by the book God Calling.1 In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, author Sarah Young said that her journey with Jesus Calling began with the book God Calling. She stated:
My journey began with a devotional book (God Calling) written in the 1930s by two women who practiced waiting in God’s Presence, writing the messages they received as they “listened.” About a year after I started reading this book, I began to wonder if I too could receive messages during my times of communing with God. . . . So I decided to “listen” to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I sensed He was saying.2 (parenthesis in original)
But Sarah Young and her editors somehow missed the fact that God Calling is a channeled New Age book. God Calling is a collection of channeled messages presented in the form of a daily devotional. The messages were channeled through two English women in the 1930s and could easily have been titled Jesus Calling because it was reputedly dictated by “The Living Christ Himself.”3
The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, published by Harvest House Christian publishers, specifically describes God Calling as a channeled New Age book. In their lengthy chapter on channeling and spiritual dictation, authors/apologists John Weldon and John Ankerberg explain that channeling is a form of New Age “mediumship” and according to the Bible it “is a practice forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).”4 Under the subheading titled “Impersonations of Christianity,” the authors describe God Calling as a New Age book “replete with denials of biblical teaching”5 as it “subtly encourages psychic development and spiritistic inspiration under the guise of Christ’s personal guidance . . . and often misinterprets Scripture.”6 Yet Sarah Young wrote that it was God Calling that inspired her to receive her own messages from “Jesus.” In her original introduction to Jesus Calling, Young praised God Calling as “a treasure to me”:
During that same year I began reading God Calling, a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.” These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. The messages are written in first person, with “I” designating God. While I was living in Japan, someone had mailed this book to me from the U.S. I had not read it at that time, but I had held onto the book through two international moves. Six or seven years later, this little paperback became a treasure to me. It dove-tailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence.7 (bold added)
The Damage Control
In recent editions of Jesus Calling—including the 10th anniversary edition—the preceding paragraph regarding God Calling has been removed from the author’s longstanding introduction. No explanation. No apology. Nothing. Suddenly and completely gone is any mention of God Calling—how it had inspired her to receive her own “messages” from “Jesus” and how it was a “treasure” to her. Her previous praise of God Calling had become problematic as it had drawn obvious New Age comparisons to her own book. It had also become apparent that her original endorsement of God Calling was helping to popularize this New Age book among believers! While Christian leaders have been strangely silent about Jesus Calling, it was the secular media that took Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson to task for changing and deleting problematic material in their best-selling book. Ruth Graham, writing in The Daily Beast, a popular online American news reporting and opinion website formerly associated with Newsweek magazine, wrote an article questioning the changes being made to Sarah Young’s original introduction. Graham wrote:
The latest edition of Jesus Calling includes some important changes. The paragraph about God Calling has been deleted, and references to received “messages” have been changed to the less mystically inflected “writings and devotions.” In a passage in which Young recounts her early attempts to write down what God told her, the new version characterizes this as “focusing on Jesus and His Word, while asking Him to guide my thoughts.” Thomas Nelson refers to the book as “Sarah’s prayer journal,” emphasizing that Young is not claiming to speak for Jesus. A skeptical reader, comparing the two introductions, would see an effort by a publisher to bring an increasingly controversial but lucrative best-seller into line with mainstream evangelical orthodoxy.8
In that same article, Ruth Graham also questioned the explanations offered by Thomas Nelson publicist Katie Powell:
In an email responding to my questions, the book’s publicist at Thomas Nelson, Katie Powell, wrote that the reference to God Calling was never meant as more than “a nod,” and it was deleted because it had “created some confusion.” “The book’s theology has always been sound,” she wrote. “The changes were made to make the introduction easier to understand, especially since Jesus Calling is now being read by such a wide variety of people.” Thomas Nelson did not call attention to the changes, Powell wrote, because the introduction’s “content did not change” between editions. But it’s hard to square that with the similarities between Young’s book and God Calling—right down to the title.9
Graham’s skepticism was right on target. And contrary to the statement by the Thomas Nelson publicist, the content of the introduction has changed in recent editions. The unexplained changes have caused many former supporters of Jesus Calling to stop using the devotional. Christian online newspaper WorldNetDaily (WND) picked up on the controversy and published two articles,“Top Christian Bestseller Accused of Heresy”10 and “Is Hit Book ‘Jesus Calling’ Pushing New Age?”11 Charisma magazine followed up with a similar article that noted the growing controversy. It was titled “Critics Accuse ‘Jesus Calling’ of Mixing Truth With New Age Error.”12
Note: For Sarah Young to not have initially recognized God Calling as a New Age book should raise some serious red flags. For her to praise God Calling as “a treasure to me” should raise those red flags even further. But for Sarah Young and her publisher to remove all references to God Calling without any explanation or apology to her millions of readers is perhaps the reddest flag of all. It is the height of spiritual irresponsibility for Sarah Young to pretend it is no big deal after her original endorsement of God Calling re-ignited the sales of this blatant New Age book, especially when God Calling—thanks to her—now sits alongside Jesus Calling in thousands of bookstores across the country—including countless Christian bookstores.
(2) Sarah Young originally wrote that she “received messages” from “Jesus” Himself
Because of Sarah Young’s stated affection for the channeled “messages” in God Calling, the “messages” she was receiving from “Jesus” were immediately suspect.
The Damage Control
In recent editions of Jesus Calling, all ten references to the words “message” and “messages” have been deleted from her otherwise longstanding introduction. What were originally described as “messages” she “received” from “Jesus” are now being described as “writings” and “devotions” that she “gleaned” in her “quiet moments.”
Sentences in Her Original Introduction
This practice of listening to God has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the messages I have received. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The messages that follow address that felt need.13 (bold added)
Replacement Sentences in Recent Editions
This practice of being still in God’s Presence has increased my intimacy with Him more than any other spiritual discipline, so I want to share some of the writings I have gleaned from these quiet moments. In many parts of the world, Christians seem to be searching for a deeper experience of Jesus’ Presence and Peace. The devotions that follow address that felt need.14 (bold added)
In the example immediately below, observe how “messages” again become “devotions” in the replacement sentence now found in recent editions. Also note how the phrase “with your Bible open” has been added to the original wording to make things appear more biblical.
Sentence in Her Original Introduction
These messages are meant to be read slowly, preferably in a quiet place.15 (bold added)
Replacement Sentence in Recent Editions
The devotions in this book are meant to be read slowly, preferably in a quiet place—with your Bible open.16 (bold added)
Note: In the not yet damage-controlled original introduction to Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, Sarah Young makes it abundantly clear that what she calls “devotions” are in fact “messages” she has “received” from her “Jesus.” She writes:
Since then, I have practiced listening a lot. Usually I write His messages in a notebook, but sometimes I just spend time with Him for a while—and write nothing. The devotions in this book are some of the messages I have received.17 (bold added)
Summary: Changing the “messages” she “received” to the “writings” and “devotions” she “gleaned” in her “quiet moments” attempts to counter any suggestion that Sarah Young might be getting deceived by a seducing spirit that is presenting itself as the real Jesus (1 Timothy 4:1, Matthew 24:4-5).
3) Sarah Young’s “Jesus” contradicts the Bible’s true Jesus Christ
In two separate messages, Sarah Young was told by her “Jesus” that the last words he spoke after his resurrection and before ascending into heaven were “I am with you always.” But this statement made by the true Jesus Christ on the Mount of Galilee were not His last words before ascending into heaven. His last words were spoken from the Mount of Olives as recorded in Acts 1:7-9, 12. The two “messages” Sarah Young received from her “Jesus” contradict the words of the true Jesus Christ in the Holy Bible. What her “Jesus” said was totally unbiblical.
The Damage Control
Since this unbiblical contradiction was brought to light in my book “Another Jesus” Calling, Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have eliminated this obvious contradiction in their 10th anniversary edition. In other words, they had their “Jesus” correct himself. Compare the original January 28th and October 15th statements that have been in Jesus Calling for the last ten years, with the replacement statements now inserted in the new 10th anniversary edition.
January 28th Original Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. These were the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.18 (bold added)
January 28th Replacement Statement
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS. I spoke these words to My disciples after My resurrection. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen.19 (bold added)
October 15th Original Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. My final statement just before I went to heaven was: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.20 (bold added)
October 15th Replacement Statement
TRY TO STAY CONSCIOUS OF ME as you go step by step through this day. My Presence with you is both a promise and a protection. After My resurrection, I assured My followers: Surely I am with you always. That promise was for all of My followers, without exception.21 (bold added)
Note: One of the 250 “messages” Sarah Young included in her yet-to-be-corrected Jesus Calling Devotional Bible (NKJV) is the original October 15th “message” from Jesus Calling—“My final statement just before I went to heaven was: Surely I am with you always.” Given that this statement is clearly unbiblical, Young’s justification for her messages to be included “alongside the biblical text” falls a little flat. She writes:
Since my writings are rooted in the infallible, unchanging Word of God, having them appear alongside the biblical text would seem to be a natural place for them.22
Jesus Corrects Himself?
Sarah Young might argue that because Jesus never contradicts Himself, she must have heard it wrong. But if that were the case, she had to hear it wrong on two separate occasions because the unbiblical statement is in two different messages. With this in mind, an important question must be asked. Who was Sarah Young listening to when she “received” these two “messages?” Obviously the real Jesus does not contradict himself—much less correct Himself in regards to His own words and actions.
And for those who might argue that there is no longer a problem because this contradiction and other problematic areas have been corrected, several more questions must be asked. What about the ten million readers who have trusted these unbiblical messages over the last ten years? Do you just pretend it never happened? Aren’t they owed some kind of explanation as to how Sarah Young’s “Jesus” could make mistakes of this magnitude. But perhaps most importantly, how can an author and publisher—or anyone for that matter—believe they have the right to put words in and out of the mouth of Jesus Christ like He is some kind of literary device—and most especially when it is for the purpose of damage control?
Regardless of whether Sarah Young has been listening to a deceptive spirit (1Timothy 4:1) or to her own confused thoughts (1 Corinthians 14:33)—or a combination of both—she is deceived and is, in turn, deceiving others (2 Timothy 3:13) whether she realizes it or not. Believers must search the Scriptures to see if the things they are being told are really true (Acts 17:11), and they must test the voices they are listening to “because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
4) Sarah Young’s “Jesus” stated that Abraham was guilty of “idolatry” and “son-worship”
Sarah Young’s “Jesus” said that Abraham was a man of “undisciplined emotions” and was guilty of “son-worship” and “idolatry.” Many believers have recoiled at these strange, extra-biblical remarks.
The Damage Control
Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson have attempted to make this particular problem disappear by deleting all references to Abraham and Isaac in the August 23rd message in Jesus Calling.” As they eliminate Abraham and Isaac, they are simultaneously cutting, pasting, and inserting Jacob and Joseph in their place. Compare the original August 23rd entry with the one that has replaced it in recent editions.
August 23rd “Message” in the Original Edition
ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Remember the extreme measures I used with Abraham and Isaac. I took Isaac to the very point of death to free Abraham from son-worship. Both Abraham and Isaac suffered terribly because of the father’s undisciplined emotions. I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.23 (bold added and signifies material that was deleted)
August 23rd Replacement Message
ENTRUST YOUR LOVED ONES TO ME; release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands. If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one—as well as yourself. Joseph and his father, Jacob, suffered terribly because Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons and treated him with special favor. So Joseph’s brothers hated him and plotted against him. Ultimately, I used that situation for good, but both father and son had to endure years of suffering and separation from one another.
I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love, so beware of making a beloved child your idol.24 (bold added and signifies material that was added)
Note: Sarah Young and her editors obviously made a determination that substituting a toned down Jacob and Joseph entry would be more plausible than the original Abraham and Isaac message. However, the obvious cut-and-paste damage control has resulted in bringing more attention rather than less to their extra-biblical problem.
(5) “Jesus” complains about the night of his birth
Creating considerable controversy and confusion, the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling said he was born “under appalling conditions” in a “filthy stable” and that the night of his birth “was a dark night” for him. To many readers, this did not sound like the voice of their Savior—it sounded like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5) and that Satan—not Jesus—would be the one describing the night of Jesus’ birth as “that dark night for Me.”
The Damage Control
Compare the original December 25th message with the one that has replaced it in the 10th anniversary edition of Jesus Calling. Notice how the controversial statement—“That was a dark night for Me”—was deleted and quietly replaced by the less controversial statement—“There was nothing glorious about that setting.”
December 25th Sentence in the Original Edition
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.25 (bold added to highlight what was deleted))
December 25th Replacement Sentence
Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. There was nothing glorious about that setting, though angels lit up the sky proclaiming, “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.26 (bold added to highlight what was added)
Jesus Corrects Himself Again?
The complaints made by Sarah Young’s “Jesus” don’t square with Scripture inspired by the true Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us “to be content” in whatever circumstances we find ourselves (Philippians 4:11). Obviously succumbing to the mounting criticism regarding the “dark night for Me” remark, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” corrects himself—again—with no apology or explanation.
Intrigued by the channeled messages of God Calling, Sarah Young was apparently not satisfied with the sufficiency of God’s Word. In her original introduction, Young stated: “I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.”27 While this statement—along with many others—has been deleted in recent editions, it is clear the author of Jesus Calling “yearned for more,” and more is what she got. As a result, she received “messages” from a “Jesus” that has proven himself to be one of the false Christs that the real Jesus Christ warned us to watch out for (Matthew 24:4-5, 23-24). Wanting a word from God more than the Word of God, Sarah Young ended up getting deceived. “Deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13), she has taken millions of Jesus Calling readers along with her.
The Bible describes those who love and respect the power and authority of God’s Word as those who tremble at God’s Word (Isaiah 66:2). The Bible also describes those who do not tremble at God’s Word but rather use and manipulate God’s Word for their own selfish purposes (2 Corinthians 4:2).
There is no nice way to say it. Jesus Calling is a gross affront to our true Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And the self-serving effort by Sarah Young and her publisher to cover up some of the many problems found in Jesus Calling is a gross affront to the body of Christ. It is one thing for Sarah Young to be deceived, it is quite another for her to be the author of deception herself.
The five examples provided in this booklet typify the unprincipled damage control that the author and her publisher have undertaken to preserve their multi-million dollar Jesus Calling industry—all at the expense of people who have put their trust in Sarah Young and her “Jesus.” To those who would argue that there is a lot of truth in Jesus Calling and that the book has comforted many people, former Moody Memorial Church pastor Dr. Harry Ironside warned that “truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous”:
Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.28
Jesus warned that great deception would characterize the time of the end and that the deception would come in His name. I am absolutely convinced that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling is not the true Christ. Rather he is one of the false Christs that the real Jesus warned us to watch out for.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:3-5)
1. Two Listeners; Edited by A.J. Russell, God Calling (Grand Rapids, MI: A Spire Book published by Jove Publications Inc., for Fleming H. Revell, 2005), p. 5.
2. Q&A with Sarah Young, Author Profile, The Christian Broadcasting Network (http://www.cbn.com/entertainment/books/JesusCallingQA.aspx).
3. Two Listeners; Edited by A.J. Russell, God Calling, op. cit., p. 5.
4. John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1996), p. 80.
5. Ibid., p. 103.
6. Ibid., p. 104.
7. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2004), p. Xl, (12 13 14 15 16 RRD 52 51 50 49 48).
8. Ruth Graham, “The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of” (Daily Beast, 02/23/14). (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/the-strange-saga-of-jesus-calling-the-evangelical-bestseller-you-ve-never-heard-of.html).
10. Jim Fletcher, “Top Christian Bestseller Accused of Heresy” (WorldNetDaily, http://www.wnd.com/2014/05/top-christian-bestseller-accused-of-heresy).
11. Jim Fletcher, “Is Hit Book ‘Jesus Calling’ Pushing New Age?” (WorldNetDaily (http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/is-hit-book-jesus-calling-pushing-new-age).
12. Gina Meeks, “Critics Accuse ‘Jesus Calling’ of Mixing Truth With New Age Error” (Charisma News, http://www.charismanews.com/culture/43855-critics-accuse-jesus-calling-of-mixing-truth-with-error).
13. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. Xlll.
14. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, 10th Anniversary Edition (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson Inc, 2004, 2011, 2014), p. xviii, (14 15 16 17 18 DSC 5 4 3 2 1).
15. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. XlV.
16. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. xix.
17. Sarah Young, Adapted by Tama Fortner, Edited by Kris Bearss, Jesus Calling for Kids: 365 Devotions for Kids (Nashville, TN; Tommy Nelson, 2010), pp. vii-viii, (13 14 15 16 17 RRD 5 4 3 2 1).
18. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 29.
19. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 29.
20. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 302.
21. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 302.
22. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling Devotional Bible (Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2011), p. vi, (11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18—RRD—8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1).
23. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 246.
24. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 246.
25. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. 376.
26. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, 10th Anniversary Edition, op. cit., p. 376.
27. Sarah Young, Jesus Calling, op. cit., p. Xll.
28. Dr. Harry Ironside, “Exposing Error: Is it Worthwhile?” (TBC Extra, April 2008, posted on The Berean Call website, http://www.thebereancall.org/content/tbc-extra-30).