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Letter to the Editor: I Was Seduced by the “Jesus” of “Jesus Calling”

LTRP Note: At Lighthouse Trails, we believe that many Christians have been seduced by “another Jesus” who has come as an angel of light, goodness, and love through books such as Jesus Calling and The Shack. The Bible warns of “seducing spirits,” but many in the church (including much of church leadership) ignore such warnings while embracing the “Jesus” of these books. After reading this letter, if you are someone, or if you know someone, who is drawn to the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, you may e-mail us and request a copy of Warren Smith’s booklet, 10 Scriptural Reasons Jesus Calling is a Dangerous Book, and we will send you a copy free of charge.

Dear Lighthouse Trails,

I want to share my experience with the book Jesus Calling in hope that my account might help someone else who has been deceived as I have. I am so grateful for your work in exposing this kind of deception. Converted 51 years ago, absolutely devoted to Jesus Christ and the Bible, teaching other women the same, and yet . . .

MY DECEPTION—Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling, given to me by a Catholic friend, immediately brought me a serenity, a remarkable feeling of peace, a revelation, a fresh insight to the Gospel. I had never seen Jesus in such a freeing way! I soon was relieved of “burdens” and obligations from many biblical commands, not that they were unimportant (this Jesus assured me they were) but that this wonderfully simplified access to God would cover all those bases anyway. I had only to turn my mind over to this Jesus, the correct interpreter. He would guide me so well. I felt free from serious studying of the Word, of searching out meaning, of obeying it, because this loving Jesus would tell me about it when needed, and there was no reason to labor needlessly. Didn’t he say his burden was light? How could I have missed it?

Of course, all of God’s recorded teachings were still valid to me, but because there are so many of them to think about and coordinate, this “One-size-fits-all” approach was refreshingly simple. There were Scriptures included with each teaching that I could always refer to, but they were appropriately in more subdued print indicating his assurance that I didn’t have to read them unless I particularly wanted to. Either way was OK. He would bring them all together for me anyway, and I could shift my focus away from what my flesh was often wrestling with, those corrections from Scripture. I no longer felt scriptural warnings, including the need to repent, because it was now unnecessary. I wasn’t obligated to study for myself, but could rely on what he personally translated to me. He would let me know the real meaning when it was needed, so I could relax and take it easy in that regard. My only job was to clear my mind and let him fill it with his words. At last, I had come fully into my Mary role, sitting at his feet! By just letting him have constant and exclusive control of my thinking (well, it was my goal, at least), I could be sure that I was meeting all his requirements in this wonderfully simplified way. I realized that my previous struggles against sin were now really a matter of giving him a blank slate, of relinquishing my thoughts. How “light” my load became!

Feeling blessed beyond measure and thinking, “Why me, Lord, what have I done to deserve this goodness,” I entered into a state of great humility, knowing that as unworthy as I was, I had been included in an exclusive, blessed group, encasing me in love. At the same time, this feeling of love set up a longing in me that others would come in also, so I bought more copies of Jesus Calling to give away, spreading the good news to dear friends and more. Humility and love—I had both!

MY DELIVERANCE—Surprisingly, and to my great disappointment, my godly daughter was horrified when I introduced this to her because as she read it, superficial and unscriptural qualities jumped out at her immediately. It frightened and sickened her that there was now a chasm between us. She kindly and firmly resisted my attempts to get her into the circle, and her son joined in earnest prayer for me. She frantically searched the Internet for a book to convince me that Jesus Calling was dangerously wrong and found Warren Smith’s Another Jesus Calling which she asked me to read immediately. I patiently laid it aside, meaning to “get to it” when I could. God then led another godly daughter to sit up late reading Mr. Smith’s book and to share its contents next morning with her mom.

Apparently, prayers had gotten me ready for this encounter because what followed could only be described as divine intervention. As I listened in astonishment, my eyes were immediately and completely opened to the truth of this enormous, beguiling, occultic deception, and suddenly, it all became so clear. God, full of mercy, was rescuing this foolish, gullible, female from the lure of a false Jesus. Truly, I had been deceived by a spirit disguised as an angel of light, one who had presented himself as so sweet, peaceful, and loving that I had been his willing victim. I will be forever grateful to Warren Smith and a praying, persevering family for my deliverance.

E. H., an 80-something great-grandmother

(photo from the cover of “Another Jesus” Calling; used with permission from Mountain Stream Press)



US Supreme Court Declines to Stay Sentence of Man Imprisoned for Helping Ex-Lesbian Who Fled Country With Daughter

LTRP Note: For several years, Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of Lisa Miller, her daughter Isabella, and the men who helped her escape. The following news article gives the background of the story as well as the current status.

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to stay the prison sentence of a Virginia man convicted of aiding in international parental kidnapping and conspiracy for driving a woman to New York, where she then fled the country with her daughter—as she wanted to avoid an impending court order that would mandate that she hand over her child to her former lesbian partner.

“The application for stay addressed to Justice Gorsuch and referred to the court is denied,” the high court simply wrote on Jan. 7 surrounding the case of Zodhiates v. United States.

Philip Zodhiates has since released his first letter from the Ashland Federal Correctional Institution in Kentucky, where he said that the Lord was already using his time of incarceration. Click here to continue reading.


Comments From Our Readers

The following are some of the comments that came in this past two weeks from our readers regarding articles posted on our blog. These particular articles are in this newsletter. If you would like to post a comment to one of our articles, you may do so at the blog. You only need to give your first name. We would be grateful to hear from you, and such feedback is helpful for others. You can also post comments on the Lighthouse Trails Research Facebook page:

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor: It looks as though William is more discerning than his teachers, Good job, William!! I hope that he never loses that discerning spirit trying to please his teachers. Perhaps William now has a decision to make, since obviously he won’t be able to print any papers using any authors from LHT and only can use the schools preferred library, that library being chocked full of deception. Pray William that the Lord guides you into what He would have you do now. He knows the way you should go. The only people who fear discernment sites are those with no discernment. I happen to love LHT and tell anyone I can about you. You have so much information on your site about so many false teachings and really well written articles and books by some very good authors that have spent a lot of time researching their books that if it weren’t for the age we are in (coming closer to Christ’s return) that I believe Christian’s would be flocking to your website for information. As it is we are seeing the apostasy happening, people would rather believe in myths and turn away from the truth, having their ears tickled, very sad times we are living in. Every one of us must be on the alert so we don’t fall for the very same deceptions that many have fallen for already! Lisa

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor: Biola University is the same. I work there and they also use Ennegrams. Could you please publish an article about Ennegrams to warn believers? Thanks so much!  Nancy [LT Note: LT has researched and reported on Biola for several years and agree that Biola is in the same situation as Grand Canyon and a huge number of other Christian schools.]

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor:Thank you again for a timely message. It's very sad that people just don't want to hear the truth. And it's even sadder when supposedly Christian professors do not teach the truth. Pat

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor: I'm shocked, shocked to read that gatekeepers and philosopher kings are controlling the narrative! Robin

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor: The professor stated that “Lighthouse Trails is a discernment site” which would be the very reason they would not be the prescribed tools to use. In order for proper indoctrination to take place, discernment must not be used. Unfortunately the professors advice was not credible, I hope the student realized that. S.E.

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor:Thank you all and LHT for the support. I had no idea it was this bad. I read the school's doctrinal statement and thought I was in good hands. Apparently that statement is worthless. It is extremely sad to see this happening. I had no intention of going into the ministry, I just wanted to keep growing in truth and study myself approved. However after realizing how bad the teaching is, I feel I have no other choice. I wish God would send someone else but i just don't see enough people stepping up. Last week I got a big promotion and raise at work but i couldn't care less. All I am able to think about is how perilous the deception has become. I am truly grieved, please pray for me. William [author of the Grand Canyon U. Letter to the Editor below]

Grand Canyon University and Christian University Professor: The Lord tells us in His Word to trust in Him, and in His Word, and use that to judge everything else. We are to be good Bereans. Christians often have to take a stand, but it is sad when they have to stand against those who claim to be on the same side! "many deceivers have gone into our midst." Herb & Christiana

Man Imprisoned for Helping Woman Flee With Child: How many of us would die if need be for our fellow believer? How many of us really serve one another in love? "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have love you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' John 15:12-13. Further Jesus said, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.' (verse 14). Calling out sin is also love, or how could we preach the gospel? These perilous times call for us to boldly stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word even though people will have fierce faces I'm reminded of Ez. 3:8-9, 'Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.' (sounds like the church today) Nannette

Seduced by Jesus Calling:Something interesting that I noticed in all my encounters is that many ladies who were reading Jesus Calling were struggling to get into the Word. They seemed to have such a hard time just picking up their Bibles and reading them, when that was not such a big problem before getting into that book by Sarah Young. It seems like spiritual warfare. People who get into the occult get pulled away from God's Word as there are opposite poles there. It works with sin too, there is a saying that reading the Bible will keep you from sin, but sin will also keep you from reading the Bible. Lillie

Seduced by Jesus Calling: I have noticed that same phenomenon with people who are heavily taught and trained in the so-called "prosperity gospel." Which is really odd, since they emphasize "speaking the Word" so much. To the dear lady who wrote this letter: Thank You! I appreciate so much your humility and transparency. And I thank God for your daughters who were faithful to the Lord to speak their sincere concerns to you. I have shared some concerns like this with my own mother, but she is totally unwilling to hear/listen. So I am very, very impressed with you (I know that's the work of the Holy Spirit in your life). God Bless You and your whole family! CW

Seduced by Jesus Calling: I had picked up the Jesus Calling book (before I’d heard anything about it, was just looking for a devotional.). I didn’t get past the first chapter when I knew this was heresy and I threw it out. I was raised in New Age and had pursued that philosophy until age30 when I got saved. It seems those of us Christians with occult background (hopefully) have discernment. Ellissa



Editor's Note: An excellent article on discernment is one we posted in May by Dr. Shelton Smith titled "Spiritual Discernment What It Is and How to Get It."


Letter to the Editor: I Was Seduced by the “Jesus” of “Jesus Calling”
US Supreme Court Declines to Stay Sentence of Man Imprisoned for Helping Ex-Lesbian Who Fled Country With Daughter
Comments From Our Readers

Letter to the Editor: My Christian University Professor Graded Harshly for Mentioning Lighthouse Trails

The Dust of Jerusalem and the Last Generation
Letter to the Editor: Is “New City Catechism” by Gospel Coalition OK?
The Cloud of Unknowing – “Take a little word, and repeat it.”
How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire
Feedback on our Printed Mailed Research Journal
Two 2018 New Release Value Packs!
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Letter to the Editor: My Christian University Professor Graded Harshly for Mentioning Lighthouse Trails

LTRP Note: The following letter to the editor is posted with permission. It is written by a graduate student of a Christian university. We find the professor’s remarks to this student provocative, especially considering what we discovered after reading the professor’s post. Please see our comments after the two posts below.

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

I am a graduate student at GCU [Grand Canyon University] in a biblical doctrine program. I had begun a new class in Hermenutics. 

My pastors at church told me of your website, and I kept you in mind. A topic on spiritual formation came up recently, and I provided a link to your website on the topic. My teacher gave me a harsh grade and comment. Seems they are onto you!

Please see attached screenshots of what took place.


[From the student]:

[From the professor]:

Lighthouse Trails Statement:

We’d like to begin this statement in response to the professor’s comments by telling of an incident that happened several years ago. A radio host we had worked with at that time was contacted by two Ph.D theologians from Canada. The two men had read the book we published by Ray Yungen, A Time of Departing, and told the radio host that Ray Yungen had taken things out of context to make his points. The editors at LT asked the radio host if it would be OK for us to contact the two men. When we were granted permission to do that, we wrote to them, and respectfully asked them if they could give us one or two examples of where the book had taken things out of context. They could not provide any examples. We knew they would not be able to because we had gone through the manuscript with the utmost care, checking the context of every quote in the book against the original source. And to this day, we have not yet had anyone show us where we have taken a quote out of context in that book or any other that we have published.

The Grand Canyon University professor has accused Lighthouse Trails of “not” being “recognized in the scholarly community as credible.” We are assuming he means the Christian scholarly community. And yet, over the years, we have had numerous men and women with doctorate degrees and numerous pastors tell us that our work is indeed credible. For example, we once received a phone call from Dr. James Diehl (former General Superintendent of the Nazarene Church) who told us that A Time of Departing was excellent and that the message in it was vital. In addition, the first edition of A Time of Departing was endorsed by Dr. Robert Wright (Corban University), Dr. Donald Whitney (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Dr. Peter Jones (TruthxChange), and Dr. Wayne House (Faith Evangelical College and Seminary).

As one last example, Dr. James Maxwell, the now-retired president of Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa spoke several times with Lighthouse Trails editors, praising the work that was being done. He also wrote an article that is online titled The New Spirituality, where he warned about the things that LT has warned about, and he referenced Lighthouse Trails in that article.

We have given these examples to show that there are those who have credentials who have backed up the work of Lighthouse Trails. But, as much as we appreciate those who have doctorates who have shown support, we’d like to quote author and lecturer Roger Oakland, when he spoke about “credentials.” He stated, “Credentials, for many, mean credibility. If you don’t have credentials, it doesn’t matter what facts you present. Facts are secondary.” That statement is true for many, but at Lighthouse Trails we have always believed that facts (and the Word of God) come before credentials. (source)

What We Found at the GCU Library

In the comment above by the professor at GCU, he advised his students to use “recognized sources from the GCU library” saying that “discernment sites do not qualify.”* So let’s take a look for a moment at the GCU library. 

To start with, there are 35 books by or about the Catholic mystic, Thomas Merton, including Merton’s books Zen and the Birds of Appetite, New Seeds of Contemplation, and The Way of Chuang-Ztu. Merton became a mystic and a panentheistic who stated in his writings that God is in everyone.

There is a book by the mystic Meister Eckhart, titled Breakthrough, Meister Eckhart’s creation spirituality, in new translation / introd. and commentaries by Matthew Fox. Matthew Fox is a mystic who explains in his book The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, that every human being is Christ.

There are 170 listings of books with the word “Zen” in the title as well as Dark Night of the Soul by Gerald May and over 80 books promoting Yoga (such as Rāja-yoga, or conquering the internal nature by Swami Vivekananda).

The GCU library essentially has books by just about every mystic Lighthouse Trails has ever written about: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Evelyn Underhill, Daniel Goleman, Hildegard of Binge, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Henri Nouwen, M. Scott Peck, the Desert Fathers, Julian of Norwich, Thomas Aquinas, Emanuel Swedenborg, Richard Rolle to name a few.

In addition, the GCU library has all kinds of books, too many to number, written by emergent/contemplative authors such as Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Dan Allender, Richard Foster, David Benner, and Marcus Borg.

In the New Age category, GCU library has books galore. Books by: Swami Venkatesananda, Ramakrishna, Swami Abhedananda, Helena Blavatsky (founder of Theosophy and pioneer in the New Age movement), and Jon Kabat-Zinn were just a few of the New Age authors that line the physical and digital GCU library shelves.

The question we have for this professor, with his loose-ended advice to students to turn to “recognized” resources in the GCU library, is how in the world are students going to be able to decipher which books are credible and which aren’t? It seems rather unfair and unbalanced for a professor to condemn and harshly grade a graduate student who suggests to his fellow students to consider Lighthouse Trails for resources (which are well written and well documented) all the while pointing students to a library that is literally saturated with books and resources that can hardly be considered trustworthy and certainly don’t fall within the realm of scholarly and credible (especially from a biblical point of view).

P.S. As for the professor’s remark that some discernment sites promote “hateful attacks on fellow Christians,” we issue the same challenge we did so many years ago to the two theologians from Canada: Please show us where Lighthouse Trails has done this, for the indirect insinuation in his remarks is that LT is part of that group of sites that promotes hateful attacks.

*Many times, as in this case, those who try to discredit Lighthouse Trails suggest that we are merely a blog or a website. Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Inc. is a publishing house and research ministry that has been in existence since 2002, is incorporated (since 2017) in the state of Montana, and is recognized in the Christian Writer’s Market directory as a legitimate publisher. Besides, it is illogical to suggest that something cannot be credible if it is “just a blog or a website.” Information, be it from websites, books, newspapers, blogs, or magazines, is not credible because of the venue in which it is presented but is credible if it is accurate and properly documented.

The Dust of Jerusalem and the Last Generation
2-second still taken from YouTube:; used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

By Tony Pearce
Light for the Last Days Ministries

In 2018, an extremely rare, minuscule biblical stone weight inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the word “beka” was discovered in rubble taken from excavations at the foundations of the Western Wall.  The “beka,” a First Temple-period weight measure used by pilgrims paying their half-shekel tax before ascending to the Temple Mount, was recently discovered by a volunteer in the City of David’s wet sifting project in Jerusalem’s Emek Tzurim National Park.

In Exodus 38:26, we find the word “beka” used of the weight for the gift brought by the Jewish people for the maintenance of the Temple: “A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.”

Archaeologist Eli Shukron, who directed the excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority Shukron said in a press release, “When the half-shekel tax was brought to the Temple during the First Temple period, there were no coins, so they used silver ingots. In order to calculate the weight of these silver pieces they would put them on one side of the scales and on the other side they placed the Beka weight. The Beka was equivalent to the half-shekel, which every person from the age of 20 years and up was required to bring to the Temple.”

“This is a word that is used both inside and outside of the Bible. You can see beka written in the Bible and what it was used for, and there you have it,” he said. (source)

“This three thousand-year-old Beka weight, inscribed with ancient Hebrew was likely used in the First Temple, anchoring once again, the deep historical connection of the Jewish People to Jerusalem,” said Doron Spielman, Vice President of the City of David Foundation which funded the excavation. (source)

Israel has a passion for archaeology and delights in finding items which connect the Jewish people today to the Hebrews who lived in the land in the times of the Bible.  Discovering items with Hebrew writing on them in Jerusalem is seen as a justification for Israel’s claim to sovereignty over this city and the land of Israel. It is also seen as an answer to the claim that today’s Israelis are an alien invading force taking the land from its rightful Arab owners.

This is a fulfilment of the words of the Psalmist written perhaps at the time this beka stone was dropped in the ground in Jerusalem: “But thou, O Lord, shall endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.” (Psalm 102:12-18; emphasis added)

The Psalmist sees a time coming when the Lord will have mercy on Zion and the Jewish people will return to their ancient capital city.  At that time it says that, ” thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.” As the archaeologists search through the dust of Jerusalem, they discover stones and fragments which point to the truth of the Bible record and also vindicate the claim of the Jewish people to Jerusalem as their capital city now, despite the fierce opposition of the nations of the world.  

The Psalmist goes on to say that this shall be written for “the generation to come.”  The Hebrew phrase is “le dor acharon” which can also be translated the “last generation.”  The last generation before what? Again the Psalmist gives us the answer to this when he says, “the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.”

This verse tells us two important things.  First, the one who is behind the end time building up of Zion (the restoration of Israel and Jerusalem to the Jewish people) is the Lord Himself.  He is delivering on His covenant that He would give to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob (the children of Israel) a multitude of descendants and the title deeds of ownership of the land of Israel (Genesis 15, 17, 26.2-5, 28.13-15, Exodus 6.2-8).  If Israel is dispersed and scattered from the land as a result of disobedience to the Lord or unbelief, God will cause them to return in His time (Deuteronomy 28, 30), because of the covenant made with their fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). Whatever modern Israelis believe or do not believe about God and the promises of the Bible, the Lord is at work, overruling historical events and bringing back the people of Israel to the land of Israel and restoring Zion.  

As we read in Jeremiah 31:10:  “Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations
(Hebrew ‘Goyim’ = Gentiles), and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” According to Jeremiah 30:24, this will happen in the period known as the last days: “[I]n the latter days (be acharit ha yamim) ye shall consider it.”

So again we ask the question, “The last days, the last generation before what?”  The Psalmist says, “When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” The one who appears is the Messianic King, who is also the Lord appearing in glory.  This ties in with a number of prophecies in the Hebrew Bible, including Zechariah 14, when the Lord comes at the last battle over Jerusalem: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” (Zechariah 14:3-4).
Psalm 2 is a Messianic psalm which speaks about God’s intervention at a time when the nations of the world are coming together to oppose God’s purposes and the Messiah:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”  (Psalm 2:1-3)

“His Anointed” in Hebrew is m’shiacho which means His Messiah.  In other words these nations are going to be anti-Messiah or anti-Christ.  They want to remove the restraining influence of God’s law and take counsel against God’s purposes.  Exactly what the nations are doing today as the spirit of antichrist and lawlessness takes possession of the world system.  Jesus gave one of the signs of the last days as lawlessness, saying, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12).  The word for wickedness in Greek is “anomia” which means against the “nomos” or law of God. The nations will also be against God’s purposes for Israel.

On December 3, 2018, the UN General Assembly, which represents the nations on earth in our time, approved six anti-Israel resolutions, including two that reject Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.  The Temple Mount, the location of the two ancient Jewish temples, which stood on the site in Jerusalem’s Old City for a total of nearly a thousand years, was referred to only by its Muslim name, the Haram al Sharif.  UN Secretary General Guterres said that Israeli and Palestinian leaders must recognize a two-state resolution to the conflict “with borders based on the 1967 lines and Jerusalem as the capital of both states – East Jerusalem being the capital of the Palestinian state.”   This means that Israel must withdraw from the Old City of Jerusalem and all its settlements around the city on the eastern side. This is also the minimum demand for peace from the Palestinian side, but Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has said many times that Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty remains the capital of Israel.

This conflict lines up with Zechariah 12:2-3, another prophecy of the last days, where God says:

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

All the nations of the earth speaks of the United Nations.  As they come against God’s purposes for building up Zion, they will discover His wrath and indignation.  Back in Psalm 2 we read:

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. (Psalm 2:4-9)

He advises the nations to be wise and “Kiss [worship] the Son” and trust in Him as they repent and believe (Psalm 2:10-12). The references to the Son in this psalm point again to Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah, who is the Son of God, and who is coming as Messiah of Israel to claim His inheritance in Zion and in the nations.  He will rule over the nations at His coming and settle once and for all the issue of who Jerusalem belongs to.

All of this ties in with the words of Jesus in the New Testament.  He spoke about the dispersion of the Jewish people from Jerusalem following the destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem in Luke 21:20-24 and also implied their return to Jerusalem:

“And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.”

From this we see that the dispersion of the Jews will not be a permanent condition.  The day will come when Jerusalem will no longer be trampled or ruled by the Gentiles and “the fig tree” of Israel’s national life will blossom again:

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors” (see Matthew 24:2-33, see also Luke 21:29-33).

The fig tree is used as a symbol of Israel’s national life in Hosea 9.10 and Jeremiah 24.  Jesus spoke of the fig tree that would be “cut down” if it did not bear fruit (Luke 13:6-9).  He cursed the fig tree that did not bear fruit as a result of which it withered away (Matthew 21.19).  Both these passages spoke of the coming withering of the national life of Israel after the disaster of the Jewish revolt and the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in AD 70.

So the budding of the fig tree is the reversal of this process, causing the revival of the national life of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, which has taken place in our time.  Jesus said when you see this happening, you know it is a sign of something much greater to follow, the return of the Messiah. The budding of the fig tree—the rebirth of Israel as a nation along with all the other signs of the second coming which are taking place in our time—is a wake up call to the world that Jesus is coming back.  

So to come back to our theme from Psalm 102, when the Lord builds up Zion, bringing the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the land of Israel, He will appear in His glory.  This wonderful event is on its way as we see the Jewish people back in the land and taking pleasure in the stones of Jerusalem, while the antichrist nations gather together to fight against the Lord and His purposes.  The last word will be with the returning Messiah, as He appears in power and glory to bring an end to war over Jerusalem and to set up His Messianic kingdom.

“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).

photo: Tony Pearce

Copyright Light for the Last Days; used with permission.

Related Information:

You may want to watch a December 31, 2018 “Prophecy Update” by Pastor Brett Meador of Athey Creek Christian Fellowship in Oregon. The update has some very interesting insights into recent events, including President Trump’s pulling U.S. troops out of Syria.Click here to watch this on YouTube.


Letter to the Editor: Is “New City Catechism” by Gospel Coalition OK?

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Enclosed please find this announcement that was in our church’s bulletin (see image below) titled “New City Catechism.” We do not have a computer to do research on this, and we were wondering if you would be so kind as to do this for us. We are wondering if it is a good thing or not. Would you please let us know? May the Lord bless you all and give you continued wisdom and discernment in 2019.

Mr. and Mrs. E. (Wisconsin)

LT Comments:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. E:

We are writing regarding your letter asking about the New City Catechism. This is a Reformed/Calvinist project that was started by the Gospel Coalition and Redeemer Presbyterian Church. The Gospel Coalition is an organization that has definite earmarks of being influenced by the emergent church, and Redeemer Presbyterian Church (Timothy Keller’s church) has on different occasions promoted the contemplative prayer movement.

On the New City Catechism website, one of their main books they use is titled The New City Catechism Devotional with an introduction by Timothy Keller. Keller is also one of the main contributors of the book, as is John Piper (a contemplative advocate) and John Calvin (a man directly and indirectly responsible for dozens of executions – see information below). The New City Catechism Devotional is published by the Gospel Coalition and Redeemer Presbyterian.

We hope that this short letter will be of some help to you as you research the matter and that you will use the utmost discernment and wisdom if you do end up doing this course.

Most Sincerely,
Editors at Lighthouse Trails Publishing

Below are some resources from Lighthouse Trails that may help equip you:

Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy by Bob Kirkland (see chapter 2 below)

5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer by Ray Yungen

How to Know When the Emerging Church is Showing Signs of Emerging into Your Church by Roger Oakland

Three Vital Questions on Navigating Discernment by Harry Ironside

*  *   *   *   *


John Calvin’s Manner of Life” by Bob Kirkland (Chapter 2 from Calvinism: None Dare Call It Heresy)

Bernard Cottret, a university professor in France, wrote a book titled, Calvin: A Biography in which he clearly shows his admiration for Calvin on several levels. Thus, given that Cottret is not what you would call a critic of Calvin, it lends credibility to the more than 36* executions with which Calvin was directly or indirectly involved that are recorded in the book. Cottret documents the dates of executions and the methods of persecution, torture, and execution. He describes the period of time when Calvin had much authority in Geneva; and when Calvin denounced someone as a heretic (often the denouncement came for criticizing or even just questioning Calvin’s teachings) that person was hunted down. Cottret describes the atmosphere during this time:

Fear of sorcery and of heretics entailed their retinue of hasty, indeed barbarous remedies: imprisonment, torture, the stake.1

Men and women alike endured the torturous imprisonments and deaths.


Jacques Gruet, a known opponent of Calvin, was arrested and tortured twice a day for a month in an effort to get him to confess to the accusations against him. Then, on July 26, 1547, he was tied to a stake, his feet were nailed to it, and he was beheaded.2

Gruet’s book was later found and burned along with his house while his wife was thrown out into the street to watch. This was not unusual behavior to those who dared to challenge or disagree with Calvin:

Gruet was put to the torture many times (444) during many days . . . In reality such unmeasured use of torture was in Geneva a Calvinistic innovation. Gruet, refusing under the worst stress of torture to incriminate anyone else, at length, in order to end it, pleaded guilty to the charges against him, praying in his last extremity for a speedy death. On July 26, 1547, his half-dead body was beheaded on the scaffold, the torso being tied and the feet nailed thereto. Such were the judicial methods and mercies of a reformed Christianity, guided by a chief reformer.3

Michael Servetus, a scientist, a physician, and theologian was born in Villanova in 1511. He angered Calvin by returning a copy of Calvin’s writings with critical comments in the margins. Calvin drew up a doctrine of over thirty official charges against Servetus, one of which was the rejection of John Calvin’s teaching concerning infant baptism leading to salvation. Five days into the trial, Calvin wrote, “I hope the death sentence will at least be passed upon him.”4 He also stated regarding Servetus, “If he come, and my influence can avail, I shall not suffer him to depart alive.”5
Calvin got his wish on October 27, 1553. Servetus was burned at the stake. He was screaming as he was literally baked alive from the feet upward and suffered the heat of the flames for thirty minutes before finally succumbing to one of the most painful and brutal methods of death possible.

Servetus had written a theology book, a copy of which was strapped to the chest of Servetus. The flames from the burning book rose against his face as he screamed in agony.6

While Michael Servetus definitely had some unbiblical teachings, such as his rejection of the Trinity, he was, as the late apologist Dave Hunt puts it, “right about some things: that God does not predestine souls to hell and that God is love.”7

Some have tried to say that Calvin was not responsible for the cruel manner in which Servetus was executed and that all he wanted was for Servetus to be beheaded (obviously, a less painful way to be executed). Brenda Nickel, a former Calvinist who was featured in a documentary film about Reformed Theology, provides some insight:

Calvin had a long-standing vendetta against Servetus. Servetus foolishly taunted Calvin through letters; thus, Calvin insisted on having him arrested and charged when he entered Geneva. Calvin wanted the death penalty for him. Servetus pleaded with Calvin to be beheaded instead of being burned at the stake, and Calvin was willing to go along with the idea. If Servetus was beheaded instead of burned, then Calvin couldn’t be blamed. Beheading, in this case, was attractive to both Servetus and Calvin. Beheading would be seen as a civil crime and free Calvin from having blood on his hands. French reformer William Farel rebuked Calvin for the thought. Since the charge was religious and not civil in nature, Servetus was burned at the stake.

Melanchthon (Luther’s friend and successor) praised Calvin for Servetus’ death. This execution basically skyrocketed Calvin to fame throughout Europe. It put him on the map, so to speak, as a noteworthy and respected reformer.8

Apparently, Calvin must have felt a need to appease himself of guilt in the murders he had helped to institutionalize.

Bernard Cottret also wrote of the persecution of the Anabaptist Belot:

While he shared the prejudices of his contemporaries against sorcerers, Calvin the churchman remained devoted to one of the church’s principal missions, the denunciation of heresy and the condemnation of heretics. For Calvin the greatest heretics were the Anabaptists. They were the internal enemy, as against the papists, who threatened the development of the “true faith” from outside. Papists, moreover, were not heretics in the strict sense; their errors were predictable, almost programmed, and less dangerous on the whole than those original thoughts that risked affecting the Reformed world itself. In 1545 the Anabaptist Belot held that the Old Testament was abolished by the New. This point of view might be debatable theologically, but did it justify the torture inflicted on poor Belot after he was chained and his invectives against Calvin were laughed at?9

Gruet, Servetus, and Belot were not the only ones to be persecuted for speaking against John Calvin and his institutes:

With dictatorial control over the populace (“he ruled as few sovereigns have done”), Calvin imposed his brand of Christianity upon the citizenry with floggings, imprisonments, banishments, and burnings at the stake. Calvin has been called “the Protestant Pope” and “the Genevese dictator” who “would tolerate in Geneva the opinions of only one person, his own.”10

It puzzles me immensely why anyone would think that God would use such a man as Calvin to be a great leader of Christianity?

In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul said, “Be ye followers (imitators) of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Was John Calvin an imitator of Christ in his actions? I see no answer to that question but a resounding, “Not at all!”


Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Jesus was persecuted for over thirty years and finally crucified. In Luke 23:34, we read how Jesus responded to His enemies. He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” And in John 13:15, Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”

Dave Hunt, who wrote the Calvinist expose, What Love is This?, said:

Perhaps Calvin thought he was God’s instrument to force Irresistible Grace (a key doctrine in Calvinism) upon the citizens of Geneva, Switzerland—even upon those who proved their unworthiness by resisting to the death. He unquestionably did his best to be irresistible in imposing “righteousness,” but what he imposed and the manner in which he imposed it was far from grace and the teachings and example of Christ.11


Stephen’s persecutors did not write a note on the margin of his sermon outline; they were smashing his head in with rocks. He cried loudly, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge” (Acts 7:60). When Peter, James, John, and Paul were persecuted, they had no desire to strike back at their persecutors. They responded the way they did because they were all under the control of the Holy Spirit. “[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). But Calvin had no real persecutors and responded to those who opposed him by having them imprisoned, brutally tortured, and murdered.

Bible Christians who are born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit never hope the death sentence is passed upon their persecutors as did Calvin when people disagreed with him.


The primary teaching in Calvinism is the teaching on “election” in that the majority of people God created, He did not elect to save nor did He love them. In fact, He hated them from before they were even born. Under the Calvinist view of election, wherein God does not love every human being or desires that each one come to faith and be saved, it makes sense that John Calvin did not have God’s love toward those he saw as his unsaved fellow man. After all, if God does not even love them, why should he? It is this reasoning that would have made it easy for Calvin to justify the torture and murder of people whom he believed, in his own estimation, to be heretics.
But the Bible says that God is love. And He is righteous, true, faithful, and just. Such are fruits of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22, and love is the first one mentioned.

It is hard not to believe that John Calvin was under the influence of some other spirit than the Holy Spirit. You will have to look long and hard to find anything in Calvin’s writings about love. It is certainly not obvious in his manner of life.


  1. Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Pub. Company, English translation, 2000), p. 181.
  2. To read more about Gruet’s execution and other Calvin-era executions, read Preserved Smith’s (1880-1941) The Age of the Reformtaion (New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1920); see page 120 for information about Gruet.
  3. J. M. Robertson, A Short History of Freethought, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I (London: Owlfoot Press, 1914), p. 352; citing partly from: “Stähelin, i, 400. Henry avows that Gruet was ‘subjected to the torture morning and evening during a whole month’ (Eng. tr. ii. 66). Other biographers dishonestly exclude the fact from their narratives.”
  4. “The Murder of Michael Servetus” ( Also see The Ridpath Library of Universal Literature, Vol. 5, p. 89 by John Clark Ridpath documenting actual letters from Calvin discussing the fate of Servetus.
  5. J. M. Robertson, A Short History of Freethought, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, op. cit., p. 354.
  6. Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: The Reformation, Vol. VI (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1957), pp. 482-484.
  7. Dave Hunt, What Love is This? (Bend, OR: The Berean Call, 2013, 4th edition), p. 79.
  8. Brenda Nickel, featured in the documentary film, Wide is the Gate, Vol. 2 (Produced by Caryl Productions; available through Lighthouse Trails or The Berean Call; trailer for the film: Her online book on Calvinism, which includes biography on her years as a Calvinist, can be accessed at
  9. Bernard Cottret, Calvin: A Biography, op. cit., p. 208.
  10. Dave Hunt, What Love Is This?, op. cit., p. 74; partly citing Williston Walker from John Calvin: The Organizer of Reformed Protestantism (New York, NY: Schocken Books, 1969), pp. 259 and 107.
  11. Ibid., p. 72.







*The Cloud of Unknowing – “Take a little word, and repeat it.”
The Cloud of UnknowingThe Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous monk, has passed under the radar of many church libraries,  Christian bookstores, and theological seminaries and colleges. But this book is a primer on mystical contemplative spirituality. Check your church library and see if this book is sitting on the shelves.

by Ray Yungen

To my dismay, I discovered ‘mystical silence’ is accomplished by the same methods used by New Agers to achieve their silence—the mantra and the breath! Contemplative prayer is the repetition of what is referred to as a prayer word or sacred word until one reaches a state where the soul, rather than the mind, contemplates God. Contemplative prayer teacher and Zen master Willigis Jager brought this out when he postulated:

Do not reflect on the meaning of the word; thinking and reflecting must cease, as all mystical writers insist. Simply”sound” the word silently, letting go of all feelings and thoughts.( Jager, Contemplation, p. 31)

Those with some theological training may recognize this teaching as the historical stream going back centuries to such figures as Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Julian of Norwich. One of the most well-known writings on the subject is the classic 14th century treatise, The Cloud of Unknowing, written by an anonymous author. It is essentially a manual on contemplative prayer inviting a beginner to:

Take just a little word, of one syllable rather than of two … With this word you are to strike down every kind of thought under the cloud of forgetting. (Ken Kaisch, Finding God, citing The Cloud of Unknowing, p. 223)

The premise here is that in order to really know God, mysticism must be practiced—the mind has to be shut down or turned off so that the cloud of unknowing where the presence of God awaits can be experienced.

Practitioners of this method believe that if the sacred words are Christian, you will get Christ—it is simply a matter of intent even though the method is identical to occult and Eastern practices. (from A Time of Departing, p. 33)

More from A Time of Departing, the book that exposes the truth about the spiritual formation deception that has come into the church:

1. Energy Healing: Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch – Entertaining Devils Unaware

2. The Cross versus the “Higher Self”

3. What is Meditation?


How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

Below is a portion of the content of Chris Lawson's booklet, How to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire. The full booklet has 101 questions. To order copies of this booklet, click here. 

bkt-cl-sa-sHow to Know if You Are Being Spiritually Abused or Deceived—A Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

By Chris Lawson

Do you know a loved one, a neighbor, or a co-worker who is in a cult or an abusive church or group? Or perhaps you yourself are in such a situation. The Spiritual-Abuse Questionnaire in this booklet will help shed light on this issue.

Spiritual abuse occurs when a leader, a church, or a belief system, whether well intentioned or not, dominates, manipulates, or castigates individuals and even entire families through fear tactics, mind control, or some other psychological or emotional abuse.

Sadly, the mask of spiritual abuse deception can be worn by anyone. The following two Scriptures are reflective of what happens when the position of authority is abused within a spiritual/church setting (e.g., self-exaltation, heavy-handed leadership, etc).

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means [by their own authority]; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? (Jeremiah 5:31)

I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. (3 John 9-10)

It is my hope that this booklet will help people who have been through or are experiencing things similar (or worse) to what my family and I personally experienced years ago.

If you have been spiritually abused, take heart; the true Jesus desires to help and heal you as He has helped countless others.

Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

This questionnaire is designed to help the reader think through a number of areas he or she may have never seriously considered before. As you read each question, circle either YES or NO. When you reach the end, go back through the list and prayerfully consider the questions you have answered YES to.

Answering YES to any of the following questions may be an indication of an unhealthy problem in your group or with your leaders. Answering YES to more than just a few questions is a definite cause for concern.

If this is the case, it is recommended that you take a much closer look into your group or organization’s history, purpose, and goals. Observe closely the methods, activities, and lives of the leaders. Are they using abusive and manipulative tactics on people?

The basic Yes or No questions of this questionnaire enable the reader to think critically on his or her own—something generally not allowed in abusive systems.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please note also that while this booklet can be a useful tool in helping to bring clarity to difficulties in a church or ministry, the questions offered here should also be tempered with careful thought and godly counsel. Answering yes to just a few questions does not automatically mean you are in a cult or abusive situation. One thing for certain is that every church or group is composed of fallible people who are not always as loving as they should be. Nor should we expect to be in a place where there is no authority over us. Be reflective, therefore, to your answers to the following questions with the goal of being fair to both your church or group and to yourself.


  1. Are you in any way fearful of your leader(s)? YES / NO
  2. Does your church or group revolve around one main charismatic personality who is the final arbiter of “truth”? YES / NO
  3. Do your leaders make claims of being “Anointed,” having “Elijah’s Mantle,” having “Apostolic Authority,” etc.? YES / NO
  4. Does the main leader or the leaders in your church or group always insist that they are right? YES / NO
  5. Does your group, church, or movement employ a corrupted modern-day version of the Moses/Aaron style of leadership where the pastor/leaders allegedly—by themselves—hear directly from God, like Moses? (This form of leadership is unlike the balanced plurality of elders found in the New Testament.) YES / NO
  6. Does the pastor/leader of your group, church, or movement surround himself with “people-pleasers” rather than with qualified men whose personal and public lives maintain the biblical leadership characteristics as found in I, II Timothy and Titus? YES / NO
  7. Is you group, church, or movement set up like a pyramid, with a hierarchy—with one single man at the top? YES / NO
  8. Are you discouraged or prohibited from freely asking questions about the background of your leader(s) and your group? YES / NO
  9. If so, are you looked down upon and considered to be divisive? YES / NO
  10. Would you be rebuked or chastised/punished by your leader(s) if you researched the background and history of the group and its leader(s)? For instance, would doing a background check on your leader be considered “disloyal” or “sinful”? YES / NO
  11. Are you discouraged or prohibited from freely discussing teachings, “prophecies,” or so-called new revelations that your group leader(s) has/have stated in the past or present? YES / NO
  12. Are you allowed to ask your leader(s) questions regarding their background in ministry, education, teaching, policies, etc.? If not, why? YES / NO
  13. Do you view those who are assisting your group or church pastor/leader as ones who simply “do what they are told” rather than people who can rationally think for themselves and if need be would not be afraid to confront the main leader(s) if questionable practices/teachings arise? YES / NO
  14. Are the leaders of your group, church, or organization above reproach (without blame) in morals, ethics, teaching, and the handling of your groups finances? How do you know? YES / NO
  15. Do any of your leaders have a criminal record? YES / NO
  16. Would your leader(s) allow you to freely ask questions or research their background in order to find out if they have a criminal record? If not, why? YES / NO
  17. Has anyone in your group ever tried to persuade you to NOT research the personal background of the leaders? YES / NO
  18. When issues are brought up about abusive situations, do your leaders say, “You just need to have more faith!” or, “You are being disloyal to leadership!”? YES / NO


  1. Do you feel your group twists or takes Scripture out of its historical context and consistently or often misapplies Bible verses? YES / NO
  2. Does your group or church “allegorize” and “spiritualize” Scripture instead of utilizing a literal, grammatical, historical approach to interpreting documents, like you would in any legitimate Bible college or court of law? YES / NO
  3. Are you told what you will believe; and is questioning authority and doing further research on your own, aside from the group, discouraged or frowned upon? YES / NO
  4. Are you guided through the Bible by your leaders but at the same time not allowed to study the Scriptures on your own, apart from the group or organization’s own published materials? YES / NO
  5. Do your leaders claim to receive “new revelations,” a special “anointing,” and so-called “words” or messages from God? YES / NO
  6. Do your leaders withhold or avoid providing you and your group with a written “Statement of Beliefs” or “Statement of Faith”? YES / NO
  7. If you attend a group that is a recognized charity organization, have the leaders illegally withheld from you the organizations written bylaws when you have asked for a copy? YES / NO
  8. Is it difficult to get a straight answer from the group leader(s) on the group’s teachings? YES / NO
  9. Is your group secretive about any of its teachings, practices or meetings? YES / NO
  10. Does your group take “oaths” or have you commit to unrealistic expectations? YES / NO
  11. Are your leaders ever “harsh” in tone with you, or do you ever feel like an animal that is “driven hard”? YES / NO
  12. Have you been taught, told, or commanded not to share any of the teachings, doctrines, or practices that your group is involved in? YES / NO
  13. At any time of involvement with your group, have you ever been instructed to cut all ties with the past, with relatives (spouse, children, in-laws, etc.), or with friends? YES / NO
  14. Do your leaders favorably quote and endorse known false teachers and false teachings in their own sermons/teachings, messages, and materials? YES / NO


  1. Does your group have any written or unwritten policies that allows leaders to use threats, pressures to conform, bribes, intimidation, verbal abuse, out-loud shaming, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or substance abuse, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Is foul language (cussing) or public humiliation used in any way as part of the public or private teaching within your group? YES / NO
  3. Would you say that your church or group has an extreme policy or guidelines for “disciplinary actions”? YES / NO
  4. Is, or could, your group’s policy on “discipline” be dangerous, illegal, or abusive in any way? YES / NO
  5. Do you think law enforcement officials would have a problem with the disciplinary guidelines and/or practices of your church, group, or organization? YES / NO
  6. Does your group restrict you from “visiting” other churches? YES / NO


  1. Do you rely completely, without question, upon the literature and information that your church/group gives you—for your own spiritual growth? YES / NO
  2. Will you be disciplined if you ever, at any time, listen to, read, or view literature and multi-media materials that are not from your group, church, or organization? Materials could include such things as books, journals, tracts, magazines, newsletters, CDs, DVDs, audio cassettes, videos, websites, etc. YES / NO
  3. Are you only allowed to use study aids, books, etc. that are from your group or organization? YES / NO
  4. Have your leaders ever told you that all Bible study materials outside of your group are considered worldly, bad, apostate, “of the devil,” or evil? YES / NO


  1. Are you emotionally dependent on or require the “approval” of your leaders for what you do—what you eat, what you wear, where you go, what you say, who you spend time with, who you marry, the music you listen to, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Do you feel as though your life (or ministry) is being “micromanaged” by others? YES / NO
  3. Are your leaders cruel, vindictive, intimidating, or overbearing? YES / NO
  4. Do any of your leaders justify sexual immorality by telling you or anyone else things like “God told me it is okay for us to do this,” or “The Lord revealed this to me,” or “No one will ever know”? YES / NO
  5. Have you ever been instructed, led, forced, or coerced into any type of sexual activity with any of your group’s leaders—or anyone else in the church, group, or organization? YES / NO
  6. Are you or have you ever been commanded, forced, coerced, extorted, or manipulated into financial giving, tithing, “sowing your seed-faith offering,” etc.? YES / NO


  1. Do you feel you are manipulated when making personal choices about diet, clothing, time commitments, church/group service, tithing, friendships, dating, spouses, purchases, etc.? YES / NO
  2. Are choices ever made by any of your leaders that go against your own conscience? YES / NO
  3. Do authority figures within your group ever demand answers from you or use threats to get their way? YES / NO
  4. Do your leaders or the group-dynamics implemented in your group make you feel as though you cannot come and go as you please; meaning, you feel as though you’re expected to be at all or most of the meetings, and if you are not, you are in trouble? YES / NO
  5. If you are experiencing abuse in any way, very likely you are fearful or nervous about leaving your group, church, or organization. Are you fearful in any way that if you left, you would be hounded and harassed? YES / NO
  6. Do your leaders, or the group itself by consensus, make choices to involve you in things that you don’t like or would prefer not to be a part of? YES / NO
  7. Are you pressured, manipulated, or coerced into making decisions—any decisions at all—regarding anything with the group and its leaders, members, and activities? YES / NO
  8. Do you feel guilty or “dirty” after making decisions because . . . “that is just what our group does”? Or, is the proverbial “red flag of conscience” waving inside of your heart and mind saying, “This is just not right at all,” or, “This is weird” or, “We should not be doing or allowing this!”? YES / NO
  9. Is pressure put upon you in any way to avoid “outside information” about your group—like online reviews, assessments, and critical essays that contain quotes from your leaders and/or your organization’s published resources? YES / NO
  10. Are you fearful that if you make an accidental “wrong choice” your leaders will punish you or purposefully humiliate you in front of your peers, family, or the group/church congregation? YES / NO
  11. Have you ever been punished or abused in any of the following ways: Physically abused, out-loud verbal shaming in front of others, given the non-verbal “silent treatment,” given coded non-verbal abuse such as “the look,” financially mistreated or extorted and as a result suffered financial repercussions, sexually abused in any way, emotionally manipulated, purposefully betrayed, been the victim of sexual innuendos, spousal divisiveness, etc.? YES / NO
  12. Are spoken or unspoken must-obey “dress code rules” implemented in your group, and, if broken, will this lead to “disciplinary action”? (This is beyond simple personal modesty in dress in social, cultural, and cross-cultural settings.) YES / NO
  13. If you are a woman, are you taught or commanded that you absolutely must wear long skirts, have long hair, avoid all make-up, and wear a head covering in order to please God? Will you be chastised or considered “carnal” if you do not comply with these rules? YES / NO
  14. If you are a woman, do your group leaders tell you that you are to submit to your husband no matter what he does to you or tells you to do even if it is illegal or physically, sexually, or emotionally abusive to you or your children? YES / NO
  15. If you are a husband and father, are your church leaders overly involved in telling you what to do with your wife and children (beyond the normal parameters of biblical counseling and advice)?

This has been a portion of this booklet. In the full booklet, there are 101 questions. You may purchase a copy of the booklet in its entirety by clicking here. The cost for one booklet is $1.95 (quantity discounts for 6 or more copies)


If you have never tried our Lighthouse Trails Research Journal that is mailed to homes, churches, and offices every other month, you might want to read what others are saying about the journal. Each issue now has 36 pages and is filled with many of the same articles you read on our blog or in this free e-newsletter. The mailed journal is subscription based: $15/year for U.S.A. subscriptions, $29/year for Canadian subscriptions, and $42/year for other international subscriptions (sorry Canada and international readers - the cost to mail international has become so expensive). We do also have digital version which is just $6/year. Click here to see a sample copy of our journal.


We really liked the article about PUB Theology! We also enjoyed the other articles too. Gordon H.

I love this journal. Most of the time my inbox is so packed full from messages and blogs from other Christian sites that I have to take a break from my PC just to save my eyes and neck! This journal gives me time to sit down and read from a paper journal that has actual pages! Thanks!!  Kay C.

This journal is excellent with appropriate and timely articles that Christians need to be discerning in their faith and to expose error and deception of the evil one! Keep it up! James G.

The cost of the print edition is very low for the quality of the content of its articles. It's a great deal! David J.

We look forward to receiving each copy of Lighthouse Trails. We trust what we read in it, which is more than we can say for other sources we have tried.  We are delighted to give gift subscriptions to our friends so that they, too, can keep abreast of the timely and pertinent information we receive from this publication. I cannot imagine not having Lighthouse Trails coming to our home. K.C.S.

Why subscribe? Well, here's the answer. Lighthouse Trails does their homework. It is always up to date on the attempts Satan is always trying to deceive the church & the world with. I want to learn. I want to know what is happening so I can warn others & Lighthouse Trails enables me to do just that. If you love the truth & want to help others not to be deceived, you need up-to-date information. Lighthouse Trails provides that information. Thank you LHT . . . May God bless you & provide your every need. Les B.

I am, by nature, education and professional background, a researcher. I seek as much information as is reasonable to discover truth and value. The Lighthouse Journal and all other Lighthouse Trails products I have consulted provide the depth and biblical basis I seek for wise discernment in these days of false and dangerous spiritual teachings. Tricia F.

It is wonderful to know that what I read in this "watchman" publication can be trusted. I can't always say that about every ministry out there. The lines are not blurred here. This is a no-compromise ministry dedicated to the truth, upholding the Word of Truth. Maxine C.

Lighthouse Trails Journal is a must have publication for the discerning Christian. With the rise of mysticism, and other like things, disguising themselves as the Truth, we need solid material that sheds the light of Truth over the dark landscape that is called the "Church." Thanks for being there. Robert P.

An excellent Journal written by people I can trust to give me the ins and outs of books, cults, authors, and churches. I use this Journal as my "Guide" on these subjects. My #1 reference guide. Ken L.

Pithy content on a nice paper periodical style format. I look forward to reading the articles in the evening along with my Bible.Jean O.

This is a wonderful publication! I'm currently reading the second issue of my subscription and am so impressed with how knowledgeable the editors are and how well the articles are written. I've subscribed to many Christian publications over the years and this is by far the best. So many of the current church "fads" are exposed for what they are, and it's obvious that the editors have truly researched them. I'm grateful that something so thorough and clear is available to us. Yvonne P.

We had read the LHT magazine at a families home and decided to subscribe to it as well. It is very informative and informational with topics that we as Christians need to be aware of in these days of false gospels. Thank you and may you continue to be blessed! Florence B.

So grand to read articles from a solidly Bible based Christian worldview. Christopher C.

I look forward to reading the Journal. It keeps me up to date on what's happening with the churches, especially since I no longer have a church and am out of 'the loop' on the happenings. Through Lighthouse Journal, I have learned the bywords, names of persons to look out for, learned the new spirituality/ convergent/new age teachings/teachers. Already, I have avoided deceptive churches and Bible studies by scouting their online websites thoroughly(for they are not up front about their false teachings) saves the emotional distress of having to leave once one has become involved. Iva G.

Two 2018 New Release Value Packs!

We are offering all of our 2018 new releases in two separate value packs.

The first is the 2018 New Release Booklet Pack with 12 new booklets for $17.52 (a savings of nearly $6). Click here to see which booklets are in the pack or to order the pack.

The second pack is the 2018 New Release Book Pack with all 9 books we published in 2018. The pack price is $74.95 (a savings of $43.60) Click here to see which books are in this pack or to order the pack.

Of course, any of these books and booklets can be ordered individually as well. Just go to either pack on the store through the links above, scroll down each page until you see the items you are interested in and click on the image, which will take you to that individual product page.


Leave a Review and Get Discount Coupon and Check Out New Release

If you have ever purchased or been given any Lighthouse Trails products, we invite you to leave a review (or reviews) on our Lighthouse Trails store site. If you do, you will receive a 10%-off coupon that you can use on your next purchase at Lighthouse Trails. Even if you don't plan to buy anything on the store, we hope you will still consider leaving a review (or reviews) as this helps readers when they can read what other people have to say about our resources.

Leaving a review is easy. Just visit our store, use the search engine to find a particular product. When you get to a product page, you will see a box that says "Rate This Product!" You will have to have an account to rate any product, but that is easy too. Just click this link to create an account.

Thank you in advance,

The Editors at Lighthouse Trails

Donating to Lighthouse Trails

SUPPORTING LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS: For those who would like to support Lighthouse Trails, we always appreciate both your prayers and your giving. And for those who have faithfully done that over the years, we thank you with all of our hearts. We know that some people may have the impression that Lighthouse Trails does quite well financially because we sell products that we publish and because our resources have had such a far reach; but, the truth is, it takes everything made through sales to keep Lighthouse Trails operating. Publishing, at least for small presses such as ours, is rarely a high-profit business. It would take a best seller to see that, one that the masses of people love. And because we are not just a business, but even more so a ministry, we keep our prices as low as we can, give away many resources, and have also made much of our material available for free on the research site and blog. That's not how big corporations run things as that would hurt the bottom line (profit), but we see the needs out there, and we trust God to keep us going as long as He sees fit.

We thank you in advance for seeing the value in a ministry like Lighthouse Trails and coming along side us with your prayers and support.

It is our prayer that we will faithfully be humble servants of the Lord’s work for years to come should the Lord tarry. If you would like to donate to Lighthouse Trails, you may send a donation by mailing it to: Lighthouse Trails, P.O. Box 908, Eureka, MT 59917. Or you may call 866/876-3910. There is also a donate option on our store website. (There is also a PayPal option on that page.)

Lighthouse Trails is not a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, so your donations will not be tax deductible.


Lighthouse Trails Research Journal

The Lighthouse Trails Research journal is a 32-page subscription-based journal mailed to your home, office, or church and can be ordered at any time during the year. Your subscription (which will entitle you to a full twelve months of journals-6 issues) will start when you subscribe. Click here to read more information or click here to sign up. Subscription rate: $15/year (6 issues) for U.S.; $29 for Canada; $42 for other international. (There is no added postage charged for the journal - the mailing costs are worked into the subscription fee.)

When you sign up, you will receive the most current issue of the journal at the time you subscribe. Click here to subscribe now. You can order past subscriptions for $3.

You may purchase subscriptions for friends, family members, pastors, etc. Just put that person's name in the ship to area when ordering online.

Call 866/876-3910 or e-mail

To order single past issues, click here.

For various addresses, just order single subscriptions,or mail in the addresses and payment.

NOTE: This subscription-based journal can be used in addition to this free e-newsletter you are getting in your e-mail box (the e-newsletter will continue to be sent out 2-4 times a month via e-mail at no charge). (view sample issue of print journal) It's never too late to subscribe for the print journal - anytime is fine.



If you are a subscriber to our print journal, click button to renew:




If you are a subscriber to the lighthouse Trails Research Print Journal, it may be time for you to renew your yearly subscription. To RENEW your yearly subscription ($15/year), click here. You can renew your subscription at any time. Just indicate on the store which month you want the renewal to start. If you can't remember when you subscribed, we'll double check when you renew and make sure the renewal starts on the right date. If you have any questions, you can call us at 866-876-3910 or e-mail at You can also renew by mail (see address at bottom of page), by fax (406-889-3633), or by calling.

Note: This notice does not pertain to this e-newsletter you are reading. The e-newsletter is free and requires no subscription.

Click button to renew your subscription for the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal.


To subscribe to the journal, click here.



Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea - Sampler BoxIn 2010, Lighthouse Trails began a small organic tea division as a way to help support the ministry of Lighthouse Trails. Thus the creation of Shepherd's Bible Verse Tea. Each tea bag has a string with a tag, and on each tag is a KJV Bible verse (95 verses used). Since the tea division began, we have had many people tell us how much they love our tea. We hope you will consider getting a box and trying it out. It is a wonderful gift too and helps to remind people about God's wonderful Word.

(except with media rate, journals, and some smaller orders where it might change the shipping costs)

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Lighthouse Trails Research Project | P.O. Box 908 | Eureka | MT |59917 | 406-889-3610


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