LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESEARCH PROJECT          May 28, 2019     LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS RESOURCE SHOP

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US Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Christian Imprisoned for Helping Child Flee Lesbian “Mother”

LTRP Note: Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella for several years. Below is the latest news story about one of the men who helped her escape.

Philip Zodhiates and his wife

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear an appeal of a conviction of Christian businessmen Philip Zodhiates, who is currently serving a sentence in a federal prison for helping a Christian woman and her child escape court-enforced visits with an unrelated lesbian “mother” imposed on the child by a Vermont court.

Kenneth Miller, one of the other men who was sent to prison for helping Lisa Miller and her daughter escape

The Court dismissed the appeal filed by Zodhiates’ private attorney, as well as three “friend of the court” (amicus curiae) briefs filed in support of Zodhiates appeal by several organizations and coalitions of groups concerned about the implications of the case for the rights of natural parents, as well as the dangers implied for constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure by government authorities.

Zodhiates was convicted in 2016 of the crime of “international parental kidnapping” for driving Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella to the Canadian border in 2009, where she allegedly crossed into Canada and took a flight to Nicaragua. Click here to continue reading.

Related Article:

America’s newest Underground Railroad from injustice?

 

Shutting Down or Staying Alert

Whatever the cause, shutting down is the worst thing a Christian can do at this point of time. Instead of shutting down, believers need to be selective about what they are putting into their minds and spirits. Being informed is essential to being prepared. Shutting down will not prepare one to endure the harshness of the tough days ahead. It’s one thing if believers are focusing on their relationship with the Lord and want to spend less time on the Internet and watching TV. However, the temptation for many (and I have seen it already) will be to shut down by engaging in entertainment media and outlets of benign and mundane information. Rather than adjusting with balance, they are going into denial, choosing to believe we have lots of time before our society, as we know it, collapses. That’s the “Ostrich Complex,” and professing Christians with the Ostrich Complex will pay a severe price for what they are enjoying now.

As painful and frightening as it is to accept, I believe we are on the verge of a global government and religion that will be very brutal to true Christians. It will take more than a sabbatical from bad news and ominous warnings to prepare for enduring life in such an environment.

Satan, the enemy of our souls, is working overtime right now to “wear out the saints” (Daniel 7:25), but I cannot exhort you enough, this is not a time when born-again believers in Christ can afford to be worn down, bury their heads, and become apathetic toward what is happening around us. For those who cave in to that temptation of apathy, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to stand when things get truly harsh. The time to prepare is long past, but it’s still not too late. The first step is to wake up and accept truth. It is time to gather and store “oil,” the substance that keeps our light shining. In order to keep that flame lit and not allow it to become a flickering flame on a wick in a near-empty reservoir, we must put into action our confession of faith in Christ. He promises to sustain us as we abide in Him.

It is essential for preparation and subsequent endurance that we acknowledge the spiritual war in which we find ourselves, that we do not shut down our senses because of negative information overload, and that we do not live in a bubble of false security.

May we also remember that this home on earth is not our final destination. We have a home where God dwells in righteousness. If we are going to defeat the forces of darkness that seek to minimize our efforts and diminish our faith, we will have to fight, “not as one that beateth the air” (1 Corinthians 9:26) but as informed and equipped saints of God. We must not deceive ourselves and think we can be both complacent and effective all at the same time.

Instead of shutting down, let us look up. Genuine blessed hope is the buffer for the stress of perilous times. It can only be had with a sincere relationship with Christ, a strong knowledge of His Word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit (who “shall teach you all things; John 14 :26). That is the only focus that makes sense in this period of encroaching darkness. As the psalmist so well stated, let us “hope in His mercy,” rejoice in Him, and trust in His holy name.

 

 


 

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. 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: https://www.facebook.com/LighthouseTrailsResearch.

US Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Christian Imprisoned for Helping Child Flee Lesbian "Mother":This arrest of a God-fearing couple and incarceration may be a taste of what all conservative believers may face in the near future. Let us pray for the release and exoneration of this couple. Maybe our President will help them. So shocking and sad. Elizabeth

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: How is someone supposed to “hear a word from God” in the “silence,” when, by its very definition, silence is the absence of sound (including words)? Silence is silence, whether in one’s mind or in the physical realm.“… Silence provides freedom from speaking as well as from listening to words or music.”[i] The cognitive dissonance (simultaneously accepting two contradictory ideas) required to think that you can “hear anything” in silence is alarming! It harkens me back to 2 Thess 2:11 ~~ “And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false [the lie]…”  Thank you, LT, for your stand for truth. God Bless & protect you in these perilous times. Brenda

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: A tale of two stewards of the God of the Bible. On the one hand we have the defender of the faith Elijah. Elijah summoned the false prophets of Baal and Asherah. He proved his case to all the people and had them glorify God and slay all of the 850 false prophets. On the other hand we have Aaron who did the opposite. He did not take a stand for God. he capitulated to the sinful rebellion against God. he hammered out a golden calf to replace the one true God. Every Shepherd is either an Elijah or an Aaron. Every Shepherd must decide before their congregation to either [stand against heresy] or set up a golden calf of apostasy. T.I.

Shutting Down or Staying Alert:Thank you so much, Cedric, for articulating that so clearly. I have been burdened lately for my nearest and dearest family members, and former church members. They seem to be so absorbed in this world’s business and popular culture without any sense of urgency to share the gospel. But…. they are Calvinists and that is the fruit of thinking that God will save who He will save and not save those who he has destined for hell. They can just sit back, relax and trust that God will get it all done somehow! Sharon

Shutting Down or Staying Alert: How beautiful the Name of Jeshua HaMashiach, Jesus Christ our Savior, and how much we must love and adore Him moment by moment being led by His Word!!! So many have left their first Love for the lies of the New Age teachings that have snuck in and deceived so many. As believers and those who say we trust Him, we have no other argument….. Come quickly Lord Jesus and may all of our loved ones turn quickly to you and be ready to rejoice at your coming. Meet us Lord quickly in the air, Fairest of ten thousand, and The One Who conquered death!. Rusty and Barbara

US Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Christian Imprisoned for Helping Child Flee Lesbian "Mother":Children are always the biggest losers in all these issues! Our country has clearly demonstrated that children are not precious nor to be protected but to be killed, dismembered, burned, sexually molested, and whatever else perverted minds want to do! And the "church" has lost its power because we we "have a form of godliness but have denied it's power". (2 Timothy 3:5) We must all repent of our sins and appeal to the Lord Jesus Christ and His mercy and help. We all have "become an unclean thing." Herb and Christiana

US Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Christian Imprisoned for Helping Child Flee Lesbian "Mother":Everyone should send him a card of encouragement. His address is at the end of the article. Donna

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: If everyone on this comment section [Facebook] took a moment to write to Ravi, or to speak to him, in a pointed, focused form, perhaps we would be doing what our Lord told us to do. Send him whatever resources your have that expose whatever needs exposing. Fight for your Christian brothers and sisters, especially for those who are the most public figures of all. Those who see lies and do not act, are party to them. Richard

Shutting Down or Staying Alert: [Instead of shutting down, let us look up. Genuine blessed hope is the buffer for the stress of perilous times. It can only be had with a sincere relationship with Christ, a strong knowledge of His Word, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit (who “shall teach you all things; John 14 :26). That is the only focus that makes sense in this period of encroaching darkness. As the psalmist so well stated, let us “hope in His mercy,” rejoice in Him, and trust in His holy name.] As a Christian who has been around a while, I get very tired and not just physically. Life has a way of wearing us down. What I find helps: walks with friends, [being in] nature and having a grateful heart. When I get down, cynical and burned out, I take out a piece of paper and write down my blessings. Plus meditate on the words of Paul the Apostle about spiritual warfare in high places. Dorcas

Setting Aside the Power of the Gospel for a Powerless Substitute: This is so true, I came out of drugs and living with rock bands, drugs and was saved during the Jesus Movement at Calvary Chapel with Chuck Smith. It was a healing experience for me and I now love and follow Jesus. I have been attacked by leaders I respected and told my testimony was a lie, I have been ridiculed, I was raped by a church leader but he was caught and the whole thing was on the Internet on scandals in that church, God healed me. The church has become scary to me, it’s hard to find a church that’s not into the seeker friendly movement, Kundalini, teaching Yoga and more. I believe it is the last days. Shirley

Shutting Down or Staying Alert: I highly recommend "Chains Couldn't Hold Me" by Cedric Fisher which I ordered from Lighthouse recently. One of the most incredible testimonies! God worked in Cedric's life in a truly amazing way to save him! Laura

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: I used to enjoy Ravi and the Christian apologetics he would do. One day, not but a few years ago, I was searching his ministries website and I came across a statement along the bottom of the website page that stated they were in service to the RCC, I couldn’t believe my eyes but it was there, clear as day. After that, I started really listening to some of his videos and I realized he was, in fact, serving the RCC. Mat

BOOK REVIEW: “Subversive Sabbath, the Surprising Power of Rest in a Nonstop World” by A.J. Swoboda: Jesus’ earthly ministry was to the nation of Israel. Jesus’ heaven ministry to the body of Christ is through the revelations He gave to the apostle Paul and Paul never tells us to keep the Sabbath. As a matter of fact in Romans 13:9 Paul reiterates some of the commandments and the Sabbath wasn’t one them as it was given by God to the nation of Israel. Craig

“Activating” the kids at Bethel Redding: “Much of what God will do will feel like us or seem like us. ” –Seth Dahl, Bethel Redding Children’s Pastor This is just plain scary. It would be bad enough if he were saying this to adults, but saying this to children is unconscionable. I’ve heard people in certain churches speaking of “activating the Holy Spirit” in people. Where does the Bible speak of this? It is not written in God’s Word. Methinks that evil spirits can, and do, take advantage of this false teaching to “activate” within people. CW

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: People who participate in these so-called Christian meditative processes often think they have communicated with Jesus. But they haven’t. It is just what their own unconscious mind has told them. Or if they have a practitioner guiding them in the process what the practitioner’s own guidance has led them to will shape the Jesus they encounter in the meditation. It is all a very fake process, but in an altered state of consciousness, it all seems so very authentic. In prayer, real prayer, we communicate with the real God and that experience is always consistent with the Bible. The ”meditation Jesus” can take you anywhere in directions totally against the Word of God. Marilyn

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don't You Understand?: Amen! What a wonderfully encouraging message! Only through Christ—the true Jesus Christ—working in our lives can we make it until the end! And we would do well to always keep in mind what our beloved brother Paul wrote to the Church [in Ephesians 6:10-20]. May we be ever diligent to obey the word of the Lord! I pray for all those who love our Lord Jesus in sincerity! With the love of Christ, C. Read

 

US Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal of Christian Imprisoned for Helping Child Flee Lesbian “Mother”
Shutting Down or Staying Alert
Comments From Our Readers

Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don’t You Understand?

Contemplative Mystic Jean Vanier Dies (90), But Influence Over Rick Warren Will Continue
IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle: “There’s no biblical definition for contemplative prayer”
Missing the Mark—Missing the Solution
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Ravi Zacharias, What Part of Contemplative Prayer Don’t You Understand?

The headline of this article may seem disrespectful at first glance, but we say it with all sincerity and not meaning to sound derogatory. At Lighthouse Trails, we won’t pretend it isn’t discouraging when after 17 years of ministry, evangelical leaders (those men and women with all the influence and platform – the ones who are followed by millions) will not speak up and warn about contemplative spirituality. Many of them can’t because they are promoting it. But then there are those who don’t outright promote and might even say if asked, “Oh no, I don’t adhere to any kind of New Age mystical prayer practices.” But those very ones who say such things turn around and allow contemplative spirituality to be promoted in their very own organizations.

A case in point is Ravi Zacharias.

First some background

In 2007, Lighthouse Trails reported that Zacharias’ website had numerous articles by him and his ministry writers which favorably pointed readers to mystics such as Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, and Thomas Merton. Lighthouse Trails tried to reach out to Zacharias. At one point, a Lighthouse Trails reader (the wife of a pediatrician in southern California) told us she would be attending a dinner party where Zacharias would also be attending and she asked if we thought it was a good idea to hand deliver him a copy of one of our books. She had a copy of Out of India by Caryl Matrisciana and decided to give him that since Zacharias was born in India. He promised our reader that he would read the book on a soon upcoming long-distance flight. We never heard from him, but if he did read the book, here is an excerpt of what he would have read:

Unfortunately, many Christians are experimenting with mysticism through what New Age author of The Aquarian Conspiracy, Marilyn Ferguson, calls “Christian mysticism.” This so-called Christian mysticism leads people into New Age thinking through an experience often referred to as cosmic consciousness, unity consciousness, or god-consciousness. This is the same all-is-one experience that I first ran into while using drugs and then later while practicing Yoga.

Having practiced Eastern meditation through Yoga, I honestly believe Christian (i.e., contemplative) mediation is a treacherous counterfeit and an absolute deception. Christians are being led to practice Eastern-style meditation through contemplative prayer, centering prayer or entering the silence. These practices can lead a Christian to contact a spirit guide disguised as one of God’s angels, or as Jesus Himself.

One of the foremost teachers of contemplative spirituality is Richard Foster, a Quaker speaker and writer who emulates the beliefs of Catholic mystics like Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and Basil Pennington (the forerunners of the modern-day contemplative prayer movement). In his best-selling book, Celebration of Discipline, Foster tells readers to “enroll” in the practice of contemplative prayer, saying we “should stop to reflect and to treasure the words, to turn them over and over in our minds, repeating them” [p. 13, 1978 ed]. To understand more fully Foster’s view of contemplative prayer, read what he says about a Benedictine monk named John Main:

“Dom John Main understood well the value of both silence and solitude. . . . Main rediscovered meditation while living in the Far East.” (emphasis added) [John Main, Essential Writings, p. 26]

Main “rediscovered meditation” from his Hindu guru, Swami Satyananda from whom he “recognized the practice of the mantra” [p. 26] and came to use it in prayer sessions three times a day. Main died in 1982, but he left a “legacy” known as the way of the mantra, and many have been influenced by his beliefs. Richard Foster is one of those, and he has carried on with the contemplative message to millions of Christians.

Since the release of Celebration of Discipline in 1978, contemplative spirituality has entered countless mainstream and evangelical churches and organizations. While Foster and Main understood the Eastern roots of this kind of prayer, most Christians practicing contemplative do not realize they are engaging in the very meditative practices that gurus in India have practiced for centuries. . . .

What is not understood by contemplatives is that: 1. Christian contemplative prayers and meditation are identical with Eastern mantras and Eastern meditation; 2. When Eastern meditation is practiced, and “silence” is achieved, it produces an altered state of mind; 3. Eastern meditative techniques, even if applied as “Christian” and called “contemplative prayer” etc., begin to change the meditators spiritual outlook. The practitioner’s altered state justifies any anti-biblical reasoning. . . . Because demonic realms are entered during the contemplative silence, over time meditators lose their confidence in God’s Word. . . . Thus, this form of meditation has become one of Satan’s greatest tools of deception, leading people away from Christ and toward a lie. (Caryl Matrisciana, Out of India, pp. 176-178)

Maybe Ravi Zacharias did read the book. In a 2012 interview, Zacharias was asked the question:

If in your book, you wrote how Eastern mysticism is completely erroneous, why did you state in one of your speaking engagements that Henri Nouwen was one of the greatest saints who lived in our time, when Nouwen is known to have been influenced by Thomas Merton and others who practice Eastern mysticism?

Zacharias answered:

I regret having said that. At the time, I based my comment on Nouwen’s story of the prodigal son which I felt was on target. But later as I learned more about Nouwen and Merton, I found their writings to be very troubling. I believe that doctrinally, Nouwen lost his way.

Current Situation

This brings us to an article that a Lighthouse Trails reader recently brought to our attention. It is currently on Ravi Zacharias’ website, written by one of his ministry writers, Trina Dofflemyer, titled, “How to Practice the Spiritual Discipline of Silence.” Let’s take a look at the article.

The first section of the article is basically benign, describing the noise-filled world we live in today. It then refers to what it calls “the spiritual discipline of silence.”

One author defines the spiritual discipline of silence as, “A regenerative practice of attending and listening to God in quiet, without interruption and noise. Silence provides freedom from speaking as well as from listening to words or music.”[i]

In this practice, Christians intentionally place themselves in a quiet place to focus on God and His presence.

The author who is being referred to (as Dofflemyer’s footnotes show) is Adele Ahlberg Calhoun. Dofflemyer is quoting from Calhoun’s book Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. Those who have been reading Lighthouse Trails for a while are probably familiar with this name because we have discussed Calhoun and her book on several occasions. The fact that the Zacharias website article is including Calhoun is enough in itself to not only discredit Dofflemyer’s article and warrant a warning, but it reveals that Ravi Zacharias has continued to allow his ministry to be infiltrated with contemplative sympathizers.

In our book review on Calhoun’s book, we state:

Calhoun’s book is permeated with references of and quotes by some of the most prolific contemplative mystics today. But she doesn’t just quote and reference these mystics – in her book, she reveals that these teachers are her “spiritual tutors.” She states:

“I would be remiss not to mention the spiritual tutors that I know only through books: Dorothy Bass, Eugene Peterson, Gerald May, M. Basil Pennington, Dallas Willard, Phyllis Tickle, Fredrick Buechner, Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Richard Rohr . . . Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Ignatius Loyola, St. Benedict, Julian of Norwich and many more. Their ideas, voices and examples have shaped my own words and experience of the disciplines.” (Acknowledgment’s page)

This lengthy list of Calhoun’s “spiritual tutors” is a who’s who of New Age panentheistic mystics. Dofflemyer quotes from Calhoun’s book two more times in her article on silence. Please understand, Calhoun’s idea of silence is not just about turning off the television and sitting in the quiet – no. For the contemplative, that is just the first step because outer silence is not enough for them; the next (and the most important step in the contemplative’s mind) is to silence the mind. Calhoun and her tutors know that the only way you can turn off the thoughts (i.e., put the mind into neutral) is through some type of meditation exercise (e.g., breath prayers, centering prayer, lectio divina, or some other repetitive practice to “enter the silence”).

In Calhoun’s book, she recommends Gerald May’s book The Awakened Heart. Here’s what May says in that book,

It is revealed in the Hindu greetings jai bhagwan and namaste that reverence the divinity that both resides within and embraces us all. (The Awakened Heart, pp. 179-180)

When May said this, he was promoting a panentheistic, God-in-everybody view, which we know May fully embraced and which is the “fruit” of contemplative spirituality and is why we are so persistent in warning about this spiritual outlook that has entered the Christian church.

Calhoun also quotes Basil Pennington and Thomas Keating in her book. Listen to them:

We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and “capture” it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible.

Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices, especially where they have been initiated by reliable teachers and have a solidly developed Christian faith to find inner form and meaning to the resulting experiences. (Finding Grace at the Center, pp. 5-6)

In Trina Dofflemyer’s article, she quotes a woman named Susan Muto, a Catholic author and speaker for contemplative spirituality and the dean for the Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality. In one of Muto’s CDs, John of the Cross on Contemplative Prayer, a description of the CD states: “According to Dr. Susan Muto, there is no better guide to prayer as a contemplative encounter with God than St. John of the Cross (1542-1591).” Muto has in fact been writing about John of the Cross for over thirty years so she obviously knows exactly who he is and what he believed. Catholic mystic Thomas Keating credits the mystical teachings of John of the Cross for the modern-day interest in contemplative prayer (Open Mind, Open Heart, p. 26).

We could go on and on. But we have said these things for so long. And we have done it because this is serious and continues to be ignored by the upper echelons of today’s Christian leadership.

CALL TO ACTION

Anyone reading this article who listens to or respects Ravi Zacharias should get on the phone, call his ministry, and request that they read A Time of Departing so Zacharias and his team of writers and speakers come to a true understanding of how dangerous and unbiblical the contemplative prayer movement is.

If you do call Ravi Zacharias’ ministry (800-448-6766) and can get some one there to agree to read A Time of Departing, let us know, and we will gladly send one or several copies of the book at no charge. We hope that one copy will be given to Trina Dofflemyer and one to each of the other writers and speakers there who write favorably about the contemplative prayer movement.

Related Reading:

Booklet: BIG NOISY GOD—Dispelling the Rumor that God Can Be Found “Only in the Silence”

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

 

Contemplative Mystic Jean Vanier Dies (90), But Influence Over Rick Warren Will Continue
photo: Jean Vanier in 2012; from Wikipedia; used with permission

God’s Dream for humanity is the gradual realization that we can become One.—Jean Vanier (1)

On May 7th, Canadian Catholic humanitarian, Jean Vanier, died at the age of 90.2 Vanier, founder of L’Arche where Henri Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life, was a major proponent of contemplative spirituality, believing that all religions lead to God. In Roger Oakland’s report, “Rick Warren, Jean Vanier, and the New Evangelization,” Oakland states:

Vanier is a contemplative mystic who promotes interspiritual and interfaith beliefs, calling the Hindu Mahatma Gandhi “one of the greatest prophets of our times”[3] and “a man sent by God.”[4] In the book Essential Writings, Vanier talks about “opening doors to other religions” and helping people develop their own faiths be it Hinduism, Christianity, or Islam.[5]  The book also describes how Vanier read Thomas Merton and practiced and was influenced by the spiritual exercises of the Jesuit founder and mystic St. Ignatius.

This description of Vanier is certainly fitting for a Catholic contemplative mystic, but what about “America’s Pastor,” Rick Warren?

Oakland’s report documents comments made by Rick Warren in 2014 in an interview with Catholic television host Raymond Arroyo:

The following question was asked by Raymond Arroyo:

The Vatican recently sent a delegation here to Saddleback—the pontifical council—the academy for life. Tell me what they discovered and why did they come? This is a sizeable group. [6]

Warren’s response was immediate and enthusiastic. He said:

It was. They were about 30 bishops from Europe. One of the men had been actually trained and mentored by Jean Vanier, which is an interesting thing because we have a retreat center here [at Saddleback] and my spiritual director, who grew up at Saddleback, actually went and trained under Jean Vanier too. So I am very excited about that. [7] (emphasis added) [LTRP Note: “Spiritual director” is a person involved with contemplative prayer who “mentors” someone having contemplative esoteric experiences.]

While the term “spiritual director” or the name Jean Vanier may not mean much to you unless you are versed on contemplative mystical spirituality, this admission by Warren provides conclusive evidence of his endorsement of Roman Catholic monastic mysticism and all that goes along with it. The fact he mentions he has his “own” spiritual director located at Saddleback who was trained under the leadership of Jean Vanier is even more significant.

For those who have read Lighthouse Trails material for a while, you know that we have documented scores of information showing that Rick Warren is a strong proponent of contemplative spirituality. To know that his own “spiritual director” was trained under Jean Vanier should send shock waves through the evangelical church. But, of course, that has not happened.

Jean Vanier is gone now, but his influence over Rick Warren, Saddleback, and countless other people will only multiply as an apostate church races to the finish line with the world.

Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.—Henri Nouwen, Sabbatical Journey, p. 51

My wife, Kay, recommends this book [In the Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen]: “It’s a short book, but it hits at the heart of the minister. It mentions the struggles common to those of us in ministry: the temptation to be relevant, spectacular and powerful. I highlighted almost every word!”—Rick Warren quoting Kay Warren on the Ministry Toolbox (Issue #54, 6/5/2002

Through the discipline of contemplative prayer, Christian leaders have to learn to listen to the voice of love . . . For Christian leadership to be truly fruitful in the future, a movement from the moral to the mystical is required.—Henri Nouwen, In the Name of Jesus, pp. pp. 6, 31-32

Related Information:

Henri Nouwen’s Affinity Toward Eastern Mysticism – A Valid Reason Why Christian Teachers and Leaders Should Not Promote Him

So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?

 

 

IHOP-KC’s Mike Bickle: “There’s no biblical definition for contemplative prayer”

By John Lanagan
The Word Like Fire

“It has been with great dismay that I have watched one Christian leader after another succumb to the appeal of contemplative spirituality,” states Ray Yungen in A Time of Departing. (pg.184)

Some, like IHOP leader Mike Bickle, have been involved with contemplative prayer for decades. During the Passionate Pursuit Conference in 2001, Bickle gave his sermon, Contemplative Prayer: Journey Into Fullness. In this teaching, he revealed a truth about contemplative prayer. He stated, “There’s no biblical definition for contemplative prayer.” [1]

Bickle is correct. There is no biblical definition whatsoever. The counterfeit church will engage in this practice wholeheartedly, will have wonderfully deceptive spiritual experiences, and will follow the false, contemplative “Christs” that come to them in the silence of this meditative state. Click here for endnotes and to continue reading.

Related Reading:

Mike Bickle “Want[s]” Contemplative Mysticism Book to be “the manual for IHOP–KC.”

The Perfect Storm of Apostasy – An Introduction to the Kansas City Prophets and Other Latter-Day Prognosticators

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

Missing the Mark—Missing the Solution

By T.A. McMahon
The Berean Call

Most of us understand that “missing the mark” is one of the biblical definitions of sin. The Apostle Paul uses the Greek verb hamartano for sin in Romans:3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That may seem to some as a bit unfair, since rarely would we think that not measuring up to a goal or standard is sin. “Missing the mark” doesn’t seem like much of an offense, considering most sins of which we’re aware, especially the horrendous ones. An arrow that falls short of the target is sin? Seriously? To react in such a way reveals much about ourselves and the condition of our hearts in relationship to our Creator.

God is perfect. Everything He says and does is perfect. Therefore, His standard is perfect. Anything that “come[s] short” of His standard must be sin. As James tells us, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James:2:10). That’s God’s criterion for being with Him. We sin, we die. And we have all sinned. Death involves physical and spiritual separation. It may be from God—and it could be forever.

One might ask, as the disciples did on one occasion, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus responded, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew:19:25-26 [25] When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? [26] But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

God’s judgment and justice are perfect. The penalty for sin is eternal separation from Him. It’s an infinite punishment, and finite mankind can never pay the full sentence. But God can, and did! “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John:3:16). Click here to continue reading.

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Note About Lighthouse Trails Journal Mailed to Homes, Offices, and Churches

You may not know that Lighthouse Trails has, in addition to this free e-newsletter, a low-priced subscription-based journal that is mailed out to homes, offices, and churches. While this free e-newsletter you are reading comes out two-three times a month, the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal comes out six times a year. Each journal is 36-pages long and is packed with numerous articles. The Journal also contains letters to the editor, book and booklet excerpts, information on our latest resources, and more. The cost for a U.S. subscription is $15 a year (no extra shipping costs). Canada is $29 a year, and other international is $42 a year (sorry for those high international costs - it's because of the extremely high international shipping rates).

The Journal contains the most important articles from the previous two months. We have had a lot of feedback about the Journal, and our readers are telling us that they love the Journal.

If you would like to subscribe to the Lighthouse Trails Research Journal, click here. Our March/April issue is going to be mailed out on March 7th. Click here to see a sample copy.

The Editors at Lighthouse Trails

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New Booklet: Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and What Does the Bible Say?

NEW BOOKLET: Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and What Does the Bible Say? by Mike Oppenheimer is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and What Does the Bible Say?, click here.

Dominionism, Kingdom Now, and What Does the Bible Say?

By Mike Oppenheimer

“To Rule the World”

In the mid-1980s, a British band called Tears for Fears came out with a song titled, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” While we can see this take place throughout man’s history, it is not a desire that should be found among believers in Christ. But in what is called Dominionism or Kingdom Now, that is exactly what followers are taught.

Dominionism came into Pentecostalism through certain teachings from the Latter Rain movement of the late 1940s. In a nutshell, Dominionism downplays and in most cases rejects the idea of an apocalyptic end-time tribulation but rather teaches that Christ will return after the church has established God’s kingdom on the earth by Christianizing the world. Dominionists believe this will be accomplished through signs, wonders, and miracles from “the manifest sons of God” who will take control and rule the world.

The main eschatological (end times) model in Dominionism today is “spiritual warfare” prayer used to remove demonic hindrances in the spiritual realm. This proposes that if we demolish the devil’s kingdom and atmosphere over homes, cities, and countries, our world will change. This is the first of several steps for the church to take dominion with this “warfare” prayer that is directed at things, principalities, and powers through declarations and decrees.

What’s more, today’s Latter Rain Dominionists believe a worldwide revival unlike any other in history will soon take place which will propel this kingdom into existence.1 At the National Men’s Shepherds Conference in 1975 in Kansas City, Missouri, Ern Baxter (who accompanied “the prophet” William Branham on many campaigns) expressed this desire to defeat Satan by a new breed of overcomers when he stated:

God’s people are going to start to exercise rule, and they’re going to take dominion over the Power of Satan. They’re going to bring diabolical princes down. . . . As the rod of His strength goes out of Zion, He’ll change legislation. He’ll chase the devil off the face of God’s earth, and God’s people together, doing the will of God, will bring about God’s purposes and God’s reign.2

In his 1966 book Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations, Latter-Rain leader Franklin Hall said:

The man-child group of the sons of God will be required “to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5).3

We hear the teaching that Satan stole the “keys of dominion” when he deceived Adam and Eve; and when Christ gave the “keys of the kingdom” to Peter (Matthew 16:19), Dominionists say it means dominion had been returned to the church. Distorting Genesis 1:28, they teach it is a continued mandate for Christians to control the world and that the government has finally come into the church, promising more power and more anointing to establish the kingdom.

The late church-growth pioneer C. Peter Wagner (d. 2016) stated:

See, the problem is, is that Satan has had too much of his way in our society because he has a government! And the only way to overthrow a government is with a government.4

Wagner speaks of “apostles in the workplace”5 and says:

This gate will be opened when we understand about the church in the workplace, that the church has a government, that it takes a government to overthrow a government, and when we understand this, if we renew our minds, if we embrace this paradigm shift . . . the revival we’ve been praying for is just around the corner. 6

Alice Bailey’s Kingdom Now

In order to gain a more clear understanding of Dominionism and Kingdom Now Theology, let’s take a look at some of the teachings of occultist Alice Bailey7 who received channeled messages from a demon she called Djwal Khul. One of those messages was:

This Church will be nurtured into activity by the Christ and His disciples when the outpouring of the Christ principle, the true second Coming, has been accomplished.8

In her book The Externalization of the Hierarchy, Bailey stated:

The church must show a wide tolerance, and teach no revolutionary doctrines or cling to any reactionary ideas. The church as a teaching factor should take the great basic doctrines and (shattering the old forms in which they are expressed and held) show their true and inner spiritual significance. The prime work of the church is to teach, and teach ceaselessly, preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages. Teachers must be trained; Bible knowledge must be spread; the sacraments must be mystically interpreted, and the power of the church to heal must be demonstrated.9 (emphasis in original)

The esoteric interpretations of the New Age are used, and the undiscerning church attendee does not notice what is being taught. The goal is “preserving the outer appearance in order to reach the many who are accustomed to church usages.”

Below I have listed a few quotes by Alice Bailey, showing her views on “the kingdom.” These are significant because we hear the same viewpoint in the church by Dominionists:

But Christ founded a kingdom on earth.10

This world is the kingdom of God.11

Christ . . . came to found the kingdom of God on earth. . . . His mission has not failed. The kingdom is now organised upon earth.12

In contrast, when Jesus stood before Pilate, He made it clear His kingdom is not on Earth, “My kingdom is not of this world . . . but now is my kingdom not from hence” (John 18:36). Yet Alice Bailey taught:

It is time that the Church woke up to its true mission, which is to materialise the kingdom of God on earth, today, here and now. The time is past wherein we can emphasise a future and coming kingdom. People are no longer interested in a possible heavenly state or a probable hell. They need to learn that the kingdom is here, and must express itself on earth.13

[Referencing John 3:3] This is the second birth, and from that moment vision comes with increasing power. . . . The Christ is being born today in many a human being, and increasingly will the sons of God appear in their true nature, to take over the guidance of humanity in the New Age.14

The true Church is the kingdom of God on earth.15 [Comment: The true church is not biblical Christianity according to Bailey.]

. . . the long-awaited kingdom of God is simply the appearance of soul-controlled [i.e., demonized] men on earth in everyday life and at all stages of that control.16

. . . the bringing in of the Kingdom of God, the preparation for the coming of the Christ and salvaging of mankind . . .17

Bailey also stated when this “Kingdom of God” is “restored,” it would unify all faiths.”18 Again, in contrast, the Bible speaks of a mystery of iniquity coming to its zenith. “Mystery Babylon” is an amalgamation of all the religious systems of the world. It is a unity of all religions with one exception— real Christianity (i.e., biblical Christianity). In Hebrew, this pseudo-Kingdom of God is called Babel—after the judgment (Genesis 11:1-9) conveying confusion. Alice Bailey’s channeling demon did not speak of the Kingdom which is created by the Creator of the Universe.

Just as Babylon was built for mankind to unite without God and make a name for themselves, so will this end-times Babylon. The Bible has identified Mystery Babylon, which began after the flood when God sabotaged man’s attempt to unify, built around false religion. It will repeat again in the last days.

This is known in the New Age as “The Plan.” There is a difference between God’s plan in prophecy written in the Bible and man’s plan given by “new revelation,” dreams, visions, and interpretations from the perspective of other religious/spiritual teachings.

Bailey’s New Age teachings on the kingdom of God are eerily similar to those of the teachings of Dominionism.

Jesus said when he stood before Pilate, “[I]f my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight” (John 18:36). The early church did not take up the sword but instead laid down their lives. But it wasn’t many centuries later when a misled church that lost its focus desired to take over the world both religiously and politically, trying to bring the kingdom on Earth. The church that was once underground became a legal religion in Rome and eventually merged religion with politics. By doing this, the church forfeited being the church that Christ founded.

7 Mountains

A teaching that has ingrained itself in the church through the New Apostolic movement is called the 7M Mandate, referring to seven mountains identified in culture. In a chapter titled “Apostles in the Workplace” in Peter Wagner’s book The Church in the Workplace, he details the “strategy for war” for marketplace transformation and asks for leaders to “standardize our terminology” for the “7 spheres,” “7 mountains,” or “7 gates” of society that must be transformed (religion, family, education, government, media, arts and entertainment, and business). Wagner says in the book, “These segments of society should be seen as apostolic spheres.”19 The strategy for this takeover of these areas of society has been laid out in a document from the Wagner Leadership Institute titled Invading the Seven Mountains, which states:

[I]f the world is to be won, these are the mountains that mold the culture and the minds of men. Whoever controls these mountains controls the direction of the world and the harvest therein.20

In order to transform cities, regions and nations, we need to capture and rule the 7 mountains that shape each area’s culture.21

We are an association of people brought together for the glory of the Kingdom of God who gives us power to create wealth from the treasures of oil, gas and other resources of the earth to advance the purposes of God in the Earth Realm.22

The strategy of the 7 Mountains Mandate first came by a “revelation” to Loren Cunningham (founder of YWAM) who talks of this privilege along with Bill Bright (founder of Campus Crusade for Christ) who received the same idea (supposedly from God) at the same time. On the Generals International website (the website of Dominionist Cindy Jacobs), it states:

In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), developed a God-given, world-changing strategy. Their mandate: Bring Godly change to a nation by reaching its seven spheres, or mountains, of societal influence.23

Lance Wallnau, one of the main purveyors of the 7 Mountains teaching, says the kingdom comes gradually and through the efforts of the church taking these mountains and putting them under our control; accordingly, Christians will only reap a great world harvest if the church captures these “mountains” for Christ.

As Gentiles Exercising Control

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:14-17; emphasis added)

What is highly esteemed? Places of position, power, and control. Jesus addressed this specifically when He stated:

Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (Matthew 20:25-27)

He then gave Himself as the example.

Many well-known people are involved in promoting this Dominionist strategy such as Jim Garlow and Lou Engle (The Call/The Send).

Another promoter of the 7 mountains system is Rick Joyner, who says that Lance Wallnau has supernatural strategies for engaging the darkness covering the Earth with the light of the kingdom of Heaven. His series, “The Seven Mountain Strategy” is on CD and in books and video.

Wallnau’s network is advertised on the Elijah List: “Take your place, help your nation fulfill her unfinished assignment. Join the 7M community network [cost is $7.77 a month] and transform your nation.”24

Cindy Jacobs, as a general in C. Peter Wagner’s apostolic/prophetic “army” speaks of herself and others as generals strategizing for the 7 Mountain takeover. Cindy Jacobs says of Isaiah 9:6, “We’re talking about establishing the government of God in the Earth.”25 When you compare such talk with Scripture, there is no mandate given to the body of Christ to form a government and have generals.

No Rapture or Tribulation

C. Peter Wagner did not believe in the rapture as can be seen in his radio interview with Terry Gross in speaking about the return of Jesus:

GROSS: What are you expecting? Like, what do you think will happen?

WAGNER: I think the world is going to get better and better, not worse and worse. And I think that. . . .

GROSS: So you don’t believe in the Rapture and the tribulations.

WAGNER: I used to.

GROSS: But now?

WAGNER: But I don’t—I don’t see how it fits now into what God is showing us. . . . no, I don’t believe in that.26

When Wagner says God is showing them, it means by new revelation (which happens to go contrary to what God has shown the true prophets that have written the Scripture).

Wagner has the church ruling over the world without a physical return of Christ. This is why they use spiritual warfare as step one to defeat Satan to capture the 7 mountains.

Johnny Enlow is the founder and former pastor of the 7 Mountain church, Daystar, in Atlanta. In his book, The Seven Mountain Prophecy, Enlow likens the army of the Lord to a “spiritual tsunami” called the “Elijah Revolution” which he says will “sweep through the church and recover that which is good while washing away that which is polluted.”27

Enlow says that “the Father says to the Son”:

Once You have purchased redemption for mankind, You will sit at My right hand. You will have done Your part on Earth “till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” You will remain up here as the Head, and Your body on Earth will crush Your enemies. The last generation will be the “foot” generation and will rule on Earth over Your enemies. Until they do so, You are not going back to rescue, rapture, save, or anything else. Your body, in fact, will not be a beautiful bride until she has accomplished this crushing of Satan.28

Enlow, describing his own interpretation, distorts the Scripture, saying:

This will change as the Elijah Revolution is released upon the nations. Sons and daughters of the King who understand the call to take the seven mountains will rise to the mountaintops.29

Enlow promises that “the Elijah Revolution will change the landscape of society; everyone will have to make at least some kind of adjustment.”30

This is not what the Bible teaches; rather, it says that we are to instruct the people in the teachings of Jesus Christ, not foundations of culture. It is the Gospel that transforms people by the new birth. What these 7 M “prophets” are espousing is not Christianity as taught in Scripture. I see no distinction between their goals and those of New Agers who want to produce what they believe to be a Utopian kingdom on Earth.

To gain a better understanding of how these prophets of culture plan to change the world, we can read the following by John Enlow written in 2015:

I believe that American Pharoah [a race horse] winning speaks prophetically of a place and role that America is about to more fully step into as it relates to world affairs and the world economy . . . I see the 37 years (time since last triple crown) as connecting to Genesis 37 when Joseph is first introduced to us and given the coat of many colors. In my book, The 7 Mountain Mantle: Receiving the Joseph Anointing to Reform Nations, I write much about this chapter telling of the coming Josephs who would arise in every mountain and be instrumental in the reforming of society. It’s also significant that Joseph was 37 years old when the famine started that ultimately impulsed Egypt to an even more lead nation status. Because of the Joseph solutions implemented by Pharaoh, it says that “all nations came to Joseph,” Egypt, and Pharaoh for their own survival (see Genesis 41:57).

I believe that the United States position in world economics is about to be greatly strengthened and that there will also be a corresponding weakening of many other nations’ economic positions—with the United States increasingly being in a place of dictating terms of economic rescue for many nations. Significant economic shakings are coming, but they will end up greatly strengthening the United States’ position in the world and not weakening it.

We will now see a significant acceleration of change in every area of culture, as great shining ones will arise as never before.31

Great shining ones? This sounds more like New Age or secret society rhetoric than anything the Bible describes. What’s more, whatever change is now occurring in America and in the rest of the world is not good.

Societies are becoming more sinful as Jesus Christ is left out of the equation just as the Bible predicted.

Those who believe this church triumphalism are walking into a strong delusion. But they don’t see this as they listen to the new prophets speak of power and authority for them.

Authority Given

The devil has authority and is able to give this authority to whom he pleases. He lifts people up quickly to positions they were not prepared to handle or offers a shortcut. He even tried this ploy on Jesus:

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (Luke 4:6-7)

Contrary to this, God spoke in Psalm 2:6-8:

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.

The devil offered Jesus the kingdoms of the world at the beginning of His ministry; God the Father had promised this to His Son when He was resurrected which He will commence in the millennium. Dominionists wrongly apply eschatological passages for Israel and the millennium to the church today. The devil’s purpose in offering it to Jesus was to give Him a shortcut, without the Cross; but Jesus refused. God has not given us (the church) the nations; that is promised to His only begotten Son. Jesus is “to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5).

How many people throughout history have succumbed to the devil’s temptation for authority to fulfill their own desired goals and aspirations? The devil gives individuals authority to rule over other people. This has been offered to man since the fall in the garden. Satan opposed God’s work by offering man authority and dominion over the Earth by having Eve believe man could be as God. Thousands of years later, he has not changed his overall strategy but has certainly increased the various ways to accomplish it.

Continuing in the Faith/Enduring to the End

After explaining and then showing the disciples an example of a servant (John 13:4-17), Jesus states:

Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30)

In this life, there are many trials for the Christian believer. It is for us to continue in the faith through these trials. The kingdom of God, according to Jesus, is inherited by humility, not by taking things through force. The Scripture says, “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed” (John 6:15). We cannot force God’s kingdom to be established on Earth.

The church becoming a powerful force, taking over the world to establish the kingdom of God on Earth is not the way Jesus spoke it would take place in the last days. Dominionists have taken biblical truths and distorted them to reinforce their justification for building the kingdom here now. This idea of a powerful ruling church taking over the world is a spiritual hoax.

Peter writes of what it will be like in the last days. They ask where is the promise of Jesus Christ’s coming (referring to His return to Earth, bringing in the kingdom):

That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. (2 Peter 3:2-6)

When we think of mockers, we think of atheists or skeptics scoffing at the creation account, but this is not whom Peter is addressing. These are people familiar with the Scriptures—they believe in creation, they point to the fathers of the faith (patriarchs, saints) who are sleeping, which is the biblical word for the dead resting until the resurrection. They are the church! They lack the patience and perseverance required. They think they will change a world that God already said in His word He would judge; to put it bluntly, they do not believe the Word.

The Last Empire—A Counterfeit

The Lord told Daniel:

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:10)

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32)

God’s wisdom is crucial for having skill for living in these last days. Our effectiveness in the end is linked to being faithful and having an understanding of what is actually written about the end.

Daniel sealed the vision, and he wrote some of the clearest prophecies about what it will be like when Jesus comes again. Consider the following:

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. . . . the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter. (Daniel 2:40-45)

We know from Scripture that clay is a symbol of man (God is the potter, and we are the clay), yet Daniel states that it does not mix with iron. The iron is a symbol of strength and authority; this last kingdom made of iron is a counterfeit of Christ’s kingdom; mixed with clay, it has a false authority of man ruling. Speaking of Jesus, Revelation 12:5 says, “And she brought forth a man child [Jesus Christ], who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.” And in Revelation 19:15, it says, “[H]e shall rule them with a rod of iron.” God the Father has given Christ the God/man to be the ruler of the kingdom (Psalm 2:8).

Daniel is speaking of a fourth kingdom with kings that will rule the earth unlike any other time. Considering the agenda of the globalists, the New Age movement, and Kingdom Now promoters inside the church, it is not that far-fetched to believe there will be some type of inclusion of the church with the governments of the world (Revelation13). Even now, a hybrid spirituality is being formed with the world and its religions.

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (Daniel 7:23)

Why would the fourth kingdom be so different from the others? For the Dragon (Satan) gives him, the beast, “his power, and his seat [throne], and great authority” (Revelation 13:2). He is the last Gentile ruler of the times of the Gentiles; he is called the Beast. At a certain point, his rule will combine spirituality with political might unlike that of any other government or religion in history. During the fourth kingdom’s rule, this leader will proclaim himself to be God and expect to be worshiped (Matthew 24:15). The ten kings of the world will give their allegiance to the beast, and the beast is worshiped (Daniel 7:24; Revelation 17:13,17).

This fourth kingdom is unlike any other; it takes the Ancient of Days to come and break his rule before the saints can possess the kingdom. The saints needed to be rescued; they were not ruling (Daniel 7:25).

I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:21-22)

And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Revelation 13:7)

There is no church government to rule triumphantly now nor will there be in the future prior to Christ coming back. The apostasy described in Scripture fits in perfectly with the “kingdom now” scenario. Can it be that it will be part of this fourth kingdom? Many Kingdom Now advocates believe the church will be given unparalleled power to convert the masses through miracles. Some go so far as to say we will be immune to disease and even death, transformed to immortality before Jesus comes back.

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)

Here we have God’s perspective of these leaders united together without the Messiah, willfully resisting His rulership.

While the fourth kingdom constitutes iron mixed with clay, Christ instead will rule His kingdom with a rod of iron (meaning with unbreakable rules, absolutes; and disobedience will bring swift repercussions). Notice that those ruling the earthly kingdom when He comes will be broken like clay vessels. Why? Because they will not set up His kingdom but their own.

Dominion Given to the Saints When Jesus Returns

The Messiah returns and destroys both the last ruler and last kingdom of man. It is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands “which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces” (Daniel 2:34); speaking of the ruler at this time, “he shall be broken without hand” (Daniel 8:25), meaning not by the church or any other human institution.

When the real kingdom comes, Christ is present on earth and we serve Him:

And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27)

There is no kingdom of God come to Earth without our King Jesus being physically present to rule. The only 7 mountains the Bible speaks of is in Revelation 17:9: “The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” The description in this passage is about the “harlot” church.

The day of man’s government will come to an end when the God/man comes back as King. The church has never been given a mission to rule over the world and “Christianize it” but to rescue people (in a spiritual sense) out from it. It is done through the Gospel which transforms a person’s heart by a spiritual birth, not by Christianizing the culture that is already in the world system.

It is not God’s plan for the church to take over and implement dominion over this present evil world before He returns. We have too much confidence in ourselves and very little in God’s prophetic plan. We need to see it as it is written. The world is getting worse as man continues in his stubborn rebellion against the Creator and Savior, and no sanctified earthly spiritual government of man will turn it around no matter how good their intentions may be. If one eliminates this crucial understanding of the last days, he will have no defense against the coming deception that is to sweep the Earth and trap its inhabitants for God’s judgments in the Tribulation.

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Endnotes:

  1. Read Warren B. Smith’s booklet, False Revival Coming online at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1676 and also “Dress Rehearsal for a False Revival” at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=20776.
  2. Ikenyirimba Udochukwu Marcon, The Final Dispensation (Lulu.com, 2015, quoting from the National Men’s Shepherds Conference in 1975 in Kansas City, Missouri).
  3. Franklin Hall, Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations (Phoenix, AZ: Franklin Hall Ministries, 1966,) p. 57; also read Al Dager’s article, “Kingdom Theology,” for some background information on Hall; https://www.truthforfree.com/html/article_kingdomtheology.html and Mike Oppenheimer’s booklet on William Branham (to be published by Lighthouse Trails, summer 2019).
  4. Transcript of C. Peter Wagner at the Arise Prophetic Conference, Gateway Church San Jose, CA 10/10/2004 (http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/arise.html). For some further information on Dominionism, see Sandy Simpson’s teaching DVD: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/thequestionofdominionDVD.html).
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Read Ray Yungen’s booklet, Alice Bailey, the Mother of the New Age Movement and Her Plans to “Revitalize” Christianity online at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=20753.
  8. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing. 1957, Fourth Printing, 1972, Kindle edition), p. 510.
  9. Ibid., pp. 510-511.
  10. Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1937, Eleventh Printing, 2015, Kindle edition), p. 227.
  11. Ibid., p. 28.
  12. Ibid., p. 281.
  13. Ibid., p. 210.
  14. Alice Bailey Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I. (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1962, Fourteenth Printing, 2014, Kindle Edition), pp. 291-292.
  15. Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary, op. cit., p. 273.
  16. Alice Bailey, Externalization of the Hierarchy, op. cit., p. 588.
  17. Ibid., p. 651.
  18. Alice Bailey, Externalization of the Hierarchy, op. cit., p. 573.
  19. C. Peter Wagner, The Church in the Workplace (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2006), p. 113.
  20. Tommi Femrit, Invading the Seven Mountains (Wagner Leadership Institute, 2008, https://web.archive.org/web/20150501093750/http://www.wagnerleadership.org/docs/PY817_Syllabus.pdf), p. 2.
  21. Ibid., p. 3.
  22. Ibid., p. 10.
  23. “The Seven Mountains of Societal Influence”: https://www.generals.org/rpn/the-seven-mountains.
  24. https://7mu.com/elijahlist.
  25. National School of the Prophets, Mobilizing the Prophetic Office; 7:00 p.m., Thursday, May 11th, 2000, tape #6.
  26. Radio interview with Terry Gross, October 3, 2011, “Fresh air” program, https://web.archive.org/web/20111005201128/http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=140946482.
  27. Johnny Enlow, The Seven Mountain Prophecy (Charisma House. Kindle Edition), Kindle location 386.
  28. Ibid, Kindle location, 426.
  29. Ibid., Kindle location 1085.
  30. Ibid., Kindle location, 312.
  31. Johnny Enlow, “Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah? Is This Good or Bad?” (Elijah List, June 18, 2015, http://www.elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=14839).

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