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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth- Dr. CI Scofield

September 6, 2017 Leave a comment

“Scofield, Cyrus Ingerson (1843-1921), Bible student and author, born in Lenawee County, Michigan, reared in Wilson County, Tennessee, and privately educated. Fought in the Civil War from 1861-1865 under General Lee, his distinguished service earning him the Confederate Cross of Honor. Admitted to the Kansas bar in 1869, elected to the Kansas House of Representatives where he served for one year. President Grant appointed him United States Attorney for Kansas in 1873. Worked as a lawyer in Kansas and Missouri from 1869 to 1882. Converted at 36, he was ordained to the Congregational ministry in 1882, and served as pastor of the First Church, Dallas, Texas (1882-1895), and again (1902-1907); and of the Moody Church, Northfield, Massachusetts (1895-1902). Later years were spent lecturing on biblical subjects on both sides of the Atlantic. The work for which he is best remembered is his 1909 dispensational premillenial Scofield Reference Bible.” (From “The Wycliffe Biographical Dictionary of the Church,” page 362, Elgin S. Moyer, 1982, © Moody Press, Chicago, IL)

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth by C. I. Scofield, first published in 1896, is a monumental work that explains the important divisions in scripture.

Click here to read C.I. Scofield’s “The Biggest Failure of the Church Age”


Table of Contents

Introduction

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The Rapture and Right Division

Dr. Mike Johnston

Rightly dividing the word of truth makes it clear that Israel’s Tribulation is NOT for the Body of Christ. Right division encompasses two programs (prophecy and mystery) that have existed “since the world began” – designed by God to cover three periods: time past, but now, and ages to come. [1] Conflating the prophecy and mystery programs generally leads to disorder, disputations (as seen in the emergence of denominations), and ultimately deception. [2]

Prophecy (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21) [3] came through the prophets featuring events primarily surrounding Israel’s coming King and His kingdom on earth; while the mystery (Rom. 16:25) [4] was unknown to the prophets and given initially to Paul concerning the church Body of Christ promised an inheritance in heaven where we are now spiritually seated there with Christ. [5] Before Israel’s Tribulation leading to her kingdom can begin, the church Body that appeared as a mystery (Rom. 16:25) must first disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).

Key to understanding eschatology is Israel, God’s preeminent earthly nation. God spoke her into existence through specially appointed and anointed messengers called prophets. These men collectively prophesied five unilateral covenants promising Israel perpetuity of lineage (Abrahamic Covenant), land (Land Covenant), Law (Mosaic Covenant), Lordship (Davidic covenant), and longevity (New Covenant). These messages were clarified over time through a means known as progressive revelation featuring the promise of a Messianic King who will inaugurate a universal kingdom that will flourish for a thousand years [6] of unprecedented peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), prosperity, and health (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29). Its location is Jerusalem, city of David (2 Kings 14:20), the blessed Zion of God (Isa. 30:19).

About 2000 years ago, this Covenanted kingdom was offered by John the Baptist, Christ, and the twelve disciples who all preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and its requisite repentance (Matt. 3:2; 4:17, 23; 10:7; John 1:45; see Gal. 2:7-9). However, Israel’s rejection of the Kingdom summoned God’s judgment decreed in eternity past expressly to prepare and purify her, earth,[7] and collaterally the Gentile nations supporting Israel prior to the Kingdom in the latter days (Deut. 4:30; Jer. 23; 30-31; Dan. 10:14; etc). Scholars – using vernacular from Moses (Deut. 4:30), Christ (Matt. 24:21, 29), and John the Revelator (Rev. 7:14) – refer to this period of judgment on Israel and the inhabitants of earth as (the) Tribulation.

Beginning with Moses [8] the prophets progressively outlined and revealed Israel’s Tribulation (study Isaiah 24-26; Jer. 30-31; Ezekiel 34-48; Dan. 12; Revelation 6-20). They described it with names defining it, like the time of (Jacob’s) trouble (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15); day of His wrath (Psa. 110:5; Isa. 13:9; Ezek. 7:19; Zeph. 1:15; Rev. 6:17; 11:18; 14:10);  and a number of other euphemisms all connected to the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; Joel 2:1; see Isa. 13:9, 13; Ezek. 7:19).

We see a foreshadowing of purpose for Israel’s Tribulation judgment in the Book of Judges, which tells the story of a loving God retrieving His rebellious nation. “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not” (Judges 2:20-22-bold added). The Tribulation will result in her final repentance with full restoration when Christ the Jewish Messiah returns full view at the Revelation followed by the Kingdom.

Context vs. pretext

Biblical truth in context is conclusive. You can accept it or reject it, but the fact is, it doesn’t lie and it won’t change. To be fair with it, I listed most every major passage of Scripture dealing with the time of Jacob’s trouble – aka Jacob’s (Israel’s) Tribulation “trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Dan. 12:1; Zeph. 1:15). You can verify what I’m telling you by studying each of the passages in full context as they appeared throughout this treatise. If you are willing to conduct the comprehensive research as I personally have, you will discover a grave dilemma experienced by all of our opponents. The church Body can’t be located on earth during Israel’s Tribulation.

Consider this with your King James Bible open to Tribulation passages. Israel and the Gentile nations associated with her are indisputably identified on earth during this time. Since they are, wouldn’t it stand to reason the church Body would be just as easy to spot? Let’s take a closer look.

Open an Exhaustive Concordance for the King James Bible (ie Strong’s) and search carefully the 117 times in the KJV that the singular or plural of the word church appears. Do the same with all variations of Paul’s designation, Body of Christ.

Here’s what we find.

If the church Body is on earth during Israel’s Tribulation, it is impossible to clearly identify. Wouldn’t the Lord want us to be able to recognize our dilemma so we could prepare? It would have been a simple thing for the Holy Spirit to inspire the use of the word church or Body of Christ in any of the scores of Tribulation passages IF we were actually here, wouldn’t it?

So why didn’t He? The inconvenient fact is, there isn’t a single mention in a single verse within context of Israel’s Tribulation that specifically mentions us being here. NOT ONE!

Was this an oversight? A mistake? Translator’s error? A deliberate deception? No! We aren’t here!

Notwithstanding, here’s the desperate solution from our narrative hawking adversaries.

Interpretation or lying

Interpretation is one thing, but lying is quite another. Since our adversaries have no indisputable Scriptural evidence, the only way they can put us on earth in Israel’s Tribulation is by employing unorthodox interpretation methods I call “Houdini hermeneutics”.

Any good illusion includes a good distraction. Rapture antagonists do this by impugning the longevity of the PreTrib doctrine, causing us to invest our time and resources in a non-essential issue. Dave MacPherson – more on his artifices later – is one of the most skilled at this. Then, with our attention diverted, they are free to complete the trick. One ploy is to remove from context and redefine three words fundamental to their fraud, “saints”, “elect”, and “disciples”.

Now again, I urge you to open your King James Bible and your concordance to study the setting and the definitions of all three words. In context from Daniel, the Olivet Discourse, and Revelation, they all refer to Israel not to the Body of Christ as hotly pushed in anti-PreTrib claptrap.

So what’s wrong with giving one’s personal interpretation? Nothing if that’s what it is. My experience tells me this is something more.

Let’s suppose you witnessed a crime that a man you hated was charged with. Although you didn’t actually see his face, you could interpret that the defendant was the perpetrator because your friends said so, and the prosecutor wanted you to agree with them in a testimony against him.

So, in the final analysis, would you go along to get along by compromising your integrity to help convict a man you admittedly hated but had no indisputable evidence to condemn?

In all honesty, if you did, this wouldn’t merely be you offering your interpretation. This would be you bearing false witness.

It is definitely something to think about, is it not?

[1] Time past (Eph. 2:11-12; but now (Eph. 2:4); ages to come (Eph. 2:7).

[2] This is what the cults do, ie SDAs, JWs, Mormons, Romanists, etc.

[3] As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: (Luke 1:70).

[4] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

(Romans 16:25)

[5] Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:20). And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 2:6)

[6] John the Revelator revealed the Kingdom will last on Earth 1000 years (Rev. 20:2-7)

[7] Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. (Isaiah 13:13). But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. (Jeremiah 10:10)

[8] When thou [Israel] art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days  (Deuteronomy 4:30- bracket comment added).

Tithes and Offerings in the Bible

February 27, 2017 Leave a comment

Dr. Mike Johnston

The English word tithe comes from the Hebrew “asar” and “ma’aser” and literally means (one) tenth. If you consider yourself a tither, you faithfully give God ten percent of all your gross income.

Now, as simple as it sounds, over the past 4 decades of Christian ministry I’ve found certain men arguing that tithing [1] is NOT applicable in this dispensation so we shouldn’t do it. Believe me when I tell you the spirit I’ve witnessed manifesting itself against tithing is both vigorous and vitriolic. Several years ago I was victimized by the wrath of a Jezebel spirited woman who didn’t tithe and became enraged at my teaching it. Under cover of darkness, she orchestrated a smear campaign involving phone calls and visits to successfully seduce half the members of our small soul winning church into not only believing her lies, but who willingly left with her. [2]

So where does this disagreement over tithing originate?

The main allegation against tithing is a half-truth masked in Biblical legitimacy. It argues that the tithe was included in the OT Mosaic Law, which disqualifies it under grace. While this sounds good to tightfisted brethren, it’s disingenuous at the core.

To begin with, our opponents don’t mention that tithing existed some 400 years BEFORE the Law. Nor do they acknowledge that both tithing and offerings existed under the Law so if you exclude one, you must exclude the other (Deut. 12:6; Mal. 3:8).

First Mention of Tithing

“And he gave him tithes of all” (Genesis 14:18-20). The First Mention Principle of hermeneutics, teaches us that the initial appearance of a subject in Scripture tells us how it stands connected in God’s mind throughout the remainder of the Bible. The first mention of tithing occurs when Abraham returned from battle enriched with goods captured from God’s enemies (Gen. 14:1-16) and was met by Melchizedek – a type of Christ.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all” (Genesis 14:18-20).

Keep in mind Abraham was a man of faith, which God imputed to him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6). He didn’t respond like so many do today by asking, “Do I HAVE to tithe?” He instinctively knew God blessed him and he couldn’t wait to give ten percent to God’s man to use for God’s ministry.

Make no mistake friend, Abraham’s faith set priorities for his finances and provided a great example for all of his family as witnessed by his grandson Jacob (aka Israel) who continued the practice of giving ten percent (Gen 28:22).

The Tithe is Holy and it belongs to the Lord

“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD” (Leviticus 27:30).

The Mosaic Law incorporated 613 commandments, judgments, and ordinances regulating every aspect of Israel’s existence. Tithes were paid on all income which included the produce of the land (Lev. 27:30), and all cattle in the fields (Lev. 27:32). Tithes paid the salaries of the Levitical priesthood (Num. 18:21; Num. 18:24; Neh. 10:37) who represented Israel before God.

Hear this inconvenient truth before you oppose tithing.

Moses taught that the tithe belonged to the Lord, and thus it was holy (Leviticus 27:30). If both of these are true – that the tithe is holy and belongs to the Lord – then by keeping that which is supposed to be set apart for Him because it belongs to Him – what does that make you?

It makes you a THIEF!

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8).

May I remind you that the dispensation of grace does not provide us with an enticement to sin nor does it remove accountability from believers in Christ for our actions. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We are stewards of God’s gifts. Tithing provides faithful stewards a prescribed accountability and accommodation for returning to God a portion of His so great blessing. Therefore, since Abraham demonstrated 400 years before the Law that tithing is the revealed will of God regarding giving, the question is not, “should we tithe?” but rather are we going to obey the will of God as revealed in the Word of God regarding it? Under Moses God’s people were mandated by Law to tithe; under grace we are motivated by Love to tithe. Woe unto those in any dispensation promoting disobedience regarding the holiness and ownership of the tithe.

“Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:9-10).

In closing, God’s Word is forever settled in Heaven (Psalm 119:89). That means that when Abraham gave his tithes, Malachi’s warning to those who weren’t tithing already existed in the eternal chambers of God’s mind. Read it again carefully because tithing isn’t under scrutiny here friend, obedience is.

[1] Most of the enemies of tithing I’ve known- and there have been a few- are stoic, stubborn and stingy; they generally don’t give anything to the Lord’s work except headaches and a hard time which they are lavish in bestowing.

[2] I give this as a warning to you. Be careful around people. It is uncanny how slick Satan is when plotting subversive activities. Unbeknownst to me, a sinister team was assembled and phone calls along with personal visits were made to our members trying to convince them I was a crook for teaching tithing. NO ONE receiving calls or visits ever warned me!

PMI Collateral Reading Index

October 16, 2016 Leave a comment

This is a partial listing.

1ST YEAR
MISC PMI Bible Std Methodology https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=pmi+Bible+study+method
How to Pray Hr a Day- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=how+to+pray+for+an+hour
Panoramic View of the Bible- Scof https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Panoramic+View+of+the+Bible
Fundamental Conditions…Bible Study- Dr. RA Torrey https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Fundamental+Conditions+
10 Reasons Why I Believe Bible- Dr RA Torrey https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=10+Reasons+Why+I+Believe+the+Bible+is+True
Jew, Gentile, and the Church- CI Scofield https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=jew+gentile+and+the+church
Things that are Different- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=things+that+are+different
24 Distinctions- Jews, Gentiles, & Church-Scofield https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=24+distinctions
Backsliders Beware https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Backsliders+Beware
Temptation https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Temptation
100 Things about Christ https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/100-things-about-christ/
Assurance of Salvation- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/assurance-and-security-of-our-salvation/
Atonement- Dr. Lewis S. Chafer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/atonement/
BIBLE 25 Characteristics of Counterfeit Bible https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=25+character
Amazing Book, The- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/amazing.html
Attack on the Bible- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/attack.html
Bible Codes in the Torah https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/bible-codes-in-the-torah/
Bible is the Word of God, The https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/the-bible-is-the-word-of-god/
Bible Version Comparison- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/biblecom.html
Bible Versions- David Daniels https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Bible+versions
God’s Preserved Word http://www.preservedword.com/content/tract_preseve/
OCCULT Freemasonry https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=freemasonry
APOL Intro to Fundamentalist Aplogetics https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=intro+to+fundamentalist
Intro to King James Apologetics https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/introduction-to-king-james-bible-apologetics/
Westcott Hort Controversy- Dr. Stringer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/the-westcott-and-hort-only-controversy/
CHARIS Apostles Today? NO! https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=apostles+today
Prophets Today? NO! Https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=prophets+today
Azusa Street Heresies Https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/azusa-street-and-modern-pentecostalism/
Baptism Of The Holy Spirit https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=baptism+o

2ND YEAR
SABBATH Messianic Judaism Refuted-Bethel https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=messianic+judaism
HERESIES Replacement Theology 100 words ea. x 5 articles https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=replacement+theology
Sabbath Heresy Refuted https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=sabbath+heresy
SDA Heresies- Dr. Mike Johnston 500 word report https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=SEVENTH+DAY+ADVENT
Soul Sleep Rftd- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/heresy-of-soul-sleep/
CREATION Gap Theory Refuted- Dr. Hovind https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-gap-theory/
Necessity 6 Day Creation- Ken Ham https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-necessity-for-believing-in-six-literal-days/
Scientific Case Against Evolution-Dr Henry Morris https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-scientific-case-against-evolution/
OCCULT Occult https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-truth-about-the-occult/
CHARIS Branham, Occultist https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=branham
Charismatic Heresies https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/the-charismatic-movement/
Last Days Liars- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=LAST+DAYS+LIARS
AMERICA Abortion Rites https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=abortion+rites
ACLU- Origin of an Evil Organization https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/a-c-l-u-origin-of-an-evil-organization/
America in the Trash Pile https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/america-in-the-trash-pile/
America’s Chrstn Heritg- Bill Wilson https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/americas-christian-heritage/
Amorite America- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/amorite-america/
Faith: Crumbling America- Dr Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/faith-crumbling-foundation-of-america/
BIBLE Message: Mystic Mess- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/kjv/mess_bible.html
NIV Perversion- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/niv.html
NKJV Counterfeit- Dr. Terry Watkins http://www.av1611.org/nkjv.html
END TIMES Apostasia: 2 Thess 2:3- Dr. Thomas Ice https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=APOSTASIA
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks-Price; Grider https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=DANIEL%27S+SEVENTY+WEEKS
End Time Timeline- Terry James https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/end-time-timeline/
End Time’s Seduction, Signs- Dr Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/signs-of-the-end-times-seduction/
End Times Signs, Understanding- Dr Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/understanding-the-end-times-signs-and-the-escalating-wickedness-of-the-world/

3RD YEAR
CHARIS Signs And Wonders Heresies https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/signs-and-wonders-heresy/
Slain In The Spirit/Kundalini https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/end-times-occult-manifestations-slain-in-the-spirit-kundalini/
Speaking in Tongues-Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/speaking-in-tongues/
Strange Fire of Nadab/Abihu https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/the-strange-fire-of-nadab-and-abihu/
Word Faith Heresies-Justin Peters https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2015/10/22/2040/
CULTS Armstrongism- WW Ch of God https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/armstrongism-world-wide-church-of-god/
Buddhism https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/buddhism/
Romanism Heresies https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/romanism-heresies/
City on Seven Hills- Dave Hunt https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/a-city-on-seven-hills-the-mystery-revealed/#_Toc313093667
Global Warming Scheme https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/global-warming-scheme-end-times-delusion/
Prepare 100 words on each of first 7 at this url https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/category/islam/
Chrislam https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/the-chrislam-movement-in-the-apostate-church/
Jehovah’s Witnesses (write a 500 word summary) https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=jehovah%27s+witnesses
DOCTRINE Baptismal Regeneration- Dave Hunt https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/baptismal-regeneration/
Blaspheming The Holy Spirit https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/blaspheming-the-holy-spirit-the-unpardonable-sin/
Deity of Christ- (write a 300-500 word summary) https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/category/doctrine-2/jesus-christ/
Heaven- Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/heaven-lewis-sperry-chafer/
Hell- OB Greene https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/hell-where-the-worm-dieth-not-ob-greene/
Holy Spirit, Doctrine of- Dr CI Scofield https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/doctrine-of-the-holy-spirit/
Imputation, Doctrine of https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/the-doctrine-of-imputation/
Separation, Doctrine of- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/the-doctrine-of-separation/
Trinity, Doctrine of- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/the-doctrine-of-the-trinity-in-scripture-and-history/
MISC Judge or Not to Judge https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/to-judge-or-not-to-judge-deception-and-deceivers/
Purpose Driven Movement https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/purpose-driven-movement/
Resurrection of Jesus- Dr.Watkins http://www.av1611.org/resur.html
OCCULT Ouija Boards https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/the-truth-about-ouija-boards/
MISC Sinners in Hands of an Angry God- Jonathan Edwards https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/sinners-in-the-hands-of-an-angry-god/
JEWISH Israel: God’s Chosen People- Dr. Mike, Ed https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/israel-gods-chosen-people/

4TH YEAR
CULTS Emerging Church, Truth https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/the-truth-about-the-emerging-church/
Mormonism (100 words ea on 2 articles) https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=mormonism
New Age Heresies- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/07/30/heresies-of-the-new-age-movement/
Sacred Name Movement- D.Hunt https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/sacred-name-heresy/
Scientology https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/scientology/
Serpent Seed https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/serpent-seed-heresy-2/
Yahweh, House of https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/the-truth-about-the-house-of-yahweh/
JEWISH 5 Covenants of Israel- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/the-5-covenants-of-israel/
10 Lost Tribes Myth- Dr. Chuck Missler https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/10-lost-tribes-myth-refuted/
24 Distinctions bet Israel and Church- Dr Chafer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=Jesus+the+Jewish+Messiah
Jesus is the Jewish Messiah https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/303/
Jesus our Sabbath Rest Stedman https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/jesus-is-our-sabbath-rest/
MISC Contemplative Prayer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/contemplative-prayer-aka-centering-prayer/
DaVinci Code Refuted https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/davinci-code-refuted/
Help for Homosexuals- Dr. John McTernan https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/homosexuality-verses-gods-holiness/
Satanism, Rise of-Geoffrey Grider http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/astonishing-rise-satanism-obamas-america/
Eternally Secure in our Salvation- Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/eternally-secure-in-our-salvation/

5TH YEAR
END TIMES 12 End Times Events- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/12-end-times-events/
Last Days Death of Animals- Dr Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/last-days-mysterious-death-of-animals-birds-and-fish/
Last Days Signs Sun, Moon, Stars- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/last-days-signs-in-the-sun-and-the-moon-and-the-stars/
Mark of the Beast, The- Geoffrey Grider https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/the-mark-of-the-beast/
Millennium, Thy Kingdom Come-Missler https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/thy-kingdom-come-the-millennium-2/
Preterism Refuted https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/the-age-to-come-preterism-refuted/
Prophecy, Interpreting- Dr. John Walvoord https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/interpreting-prophecy-today/
Intro to Rapture Apologetics-Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=rapture+apolog
Daniel’s Seventy Weeks-Randall Price https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=DANIEL%27S+SEVENTY+WEEKS
Coming Tribulation, The- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/?s=the+coming+tribulation
Olivet Discourse in its Jewish Setting- Dr. Mike https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/chapter-6-the-olivet-discourse-clarified-the-tribulation/
ISRAEL Law, Grace, Messianic Judaism https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/law-grace-and-messianic-judaism/
Temples, Future- Dr. Randall Price https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/an-overview-of-the-future-temples/
Zionism, Defense of- 100 words ea tract) https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/in-defense-of-zionism/
AMERICA America: A Nation at Risk- Stephen McDowell https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/a-nation-at-risk-reforming-america-through-restoring-americas-christian-education/
Christian Manifesto- Dr. Francis Schaeffer https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/a-christian-manifesto/

6TH YEAR
CHARIS New Age Charismatic Seed- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/new-age-charismatic-seed-of-corruption/
END TIMES Rapture, Is Pre-Trib Satanic? Dr Thomas Ice https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/is-the-pre-trib-rapture-a-satanic-deception-3/
Rapture, PreWrath Debunked- Dave Hunt https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/prewrath-rapture-debunked-dave-hunt/
Tribulation–Time of Jacob’s Trouble-Scofield https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/end-times-tribulation-time-of-jacobs-trouble/
OCCULT Shamanism https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/shamanism-in-the-church/
Wicca https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/wicca/
Occult Church Connection- Dr. Mike Johnston https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/the-occult-church-connection/
MISC Grace, the Ground of Grace- Darby, Scofield, Newell https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/grace-dr-lewis-sperry-chafer-william-r-newell-and-ci-scofield/
Hell: Where the Worm Dieth Not- OB Greene https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2013/05/19/hell-where-the-worm-dieth-not-ob-greene/
PSYCH Intro to Nouthetic Counseling- Dr Jay Adams https://pmicenter.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/intro-to-nouthetic-counseling/

Categories: Collateral Studies

Intro to Nouthetic Counseling

October 16, 2016 Leave a comment

See assignment at the conclusion of this teaching.

Dr. Jay Adams [1]

DEFINITION: Nouthetic counseling is a Christian leader instructing a person from scripture about how their life needs to change to be more like Christ.

The nouthetic counseling movement has produced substantial[peacock term] literature (see below), and several organizations specializing in its techniques. It is offered as a graduate degree at several accredited schools.

OVERVIEW: Nouthetic Counseling is a form of Christian counseling developed by Jay E. Adams,[1] and published in his 1970 book, Competent to Counsel. It is well known within evangelical hristianity.[citation needed] Adams named his approach after the New Testament Greek word noutheteō (νουθετέω), which can be variously translated as “admonish”, “correct”, “exhort”, or “instruct”. Adams himself particularly emphasized the meaning “confront” in the development of his system.[2] The word NOUTHESIA is “the training by the word, whether of encouragement, or, if necessary, by reproof or remonstrance.” [2]

What is Christian Counseling?

Since there seems to be a considerable amount of confusion over the subject I thought I’d [3]take a shot at defining it by describing what Nouthetic Counselors believe and do.

Counseling is not a science; it’s an art. In biblical terms, that means it is a function of divine wisdom. It does not conflict with true science, but reaches beyond science into venues about which the latter has no competence to speak.

In the wisdom literature of Scripture, truth is set forth in life-experiences. In Proverbs, for example, you will find principles pictured in pithy, portable form. In Job, there is high drama through controversy between failed counselors, a counselee, and the divine Counselor. In Ecclesiastes, short sections coupled with briefer portions comprise a book that demonstrates that life is impermanent (the proper translation of the word “vanity” as it is found in the KJV).

So, if you are looking for me to spell out what counseling is, let me say that these biblical books, not to disparage the rest, plainly point to a working definition. In simple terms, Nouthetic counseling is the wise application of biblical truth to persons who have experienced a breakdown of the normal, sanctification process, in order to remove the various causes of the breakdown while, at the same time, endeavoring to help them seize upon the breakdown as an opportunity to achieve greater spiritual growth.

In this descriptive definition three major factors stand out:

  1. Nouthetic counseling is the wise application of biblical truth to persons whose lives dishonor God through the cessation (or slowing) of the progress of sanctification.
  2. Nouthetic counseling functions so as to reinstitute the normal process of Christian sanctification in the counselee.
  1. Nouthetic counseling seeks, in addition, to capitalize upon overcoming hindrances to spiritual growth by using the opportunity to promote greater ongoing growth.

And, it must always be remembered that, at every point, it is through the Holy Spirit Who, in accordance with Philippians 2:13, gives to obedient counselors and counselees both the willingness and the ability to do those things that please God, that all is achieved.

What is Nouthetic Counseling?

Jesus Christ is at the center of all true Christian counseling. Any counseling which moves Christ from that position of centrality has to the extent that it has done so ceased to be Christian. We know of Christ and his will in his Word. Let us turn to Scripture, therefore, to discover what directions Christ, the King and Head of the Church, has given concerning the counseling of people with personal problems. The Scriptures have much to say concerning the matter. Perhaps the best place to begin is with a discussion of what I have called “nouthetic confrontation.”

 

The words nouthesis and noutheteo are the noun and verb forms in the New Testament from which the term “nouthetic” comes. A consideration of most of the passages in which these forms occur will lead inductively to an understanding of the meaning of nouthesis.

 

Nouthetic Confrontation: By the Whole Church

First, whatever nouthetic activity may be, it is clear that the New Testament assumes that all Christians, not simply ministers of the Gospel, should engage in it. In Colossians 3:16 Paul urged:

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and [for the moment we shall simply transliterate the next word] confronting one another nouthetically.”

 

According to Paul, all Christians must teach and confront one another in a nouthetic fashion. In support of this proposition Paul also wrote (Romans 15:14):

 

“Concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to confront one another nouthetically.”

 

In both Colossians and Romans then, Paul pictured Christians meeting in nouthetic confrontation as normal everyday activity. He was sure the Christians in Rome were able to do so because they were filled with knowledge and goodness. These qualities equipped them to confront one another nouthetically. So the first fact is plain: nouthetic activity is a work in which all of God’s people may participate.1

 

Peculiarly the Work of the Ministry

But while all Christians ought to engage in such confrontation, nouthetic activity particularly characterizes the work of the ministry. Paul considered nouthetic confrontation a vital part of his own ministry. Incidental remarks in several passages indicate clearly that such activity was central. In Colossians 1:28, for instance, Paul declared:

 

“We proclaim him confronting every man nouthetically, and teaching every man with all wisdom in order that we may present every man complete in Christ.”

 

Paul’s proclamation of Christ involved confronting every man nouthetically. Certainly public confrontation in preaching was a part of Paul’s nouthetic activity, but he was engaged also in the nouthetic confrontation of individuals. Colossians 1:28 does not refer primarily to Paul’s public ministry, but principally to his private ministry to individuals. This is apparent when he speaks of “nouthetically confronting every man.” Paul confronted people nouthetically in the day-by-day contacts of pastoral work. The fullest biblical account of Paul’s private nouthetic activity occurs in his farewell address to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20. This is a moving scene; they would see one another no more. In his remarks, Paul reviewed his three-year ministry at Ephesus, recalling the past, looking into the future, and describing the present. He warned about problems likely to arise, described the kind of activity in which he engaged while he was with them, and urged them to continue this same work among their people. Verse 31 is an informative statement that most fully describes nouthetic confrontation. His words give us a deep insight into the ministry of Paul in the place where he ministered (as far as we know) longer than any other. In Ephesus Paul carried on not merely an evangelistic but also a pastoral ministry. He ministered to the Ephesian congregation for three years. What did Paul do during that time? He says:

 

“Be on the alert [i.e., as I was], remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to confront each one nouthetically with tears.”

 

It is important to notice first that nouthetic confrontation took up a fair share of Paul’s time if he engaged in it night and day for three years without ceasing. Paul continually confronted people nouthetically. We seldom think about Paul involved in pastoral work. His basic image is that of the missionary, crossing vast territories, sailing across the sea. We think of his remarkable ministry which spread the Christian faith through the oikoumene.2 Of course he was that, but wherever he stayed for any length of time, Paul engaged in the solid pastoral work that is necessary to build up individuals in their faith. He says that nouthetic activity was a prominent part of that work. That is one reason why his letters are studded with the names of specific individuals with whom he became involved very intimately. Paul not only preached in the market places, but he dealt with people as individuals, as groups and as families; and he confronted them nouthetically.

 

Three Elements in Nouthetic Confrontation

It is important to define nouthetic confrontation precisely. What does the word nouthesis mean? The term contains more than one fundamental element. That is one reason why it is difficult to translate. Traditional translations have vacillated between the words “admonish,” “warn,” and “teach.” A. T. Robertson (in his exposition of Colossians 1:28) rendered it “put sense into.” A few of the newer versions (e.g., the New English Bible and Williams’ Version) sometimes translate it “counsel.” Yet no one English word quite conveys the full meaning of nouthesis. Since it is a rich term with no exact English equivalent, the word has been transliterated in this book. It is probably important to continue to transliterate nouthesis. Since the word has no exact English equivalent, the concepts inherent in the term probably do not exist widely in the English-speaking world. An attempt to bring the Greek term over into English perhaps ought to be made as the first step in endeavoring to establish nouthesis both as a concept and as a practice.

  1. Nouthetic confrontation consists of at least three basic elements.3 The word is used frequently in conjunction with didasko (which means “to teach”). But in Colossians 3:16 and elsewhere it is distinguished from that word. Nouthetic confrontation always implies a problem, and presupposes an obstacle that must be overcome; something is wrong in the life of the one who is confronted. Cremer says, “Some degree of opposition has been encountered, and one wishes to subdue or remove it, not by punishment, but by influencing the nous.”4 Didasko does not imply any problem. Didasko simply suggests the communication of data (teaching); making information known, clear, understandable and memorable. The word didasko implies nothing about the listener, but refers exclusively to the activity of the instructor. The person taught may or may not be anxious to receive instruction. He may pay great sums of money or travel long distances at great personal sacrifice to be taught, or his may be the typical response of the recalcitrant schoolboy, but the word didasko says nothing (one way or the other) about this. On the other hand, the word nouthesis focuses on both confronter and the one confronted. Nouthesis specifically presupposes the need for a change in the person confronted, who may or may not put up some resistance. In either case there is a problem in his life that needs to be solved. Nouthetic confrontation, then, necessarily suggests first of all that there is something wrong with the person who is to be confronted nouthetically. The idea of something wrong, some sin, some obstruction, some problem, some difficulty, some need that has to be acknowledged and dealt with, is central. In short, nouthetic confrontation arises out of a condition in the counselee that God wants changed. The fundamental purpose of nouthetic confrontation, then, is to effect personality and behavioral change.

  1. The second element inherent in the concept of nouthetic confrontation is that problems are solved nouthetically by verbal means. Trench says:

 

“It is training by word-by the word of encouragement, when this is sufficient, but also by that of remonstrance, of reproof, of blame, where these may be required; as set over against the training by act and by discipline which is paideia. . . . The distinctive feature of nouthesia is the training by word of mouth.”

 

Trench quoted as evidence, Plutarch’s use of nouthetikoi logo I (nouthetic words) and continued: “Nouthetein had continually, if not always, the sense of admonishing with blame,” and finally says that the idea of rebuke is affirmed by the derivation “from nous and tithemi” which indicate that “whatever is needed to cause the monition to be taken home, to be laid to heart, is involved in the word.”5 So to the concept of nouthesis must be added the additional dimension of person-to-person verbal confrontation. Nouthesis presupposes a counseling type confrontation in which the object is to effect a characterological and behavioral change in the counselee. In itself, the word neither implies nor excludes a formal counseling situation but is broad enough to encompass both formal and informal confrontation. Nouthetic confrontation, in its biblical usage, aims at straightening out the individual by changing his patterns of behavior to conform to biblical standards.6

 

Specific biblical instances of such nouthetic activity may be seen in Nathan’s confronting David after his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba, or Christ’s restoring Peter after His resurrection. The failure to confront nouthetically may be seen in the blameworthy behavior of Eli recorded in I Samuel 3:13:

 

“You tell him that I will execute justice over his family forever, because he knew that his sons were bringing a curse upon themselves, and he failed to discipline them” (Berkeley Translation).

In the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) the word “discipline” is the verbal form enouthetei. Eli’s sin was failure to confront his sons nouthetically. He failed to speak soon enough, strictly enough, and seriously enough, to effect genuine changes in them. In I Samuel 2:22 ff. there is, to be sure, the record of one feeble, futile, final attempt made much too late:

 

“Now Eli was very old, and when he heard everything his sons were doing to all Israel; and how they cohabited with the women who served at the entrance of the meeting tent, he said to them, Why do you behave this way? I hear all the people talk about your misconduct. . . . This will not do, my sons; for what I hear is not a good report. You lead the Lord’s people to transgress. When one person sins against another, the judges will do him justice; but when a person sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him? But they would not listen to their father’s warning;7 so the Lord was inclined to slay them.”

 

The word “discipline” (I Samuel 3:13) in the Berkeley (Amplified and R. S. V. have “restrain”) is not as good a translation as, perhaps, a transliteration of the Septuagint, enouthetei, by “nouthetically confront” or “counsel in a nouthetic fashion” would be. The Hebrew means, “to weaken” and seems to have the idea of subduing the sinful activities of another.

 

It is most interesting to note that in I Samuel 2:23 Eli said, “I hear all the people talk about your misconduct.” He described his sons’ behavior as “misconduct,” i.e., literally, “sinful things” (deeds). Something was wrong if Eli had to discover his sons’ misconduct from others. Indeed Eli himself should have been among the first to know and confront his sons nouthetically about these deeds. It is of even greater interest to note that when Eli did finally speak to his sons, he began with the fatal word, “Why”:

 

“Why do you behave this way? I hear all the people talk about your misconduct. This will not do, my sons; for what I hear is not a good report.”

 

Eli’s stress upon “why” may indicate one of his failures as a father. It was not his business to speculate about the causes of his sons’ wicked deeds beyond the fact that he already knew that they were sinners. It was his task to stop them. Too great an emphasis upon “why” may indicate an attempt to find extenuating reasons for excusing conduct which otherwise must be described as sinful. Did Eli fail to confront his sons nouthetically in the past because he was always engaged in finding excuses for their bad behavior?8 Eli would have done better to have emphasized the word “what” instead. If he had compared the behavior itself to God’s standards, he might have been able to help his boys.

 

Usual counseling methods recommend frequent long excursions back into the intricacies of the whys and wherefores of behavior. Instead, nouthetic counseling is largely committed to a discussion of the what. All the why that a counselee needs to know can be clearly demonstrated in the what. What was done? What must be done to rectify it? What should future responses be? In nouthetic counseling the stress falls upon the “what” rather than the “why” because the “why” is already known before counseling begins. The reason why people get into trouble in their relationships to God and others is because of their sinful natures. Men are born sinners.

 

Much time is wasted by asking why.9 The question “Why” may lead to speculation and blame-shifting; “What” leads to solutions to problems. “What have you been doing?” is a very significant question to ask. Having answered that question, counselors may then ask: “What can be done about this situation? What does God say must be done?” Because nouthetic counseling seeks to correct sinful behavior patterns by personal confrontation and repentance, the stress is upon “What”– what is wrong? and what needs to be done about it? People never understand the why more clearly than when the focus is upon the what. The second element in nouthetic contact, therefore, is personal conference and discussion (counseling) directed toward bringing about change in the direction of greater conformity to biblical principles and practices. Any biblically legitimate verbal means may be employed.

 

  1. The third element in the word nouthesis has in view the purpose or motive behind nouthetic activity. The thought is always that the verbal correction is intended to benefit the counselee. This beneficent motive seems never to be lost, and often is quite prominent. For example, in I Corinthians 4:14, Paul uses the verbal form of the word in this fashion:

 

“I did not write these things to shame you but to confront you nouthetically as my beloved children.”

 

The antithesis in that sentence brings out the tender concern inherent in the term. Because of this element, the term appropriately describes the concern of the parent for his child, and is used frequently in familial contexts. The Septuagint translators evidenced their preference for the word in the relationship of Eli as a father to his sons. The parent-child relationship also appears in Ephesians 6:4. There Paul spoke about bringing up children “in the nurture and the nouthetic confrontation of the Lord.” In the parallel passage in Colossians 3:21, Paul warned parents not to “exasperate” their children. In Ephesians he urged, “Do not provoke them to wrath.” Even in the most serious circumstances, an unruly Christian is to be “confronted nouthetically as a brother” (II Thessalonians 3:15).
So then, the third element in nouthetic confrontation implies changing that in his life which hurts the counselee. The goal must be to meet obstacles head on and overcome them verbally, not in order to punish but to help him. Cremer wrote, “Its fundamental idea is the well-intentioned seriousness with which one would influence the mind and disposition of another by advice, admonition, warning, putting right according to circumstances.”10 The thought of punishment, even the idea of disciplinary punishment, is not contemplated in the concept of nouthetic confrontation.11 Nouthesis is motivated by love and deep concern, in which clients are counseled and corrected by verbal means for their good, ultimately, of course, that God may be glorified.12 As Paul wrote in Colossians 1:28, every man must be confronted nouthetically in order that every man may be presented to Christ mature and complete. These, then, are the three basic concepts in the word nouthesis.

 

Nouthesis and the Purpose of Scripture

Nouthesis accords quite fully with what Paul says elsewhere about the purpose and use of Scripture. In II Timothy 3:16,

 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is useful for teaching, for reproving, for correcting, for training in righteousness.”

 

Here, the same nouthetic goals that Paul had previously stated in Colossians 1:28 seem to be in view. There he spoke about confronting every man nouthetically in order that every man might be presented perfect in Christ. One might say that the Scriptures themselves are nouthetically oriented. In II Timothy Paul indicated that the Scriptures are useful to perfect the man of God, by what might be called nouthetic means (teaching, reproving, correcting and training).

 

The Scriptures then, are useful for the nouthetic purposes of reproving, teaching, correcting and training men in righteousness. Because this is the classic passage concerning inspiration, its primary purpose often has been overlooked. Paul was concerned to discuss not only inspiration but primarily the purpose of the Scriptures. He argued that because they were God-breathed, the Scriptures are useful for nouthetic purposes.

 

In the fourth chapter Paul continued this discussion. Based on his conclusions in chapter 3, Paul urged Timothy to use the Scriptures concretely in accordance with their nouthetic purposes. He wrote:

 

“Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with great patience and instruction (II Timothy 4:2).”

 

Timothy could fulfill that mandate only by using the Scriptures nouthetically. So nouthetic confrontation must be scriptural confrontation. Nouthetic confrontation is, in short, confrontation with the principles and practices of the Scriptures. Paul’s words in Colossians and II Timothy pertain to the same matter. In both passages Paul thought of bringing God’s Word to bear upon people’s lives in order to expose sinful patterns, to correct what is wrong, and to establish new ways of life of which God approves. Since it embraces all of these ideas, the term “nouthetic” seems to be an appropriate modifier for “counseling.”13

 

Nouthetic Involvement

Turning again to the 20th chapter of Acts, notice Paul’s comment about nouthetic pastoring “with tears.” Today counselors seldom cry in counseling sessions, though from time to time nouthetic counselors find that it is impossible not to shed tears. But probably there is no need to cry as Paul did. Modern American culture is different. Paul lived in a society that encouraged people to express their emotions freely. Until very recently, our culture has considered free emotional expression taboo.14 A Hebrew was likely to tear his shirt in half and throw ashes on his head when he became upset.15 To modern Americans this is “losing one’s cool.” Most Americans simply do not “weep and wail and gnash their teeth” even when deeply grieved. Whether this stifling of emotion is good or bad is another issue. But Paul’s tears plainly reveal one fact: that he became deeply involved in the problems of his people. Involvement may differ not only in intensity, but also in kind. Tears show that Paul’s involvement was a total involvement both of intensity and of kind. To the Corinthians Paul wrote:

 

“Who is weak without my being weak; who is led into sin without my intense concern” (II Corinthians 11:29)?

 

In his third letter, John too showed evidence of nouthetic involvement:

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my own children walk in the truth” (vs. 4). 16

 

Nouthetic counseling, then, necessarily embodies involvement of the deepest sort.
There is a prevalent view of counseling which says, “Don’t become involved too deeply with your counselee.” The image of the ideal counselor according to this view is that of a professional who is stoically clinical, and who maintains a sterile white-coated manner.17 Like the physician’s bedside manner, the counselor is sometimes thought to need a couch-side manner. Even though he may feel strongly empathetic inside, ideally he should not respond in any way which might reveal his true feelings. He must never appear shocked. He always must maintain a neutral nonjudgmental posture regardless of whether what the counselee reveals is good or bad. His stance is neutral. He must never express his own feelings or his own viewpoint on the subject. While the counselee is to be wholly open, the counselor must never be known in his total personality. There is a double standard.

 

Any idea that such neutrality is possible must be dispelled. We shall attend to this matter later. Perhaps it is sufficient to note here that biblical counseling frequently gets so exciting that nouthetic counselors might get up and walk around the room, shout, laugh uproariously and on occasion even shed tears.

 

Love Is the Goal

What are the goals of nouthetic counseling? In I Timothy 1:5 Paul put it this way:

“But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”

 

The word “authoritative” might be added to that translation: “The goal of our authoritative instruction is love.” The original word (parangelia) is more than simply instruction; it is instruction imposed authoritatively. The authority of God is presupposed. The purpose of preaching and counseling is to foster the love toward God and love toward one’s neighbor which God commands. Jesus summed up the keeping of the whole law as love. Any notion of authority as antithetical to love is inconsistent with Scripture.
Love is precisely man’s problem, however. How can sinful man love? Since the fall, in which Adam’s sin led to a guilty conscience, hypocrisy, and doubt, it has been impossible for natural men to keep their hearts pure, their consciences good, or their faith unhypocritical. All are born with a warped sinful nature that vitiates any such possibility. And yet love depends upon these very qualities. That is why Paul conditioned love upon the solution to these problems (note: “love from,” i.e., “which issues from”). God’s authoritative instruction through the ministry of his Word, spoken publicly (from the pulpit) or privately (in counseling), is the Holy Spirit’s means of producing love in the believer.

 

The overarching purpose of preaching and counseling is God’s glory. But the underneath side of that splendid rainbow is love. A simple biblical definition of love is: The fulfillment of God’s commandments. Love is a responsible relationship to God and to man. Love is a relationship conditioned upon responsibility, that is, responsible observance of the commandments of God. The work of preaching and counseling, when blessed by the Holy Spirit, enables men through the gospel and God’s sanctifying Word to become pure in heart, to have peaceful consciences, and to trust God sincerely. Thus the goal of nouthetic counseling is set forth plainly in the Scriptures: to bring men into loving conformity to the law of God.

 

Authoritative Counseling

But notice that Christian counseling involves the use of authoritative instruction. “Authoritative instruction” requires the use of directive, nouthetic techniques. Technique, and all methodology, must grow out of and be appropriate to purpose and content. The end does not justify the means; rather, it regulates the means. Love will blossom as counselors focus their attention upon purification of the heart, the clearing of the conscience, and the building of genuine trust. Counseling will seek to reverse those sinful patterns which began in the Garden of Eden. When he disobeyed God, his conscience was awakened, and out of fear, sinful man fled, covered himself and tried to hide from God. When confronted by God, finding that he could not successfully avoid him, he resorted to blameshifting and excuses. In antithesis to running and hiding, nouthetic counseling stresses turning to God in repentance. Instead of excuse-making or blameshifting, nouthetic counseling advocates the assumption of responsibility and blame, the admission of guilt, the confession of sin, and the seeking of forgiveness in Christ. In his dealings with Adam and Eve, God literally did not allow them to get away with what they had done. Adam tried to make a getaway into the woods. But God confronted him nouthetically, in order to change him by words. The relationship between God and Adam had been established on the basis of God’s Word, broken by Satan’s challenge to that Word, and had to be reestablished by God’s Word. God elicited a confession from him. He probed until he got satisfactory answers. God gave hope and promised salvation in Christ.

 

The same nouthetic methods were used when God, through Nathan, confronted David and when God, in Christ, confronted Peter after his denial. Christ did not hide in the garden or run from the cross but, open and naked he exposed himself to direct encounter with a God of wrath. He pled for no mercy in that hour, and made no excuses. He did not attempt to cover or protect himself, but rather bore the full brunt of the fury of God in the stead of guilty sinners. Nouthetic counseling rests upon the dynamics of redemption, and reflects this fact at every point. Therefore, its power (as well as its fearful responsibility) stems from the fact that nouthetic confrontation necessarily utilizes the full authority of God.

 

Footnotes

1) The priesthood of all believers, a biblical doctrine revived in the Reformation, led to calling the minister pastor pastorum (shepherd of shepherds). All believers have a ministry to all others, which Paul says involves counseling, or nouthetic confrontation.

2) The civilized Greek-Roman Mediterranean world.

3) For a good discussion of the term, see Behm in Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Volume IV (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 1967), pp. 1019-1022. Also Hermann Cremer, BibiloTheological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1895), pp.441,442.

4) Cremer, p.441 (nous means “mind”).

5) R. C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans, 1948), pp. 112-1 14.

6) Personality change in Scripture involves confession, repentance, and the development of new biblical patterns. None of this is viewed legalistically, but rather, all must be understood as the work of the Holy Spirit. Nouthetic confrontation involves the verbal ministry of the Word. All such ministry is made effectual by the power of the Spirit alone.

7) There is no word for “warning”; the original reads, “They did not listen to the voice of their father.”

8) Perhaps the word “why” is used only rhetorically in this passage, as it is in other places where information is not actually sought (cf. Genesis 4:6). But in any case, the point is that Christians do not have to ask the question; they already know why fallen human nature acts sinfully. God has revealed clearly why sinful acts take place. Such knowledge justifies nouthetic confrontation.

9) This is one reason why nouthetic counseling may be spoken of in terms of weeks rather than months or years (as most psychiatrists are compelled to speak).

10) Op. cit., p.442.

11) Of course disciplinary punishment is taught elsewhere in Scripture; cf. Trench, op. cit., on paideia. He says that Christians, who had learned the lessons of the book of Proverbs, added an idea to the Greek word paideia (“education”), so that it came to mean in the New Testament, education which “includes and implies chastening,” pp.111, 112. Discipline is also viewed as beneficial in Scripture. In Ephesians 6:4 fathers are urged not to provoke their children to anger parorgizete, the word used here, also occurs in 4:26), but to nurture them in the paideia and nouthesia of the Lord (both words occur together).

12) Cf. esp. I Thessalonians 2:7, 8 for a fuller explanation of Paul’s view of loving parental involvement. The love of a parent, by which she gives herself to her child is prominent.

13) I have no great zeal for the label “nouthetic” beyond its obvious advantages. However, since every school of thought eventually must be identified by an adjective, I should prefer to choose that adjective for myself. The importance of the word, however, as describing a regulative central activity involved in the ministry of the Word should not be missed.

14) A change may be taking place. The popularity of the word “demonstrate” itself (and of course, the activities it is used to describe) signals what seems to be a radical change of viewpoint. The next generation is likely to be a good bit more “demonstrative” than past generations have been. It remains to be seen whether the outward demonstration is truly an expression of deep inner emotion (“soul” it would be called at present) or whether it is merely a passing fad.

15) Cf. Lamentations 2:10.

16) Cf. also l Thessalonians 2:7, 8, supra; Galatians 4:19; Philippians 1:7, 8.

17) Frieda Fromm-Reichmann wrote: “Freud taught that, ideally, the analyst, as nearly as it is possible, must be a blank to the patient.” Cf. “Advances in Analytic-Therapy,” Interpersonal Relations, Patrick Mullahy, ed., (New York: Science House, 1967), p.125. Laurence Le Shan agreed: “One cornerstone of therapy has been that the therapist’s personality must come into the picture as little as possible. This view held he should be a ‘faceless mirror,’ essentially ‘silent’ as a human being” op. cit., pp. 454-463.

 

That First Session

What should your goals be in that first counseling session? Let me list five goals for you. But remember, no two sessions are alike. When you think you’ve seen ‘em all, along comes a “doosey” that you never dreamed of, let alone expected to encounter. So, what I am speaking about is nothing more than the “ordinary’ things to shoot for. In the more-or-less ordinary cases that are never really ordinary at all. In other words, each case is unique. You should treat it as such. So, the goals I set forth here are ideals rarely to be attained in total.

 

First, remember, the first session—whether you like it or not—will set patterns. That’s why you ought to consciously aim at good patterns. If you’re going to expect homework in later sessions, for instance, don’t wait until a later session to assign it. You can always assign a data-gathering homework assignment, if nothing else.

 

Second, you will gather facts. Of course, preceding the session itself, you will have the counselee fill in a Personal Data Inventory form [you can find a sample in The Christian Counselor’s Manual]. But in the session itself, you will want to expand your understanding of what he has written. Further probing will gather much additional data which you will need to feed into the mix in order to determine how to go about handling this case.

 

Third, You will want to give hope. A counselee without hope is usually a counselee lost. Why should he return if he has no expectation of receiving help? There is every reason for a biblical counselor to offer hope. He counsels believers who are capable of pleasing God [unbelievers are not—see Romans 8:8]. God has made promises [such as those in Romans 8:28; I Corinthians 10:13], and the Word of God has everything necessary for life and godliness.

 

Fourth, you should strive for a commitment to counseling itself. This will be a commitment to come to sessions regularly, and to do whatever God requires. The commitment ought not to be to do what you say or think, but to do what God demonstrably requires in His Word. Obviously, the commitment may not involve much detail at this point, but to the extent that you can frame anything that God does want at this early point, call your counselee to commit himself to it. If the Scriptures insist upon it, you should ask for commitment to it; there is no reason to hesitate to do so.

 

Fifth, you should create the proper atmosphere. That means that by your words and actions, you should communicate to the counselee that he is dealing with God. Yes, he must deal with a counselor—but a counselor who, himself, is under the rule and authority of God, and who acknowledges this fact in all he does and says. He should be made aware that all his decisions to obey or disobey Him are made fundamentally to God, not to you. He should be helped to understand that the Bible is the basis for all that will be done.

 

Of course, much more could be said. These brief ideas–and many more—are dealt with in depth in the INS course, Three Vital Sessions. Since the first session is so important for establishing patterns, it is crucial to know how to handle it. These samples are but glimpses of what ought to be known. Do you know what to do in the first session? And—what about those sessions that follow? The course just mentioned takes you through from the first to the last session.

 

Another Explicit Statement

Often biblical counselors who understand what Paul’s use of the word “noutheteo” means turn to II Timothy 3:15ff to prove that we have, in the Bible, all we might ever need to do effective counseling. They rightly point out the fact that it provides what it takes to carry a counselee through the four stage process of change mentioned there, to a place where he is able to live rightly in the future. Three times in that context, in various ways, the apostle says that the inspired Scriptures are sufficient to make the man of God adequate to deal with every difficulty that has to do with loving God and one’s neighbor. The passage should be so used.

 

In addition, another portion of the Bible frequently cited to provide the same thing is II Peter 1:3, where we are told that the Bible contains all that we need to find eternal life and live in a godly way. This, too, is a powerful testimony to Biblical sufficiency. If “all things necessary” are provided, what else could we possible wish for?

 

Yet, there is another passage, often omitted in such discussions, to which I want to call attention today. It is found in Hebrews where the writer tells us that God will “equip you with every good thing for doing His will, producing in us what pleases Him through Christ Jesus” (Hebrews 13:21).

 

That verse ought to be more frequently on the lips of those who contend for the sufficiency of Nouthetic counseling. Let’s take a second glance at it:

 

The verse affirms that equipping necessary for doing God’s will can be found in Jesus Christ. The information and the know-how that it takes to counsel correctly is what Hebrews is referring to. It is precisely what a biblical counselor must have. And here, we are assured, he does—if and when he is willing to search it out. What an important fact that is!

 

In addition, the verse states that “every good thing” for doing God’s will is available for the Christian counselor and counselee. That means in every case where there is a problem of loving God or one’s neighbor—the goal of all biblical counseling—what is needed is there for the taking. There is no excuse for claiming he doesn’t have all he needs, or for turning to non-biblical counseling for help.

 

Along with the Scriptural information that He provides, we are told that God is at work using it to produce in those who need it those changes which please Him. It is important to help others, of course, but what biblical counseling, at its core , is all about is pleasing God. This happens whenever a counselor honors God by presenting the biblical way to help, and when a counselee accepts and follows it.

 

Help to Help

There are problems wherever you go, so you’d better learn how to handle them.

“I’d sure like to know how to.”

 

Well, that’s one thing that biblical counseling is all about—how God tells us to solve problems. Contrary to what some people think about the Bible, it isn’t a book full of problems, it’s a book of solutions. These solutions reach all of life’s problems in one way or another, beginning with the problem of how you may find eternal life. Have you read its message about the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

“Yes, I know that He died for my sins and that His resurrection from the dead proved that God accepted His substitutionary, penal death.”

 

Good. But knowing isn’t enough. Do you believe that He died in your place, bearing the punishment for your sins?

 

“Yes. I have repented of my sins and trusted in Him as my Savior. But where do I go from here? There are so many other problems in life to solve. And I’d like to know how to help my friends at church and members of my family when they have to solve some of these problems. But I just don’t know where to begin—there’s so much in the Bible, and I don’t have a system for finding where God has said what I need to know about the many problems we face. Any help you can give?”

 

You’re not the only one who has to deal with problems and is baffled about how to accesses Bible instructions for solving them. I’d suggest that you begin to do regular Bible study-not just skipping around in the Bible. Take one New testament book and slowly go through it trying to understand each section before moving on to the next. Using a commentary or two when you do this might also help.

“That’s helpful, I agree; but how can I get a lot of other help fast while I’m doing that?”

 

You can take the biblical counseling program offered on this website. That will give you a wealth of information about problem solving in the shortest time possible. And you can study at you own pace.

“Thanks. Any other suggestions?”

 

In the margins of the Christian Counselor’s New Testament with Proverbs you will find a lot of helpful information accompanying the text, and there is a section in the back that covers all sorts of issues.

“Thanks. That’s helpful. Think I’ll do that. Where can I get the CCNT/P?”

 

Irresponsibility

That’s one of the chief problems encountered in counseling. Did I say in counseling? In life in general!

But if you find that there are many who are irresponsible in ordinary life, imagine how many irresponsible counselees there must be! Multiply the number by . . . . , and you’ll probably have it.

 

People are irresponsible and, by their actions, train their children to be irresponsible too. It can soon become a family trait. They make irresponsible purchases and wonder why they are in debt up to their armpits. They are irresponsible at work and wonder why they get fired. They are irresponsible with things they own, and wonder why they deteriorate so soon. Irresponsibility is rife among the populace for sure!

Like James’ double-minded man who is unstable in all his ways, irresponsibility is a way of life affecting all one does. The irresponsible counselee leaves things around, and wonders who took them. He doesn’t have his car serviced and has to pay large bills down the road when the motor blows up. He cannot be trusted to fulfill a task at church—even though he volunteered to do it. He is in trouble on every front.

How do you deal with irresponsibility?

 

Since it is a life-dominating sin, it pervades all one does. That means a total restructuring of his lifestyle is necessary. He must recognize the overall pattern, desire to change it, and determine how to live differently in every slice of the pizza of life. Slice the pizza into the following pieces, if you will: physical life, church life, work/school life, social life, family life (and/or as many other slices as you fancy). Then, probe in each area to see how irresponsibility is affecting the counselee.

 

Having gathered sufficient data, set him to work on learning to handle life in each area in a responsible way. Of course, this will take time, effort and heavy coaching on your part—at least at the beginning. That is a sketch of the basic counseling program—there is no way to get into details in a blog!

We might add this, however: don’t even begin to undertake this vast task unless the counselee

  1. recognizes his problem
  2. is repentant over it
  3. genuinely wants to change
  4. promises to (and does) work responsibly at the homework you give him
  5. and, you are willing to undertake the task—which usually is formidable.

As you can see, irresponsibility—which leads to many complicating problems that he may have to resolve along the way—can be devastating. These may have to be cleared up as you proceed. As you counsel him, you will have to be constantly on the lookout for his irresponsible ways of dealing with irresponsibility. That is a dilemma you are certain to face.

 

Best wishes as you undertake the task. You’ll need all the help that God’s Word provides. Be sure to call upon the Spirit to enable you to use it wisely. Then dig in for the long haul!

 

Observation

If you want to counsel effectively, it will take time to learn how to do so. I am appalled at the way some jump right into counseling after a short course or reading a few books as if they knew all there is to know about the task.

 

Certainly, any believer can counsel someone out of the knowledge of the Scriptures that he has—so far as that goes. And, in situations where no one is available, God may graciously enable the “counselor” to provide some significant help from the Bible. But I am not speaking of such occasional, casual, Informal, emergency counsel. I’m talking about a preacher or elder who intends to do counseling regularly at his church.

 

What he received in seminary, or Bible College by way of counseling—even if it was truly of a biblical sort (which is rare)—hardly supplies enough information and experience to enable one, who recognizes a calling to counsel as a part of his ordination, to do so. He will have to devote himself to the work, learning all he can of the Scriptures and how to apply them practically to counseling cases. This will, as I said, mean devotion to the task—and it will take time.

One of the ways in which he may improve is to sit in with a truly biblical counselor who is successfully helping others. There is no better way to discover how the principles and practices that he has learned should be applied. To sit down before and after a case in which he participated as a trainee, and discuss the case with the counselor whom he has observed will probably be as helpful an adjunct to his reading and formal work in school as is possible. Indeed, he may discover that it is far more helpful.

 

I have heard would-be counselors during a course remark that there was so much material to remember. They seem frustrated with it: “How will I ever get it all accomplished whrn actually counseling?” But I point out that when you are putting principles into practice, you don’t move from one to another in sequence, the way you learn them when studying. Rather, you use many of them in tandem–at the same time. It is amazing to see how four or five principles, learned separately in a class, come together as you actually use them during a session.

 

Once a student discovers this fact by seeing it in practice in another, and by beginning to see various practices coalesce in his own counseling, it all comes clear. But observation, and counseling under supervision are the two key factors that help new counselors make rapid effective progress. We can help you at INS with all of the information you will need (and you will need it all); but you will have to obtain the rest by  observation. Let me warn you however, when you choose and begin to observe a counselor, be absolutely certain that his practice conforms to the teachings you have learned and to the biblical counseling practice he affirms. What a person does in counseling is what he really believes; even though it man not conform to what he says he does. Not that he lies about his practice; he may have simply fallen into practices that are of less value, less comprehensive, or different from, those that he learned and still (wrongly) believes he is still following.

 

However, if you find a good counselor to observe and discuss cases with and you will be glad you did.

 

Confidence

Confidence comes! You shouldn’t expect it right away. Indeed, if you become confident in your counseling or preaching from the outset, you are probably over-confident!

 

There is a wisdom that comes from learning what God has to say—only long periods of careful study lie behind that. And there is also a wisdom that comes from putting the truth into practice.

Both take time. And so, confidence doesn’t come overnight.

 

God has a way of knocking the stuffings out of those who grow proud after a little preaching or counseling. He sends an old lady to you after the service who tells you that someday you really ought to learn how to preach. He sends you a counseling case that you haven’t the faintest idea how to handle. You’re utterly stumped!

 

Then, rather than go spiraling down into the depths in a whirlwind, stop. Think. Pray. Then, go see another preacher or counselor who can help you. You need to grow. Growth often comes in spurts. Spurts often come as the result of difficulty—but only difficulty that is overcome!

So, don’t be too greatly perturbed by the difficulties that come. Be perturbed—but only enough to motivate you to do something about them.

 

What?

Talk to another pastor who has been through the ropes. Study some more. Work at solving all known problems. Don’t give up—instead, give it your best!

 

Confidence—ah, confidence. It will come if you mean business with the LORD! Do you? If not, stop preaching/stop counseling until you do!

 

[1] All of this is from Dr. Adams unless otherwise noted.

[2] The above is quoted from wikipedia.

[3] This was written by Dr. Jay Adams, the father of modern Nouthetic Counseling.

 

Assignment:

  • Study this material carefully.
  • Prepare 30 scholarly questions and answer them in 25-50 words each.
  • Prepare a 300-500 word summary of this material.

The Occult Church Connection

October 16, 2016 Leave a comment

 

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)

Dr. Mike Johnston, Editor

 

COLLATERAL READING ASSIGNMENT FOR PMI STUDENTS

Collateral reading and reporting is part of your required coursework. When summarizing material, refrain from opining or you will have to redo your assignments. I am not interested in your opinion; I want to see how well you can read, analyze, and then communicate the material- as it is presented- in writing.

  • Read and explain (don’t opine) each of the following sections in about 100 words each.
  • Prepare a final 300-500 word report entitled: The Occult Church Connection

 

THE NEW ANOINTING   4

SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT Dr. Mike Johnston   6

AZUSA STREET and MODERN  PENTECOSTALISM    13

SHAMANISM IN THE CHURCH   16

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER (aka CENTERING PRAYER)  19

SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT- KUNDALINI CONNECTION Dr. Mike Johnston   22

THE KUNDALINI CONNECTION   24

OCCULT MANIFESTATIONS  27

THE NEW ANOINTING

Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary (Psalms 74:3)

I’m angry and I’ll tell you why. The church is inundated with occult practices masked as new moves of God while many in the church are either holding their nose or otherwise falling on the sword in defense of it. Mind Science theories including the creation of reality through positive or negative words have made great strides in elevating the occult to a place where it now serves as new criteria for spirituality. All in all, this fits perfectly with warnings in God’s Word concerning seducing spirits and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1) that will invade the church in the last days. This, I’m convinced, is a perfectly succinct description of an occult invasion.

Let’s define occult. Kerby Anderson from Probe Ministries writes: The word occult comes from the Latin occultus, which means “concealed.” In its ordinary usage, it means “beyond the bounds of ordinary knowledge–the mysterious, the concealed, or that which is hidden from view.” The occult involved such practices as magic, divination, incantations, paranormal experiences, and the New Age concept of the expansion of consciousness. Students of the occult frequently divide occult phenomena into three areas: (1) forms of divination, (2) types of mystical experience, and (3) magical manipulation.

While much of what we are witnessing appears to have come out of nowhere, I believe it has been part of the mystery of iniquity which Dave Hunt exposed several years ago in a shocking book I recommend called The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice: “Primitive pagan religious practices that were generally confined to undeveloped Third World countries (and were regarded in the West with suspicion and ridicule only a few years ago) are now being embraced by increasing millions of enthusiasts worldwide” (p.9). Hunt called this a mass flight from reason to mysticism that no longer equates sorcery with evil; which is the premise of this book and reflects what I’ve discovered in my past two decades of study. Those of us who are rightfully concerned about this have been asking the same two questions over and over again: Where is this headed and what can be done?

I propose that we take an honest look around as I did in the early 1990s when composing my master’s thesis on the New Age Movement. This ultimately led me to a prediction in 1980 by New Age guru Benjamin Crème- who predicted churches around the world would be transformed by the “Ascended Master Jesus” into havens of Eastern mysticism. It is not coincidental that the Kansas City Prophets (KCPs) and Vineyard Fellowship both began within 2 years of Crème’s creepy prediction. Every weird manifestations “revival” including Toronto, Brownsville, and Lakeland- can all be traced back to these two organizations where they received a special “spirit impartation.”

Today, under the guise of “spiritual anointing,” many once fundamentally sound churches are now hosting and teaching about yoga, shamanism, kundalini, divination, TM, astral projection, and a Mormon-Hindu favorite- man is a god and your greatest sin is in not knowing it. Read carefully  the founder of the New Apostolic Reformation Dr. C. Peter Wagner’s chilling commentary applauding this shocking occult infiltration: [1]

“Certain people, such as shamans, witch doctors, practitioners of Eastern religions, New Age gurus or professors of the occult on university faculties are examples of the kind of people who may have much more extensive knowledge of the spirit world than most Christians have.” (Confronting the Powers p. 147). [2]

I hope I have your attention now. If so, I want to ask that you carefully consider what you’re about to read because it is beyond shocking; in fact, it’s scandalous! Transformed into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), Satan has entered the sanctuary carrying a Bible, using Christian terminology, teaching about prayer, and hoodwinking millions that Eastern Mysticism really does have a valid place in the life of a spirit filled child of God.

SIGNS AND WONDERS MOVEMENT
Dr. Mike Johnston

I’m convinced we’re living in the last days. One reason is the mass mudslide of “miracle revivals” being reported with unusual and often uncontrollable “manifestations of the Spirit.” These include: ecstatic gibberish, [3] divination, [4]  screeching, laughing, barking, falling, [5] flinching, flipping and flopping. [6] When challenged about the Biblical authority for this, proponents link it to a “Latter Rain” [7] (LRs) they claim has anointed a new breed of apostles and prophets (aka “little gods” [8]) who are healing the sick, raising the dead, and “imparting” extra-Biblical [9] experiences the early church fathers [10] and church leaders [11] readily deemed heretical. Sadly, since so much of this has been ballyhooed as “a new move of God”, many Christians don’t dare to challenge it for fear of being branded a troublemaker or worse- a blasphemer. [12]

So what about it? Is this freakish phenomena a sign of an end times revival, or is it something else- perhaps even occult oriented? As Dave Hunt puts it, former Vineyard pastor John Goodwin came to Christ out of the occult and eventually realized that the Vineyard was involved in the very occult practices he had abandoned:

I was a Vineyard pastor, and according to John Wimber, in his words, I “could do the stuff . . .  anywhere and any time . . . ” I was tuned in . . . I was in lock-step with what John was teaching . . .  I have literally been to hundreds of Vineyard conferences . . . I’m here to [explain] that this is part of the last days heresy that’s bringing the church into the New Age and into the New World Order . . .  it’s all part of the Antichrist system of a one world church, a one world government and a one world economy. (Dave Hunt, Occult Invasion-Spiritual Deception of the Word and Church)

Are sign gifts being used today? We believe they are, and this booklet will help explain just what that sign is really announcing to the church. 

The Purpose of Signs and Wonders

How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders (Dan 4:3).
God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will (Heb 2:4).

Confusion results from failing to distinguish between a miracle working God, and men with sign gifts performing miracles on behalf of God. Those of us who study Scripture from a dispensational [13] perspective are often charged with limiting God by putting Him in a box. Let me set the record straight: from Genesis to Revelation the Lord presents Himself as the Sovereign Omnipotent miracle worker Who can do anything, any time He chooses. That being said, when we study how and why He used signs and wonders throughout history, we can’t help but notice a vast difference between His original intention and how they’re used today. We will briefly discuss three ways God used signs. [14]

God used signs and wonders to confirm His message and His messengers

        The Bible is God’s Holy and complete revelation of written Truth to man (Psalm 119; John 17:17). It is inspired from cover to cover and it alone contains all we need for doctrine and duty (2 Tim. 3:16-17). We need nothing else! And while this inspired Master piece has always existed in the Mind of God (Psalm 119:89), it has not always been available to man on paper. It had to be communicated and written over a period of some 15 centuries by 40 penmen located in various parts of the ancient world personally selected by God for this particular task. Peter wrote: Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:21). 

Knowing how vital an incorruptible Word is to God’s plan for His people (1 Pet. 1:23) Satan sowed tares through false prophets claiming to speak for God while leading the people away from Him (Deut. 13; 18; 2 Pet. 2:1). Therefore, in order to distinguish between the divine and the demonic message, God’s commissioning included two authenticating signs: one vocal and one visual.

Vocal proof was achieved as God’s prophets predicted long and short range prophecies that had to be fulfilled with 100% accuracy. Miss once and the deceiving prophet forfeited his life (Deut. 13; 18). Let me hasten to say that if this criteria was enforced today, all the so-called “apostles and prophets” spewing their false visions and damnable heresies (2 Pet. 2:1) on “Christian” television would disappear overnight.[15]

Visual proof came as God’s prophets performed miracles. Who can forget the Lord’s instruction to Moses- or what followed: And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:3, 5; see also Exodus 3:20; 4:9, 17, 21; etc).

        Authenticated by these vocal and visual signs the OT prophets collectively gave us 39 Books containing the creation of the universe, the rise and fall of man, the Nation Israel and her 613 Laws including an elaborate sacrificial system, and some 300 predictions that were perfectly fulfilled in God’s Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:29). What they didn’t fully reveal was the Lamb’s Bride. That was done by the Lamb Himself in the presence of His all-Jewish entourage, where He foretold of an ekklesia (Matt. 16:18). This mystery (Eph. 5:32) would one day introduce the Jews and the world to a New Dispensation [16] we now refer to as the mystery church age. And when it did, there were many supernatural proofs that accompanied its Jewish origin at Jerusalem.

God used signs and wonders to transition from the Old to the New Covenant

Israel exists from prophecy and the church from mystery. On the day of Pentecost with tens of thousands of sign-seeking Jews (Mark 8:11; 1 Cor. 1:22) present in Jerusalem (Acts 2) the Lord Jesus sent the Holy Spirit He had promised (John 15:26), to build (Matt. 16:18), and baptize (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5; 1 Cor. 12:13) His people with both visible and vocal signs that Joel’s prediction was being fulfilled (Joel 2:28-32).

Luke carefully detailed what happened: And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire (see Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5), and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (see Mark 16:17), as the Spirit gave them utterance (Act 2:2-4). He then tied it to Joel’s prophecy to Israel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, [17] saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy (Acts 2:17-18). [18]

As the transition continued into the church age, signs accompanied God’s messengers the apostles who as Christ instructed, sought the Jews first (Matt. 10:5-6; Acts 2:5; 18:6; Rom. 1:16): the lame walked (Acts 3:1-8), the dead were raised (Acts 20:9-10), and every person touched by an apostle’s hands or shadow was instantly healed (Acts 5:15-16). Even those receiving Paul’s garments were delivered from demons as well as their diseases (Acts 19:11-12).

Please notice two things as you study the NT signs: First, they were always provided under apostolic authority: [19] And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles (Acts 2:43). And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people (Acts 5:12). And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul (Act 19:11). Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds (2 Cor. 12:12). God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will (Heb 2:4). Second, while false teachers like Montanus, Charles Parham, William Branham, along with  all their heretic protégés would disagree, the Bible clearly demonstrates that God’s signs were for a season and never permanent. They were used to call attention to the authenticity of God’s messenger with God’s message and as such, required the perfect execution of both prophecies and miracles.[20] Since the Bible[21] hadn’t been canonized during the formation of the Nation of Israel or during the first century church, signs were necessary. Paul wrote that although he received the Word by revelation, today we receive it by reading (Eph. 3:3-6). Now that we have the 66 inerrant, infallible, and inspired Books, we don’t use signs, we don’t look for signs, we don’t need signs. In this dispensation we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7; see Rom. 10:17). Any dependence upon signs (prophecies, words of knowledge, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc) casts dispersion upon the Authority of God’s holy and precious Word and will lead you to the final and ultimate delusion!

God will use signs and wonders in the last days to deceive the world

        The Bible warns us that the last days will be filled with signs and wonders. Strangely, God doesn’t use them to draw disciples to Himself, but rather to deceive those who reject His Word and chase the miracles (Rev. 13:13-14; 16:14; 19:20). Please read every word in this end times prophecy- carefully:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth . . . (2 Thess. 2:9-12).

When Scripture becomes subservient to outside influences, man’s word gains inordinate authority and opens you up to an entire smorgasbord of “anything goes” deceptions. The unbiblical not only becomes believable, it becomes desirable. I saw this a while ago when a newly “anointed” [22] charismatic Canadian named Todd Bentley appeared on a stage in Florida wowing his audience by screaming, punching, and kicking those who ultimately fell on the floor around him. News of the Lakeland “revival” quickly spread as thousands of proponents desperate to justify their theology raced to embrace him even after he was unmasked as a drunken, lying fornicator who deserted his family, married his “mistress,” and opened up a web-based “ministry” where he solicits students for his signs and wonders school under the “watchful” eye of false prophet Rick Joyner. The question here is obvious: How do well meaning Christian people become so deluded that a holy huckster like Bentley can actually convince them that Jesus sent him? I believe there are two reasons for this:

First, they’ve been wrongly taught end times revival, so they constantly search for them. [23] What their teachers either don’t know or willfully cover up is that falling away (Greek: apostasia2 Thess. 2:3)not revival, is what God’s Holy Word predicts for the last days. Many OT prophets predicted spiritual darkness in the end times (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc). Paul warned that evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Tim. 3:13). Peter called them false prophets and teachers bringing damnable heresies (2 Pet. 2:1; see also 3:3); Jude labeled them ungodly fornicators and sodomites; filthy dreamers, brute beasts, murmurers, complainers, and mockers. If that’s not enough to convince you, the Lord Jesus wondered if He would find any faith whatsoever upon His return to earth (Luke 18:8). Now in all honesty, does this sound like revival?

Second, they’ve been wrongly taught that miracle workers will lead these end times revivals. Listen please. Scripture nowhere indicates either end times revivals or that miracle working Christians will be leading them. In fact, aside from the two Jewish tribulation prophets (Rev. 11:3-12) just the opposite is true: For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles . . . (Rev. 16:14). These deceivers will use signs and wonders in a well orchestrated campaign to lead the world away from God’s truth: Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1) . . . so do these also resist the truth: [24] men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith . . . But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (2 Tim. 3:8-9, 13). Do these sound like teachers you want to follow?

         My friend, I know those endorsing revivals accompanied by unusual, unprecedented, and unbiblical signs and wonders are very popular and extremely successful. But does that alone make them credible? I believe this booklet has proven that while some of them are simply deluded, a frightening number of them may be purposely deceptive. So, how can you and I discern between them when Jesus and Paul both warned they would look and act like Christians yet arise to deceive from within the church (Matt. 24:4,5, 11, 24; Acts 20:28-30; Eph. 4:14; 5:6; 2 Thess. 2:3; 2 Tim. 3:13, etc )? The only foolproof way to distinguish between the real and the phony is Sola Scriptura- the Bible alone. Since the Bible is complete, miracle workers confirming it are unnecessary. In light of that, we are left to draw one final conclusion: those claiming to perform signs and wonders are wittingly or unwittingly taking an active role in the end times deception that basically laid dormant until the turn of the 20th century.       

AZUSA STREET and MODERN
PENTECOSTALISM

And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:11). 

Kind produces after kind. Therefore, evil seed never produces good fruit. Keep this in mind as you read this tract. While all neo-Montanists- aka Pentecostals and Charismatics- proudly claim the Azusa Street Revival as the birth of their movement, very few of them know it was born from occult practitioners.

The recognized founder of modern Pentecostalism was a gibberish speaking sodomite  named Charles Parham. Parham had a contemporary named W. J. Seymour to whom he taught a new theology of “spirit baptism, tongues, and accompanying manifestations.” Armed with this strange information, Seymour haphazardly launched the Azusa Street Revival in the spring of 1906 in a former stable in downtown Los Angeles.

Attendance at these events grew and soon rose to 1,000 or more a night as curious men and women sought the ecstatic experiences in Seymour’s meetings. Attendees included spiritualists, hypnotists, and mediums from the L.A. occult community who gladly added séances and trances to the chaotic services. [25] Non partisan historians reveal that the reason Azusa Street attracted the attention of occultists wasn’t that God was present in the movement, but the fact that He was NOT! As word spread of the bizarre meetings, well known fundamentalists began to weigh in. R.A. Torrey declared that the new Pentecostal movement was “emphatically not of God, pointing out that it was founded by a Sodomite.” G. Campbell Morgan called it “the last vomit of Satan.” H. A. Ironside labeled it “disgusting . . . delusions and insanities. Pandemonium’s where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes (were causing a) heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity.” Clarence Larkin wrote:        “But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement’s of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in ‘Perilous Times,’ and that all about us are ‘Seducing Spirits,’ and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray.” At some point, even Seymour himself became a bit troubled, lamenting that the weird manifestations seemed to have provided an open door for witches and spiritualists. [26] In lieu of that, he pleaded with his mentor Parham to come to Azusa to help him distinguish which manifestations were of God and which were not. When Parham [27] arrived, he exposed the meetings as satanic which ultimately caused him to part ways with Seymour.

Nothing lasts forever and by 1913 divisions within the camp were so great splinter groups of Pentecostals were formed that are still infecting us today: The Church of God in Christ  (COGIC) formed in 1907; The Assemblies of God formed in 1914; The United Pentecostal Church (UPCI) formed in 1914; The Pentecostal Church of God formed in 1919 at the Sharon Bible school which later became the area of the Latter Rain in 1948 through William Branham’s [28] “anointing” (another man who denied the pre-existence of the Son of God and the Tri-unity of God).

Pentecostal Leaven

        A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Galatians 5:9). The far reaching impact of Parham and Seymour’s leaven can be seen nightly on “Christian” television. While most of the Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers still maintain the original heresies, their depraved teachings have sunk to new depths of unorthodoxy that Parham and Seymour both would no doubt recoil from.

False prophet Kenneth Copeland [29] claims Jesus never asserted His deity, and that He died spiritually and had to be born again. Add to that the fact that Copeland also completely distorts God’s nature and man’s by assigning deity to Adam: “Adam was just as much the Son of God as Jesus, “God’s reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.” Adam was as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus when he came to earth;  Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg as “new truth” is allegedly being revealed to Charismatics claiming they’ve held personal conversations with the Lord or His angels. As I close this section it’s important to note that all the occult manifestations Seymour was terrified of, have now risen to become desirable manifestations of the spirit expected to be present in the life of God’s most “anointed” servants.

Last Days Deceivers

        For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect  (Mark 13:22). When Shirley Maclaine goes public with “I am God, I am God!” the church rightly proclaims her a sign of the end times.

Yet when well known “Christian” leaders say the same thing, we smile and applaud their heresies as new light. When are we going to wake up and try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1)? 

  • John Avanzini: “[The Spirit of God] … declared in the earth today what the eternal purpose of God has been through the ages … that He is duplicating Himself in the earth” (John Avanzini, “The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape).
  • Morris Cerullo: “You’re not looking at (me); you’re looking at God. You’re looking at Jesus.” (The End Time Manifestation of the Sons of God,” Morris Cerullo World Evangelism tape)
  • Kenneth Copeland: “Adam is God manifested in the flesh” (“Following the Faith of Abraham” tape # 01-3001 “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” (The Force of Love tape).
  • Paul Crouch: “Christians are little gods . . . I am a little god” (TBN-July 7, 1986).
  • Creflo Dollar: We are gods, in this earth, and it’s about time we start operating like gods instead of a bunch of mere powerless humans” (April 17, 2002 Changing your World, LeSea Broadcasting).
  • Kenneth Hagin, Sr: “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was…the believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth”. (“Word Of Faith” Dec. 1980, p. 14).
  • Benny Hinn: “Are you ready for some revelation knowledge? You are God!” (“Our Position In Christ”, tape # AO31190-1). “You are a little god on earth running around”. (“Praise-a-thon” broadcast on TBN, November, 1990).

Please, please, listen. These “mini messiah’s” appear nightly on “Christian” television bragging about “new moves” of God that simply cannot be supported by Scripture. They are provably Azusa Street false prophets and teachers; deceptive, deadly, and dangerous. If you can’t see them for what they really are, it is because you too have been deceived (2 Cor. 11:3).

Now you might try apologizing for them by saying: “Well you just don’t understand them or what they really meant.” Well, let’s cut to the chase with Someone who knows full well, the Lord Jesus:

        And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ . . . go ye not therefore after them (Luke 21:8). 

It’s time for us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1) and warn the saints: The seed from the Azusa Street Revival has produced a forest of bad trees and rotten fruit- avoid it at all costs.

SHAMANISM IN THE CHURCH

As demonstrated by native American culture and indigenous people groups worldwide, animal worship has long been a means of contacting and interacting with deceiving spirits. Equally pleased to appear in human or animal form, they often take willing participants on exciting out-of-body experiences or communicate “secret knowledge.” Latter Rain enthusiasts like Bob Jones do this, too.

Modern shamans (who are as apt to wear suits as loin cloths) market seminars where everyday people can “encounter” their personal “power animal.” In public schools, children are encouraged to use their “imagination” and “dreams” for astral travel. Occult relaxation and visualization techniques are reinforced by literature such as the Harry Potter books and Scholastic’s “Animorphs” series, in which hero-children transform into creatures with special powers and abilities.

Fictionalized in popular games and movies, these techniques are based on ancient occult practices that, once widely banned, now flourish virtually unchecked. According to answers.com, “a familiar spirit…obeys a witch, conjurer, or other users of the supernatural, and serves and helps that person….If they look like ordinary animals, they can be used to spy….These spirits [also]…inspire artists and writers.”

Many new age writers and occult practitioners have been assisted or encouraged by animals they perceive as “familiars.” As Patrick Ryan, author of The Eagle’s Call: A Journey of Body, Mind, and Spirit recounts,

When I was writing this book…an eagle often circled the building in which I lived, visiting many times….When I was…doubting my direction, a coyote also came to visit….Across the street, it looked toward me as if encouraging me on….So, led by the spirit of coyote, eagle and the many other guides of the universe, I was able to complete this tale. Its primary message is about following the call of my body, mind and spirit.

Romans 1:18-32 gives a clear account of man’s “call of his body and mind”-a rejection of God in favor of nature worship: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” (Rom 1:22-23).

Perhaps in part due to the reverence of “animal spirits” by ancient pagan cultures, animals continue to play a significant symbolic role in our world today. School and professional sports teams adopt animal names such as the panthers, tigers, lions, bears, wolves, or eagles-based on popular significance of animal traits. Consumers even purchase “animal” car models and athletic shoes marketed for their perceived attributes of speed and power.

So, what’s the fuss? Is animal symbology inherently evil? No, even Scripture makes generous use of animals as symbols-from love poems in The Song of Songs to comforting analogies of the Lord: “hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Ps 17:8b) et al.

Take the eagle, for example. Revered as a national symbol by various countries, Scripture makes several positive references to the eagle. One of the most popular verses cited for encouragement is “they shall mount up with wings like eagles…” (Is 40:31). Many are comforted by the eagle as a symbol of patriotism and American heritage (which is often equated with Christianity). Fewer though, take note of passages that portray the eagle in a negative light, or realize that the eagle doubles as a Masonic symbol of the phoenix, representing “rebirth through fire” in occult mythology.

In addition to its being an “unclean” animal, Scripture also contains a number of negative references to the eagle (“They are passed away as the swift ships: as the eagle that hasteth to the prey” (Job 9:26). Obadiah even contains a reference to Edom as an eagle, apparently as a type of Lucifer: “The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord” (Ob 1:3-4).

So why do the neo-prophets and apostles of today use the eagle as a symbol of choice? Many “prophetic” ministries associate eagles with tremendous natural vision and observable qualities of “rising above;” but like shamans and seers-ancient and modern-they err in assigning to eagles spiritual qualities. An occult website declares the eagle’s role is that of an “illuminating force” that rises on the east wind, whose gift is that of “seeing hidden spiritual truths” and “whose strength is by its connection to spirit guides.” The website advises: “One who flies with the Eagle has a responsibility…to operate from Higher Intent, to develop the latent abilities of Illumination, and then freely share this Illumination with Others.” In other words, a seer who channels the eagle is to “impart” this knowledge and “gifting” to others.

A number of prominent ministries use the eagle as a corporate symbol, and most of these do so quite innocently. But research into the testimony of a young prophetess associated with C. Peter Wagner’s self-titled New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) raises great concern. (The NAR, a blended resurrection of several modern heresies-kingom-dominionism, manifest sons of God, new breed, et al.-is spreading like wildfire through a growing number of charismatic and evangelical churches.) Here is just one example of cause for alarm:

Sharnael Wolverton…was called to the ministry at an early age….During [an] incredible period of seeking intimacy with [God] she encountered many dreams, visions, visitations and divine appointments leading to the birthing of Swiftfire Ministries….One divine appointment…was with Bob Jones, who introduced her to a golden eagle named “Swift.” “Swift is sent forth to those in order to carry the purposes of God swiftly.” Another encounter was with Patricia King of Extreme Prophetic, who had also been introduced to Swift.

This admission by a professing Christian “minister” is nothing short of astounding! Aside from this startling testimony, most followers of these seers (and even skeptics) would not think twice about the recurring “eagle” motif on the websites of Sharnael Wolverton (swiftfire.org), Bob Jones (Kansas City Prophet) (bobjones.org/itinerary), and Patricia King (extremeprophetic.com). But with the knowledge that Bob Jones (a proven false prophet who was removed from ministry in 1991 for sexual misconduct) “introduced” at least two prominent neo-apostolic women to a demonic entity that manifests as an eagle (whom all three know as Swift) the “birds of a feather” mascots they share take on far greater significance.

Other “apostolic-prophetic” leaders who often teach with or promote Bob Jones also use the symbol of an eagle in their ministry logo: Paul Keith Davis, Rick Joyner (Kansas City Prophets), Bobby Conner, Cindy Jacobs, and others. Does this mean they also have the spirit of Swift to help them “carry out the purposes of God?” Not necessarily-but the connection between “eagle spirits,” shamans, and today’s neo-prophetic seers is unmistakable. This is the New Spirituality.

Though his mystical teaching remains unchanged, none of Jones’ co-ministers or spiritual offspring seem to mind that his misconduct involved giving private “hands-on” readings to young women-disrobed to “stand naked before the Lord”-or that he was rebuked for other occultic practices. Ironically, he is revered as a spiritual grandfather among today’s rising stars of the Third Wave (neo-apostolic) movement, promoted largely by the much-hyped pseudo-prophetic website, “The Elijah List.”

But, Jones is in good company. Many of his disciples, as well as the “apostles” and “prophets” who endorse or teach with him, claim to have met and talked with angels, with the Lord, and with saints of the past (the forbidden practice of necromancy); and, they all take great pride in teaching others how to have angelic encounters and “third heaven visions.”

Undoubtedly believing they are working divine signs and wonders, could they instead be “deceived and deceiving others” (2 Tim 3:13)? As God’s word declares, “There shall not be found among you any one…that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord” (Deut 18:10-11). [30]

CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER
(aka CENTERING PRAYER)

PMI NOTE: Contemplative or Centering prayer is cloaked in New Age mysticism and should be avoided. Endorsements flow freely from New Age to Emergent Church leaders including Alice Bailey, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Rick Warren and many others.  Sadly, Wheaton College and Dallas Seminary have become entangled in this web of wickedness.

In the 1970’s, three mystic Roman Catholic monks, Fr. William Meninger, Fr. Basil Pennington and Abbot Thomas Keating (head monk) labeled Centering Prayer as a “method of prayer, which prepares us to receive the gift of God’s presence, traditionally called contemplative prayer”.  It is “…the opening of mind and heart – our whole being – to God… whom we know by faith is within us….  Contemplative Prayer is a prayer of silence, an experience of God’s presence…” This sounds like Eastern meditative mysticism to me. No thank you!

The Contemplative Outreach Ltd. website featuring Thomas Keating’s teachings, provides further insight into the method of Contemplative Prayer and lists the guidelines to practice it.  It states: “’This method of prayer is a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.’ ‘The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to Contemplative Prayer, is the indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’  ‘It is also inspired by writings of major contributors to the Christian contemplative heritage including John Cassian, the anonymous author of The Cloud of Unknowing, Francis de Sales, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux, and Thomas Merton.’”  Emphasis Added

Contemplative Prayer Guidelines include (sounds like TM to me):

  1. Choose a sacred word as the symbol of your intention to consent to God’s presence and action within.
  2. Sitting comfortably and with eyes closed, settle briefly and silently introduce the sacred word as the symbol of your consent to God’s presence and action within.
  3. When engaged with your thoughts*, return ever-so gently to the sacred word.
  4. At the end of the prayer period, remain in silence with eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

*Thoughts include body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections.”

Not Prayer But Mystical Meditation

Contemplative Prayer is not Biblical prayer at all, rather it is a type of mystical meditation leading the mind into an altered state of consciousness.  It goes beyond thought, providing an experiential union with so-called God or with nature producing body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections. It is based on “experiences” rather than sound doctrine. “… give attendance… to doctrine.”  1 Timothy 4:13.  Faith is to be based on God’s word rather than experiences.  “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Romans 10:17, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” 2 Corinthians 5:7.

Contemplative Prayer is also known as centering prayer, listening prayer, breath prayer, and prayer of the heart.  It is just one of many mystical practices taught within a confusing, mixed-up movement called Contemplative Spirituality. Mystical practices are now widely embraced and taught in secular and professed Christian seminaries, colleges, universities, organizations, ministries and seminars, etc. throughout the United States.  Academic promoters have introduced these practices into the fields of medicine, business and law while countless secular and Christian books, magazines, seminars, and retreats are teaching lay people how to incorporate them into their daily lives.  Promoters promise physical, mental and spiritual benefits desiring to bring about positive social change.

One promoter of mystical practices, the “Center for Contemplative Mind in Society”, states: They “can play a part in the positive transformation of governments, businesses, and organizations. We are dedicated to the idea that contemplative awareness, when incorporated into contemporary life, can help produce a more just, compassionate, and reflective society.” The following Contemplative Practices are listed on their website:

– Movement (martial arts, dance, yoga, labyrinth walking, etc.)

– Creation (singing, chanting, art, music, etc.)

– Relational (dialogue, deep listening, storytelling, journaling, etc)

– Ritual/cyclical (shabbat, vision quest, sweatlodge, alter building, ceremonies/rituals etc,)

– Activist (work, pilgrimage, mindfulness, vigals/marches, etc.)

– Generative (prayer, lectio divina, petitionary prayer, etc.)

– Stillness (silence, prayer centering, insight & sitting meditation, quieting & clearing the mind)” Emphasis Added

Are They Experiencing God or Seducing Spirits?

Contemplative Prayer is described as “an experience of God’s presence” and “movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him” resulting in “…body sensations, feelings, images, and reflections”.

So whose “presence” are these people really experiencing?  Interestingly, the Universal Gnostic Church provides some insight through their guidelines for “Working With Your Spirit Guides”:

“If you do not already know your spirit guides, we recommend you start speaking to them. The basic way of doing this is through meditation and listening to your intuitive insights.”

Meditation:  Meditation is a process of moving your consciousness into higher planes while remaining in the physical plane. There are several meditative techniques. The Universal Gnostic Church teaches three excellent techniques for those who want to work with their spirit guides. Essene Healing Breath Meditation, Kriya Power Meditation, and Contemplative Meditation.”

“If you already know who your spirit guides are, we recommend you work with them on a regular basis.  You can do that through channeling, visualization and ritual, divination and prayer.”

Channeling:  Channeling is a process of recording or repeating out loud for others what your spirit guides tell you or show you. You can do this by writing it all down or by recording it with an electronic device. You may also do it by repeating what is said in a private session or to a large group. You may allow your spirit guides to bring other disincarnate people to deliver messages to you. When you channel, you’re working with your spirit guides.”

Visualization and Ritual:  Visualization of your spirit guides is a step toward seeing them in the physical dimension. The easiest way to learn how to visualize your spirit guides and guardian angel is through the teachings of the Magickal Order of the Golden Dawn. They teach both the skills of visualization and ritually working with your spirit guides and guardian angel.”

Prayer.  Praying with your spirit guides is an excellent way to develop a closer relationship with them. The Universal Gnostic Church recommends Intentional Prayer and Contemplative Prayer for that purpose.”  Emphasis Added 12

Regardless of what the “presence” is labeled (Spirit Guides, Guardian Angels, Jesus, God, etc.) these people are actually experiencing seducing spirits also known as demons (1 Timothy 4:1,7). And this is all accomplished through various methods of Spiritism, also known as Necromancy.

“Spiritism or Necromancy is an occult activity grounded in the belief that through certain persons acting as mediums or channels (psychics, necromancers, channelers, etc.) the dead or the spirit world can be contacted and hidden information can be acquired from those contacted. Trances and séances are often used by the medium. The power behind this activity is demonic. This activity is forbidden by the Lord. 1 Chronicles 10:13, So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it. (1 Sam. 28:7 gives the context).” In the case of Contemplative Prayer, the individual is really acting as the channeler or necromancer communicating with demons.  This is strictly forbidden in the Scriptures.

“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Thus, those who practice and promote Contemplative Prayer are really an abomination unto the LORD! [31]

SLAIN IN THE SPIRIT-KUNDALINI CONNECTION
Dr. Mike Johnston

 Evidence (objective) or Experience (subjective)?

Merchants know that an experience is an extremely compelling component in commercial advertising. The same is true in Christianity. I’ll never forget hearing Dr. George Gardner, previous pastor of Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan make the following claim: “The man with an argument is always at the mercy of the man with an experience.” Never has this been more true than in the Charismatic/Pentecostal movement with one of its most popular doctrines: “slain in the Spirit.”

What is “Slain In The Spirit”?

Supporters allege that this is the work of the Holy Spirit who suddenly overwhelms often unsuspecting persons with His power and glory. This can be so intense that the recipient- said to be under the anointing- is often cast to the floor where he can lay motionless for extended periods, unable to speak, move, or respond to anyone in this condition;  or conversely, he can begin to bob, beller, bark, flinch, flip, flop, or laugh hysterically at nothing and for no reason.

Who is William Branham and how does he fit into slain in the spirit Kundalini-occult connection?

William Branham was a spiritualist “healer” who believed spirits could be “imparted” from one person to another via laying on of hands. [32] While he is often spoken of by word of faith teachers in glowing terms as if he was a church father, [33] he was not. He was- if you will forgive my bluntness- a heretical exclusionist[34] clairvoyant kook who was such a rabid anti-Trinitarian he actually labeled it as a “demonic” teaching. God help those who follow him! [35] Branham was a self sanctioned maverick quoted as saying that everyone involved in a denomination had taken the mark of the beast. [36] He also regularly practiced occult spiritualism including clairaudience,[37] divination (word of knowledge), and psychic mind reading. He maintained all his life that he was Elijah the prophet reincarnated and those who wouldn’t accept him as such he labeled as anti-Christ. He hated Israel, and he taught the serpent seed doctrine that anti-Semitic scoundrels like Arnold Murray [38] pound the pulpit with today. Though not exhaustive, his noteworthy heresies include: the divine equality of the pyramids, and zodiac with Scripture; nurturing the word-faith positive-confession doctrine we find still taught by his past and present admirers and followers today; the ongoing practice of necromancy (Hinn uses this also via documented spiritual encounters with Kathryn Kuhlman); and a lifetime of instructional meetings with an angel he claimed had given him his healing ministry. [39] This is the man that popularized the phenomenon known as slain in the spirit that is practiced and coveted by Charismatics and Pentecostals all around the world today.

Final Word: Test the Spirits by the Word of God

        My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children (Hosea 4:6). 

        Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world (1 John 4:1). 

Charismatics often judge spirituality by the newest outward manifestation even if it is unbiblical or at best extra-Biblical. Needless to say, Scripture is not their friend in such cases. If we adopt their standard of spirituality, then Jesus wasn’t filled with the Spirit. Neither were any of the apostles; only Branham-ized Charismatics are. I hope this helps you see the absurdity of what they teach.

In Galatians 5:22-23 we have the real evidence of being filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance . . .  (Galatians 5:22-23). 

If you hold up a Charismatic manifestation next to the nine-fold fruit just mentioned, the answer to the questions Is this experience from God? should become patently obvious.

THE KUNDALINI CONNECTION

Using the pseudonym “slain in the spirit” the Serpent Power of the Awakening Kundalini is a featured manifestation in Latter Rain Charismatic gatherings by well known men revered to be spirit anointed. Our question here is simple: Which spirit have these men been anointed by?

In Hinduism there are several forms of yoga (yoking) which all have the goal of giving the practitioner cosmic consciousness and unity with God. [The origins of Kundalini Yoga (sometimes called Raja or Roya Yoga) come from the form of Hinduism known as Kashmir Shavism. This form of yoga comes from the Kashmir region of India and the god these Hindus worship is Shiva. Shiva was the Hindu god represented in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”

Hindu depiction of a Chakra: Wheel of spinning Energy – Kundalini Yoga “the serpent power.”

Sanskrit kund, “to burn”; kunda, “to coil or to spiral”: a concentrated field of intelligent, cosmic invisible energy absolutely vital to life; beginning in the base of the spine as a man or woman begins to evolve in their first incarnation; fed by the chakras along the spine and by the cosmic energy entering through the feet from the earth; as wisdom is earned in each incarnation, this electromagnetic, ultrapotent energy moves slowly upward through the spine; Kundalini is feminine polarity in nature. Sim. (Donning International Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary, June G. Beltzer, Ph.D., p. 343).

  1. Kundalini in English means “the serpent power.” It is the common Hindu belief that within each person resides a “serpent” coiled tightly up at the base of the spine. Through practicing Kundalini yoga, along with chanting, mediation, and an impartation from the guru one can have their Kundalini Awakened. Kundalini Yoga is the “power yoga” of Hinduism. It is the pathway to supernatural power and godhood. Kundalini Yoga can also lead to mental collapse, psychosis, and demon possession or oppression.
  1. “Asian cultures have used these teachings of the Chakra System for about 4,000 years and it’s only the last approx. 10 years that this information has filtered into the west. Chakra literally translated from the Hindi means ‘Wheel of spinning Energy’. Within our bodies are contained seven major energy centres. They are located within the body in front of the spinal column and are aligned vertically up and down the spine. Each wheel has a colour of the rainbow and vibrates to a musical note… .” (Inner Star Magazine)
  1. Kundalini is at least 1000 years old occult practice. It involves bodily manifestations as a consequence for the “awakening of an individual’s Kundalini” and is related to, for example, Qigong (a Chinese occultic tradition).
  1. Kundalini energy is typically described as a powerful energy source lying dormant in the form of a coiled serpent at the base of the human spine. When freed it reputedly has the capacity to effect great physical healings. Christina and Stanislov Grof, New Age authors of the book “The Stormy Search for the Self,” describe how the awakening of Kundalini energy can be triggered by an advanced spiritual teacher or guru. And how the awakening can bring up memories of past psychological traumas. The Grofs state that “individuals involved in this process might find it difficult to control their behavior; during power rushes of Kundalini energy, they often emit various involuntary sounds, and their bodies move in strange and unexpected patterns. Among the most common manifestations … are unmotivated and unnatural laughter or crying, talking tongues … and imitating a variety of animal sounds and movements” (p. 78-79). The Grofs state that “careful study of the manifestations of Kundalini awakening confirm that this process, although sometimes very intense and shattering, is essentially healing” (citing Warren Smith by permission in an article for Spiritual Counterfeits Project entitled “HOLY LAUGHTER or Strong Delusion” (Fall, 1994, Vol. 19.2), p. 14). 

Slain in the Spirit Akin to Kundalini

  1. Involuntarily falls down unconscious and enters a rapturous state of super-conscious bliss – same as Toronto Blessing, Brownsville, Lakeland “revivals”
  1. Beautiful visions and often involving astral projection – same as “revivals” above.
  1. Accompanied by uncontrollable laughter or weeping and animal sounds – same as “revivals” above.
  1. He could send others into this state with a single touch to the head or chest” – same as “revivals” above..

Christians that have flocked in their thousands to Toronto, Brownsville and Lakeland, do not seem to realize that the manifestations at these places are not a “New Move of God,” but in fact, as highlighted in the ‘Kundalini Spirit’ article, have existed for hundreds of years.

  • For hundreds years gurus have operated with gifts of healing, miracles, gifts of knowledge and intense displays of spiritual consciousness.
  • For hundreds of years they have connected with a cosmic power which, though demonic in origin, is very real.
  • For hundreds of years devotees have gone forward to receive spiritual experience (Darshan) from impartation by a touch of the open palm of the hand, often to the forehead, by the guru in what is known as the Shakti Pat or divine touch.
  • For hundreds of years, as a result of the Shakti Pat, these devotees have had a raising of the spiritual experience also called raising Kundalini……
  • For hundreds of years the manifestations of an awakened kundalini among people of other religions has been exactly the same as the results of being ‘Slain in The Spirit’ in these so called (Holy Laughter) “Revival” meetings. [40]

OCCULT MANIFESTATIONS

                Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Redefining terms is often the difference between success and failure and the occult wing of the church is becoming skilled at it.[41] Until a few years ago, mystic [42] depicted occult overtures. It’s different now. Those who practice all manner of witchcraft are currently hyped to churches as spiritually gifted saints very much in tune with- and filled with- the Spirit of God (remember Dr. Wagner’s chilling paragraph we opened this book with). In my humble opinion, this has proven to be an absolutely brilliant Satanic strategy.

The following activities- while unbelievable- are actual antics performed by neo-LRs in hundreds of churches for tens of thousands of fans. As you read about them, please bear in mind these are not minority elements, they are quite mainstream; most of them being “heavy hitters” in worldwide Charismatic carnivals. Notice if you will their bold assertions of deity by being omniscient (they can read minds, diagnose diseases, and prescribe cures); omnipotent (they heal the sick, raise the dead, and impart spirits); and omnipresent (they freely travel throughout the universe and can be in more than one place at a time). Surely, Satan has, for all intents and purposes, fully denigrated God and deified man in these last days. Hold your nose my friend; some of these things really stink!

From Laughter, to Barking, to Drunkenness and Drug Abuse: And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury. . . (Isaiah 63:6). If we are to be honest with the facts, we’ll be forced to admit that every “new move of God” cited by LRs and Charismatics at large has fundamentally opened a ghastly gateway to something more insidious. Let us recall Rodney Howard-Browne’s somewhat innocent looking laughing revival which without question became the catalyst for kundalini like barking, clucking and other animal madness that’s mocked the church for twenty-five years. As of late- and with roaring success I must add- self titled New Mystic John Crowder- who was “saved” while on an acid trip- and his psychic sidekick Benjamin Dunn are now using the crass colloquialisms of “drunken glory,” [43] “toking the ghost”, “smoking the baby,” and “mainlining Jesus” to describe the Christian experience. Crowder’s “School of the Scandal” students paying the three-thousand dollar tuition fee, travel with him on his “Ecstatic Meetings” tour in churches, and watch as he and his staff of duped dervishes stagger, stammer, swagger, and sway around the stage like bemused buffoons, [44] dressed in Catholic robes, smoking imaginary joints, and sipping glasses of Holy Ghost hooch supposedly served to them by a traveling band of invisible fat Friar Tuck bartender angels Crowder swears accompany him.

These kinds of clown-like capers have totally convinced me the scoffers and mockers Peter and Jude warned about (2 Pet. 3:3; Jude 1:18) aren’t all agnostics and atheists as once thought and taught. Many of them are in apostate churches deluded by deceivers speaking lies in hypocrisy (1 Tim. 4:2), just like those under the spell of Crowder and his cronies. 

Shamanism – Channeling Familiar Spirits: Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God (Leviticus 19:31). Giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1) is no longer confined to weirdoes in darkly lit back rooms with squeaky doors and Ouija boards. It has now become the popular pastime for quasi-Christian church folk who follow after the weird while abandoning the Word. One method of channeling today is through angelic teachings which many of them claim. Another is by impartations- transferring spirits through laying on of hands- popularized by Branham, Cain, the KCPs, and one of their devotees, a disgraced, drunken tattooed Canadian con-man named Todd Bentley. Bentley who brags about seeing King David, having conversations with the Apostle Paul, and about raising 30 people from the dead (none substantiated), was the featured evangelist in the summer Lakeland “revival” of 2008.

During his relatively short stay, he unapologetically taught about meetings with- and the channeled teachings of- an angel named Emma; [45] probably the same spirit that instructed KCP leader Bob Jones and William Branham. Producer, author, and occult expert Caryl Matrisciana [46] attended a special meeting in LA where 500 pastors lined up in front of Bentley who- in the spirit of kundalini- “imparted” a spirit by touching them in the middle of their foreheads (the occult third eye) thereby sending them crashing to the floor where they frothed, flipped, flopped, convulsed, howled and/or laughed hysterically “in the spirit.” Again, I challenge you to find any of this mayhem in Scripture (1 John 4:1).

Transportations, translations, bi-locations: Crowder contemporary, Jason Westerfield, is at the forefront of these occult heresies. By transportations they mean physical relocation from one place to another. Translations are spiritual (OBEs). This is simply New Age astral projection, and bi-locations are being in two places at one time. Believe it or not, LRs who boast of these practices are revered as- gods today.

Translations are becoming more common on Charismatic TV. Testimonials now often include trips to Heaven or elsewhere where new revelation is received from the lips of a teaching angel or spirit. [47] Todd Bentley and KCP Bob Jones appearing on Patricia King’s [48] ultra grisly television program talked about being in a restaurant, holding hands, closing eyes and traveling to the 3rd heaven where they saw a white light, [49] smelled vanilla, felt a wind, and talked with an angel (sounds like familiar spirits- Lev. 20:27; 1 Sam. 28:7) Jones claims he takes children there quite often. Knowing the immoral  proclivities of Mr. Jones, [50] I’m convinced I don’t want my family- especially my grandchildren- going anywhere near this unrestrained letch.

Bi-locations are simultaneous appearances of one person in more than one place at a time. While this is strictly an occult phenomenon reported by Aleister Crowley and a few spiritist monks, assorted cadre from the new mystics are testifying of this power, too.

Doctrine of Divination-[51] aka Word of Knowledge, Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues: There shall not be found among you any one that . . . useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12; see also Ezekiel 13:6-7). Let me challenge you dear friend. Using Scripture only, prepare a Bible based report entitled: “The Word of Knowledge as Found in Scripture.” I am convinced not one report will bear any resemblance to the psychic hocus pocus you see over the air waves today which is nothing less than the rewards of divination (Num. 22:7) that was lifted from Branham, re-packaged under a nebulous term word of knowledge and delivered to a willing group of people who don’t know any better. Again ignorance propels cults.

Necromancy-Speaking to the Dead: And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead (Isaiah 8:19)? Many of today’s prophets and evangelists claim to receive instruction and blessing from the dead. The spiritually perverse John Crowder hosts a short video clip releasing impartations from the grave site of heretic healer John Alexander Dowie. Benny Hinn, another necromancer claims:

“I’ve walked in the supernatural world. I’ve seen things you would never be able to understand…I’ve had individuals appear to me in my room. Not only angels” (HONOLULU CRUSADE Feb. 28, 1997). Hinn relates another vision he had “I saw myself walk into a room and there stood Kathryn Kuhlman. And I’ve not seen Kathryn in a dream or a vision [in] years. I knew she had died and it was on the news that same morning. … And there she was standing in this room… And she said, ‘Follow me.’ … And I followed her to a second room. In that second room stood the lord. When the lord, uh-when-when I saw the lord, Kathryn disappeared. She was just gone … And now the lord looked at me and said, ‘Follow me.’ And I followed him to a third room.”[52]

Angelic visitations: Latter Rain proponents like their New Age brethren, boast of making contact with angels: Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind (Col 2:18). Occultist Branham used them as a mainstay in his “ministry.” Today testimonies of alleged angel meetings can be found everywhere. Bob Jones claims it was an angel named Emma [53] that revealed the plan for the KCPs. Bentley alleges conversing with the same angel before launching the Lakeland “revival.”

Soaking: sitting in the presence of an esteemed teacher or Charismatic leader and drinking in his glory. Todd Bentley used this term frequently when speaking of his relationship to Bob Jones. Perhaps he soaked up too much since he soon followed his mentor headlong into unrepentant fornication.

Gold teeth, gold dust and oozing oil: Heresy often finds it’s greatest expression in greed. Joshua Mills reportedly receives a regular sprinkling of gold dust and occasional gold teeth along with oil oozing from his hands when the spirit comes upon him. The only gold dust reference is the powder Israel was made to drink after their bout with the idolatry and the golden calf.

Impartations: This was an EW Kenyon and William Branham practice. When occult shamans impart or transfer evil spirits, they do so by laying on of hands. Latter Rain also use the same means to transfer what they term as the anointing, gift, or blessing onto another. However, if you are paying attention to what is going on, the insanity that results from it is not Spirit led at all.

Spirit manifestations: If you know the Jesus of the Bible, you will understand the absurdity of what Charismatics are involved with today. Being “slain in the spirit” (which I once considered and now have rejected) may have been revitalized by the heresies of Kathryn Kuhlman. [54] It requires “catchers and coverers,”[55] and is often accompanied by uncontrollable laughter and staggering served up by Holy Ghost bartenders, [56] and accompanied by writhing, flinching, barking, clucking, and other screaming noises that remind us of some pathetic soul fed through a door; all revered and coveted by Pentecostals as evidences of the Spirit. But what spirit are they receiving? I believe the spirit of disobedience (Eph. 2:2) sent by Satan to seduce them. In my opinion, and I’m not alone here, “stupidity” and “nonsense” aren’t strong enough words to describe this mayhem.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

The Leaven of Deception

The Laodicean Church (Rev. 3:14-21) is not in revival! It is a Christless, covetous, confident, and self deluded seductress. As if sitting on top of the world, she is pictured as the drunken Babylonian harlot in Revelation 17 who has no concern for souls, her own apostate condition, or the fact she is about to be destroyed by Antichrist (Rev. 17:16).

Still, some well meaning brethren want to know why we expose these manifestations and practices rather than merely looking the other way. Our answer is from Scripture and becomes evident as you study the disgusting progress of the Charismatic Latter Rain movements: 1 Corinthians 5:6  Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? What began with noble sounding spiritual goals has over time become overtly occultic. As I have pointed out in this booklet, Later Rain Charismatics are not only employing Eastern mysticism into “ministry” they are at long last convincing the naïve we are actually gods equal in every way to Christ (anointed). Please read Matt. 24:4-5, 11, 24 carefully regarding deceivers claiming to be equal to Christ. These are not times of revival; they are times of rebellion aka apostasy. Please consider this passage carefully and if you need more help, please write:

                And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

[1] Please bear in mind that Dr. Wagner isn’t merely some disenfranchised devotee of the devil. He is head of the Latter Rain group New Apostolic Reformation and a well respected professor from Fuller Seminary specializing in Charismatic centered church growth with dozens of books currently circulating the globe infecting the church with this occult laden seed.

[2] http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/vine/vineyard.htm

[3] We have an expose booklet entitled: Speaking in Tongues- The Core of Corinthian Christianity

[4] Packaged as words of knowledge, interpretation of tongues, and prophecies so called, these manifestations are actually nothing more than the pagan Canaanite witchcraft, forbidden by God (Deut. 18:10; 2 Kings 17:17; etc).

[5] They call this unbiblical nonsense being “slain in the Spirit.” Since you only fall at the feet of someone you worship- Christ, I believe this to be a coy ploy of Satan in an effort to give worship to men.

[6] All the major “revivals” like Kansas City, Toronto, Brownsville, Lakeland and others reported this.

[7] For further discussion, please write for our booklet: The Latter Rain and the Manifest Sons of God Heresy.

[8] Write for our flyer entitled Doctrines of Devils where we expose them.

[9] Open your Bible and study for yourself. What passes itself off as a heightened spiritual experience can’t be found anywhere in Scripture.

[10] A known heretic named Montanus was employing some of these same gimmicks and was sternly rebuked and rejected.

[11] G. Campbell Morgan described the Azusa Street activities as                 “the last vomit of Satan.” R.A. Torrey declared that this new Pentecostal movement was “emphatically not of God, and founded by a Sodomite.”   H. A. Ironside said in 1912 AD both the holiness and Pentecostal movements were           “disgusting . . . delusions and insanities. Pandemonium’s where exhibitions worthy of a madhouse or a collection of howling dervishes (were causing a) heavy toll of lunacy and infidelity.” Clarence Larkin wrote: “But the conduct of those possessed, in which they fall to the ground and writhe in contortions, causing disarrangement’s of the clothing and disgraceful scenes, is more a characteristic of demon possession, than a work of the Holy Spirit. From what has been said we see that we are living in “Perilous Times,” and that all about us are “Seducing Spirits,” and that they will become more active as the Dispensation draws to its close, and that we must exert the greatest care lest we be led astray.”  From Dr. Mike’s expose: The New Age Charismatic Seed of Corruption.

[12] When several of Benny Hinn’s false prophecies were proven to be lies, TBN founder Paul Crouch angrily charged the TV cameras with a clenched fist cursing all who dared to expose Hinn while assigning them to the fiery pits of eternal Hell.

[13] In its simplest form, if you attended worship service the past Lord’s Day without taking a sacrificial Lamb with you, you are a dispensationalist.

[14] We have not considered every miracle including those performed as signs by Elijah and Elisha who called Israel out of Baal worship during Ahab’s infamous reign.

[15] A full expose including names is available in Dr. Mike’s booklet: LAST DAYS False Prophets.

[16] The Old Scofield Study Bible discusses 7 separate dispensations.

[17] We believe the last days began in the time of Christ and will continue through the Millennium.

[18] If signs and wonders were valid for today, this event including fire, wind, and the ability to speak in a foreign language would be repeated every time a new soul was saved, or received “spirit baptism” wrongly so called.

[19] This is one reason the signs and wonders crowd has been so eager to re-invent apostles and prophets today. Please send for our booklet: Apostles Today?

[20] There are no modern day prophets or apostles so called that possess these gifts. Most all of the “Christian” channels featuring these deceivers (all with a success rate of less than 30%) seem more devoted to unity than truth. Healing hucksters like Hagin and Roberts both died after failing to heal themselves. One can only imagine the fate awaiting Benny Hinn whose clown like capers boast of thousands of healings annually with little or no substantive proof being offered for any of them.

[21] Now that the Word is complete, why would sign gifts be necessary? The gift of healing– not God’s ability to heal- doesn’t exist and neither do prophets who predict the future with 100% accuracy. Paul, who previously could heal, was ultimately rendered incapable of healing: himself (2 Cor. 12:8); Trophimus (1 Tim. 5:23); and Timothy (2 Tim. 4:2).  Today God’s real prophets don’t fore-tell the future. They forth-tell what Scripture predicts about the future.

[22] Bentley received his “impartation” from a well known sexual deviate and former Kansas City Prophet named Bob Jones. Both of these misfits claim to take regular excursions to heaven and share the company of a “teaching spirit” named Emma. You think demonism isn’t in the church?

[23] Anything with Jesus’ name on it today is passed off as Christian. Read Matt. 7 and 24 again!

[24] There is the spirit of truth and the spirit of error and we must be able to discern between them (1 John 4:1-6). While truth sets us free (John 8:32), rejecting it invites deception and ultimate bondage to Antichrist (2 Thess. 2:10-11).

[25] The Holiness Pentecostal Movement in the United States’ by Vinson Synan. Grand Rapids. 1971.

[26] Dictionary of P & C Movements.

[27] Pentecostal’s father Charles Parham lost all credibility when arrested in Texas in 1907 and charged with sodomy.

[28] Write for info on Occultist William Branham.

[29] For more info, write for our tract on the Heresies of Kenneth Copeland.

[30] By Mark Dinsmore, copied from http://www.thebereancall.org/node/2682

[31] Adapted and or copied from Christine A. Narloch- http://earnestlycontend.com/CP.htm

[32] Todd Bentley from the Lakeland “revival” gave rebirth to this heresy which caused hundreds of pastors to fall under the power of his errors. Bob Jones who fell to sexual sin imparted to Todd Bentley who later fell under the same sin. Impartation works for evil.

[33] Some of his greatest admirers include Paul Cain, Paul Crouch, Marilyn Hickey, Earl Paulk, Oral Roberts, the late Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Rodney Howard Brown, Benny Hinn etc. More info on all these people free by googling them.

[34] He taught virtually every denomination was anti-Christ and unless you accepted his teachings you could not be a member of the Body of Christ.

[35] TD Jakes, and Tommy Tenney both deny the trinity.

[36] William Branham, Footprints on the Sands of Time: The autobiography of William Branham, Part Two (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, 1975), pp. 627, 629, 643, 648

[37] The practice of supernaturally hearing audible voices

[38] You may write PMI for The Truth About Arnold Murray.

[39] Prophetic imposter Bob Jones (KCP) and his protégé Todd Bentley have similar experiences with an angel named Emma that sounds like this demon.

[40] Kundalini info copied-adapted from http://twistedcrownofthorns.com/2010/06/24/has-a-kundalini-spirit-infiltrated-christianity/

[41] Pro-death abortionists used this trickery by labeling the act of killing the unborn as a woman’s right to choose, and those who stood for life as anti-choice.

[42] According to The Free Dictionary, mystic means: relating to religious mysteries or occult rites and practices and yet this is how Charismatics like Patricia King are describing the new breed now leading the church in the 3rd Wave.

[43] Part of their ostentatious misuse of Acts 2:13 and Eph. 5:18. Doesn’t God’s Word command that we be sober (2 Corinthians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6,8; Titus 2:2,4,6; 1 Peter 1:13; 5:8)?

[44] Scripture teaches us it is the disobedient that stagger like drunkards, not the Spirit filled (Job 12:25). We are to remain alert and sober unto the coming of the Lord (1 Thess. 5:6, 8; 1 Tim. 3:2; 1 Pet. 1:13).

[45] Some have compared this occult odyssey with both Branham and Jones.

[46] She reported this on a Southwest Radio Church broadcast Sept. 22, 2008.

[47] This is called Shamanism. The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, with whom he or she communicates, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. (Dean Edwards, Shamanism-General Overview-Preface, 1997, originally available at http://www.webcom.com/gspirit/Shaman/so.shamanism.html)

[48] King, an admitted ex-witch hosts a television program that seeks to make occult practices acceptable and desirable to Christians.

[49] Satan disguises himself as an angel of  light (2 Cor. 11:14).

[50] He suggested women get naked before him in order to receive a word from the Lord through him. He was later called out for this, then reinstated by the John Wimber of Vineyard fame.

[51] Webster and Smith’s Dictionary both declare divination “the act of  . . . foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means.”

[52] http://www.letusreason.org/Pent.28.htm

[53] Equated to Imma, the far eastern mythical goddess, perhaps the Sumerian sex goddess angel. No wonder Jones and Bentley fell under her direction, eh?

[54] Benny Hinn’s admitted mentor.

[55] Nowhere in Scripture do we see anyone acting like these people do. Nowhere.

[56] A name attributed to “evangelist” Rodney-Howard-Browne.

Wicca

October 16, 2016 Leave a comment

This information isn’t for everyone. It is only for those with ears to hear. In all honesty, as I prepared this tract, I also prayed that you will be among those that will listen. I really hope you will.

While there are some today claiming Wiccans can be Christians—and vice versa—a brief study proves the absurdity of such a statement. In case you aren’t familiar with this group, Wicca is a nature-based religion—recognized by the IRS—that is synonymous with witchcraft, sorcery, and black or white magic. Interestingly, while witchcraft in any form is Satanic, Wiccans do not see themselves as Satan worshipers. In fact, many do not believe in the devil, demons, hell, evil or sin for that matter. Nevertheless, their background and beliefs reveal the rottenness of their roots.

Occult Roots

The history of witchcraft is vague since much of it must be gleaned from oral accounts. However, Wicca was popularized by a British archaeologist by the name of Gerald Gardner (1884-1964) who learned the secrets of the occult during a trip to Asia in the late 1930’s. After returning to England he joined the Rosicrucians where he met a practicing witch named Dorothy Clutterbuck who initiated him into witchcraft. From there, Gardner who by this time had become entrenched in the teachings of Satanist Aleister Crowley, went on to write a Wiccan handbook (Witchcraft Today) extolling the virtues of the witchcraft practices he feared were vanishing. Gardner maintained that the craft itself was a modern offshoot of the ancient religion which had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian paganism of Europe. Ripley’s Believe it or Not later published some of his papers proving that his amalgamation of Asian mysticism with Western magic (centering on the Mother-Goddess) together formed the foundation for the occult system we know today as Wicca.

Witchcraft in the Bible

God’s Word describes the vile practices associated with witchcraft interwoven into cultures as far back as the Canaanites. History tells us they were idolaters that worshipped nature as the Queen of Heaven (Jer. 7:18; 44:17-25), and practiced abortion, infanticide, astrology, séances, and held a peculiar fascination with the dead. God warned His people: There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Centuries later these occult practices continued to cast their sinister spell upon God’s people by way of the Greek goddess Artemis, and Diana of the Romans. A look at the Wiccan doctrines all trace their origin to these putrid practices.

Wiccan Doctrines

Wiccan teachings follow Biblical witchcraft in the purest sense. They are comprised of mystic, magic, Celtic or Norse paganism, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman goddess worship—including sexual ritualism—Eastern Shamanism, and Hinduism. All of these groups worship nature and covet universal peace through Mother Earth (also known as Gaia, the name of a pagan goddess given to Earth).

These practices also parallel the various New Age Religions supported by the United Nations and many of it’s members, NGO’s and leaders. Part and parcel to Wiccan worship are occult divination techniques such as tarot cards, astrology, runes, the I Ching (from Chinese Taoism), clairvoyant or psychic readings, candle magic (spelled magick by occultists) and other dark practices strongly encouraged by most of their groups.

Here’s a partial list of their beliefs.

Truth: The truth driving Wiccan belief is that there is no absolute truth. All paths are right if they meet individual needs. What’s true for you may not be true or right for me, so take your pick from the list of choices. This is another circular response without validity. The statement that there is no truth is a truth! Furthermore, in order for pagans to believe that Christians are wrong, they must have some foundation of empirical authority whereby they measure error.

Sexuality and women’s issues: Wiccans are staunch supporters of female supremacy, including sexual “freedom” with homosexuality, polyamory, non-monogamy, sexual activity by teens), abortion, and the abolition of Christianity from public life. In recent years they’ve used their legal attack dogs (ACLU, etc) to file lawsuits demanding the removal of “In God We Trust”, student-initiated prayer, the Ten Commandments, and all Christian symbols found in city and county seals including manger scenes and crosses. They would also like to expel these from our nation’s capitol except that the wise Founders had them carved in stone. Still, Wiccan holidays like Halloween, Winter Solstice, Earth Day, and other observances have turned our public classrooms into centers of occult indoctrination.

Personal deity: Wiccans believe that everyone possesses an inner goddess divinity with a spiritual path to follow. The great sin is not knowing this (essential to Hinduism and New Ageism). All are encouraged to discover and develop their natural gifts for divination or occult magic. Divine forces or nature spirits are invoked in occult rituals. The goddess, as either a symbol or a real entity, is revered as the ultimate focus of worship.

Earth worship: Nature and the earth are sacred manifestations of the goddess. Peace cannot exist while man is out of sync with Mother Earth. Rituals and celebrations are linked to the seasons and moon phases intended to bring about cosmic a consciousness. This requires the use of meditation, visualization, spirit invocation, chanting, burning candles and special sex rituals in order to tap into the mystical and usher in cosmic harmony not achievable in any other way.

Serpentism: Similar to Hinduism, the serpent is believed by Wiccans to be a symbol of eternal life and female spiritual awakening or power.

Yoga: In Hinduism, yoga and meditation results in enlightenment from awakening the kundalini, or power known as the serpent power believed to be coiled at the base of the spine.

Symbols used in witchcraft are:

Pentagrams and pentacles: A 5-pointed star used for protection, spells, conjuring, etc.

The Ankh: Egyptian cross-like symbol with a loop at the top associated with the worship of Isis.

The Crescent Moon: A symbol of the Goddess also used in Islam.

Crystals: Also used by many other new age cults, crystals are believed to contain healing and spiritual properties.

Bible Answers to Wicca

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not (John 1:1-3, 10).

Pride alone causes man to reject God. The pattern is given us in the 5 great I wills of Lucifer (Isa. 14:12-14). Whenever truth is rejected, error assumes its place. By refusing to accept God’s right to control us, men and women scramble for another answer (read Romans 1:18-32) and since Creation is visible, it makes a perfect deity to worship.

Witnessing to Wiccans

Wiccan witches often defend their position with 3 claims. First, that their religion is harmless. Second, that the term “witchcraft” should actually be sorcery, or divination and only those who practice these two are condemned by Scripture. Third, that sorcery is black magic used for evil, and that Wiccans only practice white magic, or magic for good.

My friend, the Bible speaks plainly that their religion is not harmless, is indeed condemned, and in doing so makes no distinction between good or bad magic. All sorcery comes from the same diabolical source and is abhorred by God:

(Ex. 22:18; Lev. 19:26,31, 20:6,27; 1 Sam. 15:23a; 2 Kings 23:24; I Chron. 10:13; Is. 2:6, 8:19-20, 47:13-14; Ezek. 13:20-23; Dan. 2:27-28, 5:15-17; Acts 13:7-10a, 16:16-18; Gal. 5:19-20; Rev. 22:15).

Salvation and Forgiveness

                 A favorite verse among Christians is one many of us memorized as children: For God so loved the (Wiccans) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). This precious verse means little to Wiccans since they claim not to recognize personal sinfulness or a universal need of forgiveness. They argue that man achieves his own salvation through knowledge (enlightenment) and a series of re-incarnations, and in time will save himself.

The Word of God tells us something quite different. It reveals that: None are righteous, no not one. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes (excerpted from Romans 3:10-18).

The Bible doesn’t play favorites. It tells us we are all plagued by sin and have all fallen short of God’s expectations (Rom. 3:23). Our sins have separated us from God (Isaiah 59:2), and death passed upon all men, for all have sinned (Rom. 5:12). Unless (we) repent (we) shall all like perish (Luke 13:3, 5) in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Rev. 20:15; Matt. 25:41).

A Deep Longing for Truth

In the midst of our innate depravity, the Bible tells us God loves us beyond our comprehension and created us—Wiccans included—with a desire deep within our hearts to connect with His truth (Ecc. 3:11). Until we do, we search like ravenous rogues, wandering from  place to place, religion to religion, looking for peace while churning like a raging sea Isa. 57:20).

Dear one, the search for ultimate truth ends in Christ. The Lord Jesus said: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 8:32; 14:6).

Only Jesus can provide the peace we all long for, search for, yet never find apart from Him. You see, He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14). The Lord Jesus calls to those with ears to hear: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30).

This is Your Moment

It is no mistake that you picked up this tract and read it. But my question is: do you have the ears to hear? It doesn’t matter what you have done, or who you have worshipped. God the Father sent Jesus Christ, His Only begotten Son, to shed His blood, suffer, and die for your sins. He was buried and rose from the dead proving He alone is the Way to God. In light of that, the Bible promises: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10). 

Please listen. The Lord loves you and He is calling your name at this very moment. Would you pray with me right now?

Lord Jesus, I now know that You are not only the Son of God, but You are God the Son. I am a sinner Lord, and I hate the way I’ve been living and where I am going when I die. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me Lord Jesus and please come into my heart and live Your life through me. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord and I believe that when I die I will go to Heaven to be with You. In Your precious Name, Lord Jesus, amen!

 

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