Tuesday, December 23, 2008

OCCULT HEALING BUILDS THE WORLD'S LARGEST CHURCH: THE INFLUENCE OF PAUL YONGGI CHO


In the course of reading a veritable pile of recent books on a range of charismatic practices including house groups, prophesying and healing, this writer has noticed that many of the advocates of these things have been powerfully impressed by the work of Paul Yonggi Cho, pastor of the largest church in the world, the Full Gospel Central Church in Seoul, Korea. They simply cannot keep quiet about him. Even as one reads the books the size of the congregation goes up; it is growing that fast! If a book was published at the beginning of the 1980s the author tells us that the largest church in the world has 150,000 members and over 100 assistant pastors. The latest books speak of 500,000 members. The church claims 17,000 new members a month, and many Western evangelicals are so overawed by this information that they just cannot wait to start experimenting with Yonggi Cho methods.

American healer John Wimber is such a case. Before turning to charismatic healing he traveled round churches giving lectures on church growth. As he studied this subject he became increasingly depressed by the seeming ineffectiveness of Western evangelism by comparison with the phenomenal growth experienced by charismatic churches in Third World countries. He was particularly impressed by the claim that an estimated 70% of all church growth worldwide is achieved by charismatics. The extraordinary growth of Paul Yonggi Cho's church caught his attention, and he tells us so. Wimber realized that the growth of this church rested on its ministry of signs and wonders such as the casting out of demons and dramatic healings, and he concluded that Western Christians were experiencing blunted evangelism because they were afraid of living and ministering in such an atmosphere of spiritual power.

He tells us, "Through the reports of signs and wonders from Third World students and missionaries, and through a greater understanding of how Western materialism undermines Christians' acceptance of the supernatural, I had begun to open my heart to the Holy Spirit. I wondered, were signs and wonders and church growth like those experienced in Third World countries possible in the United States? I would have to become a pastor again to find out."

John Wimber's enthusiasm for Dr. Paul Yonggi Cho's work is expressed in the course notes of his Signs and Wonders and Church Growth seminars: "Full Gospel Central Church is growing fast because of an emphasis on healing. When Yonggi Cho prays for the sick in the Sunday service, many people are healed... After they are healed by God, they become Christians and good evangelists... this is the secret of church growth of FGCC."

While Paul Yonggi Cho certainly cannot be regarded as the father of the new healing extreme, the extraordinary expansion of his church has caused numerous impressionable pastors and church leaders to fall at his feet as dead. Because of the influence his "success" has had over so many, and also because his methods broadly typify those employed by other mega-churches in Latin America, it is obviously important to become familiar with these methods. Paul Cho's best-known book The Fourth Dimension reveals his theology, which marks a radical departure from historic Christianity.

Pastor Cho tells us how he learned to pray. When he began to pastor his church in Seoul he was very poor and living in one room. Then he wondered what he was doing trying to work without a bed, a desk and chair, or any means of transport, and he began to pray to God for these things to be supplied. He prayed very much for a desk, chair and bicycle, but after six months he was still lacking all three and became very discouraged.

He tells us:
"Then I sat down and began to cry. Suddenly I felt a serenity, a feeling of tranquility came into my soul. Whenever I have that kind of feeling, a sense of the presence of God, He always speaks: so I waited. Then that still, small voice welled up in my soul, and the Spirit said, 'My son, I heard your prayer a long time ago.'
"Right away I blurted out, 'Then, where are my desk, chair and bicycle?'
"The Spirit then said, 'Yes, that is the trouble with you and with all My children. They beg Me, demanding every kind of request, but they ask in such vague terms that I can't answer. Don't you know that there are dozens of desks, chairs and bicycles? But you've simply asked Me for a desk, chair and bicycle. You never ordered a specific desk, chair and bicycle.'

"That was the turning point in my life... "

Yonggi Cho tells us how he then began to specify the size of the desk (which was to be made of Philippine mahogany), and the kind of chair (one made with an iron frame, with rollers on the tips, so that when he sat on it he could push himself around "like a big shot"). He thought long and hard about the kind of bicycle he wanted before settling for the ideal type and praying, "Father, I want to have a bicycle made in the USA, with gears on the side...."

He then tells us how he prayed for his needs: "I ordered these things in such articulate terms that God could not make a mistake in delivering them. Then I felt faith flowing up... that night I slept like a baby."

Paul Cho says that the Lord never welcomes vague prayers. Taking the incident of the healing of blind Bartimaeus he seizes on the fact that Jesus asked this obviously blind man, "What do you want Me to do for you?" as a proof that God insists on our making very specific requests. Until Bartimaeus was specific, Jesus did not heal him. At first glimpse, this idea of highly specific praying may not seem to be the greatest error in the world, but Paul Cho goes on to teach that the believer gets these specific requests supplied by visualizing them and then bringing them into existence by faith!


It is vital to see this because here is the point at which charismatic development leaves Christianity and crosses into the territory of paganism. Ideas like this are the inspiration of the largest church in the world, imitated by so many Western charismatics. Note the following example given by Paul Yonggi Cho.

While fulfilling a preaching engagement in another church he was asked by the pastor if he would pray for a spinster over thirty years of age who longed to get married but had so far not found a prospective husband. Pastor Cho asked her how long she had been praying for a husband, and she replied that it had been more than ten years. He then said, "Why hasn't God answered your prayer for these more than ten years? What kind of husband have you been asking for?" She shrugged her shoulders and replied, "Well, that is up to God. God knows all."

Cho responded with these words: "That is your mistake. God never works by Himself, but only through you. God is the eternal source, but He only works through your requests. Do you really want me to pray for you?" Calling her to sit down with paper and pencil, he proceeded to ask a series of questions:
"If you write down the answers to my questions then I'll pray for you. Number one, now, you really want a husband, but what kind of husband do you want--Asian, Caucasian, or Black?"
"Caucasian."
"Okay, write it down. Number two: do you want your husband to be as tall as six feet, or as small as five feet?"
"Oh, I want to have a tall husband."
"Write that down. Number three: do you want your husband to be slim and nice looking, or just pleasantly plump?"
"I want to have him skinny."
"Write down skinny. Number four: what kind of hobby do you want your husband to have?"
"Well, musical."
"Okay, write down musical. Number five: what kind of job do you want your husband to have?"
"Schoolteacher."
"Close your eyes. Can you see your husband now?"
"Yes, I can see him clearly."
"Okay. Let's order him now. Until you see your husband clearly in your imagination you can't order, because God will never answer. You must see him clearly before you begin to pray."

Pastor Cho then laid hands on the young woman and prayed, saying, "O God, now she knows her husband. We order him in the name of Jesus Christ." He then instructed her to paste the specifications for a husband on a mirror at home, read them night and morning and praise God for the inevitable answer. He teaches the need for a vivid mental picture coupled with a burning desire and a firm conviction that the goal is already accomplished.

Dr. Cho calls this process: visualizing the goal, then incubating it into reality by strength of faith--or would it be will- power? He teaches that believers may order up wealth and success; anything they want as long as it is moral. The key to getting these things is the art of fantasying them, because God cannot bring them into being unless the individual incubates the image. Certainly, Dr. Cho "tidies up" his teaching by saying that people should first pray to God for what He wants them to have before fantasying and incubating these things into reality. But in most of his many examples (like that of the unmarried woman) he dispenses with the need to refer to God for guidance on the details.

Though he attempts to give some biblical justification for his ideas, he tells us that he obtained them in the first place because God communicated them directly to him.


This is his own explanation of how he arrived at his teaching on incubating prayer answers and healing diseases. He tells us that he was driven to finding an explanation of how Buddhist monks in Korea managed to perform better miracles than those which his own Pentecostalist churches could perform. It worried him greatly that many Koreans got healing through yoga meditation, and through attending meetings of the Soka Gakki, a Japanese Buddhist sect with twenty million members.
According to Cho, many deaf, dumb, and blind people had recovered their faculties through these religious groups.

Cho was very jealous of the success which these other religions had in attracting followers. He wrote: "While Christianity has been in Japan for more than a hundred years, with only half a percent of the population claiming to be Christians, Soka Gakki has millions of followers... Without seeing miracles, people cannot be satisfied that God is powerful. It is you [Christians] who are responsible to supply miracles for these people."

Other Korean Pentecostal pastors were also very troubled by these pagan healings because ordinary church members constantly assailed them for an explanation. So, an anxious Paul Yonggi Cho fasted and prayed, looking to God for an explanation. It is noteworthy that in his account of his quest for a solution he makes no mention of looking in the Bible. "Suddenly," he tells us, "a glorious revelation came to my heart... explanations as clear as a sunny day" [The Fourth Dimension, p. 37]. Dr. Cho claims that God spoke to him describing the material world as belonging to the third dimension. In the beginning this three-dimensional world was chaotic, being without form and void, but the Spirit of the Lord (Who is said to dwell in the fourth dimension) brooded over it, visualizing and incubating into existence a new order containing beauty, cleanliness, abundance and above all--life.

Then God told Dr. Cho that because all human beings are spiritual beings (as well as physical beings) they have the fourth dimension in their hearts, and by developing the art of concentrating visions and dreams in their imaginations, they can influence and change the third dimension (material things) just as the Holy Spirit did when He brooded over the primeval earth. According to Cho, God told him that Buddhist and yoga adherents worked "miracle" cures because they explored and developed their human four-dimensional power, imagining mental pictures of health and willing then into their bodies. God told him that all human beings had the power to exercise legitimate dominion over the material world through this fourth-dimensional activity.

Cho claims that the Holy Spirit said to him, "Look at the Soka Gakkai. They belong to Satan... and with the evil fourth dimension they carry out dominion over their bodies and circumstances." Then God told him that Christians should link their fourth-dimensional spiritual power to God the Creator to have even greater control over circumstances than the Soka Gakkai. He concluded: "Soka Gakkai has applied the law of the fourth dimension and has performed miracles; but in Christianity there is only talk about theology and faith!"

Dr. Cho says that when Paul spoke of the "inner man," he was actually referring to his fourth-dimensional power to visualize things and incubate them into life. (He does not explain why Paul fails to say one word about this himself, nor why Christendom has had to wait 2,000 years before this should be revealed through a personal revelation from God to Dr. Cho.) Paul Yonggi Cho's teaching is a system of mind over matter (or rather, imagination over matter).

He frankly admits that it is a "Christianized" version of precisely the same methods practiced by Buddhists, exponents of yoga, and the followers of other pagan, mystical and occult systems. The only difference is that their fourth-dimensional power receives co-operation from the devil, while that of Christians supposedly receives help from the Holy Spirit. He says that so long as we keep our minds from foolish and wrong ideas, we shall keep the canvas of our imagination clean for the Holy Spirit to paint on it the things we are to have. In other words, direct guidance from God will come right into our minds.

Once we receive this direct communication--which is literally God's will for what we may have and do--then we must activate it by the power of our fantasying and dreaming. Dr. Cho sums it up saying--"Your success or failure depends upon your fourth-dimensional thinking: visions and dreams. We see this principle in operation from the very beginning of Scripture."

Abraham is claimed as an example of this process. "How did a one-hundred-year-old man become the father of so many?" asks Paul Cho. "He used fourth-dimensional thinking. He was full of visions and dreams. He learned to incubate in faith... By looking out in every direction, he filled his imagination in a concrete way with God's promise. He was not told to close his eyes when God spoke to him. He was to look at something concrete and substantive... So God expects us also to be active in the incubation of our faith by visualizing the final results of His promise."

Dr. Cho makes the astonishing assertion that God showed this visualization and incubation technique to Jacob in order that he could get enrichment from his uncle, Laban. When Jacob caused the vigorous sheep to pass between the "speckled" rods of poplar, hazel and chestnut, he would stand staring at them, visualizing spotted and speckled offspring. By visualizing the desired objective, Jacob activated the Holy Spirit, Who--"punched the proper keys for the necessary genes" (Dr. Cho's words), so that Jacob's cattle began to give birth to spotted and speckled offspring.

Dr. Cho says that his massive church grew to its present size and continues to grow because he follows this principle of visualization. He first imagines his church growing to a certain figure, and he then visualizes all the faces and incubates the vision into reality. Similarly, when he seeks the expansion of his television ministry, he imagines it being aired throughout Korea, Japan, the United States, and Canada. He pins up maps of these countries in his office and he the develops a mental vision of the transmitters beaming the programs.

He informs us that Sarah, like Abraham, had to visualize he child into existence. Yonggi Cho notes that at first she laughed at the idea that God would make her a mother at the age of ninety, but soon, he asserts, she got down to visualizing the return of her youth. Where do we read in the Bible that she began to visualize the return of her youth? The answer is--nowhere, but as every other assertion of extreme charismatic writers like Paul Yonggi Cho, the most amazing things are "read into" the Scripture. Thoughts and actions are constantly attributed to biblical characters about which the sacred narrative says nothing.

Dr. Cho has his own version of events when he tells us that as Sarah dwelt upon the promise of God a physical change soon began to take place in her body, with the result that King Abimelech found the old woman so attractive that he tried to take her as his concubine. Cho concludes--"If a woman begins to think of herself as attractive, she can be. Not only will physical changes take place, but her self-image will change..."

Healing may be accomplished by precisely the same technique, and Pastor Cho tells the story of a man who was knocked down and terribly injured by a taxi while doing his Christmas shopping. When the pastor got the hospital, the man was unconscious and was not expected to survive the night. Believing that fourth-dimensional visualizing was vital to his recovery, Cho prayed that the man be given five minutes of consciousness. Immediately the man recovered consciousness and Cho began to speak to him, saying, "I know you are thinking... you are already envisioning death.

But God wants you to participate in the miracle that is going to take place. The reason you have regained you consciousness is that God wants to use your fourth-dimensional power and begin to paint a new portrait upon the canvas of your heart. I want you to start painting a new picture of yourself in your imagination. You are on the way home and no accident has taken place. You knock on the door and your lovely wife answers. She looks very pretty. On Christmas day she opens up her present and you feel so proud you have such good taste.

"The next morning you wake up and have a good breakfast with your family. In other words, you are erasing death from your mind and you're painting a picture of happiness... You leave the praying to me! I will pray in faith and you agree with me! I just ask your ability to dream and see your health and happiness!"

This was the way the man was taught to incubate the image of health. We have to learn, says Cho, to always visualize the final result and in that way we can incubate what we want God to do for us. He claims that the moment the injured man stopped asking if God was going to heal him, the bed began to shake and God performed a miracle.

Paul Yonggi Cho teaches that all Christians should aim to prosper in body, soul and spirit, and their success and failure in this is due entirely to their success or failure in visualizing. He writes that his church members have so proved these principles of success that there have been no bankruptcies in his church, and the membership has undertaken the largest and most expensive church-building program in all history.


However, one cannot always take Pastor Cho's claims very seriously, for elsewhere he writes of how his own bankruptcy was all but inevitable, and how he stood on the very verge of suicide through the near failure of his church-building project. In the end he was only saved by church members taking such sympathetic action that many sold their homes and most precious possessions to bail him out.

Needless to say, when we come to the Bible we cannot find any of these instructions or ideas. We look in vain for any advice about visualizing, incubating, imagining, or any other technique of sorcery or will-power designed to dominate God and to take away His sovereignty over the lives of His people. In the Bible we find that even an apostle like Paul is obliged to ask God in a humble, dependent way if he might be enabled to visit the people of a certain church--subject to the will of God.

The Apostle Paul, judged in the light of Paul Cho's books, was a dismal failure because he knew what it felt like to be abased, to endure hardship, and to encounter many, many difficulties. So often events did not turn out according to his wish or endeavor as a servant of Christ. Paul evidently made the mistake of neg ative thinking--accepting trials and tribulations. Overall he failed miserably in the use of his fourth-dimensional powers, never proving successful at fantasying or willing anything into existence.

To get God's guidance or blessing, Dr. Cho teaches that we must ask the Lord to reveal His will by putting a desire for the intended thing into our heart. Then God must be asked to give a sign to confirm that the "desire" is from Him. (This sign might amount to anything! A small coincidence will do.) Then, if we have peace about the desired thing we should "jump up and go... miracle after miracle will follow you... constantly train yourself to think in terms of miracles."

Absolute confidence in ideas which spring into the mind as "desires" is a characteristic of Dr. Cho. Faith, according to his teaching, is not merely trusting that God will do those things which He has promised to do in His Word. Faith is redefined as having absolute trust in desires which come subjectively into one's mind, for these ideas or desires are assumed to be direct communications from God, and we must therefore develop unshakable confidence in them. If we take these ideas and imagine and incubate them into reality, then we are promised "miracles," and these should be our lifelong experience.

Paul Yonggi Cho soon added another stage to the process of visualizing and incubating miracles--"the creative power of the spoken word." He says that he would often see on his "mind screen" a kind of television picture of growths is appearing, cripples throwing away their crutches, and so on. Then, he claims, God said to him: "You can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your church... but nothing will happen--no soul will be saved, no broken home rejoined, until you speak the word. Don't just beg and beg for what you need. Give the word... "

Cho replied, "Lord, I'm sorry. I'll speak forth." Ever since that time whenever he has seen in his mind cripples healed or tumors disappearing, he has spoken out, saying, "Someone here is being healed of such and such," and he has named the disease. He claims that hundreds of people are healed every Sunday when he closes his eyes and calls out all the healings which he sees in his mind.

Interestingly, the vision or revelation which he claims led him to this technique is strikingly similar to that which is claimed (some years later) by John Wimber, an acknowledged admirer of Cho's ministry. Like all "healers," Dr. Cho is forced to acknowledge that not everyone is successfully healed by his word. He cannot claim the infallibility of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles. He admits to many bothersome failures, but he claims that these are always due to lack of faith on the part of the sufferer.

Dr. Cho expresses his disappointment that many Western people are bypassing Christianity and looking in Oriental temples for miraculous powers which he and others are now making available in Christian churches! He says, "Evangelical Christians are increasingly understanding how to use their imaginations by learning how to speak the language of the Holy Spirit--visions and dreams."

With all this in view we have no problem in identifying the strands which make up Paul Cho's new "synthesis" religion. The Korean people have an ancient religion called Sinkyo, which sees the world as a "religious arena inhabited by spirits." Tragedies, troubles and illnesses can be cured by the Mudany, a woman priest who can interact with the spirits. She is the local "medical priest," combining the roles of a medium and prophetess. She receives clairvoyant insights, goes into trances, casts out devils and cures diseases.

Korea has also for centuries been heavily influenced by Buddhism, particularly the form already mentioned which places great stress on healing and divining. It is taught that people do not need to be in bondage to their circumstances; they can, by right attitudes, by concentration, and by uniting with the eternal realm, get above suffering and sickness. The religious disposition of the Koreans is both harnessed and exploited by the "Christianity" of Paul Yonggi Cho in his blatant mix of sorcery, mind-over-matter, self-interest, Sinkyo, Japanese Buddhism and Christianity. But to mix pagan ideas and practices with the pure religion of Christ is condemned in Scripture as the heinous sin of idolatry. It is a marriage of Christianity and the occult, and is forbidden by God -- "What communion hath light with darkness?
And--What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"

What has built the largest church in the world?


The answer is, an idolatrous mixture of biblical teaching and pagan mind- techniques.God is deprived of His sovereignty in the believer's affairs, and the authority of Scripture is replaced by the authority of supposedly direct messages from God and the product of the imagination.

This is the kind of church which has moved hordes of impressionable Christian teachers the world over to jump on to the healing-prophesying bandwagon. We need to take very great care in these days.

Look at the books which charismatics and neo-evangelicals are writing today. They are commending these things. Look at healing advocates like John Wimber. They are deeply impressed by these things. These are the teachings which have captured their minds! This is the brand of Third World Christianity they are so anxious to emulate.


What are we to say to these things?


Remember the Judaizers!

By Peter Masters

DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES

BENNY HINN SAYS HE WANTS TO KILL HIS CRITICS

BENNY HINN CURSES HIS CRITICS

Sunday, June 22, 2008

MARK DRISCOLL SAYS THAT JOEL OSTEEN IS HIS CHRISTIAN BROTHER



"Who's the happiest christian preacher out there? I'll give you an example his name is Joel Osteen...He is my christian brother, I do believe that...And I'll tell you what doesn't bother me about the guy. It doesn't bother me that he's got a big church, it doesn't bother me that that he is on the radio, it doesn't bother me that he is on the tv it doesn't bother me that he publishes books, it doesn't even bother me that he is happy all the time because maybe his spiritual gift is encouragement."
(Mark Driscoll - "The Rebel's Guide to Joy")

Thursday, June 19, 2008

MARK DRISCOLL SAYS THAT JESUS LUSTED AFTER WOMEN


Mark Driscoll says that Jesus lusted after women and wanted to sleep with his female disciples.

"If you're tempted to these sorts of things -- including sexual sin -- some of you say, "Now Mark, Jesus wasn't sexually tempted." Well, of course he was -- 30 something year old single man who had women who adored him. You don't think he ever wanted the comfort of a woman? You don't think he ever got tired of going to bed by himself? You don't think that he didn't once want to have intimate relations with a woman? He was tempted."
(Mark Driscoll - “How Human was Jesus?”, October 15th 2006.)

"Could Jesus have Sinned?
While systematic theologians have spilled much ink on this point, the precise biblical answer is that we do not know. The Bible never addresses, much less answers, the question. Some will find this disturbing, but the Bible is clear that humility is the first requirement for a good theologian, so that we can be satisfied with what the God of the universe thinks we need to know."

(Mark Driscoll - "Vintage Jesus" - Could Jesus have sinned? - Page 52)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

MARK DRISCOLL


"In my own life, I occasionally receive prophetic dreams, where God tells me about people and circumstances in the future that ultimately come to pass just like God said. Occasionally, just a few occasions, I've had God audibly speak to me. As far as I know, I've never been visited by an angel. But I do, and we do believe, in these kinds of supernatural, miraculous ways that God specially reveals."
(Mark Driscoll - Christian Doctrine part 2 - What is Revelation?)

"I started praying to God, "God, I love Grace and I want to marry her. Should she be the girl that I should marry?" I'd never really considered God much in the equation prior to that. And God spoke to me audibly. He doesn't do that all the time. He said to marry Grace, plant churches, train men and preach the Bible. And so I called Grace and said, "Well, God said that we're supposed to get married."

(Mark Driscoll - Christian Doctrine series - Incarnation: God comes - Part 1)

"I was at Washington State when God told me to move back home, start up a family and plant a church in Seattle,"


"Dude, when God speaks to you, it's the sort of thing you're just not going to forget."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

BRANDAN KRAFT'S VIOLATION OF REVELATION 22:18-19


"We think the book of James is trash...I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James"
(Brandan Kraft - July 19th, 2007 (Kraft posted the following quote on his forum in a thread titled, "James Exposed." The remark was made in Brandan Kraft's first post on the very first page of the thread).


Brandan Kraft wrote:

"There are other topics in James that I also find questionable such as chapter 5. What is James' primary beef with rich people? It's almost like it has gnostic roots."

“Nicholas, it has [been] posted numerous times on here, I don't think anyone here resents anyone for embracing the book of James as "canonical." Yes it is in the canon, but reprobates put together the "Canon." The "canon" as everyone calls it is an invention of men. Usually, it's the supporters of the "canon" that resent the dissenters. They can't stand that we think the book of James is trash. I don't think there was any conflict here, and I agree, there is a lot of inspired writing out there that is not in the canon that in my opinion is authoritative. You'll even find some of it right on this website.
"


In the same post the heretic Brandan Kraft writes:

“I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James or from the account of his life found in the gospels and the books of Acts other than the fact that it simply reminds us that we will never be free of the leglizers until Jesus returns. We are experiencing the tribulation that began with "certain" followers of James. . . .”

(Brandan Kraft - July 19th, 2007 - "James Exposed.").

"To say James is authoritative because it's in the bible is about as dumb a statement that can be made because the BIBLE is not authoritative. The BIBLE is a COLLECTION of books that a group of men DECIDED was authoritative."

"I despise the book of James!"
(Brandan Kraft - Myspace profile)

What does God's word say about this heresy and hatreed towards his word?

Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Below is an excerpt from a short study or Revelation 22:18-19, the link to the full article is at the bottom of this page.



Already in Deuteronomy 4:2 God said, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you”.

God anticipated that the children of Israel would tamper with the Word of God. But Deuteronomy 4:2 is not as strongly worded as Revelation 22:18-19, because Deuteronomy 4:2 only concerns the commandments of God.

We also read in Proverbs 30:5-6 the equivalent of Revelation 22:18, where God says, “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar”.

And as you know, “all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone”.

What is the main problem with adding or taking away from the words of the Bible?

There Is No Fear of God Before Their Eyes (2 Peter 1:20-21, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)


In the second letter of Peter God addresses the problem of false teachers who quietly shall bring into the church damnable heresies.

Why will they do that?

It is because there is money to be made in those heresies, and moreover, “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.

2 Peter 1:20

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:21

For the 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.

Verse 20 says that we may not approach the Bible with our own interpretation. We may not come to our neighbor and say, “Whatever the Bible means to you is the truth for you”, for the next verse says that the words in the Bible are words from God. God spoke in old time through the mouths of holy men of God, and what they said and what they wrote are words that were given them by God the Holy Spirit.


Therefore we may not invent an interpretation that comes out of our own mind, or invent an interpretation that came from the culture of those days. It must be an interpretation that harmonizes with the remainder of the Word of God, for God cannot lie. And thus we must approach the Bible with awe and respect, and with fear and trembling, as if God was speaking to us personally.

A passage that is often quoted in support of 2 Peter 1:21 is 2 Timothy 3:16-17, where God says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”.

What it all boils down to is this:
God spoke the words of the Bible, and we better listen carefully, or else we may be guilty of contempt of God. At any time that we encounter a passage that we must understand, or a problem that we face in our life we must ask:

What did God say?

What is God’s opinion about this matter?

Holy men of God spoke and wrote the words that God moved them to write. In the Old Testament God’s words were written in Hebrew, and in the New Testament God’s words were written in Greek. We have in our hands the KJV, which is as close as possible a word by word translation out of the Hebrew Masoretic Text and out of the Greek Textus Receptus. These are the two most reliable documents of the Word of God.

Which God Are We Worshipping?
(John 1:1, Revelation 19:11-13, James 3:1)


John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Here in this verse the Lord Jesus Christ is called “The Word”, the Logos. Moreover, when God says “the Word was God” He underscores that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God, but He is fully God.

In many other parts of the Bible God identifies “the Logos” with the Word of God, the Bible. And thus we come to recognize that the Bible, the Word of God, is identified with the Lord Jesus Christ. God confirms this conclusion in Revelation 19:11-13, where Christ appears as the Judge of all the world, and He is given the name: “Word of God”

Revelation 19:11-12
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

What does this tell us about the Word of God?

It tells us that the Bible, the Word of God, from cover to cover, is a description of the Lord Jesus Christ. And now the adding or taking away from the Word of God enters into the equation. The Bible is our Authority. Not only is it a description of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it also has become the Authority that we obey. If then we would add or take away from the Bible we would produce another authority over us, and thus another god which rules over us.

Let us consider a vivid picture of our actions:
When we add to the Bible by claiming additional messages from God, like the Roman church has done through the centuries by adding the utterances of the saints as if they were inspired by God, then we have changed the face of Christ.

Every time we add another message from God, it is as if we have produced another lump on the face of Christ, and thus we have produced another god, which does not look at all like Christ.

Every time we take away from the Word of God it is as if we have gouged out a piece of flesh out of the face of Christ, and thus we have produced another god, which does not look at all like Christ. And thus we would engage in the sin of idolatry. The sin of idolatry is the sin that God hates most of all.

Revelation 21:8 says that idolaters have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. And the false teachers who have created these idols, who lead others with them into Hell, shall receive the hottest place in Hell according to James 3:1. And thus we can see that the doctrine of Revelation 22:18-19 is a most useful doctrine, for it gives us the discernment to know right from wrong. This is the sharp edge of the sword of the Spirit. This is the most useful tool God has given us to defend ourselves against the wiles of the Devil and against all the evil forces that try to persuade us to come to their side. Even if one day we would stand all alone, we would still see right from wrong. Praise God that He has given us this tool of discernment.


AMEN.

To read the full article please click below.

http://testallthings.wordpress.com/2008/04/02/a-short-study-of-revelation-2218-19/

ROBERT HIGBY'S ATTACK AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD


"So to Calvin; every word enshrined in the books of Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, and James are as sacred and certain as the person and work of Jesus Christ himself."

(Robert Higby - 27th December 2005 - Calvin's 66 book canon)


"The present writer does not believe the Christocentric hermeneutic supports Ecclesiastes or the Song of Songs as having canonical authority."
(quote taken from - The Biblical Canon Study #3: Identifying the Old Testament Canon (study #2) - October 2005)


Here is what Higby says about "Song of Songs" in the same study.

"The Song of Songs is merely a discourse of human love and romance...It is simply the poetic view of two individuals on what constitutes great romance and sex; nothing more. It is not even a standard as to how all must view what constitutes great romance and sex."

Now Higby moves on to attack Esther.

"The doctrine of revenge present in Esther is against the whole of Old Testament revelation, let alone New Testament revelation. Therefore, Esther is to be rejected as canonical."
(Robert Higby - October 8th 2005 - From the thread titled: The multi level canon)

And...

"Esther 9 adds to the law, it is as simple as that. The Law of Moses, according to Christ himself, is not to be added to. Also, the feasts of Lev. 23 are the complete and inspired prophetic picture of Christ's Messianic work. To institute new feasts AS JEWISH LAW, especially ones based on questionable historical acts, this is forbidden."
(Robert Higby - October 19th 2005 - the Multi level canon.)

Robert Higby wrote:
"The main theological problems with Mark 16:9ff are two, as I see it:

1. The ’signs’ that are predicted to follow those that believe have not really been manifested as such, at least to some degree (the drinking of poison and avoiding death, etc.) and

2. Mark 16:16 teaches that ’he that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved,’ whereas Paul and John clearly teach that genuine belief with an AMEN (faith alone) evidences salvation. The water may be a testimony to the gospel but the lack of it does not negate eternal life! "


For a biblically accurate teaching of Baptism in Mark 16:16 please read the following article.

http://testallthings.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/what-baptism/

Robert Higby even has some issues he'd like to deal with regarding 2 Peter, 3 John and Jude.


Robert Higby wrote:
"There are some very minor issues with 2 Peter, 3 John, Jude, etc. but they are not worth a major argument and I would prefer to deal with the largest issue first."


This third quote is further proof that he rejects Esther, Ecclesiastes and James and his reason why.

"My personal rejection of Esther, Ecclesiastes, and James is the false doctrine that they contain; the same reasons for rejecting other apocryphal works."
(Robert Higby - January 4th 2006 - 'Calvin's 66 book Canon')


And finally we finish with Higby's "trouble" accepting 3 John as scripture along with 2 Peter and James.

"For me, the remaining 4 NT books that were originally antilegomena remain an open issue for study. I have the most trouble with 3 John, as it has no attestation of existence until the 3rd century (like James and 2 Peter) and gives no definite gospel testimony. Plus we do not know anything about who the characters mentioned in that book actually were historically."
(Robert Higby - July 21st 2007 - From the thread 'James Exposed')

Here is what God has to say against such heresy.

Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

2 Peter 3:17-18
...Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

GOD'S MERCY AND GRACE


“Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life…”
Genesis 19:19

The religious leaders in Christ’s day on earth, falsely assumed that because they were blessed with riches, religious esteem, and were prospering in this life, that they were therefore objects of God’s grace.


Our Lord in Matthew 23 used very condemning language to show them that anything outward is purely temporal and is NO indication of being God’s children. One might well be rich and condemned, just as one may well be poor and saved, Luke 16:18-20.

The distinction between "grace" and "mercy" is necessary to make.


In grace there is always mercy...particular and distinct, based on the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Lot’s own confession is that of all who are taught by the Lord’s Spirit.

There is mercy to be had, and they cry for it, but only on the basis of God’s saving sovereign grace toward them because of the blood and righteousness of the Lord Jesus.

On the other hand, there are many mercies of God manifest toward even the non-elect (breath, food, comfort, health and prosperity) that are not necessarily evidences of grace.

In truth, anything this side of hell is a mercy, but just because God has not yet cast a soul into hell, in no way means that they are objects of His saving grace. Mercy may be described as God withholding what we deserve as elect ones (Lamentations 3:22), even as it may be described as God withholding hell for a time from reprobates (Nehemiah 9:27).


However, mercy alone is not salvation. God causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust without distinction, Matthew 5:45.

God may withhold eternal judgment from many for awhile, all the while prospering their temporal lives. Because of this many are puffed up in pride by such mercies, assuming themselves to be ‘blessed,’ when in reality, it is just God hardening them further against the day of wrath - Romans 2:25

Nonetheless, mercy given with grace is unique, particular, and determinate on behalf of sinners that God has chosen, redeemed and justified in Christ - Ephesians 2:8,9. In due time, God does reveal Christ in them, and they do therefore rejoice in the grace of God, more so even than the temporal mercies.


Do you know the gift of Christ and grace AND mercy in Him because of His righteousness imputed, and thankful for them, as much as the daily gifts of life He gives to sustain you in your earthly pilgrimage?

By Ken Wimer

Monday, March 24, 2008

BRANDAN KRAFT AND ROBERT HIGBY'S ATTACK AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD


"We think the book of James is trash...I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James"
(Brandan Kraft - July 19th, 2007 (Kraft posted the following quote on his forum in a thread titled, "James Exposed." The remark was made in Brandan Kraft's first post on the very first page of the thread).


What does God have to say about Brandan Kraft's remarks?

Luke 9:26
"For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall
the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his
Father’s, and of the holy angels."

Revelation 22:18-19
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

This heresy originated with a man named Robert Higby, and Brandan Kraft is a faithful disciple of Robert Higby.
Higby accuses John Calvin of selecting the 66 Books of God's Bible to be the official canon, and then Higby writes the following on the 27th of December 2005 (in the thread titled "Calvin's 66 book canon"):

"So to Calvin; every word enshrined in the books of Esther, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, and James are as sacred and certain as the person and work of Jesus Christ himself."

Thus, we clearly see Higby mocking God's Holy Word.
The true follower of Jesus Christ knows that it is God Himself who put together His Word into one cohesive whole.

Robert Higby wrote:
"The present writer does not believe the Christocentric hermeneutic supports Ecclesiastes or the Song of Songs as having canonical authority."
(quote taken from - The Biblical Canon Study #3: Identifying the Old Testament Canon (study #2) - October 2005)

Here is what Higby says about "Song of Songs" in the same study.

"The Song of Songs is merely a discourse of human love and romance...It is simply the poetic view of two individuals on what constitutes great romance and sex; nothing more. It is not even a standard as to how all must view what constitutes great romance and sex."

Now Higby moves on to attack The Book of Esther.


"The doctrine of revenge present in Esther is against the whole of Old Testament revelation, let alone New Testament revelation. Therefore, Esther is to be rejected as canonical."
(October 8th 2005 - From the thread titled: The multi level canon)

And...

"Esther 9 adds to the law, it is as simple as that. The Law of Moses, according to Christ himself, is not to be added to. Also, the feasts of Lev. 23 are the complete and inspired prophetic picture of Christ's Messianic work. To institute new feasts AS JEWISH LAW, especially ones based on questionable historical acts, this is forbidden."
(Robert Higby - October 19th 2005 - the Multi level canon.)

Here is another attack on the Epistle of James by Brandan Kraft.

Brandan Kraft wrote:
"There are other topics in James that I also find questionable such as chapter 5. What is James' primary beef with rich people? It's almost like it has gnostic roots."

Brandan must be blind to the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ said:

Luke 6:24
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

and..

Matthew 19:23
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The reader should clearly be able to see that what James writes about rich people is in perfect harmony with the words of Jesus Christ himself in the gospels.

The following is Brandan Kraft's response to individuals who reject his heresy:

"These people are on crack!"

Yet God says:
Proverbs 10:18
"....he that uttereth a slander, is a fool."

And if that wasn’t enough, two days later, on July 19, 2007, in the James Exposed Thread, Brandan wrote [Post #11]:

"Yes it is in the canon, but reprobates put together the "Canon." The "canon" as everyone calls it is an invention of men. Usually, it's the supporters of the "canon" that resent the dissenters. They can't stand that we think the book of James is trash. I don't think there was any conflict here, and I agree, there is a lot of inspired writing out there that is not in the canon that in my opinion is authoritative. You'll even find some right here on this website."

Brandan Kraft continues:

“I personally cannot find anything of redeeming value from the book of James or from the account of his life found in the gospels and the book of Acts other than the fact that it simply reminds us that we will never be free of the legalizers until Jesus returns. We are experiencing the tribulation that began with "certain" followers of James. . . .”

Below is what Monty Collier wrote on Brandan Kraft's forum before being banned for posting an entire exegesis of James 2 which was removed by Brandan.

"Has anyone considered what happened after the conversion of Paul?
Everyone knew that Saul sought to kill the Christians.
When the Lord saved Saul, God had to speak to Ananias in a special way and show him that Saul was now a Christian (Acts 9:10-16).
When Paul came to the other disciples they did not believe he was a Christian. He had to demonstrate his faith. He did this by preaching sound doctrine (Acts 9:20-21).
Those that heard him were amazed. They were witnessing God's power. When Saul came to Jerusalem the disciples also did not believe him to be a Christian. They knew his former profession. But Barnabas gave evidence of Saul's conversion (Acts 9:26-27).

"Saul's new profession, his works of counfounding the Jews (Acts 9:22) all gave evidence of his conversion.

"Paul himself agrees with James in the first chapter of Galatians. He understood that our faith had to be professed, confessed, defended, and demonstrated before men. Galatians 1:23-24 is an outworking of Christ's teaching in Matthew 5:13-16.
Paul's profession and good works resulted in his acceptance among the church. Among those Christians who knew him only as a persecutor of the faithful, this brought them to accept him as a Christian and to glorify God! Paul states, "But they had heard only, that he which persecutes us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed" (Galatians 1:23). Notice how Paul himself emphasizes how his previous profession and works were compared to his present profession and works among them.James, therefore, is in complete agreement with Paul when he states, "Yea, a man may say, thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:18).
James is in complete agreement because he is not talking about how God justifies a man. The context of the entire Book of James demonstrates that James is not writing on how God justifies a man. Logic and context rule in the interpretation of Scripture. The mistake that Higby, Gill, and Nicholas have made is that they have equivocated on the term 'justify'. The word has more than one meaning. The context determines the meaning. Alvin Plantinga once wrote a book called "Warranted Christian Belief."In this book he tries to justify Christianity as an acceptable intellectual position, that is, he was trying to prove to other men, among other things, that you can be Christian and intelligent. No one thought Plantinga was teaching Justification by Faith Alone in that book. The point is that the word has a demonstrative meaning and a legal meaning. Paul uses the legal meaning in Romans and James uses the demonstrative meaning in James.

"Concerning James 1:17, Bob thinks that because a Muslim can interpret this verse according to his own belief system that the verse must be rejected. This is absurd. The ability to misinterpret, does not negate the fact that there is a correct interpretation. Just because one does not understand a verse, a chapter, or even an entire Book of the Bible, does not mean that they should tear out that which is obscure to them.Thomas Jefferson also tore out many parts of the Bible in order to accomodate his own Deistic system of belief.

"He, like some on P-net, justified his actions by appealing to his own understanding of history.

"The reason Catholics and Arminians read and interpret James in this manner is to attack Sola Fide. The reason Higby, Kraft, and Nicholas take the Catholic interpretation is to attack the book itself. Let me just point out that regardless their motives, they have taken that first step back to the Roman Catholic Church. "
By Monty Collier


Brandan Kraft wrote:
"To say James is authoritative because it's in the bible is about as dumb a statement that can be made because the BIBLE is not authoritative. The BIBLE is a COLLECTION of books that a group of men DECIDED was authoritative."

Below the reader will see further proof that Robert Higby seems intent on attacking the very words of Almighty God.

First he expresses his objections to Mark 9-18 being authentic.


Robert Higby writes:

"The main theological problems with Mark 16:9ff are two, as I see it:

"1. The ’signs’ that are predicted to follow those that believe have not really been manifested as such, at least to some degree (the drinking of poison and avoiding death, etc.) and

"2. Mark 16:16 teaches that ’he that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved,’ whereas Paul and John clearly teach that genuine belief with an AMEN (faith alone) evidences salvation. The water may be a testimony to the gospel but the lack of it does not negate eternal life! "


For a biblically accurate teaching of Baptism in Mark 16:16 please read the following article.

http://testallthings.wordpress.com/2008/03/12/what-baptism/

Robert Higby even has some issues he'd like to deal with in 2 Peter, 3 John and Jude.


Higby writes:

"There are some very minor issues with 2 Peter, 3 John, Jude, etc. but they are not worth a major argument and I would prefer to deal with the largest issue first."


This third quote is further proof he rejects The Books of Esther, Ecclesiastes and James. Why you ask?


Higby explains:

"My personal rejection of Esther, Ecclesiastes, and James is the false doctrine that they contain; the same reasons for rejecting other apocryphal works."
(Robert Higby - January 4th 2006 - 'Calvin's 66 book Canon')

Finally, we finish with Higby's "trouble" accepting 3 John as Scripture along with 2 Peter and James.

"For me, the remaining 4 NT books that were originally antilegomena remain an open issue for study. I have the most trouble with 3 John, as it has no attestation of existence until the 3rd century (like James and 2 Peter) and gives no definite gospel testimony. Plus we do not know anything about who the characters mentioned in that book actually were historically."
(Robert Higby - July 21st 2007 - From the thread 'James Exposed')

The final quote is from Brandan Kraft's myspace profile. Under the question of his favourite books he writes:

"...Dead Sea Scrolls, Most of the books from what is referred to as the "Bible" - I despise the book of James!"

The Dead Sea Scrolls are those which Brandan Kraft states are inspired by God and authoritative.

Here is the quote again:

Brandan Kraft writes:
"There is a lot of inspired writing out there that is not in the canon that in my opinion is authoritative."

Here is a final word from A.W.Pink:

"In Romans 3:28 the Apostle Paul declared “that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law,” and then produces the case of Abraham to prove his assertion. But the Apostle James, from the case of the same Abraham, draws quite another conclusion, saying, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (James 2:24). This is one of the “contradictions in the Bible” to which infidels appeal in support of their unbelief. But the Christian, however difficult he finds it to harmonize passages apparently opposite, knows there cannot be any contradiction in the Word of God. Faith has unshaken confidence in the inerrancy of Holy Writ. Faith is humble too and prays, “That which I see not teach Thou me” (Job. 34:32). Nor is faith lazy; it prompts its possessor unto a reverent examination and diligent investigation of that which puzzles and perplexes, seeking to discover the subject of each separate book, the scope of each writer, the connections of each passage."

Revelation 22:18-19
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

2 Peter 3:17-18
...Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Psalm 138:2
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name
.

Isaiah 40:7-8
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.


Below is a list of further scripture references refering to those who pervert and dismantle Scripture:

Wrest Scripture: 2 Peter 3:15-17


Perverting the word: Jeremiah 23:36

No tampering with the Word of God: Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 24:16; Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6

Adding man's traditions: Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:6-9, 13; Colossians 2:8.

Idle words: Matthew 12:36.




Wednesday, February 27, 2008

KENNETH COPELAND AND THE GOSPEL OF HIS OWN MAKING


Kenneth Copeland stands today as one of the Faith Movement’s leading spokesmen. His numerous materials, combined with his crusades and international outreach centres, attest to his vast influence. Copeland is responsible for spreading many of the Faith Movement’s unbiblical teachings.

The Force of Faith

Of the multiple views of faith held by Faith teachers, Copeland focuses primarily on an understanding of faith as a force. “Faith is a power force,” he claims. “It is a tangible force. It is a conductive force.” Moreover, “faith is a spiritual force … It is substance. Faith has the ability to affect natural substance.” As “the force of gravity … makes the law of gravity work … this force of faith … makes the laws of the spirit world function.” Copeland affirms that “God cannot do anything for you apart or separate from faith,” for “faith is God’s source of power.” Moreover, “everything that you’re able to see or touch, anything that you can feel, anything that’s perceptive to the five physical senses, was originally the faith of God, and was born in the substance of God’s faith.” In other words, “faith was the raw material substance that the Spirit of God used to form the universe.”

Copeland mistakenly derives his erroneous definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Neither the original Greek text nor any English translations support Copeland’s understanding of faith. The same holds true for his understanding of spoken words. Besides, the idea of words functioning as faith-filled containers makes no sense if there is no such thing as a “force of Faith” (requiring packaging and transportation) in the first place.

A God of Human Proportions

Copeland’s view of God fares no better biblically than his understanding of faith. He describes God as someone “very much like you and me … A being that stands around six foot two inches or six foot three inches, that weighs around a couple of hundred pounds, and has a [hand] span nine inches across.” Copeland’s statement is based on his misreading of Isaiah 40:12 (“Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the [nine inch] span …”). Yet, following the same line of interpretation, Hagin’s 6 foot or so god must also have “weighed the mountains in [a gigantic set of] scales, and the hills in a [huge] balance” (v. 12b).

However, the Bible never intended to convey the notion that God has physical features like His human creation. Human-like descriptions were simply meant to help us understand and relate to our Maker. Jesus declared, “God is spirit” (John 4:24), not a spirit-being with a body (cf. Deuteronomy 4:12). The Creator is, after all, “God, and not man” (Hosea 11:9). Copeland’s diminished view of God is further amplified by a correspondingly inflated view of the universe in general and man in particular. He claims that the earth is “a copy of the mother planet [i.e., heaven] where God lives.” Exactly how Copeland could “squeeze” God on any planet is difficult to fathom, especially since Solomon pointed out that heaven itself cannot contain the infinite God (1 Kings 8:27).

Members of God’s Class

Copeland overemphasises similarities between God and man to the point where any distinction becomes virtually nil: “God’s reason for creating Adam was His desire to reproduce Himself … Adam is as much like God as you could get, just the same as Jesus … Adam, in the Garden of Eden, was God manifested in the flesh.” Actually, the terms “image” and “likeness” refute Copeland’s point. The Hebrew word for “likeness” (demuth) simply means similarity or resemblance, not identity.

Copeland states that “man was created to know that great life force and he longs for it in his dreams. Adam had that life force in him before he committed high treason.” This is yet another sense in which Copeland believes Adam was created in God’s class for he was made to partake of “the unseen force that makes God, God.” This destroys the vital distinction between the infinite Creator and His finite creature.

Covenant of Convenience

According to Copeland, “God had no avenue of lasting faith or moving in the earth. He had to have covenant with somebody … He had to be invited in, in other words, or He couldn’t come.” In fact, “the reason that He’s making covenant is to get into the earth.” “God is on the outside looking in,” says Copeland. “In order to have any say-so in the earth, he’s gonna have to be in agreement with a man here.” “Since man was the key figure in the Fall,” Copeland argues, “man had to be the key figure in the redemption, so God approached a man named Abram.” An agreement was struck between God and Abram that “gave God access to the earth.” God, in turn, “promised to care for Abraham and his descendants in every way—spiritually, physically, financially, socially.”

Commenting on the “deal,” Copeland writes that God “re-enacted with Abram what Satan had done with Adam, except that God did not sneak in and use deception … and Abram bought it.” As his comments indicate, Copeland views divine covenants no differently from business contracts. They are benefit-oriented, not relationship-oriented. They are formed by mutual agreement (for mutual benefit) through negotiation, as opposed to being initiated by the stronger party offering non-negotiable help (not of necessity but of grace)—which is the traditional Christian understanding of God’s covenants. They focus on the fulfilment of certain terms (performance) rather than personal loyalty. Copeland himself states that “the Word of the living God is a contract.” (For the biblical teaching of God’s covenant as a living, spiritual bond between Him and His elect people in Christ, click here.)

The Spoken Word Made Flesh

“God is injecting His Word into the earth to produce this Jesus,” explains Copeland. “These faith-filled words that framed the image that’s in him … He had to sneak it in here around the god of this world [i.e., Satan].” Using a combination of faith and confession, “God spoke His Word and then spoke His Word again … he kept saying, ‘He is coming. He is coming.’” However, “the only avenue God had to get His words into the earth was through men … through the mouths of His prophets … Finally, the great moment came when that Word was brought forth in human form.” During this final phase, “the angels spoke the words of the covenant to her [i.e., Mary], and the Spirit of God hovered over her and generated that seed, which was the Word that the angel spoke to her. And there was conceived in her, the Bible says, a holy thing. The Word literally became flesh.”

The notion of Jesus being the end product of generations of positive confession is categorically unbiblical. It suggests that the “Word” in John 1 was a creation (the personalization of the previously impersonal words of God) rather than the eternally existent Creator (see vv. 1-3), thus subverting the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the blessed Trinity. Copeland asserts Jesus did not openly claim to be God because “He hadn’t come to earth as God, He’d come as man. He’d set aside His divine power.”

Misunderstanding Philippians 2:5-7, Copeland states that the incarnate Christ “had no innate supernatural powers. He had no ability to perform miracles until after He was anointed by the Holy Spirit.” In Copeland’s view, three basic factors enabled Jesus to perform miracles. First, “the force of faith was controlling His ministry.” Second, “He exercised that authority by the use of words.” Third, “He used the covenant to control the laws of nature.” And all these factors are based on complete misinterpretation of the Word of God.

Spiritual Death and Rebirth in Hell

When it comes to defining the Christ’s atonement, Copeland says, “It wasn’t a physical death on the cross that paid the price for sin … anybody can do that.” Jesus supposedly “put Himself into the hands of Satan when he went to that cross, and took that same nature that Adam did [when he sinned].” Copeland is here referring to the nature of Satan, as God pronounced that “Adam would die spiritually—that he would take on the nature of Satan which is spiritual death.” He adds that “the day that Jesus was crucified, God’s life, that eternal energy that was His from birth, moved out of Him and He accepted the very nature of death itself.” Copeland would have us believe that during an alleged conversation with Jesus, the Son of God said, “It was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross … I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death …” Jesus, according to Copeland, “had to give up His righteousness” and “accepted the sin nature of Satan.”

Copeland’s account, vivid though it may be, is not in the Bible. It misuses the phrase “firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18) to bolster the “born again Jesus” doctrine. Actually, the Greek wood for “firstborn” (prototokos) primarily denotes primacy, headship, and pre-eminence. The phrase itself points to Christ’s supremacy “over all creation” (Colossians 1:15) in general and those who will be raised from the dead in particular, alluding to Christ’s bodily resurrection—not some spiritual resuscitation in hell.

Moreover, Jesus was not dragged into hell by Satan, but instead committed His spirit to the Father (Luke 23:46) and went directly to paradise (Luke 23:43). Nor was He tortured by a host of demons; He triumphed “over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15). Jesus paid for the sins of His people in full at the cross (Matthew 1:21; John 19:30) — not by becoming a satanic being, but through his physical sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10; Colossians 1:22).

The Believer’s Authority

Copeland’s basis for the believer’s authority is that upon conversion the believer undergoes a total and immediate change of nature. At the moment of spiritual birth, “the spirit of God hovered over you, and there was conceived in your body a holy thing identical to Jesus … And there was imparted into you zoe, the life of God.” Hence, “you are to think the way Jesus thought. He didn’t think it robbery to be equal with God.” Copeland states, “You are not a spiritual schizophrenic, half-God and half-Satan, you are all-God” and “You don’t have a God in you; you are one …”

Yet Scripture states there is only one God who indwells all believers (John 14:17, 23). Moreover, the Bible views spiritual birth not in terms of a change of nature (from satanic to divine), but as our regeneration by the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5). Copeland teaches that the believer’s change of nature (into a god) brings with it a proportional change in ability. The believer is thus allegedly able to “speak things” into existence by way of faith-filled words, or positive confession.

In Copeland’s teaching on the believer’s authority, we are told that knowing and exercising the rights set forth under the covenant guarantees success. He remarks that he Bible “is the wisdom of God placed in covenant contract … Everything in it is mine … You just keep looking at it, and keep reading it, and that covenant will turn you into that kind of person—whatever it is you decide to be.” Copeland translates his concept of covenant rights into what has been termed the “health and wealth” or “prosperity” message. “The basic principle of the Christian life is to know that God put our sin, sickness, disease, sorrow, grief, and poverty on Jesus at Calvary,” he asserts. “For Him to put any of this on us now would be a miscarriage of justice.”

Fatally Flawed

Virtually every error we have noted in Copeland’s theology can be attributed to the following four reasons.

First, Copeland seems vehemently opposed to sound reasoning. “Believers are not to be led by logic,” he writes. “We are not even to be led by good sense.” Isaiah 1:18, on the other hand, quotes God as saying, “Come now, let us reason together.”

Second, Copeland fails to observe some basic principles of biblical interpretation. His neglect in this area is made clear by his gross misunderstanding of key words and utter disregard of the context in which they appear. The Bible, however, stresses the importance of correctly handling the Word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

Third, Copeland does not seem to acknowledge the importance of systematic theology, as indicated by his statement, “I don’t preach doctrine, I preach faith.” Although he may not realize it, his preaching on faith and other topics do in fact constitute doctrines, which combined form his theology (however inconsistent). He would do well to heed the divine command to “watch your life and your doctrine closely” (1 Timothy 4:16).

Fourth, Copeland displays an open attitude of disdain and disrespect for the historically established views of the Christian church. Admittedly, tradition must ultimately be tested by the Word of God. However, it should be recognised that certain historically accepted views, especially as they apply to essential Christian doctrine and are stated in the Reformed creeds, are significant, time-tested summations of fundamental Bible-based truths. To deviate from them is to reject the heart of Christian faith.

Scripture warns, “My brethren, be not many masters [i.e., teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1).

Copeland, being a false teacher, has made himself an enemy of the gospel: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8-9).

By Angus Stewart

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Charles Finney - A Most Popular False Prophet


To listen to this audio message, please click on the blue speaker.



Finney Denied:
1) Original Sin
2) Man's Inability
3) Holy Spirit Regeneration
4) Predestination & Election

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Joel Osteen & Pope Benedict - They All Agree


To listen to this sermon please click the blue speaker.

Rick Warren is bringing teachers of the ‘NEW AGE’ into his church. Joel Osteen is teaching that man determines his own destiny. Billy Graham started this teaching with his ‘Hour of Decision’ broadcast and Pope Benedict is telling his world audience that we should admire and revere Mohammed. Christ preached an entirely different message.



Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is "Christian Psychology" Christian?


The so-called "Christian Psychology" movement is by far the most popular movement among professing Christians today. Just check out your local "Christian" bookstore to see how much space is given to it. This heresy is being embraced by tens of thousands of professing Christians who claim to believe in the inerrancy, validity, and sufficiency of Scripture. "Christian" psychologists are enjoying a papal-like authority. Instead of analyzing what these men say according to Scripture (Acts 17:11), professing Christians come in droves to witness the next great insight -- how to overcome addictions, co-dependency, depression, or neurosis; how to deal with your children, spouse, or parents; or how to heal your "wounded inner child" ... and the list of buzzwords goes on and on. The Promise Keepers movement is, at its heart, a "Christian Psychology" movement.

Just the fact that the prominent psychologists and counselors in this movement are Arminians should be enough for the true Christian to discern that they are wicked and are to be avoided. But there are some who call themselves Reformed who are involved in and advocate "Christian Psychology" and who integrate the theories of pagan psychologists into their philosophies and approaches.

I can hear it now: "But isn't all truth God's truth?"

What this questioner fails to realize is that the issue is not about the origin of truth. Instead, the issue is this:

What truth about the human condition and the remedies for the soul can an ungodly man comprehend?

It takes only a brief perusal through the works of the fathers of psychology to see the following facts:

(a) The concept of sin (as the Bible portrays sin) is nonexistent.

(b) The concept of God (as the Bible portrays God) is nonexistent; thus, the concept of the biblical relationship of man to God is nonexistent.

(c) The concept of law, or absolutes, is nonexistent; thus morality becomes relative.

(d) The true gospel of salvation conditioned on the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ is nonexistent.

If secular psychologists start from ungodly premises, how then can a "Christian" psychologist use this tainted insight in finding the causes and cures for any of the ills of the soul such as rebellion in teenagers or interpersonal problems or worry?

The examples of "Christian" psychologists' using secular theory are innumerable; because of space limitations, I will offer only a few examples. Just take a look at the books in the "Psychology" or "Men's/Women's Issues" or "Family Issues" sections in your local "Christian" bookstore (and be prepared with one of those air-sickness bags).

Freud: Sexual Perversion. For those of you who are not familiar with the "big daddy" of psychoanalysis, here's an extremely condensed primer on Sigmund Freud: Freud was obsessed with sex. He described human development in terms of how the individual received sexual pleasure. He interpreted dreams as attempts to resolve underlying sexual conflicts. He saw the phallus, or phallic symbol, in everything. Freud admittedly lusted after his own mother, and he concluded that the first sexual attraction in all humans was for the parent of the opposite sex. He said that the young child's unconscious sexual longings for the parent of the opposite sex (in the "Oedipal Stage") explained the later outward hostility toward the same-sex parent during the teen years because of jealousy (called the "Oedipal Conflict").

What do the perverted sexual theories of Freud have to do with Christian Psychology?

To answer this question, I will simply provide the reader with direct quotes from several leaders in the movement. To let you know that these are not from the fringes of the movement, I will introduce the first quote: it is from Always Daddy's Girl by H. Norman Wright, a best-seller when it was released because of the large amount of publicity given it by James Dobson.

The book also quotes as authorities on father-daughter relationships various humanistic and overtly wicked sources such as the Freudian book Modern Woman: Her Psychology and Sexuality that includes a section written by Dr. Leon Hamner, who says that fathers give daughters sexual pleasure. Other sources used by Wright include Suzanne Fields' Like Father Like Daughter and Linda Leonard's The Wounded Woman that also put forth the incestuous sexual attraction view. The reader will see that Wright and others such as the ones quoted below promote the view that a quasi-incestuous relationship between fathers and daughters is a normal, non-sinful part of human existence. Here is Wright:

"It is true that a woman's sexuality develops over her entire lifetime, but it is definitely encouraged -- or retarded -- by her early interactions with her father. ... Your father was the first man you flirted with, the first man to cuddle you and kiss you ... Her femininity is encouraged by his smile or wink when she bats her eyelashes at him ... [There exists] an initial courtship experience with her father ... A woman's sexual self-image is partially molded by her father's response to her. ... Fathers are sometimes bothered by the sexual effect their daughters have on them or the effect they may have on their daughters. ... Unfortunately, some fathers are ... uncomfortable ... [and thus] tend to be absent when she displays her charms ... The results of these rejections will be seen in a young woman's insecurity and doubt about her ability to attract a man."

[The reader should note that many professing Christians think that there is nothing wrong with "flirting" with someone of the opposite sex. In fact, they even jokingly attribute the sin of flirting to little babies when they tell another adult of the opposite sex, "he's flirting with you" or "shame on you for flirting with a married man," as if this were not utterly sinful. So, too, many professing Christians imbibe the so-called "Christian romance novels" and the worldly dating scene in which flirting and lust are condoned.]

"Christian" psychologist David Stoop, in Making Peace With Your Father, says this:

"The beginning of adolescence is marked by what is called the Oedipal conflict. ... [It] is often used to describe the emerging adolescent who, as his or her sexuality begins to emerge, falls in love with the parent of the opposite sex and competes with the same-sex parent in an effort to 'win over' the object of his or her love. In its strong form, the incestuous overtones of this psychological model may seem repulsive. Yet it is generally accepted that all of us go through at least a mild form of this experience as we arrive on the doorstep of adolescence."

The February 16, 1993 edition of the "Minirth-Meier Clinic" radio program affirmed these twisted views by saying that every child goes through an Oedipal Stage where the child becomes attached to the parent of the opposite sex and has a resulting conflict with the same-sex parent. If you listen to that program, you will find more of the same twisted thinking. They rationalize sin as those awful "co-dependencies" or "addictions," and they encourage callers to "work it out" with "professionals."

In a book entitled The Masculine Journey, which is endorsed by Promise Keepers and was handed out to all Promise Keepers attendees, Robert Hicks uses his "stages of manhood" theory to condone sin and even to blaspheme. One of the stages he puts forth is the Zakar stage, which is a phallic stage. He says, "The phallus has always been the symbol of religious devotion and dedication" [referring to pagan sexual rites] and that every man has "the deep compulsion to worship with our phallus." He says that a teenager's first sexual sin should be thought of as a "rite of passage" and says that "we usually give the teenagers in our churches such a massive dose of condemnation regarding their first experiences with sin that I sometimes wonder how any of them ever recover." He then says this about Jesus Christ:

"I believe Jesus was phallic with all the inherent phallic passions we experience as men. But it was never recorded that Jesus had sexual relations with a woman. He may have thought about it as the movie The Last Temptation of Christ portrays, but even in this movie He did not give in to temptation and remained true to His messianic course."

This is blasphemy. Yet it is not beyond the thinking of most professing Christians, who think that mere "attractions" and "passions" outside the marriage bond are not sinful, as long as they are not consummated.


How many times have you heard a professedly Christian person comment on how "good-looking" or "sexy" a person of the opposite sex is?

This is wickedness. To demonstrate this, here is a quote from another "Christian" counselor, Michael R. Saia (from Counseling the Homosexual), who says that a homosexual attraction is not sin:

"The dilemma here is that many people may assume that a man is sinning just because he is attracted to another man. ... [The attraction] is not something for which the person is morally culpable. As one gay man told me, 'Nobody in his right mind would choose to be homosexually oriented if he had a choice in the matter.' Before a counselor has comprehended and accepted the involuntary nature of the homosexual sexual preference, he may speak tremendous condemnation into the life of a counselee. Constant, subtle insinuation that a person is responsible for his sexual attractions can be a terrible psychological pressure."

I hope the reader sees that if one believes that a heterosexual attraction outside of marriage is not sin, then it follows that a homosexual attraction is not sin.

Me Me Me: Self-Esteem. The other principle part of the "Christian" psychology movement is the focus on self-esteem and self-worth. The secular psychologists most famous for this approach were Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. Their view was that psychological ills stem from a self-evaluation that is too low and that counselors should work at improving people's evaluations of themselves.

There are two prominent leaders of the self-esteem movement in Christendom. One is the pastor of a professedly Reformed congregation in a professedly Reformed denomination, and the other is a semi-Pelagian. Both are wicked. They are Robert Schuller and James Dobson.

The following are some quotes from Schuller: "Prayer, worship, and well-thought-out sermons will not produce morally strong and spiritually exciting Christians if they fail to produce self-confident, inwardly secure, nondefensive, integrated persons. What we need is a theology of salvation that begins and ends with a recognition of every person's hunger for glory. ... Why would love-needing persons resist, rebel against, and reject beautiful love? ... Deep down we feel we are not good enough to approach a holy God. ... It is precisely at this point that classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be 'God-centered,' not 'man-centered.' ... [Original sin] could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a 'negative self-image,' but do not say that the central core of the soul is wickedness. If this were so, then truly, the human being is totally depraved" (in Self-Esteem: The New Reformation).

He went on to say the following in Christianity Today (8/10/84): "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition."

Does James Dobson, the leading "Christian" psychologist and darling of the evangelicals, oppose Schuller's heretical teaching?

Here are some quotes:

"Feelings of self-worth and acceptance ... provide the cornerstone of a healthy personality. ... What is the primary motive that would cause a husband or wife to 'cheat' -- to even risk destroying their homes and families for an illicit affair? ... I have observed the most powerful influence to emanate from ego needs"

(from Dr Dobson Answers Your Questions).

"If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, I would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth … I have no doubt that this is their greatest need"

(from What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Women).

Paul warned Timothy that "in the last days ... men will be lovers of self" (2 Timothy 3:1-2). Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). Look up "pride" in your concordance or topical Bible to see what the entirety of the Word says.

Would you conclude that the problems of the world stem from too little self-esteem or too much of it?!

A common rationalization takes the form of the following: "If Jesus came down to earth to shed His blood for us, then there must be some inherent worth in us." However, Scripture clearly tells us that God saved His elect not because of anything that was worth saving in us, but purely by His grace (Romans 5:6,8; Ephesians 2:8-9).

Instead of reacting to God's grace by looking to ourselves as worthy, we must react by glorifying the sovereign God who loved the unlovable and who came for the sin-sick and not for the "self-esteemed" healthy (Matthew 9:12-13).

Paul said, "For who regards you as superior? And what do you have that you did not receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" (1 Corinthians 4:7)

The story of the tax gatherer and the Pharisee illustrates the point perfectly: "The tax gatherer ... was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified" (Luke 18:13-14).

Which one had the high self-esteem - the Pharisee or the tax gatherer?

We have a good idea of what Dobson would say to the tax gatherer. In his book Hide or Seek, he responded to a woman who felt worthless in this way: "Jesus did not leave his throne in heaven to die for the 'worms' of the world."

Dobson's "jesus" didn't die for the worms of the world. But my Jesus died for the worms and wretches -- those who know they have no worth and who are saved by the worthiness of their substitute.

Is the reader still not convinced that Dobson is wicked?

If the following quote won't do it, nothing will:

"There is only one cure for the cancer of bitterness, that is to forgive the perceived offender. Once and for all, with God's help, as strange as it seems, I am suggesting that some of us need to forgive God for those heartaches that are charged to His account. You've carried resentment against Him for years. Now it's time to let go of it. Please don't misunderstand me at this point. God is in the business of forgiving us, and it almost sounds blasphemous to suggest that the relationship could be reversed. He has done no wrong and does not need our approbation. But the source of bitterness must be admitted before it can be cleared. There is no better way to get rid of it than to absolve the Lord of whatever we have harbored. … It is the only way you will ever be entirely free. … Corrie ten Boom forgave an SS guard who shared responsibility for the deaths of her family member. Surely we can forgive the King of the Universe Who sent His only Son to die as an atonement for our sin" (from When God Doesn't Make Sense).

This is blasphemy. And this book was endorsed by R.C. Sproul and J.I. Packer, leaders of the "Reformed" bandwagon. Let us who are Christians have nothing to do with the blasphemy, perversion, and self-worth-ship of the so-called "Christian Psychology" movement.


By Marc D. Carpenter