Posted in charismatic, discernment, jesus calling

Strange Fire Q & A: Jesus Calling

One hundred years ago, the modern Pentecostal movement was born. By October 2013 the Pentecostal movement had morphed into the Charismatic movement with its particular brand of false doctrine and had infected much of western Christianity and polluted quite a bit of Christianity at home and abroad. The excesses of the movement include faith healing, reports of raising the dead, babbling tongues, alleged prophecies and direct revelation, disorderly church services and worse. The movement assaulted the sufficiency of scripture, the inerrancy of scripture, besmirched the name of Jesus Christ and damaged the faith of many.

John MacArthur and his team at Grace To You took a stand against this movement and sought to bring clarity to why its doctrines needed comparison to the Bible and thus correction. To that end, they organized the Strange Fire Conference, held in the fall of 2013. One of the main purposes of the conference was to initiate a substantive discussion about these issues. It achieved its purpose. Every sermon preached at the conference rebuked the movement simply by preaching the truth, and brought correct biblical doctrine regarding the sign gifts of the Spirit to the fore. Given the outcry, it seems that the effect was immediate.

There were many good questions asked at the various seminars and Q & A sessions held during the conference period, but not all of them could be immediately answered. After the conference concluded, ministers and theologians at Grace Community Church and The Master’s Seminary wrote out answers to these unanswered questions, compiled them, and put them on one web page.

The page is a treasure trove of good, solid rebuttals to and practical helps about what to do if encountering Charismatic doctrines in your church, in your family, or in yourself.


Epidemic in the Charismatic movement is the acceptance of personal revelations. Everybody and their brother it seemed was hearing from Jesus and were eager to share “a word from the Lord”. Such practices assault the sufficiency of scripture, of course, and must be corrected. However, one book is doing its level best to continually to attack the sufficiency of God’s word-  and that book is “Jesus Calling”. Jesus Calling was published in 2004, 16 years ago now, but is still on the bestseller lists. The book has spawned a cottage industry of studies, devotionals, children’s books, and other material that has never stopped polluting the faith. Indeed, it seems to be increasing in its staying power and corrupt work.

Here is just one of the Questions and Answers in the Strange Fire Q&A page.

Last year a friend gave me the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  How do I approach my many friends who love this and similar books? 

Scripture has true spiritual power to save and sanctify those who listen and obey it, but human writings masquerading as divine prophecy—such as Jesus Calling—have no such power.  Nevertheless, many people today are enticed by the idea that God is speaking supernaturally through these frauds.  

In order to help your friends, you should gently point out the superior authority of Scripture and refer them to passages such as 2 Peter 1:16–21, 2 Timothy 3:16, Jude 3, and Psalm 19:7–11.  Another good resource is John MacArthur’s two-part series, The Sufficiency of Scripture.

Posted in discernment, jesus calling, Lent, the shack

Prata’s Potpourri: Discernment, Lent, Sinclair Ferguson, Jesus Calling, battling bitterness, more

Here in North Georgia we have run the gamut with weather. Snow flurries so pretty and swirling the bus driver at our school said it was like being inside a snow globe. Then we had a harsh freeze and temps in the low teens with bad wind chills. Yet today things bounced back with sunny and warm air and the forsythia is popping out. I love the early spring here in the south (early compared to my previous abode in Maine). Once last week in a warm spell, I heard peepers.

Peepers are tiny frogs, which according to Wikipedia,

is a small chorus frog widespread throughout the eastern USA and Canada. They are so called because of their chirping call that marks the beginning of spring. 

Spring means Easter and Easter means to Lent or not to Lent. The Lenten season began yesterday.

Lent, yes or no? By 9Marks
Five reasons not to observe Lent by Entreating Favor
Origins of Lent at Grace To You

In this day and age of apostasy, hatred, and brutality- and I’m speaking of inside the church- a bitterness grows in the wounded Christian heart. Bitterness is a killer, Eric Davis says, we have to be on guard against it. Here are some ways to combat it as outlined in Davis’ essay The Normal Battle with Bitterness

Seven years ago Dr Al Mohler wrote against a novel that was sweeping the church, The Shack. Tomorrow I am doing a retrospective on the book and digging deeper into the discernment realm by jumping off from this article from Dr Mohler, but until then, here is his article, The Shack — The Missing Art of Evangelical Discernment

Need encouragement? Sinclair Ferguson provides, in his essay A deeper lineage than our genes

Here is Lil, a pastor’s wife at Embracing the Lovely on Why I won’t be finishing Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

I’m 9 days into the New Year and 10 days into reading “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. It’s been one of the best selling devotionals for the past 10 years, so I decided to pick up a copy on New Year’s Day. … I’m on Day 10 and I just can’t bring myself to read any more. I. Just. Can’t.

We in America have been blessed with the opportunity for unfettered freedom of speech. The internet has been a boon for those wishing to use it for a Christian witness. However, Twitter is making some troubling moves. Read more at the Daily Signal

The ever gently discerning Mrs Sharon Lareau has completed her second part of reviewing Beth Moore’s Audacious simulcast, here.

One side note. In the satanic effort to get feminism into the faith and into women’s hearts, I keep reading about having audacious faith, praying audacious prayers, of discipling an entire generation, of stepping into leadership roles, of being a brave girl.

Yet I am living a little life in an out of the way place and the only thing I’m stepping on is a juicebox or cheerios at snack time in kindergarten. I am not brave or audacious or leading. I don’t have “crazy strong risky dreamer kids” and I am not running a multi-million dollar corporation ministry or globetrotting to empower local women. I don’t really rather be doing this in my living room over coffee with you. No. Please don’t come over for coffee. If you do, my table won’t be artfully arranged with perfect flowers and I won’t be artfully arranged with a Bohemian scarf draped over my shoulders and I really do not believe laundry is a holy experience.

Brave, audacious, leaders, empowered… Whatever happened to submissive, meek, quiet, and sober? Out of fashion I guess. I am simply a para-professional working in a public school who grocery shops at a local Mom & Pop store and goes home and reads the Bible and repents and asks Jesus to help me be a better witness for His name tomorrow than I was today. The Christian life is wondrous and hard. It’s at home and at work, not necessarily at a huge conference I’ve founded or in Africa where I go when I leave my two toddlers behind to do some more important work or discipling an entire generation (an entire generation? and anyway, doesn’t the Bible already tell us to disciple generationally? Duh). These younger women really have to get a grip on themselves by getting over themselves.

Next, a lot of great photos of satisfying perfection at work. For the OCD in you or the person who just exults in symmetry and order, here you go. You’re welcome.

Posted in beth moore, church, jesus, jesus calling, lifeway, prophecy

Then and now, compare Baptist publication list from 1870 and 2015

Baptist published book list from 1870

LifeWay is the Southern Baptist Convention’s Bookstore arm. To compare Baptist publications from 1870 to Baptist publications in 2015, here is a list of LifeWay’s 2015 best sellers. What a difference 145 years makes. Would a Baptist returning today from an extended Rip Van Winkle sleep even recognize his own denomination?

I listed the modern books in the order in which they appeared in the LifeWay list but also included a credible review of the book from a discerning person or organization next to it. Most of these books are complete nonsense. The one or two that aren’t are marginal (well, Chan’s is marginal, Platt’s is good).

LifeWay’s Best Selling NonFiction as of July 2015:

#1 Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (review of the book)

#2 Counter Culture by David Platt (review of the book)

#3 Jesus Calling Large Deluxe by Sarah Young (review of the devotional)

#4 The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst (review of TerKeurst and her overall ministry; review of the book)

#5 Before Amen by Max Lucado (review of Lucado’s overall fruit)

#6 The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (review of the book)

#7 The Daniel Plan by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen, Mark Hyman (review of the book)

#8 Waiting on God by Charles Stanley (general review of Stanley himself)

#9 Portraits of Devotion by Beth Moore (review of Moore herself, her statements, and her other teachings)

#10 Agents of the Apocalypse by David Jeremiah (review of D. Jeremiah and his use of the novel Agents of the Apocalypse)

#11 The Mystery of the Shemitah by Jonathan Cahn (review of the book)

#12 You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan (I could not find a review of this book from an organization or person I am familiar with, but Challies gave Chan generally favorable reviews on Chan’s other books, such as Multiply, Crazy Love, Forgotten God)

Godlessness in the Last Days

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

I think the 2015 publication list demonstrates a wide-spread love of self, and LifeWay’s love of money.

Ever since the world was created, we have been going downhill. Even after the Flood when humanity was re-set in Genesis 9, by Genesis 11 there was the the first polygamist, first dictator, and the first ode to false religion. The LORD confused the languages at Babel and dispersed them. It has been downhill ever since.

However, in a Google Hangout yesterday with Dr John MacArthur, Dr Stephen Nichols and Nathan Bingham hosted by Ligonier, titled “Convictions and Cultural Change: A Google Hangout with John MacArthur” MacArthur said in his nearly 50 years of ministry that despite it all being downhill since the beginning, in his years he has not seen an acceleration of cultural decline this rapid. The general consensus among the three men was that we are near to mirroring the fist century church in terms of idolatry, lack of discernment, disarray, and paganism.

And yet the Lord always keeps a remnant. His people are true, righteous, and working for His name. As for the non-Christians doing these things like writing books filled with doctrines of demons and with all the blasphemies occurring in His name, how He must be storing up his anger.

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS... (Romans 2:5-6).

And that is our comfort. When I read of a new heretical book coming out, my heart drops and I mourn the gullible and the lost who will be sucked into its world. But I temper that with the knowledge that Jesus is King. He will render to each person according to his deeds, and even reading that, never mind living it, makes my stomach cringe. He is in charge, He is All-Knowing, He is taking care.

If you love the sovereignty of God this will comfort you.

all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4:35)

Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! (Psalm 34:3)

Posted in beth moore, colossians, discernment, jesus calling, sarah young

Going on about visions

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, (Colossians 2:18)

“The Mystical Wave of Knowledge”

The book of Colossians was written by Apostle Paul, mostly to specifically combat a false teaching that had polluted his flock.

The false teaching was Mysticism.

We don’t know what the Colossians wrote to Paul to prompt his reply, which is the Book of Colossians, but we can see Paul’s fervency in his writing when he replied.

When combating false teaching it’s important to remain focused on Christ. Paul’s emphasis on Christ in Colossians resulted on a stupendous treatise on Christology. The first part of the short book focuses on who Jesus is and what He has done. The latter half focuses on how we are to live in light of this knowledge.

Mysticism is obviously an old problem, since Paul was dealing with it in Colossians. It is a scheme that is alive and well today, even in the most conservative denominations of the faith, which I’ll show in a moment.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Mysticism as

The term ‘mysticism,’ comes from the Greek word meaning “to conceal.” In the Hellenistic world, ‘mystical’ referred to “secret” religious rituals.

Mysticism says “I have had a certain supernatural experience.” This inexplicable experience can be a dream, out of body travel, visions, automatic writing, or audible speakings from beyond the veil. Eventually “Mystical Theology” came to the fore, and these experiences were codified into a “direct experience of the divine” for the express purpose of “a larger undertaking aimed at human transformation.”

If you have ever heard someone say you can “achieve different levels” or attain “a higher plane of existence”, they are a Mystic.

Mysticism and its sister false teaching, Gnosticism, are sometimes entwined. says,

The word “gnosticism” comes from the Greek word “gnosis” which means “knowledge.” There were many groups that were Gnostic and it isn’t possible to easily describe the nuances of each variant of Gnostic doctrines. However, generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis).

Some of the heretics who claimed to have had Mystical experiences would base teachings on them and circulate among Christians saying they have gained secret insights through having had these experiences and now wish to teach them. The implication is that Christians were missing out in their “higher level” or “secret wisdom” if they didn’t partake. Mysticism/Gnosticism is actually a form of spiritual intimidation. MacArthur,

Now the heretics were claiming this. They were saying, “we have a higher and a broader and a deeper and a greater, and a mystical union with God. We’ve obtained a humility and a piety that is unlike anything you have experienced. We have connected ourselves with the eons and the demigods and the subgods, and we’ve climbed the ladder to the presence of the one true deity.” You hear some of that palaver don’t you now and then, from people, even today.

We do hear this palaver today, more and more. I’ll give you some examples of people claiming to have had a supernatural experience, through which, they plan to “teach” a deeper biblical truth. Of course there is no truth apart from the Bible, which is where we go to seek it. But they are saying it anyway. You notice I am not posting the more flagrant heretics which one would expect to purvey their “experience” into money, the usual cadre of snake oil salesmen like Jesse DuPlantis, Benny Hinn, Heide Baker, etc. These are Southern Baptist Convention-approved Mystics.

Don Piper, who “went to heaven”:

You notice the photo-advertisement for his speaking engagement promises that Mr Piper possesses “unique insight” into heaven. Unique means “existing as the only one or as the sole example; single; solitary in type or characteristics: 2. having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable”. There it claims that in all of Christendom, Piper alone has this insight, but he is going to share it with you.

Beth Moore. These are transcriptions from two different video clips of her “teachings” which have since been scrubbed from the Internet. Source for the transcription is here.

And tonight I am gonna do my absolute best to illustrate to you something that God showed me sitting out on the back porch. He put a picture I’ve explained to you before I’m a very visual person. So he speaks to me very often in putting a picture in my head and it was as if I was raised up, looking down on a community as I saw the church in that particular dimension. Certainly not all dimensions, not even many, but in what we will discuss tonight the church as Jesus sees it in a particular dimension.”

What God began to say to me about five years ago and I’m telling you it is in me on such a trek with him that my head is still whirling over it. He began to say to me, ‘I’m gonna say something right now, Beth. And boy you write this one down. And you say it as often as I give you utterance to say it. My bride is paralyzed by unbelief. My bride is paralyzed by unbelief.’ And he said, ‘Starting with you.’ Amen.

You see that Moore claims Jesus told her something and gave her a command to turn around and teach it “as often as I give you utterance to say it.” Like Don Piper, Moore is claiming to have had a vision and an audible personalized command directly from Jesus outside of the Bible, and is going to teach this new truth because you do not have this truth and there is no way to obtain this truth unless Moore or Piper teaches it.

Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling. This woman had said that she had heard of two mystics (who turned out to be Catholic) in the 1930s who had received personal revelation from God and wrote these revelations down in a book titled God Calling. Young then said,

The following year, I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believe He was saying. I felt awkward the first time I tried this, but I received a message. (Source Challies)

This is automatic writing, an ancient occult practice whereupon a seeker makes his mind and body available to any entity from beyond the veil and allows the entity to take over their body and mind and the person automatically writes what “it” wants to express. The thoughts are not the person’s, but the supernatural entity’s. Beth Moore claims to have had this experience when an entity, or a force as she called it, wrote the book “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things” for her.

You notice Young said she had heard of these other women who had gained special insights directly from God, and wondered “If I too could receive messages”. This is part of the process, someone claims to have been given a special revelation which you do not possess. You begin to feel excluded, unspecial, marginalized, disqualified. “Why did they receive this and I did not?” you wonder. “Can I, too, have this special relationship?” It is what Gnostics prey on.

There are many more examples of today’s Christian claiming to have heard a voice, a whisper, a dream, a vision. I do not need to list them all. Paul said in Colossians 2:18,

Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

Gill’s Exposition says,

vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind; judging of things not according to the word of God, and with a spiritual judgment, and according to a spiritual sense and experience, but according to his own carnal reason, and the vanity of his mind; being puffed and swelled with an high opinion of himself, of his great parts and abilities, of his knowledge of things above others, and of his capacity to penetrate into, and find out things which were not seen and known by others: this shows that his humility was forced, and only in outward appearance, and was not true and genuine,

These heretics might seem humble, but they actually have a puffed up (conceited) fleshly mind. This is a fact. It means Beth Moore is conceited, Don Piper is puffed up, and Sarah Young had an unreasoning mind.

If the above was a review for previous readers of this blog or a quick overview to newcomers, there is a second part to the verse that is important to note. Besides simply explaining what Colossian Mysticism and Gnosticism was, how it is rampant today, and who is practicing it; we must talk about disqualification.

Paul began is admonition to the Colossians by saying “Let no one disqualify you…” What does this mean?

What is he saying? Don’t let anybody tell you, you are disqualified from obtaining the prize of spirituality, because you haven’t reached the level of self abasement. You haven’t understood the worship of angels; you haven’t had the right visions. All they are is inflated by their own fleshly minds. And the one thing they are not doing is holding fast to the head, and who is the head? Christ. You see, they’ve said, it’s Christ, plus my visions, plus my experiences with the angels, plus my deeper experience, my higher experience. The first one is Christ plus rules; the second one is Christ plus mystical experience.

Don’t let them intimidate you by what you haven’t experienced and make you think that you don’t really know God at all, because you have never had any of those experiences. (source)

In other words, do not be intimidated. I’ll finish with a verse from Colossians 1:12b. Don’t let anyone disqualify you through intimidation, that you haven’t had these supernatural experiences and thus are lesser. Why? Because of this eternal truth:

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

You are already having a supernatural experiences that surpass understanding. You have the Holy Spirit in you. You pray to God and He hears. You are being grown in sanctification. You experience His common grace and His sanctifying grace every day. You are the beneficiary of His providence. Do you “yearn for more” as Sarah Young complained? You already have the best, the top, the highest kind, number, and quality of supernatural experiences. Anything other than the experiences given to you described by scripture are lesser, fleshly, and leads to puffed up conceit. Don’t let anyone disqualify you, because you have been qualified by the God of the Universe, Yahweh Himself.

Further Reading:

S. Lewis Johnson sermon/transcript “A Defense of Christian Liberty

Posted in automatic writing, beth moore, channeling, deception, discernment, jesus calling, sarah young

The church is rapidly accepting occult, channeled books as divinely inspired

Here is a definition of automatic writing, or spirit writing from the Free Dictionary,

Writing performed without conscious thought or deliberation, typically by means of spontaneous free association or as a medium for spirits or psychic forces.

Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. It differs from inspired scripture in that in inspired scripture,

The process of inspiration was not a mechanical dictation where the apostles heard a voice and wrote down what they heard. Nor does it mean that they went into some sort of a trance and God wrote through them without their knowledge. Instead, the writers were free to write what they wanted as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In fact, the writings reflect the personality and style of the various writers. Yet, the personality and style of the writers did not degrade the quality or authority of the biblical writing.(source)

Automatic writing is Ouija Board with a pen. Some of the more remarkable things about automatic writing is that the people through which these written products emerge describe a very similar experience. No matter which millennia or decade they participate in their writings, they describe similar sensations, similar feelings, and the same process. Where I quote their descriptions of their own process, I put in bold type the similar phrases they use to describe it.

You would be surprised at how many people have produced written works of novel, poetry, plays and even music by this occult process. It is an old, old practice. I suppose because fascination with the “other side” by pagans is also a constant throughout time. It is a fascination for the Christian, too, but we are fortunate to have THE authoritative and perfect, inerrant, infallible bible. It is God’s revelation of Himself to us, and it in its entirety is profitable for reproof, correction, training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16).

For those without a relationship with God and an inability to understand the bible, they still long for eternity. So they seek it anyway, but unknowingly through satan.

Hildegarde receiving a writing,
tentacles from the other side, reaching into her brain

Hildegarde of Bingen was a Catholic mystic. (1098 – 1179). Her visions became important content for the Catholic Church and eventually were accepted as theological works. In one vision she wrote of her process, “And it came to pass … when I was 42 years and 7 months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming… and suddenly I understood of the meaning of expositions of the books…”

You hear the automatic writers use the word “suddenly” quite often.

William Butler Yeats is an infamous occultist, participating in automatic writing for a decade, having been introduced to it by his wife Georgie. His famous poem Second Coming (Slouching Toward Bethlehem) was written in 1919. During the first years of his marriage, he and his wife Georgie experimented with automatic writing, and he and George contacted and were contacted by many spirits and guides they called “Instructors”. The pair also experienced flashing lights, cracking sounds and breaths of warm air as signals of the entity’s presence.

Automatic writer Rudyard Kipling said circa 1915, “My Daemon was with me in the Jungle Books, Kim, and both Puck books and good care I took to walk delicately, lest he should withdraw. I know that he did not because when those books were finished they said so themselves… When your Daemon is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait and obey.”

The main difference between holy inspiration of the bible writers, and occult practice of automatic writing, is that in the former, hard thinking was required. Study, thought, and knowledge was demanded of the men and is still demanded of all Christians today. In Galatians 6:11, Paul wrote,

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.

Pulpit Commentary says,

Through some cause or other, we know not what the cause was, writing with his own hand was not a welcome employment to him; so far unwelcome that he generally devolved the actual penning of his letters upon an amanuensis, merely authenticating each letter as his own by a postscript added in his own hand (see 2 Thessalonians 3. fin.). Perhaps Philemon forms the only’ exception (see ver. 19), apart from this letter to the Galatians. We may, therefore, imagine the apostle as painfully and laboriously penning one portion after another of the Epistle; often pausing weariedly in the work as he came to the end of each γράμμα, that is, to the end of each section of his argument, each seeming to him a long and toilsome effort. And now at last he exclaims,” Look, what long, laborious performances of handwriting I have achieved in writing to you! And from that learn how deeply I am concerned on your behalf, and how grave your present spiritual peril appears to me to be!” Ordinarily it was only a brief “piece of writing” that he wrote with his own hand; here, long pieces, added one after another with painful effort.

The bible writers prayed, and then used their minds to produce what the Spirit wanted them to produce. Today, preachers, writers, commenters, seminary students, bloggers, and theologians do the same. (Though their words are not inspired). Their minds are completely engaged, because the Spirit transforms the mind. How many times we are urged to think, study, wrestle, renew your mind, do not be double minded but single-minded, etc. See the verses here that speak to the thoughts and mind of a Christian:

93 verses about Thoughts And The Mind

Contemplative prayer is to automatic writing as marijuana is to crack. It is the beginning of a practice that, seemingly benign or innocent, will drag you down to the depths of Sheol and ultimately to death. In contemplative prayer and automatic writing, the directive is the opposite. Rather than engage the mind with the text of the bible, we are told to “Drift, Wait, and Obey.” Clear your mind. Be still. Be quiet. GotQuestions describes the process,

Contemplative prayer begins with “centering prayer,” a meditative practice where the practitioner focuses on a word and repeats that word over and over for the duration of the exercise. The purpose is to clear one’s mind of outside concerns so that God’s voice may be more easily heard. After the centering prayer, the practitioner is to sit still, listen for direct guidance from God, and feel His presence.

In Occult writing, and in Contemplative-meditative prayer (which I mentioned is a precursor for deepening occult activities), the point is to DISengage from the process, free the mind, and let someone or something else take over.

Leaving Catholic Hildegard of Bingen in the 1100s behind, we now shoot up to the 1820s. Joseph Smith received the Book of Mormon from an alleged holy angel named Moroni. In his 2002 book, “Automaticity and the Dictation of the Book of Mormon“, Scot C. Dunn wrote,

“In this essay, automatic writing refers to the ability to write or dictate text in a relatively rapid, seemingly effortless and fluent manner with no sense of control over the content. A consideration of this phenomenon is important for Mormons since a number of authors have asserted that this was the method through which Joseph Smith produced the Book of Mormon. Such a claim, if correct, can have important implications for the way Latter-day Saints approach their scriptures.” … It is clear that Smith’s translation experience fits comfortably within the larger world of scrying, channeling, and automatic writing.”

“Scriptures”. You see that yet again, as Hildegarde’s writing was taken as theological treatises, Smith’s are also taken for theological treatises, going so far as to call them ‘scriptures’. Just because the heathen senses an other-worldly presence, it does not mean it is a holy presence. The holy presence for the Christian is the Spirit dwelling inside us, a presence we usually cannot feel but know by faith is there. For unsaved people any presence they feel will be an evil, demonic presence.

There is a whole slew of writers throughout the 1900s who channeled their books. You would be surprised at how many. The famous writer, Richard Bach who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull got his book from channeling an entity through the practice of automatic writing. Bach was influenced by by occultist Jane Roberts,

In late 1963, Roberts and Butts, living in the Elmira, New York area, experimented with a Ouija board as part of Roberts’ research for a book on extra-sensory perception. According to Roberts and Butts, on December 2, 1963 they began to receive coherent messages from a male personality who eventually identified himself as Seth. Soon after, Roberts reported that she was hearing the messages in her head. [inner voice] She began to dictate the messages instead of using the Ouija board, and she eventually abandoned the board. Roberts described the process of writing the Seth books as entering a trance state. She said Seth[the entity] would assume control of her body and speak through her, while her husband wrote down the words she spoke. They referred to such episodes as “readings” or “sessions”. Ten volumes of “Seth books” emerged.

That’s the way it goes. One person gets a piece of writing from the spirits on the other side, and a friend says, ‘hey, that’s cool, I want to do that too’, and the first occultist becomes a mentor to the second. Yeats was a student who became a mentor/teacher in His occult club known as Golden Dawn. Roberts taught Bach. In a circle of friends, a little leaven spoils the whole lump. Occult practices don’t stay politely to one side, but soon permeate the entire sphere of friends, and then soon goes looking for other spheres to pollute.

“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44″Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. 45″Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.” (Matthew 12:43-45)

Like Hildegarde heard an inner voice, so did Bach. Richard Bach was on a walk one day when he heard an inner voice declare, “Johnathan Livingston Seagull.” There was more. He went home and began writing immediately, furiously, trying to keep up with the flow of words that were coming spontaneously to mind.” He said his book came in one sitting.

In 1923, AJ Russell “authored a book called “For Sinners Only.” One day, he was gardening. He wrote,

“I worked on, thinking of nothing in particular. Suddenly a strange experience came to me. There seemed to be a faint electrical crackling in the clear air about me. There was positively nobody else in the garden, but someone or something spoke to me: a voice that was audible and yet (paradoxically enough) quite soundless. That seems the only way to express what I shall always believe was a supernatural experience. I felt a message impinge on my brain from the air. It alighted softly like the caress of a leaf or the touch of a gentle zephyr. It was accompanied by a sense of exaltation both pleasurable and unforgivable.

Russell’s experience sparked the interest of two ladies in the 1930s, who were curious to try Russell’s recommended method of “Quiet Time”. (AKA Automatic writing). Russell had recommended sitting down with pencil and paper, letting the mind go blank, cleared of thought, and then allowing any entity to impinge a message to it and through the listener writes it down.

The two ladies did so and God Calling was the result. God Calling is yet another book received by an unknown entity from the other side via automatic writing. The people being used for this channeling were unknown, only calling themselves Two Listeners, because they wish to remain anonymous. All we know is that they are women, one Catholic and one Anglican. They sent their manuscript to Russell and so impressed, he published it.

The For Sinners Only book caused the Two Listeners to write God Calling and God Calling caused Sarah Young to do some automatic writing of her own, and Jesus Calling was the result.

“I began reading God Calling, a devotional book written by two anonymous “listeners.” These women practiced waiting quietly in God’s Presence, pencils and paper in hand, recording the messages they received from Him. The messages are written in first person, with “I” designating God…this little paperback became a treasure to me. It dovetailed remarkably well with my longing to live in Jesus’ Presence. (Sarah Young)

Sarah Young wrote the pseudo-Christian book Jesus Calling in exactly the same way as all the other automatic writers. Young describes her process:

“One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. … Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, …When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace. Yearning to hear the Lord’s voice isn’t complicated. But it does require some discipline to find a quiet place and to allow some time just listening. Perhaps the hardest part is clearing your mind. With all the noise of life regularly cascading through your mind, it can be hard to hear God’s voice.”

A Course In Miracles is another pseudo-Christian book gotten through automatic writing. Author Dr. Schucman said,

“That was my introduction to the Voice. It made no sound, but seemed to be giving me a kind of rapid, inner dictation which I took down in a shorthand notebook”. And, “I call it a voice, but “a voice” has sounds…or sounds as though it has something to do with hearing. And I didn’t hear anything. I think it’s the sort of hearing that you can’t really describe.” (A Course in Miracles, Schucman)

In 2008, William P. Young wrote a story for his kids about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that his wife encouraged him to publish. It became the runaway bestseller The Shack. Christian apologist Norman Geisler wrote of The Shack‘s origins by quoting from The Shack‘s afterword,

“In the final section of the book titled “The Story behind THE SHACK,” he reveals that the motivation for this story comes from his own struggle to answer many of the difficult questions of life. He claims that his seminary training just did not provide answers to many of his pressing questions. Then one day in 2005, he felt God whisper in his ear that this year was going to be his year of Jubilee and restoration. Out of that experience he felt lead to write The Shack. According to Young, much of the book was formed around personal conversations he had with God, family, and friends (258-259).” Toward the end of writing the book, Mr Young had said that he spent one weekend writing four chapters, and one chapter, came out whole and he never edited it.”

Neale Donald Walsch wrote a trilogy called Conversations with God. In this interview with Walsch, we learn that it is also is a book born from hell through automatic writing.

Interviewer: Since your original “Conversations With God,” has your communication with God continued, and if so, is your experience akin to channeling or automatic writing?
Neale: Yes, although sporadically, the communications do continue. The process is quite simple. First, it must be absolutely quiet because I can’t do this work with anything or anyone distracting me, even in the slightest way. So generally, these communications occur at 4:00 in the morning, when there is no sound of any kind. It’s not channeling or automatic writing, but more like taking dictation. [automatic writing IS dictation & vice-versa]. What it feels like is someone is whispering into my right ear. There is a voice inside my head, a voiceless voice saying things to me, and I write down what’s being said, literally one sentence at a time. It’s as if I were listening to a voice that doesn’t have a voice.

Neale: The feeling is always a physical warmth, and a kind of joy that makes me want to cry. I find myself often moved to tears by what is being written in front of me. Sometimes, I just sit on the couch and write the words down and cry because the beauty of the thoughts and how exquisitely they are being expressed. It’s 5:00 in the morning, and there’s no one around, mind you. I feel like I’m being embraced in the kindest, gentlest way one could even hope to imagine.

Interviewer: What are some of the ways each of us can begin to strengthen our personal communication and rapport with God?
Neale: One way is to sit and be absolutely still and quiet, and go to a wonderful secret place. I don’t necessarily mean sit in meditation, but be somewhere absolutely quiet.

Beth Moore wrote When Ungodly People Do Ungodly Things, or rather, God wrote it for her. Moore was only the channel for it. Moore describes her process-Moore says-

In conscious writing it is the writer who moves the pencil; in automatic writing it is the pencil that moves the writer. Source
“When the message for this book was complete (in His estimation — not mine!), [just like Kipling’s Daemon said, too] God compelled me to ink it on paper with a force of the Holy Spirit unparalleled in my experience. He whisked me to the mountains of Wyoming where I entered solitary confinement with Him, and in only a few short weeks, I wrote the last line.”

Screen shot from Moore video where Moore describes her vision
of a coming outpouring, a vision she says God gave directly to her.
In my opinion, Moore does not look too stable there.

Whisked her? Like He did to Philip? “And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:39). Moore continues,

“Oddly, the concept for this book came complete, God delivering the title to me in full. My Bible was open to these verses for the first time in a long while, and the instruction from the Lord came so unmistakably that I dated it in the margin: April 19, 2000. My pen still didn’t touch the paper until almost exactly a year later when I knew His Spirit was saying to me, ‘Now.’ I headed to the mountains, and within a few weeks it was done.”

Not so odd, as we have learned. Just satanic.

We have learned that any heathen in any era can be used for automatic writing. We know that the bible says,

No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

Automatic writing is one way the unholy angels masquerade as righteous, delivering the age-old satanic promise of wisdom from beyond.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. (Genesis 3:5-6).

It goes without saying that the work-product received always, ALWAYS is at contradiction to one or more doctrines of the bible. Invariably. Including Beth Moore’s books. These so-called godly books are from satan, who is the father of lies. The only book from the other side worth trusting is the bible. Period.

Brethren, gain your wisdom from the perfect Word. If you read Jesus Calling, or Beth Moore’s ungodly channeled books, or The Shack, or any of these supposedly divinely delivered books and writings, then aren’t you, too, eating the fruit of the tree from which you were commanded not to? Do not ingest poisonous fruit from a subtle schemer such as satan. Stay in the pure word, a lovely and wonderful holy book given to us by our precious Jesus. It is good fruit from the Firstfruit of all. (1 Corinthians 15:23)


1. Automatic writing is an occult activity,
2. Automatic writing is an occult activity encroaching into the true church,
3. Automatic writing is an occult activity rapidly being accepted by the true church,
4. Now you know the buzz words regarding automatic writing,
5. Do not purchase, read, or accept automatic writers, including Sarah Young, Beth Moore, and William P. Young, Marianne Williamson, etc.,
6. Do not do automatic writing yourself.


Further Reading

The End Time: Ungodly Channelers and Automatic Writers, three part series

Pastor Mike Abendroth: Escaping Mysticism, Jesus is NOT Calling, (15-minute video)

Wikipedia, List of Modern Channeled Books

Posted in beth moore, devotionals, discernment, jesus calling, Joyce Meyer

Our roles as woman in the faith part 3: be discerning about our theology. This keeps us strong, AND helps the men in our lives

This is part 3 of a three-part series on woman of the faith and how satan is exploiting our specific vulnerabilities in order to infiltrate the faith with false doctrines.

In part 1 I looked at what the female’s vulnerabilities are, from scripture.

In part 2 I looked at places where satan is operating in order to bring these false doctrines. Women are in the home, and so satan brings the doctrines into the home, as it is stated in 2 Timothy 3:6, “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,

Instead of these false teachers accomplishing their leaven-spreading, via personal visiting inside homes as the scripture indicates was done in biblical days, in today’s world, false teachers come into the home via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and blogs. And unlike the old days when there were designated male teachers and elders matured in the faith over time and learned under an educational setting or from another elder, now anyone can become an instant Christian pundit and theologian, including women. And unlike the old days where in order to listen to these teachers, one had to attend a church or revival speech, buy a book, or go to seminary, now these false teachers’ reach is anytime and anywhere at the click of a button. Of course satan makes hay with this and promotes his doctrines of demons very easily today.

Tickled ears leads to dead faith. Wikimedia commons

One of the most influential false teachers worming her way into homes to seduce women into false beliefs is Joyce Meyer. Joyce Meyer’s reach on social media is astounding. She receives more re-tweets on Twitter than the Miami Heat and CNN Breaking combined.

In this 2012 article titled “How Joyce Meyer Dominates Twitter”,

The pillars of social media are YouTube, Facebook, Disney … and Joyce Meyer Ministries, according to a ranking released this week. Social media analytics group Track Social ranked the top public Twitter brands and found that @JoyceMeyer was retweeted more often than any other brand, topping ESPN, the Miami Heat and CNN. That’s right – Fenton-based Joyce Meyer Ministries was hotter than Jeremy Lin last month.”

Their top 10 ranking of retweets per day:

1. Joyce Meyer Ministries
3. Joel Osteen Ministries
4. Miami Heat
5. Breaking News
6. NBA
7. CNN Breaking News
8. Los Angeles Lakers
9. Chicago Bulls
10. BBC Breaking News

In 2012 Meyer had 750,000 followers and 11 months later, by November 2013, she had 2.5 Million, by April 2014 it was up to 2.75 million. Do you believe that?!?! I was astounded myself when I read it. Meyer’s message goes out tonearly 3 million people per day. Besides ranking “first in retweets, Joyce Meyer Ministries ranked first in overall social media marketing, first in social engagement and first in social buzz.”

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you,
not sparing the flock; Acts 20:29. Wikimedia Commons

What makes the Joyce Meyer Twitter feed so popular? The account only tweets a handful of times a day, but the tweets’ messages – “We’re never hopeless with God. All things are possible through Him!” – give the direct inspiration that all 750,000-plus followers can share.”

Ear tickling. She has the same thing other false teachers have, a winsome personality, Christian-sounding language, and friendly approach to sin, with rare talk of holiness. Add a mega dose of word faith prosperity and you have a winning combination. Apparently.
We should inculcate a desire for women to increase their knowledge of God’s word and the Lord and to be more competent theologians. ~Mortification of Spin.

This reach should be a God-given blessing. Imagine the power of the Gospel infiltrating millions of homes, and minds! But the Gospel is not the message Joyce Meyer promotes. She tickles ears and presents doctrines of demons, there fore this reach is not a blessing. It is a curse.

The following excerpt is from a pastor who became fed up with the false message of this woman and called her out from the pulpit. I agree with doing that, because many of the congregation read or follow false teachers, without their pastor knowing who is reading what. It is good once in a while to make a blanket warning about the false ones so that the sheep know who the wolves are. In 2012, Pastor Jim Murphy did this in a message called The Subtlety of Satan, (and included Beth Moore in the stuff he planned to root OUT of the Sunday School curricula, bookstore, and library).

Why I Called Out Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer
By Rick Henderson, August 5, 2013
I have been preaching for 20 years. Yesterday I did something that I have never done before in a sermon. I publicly called out false teachers and named them by name. I said,

If you listen to Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, if you take what they teach seriously, it will not be good for you. It will be detrimental to your long-term growth as a follower of Jesus.

And that is why we press upon you so hard, because ultimately these false teachers want your destruction. They will make a shipwreck of your faith. We care about you so deeply we are willing to risk your ire and our friendship to tell you these things.

If a book is on the Christian bestseller list, you probably shouldn’t buy it. ~Todd Pruitt, Mortification of Spin.
Pastor Henderson continued, and I agree with this completely…I haven’t written about Meyer before now because I thought it was so obvious she’s false, but no. I was wrong.

I used to think that their error was so blatantly obvious that they could just be ignored. I was wrong. They are massively growing in popularity in the evangelical world and are seen as credible and helpful. …When I first heard her tell her story I was deeply moved and impressed. She is an amazing example of overcoming hurts and abuse. She will forever have my admiration and respect in that regard. Furthermore, she gives spectacular advice. If my wife or if one of my daughters went to her in a moment of crisis, I believe they would return with magnificently helpful advice. If they went to her for teaching, they would return with deadly heresy.”

And that is how Meyer – and all false teachers – hook you. Satan appeared to be helping Eve in the garden. The false ones use the bible. Of course they will have a bible in their hand, quote it, use it. If they failed to quote the bible it would be obvious they were false. If they quoted Buddha or the Koran, it would be obvious. But they use the bible. It is a matter of HOW they use the bible that makes discernment difficult. Charles Spurgeon said discernment isn’t just detecting between right and wrong it is discerning between right and almost right.

But here is why I thought it would be obvious Meyer is false. Meyer has said,

“God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, ‘Let Him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus… He was resurrected from the dead – the first born-again man.”

Listen to Meyer actually saying her many heresies here, and here, or go to Pr. Henderson’s link above for the full explanation. More links will follow below.

But in just the 100 words above, Meyer is denying the —
•Location of the atonement, (Meyer says it was the cross AND hell)
•The sufficiency of the cross in the atonement (the cross wasn’t enough, Jesus had to go to hell also)
•Sinlessness of Jesus (you only need to be born again if you’re a sinner, Jesus was never born again, He was sinless. Hebrews 4:15)

And we haven’t even discussed Meyer’s word-faith/prosperity gospel nor her failure in financial accountability with the millions she has raked in.

Husbands, brothers, pastors, your women are vulnerable to satan in massive ways in this technological day and age. Your message from the pulpit is only one of many she listens to each day. You compete with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, mommy blogs, radio while she is commuting, tv preachers while she is folding laundry at home, and the doctrinally disastrous music of her teenage children.


Miss Auras By Sir John Lavery ca 1900

So what can we do?

Pastors, guard your flock. Actively. Name names. Be aware of the books and other material people are placing in the church library. Do a once-over of the Sunday School curriculum now and then. Apostasy is rising so fast, curricula that were acceptable even five years ago are no longer. I refer you to Jim Murphy’s sermon above, “The Subtlety of Satan.” As Carl Trueman mentions on the radio show linked here and below, (“Extra Special Revelation“), don’t do it in a cavalier manner that offends, but in a way that provokes interest and further questions.

Husbands, guard your wives. Check in with her on her spiritual needs in terms of books and devotionals. Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling devotional is currently sweeping Christian circles and it is a devotional that is not only blasphemous but is rank heresy. Same with Ann Voskamp’s devotional. Same with anything by Beth Moore. And Joyce Meyer. Help her be discerning and select appropriate spiritual material. It is one of the joys of male leadership and one of your duties too. (1 Timothy 3:12).

Women, you don’t HAVE to choose books or devotionals just because a woman wrote them. As a matter of fact, there are many great books and devotionals out there that men wrote and I guarantee they are usually meatier. Randy Alcorn’s “We Shall See God” is great. I contains Spurgeon devotions on heaven intertwined with Alcorn’s devotional thoughts. It is a good way to be introduced to Spurgeon AND eschatology. It’s eating meat but in little bites.

Wives, becoming theologically sharper prepares you to help your husband and also demonstrates your devotion to him and his spiritual well-being. (1 Peter 3:1; Ephesians 5:33).

How can we challenge women to be good theologians? Housewife Theologian Aimee Byrd Aimee Byrd was asked on the Mortification of Spin show

“There are no books telling men how to take out the trash for God but there seem to be a lot of books out there for women on how to get skinny for God, how to do the laundry better. … Theology is a very practical thing. What we believe about God shapes our decisions every single day. Pastors, elders, and the church in general should be encouraging to women to be growing in their theological study.

Byrd (she’s good!!) recommends for women, the Abridged John Owen book “Communion with God.” Rather than the treacle that passes for spiritual meat by Sarah Young of Jesus Calling, if you want to commune with God, this abridged and modernized paperback is a great start. It is also a great way to be introduced to the Puritans.

Training Hearts, Teaching Minds: Family Devotions by Starr Meade is also recommended
There is not a lot of teaching in Jesus Calling about the person of God and the work of Jesus Christ.
~Aimee Byrd

On the 30 minute Mortification of Spin radio show, a recent discussion by Carl Trueman, Todd Pruitt, and Aimee Byrd revolved around women and their desire to “hear more from God”, Jesus Calling, and why women are falling for these kinds of books and what pastors can do about it.

Men and women, it’s good to ponder the following question: how can the church help women be more discerning? Our church’s Discipling pastor said “Pray for like-minded women.”

Prayer! In addition to requesting wisdom and discernment of God, ask Jesus to increase your discernment. Do we think this isn’t one of the good gifts He wants to give us?! (Matthew 7:11). It is aligned in His will for us to be pure and holy (Titus 2:4-5) so we can honor Him in Spirit and truth. (John 5:23).

Pray for courage. It takes boldness to approach a person who asks you if you have read the latest Joyce Meyer book or done the latest Beth Moore study to disabuse them of the helpfulness of either of those women teachers. It should be done sensitively. You don’t want to make someone feel stupid for having already chosen to read a particular book, follow a certain blog, or taken a specific course. But share we must.


I hope this three part series has helped you, my sisters. I love my brethren and it wounds me to think of even one of you hurting from having fallen under the sway of a false teacher or a bad doctrine. Please consider these things, test what I’ve said against scripture, and pray for wisdom and discernment for the Spirit to apply what He knows you need to your heart and mind. He is coming soon, our Groom. We honor him by remaining as pure as possible, persevering to the end as holy saints.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, (Titus 2:12)

Posted in false, hearing God, jesus calling, sarah young

Amazon’s best sellers of the year: Even Slate gets it about Sarah Young…

Slate presents “Amazon’s Best-Selling Books of 2013, and What They Tell Us About America

Even Slate gets it about Sarah Young’s #5 seller, Jesus Calling

We’re desperate for guidance from Jesus, 
even if it’s just an author named Sarah Young pretending to be Jesus.

And yes, Jesus Calling IS Amazon’s number five best selling book of the year. Not in Christian Books. All books. Now I will go off to a corner somewhere and cry.


Further Reading

Sarah Young, was it really Jesus Calling, or someone else?

Jesus Calling review, and why ‘hearing’ God is a bad thing

Reaction to the book “A Christian Rebuttal to Sarah Young’s ‘Jesus Calling'”

Posted in itching ears, jesus calling, sarah young, sound doctrine

Reaction to the book "A Christian Rebuttal to Sarah Young’s ‘Jesus Calling’ "

Sarah Young wrote a successful book titled “Jesus Calling.” The book’s blurb states,

After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her.  It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue.  She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God.  Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages.  They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling.  It is Sarah’s fervent prayer that our Savior may bless readers with His presence and His peace in ever deeper measure.”

I reviewed Jesus Calling here, and here

“Journaling” is a new kind of activity that the New Agers are calling a spiritual discipline. Beth Moore does it, that is, she listens for God and accepts the force that comes and guides her very hand into writing things that are not from her own brain. I am not making this up. You can learn more about why journaling to listen for God, is not a spiritual discipline but in fact is a false spiritual activity.

In any case, this blog entry is not about Sarah Young’s book. It is about reaction to criticism of Sarah Young’s book. Pastor Robert Allen King wrote “A Christian Rebuttal to Sarah Young’s ‘Jesus Calling‘” and released it on Kindle. A slim volume, the book goes through

Young’s erroneous method of placing her own personal reflections and meditations from her quiet time with God into the mouth of Jesus, infusing them with a false divine authority that will mislead her readers. The booklet will also go over the false teachings and incorrect theological concepts that have been presented to the world under the guise of approval by Jesus.

The reviews were immediately negative, and oh so familiar in content and tone. Here are the titles of each review. The content of each review goes on in similar vein as you’d imagine from reading its  heading:

“Another person trying to kill hope”
“Arrogant and Jealous”
“How Dare You?”
“So Very Sad”
“A “Christian” Rebuttal?,” [Note the scare quotes around the word Christian]
“How sad for you”
“What a ***”
“Pray for Alan King! He needs to hear the voice of God through Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling!”
“stop the criticicizm” [sic]

The reviews ran 2-1 against.

Chris Rosebrough posted the following tonight:

I have no further deep theological insight into this, other than to remark that this is to be expected and to encourage you all.

First, the bible:

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (2 Timothy 4:3)

This verse has always been true since they were written 2000 years ago. It is no different today. Except it is.

In terms of speed with which the tide has turned, I’ve never seen it pile on faster than it is now, and today it is piling on faster than yesterday and tomorrow will be faster than today. Each day the heated rhetoric and the hate against Christians from people who call themselves Christians is getting hotter and hotter, higher and higher. Daily, it seems, the vitriol against speaking the truth in love is rising. No one seems to be allowed by the liberal or false element to judge, discern, criticize; nor to compare a speech, sermon, or work to scripture. None of that. We are supposed to accept anything and everything as long as the name “Jesus” is attached. Unquestioningly and wholly.

“They say to the seers, “See no more visions!” and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.” (Isaiah 30:10)

Please never stop preaching the truth in season and out of season. Please never stop comparing works to scripture to see if these things are true. Please never stop speaking up FOR Jesus, and His truth which He died to offer to the saints once for all.

Expect vitriol, but that is no matter, because Jesus is coming soon. And then, expect glory.

Posted in hearing God, jesus calling, thomas manton

Jesus Calling review, and why ‘hearing’ God is a bad thing

Here is a review of the book Jesus Calling by Michael Horton. I liked the review and liked just as much the clarification comment Mr Horton made at the comment section, which I excised and placed after the link to his review. Jesus Calling is another book which calls for your discernment because of the casual way the author ‘hears’ God and uses His word to legitimize what is beyond scripture. This blog entry is also an overall caution about hearing audible or inner ‘voices’ in either yourself or from other teachers.

FYI, here is the link to a very thoughtful and biblical review of this book.

Review of Jesus Calling
By Mike Horton

Excerpt: “In terms of method, then, Jesus Calling is a “something more” book. At the very least, I believe that it encourages believers to see God’s Word as hum-drum and to ascend into the heavens or descend to the depths to discover a word that will make Jesus more present in our daily lives. According to the Reformation stream of evangelicalism, God speaks to us in his Word (the arrow pointing down from God to us) and we speak to him in prayer (the arrow directed up to God). However, Jesus Calling confuses the direction of these arrows, blurring the distinction between God’s speech and our response.”

In the ensuing discussion of the book review in the comment section, there was a growing outcry from the commenters who began vehemently disagreeing with Mr Horton’s stance that God does not speak audibly today, in this era. Mr Horton made the following response in clarifying his stance and responding to the objections–


Thanks for the interaction.

A number of responses have objected to restricting the Spirit’s communication to his Word. We don’t seem to disagree over whether Scripture is the infallible rule, but whether it’s sufficient: that is, whether we need or should expect other avenues of divine communication today. Let me first clarify the point and then defend it briefly.

It’s not a question of what God can do, but what he’s promised to do. Tomorrow morning, Jesus could speak to me in audible words outside of Scripture, but why to me and not to someone else? Scripture is a public book that may be accessed anytime. Jesus, who rose again publicly in history, certified the Old Testament and commissioned his apostles to speak his words in his name. Preaching is a public event. This public character of the gospel distinguishes Christianity from every other religion. I’ll leave it to others to discern whether Sarah Young tends to treat Scripture and preaching as “humdrum,” given her clear statement in the introduction that she was seeking more communication—something more personal—from Jesus than she had found in reading the Bible. (She doesn’t even mention preaching, as I recall.)

Now to the defense. To be sure, there are myriad examples of God speaking directly to people in the Old and New Testaments. After all, that’s how we got Scripture in the first place. However, Jesus equated the words of the prophets with the very word of God and submitted himself to the Scriptures (Mt 4:4, 7, 10; 5:17-20; 19:4-6; 26:31, 52-54; Lk 4:16-21; 16:17; 18:31-33; 22:37; 24:25-27, 45-47; Jn 10:35-38). He also drew a qualitative distinction between “word of God” and “the tradition of the elders” (Mt 15:2, 6). The one is God’s infallible word and the other is a fallible interpretation of God’s word. Yet the words of Christ and his apostles in Scripture are also the very word of God for the new covenant era: “God-breathed” and therefore sufficient (2 Tim 3:16). The Old and New Testaments form the biblical canon—like a constitution—that cannot be altered (Dt 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18-19).

Like the era of the prophets, the era of the apostles is unique. Paul distinguishes between the foundation-laying era of the apostles and the ordinary ministers who follow (1 Cor 3:11-12). The scriptures are inspired by the Spirit; we are illumined by the same Spirit to understand them. Just as the prophetic era was followed by the teachers (rabbis) who interpreted their inspired writing, the apostolic era was followed by pastors and teachers. The apostles said and did things that the Spirit did not deem necessary for us to know, as did those who prophesied in the Book of Acts. However, Paul warns, “Do not go beyond what is written,” since appeals to private revelation breed factions (1 Cor 4:6).

Churches of the Reformation hold that when this Word is faithfully preached, Christ himself speaks. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). It is through the preaching of the gospel that the Spirit creates and sustains our faith in Christ (Is 55:10-11; Ezek 37; Acts 2:14-36; Rom 1:16; 2 Cor 4:3, 6; 1 Pet 1:23-25).

In short, as Luther and Calvin both said, to look for another path, another means of communication from our Lord, is to “seek him outside the way.” The only safe place to find a holy God in mercy, clothed in his gospel, is where he has promised to meet us in peace.


I thought his review (linked to his blog, above) and the clarification of the audible or inner hearing of God as a voice was extremely well-articulated. I have great concern when I hear and see the elders of our faith going forward with audible voices and lengthy, specific conversations with Jesus. Beth Moore is one of those. Pastor Mike Abendroth addressed her penchant for conversations with God in his 90-second video here. Basing doctrine, decisions, writings, teachings, or theology on supposed audible or inner hearings of God denies the sufficiency of God. Puritan Thomas Manton wrote in the mid-1600s of apostasy,

“The apostasy from the Lord will be determined chiefly by these two things: — (1.) By undermining his authority; (2.) Or destroying the interests of his kingdom. By these two we may understand the falling away, which is to come first.”

By claiming that God speaks to you personally it destroys the interests of the kingdom by making private the word of God (since as Mr Horton reminds us, appeals to private revelation breed factions, 1 Cor 4:6), and undermining His authority, by which God spoke through His Son. (Hebrews 1:1-2.)

Posted in days of Noah, jesus calling, nephilim, sarah young

Sarah Young, was it really Jesus Calling, or someone else?

Sarah Young has a special relationship with Jesus. While we all seek closeness with the Savior, and an intimate walk is to be praised, Ms Young’s definition of intimacy with Christ is vastly different from mine. The excerpt below is from her book Jesus Calling. The book was reviewed by Tim Challies and the book has a host of doctrinal problems and issues. It is not recommended.

I’m not looking at doctrinal things in this essay. Instead, I am going to look at Ms Young’s statements about the feelings and experiences she had with the “Presence” during her devotional and prayer times. They are part of a trend I’d identified earlier this summer, over-romanticizing Jesus. Ultimately it is a centuries-long outgrowth of the Gnostic attack of depreciating Him.

In this excerpt from her book, Ms Young wrote,

“One night I found myself leaving the warmth of our cozy chalet to walk alone in the snowy mountains. I went into a deeply wooded area, feeling vulnerable and awed by cold, moonlit beauty. The air was crisp and dry, piercing to inhale. Suddenly I felt as if a warm mist enveloped me. I became aware of a lovely Presence, and my involuntary response was to whisper, ‘Sweet Jesus.’ This utterance was totally uncharacteristic of me, and I was shocked to hear myself speaking so tenderly to Jesus. As I pondered this brief communication, I realized it was the response of a converted heart; at that moment I knew I belonged to Him. This was far more than the intellectual answers for which I’d been searching. This was a relationship with the Creator of the universe.”

Besides being embarrassing as faux-poetical teenage tripe of the most ridiculous sort, there is something here I want you to be aware of. It’s her use of romantic allusions and language more akin to language found in dime novel bodice-rippers than in referring to the Holy God of Israel. I’ve written before about the terrible trend of ‘Jesus is my Boyfriend’ and the carnality inherent in that particular depreciation. Here we find it again, with a tinge of sexuality and worse, apparent forays into mythological mating.

First, a response in biblical terms regarding Ms Young’s moonlight walk as she described it. She says, ‘at that moment I knew I belonged to Him.’ Presumably by faith she has already been the recipient of a converted heart through the grace of Jesus, but it was only after she had a vulnerable, moonlight walk with her boyfriend Jesus that she knew she was saved? It was only ‘at that moment’ she knew she belonged to Him? Her personal, temporal experience cemented her faith and not the Holy word?

Yet, the bible says-

“And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” (1 John 3:23)

Ms Young wrote about the impetus for the book. “I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more…”

Is not the bible sufficient for all revelation from God? It is supposed to be. Faith is believing on His name, not the experiences or revelations we receive from an unknown source.

Jesus is not your boyfriend. He is not your lover. Compare her language about being with Jesus to Mary’s response in Luke 1 to the angel who had just told Mary she would conceive. When Gabriel came to tell Mary she would bear a Son by the Spirit ‘overshadowing’ her, (Luke 1:35) there were no descriptions of warm mist or sweet presence or being enveloped … or anything involuntary. What Mary responded was “And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”” (Luke 1:38).

When realizing she was in the presence of a holy angel of God, (never mind Jesus Himself), how Mary felt was acutely agitated and greatly troubled. (Luke 1:29). And Luke 1:46-55 records Mary’s response to the news. She didn’t say “I belong to Him” but, “My soul magnifies the LORD.” She didn’t say, “This is a relationship with the Creator of the Universe” but, “he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.”

Seeing Ms Young’s fervent desire to have personal revelations delivered to her from Jesus, her automatic writing of the conversations she then turned into a best-selling devotional, and her responses to the ‘Presence” as compared to the actual responses from people in the bible when they were in His presence, tells me that what Ms Young experienced was not from Jesus.

So? What was it?

If you are a believer and you read Greek mythology, you’ll notice the gods were capricious and were always attracted to the people of earth, particularly the young maidens. These gods, who never practiced self-restraint, were always looking down and noticing this maiden or that one, falling in love or lust with one they had spotted in a forest glen or by the seaside or some such. They were forever abandoning their estate on Mt Olympus. They frequently came down to ravish a maiden or two. Since they were not flesh, they took the forms of other things to do the deed; a husband, a swan, a golden cloud, etc. When the maidens got pregnant, they birthed a demi-god, who were strong and mighty and had powers.

Hercules was one of these hybrids. Achilles was another.

The bible says, “the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. … The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.” (Genesis 6:2,4).

The bible records that after the fall and before the flood, the earth was very evil. (Gen 6:5) Jesus said those were the Days of Noah and the time right before His second coming would be like that again. (Mt 24:36-39). One of the elements that made the world so evil then were the mighty men who were on earth in those days, ransacking the world and polluting the people’s hearts. The Greek myths are vestigial memories of the actual events of the Nephilim when they were on the earth in those days, re-written to suit satan’s preferred ending.

The sons of God are angels. It is fallen angels the verses refer to. The verse says what it says. The angels are spirit people, created by God, but nonetheless, they assumed human form somehow and procreated with women on earth. John MacArthur said whenever a holy angel came to earth, they looked like men. The unholy angels do the same. (2 Cor 11:14-15). He said he doesn’t know how the biology or physiology works with the fallen angels referred to in Genesis 6, whether there is a closet of human suits in heaven and a fallen angel picks one when he comes to earth, lol, or if their spirit infiltrates a human from birth or at some point after, or something else we are not privy to. Ultimately, we don’t understand ‘how’ it happened but we believe it did happen.

The ways the Greek ‘gods’ (fallen angel Nephilim) are said to have come to the maidens were varied. In one of them, and it is this one that most closely resembles Ms Young’s experience, Danae’s story is told.

Remember, Ms Young said she was walking alone, felt vulnerable, and a warm mist suddenly enveloped her. She involuntarily whispered ‘Sweet Jesus.’ At that moment she ‘knew she belonged to him.’

Danae was a vulnerable maiden whose father had locked her in a dungeon so no men could violate her. The Greek god Zeus, disguising himself as a cloud, secretly entered her chamber and rained down on her a shower of gold, irresistibly enveloping her in his presence. Danae became entranced and opened herself to him.

From which source does Ms Young’s experience seem closer to? Mary’s when she was overshadowed by the Spirit? Or Danae’s when she was overcome by Zeus?

It is a concern that Ms Young did not have faith in Jesus according to what the bible says, but ‘belonged to him’ only after she had a romantic moonlight sensuous moment when a cloudlike presence overwhelmed her. Just like Danae’s…

Please be diligent in using your spiritual radar. Be aware of what you are reading or listening to. Are the words from the book or sermon from the bible, or from someone’s experiences? Are the scriptures they use based on proper context? Do they raise or lower Jesus from His exalted position? Satan is subtle. Detecting the gnosticism or the legalism or any other -ism is hard to do, but if you feel your radar going off, pay attention. Pray to the Spirit to lead you into truth, and to show you from the bible how the item you are studying or listening to may or may not be sound. He affirms truth as much as He shows where error may be.

Ultimately, the more more you study the bible the better you will be able to spot a counterfeit. And remember, Jesus is NOT your boyfriend…but satan wants to be.