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. CARM.org 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.

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Further Reading:

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

Posted in beth moore, john hagee, judge not, prophecy, sarah young

Thoughts about the judge not crowd, fringe prophecy, use of photos, my friend bronchitis

Here are a few updates and thoughts about the blog.

Last October I got the flu. By November it had left me with bronchitis. I’ve been struggling with bronchitis ever since. In November I went to the walk-in clinic and got a course of antibiotics, but it did not defeat the bronchitis. By December, the flu season was in full sway and it was impossible to get seen at the local clinics. I tried three times in person, and once I called for a renewal of the antibiotics. No go. Packed.


In January and February it subsided to manageable levels, and I coughed only infrequently, but was still dragging. The daytime work takes it all out of me and at night it’s only through the strength of the Holy Spirit that I write and study and complete my personal chores around the house. Last week, I got a cold and it revived the bronchitis totally. Yesterday I coughed non-stop. I am home on a sick day today. Even though the course of drugs in November didn’t help, nothing else since has helped either. (Rest, fluids, over the counter remedies, home remedies…) I will likely have to go back to the clinic. I do not like the clinic.

If you notice the photos on the blog, some are labeled “EPrata photo”. I have lots of photos and I like to use them. However you may see other photos with no attribution. It is not that I am failing to attribute, but these photos are Creative Common, license-free photos that require no attribution. Here is a snippet of a photo I used earlier and the CC statement:

Here is the terms of use:

Via download provided Images on Pixabay are bound to Creative Commons Deed CC0. To the extent possible under law, uploaders of Pixabay have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to these Images. You are free to adapt and use the Images for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source. Although absolutely not required, a link back to Pixabay would be nice.

Pixabay is a nice site and I appreciate the donated photos.

I monitor comments and when warranted, I ruthlessly delete. However for the most part, I do try to give people their say and I enjoy that it gives me an opportunity to engage with folks, and to share insight and verses with them and from them. However I am getting impatient with the plethora of comments that incorrectly use the “judge not lest ye be judged” verse from Matthew 7:1.

It seems that it is the go-to response of everyone who wants to criticize. I appreciate criticism, but when a person uses the ‘judge not’ chestnut, I know they have no biblical understanding of sin, of studying the bible correctly and are simply parroting the one verse they have learned, bless their heart. Most don’t even to add the chapter and verse, but simply and out of context say ‘judge not’ as if that solves everything. It is the religious equivalent in a debate to Godwin’s Law.

Godwin’s Law (or Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches—​ that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism. … there is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently referred to as Godwin’s law. (Wikipedia)

We can say the same about “Judge Not”. It is the religious Godwin’s Law. Let’s call it the UnGodly Law.

‘UnGodly Law is a new Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion about sin, especially homosexuality, grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving judgment approaches—​ that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will trot out the misused verse from Matthew 7:1 and say “judge not!”. … there may be a new tradition forming in many newsgroups and other Christian discussion forums (OK, just on this blog) that once such a statement is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the judge not chestnut has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress and will be deleted without mercy or second thought.’

I decided that if anyone uses the ‘judge not’ verse in the incorrect way from now on it will be a trigger for automatic delete. In the past, I’ve attempted to reason with the judge not crowd, but their gross lack of understanding is too weighty to overcome in the space allowed in the comment box, and too deep to instruct in the time a life can be lived. So. Delete.

Back when I started the blog 8 years ago, I enjoyed posting some of the more speculative prophetic passages such as Nephilim, or cryptids, or sinkholes, or the changing behavior the animal kingdom is exhibiting, and musing on them in light of contemporary news. The autistic brain excels at seeing patterns, and with the Holy Spirit inside, and the bible to show all of human history, detecting a pattern is made even easier.

I still enjoy seeing today’s news, knowing history, and looking back to see where the current news fits in to the past pattern. However I haven’t posted about that for a while. Here’s why.

— I don’t want to go beyond scripture. I don’t think I have done that in the past, but I don’t want to even creep off the yellow center line by an inch because the longer I go on in sanctification the less I trust myself,

— I don’t want to cause someone else to stumble,

— Mainly because it seems that even a mere mention of such things nowadays opens the floodgates. In the last 5 years, people have gotten both stupid and irrational about the scriptures. Not that people weren’t before, but like interest that compounds, the stupidity and irrationality has compounded to levels unmanageable by me. Spiritual discernment is at an all-time low (a record which will likely be broken tomorrow) and biblical literacy is at an even all-time lower level. People don’t know their bible, they don’t quote their bible, they don’t use the bible as a basis for discussion, and they go off the deep end into conspiracies at the drop of a hat.

The acceptance of demonic proclamations by Beth Moore and Kim Walker Smith in visions and Sarah Young’s declarations in book form attest to this. So does the popularity of Johnathan Cahn’s books in 2012 such as The Harbinger and the Mystery of the Shemitah: The 3,000-Year-Old Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future, the World’s Future, and Your Future!, and John Hagee’s  Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change book published a year later.

I mean, come onnn. The hubris of Cahn’s proclamation that he knows the future of all persons on earth (who would buy his book) and the world’s future ‘unlocked’ nearly equals satan’s when satan promised to unseat God from the throne.

And as bad as Edgar Cayce and Jeanne Dixon were, at least they were more specific in their false prophecies than Hagee, who simply subtitles his book, “something is about to change.” Really? I’d never have guessed that. Let me know when it happens.

That people accept these ‘Christian’ books and visions and attempt to learn from them is saddening. In stepping to the fringe, people nowadays seem to more easily hurl themselves off the edge of solid biblical foundations. They gleefully run toward the latest prophetic fad, and in so doing, give real prophecy a bad name. It makes many people not want to study prophecy and the times, but that is not good either. As my friend and pastor in Maine said,

My brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of the Lord not to dismiss current events or to become discouraged by them. 

We don’t live under a rock. We live in the world, and that means we are living in biblical prophecy because prophecy is always current. World events are important, and when understand the times and we point to the Lord it ignites our fervor for His soon return, which grounds us in our work until He comes.

However today’s superficial, nominal, or false Christian doesn’t get to the end of the last sentence. They focus on current events as if they are the be-all and end-all of truth. When I try to turn their head to Jesus, the author of these events, they balk. When you try to say that some of these things go beyond scripture and we should be careful, they scream judge not! ‘men of Issachar!’

Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command. (1 Chronicles 12:32)

As the Treasury of Scripture says of the Men of Issachar verse,

understanding of the times That is, as the following words indicate, intelligent men, who understood the signs of the times, well versed in political affairs, and knew what was proper to be done in all the exigencies of human life; and who now perceived that it was both the duty and political interest of Israel to advance David to the throne.

If I may be allowed to paraphrase, we have understanding of the times, That is, as the following words indicate, intelligent men, who understood the signs of the times, well versed in political affairs, and knew what was proper to be done in all the exigencies of human life; and who now perceived that it was both the duty and spiritual interest of the church to advance Jesus on His throne.

I have been remiss. I have not thanked you, the readers, in a while. I do thank you and am energized by you and I do love you. The Holy Spirit fills me with strength and insight and for the sake of the Name I want to share what He does in my mind and heart when I open the bible. That people out there would read and respond and as some of you have said, pray for me, is simply lovely. It is the expression of the Kingdom on earth, the church glorious and invisible, worldwide and intimate. Thank you friends.

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)

CONCLUSION-

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 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 beth moore, jesus callng, journaling, sarah young, spiritual formation

Is Christian journaling good or bad? Is it a ‘spiritual discipline’? Is it part of ‘spiritual formation’?

Lots of women and not a few men keep journals. Writers wouldn’t be caught dead without a notebook of some kind to record the good quote, stray thought, or burgeoning story.

Some of the greatest known literature are from diaries: the Diary of Anne Frank which became a first hand account of Nazi Germany’s oppression. The Diary of Samuel Pepys is another example of a man’s private thoughts which became historical window which generations of subsequent people can now look through. The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century, and is as Wikipedia states, “one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period. It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.”

We know what happened to Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted because Pliny the Elder’s journal. Mark Twain’s travel journal through Europe and the Holy Land with a group of American travelers in 1867 became the best selling of Twain’s works during his lifetime and one of the best selling travel books of all time. Diaries are wonderful sources for historical record and travel advice.

In the Christian spheres, Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, kept a diary and also wrote letters constantly. Those became his autobiography after he died. The great theologian Jonathan Edwards kept a journal. In it, he penned his famous 70 resolutions. As the pastors say at the Netherlands Heritage Reformed Congregation, “these resolutions were birthed out of his felt weaknesses and known deficiencies, not his personal attainments. They represent, therefore, his sanctified, biblically-conditioned aspirations.”

Journaling has always been popular, for many different reasons, as we see above. Over the last few years, journaling for Christian reasons has made a comeback. Christians are told to keep track of thoughts in a journal. This activity is now variously called spiritual discipline, spiritual formation, or Christian journaling.

Is journaling good? Is journaling bad? Must I do journaling to “partner” with God in order to advance my sanctification? Does journaling aid the Holy Spirit? Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses of Christian journaling.

When I first started out as a babe in sanctification, I was involved in some hobbies of a visual nature. I was taking classes in bookbinding and paper arts. As a result, I was making a lot of blank books. I put them to use by extending my creative impulses into a spiritual journal with collages representing my thoughts and interpretations of various verses which had captured my attention. It was a way to keep thinking about certain verses, keep my hands busy, and satisfy my creative urges. Here is a sample.

In my case, the visual journals were an outgrowth of my devotionals. I’d read the word, think about the word, and respond to the word. As Compelling Truth explains about devotionals:

Daily devotionals also teach us truth. When we spend time in God’s Word, we gain wisdom and understanding. It has been said that the best way to recognize a counterfeit is to study the real thing. Satan is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). If we are not steeped in God’s truth, we are more easily duped. When we know the truth, we experience freedom (John 8:32). Daily spending time with God is a way to worship Him. Time is a limited resource. What we spend our time on is an indication of what we value. When we spend time with God, we demonstrate that we value Him. We claim that He is worthy of attention and of praise.”

So some people use a journal as a response to the Word in their daily devotions. Others use journaling to pray.

John MacArthur gives an example here of a famous Christian Henry Martyn and how he used his journal to pray. Martyn was a British-born man who became a Christian missionary in India.

“He arrived in India in April 1806, where he preached and occupied himself in the study of linguistics. He translated the whole of the New Testament into Urdu, Persian and Judaeo-Persic. He also translated the Psalms into Persian and the Book of Common Prayer into Urdu.” (Wikipedia).

Martyn took a fever and died a mere six years later, but his efforts on the entire Indian continent were tremendous. He wrote in his journal, “Let me burn out for God.” As Christianity.com stated, “Martyn compressed a lifetime of service into those six years.”

So, many people use their journals as a prayer journal. They write out prayers, or keep track of prayer requests in their journals.They use their journal to remember their reaction to certain situations to keep the flame of fervor alive for that particular prayer.

In his sermon, Characteristics of a Fervent Prayer Life, John MacArthur said,

It reminds me of Henry Martyn when he went to India and went into the Hindu temple for the first time and was so shook by his experience that he burst into tears. He wrote in his journal he ran top speed out of that Hindu temple and wrote, “I cannot endure existence if Jesus is to be so dishonored.”

He saw all of that as a dishonoring of Lord Jesus Christ, and that set him to prayer for the nation of India that the Gospel might be spread across that nation and God would not be continually dishonored there. … That’s the kind of prayer that gets answered. Prayer generated by the Word of God, grounded in the will of God, characterized by fervency, realized in self-denial, identified with others, strengthened in confession, that depends on God’s character and that pursues, ultimately, God’s glory. That’s how we pray.

That’s how we journal, too.

Martyn’s reaction to the deep paganism he encountered in India sparked a fervent response in his journal with a blazing, written exhortation to always pray for the people he was evangelizing.

Journals from others an be inspiring. Martyn had been deeply moved by reading the journals of David Brainerd, the Puritan missionary in North America who passionately labored among the Native Americans in the cause of Christ. Journals of old read by people today can be inspirational, moving, and catalyzing. We read how they struggled, how the Spirit used them, and for some of us the baton swings from their journal to our hearts as the Lord sets a fire in us. However, would the Holy Spirit had used Martyn’s fervency if he had not kept his reactions contained in a prayer journal? Yes.

Eventually I left off the bookbinding and paper arts. You know how hobbies come and go in your life. But I was still left with a lot of blank books. While those lasted, I simply wrote down my thoughts about the verses.
In the journal above, I am trying to figure out from the bible about the different resurrections.

The problem comes in the internal motivation for keeping a journal. The problem comes with the external impetus for keeping a journal. In today’s atmosphere of increasing mysticism (‘I’m not growing unless I hear from God’) combined with legalism (‘I’ve got to DO something to enhance my spiritual walk’) we are now hearing from people that we must journal in order to hear from God. They say not only that is it a must-perform “discipline” but is in fact a two way street of communication with God.

Journaling should not be a method to keep track of what God says to you. We use the bible for that. This is where journaling goes awry. Be aware: the line is very thin.

John MacArthur explains why the current definition of spiritual formation is false.

In Christian circles, spiritual formation refers to more than mere academic instruction. Most often, it’s a reference to the dynamic means of sanctification. It deals with the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and the various methods He uses to bring about spiritual growth in our lives. It’s at this point things can become confusing.

On one hand, there are the time-tested, practical Christian disciplines we’re all familiar with—things like personal and corporate Bible study, worship, prayer, discipleship, and service. On the other hand, many of the leading voices in the spiritual formation movement stress the need for more intuitive interpretations of spirituality. They encourage believers to incorporate a wide variety of extrabiblical spiritual practices, such as contemplative prayer, silence, meditation, creative expression, [Ed Note: creative expressions such as praise dance & journaling] and yoga. In fact, some of the most popular methods of spiritual formation have been lifted from Catholicism, new age mysticism, or other religions and rebranded with biblical-sounding terminology. But any kind of subjective spirituality that draws your focus away from the Lord and His truth can have disastrous results, derailing your spiritual growth and cutting you off from God’s plan for your sanctification.” 

Too often these days, the phrase “spiritual formation” or “spiritual disciplines” are code for man-made methods methods that delude us into thinking that if we perform them correctly that we will increase in spiritual formation and thus, sanctification. But sanctification is imposed on us by the Spirit and does not emanate from within us by what we do. Being enraptured by our own thoughts we’d put down in a journal does not sanctify us. It’s just spiritual navel-gazing.

Compelling Truth explains:
The intent of Christian spiritual formation is to facilitate the Holy Spirit’s inward transformation of our hearts, which is reflected through our outward behaviors … Specific practices of Christian spiritual formation include disciplines such as prayer, meditating on Scripture, worship, study, and service. Some also engage in spiritual direction, or receiving spiritual counsel or mentorship. The methods used are modeled after the practices and behaviors of Christ and those of the early church.

Journaling then, is not a two way process. Journaling is for the disciple: to keep track of thoughts, response to verses, prayer requests, to mark personal growth, whatever edifies you. It in no way is partnering with God or hearing from God. We already heard from God and all that He wants us to know of Him is in the bible (and He also revealed Himself generally in creation- but the goal of creation is to point to Christ, (Colossians 1:15-18).

The problems come not only when we’re told that we must journal, but when we’re told how. Personal thoughts and private responses then become externally imposed mechanisms and we become merchandise. Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age wrote about spiritual disciplines, including journaling,

Disciplines or Rules?
I also take issue with the concept of “spiritual disciplines,” a term from Roman Catholic monasticism which indicated a salvation by works. And I question the idea that certain Christians can define disciplines for other Christians. Since the Bible does not specify any specific practice as a “discipline,” then I think it is up to each Christian to discover from God’s living word which area he or she may need to focus on and at which point in their lives.

I do not see biblical validity for “silence and solitude” as disciplines.There is nothing wrong with silence and solitude, and I think they are of value at times, especially if one is praying or reflecting on God’s word. But I don’t think the Bible supports doing these as disciplines. Moreover, “silence” is often a code word for “going within” in order to hear from God.

Other named disciplines include journaling, fasting, and stewardship. There is no prescriptive basis in the Bible for journaling or fasting as “disciplines” for Christians. There are biblical principles for stewardship of time and money, but is this a discipline? Christians are under grace; the Lord wants us to desire to serve Him, not live by imposed rules, or disciplines as defined by others.

When I ran out of handmade books,
I got a spiral bound notebook from the Dollar Store.

Where did all this journaling come from, anyway? Psychology. In his article, “Uses and Benefits of Journal Writing,”  Roger Hiemstra wrote,

“Journal writing as an instructional or learning tool in adult education has gained cogency during the past three decades. As early as 1965, psychologist Ira Progoff and his colleagues began seeing the value of personal journals in enhancing growth and learning. Progoff believed what he called an “intensive journal process” could “draw each person’s life toward wholeness at its own tempo. . . It systematically evokes and strengthens the inner capacities of persons by working from a non-medical vantage point and proceeding without analytic or diagnostic categories” (Progoff, 1975, p. 9)

Sure- it is good to record evolving insights, promote self-examination, keep track of questions. But the point is, none of that will sanctify you. It might be a response to sanctification, but it is not sanctification. Predators prey on our fears that we might not be growing, or we might not be doing the right things with our walk, engaging in the wrong activities. Here is a recent sales pitch about Christian journaling. You can see that the recent legalistic push to “journal” is already tiring us out.

Artist note: I have journaled off and on for years … and now somewhat addicted to the “Moleskine” notebooks … I am attempting a bit more creative means than just words on paper. photo credit: Bob AuBuchon via photopin cc

Are You a Journaling Dropout?
“Does the mere thought of journaling tire you out? Or does it conjure up spending time you don’t have detailing overly “serious” thoughts and spiritual insights? Perhaps you’ve tried to keep journals in the past—prayer lists, irregular accounts of your spiritual failures and victories, letters to God about your deepest dreams. But let’s face it: While journaling can be an amazing tool to help you record God’s transforming work in your heart, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. However, I’ve discovered some creative journaling techniques that have blown me away with their ability to renew joy and intimacy in my relationship with God. So whether you’re tired of your own humdrum attempts to journal, or if you’ve never given it a try because you don’t think of yourself as a “writer,” think again. Have I got some fresh ideas for you!”

I resent someone merchandising my private walk with a sales pitch. Anyway, that’s just me. Do this! Do it this way! Or else! Pay money! Be blown away!

Artist note: Youth Haven Ranch was a great place to capture nature on my camera this past summer. The wild raspberries were perfect for trying macro photography. I love this quote by Thomas Moore. Taking photos and making art are very spiritual activities for me. I am in awe of God’s creativity and His greatness when I am out walking around in nature and taking pictures.photo credit: marynbtol via photopin cc

Now to be fair, in that article one of the tips was to collect quotes from Christian authors, quotes that resonate with you. OK, fine, though remember that your sanctification comes by the bible and the Spirit, not words from other men. But collecting quotes certainly seems OK. In another tip, the author advises us that some people benefit from a ‘Creator’s journal’, by pressing leaves or making sketches of birds or flowers or trees, or photographing nature around us, to remind us of His power and creativity.

But from the same article, we read that her friend had just finished reading a book of dubious distinction and not to be recommended,

Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala, and she was struck by his contention that a lot of churches in America aren’t praying God-sized prayers. So a few years ago, I decided to jot down some “impossible” requests in my journal about everything from the speedy growth of my small group, to godly husbands for some of my single friends, to my desire to lead someone to Christ that year. God has answered each prayer in an amazing way.”

Artist note: My “grandkids”. These kids inspire me
everyday to live out my faith.
photo credit: marynbtol via photopin cc

God-sized prayers? Is there a measuring stick I can use to see if my prayers are the right size? People, every prayer is a God-sized prayer! When I pray for the salvation of someone, that is the HUGEST sized prayer of all, because without God it is impossible to be saved from His wrath! When I pray for my laptop not to break down, or for my corn not to hurt my toe, that also is a God-sized prayer, because I never forget that simply praying is an amazing miracle in itself. It is a further miracle that He listens. It is a further miracle that He answers! It honors God whenever we pray, if we do so in confidence and love and submission to His will.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
(John 15:7)

Nothing in there about how big the prayers must be. And keeping track of these huge prayers tests God because the expectation of the journaler is that because they are “God-sized”, then He will answer. You’ve crossed into dangerous territory, then.

Quite often, I read that journaling is an ‘invitation” to God, or that engaging in it ‘allows’ God to do some kind of work in you. Like this:

Begin with prayer. Invite God to use your journaling experiences to draw you closer to Him and help you grow as a person. Ask Him to use your journaling to help you discover more about both Him and yourself.

So if I don’t journal then I am not inviting Him into my private life? I won’t discover more about Him? (where I can’t do that anyway outside of the bible). Where it is my experience that is the catalyst for growth, and not His word? Now here is THE danger. I do not grow by my own words on the journal page. To believe that increased sanctification comes by what I write is just an activity that circles the drain. Sanctification needs to come from without.

The key to determining if any activity helps or hinders my sanctification, journaling or not, is this: does it restrain the flesh?

Jonathan Edwards wrote down 70 resolutions in his diary, but that alone was not sanctifying. Edwards spent hours per day in the word, studying, worshiping, praying. He wrote the resolutions to help himself remember what kind of a Christian he wanted to be, and stayed in the Word as the energizing mechanism to move forward in it.

A false paradigm of sanctification can’t restrain the flesh. So while all paradigms or strategies of sanctification purport to restrain the flesh and make one holy, they don’t do that any more than a false Gospel can save. It is critical that we understand and avoid false paradigms for sanctification. And one of those that is very popular today is called ‘spiritual formation.’ it is an imposing forms of mysticism and self-help and spiritual intuition imposed upon the bible. You can go back to many popular writers not only in the modern times such as Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, but you can go way back to mystics in the Middle Ages who espouse the idea that there is some mystical intuitive capability within a person that causes him- if manipulated correctly- to rise in spiritual formation. This is not a biblical concept.” (source)

Look how easy it is to gravitate from recording your own responses in a journal, to expecting to hear from God, to actually hearing from “God”.

I’d quoted MacArthur way above. Here are exact cases of how and when journaling is “derailing your spiritual growth and cutting you off from God’s plan for your sanctification.”

These three examples are people whose journaling went awry. Beth Moore sat in an empty cabin in When Godly People Do Ungodly Things“, was the result. In her preface she states,

Wyoming, prayed, and waited to hear from God. She says she did, and the book, “

“This book represents one of the most unique writing experiences I’ve ever had with God. Unbenownst to me, He’s been writing each chapter on my heart for several years. When the message for this book was complete, (in His estimation, not mine!) God compelled me to ink it on paper with the force of the Holy Spirit unparallelled in my experience. He whisked me to the mountains of Wyoming where I entered solitary confinement with Him, and in only a few weeks, I wrote the last line.”

It sounds like she had a Philip whisking-away experience (Acts 8:39-40), and wrote inspired scripture, to boot.

Sarah Young opened her journal and expected to hear from God, invited Him, actually, and said she heard back. The book Jesus Calling was the result. (Do you detect a pattern here, these journaling experiences turning into books that make money for the author?)  Julia at Steak & a Bible wrote a review of Jesus Calling,

“This is a root problem of personal revelation — you cannot know for certain that the internal voice you are hearing is God, yourself or from the devil. So she purports to write what Jesus told her, but she had to vet those words to “ensure they are consistent with Scripture.” I have a better idea. Study the actual words of God that have already been given to us. I’m sure there is plenty more in the Bible to challenge, convict, teach and change each and every believer for the rest of their life on earth even without whispers in your mind. In my view, waiting and listening for the voice of God is a recipe for deception.”

Journaling as a personal endeavor is fine, just watch out that you don’t wind up like Neale Donald Walsch, author of “Conversations with God“.

Source: From Matter to Spirit,
The Result of Ten Years’ Experience in Spirit Manifestations

“In the spring of 1992…an extraordinary phenomenon occurred in my life. God began talking with you. Through me. Let me explain. I was very unhappy during that period, personally, professionally, and emotionally, and my life was feeling like a failure on all levels. As I’d been in the habit for years of writing my thoughts down in letters…I picked up my trusty yellow legal pad and began pouring out my feelings. This time…I decided to write a letter to God. It was a spiteful, passionate letter, full of confusions, contortions, and condemnation. And a pile of angry questions….To my surprise, as I scribbled out the last of my bitter, unanswerable questions and prepared to toss my pen aside, my hand remained poised over the paper, as if held there by some invisible force. Abruptly, the pen began moving on its own. I had no idea what I was about to write….Out came….Do you really want an answer to all these questions, or are you just venting? … Before I knew it, I had begun a conversation. … and I was not writing so much as taking dictation.

This is known as channeling, or automatic writing, and it is occult. The same for Beth Moore and for Sarah Young. God is not taking their hand and writing down words.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 
(Hebrews 1:1-2)

Enjoy your journaling. I hope I’ve shown that there is a fine line in the practice. It can benefit you as long as you keep it for the right reasons and motivations. Ask yourself, ‘does it restrain the flesh? Am I expecting a dialogue? Is this journal a response to my growth?’ Journaling can all too easily veer toward a written expression of the mystical and unbiblical practice of contemplative spirituality.

Providence is the means by which we look back over the scope of time and see our growth. Some people need the journal as a visual reminder of where they’d come from. But doing journaling or not doing journaling doesn’t hinder or help the Lord’s Providential working in our lives. And thank goodness for that, for I am a sinful person, stumbling my way to the gates of heaven! All things will work to the good, because the Lord is in control.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28)

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Further Reading:

Prayer in evangelism

A Book Review: Donald Whitney’s “Spiritual Disciplines For The Christian Life” the bible say about holy living

What are the Spiritual Disciplines?

Steps to Sanctification

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 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.