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This controversy did not start here and will no doubt end only at the coming of the Lord. Having said that, there are some points that need to be considered. The first major error is to use the O.T. to interpret the N.T. and the second mistake is to follow conventional wisdom.

Conventional wisdom will always win approval due to its popularity and powerful influence over those who tend to follow rather than lead. Conventional wisdom is bred into an individual from birth and can be easily observed in families who all believe the same thing with only slight variations. Ninety percent of what we believe has been programmed into our database through associations in family, culture, and national presuppositions from birth. We believe certain things to be true because of our families, Church, ethnicity, social status, and nationality; this is not conjecture, it is a fact and can be proven easily. These characteristics and circumstances are our world and they dictate strongly what we are to believe and how we are to respond to any given set of external circumstances. When the Bible instructs us to not “Judge” it is primarily concerned with acts of pre-judging those who do not align with our particular set of things which we suppose to be true about life. The Bible instructs us to “judge” correctly and this word is more properly translated to “discern” correctly. These two words have to do with understanding, comprehending, and correct decision making based on “truth.” Conventional wisdom will surmise that “The Old Testament is full of cases of war and killing, and self-defense seems so normal and even good, and since God hasn’t changed then non-resistance is obviously wrong.” This argument makes sense to the majority of Christians who live under the umbrella of conventional wisdom. But . . . . . . . ?

When doing proper Biblical exegesis the first thing necessary is to throw presupposition and conventional wisdom out the window and let the Bible speak for itself; presupposed conclusions are not allowed. We must understand the O.T through the N.T. and not visa-versa.

Here are some N.T. Scriptures that show us how to view the Old Testament.

In the past, God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word . . . .” Hebrews 1:1-3.

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, ‘Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.’” Hebrews 8:7-9

“Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. Where a will (i.e. last will and testament) exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in effect while the one who made it is living.”  Hebrews 9:15-17.

Jesus says five times, “You have heard that it was said . . . .”  “But I tell you . . . .” Matthew 5:27,28a; 31,32a; 33,34a; 38, 39a; 43, 44a. Where were these things “heard . . . said”? Of course, the answer is in the Old Testament Law of Moses, but with an authoritative move Jesus re-writes His will and closes the door on anyone wanting to use the old document to prove a point. With the declaration of “But I tell you . . .” He established Himself as the sole authority, maker of the will, and interpreter of everything that has come before Him. No other person has any right to overrule anything that has been spoken by Jesus or to build any other structure on the foundation of His sure words. When the Father’s Son speaks He leaves no room for presumption or creative thinking; His plain and simple words carry the weight of God the Father Himself; and the Father says, “Listen to Him.”

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:19-21.

Charles Spurgeon a non-resistant Christian says,

“The church, we affirm, can neither be preserved nor can its interests be promoted by human armies.”

“For this I will assert, and prove too, that the progress of the arms of a Christian nation is not the progress of Christianity, and that the spread of our empire, so far from being advantageous to the Gospel, I will hold, and this day proclaim, hath been hostile to it.”

“All swords that have ever flashed from scabbards have not aided Christ a single grain. Mahommedans’ religion might be sustained by scimitars, but Christians’ religion must be sustained by love. The great crime of war can never promote the religion of peace. The battle, and the garment rolled in blood, are not a fitting prelude to “peace on earth, goodwill to men.” And I do firmly hold, that the slaughter of men, that bayonets, and swords, and guns, have never yet been, and never can be, promoters of the gospel. The gospel will proceed without them, but never through them. ‘Not by might.’

“Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you.” The Christian soldier hath no gun and no sword, for he fighteth not with men. It is with “spiritual wickedness in high places” that he fights, and with other principalities and powers than with those that sit on thrones and hold sceptres in their hands. I have marked, however, that some Christian men – and it is a feeling to which all of us are prone – are very apt to make Christ’s war a war of flesh and blood, instead of a war with wrong and spiritual wickedness.”

“Woe, woe, to the Christian who forgets this sacred canon of warfare. Touch not the persons of men, but smite their sin with a stout heart and with strong arm. Slay both the little ones and the great; let nothing be spared that is against God and his truth; but we have no war with the persons of poor mistaken men.”

No argument from the O.T. is allowed in the formulation of a person’s quest to justify war or violence. What I find mostly is that those who have never experienced war see it through the eyes of Hollywood make-believe. The VA Hospital can attest to the fact that killing is a very dirty business and that PTSD is the demon of those who have lived through it. For Christians to link arms with the Devil to extinguish the life of their brother when Jesus showed them by word and example that killing is not a Heavenly profession, and to ignore the examples of His Apostles and likeminded saints for nearly 300 years is to snub their noses at the truth of God and the truth of history. Not a single one can show by the life of those who gave their testimony, signed with their own blood, acts of non-resistance performed and recorded for our instruction in righteousness. All who endorse killing build their testimony on assumptions of confused text or examples gleaned from the O.T., but never from Christ, His Apostles, or the primitive Church. Christ came as a non-violent, non-resistant, and peaceful sacrificial Lamb and said follow Me. In what duplicity are we to presuppose that underlying the tame and harmless nature of the Lamb exist a nature of selfish spitefulness and revenge? And, in what disloyalty are we to suggest that we should follow a different path than the one in which that Lamb walked?

There is no question that one side or the other of this argument is wrong, we cannot have it both ways. We can follow the broad way of conformity, but the “way is narrow.” We can take the easy way with no controversy or conflict, but the “gate is difficult and strait.” We can place our bets with the fast and the strong, but the “meek will inherit the earth.” All the advantage is with the majority, but “very few will enter in.” We can appeal to the celebrities of the Reformation: Zwingli, Luther, and Calvin or we can search-out those who refused to defend themselves who held on tight to that scarlet thread weaving its way through blood, suffering, persecution, and loneliness, from Calvary to our doorstep and bids us come and die. Yes, one of us is wrong. If non-resistant Christians are wrong they have lost nothing by living a sacrificial life, if popular Christianity is wrong??????????. The first coming of our Lord was like a defenseless Lamb and it is that Lamb that we are to imitate while fulfilling His mission and not the Lion of His second coming.

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Christians must show that war and violence of any kind are wrong, totally wrong. We must show that war and violence is essentially a state of wickedness and hatred and that it can not exist without malice any more than hell can exist without evil. We must show that Jesus Christ, our Master, forbids it; that Christians will not fight in Heaven; and that what will be right in Heaven, is also right now, and is the most effective and Christian mode of action; “On earth, as it is in Heaven.”

In what principle does the rule of war lay? War is the deferment of logic and common sense on the questions of peace and courtesy, from the court of Christian ethics to the bar of brute force.

Two-thousand years after the coming of the Prince of Peace, this relic of demonic barbarism is still held to by those who go by the name of Christian. Christians who forage for glory amongst the world’s homicidal blunders have misread the heart of God, believing to return evil for evil will bring His divine approval.

A grief stricken American infantryman whose buddy has been killed in action is comforted by another soldier. In the background a corpsman methodically fills out casualty tags.

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My experience in the commercial Church with the commercial pastor is that for him individuals are merely for his own self-stimulation; he discards them as a tree shakes off and forgets its leaves and then is rejuvenated by a new Spring collection, leaving the old foliage withered and forgotten. He comes from the unknown and is gone again with not a care or concern.

But how are things looking in his own head? Just as he has led the others astray, so he himself goes astray. He has led them astray not in a necessarily deliberate premeditated sense but in an internal sense with respect to their own desires for some satiating theatrical fiction or rant.

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There is something dreadful and evil about the wayward seeker being directed onto a wrong path and then to abandon them to their own devices and miscalculations, but that is nothing compared to the deliberate act of some who cause the simple to stray in the circles of their own minds. The lost seeker has the personal consolation of seeing the ever-changing scenery, never imagining that there is no way out; his hope kept alive by the renewed and spinning landscape of the theological world. He who becomes lost within himself becomes a prisoner held within the small confines of his mind and soon notices the circles in which he walks with no discernable exits.

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I think that these preachers will experience the same thing but on a larger and more terrible scale. Is there something worse than the scheming mind of priest or pastor who has let loose of the scarlet thread to grasp for some golden apparition? The mindfulness of his iniquity is no less than a desperate attempt at self-rescue from his shameful condition. His whole dwelling is now a house of mirrors and every exit another entrance; the sight of daylight is the magician’s pretense to lure the troubled soul to wit’s end. Like a panicked fox pursued by despair, he looks for a way out only to go deeper inside himself. Is this man to be called a criminal? He is very often frustrated by his own schemes and accuses himself, yet he is stricken with a more terrible punishment than is the criminal, for what is the pain of repentance compared to his conscious and deliberate madness? His punishment has a purely esthetic character when looked at from the underworld, it is the grunge of Hell, if that can be called beautiful. I am convinced that the supposed higher consciousness of these men is but the restlessness of self-promotion. He is not indicted but indicts himself by his techniques and marketeering, buying and selling the souls of men. The peace that they preach with so much false affection so as to build and profit, if not already robbing them of rest will be for them eternal restlessness. And, so it is also with most of the assembly line preachers who download their sermons, take their pay, and preach their lies.

psychology

I was talking to a friend the other day debating the question of psychology in the Church. My position is that psychological counseling is un-Biblical. While there may be a few Christian Psychologist who use only Scripture in their counseling their designation of themselves as “psychologist” is unfortunate. That word has an established meaning, which can only create confusion by the honor it seems to bestow upon a godless system that does not merit any association with Christianity at all.

After discussing the topic for a little bit he quoted Calvin’s statement that “all truth is God’s truth.” Since time was growing short I didn’t get a chance to hear his reasoning behind the statement but the idea would not leave my head since he used it as an end-all statement to settle our discussion. I have to admit that on the surface the statement seems to make sense but since he was using it to justify his position, a position that I believed contradicted Scripture, I needed to discover the facts and see how he arrived at his justification.

My first impression was that psychologists need validation for their theories so that their ideas involving the metaphysical realm appear to come from the general revelation of creation and warrant their ideas as general Biblical revelation. With this warrant, they integrate the speculative notions of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler, Abraham Maslow, Albert Ellis, Carl Rogers, and a host of other un-believing psychologists into the counseling methods of the Christian Church. Church theologians and psychologists have made the assertions of these men respectable by using terms such as “natural theology” and “general revelation” to justify mixing of psychology and the Bible.

It is true that much of what we know about God, ourselves, nature, and our relationship with others can be understood through natural theology, i.e. God’s general revelation to all of mankind through the created world, Romans 1 and 2 make this clear. However, does this revelation, that is available to all of mankind through creation, presuppose and include all humanly-discerned metaphysical truth claims? Some psychologists have gone so far as to state that the claim that the Bible alone is sufficient as a source of spiritual/moral knowledge is “comically and tragically mistaken.” These Christian psychologists error by assuming that there is a world of metaphysical truth outside of Scripture which can be discovered by the logical and reasoning efforts of men. With this approach, these men have arbitrarily and unbiblically broadened the definition of general revelation which is not warranted at all.

By delving into this unwarranted metaphysical area of knowledge these men put themselves in a category, not unlike the mystic or soothsayer, that claim private knowledge which is unavailable to the average person or scientific investigation. Their claim to this knowledge, they say, is part of the general revelation spoken of by Paul in the book Romans. General revelation, as used by conservative theologians, is a very narrow category of truth that God has displayed openly and is evident through nature to every human being. It is this open and “general” revelation of God that renders all men without excuse when they reject that truth. Would God hold the average person responsible for not knowing truth which can only be known after the person has been born-again? Or, would He condemn a person for not knowing information which is privy to only a select few? Yet, psychology claims this as general truth, discovered by atheists nonetheless, and rather recently too, about the last one hundred years, and markets this truth under the label of Christian Counseling. Only by broadening the definition of “general revelation” to include all truth claims, made as the result of human effort to understand the varied and complex aspects of the created order, these men sneak-in their hidden mysterious knowledge under the umbrella of general revelation and the statement “all truth is God’s truth.”

How do we then distinguish truth from error? The question concerns the declaration by Christian psychologist that “all truth is God’s truth” who then hinge their argument on their interpretation of “general revelation” as described in certain verses in Romans 1 & 2, then use this as permission to advance their faulty theory. We can easily determine the meaning by reading Paul’s words. First, we must pay careful attention to what Paul, through the Holy Spirit, actually says and means in Romans. Secondly, we must take this clear picture of what was said and compare it with the psychologist’s definition.

What is the definition of “general revelation” as defined by the Bible? General revelation is truth which is manifestly set forth before all men (Rom 1:17-19; 2:14,15); do Paul’s words qualify?

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. Rom 1:17-19

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) Rom 2:14,15

General revelation is truth so clear and irrefutable as to be known intuitively by all rational men (Ps 19:1-6; Rom 1:19); it is truth so authoritative and manifest that if men, by reason of willful rebellion, reject that truth, they do so at the cost of their own eternal damnation (Rom 1:20; 2:1,15). In place of this general truth, described above, is substituted a lesser truth which is obtained and discovered by fallible men using the corrupted abilities of reason and logic and arbitrarily cataloged under the heading of general revelation.

We can see when we read Paul’s word that psychology, Christian or otherwise, has no right to the claim of general revelation.

Can unbelievers discern Christian truth? There is truth other than general truth and unbelievers cannot know this other truth which is available only to those who have been born again and have the Holy Spirit living inside them. This kind of truth is not general truth as referenced in the book of Romans but rather it is special revealed truth that brings spiritual understanding of those things which are written in the Bible; it is not new revelations of heretofore unknown things from the mind of God.

For a psychologist to presume an understanding of “truth” that is foreign to Scriptures is to deny the effects of sin upon man’s ability to think clearly. It is a deception to imagine that “fallen man” has the ability to deduce truth from creation and to arrive at conclusions which are as authoritative as Scripture, yet this is Christian psychology.

Is the Bible to be accepted as the fully inspired, authoritative, and final word of the Creator God or is there yet other, later, human revelations of man with equal authority waiting to be discovered? The answer is NO! All efforts to add to the writings of the inspired Bible are to be rejected as an attempt to undermine God’s authority. Psychology is not a science that adheres to strict laws but is highly subjective in its very nature as deriving from the corrupted logical process of the fallen mind of mankind.

Therefore, any attempt to justify Christian psychology under the pretext that “all truth is God’s truth” is false and deceptive and has no place in the Christian Church.

Every once in a while you run across something that you sense has some value, but like a diamond in the rough, its true value is just barely recognized, which was the effect that this short booklet had on me. Jacob Boehme (1575-1624), a humble shoemaker born in Alt Seidenberg, Germany, brought forth this rough uncut gem that lay unappreciated for 100 years before being translated into English. John Wesley, in his day, required all of his preachers to study the writings of Jacob Boehme; and the learned theologian, William Law, said of him: “Jacob Boehme was not a messenger of anything new in religion, but the mystery of all that was old and true in religion and nature, was opened up to him,” — “the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God.”

Sixteenth century English is not that easy to read, and I laid the booklet aside a few times before finally, and slowly, reading the whole manuscript. What had I found? The second reading, more slowly still, I now regard as a priceless gem. As with a precious gift my desire was to share this treasure, but would very many take the time to wade through hard to read and understand paragraphs to discover what I had found?

The following is my transliteration of that booklet into a form of English that I pray will bless you as I have been blessed.

Steve Blackwell

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Part One

Jacob Boehme (1575-1624)

Understanding the Biblical Concept of Coveting, Desire, Humility, and Dying To Self

 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24

“Peter answered him, ‘We have left everything to follow you! . . . .’” Matthew 19:27

We need only look at the examples of Lucifer and Adam, the first man, to understand what “self” will accomplish when the light and wisdom of this world come to be the center of our being, and when they determine that they can walk in and by the power of that knowledge. Do we not see the immense pride, vanity, selfishness, and corruption displayed in those who have come into possession of this world’s knowledge? And yet, the whole world desires this knowledge as if it were the last and best treasure; and indeed it is the best the world has to offer, and has in itself an element of good if understood and rightly used.

Man, outside of the Garden of Eden, must understand that he is now a captive held in a very small and secure prison and that his ability to reason is subject to, and contaminated by, the combined knowledge of both good and evil. Outside the Garden, it is very dangerous for a man to make use of this new knowledge of self and nature as if a man has within himself complete control over his ability to reason correctly.

Humility is the surrendering of self to the only true knowledge, the Word of Life, discoverable in Christ, the Word and Wisdom of God. Due to Adam’s rejection of the Fruit of Paradise and his preference for the fruit and knowledge of self, the wrath of God now rests on him and his children. Adam’s descendants take great pride, to this very day, of their ability to unravel the Gordian Knot of self-knowledge, self-improvement, and self-actualization, and to predict their own future. This ability of “self-determination” is the diabolical environment of this world and the false reality in which we all exist; it is the lust after the knowledge to differentiate between good and evil. To understand humility and to acknowledge the truth of self-sacrifice and humility is to step into real-life and out of the matrix of death and deception.

First Lucifer, then Adam, lusted after this inner knowledge derived from self and not from the true source of knowledge. This new light which gave them the ability to stand back and look at themselves, with their own entire imaginations gone wild, lusting after the flesh and after all that the eye could behold, had the natural consequences of pride and self-enjoyment. It is easy to suggest that Lucifer sought within himself the answers to the origin of life, as men have also done from their beginning, and imagining the possibility of himself being that source of life and knowledge, as we see equally displayed in psychology and the New Age movement today. It is also easy to imagine that this desire of Lucifer started off as a simple thought that he allowed to fester into outright rebellion against his Creator; a fire that will burn in him for eternity for the presumptuous idea that his burning passion could overcome the power of pure Love. And, likewise Adam, when he attempted to descend into the essence of good and evil and to understand the depths of the mind, and of reason, unaided by the Truth, was bound in iron and shackled by his daring desire; he found himself broke off from humility and captured in the small confines of self-awareness, a prisoner to self. Lucifer with all the rebellious angels and all of mankind were now stuck fast in this slough of self-will, whereby they became the enemies of the Love and Meekness of God.

Adam could now, without the Spirit of God dwelling within him, be called a true man of the world, one with Mother Nature, a child of dirt, and not a child of God any longer. Earthly properties became apparent, heat and cold, envy and anger, and every kind of lustful desire and malice and opposition toward God became apparent and ruled his life.

The knowledge of good and evil was like a mirror that reflected back upon the person, whether man or angel, a confused knowledge, and understanding, that was alive in their hearts and minds, creating a desire to know who and what they are, and why they exist, along with a consideration of inner power, a power of creation and destruction. From this reflection came every imagination and lust that ever was or will be.

As we witness every day we can now see how this confused thought process, faulty logic, and ability to reason properly, can be a source of great danger to the truly enlightened children of God, in whom the light of the presence of God shines. This danger presents itself as a mirror, always reflecting up from our “self” and we search out those inner feelings of self-worth, that mutate into self-glory. We begin to feel that it was our own energy and strength, our own ability, our own power of self-control that has accomplished the victory, and from this springs up the abomination of pride and self-love. It is like an always running projector that continuously overlays an image of our own self and will-power reducing the image of God to a mere support role.

By this, the Devil subtly insinuates himself into this person and infiltrates and corrupts his logic and reasoning abilities. With false conclusions, ambiguities, innuendos, suggestions, allusions, and straight out lies he overwhelms the man so as to make him drunk on his own self-thinking and methodology, yet still believing and persuaded that he is exercising faith and being moved by the Spirit. And, by so doing, that good beginning, where divine light pierced the darkness, is spoiled, and the light that is in him is darkness.

Now this Christian man, having the light of the world and nature, stands deceived. By his own efforts, he throws himself under the crushing wheels of the lie but supposes that he stands firm in the first light of God. And in the basking glow of self-exaltation, the Devil again approaches – in that first light of God he had been forced to depart – returning with a seven-fold barrage of lustful, prideful desires.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Matthew 12:43-45

This house, which was “swept, and put in order”, is the heart, which is the core of a man, his mind, it is the light of reason, and it is the “self.” When men have been given that good deposit of the Holy Spirit and bring their lives into harmony and resonate with the will of God and reject the wickedness of worldliness, and their only desire is to please their Lord, then that new life will be manifested in a most cheerful and peaceful presence, by which the false light of the world will become discernable and recognized. Where God’s light exists all will be lit; the Devil cannot stay there, he and his lies must leave. It is then that Satan searches for other habitation because to exist outside of man is a dry and barren wilderness, not suitable for deceptive practices. The Devil continually searches through these places till he finds an open door suitable to his depraved desires.

If this Christian man allows his spirit to once again be centered in the light of his own reason, i.e. temptations to selfishness and self-realization, then he will once again depart from God’s will and step into the darkness and opens the door to Satan and his demons. When the Devil enters he finds the place “swept and clean”, i.e. the man’s heart and reason enlightened by truth; then he takes with him seven more to attack the man’s understanding and to promote desires of self-actualization, to promote uncensored lust, to bring about death. The minds ability to imagine greatness and satisfaction is enhanced, then the man sinks into himself and there he becomes drunk on his own lust and pride. Even psychology, ancient wisdom, the cosmos, and the power of the stars are used to influence and guide him to god and the deep mysteries of the soul.

Part Two

At this point, an objection will undoubtedly arise and ask, “Is it not all right for a man to gain both the Light of God along with the light of nature and reason? Doesn’t the Bible direct us to order our lives wisely?

The answer to this is, Yes!, it is right and good to have this. Is there anything wiser in this life than to understand the truth of God and the truth of nature and of this world? With this knowledge we have the light of both time and eternity, a great treasure; but be awfully careful how you use this knowledge for many have wandered into darkness never to return.

When we are saved we gain a light, although of a single candle, and the light shines forth into our heart igniting our reason and thought processes, yet the light of God does not submit to, nor come under the power of man, and is not wholly grasped all at once. The new-born Child of God beholds himself as in a looking glass, darkly, and he sees but the luster and polish of glory breaking through like the first light of day. By this first-light, he begins to really see himself, and that light is good and profitable.

The Christian can do no better than to acknowledge what he sees because what he sees is his-self, i.e. the self of the world, the creature in its vileness. But, in so doing he must be cautioned to not contemplate too deeply and slip into his own deep desires and self-will, risking the malnourishment of the newly formed sprout by eating the rotten fruit of his own wisdom instead of the resting in the light of God. By self-indulgence, the venom of the serpent is once again drawn into the new life, and he withers and dies.

The correct view of this initial introspection of reason and desire should be to account himself as an unworthy child who has no value or worth that he should receive so great a grace and salvation. Nor should he appropriate this new knowledge unto himself as if he himself has revealed this conclusion. All knowledge and understanding which is gained by this new revelation has but one source, God, and any reaction but sincerely and simply sinking down, as dead to self, into the Love and Grace of God in Christ Jesus, and to wholly resign himself to the Spirit of God in Love, that he may be used, how and where God wills, as God’s sole instrument in this world, is incomplete, inaccurate, and rooted in self.

What I am trying to say is that a Christian’s reasoning should not enter into any speculation, conjecture, or guesswork as to the nature of Divine or human matters, or strive after, or desire anything but the Grace of God in Christ. This desire after God should be the means of preventing any separation from the true hunger for God. When “self” rises up and triumphantly declares a victory, saying “I have acquired the true light of wisdom,” then the man must throw “self” to the earth in deepest humility and acknowledge his ignorance declaring, “I am a fool and have nothing that wasn’t given to me, and what I do have is only by the Grace of God” That humility must be worn as a garment and you must become nothing at all in your own self, and make it your promise to neither know nor love your “self.” The only safe place is to bring all desire into God’s mercy; and to leave all of your own knowledge and willing aside, valuing it as nothing, not even to entertain the thought ever again.

Once this is done, man’s self-determination and desire for the world will begin to weaken, and thereby weaken the advances of the Devil and the sifting process, and then the Holy Spirit comes forward and takes possession of the patterns and influences of the individual and promotes His own power and authority. He ignites the inclinations and influences of the person with His flames of Love, and then deeper knowledge of God is excited, harmonizing with his inward and outward pattern and nature, and this warm subtle life altering fire the Spirit attends with great delight. As a result of which the humbled soul desires to sink down into that Light, and regards itself to be nothing and quite unworthy of this grace.

And thus its own selfish desires sinks down into the abyss and his will is made alive to God, giving the Holy Spirit free reign to a resigned humility, so that the self follows hard after God with trembling and joy and the concepts of time and eternity spring up into the mind.

When the love of God is made manifest, the spirit of man, in its humbled state, praises God and gives Him all glory, and comprehends God’s taking to Himself virtue, power, strength, wisdom, and knowledge; and doing all that The man sees fit in apprehending nothing to himself; he neither knows, nor does, nor goes, except where God leads as an instrument in His hands.

Being thus humbled and resigned the divine spark falls into his heart, as a fire in dry tinder it kindles a flame; and where once darkness ruled now there is light. With this, the man is compelled to speak what the Holy Spirit dictates and be no more the instrument of self, but now the instrument of God.

A word of warning; the will of the soul must without ceasing, in this fiery driving to spread the truth, sink into nothingness, i.e. into the deepest humility in the sight of God. For no sooner than the least measure of man’s own will set out on its own in meaningless speculation and searching than Satan reaps pride in the creature. There must be conscientious determination to continue close in resigned humility, as a well draws from a spring, drawing the living water of God’s fountain, never departing from the way of God forever.

As soon as the soul indulges in the forbidden fruit of self, and natural reason arises as a blind guide, it proceeds on mere opinion and estimation. This work which it approves of and declares to be divine is but the product of the prince and power of the air that multiplies and magnifies every error until the man once again yields his-self up to resignation and acknowledges anew he is a defiled and corrupt child and returns to the love of God.

The history of man on the planet earth testifies to this. Man has departed many times from the humility of resignation into the “self,” i.e. into their own reasoning and will wherein they yield to sin and earn the wrath of God, as witnessed by David, Solomon, the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles.

All of these are for our example, to show the necessity of God’s children to know how to behave themselves while they are advancing in their life as Christians. Every thought must be beaten down and taken captive; and desire nothing or have the least will to learn anything unless they are in true and full resignation, so that the Holy Spirit can lead, teach, and guide the spirit of man, and that the will of the human, which is attached to the self be wholly broken off from its own desires, and resigned to God.

WARNING: Beware of speculation in the wonders of God through the flesh, through science, philosophy, or psychology; this can be very dangerous. The spirit of man’s will can be taken captive unless man’s spirit is totally resigned in humility to the Holy Spirit; then he will have power in the resigned humility to properly discern the true wonders of God.

I am not saying that man should learn nothing in natural arts and science; such knowledge can be useful, but a man should not begin from his own natural reason as philosophy and psychology do. What I am saying is that man should govern his life by the light of his outward reason, which is good and God-given, but along with that light sink down into the deepest humility before God and set the Spirit of God and His will foremost in all of his searching, so that the light of reason may see and know things through the pure light of God’s truth. Even though man’s reason may be wise in its own right and help man to advance in his own sphere of knowledge, yet it must not appropriate such wisdom and knowledge to itself, as if he has gained this knowledge apart from the Almighty, and cheat God of the glory He rightly deserves, to Whom all wisdom and knowledge belong.

Because the more deeply the human reason sinks down into simple humility in the sight of God, and the more unworthy it accounts its self in His sight the more truly it dies to self and self’s base desires, then the more thoroughly will God’s Spirit penetrate and drive out selfish desires. At length, he may come to behold the great mysteries and wonders of God, because the Spirit of God works only in resigned humility, and allows no opposition. God takes hold of the broken and contrite spirit, who sinks low before Him and brings that spirit into His wonders. He has pleasure only in those who fear and bow themselves before Him.

God has not created us for ourselves only, but to be instruments of His will, by which He desires to manifest His wonders. The submissive will trust in God alone and expects all good from Him only. Man’s will rules himself because it is separated from God and all that he does apart from God is sin and opposes God, for it has gone out from the order for which it was created, and is a rebel and desires its own self to be lord and master.

When a man’s own will dies, then it is free from sin because it desires only what God desires of His creation, and although it is and must be involved in what God desires, yet considers itself but the instrument of all that is done.

This is the true faith of man: to die to self and live to God. Death to self and desire, to all of his own undertakings and designs, and to be resigned to God’s will and demand nothing to self, but esteem himself as the servant and minister of God is his calling. In this disposition, the Spirit of God will lead him into true light, uprightness, and faithfulness to his neighbor, and he listens continually for the voice of his Master who alone commands him what to do.

But, here is the problem; self does what outward, natural, reason commands and what it hears from within the world wherein it moves. Into this “reason” the Devil flies with his own desires. From this point all whatsoever self does is outside the will of God, and is vain fantasy and earns only the wrath of God.

No work done without the will of God will reach the Kingdom of God; it is all only an unprofitable work of the flesh, a self-wrought image in the great tension and anxiety of mankind. There is only one God who exists in the essence of all essences, and all who work with Him in that essence is one with Him. But, that which works within self only, in its own will is in itself only, is separated from God. This person is under the dominion of nature where, in his fantasy, he makes to himself subjects, both good and evil; and he is no longer under Divine Government, which comprehends good only, as did Adam before his fall.

Christ said, “Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted out and burned in the fire.” All the works of man done outside the will of God shall be destroyed by the final fire and wrath of God and thrown into the pit of darkness. Therefore, whatsoever is done by the decisions of human self-will and reasoning in matters of religion are pure fiction and the building of Babel; it is the interplay of the turning wheels of human nature, where good and evil struggle for dominion; what the one builds the other destroys. This struggle is the great misery in the vain imaginations of men, where the issue is settled by the judgment of God.

Whosoever, therefore, labors much in such confusion labors for the wrath and judgment of God, because none of it approaches perfection or permanence. Whatever is wrought in wrath will be received in wrath, and stored-up for the Day of Judgment when evil and good will be forever severed.

But, if a man will repent and go forth from him-self, and enter the will of God, then will the good that he has done be freed from the evil he has done. As Isaiah says, “Though your sins be as scarlet, yet if you turn and repent, they shall become as wool, yea, as white as snow.” For in repentance evil is swallowed up in the wrath of God unto death, and the good springs forth as a sprout out of the dry earth.

February 20, 2018

Deviant Christian activity has become the norm today. You can find virtually anything to be accepted and promoted from the pulpits of once “faithful” Churchs. This slide has not gone unannounced by Scripture, for example: 2 Timothy 3:1-2 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” Matthew 24:11 “Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.” Matthew 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.” But, the truth is, no one is listening or even seems to care.

Lighthouse Trails Research has been faithful in exposing much of this activity by those who are propagating a Christianity that is not part of the message Christ came to deliver, a message that has no ability to deliver from the coming judgment. This new gospel that is no Gospel at all is the device of men for their own benefit. As the clock ticks ever closer to midnight we must be sure that our anchor is secure. Please read the following article for the sake of your spiritual health and subscribe to their free newsletter.

Steve Blackwell


From: The Lighthouse Trails February 20, 2018 E-Newsletter

Bad News for Gaither Followers; Gloria Gaither Praises New Age Teachers Sue Monk Kidd and Richard Rohr

Last week, we received the following information from a reader:

Gloria Gaither

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

Gloria Gaither is the author of many influential songs including “There’s Something About That Name.” She writes glowing reviews of the two books listed below. One by Richard Rohr, a Roman Catholic priest and the other by Sue Monk Kidd who believes herself to be a goddess. These book reviews are from Bill & Gloria Gaither’s Homecoming Magazinewebsite.
Thanks,
Jeff

Quote by Gloria Gaither About Sue Monk Kidd: “Most of the time I choose a nonfiction book that brings a new insight or fresh approach to an eternal truth or encourages spiritual growth in an area that seems to need emphasis for the times in which we are living. But this time I am recommending the New York Times bestselling book of fiction, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees. . . . Sue Monk Kidd is an amazing writer who tells a story with such skill that she somehow manages to both prick our consciences and give us great hope. (source)

Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd

Quotes by Sue Monk Kidd:

“I often went to Catholic mass or Eucharist at the Episcopal church, nourished by the symbol and power of this profound feeding ritual” (Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, p. 15).

“I would go through the gate with what Zen Buddhists call ‘beginner’s mind,’ the attitude of approaching something with a mind empty and free, ready for anything, open to everything. . . . I would give myself permission to go wherever my quest took me” (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, p. 140).

“I remember a feeling rising up from a place about two inches below my navel. . . . It was the purest inner knowing I had experienced, and it was shouting in me no, no, no! The ultimate authority of my life is not the Bible; it is not confined between the covers of a book. It is not something written by men and frozen in time. It is not from a source outside myself. My ultimate authority is the divine voice in my own soul. Period. . . . That day sitting in church, I believed the voice in my belly. . . . The voice in my belly was the voice of the wise old woman. It was my female soul talking. And it had challenged the assumption that the Baptist Church would get me where I needed to go” (The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, pp. 76, 77, 78, emphasis added).

Quote by Gloria Gaither About Richard Rohr: In an interview between Gloria Gaither and Catholic mystic monk, Richard Rohr, Gaither said: “First of all, I want to say thank you to you [Richard Rohr] because so many of your books have been impacting my life, especially Falling Upward. I think that changed my thinking about . . . just about everything. We have studied that book in our Monday night Bible study.” (source)

Richard Rohr

Richard Rohr

Quotes by Richard Rohr:

“every time God forgives us, God is saying that God’s own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us.”― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

“The most amazing fact about Jesus, unlike almost any other religious founder, is that he found God in disorder and imperfection—and told us that we must do the same or we would never be content on this earth. ”― Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

LTRP Comments: In 2009, we were first alerted to the direction that the Gaithers appeared to be going, and we posted an article titled, “Gaither Family Fest To Include The Shack Author.” In that article, we stated:

Bill and Gloria Gaither will be hosting the 19th annual Family Fest in May and will be featuring The Shack author William Paul Young. The Gaithers have been a popular Christian music team for many years. . . . In 2005, the Gaithers held their Gaithers Praise Gathering in which they invited Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, and other emerging church leaders to be speakers. In 2008, at the Gaither’s Fall Festival, Brian McLaren’s book, The Secret Message of Jesus (see Faith Undone for information on that book) was featured in the Readers Breakfast Club. Gloria Gaither is also on the Advisory Board for the Spirit and Place Festival, an organization sympathetic to the “new (age) spirituality.” McLaren is a featured personality in that organization. The Gaither’s promotion of The Shack, Brian McLaren, and Leonard Sweet are strong indicators that the Gaithers are attracted to emerging spirituality, and this will no doubt influence many of their followers.

As for this promotion of Richard Rohr and Sue Monk Kidd, this is a perfect example of the downward slide of deception. Sadly, the Gaithers have millions of followers through their music, and now these followers are being pointed to two New Age panentheists rather than to the Cross. When the Gaithers wrote and sang “There’s Something About That Name [Jesus],” who would have thought they would be able to sing such high praises for people who are following a different Jesus and a different Gospel?

Additional Information on Sue Monk Kidd:

Of Sue Monk Kidd, Ray Yungen states:

[Sue] Monk Kidd’s spirituality is spelled out clearly in her book, When the Heart Waits. She explains: “There’s a bulb of truth buried in the human soul [everyone] that’s only God . . . the soul is more than something to win or save. It’s the seat and repository of the inner Divine, the God-image, the truest part of us. . . .

How did a Baptist Sunday school teacher come to believe that divinity is within all? [A]Sunday school co-worker handed her [Monk Kidd] a book by Thomas Merton telling her she needed to read it. Once Monk Kidd read it, her life changed dramatically. What happened next completely reoriented Sue Monk Kidd’s worldview and belief system. She started down the contemplative prayer road with bliss, reading numerous books and repeating the sacred word methods taught in her readings.

She ultimately came to the mystical realization that: “I am speaking of recognizing the hidden truth that we are one with all people. We are part of them and they are part of us . . .  When we encounter another person . . .  we should walk as if we were upon holy ground. We should respond as if God dwells there.”-A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., p. 134-135

Dance of the Dissident Daughter, published six years after When the Heart Waits, shows Monk Kidd’s transition into goddess and panentheist spirituality, going so far as to say that God can be found even in human excrement. In speaking about mysticism, she states:

As I grounded myself in feminine spiritual experience, that fall I was initiated into my body in a deeper way. I came to know myself as an embodiment of Goddess…. Mystical awakening in all the great religious traditions, including Christianity, involves arriving at an experience of unity or nondualism. In Zen it’s known as samadhi…. Transcendence and immanence are not separate. The Divine is one. The dancer and all the dances are one. . . . The day of my awakening was the day I saw and knew I saw all things in God, and God in all things (pp. 161-163, Dance of the Dissident Daughter).

Additional Information on Richard Rohr:

Rohr’s spirituality would be in the same camp as someone like Episcopalian panentheist Matthew Fox (author of The Coming of the Cosmic Christ). Rohr wrote the foreword to a 2007 book called How Big is Your God? by Jesuit priest (from India) Paul Coutinho. In Coutinho’s book, he describes an interspiritual community where people of all religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity) worship the same God. For Rohr to write the forward to such a book, he would have to agree with Coutinho’s views. On Rohr’s website, he currently has an article titled “Cosmic Christ.” One need not look too far into Rohr’s teachings and website to see he is indeed promoting the same Cosmic Christ as Matthew Fox – this is the “christ” whose being they say lives in every human-this of course would nullify the need for atonement by a savior.

Mercy

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debaixo

Historians have noticed what Christians have failed to discover and that is the immense compromise that the Church had committed by her alliance with Constantine in the year 314 A.D. at the Synod of Arles. In this canon it was stated that Christians would be threatened with excommunication those Christian soldiers who insisted on quitting the army, which left military service free and open to Christians. This move was in direct opposition to the stance of the Primitive Church of Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Cyprian, and Lactantius who represented the heart and thought of its Founder and Apostles. And so, for the first time, the meek and peaceful Jesus became a God of battle, and the cross, the holy sign of Christian redemption, the banner of a bloody warlord. This irreconcilable incongruity between the symbol of peace and war is verdict enough to convict the left-leaning of the commercial Church.

Christians need not be students of history to discern this truth, it is set forth in the life of Jesus and throughout the pages of the New Testament. One need only have the spirit of knowledge and the discernment of truth, both of which are free gifts of God.

We should not be surprised that we who occupy the Church at the end of the age should find that it has slid into apostasy since this too has been foretold. This evil of strife and killing which have become the mindset of modern Christianity has now become a virtue to be praised and glorified by those who profess godliness and proudly present Christ as their warrant for destruction of human lives.

The day is drawing short and time is of the essence that professing Christians cast off this devilish spirit of patriotism and murder and join the Lamb of peace in preparation for the Groom to receive His bride.

And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. Hosea 2:19

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The study of “right and wrong” or ethics is very important but ethics do not exhaust the full contents of what Christianity is. Ethics are concerned with the practical conduct of human life so, it is natural that curious Christian minds should have carefully investigated these rules and behavior. Also, when we find that some have carried this study to advanced levels we should not be surprised that this quest for meaning, predictably, should become corrupted on some points. This quest for right discernment has many times fallen into errors, oversights, and misunderstandings, if not outright hypocrisy and heresy. But, this should not prevent the responsibility of thoughtful Christians to seek out the truth. When what we read in the New Testament comes into conflict with, and fails to balance with, our actual experience then it is imperative that truth loving Christians bear out these differences with the attitude of honest inquiry and not simply stop at the status quo. Is it not the Christian’s duty to clarify, defend, instruct, and preach correct virtues and to live them out in broad daylight? Yet, this is not what we always find. Jesus said, looking toward the end-times, that “good would become evil and evil good,” so I will say again, when what we read in the New Testament comes into conflict with and fails to balance with our actual experience then it is imperative that truthful Christians bear out these differences with the attitude of honest inquiry.

In this pursuit of truth, no period of Christian history is as important as that of the first three centuries. All errors that we encounter can be eliminated as we find our way back to that period of time when Christianity was in its infancy and the teachings of Christ and the Apostles were still fresh in the hearts and minds of those who experienced it firsthand; the success of this period has never since been equaled. That power that sprang from the founder’s personal life pulsated with more energy at that time than it has ever since when emerging decay was held in check by frequent purifications in the fires of persecution and the Church’s vision had not been biased and its conscience dulled with accumulating compromise.

In the midst of today’s many problems of Christian integrity and ethics, the most urgent and challenging at this present time is that of the Christian attitude to war, self-defense, and violence. There has never been a time when the weight of it pressed more heavily upon the minds of Christians than it does today. It is a question that needs to be asked and involves the whole world and includes our necessity of coming to a reasoned decision on this critical issue – in all cases it requires that we question the fixations we have to health, wealth, security, reputation and even life itself in this world. The sad thing is that it appears that, generally speaking, there has been no reasoned inquiry and that most Christians have accepted the popular explanation for this problem without question. Everywhere, by an overwhelming majority, Christians have settled in word and deed the decision to fight and shed blood, and to kill – providing it is done in defense of country or for the weak or for the maintenance of national pride and righteousness – are the Christian’s duty, right, and privilege. But, only by an act of self-deception could anyone persuade himself that this is the final word on the subject. The degree and knowledge of which the majority have been persuaded owes in large part to other factors rather than calm, impartial, and considered judgment of a Christian heart. In the tense excitement and overflowing passion of the current state of affairs, the truth and reasonableness of the “popular opinion” are not only taken for granted but is elevated to the degree of the “sacred” where dissent or disobedience merits disrespect, disapproval, and even punishment. As has happened in the past during times of crises such views cannot be tolerated. Public feelings and state watchfulness at grip with the enemy will likely check or silence any expression of disagreement. During such times the question of non-resistance and pacifism may become a closed question. But, there is a rising tide of those who have looked below the surface of popular Christian belief on this subject and are not satisfied with the false and superficial answers that have been given to its sincere doubts and questions.

The New Testament has been thoroughly studied and written upon and although no work on Christian history, ethics, and teaching, could ignore this subject, it has been out of the question by contemporary authors to exhaustively consult the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church in search of this truth. What may be called the modern interest in the early Christian attitude to war goes back only to the Radical Reformation of the Anabaptist and considers their actions only as an anomaly. The modern Church is virtually devoid of those who know anything on the subject. The greatness of those who sacrificed so much to bring this truth into the light has been continuously downplayed and ignored by popular Christianity. This can be attributed to nothing less than an attempt by Satan to hide the very core and nature of the Gospel message and to present Christ and Christianity in a whole different light.

The problem of Christianity and war is one that demands serious attention, even during ordinary times, but recent events have magnified the problem and the need for attention. The real problem is that the average Christian naturally expects to find support for his convictions from the local Church, and in fact, that is exactly what happens, so it has been left to the few who have discovered the truth to spread it with whatever means is available and with whatever skill they possess.

The words of the New Testament, the life of Jesus, the lives of His disciples, and Apostles, and the history of the primitive Church for three hundred years all speak with a clear voice and are vibrant and strong regarding this subject. With Constantine’s ascension to power, the persecution stopped and Christian leaders, still bearing the scars of persecution, were raised to positions of authority and importance. True Christianity began to go into hiding but a scarlet thread can be traced from that time to this of Christians who came to know a truth that would cost them everything. Although we live in times of relative peace the time will come once again when those who follow the Lamb in non-resistance to evil will pay the cost of true fellowship.

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For (Christian) 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 Tim. 3:1-5

global-persecution

Are we, i.e. Christians, forever to consider with praise and respect, the technological proficiency of modern warfare, which channels the intellect to acquire the skill to murder on a mass scale? Are Christians to look with pleasure upon all the methods employed to mutilate mankind and to enable the work of destruction? Are Christian parents so blind that they would spoon feed their children television and technology that leads them to the Devil’s den? No!

I have witnessed the righteous principle of peace beginning to spread. Brothers and sisters across this land are beginning to learn that nothing can withstand the purpose of the Prince of Peace. They are thinking deeply that surely there must be something faulty and malfunctioning in our Christianity. And, knowing assuredly what Christ professed, they cannot continue to be quiet and lazy in such a cause as this. Read the New Testament just a little and how can you escape without understanding that that religion, established by the Lamb, is a religion of Peace.

Our Churches have been filled to the brim with deception and lies concerning the Christian’s place and duty in government and the armed forces. Ever since the time of Augustine and Constantine, in the fourth century, the once persecuted Church now elevated to a place of power and influence, positioned the Church as a force to be dealt with on the same level as the world, and this is a lie perpetuated by the Church itself through ignorant theologians and the universities.

But, praise be to God for His faithfulness that in these last days the light of truth is breaking through once again amongst those who are sincere and have the brand of the Spirit of Truth inscribed on their hearts. These few are that forward component that will light a torch that no man will be able to extinguish blazing a trail for many to follow. I long to see the day when Christians united in the spirit will stand together, not counting their live as anything, and proclaim with a singular voice the true Gospel of Peace. The price of such a proclamation will be costly but so worth the price to hear those wonderful words.

“Well Done Good and Faithful Servant”

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