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We Shall Be as gods????

By Watchman | October 16, 2008

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

“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist or one who calls up the dead.  For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord…”  (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)

“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.”  (Leviticus 19:31)

“And the person who turns to mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person…” (Leviticus 20:6)

Contrary to what most people imagine, the New Age philosophies are not new.  The first recorded reference to New Age religion occurs in Genesis 3:5 in which the evil one convinces Eve that eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden would not bring death.  “For God knows that in the day you eat of it, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”  Satan’s deceit led to the entrance of sin into the world, and the fall of man.  Thousands of years later, we are still hearing and responding to Satan’s promise that we can be as God.  Although we now have a new name for this “spirituality” that seeks self-godhood rather than worshipping the only one all-holy, omniscient and omnipresent God of all creation, it is as old as sin itself, and just as deadly.

Scattered throughout all of both the Old and New Testaments are God’s warnings to take no heed of those who claim to have special knowledge not in keeping with His Word in Scripture.  Time and time again His own people have turned away from Him to follow the advice or leading of astrologers, mystics and seers.  Chapter 28 of 1 Samuel relates how Saul was removed by God from his position as the first king of Israel because of his consultation with the witch of Endor and her familiar spirit.  God chastised His own many times for their “adultery” with other gods and their sorceries.  The Bible makes one thing very clear–any spirit contacted by man other than the Holy Spirit is demonic; such contact is strictly forbidden by God.  Any person trying to establish such a contact is in rebellion toward God and is allowing in his/herself an opening for evil to enter.

Although these ungodly practices have always been amongst us, there has been an unprecedented universal acceptance of the occult in the past century.  I have been aware for many years that certain New Age (as they’ve been called since the sixties) religions are becoming more popular:  very few of us have not at least heard of Wicca and witchcraft, alien sightings, voodoo, palmistry, tarot card reading and magic.  What I was not aware of, until I began some research preparatory to writing this post, was how many of the new “enlightened” beliefs make use of some basic truths of Scripture to lull the adherents into believing they are actually following the will of God.  Since relatively few people have studied the Scriptures themselves in their entirety, using the language of God and quoting a few chosen-at-random and taken-out-of-context verses is a most effective means of turning eyes away from how far from the Word of God is the blasphemy uttered by the leaders of the New Age movement.  A germ of truth leavens the whole batch and makes that which is rancid, bitter and evil APPEAR to be good and holy.  Hidden unmentioned in the dough is the seed of the “spiritual enlightenment” that will allow the antichrist and his false prophet to be propelled into power, riding in on their platform of peace.

I would venture to say that there is no large city on earth today that does not have its share of psychics, card readers, astrologers, covens and the like. So-called Earth-Based religions and goddess-worshipping cults can be found everywhere, and our government has seen fit to designate them as recognized religions.  For at the very least the last forty years, those growing up have accepted as natural the prevelance of astrological forecasts in the newspapers and psychics predicting the outcome of every election.  Tabloids thrive economically on predictions of what will happen in the future or to everybody’s favorite actors or pop stars.  If you take a quick look through this week’s TV listings, you’ll find a plethora of shows–often on the “reality” networks–that deal with hauntings, mediums, psychic children, etc.  One network is now touting the talents of psychic John Edward who relays to people in his audience messages from the dead.  Harry Potter and his “good magic”  fighting the forces of “black magic” remains a top-seller in young people’s literature, leading some schools (predominantly in Europe, but a few here as well) to offer some courses in spells and witchcraft.  Christians as well as unbelievers are drawn into these programs and stories in the belief that they all reflect some kind of unique gift from God.  That God Himself strictly forbids His people from participation in any occult practices is largely ignored.  It has, therefore, become much easier for heresy, and even blasphemy, to creep into man’s moral being and turn him away from the unchanging Word of God.

Two doctrinally unsound and dangerous books have become best-sellers that are leading astray thousands of people both here in the United States and in many other countries including Canada and England.  The first, though originally written in the late 1960s and published in 1975 by the Foundation for Inner Peace, began as a private book mostly shared within small groups.  We know this book now as “The Course in Miracles.” According to the Course in Miracles website, in 1965 a Columbia University psychology professor, Helen Schucman, received a message from an inner voice identifying itself as Jesus Christ of Nazareth that she was to take notes on what she was told and put these messages into a book.  Its purpose was to bring peace to the world by the illumination of the mind and body through love, healing and forgiveness.  Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?  Anyway, in 1992, New Age leader Marianne Williamson introduced the world to The Course in Miracles on the Oprah Winfrey Show.  Oprah Winfrey was so impressed by the words of this “Jesus” (who, by the way, bears little resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible) that she began a radio and internet program in January 2008 of 365 lessens from the Course in Miracles Workbook.  Thousands are proclaiming that it has transformed their lives and their views of God.  Friends, it is the old promise of the enemy–we can be as gods.  Although I have many problems with this book, there are a few I will share so you can get the general picture of what this course is really about:

1)  A Course in Miracles purports to be a new revelation from Jesus, yet states that “The Name of Jesus Christ as such is but a symbol.  It is a symbol that is safely used as a replacement for the many names of all the gods to which you pray.”  Oh?  What happened to “Thou shalt have no other gods before me?  Or “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No man comes to the Father except by Me.”?

2)  Despite the belief that Jesus dictated this book, it says that the Cross and a slain Christ has no meaning.

3)  There is no Blood Atonement necessary since there is no sin (except for a lack of love, which is only a mistake to be corrected, not a sin to be punished.)  There is nothing real except for truth: God’s will and our will appear to be indistinguishable.   God is not only our Creator and the One Who loves us, He is also our Judge.  We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and are deserving of death, but He loved us enough that He made a way to remove our sins by sending His Son to die in our stead and granting life eternal to all who turn to Him. We are indeed saved by the Blood atonement of Christ.  Any “gospel” that contradicts that is heresy.

4)  According to TCIM, we need to forgive in order to be free (true enough), but since unforgiveness is unthinkable in heaven, we don’t need to be forgiven by God.

5)  Worst of all, for me, is the conclusion that is reached near the end:  basically, that we are God and God is us.  NO, NO, NO!!!!   We are NOT God–God is God.  We are the created, not the Creator.  We are sinful (though hopefully growing more like Him as we try to reflect His goodness, His love and His will); He is perfect and holy.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture!

Incidently, also connected with TCIM, Oprah Winfrey and Marianne Williamson is New Age leader Eckhart Tolle.  This man is also claiming to have knowledge that will lead to our spiritual enlightenment.  Besides his books and television appearances, he puts out the newsletter “Inner Whispers” designed to “assist in your Spiritual Growth and to increase your Spiritual Awareness.”  “Inner Whispers” is allegedly dictated by what Tolle calls “non-physical teaching entities” (spirit guides) channeled by April Crawford.  As I watched videos of her channeling her evolved teaching entity “Veronica”, I could feel myself turning cold and my stomach churning.  That she was truly channeling something I have no doubt.  The entities that enter into man at his invitation are not of God.  Be certain of that, children of God!  This is not the ministering of the Holy Spirit.  This is the entrance of a hellish demonic presence gleefully subverting the precious Word of God Almighty.

The second book to be touted as changing the way we view God is a novel by William P. Young called “The Shack.” I first bought this book from a Christian book website after reading reviews on the same site that declared it to be the most insightful revelation of God many people had ever read.  Quite a number of pastors praised it and announced their intention to recommend it to their congregations and to preach sermons about it.  Its basic premise is that the main character, Mack, unable to throw off the grief and unhappiness following his daughter’s murder four years before, is invited by God (whom he calls Papa) to visit Him in the shack where it was believed his daughter had been killed.   Its purpose was to show that God was there the entire time, enveloping Mack’s daughter with His love.  Again, sounds alright, huh?  However, although “The Shack” has little of the overt occultism of TCIM, its subtle message is that traditional Christianity is all wrong; that there is no devil and no hell.  The Trinity appears to Mack (please remember that NO ONE other than Jesus and the angels have seen the face of God) in such a way as to make him unable to fall back upon his “religious conditioning”, i.e. the traditional and Scriptural view of God.  “Papa” is portrayed as a big black woman, Jesus as a jeans-clad Hebrew and the Holy Spirit as an Asian woman.  As uneasy as I was by this time feeling, I grew steadily more uncomfortable as I got further into the book.  God is portrayed as submitting to His creation because, says this version of Jesus, “We want you to join us in our circle of relationships.”  According to this book, God is not about holiness and righteousness, nor does He in any practical way condemn sin which appears to be our not knowing how to play nice with each other, a condition which He claims to cure, not condemn.  This all sounds like it’s such good theology–actually, most of it is in direct defiance of the Word of God.  “The Shack’s” God says “I’m not a bully, not some self-centered demanding little deity insisting on my own way.  I am good, and I desire only what is best for you.  You cannot find that through guilt or condemnation.”  Yet it is through the guilt consciousness given by grace to us via the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of our sins and granted the blessed opportunity to turn to God with repentant hearts for forgiveness!  The “deity” goes on to say; “You don’t need me at all to create your list of good and evil.  But you do need me if you have any desire to stop such an insane lust for independence….evil is a word we use to describe the absence of Good, just as we use the word darkness to describe the absence of Light.”  Now, pay attention here! “..evil and darkness can only be understood in relation to Light and Good; they do not have any actual existence.”  Get it?  No real punishment after death for those who do not follow God because no real evil exists.  Same conclusion as TCIM; different presentation.  Now hear the Word of the Lord:

1.  “I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me..”  (Jeremiah 1:16)

2.  “If you will not observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorius and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the Lord will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses…and it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you…”  (Deuteronomy 28:58-59, 63.

3.  “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”. (John 3:19)

4.  “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:11-12)

No evil?  No enemy?

The “Jesus” of this story proclaims that “the esoteric spiritual traditions–whether Christian mystics, Hebrew Kabbalists, Zen Buddhists, Islamic Sufis, or Hindu yogis–all have specific practices to help individuals overcome this great illusion of separation and to experience the One True Self, which is in us all. ”  Later:  “Those who love me come from every system that exists.  They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims…I have no desire to make them Christian…”   I can’t really even find a way to comment on this.  It is so completely unscriptural that pretending that this could come out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ seems truly blasphemous.

Soon after I read “The Shack” it appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s must -read list, and thousands more people are following the path offered.  It’s an easy gospel.  It’s a gospel where Scriptural morality is not relevant if it exists at all.  It’s a gospel of today’s political correctness, foretold in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 :  “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” They are following a gospel, but it is not THE Gospel!  The promise is always the same:  fear not God, because we can be as God Himself.  The authors have different names, but their deceit all originates from the same source.  God says in Revelation 22:18-19, “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book:  If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Paul warned us two thousand years ago about “new” gospel revelations:  “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

Jesus, in Matthew 24 tells His disciples  “Take heed that no man deceives you.  For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many…And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many..but he that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.”

Beloved, any time you hear of a way to God other than through the precious atonement of Christ shedding His blood on the cross of Calvary for us, you are face to face with lies.  When you follow your horoscope for the day rather than consulting the God Who created and loves you, you are living a lie.  When you seek enlightenment through mystics and mediums rather than through the Word of God you are opening yourself to alienation from the God Who wants to come and save you and to the presence of the father of all lies.  Paul tells us to ” cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” and to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of God.”  (2 Corinthians 10:5)  God DOES demand our obedience to His Word.  When we fail, He is just and gracious to forgive.  The Word of God was given to us for our encouragement, for warning, and for guidance.  It reveals to us what we are capable of comprehending of the mind and heart of the Almighty.  Study the Word and be diligent in guarding your heart against the lies and wiles of satan.  Our promises come from neither satan nor our own imaginations.

Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”  (Psalm 37:4)

“With God nothing shall be impossible”  (Luke 1:37)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

“He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.  (Rev.3:5)

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:  if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”  (Rev. 3:20)

Make straight the Way of the Lord!

Maranatha!

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