False Jesus

Jun 06, 16 False Jesus

 

Promoting a False Jesus – “Christian” books, including “Jesus Calling”

 

 

In this broken world, people seek supernatural* “experiences” and some of us have even been involved ourselves in trying to arrange those experiences to happen. (*In this context, “Supernatural” pertains to things outside nature, having to do with the occult & paranormal.)

Recently, I had an interesting yet, unplanned discussion with my church’s Youth Junior High girls, which basically was about messing with the Supernatural world through the use of an Ouija Board.  Thankfully, everyone agreed this is very unwise.  And we also agreed that it is exactly how an evil creature like satan operates by getting Ouija Boards, an occult tool, easily available to the World as a CHILDREN’s toy of all things!
 
The discussion was intense as each of the ten girls volunteered their experiences, and before we ended, my associate and I prayed over the group to encourage and strengthen them.  I later wrote them all a letter, including the Bible verses and passages at the end of this blog, stating to them that “if you belong to Jesus, you truly have nothing to fear, even from invisible or supernatural things”, ending with another encouragement, which is to memorize Scripture because it gives us instant access to the Truth.  It is in Jesus that we find our strength.  A simple and great verse to have on hand is this cry to God from Isaiah 38:14b, “O LORD I am oppressed; undertake for me!”  Super easy to memorize!
 
But, regarding seeking Supernatural experiences, even Christian can fall into this trap through what they believe are “Christian” practices when they seek God’s Presence outside of the Bible.  I am a former “New-Ager” and that belief system is rift with supernatural experiences.  Since I became a Christian in winter 2008, it has been very eye-opening to see how New-age practices have infiltrated the Christian church. 

 

When I first became a Christian, I listened to an Audio of “Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth” by Richard Foster; a bestseller, originally published in 1978 by Harper & Row, and considered by some to be a “Christian” classic.  I’d been excited to find it because I had read a magazine article by this author, which I really liked.  Upon listening to the audio however, there were a few points in it that the author made that I immediately thought, “Wow! That sounds New-age!” but I dismissed my misgivings because this book is a “Christian” book after all.  Those practices were Visualization and Contemplation.  In 2012, upon reading another Christian book, which promoted Visualization and when I tried the visualizing ‘Jesus’ exercise, which the author recommended using when trying to free oneself from Dark angels, it backfired.  I had an instant experience of seeing in my mind’s eye an obscene “Jesus” and I could not understand why or change it no matter how I prayed.  God in his graciousness put another book into my hands.  I found it in a small tourist town’s Music box specialty shop some months later.  Besides music boxes and trinkets, the owner had a few used books for sale and I picked up a couple, which included “The Seduction of Christianity: Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days” by Dave Hunt and T.A. Mcmahon. I placed that book on one of my bookshelves to read over another time.  Some months later I was angst-ing about another “Christian” book I had come into contact with, which undeniably promotes New-age practices.  I had casually looked over the text, when the author used a quote by Napoleon Hill, who I was not familiar with at the time and the quote threw up a red-flag for me so I looked the book over more carefully and as mentioned became very concerned.  I believe the Holy Spirit led me soon afterwards to place my hand on “The Seduction of Christianity” and to open it because Napoleon Hill and even Robert Foster are mentioned as people who have introduced New-age ideas to the Christian church.  Napoleon Hill as a proponent of “The Law of Attraction” and Richard Foster as the main person to introduce “Contemplative Prayer” or what New-agers would identify as Eastern Meditation.  As a former New-ager, I knew these ideas and as a new Christian, had nearly accepted some of them because our enemy has re-wrapped those same ideas with Christian terminology.  But note, Jesus did not use or reference these methods for us in the Bible. 

 

I next came into contact with a “Christian” book, which could have been sold unrevised under the “New-age” category.  It was blatant and incredible but only one of its Amazon reviewers recognized it.

 

I think for the most part some of these writers believe that they are promoting Jesus Christ and his church but somehow in at least some of their practices, they have allowed a deceptive spirit to whisper to them lies, which they have trusted as the Truth.  They have allowed the enemy access to them, which each of those practices promotes.  As time goes on, because of their allowing these infiltrations into their Christian walk, we will see them perhaps walk into full apostasy.  That’s what eventually happens because as it says in Galatians 5:9, A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”  In essence, the leaven has been allowed to infiltrate the dough, and it is only a matter of time before it distorts and mutates the entire batch.

 

Another “Christian” book example, which thankfully I did not fall for has been the hugely bestselling book “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.  The author states that what she has written are Jesus’ actual words; she just wrote what she heard him say.  At the end of this blog, I’ve linked to a few informative articles about this book and I highly recommend another book, “Another Jesus Calling” by former New-ager, Warren B. Smith.  Warren is able to state a case that “Jesus Calling” & Sarah Young relied heavily on the New-Age book, “God Calling” and that Sarah’s theology is NOT sound.  I think people think that if a book references Bible scripture, it must be okay. But, as we know, satan tempted Jesus with his demented but oh so subtle twist of Scripture.

 

These are just a few book examples of what has been a real failure by the authors to do what the apostle John instructed us to do in 1 John 4, which is to “Test the Spirits”.  Some “Christian” authors and most Christians do not read their Bible regularly or do so in an improper context, and don’t think to test the spirits; they do not realize that what they are “experiencing” are the same spirits that encounter people through the use of an Ouija Board. 

 

Our enemy and his cohorts will try their worst in order to deceive Jesus-followers, so we must be prepared.  Jesus told us that our enemy, satan, came specifically to steal from us, lie to us and destroy us (John 10:10).  Think about how our enemy has already done this to the people of this world and how he continues to do it relentlessly, and tirelessly.  I read recently that in the New Testament part of the Bible, we are warned at least 35 times NOT to be deceived.  It is foolishness to think that just because we are Christians, we can’t be deceived.  The New Testament IS to Christians so those warnings ARE to Christians. Why even read a book that says it is by a Christian who says they have a message directly from Jesus or God, especially in light of all the warnings by Jesus and his apostles?

 

For us Christians, then, we need to discern.
 
Take a look at these verses, which Paul wrote admonishing (in this instance, he really is scolding) the people in the Galatians church – Galatians 4:8,9:

 

 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?”  

I’ve read these words before but this portion really jumped out to me for us: “… weak and worthless elementary principles of the world” are also those gross beings encountered through Supernatural experiences.  Key words are “weak” and “worthless”; our Lord Jesus is mighty, even to the point that He can save us from our sins. 

 

So firstly, don’t seek the company of these weak and worthless beings, second, test the spirits to SEE whether they are from God and thirdly, rest from fear because if you are His, you are safe.  Like that well known children song states, “… we are weak but He is strong.  YES, Jesus loves me!”

 

What we as Christians need to do for ourselves and the Body of Christ; the Church is to:

 

1)

Read our Bible at least every day because THAT’s where we encounter the real God and I can attest that He actively speaks through the words of the Bible.  Jesus IS called the Living Word after all 😎 . 

 

We should not seek God talking to us outside the Bible because there is NO good reason to do this and every BAD reason to do this.  As Christians, we are so blessed because the Bible IS enough.
 
So, again, Read your Bible because as you know, this is the only measuring stick we have to discern between what is true and what is a lie, and chew on those Bible words by memorizing those passages that the Holy Spirit encourages and teaches you.  “O Taste and see that The Lord is good…” Psalm 34:8a.  This is the only way to be sated in this broken world. Sated is a food-related word, which means to be full and fully satisfied. This is what delving into the word of God does; it feeds us food that will sustain us throughout this mortal life and into our eternal life, when we are face to face with the LIVING Word, Jesus!  WOW!

 

2)

Please remember that Jesus told us that many would come in His name but in actuality be from satan.  The ultimate “Identity Theft”.  Matthew 24:5: “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.”  Yes, even through “Christian” books.

 

Test the Spirits:

1 John 4:1-6 (I’m currently memorizing this passage)

 

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

Because satan’s favorite tactic is to masquerade as the voice of Jesus, the above bible passage is very important to us.  In our language, this passage means that you, as a Jesus-follower, can ask anything coming to you as if it is from God (including that still, small voice in your head), a question like this: “Are you the God and Father of my Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Savior, who is God in the flesh, who died for my sins, ransomed me from death and satan and conquered satan forever?”

Anytime something has failed the test, which came to you purporting to be from God, ask God your Savior, to Rebuke it and protect you because He is your refuge and Savior.  This is when those memorized Bible verses come in handy.  Yes, even satan knows Bible scripture but he hates it when a believer knows it and glorifies God with it.

Regarding Christian books, before I trust a book now, I check out the NEGATIVE reviews on Amazon (those are the 1-stars) and if there is a New-Age problem, thankfully someone has usually mentioned it. I don’t put any weight on how many positive reviews there are.  Per Barna Research Group, one in ten “Christians” believes in reincarnation so that’s a lot of “tares” claiming to be Christian and a lot of “Christians” lacking a fundamental and elementary grasp of Christian theology. BUT Jesus warned us. (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/5-barna-update/128-americans-describe-their-views-about-life-after-death#.UyuBPl7lHOc)

Finally, pray for God’s protection for yourself and for your family and for discernment.  Jesus told us for a very good reason to pray daily against temptation and for protection from evil.
 
God BLESS you as you draw near to Him!

 

Bible verses:

 

therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” James 4:7,8a NKJV – written by Jesus’ half-brother.
O LORD I am oppressed; undertake for me! 
Isaiah 38:14b – look up those words “oppressed” and “undertake” to fully explore this short verse.

 

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

1 John 4:4

 

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control

2 Timothy 1:7

 

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1b

 

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 

John 10:28 – this is Jesus talking about the Jesus-follower

 

 

Articles about “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young:

 

The Strange Saga of ‘Jesus Calling,’ The Evangelical Bestseller You’ve Never Heard Of by Ruth Graham

 

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/the-strange-saga-of-jesus-calling-the-evangelical-bestseller-you-ve-never-heard-of.html

 

Specifically about “Jesus Calling”, here is a link to articles “Jesus Calling by Sarah Young: Another New Age “Jesus” – Articles and links exposing the New Age “Jesus” and New Age teachings in Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling” devotional”:

http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/jesus-calling-by-sarah-young.html

 

Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

 

http://steakandabible.com/2012/07/04/is-deception-calling-a-review-of-jesus-calling-by-sarah-young/

Jesus Calling is referenced in both of these “Stand up for the Truth” audios:

Which “Jesus” is calling? An interview with Warren Smith

<http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/11/which-jesus-is-calling-an-interview-with-warren-smith/>

Warren spent many years in the New Age practicing the very types of spiritual exercises put forth by Contemplative Prayer proponents. He knows full well that not every experience is from God but in fact can be from familiar, seducing spirits.”

 

and

http://standupforthetruth.com/files/2013/09/New-Age-Get-ready-for-whats-coming.mp3

 

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