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Meriam's Guy

Can Divorced Christians Remarry? Absolutely!
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 6:28 pm
Last Updated:Jan 18, 2012 3:17 pm
4748 Views
* I think this is a very good article. Sometimes the translation of one word means everything. This is taken from the website divorcehope. It is worth reading. I believe the Heart Of God is found here.

Can divorced christians remarry? Yes, of course! Forbidding someone to remarry after they're divorced is bad doctrine. Marriage after being divorced is our heavenly Father's heart! (Take notice of a wrong translation of only one single word (apoluo) that p

Divorce and Remarriage

“Now the Spirit [of God] expressly says that in latter times [the days we live in now] some will DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies ...FORBIDDING TO MARRY…” (1Timothy 4:1,3).

“Forbidding [someone] to marry” after they have been divorced is a doctrine of the devil. The Bible is not saying that these people who hold to this belief are not true Christians, but that they teach out of ignorance — they don't understand God's heart in the Scriptures. Understanding God's heart only comes from the Holy Spirit revealing Him to us. Whenever we do not understand God's heart in the Scriptures, we have departed from sound doctrine.

This Scripture could not be talking about forbidding to marry in general. Nobody would listen to such nonsense preached. The desire that God put in man to have a companion and sexual partner is too great, especially if they were married before. In order that we don’t fall into “...sexual immorality, let EACH MAN have his own wife, and let EACH WOMAN have her own husband” (1Corinthians 7:2). “[For] IT IS NOT GOOD THAT MAN SHOULD BE ALONE…” (Genesis 2:18a).

The erroneous doctrine of forbidding one to marry after a divorce has been preached and taught in many churches. It has violated the conscience and hearts of those who’ve been divorced, driving them into a constant state of confusion and negatively impacting their lives. The only way for these people to come out of that confused state is to leave the church, and many have done just that. Not only do they leave the church to remarry, they also need to be able to make the right decision to divorce when it’s necessary in order to save themselves and their families before all is destroyed.

In order to understand that there IS marriage after divorce, we will examine the Scriptures in Matthew 19:3-12 focusing on the usage of the Greek word, apoluo. The Greek word apoluo that’s translated “divorce” or “to put away” is a general word. Its primary usage is: to “send” (apoluo) someone home when it’s getting late.11 When two people are leaving each other there is a “separation.” Apoluo is a separation in general, which does not involve the “legal” aspect of a permanent separation like a divorce. The common usage is seen in the Scripture “When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. SEND (apoluo) the multitudes away, that they may go unto the villages and buy themselves food’” (Matthew 14:15). The Greek word apoluo doesn’t have a legal aspect to it. It’s just a common word that means, “I’m going to go” or, “away from, to separate.” Because of our wrong beliefs about divorce, this key word was purposely translated (incorrectly) so it would not conflict with our beliefs.

When used concerning a marriage it means a separation and NOT a divorce. If a spouse separates intending never to return, then the next step comes into play; the spouse obtains a “certificate of divorce.” This is what the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees (the religious lawyers of His day) was about in Matthew 19:3-12. The legal question was, “Do you just separate, OR do you separate AND give a certificate of divorce?” The Greek word used for divorce in these Scriptures means, to “send away” or separate from, NOT a finalized legal divorce.

The lawyers of God’s law tested Jesus. Their motive was to justify when they only separated from their wives and remarried without ever getting a divorce. They asked Him if God accepts a separation to get remarried without a divorce certificate for just any reason. Jesus responded that when a male and female come together in a marriage union, “...they are no longer two BUT ONE…” (Matthew 19:6a). Because the couple is still united, He doesn’t want “man” (the marriage partners) to just separate from each other and get remarried without a divorce. A SEPARATION ALONE DOES NOT BREAK THE MARRIAGE UNION. IT TAKES A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, ALSO. So the question was NOT, “Can a spouse DIVORCE their mate for any reason,” but “Can a spouse get a SEPARATION from their mate for any reason and then remarry while just separated.”

When a husband just leaves his wife for another woman without ever giving her a certificate of divorce, this keeps the wife in limbo. She could not go back to her husband because he doesn’t want her; and she couldn’t “go and become another man’s wife” as Moses commanded because she is not legally divorced (See Deuteronomy 24:1-2). If she did remarry without a legal divorce, she and the man who married her would be committing adultery. This is why Jesus said, “...whoever separates (apoluo) from his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is [just] separated (apoluo) commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9 My Translation).

Because the Pharisees’ hearts were so hard “They said to Him [Jesus], ‘WHY then did Moses COMMAND to give a certificate of divorce AND to put her away [separate]?’” (Matthew 19). They agreed with the part of the law that said that you could leave your wife, but they didn’t understand that it was not right to keep their wives from getting remarried. A spouse with a hardened heart will not give the other spouse a divorce. They will want to control the person. A person who truly loves unconditionally will always give you a way out: an option not to love.

So it is with God; He always gives us the choice to not love Him. As we choose to love Him, it’s true love. At times the reason a marriage isn’t a truly unconditional loving marriage is because the partners feel that there is never a way out, if needed. If the marriage partners knew that there was a godly way to escape from a failing marriage it would give the couple the freedom to “choose to love,” even when it’s not convenient.

Jesus said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, PERMITTED you to divorce [separate from] your wives, but from the beginning IT [being separated without a divorce] WAS NOT SO” (Matthew 19:. Notice in verse seven that Moses COMMANDED them to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate (put away) their wives. But in verse eight, because their hearts were so hardened against their spouse, Moses PERMITTED them to just separate without the husband giving the wife a certificate of divorce. The reason Moses commanded that a certificate of divorce be given was to guarantee that the wife could get remarried. Simply, Moses commanded to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate. But because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses permitted them to separate only. The permission to separate and remarry without a divorce was limited to sexual immorality. If the wife was unfaithful, the husband could leave without ever being “officially divorced” — by giving her a certificate of divorcement, and go take another woman as his wife. But if there was no sexual immorality involved, the husband could NOT separate from his wife without getting a divorce first. If he didn’t get a divorce and went to live with another woman or got remarried, they were committing adultery.

“Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed [for selfish reasons]. Are you loosed [divorced] from a wife? [In my opinion says Paul, the Apostle] do not seek a wife. BUT EVEN IF YOU DO MARRY, YOU HAVE NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned” (1Corinthians 7:26-28a). Notice that the “virgin” AND the person “loosed [divorced]” are both put in the same category — they have “not sinned” by getting married. BOTH THE PERSON WHO WAS NEVER MARRIED AND THE PERSON WHO WAS DIVORCED ARE WITHOUT SIN IF THEY MARRY.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 tells of a situation where a man married a woman and then divorced her. This woman then married another man. The Scriptures go on to state that if the second marriage ends by her husband writing “...her a certificate of divorce ...OR if the latter husband dies…” (Deuteronomy 24:3,4), she could not remarry the first man she divorced because she had already married someone else. Therefore, if our spouse dies, or if we were divorced, we can get married again. Divorce and death are equal before God. The only stipulation in this Scripture is that if this is the second marriage, we cannot go back to the first spouse and remarry them because we married someone else after we divorced them.

The Hebrew word: shalach is the equivalent of the Greek word: apoluo.

There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships
0 Comments
Can Divorced Christians Remarry? Absolutely!
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 3:01 pm
Last Updated:Nov 7, 2012 4:50 am
5998 Views
* I think this is a very good article. Sometimes the translation of one word means everything. This is taken from the website divorcehope. It is worth reading. I believe the Heart Of God is found here.

Can divorced christians remarry? Yes, of course! Forbidding someone to remarry after they're divorced is bad doctrine. Marriage after being divorced is our heavenly Father's heart! (Take notice of a wrong translation of only one single word (apoluo) that p

Divorce and Remarriage

“Now the Spirit [of God] expressly says that in latter times [the days we live in now] some will DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies ...FORBIDDING TO MARRY…” (1Timothy 4:1,3).

“Forbidding [someone] to marry” after they have been divorced is a doctrine of the devil. The Bible is not saying that these people who hold to this belief are not true Christians, but that they teach out of ignorance — they don't understand God's heart in the Scriptures. Understanding God's heart only comes from the Holy Spirit revealing Him to us. Whenever we do not understand God's heart in the Scriptures, we have departed from sound doctrine.

This Scripture could not be talking about forbidding to marry in general. Nobody would listen to such nonsense preached. The desire that God put in man to have a companion and partner is too great, especially if they were married before. In order that we don’t fall into “...immorality, let EACH MAN have his own wife, and let EACH WOMAN have her own husband” (1Corinthians 7:2). “[For] IT IS NOT GOOD THAT MAN SHOULD BE ALONE…” (Genesis 2:18a).

The erroneous doctrine of forbidding one to marry after a divorce has been preached and taught in many churches. It has violated the conscience and hearts of those who’ve been divorced, driving them into a constant state of confusion and negatively impacting their lives. The only way for these people to come out of that confused state is to leave the church, and many have done just that. Not only do they leave the church to remarry, they also need to be able to make the right decision to divorce when it’s necessary in order to save themselves and their families before all is destroyed.

In order to understand that there IS marriage after divorce, we will examine the Scriptures in Matthew 19:3-12 focusing on the usage of the Greek word, apoluo. The Greek word apoluo that’s translated “divorce” or “to put away” is a general word. Its primary usage is: to “send” (apoluo) someone home when it’s getting late.11 When two people are leaving each other there is a “separation.” Apoluo is a separation in general, which does not involve the “legal” aspect of a permanent separation like a divorce. The common usage is seen in the Scripture “When it was evening, His disciples came to Him, saying ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is already late. SEND (apoluo) the multitudes away, that they may go unto the villages and buy themselves food’” (Matthew 14:15). The Greek word apoluo doesn’t have a legal aspect to it. It’s just a common word that means, “I’m going to go” or, “away from, to separate.” Because of our wrong beliefs about divorce, this key word was purposely translated (incorrectly) so it would not conflict with our beliefs.

When used concerning a marriage it means a separation and NOT a divorce. If a spouse separates intending never to return, then the next step comes into play; the spouse obtains a “certificate of divorce.” This is what the confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees (the religious lawyers of His day) was about in Matthew 19:3-12. The legal question was, “Do you just separate, OR do you separate AND give a certificate of divorce?” The Greek word used for divorce in these Scriptures means, to “send away” or separate from, NOT a finalized legal divorce.

The lawyers of God’s law tested Jesus. Their motive was to justify when they only separated from their wives and remarried without ever getting a divorce. They asked Him if God accepts a separation to get remarried without a divorce certificate for just any reason. Jesus responded that when a male and female come together in a marriage union, “...they are no longer two BUT ONE…” (Matthew 19:6a). Because the couple is still united, He doesn’t want “man” (the marriage partners) to just separate from each other and get remarried without a divorce. A SEPARATION ALONE DOES NOT BREAK THE MARRIAGE UNION. IT TAKES A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE, ALSO. So the question was NOT, “Can a spouse DIVORCE their mate for any reason,” but “Can a spouse get a SEPARATION from their mate for any reason and then remarry while just separated.”

When a husband just leaves his wife for another woman without ever giving her a certificate of divorce, this keeps the wife in limbo. She could not go back to her husband because he doesn’t want her; and she couldn’t “go and become another man’s wife” as Moses commanded because she is not legally divorced (See Deuteronomy 24:1-2). If she did remarry without a legal divorce, she and the man who married her would be committing adultery. This is why Jesus said, “...whoever separates (apoluo) from his wife, except for immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is [just] separated (apoluo) commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9 My Translation).

Because the Pharisees’ hearts were so hard “They said to Him [Jesus], ‘WHY then did Moses COMMAND to give a certificate of divorce AND to put her away [separate]?’” (Matthew 19). They agreed with the part of the law that said that you could leave your wife, but they didn’t understand that it was not right to keep their wives from getting remarried. A spouse with a hardened heart will not give the other spouse a divorce. They will want to control the person. A person who truly loves unconditionally will always give you a way out: an option not to love.

So it is with God; He always gives us the choice to not love Him. As we choose to love Him, it’s true love. At times the reason a marriage isn’t a truly unconditional loving marriage is because the partners feel that there is never a way out, if needed. If the marriage partners knew that there was a godly way to escape from a failing marriage it would give the couple the freedom to “choose to love,” even when it’s not convenient.

Jesus said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, PERMITTED you to divorce [separate from] your wives, but from the beginning IT [being separated without a divorce] WAS NOT SO” (Matthew 19:. Notice in verse seven that Moses COMMANDED them to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate (put away) their wives. But in verse eight, because their hearts were so hardened against their spouse, Moses PERMITTED them to just separate without the husband giving the wife a certificate of divorce. The reason Moses commanded that a certificate of divorce be given was to guarantee that the wife could get remarried. Simply, Moses commanded to give a certificate of divorce AND to separate. But because of the hardness of their hearts, Moses permitted them to separate only. The permission to separate and remarry without a divorce was limited to immorality. If the wife was unfaithful, the husband could leave without ever being “officially divorced” — by giving her a certificate of divorcement, and go take another woman as his wife. But if there was no immorality involved, the husband could NOT separate from his wife without getting a divorce first. If he didn’t get a divorce and went to live with another woman or got remarried, they were committing adultery.

“Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed [for selfish reasons]. Are you loosed [divorced] from a wife? [In my opinion says Paul, the Apostle] do not seek a wife. BUT EVEN IF YOU DO MARRY, YOU HAVE NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned” (1Corinthians 7:26-28a). Notice that the “virgin” AND the person “loosed [divorced]” are both put in the same category — they have “not sinned” by getting married. BOTH THE PERSON WHO WAS NEVER MARRIED AND THE PERSON WHO WAS DIVORCED ARE WITHOUT SIN IF THEY MARRY.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4 tells of a situation where a man married a woman and then divorced her. This woman then married another man. The Scriptures go on to state that if the second marriage ends by her husband writing “...her a certificate of divorce ...OR if the latter husband dies…” (Deuteronomy 24:3,4), she could not remarry the first man she divorced because she had already married someone else. Therefore, if our spouse dies, or if we were divorced, we can get married again. Divorce and death are equal before God. The only stipulation in this Scripture is that if this is the second marriage, we cannot go back to the first spouse and remarry them because we married someone else after we divorced them.

The Hebrew word: shalach is the equivalent of the Greek word: apoluo.

There are many critical keys in this book regarding divorce, remarriage, submission, interracial marriage and relationships
0 Comments
Jesus is our Sabbath Rest
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 5:38 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2023 3:42 pm
4087 Views

by Ray C. Stedman



Yesterday, which was the seventh day of the week, my wife and I attended a Bar Mitzvah service for a Jewish neighbor lad, to hear him conduct the service much as a rabbi would. He read, for the first time, from the scrolls of the Torah, the first five books of Moses. It was very impressive to see the rabbi unlock the ark in which the Torah is kept, bring out the scrolls, unroll them on the table, as Jews have done for centuries, and hear this thirteen-year-old boy read in Hebrew from the scrolls. Then he gave thanks for two things which have been the treasure of Israel for centuries, the Law and the Sabbath.

As you know, the Sabbath is one of the oldest institutions in the world, dating, as the Bible makes clear, from the very earliest appearance of man upon the earth, when God blessed and hallowed the Sabbath. Later, it was part of the Law given to Moses and Israel. Many Christians today are troubled -- considerably at times -- by the question: "Should we be observing the Sabbath yet today?" There are certain Christian groups who feel that this is the case; in fact they insist that we are not genuine Christians unless we observe the commandment of God to keep the Sabbath continuously. It is those claims that I want to examine now as we look at this record from the book of Genesis for the seventh day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)

We must try to unfold the riddle of this passage, the hidden mysteries which God delights to hide within these simple words. We will look together at seven facts which will open to us the remarkable truth that is hidden in this strange institution of the Sabbath. It seems strange that after 2000 years of Christian teaching the Sabbath is still little understood, though its true meaning is of crucial importance to us.

The most outstandingly noteworthy thing that this passage indicates, which differs completely from the other days of creation is the absence of any reference to an evening or a morning. The record of all the other days of creation closed with the words, "and there was evening and there was morning, (a first, second, etc.,) day." But there is no reference to evening or morning in this passage. This helps to confirm what we have already seen in these "days" of creation: that these "days" do not primarily emphasize time, but development. The evening and morning were indicative of a developing process, beginning in a rather incomplete state and moving toward light. But on this seventh day there is no evening and morning. In fact, twice in this brief passage we find the word, "finished," occurring. "Thus the heavens the earth were finished" (Gen 2:1a) and "God finished his work" (Gen 2:2b). Obviously there is no need for development, no place for it. The work of God is complete on the seventh day, and therefore no evening or morning is mentioned.

Therefore, whatever the Sabbath is (which we will see as we go along), it is a perfect thing. It is always the same whenever we experience it. It is not something to grow into; it is something to step into and to discover it to be exactly what it always is perfect, finished. That is our first clue.

Let us now look at the second. It is obvious from this passage that the supreme meaning of sabbath is rest. In fact, the word "seven," the word "sabbath," and the word "rest," are all the same basic word in Hebrew, Shabat, seven, sabbath, rest. Therefore, the heart of the meaning of sabbath is rest. That is its primary significance.

Let us not misunderstand that. That does not mean rest as we often think of it. When we have been working hard and are weary and tired we need rest in order to restore our strength. But this is not the significance of the word here. It simply means the ending of activity, the cessation of effort. God was not tired by his creative work, he did not need to rest to restore strength. He did not stop because he was fatigued; he stopped because he was through. The Hawaiians have a very expressive word for it, pau. It means finished. He is pau, finished; and so he stopped. That is what we do when we are through with something, we stop. And this is what God did. He stopped because he was through. He had done all he intended to do and he rested in the midst of a perfect creation. Therefore the true sabbath, we will learn from this clue, is not the keeping of a special day but the ending of a specific effort. That is what sabbath means.

As a third point here, the specific effort from which God rested was creation. The text says, "So God rested from all his work which he had done in creation" (Gen 2:3). This is the last account of any creative activity. Man was made and then God rested, and there has been no creation since. Man is the last effort of God in creation, on the physical level. Therefore this sabbath, this rest upon which God entered, is still continuing today. God is not creating physically today. God is ceaselessly active in many, many ways, but not in creation. In the fifth chapter of John, when Jesus was in the synagogue the Jews were very distressed because he had healed a man on the sabbath day. The Pharisees accused him of breaking the Sabbath and Jesus answered them by saying, "My Father is working until now, and I am working," (cf, John 5:17). His argument was that it was proper for him to do a deed of mercy on the sabbath day because he was simply imitating his Father who was ceaselessly active in mercy and love on his sabbath day, his long rest. God had stopped creating but he was still busy in a thousand different ways. Thus the sabbath means that God's creative activity has ended.

Even evolutionists acknowledge this. Interestingly enough, many evolutionists admit that man is the end of the evolutionary ladder, and that nothing further has been evolved since the producing of man. We cannot agree with them as to how man came into being, but it is interesting that they agree at this point that there is no further evidence of development beyond man.

As a fourth point we must therefore recognize that the weekly sabbath, i.e., Saturday, is not the real sabbath. It never was, and it is not now. It is a picture or a reminder of the real sabbath. The true sabbath is a rest; the Jewish sabbath is a shadow, a picture of that rest. All the Old Testament shadows pointed to Christ. They were predictions, foreviews, of the coming of the One who would fulfill all these remarkable things. Every lamb that was brought as an offering was a shadow of the work of Christ. Every burnt offering, every bit of incense that was offered, was a picture of the fragrance of Jesus Christ. The tabernacle was a shadow of him. The high priest, in his garments and his office, was a shadow of Christ as our High Priest. Read the book of Hebrews and you will see how beautifully all this is brought out. These Old Testament shadows were looking forward to the coming of the One who would fulfill these and thus end them. When the work of Jesus Christ was finished the shadows were no longer needed.

We behave very similarly today. Some twenty-two years ago when, as a much younger man, I was in Hawaii, I found myself engaged to a lovely girl who lived in Montana and whom I hadn't seen for three or four years. We were writing back and forth in those lonely days, and she sent me her picture. It was a beautiful picture and I showed it to all my friends dozens of times. I propped it up on the desk and I would look at it at least three or four times a day. It was all I had to remind me of her and it served moderately well for that purpose. But one wonderful day she arrived in Hawaii and I saw her face to face. I didn't spend much time with the picture after that, nor have I since. The other day I was cleaning out the garage and ran across the picture. It was still a beautiful picture, and I noted that she had not changed very remarkably since those days, but I found that the picture was quite incomplete and unsatisfying. When the real thing came there was no longer any need for the picture.

This is exactly what happened with these Old Testament shadows, including the Sabbath. When the Lord came, and his work was ended, making possible the true fulfillment of God's intention in the Sabbath, the picture was no longer needed. The weekly sabbath ended at the cross. Paul specifically says this. In the letter to the Colossians he confirms it to us. In Chapter 2, beginning with Verse 13, he says,

And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it [not him; it, the cross].

Therefore, let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. (Colossians 2:13-17)

That should make it clear. This is why the claims of the Seventh Day Adventists, the Seventh Day Baptists, and other groups, that Christians changed the sabbath, are absurd, ridiculous. They claim that the Pope changed the sabbath by a papal edict from Saturday to Sunday, and that around the third or fourth century Christians began to celebrate Sunday rather than Saturday, out of obedience to this papal edict. But nothing could be further from the truth. History does not corroborate that in any degree. The Sabbath has always been Saturday and it always will be. It is the seventh day of the week. Sunday has always been the first day of the week. It has never been a sabbath, and it is pure legalism to call it a sabbath or to treat it as one. It is not a day of rest or restricted activity and it is not designed as such. It is the first day of the week; to Christians, the Lord's day.

The shadow-sabbath ended at the cross, as Paul has made clear. The next day was the day of resurrection, the day when the Lord Jesus came from the tomb. On that day a new day began -- the Lord's day. Christians immediately began to observe the Lord's day on the first day of the week. They ceased observing the Sabbath because it was ended by the fulfillment of its reality in the cross, and they began to observe the first day of the week. This is what you find reflected in the book of Acts. Justin Martyr, who writes from the 2nd century, says,

But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, when he changed the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ, our Savior, on the same day, rose from the dead.

A fifth fact about this: Though this shadow-sabbath, i.e., Saturday observance, ended at the cross, the true sabbath, the rest of God, God's ceasing from effort, continued and still continues today. That sabbath, in its application to us, is defined for us in Hebrews 4, Verses 9 and 10:

So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God [it is available to us now]; for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10)

That is what the true sabbath is, to cease from your own labors, your own efforts, your own activity; to cease from your own works. "Well," you say, "if I did that I would be nothing but a blob, an immobile inactive piece of flesh."

Exactly! Of course you would. But the implication is that you cease from your own efforts and depend on the work of Another. That is the whole import of the book of Hebrews, another One is going to work through you. This is why Paul cries, "Not I, but Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me," (cf, Gal 2:20). This was also the secret of the life of Jesus, as we have seen. He himself said, "It is the Father who dwells in me who does the work," (cf, John 14:10). "The can do nothing by himself," (cf, John 5:19). This is the secret of the Christian who learns "it is God who works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure," (cf, Phil 2:13). So the secret of true Christian life is to cease from dependence on one's own activity, and to rest in dependence upon the activity of Another who dwells within. That is fulfilling the sabbath, the true sabbath.

That true sabbath, we read in Genesis 2, God blessed and hallowed. As we have already seen in this series, blessing is connected with fruitfulness and dominion. God blessed the animals and said, "Be fruitful and multiply." He said to man, "Be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over all the earth." That is what blessing means, to make possible both fruitfulness and dominion. When God "hallowed," or "sanctified" (KJV), the sabbath, he assigned it a specific function to perform. That is what sanctification always is -- to put to a proper or intended purpose. Thus God designated the true sabbath to the function of producing blessing (fruitfulness and dominion) for man. This is why the Lord Jesus declared, "the sabbath is made for man; not man for the sabbath," (Mark 2:27). So the true sabbath rest is to rest on Another, and this is the divine provision to produce fruitfulness and abundance of victory in a Christian's life.

Let us look at that a little closer because that is God's provision for living adequately today. Are you adequate? Do you find yourself able to cope with the situations in life into which you are thrust day after day, moment by moment? Are you confident? Are you capable? Are you panic-proof? Are you filled with fruitfulness, fragrance, abundance? God's rest is designed to produce that. God said it would. He makes it available for that purpose and it is the only thing that will do it; there is no substitute.

I'm afraid most of us fit the self-description of someone who said he was a mouse studying to be a rat. By our best efforts we can rise to a high level of mediocrity -- inadequate, unable. Why? Simply because we are depending on our effort. We are either extroverts, confident that we can do things and therefore frequently falling flat on our face; or we are introverts, so afraid to try anything that we don't even dare show our face. It is all because we are looking to ourselves as our resource; our background, our training, our gifts, our talents, our education, etc. It either results in feeling that we have what it takes and can be confident, able, and powerful; or, as we look at ourselves we say, we don't have what it takes and therefore we can't take it and we won't even try. So we become either over-confident and under-equipped, or under-confident and overworked, trying constantly to make up by activity what we lack in results.

God knew that this would be our problem. He understands us. Nothing is hidden from him; he knows exactly the way we operate. Therefore he has designed an adequate provision for our weakness, teaching us how to operate on an entirely different basis, to no longer look to oneself but to look to the one who dwells within; to expect him to do something through you, using your mind, your will, your emotions, your feelings, but it is he who does the work. But unless you begin to count on his working you will never experience it.

Right here comes the seventh factor, the one serious problem which remains. Christians say again and again, Why is this so difficult to do? Why do I have so much trouble? Why is it that Hebrews 4:11 goes on to say, "Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience." Why must we work at this?

Some seem able to learn it, and from time to time we see someone virtually come alive and their Christian life is simply transformed by learning to operate on this principle. They lose their egotism, as extroverts; or they lose their introverted feeling of self-consciousness. They begin to do things and to enjoy them, experiencing the blessing and excitement of Christian living.

Others say, "I see all this, and I want to do it too. I know what is said about how to rest, but I try it and it doesn't work. Why? Why do we fail?" The answer is given, I think, in a word of the Lord Jesus, recorded in Matthew 11, words we well know:

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Notice that twice in that passage is the word rest. One rest is given, the other is found: One is experienced when we first come to Jesus Christ. He gives us rest. Do you remember when you came to Christ? You simply believed what the Scripture said, that on the cross of Calvary he took your place, he died for you; he bore the punishment for your sin; he was wounded for your transgressions, he was bruised for your iniquity; and you believed that. Immediately there was a sense of peace flooding your heart, a quietness. You felt no more guilt, no more fear of death, no more need for painful efforts to win Brownie points with God. You were resting on the work of Another. Christ paid it all; you were freely forgiven. What a sense of rest that was! He gave it to you.

But as you went on as a Christian you found that problems began to return and failures came. Your Christian life became boring and dull, barren and uninteresting. You knew something was wrong and you resolved to try harder, to give yourself more fully to Christian activity, to throw yourself into it with more zeal and effort. This you did, and for awhile things went better, then it seemed to ebb out again into the same old thing. You ended up bored and disillusioned, disenchanted, discouraged. What is the answer? Well, it is what our Lord said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and you will find rest," (Matt 11:29-30a)

Back in the days of the old West the oxen teams that came across the prairies were yoked together with a great, wooden yoke, made to fit over the necks of two oxen. A yoke is always made for two, never for one. Jesus was a carpenter, and in the carpenter shop in Nazareth he often made yokes. From this he draws this very apt simile. "Enter into the yoke with me," he says, "you on one side; I on the other." A yoke is also a symbol of servitude, of controlled labor and activity. It means the end of self-service. When an ox is yoked, he is no longer free to do what he wants to do. He is under the direction of the owner, the driver. To be yoked means the end of running his own life and seeking his own way. This is what Jesus means. He did this. "He learned obedience by the things which he suffered," the writer of Hebrews tells us (cf, Heb 5:. He learned to do what he did not want to do, because God wanted him to do it. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me," he says (Matt 11:29a).

When you enter into the yoke with Jesus you expect the Father to take over the program of your life. You may be surprised what he does with it. You no longer have the right to decide what you are going to do with your life. It does not make any difference what time of your life you enter into this yoke, whether you are a youth at the beginning of your adult life, or whether you are a man sixty years old, with a great business depending upon you as the executive head. It does not make any difference. When you enter into the yoke with Jesus Christ you give up the right to determine what your life may be. You expect him to direct you.

It is his job to give the orders, it is his job to make you know what he wants you to do. He may make some dramatic changes, or he may not. He may leave you right where you are, doing what you are doing now, or he may tell you to stop it all, at great cost perhaps, outwardly, and leave it and go some place else to do something else. But one thing is certain, one thing he surely will do, no matter if he sends you some place else or leaves you right where you are -- one thing he will certainly do: He will remove you from the spotlight, out of the center of things, he will enroll you in school. And do you know what the curriculum will be? "Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart," (Matt 11:29b KJV). He will begin to teach you humility -- how not to be the center of attention, how to be content with letting someone else get all the credit. He will enroll you in the school that cancels out ego satisfaction. That is the principle by which the world lives, in its delusion. It is the thing that is destroying human life; the desire to be a god, your own god; to run your life to suit yourself. This can never be for those who are called to be Jesus Christ's -- "you are not your own, you are bought with a price" (cf, 1 Cor 6:19b-20a).

The reason why you cannot enter into the joy and glory and excitement of the rest which God has provided in ceasing from your own activities and resting upon his, is because, in some way or another, you are protecting some area of the ego, the self-life, saying, "This is mine; keep your hands off." As long as you do that you cannot have rest.

"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but if it die, it brings forth much fruit." (John 12:24 KJV)

Rest is the secret of human fruitfulness. As you consent to this, a wonderful thing will begin to happen. You will find rest. Jesus said you would. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest." (Mathew 11:29 KJV). Rest, with all it implies in terms of fruitfulness and dominion; reigning, ruling, producing that which is worthwhile and satisfying in life. That is the secret of life. This is why Jesus said, "If any man will save his life, he shall lose it. But if he shall lose his life for my sake, he shall find it," (cf, Matt 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24). He will find rest, he will fulfill the sabbath for that is what the sabbath is. It is God's divine provision for us. In the only judgment that is ever worthwhile, the judgment before the assembled hosts of heaven, when every life is reviewed as to whether it was worth the living, whether it hit the target or not, the secret of a success that will merit the words of Jesus, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," is to learn the rest of God. Anyone who learns that (and to the degree that you learn it) is keeping the sabbath as God intended the sabbath to be kept. (From The Seventh Day, by Ray C. Stedman, 12/10/67, The Beginnings: Commentary on Genesis)

Additional Information: Ray Stedman discusses entering God's rest in his IVP commentary on Hebrews, Chapters 3-4.
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Eugene Peterson’s Message: Part 1 (My 1994 Warning)
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 5:12 am
Last Updated:Jan 16, 2012 5:14 am
4506 Views

By Warren B. Smith

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
(2 Timothy 3:5)

I first became aware of Eugene Peterson’s “paraphrase” of the Bible in 1994 when I was doing a weekly segment on a syndicated radio show based on the East coast. The producer of the show entitled my weekly spot “Keeping Our Eye on the Enemy.” It was based on a scripture from the First Book of Peter where he warned:

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (I Peter 5:

From my perspective of having been involved in New Age teachings, I would comment on best-selling New Age books and other issues that had New Age implications for the Church. On one program I expressed concern about author Eugene Peterson’s new paraphrase of the Bible entitled The Message.

On the first page of The Message, the book is described as “a contemporary rendering of the Bible from the original languages, crafted to present its tone, rhythm, events, and ideas in everyday language.” In other words, Peterson took the carefully translated words of the Holy Bible and put them into his own chosen words and idioms.

I expressed deep concern about The Message on my radio show. Anyone reading The Message should be able to quickly see how verses from Scripture often had their otherwise clear meanings obscured or even altered. Important details were sometimes omitted, while misleading words and phrases were often added. For example, when the disciples asked Jesus about His second coming and the end of the world, His reply in the Bible was very straightforward and clear:

And Jesus answered and said unto them. Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (Matthew 24:4-5)

These important Bible verses had opened my eyes to truth back when I was involved in the New Age. A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings had taught me that love is all there is. Everything else is “fear” and “illusion.” I had been told that because God is love, God is therefore in everyone and everything. There is no separation between God and His creation. Because everything is love and everything is “God,” we are naturally “at One” with God and Christ and all creation. Lesson 124 in A Course in Miracles taught us to affirm, “Let me remember I am one with God.”1 When the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles was asked if he was the Christ, he answered, “O yes, along with you.”2 According to A Course in Miracles and my other New Age teachings, all of humanity is divine. We are all “God” and we are all “Christ” and we are all “One.”

I remember the day when I read Matthew 24:4-5 and fully grasped what Jesus was saying. Thanks, in part, to that scripture I suddenly understood how deceived I had been. I wasn’t Christ, or a part of Christ, at all. Jesus is the one and only Christ—there is no other. In my book The Light that was Dark, I described the importance of that scripture and its personal significance to me:

Those of us who had believed the Course’s Jesus—that he was the Christ and that we were too—were deceived…But in believing the Course and my other spiritual teachers, I had unwittingly become the very person that the real Jesus warned me to watch out for. “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”3

It was very sobering for me to realize that I was one of the people that Jesus was warning His followers to watch out for. This scripture enabled me to understand that my New Age belief that I was Christ was a definite false teaching. Because of that important scripture, I had been made to realize that Jesus’ warning applied to the whole New Age movement that included my wife and me. This particular scripture helped to save my life. It gave me godly insight into the dynamics of the deception I had been a part of. But not so with Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of this same scripture. It fails to communicate what Jesus was really saying. When the disciples asked about Jesus’ second coming and the end of the world, Peterson’s paraphrase reads as follows:

Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people.”4

By omitting the warning to let “no man” deceive you and paraphrasing it with only a general caution about “doomsday deceivers” and “leaders with forged identities,” Peterson’s paraphrase completely missed exposing all of us who were in the New Age believing we were Christ. It also allowed false Christs who portray themselves as “peace loving,” and not as “doomsday deceivers,” to slip under the scriptural radar. Jesus was not limiting His comments about false Christs to “doomsday deceivers.” In fact, He wasn’t specifying “doomsday deceivers” at all. His warning was all-encompassing. He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” He was warning about anyone who says “I am Christ.”

My wife and I were not “doomsday deceivers.” We were not “leaders with forged identities.” If we had been looking only at Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase when we were unbelievers, we would have never seen ourselves and the whole New Age movement in that prophetic passage of Scripture. But thanks to a real Bible, we were clearly shown that we were the subjects of Jesus’ warning. Coming into the faith we had learned first-hand how the precision of a properly translated Bible can be the difference between truth and deception.

A verse in Hebrews beautifully conveys what we had learned and what I was trying to communicate to the radio audience about the difference between a poorly translated Bible and the true Word of God.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

I was amazed that Peterson’s book was being sold in Christian bookstores. I was concerned that if it ever became popular it could mislead a lot of people. I wondered how Peterson could just add, and subtract, and change God’s Holy Word and not fear for his life. It seemed so obvious to me that part of the Bible’s admonition to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) meant that we were not to “manhandle” the Word of God. In the Book of Revelation, God warns:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. (Revelation 22: 18- 19)

However, when Peterson’s book first came out there was no reason to think that it would one day be quoted as the Word of God. Back in 1994, The Message seemed to be just another strange sidelight in an already all too undiscerning Christian marketplace. No one that I was aware of was taking it seriously, much less referencing it, as authoritative Scripture. But now here it was again—Rick Warren was quoting from Peterson’s paraphrase as if it were the Word of God.



Excerpted from Deceived On Purpose, pp. 23-27

Eugene Peterson’s Message: Part 2 (As Above, So Below)

Endnotes

1. Foundation for Inner Peace, A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Workbook),
p. 222
2. Ibid., (Teachers Manual), p. 87.
3. Warren Smith, The Light That Was Dark: A Spiritual Journey, p. 144.
4. Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress, 1993, 2003), p. 60.
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Rick Warren: Prophecy is None of our Business?
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 5:08 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2023 3:42 pm
3924 Views

By Warren B. Smith
Excerpted from A Wonderful Deception, pp. 96-100

Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
—Revelation 1:3

Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy.
—Micah 2:6

Rick Warren openly discourages readers of The Purpose Driven Life from studying prophecy. Taking unwarranted and unbiblical liberty in interpreting Acts 1:6-8, he states that Jesus told His disciples that the details of His return “are none of your business”—that they needed to focus on “fulfilling” their “mission” rather than “figuring out prophecy.” He writes:

When the disciples wanted to talk about prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism. He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. He said in essence, “The details of my return are none of your business. What is your business is the mission I’ve given you. Focus on that! . . .”

If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.1 (emphasis added)

In 2006, four years after The Purpose Driven Life was published, emerging church figure Brian McLaren also used this same interpretation of Acts 1:6-8 to similarly discourage his readers from studying prophecy. Echoing Warren’s words, McLaren states the following:

Instead, he [Jesus] tells them it’s none of their business to speculate about how God plans to work out history, and then he gives them a mission to accomplish.2 (emphasis added)

C. Peter Wagner, Rick Warren’s former doctoral “mentor” at Fuller Theological Seminary,3 explains that what Warren and Brian McLaren were saying is actually what Robert Schuller has been teaching for years. Wagner points out that Schuller is a “pioneer of focusing on the mission of the church” rather than prophecy (eschatology). Wagner writes:

A pioneer of focusing on the mission of the church to the surrounding world is Robert H. Schuller, founder of the Crystal Cathedral of Garden Grove, California.4 (emphasis added)

Robert Schuller’s advice to young church leaders would seem to apply to new apostolic Christians: “Don’t let eschatology stifle your long-term thinking.”5 (emphasis added)

In a curious play on the words “New Age” and “mission” Robert Schuller concludes his 1982 book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation by describing how he believes that the twenty-first century would be a “new Age of mission”:

I believe that today we are witnessing the last days of the Reactionary Age in church history. And I’m further convinced that we are witnessing the birth of a new Age of Mission.6

But Rick Warren, Brian McLaren, and Robert Schuller are simply repeating what New Age matriarch Alice Bailey received from her spirit guide, Djwhal Khul, concerning the coming of a universal New Age “Christ.” In Bailey’s 1948 book The Reappearance of the Christ, in a chapter titled “Preparation for the Reappearance of the Christ,” Bailey writes:

If our work is rightly done, He will come at the set and appointed time. How, where or when He will come is none of our concern. Our work is to do our utmost and on as large a scale as possible to bring about right human relations, for His coming depends upon our work.7 (emphasis added)

More than fifty years after Alice Bailey channeled these New Age teachings regarding the coming of the New Age “Christ,” Rick Warren and Brian McLaren were saying almost the exact same thing. Bailey said the details of “Christ’s” return were “none of our concern.” Warren and McLaren said that the details of Christ’s return were none of our “business.” Alice Bailey said that “His coming depends upon our work,” while Warren stated “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus on fulfilling your mission.” All three of them emphasized human endeavor to build the kingdom of God. And all three of them discouraged understanding the details of Christ’s return. Yet on the Mount of Olives, the real Jesus Christ went to great lengths to describe the details of His return (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21). He shared important details of His return with His disciples so they—and we—would not get deceived by a false Christ—like Alice Bailey’s New Age Christ. He did not tell them that the details of His return were “none of their business.” He said, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). To make sure they would not be deceived by a false Christ, he went on to provide important details concerning His return. He warned them that “many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). He also warned:

Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. (Matthew 24:23-25).

By providing these and other details, Jesus was saying—in essence—don’t be deceived by those who tell you that the details of my return are none of your business. On the contrary, Jesus told His disciples that the details of His return are of great importance and that prophecy should be properly understood (Matthew 24:15). Furthermore, in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 Jesus gives a much different picture of what the last days before His return will be like. The leaders I have discussed seem to suggest that if we fulfill our “mission” or “God’s Dream” we will create a world where peace prevails. They believe Christ will then return to a world ready to accept Him. But the real Jesus warns that false Christs will appear (leading eventually to the Antichrist)—and they will perform signs and wonders, promising peace and harmony.

My original concern about the New Age implications of Rick Warren’s discouragement to study prophecy was further heightened as similar statements by Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, and New Age matriarch Alice Bailey came to light.
Endnotes:

1. Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life, op. cit, pp. 285-286.
2. Brian D. McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus, op. cit., p. 171.
3. Rick Warren’s doctoral thesis outline, op. cit.
4. C. Peter Wagner, Churchquake, op. cit., p. 177.
5. Ibid., pp. 70-71.
6. Robert H. Schuller, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, op. cit., p. 174.
7. Alice A. Bailey, The Reappearance of the Christ (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing Company, 1948, Eleventh Printing, 1996), p. 188.
8. Brian McLaren’s Everything Must Change Tour, Goshen College May 9-10, 2008; Report by Jeffrey Whitaker, “How ‘Everything Must Change,’” h; Tony Jones, The New Christians: Dispatches From The Emergent Frontier (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 200, p. 98.
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Predestination
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 5:02 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2023 3:42 pm
3931 Views

Predestination

LET us begin the study of this subject by turning to Romans 8, and we will read three verses:

28. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

29. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

30. "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

As we study together, let us pray that God will give us light on these matters of sovereignty. Yea, let us ask God to give us more light than we have ever had before. Let us remember we are dealing with subjects that have to do with Divine Sovereignty. These subjects have nothing to do with the deliberate planning of man. These matters can only be known to mankind as God by His Spirit has set them forth in His Word. As we look at the subject of Predestination, we are certain that it is a much discussed subject, and perhaps as much misunderstood. Let me mention again the meaning of Adoption as set forth in the Bible. "Adoption is a divine act of God, whereby God sets a goal for the believer." Man had nothing to do with setting that goal. It was solely the work of the Sovereign God. We see that Adoption is future. Paul with the believers in Rome was waiting for the Adoption to take place.

We now look at the subject of Predestination. Perhaps this subject is misunderstood because it has been dealt with in class rooms in a cold theological way, separated from the Word of God. Keep ever in mind that the Word of God gives clearness, and brilliancy to all doctrinal truths. Any doctrine, it does not matter what it is, when separated from the Word in discussion or presentation, becomes cold; and people do not understand it. The doctrine of Predestination is not only set forth in the Word of God, but it is so set forth that our hearts can be warmed, our minds filled, and our souls blessed as we study it.

I have a friend who is a preacher. He was a very earnest young Christian with a great desire to see souls won to Christ. He spent himself in every way to lead people to the Saviour. This same man was invited to preach in a country church in the Western states. He went for a week of meetings and on the closing evening, when he had just started preaching his sermon, he noticed a tall, young man come into his service. He wore a large cowboy hat, and had a red handkerchief fastened about his neck. This man took a back seat. While my friend was preaching the Gospel, this young man was in his mind, and upon his heart. He kept thinking about him and saw him sitting there silently. He continued preaching but felt that God was speaking to that man, and that evening would be the night when he would receive the Saviour. At the close of his sermon he gave a few words of invitation for people to accept Christ, and to signify their desire by coming forward. The man in the back seat who came in late did not respond. While the song leader led the congregation in the invitation song, the young preacher went down to the back seat, laid his hand upon the shoulder of the cowboy and said, "I suppose you are a Christian." The young man answered by saying, "That is just where you are mistaken. I am not." The preacher began to impress upon him God's desire to save him. The cowboy turned to the preacher and said, "There is no use of speaking to me, for God has predestinated me to Hell. He has not predestinated me to go to Heaven." The young preacher could not answer him so returned to the platform and closed the meeting.

Two years later, the same church had built a new building. They asked the same preacher to return and hold another week of Gospel meetings. At the first meeting, while the preacher was preaching his sermon, who should come walking in and take his seat at the rear of the church but the same young man, who had been there two years previous. When the preacher finished his sermon, he went down and to the young man as he had done previously. He asked the young man to accept Christ as his Saviour.- The young man said that God had predestinated him to go to Hell. There was no use in him trying to believe the Gospel. The preacher said, "Two years ago you told me the same thing. You had me in a corner. I could not answer you. I thought at that time that perhaps God had predestinated you to Hell, and I left you. Since then I have been reading my Bible. I just want to tell you now that God never predestinated a man to Hell and desires and wants to save you now."

In the writing of this article I want to prove to you that the young preacher told the truth. Moreover we want to know how to deal with those who make such statements as this cowboy made to the preacher.

Many things have been said about Predestination in books. Some of these statements have been made by good men. Yes, some Godly men have made statements saying that God has predestinated some people to Heaven and some people to Hell. While such men have been right on other truths, of the Word of God, they have most surely been wrong in this. First, they have been ignorant of the teaching of the Word of God on the subject. Second, they have been in error concerning the truth of Adoption, Election, and Foreknowledge. This is a terrible statement for any man to make or dare to make, "that God predestinates some people to Hell." It is not true. It is not according to the clear teaching of the Bible, and is diabolical. Listen to what the Apostle Peter says in II Peter 3: 9

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Hear what Paul says in 1Timothy 2:

3. "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;"

4. "Who will have all men to be saved, and - to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

Now, in the light of these verses, how can one say that God has predestinated some people to Hell, and some people to Heaven?

In dealing with these four subjects of sovereignty: Adoption, Predestination, Election, Foreknowledge, it is well to remember a certain phrase used in the wedding ceremony. We are all familiar with the phrase. "What God, therefore, has joined together, let no man put asunder." I would like to reverse that, "What God has put asunder, let no man join together." These four truths or subjects of sovereignty are truths that differ. They are not jumbled together in the Word of God so that man cannot understand them. God has set them in their position and in proper relationship in the Word of God. The Spirit of God is always trying to bring to our hearts and minds the simplicity, and beauty of these truths as they are clearly set forth in His Word. The Spirit of God is not bothered with the doctrines of man, and is not bothered with man's interpretation of the doctrines of the Word. The Spirit never gives a Methodist interpretation of Predestination. Neither is He bothered about the Presbyterian way of handling the subject. He does not ask anyone to accept the Baptist view of this doctrine. The Spirit of God does not have any denominational ax to grind. Neither does He seek, present or promote denominational interpretations of certain doctrines. When writing on these subjects, I remove myself from all denominational platforms to present the truth. I take the Bible to mean what it says and to say what it means. In our hearts inquire after the clear, satisfying understanding of the doctrine of Predestination, we will turn to the Bible and will find what the loving Father has to teach His in this matter, and our hearts will be satisfied.

A class of young men in a Bible School wanted to get a teacher. They asked a certain doctor if he would teach their class. So he began. The class had several who had recently been born into the family of God. Their hearts were hungry. They were college students. In the course of study, one of them asked their teacher about the subject of Predestination. The teacher being an honest Christian said that he could not explain the subject himself, but would bring them a book on the subject, written by his denomination.

One of these young men called to see me concerning the teaching of this book. The young man said that they had been asking their teacher some questions. One of the questions was on the subject of Predestination. The teacher had been honest, and said that he could not explain it, but he had a book which could, and assured him that he would find great help from it.

The book which he handed me was on the subject of Election. I said to the young man, "I notice the book is on the subject of Election, and not Predestination. However, we will read a few paragraphs together." The writer of that book had not gone far on the first page, when he used the words Predestination and Election interchangeably. This is why the young man said to me, "The more I read this book the less I know and understand about the subject of Predestination." The writer tried to join together what God had made clear in His Word should never be joined together. These subjects of sovereignty that we are dealing with in this book are separate subjects, and they do differ.

Now, is the subject of Predestination a Bible subject, or is it not? Can a humble believer know anything about this great truth? If it is a Bible truth, and most certainly it is, then the Bible is the best book to turn to for help and blessing. As we enter upon the subject of Predestination, let me give you a definition. May I remind you again of the definition of Adoption. Adoption is a divine act of God whereby, God sets a goal ( placed) for the believer.
Definition of Predestination

Predestination is a divine act of God whereby God makes that goal-(Adoption, or -placing) certain for the believer.

In Ephesians 1:5 we read:

5. "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

Notice the first sentence in this verse. It says that God has predestinated us unto the Adoption of . I trust this simple definition is a clear one. We will now go through the Scriptures following a certain outline to see how the Spirit of God sets forth in beautiful simplicity this gracious truth for the hearts of all of God's people.
I. The Precise Meaning of the Word

What does the word "Predestination" mean when you look at the etymology of the word itself ? Predestination is made up of two words. The first part is "pre", which means before, or beforehand. The last part of the word is "destination" which means the climax, end or farthest extent. The little word pre has to do with something beforehand. The word "destination" has to do with the farthest extent. We understand by this then, what Predestination, according to the precise meaning of the word has to do with: something beforehand and something at the farthest end or termination. Predestination has nothing to do with anything in between. The time is designated by the word "pre" and the farthest extent is designated by the word "destination."

It was not predestinated that I write this book. It was not predestinated by God that I should be the pastor of this church. It was not predestinated that this lady should play the piano in this church. These things have nothing whatsoever to do with the subject of Predestination.

Predestination is God doing something beforehand, and doing something about or concerning, or relative to the farthest extent. Predestination does not deal with anything in between these two points.

Last night I was in Washington. Yesterday afternoon I went down to the ticket office in the railroad station. I put down my clergy ticket and for $5.90, the clerk handed me a strip of paper with some writing on it. Before she handed it to me, she placed a stamp on two halves of the paper divided by perforated lines, one being on each ticket. On one line of one ticket she stamped "From North Philadelphia to Washington." On the ticket it did not say anything about conditions or happenings between North Philadelphia and Washington. It did not remark about the scenery, about the conditions of the coach, it just said "From North Philadelphia to Washington."

Now turn to the word "Predestination" in reference to the railroad ticket. Pre, which means beforehand, and implies that the railroad corporation decided that for $5.90 they would carry a man from Philadelphia-to the destination- Washington. The railroad company, beforehand, guarantees the delivery of the man to a certain destination. A man may be cold on a train, a man may be sick physically, a man may injure his hand, the railroad company states nothing about what might happen between North Philadelphia and Washington. They have taken the responsibility of delivering the individual to the destination. This had been thought of, planned, and worked out, beforehand. That is the illustration of the meaning of the important word "Predestination." It means precisely what the word itself declares.
II. The Purpose of Predestination

Now we turn to Romans 8:28-30.

28. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."

29. "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His , that He might be the firstborn among many brethren."

30. "Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom he called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified."

We notice here in verse 29 the purpose of Predestination. It is, that we might be conformed to the image of His . Now when will that take place? We read in Romans 8:23 that it will take place when the body is redeemed, and that is the time of my adoption. In Ephesians 1:5 the Spirit of God spoke through the Apostle Paul:

5. "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

We are dealing with the matter of the purpose of Predestination, and the purpose of Predestination is to bring us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. "To be conformed to the image of His ," Romans 8 :29.

This is the definite purpose of God in Predestination. He has predestinated us unto the Adoption. Keep in mind the definition of the word. Predestination is a divine act of God, whereby, God makes that goal which is Adoption, certain for the believer. The purpose of God in Predestination then is Adoption, and when we are Adopted we shall be -placed. When we are -placed we shall be like Him, we shall then be in the image of His .
III. The People Who Are Predestinated

Now we will look at the portion of the subject that has to do with the people who are included in the Predestination purposes of God. I was speaking one Saturday evening at a Bible conference on the subject of Predestination. During the evenings of a week of meetings, which would close on the following day, there had been sitting near the front each evening a fine young man with his lady friend. After having spoken on the subject of Predestination, I stepped off the platform.

This young man came to me and said, "I have enjoyed your ministry this week. I am sorry that I cannot be here tomorrow which is your closing day. My seminary work begins on Monday, and I must leave early tomorrow in order to arrive there in time for school. I have enjoyed the meetings and have been blessed by hearing you week. I should like to tell you something about the meeting here tonight. I did not believe a thing you said about 'Predestination'."

I said to him, "Friend, what is there in particular in my message that you do not believe ?"

"Well," he said, "I still believe that God Predestinates some folks to Heaven and Predestinates some to Hell.'!

He came to the meeting with preconceived ideas about the subject of Predestination, and would not be convinced even by the Scriptures.

Perhaps he was prejudiced against my teaching of the subject because of what his denomination believed concerning the matter of Predestination. Of course, if he wanted to remain in the denomination and be a part of it, he would have to hold to the "denominational view" of Predestination.

Let me say here and now, concerning Bible study, when studying the Word of God every person should lay to one side their denominational glasses, and turn, with the use of every faculty they have, under the control of the Spirit of God, to find the mind of the Spirit regarding the teaching of the Bible. Do not say it does not matter what I believe about this truth and that, it is nonessential and unimportant. There are no non-essential truths-neither are there unimportant truths. Every part of the truth in the Word of God is of vast and valuable importance to victorious living.

The young man previously referred to, said, "If you have a brother who is not a Christian, and you are one, if you both died tonight, one saved, and the other lost, I believe that God predestinated one for Heaven, and the one that was lost, for Hell."

I said to him, "Now you have made a definite statement, and in your statement another issue is involved. You have laid a charge against God. You have charged God with damning a soul. Now would you open the Bible and confirm your statements with Scripture, for if God does this, you should find some support for it in the Word of God without difficulty."

He said, "Ephesians 1:4 teaches that God predestinates the saved to Heaven, and the lost to Hell."

Now keep in mind that we are dealing with the matter of the people who are Predestinated, and to show you the error of this young man's statement. I want you to notice the teaching of Paul in the book of the Ephesians in general, which leads us to the clear teaching of Ephesians 1:4 in particular. To understand clearly the teaching of the book, you must understand clearly the mind and purpose of God in the book where the text is found. In the book of Ephesians, Paul is presenting to us the truth concerning the Church, which is His Body. The Church which is His Body is made-up of all believers. God only recognizes and is only identified with one Church on earth. Every person born of the Spirit of God belongs to the Church, which is His Body, spoken of in Ephesians 1: 22, 23:

22. "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the Church,"

23. "Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."

So many people know about the Church, but do not understand what the Church really means. In Ephesians we have the divine blue print of the Church. The word church is found in Ephesians nine times, and the word body is also found nine times. If a man is not saved or born of the Spirit, he does not belong to the Church which is His Body. Those who are in the Church, the Body of Christ, are sinners who have been saved by the grace of God. If you are saved you are in the Body of Christ, which had its beginning on the Day of Pentecost; when the Holy Spirit baptized those who believed and were scattered units into that body, thus making them members of the Body of Christ, and relating them to the Head in Heaven, who is the Lord Jesus Christ.

The work of the Spirit of God is to bring members in to the Body of Christ. Now Paul in this book is dealing with the Body of Christ; the Church as a whole is a corporate group or body. He is not speaking of us as individual believers. If I have entered into the blessings that are presented by Paul in Ephesians, it is only because I am a member of the Body of Christ. In Ephesians the believer is not dealt with as an individual. He is dealing with the Church as a corporate body. In the first three chapters of the book of Ephesians, we have the Church as God sees her accepted, and resting in all the merits of the Lord Jesus. In the last three chapters of this book we see the Church as God desires the world to see her. There is only one way in which the unbeliever can see the Church, and that is in her walk and work. The last three chapters of Ephesians then, have to do with the believers' walk and work. There again we have presented the walk and work of a corporate group, the Church as a whole. In Ephesians 1: 4 we read,

4. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

Notice clearly what the Spirit of God is saying through the Apostle Paul. He is telling in this verse that before the foundation of the world, God decided He would have a church. He decided that that church would have its foundation, "in Him." This was a Sovereign act of God. He is Sovereign. He can do as He likes, and here is one of His decisions before the foundation of the world. He not only decided to have a church that He would be united with Christ, but He decided what kind of a church that Church would be, and He decided it before the foundation of the world. He wanted a church that would be without blame before Him. He wanted a church that when He looked at it, there would be nothing imperfect about it. It would not have marks of imperfections. It would be a church designed and completed by His infinite wisdom and His almighty power. The ways of God are perfect and the works of God are perfect. When He looks at that Church He does not see a flaw. It is without blame before Him. Anything that man makes, after it is made, he sees certain imperfections in it, and also room for improvement

It is not so in the Church of Christ. God created that Church as perfect, having imputed to her the perfect righteousness of the perfect of God. That is what God designed and desired, and also what He has brought into being concerning the Church which is His Body. God not only decided before the foundation of the world to have a church, but He also decided what kind of a church that church would be. According to Ephesians 1: 4, this was all decided before the foundation of the world. He decided that that church would be a holy church. I-wonder if we are building according to the divine blue print?

He also decided before the foundation of the world the Destination of that Church. Notice what He says in Ephesians 1:4-5

4. "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:'

5. "Having predestinated us unto the adoption of by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

The divine blue print which is set forth in the book of Ephesians has in it the destiny of the Church which is His Body. He was not dealing with the individual believer in this book, but with a corporate group, known as the Church. In Ephesians 1:5 He has predestinated the Church unto the Adoption of by Jesus Christ. God is not here deciding the Destination of individuals as individuals, but is telling us that before the foundation of the world He had decided the Destination of the Church the corporate group.

The young man who spoke to me at the close of the meeting at the Bible Conference on the matter of Predestination did not understand clearly the mind and teaching of the Spirit of God in the book of Ephesians. Nothing is more important than the studying of the Bible by Books. God never predestinated an individual to Heaven, and God never predestinated an individual to Hell; for God neither predestinates individuals to Heaven nor to Hell.

There is one exception to that statement. In the Bible, God has predestinated One outstanding individual to two places, and you will find the fact of it recorded in 1 Peter 1:11

11. "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it satisfied beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."

The Lord Jesus was predestinated in two places. He was predestinated to suffering, and He was predestinated to the glory which should follow. Inasmuch as individuals do not come under the predestination purposes of God, we do find that God has predestinated two corporate groups in the Bible. God has predestinated one corporate group, known as Israel, to the outstanding place among the nations of the world. Then, God has predestinated another corporate group known as "the Church which is His Body." This corporate group is predestinated unto the Adoption, which means that the Church is predestinated to be -placed. Ephesians 1: 5.

Now if you are in the Body of Christ you are in the predestinated company. People who are predestinated are those who belong to the Body of Christ. You are predestinated the moment you are saved, because that moment you became a member of the Body of Christ. Predestination has nothing to do with going to Hell. or going to Heaven as individuals. Predestination has nothing whatsoever to do with unconverted people. It only affects believers. The words "us" and "we" in Ephesians refer to the Church which is His Body.

It is blasphemous to dare to say that God predestinates individuals to Hell. Predestination is a divine act of God whereby, God makes the goal, which is Adoption, certain for the believer. Will I be "-placed?" Yes, if I am a member of the Body of Jesus Christ. If I, as a believer, and a member of the Body of Christ do not arrive there, at the place of Adoption, God would be a liar. Do you see that Predestination makes Adoption certain ? Thank God for His great truth concerning the Church which is His Body.
IV. The Partners in Predestination

I want you to notice another truth relative to the subject of Predestination presented in the 8th chapter of Romans, verses 28 to 30. Read these verses carefully, and as you do you will notice in verse 29 it says,

29. "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his , that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."

Now in verse 30 we read:

30. "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

Notice the phrase, "whom he . . . them he also;" "whom he . . . them he also;" "whom he . . . them he also." Here are the five things that God has joined together. It is a most delightful truth for the soul of any man. What God has joined together, let not man dare to try to put asunder. Five tremendous blessings are here joined together. These are the five:

1. Foreknowledge

2. Predestination

3. Calling

4. Justification

5. Sanctification

God Himself has joined together these great blessings. He so united them together that they are inseparable. No man can put them asunder. They are joined together by His sovereign wisdom and power. This verse declares it to be so: "Whom he did Predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

Now if you have experienced one of these blessings you have all five of them, for they can not be separated. These are acts of the Sovereign God, and thank God for His Word that these acts to us. Do you ever stop to thank God for these five blessings? Our faith rests in the knowledge of this abounding truth for the soul, and it is refreshing to our hearts. "He Who has begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." As a of God you do not need to worry as to whether you are predestinated or not. God has settled that in His Word as He deals with the subject of Sovereignty.
V. The Pathway that Leads to Predestination

In Romans 3:28 a man is justified by faith alone. In Romans 4, we are told that man was justified by faith always. Two leaders are mentioned here in the opening of Romans 4, Abraham and David. So, you see that men of the Old Testament were justified by faith as in the New Testament. In chapter 5 we are told that justification is by faith. Romans 5: 1 says, "Therefore being justified by faith." How a man is justified is clearly stated by Paul, and the question of justification is settled.

The sinner is perfectly and fully accepted by God and justified by faith. Religion and rights are all excluded. Now, if you can come into the experience of justification by faith, you can come into the assurance that you are predestinated. Justification by faith in Christ is the pathway that leads to Predestination. Whom He justifies, them He also predestinates. If you have the blessing of justification in your soul, you also have the blessing of Predestination. The same moment that God justifies a sinner, the Spirit of God places him in the Body of Jesus Christ, and as soon as he is in the Body of Christ, he is in the divine predestinated, corporate group. It is impossible for a man to be justified and not predestinated. You can change these five blessings around and mix them up with the little phrase, "Whom he . . . them he also," and you will find that no human power and no human language can separate what God has joined together. The believing heart should continually bless God for this. God has saved the believing soul from sin, and made him a member in the Body of Christ; therefore God has pledged Himself by His sovereignty; yea, He guarantees that the Church on earth shall be the Church in Heaven. A man who has been justified by faith is in the predestined company.

How can a man be justified ? Hear the Apostle Paul telling a man how to get ready for Heaven on the shortest notice: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Again, hear the Apostle John in John 3:16

16. "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Notice what has been preconceived for us in John 1:12

12. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."

If you believe on Him you possess another life. Are you a member of the Body of Jesus Christ? You are, if you have taken Christ to be your Saviour, and you can sing from the depths of your heart, "When the roll is called up yonder, I'll be there."

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wonderful and horrible
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 4:05 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2023 3:42 pm
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"A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?" Jeremiah 5:30-31
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Rick Warren... dangerous false teacher
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 4:02 am
Last Updated:Jan 16, 2012 2:55 pm
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On March 7, 2011, Roger Oakland, founder of Understand the Times, International, and two other members from his ministry attended the Peace in a Globalized Society forum at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, which featured Rick Warren and special guest, former UK prime minister Tony Blair. Roger Oakland and his co-workers obtained eye-witness seats at the event that included well over 2000 people in attendance. Although cameras and recorders were not allowed in the main sanctuary where the interview took place, the UTT team took notes.
What Oakland and his team heard caused them much concern – thus the reason for this special report. Warren and Blair spoke about Warren’s PEACE Plan and his “Three Legged Stool Plan.” Tony Blair spoke about his inter-faith Faith Foundation. Both speakers were noticeably excited about what they were doing for the world. According to a 2010 UK Observer report, “Tony Blair is preparing to launch a “faith offensive” across the United States over the next year, after building up relationships with a network of influential religious leaders and faith organisations.” Blair’s foundation is “develop[ing] a US arm that will pursue a host of faith-based projects.” Given the fact that Warren joined the advisory board of Blair’s foundation, it is safe to assume Saddleback will be part of Blair’s US interfaith arm.
At the forum, both Warren and Blair stated that the only way a global peace could happen on planet earth in the future would be for all faiths to work together and do good together. The audience at the forum appeared to be mesmerized and awe-struck as they were wooed with discussion on faith, good works, democracy, and coming together. Beneath the vernacular, however, was another story.
Blair and Warren also mentioned they have been partnering with the President of Rwanda in an effort to develop a Purpose Driven country as an initial step to establishing a Purpose Driven world. In 2005, Rick Warren announced his global P.E.A.C.E. Plan to his congregation and then in 2008 announced that Rwanda would be the first Purpose Driven country. In 2003, he said of New Age sympathizer Ken Blanchard that he had “signed on to help with the Peace Plan, and he’s going to be helping train us in leadership and in how to train others to be leaders all around the world” (35-37 min mark).* Blanchard is just one of many “new” spirituality leaders whom Warren has turned to for assistance in building his Peace Plan globally. While Blanchard’s name is not mentioned much publicly by Rick Warren these days, Warren still sits on Blanchard’s Board of Advisors with a number of New Agers at Blanchard’s Lead Like Jesus organization. Blanchard has been promoting New Age mystical teachers for many years and even today sits on the Board of the New Age Hoffman Institute. In 2007, Blanchard wrote the foreword to a book that was “inspired by Hindu swami Paramahansa Yogananada. Will this Warren/Blair Peace Plan be one that is driven by mysticism?
It seems apparent that neither Rick Warren nor Tony Blair understand that their Peace Plan goals are fulfilling Bible prophecy, which speaks of a peace that is not from God but will deceive many. By appearances, the majority of the people who were attending the forum last week appeared mesmerized and awe-struck by what was being said. Do they not realize that a three legged stool (the joining together of government, business (or economy), and religion) plan will be a plan by man and not by God (see Faith Undone)?
Rick Warren has also partnered with Chuck Colson, the Christian leader who authored the Evangelicals & Catholics Together document in 1994 and the Manhattan Declaration in 2009. Former Catholic priest Richard Bennett documents the embedded Catholic agenda in the Manhattan Declaration as does Chris Pinto of Adullam Films.
At the Global forum last week, two standing ovations were given to Tony Blair for his support of the USA in the war against terrorism. Mention was made that Blair is now involved in trying to broker a peace plan with the nation of Israel with his faith-based program. He thinks he can do this in time. But what will an inter-faith peace plan look like in Israel? What will it look like in the world?
While Rick Warren is a Baptist and Tony Blair is an ex-Anglican, now-Roman Catholic, neither showed any concern about the major doctrinal differences between Evangelicals/Protestants and Catholics. “It’s all about working together to do good,” Warren stated. In a 2005 interview with broadcast host Charlie Rose, Warren stated that there are over 2 billion Christians in the world, and said that this number includes hundreds of millions of Catholics. He said that “minor doctrinal differences” should not keep the two groups separated. “What I am interested in is bringing the church together … we are never going to agree on a lot of things, but I found we do agree on purpose. Of course, there was no mention at the forum last week about the papacy’s plan for a world-wide Eucharistic (Catholic) “Christ”who will come on the scene to be worshiped by the world. Will this inter-faith Purpose Driven peace plan include that eucharistic false christ?
In the Charlie Rose interview in 2005, Warren said that we don’t have to have the same religion or moral beliefs to work with people on poverty, disease, etc. As an example he said he had met with the President of the gay-activist group ACT UP, and asked him, “Eric [Sawyer], how can I help you get your message out?” Sawyer answered, “Use your moral authority” (29-31 min mark). Warren then said to Rose, “I’m working with these guys … I’m looking for a coalition of civility, which means let’s get back to the original meaning of tolerance. Will this Purpose Driven peace plan and new reformation include practicing homosexuals? Warren seems to believe his new Purpose Driven world will be all inclusive. But how can this be called a reformation from God?
Both Blair and Warren have a vision to see churches with like-minded vision planted all over the world. These churches will be ones of any faith and all faith as long as they have some kind of faith in some god. “These churches will be like lights shining in a dark place and bring light to the world,” Warren stated. Warren said the more lights, the brighter the world will be. His view that a “second reformation” is needed and that people of various faiths can be part of it has been documented time and again. Listen to Warren’s description of this new reformation:
Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation. Rick Warren, May 23, 2005, Pew Forum on Religion
When Warren says “second reformation,” he is contrasting with the first reformation when Christians broke away from the Catholic church 500 years ago. How can he say that a reformation from God could include Muslims and those of other religions? And practicing homosexuals? What kind of reformation would that be? Will it be like the one the Bible warns about that will come in the last days when mankind will bow down to one leader – the Antichrist. Many, many centuries ago, man attempted to reach God ( because he considered himself equal to God) through the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). God dispersed man and confounded his plans because they were not plans that gave glory to the Creator of the Universe. Is not an inter-faith plan to unite all faiths together in order to “reach God” and heal planet earth, equally displeasing to God? These tower of Babel plans do not bring glory to God – they attempt to deify man. And in this newest effort by man, has not Jesus Christ been left out? Only through the acceptance and faith in His blood atonement can any man or woman be united with God. All other attempts are attempts to enter in through another door: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (John 10:1).
During the time that Roger Oakland and his co-researchers were at the Blair/Warren forum at Saddleback this past week, the team only heard one Bible verse mentioned. It was quoted so quickly it was hard to recognize if it was a verse or a paraphrase of a biblical verse. Clearly the Word of God was not included as a crucial element in this inter-faith plan to save the world.
While the UTT team was in attendance at the forum (they did leave a little early), there was nothing mentioned about Jesus Christ in this global peace plan, although Blair did say the phrase “Our Lord,” on one occasion. The shed blood of Jesus and the finished work of the cross were never mentioned, and there was NO gospel message given.
Although Saddleback is considered to be a “Christian” Church and its pastor considered by many to be America’s foremost and most influential pastor, it was hard to tell if this was really the case at the forum. “It seemed like we were in Babylon,” one member of the UTT team stated as he listened to the inter-faith discussion and looked at the flowing fountain that forms a downhill river provided as a special attraction for those who were lining up to enter the sanctuary. Strict security measures during the forum gave an even more foreboding atmosphere. Roger Oakland was reminded of the heavy security that the pope is protected by with his own secret service in Rome. By the way, many who read this article may not be aware that Tony Blair has special entrance to see the pope of Rome now that he has become a Roman Catholic converted away from the Anglican Church.
Indeed, Tony Blair and Rick Warren are very important players in the coming One World Religion.
As an aside, Rick Warren seems to be getting thinner by the day. People entering the sanctuary were handed an advertisement for the Daniel Diet Plan that has been inspired and created with Rick Warren’s own New Age gurus: Dr. Oz, Dr. Amen, and Dr. Hyman. All three Saddleback health experts are advocates of eastern meditation. According to New Age leaders, meditation is the vehicle through which the masses of people will enter into an Aquarian world where man realizes his divinity and that God dwells in all things (see A Time of Departing). Roger Oakland believes that this one world government and one world religion that Rick Warren and Tony Blair are pushing will come about through such means (read Faith Undone). Warren himself has been promoting contemplative mystical teachers for many years. Will this contemplative mysticism he advocates help to bring about his Purpose Driven world?
As to Warren’s Daniel health plan, this brings up another question: can a Baptist become a Roman Catholic while he or she is on the Daniel weight reduction plan if it is based on New Age methodology? How many Christians really understand what is taking place here? Is mainstream Christianity becoming corrupted for the sake of a PEACE Plan and the formation of the system preparing the way for an antichrist? Is this “new” Christianity an apostate church that will lead the way to deceiving millions? The woman who coined the term New Age, occultist Alice Bailey, (believing that we were on the threshold of a new spiritual awakening) said that this new enlightened age would come, not around the Christian church, but rather through it. She said the outer layers would be initially kept intact (i.e., Christian terminology would still be used) but the changes would take place obscurely from the inside.1 Is this not what we are witnessing happening today through the Purpose Driven, contemplative, emerging, interfaith church?
Rick Warren and Tony Blair share much in common when it comes to plans for the world. One thing they share is their views on the problem with what they term fundamentalism or extremism. Blair states that “religion must be rescued from extremism and irrelevance and used as a force for good at a time of global turmoil.” Rick Warren “predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be ‘one of the big enemies of the 21st century.’ ‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’” Blair and Warren discussed their views on extremism and fundamentalism at the forum last week. Will Bible-believing Christians be included in their definitions of fundamentalism and extremism in the near days to come? The answer to that is becoming more clear every day.
In a 2008 video statement, Tony Blair described his ambition to help bring about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG). In view of Saddleback’s recent day-long health seminar promoting the Daniel Plan where U.N. Agenda 21 ideas such as “sustainable living” “going green,” and “smart growth” were used, how interesting to note Blair’s appearance just a few weeks later at Saddleback. Is Rick Warren allowing the influence of the United Nations into his church and possibly into tens of thousands of other churches around the world? At the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2008, Rick Warren claimed that he “lead[s] a very small network of about 500,000 churches.” (40 min mark - That’s a potential of well over 200 million people!).
Roger Oakland and his team found the Peace in a Globalized Society Forum utterly troubling, to say the least. “We will have to warn that a judgment is ahead for a “Christianity” that is not Christianity at all,” Oakland stated after the forum. “Judgment is coming and few seem to be ready. Titus 2: 13 tells us that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” and we should have an expectancy of Christ’s return, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” It will be glorious for those who are ready; for the others it will be terrifying.
What is becoming more obvious everyday to some seems amazingly hidden to mainstream Christian leaders. Not one well-known leader has called out Rick Warren and publicly challenged him. On the contrary, there is either silence from these leaders or worse yet a public display of embracing and resonance (e.g.: popular teacher John Piper invited Rick Warren to speak at his Desiring God conference. Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith stood in front of thousands at Greg Laurie’s Harvest crusade and introduced Rick Warren as his friend, allowing him to pray with the crowd). Has there been any outcry by Christian pastors or leaders to these occurrences? No, and the silence is deafening.
The Bible makes it clear there is coming a false peace plan that will be headed up by
the antichrist sometime in the future. “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with ; and they shall not escape.” I Thessalonians 5:3
Some readers may be asking, “Why did Roger Oakland and his co-workers attend this forum?” or “Why did Lighthouse Trails and Roger Oakland write this report?” The answer is simple: Because we love the Gospel and know its message is the only hope for any person. In connecting the dots as this report attempts to do, we believe it is a biblical mandate for believers to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3) and warn those who are in spiritual danger. For the Bible-believing Christian, there is no alternative, though the cost for taking a stand can be high, resulting in the loss of friends and associates. But is it not a small price to pay in comparison to what our Lord has done for us on the Cross?
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. Ezekiel 33:6
There is a peace plan coming on the earth; but it is not the Lord’s peace plan. There is a false peace, and it will deceive many.
Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; Ezekiel 13:10
Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none. Ezekiel 7:25
And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries. II Chronicles 15:5
* For a detailed account of Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard, and Lighthouse Trails, read A “Wonderful” Deception.
Notes:
1. Alice Bailey, The Externalization of the Hierarchy (New York, NY: Lucis Publishing, 1976), p. 510; from page 123 of A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen, 2nd edition.
Posted by Glenn E. Chatfield
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Eastern Mysticism and Rick Warren
Posted:Jan 16, 2012 3:54 am
Last Updated:Nov 30, 2023 3:42 pm
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Eastern mysticism

Rick Warren openly associates with meditation, which is referred to as “contemplative prayer” or “breath prayer,” by making provision for it in some of his pastors’ training seminars, while yoga relaxation exercises are also offered. These are strange, mystical practices of Eastern origin. In Critical Issues Commentary (ibid) it is said: “Rick Warren compromises with the pagans like the churches Jesus rebuked in Revelation 2 and 3. He uses pagan principles in his SHAPE program which was inspired by Carl Jung’s questionable theories. He teaches pagan ‘prayer’ practices such as ‘breath prayers’ which are designed to induce altered states of consciousness. He consults compromisers such as Robert Schuller and encourage others to do the same.”

These meditation sessions at his seminars are only the tip of the iceberg. In his book, A time of departing: how a universal spirituality is changing the face of Christianity, Ray Yungen indicates that contemplative or centring prayers are invading large sectors of Christianity, where prayer is replaced by this mystical practice. It offers to people strange experiences of “another Jesus” within themselves (the God within) and also leads to alternative states of consciousness which form the basis of deceptive spirituality. Sandy Simpson (www.deceptioninthechurch.com) says that the widespread introduction of contemplative prayer is sure to be a final nail to the coffin of the modern, deceived church.

In his book, Deceived on Purpose: The New Age implications of the Purpose-driven church, Warren Smith confirms beyond any doubt the New Age influences in Rick Warren’s ministry and books. Within the context of “a little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9), Smith refers to various distortions in Warren’ book, in which he often makes conclusions which are contrary to the true meaning of Scripture. The gospel is presented in such a way that people make a positive discovery of themselves without being convicted of their sins. That ties up with Robert Schuller’s ideas about self-esteem, as well as Bruce Wilkinson’s Jabez prayer in which the enlarging and expansion of your interests is a key concept. Rick Warren also quotes New Age authors to illustrate some of his statements.

The end result is a nice-sounding gospel which is based on Robert Schuller’s and Norman Vincent Peale’s concept of positive thinking. It has no contrasting pole of a devil with all his deceptive powers, and therefore no disposition to resist evil and deception. Robert Schuller said: “Concentrate on the positive. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour... you’ll never have to worry about the devil.” Warren echoes this statement in his book when he says: “It helps to know that Satan is entirely predictable” (bl. 203).

At the end of his book, Warren Smith makes the following remarks about Rick Warren and his Purpose Driven ministry:

“Working with the purposeful efficiency of a tightly-run Peter Drucker business corporation, Rick Warren and his global alliance of Christian leaders and organisations are methodically marching the Church out of the land of biblical Christianity toward the borderland of the New Spirituality... It is not too late for Rick Warren to recognise that he has been greatly deceived by the worldly teachings of Robert Schuller. He could open many people’s eyes if he started to expose the differences between biblical Christianity and the deceptive teachings of the New Age and its new spirituality... He could make it clear to Walsch and other New Age leaders that the spiritual ‘territory’ of what we believe is not going to be enlarged, expanded, changed, or transcended in the name of New Spirituality or Jabez or anyone else. Rick Warren could make it clear that we don’t need any new revelation, because we have been given everything we need to know in properly translated Scripture and in our relationship with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He could make it unmistakably clear that God is not in everyone and everything, and that we will never accept the teachings of a new spirituality...

“If Rick Warren did these things he could greatly edify and encourage the body of Christ. He would be truly contending for the faith as we are admonished to do. By exposing the schemes and devices of our increasingly aggressive adversary, he could help many people from being deceived. And he could make it clear that, while we want to do whatever we can to help the world, we are not about to allow our faith or the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be compromised in the process.

“But it does not seem, at this time, that Rick Warren is about to change his course, issue the much needed detailed warnings, and earnestly contend for the faith. Sadly, if Rick Warren and other Christian leaders fall for New Age schemes and devices rather than exposing them, they will take countless numbers of sincere people down with them. It will be the blind leading the blind, as they fall further and further into the deceptive ditch of the New Age and its spirituality.

Undiscerning Christians who think they are on the narrow way preparing the way for Jesus Christ, may discover too late that they had actually been on the broad way preparing the way for Antichrist. It is not too late to warn everyone, but it must be done soon before the deception advances any further. As we have already seen, there is another Jesus, another christ another spirit and another gospel at work in the world. The Church must not continue to fall prey to the deception” (Warren Smith: Deceived on Purpose: The New Age implications of the Purpose-driven church, Conscience Press, 2004, p. 168-170).
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Wait? Shall we?
Posted:Jan 15, 2012 4:13 am
Last Updated:Jan 16, 2012 3:25 am
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But they that wait upon the Lord - The word rendered 'wait upon' here (from קוה qâvâh), denotes properly to wait, in the sense of expecting. The phrase, 'to wait on Yahweh,' means to wait for his help; that is, to trust in him, to put our hope or confidence in him. It is applicable to those who are in circumstances of danger or want, and who look to him for his merciful interposition. Here it properly refers to those who were suffering a long and grievous captivity in Babylon, and who had no prospect of deliverance but in him. The phrase is applicable also to all who feel that they are weak, feeble, guilty, and helpless, and who, in view of this, put their trust in Yahweh. The promise or assurance here is general in its nature, and is as applicable to his people now as it was in the times of the captivity in Babylon. Religion is often expressed in the Scriptures by 'waiting on Yahweh,' that is, by looking to him for help, expecting deliverance through his aid, putting trust in him (see Psalm 25:3, Psalm 25:5, Psalm 25:21; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 37, Psalm 37:9, Psalm 37:34; Psalm 69:3; compare Isaiah 8:17, note; Isaiah 30:18, note).

It does not imply inactivity, or want of personal exertion; it implies merely that our hope of aid and salvation is in him - a feeling that is as consistent with the most strenuous endeavors to secure the object, as it is with a state of inactivity and indolence. Indeed, no man can wait on God in a proper manner who does not use the means which he has appointed for conveying to us his blessing. To wait on him without using any means to obtain his aid, is to tempt him; to expect miraculous interposition is unauthorized, and must meet with disappointment. And they only wait on him in a proper manner who expect his blessing in the common modes in which he imparts it to men - in the use of those means and efforts which he has appointed, and which he is accustomed to bless. The farmer who should wait for God to plow and sow his fields, would not only be disappointed, but would be guilty of provoking Him. And so the man who waits for God to do what he ought to do; to save him without using any of the means of grace, will not only be disappointed, but will provoke his displeasure.

Shall renew their strength - Margin, 'Change.' The Hebrew word commonly means to change, to alter; and then to revive, to renew, to cause to flourish again, as, e. g., a tree that has decayed and fallen down (see the note at Isaiah 9:10; compare Job 14). Here it is evidently used in the sense of renewing, or causing to revive; to increase, and to restore that which is decayed. It means that the people of God who trust in him shall become strong in faith; able to contend with their spiritual foes, to gain the victory over their sins, and to discharge aright the duties, and to meet aright the trials of life. God gives them strength, if they seek him in the way of his appointment - a promise which has been verified in the experience of his people in every age.

They shall mount up with wings as eagles - Lowth translates this 'They shall put forth fresh feathers like the moulting eagle;' and in his note on the passage remarks, that 'it has been a common and popular opinion that the eagle lives and retains his vigor to a great age; and that, beyond the common lot of other birds, he moults in his old age, and renews his feathers, and with them his youth.' He supposes that the passage in Psalm 103:5, 'So that thy youth is renewed like the eagles,' refers to this fact. That this was a common and popular opinion among the ancients, is clearly proved by Bochart (Hieroz. ii. 2. 1. pp. 165-169). The opinion was, that at stated times the eagle plunged itself in the sea and cast off its old feathers, and that new feathers started forth, and that thus it lived often to the hundredth year, and then threw itself in the sea and died. In accordance with this opinion, the Septuagint renders this passage, 'They shall put forth fresh feathers (πτεροφυήσουσιν pterophuēsousin) like eagles.' Vulgate, Assument pennas sicut aquiloe.

The Chaldee renders it, 'They who trust in the Lord shall be gathered from the captivity, and shall increase their strength, and renew their youth as a germ which grows up; upon wings of eagles shall they run and not be fatigued.' But whatever may be the truth in regard to the eagle, there is no reason to believe that Isaiah here had any reference to the fact that it moults in its old age. The translation of Lowth was derived from file Septuagint, and not from the Hebrew text. The meaning of the Hebrew is simply, 'they shall ascend on wings as eagles,' or 'they shall lift up the wings as eagles;' and the image is derived from the fact that the eagle rises on the most vigorous wing of any bird, and ascends apparently further toward the sun. The figure, therefore, denotes strength and vigor of purpose; strong and manly piety; an elevation above the world; communion with God, and a nearness to his throne - as the eagle ascends toward the sun.

They shall run and not be weary - This passage, also, is but another mode of expressing the same idea - that they who trust in God would be vigorous, elevated, unwearied; that he would sustain and uphold them; and that in his service they would never faint. This was at first designed to be applied to the Jews in captivity in Babylon to induce them to put their trust in God. But it is as true now as it was at that time. It has been found in the experience of thousands and tens of thousands, that by waiting on the Lord the heart has been invigorated; the faith has been confirmed; and the affections have been raised above the world. Strength has been given to bear trial without complaining, to engage in arduous duty without fainting, to pursue the perilous and toilsome journey of life without exhaustion, and to rise above the world in hope and peace on the bed of death.

Barnes Commentary
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