by James Jacob Prasch
In an age where pop psychology is masquerading as biblical doctrine things can become very confusing. Today we hear so much about things being a mixture of truth and error, or carnal and spiritual, good and bad, or even godly and demonic. To make matters worse, we are too often being given mixed signals. Instead of giving a clear indication of what the signals actually mean so many of our pastors and once respected leaders are now telling us things like "the light is neither red nor green but amber" - leaving us suspended in a limbo not knowing whether to go or to stop. Arriving at a right doctrinal position and discerning things in a biblical manner in times like this has become more and more difficult for many sincere believers genuinely wanting to know the truth so as to do what is right. But in an increasingly complexed maze like this, the first and foremost question is to askÂ "What does God say about mixture in his word?"
1 Thessalonians 2:3-5 & 2 Peter 2:1
Understanding The True Nature Of Spiritual Seduction And How It Operates From God's WordIn 1 Thessalonians, writing under the direct inspiration of The Holy Spirit Paul tells us that the true apostolic exhortation is not ofÂ "error, nor impurity, nor deception".Â Any exhortation containing doctrinal error,
Impurity, or impurity cannot therefore possibly be of God. Paul is also directed by The Holy Spirit to place these three words in a sequence, because they engender each other. Doctrinal error misleads us into impurity which in turn results in deception or guile.
It begins with error (the Greek term beingÂ planas) which has to do with wrong doctrine. Biblical doctrine is the teaching of Jesus. Jesus prayed that The Father would sanctify us in truth - God's Word is truth (John 17:17).
The Greek term used for truth here isÂ logosÂ (in HebrewÂ Dvar) as indeed we know that Jesus Himself is theÂ logosÂ or The Word incarnate (John 1:1). This is why Jesus therefore defines Himself as "The Truth" (John 14:6).
If someone is not standing in biblical truth they are not standing in Christ and are not being sanctified unto God.
We therefore see that in the Last Days those not loving doctrinal truth really do not love Jesus Christ, as one is the barometer of the other. Such unsaved people will be easily taken in by the antichrist (as indeed they are already under the influence of what theologians and philosophers call by the German term theÂ zeitgeistÂ or 'spirit of the age' which is the spirit of anti Christ -1 John 2:15-18). But this text shows us that it also includes some who profess to be Christians that "go out from among us", like the Son of Perdition (linking Judas with The Anti-Christ). This thought becomes frightening and directly refers to what Paul calls theÂ apostasiaÂ or 'great falling away' after the anti Christ by those 'Christians' who do not love biblical (2 Thessalonians 2: 9-12), because as this text tells us in not loving truth, they do not really love Jesus but delight in unrighteousness.
We are even told those falling away will actually do so under the judgment of God who will cause them to be deceived for not loving His Word, and therefore not loving His Son. Moreover we are even told how it will happen. The anti Christ will be God's agent of judgment on those not loving biblical truth (Zecheriah 11:12-16- Son of Perdition) and will use bogus signs and wonders to do it (Revelation 13:14, 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11, Matthew 24:24). Like Pharaohs magicians the anti Christ and false prophet will use demonic power to do signs and wonders that mimic The works of God and counterfeit a genuinely biblical usage of The Charismatic Gifts of The Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:8). It is for this reason that Jesus warned that it was "wicked and adulterous generation seeking a sign" (Luke 11:29). This too is frightening. As we have for some time pointed out, if people can not see through obvious heretics like Benny Hinn and John Arnott , or see through proven false prophets like Gerald Coates, Paul Cane, and Rick Joyner or cultic churches like Elim following money oriented hype artists like Morris Cerullo there is no way they will evade the coming real deception.
Just as the bible warns us, such Christians when showed that their beliefs and actions are not biblical will often accuse you of being a Pharisee. In fact, such people are too ignorant and willfully blind to realise that the New Testament tells us Pharisees are those 'teaching inventions of men as precepts of God' who lack a biblical foundation for their views and practice (Matthew 15:9), and it is actually they whom God's Word describes as being pharisaical. Indeed, judging biblically for instance, it would be John Smith who is responsible for Elim's Direction Magazine that advertises such unbiblical and unethical travesties such as Morris Cerullo's antics that publicly discredit the church, or David Shearman of The Assemblies of God who joins with Cerullo that are modern days Pharisees. Cerullo was actually found guilty of all four charges of improper fund raising by the UK Advertising Standards Council, yet mainstream British Pentecostalism still stands with him. Whenever challenged about televised bogus healings, or Cerullo's Sin of Simony , such leaders inevitably try to defend continuing to promote or advertise men like Cerullo, even though he was pressed to resign from The Evangelical Alliance by sayingÂ "it is not all bad - there is a mixture".Â But what saith The Lord of such a mixture?
Jesus spoke of false doctrine and wrong practice based on it as "the leaven of the Pharisees" (Matthew 16: 6, Luke 122:1). In biblical typology, leaven represents spiritual pride and the sin resulting from it (1 Corinthians 5:6-8). False doctrine is sin and always involves spiritual pride. When we therefore speak ofÂ "A Mixture"Â we must remember thatÂ "a little leaven leavens the whole lump"Â (1 Corinthians 5::6). Most of what the Pharisees believed was in fact biblically true, but what was false was all it took to mislead the people away from The Lord.
Today it is the same. Much of what hyper Pentecostalism or Charismatic extremism teaches may be true. Cultic movements like Restorationism, Elim or The Church of Christ are largely true in the majority of their professed doctrine. Most of what is found in Alpha courses is probably true. But what is not leavens the whole loaf.
This is not to say that all faithful Christians and all faithful churches will always agree on every point of doctrine, but it is to say that they will all agree on every point of essential doctrine like the authority of scripture, the gospel, the nature of the Triune God-head, and Christian morality. When we see pneumo-centric worship based on The Holy Spirit instead of Christo-centric worship with The Spirit pointing to Jesus (John 14) we know there is leaven (as we in Alpha and in the heretical writings of Benny Hinn) we see leaven. The fruit of The Holy Spirit is self control (Galatians 5:23) when drunken behaviour and animal imitations are advocated as manifestations of The Holy Spirit (as in David Blake's article in Elim's magazine) we know it is an alien spirit and we see leaven. When we see Morris Cerullo pronouncing a little child healed who tragically dies shortly afterwards and we see him marketing his "Â£24 Holy Ghost Miracle Cloths to Remove debt with Elim's John Smith continuing to advertise him, we see leaven".
Jesus said to make disciples, not converts. The first step of biblical discipleship is baptism, not a "weekend away to get people into the Toronto Experience" as Alpha Director, Nicky Gumbel teaches. The bible teaches that 'the Blood of Christ cleanses from all sin', but Roman Catholicism teaches we must burn in a temporary hell called purgatory to atone for our own sins . This is indeed another gospel we are commanded to reject and those teaching it are accursed of God (Galatians 1:2), yet Alpha tells people to stay in the Roman church. Alpha courses are based on leaven mixed in with real grain. Such 'mixtures' God has plainly damned.
The Hebrew's were forbidden to make a garment of linen and wool because God hates mixture (Deuteronomy 22:11). Thus the "mixture" has its root in "error". The biblical basis of purity is the truth of right doctrine.Â This is the reason that The New Testament contains twice as much exhortation to right doctrine as it does right conduct.Â If we do not have right doctrine we cannot have right conduct. In the perverted state of the ecumenical church we see men like George Carey, Pat Robertson, J.I. Packer, Bill Bright of Campus Crusades For Christ,
Dr. Kent of The Church of The Nazarene, and Chuck Colson signing 'Evangelicals and Catholics Together' agreements accepting Romanism as Christian and agreeing not to witness to Catholics (despite Rome having a different gospel, idolatry, and even persecuting evangelicals in Latin America). When pressed they will seek to defend their compromise of biblical truth arguing "well we may not agree with everything in Roman Catholicism - it is a mixture".
An even more pathetic example of this is found in the unfortunate position of theologian Dr. Norman Geisler, (whom Hank Hannegraaff sadly lauded as a great apologetic scholar). While Geisler claims to be an evagelical scholar, his academic background reflects a Thomist orientation, grounded in the Aristotelian influences of Thomas Aquinas from The Roman Catholic Loyola University (named after the founder of the genocidal Jesuit order). Geisler openly proclaims "The Roman Catholic Church is not a False Church with some truth in it, but a True Church with some falsehood in it". Again, Geisler attempts to defend the biblically indefensible -Â "The Mixture". Along this line Moriel recommends the book 'On The Edge Of Apostacy'Â by Robert Zins.
The result of the wrong doctrine is wrong conduct. People cease witnessing to Catholics because they are misled into believing they are saved which few are, and the individual Catholics who may have been saved instead of repenting of their idolatry continue to practice the cannabalistic abomination of transubstantiation, the sin of necromancy in praying to the dead, and praying in tongues to Mary.Â Wrong doctrine brings wrong conduct.
Today, Satan has raised up agents like Paul Crouch of Trinity Broadcasting who teaches that doctrine is not important because it brings division. They of course discount the fact that doctrine is the teaching of Jesus, it is His Word and if we say doctrine is not important - biblically we are saying Jesus is not important. They also forget that the Word of God teaches that doctrine is meant to bring division (1 Corinthians 11:19, Romans 16:17), because The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, not error and a unity of the Spirit cannot exist where there is heresy (1 John 4:6). Those propagating such deception always do so in the name of love. Their perverse reasoning is that the truth may offend and that is not loving and it could prove divisive.However, God's Word on the contrary teaches that real love cannot abound unless it abounds in doctrinal truth and discernment of what is true and false (Philipians 1: 9). This is how Jesus loved the woman at the well. He lovingly but uncompromisingly and directly told her the truth about her false religion (John 4: 22) just as he did with Syro Phonecian woman (Mark 7:27). Because He loved her He told her up front that her religion was not for human beings but fit only for dogs. So too for instance is Roman Catholicism, and we must be like Jesus and love Roman Catholics enough to tell them so. Indeed, in this same Pauline Epistle dealing with Mixture, The Lord commands us to admonish those who are not biblically disciples (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Although John Arnott taught the diametric opposite, God commands us to 'test all things' holding fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). A mixture is never and can never be good.Â Thus we see that doctrinal error produces a mixture of truth and error which 1 Thessalonians calls 'impurity' andÂ this results in spiritual deception.
This impurity arising from an infiltration of erroneous teaching in the Greek text of 1 Thessalonians s calledÂ AkatharsisÂ the opposite of the Greek wordkatharsisÂ from where we derive the English term 'Catharsis'.This term does not mean unclean in the sense not of being 'washed from sin", that would be a completely different Greek word calledÂ absolusioÂ (from where we get the term "absolution"). Neither does it mean to "separate the bad and keep the good" . The Septuagint translates this from the Hebrew text meaning 'bring forth the good from the bad' using yet another Greek wordÂ ekagageisÂ in Jeremiah 15:19 . The impurity ofÂ akatharsisÂ means that there is a mixture where there can be no be washing a separation process as withÂ ekagageis.InÂ KatharsisÂ there is a purified form of something. InÂ akatharsisÂ it is something which is a mixture of the pure and impure.
The mixture is not just something on the surface that can be washed away, it is a homogeneous mixture that must be done away with and utterly replaced.
This is best demonstrated from the original Hebrew and Greek texts of scripture. The Hebrew equivalent ofÂ katharsisÂ isÂ Tahore, meaning "pure". As King David prayed in the penitential Psalm 51 "Create In Me A Clean Heart Oh Lord" -
"Lev Tahore Bera Le Elohim".Â It is something that must be created afresh. Man is fallen. We cannot have our sins simply washed away, something new must be created (John 3:3). In order to becomeÂ tahoreÂ our old sinful self must be crucified with Jesus and buried with Him (Romans 6:3-6). We are told directly that Baptism is not a washing away of what is wrong with us (1 Peter 3:21), it is the burial of us (Colossians 2:12).
Because we are made in the divine image and likeness but have a fallen nature, we are a mixture of good and bad, but God demands purity. The Lord does not waste time trying to purify us by trying to remove what is right about us from what is wrong as in trying to wash away the bad and keep the good. The mixture is too homogeneous - sin affects every aspect of our being. When we go to the water to be baptized we are not going to be washed per se but to be buried. The futility of trying to wash something impure to make it clean was illustrated in Jesus analogy of the Pharisees. They tried to do aÂ katharsisÂ to correct theÂ akatharsisÂ (the actual word is the active verbal formÂ katharizo)Â by washing the cup, but the inside remained filthy (Matthew 23:25). We can cleanse ourselves as Christians (2 Corinthians 7:1) but only by going back to the cross and co dying with Christ daily, not by trying to separate the good from bad, but by getting rid of the mixture and living as new creations.
Typologically, as we explain on theÂ TsaraatÂ tape series on 'The Cleansing of the Lepers' that healing of leprosy is a type of salvation, with leprosy figuratively representing sin and its consequences. That is why when Jesus healed lepers the Greek text mainly uses the wordÂ katharizoÂ for making pure (by separating the diseased tissue from the healthy) instead of he wordtherapeoÂ for healibng. Only The Lord can purify . It is absurd to try to purify such a mixture by getting rid of the bad and keeping the good. Something clean that has become a bit dirty from our contact with the world can be washed (John 13: 10-14), and when we are saved it a different Greek word completely (eplunan) for washing our robes in the Blood of The Lamb (Revelation 7:14). But we cannot cleanse ourselves.Â Once there is a mixture there can be no washing or separating ; the precious can only be extracted from the worthless by rejecting the whole thing and allowing God to remake it (eg. Jeremiah 18:4).
Thus when we see pastors trying to argue about compromising over things like Roman Catholicism, liberal Protestantism or not rejecting all of TV money preachers, Toronto, Alpha, Promise Keepers, Pensecola, JIM Challenges etc. because there is 'A Mixture', and we should ' keep the good and reject the bad' - we are seeing men who are biblically ignorant and not qualified to be in church leadership (1 Timothy 3:2 7 Titus 1:9) as they are unable to rightly teach and divide the word of God upholding right doctrine.Â The ranks of popular Pentecostal leadership are swelled with such ecclesiastical quackery.
We so often see this in the cheap versions of prophetic ministry in the church today where we are told "well sometimes his prophetic predictions are right" in speaking of false prophets. Yet, God's Word clearly gives us a strong and unmistakable caveat against this thinking (Jeremiah 5:30-31). Of Bob Jones of the Kansas City prophets (who was found in immorality), the late John Wimber said "he is like a pipe with two open ends, sometimes the devil speaks through him and sometimes The Lord"! Wimber, who became a hyper charismatic Calvinist after being forced to leave a doctrinally conservative Wesleyan Arminian Pentecostal movement , was the prime architect of charismania in its contemporary Neo-Gnostic/New Age expression. His Reformed ideas of Covenant theology that led him into the deception of dominionism by blending the Calvinistic doctrinal errors of Reconstructionism with the errors of Experiential Theology are a mixture.
Judging scripturally, The Word of God warns us that the very fact that there is such a ' mixture' in things like Alpha courses, Pensecola etc. tells us that they are not of God. The elements of doctrinal error create a mixture yielding only deception as the end product.Â The root of this mixture is always compromising with a significant doctrinal error. This in turn produces a mixture of truth and error, carnal and spiritual, or even godly and satanic.
Many people who contacted us were distraught when David Pawson refused to take a firm stand one way or another or give the many who were looking to him a clear direction over the Toronto Affair. In his book on the subject, 'Is The Blessing Biblical'? Pawson 'sat on the fence' saying the light was neither red nor green but amber. An amber semaphore remains amber for only a few seconds, it tells us the light is about to change and we must be prepared to go or stop. It does not remain amber for the 6 years since the laughing and barking experience began and by now everyone knows it has brought no revival. The question of how much of it is good and how much of it bad is not an issue. By virtue of the fact a mixture exists the light is red. Someone who has become color blind is hardly in any position to give instruction to others. Concerning such spiritual drunkeness, God's Word again specifically warns us of those who totter when rendering judgment when the deception floods through the gates (Isaiah 28: 7). The reason they do this during the drunken climate is seen in the following verse (Isaiah 28:8) where the 'vomit' speaks of rejected spiritual food. There is an unwillingness to accept uncomfortable biblical truths so as to discern biblically and issue clear and definite judgments on the basis of God's Word. Seeking people looking to a trusted bible teacher are neither told to go or stay. Instead of green or red the light remains amber.
After relating the dynamic of this false exhortation of 'error, impurity, and deception' in 1 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul goes on to explain the motives underlying it in verses 4-6 in comparing his own ministry and that of Silvanus and Timothy. Those who engage in the mixture becomes a deception that Paul in Greek callsÂ doloÂ meaning guile. Those engaging in this in other words, have an agenda. Paul tells us they practice flattery to please men, but their real motive is simply greed. How amazingly accurate the warnings The Holy Spirit gave us through Paul have proven to be! The common denominator in the deception we see in the church today is inevitably money. As just one example, of the $6.6 million collected for missions in Pensecola according to The Associated Press only 2% went to missions. The rest went to extravagant houses and all manner of profiteering by the leaders. Pensecola mixes truth with error, the impure mixture produces deception but the bottom line seems to be cash. After falsely prophesying that God would bring Hank Hannegraaff down in 3 months, Pensecola Pastor John Kilpatrick himself instead literally was brought down when he fell off a roof smashing his pelvis and winding up in a wheelchair, but business continued. As Paul wrote,Â under the mixture you find greed.
Such a mixture of truth and error has been Satan's trick from the beginning. He deceived Adam and Eve by mixing truth with error when he subtly distorted what God truly said out of context. In the temptation narrative, he likewise tempted Jesus by twisting scripture out of context. This reflects his nature as disguising himself as an angel of light. This is why Paul warns those that Satan's servants sent by him to deceive the church likewise camoulflage themselves as angels of light (2 Corinthians11:3 & 13-15)and therefore as Peter warns they similarly twist the scriptures out of context unto their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Faith-Prosperity, Replacement theology, Ecumenism, and Restorationism are all deceptions Satan perpetrates against the elect through his servants by distorting scriptures from their context. Sometimes as in the case of Bishop David Pytches, Mike Bickel, John Avanzini, and Rodney Howard Brown, the distortions are so ludicrous it is amazing anyone could believe such nonsense. Yet today many so called Christians unfortunately do.
The New Testament describes this mixture of doctrinal truth and error as 'secretly introducing destructive heresies' in 2 Peter 2:1 using the Greek termparasoxousinÂ meaning they place truth next to error. This passage tells us that such men are false teachers and false prophets using the Greek prefixpsuedoÂ meaning pretending to be real ones. Peter tells us that such men even deny the master who bought them, which is exactly what we see.
In the satanic doctrines of Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland who say that Satan not Jesus got the victory on the cross and after being tormented 3 days and nights in hell as one nature with Satan, Jesus had to be born again in hell. Copeland even teaches that he could have died on the cross instead of Jesus Christ. The process may indeed end up in such blasphemous heresy, but it does begin that way.Â It rather begins with a mixture.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Understanding The Difference Between Biblical and Secular PsychologyThe source of the mixture problem is chiefly wrong doctrine; again - wrong doctrine begets wrong practice.
However 'mixture' is not simply an academic matter of 'truth and error' but the mixture of flesh (carnal) and spirit (spiritual) that results. Peter for instance uses false prophets and false teachers interchangeably because if one's doctrines are wrong, their prophecies will be wrong (2 Peter 2:1). This is for example why men like David Wilkerson have a good track accurate for predictive accuracy in prophecy - his doctrine is right, while it is also why men like Gerald Coates and Rick Joyner are so hopelessly wrong so often - their doctrine is wrong.
Because their predictive prophecy fails, they are of course not prophets, but mere clairvoyants.
False prophecy is not only a good illustration of how wrong doctrine produces wrong conduct, but it further shows how the mixture of truth and false doctrine becomes transposed into a mixture of carnal and spiritual.
The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this when he wrote how false prophets do not necessarily prophesy by demons, but by their own imagination and the futility of their own mind (Jeremiah 23:16). What they imagine to be from the Holy Spirit communicating to their spirit is simply their own imagination. When the Kansas City prophets were challenged over their false prophecies, true to form, their defenders said: "it was a mixtureÂ - partially right, and partially wrong". In fact all clairvoyants are partially right and partially wrong. They do not have The Holy Spirit, but a spirit if divination. They too, 'divine' for money (Micah 3:11).Â When The Holy Spirit spoke through Israel's prophets however, there was no error, no clairvoyance, no divination, and no mixture.
All charismatic gifts and manifestations lend themselves to being merely psychological. I am convinced that most tongues is not real, but neither demonic. Most are purely psychological (even though I personally believe in the biblical gift of tongues). Likewise most prophecy, words of knowledge around today are purely psychological, this is one reason why they must be judged (1 Corinthians 14:29). People are confusing their own mind with their spirit. In the Toronto phenomena similarly most of the manifestations were simply matters of hypnotic induction combined with demonic deception. The same is certainly true of the overwhelming majority of so called 'deliverance ministry' - it is purely psychological with absolutely no biblical precedent for casting demons out of saved Christians. Deliverance manifestations and Toronto manifestations alike mainly come from the same source - the human soul. It is a matter of hypnotic induction used by Satan to mislead people.
It is a certain personality type and a certain fleshly type of Christian who is predisposed to Pensecola style deceptions. Similarly it is a certain personality type and certain type of Christian who gets involved with deliverance. People get back in line to fall down again or fly back to Pensecola for "another touch", so also we see the same people repeatedly going for 'deliverance', but in neither case does their life normally change. Even a cursory survey of Christians continually involved in being "delivered" demonstrates how many suffer with chronic emotional instability which translates into spiritual instability because they confuse the spirit with the soul. Instead of obtaining 'deliverance', more frequently it would appear that Satan uses deliverance to keep these poor souls in bondage. Indeed, such people are usually sincere and they genuinely desire the holiness and freedom as new creations they are hoping to find in deliverance - it is not that there is nothing spiritual about their actions or that the entire thing is psychological. It is rather simply that there isÂ "a mixture".
This kind of mixture easily lends itself to confusing what is spiritual with what is psychological. The Word of God recognises that we are psychological as well as spiritual and physical beings when it speaks of the 'soul'.
The mental and emotional anguish of Jesus is called "The Travail of His Soul". Continuing in 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes much of the suffering for which he was destined (1 Thessalonians3:4). He also speaks directly of the collective discouragement of his ministry team (1 Thessalonians 3:1) and his personal inability to emotionally endure what was taking place (1 Thessalonians 3:5). Not least of all he relates how more than once Satan "hindered" his plans (1 Thessalonians 2:18). Moreover, such accounts are things The Holy Spirit placed in the cannon of scripture and represent a spiritual perspective of emotional trauma and satanic opposition.
Today however, with the pop psycho-babel dominating so much of the contemporary church scene, Paul would be seen as 'lacking faith', 'being negative', and 'not having the vision' (as one faith - prosperity huckster already accused him of). This of course echoes the heretical attack by Benny Hinn on Job for his suffering.
In reality walking by faith and not by sight has nothing at all to do with pretending adverse circumstances do not exist (as in the lies of the word - faith that 'ones body is lying to them when they experience symptoms of illness'), it rather has to do with trusting The Lord despite the circumstances. The victorious Christian walk is certainly not a matter of not being afflicted, but trusting The Lord in those afflictions to sustain us (2 Corinthians 4: 8-18) and not loosing heart. Neither does walking in faith in victory not mean that we can confess victory and bind Satan from obstructing us. In its context, such nonsense has nothing what-so-ever to do with what 'binding and loosing' actually means in the bible, any more than it means the silly "speaking into the heavens to establish kingdom dominion" sort of rubbish characterizing the ecumenical March for Jesus foolishness. It does mean that The Lord will build a hedge around us and limit what Satan may and may not do to us (he can only kill us if God allows it) and it means that when The Lord does allow Satan a given victory, it is a gambit that God will turn around for His purposes; we read in Romans 8 that "all things worktogetherÂ for the better", not that all things work for the better. We are promised Satan looses the war, but not every battle. When God allows Satan to win a battle however, it will only backfire on Satan (as in the crucifixion of Jesus and martyrdom of Stephan).
In all of these things, we are moreover assured that The Lord will sustain us and never allow us more hardship than He is prepared to sustain us through with His grace.
Yet because of pop psychology, these biblical truths are distorted, ignored, or have even been heretically rejected. People are just told to 'confess victory', or 'bind the enemy' not meaning what God's Word means by those terms, but actually meaning what positive thinking and motivational psychology means.
If one were to go to a secular motivational sales seminar for sales executives, a slick looking motivational speaker with a glossy charisma would prance around on a platform with a microphone saying things like "There Are Three Steps". "Step One - realize your vision". "Step Two- forget the indicators or adverse circumstances, give no place to any negative thoughts - just focus on your goals and on your vision". "Step Three - Once you realize your vision and maximize the positive and forget the negative, you will be in a position to get others to invest in your vision".
Thus , this secular psychology gets into the church masquerading as biblical theology. A hype artist preacher will stand up on Sunday and share "his vision", and when questioned he will "Reject that negativity in The Name of Jesus", and tell you "God wants it to be your vision too and you should sow to the vision".
I have seen more churches get into financial trouble and loose people over this kind of psuedo-spiritual idiocy than I can count. One Kingdom Now/ Toronto maniac in the North West of England who came under the influence of anti Israel Restorationist preacher Rick Godwin literally got his church into massive debt on a massive building program not ordained of God, lost most of his flock , then began selling insurance part time to make ends meet and finally left the country. Another Pentecostal Church of the same denomination a short distance away got into a financial scandal over a scheme involving Christian retirement villas.
When of course the building program or whatever other scheme he cooked up turns out not to be God's vision, but purely his own and things do not work out then it becomes a matter of "standing in faith resisting Satan".
When people get fed up with being financially exploited and begin to leave the church, the heavy shepherding takes over and these people are told "they have a spirit of rebellion".
All of this mess comes from theÂ 'Mixture'Â of secular psychology and the vain philosophies of the world with biblical psychology and Christian doctrine. This same mixture is why we see so many Christians in churches like Toronto Preacher Phil Pringle's City Church in Sydney get involved in things like Amway and in pyramiding schemes. Psychologised Christians are prone to such things because such schemes are based on psycho babel disguising itself as biblical principles. While there are ex-alcoholics who dried out through Alcoholics Anonymous groups and then were saved, we see so many people in 12 Step Programs on their way to hell not believing they need Christ becauseÂ the mixtureÂ of biblical principles and pop psychology in such organizations misleading them into a subjective, universalist 'God as I understand Him' view of The Almighty instead of to The Cross of Jesus.
The theological root of this mixture is of course gnosticism , where a subjective mystical perspective of scripture ignoring the context is substituted for an objective exegetical perspective. Gnostics always use biblical terms but have different definitions for them. The gnosticism of Roman Catholicism is calledÂ sensus pleniore.Â The Roman Church will be quick to point out that they like classical Protestants believe salvation is by grace. By grace however, they do not mean the Hebrew wordÂ chesedmeaning 'God's covenant mercy', or the Greek termÂ CharismÂ meaning 'gift', nor the English definition meaning 'undeserved favor'. The actual and sanctifying grace of Rome is not a gift of mercy or unmerited, but an ethereal substance earned by the paganistic sacraments of their spiritually corrupt false religious system. Yet etymologically, they believe in "grace".
New Agers are Gnostics who also believe in "seeing the light" by which they mean realizing the cosmic illumination of the inner self. Many, copying Hinduism, they also believe in being "born again", meaning reincarnation. Sufi Islam, Chassidic Judaism, and Mormonism are all false belief systems who use biblical terms with a different meaning. This is all part of the Gnostic maze, and whenever witnessing to such people we not assume that they mean what we do by the same words, but terms need to be carefully and biblically defined.
This same problem is found in Gnosticized expressions of the charismatic movement such as Vineyard and Restorationism. The biblical terms are there but often with an entirely different meaning from the bible, especially with terms like 'kingdom', 'proclamation', 'apostle', 'binding and loosing', and 'prophetic ministry'.
The Promise Keepers Movement grew out of Vineyard, and distributed tens of thousands of copies of Robert Hick's book 'The Masculin Jouney' as a guide to Christian male discipleship. The book teachesÂ "Jesus Christ was tempted to have sex with other men"Â and "teenagers loosing their virginity out of marriage and having their first experience with drugs should be seen as a rite of passage, for which they should be congratulated for being human - because we need to find a way to celebrate the experience of sin"Such blasphemy and moral abomination however is eclipsed by the book's emphasis on New Age Phallic symbolism. The entire travesty derives from a mixture of pop psychology with biblical psychology and a mixture of the bible and New Age ideas all facilitated by gnosticism.Â The biggest problem however is that the Gnostic syndrome is intrinsic in the faith - prosperity/word-faith camp.
"Making your sales potential your goal" becomes "Realizing your vision". "Thinking Big" becomes "Extending your tents" . "Ignoring the negative" becomes "walking by faith not by sight". "Thinking positive" becomes "Faith Confession", or "Rebuking that negativity in The Name of Jesus".. Tragically, the educated clergy are being taught this more and more in lieu of biblical doctrine in their seminaries, and the uneducated clergy , (particularly among so many Pentecostals where there are often no more biblical standards left anyway) , the untrained clergy are too biblically illiterate and intellectually deficient to have the ability to even grasp the difference inÂ the mixture.
As always, wrong doctrine gives rise to wrong conduct. Two lecturers from the Elim International School of Ministry in Auckland, New Zealand wrote us to complain that they were instructed not to teach those being trained for the ministry to teach repentance because Elim believes rather in grace, and repentance is a negative message. The lecturers rightly felt that this underpinned the plight of Elim's leading preacher in New Zealand, Ian Bilby who was exposed as into an adulterous relationship the entire time he was sanctioning Benny Hinn and promoting Toronto claiming that God was moving. This is the same Ian Bilby who nationally propagated the false prophecy of Gerald Coates to prepare for an major earthquake at a fixed April date. The false prophecy was from the soul, not spirit as was Toronto. But it was the "Negative/ Positive" pop Psychology that helped pave the way for Bilby's sin.
The ontogeny of this seduction is well documented. Robert Shuller of the Chrystal Cathedral near Los Angeles was a protÃ©gÃ© of the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peele of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, a Thirty Third degree Free Mason who taught and wrote about "the power of positive thinking'. Shuller became Satan's chief instrument in importing this secular psychology into Evangelical circles. From there it was picked up by the Faith Prosperity deceivers influenced by A..A Allen, E.W. Kenyon, Agnes Sanford, and William Branham.
The money preachers gave claim to aÂ gnososÂ (a special mystical revelation) saying "The Lord showed me.", with no reference to the fact all they were engaging in was theÂ parasoxousinÂ of their father the devil.
In this same epistle, The Holy Spirit tells us through Paul that the solution to these kinds of problems is not to despise prophetic utterance or to suppress The Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22). We correct error with truth and not with another error like cessationism (the false view that the Gifts of The Spirit forever ceased with the original apostles). We are rather commanded here to abstain from evil and test things to see if they are from God.
We then need to comprehend the difference between biblical psychology and secular psychology, which is what The Holy Ghost inspired Paul to explain to us next in the following verse (1 Thessalonians 5: 23). Paul prays for our sanctification in 'body' (soma), in soul (psuche), and in spirit (pneuma). In order the equivalent Hebrew terms would beÂ guf, nefish,Â andruach.Â The three are distinct. We are three dimensional - tripartite beings because we areÂ Imagio DeiÂ creations made in the image and likeness of a Triune God. Our soul is as distinct from our spirit as our body is from our soul.
In secular psychology however and in eastern religious mysticism (which New Age imitates) we are only two dimensional beings, where the functions of soul and spirit become convoluted because the two are mixed up and seen as one entity. Emotion, intellect, will etc. are mixed with our spiritual function which communes with God.
At worst feeling or at best reason become confused with the communication with God. When this happens, instead of the soul serving our spirit, it serves our flesh. This is why we see so much carnality in hyper Pentecostalism and in Charismatic extremism. Once experiential theology usurps the place of God's Word and we are told discerning biblically is being a Pharisee or grieving The Holy Spirit we are in real trouble because it is God's Word that is the means to distinguish between what is carnal and what is not (Hebrews 4:12). This is why there can be no hope and no future for churches and movements that went into things like Toronto and Pensecola a few years ago. The only way to have a future in this life pleasing to The Lord is to leave such places.
The best handbook of biblical psychology is The Book of Proverbs. Proverbs tells us much more about human behavior and our motives than any secular psychology book, because secular psychology like eastern mysticism wrongly reduces tri-dimensional beings into bi-dimensional beings and therefore cannot properly discern or even recognize the inner most man or woman which is our spirit. Both secular psychology and eastern religion have a view of the human spirit which is metaphysical not biblical.
When for instance a behavioral abnormality is organically rooted (eg. Chemical imbalance, trauma related, side effects of medication, neurological, hormonal etc.) psychiatric medicine can help a person to some degree because it sees mental illness from a bio medical perspective physiologically as a disease, and if there is an organic source to someone's condition, treating the chemical basis of the problem physiologically can result in alleviation of destructive behavioral symptoms.
Once we go into the realm of clinical psychology however, where we are dealing with disturbances rooted in emotional experience, the most secular disciplines can do is treat the effect but never the inner most cause. This demands a regeneration of the spirit (new birth through faith in Jesus). The root cause of man's collective problems is sin and we all have it but secular psychology does not usually recognize sin's existence in any biblical sense, nor would it be able to deal with it even if it did.. Often the symptom is treated not the disease, and not infrequently secular psychology makes people only worse because its two dimensional premise is fundamentally flawed. Therapeutic psychology essentially tries to deal with man's problems from the outside to see an inner change, while biblical psychology says one must first repent of their own sins and accept the atonement of Jesus and His spiritual lordship, and be willing to forgive others - then the outward changes take place from within as a result of salvation (Romans 12:2).
While we become new spiritual creations, becoming new psychological creations is a process of daily co-death of the old flesh serving self, and co-resurrection of the spirit serving renewed soul . This is not all at once but a renewal process where psychological renewal mirrors spiritual renewal ( Ephesians 4:23). This is why in describing the 'sound mind' we are promised as Christians, Paul does not use the wordÂ psucheÂ butsophronismonÂ meaning 'in control of one's behavior'. This directly reflects the fruit of the spirit as self control (ekreitei)Â - the psychological self control reflecting and resulting from the spiritual change taking place. This transforming process begins at salvation but climaxes in completion with the return of Jesus (Philipians1:6).
In biblical psychology, people's abnormal behavior changes to right behavior as a result of the spiritual change that comes from a personal encounter with Jesus (John 5:15). We may not be all self destructively dysfunctional , but unregenerate people are all abnormal because of the fall. In others words, the common insanity is only a matter of degrees; all unbelievers in Jesus by definition are in some way crazy because their will is in bondage to the power of sin where the soul (mind, emotions etc.) serves the flesh (Titus 1:15). It is in Christ alone we find the power of sound mind in the genuine sense because a process begins where we are being transformed and are being given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The only way an unsaved person's souls can be subordinate to their spirit is if they are demon possessed and their spirit is under satanic control.Â All of this biblical psychology goes directly contrary to the world's two dimensional misunderstanding of the human soul and its relationship to the spirit.
But secular psychology is more than clinical. From the consumer psychologists who advise the advertising industry how to manipulate us to want to purchase things to the 'muscle memory' reflex conditioning psychological warfare experts devise to train soldiers to kill without thinking and blindly accept orders to kill, to the political psychologists who advise media relations specialists on spin doctoring - contemporary western society has been heavily psychologised, and so has its church.
At first the incursion of psychology into the church began as something innocuous with some apparent value. When writers like C.S. Lovett tried to find parallels between what the bible says about things like how Satan tempts us and various elements in human behaviorism. Then certain warning signs went up when Bill Gothard began using scriptural narratives not as examples of right behavior but as a doctrinal formula to establish what right behavior is and his seminars played heavily on psychological factors not well documented from any firm biblical basis that could mislead youth into unbalanced views of authority and an unbalanced aversion towards marriage with potentially dangerous repercussions. His opinions, for instance, that marriage should be best delayed until age 30, have no biblical foundation and seriously conflict with clinical factors that this is the gynecological age when obstetric risk factors for first time pregnancy complications, infertility, congenital defects and ante natal complications begin to statistically increase. His arguments were not grounded in solid biblical exegesis, but in his view of his perspective of youth psychology mixed with the bible. His ministry came under additional fire when he was accused of trying to put his own celibacy on others after a sex scandal involving his brother and staff rocked his organization.
In more recent times, the church has been psychologised in America by James Dobson, who is both ecumenical and a Promise Keepers advocate. Dobson's seminal influence set the stage for many problematic things. From an early point in his prominence,Â 'the amber light syndrome'Â featured in Dobson's lectures when he told Christian parents that he was unsure if teenage masturbation was wrong. This set the ball rolling to the point where Promise Keepers again pumped Hick's view that teenage premarital sex as a 'rite of passage' to be celebrated.
While Fuller Seminary had its missiology faculty taken over by the unfortunate pre-eminence ecumenical Morris Cerullo advocate and John Wimber colleague Peter Wagner, its graduate school of psychology was busy pumping out a version of psychology that was a mixture of the biblical and unbiblical. His endorsement of Cerullo is no coincidence. Pop psychology is a natural bed fellow for word - faith and prosperity hype artistry. From here matters went from bad to worse, and worse to worse still. We do not state that Dobson and Gothard never said or wrote anything true or never said or wrote anything scriptural - they did. What we do say is that there wasÂ "a mixture",Â and the mixture isÂ Akatharsis.
A further area of influence of secular psychology in the church is in heavy shepherding churches which begin as theologiclly churches but sociologically cults, then eventually disintegrate into heretical doctrine combined with spiritual and psychological abuse. This is rife in Restorationism and is found today in the view of many in such groups as The Jesus Army (UK), The Church of Bible Understanding (USA), Bible Speaks/Greater Grace (USA& UK) and The London and Boston Church of Christ.
In some of these groups psychology in the form of manipulative peer pressuring, engineering a false guilt, and other techniques are used as a form of conditioning that masquerades itself as 'Christian discipleship', and is used to a blind loyalty to the group and its leader where all forms of exploitation may take place.
One such group called 'Rhema' based in Spain but operating in several countries including Britain and The USA saw its leaders telling people to marry people who were HIV positive and 'just trust The Lord'!
This kind of conditioning again mixes group psychology with valid biblical principles into a potentially deadly mixture well camouflaged as 'discipleship'. Biblical discipleship is a 'unity in diversity' where each member has different spiritual gifts complimenting their natural ability and disposition (Matthew 25:15), where the individual contribution to the body must be developed according to what God has given them.. Psychological conditioning however was really launched by the behavioral engineering of Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner where people's profile was simply manufactured by environmental means. With this thinking is mixed with biblical discipleship, such a mixture is devastating. The Church of Bible Understanding cult in The USA and Canada virtually turned thousands of teenagers into personality clones of the cult's founder, Canadian Stewart Trail, a gifted (but not academically well trained) bible teacher who went well into apostasy and also set an example where harshness replaced the Fruit of The Spirit and mental cruelty was elevated to the status of virtue. Becoming personally harsh like Trail and imitating the dress and mannerisms of Trail became the cults measure of discipleship and the standard of spirituality. Everyone in the cult was expected to conform.
With the prominence of Ruth Carter Stapleton (The President's sister) in the nineteen seventies, the primal therapy of Dr. Arnold Janov was put into Christian jargon and became 'inner healing', where instead of reckoning the emotionally traumatized old creation dead as the bible teaches, people were 'counseled' to dig up the corpse and relive the experience in a "Christian way". Again, anotherÂ "mixture".
The biblical model of the human being as three dimensional is illustrated by the Pauline description of as 'Temples of The Holy Spirit', where our body corresponds to the temple's outer court, our souls to the holy place' and our spirit where God's Spirit dwells to the Holy of Holies. When a person is demon possessed the New Testament calls the expulsion or exorcismekballoÂ (where we get the word 'ballistic'), and this term is never once mentioned in connection with a saved believer. Possession involves a demonic indwelling in the spirit. Christians however are indwelt by The Holy Spirit and can only be oppressed, not possessed (unless they backslide). When the New Testament speaks of demonic oppression however, the demonic intrusion is limited to the flesh as in 'soul and/or body (2 Corinthians 12:7). The remedy for oppression when it happens is calledtherapeouÂ (meaning cured).
Yet in deliverance ministry, there is aÂ mixtureÂ of the biblical and psychological. What people think to be spiritual is mainly as we have already noted psychological. Benny Hinn, deliverance ministers and a stage hypnotist can all produce the same manifestations because it is all essentially rooted in the soul.
There are two primary schools of secular psychology. The Freudian and the Jungian. The Freudian has its influences in 19thÂ century German rationalism and has a kindred parody in Darwinism. In this thinking, with 90% of our DNA in common with Great Apes, human beings are simply a philo -genetically advanced model with a body and a brain whose mental functions are the mere consequences of electro- biochemical neurological metabolism with homeostatic norms that are chromosomally programmed in response to varied environmental factors. Models were constructed to show behavior in terms of the 'id', 'ego', 'alter ego', 'libido' etc.
Jungian psychology does see a spiritual view of man called the 'collective unconscious' but its view of man's spirit is again two dimensional with man's spiritual aspects being functions of the soul. This is closer to Eastern mystical philosophy.
In Eastern Religion like Hinduism, Bhuddisdm, Oriental Shammanism, and Sufi , Ahmadi and other strains of mystical Islam, the soul and spirit are likewise confused as a mixed entity. This is why pop psychology and eastern religion are natural bedfellows. It is also why the Gnostic Vineyard movement of churches that has influenced Fuller Seminary and The Pop Psychology that has influenced it fit so well together. There is a natural co-valency between the two because both western psychology and eastern mysticism have a bi -dimensional view of man. These two have not only simultaneously entered the charismatic and much of the Pentecostal church and mixed the psychological with the spiritual, but also through Gnostic hermeneutics have created a psuedo-theology for it.
The most crude example of this may be Korean preacher David Yongee Cho. In his book 'The Fourth Dimension', Cho combines the Positive Confession nonsense the TV money preachers borrowed from motivational psychology with eastern Shammanism. People in the west are often impressed by Cho because his church is said to have nearly a million members. As anyone who has visited Seoul, Bangkok, or Singapore will know however, by the standards of Asia where Bhuddist visualization cults flourish, Yongee Cho's church is no big deal numerically.
The human imagination is of course a function of the soul. Contrary to this , but identical to Bhuddism, Cho teaches that our subconscious imagination is our spirit where we picture or "visualize" what we want and speak it into being by faith. This is of course Gnosticism at its worth , with man as God replacing faith in Jesus with faith in faith.Â Cho admits in his book that Hindus and Bhuddists have known this for centuries but claims that Jesus Christ has now revealed it to him.Â Whether or not Cho is a Christian is something we are not top be the judge of. What we can say however is that the gross error he is teaching is Bhuddism and not Christianity, and unless he radically repents he will be held accountable for teaching it and leading so many astray (James 3:1).
Following the eastern two dimensional view of man, Cho mixes the soul with the spirit., yet is lauded for it.
We should not try to take what is true in Bhuddism or Eastern Mysticism, and reject the bad. It is a mixture and the entire mixture must be rejected. This mixing of paganism with scripture on the basis of common ground is precisely how the church was plunged into the Dark Ages in the aftermath of Constantine's so called conversion.
Bhuddism, Hinduism and Shammanism are false beliefs people should be saved out of, not saved into - but this is what seems to be happening. The Asian evangelist to the Hindus, Tom Chakko, has warned that Pensecola and Toronto phenomena are Kundalini Yoga coming into the western church, and the video evidence contrasting the two confirms his warnings. Yet Alpha Director Nicky Gumbel sees Alpha as a way to get people into these deceptions. While it doctrinally waxes very shallow, Alpha courses are highly psychology oriented in content.
Man again becomes two dimensional. We simply become the advanced animals Darwinism and Freudian psychology say we are. It is therefore no surprise that Elim's David Blake, with the approval of Elim Superintendent Wynn Lewis defends such animal imitations as a spiritual experience, irregardless of the fact that the one case God caused someone to act this way it was a judgment (Daniel 4:33). It is similarly not surprising that the Joe Chambers videos show human beings on dog leads crawling around on their hands and needs imitating dogs. Indeed I have seen exactly the same kind of manifestations taking place under demonic animation in the jungle in Indonesia. The two dimensional man's spirit is indistinct from his soul. But it is those sanctified three dimensionally will be ready for Jesus to appear (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
The co valancy between the eastern religious view of man as two dimensional and the western psychological view as two dimensional also share the same philosophical roots. In Taoism we have the mixture of 'ying' and the 'yang' in tension with each other creating a theoretical balance. In the western Hegalian dialectics springing from Darwinism that constitutes the philosophical basis of everything from Marxism to liberal higher criticism, we similarly have the 'thesis' and 'antithesis' in tension forming a theoretical balance called the 'synthesis'.
Again,Â the mixtureÂ is seen as normal in both western rationalism and eastern mysticism. But what occurs when this thinking gets into the church? We have already seen the shambles theological higher criticism has caused.
Yet in an article in Elim's Direction magazine, an Elim minister argued that God raises up people in one doctrinal error in order to correct those with the opposite error so that a balance will be created. Upholding suchÂ a mixtureÂ is of course dialectic philosophy and Taoism, but it is not biblical Christianity. As we have noted, God corrects error with truth, not other error.Â The mixtureÂ itselfis wrong and must be rejected. We do not try to derive anything good from Taoism or Hegalian philosophy, and reject the rest. What may be right is once more too homogeneously mixed with what is certainly wrong to salvage any of it. It isÂ akartharsis, 'Â impure to God'.
In the new psuedo Christianity where Psycho-babel is repackaged as doctrine, where Neo-Gnostic New Age mysticism is re-packaged as Vineyard spirituality, and where ecumenical surrender to apostate papal hegemony is repackaged as unity- where is the authentic unmixed faith? Instead of liberation from the old creation, 12 step programs with the increasing blessings of the church keep poor souls in bondage to the old alcoholic or compulsive gambler. In place of the old creation being reckoned as co-dead in Christ, these people are perpetually taught to believe they are still "recovering" alcoholics or gambler instead of dead ones - not only 30 years since their last drink or bet, but since being saved. Instead of being told they have sin and need to repent, these people are told they are a 'victim of a disease and to recover'. Again, we have theÂ Mixture;Â indeed alcoholism may organically be a disease, but it is also a sin. No body ever went to hell for having polio.
A certain amount of biblical truth is mixed with codependency psycho-babel, and the sinner becomes a victim. Then, since they are always "a recovering alcoholic" instead of biblical discipleship based on new creation, it is 12 steps based on the sin of the old creation. In deliverance seduction, the same 'Mixture' convinces people generational curses or indwelling demons from the old creation must still be dealt with - but where does God say so? In all of this 'Mixture',Â
Published in Blog Items
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.