Sunday, September 3, 2017

Guest Post: Anti-Christianity Ascending- PT 2

It used to be that if I wanted a confirmation of what Dave Hunt and I were writing regarding the spiritual changes we observed taking place in the US and, more specifically, in Christendom, I’d talk to missionaries who had returned home on furlough after spending a couple of years ministering overseas. Many were quite shaken by what had transpired here in their absence, especially in their local churches. Among the changes they saw were the strong influences of so-called Christian psychology, the Purpose Driven and seeker-sensitive approach to church growth, militant Calvinism, Replacement theology with its tendency toward anti-Semitism, the Contemplative movement, the Hebrew Roots movements, the Emerging Church movement, kingdom dominionism, etc. Some found themselves in situations in which they had to decide whether or not they could continue fellowshipping in the church that had sent them into the mission field and was their primary support. “Heartbreaking” only partially describes their reactions.
It used to be that their responses were clear indicators of changes that we here in the US often miss or don’t immediately realize because they appear slowly and even stealthily. It’s much like the old “frog in the pot” parable, in which a frog was placed in a pot of tepid water, with the water temperature being very gently increased. The frog adapted to the warmer water until it eventually cooked to death. Now it appears that Christendom is being cooked at a fast-food rate. False teachers have abandoned trying to ease in “new teachings” and are now racing headlong into heresy after heresy. One example among a multitude of shockers that could be given: pews are pushed back in the sanctuaries of many evangelical churches to make room for the practice of Jesus Yoga, Yahweh Yoga, Holy Yoga and Kid’s Holy Yoga, Praise Moves, Yogafaith, or Christoga (see “New Age Mysticism Déjà Vu Part 2”)! Forget subtlety. It’s anti-Christianity, full speed ahead!
How could such a thing happen? Samuel Andrews’s book Christianity and Anti-Christianity In Their Final Conflict gives us answers. But how did he acquire his acute awareness? Simply from the same source that he challenges readers of his book to seek out answers regarding such things—the Bible: “It is only through Scriptural light that we can fully know the character and work of the Anti-Christ; and to this light it is of vital importance that we give heed, for we are forewarned that he will present himself to men under an aspect best fitted to deceive.” Andrews claims no special prophetic insights, and although his approach is somewhat unique, it isn’t complex. Reading the Bible and taking it at its word is the first prerequisite. The Scriptures prophetically declare that apostasy will take place in the last days before Jesus returns, and it begins with what Hebrews 2 warns believers against: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (v.1). That slippage has become a landslide today. Jesus is more specific in Revelation 2 as He addresses the church at Ephesus, first acknowledging their good works, and then: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
The departure from one’s love of Jesus, no matter how slight, is still a departure. Good works, regardless of how seemingly good, without the love of Christ included, will result in a slippage. At what cost? Jesus told the “church of many good deeds” that if they didn’t return to their love for Him, He would remove the lampstand (i.e., the light given to them), and they would no longer reflect Jesus, who is that “true Light” (John:1:9). So began the bride of Christ’s slide into apostasy.
Andrews realized that if there is a departure from the faith it will have serious consequences that will escalate to an awful conclusion resulting in devastating spiritual wreckage. He found this stated, in no uncertain terms, in the Book of Revelation. Andrews’s rather unique approach was to ascertain all that Scripture said about the last days prior to Christ’s return and, in particular, about the man who is the embodiment of wickedness, the Antichrist. Using those characteristics of the “man of sin” and what he is enabled by Satan to do, Andrews searches through the chronology of the Bible and church history, looking for traces and traits of the apostasy and its numerous elements that will contribute to the formation of the religion of the Antichrist.
Andrews provides an example based on this statement: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians:2:3-4). Andrews surmises that the reception by the entire world of someone who claims to be God and who will be worshiped as God is not something that humanity will readily accept without great cause and expectancy. He recognizes that the conditioning of the world by Satan is necessary in order to make his “man of sin” credible: “It need not be said that this man and his kingdom are not the accidents of an hour; there is a long preparatory process.” The world’s rejection of Christ, the only true God manifested in the flesh, demonstrates that there must be more to convince people that worshiping the man of sin (rather than the sinless God/Man) is both advantageous and right. Andrews finds in Scripture what has been referred to as “the lie” (Romans:1:25), the belief that finite created beings can be as God, or are a part of God. The lie began in heaven when Lucifer declared, “I will be like the most High” (Isaiah:14:14). The lie came to earth in Satan’s offer to Eve: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis:3:5).
Throughout Scripture and history we find examples of people worshiping mortal men, from the Caesars to the Roman and Greek gods to individuals such as Herod Agrippa (Acts:12:22). Even the Apostle Paul was thought to be a god by the barbarians on the Island of Melita, and the people at Lystra, referring to him, exclaimed: “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men.” Yet those local incidents were a far cry from what will take place regarding the worldwide worship of the Antichrist.
Andrews’s approach to end-times prophecy is not complicated. He read what the Bible declares will take place just prior to the Lord’s return, and then he surveyed his own time (the late 1800s) to see if what was being popularized had any relevance to the fulfillment of latter-day prophecy. Unlike some in our day who turn every news event into a literal prophetic fulfillment, Andrews addressed the big picture conceptually: mankind will universally come to believe in the deification of man and the worship of man. The evidence that this development was well on its way was plentiful in Andrews’s day, primarily due to the belief in pantheism and panentheism. They are the belief that God isn’t personal but a Force, the substance of which everything consists and which is in everything. Thus, man is God or is a part of God.
The teaching that God is an impersonal Force is foundational to Eastern mysticism, especially Hinduism. In the West, Andrews saw that the philosophers who greatly influenced his era (Kant, Hegel, Spinoza, etc.) drew upon Eastern mystical concepts in formulating their views of God. He quotes a well-known historian of the early 1800s who recognized the same: “Among the different systems, by whose aid philosophy endeavours to explain the universe, I believe Pantheism to be one of those most fitted to seduce the human mind in democratic ages….”
The belief in Pantheism was further promoted by well-known literary figures (Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Shelley, Browning, et al.), whose writings advanced their belief in the exaltation of nature and the deification of mankind. Many in the sciences joined their ranks based on the endorsements of Huxley and others promoting evolution, especially in the rejection of a Creator.
As the affinity for the pseudoscience of evolution grew, ideas were added that reinforced the belief in mankind’s evolution to a higher state. Darwin predicted that “in the distant future man will be a far more perfect creature than he now is.” Andrews writes, “In this belief as to the future of man, the leading evolutionists…look chiefly to the gradual evolution of humanity under the law of the survival of the fittest…. Philosophy and science in many eminent representatives agree in affirming that there is no personal God, only a universal, impersonal Spirit or Energy, of which everything that exists is a part. This, viewed on the material side, is atheism; on the spiritual, is pantheism [with its deifying affirmations].”
Andrews wrote extensively of the many things taking place in his time period of 120 years ago that advanced the idea that all humanity is God. The abundant information on that one prophetic point alone brought him to a conclusion that was evident in much of what he observed: worshiping the Antichrist will surely include the recognition of one’s own godhood. He further explains: “It is also to be remembered that in rendering homage to one who appears as the rival of Christ, men will not do homage to one who differs in his nature from themselves, and superior to them; but to their own nature as embodied in him. In exalting him, they exalt themselves” [with the only difference being] “that they recognize in him one in whom is a larger measure of Divinity” (emphasis added).
Christianity and Anti-Christianity In Their Final Conflict reads as though it were written today, with two differences: 1) All the things that Andrews identified in his era are found today albeit in widely diverse, yet connected and expanded, versions, and 2) Their exposition and promotion in our day seems to be taking place worldwide at light speed by comparison.
The following brief summary of just some of his insights leaves one in awe of his biblical and historical discernment:
• As a result of the loss of the bride of Christ’s main focus upon Jesus and her love for Him, her desire to please Him through obedience to His commands will decrease, and apostasy will follow.
• Though a remnant will remain steadfast, the end-time church will supplant the headship of Christ with the rule of men, organizations, and the state. All attempts within Christendom to set up Christ’s Kingdom prior to His return will fail.
• The state will rule over the church very likely through some form of socialism, and Christ will be regarded as little more than a model of social and moral correctness.
• The world will look forward to a more highly evolved human instead of looking back to one in the archaic past, like Jesus.
• Biblical Christianity will be ultimately disparaged and rejected, especially with its doctrine of the sinfulness of man in need of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
• Neo-Christianity will conform to the ways, means, and beliefs of the world.
• Christ, when He is considered, is said to be simply a revealer of the divinity that exists in all mankind.
• Mankind will look to all of its accomplishments in science as proof of its superior human potential.
• Pantheism, as noted above, will be the primary belief that sets the stage for acknowledging and worshiping the Antichrist, as well as humanity’s own divinity.
• The Antichrist will be the chief human adversary of Christ as well as a counterfeit substitute who will set up a false worldwide kingdom. He and his kingdom will be destroyed when Jesus returns to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
Samuel Andrews is clearly a watchman on the wall who, from the Scriptures and his understanding of the times, has set about warning the body of Christ of the evil that is looming and will take its toll on both professing and true Christians. His book was criticized in his day as being too negative, although “proof” of his so-called negativity was drawn from Paul, Peter, Jude, John, not to mention the words of Jesus to the seven churches in Revelation. Some of his detractors thought he should put humanity in a more positive light, recognizing that man is evolving upward, although such an idea had no scriptural support. Prophecy, of course, was disparaged then as it is today. Nevertheless, Andrews forewarned that “Those despising the prophetic word, and not believing in his appearing, will be attracted and fettered by the power of his person: and those whose conception of him is that of an open blasphemer of God, a bitter enemy of all religion, detestable because of his vices, will not discern him should he appear as a saviour of society and a religious leader.”
We believe the Scriptures teach that the Antichrist will not be revealed until after the church has been removed from the world in the Rapture (2 Thessalonians:2:2-8John:14:1-3), and at Christ’s return His saints will accompany Him (Jude:1:14) as He destroys the Wicked [one] (2 Thessalonians:2:8). Yet the acceptance of the kingdom of the Antichrist and his religion, as Andrews well supports through the Word of God and to which the history of the church testifies, involves “a long preparatory process” that finally seduces the entire world. Our succumbing to the accelerating spiritual deception of our day can be prevented only by God’s grace as we put our love for Jesus first, do diligence in reading and doing what His Word says, praying without ceasing, and maintaining the fellowship of like-minded believers.
One of the endorsers of Christianity and Anti-Christianity In Their Final Conflict, James M. Gray, who followed D. L. Moody and R. A. Torrey as president (1904-1934) of the Moody Bible Institute, wrote, “Pastors, missionaries, Sunday-school teachers and social workers, bear with me if I say, you must read [Samuel J. Andrews’s] book…. Here are no wild fancies, no foolish setting of times and seasons, no crude and sensational interpretations of prophecy, but a calm setting forth of what the Bible says on the most important subject for these times. The Christian leader who does not know these things is no leader, but the blind leading the blind. And, oh, there are so many of such leaders!” To that we can only add our “Amen.”

McMahon, T.A.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Guest Post: Anti-Christianity Ascending- PT 1

When I first began speaking at prophecy conferences years ago, I was intrigued by the fact that during the panel question-and-answer sessions there were always a few questions related to the Antichrist. It was a bit unsettling—probably because I knew little about that end-time biblical figure and cared even less. I therefore avoided adding my uninformed remarks and usually passed the microphone to the speaker to my right or left. Then there came a time when that wasn’t an option, and I had to say something. As I remember it, my comment was something that I now regard as astute sounding but in reality was ignorance verging on stupidity, i.e., some sort of babble about “Why should we concern ourselves with the Antichrist when we believers will be raptured before he comes on the worldwide scene?” I know people who feel that way today, but I gave up that misconception early on, and here’s why.
The Bible is very clear in its pronouncements regarding the Antichrist and what he will accomplish, which includes deceiving the entire world into submitting to him, taking control of world economics, manifesting unprecedented military might, exhibiting supernatural powers, and setting up a religious system that involves the world’s worship of him. In my privileged years of working with Dave Hunt, he addressed, as few others, the increasing apostasy that was seducing Christianity. I then began to realize that the things he was pointing out (such as the information contained in his classic DVD Beyond Seduction) were moving in a direction that would culminate in a condition unparalleled in human history. As I reaffirmed in the June 2017 TBC newsletter, the assorted false religious beliefs, dogmas, and practices, although appearing to differ greatly from one another, have always been rooted together and headed toward the same end. My attitude regarding the significance of the Antichrist and his religion changed with the realization of something that should have been obvious to me: all that entails the Antichrist’s deception of the world and the seduction of Christianity does not wait until after the rapture of the church for their effects to be realized. Those deceits go clear back to Satan’s deception of Eve in Genesis chapter 3, and have continued, and will continue more aggressively, until they climax during the reign of the “son of perdition.”
Obviously, the Rapture has yet to take place. The Apostasy, however, and its impact upon Christendom, is without a doubt growing exponentially, and Scripture gives no indication that the dire effects of the Adversary’s program for his Antichrist will be abated, e.g., that a worldwide revival or some type of collective repentance or reformation will turn things around. Nevertheless, Jesus admonishes and exhorts His bride, the church, as He addresses the seven churches in Revelation chapters one through three, giving them instructions that, if obeyed, will be effective for His glory and their fruitfulness. The Apostasy cannot hinder those laborers in Christ who are steadfast in the faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit. That’s not to say that a spiritual battle won’t ensue, resulting in trials and tribulations as we fight the good fight of faith, but being obedient and persevering by His grace will enable us to accomplish what God will help us to do. I believe the results will be the rescuing of many of those who have been deceived, whether they are among the lost or among our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are now in a rescue operation situation, attempting to reach “any man” who has “ears to hear” with the truth; and, as for the body of Christ, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Mark:4:23Revelation:2:17).
Although I have been addressing at times over the last few years specific aspects of the coming world religion, it’s a great encouragement to have those whom I respect in the Lord confirm my writings on the subject. One of those friends told me to read a book that he believed would be of further encouragement. I got it and read it. To use one of Dave Hunt’s favorite expressions: “Wow!” That would have been his response, without a doubt. The book is what I would call a “pre-confirmation,” meaning it confirms what we’ve been describing regarding the Apostasy with this amazing distinction: It was written in 1898!
Its title is Christianity and AntiChristianity in Their Final Conflict. In this and next month’s article, I hope to present some of the author’s observations and biblical evaluations, which are rather extensive and primarily cover the years during the late 1800s. Yet the issues addressed read as if they were happening today, because they are all part of the Adversary’s scheme to establish the religion of the Antichrist and his kingdom. The author, Samuel Andrews, claims no special prophetic insight. He simply does what he exhorts all Christians to do, and that is—search the Scriptures for its prophetic information, and discern the things that are taking place in our own day. He wants believers to be like the children of Issachar (1 Chronicles:12:32) who had understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do.
The value of this for every believer should be obvious. Andrews writes: “It is in the light of the present that we must re-examine the prophetical problems of the past. As the purpose of God draws nearer to its fulfillment, passing events will tend to show in their distinctive features the nature of that fulfillment. It is, therefore, for us of today to note the religious tendencies of the present, and to consider carefully their bearing upon the Divine purpose in man as it has been made known to us in the Scriptures. To those who believe that God, who knows the end from the beginning, has through His prophets and His Son declared this purpose in its outlines for the guidance of His children, our inquiry is of deepest interest. ‘We ask, To what stage of His actings have we come? What are the religious characteristics of the present time?’”
He continues: “To ignore the Antichrist of whom she has been forewarned, is for the church to expose herself defenseless to his wiles, deceptions, and attacks…. But for all who accept the Scriptures as an intelligible revelation of a Divine purpose, the first duty is to ask what they teach us. Putting away all prejudices and unreasoned beliefs, we must ask what the Holy Ghost, speaking by the prophets of old and by the Lord and His apostles, has told us of the final stages of the great conflict between good and evil so long waged in the earth, and of its chief actors in the time of the end. It is only through Scriptural light that we can fully know the character and work of the Antichrist; and to this light it is of vital importance that we give heed…. It need not be said that this man and his kingdom are not the accidents of an hour; there is a long preparatory process. As with our Lord, so with him. There is a ‘fullness of time’ for his appearing, and this is not till the antichristian leaven has spread through Christendom” (emphasis added).
Although Andrews identifies much of what that “leaven” entails, he underscores the sickly spiritual condition of the church that has initially allowed that leaven to enter and to permeate the body of Christ: “If we now ask for the cause of this change, its deepest root, we find it in the Lord’s words addressed from heaven to the church at Ephesus—the representative of the church of the apostolic age: ‘Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love’ (Revelation:2:4). Here was the first step in the falling away. In all other respects the Lord highly commends the church. Let us carefully note the significance of this first downward step—the loss of the first love…. Love is the bond of all true spiritual unity and communion, and finds its fullest scope in the relation of the church to her Head. If it fails, there comes estrangement, separation (emphasis added). If the church ceases to be one with the Head through her loss of love, she no longer has full communion with Him, and cannot grow up into Him in all things, and come unto the measure of the stature of His fullness.” He adds, “Let us now note what the Lord said of the spiritual condition of the church just before His return. It would be one of great worldliness. ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’” (Matthew:24:12).
In chapter two of Hebrews we find this warning: “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (v. 1). Andrews’s emphasis upon believers letting their love of Jesus “slip” as a critical aspect of their diminishing judgment and disobedience to His commands sets his book apart from most others I’ve read that stress biblical discernment. Too often they major on the symptoms (specifics of a false teaching) and miss the root cause. Andrews identifies the cause that begins the process of drifting away from the truth of God’s Word and then describes many of the disastrous consequences as that trend had impacted the church throughout history, and especially during the late 1800s.
What are some of those consequences that he noted one hundred and eighteen years ago? See if you recognize any relationship with the erroneous beliefs, practices, and religious and political agendas of our day.
Here are a few glaring issues that he addresses:
1) The increasing antagonism of the world toward biblical Christianity
2) The apostasy as it grows exponentially within Christendom
3) The [growing] belief that worldwide revival is coming, the world will be converted, and Christianity will take dominion prior to Christ’s return
4) The idea that a “new age” is dawning, with pantheism being its chief doctrine
5) The teaching that God is all and is in all
6) The hope that science will ultimately reveal all knowledge
7) The belief that evolution is how the world came about
8) The concept that mankind is evolving into godhood
9) The argument that these false beliefs will unify humanity
Andrews describes how those concepts were not just in the domain of the religious leaders of his day but worked their way down to the masses from the philosophers and scientists through the literary authors, poets, artists, popular novelists, newspapers, and trendy magazines.
The author’s approach to discerning his times was quite simple and unique yet foundationally biblical. He shows what the Scriptures decree will be the culmination of history prior to the return of Jesus Christ. That end will include the establishment  of that kingdom of the Antichrist followed by its utter destruction. Andrews then draws from God’s Word the many characteristics of that man of lawlessness, who is revealed to be the demonically empowered epitome of deception, and extrapolates those features back to his own era. For example, Scripture tells us that the Antichrist will set himself in the temple of God showing that he is God and is to be worshipped as God (2 Thessalonians:2:4). Andrews points out that for the world to believe and accept such an idea there must be a previous and perhaps long-term conditioning that precedes the event. He then considered the populace of his own day (118 years ago) in order to see if the deification of a human might be rationally acceptable.
He didn’t have to look very far. The basis of the idea was promoted seemingly everywhere. Unitarians, Transcendentalists, Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science, and Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophy spread the word. The enthusiasm for naturalism, socialism, evolution, and pantheism aggressively rejected biblical Christianity and exalted mankind through the various media. The favored writers of that day, such as Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman, all believed in and advanced their faith in the divinity of humanity. They drew heavily from their readings of the sacred texts of Hinduism, which we recognize today as being central to the beliefs and practices of the New Age Movement. The belief in godhood for humanity was the “new age” hope of Samuel Andrews’s day. He notes, “Philosophy and science in many eminent representatives agree in affirming that there is no personal God, only a universal, impersonal Spirit or Energy, of which everything that exists is a part. This, viewed on the material side, is atheism; on the spiritual, [it] is pantheism” (i.e., God is all and in all). When Andrews uses the term “new age,” however, which he does throughout his book, he means it as a complete change from biblical Christianity: “We have come to a new age, and a new age must bring with it a new religion, not a revivification of the past; one based upon a new conception of God, simple, comprehensive, and fitted to be a world religion.” That “new age” and “new religion” is embodied in the religion of the Antichrist.
Christianity and Antichristianity in Their Final Conflict was quite controversial, and the author addressed his critics in his book’s second printing. Some objected to what they considered the overall “pessimistic tone” of Andrews’s work, and others were upset by the fact that he painted a picture of “the world as growing worse, rather than better.” Professing Christians and some true believers of his day were greatly influenced by evolutionary thought and believed that humanity was evolving upward. Consequently, they could “find no place for any development of evil and an Antichrist.” Andrews’s response: “In all questions as to the future of humanity, we must either picture this future for ourselves, or accept Divine revelation.” And it is “Divine revelation,” God’s written Word, that sets the course for his book.
In Part 2, we will glean more insights from this amazing book that was written more than a century ago yet reads as though it were penned today. Two things come to mind as I begin the follow-up article: 1) God’s prophetic Word has been and is being manifested for each believing generation for the spiritual protection and fruitfulness of those who read it and act in obedience to its warnings. 2) It’s greatly encouraging to know that previous generations were aware of the things we see taking place today. Only the Adversary’s players have changed, as well as the increase and intensity of the apostasy.
Our hope is to reprint Christianity and AntiChristianity in Their Final Conflict and have it available in the Fall. We covet your prayers for that endeavor.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Guest Post: The Perfect Spiritual Storm Looming

Perfect storm defined: a mixture of seemingly varied events that converge together creating a greater magnitude of devastation.
I remember as though it were yesterday a conversation I had with Dave Hunt not too long after he had moved to Bend, Oregon. He wanted me to move to Bend also that we might continue communicating with those who had responded favorably to the book I’d had the privilege of co-authoring with him, The Seduction of ChristianityThat book and many of his later books, articles, and sermons gave insights into most of the things that would prove to be portents of the developing apostasy that we see moving ahead at overwhelming speed and in wide circulation today.
In our 25 years of ministering through The Berean Call, we have extensively covered various aspects of the apostasy. Although some of the highly promoted deviations from Scripture have had their heyday and then appeared to have faded, in fact they have simply undergone alterations, changed players, assimilated other heresies, adjusted to the times, and become more devious, i.e., hidden in plain sight. One example of this is the Word/Faith Movement (W/FM). The popular leaders of days past included Oral Roberts, Kenneth Hagin, Sr., Charles Capps, David (formerly Paul) Yonggi Cho, and Gloria and Kenneth Copeland. The Copelands are still around, along with their followers, and are promoting the same false teaching, but the W/FM has expanded to the Faith Healing Movement, the Prosperity Teachings, the Positive Confession Movement, and the Inner Healing Movement, all of which have been raised to a new level of sophistication as major tactics of the Adversary. These perversions of the Word of God originated when Satan deceived Eve in Genesis:3:1 with his words, “Yea, hath God said…?” Questioning and then repudiating what God has declared has been Satan’s strategy from the beginning and will continue until he is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
That Deceiver and Father of Lies has also employed a host of seemingly diverse deceptions that are nevertheless connected. The Word/Faith teachings are not merely a perversion of biblical faith, but they are of late gleaned from the mind science cults, with concepts that go back to Hinduism and other Eastern mystical religions. The teachings of this movement are found within Transcendentalism and New Thought, as well as the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science and Helena Blavatsky’s Theosophical Society brought Eastern spiritual beliefs into mainstream America.
E. W. Kenyon (1867-1948) is said to be the father of the Word/Faith Movement. Many of his teachings were the product of his New England education at The Emerson School of Oratory, a hot bed of Transcendental philosophy. Some authors, such as Thoreau, gleaned beliefs from the Bhagavad-Gita, the Vedas, and other sacred Hindu texts. Kenyon’s writings and preaching were a mixture of religious science, godhood for humanity, and the Scriptures, all of which became foundational to the myriad of W/FM-connected offerings.
The relationship to Eastern mysticism is irrefutable. Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Eastern religions teach that the physical world is maya, an illusion, and thus can be manipulated by various techniques: thinking (meditation, mind power), speaking (mantras), and imagery (visualization). The supreme deity of Hinduism is an impersonal god—a spiritual energy of which everything consists. That energy force is positive and negative (yin and yang) and can be controlled by the gods, i.e., all humans. Self-realization—to realize one’s own godhood—is the goal of yoga.
Even a cursory review of the Word/Faith teachings reveals its clear connection to pagan and occult origins. Terms such as positive confession, faith as a power, negative thinking, speaking forth healing, commanding wealth, visualizing what’s being prayed for, realizing that humans are gods under God, and the like, abound in this movement that has corrupted the biblical doctrine of faith for millions. The latest development among W/FM adherents is the New Apostolic Reformation agenda, which claims to produce new Apostles and Prophets who will take over the world and turn it into a paradise, setting up Christ’s kingdom before He can return from heaven. They will minister in power as gods.
These heresies are being taught to the upcoming generation of Christian youth at schools connected with Mike Bickle’s International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, and Bill Johnson’s Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California, and their worldwide satellites.
Also related to the beliefs of the Word/Faith Movement is the teaching of Positive Mental Attitude and Possibility Thinking brought into the church primarily by Norman Vincent Peale and Robert Schuller and advanced by “Christian” business organizations such as Amway and Mary Kay Cosmetics. Among Peale’s numerous false teachings is his endorsement of occult visualization as a biblical prayer technique; Schuller championed the building of one’s self-esteem (as presented in his book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, which was sent out to 250,000 pastors) as the primary objective of his psychologized gospel. Peale was instrumental in ushering in psychology as a means of counseling in the church, which then paved the way for the practitioners of so-called Christian psychology, whose major therapeutic methodology is the unbiblical doctrine of self-love.
As I move on to psychology, I hope you are seeing the links between the beliefs and practices that I’ve mentioned thus far. All these things have been documented in the books, articles, videos, radio programs, and talks that Dave and I have presented over the years and are archived on TBC’s website. What then of psychology? An editor for Psychology Today declared that Eastern mysticism would come to the West through the teachings of psychology. Although there are more than 50 different fields of psychology, together they pale in influence when compared to psychotherapy or psychological counseling. Though posing as science, secular researchers tell us that the methods used in psychotherapy are little different from those used by shamans and witch doctors (who are mediators between man and the spirit realm). Psychology’s spirit connection is most blatant in the field of transpersonal psychology, also known as spiritual psychotherapy. Its relationship to Eastern mysticism is undeniable. Yoga meditation, which has overtaken the West since the 1970s, has been incorporated into psychotherapeutic programs such as MindUp and Mindfulness and touted as a cure-all for life’s various problems. It is claimed that these programs are especially helpful for children.
The answers to life’s questions, we are told, are found by looking within, delving into the subconscious where the true self is found. Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung taught that it is in the subconscious where everything that has happened in one’s life resides, and those events psychically determine every aspect of that life. It is the supposed workings of the subconscious that offer a pseudo-scientific explanation for what Hindu yogis have taught for thousands of years as karma and reincarnation.
Psychology’s salvation for humanity is rooted in “self,” and its self-actualization concept is the same as the self-realization belief of Hinduism. Both have the ultimate goal of the deification of humans and the worship of self. This should come as no surprise for the biblical Christian, because the Bible tells us that self-delusion began with Lucifer in heaven, and he brought it to earth in his deception of Eve (Isaiah:14:12-14Genesis:3:1-5). Furthermore, Scripture tells us that the demonically possessed Antichrist will “sit in the temple of God, [showing] himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians:2:4). That’s the Lie.
“The Lie” takes on many forms, some far less obvious than what’s been described. Yet they can all be recognized by asking this simple question: Does what is being presented involve man displacing God by endeavoring to save himself, whether by fixing his temporal issues or securing his eternal destiny? Whatever contributes to those objectives is a form of “works salvation,” i.e., man playing God. Every religious belief system (including atheism) other than biblical Christianity is an attempt made by humanity to save itself without the help of the true and living God. Saving mankind is something that only Jesus Christ can do. Scripture calls humanity’s rebellious attempt at salvation the broad way that leads to destruction, which, tragically, many will follow (Matthew:7:13).
The lie of godhood is found in some form in all that has been noted above and in much more than this brief article can cover. It’s important, however, to have given some details to prove the Satanic connection between these numerous diverse movements. Why? Because they will converge in these last days prior to the Lord’s return for His bride and will be firmly established after the church is removed. At present, cries for unity and oneness abound, declaring that we are all connected. Their mutual beliefs and practices are components that will come together forming the perfect storm of godlessness—the religion of the Antichrist.
If the church will be removed in the Rapture (which it will!), why should we be concerned about a religion that will come together after believers are removed? First of all, the religion of the Antichristdoesn’t pop up overnight. It’s been in the works since Satan deceived Eve in the Garden. Secondly, Jesus gave the answer to His disciples when they asked about the End Times. He characterized those times by saying, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew:24:4-5). That deception about which He warned His disciples has two consequences: 1) It hinders the lost from turning to the Lord, and 2) It prevents believers from being fruitful and productive. Regarding the latter, all believers have been saved unto (not by) good works, and, in the Lord’s words, we are to “bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John:15:8).
So it would seem that diverting or wrecking a believer’s good works is Satan’s only effective stratagem against the Lord’s bride. This ploy is found in some “Christian” agendas that have duped believers into supporting programs that, in fact, contribute to setting up Christ’s kingdom before the King himself returns. A number of very influential yet diverse programs today are attempting to do that very thing in the camps of the Kingdom Dominionists, the Amillennialists, and the Ecumenists. The Bible’s timeline of events to come clearly reveals that the kingdom that will emerge following the Rapture of the church is the kingdom of the Antichrist, and thus all believers who are presently caught up in those unbiblical programs today are unwittingly and unfruitfully serving the cause of the Adversary.
It is hoped that everyone reading this is aware that conditions in the world and especially in the church have changed dramatically over the last two decades. The warnings presented in the book of Acts, in 1 & 2 Timothy, Jude, 1 & 2 Peter, and the first three chapters of Revelation, have been blatantly manifested. Verses that prophesy “when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?”; “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…and they shall turn away their ears from the truth…”; “in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves…”; “grievous wolves shall enter in among you…Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Luke:18:82 Timothy:4:3-42 Timothy:3:1-2Acts:20:29-30). In my four decades as a believer involved in observing, speaking, and writing about issues that have adversely affected the body of Christ, those verses, among so many more that could be given, seem like understatements—a high tide compared to the spiritually dark tsunami we are presently experiencing. Could a revival forestall the flood? That’s not impossible with God, but there is neither any hint of collective repentance in the world or in the church nor is there prophetic scripture to support such a hope. Therefore the apostasy will continue unabated.
How then should we deal with it? We at The Berean Call see our function as workers in a rescue operation, praying that our materials reach those “who [have] ears to hear….if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” (Mark:7:162 Timothy:2:25). We want to get information regarding discernment issues to our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially encouraging one another to hold up to the light of God’s Word what they are being taught. As for those in leadership positions, we want to support them as they deal with specific erroneous doctrines and practices, influential false teachers, and extra-biblical trends and agendas that can enter into a fellowship. Our heart is with Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesian elders: “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts:20:28).
To this end we have developed a new “Topics” section on our website that features 25-plus years of archived resource materials. It may be accessed at Just click on “Topics” at the top of the page. There you’ll find a list of subjects with which we have dealt over the years, along with links to newsletters, Q&As, radio programs, and more, for each topic.
If you don’t have access to our website, we haven’t forgotten you! In July we plan to release our first printed “Topics” booklets. They will contain much of the same information presented on our website in an abbreviated but comprehensive format. Booklets on Mysticism, Hebrew Roots, and the Emerging Church are in the works now and, the Lord willing, will be followed by a host of other subjects. We want these inexpensive little booklets to be a great resource for those who seek information, enabling them to quickly get up to speed on a specific issue, or to share with someone else. We’re hopeful that we can become more effective in our desire to assist the body of Christ, especially those who have been called to be shepherds and are ministering to the Lord’s sheep. We covet your prayers for this endeavor.      

By: McMahon, T.A.