This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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True Biblical Spirituality is as it is presented in God’s Word and as we attempt to present it on this website.
Jesus lived a true spiritual life in a fleshly body, and then taught us the basics in the fourteenth through the seventeenth chapters of the Gospel of John. About two years after His resurrection Jesus appeared to Saul, later to become known as the apostle Paul, and gave Paul additional information about spiritual life which we find contained in Paul’s letters, such as the excerpts below.
ROMANS 5:12-21.... Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned. [To be sure] sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men's account where there is no law [to transgress]. Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the one Who was to come [in reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving]. [Gen. 5:5; 7:22; Deut. 34:5.] But God's free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man's falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God's grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many. Nor is the free gift at all to be compared to the effect of that one [man's] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification ( an act of righteousness). For if because of one man's trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God's] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one).
18Well then, as one man's trespass [one man's false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man's act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men. For just as by one man's disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man's obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God's unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded, so that, [just] as sin has reigned in death, [so] grace (His unearned and undeserved favor) might reign also through righteousness (right standing with God) which issues in eternal life through Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one) our Lord.
ROMANS 6:1-11.... What shall we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God's grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life. For if we have become one with Him by sharing a death like His, we shall also be [one with Him in sharing] His resurrection [by a new life lived for God].
6We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, because we know that Christ (the Anointed one), being once raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has power over Him. For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.
ROMANS 8:1-17.... THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.] For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], [Lev. 7:37.] So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].
5For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.
9But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. [Rom. 8:14.] But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.
12So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father! The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.
Here is the way that we are instructed in God’s Word to put this body of truth into practice in our everyday life:
1 CORINTHIANS 12:1-31.... Now about the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed. You know that when you were heathen, you were led off after idols that could not speak [habitually] as impulse directed and whenever the occasion might arise. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed! And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.
These Corinthians are first reminded that the idols that they previously worshiped could not speak to them, but in contrast, they are about to be taught about how that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ can. They are warned against accepting any spirit, trying to impersonate the Holy Spirit, that speaks anything derogatory about Jesus, and of course anything contrary to the Holy Scriptures.
4Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same. And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served]. And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; to another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; to another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.
11All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses. For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one). For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit. For the body does not consist of one limb or organ but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not the hand, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [a part] of the body? If the ear should say, Because I am not the eye, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [a part] of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where [would be the sense of] hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where [would be the sense of] smell? But as it is, God has placed and arranged the limbs and organs in the body, each [particular one] of them, just as He wished and saw fit and with the best adaptation.
We are told not once but twice, in the above paragraph, that God is the one who chooses what Holy Spirit given and empowered ability to give and who to give it to. I think that it can also be said that it is God who desires to lead, guide and direct each body member in the use of these gifts and abilities (Phil. 2:12-13), but all too often we are lead by our own desires, and worse yet, sometimes by deceiving, impersonating spirits!
19But if [the whole] were all a single organ, where would the body be? And now there are [certainly] many limbs and organs, but a single body. And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. But instead, there is [absolute] necessity for the parts of the body that are considered the more weak. And those [parts] of the body which we consider rather ignoble are [the very parts] which we invest with additional honor, and our unseemly parts and those unsuitable for exposure are treated with seemliness (modesty and decorum), which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body, giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack [apparent importance], so that there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.
We deeply appreciate and care for every part of our physical body, and we should have the same appreciation and care for Christ’s spiritual body.
27Now you [collectively] are Christ's body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function]. So God has appointed some in the church [for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues. Are all apostles (special messengers)? Are all prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God)? Are all teachers? Do all have the power of performing miracles? Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all--love].
This is the fourth time in this chapter that we are told that it is God who arranges and energizes the Body of Christ or the Church.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-13.... If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers ( the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody). Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing.
Paul wants to inform and caution them that even if one were to possess all the gifts and abilities of the Holy Spirit, but failed to administer them in the love of God, that person would not be of any real benefit to the Body of Christ, or would probably do more harm than good.
4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth]. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect). But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded). When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.
The above paragraph has some very peculiar statements in regards to prophecy, tongues and knowledge. Most of the Bible versions simply state that tongues will cease, one says they will be stilled, but the Amplified says that they will be destroyed and cease. This might be implying that with our new spiritual bodies we will be communicating in a new spiritual language, or perhaps even with telepathy without having to speak – we’ll have to wait and see.
12For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
NOTE: See 1 Cor. 15:42-58 as to when this perfection will come.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:1-40.... Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy ( interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching). For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding]. But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation. He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].
5Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues, but more especially [I want you] to prophesy (to be inspired to preach and interpret the divine will and purpose). He who prophesies [who is inspired to preach and teach] is greater (more useful and more important) than he who speaks in [unknown] tongues, unless he should interpret [what he says], so that the church may be edified and receive good [from it]. Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in [unknown] tongues, how shall I make it to your advantage unless I speak to you either in revelation (disclosure of God's will to man) in knowledge or in prophecy or in instruction? If even inanimate musical instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone [listening] know or understand what is played? And if the war bugle gives an uncertain (indistinct) call, who will prepare for battle? Just so it is with you; if you in the [unknown] tongue speak words that are not intelligible, how will anyone understand what you are saying? For you will be talking into empty space!
10There are, I suppose, all these many [to us unknown] tongues in the world [somewhere], and none is destitute of [its own power of] expression and meaning. But if I do not know the force and significance of the speech (language), I shall seem to be a foreigner to the one who speaks [to me], and the speaker who addresses [me] will seem a foreigner to me. So it is with yourselves; since you are so eager and ambitious to possess spiritual endowments and manifestations of the [Holy] Spirit, [concentrate on] striving to excel and to abound [in them] in ways that will build up the church. Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown] tongue should pray [for the power] to interpret and explain what he says. For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody].
15Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also. Otherwise, if you bless and render thanks with [your] spirit [thoroughly aroused by the Holy Spirit], how can anyone in the position of an outsider or he who is not gifted with [interpreting of unknown] tongues, say the Amen to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? [1 Chron. 16:36; Ps. 106:48.] To be sure, you may give thanks well (nobly), but the bystander is not edified [it does him no good]. I thank God that I speak in [strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together; nevertheless, in public worship, I would rather say five words with my understanding and intelligently in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a [strange] tongue (language).
It is God who decides what gifts to give and whom to give them to (1 Cor. 12:6, 11, 18, 24, 28), and it also appears to be the Holy Spirit that initiates the experience or encounter. There were a couple of Old Testament prophets that used the playing of musical instruments in an effort to contact God, but other than these there are no instructions or examples in the Bible that we should use any kind of a method to contact God. The only examples of the use of methods to contact spirit entities are found in the rituals and practices of the cults and the occult. So any person who claims to be a Christian, and is using some method, other than prayer, to contact God, has probably been deceived into using Satanic rituals or techniques, and is in danger of contacting evil spirits and being lead further astray thinking he is communicating with God.
The following quote is taken from Dave Hunt’s book, Beyond Seduction, page 192.
Jesus said to the Jews of His day, "Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not?" (Mark 8:18). There is a "seeing" and "hearing" that comes by faith alone. It is neither physical nor mental and goes beyond ordinary comprehension because it involves the revelation of God Himself and his will to man. Those without the faith that perceives the invisible and hears the inaudible will not believe even when confronted with abundant visible and audible proof. The revelation of God must come from Himself, and man must be very careful that his own imagination does not enter the process and thereby deceive him. Yet we are now being told that imagination is the key element in meditation, prayer, and knowing God.
How can we be certain we are not being deceived by what we imagine is God’s guidance? The Bible provides no "techniques for getting in touch with God," and all such should be avoided. God speaks through His Word, and any personal direction or assurance of the Holy Spirit is always in agreement with this Word. But we can no more explain how to receive daily guidance from God than explain how His "Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16). To hear God’s voice even through the written Word, we must belong to Him and sincerely desire His will instead of our own. Growing in this personal relationship comes through obedience and maturity in the faith under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised:
When he [the shepherd] putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers, . . . I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep (John 10: 4, 5, 11).
Far from helping God reveal Himself and His will, imagination pollutes with our own thoughts the pure communication of the Spirit. Idolatry down through history has been an attempt to represent God in an imagined form, and all such attempts are explicitly forbidden.
End of quote from Dave Hunt’s book.
20Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men]. It is written in the Law, By men of strange languages and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord. [Isa. 28:11,12.] Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.
23Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented? But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth.
26What then, brethren, is [the right course]? When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all. If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said]. But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God.
29So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said. But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent. For in this way you can give testimony [prophesying and thus interpreting the divine will and purpose] one by one, so that all may be instructed and all may be stimulated and encouraged; for the spirits of the prophets (the speakers in tongues) are under the speaker's control [and subject to being silenced as may be necessary], for He [Who is the source of their prophesying] is not a God of confusion and disorder but of peace and order.
33bAs [is the practice] in all the churches of the saints (God's people), 34the women should keep quiet in the churches, for they are not authorized to speak, but should take a secondary and subordinate place, just as the Law also says. [Gen. 3:16.] But if there is anything they want to learn, they should ask their own husbands at home, for it is disgraceful for a woman to talk in church [for her to usurp and exercise authority over men in the church].
NOTE: For a more detailed examination of the subject concerning women, see our webpage entitled, Marriage, Sexuality and Authority.
36What! Did the word of the Lord originate with you [Corinthians], or has it reached only you? If anyone thinks and claims that he is a prophet [filled with and governed by the Holy Spirit of God and inspired to interpret the divine will and purpose in preaching or teaching] or has any other spiritual endowment, let him understand (recognize and acknowledge) that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. But if anyone disregards or does not recognize [that it is a command of the Lord], he is disregarded and not recognized [he is one whom God knows not]. So [to conclude], my brethren, earnestly desire and set your hearts on prophesying (on being inspired to preach and teach and to interpret God's will and purpose), and do not forbid or hinder speaking in [unknown] tongues. But all things should be done with regard to decency and propriety and in an orderly fashion.The spiritual counterfeits:
The spiritual counterfeits consist of a vast group of schemes, technics, practices, beliefs and teachings fabricated by the wild imaginations of man, usually with the intention of displacing or explaining away the salvation benefits of Christ, and often aided or directed by demonic spirits.
Fifty or sixty years ago these counterfeits were mostly known as separate religions, cults, and movements, but are now being ecumenically brought together to work toward Satan’s global political, economic and religious system, all with the same focus on humanistic occult mysticism as the New Age Movement. The reason that these organizations and their practices are so dangerous is that most Christians are unaware of the occultic nature behind them, and that God has warned us against them (Deut. 18:9-12; Ex. 20:1-5; Jer. 29:8-9; Zec. 10:2; Isa. 47:13-15; Lev. 19:4, 26, 31; 20:6).
In their book, Dave Hunt and T. A. McMahon repeatedly warn us that the basic element of deception in Satan’s whole global system is to entice with the same temptation he overcame Eve with – to become like God, or to become a god ourselves. "This aspiration after godhood is an ambition that has become an apparently incurable (apart from Christ) obsession for the entire race. It is at the heart of all occultism and shamanism and is the essence of the Human Potential movement and the religion of Antichrist. It is sweeping the world today as part of the delusion that is preparing us for this coming world dictator. And this same delusion has been entering the church as a key element in the growing apostasy" (The Seduction of Christianity, p. 88).
You can examine some of these counterfeits by viewing our web page entitled Satan’s Vast Network Of Deception And Opposition, which can be used as a means of warning and preparing God’s people for the increasing deception that we are presently confronted with. It is well worth the effort because increasing numbers of people who call themselves Christians are being deceived into believing and using the technics and practices of occult mysticism because they have failed to recognize the demonic influence behind them, or have neglected or no longer believe the Bible, or have accepted instead the humanistic wisdom of this world, which God calls foolishness: "For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing. [Isa. 29:14.] Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not God shown up the nonsense and the folly of this world's wisdom? For when the world with all its earthly wisdom failed to perceive and recognize and know God by means of its own philosophy, God in His wisdom was pleased through the foolishness of preaching [salvation, procured by Christ and to be had through Him], to save those who believed (who clung to and trusted in and relied on Him)" (1 Cor. 1:18-21). "For this world's wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness;" (1 Cor. 3:19).
From the information gained from the Dictionary Of Cults, Sects, Religions And the Occult, by George A. Mather and Larry A. Nichols, and from Revival & Revivalism, by Iain H. Murray; the following observations have been gleaned.
The two Great Awakenings; the first was in the Dutch Reformed churches in New Jersey in 1726, and the second began in New England at the close of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century (about 1790). It was during the first awakening that some profound changes began to be made in the way the Gospel was presented. Up to this time almost all the churches held to the Reformed or Calvinistic beliefs and practices, but during this time John Wesley and the Methodists introduced Arminian Theology along with some new methods, and allowed and promoted more extreme emotionalism. The result was that by the second awakening Calvinism had lost its appeal, and emotionalism and the results obtained by the new methods had become the way to measure the success of what appeared to be a revival.
These changes introduced and paved the way for the more extreme schemes, technics, practices, beliefs and teachings fabricated by the wild imaginations of man that I mentioned at the beginning of the section about spiritual counterfeits, and that we find in the churches today. The last sentence in the article about the Great Awakenings in the Dictionary Of Cults, Sects, Religions And the Occult (pages 112-113) states, "The openness to untrained "minister" who employ(ed) gimmicks and manipulative techniques in religious revivalism is the same openness that has permitted America to become a breeding ground for virtually every CULT and OCCULT group to which most of this dictionary devotes its efforts."
So there is a great need for God’s people to be made aware of and educated concerning the dangers that are all around us, even in our churches, and then to get back to using God’s Word to determine what procedures we should use and accept as valid, and thirdly, begin to remove from our lives the "gimmicks and manipulative techniques" of counterfeit spirituality that man and Satan have deceived us into believing and practicing!
I am not implying or suggesting that we should go back to Calvinistic Theology, because Reformed Theology is not reformed enough. It is still bound by the errors of Rome. In an attempt to ask and answer every conceivable question, more and more speculation is required, involving them, as even Calvin himself implied, "in an endless round of reasoning in circles that captivates them in a maze that cannot fulfill their desires and from which they cannot escape." The unlikelihood of anyone generation being able to pass from the medieval dark age into the full glorious light of the Gospel of Christ is perfectly understandable. But almost five hundred years has transpired, and we should have grown past this infant stage, and most assuredly not go back into it as many are doing in the ecumenical movement. Truth can be taken to a point, or applied to a situation where it no longer is true, and whatever is not clearly revealed about God and by God, cannot be found out by any of man’s ability.
My opinion of Calvinism is that it is a Protestant form of thirteenth century Scholasticism, which was an attempt to catagorize, by logical human reasoning, all the truths of the Bible and the meaning and mode of all life. Both of these systems became so structured that they squeezed the life right out of Christianity, making it a dead system of the letter instead of life in the Spirit. We do not limit or dishonor God by claiming that He does not elect, choose or predestine some for hell, but rather honor Him. And we do not honor man by saying whosoever will may come to Christ when drawn of the Father, but rather hold him responsible to a holy God.
The excessive practice of evaluating the meaning of specific words to support their opinion, seems to be a major contributor to the system of thought that is commonly known as Calvinism; their evaluation became speculation, and thus qualifies for God’s rebuke to Job, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2). The word elect has been badly misused, abused and extended to the point of contradicting other Scripture passages, and as such deserves a strong rebuke. Christians in the Bible are called the elect, and were destined or foreordained to be molded into the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29). We are chosen or elected for a purpose, position and function, not salvation. Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord (invoking Him as Lord and Savior) will be saved (Rom. 10:13).