Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
Could a book that has sold over 16 million copies be wrong?
What if that book has numerous devotionals, childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s and teen versions, wall calendars, and daily planners? Could that book be unbiblical?
What if this book has been endorsed by various leaders and celebrities such as Max Lucado; Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker; Melinda Gates; Johnny and Janet Hunt, FBC of Woodstock; Roma Downey; Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church; Kathy Lee Gifford; James Robison; Reba McEntire; Josh Warren (Rick WarrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s son), CEO Purpose Driven Communications; and Charlie Daniels, country singer? That book couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be bad for you, could it?
I mean, could it teach falsehoods? Well, we know that would be true of a book written by Stephen King or a book in the Harry Potter series or even the Koran, which have sold millions of copies each; but what about a book you can pick up at your local Christian bookstore? ArenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t those books tested for theological accuracy before they are put on the shelves?
As you know, I love to read. Really makes the mind work. Reading does that. It makes the synapses fire and causes you to process things. My parents are getting a little older now. I was over at their house today. Mom does a lot of reading and working on crossword puzzles. Keeping that mind sharp. Dad had a stroke recently. He solves mind puzzles to get his brain to focus more clearly. Makes me realize I cannot take my reading skills for granted. I need to use my reasoning abilities wisely whenever I pick up a book by giving it a thorough going through.
I am a big fan of www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com. They always carry good books that make you think about the movements and winds of doctrines blowing through our churches today. I have read many of the books they offer and decided to get the book Ã¢â‚¬Å“Another JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â Calling by Warren B. Smith. Wow! I was in for an eye opener.
In this book, Warren provides an excellent critique of Sarah YoungÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book Jesus Calling. Now, I really donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care if someone does a critique on any book; but when a Ã¢â‚¬Å“ChristianÃ¢â‚¬Â book or a book sold in a Christian bookstore is critiqued, they better come at me strong with truth. They have to let me know where the error is and back it up with Scripture. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just say, Mr. Smith knows what he is talking about!
In the introduction to Jesus Calling, which is a collection of daily devotional readings, Sarah Young explains that another book, God CallingÃ¢â‚¬â€written by Ã¢â‚¬Å“two anonymous listenersÃ¢â‚¬ÂÃ¢â‚¬â€inspired her. Warren Smith gives some background about God Calling:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This book that inspired Sarah Young is addressed in the Encyclopedia of New Age BeliefsÃ¢â‚¬â€a Christian work published in 1996 by Harvest House Publishers. The encyclopedia contains a thirty-four page chapter that warns about channeling. It explains that channeling is a form of mediumship and Ã¢â‚¬Ëœis a practice forbidden (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â 1
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, God Calling is cited as an example of a channeled New Age book Ã¢â‚¬Ëœreplete with denials of biblical teaching.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â 2
DoesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sound like an inspiring book to me.
So what readings are inspiring you? Just because some people say they are Ã¢â‚¬Å“hearingÃ¢â‚¬Â and relaying messages from God, does that mean you should do the same? How would you know if those messages were from God? Does the Bible forbid the channeling of spirits? Which direction are you going to go?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Sarah Young also wrote in the introduction to her book:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more.Ã¢â‚¬Â 3
But the Bible says:
2 Timothy 3:16,17:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Wait a minute. Why would you want to communicate new revelation from God when He has already breathed His Book into existence? He didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say He would be breathing other books into existence.
In her March 31st devotional entry, Young, speaking for Jesus says:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence.Ã¢â‚¬Â 4
One thing to be very careful of is when people interchange words. When you hear words from the world being intertwined with Christianity, it should always be a red flag to you. Channeling, which means Ã¢â‚¬Å“entering a meditative state in order to convey messages from a spiritual guide,Ã¢â‚¬Â is a New Age term. Period.
I was speaking at a Christian high school in Chattanooga one time. When I finished the talk, the chaplain walked up to the mic and spoke to the kids. He reminded them to keep reading a book he had given them and to keep striving to find their divine reality and purpose in life. When he dismissed them, I walked right up to him and asked where he got the term divine reality. He said he had taken it out of the book he was having the students read. I let him know that term does not come from the Bible. That it is a New Age term. That it is New Age gobbledygook. And that I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t care if it came from a so-called Christian book. I let him know that he needed to teach the students what is in Scripture and not terms that Satan could misuse in their lives, then or in their futures.
Smith continues to observe:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sarah Young wrote that after her two initial spiritual experiences of feeling the presence of Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesus,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ she lived Ã¢â‚¬Ëœan exemplary Christian lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for the next sixteen years. During this time there was no further contact with the presence. Then after moving to Australia and while doing ministry there with her husband, she experienced the presence once again after she Ã¢â‚¬Ëœvisualized GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Ã¢â‚¬ËœOne morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us. I pictured our daughter, then our son and then Steve encircled by GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s protective Presence, which looked like golden light. When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace. I lost all sense of time as I experienced GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Presence in this powerful way.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â 5
Do any of you realize how dangerous this is? You do notÃ¢â‚¬â€under any circumstancesÃ¢â‚¬â€ask for a presence to come into your life. Do you not realize that there is a god of this world?
2 Corinthians 4:4:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
How about the Deceiver deceiving, maybe? Did you know he can appear as an angel of light? He can appear as something so good, yet be so evil at the same time.
2 Corinthians 11:14:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.Ã¢â‚¬Â
2 Corinthians 2:11:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.Ã¢â‚¬Â
So how would you be able to tell the difference between the god of this world and the God who created this world, if a light appeared to you?
Further, Young wrote in her December 25th entry that Jesus said to her:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditionsÃ¢â‚¬â€a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming Ã¢â‚¬ËœGlory!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ to awestruck shepherds.Ã¢â‚¬Â 6
There is a zero-percent chance that the Jesus of the Bible said this to her. This sounds absolutely nothing like the words you read in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Holy Book. Jesus tells us why He came to earth. He came to take on a body of flesh to be the sin sacrifice of the world, not to Ã¢â‚¬Å“identify with mankind.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Jesus of Jesus Calling is a different Jesus. Anyone reading this book should have thrown it away after reading those words.
Warren Smith brings up another interesting point:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The foundational teaching of the New Age/New World Religion is that God is both transcendent (outside of his creation) and immanent (in man and all creation). Therefore, God is Ã¢â‚¬ËœinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ everyone and all creation.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of Jesus Calling similarly states:
Ã¢â‚¬ËœI am above all, as well as in all.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But in regard to the true Jesus Christ, Scripture states: Ã¢â‚¬ËœBut Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ John 2:24-26Ã¢â‚¬Â 7
Even with a little discernmentÃ¢â‚¬â€and I do mean a littleÃ¢â‚¬â€and even with being a Christian for a short time, you should be able to figure this one out. This is one of the biggest lies out there. You hear it all the time when you are witnessing. God is in you, in the trees, in the mountains, in the sky, etc. No, He is not. He created all of those, and He is separate and distinct from this beautiful creation that you see with your eyes. It was not the Jesus of the Bible that made that statement to Sarah Young; it was a different spirit.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.Ã¢â‚¬Â
1 John 4:1:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In some of the newer editions of Jesus Calling, she actually made changes to the words that Jesus supposedly gave to her!! Wait just a minute. If Jesus spoke to you, He wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mess up! His words would be correct the first time. There would be no reason to revise or change His words. So why is she changing His words from edition to edition? That should show people that they are not His words. They are her words. And it proves these messages are not from Jesus.
This book is adding to the words of the Holy Scriptures. Sarah Young isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t warning people to test the spirits or test her books. She didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t test them either and got led astray by the enemy. I tell people all the timeÃ¢â‚¬â€and I say it publiclyÃ¢â‚¬â€that if you do not think my books line up with Scripture, then find the nearest trash can, drop them in there, and get on with your life. Sarah Young and Thomas Nelson should give you the same advice. But you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make much money when people throw your books away.
We live in a day when, seemingly, we canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t critique anyone or anything. I once critiqued YoungÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s book during a Q & A session at a church where I was speaking. No one said anything. Later in the week, I got an email from a lady who was sitting in that church listening to me speak. She and a bunch of ladies were reading Jesus Calling. They loved it! They couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe I would critique it! I asked her to back up her position and show me how the book was biblically correct. Of course, she didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to do that. It all came down to feelings. How she felt about it. Again, as I always tell people, feelings do not trump truth! Truth will always trump feelings.
One article quotes a pastor who said about this book:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus Calling is just the latest fad to come through the church,Ã¢â‚¬Â he explains. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Like The Shack or The Prayer of Jabez before it, when truth is mixed with error, then it becomes heralded as the new, wonderful thing. The church embraces and promotes it because those who should know better Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Jesus of Scripture would be appalled by the Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ of this book, and I am sure is grieved over the misrepresentation,Ã¢â‚¬Â he adds. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are some pages where nothing objectionable can be found, so people let their guard down. The book was given to them by a friend, or purchased through their church bookstore, etc. It then becomes trusted and they fail to see the error of the mystical Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ found therein.Ã¢â‚¬Â 8
One thing you learn in following this ministry is that you need to be a good Berean. Test everything and test everybody (TETE) against the Word of God. Then it will be easy to figure out whether authors and the books they write are biblical or not.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Just like you check your Caller ID to see whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s calling, you need to check what spirit has dialed your number and wants to talk to you! Remember, guards up! DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be fooled by any false Christs or mystical spirits impersonating Jesus because one day soon, you will see the real King face to face!
Until the nets are full,
P.S. We got this email from a missionary group that we supply books to. They distribute books in the country of Guatemala:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just received a request from an association of churches in the Coban region for 900 Cahill books – one for each pastor – one each of One Heartbeat Away and One Thing You Can’t Do in Heaven. God is really using those books here!Ã¢â‚¬Â
P.P.S. We just received this report, as well:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Another Pastor was working in the same prison using Love Packages literature to share Christ. The Pastor had been asking a hardened prisoner to attend the Bible study but the man always refused. Finally the Pastor gave him the book “One Heart Beat Away” by Mark Cahill and asked him to read it. When the Pastor returned to the prison the man ran up to him and said this book opened up his eyes to what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He is now a member of the Bible study and is a growing Christian.Ã¢â‚¬Â
I just want to thank all of you, again, for the generosity you show to the ministry. Your giving has literally allowed us to do things that many of you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know about. So we try and tell you about some of the stories we receive to encourage you to keep on keeping on for the Lord. We really do appreciate your generous hearts that allow us to get good, solid, biblical literature into more hands. Thank you!!
1 Ã‚Â Warren B. Smith, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Another JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â Calling (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013, 3rd printing, 2014), 25.
2 Ã‚Â Ibid, 25
3 Ã‚Â Sarah Young, Jesus Calling (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004), vii.
4 Ã‚Â Ibid, 94
5 Ã‚Â Warren B. Smith, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Another JesusÃ¢â‚¬Â Calling (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails Publishing, 2013, 3rd printing, 2014), 71.
6 Ã‚Â Ibid, 74
7 Ã‚Â Ibid, 111
8 Ã‚Â Gina Meeks, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Critics Accuse Jesus Calling of Mixing Truth with New Age ErrorÃ¢â‚¬Â (Charisma News, May 14th, 2014), http://www.charismanews.com/culture/43855-critics-accuse-jesus-calling-of-mixing-truth-with-new-age-error
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