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The Way of Cain - Page 49

New teachings in the Christian Church- Where are They Leading Us?

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In this movement, God and His word are seen as separate.

They like to say ''the Bible is only God's word, not God.''  (45) 

They do not seem to see that because God is truth and can only speak truth, He and His word are in complete accord; they are one (Ps 50:21; John 1:1,14; 8:31; 14:23-24, 17:14,16).

A Christian never has to decide between God's word or God; they are always one absolutely consistent voice.

The movement encourages believers to try to ''hear God's voice'' within themselves, apart from His Word as opposed to through it, while taking long walks alone or meditating, for instance.

There is a very real danger in this of the believer attributing the thoughts of his own heart or of lying spirits to God, but the movement scoffs at this danger and encourages its followers to disregard it. In fact, there is a recklessness to this movement, overall- a false sense of spiritual invincibility that makes light of spiritual danger (2Pet 2:10), an impatience that refuses to consider, or even hear out, any warning -

''...A lot of times people go around, 'Be careful, be careful!' ...the church has reacted in fear. 'Be careful who lays hands on you! Be careful about going up to that Vineyard in Toronto! I don't know, I've heard some pretty far-out stories about that place. I'd be careful if I were you!' Now what does that produce in the heart of a person? Fear.''
(John Arnott)  (46) 

But is fear an inappropriate response in the Christian life? Not at all- ''The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'' (Prov 9:10), ''conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth'' (1Pet 1:15-17), ''work out your salvation with fear and trembling'' (Phil 2:12).

Instead of ''longing for the pure milk of the word, that by it they may grow in respect to salvation'' (1Pet 2:2), they believe it is more valuable to experience God in a mystical way; to ''become more intimate'' with Him through subjective feelings. Bible knowledge and memorization are belittled- they discourage using the mind to know God, and the scripture is seen as relating only to the mind.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15, KJV

Thy word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against Thee. Ps 119:11

Somehow, they do not perceive that it would be absurd to become less accurate about God while supposedly becoming more ''intimate'' with Him! Truth is a concept little appreciated in this movement, yet Jesus said it is truth which has the power to make us free (Jn 8:31-32). Without truth, there is no freedom (2Pe 2:19).

Though they give lip service to the Bible, it is their own new prophecies that are foremost, and they force the Bible to conform to them. When it is shown to be clearly in opposition to their teachings, an incredible hostility toward the Bible and those who hold to it has come out into the open, as detailed in the section The Fruit.

Taking the scriptures to mean what they say in the normal sense of meaning is the only solid foundation for interpreting God's Word. A reliable rule to follow is, 'If the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense, lest you wind up with nonsense.'

If one passage of the Bible is not taken to be true in its literal sense, we can have no assurance that another, such as John 3:16, is literally true. Interpreting the Bible allegorically can really just be a sneaky way to make it appear the Bible is being supported, while effectively draining it of any objective meaning and, therefore, authority.

When the Bible does speak symbolically, it's quite clear, and it either explains the symbolism there or elsewhere in the scriptures, i.e., ''These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings'' (Dan 7:17). We must always allow the scriptures to interpret the scriptures.

When the Old Testament prophecies about Jesus' first coming were fulfilled, they were fulfilled literally. When Jesus quoted scripture, He used the normal, literal meaning.

It is also said 'A verse can never mean what it has never meant' - the meaning of God's word does not evolve or change with time. Our God is the unchanging Rock- and His word reflects His character:

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For I proclaim the name of the LORD... The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness... Dt 32:3-4

Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock. Isa 26:4

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock.... Mt 7:24

The Bible is the living and powerful word of God (Heb 4:12), and a treasure beyond value. It is worthy of our deepest trust. There was a time when ordinary believers were not allowed to have the Bible, they were kept in bondage under a religious system which did not give them the whole truth. Courageous reformation leaders bought our freedom to have God's word with their blood.

...on Dec 22, 1560, Julian Hernandez, one of those burned at the stake on that occasion [by the Roman Catholic church] was declared to be an arch-heretic because-

''Through his great efforts and incomprehensible stealth he introduced into Spain prohibited books [Bibles and New Testaments] that he brought from far away places [Germany] where they give protection to the ungodly [Protestants]... He firmly believes that God, by means of the Scriptures, communicates to the laity just the same as He communicates to the priest.''  (47) 

William Tyndale was imprisoned for over a year, then strangled and burned at the stake for the crime of printing Bibles in the English language.

In a day when we are practically swimming in Bibles and Bible translations, many have come to take our access to the word of God and its importance to our spiritual lives so lightly, they are ready to put it on the shelf and place themselves back under bondage to human leaders, voluntarily.

The Word of God is our access directly to God's truth, it is our freedom, and it is our equality with each other in Christ. These things will be lost if the Bible is brushed aside.

The movement has an outward appearance of freedom and self-expression, but the areas of freedom are superficial; under the surface is a surprisingly rigid, authoritarian structure. You are free to express emotion during worship, but you will find you are not free to question the theology of the leadership. When the leaders say doctrine isn't important and we should set it aside, what they really mean is that you should set your doctrine aside.

The prophets are quickly becoming a powerful and unaccountable elite who expect the rest of us to trust and obey them - they are on an inside track with God, they hear directly from Him, and their words supercede the Bible.

...these men, also by dreaming... reject authority Jude 1:8

Jesus called them to Himself, and said, ''You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave...'' Mt 20:25-27

Beware of leaders who are opposed to remaining under the authority of the scriptures, who place themselves on a higher spiritual plane than others.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery... Gal 5:1

Many believers have become confused, burdened, and troubled by these kinds of teachings, sensing that ''something is wrong'' but not sure exactly what. If you have experienced this, it is my hope to encourage you back to the simplicity, freedom, peace, rest, and blessing that are found in God's word, the Bible.

God Has No Grandchildren

Remember, your Heavenly Father is a personal God who cares for all of His children equally. He knows your name and keeps a record of the very hairs on your head. To even consider that you need a seer or guru to make your decisions or utter ecstatic words at every crossroad is to bring yourself under bondage, not give you the Biblical liberty of truth. People who live by this kind of hope are weary souls always looking for a ''word''. I've had people say to me, ''Do you have a word for me?'' My answer is, ''Yes, the Word of God. Read your Bible and meditate on the Scriptures and you will have a Word from God.'' Remember, when you close your Bible, you shut God's mouth; but when you open it you open His mouth.
(Joseph Chambers, Paw Creek Ministries)
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