Walking The Tightrope


Being a fundamentalist today is like walking a tightrope. You’ve got to make it past Lordship Salvation without getting wrapped up in it.. You’ve got to make sure you’re a dispensationalist. You’ve got to avoid Ruckmanism/Pearlism/Hyles-ism/ Riplinger-ism. You’ve got to avoid THeological liberalism.

Every teaching tool you turn to, you’ve got to be careful. Many commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, harmonies, teaching tools of all kinds, are written by theological liberals.

Logos is the most serious Bible study tool I’ve ever owned. But I’ve got to wade through interviews of people who’ve uncovered “Startling new discoveries on salvation” on the homepage – and what it boils down to is, it’s a heretic with a new book Logos is triyng to sell. Logos runs it by their resident scholars, who are theological liberals, and they see nothing wrong with it, because they don’t believe ether.

Accordance is written by a woman who’s devised a great study tool, but it’s clear from her blog entries on the Accordance web site that she too is caught up in THeological Liberalism.

Bound up in ALL of this is CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Roman Catholicism, because all Christian denominations should be one and united, despite serious doctrinal error and the basic facts that most people who claim to be Christian are not saved.

We need to be TOGETHER, and UNITED! It would be RUDE to tell someone who believes in Salvation by works that they’re hellbound! Why, it might make them feel bad!

“What about the eternity in hellfire part?”

“That’s not my responsibility.”

It IS your responsibility. If you partner with some theological liberal and don’t bother to tell him he’s hellbound, what will you say to him at the Great White Throne judgment when he says, “Why didn’t you say something?” Yes, you’re going into heaven. But he’s going to Hell. I have ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT that the resident scholar at Logos is not going to be with me in Heaven, but will be screaming in torments forever, in the lake of fire. So much so, that when his materials are free giveaways by Logos, when his classes are avialable, I avoid them like the plague. The same goes for NT Wright, and this new guy that looks so grim when he talks about his new discoveries about salvation being works oriented. The same goes for David Stern, the mis-translator and author of the Jewish New Testament translation. And CS Lewis. Etc.

I can understand why many IFB just lock themselves away with their King James and plug their ears. I’ve been tempted to do that myself. But I’m learning HUGE amounts about the Bible.

THe single hardest thing for me is, staying away from other translations, to stay away from other denominations. Wow, it would be GREAT to stop fighting, to stop swimming against the current. But we’re in the middle of the great falling away, the great apostasy. To give in is to join up, to help establish the wordwide faith that will help the Antichrist move into power. And I don’t want my eternity in heaven to be tainted with the knowledge that because I gave up, because I stopped fighting, I helped establish the Antichrist.

WAAAY too many people are going to have their eternity tempered with that realization. Way too many.

Don’t you be one of them.

Those Fundamentalist Pharisees by David Cloud


Updated September 24 2014 (first published August 2, 1996)(David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, fbns@wayoflife.org)

Christians who have strong biblical convictions are often labeled “Pharisees.”

The following are a few examples of the probably hundreds of times people have written to called me a Pharisee.

“I wonder what makes Mr. Cloud so sure he’s right and everybody else is wrong? Look at the Pharisees, Mr. Cloud, and then look in the mirror!”

“You’re the best example I think I’ve ever seen of the Pharisee who sits at the front of the synagogue giving thanks for not being a sinner like everyone else.”

“I figured you were a Baptist organization. You are nothing more than modern day Pharisees! Judgmental ignorant people. Get a grip.”

To label a Bible-believing Christian who is passionate to honor Christ and to obey God’s Word a Pharisee is a slander, because the error of Phariseeism was not their zeal to obey the Scripture. They had no such zeal. They were zealous, rather, to create their own religious system and to exalt their own self-righteousness.

A biblical definition of Phariseeism is as follows:

1. Phariseeism is supplanting the Word of God with man-made tradition and thereby making the Word of God of none effect. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat. 15:7-9).

2. Phariseeism is rejecting Jesus Christ. “Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils” (Mat. 12:22-24).

3. Phariseeism is perverting the Gospel of the free grace of Christ into a work’s salvation. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Mat. 23:15).

4. Phariseeism is self-righteousness. “And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Lk. 18:9-12).

5. Phariseeism is the practice of religious hypocrisy. “In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Lk. 12:1).

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great error to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they loved God’s Word and took it too seriously.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they were careful to honor the details of God’s Word. Never did Jesus reprove them for such a thing.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they judged by God’s Word. They didn’t judge by God’s Word; they judged by their own vain tradition. Jesus warned against hypocritical judgment, but He encouraged judgment based on truth.

Jesus did not reject the Pharisees because they marked and avoided false teachers. Jesus Himself warned about false teachers and instructed His people to beware of them (Matthew 7:15-23). Jesus commended the church at Ephesus because they had “tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars” and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:2, 6). Imagine that! Jesus commended the church for hating the deeds of false teachers. Obviously, that type of thing is not Phariseeism.

Zeal for God’s Word is right and godly. The following testimony expresses the very essence of true spirituality and godliness:

“Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way” (Psalms 119:128).

Was the Psalmist speaking here as a Pharisee? Of course not. It is spiritual to esteem all of God’s precepts concerning all things to be right and to hate everything that is contrary to God’s precepts. Note the emphasis on ALL precepts and ALL things and EVERY false way. This is the very strictest sort of Biblicist mindset, and it is encouraged in the pages of God’s Word as the correct mindset and attitude of the man who loves God passionately.

Jesus reproved the Pharisees for turning the law of Moses into a way of salvation, which it was never intended to be, and for their hypocrisy and for their lack of love and grace and compassion. Consider the following reproof:

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus didn’t say, “You Pharisees make far too much of tithing and other such things in God’s law. You are much too zealous for God’s Word. Don’t you know that God never intended you to take everything so strictly. Why don’t you lighten up?”

No, Jesus said they did well to take God’s Word strictly by honoring even the details of tithing. What He hated was that they had missed the heart and soul of the law of God, which was judgment, mercy, and faith. Observe that “judgment” is commended by Jesus!

The law was not given as a means to obtain righteousness; rather, it revealed God’s extreme holiness and man’s fallenness and pointed to Christ as the believing sinner’s justification (Rom. 3:19-24; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25). The Pharisees missed the heart of the law which is to love God with all one’s heart and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The fact that they were complicit in the death of the Son of God is clear evidence that they did not love God.

Candidly, there are a lot of fundamental Baptist preachers that I have little respect for, but I don’t know of any full-blown fundamentalist Pharisees. In my experience, every fundamental Baptist preacher believes too much in grace and delights too much in God’s free righteousness to be a Pharisee. There has been a lot of hypocrisy, though, and there is an element of true legalism within some aspects of the fundamental Baptist movement. I have warned about this often. (See, for example, my free eBook THE HYLES EFFECT, which is available at http://www.wayoflife.org.)

While I can’t speak for everyone, I can speak for myself. And I don’t preach works for salvation and I don’t preach works for sanctification. Everything is by God’s grace and His grace alone. Everything is Christ in me the hope of glory. The essence of the Christian life is not me doing something for God. It was described by Paul as follows: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

This might not come across in every single sermon, but it is clear in my thinking and in my personal life and in the overall perspective of my ministry.

As for hypocrisy, I don’t always live up to what I preach. Far from it, but I confess my sins to God (and to man when the situation necessitates) and don’t pretend to any self-righteousness. I know at every moment that the only righteousness I have that is acceptable to God is in Christ and in Christ alone. That is not the thinking of a Pharisee.

We see in Matthew 23:23 that Christ did not rebuke the Pharisees for paying attention to the less weighty things in the law. He rebuked them for focusing on the lesser matters to the neglect of the weightier ones.

The Bible-believing “fundamentalists” that I know do not neglect the weightier matters of the New Testament faith. They aim, rather, to follow Paul’s example and to give heed to “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). They preach Christ’s virgin birth, blood atonement, resurrection, and ascension. They preach justification by grace alone and the Trinity and the personality of the Holy Spirit and the other “weightier” matters of the faith. They also preach church discipline (1 Cor. 5) and the divine restrictions upon the woman’s ministry (1 Tim. 2:12; 1 Cor. 14:34) and other things that are less weighty.

When a Christian today preaches against pop music and Hollywood’s moral filth and calls for modest dress, he is called a Pharisee, but the Bible demands a very strict separation from the world, and this is not Phariseeism; it is New Testament Christianity.

Following are just some of the commandments on this issue, and they are indeed commandments and not suggestions.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11).

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12).

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

Separation from the world by a born again, blood-washed, saved-by-grace-alone believer is not Phariseeism. It is obedience to God and conformity to His character and will.

The Pharisees were at the forefront of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and of the persecution of the early Christians.

It is a great slander to label a Christ-loving, Bible-honoring, grace-gospel-preaching, self-debasing, peace-loving Christian a Pharisee.

The modern Pharisee would be more akin to the Roman Catholic priest with his sacramental gospel and his traditions exalted to the place of Scripture and his long history of persecuting the saints. The ecumenical crowd doesn’t call Catholic priests Pharisees, though. They don’t seem to be concerned about all of the souls who have been led astray by these contemporary Pharisees.

The only men they seem to be concerned about are those dreadful old “fundamentalists” with their strong Bible convictions and their refusal to smile at error.

Oh, those dreadful fundamentalist Pharisees!

copyright 2013, Way of Life Literature- Receive these reports by email
“About” David Cloud
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Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against


I’m often astounded when I hear Evangelicals call themselves Fundamentalist. They have no idea that in many ways, they are so NOT Fundamentalist, it’s crazy.

But what I see is the rabid anti-Fundamentalism sweeping Christianity – the same ideology the Lord decries in the letter to the Laodecian church in Revelation 3. “Be lukewarm, like us!” They cry. And many of them resort to calling Fundamentalists “Pharisees.” Good to know that not only are you Biblically ignorant and PROUD of it – but you’re also Anti-Semitic.

A Pharisee is an enemy of Jesus Christ. A Fundamentalist is not. Fundamentalists stand for the Christian faith, a literal belief in the Bible – and usually God’s Bible, not rejected and heretical texts which the unBelieving and unSaved “scholars” prefer.

So, let’s say you discover overnight, that the Bible is God’s word, inspired, inerrant, preserved. Now, there’s a lot of “Christians” who call the Bible “Inspired” the same way you’d call Mozart’s music “inspired”. When I say inspired, I mean, we believe God dictated the Bible to men who wrote it down.  Many “Christians” claim Fundamentalists don’t believe that anymore.

Huh.

No, that’s an article of faith that Fundamentalists will not let go of. When they say, “Luke wrote the book of Luke”, they’re saying “It might have errors because Luke wrote it, and Luke was a man.” I say instead, “God wrote it and gave Luke the words to write down. It has no errors – God wrote it.”

So, if you became a Fundamentalist, you’d find yourself having problems with a LOT of Christian materials. Commentaries that question God’s word. Bible dictionaries that try  to present the unSaved “Scholar’s” view of things – which usually is their wish or pet theory being passed off as truth to unsuspecting Christians. You’d have to reject a lot of Greek handbooks, because many of them ascribe to “Textual Criticism”, which is Atheism passing itself off as Christians. If you’re trying to tell me Mr. Aland or Mr. Metzger are saved, you’re going to have to cite some serious evidence, because based on their testimonies, I’m going to come out and say – no, they can’t be.

You’re going to have trouble with a lot of Sermon starter books, that have little “tidbits of the Greek” because they push – again – a heretical manuscript instead of God’s Bible. You’re going to end up rejecting most materials on Revelation because – let’s face it – most of them are written by persons who allegorize the Book of Revelation, or accept the heretical manuscripts instead of God’s Bible. I have a commentary on Revelation that seems really good, but I’m having to wade through a lot of “the scholars now say…”. I’m sorry Mr. Seiss, but had you any idea they were lying to you?

You’re going to have a lot of trouble with pre-printed Sunday School materials. I’ve found so many elementary doctrinal errors and “Scholars say” references, I don’t know what to do.

You’ll grit your teeth over the way people praise Billy Graham, ignoring his outright heresies. Yes, he used to be great. But once he started promoting Baptismal Regeneration, there’s a problem.

So… is this Hypocrisy? No. I don’t quote from heretical greek texts. I quote from God’s Bible. When I refer to the Greek, I refer to the Textus Receptus. When I look at “The hebrew”, I’m looking at the Hebrew Masoretic Txt, the Ben Chayim text. When I give my opinion on the Bible, it is “The Bible says…”

So, I’m not a “Pharisee.” I promote the Bible as the word of God, not the Talmud. I promote only one way to heaven through Jesus Christ, certainly not a trait associated with Pharisees.

So… what does that leave the people who question the word of God? Who promote other ways to be saved? Who refuse to disassociate with heretics and false teachers?

What does that imply about them?

Steps out of Evangelicalism


The steps to take towards Fundamentalism are quite simple.

First: You need to put your modern translation on the bookshelf. Pick up your King James. Here’s a helpful hint for the King James… at some point, you’re going to need large print. My advice – get it now. Should you get a study Bible? Absolutely. There are many who say things like, “just get a Bible, with no cross references, no footnotes.” To a certain extent, I see why they say that. I personally disagree. I went out and got a whiteout pen for use with my King James, to whiteout any footnotes that are unBiblical. I still haven’t gotten around to it, but simply crossed them out with a pen, scoring them through several times.

You need a good Bible, because you’re going to do something different in Fundamentalism you never did in Evangelicalism – read your Bible. Matter of fact, TWO new things, because you’re going to learn to study it.

Second: All your old books you rely on, go back on the shelf. After a year in Fundamentalism, you may be shocked at some of the patently unBiblical things Evangelicalism told you. Fundamentalist books? There are some. Not many. For now, you need 66 books. That’s it. Let’s start with those.

Third: Stop listening to all the Evangelical teachers, and… start researching. The Biblebelievers web site has many great things on it, some articles by many good Bible teachers (and one or two I dislike). One of the features on there is exposing false teachers. You might want to try looking up some stuff on your favorites. LIke John Ankerberg. Charles Swindoll. Charles Stanley. Rick Warren. Joel Osteen. Jack Van Impe. Billy Graham. Promise Keepers. Focus On The Family and James Dobson. Peeps like those. Matter of fact, you can look them up on wayoflife.org as well. And on my blog, I have categories of false teachers. You’ll see names listed there. If you click on them, you’ll see articles on them that may astonish you. Their teachings have been plain in your sight, but you just never noticed them. For instance, the 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Deevers. There’s literally a quote in there that seems right. It sounds good. But if you read it several times, trying to read between the lines of what he’s saying, is that he won’t baptize anyone who is not a Calvinist, and that he considers anyone not a Calvinist unsaved. If you don’t know what a Calvinist is, buckle your seat belt! You’re in for a bumpy ride!

These three stages usually take about a month. THat’s it. You VERY quickly begin to become a Fundamentalist after you do these things. Ready for the next step?

Fourth: Stop listening to Christian Radio. “What????” Yes. Even listening to BBN lately has gotten dangerous. I’ve heard the DJ’s say things in the last 18 months that were completely unBiblcial, and lead you OUT of Fundamentalism and into Evangelicalism!

If you must replace it with something – unless you have the kind of cars I grew up with, that only had radios, your car probably has a CD player. There are many websites where you can download good sermons by great Bible teachers. Switch to that. Get CD’s of hymns.

If you do these things, you’ll find yourself waking out of the Evangelical stupor. You’ll be glad you did.

New Age 2


25% of people say they believe in reincarnation.

42% say they’ve been in contact with someone that has died.

15% endorse the work of spirit mediums and channelers.

67% read horiscope columns in the newspaper.

50% believe in ESP.

The New Age is extremely powerful. The New Age practitioners include many politicians and influential personalities (note – the ability to pretend your someone else does not automatically give you an open platform to air your political or religious views!).

While people seem to think it first appeared in the 1960’s, the New Age has been around for quite a long time – making the New Age not so new!

The original New Age movement originally started as the Mystery Religion of Babylon. The proponents of new age often cite old Druidic origins of it, but they’re often doing this out of ignorance. Most New Age adherents cannot cite their own history.

The Mystery Religion of Babylon placed experience over knowledge. Ecstatic emotional state was believed to lift one into a higher realm of existence, where one could emotionally be in contact with deity. Recently I listened to a John MacArthur sermon (still working on my Master’s Thesis, and searching for quotes) where MacArthur gave quote after quote on the Mystery Religions in Corinth, where pretty much things hadn’t changed religion wise since it first came from Babylon.

There are some differences, of course. Animal Sacrifice was done in those days. The mystery religions spread throughout the world, carried with them by the peoples who left the Middle East for Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas and all points in between.

the modern new age movement came together from a number of unusual sources. One of the roots of it is Swedeborgianism. Emmanuel Swedenborg was a self professed mystic who claimed the ability to speak to angels and demons – kind of a stupid claim, since, well – demons are angels. And unless you’re born again, Angels are not likely to speak to you, so… three guesses who Swedenborg was speaking to. Swedenborg was born in 1688, and began his mystery religion, which he apparently viewed as a divergent form of Christianity.

It was now, for the first time, too, that he gave a deep consideration to the condition of the Christian Church, revealed in otherworld judgment to be one of spiritual devastation and impotency. To serve in the revelation of “doctrine for a New Church” became his Divinely appointed work. He forwent his reputation as a man of science, gave up his assessorship, cleared his desk of everything but the Scriptures. He beheld in the Word of God a spiritual meaning, as he did a spiritual world in the world of phenomena. In revealing both of these the Lord, he said, made His Second Coming.

— The Gist of Swedenborg, pg. 4

Swedenborgianism presented itself as a form of Christianity, when it in reality was yet another esoteric cult. Swedenborgianism maintained pockets of adherents in the United States.

Swedenborgianism joined forces with Franz Mesmer to create the New Thought phenomenon, popularized by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, surfacing today as the cousin of the New Age movement, the Charismatic movement. While all three movements were separate, it was truly Quimby, among others, who began to popularize the esoteric teachings.

The movement was lumped into a grab bag called spiritualism, which serves as the precursor to the New Age. As it passed into the 19th Century, it met with the bizarre teachings of Madame Helena Blatavsky, a woman living in Aisia who claimed to be a Russian. She founded the THeosophical Society (meaning Theos, God, and Sophos, knowledge).

This is where the odd and cultic origins of New Age really get bizarre. Blatavsky claims to have met “Ascended Masters” (to use the modern term) who instructed her to go to Tibet to learn more. Later critics would claim these people were fictitious, and Blatavsky actually spent the time in Europe. She claimed psychic powers that the masters had taught her how to use these powers. She led a bizarre life, but her most hard fought battle was in trying to change the Spiritualist belief that the spirits they were talking to were “The dead”, and instead that of “ascended masters” and “Angelic beings”.

Blatavsky claimed to study of the Kabbalah in Mentanah, which is extremely doubtful that any Rabbi would teach a Gentile woman Kabbalah. She also claimed during the same time to fight in war disguised as a man. Blatavsky’s life is difficult to research, as she made wildly contradictory claims and falsified facts and events throughout her life.

Oddly enough, Blatavsky’s teachings of the Theosophical Society gathered momentum, based upon books she wrote, which were devoured by the 19th century Europe and America.

The Theosophical teachings gained the most influence in the oddest of places…

Germany.

The Thule societies arose, building upon Spiritualism, Swedeborgianism, Theosophy and New Thought, and wrapping it in German folklore and the operas of Wagner (!), to become the Thule Society. The Thule society’s teachings really become the breeding grounds from which the modern New Age sprung. The Thule Society chose as its emblem the symbol of rebirth used in Asia, the Swastika. Surprisingly, the German Army, a little suspicious of any movement gaining ground, actually used to place spies in every society group. The Thule Society managed to influence a political group known as the National Socialist party, who wrapped the Thule/Theosophy/Swedenborg/New Thought/Spritualist teachings into one political movement, based upon GErman Nationalism. So the German Army placed a spy in this group – and set in motion events that cost the lives of millions of people.

The spy they chose was an Austrian Corporal who had enlisted in the German army.

Adolph Hitler.

Hitler took the Thule/National Socialist party teachings, and enflamed an entire nation in the rhetoric of occultism, manifest destiny, and German folklore. Riding it to power, he very nearly conquered much of the known world. When the Third Reich crashed, the teachings of the Thule Society migrated everywhere its adherents moved to avoid prosecution in war trials.

It went underground in the US, and managed to find one more key to the puzzle.

The Seventh Day Adventists had a falling out in the late 19th century, over the leadership and working of Dr. Kellogg (see my writings on the Seventh Day Adventist cult for more information). The group involved in the Kellogg affair finally uncovered evidence that Ellen G. White was plagiarizing a great number of Christian and sometimes cultic writings, such as the Book of mormon. When the break finally occurred and Ellen White excommunicated some of the Kellogg group, they were in a quandry. They’d lost faith in Ellen White, knew of her plagiarism, but were too indoctrinated in her cult.

So they wrote a book. Urantia. The Urantia papers still are popular among the members of the New Age Movement. It’s bizarre doublespeak influenced many, and set the stage for the last key to the New Age puzzle. It combined many of the teachings of Swedenborg, New Thought, Christian Science, Theosophy, etc.

The Beatles.

The Beatles held an almost religious influence upon their fans. As one person once wrote, “when the Beatles grew their hair long, we grew our hair long. When they dropped acid, we dropped acid. When they went Hindu, we went Hindu.”

Paul McCartney followed George Harrison into the Hindu religion. McCartney pulled out of it after becoming disillusioned by the Yogi they wer following. Harrison never renounced his Hindu beliefs, and the last recording he did before dying of brain cancer ended with Hindu chantings.

McCartney simply took more of a syncretionistic view of religion. And as the most popular Beatle, he proceeded to set the stage for millions of Beatle fans, who grew their hair, dropped acid, and got into Hinduism.

The closest we ever came to disaster for Christians and Christianity was a Beatles fan who dropped acid, grew his hair, dropped out of the army, and began studying Hinduism – until he picked up a hitch-hiker with a bicycle. They drove from Florida to Mexico and back, arguing all the while about Religion. The hitch-hiker was a Christian evangelist, and the Hindu devotee was David Cloud.

History shows who won that argument! Cloud has, by the way, never lost an argument since.

When the Beatles broke up, millions of fans had nowhere to turn for guidance. Some got more into Hinduism. Some went into Buddhism. Some found the Urantia papers.

The 1950’s through 1970’s was crazy for occultism. Books and TV specials were flying off the presses about UFO’s, Bigfoot, the Bermuda Triangle, ghosts, vanishings nad disappearances. The most popular science fiction storys went from “space exploration” to Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land”, a blasphemous fiction piece about a New Age messiah who was a man from Mars, who attempted to teach people Martian language and religion.

The “Stranger in a strange land” book grew very popular with hippies, and in many ways was the start of the hippie movement. When the Beatles broke up, it got even more popular. The next step for its fans was to find anything remotely like it. they found Urantia.

I suppose I should mention the truly bizarre book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, which was written through “spirit channeling”.

The New Age movement was born out of all this mess. You’re interested in ancient Celtic religion, thanks to a low budget UK movie about a Burning Man? You can combine that with Urantia to form New Age. You into Hinduism? You can combine that with flying saucerws and Atlantis. You into Ghosts? Room for them too.

Atlantis myths furnished crystals, which became the next piece of the puzzle. People began searching for any writing they could find that was occultic. Even the Thule society teachings were spread. And it really went wild when Edgar Cayce was discovered. The “Sleeping Prophet” supposedly gave predictions, and his followers proudly explain he read the Bible through every year. Did him no good, as he died without Christ.

And of course, the next spirit channeled books, such as “Jesus calling” and “Seth Speaks” came out.

All the new age really was waiting on at that point was Yanni, really. Beads and bracelets became crystals, figurines, buddhas, peace signs.

So now we have the history of the hodge podge that is the NAM, and we can begin!

Textual Criticism


“The Bible version issue must be faced BECAUSE IT IS FOUNDATIONAL… The Bible version issue must be faced BECAUSE, GENERALLY SPEAKING, ONLY ONE SIDE OF THIS DEBATE IS GIVEN TODAY.” (David Cloud, Way of Life Encyclopedia, pg. 66)

This article is going to be a little long, but I encourage you to read it, to study this issue, because I will tell you it is the most important doctrinal issue facing Christianity today. Why? If you do not have the right understanding of the Bible, the core element of the Christian life, how will you determine your doctrine? How will you live, not knowing what to believe?

We’ve all seen the standard line in Bible teacher’s statements of faith… “We believe the Bible to be inerrant, and inspired in the original manuscripts.”

The great thing about that statement, is that you can claim Genesis is a myth, that Christ never rose from the dead and was just a good man, and STILL put that in your statement of faith, and be telling the truth.

Why?

Where are the original manuscripts?

Gone. Faded away.

So you can claim they say whatever you like. Who’s going to prove you wrong?

The issue has to do with textual criticism. Textual criticism is a series of statements invented by Wescott and Hort to defend their work against any complaints from Bible Believing Christians.

So, what exactly is Modern Textual Criticism?

“the struggle to REGAIN the original form of the New Testament” (Constantine Tischendorf, quoted in Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, p. 126)

Regain. The implication is that the text was lost.

Let me briefly explain the history of the Greek Text, and someone let me know where it was lost, please?

The original text of the New Testament was written as letters which were circulated to all the churches. It would be copied carefully, and then the original letter sent on. To put it simply and bluntly, THERE WAS NO ORIGINAL TEXT of the Bible, where you opened it up and it was all 29 books of the New Testament.

The VERY FIRST TEXT would have been when the first church finally got Revelation in 95 AD and added its text to their collection. We finally would have had the completed New Testament text. Hold that thought, because every step of the way requires a miracle to think that God would preserve His Bible – which indeed happened.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matthew 5:18 (KJV)

Here’s my first point – If you believe in Modern Textual Criticism, you do not believe the Bible literally, as Jesus Christ states in Matthew 5:18 that the text of the Bible will NEVER pass away while Heaven and Earth exist.

Second point…. If you don’t believe Matthew 5:18, what ELSE do you not believe?

This issue of accepting Modern Textual Criticism is a major issue, as it almost literally can be used as a yardstick to identify who is a false teacher and who is not…

ALL of the original First Century churches would have compiled copies of the New Testament. The Christian churches began facing fierce opposition, before the New Testament was even completed, under Domitian and Nero. It is recorded in the Talmud the fierceness with which Rome dealt with Holy Books not of Roman origin. Rabbi Akiva was tied to a stake, doused in oil, then wrapped in a Torah Scroll – then set afire. Akiva cried out as he burnt alive that he could see the glowing red letters of the word of God floating up to heaven before him. The scene so moved the Centurion who set Akiva afire that the Centurion jumped onto the pile of burning wood and wrapped his arms around Akiva, where the two of them burned to death together. The Centurion also shouted out he could see the letters burning and rising into heaven before them.

The New Testament churches copied all the words of the Bible and circulated them, so that every family could own one. Churches began to scatter as affliction and persecution rose. Romans found Bibles nad burned them. THey found Lectionaries (portions of Scripture copied for responsive readings) and destroyed them.

The state church was instituted by Constantine finally, becoming the roman Catholic church… who added to the persecution, burning all Bibles they found. You have to ask a LOT of questions about why would the Roman Catholic church burn all the bibles they find? Facts are, they did burn them.

Finally, as periods of persecution began to finaly die away, men began to collect all the handwritten Bibles, in many different languages, and compared them.

Despite some minor spelling mistakes, 99.99% of them all agreed word for word, letter for letter.

That’s a MIRACLE. If I assigned 30 students to copy a chapter from a book, there’s going to be massive contradictions, missed words, spelling errors, dropped lines where the eye finds the same word in two separate lines, but misses most of one line and begins copying the next line starting from the repeated word. This actually happened very rarely among all the texts.

There’s a man named Will Kinney who has researched this issue in some detail. He’s not the first person to do it – it was done by Scrivener, by Stephanus, by Beza, and even by Dean John Burgon. Will Kinney can literally tell you in many cases, “you can find that in the Chester Beatty Papyrii, in Manuscript number….” If you’re really interested in this issue, contact Mr. Kinney.

Scrivener, Beza, the Elzivier brothers and Stephanus all did this work, comparing the New Testament manuscripts in many different languages. Stephanus spent so much time studying it, that in his writings he began to decry and object to everything his church taught – because he was a Roman Catholic priest, and he began to realize that there were huge inconsistencies between what the Catholic church taught and what the Bible said.

The work of these men compiled the Stephanus’s 4th Edition Greek Manuscript. Beza and the Elzivier brothers compiled their own. Miraculously, they were all almost the same word for word.

This work has become called the Received Text, or Textus Receptus in Latin. It represents the Bible as miraculously preserved by God through over 1600 years. This family of manuscripts, as well as Bibles by the Waldensians, the Catharists, the Donatists, and other ancient Baptists was used to translated all of the early Bibles into English.

The history of the Bible passing to us is a miracle story. It is beyond belief. It proves the divine hand of God in preserving His word, just as written in the Psalms, just as Jesus Christ promised!

11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:11-12 (KJV)

Here’s an important point, point number three…. For there to be a judgment, there must be a preserved, inspired word of God somewhere. Where? In Heaven? There could not be a judgment day, if the word of God cannot be found on Earth. We could protest to God that we had no idea, we had no Pure and Inspired, Preserved word of God on earth by which to judge how to be saved, how to live holy lives, what to believe about whether Christ was God or if the Trinity was Biblical!

6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. Psalm 12:6-7 (KJV)

If you believe in Modern Textual Criticism, you cannot believe that the word of God is Inspired, you cannot believe it is Preserved… and you must forever be a little suspicious about “Should this word be in this verse? Should this verse be in the Bible?” You forever become YOUR OWN AUTHORITY over what you believe the word of God is.

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 22:18-19 (KJV)

1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV)

Last, if you PARTICIPATE in Modern Textual Criticism, you cannot possibly be saved, and the Bible even says that. Your conscience becomes so seared that you will not respond to the Gospel of Christ, and turn to be saved.

Okay, now let’s turn to the “official history” of the Bible as given by Modern Textual critics.

The word of God supposedly was corrupted and edited by Pious Scribes, who added the same words to the same verses all over the world in manuscripts separated on three continents. These Pious Scribes were somehow very busy, as they supposedly did this in the 4th century, and found time to even go back to manuscripts much older than this, and miraculously add words to lectionaries, codexes, miniscules, majescules, papyrii and scrolls. And somehow left no real sign of adding the words.

If this sounds completely stupid, impossible, and illogical, then you’re right. Print this page out, and add several words to 15 sentences randomly. And make sure you can fit the words in in such a way it doesn’t look like you did it. Oh, and your handwriting has to match the print.

Impossible? Well, you just disproved the first and foremost theory of Textual Criticism, that some pious Scribe added words to all the Greek texts. How many texts would he have to add them to?

Only about 5,280 or so, dating back to the first four centuries. I’m not even counting the ones from after AD 500, just those from the time of the mythical “pious Scribe”.

The theory says he added the words to one text, which served as the master text from which the others were copied. But… the texts that are part of this family are actually found on three different continents. And many date from before the time of the “pious scribe”. So, again, to do this he’d have to travel, and add the words to all the manuscripts.

The utter impossibility of this cannot be emphasized.

There HAS to be a willing desire to corrupt God’s word to want to engage in Textual Criticism.

There’s a recording of a man speaking at a church in the 80’s, who’d been a teacher at Tennessee Temple University. He was called on the carpet for being King James Only (and for teaching Peter Ruckman – this part I won’t excuse, as Ruckman is most definitely a heretic). The teacher asked the chairman of Tennessee Temple, “What gives man the right to edit the word of God?”

The answer was, “Scholarship.”

The teacher asked exactly the same question I would have at that point. “So, you’re telling me, if I took every class possible at Tennessee Temple and became a scholar, I, a sinful man, would have the RIGHT to choose what words belong in the Bible, the word of God?”

The chairman answered, “Yes.”

Brothers and sisters, I at this point have to cry foul. I’ve proved the miraculous nature of the preservation of God’s word. I’ve proved the inerrancy of the Bible. Inerrancy demands preservation, as the Bible calls for it. If you believe in an inerrant Bible, you must believe in a preserved Bible.

Here’s the kicker – if you do not believe in preservation, you do not believe in inerrancy. The two go hand in hand. If you do not believe the Bible was preserved, then you do not believe it is inerrant and inspired.

If you do not believe in an inerrant, inspired, preserved word of God, I’m a little worried about your Christian walk.

So, now, let’s analyze the men who engaged in the first textual criticism. Wescott and Hort were men who, judging by their own words, their own writings, did not believe in the inspiration or inerrancy of the Bible. And they were hostile to the received text, the Textus Receptus. Why? It contradicted their favorite teacher, who was a humanist, a modernist. The Textus Receptus advocated that Jesus Christ is God, that there is a Hell for any who reject Christ. It speaks of fasting and prayer. It tells us Jesus Christ was without sin, the perfect sinless lamb of God. That He’s coming again.

This was offensive to Wescott and Hort. It was offensive to Tischendorf, who was given sponsorship to travel the middle east looking for a text, ANY text they could use to replace the Textus Receptus. Why? Because all the modernists were opposed to it.

A week before the sponsorship ran out, Tischendorf found himself at the Monastary of St. Catherine, surrounded by Pious Scribes. he found a manuscript in a trash pile, and dubbed it Codex Sinaiticus. The Manuscript looked unused, and in excellent condition. So good, it looked like it had been written just a few years before.

Tischendorf returned, told his sponsors, who gave him the money to go back and buy it. He bought it and brought it back to Egypt. The Monks had been a little amused he wanted to pay so much money for a useless codex.

Tischendorf announced his “Discovery”, to great publicity and fanfare.

Until a suspected manuscript dealer announced to the press there was a problem. the dealer explained he was a forger, he’d been forging manuscripts for years. And he explained that he’d created Sinaiticus at the beginning of his career, and dismissed it as “Clumsy”.

Tisachendorf waited for the furor to die down… then began touting his discovery again as if nothing ever happened. Nobody ever investigated the claims of Constantinus Simonides, the forger who claimed to have written Sinaiticus.

Sinaiticus was handed over to Wescott and Hort, who busied themselves with trying to translate it. The problem was, it showed many editings, sometimes as many as ten men editing it. And it was incomplete, missing words, verses, chapters, even books of the Bible.

It also was written in the wrong form of Greek, Attic Greek, which dates to the Maccabean period, not to the time of the New Testament, and certainly not afterwards.

Wescott and Hort additionally had an emotional attachment to the copy of Codex Vaticanus they had. Not the original ,but a copy. Both Wescott and Hort wrote that they instinctively felt that Vaticanus was the most accurate manuscript.

Based on a hunch. they decided that if there was a conflict between the two manuscripts, they would side with Vaticanus – a manuscript which also showed many signs of editing! Including a handwritten note saying, “thou fool! Remove not the old reading!”

Now Wescott and Hort had the unenviable task of trying to get readings from the two manuscripts that agreed. Aleph (Sinaiticus) and V (vaticanus, sometimes called B) both disagreed with each other in tens of thousands of spots. Dean John Burgon sarcastically wrote it was easier to find where they disagreed to find where they agreed!

So WEscott and Hort wrote down their new Greek text, mostly relying on Vaitcanus, as Sinaiticus was such a sorry mess. The text was completed in 1886.

Whenever you see a footnote in your modern Bible that says anything about the “oldest and best mss”, they are referring to that manuscript compiled by Wescott and Hort in 1886. This man-made manuscript, based on the guesses of two unsaved modernist men who questioned the Bible, did not believe in the deity of Christ, and scoffed at miracles, is considered to be older than the second century mss. belonging to the Textus Receptus.

It is neither “oldest” or “best” manuscripts – it is a heretical piece of blasphemy, removing any verse that offended Unitarians. No blood, no fasting, no deity of Christ, no sinless nature, no pre-existence, no vicarious atonement except in the most rudimentary form….

…and Christians swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Why, these men are SCHOLARS!

Here’s a list of some (not all) of these “scholars”:

UNITARIANS: ohann Wettstein, Edward Harwood, George Vance Smith, Ezra Abbot, Joseph Thayer, and Caspar Gregory;

RATIONALISTS: Johann Semler, Johann Griesbach, Bernhard Weiss, William Sanday, William Robertson Smith, Samuel Driver, Eberhard Nestle, James Rendel Harris, Hermann von Soden, Frederick Conybeare, Fredric Kenyon, Francis Burkitt, Henry Wheeler Robinson, Kirsopp Lake, Gerhard Kittel, Edgar Goodspeed, James Moffatt, Kenneth Clark, Ernest Colwell, Gunther Zuntz, J.B. Phillips, William Barclay, Theodore Skeat, George Kilpatrick, F.F. Bruce, George Ladd, J.K. Elliott, Eldon Epp, Brevard Childs, Bart Ehrman, C.H. Dodd, Barclay Newman, Arthur Voobus, Eugene Nida, Jan de Waard, Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, Matthew Black, Allen Wikgren, Bruce Metzger, and Johannes Karavidopoulos;

ROMAN CATHOLICS: Richard Simon, Alexander Geddes, Alberto Ablondi, Johann Hug, and Carlo Martini.

“When the constitution of the British and Foreign Bible Society was first formulated, it was understandably not foreseen that the question of Unitarianism would have much relevance to the society’s work. Before long, however, UNITARIANS GAINED SUBSTANTIAL INFLUENCE UPON THE AFFAIRS OF THE BIBLE SOCIETY, PARTICULARLY IN EUROPE, WHERE SOME AUXILIARY SOCIETIES WERE RUN ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY BY PERSONS OF UNITARIAN BELIEFS” (Brown, The Word of God Among All Nations, p. 12).

The standard line from modernists is that “no doctrine is affected, and the total changes add to less than one page of the Bible.”

the differences affect seven percent of the New Testament. “The fact of the matter is that the Critical Text of Westcott-Hort differs from the TR, mostly by deletions, in 9,970 words out of 140,521, giving a total of 7% difference. In the 480-page edition of the Trinitarian Bible Society Textus Receptus this would amount to almost 34 pages, the equivalent of the final two books of the New Testament, Jude and Revelation” (Thomas Strouse, Review of “From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man,” November 2000).

If you believe that it doesn’t matter what Bible you read… stay tuned. I’m going to discuss this at length soon.

Understanding the purpose of the Rapture


Okay, we are firmly in the last days. Guarantee it. Not in the beginning of them.

Not in the middle.

At the end.

Next stop, the Rapture.

So… why?

It finally occurred to me why.

Much of what calls themselves Christian today, and what passes for Christianity today, is not Christian. I don’t know what you call it. But it bears no resemblance to what Christianity is to be according to the Bible.

So that means, huge numbers are caught up in this. Only a small minority of people who think of themselves as Christians are really Christians.

That means most people who consider themselves Christians have no clue. None. Clueless. If they’re saved – and I’m having a lot of doubts about people who refuse to pray, read their Bibles, tithe, and want to justify their behaviour and wordly beliefs, instead of conforming themselves to God’s word – they’re going to have zero for rewards except a showing up prize.

If they’re not saved – and I’m getting that impression of far too many – then the first clue they’ll get that something is wrong is that suddenly all those annoying pharisaic Fundamentalists will disappear – and strangely, they’ll be left behind.

“Huh! I thought the partial rapture was a heresy! I don’t get it!”

Well, you’re part right… it’s erroneous doctrine.

“Well, how come I got left behind? I’m saved, aren’t I???”

“…uh….aren’t I????”

That’s the purpose of the Rapture, I think. Not just to remove the faithful from the earth prior to the punishment…

…but a wakeup call.