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Wants to be a god?

So many people seem to be convinced that the Bible teaches that we are gods. The Mormons, the New Agers and yes, there are a growing number of Christians that believe this as well. Each of these have a different variation on what this means. The Christian view comes from the influence of heretical word/faith teachers that distort the Scripture.

We would be surprised how many people actually say this or insinuate it indirectly. They point to Jesus, who said in John 10 “I said ye are gods.” Many use this statement Jesus said as a Bible doctrine for believers. Let’s look at several famous Bible teachers statements on this Scripture.

“We want to be gods. Jesus said, ‘I said ye are gods’ (John 10:34). It is with the attitude of gods in the world that Jesus wants the Christian to live.” (John G. Lake: His Life His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith, Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1995, p. 13).

Is this the attitude Jesus wants? Not according to Scripture, he wants us to be dependent upon God and deny self and walk humbly, hardly a prerequisite for a god.

Lake also says “I want you to hear what Jesus said about himself. God was in Christ, wasn’t He? An incarnation. God is in you, an incarnation, if you were born again. You are incarnate. “ (ibid p. 196).

The mistake is-born again does not mean incarnate; it means to be regenerated. To go from something that has no life to being alive, to something that had no relationship with God to having one.

It’s not surprising that Kenneth Copeland would publish Lakes statements like these since he agrees with it. As he has stated: “You don’t have a god in you, you are one,” “We are a class of gods.” “Every Christian is a god.” Benny Hinn also agrees and states unequivocally “you are god” “Christians are little gods.” “I’m a God-Man.” With well known men like these teaching this its not surprising so many who listen to them have picked this up.

The fact that Gurus, New Agers, Mormons and some who claim Christianity all claim we are gods and have godlike powers is strikingly similar to what Maharishi Mahesh yogi says “When you know that you are God, YOU WILL BEGIN TO LIVE GODHOOD…”’ Margo Adler a witch says, “We are gods and might as well get good at it.” Anton LaVey explains the core of Satanism “here is one of the essential points of Satanism, attain his own godhead in accordance with his own potential. Therefore, each man, each woman, is a god or goddess in Satanism.” J.Z. Knight who Channeled the fallen spirit Ramtha pointedly says through her “You are God.” Sung Myung Moon leader of the Moonie cult says this, as do so many others. Maitreya the false new age Christ (one of many) says “May this manifestation lead you to see each other as the gods you are.”

What manifestation is this? It’s called the mystery of iniquity that has been in the world since the fall. As David Spangler puts it– “Lucifer prepares man in all ways for the EXPERIENCE OF CHRISTHOOD (Burns: Jay Gary, The Millennium Doctor http://www.cth.com/au/corp/despatch/JayGarybk3.htm, p. 2,3, quoting David Spangler). In new age language it means Christ is the way-shower.

It should be obvious to any Christian familiar with the Scripture that to call oneself a god is a doctrine of fallen spirits, what the Bible calls demons.

Helena Blavatsky in her “the secret Doctrine” wrote: “It is claimed that there exists, for untold ages, a body of supermen”… these according to her view were initiates, the Brotherhood of the Great White Lodge and light. They are known to Theosophists as ‘the Masters.’ The teaching of Theosophy, therefore, consists of information either directly imparted by them” (E.R.Mcneil Theosophy to Christian faith pp.1-2) Blavatsky wrote further “Satan is the door-keeper of the Temple of the King; he standeth in Solomon’s porch; he holdeth the key of the Sanctuary, that no man enter therein, save the Anointed having the arcanum of Hermes” (v. 20 and 21). [Vol. 2, Page 233). She is explaining the Luciferic initiation of those who have realized they are more than man- but supermen.

The Latter Rain movement still growing in its influence has similar affections. In the book the Pattern Son Bill Britton writes at Jesus was the “Firstfruits among many brethren and the PATTERN for many more “sons” to come. He calls this group the Manchild Company – they are the anointed ones and have the right to be called Christ. These are the ones who have reached a “very high level of anointings.” It is the same spirit that is moving these people and many others today to this realization that they are god. It does not matter whether one calls it the divine spark” or self-realization or the higher self, or “god” within every man, it all leads to the same place. Or as Neale Donald Walsch, in his bestseller book “Conversations with God” writes “You are already a God. You simply do not know it.” Isn’t it Interesting how so many spiritual diversities can agree.

Creflo Dollar who claims he is a teacher of Christianity sums it up for everyone believing this, quoting Jn.10:34 and Ps.82:6 he states “Now, notice what He says here, “Ye are gods” small g. You are gods? Somebody says “You trying to say we’re gods?” No, I’m not trying to say we’re gods. He already said it. But what I want to know is Lord, how can we be gods? And He answers it in the next phrase. Because you are the children of the Most High. See if you are truly a child of God, if you were born out of God, you got to be a part of the God class. I know I’m not God. But I’m a child of the Most High…I’m a part of the God class…. But then the next verse says, “Because you did not believe you were gods, you’re going to die like men.” But it says you’re gods. And I said now, Lord, wait a minute here. How we going to prove this? Because I kept hearing over and over again all this week, we need to have a God training class for Christians. So they can start acting … “(Our equality with God through righteousness 1/21/2001)

Notice he says Because you did not believe you were gods you will die like men. Is this what the Scripture is actually saying? It only takes a few extra words to confuse and change the meaning.

Ps. 82:6-8 ‘I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’ Lets set the record straight, this Scripture does not mention little gods. Nowhere in Scripture is there a teaching of little gods along with big God, but false Gods verses the true God. So in reality to claim to be a little god is to put one in the category of a false God.

Lets go back to the beginning, when Lucifer a fallen angel shows up in the garden. Speaking to Eve he says “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:5). When both she and Adam ate of the tree that God told them not to, they knew what evil was experientially, by believing that this fruit would make them like God it caused them to lose their righteousness God originally gave them.

After the fall Adam begot his first son Cain and other sons and daughters in his own image and likeness. All those after are in this same image. This is why the Only true God became a man. When a Christian accepts the heretical teaching of subordinate gods to a greater god they are aligned with the originator of this lie, the teaching of the occult and those who incorporate its message. They are on their way to a great deception, the very one that Paul warns in 2 Thess.2, those who refuse the truth will believe THE LIE!

Anything created disqualifies it from being God. Adam was not a god (as Kenneth Copeland and the Mormons say), and Satan is not a god. Satan is called the “god of this age” because he is worshipped, not because he really is a god by nature.

He has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.(2 Cor. 4:4). In other words he blinds people to see Christ alone is God. Satan did not tell the truth but lied to Eve when he said, “You shall be like God,” and he continues to use the same lie to people today.

Paul taught that Christ (2 Cor. 4:4) ALONE ‘is the express image of God (his person) (Heb.1). No prophet ever thought of them-self as the express image of the invisible God, or that if you have seen them you have seen the father, they knew better. There are too many today who are exalting mans nature to be something the Scripture says it is not. Only Jesus is the exact image of God in man. Man has the image of God but this does not make a creature God, godlike, or in the same class. There is only one God and he always existed, this is why no creature can ever be equal to its eternal creator.

The Hebrew word for “likeness” (demuth) simply means similarity or resemblance, not identity. The term itself actually “defines and limits” the word “image” (Hebrew: tselem) in order “to avoid the implication that man is a precise copy of God, albeit miniature” (R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, eds., Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 2 vols. Chicago: Moody Press, 1981, 1:192.)

God never said man is a god or in a god class as some claim. In fact, if we look at past and future history we can identify the ones who claim this.

The past- Isa. 14:12-14 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”

It was Lucifer who through the king said he would be like God in the past. Ezek 28:2-6 “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because your heart is lifted up, and you say, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the midst of the seas,’ yet you are a man, and not a god, though you set your heart as the heart of a god (Behold, you are wiser than Daniel! Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Because you have set your heart as the heart of a god…” v:9 “Will you still say before him who slays you, ‘I am a god’? But you shall be a man, and not a god, in the hand of him who slays you.”

The future- 2 Thess. 2:3-4 “the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

Everyone who claims to be a god, the true God shows they are not, by bringing death to them. Jesus will slay the antichrist, the man of sin who will be worshipped as god by the word from his mouth. Zeph. 2:11 “The LORD will be awesome to them, for He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth”

Let’s not forget in our modern time one of the worst collective murders in history. It was Jim Jones who let the idea of being a god completely deceive him and near 1,000 people were affected by going to their deaths with him. He said “It is written that ye are gods. I’m a god and you’re a god” (Jim Jones, quoted in J. Reston, Jr. and N. Adams, “Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown” program on National Public Radio, 23 April, 1981.)

Satan’s methodology is to lower Jesus’ nature and exalt man’s to be equal to Christ using the same lie he deceived himself with. We should understand from the Scripture that to claim to be a God, big or small is what Lucifer did to himself and influenced man into sin.

With this background lets to the passage that people are using to prove they are little gods.

John 10:32-39 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?” The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),”do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;” but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

Notice Jesus answered them by pointing to the Old Testament, and is using it to argue His exclusive deity as the Son of God, having a unique relationship to the Father that no other has. Jesus is responding to the Jewish leaders who had accused Him of blasphemy. In Jn.10 Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees. Are the Pharisees gods? Would someone that did not believe in Christ being the Son of God and were his enemies be considered a little god by Jesus?

To understand him further we must go to a context of a passage quoted by Jesus to see what he was trying to convey. Psalm 82:1-8 “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; he judges among the gods. How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; free them from the hand of the wicked. They do not know, nor do they understand; they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are unstable. I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations.”

In its context it can only mean something that is not flattering. Jesus in John 10 is mocking them as if to say, You all think you’re gods yourselves (rulers) and rightly so (this is a tongue and cheek expression). But you do not recognize THE God among you. The Pharisees were blinded to who Jesus truly was.

Ps. 82:6-8 ‘I said, ‘You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.’ This was addressed to the judges of Israel they were called gods not because they were divine but because they represented God when they judged the people. The word Elohim is used for God, men and angels, but it is never used for man or the angels to imply they are God but as rulers of certain positions in the world. The word here is Elohim, it is applied to an aspect of God, as God was also to be ruler and judge over the people so He installed human rulers to do the same (see Deut.19:17-18). God called the unrighteous judges of Israel “gods” (Elohim). The Psalm Jesus is quoting is a put-down of corrupt judges and leaders who were abusing their authority and it has a lot of irony in it. The word Judges is found in Ex.21:22; 22:8-9 it is Ha Elohim (other scriptures of how the acted are found in Deut.1:16;16:18; 25:1; 2 Sam.11:7).

As with any verse we need to read it in its complete context to get the whole meaning the author is writing. Then we are to go to other passages that may relate to it. Remember this is God’s word and will not contradict itself. Isa. 3:13-15 “The LORD stands up to plead, and stands to judge the people. The LORD will enter into judgment with the elders of His people and His princes: “For you have eaten up the vineyard; the plunder of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?” Says the Lord GOD of hosts.

Jesus uses this to pronounce sentence on leaders who were not ruling over the people correctly. Instead they were showing partiality to the wicked and neglected defending the weak. They are wicked in that they do, they do not champion the cause of the poor or helpless. This is what Jesus is referring to in John 10 when he reminds them by quoting Ps.82. They are rulers with the authority God gave in this office. Considering this quote is in the gospel of John that upholds the deity of Christ, it makes this even more severe that certain men would take this out of the context and apply it to themselves. As v.5 says “They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable.”

He is conveying that if unjust judges are called to rule with power and authority, how much more the Son of God whose authority they willfully rejected. Jesus is being sarcastic in a way only those familiar with the Scripture would understand. They accused the only man who ever could legitimately call Himself “God” of blasphemy. And Jesus’ response is if God called men “gods,” (rulers) then Jesus is not blaspheming if indeed He is God.Jesus’ point is that the word of God cannot be broken (v.35) and then points out he was sent into the world by the Father and called himself the Son of God. So He could not be blaspheming. This was all done according to the Scripture. They were given authority to rule by God but they would not bow to his authority. They did not recognize the true God was among them who called himself the Son of God.

Notice Ps.82:6 also says they ‘will die as mere men and fall as one of the princes’, the prince that fell was Satan. This is sarcasm. Jesus is saying ‘the scripture cannot be broken’ referring to the Psalm. They thought they were like God but they will die as mere men. Then they will know the difference between the true God and their own mortality of man. Ps.82 ends with verse 8 ‘Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations.’ This points to only true God who can be called God, who eventually will judge and rule over everyone justly.

Let us go elsewhere in Scripture to see if the New Testament supports the teaching of men being gods. Paul and Barnabas were mistakenly called gods: “And when the multitudes saw what Paul had done, they raised their voice, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have become like men and have come down to us.” And they began calling Barnabas, Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker … But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their robes and rushed out into the crowd, crying out and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you in order that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth….” (Acts 14:11-15). Paul did not say, “we are not Zeus and Hermes but you are right, we are gods.” He said we are of the same NATURE as you and He turned them to the only true God, the creator. Here Paul and Barnabus unequivocally denied they were divine or any type of god. Were they ignorant of their new nature? No, not at all. They knew the true God and knew their relationship to him as men; so they could never claim to be more than they really were.

If the little god theory was true Paul would not have said this but he did not believe what some men teach today and would certainly identify it as a teaching not from God but from the devil.

To imagine that we are gods when we are saved is to misunderstand our condition, even though we are new creatures in Christ. Even though the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in our lives, it does not mean that we have been deified! If man is deified, surely we also have to accept the doctrine that we are sinless! Yet, the Scriptures deny that we are sinless, even after our salvation (1 John 1:9).We are still sinners waiting for the full redemption of the body that has the sin nature.

There is something spiritually and fundamentally wrong with people who say they are gods.

And what is the affect of those who call themselves little gods? They believe they can call things into existence, they will be rich and successful like the big god they serve.

Isa. 41:21-24 “Present your case, says the LORD. “Bring forth your strong reasons, says the King of Jacob. “Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare to us things to come. Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods; yes, do good or do evil, that we may be dismayed and see it together. Indeed you are nothing, and your work is nothing; he who chooses you is an abomination.”

Here God challenges those who claim they are in control like God, and those who listen to them instead of the true God are disgusting to him. For he began his challenge to them all so they can come to a true understanding of God.
V.20 “That they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Ps. 86:8 “Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord” Ps. 95:3 “For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods.” The Scripture says there exists ONLY ONE GOD; therefore any other that is called god is false by its nature. Genesis 1 says “In the beginning God.” If you were not there with him as him, then you are not God or a god.

As Paul clarifies in1 Cor. 8:5-6 “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.”

The greatest evil is to call oneself God when they are not. Since there is only one true God no one can ever be in the same class as a creature created by God. This is a delusion of unprecedented proportions to call oneself a god, it is the height of arrogance. It is the same sin in the beginning that caused Lucifer, the greatest creature God created to fall. And it is this same deception that will be rampant in the end.

Here’s what the God of the Universe says in Jer.10:11: “The God’s that have not made heaven and earth will perish.” This means any who claims to be God [god] are in the same category according to the one true God. This certainly means all Gods with a small g or a big G. Nowhere in Scripture is there a teaching of little gods verses big God, but instead false Gods verses the true God. In reality, to claim to be a little god is to put one in the category of a false God. All those who say this will find themselves sharing the same fate of false gods. If you are one of those who believes this, its time to reconsider. You may well receive the same punishment as those other false gods who are not the one true creator.

http://www.letusreason.org/Wf36.htm

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TITLE: DEMONS AND THE OCCULT

Subtitle: Biblical Reality vs. Popular Misinformation

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Confusion abounds today concerning demons and the occult powers of darkness, due to a lack of serious Bible study. The Word of God is the only authoritative textbook on the subject we need in order to gain a true understanding of its nature. All other sources have their origin in the pit and must be handled with the utmost of care. CAUTION! Only those Christians who are mature in the faith should ever attempt to obtain and study materials of an occult nature—and then only after much prayer and spiritual preparation by “putting on the whole armor of God.” I cannot possibly overemphasize the reality of demonic and satanic influence that is being exerted today—a reality that is consistently being overlooked and/or downplayed by preachers who are supposed to know better!

The word “occult” means “that which is hidden” and deals with the evil side of the supernatural. In stark contrast, the Bible tells us of the goodness and grace of God—knowledge that is to be proclaimed openly and to everyone that will listen. But the point many fail to understand is that the Bible is also a supernatural book and its subject material covers the on-going battle of good versus evil from God’s point of view. God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, along with God’s angels in heaven are routinely discussed in our churches, but for some weird reason people just do not attach the same level of reality or credibility to their evil counterparts. Why do you suppose that this is true? I believe the answer lies in understanding that if I were the devil and possessed the level of supernatural power that the Bible shows him to have, I too would spend much of my time persuading people that I did not exist! His agenda has been well served by staying behind a cloak of superstition and secrecy—hence the “occult” designation given to his plan and program. In order to try to expose him and what he is up to, I want to delve into what the Bible teaches about this malevolent spirit, along with the various beings who owe their allegiance to him.

Rather than trying to do a definitive study on the origin of Satan and the angels who joined with him in his rebellion against God, (a study within itself) I will assume that you already know these biblical facts and focus instead our attention upon their present location(s) and activities. First of all, it may surprise you to find that Satan (the devil) and his evil angels are not in hell! Quite the contrary, they still have free access to heaven and occasionally appear before the throne of God (Job 1:6). After the fall of man (Adam’s sin and subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden), God allowed Satan to become the “god of this world” (2 Cor.4:4). Since he corrupted it, God made him ruler over it. Thus all of mankind came under his rule and became his slaves. Between that day and the present, Satan and his minions have been the highly organized behind-the-scenes manipulators of world leaders and events—ever antagonistic toward God and His revealed will. Isaiah 14:12-14 reveals to us that Satan is the very personification of pride, having an insatiable desire to be like God and attempting to replace God in the hearts and minds of men. Apparently that is one of the reasons he is going to be allowed to have free reign during the Tribulation Period, but the Battle of Armageddon will end his rule and he will be “bound for a thousand years” (Rev.20:2). After this thousand years—during which the Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign over the earth—Satan will “be loosed for a little season” (Rev.20:3, KJV). He will again attempt to overthrow God by raising an army to fight against Him, but fire from heaven will consume the army and Satan will then be thrown into the “lake of fire” where he will remain forever (Rev.20:7-10).

To further establish the present location of Satan and his angels, I call our attention to Revelation chapter 12 where we learn in verse 6 that, during the Tribulation Period, the woman (Israel) will flee for her life into the wilderness to escape the dragon (Satan). This will occur at the mid-point of the seven year period and elect Israel will be kept safe by God for the last 3 ½ years. Then (verse 7) war will break out in heaven, Satan and his angels will be defeated and cast out of heaven down to the earth! (vs. 8 and 9). Then and only then (during the last part of the Tribulation Period) will they be restricted to earth and denied further access to heaven. Their consignment to hell and the lake of fire will occur even later—(We can only surmise that the fallen angels will be cast into the lake of fire along with Satan at the end of the millennial reign of Christ, because we are not specifically told this.) The still future event of Satan being cast out of heaven may be what the Lord referred to in Luke 10:18, where He said that He “beheld Satan like lightning, fall from heaven.”

Therefore, at the present time Satan and his hordes of fallen angels freely travel back and forth between heaven and earth while pursuing their own evil plan of ruling over creation! And yet God continues to grant them the privilege of access to His throne. Why? We are not given any specifics, but it may be that God is “handicapping” the contest between Himself and Satan in some way, by granting concessions such as allowing him to be “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev.12:10). Something of this nature must be true, because God could have destroyed Satan and his angels long ago. It is fairly plain from the conversation recorded in Job chapter one and the actions of Satan during the “temptation of Christ”(in Matthew 4), that his entire viewpoint is antagonistic and he desperately wants to be worshipped as god. By giving him “enough rope to hang himself,” God the Father is patiently looking to the day when all of the devil’s excuses will have run their course and the matter will come to its terminus. Of course there is no chance whatever that Satan will emerge as the victor—Jesus Christ forever settled that matter on Calvary’s cross, when he died for the sins of His people. Satan is a defeated enemy, but as long as the sands of time continue to flow through God’s hourglass—he will continue the struggle and we (those still living on earth), along with God’s angels, will have to continue to deal with him and his “friends.”

It is extremely foolish to believe that Satan has no human followers! Increasingly, more and more people openly admit to being members of his “church”. Just as the Gospel message of Jesus Christ continues to go forth and captivate the souls of men, so too the occult message of the devil continues its evil work. The gospel redeems men from among the spiritually dead, while the occult works to blind their eyes to its message. The power of Satan is enormous and he utilizes that supernatural power to full advantage through the vast organization of his angelic followers. We get a glimpse into this organizational structure in the Book of Daniel, chapter 10 where we read in verse 13 that “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” (an evil angel) withstood (fought with and hindered for 21 days!) the unnamed angel sent from heaven to minister to Daniel. In verse 20 we see that the angel tells Daniel that once he (God’s angel) leaves, the “[hostile] prince of Greece will come.” Bible scholars infer from this and other Scriptures that the fallen angels are organized and have specific spheres of responsibility and influence. The apostle Paul refers to this organizational structure in Ephesians 3:10 and Colossians 2:15, by calling them “principalities and powers.” In Ephesians 6:12 he mentions them again and adds the words, “spiritual wickedness in high places”(KJV)—literally “in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Amplified Bible).

Perhaps by now you have noticed that I have refrained from using the word “demon” to describe these evil angels. I believe that they are two distinctly different entities! The reason for this belief is found in the New Testament account of Christ’s healing the “maniac of Gadara” (Luke 8:27, ff.). This poor man was possessed by so many demons that they referred to themselves as “Legion”! When the Lord commanded them to leave the man, they pleaded with Him to allow them to enter into a nearby herd of pigs. From this primary reference, along with other Scriptures, we gather that demons per se are disembodied spirits and are constantly seeking to possess someone (or something). Since this particular trait or tendency is nowhere in Scripture ascribed to the fallen angels, we must conclude that they are actually two different entities. If they are not fallen angels, then what, or who, are they? Chuck Missler, a well-known business man and Bible teacher, maintains that they are the spiritual remains of the “Nephilim”—the “giants” of Genesis 6:4, who were the offspring of fallen angels (”sons of God”) that cohabited with women (”the daughters of men”)! The flood of Noah was God’s judgment upon mankind for that corruption of the “gene pool” (Satan’s attempt to thwart God’s human Messiah). In the flood the humanity of the Nephilim was destroyed, but their supernatural element survived as disembodied spirits—demons, if you will! Once is never enough for the devil, so he re-introduced Nephilim (also known as Anakim and Zamzummim, Deut.2:20-21), after the flood among the Canaanites and this was probably the reason God told Joshua to kill them all—men, women, and children!

Theologians generally agree that neither Satan, his angels, or demons are omnipresent. Only God Himself possesses the attribute of being everywhere present at the same time. Therefore it is statistically and logically improbable that any of us have ever encountered Satan personally. More than likely, he spends his time directing and influencing world leaders and others who are in positions that could prove advantageous to his cause. Some preachers have said that if we were to see him, he would probably be standing behind a highly regarded pulpit somewhere! The reason for this is found in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 where we read the following:

“For such men are false apostles—spurious, counterfeits—deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ, the Messiah. And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, so it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

When we study the Gospel accounts of Christ’s earthly ministry and then on through the history of the early church as recorded in the Book of Acts, we find numerous references to individuals being demon possessed—along with accounts of some of the demons being exorcised. Referring to this, some of the Bible commentaries express the opinion that demonic activity was especially strong at that time because of the Lord’s physical presence upon the earth. If that is true, then we should expect the same, or even greater, activity when the false christ—the antichrist is present. His coming is said to be with “all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thess.2:9). I am convinced that demonic activity is absolutely raging at the present time due to several factors—Not the least of which are the emails we receive from individuals experiencing problems which bear the unmistakable marks of spiritual oppression. Many of these people were involved in the occult before they were saved and are acutely aware that their problems have a supernatural basis. The senseless taking of human life is becoming pandemic— through mass murders involving guns, through abortions and suicides—all of which should alert us to the evil behind them. Another factor—and one that is not usually stressed—is the “signs and miracles” movement within Christendom. To those who would take exception to my assertion that this is demonic, I want to ask you one simple question: What good is it? What does it accomplish other than make those who participate in it “feel good”? The usual alibi is that “it increases my faith!” If that is the case, then why does Hebrews 11:1 state:

“Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title-deed) of the things we hope for, being the proof of things [we]do not see and the conviction of their reality—faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

Genuine faith is not predicated upon, nor built up by, that which titillates our flesh! And those poor benighted souls who are so infatuated by the “laughing revivals”, “being slain in the Spirit”, Marian apparitions, icons that weep tears, etc., etc., are being seduced by demons into chasing rainbows—thereby effectively captivating them and neutralizing them from anything spiritually productive. Remember that Satan just loves “religion” and is tickled to death to get people totally immersed in it—so that he can divert their attention from what the Bible teaches is really important. If this describes your so-called spiritual life, I beg you to wake up and grow up before you are totally swallowed up! 1 Peter 5:8 echoes this sentiment:

“Be well-balanced—temperate, sober-minded; be vigilant and cautious at all times, for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it crystal clear to us that our Christian warfare is not against mere mortals—when he says to us in Ephesians 6, verse 12:

“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood—contending only with physical opponents—but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the [master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).

He then goes on in verses 13 through 18 to exhort us to protect ourselves by putting on the “armor” that God has provided for us: truth, integrity and moral rectitude, spiritual preparation through Bible study and prayer, saving faith, and then salvation itself—while all the time standing our ground and wielding the sword of the Spirit—the Word of God.

This allusion to military armor, so necessary for our personal protection amid the battles of life, reminds me of Elisha’s servant in 1 Kings chapter 6. The King of Syria was very upset because all of his attempts at warfare against the King of Israel had failed. Each time they had tried to spring a surprise attack against Israel, it was obvious that Israel knew about it beforehand. Syria’s king was so upset that he ordered that his men ferret out the traitor in their midst! That is when one of his servants informed him that none of his men was betraying him—the culprit was Elisha, God’s prophet in Israel! He was keeping the King of Israel up-to-date on everything Syria was doing. The Syrian king then ordered them to find Elisha and take him captive. When the Syrian army located him, they came by night and surrounded the city of Dothan, where he was staying,. The next morning, Elisha’s young servant went outside and when he spotted the huge army surrounding them he panicked! He immediately went inside and said to Elisha, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” To calm his fears, Elisha said to him, “Fear not; for those with us are more than those with them.” Verse 17 of chapter 6 records what happened next:

“Then Elisha prayed, Lord I pray You, open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire about Elisha” (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).

Thus the young man literally saw the supernatural army of God standing between them and their enemies! He had already been told by Elisha that their protectors were more numerous than their enemies and now he knew for sure, because he could see them. The same thing applies to us today—the very angels of God are on constantly on guard, standing watch over His people. And it is a very comforting thought to realize that they outnumber Satan’s angels 2 to 1! Remember that Revelation 12:4 (along with Jewish tradition) says that a third of the angels of heaven fell with Satan and that leaves two thirds on our side!

Do you sense the presence of “another dimension”—another sphere of reality that we refer to as the supernatural? Many have no hesitation at all to answer in the affirmative where the “good” aspect is concerned, but seem almost embarrassed to admit belief in “the dark side.” Most of our children have no problem at all in relating to “the dark side” because Hellywood (spelling intentional) has thoroughly indoctrinated them through movies such as “Star Wars”, “E.T.”, and a host of others too numerous to mention. At this time of year (the end of October) we are again confronted with another unwelcome celebration of “Halloween”, a pagan holy day sacred to the ancient druids as well as modern day witches, Wiccans, Illuminists, Satanists, and other assorted and sundry devils. If you think that Halloween is just “harmless fun”, you are part of the majority—but let me inform you that you are an unwitting participant in a world-wide deception of staggering proportions. Deception is the stock and trade of hell’s angels and they have, over a long period of time, lulled this world to sleep and have it set up for the ultimate deception: the revelation of their antichrist, Lord Matreya—Satan incarnate! His coming will doubtless be viewed by the people of the world as the most spiritually moving event in their lives and they will welcome him with open arms. He will “wow” them with his signs and miracles (just as his conditioning program is already doing within Christendom) and they are going to eat it up. But little do they know or understand that his bait has a hook from which they cannot escape. His plans for the world will be implemented with unprecedented efficiency and soon war and hunger and poverty will appear to be things of the past. Millions will sing his praises and, in the midst of it all, Israel will be worshipping him as their Messiah—thrilled beyond the ability of mere words to express—once again offering blood sacrifices at their own Temple after nearly 2000 years of exile. But their euphoria will be short-lived, because at the mid-point of the 7 year Tribulation Period the antichrist will reveal his true nature. The Bible tells us that he will stand in the “Holy of Holies” (the most sacred spot in their newly re-built Temple) and demand that both he and some kind of image, or idol, be worshipped as god! The prophet Daniel refers to this as being “the abomination of desolation” and Jesus Christ Himself refers to it in Matthew 24:15. This incident will be the “wake-up call” to God’s elect among the Jewish people. They will recognize the spiritual implications of what has occurred and flee for their very lives. What follows will be beyond description! The antichrist—Satan incarnate—will unleash his fury upon the Jews in particular and the rest of the world in general. That last 3 ½ years will be so terrible that God’s Word calls it “the great tribulation”. Hell will finally “boil over”!

We constantly get email from those who insist that Halloween is only a harmless tradition in which kids can mooch candy from their neighbors. Others say that the practice of Wicca, or witchcraft, or Ouija boards, or Tarot cards, or “native American religion”, or Freemasonry, or Roman Catholicism, or a great number of other “innocent” practices and religions—are not wrong and therefore we should not criticize them. Please believe me when I say that I derive no satisfaction from criticizing the beliefs of others and my criticism is not offered from the standpoint of personal superiority. When one takes the time to study the Bible carefully, it will quickly become apparent that everything associated with the occult is soundly condemned! And each of the aforementioned religions and practices contain an occult component that can be proven with a minimum of diligent study—along with a willingness to admit the truth as found. There are none so blind as those that just will not see! If you are currently involved in any of these religions and/or practices, I urge you to take stock of what you are doing and wake up to reality. Because if you are not aware of the inherent evil present, to put it in the common vernacular, you are being “suckered” big time!

If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.

We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order — Kingdom of Antichrist — in their daily news.

Return to Pastoral Articles index

Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466

You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.

God bless you.

http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/p142.htm

This chapter from this book is really important to Christians who ask “did the apostles and their direct successors practice baptismal regeneration?”. It is not the best read,,, as it is mostly Quotes from pre-Niceian Church Fathers. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL INFO. There will be more articles coming about the history of baptism, it’s pagan origins and the history of that damnable herasy creeping into the Christian church, thus danming billions of souls as some have claimed., by making salvation,,grace+ water baptism.

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

 

WATER BAPTISM:

A PAGAN AND JEWISH RITE,

BUT NOT CHRISTIAN

PROVEN BY SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY

CONFIRMED BY THE LIVES OF SAINTS

WHO WERE NEVER BAPTIZED WITH WATER 

JAMES H. MOON FALLSINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA Copyrighted, 1902

  

 

 

 

 

WATER BAPTISM AFTER THE APOSTLES’ TIME

By collateral evidence we are led to suppose that several of the apostles were martyred under the Roman Emperor, Nero, about A.D. 64.

The Jews rebelled against the Romans, A.D. 66. At the approach of war, Christians of Jerusalem and Judea removed to Pela, beyond the Jordan.[200] Eusebius says they fled in obedience to a Divine
revelation.[201] These were all Jews, and in their new homes were called Nazarenes or Ebonites.[202]

Jerusalem and the temple were utterly destroyed and the Jews massacred by the Romans, A.D. 70.[203]

Dean Stanley says: “The fall of Jerusalem was the fall of the Jewish world; it was a reason for the close of the apostolic age; a death-blow of the influence of Jewish nationality for a long time to come.”[204]

After the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem, Gentile Antioch appears to have become the seat of church authority.

John was probably the only apostle then living and he, it is thought, was in a distant country.

At Antioch and other places Gentile Christians evidently soon gained the ascendency and discouraged, even Jews from circumcision and other offensive Jewish customs, while water baptism and other usages not repulsive to Gentiles were generally continued and in time modified to
suit taste and convenience.

The early Christians were not united in making these changes; they caused continued discord and division among them as is manifest throughout the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius.

The Nazarenes, Ebonites and some others adhered to circumcision and the customs of Moses as the elders at Jerusalem had insisted that Paul should do and as in the “Hermit Church” of Abyssinia they still continue to do.[205][206]

We find these Nazarenes and Ebonites soon classified as heretics after the Gentiles preponderated.

Water baptism seems not to have been insisted upon at first but in the second century greater importance appears to have been attached to it.[207] Many, however, claimed that only baptism of the Holy Spirit and purity of the heart were necessary because none of the apostles but Paul were baptized with water, and Christ said: “John indeed baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit;”[208] and again, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Justin Martyr[209] said: “What is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and the body alone. Baptize the soul from wrath, envy, &c., and lo! the whole body is clean.” And again: “What need have I of that other baptism who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

While many such expressions occur in the writings of the “Fathers,” there are many more which support sacramentalism. Their testimonies are conflicting.

About the beginning of the third century we find water baptism first called a sacrament by Tertulian and about the same time he complains that many tried to destroy it. Plainly, as water baptism was exalted, opposition increased.[210]

The sect called Ascoondrutes rejected all symbols and sacraments on the principle that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal nor divine mysteries by things visible.[211]

Schaff says[212]: Many Jews and Gentiles were baptized only with water; not with Holy Spirit and fire of the Gospel, and smuggled their old religious notions and practices into the church.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine, professedly became a Christian, while he virtually remained a heathen; A.D. 312.[213]

Christians were few in number before Constantine, but now pagans flocked to the church and sat in its councils.

“Constantine married the Christian church to the heathen world.” He virtually united church and state. He convened the council of Nice and they formed a creed A.D. 325.

Many protested against this council and its decisions but the mass supported the Emperor and the creed.

Among obscure dissenters whom the ruling church called heretics may we expect thereafter to find the nearest approach to Christianity as Jesus taught it upon the Mount and elsewhere.

Mosheim says: No sooner had Constantine abolished the superstition of his ancestors than magnificent churches were erected for the Christians, which were richly adorned with pictures and images and bore striking resemblances to the Pagan temples both within and without.[214]

The simplicity of the Gospel was clouded by the prodigious number of rites and ceremonies which the bishops invented to embellish it.[215]

They imagined the Pagans would receive Christianity with more facility when they saw the rites and ceremonies to which they were accustomed adopted in the church. So the religion of the Christians was made to conform very nearly to that of the Pagans in external appearance.[216]

The vice and insolent tyranny of many of the priesthood soon became notorious.[217]

Neander says: Such individuals of the laity as were distinguished by their piety from the great mass of nominal Christians and from the worldly minded of the clergy often suffered persecution from the
latter.[218]

The name of Andeus stand prominent among the many dissenters who protested against the corruptions of the ruling church at this time.[219]

Isolated companies of devout Christians under various names rejected the Sacraments. They were called Lampetians, Adelphians, Estatians, Marcionites, Euchites, Massalians and Enthusiasts.[220]

Mosheim says: Enthusiasts who discarded the Sacraments and were rather wrong headed than vicious lived among the Greeks and Assyrians for many ages. They were known by the general and invidious name of Massalians or Euchites. A foot-note says: This sect arose under the Emperor
Constantius about the year 361.[221]

We have numerous accounts of Christians who were prominent in the dominant church of the fourth century who deferred water baptism to middle life or old age and many were never so baptized altho’ born of Christian parents.[222]

About A.D. 660 another Constantine came forward as a reform preacher under inspiration said to have been received in reading the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul.[223]

His followers were sometimes called Macedonians but were generally known as Paulicians altho’ they preferred to be called Christians.

It appears that these Paulicians existed centuries before under the other names given them by their enemies and that the drooping sect was revived by the powerful preaching of Constantine.

Neander says[224] the Paulicians wholy rejected the outward observance of the Sacraments and maintained that by multiplication of external rites and ceremonies in the dominant church the true life of religion had declined. That it was not Christ’s intention to institute water baptism as a perpetual ordinance and that by baptism he meant only baptism of the Holy Spirit and that he communicates himself by the living waters for the thorough cleansing of the whole human nature; that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ consists in coming into vital union with him.

In the ninth century one hundred thousand Paulicians were martyred at once in Armenia, accused of heresy and denying the Sacraments.[225]

For the same offence untold numbers were put to death during previous and subsequent centuries and in widely distant countries.[226]

Their enemies represent that these Paulicians were loving, spiritual and peaceful, and diligent in reading and circulating the Scriptures, but they were heretics and not worthy to live.

Were not these dissenting martyrs a remnant or seed of the living church and their baptized enemies the real heretics?

The history of these inhuman persecutions reveals a sad condition of the dominant church and its ruling clergy of the ninth century.

Some Ecclesiastics who presided over a flourishing theological institution at Orleans, claimed to have been awakened by the writings of
St. Augustine and St. Paul, particularly the later. Many of the nobility and others of eminent piety and benevolence became their adherents.[227]

They rejected external worship, rites and ceremonies and placed religion in the internal contemplation of God and the elevation of the soul.

They rejected water baptism and held to a baptism of the Spirit, also to a Spiritual Eucharist by which all who had received spiritual baptism would be refreshed and find their spiritual needs completely satisfied.

Thirteen leaders of this sect were burned A.D. 1022. When urged to recant they replied, “We have a higher law, one written by the Holy Spirit in the inner man.”

Mosheim says they soared above the comprehension of the age in which they lived.

A few years later a similar sect was discovered in the districts of Arras and Liege. They held individual holiness and practical piety to be necessary and that outward baptism and outward Sacrament were
nothing. This they affirmed was the doctrine of Christ and his apostles.[228]

About A.D. 1046 a sect was suppressed at Turin which was favored by the nobility and widely diffused among the clergy and laity. They claimed to have one priest without the tonsure. He daily visited their brethren scattered throughout the world and when God bestowed him on them they
received from him with great devotion forgiveness of sin. They acknowledged no other priest and no other sacrament but his absolution.[229]

Who–we ask–is this priest without the tonsure, who daily visits the world-wide brethern?

Is it not Jesus who was made a priest, “not after the law of a carnal commandment, but by the power of an endless life?”[230]

A sect called Bogomiles, who rejected outward baptism and acknowledged only spiritual communion, was discovered in Constantinople, many of them in the families connected with the court. Their leader was burned A.D. 1119, others were imprisoned, yet they spread secretly over the Greek empire.[231]

Mosheim says: The Eastern churches continued to be infested with such fanatics in the twelfth century, and the Latin sects were still more numerous than the Greeks.[232]

The Catherists were a numerous faction in Bulgaria and spread almost all over Europe under various names who all agreed in rejecting baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

“Brethern and sisters of the free Spirit” took their denomination from the words of St. Paul (Rom. 8, 2-14). They were called Begards, Beghines, Turpines, etc. They rejected baptism and the Supper as no
longer useful to them and held to inward and spiritual worship. They spread rapidly in Italy, France and Germany. They were mostly poor people and lived upon alms while upon their missionary Journeys. Great numbers of plain, pious people, rich and poor, embraced their teaching
and forsook the dominant church.[233]

The Inquisition checked their career with its usual record of cruelty and blood, yet they continued to feed the fires of persecution for more than two centuries, until near the time of the reformation.

In the south of France dissenters called Albigenses became more numerous than the dominant church. They were condemned by four councils, but still continued to increase until about A.D. 1215, when they were exterminated by a long and horrible war and the Inquisition.[234]

These Albigenses were distinguished generally by their strict and blameless lives, by their abhorrence of oaths, war and punishment by death, and for their hospitality and beneficence. They accepted baptism spiritually and rejected the sacraments.

Can we believe that the church which led to the extermination of these Albigenses, the Paulicians, and many others, was ever established by that loving Saviour who spent his life in doing good to the souls and bodies of men?

Does it not answer more nearly the description given of Mystery Babylon who was drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus? Who would not gladly forget a succession which claims to run back through such a church as this?[235]

In some parts of France dissenters similar to the Albigenses were called Bulgarians, in Italy they were called Paterens and in Germany were called Catherists, and in derision were called “Good Men.” How is it that these dissenters, by the testimony of their enemies, appear to have lived better and holier lives without the sacraments than their persecutors did with them?

What is the testimony of observation in our day?[236] Are those beatitudes which Jesus pronounced upon the Mount better observed by those who have seven sacraments than they are by Protestants who have only two? And, are they better observed under two sacraments than they are by the Quakers, and some other Christians who have none? If this is the case, it is strong support to the belief that Christ ordained the sacraments. But if the reverse is found to be the existing condition, then a suspicion may arise that these sacraments are not divine, but are human impositions and that they divert from the Divine. Therefore, may it be that some of our best Christians get along quite as well or
better without them.

Neither the word sacrament nor any synonym thereof occurs in the New Testament, nor in the writings of the “Fathers,” until the third century. There were no sacraments then as there are now, therefore no necessity for such a name.

Sacrament was a Pagan name for a military oath and was ruled into its present position by apostate Christians.

The apostles and first Christians evidently continued to eat the Passover Supper, because their fathers had done so for ages in memory of Israel passing over the Red Sea out of Egypt, and not from any command of Christ. Otherwise they would with still more persistence have continued to wash each other’s feet, which Jesus commanded with language and actions far more solemn, impressive and imperative.[237]

The Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius inform us that water baptism was a prolific cause of bitter discord and division among the early Christians. It still sorrowfully distracts the loving children of our
one Father and impedes the spread of his kingdom in the earth.

These lamentable conditions must inevitably continue until such shadows are dissolved by divine brightness in that day which we rejoice to believe is now dawning.

FOOTNOTES:

http://www.archive.org/stream/waterbaptism17222gut/17222.txt

RELEVANT POST. Water salvation/baptismal regeneration r  The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

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