True Christianity vs Counterfeit Christianity
About 20 years ago a survey of 7,000 Protestant youths from many denominations asked whether they agreed with the following statements:
“The way to be accepted by God is to try sincerely to live a good life.” More than 60% agreed.
“God is satisfied if a person lives the best life he can.” Almost 70% agreed.
(Reported by Paul Brand & Philip Yancey, Fearfully & Wonderfully Made [Zondervan], p. 108.)
I have found that many church-going people, like these young people, are confused on the most important question in life: “How can I be right with God?” Many think that sincerity is a big factor. If you’re sincere, God will let you into heaven even if you’re a bit fuzzy on the truth. But that’s like saying that a man who swallows deadly poison, sincerely thinking that it is medicine, will get better. All the sincerity in the world is fatal if it is not in line with the truth.
Many also think that human effort plays a big role. If you try your best, even though you aren’t perfect, God will say, “I’ll let you into heaven because you tried so hard.” If that is what the Bible teaches, then it is so. But if it is contrary to what the Bible teaches, then trying your best to get into heaven is like trying your best to broad jump across the Grand Canyon. You’re not going to make it!
Have you ever been stuck with a counterfeit bill? You thought it was legal tender, but when you took it somewhere and offered it as money, the teller or clerk said, “I’m sorry, but this is counterfeit money. It’s no good.” The Bible teaches that Satan is a master counterfeiter, trying to pass off on unsuspecting people a version of Christianity that looks pretty good, but it is not going to be accepted by the bank of heaven. It’s traumatic to get stuck with a counterfeit bill; it would be far more traumatic to stand before God someday and hear Him declare that your Christianity is counterfeit!
In Philippians 3:1-3, the apostle Paul contrasts true and counterfeit Christianity. To understand this section of Philippians, you must know a bit of history. Soon after the gospel began to spread among the Gentiles, some Jewish men who claimed also to believe in Christ began teaching the Gentile converts that they could not be saved unless they also were circumcised according to the law of Moses (see Acts 15:1). They did not deny that a person must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but they added to faith in Christ the keeping of the Jewish law, especially circumcision, as necessary for salvation.
The issue was debated and resolved in Jerusalem at a council of the church leaders where it was decided that Gentiles do not have to become Jews or be circumcised to be saved; but that every person, Jew or Gentile, is saved by grace through faith in Christ alone (Acts 15:1-29). But that decision did not cause Satan to give up his efforts to pervert the truth of the gospel. He continued to work through a group of men known as Judaizers who followed Paul on his missionary journeys, infiltrating the new churches and teaching their subtle error, that faith in Christ was not sufficient if a person did not also keep the Law, especially circumcision. Paul wrote Galatians to refute this error. He contends there that these men were preaching a false gospel and he calls down damnation on those who so pervert the true gospel (Gal. 1:6-9). The Judaizers are the men Paul is warning the Philippian church about in our text. The three terms in 3:2, “dogs, evil workers, and false circumcision,” all refer to one group, the Judaizers, who were promoting a counterfeit Christianity.
While the Judaizers no longer exist under that name, the core of their teaching is still quite prevalent. Thus our text is extremely important in helping us to discern what true Christianity is and to reject any counterfeit version. Paul is teaching that ...
To be true Christians we must put off all confidence in human merit and trust in Christ alone for salvation.
True Christianity relies totally on the person and work of Christ; counterfeit Christianity adds to this reliance on human worth or works.
Concerning counterfeit Christianity, Paul warns us:
1. Beware of counterfeit Christianity which adds human merit to the person and work of Christ!
The severity of Paul’s warning is underscored by his threefold repetition: “Beware ... beware ... beware ...!” Counterfeit Christianity is a strong danger for all of us because we’re all prone to pride and self-reliance. We all want to take for ourselves at least some of the credit for our salvation. We’ll be generous and grant that most of the credit goes to the Lord, but we still want to reserve a bit of the honor for ourselves. People will say, “I was saved by my own free will,” which implies, “I was smart enough or good enough to make the right choice.” But the Bible knocks our pride out from under us by clearly stating that our salvation does not depend on our will, but on God’s sovereign mercy (Rom. 9:16). Or, people will say, “Christ died for me because I was worthy.” But Scripture is clear that He died for us when we were unworthy sinners (Rom. 5:8).
Counterfeit Christianity glories in the flesh, which means, human worth or merit. The names Paul calls these false teachers reveal three common forms such human merit takes:
A. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN RACIAL OR ETHNIC STATUS, AS IF IT PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul sarcastically calls these Judaizers “dogs.” He is taking a slur that the Jews used against the Gentiles and turning back against these false teachers. It referred to the packs of wild dogs that used to raid the garbage and eat anything they could find. Since the Gentiles were not concerned about clean and unclean foods, or about purifying themselves according to the Jewish rituals, the Jews viewed them as unclean dogs. Just beneath the surface was ethnic pride, as if being a Jew by birth made one right with God.
Much of the strife in the world today stems from racial or religious pride. The Catholic-Protestant violence in Ireland, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the Arab-Jewish conflicts in the Holy Land, Iraq’s persecution of the Kurds, the recent civil war in Rwanda, the racial tension in South Africa, and many more conflicts are due to people mistakenly thinking that their racial status puts them in God’s favor. Here in America, many of the white supremacy groups justify their ethnic pride and hatred of blacks and Jews on a mistaken understanding of the Bible.
Scripture is clear that while God chose the nation Israel as His people and still has a special purpose for the Jews, He is no respecter of persons when it comes to granting salvation through Jesus Christ (Acts 10:34-47). As Paul writes in Romans 10:12, 13, “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call upon Him; for ‘Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.’”
B. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN HUMAN WORKS AS IF THEY PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul calls these men, who prided themselves on their good works, “evil workers.” They thought they were obeying God’s law. Outwardly they were good, moral people, zealous for religious activities. But their religious works were evil in God’s sight, because they took pride in their own achievements and trusted in their good deeds as the means of making themselves right before God. Such trust in human works brings glory to man and nullifies what Christ did for us on the cross.
The Bible is clear that while we are saved by grace through faith apart from any works, genuine saving faith always results in a life of good works (Eph. 2:8-10; Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-8; James 2:14-26). But the order of faith and works is essential! No human efforts can commend us to God. A true Christian never glories in his good works, but glories in Christ alone, as we will see.
C. COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY TAKES PRIDE IN RELIGIOUS RITUALS AS IF THEY PUT US IN RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD.
Paul calls these men “the false circumcision,” which is a play on words. In Greek, circumcision is peritome; Paul calls these men katatome, which means “mutilators.” Just as the pagan priests of Baal in Elijah’s day cut themselves in a religious frenzy, so these false teachers were mutilating people through their emphasis on circumcision. They wrongly thought that the ritual of removing the male foreskin somehow gained them favor with God. But as Paul argues in Romans 4, even Abraham, to whom God first gave the rite of circumcision, was not made right with God through circumcision, but through faith.
Today there are many professing Christians who mistakenly think that religious rituals such as baptism or communion or attending church services or going through prescribed liturgies will get them into heaven. But, as Jesus told the religious Nicodemus, “... unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
Thus Paul is strongly warning us to beware of trusting in any form of human goodness, human worth, human merit, or good works as the basis of our standing with God. Salvation is clearly shown in Scripture to be due to God’s choice, not due to our being worth it, “that no man should boast before God” (see 1 Cor. 1:27-31).
These verses also show us that it is the job of faithful pastors to warn the flock of such dangerous teachings. We live in a day marked by tolerance and positive thinking. Many Christians say, “Why attack those who teach error? Just preach the positives.” I have often been criticized because I preach against popular errors that have flooded into the church, such as the self-esteem teaching that runs counter to the heart of the gospel. There is also a strong movement toward unity, where doctrine is viewed as divisive and against love. Anyone who points out doctrinal error is labeled a “heresy hunter” who is against unity. But notice that even though Paul is exhorting the Philippian church to unity, it is not a unity devoid of doctrinal truth. If you didn’t need pastors to warn you of such subtle errors, verses like these would not be in the Bible.
2. Embrace true Christianity which relies totally on the person and work of Jesus Christ for salvation.
Note that Paul is reminding the Philippians of something they already knew (3:1). When he says “Finally,” he isn’t necessarily being like some preachers, who say that half way through their sermon! It can mean simply that he is turning to a new section. Although scholars differ on it, I believe that by “the same things” Paul is referring to his emphasis on rejoicing. He has mentioned “rejoicing” (1:18 [2x], 2:17 [2x], 18 [2x], 28) and “joy” (1:4, 25; 2:2, 29) eleven times already in chapters one and two! But, he’s going to remind them again, because it is such an important, central part of the genuine Christian life. He will hit it again in 4:4. It is no trouble to him to hammer on it, and it is a safeguard against the subtle danger of trusting in human merit. Rejoicing in the Lord is the great antidote to rejoicing in self-reliance or achievement. It takes our focus off ourselves, it humbles our pride, and it fills us with great hope to rejoice in the Lord.
A. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS SUMMED UP BY, “REJOICE IN THE LORD.”
I understand “rejoice in the Lord” (3:1) to be a summary of true Christianity, while the three phrases in 3:3, “worship in the Spirit of God,” “glory in Christ Jesus,” and “put no confidence in the flesh” are simply other ways of saying the same thing. Test yourself by this measure: True Christians rejoice in the Lord.
What does this mean? It means that the Lord Jesus Christ is everything to a true Christian. Christ, and Christ alone, is our salvation. Without Him, we would be lost and without hope. In Him we are saved and have hope! As Paul puts it (1 Cor. 1:30-31), “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.’”
Also he wrote (Col. 2:10-11), “In Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” This is what Paul is referring to when he calls true Christians “the circumcision” (Phil. 3:3). It is a spiritual, inner work performed on us by Christ. So when Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord, he means that the Lord is everything to us and we are in Him. So we are to focus our thoughts on Him and what He has graciously done for us through the cross. We will be filled with joy in the Holy Spirit as we daily walk with our eyes on the Lord Jesus and what He is to us.
“Rejoice in the Lord” also means that true Christianity is not just a matter of the head, but also of the heart. It involves and is built on sound doctrine which is grasped by the intellect. Our minds must appropriate the great truths of who Christ is and what He did for us on the cross and what He has promised to those who believe in Him. But, if it stops there, you are not a true Christian. A true Christian is marked by what Jonathan Edwards called “religious affections.” His emotions or heart is affected, so that he rejoices in the inner person as he thinks on the blessedness of what Jesus is to him.
A Christian leader and seminary professor, who has been in ministry for over 20 years, told me that his wife, due to her “dysfunctional” upbringing, had never felt God’s love and that she did not understand His grace. In spite of all the teaching and training to which she had been exposed, he said that when she heard me preach on God’s grace and love, it just went right past her. He attributed this to the fact that her father had been a cold, unemotional, unloving man. I shocked him and made him angry when I responded, “If your wife has never felt God’s love in Christ and has never been moved by the great truth that Christ died for her sin, she isn’t saved.” True Christianity is not merely a matter of subscribing to the great doctrinal truths of the Bible, although it is built on that. It is a matter of God changing our hearts, so that we rejoice in the Lord. This summarizes true Christianity. But, also,
B. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT OF GOD.”
Jesus said, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). True worship is the inner sense of awe, gratitude, and love for God that stems from an understanding of who God is and who we are in His presence. The false teachers were making worship a matter of outward ritual. Paul is saying that true Christians are marked by inner worship prompted by the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit works submission in our hearts so that we bow before God, caught up in love and praise, giving all glory to Him for His great salvation!
C. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “GLORYING IN CHRIST JESUS.”
The King James Version inaccurately translates, “rejoice in Christ Jesus.” The word is “boast” or “glory.” Paul is basing this on Jeremiah 9:23-24: “Thus says the Lord, ‘Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.”
Have you ever been around a boaster? He goes around telling everyone how wonderful he is, how smart he is, how much he knows. Christians should go around telling people how wonderful Christ is, how great He is, how merciful, how kind, how powerful, how awesome, how righteous, etc. Boasting in ourselves is sinful pride; boasting in the Lord deflates our pride and gives all the glory to Him. True Christians confess, “The only thing I’m great at is being a great sinner; but Christ Jesus is a great Savior!”
D. TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS MARKED BY “NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH.”
Counterfeit Christianity builds a person’s self-esteem: “You’re great, you’re worthy, you’re somebody!” True Christianity humbles all pride and confidence in self. As Jeremiah 17:5, 7, 8 puts it, “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord.... Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
Why do people ignore strong warnings? I guess they think that somehow it doesn’t apply to them or that it isn’t to be taken seriously. On our vacation, we went to the Columbian icefields in Jasper National Park in Canada. You can walk to the edge of one of the glaciers, but there are signs in several languages warning of the extreme danger of walking onto the glaciers. The signs even explain why it is dangerous: there are hidden crevasses, covered by recent snowfalls, where you can easily fall to your death. A ranger told us that a year to the day before we were there, a man had gone about 60 feet out onto the glacier and had fallen through the snow into a crevasse where he died before rescuers could free him. Yet in spite of the clear warnings, dozens of people were wandering hundreds of yards out onto the glacier!
Paul warns us, “Beware of counterfeit Christianity!” You could fall into it if you disregard his warning! Just as you would examine a suspect bill to see whether it is true or counterfeit, so you should examine your heart: True Christians put off all confidence in human merit and trust completely in Christ Jesus for salvation. They rejoice in Him and all that He is to them. Beware of any false substitutes!
Prophecies Happening NOW
APOSTASY - DECEPTION WITHIN THE CHURCH
Social Gospel – Religious left
Seeker Sensitive – Water everything down – Joel Olsteen
New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) – Bethel
So-called “prophets” for profit
Contemplative Mysticism – Contemplative prayer – Let’s be like the Buddhists
Dominionism (Kingdom Now)
The church is going to make the world perfect so Jesus can return
Nothing is taken literally, including a literal Millennial Kingdom
Christ + works
Anything that does not teach Bible prophecy (1/3 of the Bible)
Anything that does not support Israel
The church is the new Israel
Jesus was a Palestinian
Blending of witchcraft and Christianity
Christianity and Islam are compatible,
Both the Bible and the Qur’an are holy texts
Silent, Useless (Pious) Christians
False Prophets in the Church Today
Following is a list of the false prophets in the Church today that have been critiqued on this site. Their prophecies have been compared with scripture to show that they are not speaking for God, as they claim. Instead they are false shepherds leading the sheep astray, saying things that tickle the ears of those who have not fully understood the Bible.
A lot of these prognosticators also preach another gospel, or replacement theology, or deny the trinity and other sound bible doctrines. The Bible tells us that we will know other Christian's by their fruit, but these false prophets in the Church today have sour fruit. Most of them live in mansions, eat rich food, drive the most expensive cars (unlike the prophets in the Bible) and have no sympathy for the poor. Also see a list of False Teachers that have been critiqued on this site.
Jesus warned us that:
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:24)
It is my sincerest wish that after reading these critiques that you also will be able to discern who is speaking for God and who is distorting the scriptures.
Other False Teachings of the Manifest Sons of God (MSOG), Latter Rain, Five Fold, Apostolic, Manchild, Kingdom Now, Dominionist, Restoration Theology, etc.
Michael Brown Warning is a video published by Moriel TV, Jacob Prasch, exposing Michael Brown as a false prophet who mixes error with truth and is a member of the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation):
The increase of apostasy is evident as false prophets are looking anywhere but the Bible for God’s Word and spouting Gnosticism, which is evident in Beware of the New "prophets"
Nathan Leal: When dreams overtake scripture
Rodney Howard Brown: A plethora of articles exposing Rodney Howard Brown as a false teacher: Articles about "Joel's Bartender," Rodney Howard-Browne.
Nostradamus: The Facts About Nostradamus and His Prophecies by Dan Corner.
Joel's Army by Let Us Reason Ministries--explains why Joel's army may be called Gods army but they are not his people. Joel's army is the raising up of a devouring army of locusts, (destroyers) to bring judgement upon the land and they will be destroyed.
Another good article exposing the Manifest Sons of God/Latter Rain/Five Fold/Apostolic/Restoration/Dominionist, etc. movements and giving a much more indepth analysis of their history is Doctrine of Demons by Tricia Tillin. This is a very long book-sized article, packed full of information. In part one she lists the progression of this heretical phenomonon through history.
The Deception in the Church web site has a plethora of articles exposing false prophets.
Christian Teachers Preaching False Doctrines
Religious doctrines are beliefs based on Scriptures in the Bible that have been accepted and taught by church leaders through the centuries. A false doctrine occurs when those beliefs have been distorted by false teachers twisting what the Bible says.
Too many false teachers in the church today distort the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, his sinless death on the cross, the gospel of Grace vs Works, eternal salvation, teachings on baptism, God's plan for Israel, when the rapture occurs, who God will punish during the Great Tribulation and more.
Paul said: "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
How to Recognize Wolves in Sheep's Clothing
Today's end times false teachers often seem to know their bible better than most Christians. However, you won't recognize when they are misinterpreting the Scriptures unless you understand the Bible yourself. They will pretend to be one of the sheep but are cleverly hiding the fact they are actually wolves in sheep's clothing, like the wolf in the Red Riding Hood fable. They will tell you what you want to hear so you will follow them and do what they say (buy their books, send them money, attend their conferences, etc).
Paul said: "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30)
Destructive Doctrines In The End Times Church Today
False teachers in the Church today pick and choose scriptures to fit their beliefs, instead of following what the Bible says. In fact too many them don't even believe the Bible to be inspired by God. They deem it to be incomplete, so they add their own interpretation, boldly defying what Scripture says about not adding to the Word of God.
John said: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." (Revelation 22:18-19)
Recognizing False Teachers in The Church Today
We can recognize those that teach false doctrine during the end times, not just by what they teach, but also by their fruit, because a healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit (Luke 6:43-44). This bad fruit usually manifests itself in the desire for money, sinful sexual activity and power over others. How many of the most popular Christian teachers live in mansions, drive expensive cars and ignore the needs of the poor?
The best thing you can do to recognize false teachers is to read your Bible, not just once but several times:
Paul said: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Following is a list of Christian False Teachers that have been critiqued on this website with their teachings compared with Scripture:
Philip B. Brown - The Bride of Christ must get out of sin before Christ returns or they will miss the Rapture.
Anthony Buzzard is an Anti-Trinitarian (Jesus was not God) and confuses the church with the Kingdom promised to Israel.
Kenneth Copeland claims Christians are destined to be blessed with financial wealth and good health
J. Preston Eby uses scriptures speaking on Christ's 2nd coming to refer to the Rapture and that the gift of the Holy Spirit isn't given when one first believes.
Billy Graham promoted ecumenicalism. He believes new believers should return to the Catholic Church. He also believed that Islam and Christianity were similar.
Bill Hamon A proponent of the Manifest Son's of God theory (MSOG) now known as the NAR (New Apostolic Reformation) where they claim Christ won't come back until the Church is purified.
Jonathan Hansen preaches a gospel of Works, Replacement Theology, Kingdom Now Theology and a lot more.
Benny Hinn False Teacher exposes his beliefs that he is a little messiah, that we are devine and we are gods.
Benny Hinn's Selective Healing is a review of one of Hinn's television programs on healing.
Benny Hinn Crusade this is a testimony by someone who attended one of Hinn's healing crusades and expressed his concerns about it.
Clarence McClendon preaches on the "all breasted God" who will give you anything you want.
Joyce Meyer on Jesus Descended into Hell claims that she is not a sinner and Christ left his work on the cross undone.
Joyce Meyer on Believers Judged She preaches that believers will be judged at the white throne judgment.
Joel Osteen Jesus spent 3 days in hell fighting Satan
Lyn Mize believes our souls (as well as our spritis) need to be saved or we will miss the Rapture.
Brother Stair an Anti-Pre-Tribber, encouraged people to not go to a doctor, or go to church and don't watch TV.
Rick Warren teaching Chrislam which denies Christ's deity and wants to merge Islam with Christianity
David Wilkerson and his faulty teaching on "the river of life".
Sollog False Prophet is a New Age prophet claiming that all religions are from the same god.
A Pandemic In Christendom: Calling Out Evangelical Compromise In The Church
As we started the year with the theme, “Waking up the Church,” I want to end the year with some shocking quotes that one would think would help wake up the church! Consider this question: are you totally sure of the virgin birth?
Did you know one well-known academic in the Christian world is only “reasonably confident” that Jesus was born of a virgin? This same person rejects a literal Adam and Eve, that Adam was made from dust, that Eve was made from Adam, that there was a literal tree of the knowledge of good and evil, a literal fruit, and a literal serpent. He also says it’s not important to insist on the inerrancy of Scripture! Oh, and yes, this person believes in millions of years and evolutionary ideas. Yet he is considered by many to be in the mainstream of evangelical Christianity! Would you consider this person to be in the mainstream of evangelical orthodoxy?
Well, I certainly don’t. In fact, what this person believes and disseminates throughout the Christian world is false teaching that undermines the authority of the Word of God. Yet many in the church highly respect him as a supposed orthodox Christian. Sadly, he has great impact on Christian colleges, seminaries, and churches. Such shocking compromise is rampant throughout Christian academia and is a major contributing factor to why there is an exodus of the younger generations from the church. I will share some exact quotes from this person later on.
Discipled To Reject Compromise
I hate compromise in regard to God’s Word. In the Old Testament, the prophets called God’s people out time and time again for compromising God’s Word with the pagan religion of the age. And we read how God judged them because of this compromise.
My father set the example for our family. He would never knowingly compromise God’s Word. He hated such compromise. When I was a teenager, the church we were attending distributed a daily devotional book to the congregation. One of the devotions was on Noah’s flood, and the writer stated the flood was just a local event. My father met with the pastor and elders and told them firmly they should not be distributing this booklet because it undermined the Word of God. While many in the church and in leadership didn’t want to “rock the boat,” my father was always willing to call out error and stand up for what was right and do his best to stop the authority of God’s Word from being undermined. For those who know me and the AiG ministry, you can see how this greatly impacted my life and the ministry God called me to.
My father also taught me to look out for those who take man’s fallible ideas and use them to reinterpret Scripture. He taught me the difference between eisegesis and exegesis. I learned from him how to “smell liberal theology a million miles away.”
I learned that Genesis 1–11 is literal history (after all, Jesus and various writers through the Old and New Testaments quoted from or referred to Genesis as literal history!). I also learned that all the different positions on Genesis (other than the position of taking it as written) have one thing in common—trying to fit millions of years into the Bible. And such compromise with millions of years undermines biblical authority and unlocks a door to place those doing this on a slippery slide of unbelief. There is no doubt one can see this has happened to the academic I referenced above. Years ago, this person was adamant one has to accept what he called “mainstream science” in reference to supposed billions of years for the age of the earth. And now consider where he is.
Craig: “I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to be true”!
The person I am referring to is William Lane Craig. He heads up his own ministry called Reasonable Faith, is a visiting professor at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University, and is a Professor of Philosophy at Houston Baptist University. He is considered by many to be a great apologist because of his defense of the existence of the Creator God and the resurrection.
Now read the following quotes and weep. I think you will be shocked at not only what Craig says but also how he says it.
“Now, I would be disingenuous, Sean, if I were to say that I don’t want the young earth creationist interpretation to come out true. To me that is a nightmare, my greatest fear is that the young earth creationist might be right in his hermeneutical claim that Genesis does teach those things that I described earlier. And I say that would be a nightmare because if that’s what the Bible teaches, it puts the Bible into massive, I think irredeemable, conflict with modern science, history and linguistics and I don’t want that to happen.”
“I think it should prompt us not to be over literalistic in the way we read these narratives. And once you begin to look at them in terms of mytho-history, it’s difficult to look at them any other way. I mean, when you read a story about two people in an arboretum with these magical trees whose fruit, if you eat it, will grant you immortality or the knowledge of good and evil, and then there is this talking snake who comes along and tempts them into sin, and then you have this anthropomorphic God walking in the cool of the garden, calling out audibly to Adam in his hideout, you think, well, of course, this is figurative and metaphorical language. This isn’t meant to be read in this sort of literalistic fashion. And so once you begin to see these narratives this way, you begin to think, how can I have read them any other way? It would be like reading Aesop’s fables literalistically as really about talking animals, for example, rather than as figurative or metaphorical in order to teach some moral lesson.”
“Assuming then, for the sake of argument, the truth of evolutionary biology concerning human origins, we can imagine sometime prior to 750,000 years ago a group of hominins, maybe a few thousand, and through a biological and spiritual renovation, perhaps divinely induced, a miracle that caused a genetic regulatory mutation in a pair of these hominins, they were lifted to fully human status and capable of supporting a rational soul through their brain and nervous system. And they would then begin to have children, and I think given their full humanity, they would naturally tend to isolate themselves from their nonhuman contemporaries. In time they and their descendants would supersede all of the nonhuman descendants and eventually give rise to different species of human beings like Neanderthals, Homo sapiens, and Denisovans.”
Licona [interviewer]: “What about the matter of Adam being made from dirt and Eve being formed from one of Adam’s ribs? Are those elements part of the myth in the mytho-history or do you think they are historical?”
Craig: “I think that is part of the figurative language of myth. I have long been suspicious of things such as the creation of Eve from a rib out of Adam’s side as though God performed some sort of literal surgery on the man and built a woman out of it or that God shaped this figurine out of dirt and breathed into its nose the breath of life and the statue came alive. It seemed to me that this was clearly figurative language, but I didn’t have a reason for thinking that until I became acquainted with this genre called mytho-history.”
“Did God stoop so low in condescending to become a man that he took on such cognitive limitations that Jesus shared false beliefs typically held by other ordinary first century Jews? Since I have good reason to believe in his deity, as explained above, I would sooner admit that Jesus could hold false beliefs (that ultimately don’t matter) rather than deny his divinity.”
In answer to the question, “Are you actually confident that Jesus was born to a virgin?” Craig’s answer: “I’m reasonably confident.”
“I don’t insist on the inerrancy of Scripture.”
“It really is true that a solid, persuasive case for Jesus’ resurrection can be made without any assumption of the Gospels’ inerrancy. By contrast, the case for Jesus’ belief that the Old Testament Scriptures are inerrant is much weaker.”
You can view the video clips where Craig made some of these statements and more at this link: Answers.tv/lane. It’s important for you to watch the videos if you can (they are all short clips).
Craig vs New Testament authors
William Lane Craig mocked the idea that the first man was made from dust. But what does the apostle Paul state? “The first man was from the earth, a man of dust” (1 Corinthians 15:47). Paul obviously took the account in Genesis as literal history. God himself in Genesis said to the man, “till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).
Craig mocked at the first woman being made from the first man.
What does the apostle Paul state? “For man was not made from woman, but woman from man” (1 Corinthians 11:8).
When Craig was asked if he believed Jesus was born of a virgin, he said, “I’m reasonably confident.”
Matthew records the following: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’” (Matthew 1:22–23).
Now there are many Christian academics and leaders who compromise Genesis, not just William Lane Craig. And why do they do this? Well, as we sinned in Adam, Genesis 3:1 really sums up the problem we have. We would rather believe man’s fallible word than the Word of the infallible God. To put it another way, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).
Hearing some of these latest statements from Craig burdened me greatly. The ministry of Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter could never compromise God’s Word with man’s fallible beliefs like the religion of millions of years/evolution. As my father taught me, a Christian should never put fallible man’s word in authority over God’s infallible Word.
More than ever, we need to challenge people with the truth of God’s Word and the saving gospel. As we celebrate the birth of the God-man Jesus at this Christmas time, let’s remember that it was in Genesis 3:15 that God first promised the Savior. Yes, the account of a literal Adam, a literal tree, a literal fruit, a literal serpent, and a literal fall is why Adam’s race needed a Savior, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), to save us from our sin.
NEW AGE / OCCULT
New Age / Occult infiltrating the churches
Notes from James, Terry . LAWLESS: End Times War Against the Spirit of Antichrist. Kindle Edition.
An occult practice is any attempt to access the spiritual realm without God—as this will inherently involve interaction with fallen angels and demons.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 – Avoid Wicked Customs
Dt 18:9 “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.
Isaiah 8:19-20 – Fear God, Heed His Word
Is 8:19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
6 in 10 U.S. Christians Hold New Age Beliefs
The past decade has seen a shocking rise in society’s fascination with the occult, pagan, and new age practices. About 6 in 10 Christians overall (61%) hold at least one of the four New Age beliefs included in the survey:
belief that spiritual energy can be located in physical things, such as mountains and trees
belief in psychics
belief in reincarnation
belief in astrology.
This is setting the stage for the brazen spiritual rebellion during the Great Tribulation. Despite God’s supernatural punishments on the unbelieving, deceived people, they will still not repent of their worship of devils and idols and of their practice of sorceries. Witchcraft, sorcery, and demon worship will be the dominant religions of the end times.
2 Thessalonians 27-12 – The Great Apostasy
2Th 2 :7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Revelation 9:20-21 – Sixth Trumpet: The Angels from the Euphrates
Rev 9:20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The mystery of iniquity, the deception of the nonbelieving world that will ultimately lead to the global worship of the Antichrist, is already permeating the world. In America and Western society, what were once considered fringe, bizarre pagan practices have become commonplace and trending parts of spiritual life. As the preaching of sound biblical Christianity wanes, there has been a massive increase in the mystical practices the Bible teaches are in fact directly connected to the demonic world and Satan.
Energy and Healing Crystals
Today, the “psychic healing” industry has exploded with millions of willing customers seeking to use spiritual means to help their physical and mental well-being. One of the greatest examples of this new societal fascination with the mystical healing craze is energy or healing crystals. These stones are said to be imbued with physical, emotional, spiritual, and metaphysical powers. Do you have an aching back? There is a quartz crystal that is the best remedy. Suffering from anxiety? Amethyst or agate are the best recommendations. There are even crystals for recovering from a broken heart or loss of a loved one. This has all helped fuel a billion-dollar industry as a broad segment of society—from Wall Street executives to Hollywood celebrities touting their healing crystals on social media.
The Devil Imitates and Distorts Divine Use of Stones – He who was a liar and murderer from the beginning has been most successful in his deceptions by being an imitator of God. You often see this in Scripture. God has wise virgins; Satan has virgins also—false. Christ sows good seed—wheat; Satan sows seed too—tares. God has a vine—“the true vine”; Satan has a vine also—“the vine of the earth.” Christ has a bride; Satan has a harlot. God has a city—the new Jerusalem; Satan has also a city—Babylon.
Exodus 28:30 – The Breastplate
Ex 28 30 And you shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the Lord. So Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel over his heart before the Lord continually.
The Urim and Thummim were essential elements of the breastplate of the high priest of God in the Old Testament. Aaron, as high priest, wore the breastplate on his chest to “bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually” (Exodus 28:30). Urim (אוּרִים in Hebrew) means “lights” and Thummim (תֻּמִּים in Hebrew) means “perfection.” The high priest was the only member of the nation permitted to enter the tabernacle on Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, when the presence of God would manifest above the ark of the covenant. This was a high holy day for the high priest to perform sacrifices to atone for the sins of the nation. The Lord wanted the tribes of Israel to be symbolically on Aaron’s heart as he bore the precious stones on his breastplate. This is all a beautiful type and foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true High Priest for all believers. Jesus Christ is the Light and it is His perfection that allowed Him to be a sacrifice for all of humanity. He is the true Urim and Thummim. In the Old Testament account, these very special stones had supernatural, divine properties and were used to determine God’s will for important decisions by a leader.
Pharmakeia: Drug Use and Demon-Possession
Sorceries [pharmakeia or φαρμακεία]
The Greek word pharmakeia is where the English word “pharmacy” is derived from. It was synonymous with sorcery in the Bible. “Sorceries” means “the use of drugs” which denotes the magic rites of the heathen. Mystics and witches alike have long touted narcotics for their ability to help access the spiritual realm. In ancient times, mixtures of herbs and animal parts were concocted to assist an occult practitioner in casting spells or summoning spirits.
In the Septuagint (LXX, the oldest extant version of the Old Testament), pharmakeia was used to describe the “enchantments” that the Egyptians sorcerers used to mimic Moses turning the Nile river to blood (Exodus 7:22 and of Babylon Isaiah 47:9, 12).
A form of the word is used to describe the “witchcrafts” of Jezebel
2Ki 9:22 Now it happened, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, “Is it peace, Jehu?” So he answered, “What peace, as long as the harlotries of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft are so many?”
In Galatians 5:20 it is placed next to idolatry; elsewhere in the NT the word occurs only in [Revelation 18:23; 21:8; and 22:15] both of which texts are cognate to this verse. Suicer connects the word with the use of drugs in causing abortion and infanticide, and thus its connection here with idolatry on the one hand; and with murder and fornication on the other, (i.e. with carnal and spiritual fornication) can be accounted for.
In modern times, as government officials push to legalize drugs, the use of narcotics has become more acceptable and normalized in society. So, to no surprise, they have exploded in use for those seeking to use them for spiritual enlightenment or to commune with the spirit realm.
Revelation 9:21 – Sixth Trumpet: The Angels from the Euphrates
Rev 9:21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Rev 18:23 – Finality of Babylon’s Fall
Rev 18:23 The light of a lamp shall not shine in you anymore, and the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you anymore. For your merchants were the great men of the earth, for by your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
From the days of the Exodus, the use of herbs and drugs has been connected to the occult. Johannes and Jambres, the two Egyptian sorcerers who attempted to mimic the wonders performed by Moses, used “enchantments” to boost their access to the spiritual realm: And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. And the magicians of Egypt did so with their enchantments [pharmakeia]: and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, neither did he hearken unto them; as the Lord had said. (Exodus 7:20–22, LXX)
World Religions, Cults & The Occult (Series in Progress)
There's a lot of confusion in the world about religion, and what the right path is. Whether it's Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc., there must be an absolute path to take since all religions are diametrically opposed to each other. Is it one God? Or many gods? Are all the names equating to the same spirit? Or is it all a mixed bag of confusion? Since God is not the author of confusion, this series will make it absolutely clear by unraveling the truth behind each and answering the hard questions.
With so many belief systems and the heart of man trying to fill a void that only God can fill, some people find themselves involved in strange spiritual groups that sometimes lead to awful consequences. Some of these cults are ran by people who really believe that they are God. Could you be involved in a cult? Have you been deceived by a pseudo form of Christianity? Have you been told that you can become your own god? Well this series also covers the controversial topics of cults and why there are so many in the world today.
Satanism, witchcraft, sorcery and so on. We've all heard of these from one time to another. With the continuing rise of Neo-Paganism, it should be no surprise that the occult is flourishing in these last days. If you want a better understanding of this dark belief system then this series is for you. The war in the spirit realm is very real and you need to be equipped to deal with the realities. We'll go behind the secret teachings, history and practices, leaving you totally informed.
Topical teaching discussing the overall practice of Freemasonry and how many in this well-known fraternity claim to be Christians while serving another master. This teaching will examine the core beliefs of Freemasonry based on their doctrines, creeds, literature, and leadership. We will also look into rituals and rites that go directly against the word of God, as well as expose the fact that Freemasonry is a religion within itself. The hopes of this teaching is to warn all Christians of the subtle and destructive principalities that are deeply woven within Masonry. In the end, Christians should see that Freemasonry is not compatible with being a Christian.
God's Roadmap to the End
Very long, very disturbing, very true...
Zec 11:17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock!
A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye;
His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.”
The Maze of Masonry - Should a Christian be a Mason? By Dr. David R. Reagan
In the mid-1980’s I was holding a meeting at a large church in Lexington, Kentucky, when I received a phone call at my motel from one of the church members. The caller identified himself as one of our radio listeners. He said he had heard a broadcast of mine about Masonry, and he wanted to talk with me about it. He asked if he could come to my room for a visit, and I agreed.
When he arrived, he shared with me an incident that had happened at his church. One of the assistant pastors had been teaching a course on the cults. One Sunday morning as he concluded his lesson, he announced, “Next week we will conclude our study of the cults by taking a look at the Masons.”
My visitor said he was dumbfounded by this announcement. “I immediately protested,” he said. “I told him I was a Mason, and I did not consider the organization to be cultic in nature.”
“Well,” the teacher responded, “I really don’t know that much about it. I’m just presenting the material in my teacher’s manual.”
After discussing the matter back and forth for a few minutes, the teacher made an offer: “I’ll tell you what,” he said, “next week I’ll present my material and then I will give you half the class time to present your rebuttal.”
My visitor said he accepted the offer and went to work immediately studying Masonry.
I asked what he meant by “studying Masonry.”
He replied that although he had been a Mason many years, he knew almost nothing about the fundamental beliefs of the organization.
When I asked how that could be, he explained that he had simply bought each of his Masonic degrees without doing any study.
“What happened next?” I asked.
He said he started his research by reading the Kentucky Masonic handbook. “When I got to page 95, I put the book down, repented before God for ever becoming a Mason, took a hammer and beat my Masonic ring to a pulp, and then sent a letter of resignation to my lodge.”
“Wow!” I replied. “What in the world was on page 95?”
At that point, he handed me the handbook and told me I could keep it. I immediately turned to page 95 and found the following paragraph:
“Masonry makes no profession of Christianity… but looks forward to the time when the labor of our ancient brethren shall be symbolized by the erection of a spiritual temple… in which there shall be but one altar and one worship; one common altar of Masonry on which the Veda [Hinduism], Shastras [Buddhism], Sade [Astrology], Zend-Avesta [Zoroastrianism], Koran [Islam], and Holy Bible shall lie untouched by sacrilegious hands, and at whose shrine the Hindoo (sic), the Persian, the Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Egyptian, the Chinese, the Mohammedan, the Jew, and the Christian may kneel and with one united voice celebrate the praises of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.”
Notice how this paragraph equates the Bible with the pagan scriptures and then asserts it is possible to obtain salvation through any religion. In short, this paragraph refutes the Gospel which maintains that “there is salvation in no other name under heaven except the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:12).
How could any Christian give his allegiance to an organization whose beliefs make a mockery of the Gospel? And yet, thousands of professing Christians, even many pastors and elders, have done so by becoming Masons.
The Nature of Masonry: Fraternal Order or Religion?
Masonry is a fraternal, social, and service organization. But it is more. It is also a religious organization.
The Masons nearly always deny this in their public statements, but their official literature and their actions make it clear that Masonry is a religion. They require a belief in God — any god — as a condition of membership. They have published a Masonic Bible that contains special study guides. They conduct funerals for their members. Most important (as we shall see later), their official, non-public literature is filled with religious doctrine.
Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia, considered to be the most authoritative and influential Masonic book today, states point blank that “Freemasonry is undoubtedly a religion.” In Albert G. Mackey’s Manual of the Lodge he says: “As Masons we are taught never to begin any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution.” In another of his books, Mackey (considered the third most influential Masonic writer) declares that “the religion of Masonry is cosmopolitan and universal.”
The greatest Masonic writer of all times, Albert Pike, argued that “every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion.” He further stated, “Masonry is… the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted in the heart of universal humanity.”
Some personal experiences have convinced me that many Masons look upon the Masonic Order as their church, or perhaps more appropriately, as their ticket to Heaven.
This conclusion is based upon the letters I received from the wives of Masons during the 22 years I had a nationwide radio program (1980-2002). Every time I would broadcast a series of radio programs about Masonry, I would receive a flood of letters from wives expressing deep concern about their husbands’ involvement in the organization.
The letters read like a broken record. Over and over the same sentiment was expressed: “My husband is a Mason. He claims to be a Christian. Yet he never studies his Bible, rarely prays, and attends church with me only two or three times a year. But he never misses a Masonic meeting.”
Another experience that I vividly remember occurred at a church in Indiana in the late 1980’s. When I arrived to conduct a prophecy conference for them, I noticed a large chart in the foyer. A number of people were standing around studying the chart.
When I asked what it was all about, a man who introduced himself as one of the elders, explained that the pastor had called for a 24 hour prayer vigil at the church in behalf of the conference. On the chart were the names of dozens of people who had signed up to come to the church to pray for 30 minutes, day and night. I was impressed.
I turned to the elder and asked, “Where is your name on the chart?”
“Oh, it’s not there,” he said. “You see, last night was my Masonic lodge meeting, so I couldn’t be here to pray.”
The Nature of Masonry: Is it a Cult?
As we shall see, the Masonic Order has definite cultic characteristics, but it is not a classic cult because it does not require membership in it only, to the exclusion of all other groups or churches. In fact, Masons are encouraged to be an active member of a local church.
This distinctive feature of Masonry has given the organization far more influence within Christendom than all the recognized cults put together.
Rather than labeling Masonry a cult, I prefer to call it a false religion, and I think I can prove that assertion.
Many Christian denominations have recognized the cultic nature of Masonry and have taken decisive steps to retard its influence among their members. For example, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church prohibits Masons from becoming members of their church. Likewise, the Nazarene Church has banned from its membership any person who is a member of a secret organization like the Masons.
The Catholic Church has also taken a strong stand against Masonry. Ever since 1728 Catholics have been prohibited from joining the Masons. That stance was reaffirmed by the Vatican in 1984 with a pronouncement that any Catholic who joins the Masons is “in a state of grave sin and cannot partake in Holy Communion.”
The British Methodist Church also condemned Masonry at its General Assembly in 1985. The Assembly acted on a report of its Faith and Order Committee. That report, entitled “Freemasonry & Methodism,” outlined the occultic nature of Masonry in detail. The report concluded with these words: “There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing.”
Many other denominations, both in the United States and abroad, have passed resolutions condemning Masonry as un-Christian in nature. Groups here in America include the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Mennonite Church, the Christian Reformed Church, the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America — among others.
The glaring omission, of course, is the Southern Baptists, and this is a very serious matter because many Southern Baptists, including pastors and deacons, are also Masons.
Many Southern Baptists who strongly oppose Masonry were able to get a resolution passed at their 1992 convention which asked their membership to avoid association with organizations that operate in secret and which espouse doctrines that conflict with clear biblical teaching.
Even though Masonry was not specifically mentioned in this resolution, its wording infuriated Masons, and they went to work to override it. Thousands of Christian Masons were encouraged to attend the 1993 convention. A special publication was issued that showed Baylor University officials on the cover wearing their Masonic regalia. The publication declared that “Masonry is perfectly compatible with the classic Protestant belief in justification by faith.”
During the interim leading up to the 1993 convention, a special committee studied the issue and released an incredible report in which it admitted that there were things about Masonry that were pagan, unscriptural, and in conflict with basic Christian beliefs, but recommended nonetheless that membership in the Masonic Order “be a matter of personal conscience.” The convention adopted this recommendation.
A Personal Observation
In light of the strong bans against Masonic membership that have been pronounced by many Christian denominations, I want to make one thing very clear before I proceed. I am not advocating that Masons be kicked out of their local churches. I know many fine Christian men who are Masons. Most of them are in the Masonic Order for business contacts or social purposes or because it is a family heritage. Most of them do not pay any attention to the organization’s religious teachings. In fact, most are probably ignorant of what Masonry teaches about God.
In other words, I believe it is possible for a person who is ignorant of Masonry’s religious teachings to be both a Mason and a Christian. But I do not believe a person can be an informed Mason and a committed Christian at the same time.
I have concluded that because of Masonry’s cultic characteristics and its totally false religious doctrines, a Christian who is a Mason can never grow to his full potential in Christ. For this reason, I believe that no Mason should be put in a position of leadership in a local church. How can any person serve effectively as a Christian spiritual leader when he has compromised his commitment to Christ by participating in a cult-like organization that promotes a false religion?
What are the cultic characteristics of Masonry? Two which cannot be denied by any Mason are the requirement of secrecy and the taking of oaths.
Masonry is a secret organization. Ask any Mason what goes on at his meetings, and he will start evading your questions. He is sworn to secrecy. This is a classic characteristic of cultic groups, and it is an attitude that stands in opposition to Scripture. The Bible says: “Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:20-21).
The irony in all this is that, in actuality, the Masonic Order really does not have any secrets because thousands of men have come out of Masonry and have exposed all its “secrets” in many publications. These revelations have shed light on a second cultic feature.
Every Mason is required to take three blood oaths. For example, in the first degree of Masonry, as an Entered Apprentice, the person is required to place a curse on himself by swearing an oath that he will bind himself “under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across and my tongue torn out by the roots… so help me God.”
It is incredible that the name of God would be invoked in such a demonic oath, particularly when the Bible commands us not to take any oaths at all: “Do not swear at all… simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:34-37).
At the second degree, the Fellow Craft level, the Mason swears “to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder… if ever I should prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation… so help me God.”
The third degree Master Mason swears “to have my body severed in two in the midst, and divided to the north and south, and my bowels burnt to ashes in the center, and the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven… were I ever to prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this solemn oath… so help me God.”
No Christian has any business putting himself under such oaths, even if they are not taken seriously. God takes them seriously, and so does Satan.
Further, in the case of married men, these oaths create a barrier to the marriage relationship because they put the Mason under an obligation to refrain from revealing his Masonic activities to his wife.
Also, in these oaths, absolute allegiance is pledged to all fellow Masons, many of whom do not even confess Jesus as Christ. This violates Scripture, for we are commanded not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers, “for what fellowship does darkness have with light?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The Different Levels of Masonry
In addition to the three oaths above that are required of all Masons, there are many other demonic oaths that are required should a person desire to go further in Masonry.
Most Masons are content to remain a third degree, Master Mason. Few venture beyond that point because each degree thereafter is expensive to obtain. But those who desire to go further have two choices. They can either pursue the Scottish Rite which advances by numerical degrees, beginning with the fourth and ending with the 32nd (the 33rd degree is honorary). Or they can seek to achieve the degree of Knights Templar by following the York Rite and its named degrees.
Both a 32nd degree Mason and a Knights Templar are eligible to become a Shriner. The Shriners are the most conspicuous part of Masonry. They wear red fez hats and ride motorcycles in parades. They are commonly referred to by other Masons as “the party animals of Freemasonry.” Tom McKenney, who became one of the top leaders of Masonry before he found the Lord, states that the initiation ceremonies for Shriners are particularly childish, rowdy, and often vulgar and degrading.
Most people are not aware of the fact that the Shrine is the Islamic expression of Freemasonry, making it clearly anti-Christian. The full name is “Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine,” and everything about the Shrine is based on the Muslim faith and Arabic symbolism.
Other Demonic Oaths
All Shriners are required to take an oath in which they make several promises. They conclude the oath by saying that if they should ever break any of their promises, “may I incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my feet flayed, and… may Allah, the god of Arab Moslem and Mohammedan, the god of our fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same, Amen.” This is said by the candidate while he is kneeling before a Muslim altar with his hand on the Koran!
The Scottish Rite tenth degree oath is also particularly demonic in nature. Notice how it commits the oath taker to commit murder, if necessary:
“I do promise and swear upon the Holy Bible never to reveal where I have received this degree… and in failure of this I consent to have my body opened perpendicularly and to be exposed for eight hours in the open air, so that the venomous flies may eat my entrails, my head to be cut off and put on the highest pinnacle of the world, and I will always be ready to inflict the same punishment on those who shall disclose this degree and break this obligation. So may God help and maintain me. Amen.”
When Tom McKenney was awarded the honorary 33rd degree at a special ceremony at the Masonic headquarters in Washington, D.C., he was required to drink wine from a skull and say, “May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me, as the hemlock juice drunk by Socrates, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same [his oath].”
One Christian writer expressed it well when he referred to Masonry’s “horrid oaths” and observed that they contain penalties which would “shame a common cannibal.”
Unscriptural Doctrines: Many Roads to God
Several doctrines taught by the Masons are particularly repulsive to the Word of God. One is that there are many ways to God. Consider, for example, this quote from Carl Claudy’s book, Introduction to Freemasonry: “In his private petitions a man may petition God or Jehovah, Allah or Buddha, Mohammed or Jesus; he may call upon the God of Israel or the Great First Cause. In the Masonic Lodge he hears petition to the Great Architect of the Universe, finding his own deity under that name. A hundred paths may wind upward around a mountain; at the top they meet.” By contrast, Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…” (John 14:6).
In other words, Masonry teaches salvation through all religions, whereas the Bible teaches there is salvation in only one name under heaven — the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).
Salvation by Works
Another unscriptural Masonic doctrine is salvation by works. Masonic literature is replete with references to being justified before God through good works.
For example, in the Kentucky Masonic handbook, the lambskin apron worn by Masons is described as a reminder “of that purity of life and conduct which is essential to gaining admission to the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.” The Holman edition of the Masonic Bible contains a Masonic Creed that asserts that “character determines destiny.” The former Masonic Grand Chaplain of Pennsylvania summed it up this way:
“The philosophy of Freemasonry is to make man the master of his own destiny, to show him that there also is an immortality on earth brought by his actions; that he can, through his own efforts… inscribe his name in the ‘Book of Life.'”
Jesus is One of Many Saviors
A third unbiblical doctrine of Masonry relates to their view of Jesus. He is portrayed in Masonic literature as one of many Saviors. Consider this quote from the Kentucky handbook:
“All antiquity… believed in a future life… and in a Mediator or Redeemer… The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; the Masons, Hiram.”
As this paragraph indicates, Jesus comes across in Masonic literature as nothing more than one of many enlightened men. He certainly is not viewed as divine. Former Masonic leader, Jim Shaw, has written that in official Masonic doctrine, “Jesus is just a man. He is one of the ‘exemplars,’ one of the great men of the past, but not divine and certainly not the only means of redemption of lost mankind.”
One other thing — Masons are not allowed to pray in their lodges in the name of Jesus. Yet the Word of God says that Christians are to offer all prayers in Jesus’ name (Colossians 3:17).
A God Alien to the Bible
According to Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia all men involved in Masonry must decide between the inferior Christian God and the true God of Masonry:
“Men have to decide whether they want a God like the ancient Hebrew Jahweh, a partisan, tribal God, with whom they can talk and argue and from whom they can hide if necessary, or a boundless, eternal, universal, undenominational, and international, Divine Spirit, so vastly removed from the speck called man, that He cannot be known, named, or approached.”
This quotation makes it clear that the God of Masonry, called The Great Architect of the Universe and symbolized by the all-seeing eye, is not the true God of the Bible. The Bible reveals that the creator of this universe is a triune God consisting of one God in three persons. The Bible further reveals that He is a Father God who desires intimate fellowship with His creation. He is anything but a “tribal God” who is aloof and unapproachable (Isaiah 57:15).
Although Masons are taught that the real name of God cannot be known because it has been lost, those who pursue the higher levels of Masonry are ultimately told that the secret name of the Masonic deity is Jabulon. This is an acronym for Jehovah, Baal (the ancient Canaanite god), and Osiris (an Egyptian mystery god). Can there really be any doubt that Masonry is steeped in paganism?
The Masonic Defense
Many Masons respond to these criticisms by observing that George Washington was a Mason and that fourteen of our Presidents have been Masons. But these facts are irrelevant. No one denies that many good and great men have been and are Masons.
Others defend the Masons by pointing out that many ministers are Masons. This too does not prove anything. Many ministers are also members of the apostate National Council of Churches, and many ministers are unsaved.
Another defense of Masonry is that it honors the Bible as God’s Word. The Standard Masonic Monitor maintains that the Bible is “the Great Light in Masonry” and even advises Masons to study it diligently. But this claim is highly misleading. In actuality, the Bible is officially designated as a piece of “lodge furniture.” In Utah, Masons place the Book of Mormon on their lodge altars. In India, the Hindu Vedras are placed on the altar, and in Muslim lands, the altar features the Koran.
The Masonic attitude toward the Bible is best summed up by an article that appears in the Masonic Bible that is published by Holman:
“Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to revere every book of faith… joining hands with the man of Islam as he takes his oath on the Koran, and with the Hindu as he makes covenant with God upon the book that he loves best. For Masonry knows what so many forget, that religions are many, but Religion is one… Therefore, it invites to its altar men of all faiths knowing that, if they use different names for “the Nameless One of a hundred names,” they are yet praying to the one God and Father of all; knowing also, that while they read different volumes, they are in fact reading the same vast Book of the Faith of Man.”
What incredible blasphemy of God and His Holy Word!
Finally, Masons try to defend themselves by pointing to the good works of the Masonic Order. But again, no one denies that Masons do many good works. Their good works are just not relevant to the issue. Furthermore, the Bible tells us that we are to do our good works in the name of Jesus so that He will receive the honor and glory (Colossians 3:17).
The Real Issue
The real issue is Jesus Christ. He calls us to be open about our faith. The Masons operate in secret. Jesus calls us to refrain from taking oaths. The Masons require blood oaths. Jesus call us to do all things in His name, to His honor and glory. Masons do their good works in the name of Masonry and to the glory of “The Great Architect of the Universe.” The Word says Jesus is “the blessed and only potentate” (1 Timothy 6:14-15). Masons exalt their temple leaders by calling them spiritual titles like “Worshipful Master.” Jesus said He is the only way to God. Masons argue there are many roads to God.
If you are a Christian and a Mason, I believe you should repent of your involvement and denounce the Masonic oaths you have taken. You should ask God to forgive you for ever having taken the oaths. You should resign your Masonic membership and rededicate yourself to Jesus and Him only.
Then you should start spending the time you used to spend in Masonry in your local church working to expand the Kingdom of God.
Good News Concerning the Masons
Masonic membership within the United States has been diminishing rapidly.
In 1958 the number of Masons in the U.S. stood at 4.2 million, or 2.4% of the total population.
By the beginning of 2005 the American membership had dropped to less than 1.5 million, or 0.6% of the population.
Most Masons today are over the age of 50. The movement is obviously dying, and we can be thankful for that.