“The Passion Translation is a better translation than the King James.” –Beni Johnson

According to Rick Becker over at Famine In The Land:

If you believe Beni Johnson, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell to you. During the last few years, many pastors and scholars have exposed the glaring flaws of The Passion Translation. There is literally no excuse for any believer to use or condone this “translation” that originated in the imagination of one man’s mind–and probably with a little help from deceiving spirits.

It comes as no surprise that Bethel …continue reading article…

How to cancel the “cancel culture”

A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind. (Proverbs 18:2)

According to Sandy Simpson over at Deception in the Church:

“Cancel culture” is defined thusly,

Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both. (Wikipedia)

Sorry, but there actually is no way to cancel the cancel culture. Well, there is one very important exception. …continue reading article…

Book of the Year winner: “Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret”

The Word Like Fire’s 2020 selection for Book of the Year is Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret, written by Don and Joy Veinot and Marcia Montenegro, and it was an easy choice.

People are enthralled with the Enneagram, believers and non-believers alike, and its influence continues to grow. But the Enneagram is not really about “personality types,” although this is why many have initially been drawn to it.

As pointed out by co-author Don Veinot, the Enneagram has unbiblical origins. Veinot notes that it is is an occult spiritual tool, not a self-improvement tool; it teaches a different Christ, asserts a different God, promotes a different salvation, and asserts a different resurrection. Thus it is a different gospel.

Please consider getting this book for your pastor so that your local church will be better equipped to deal with this spiritually deceptive practice.

Related: Winner 2020 “Most Memorable Quote” Award

Related: A Book Review of Richard Rohr and the Enneagram Secret

The Bible Project wins “Most Memorable Quote of 2020” Award

Enough with the suspense already. The winner of the coveted Most Memorable Quote of 2020 * Award is The Bible Project, for this wonderfully whimsical and wishful assertion about hell:

But it’s not someplace other than heaven or earth. It’s a place where people are sustained by God’s mercy and care but God allows them the dignity of not being in a relationship with Him if they don’t want. [1] (emphasis mine)

Well done! Congratulations to The Bible Project for this prize winning quote. It may not be biblical, but it is a conversation starter.

Related information: Hell needs “reframing” says The Bible Project co-founder

More: Warning about “The Bible Project”

Bonus: What Does God’s Word Teach Regarding Heaven and Hell?

* Remember, The Most Memorable Quote is not required to have been specifically written or spoken in 2020 per se, but it must have been heard and/or read by a qualified and objective TWLF judge within the 12 months of said year.

Source Notes:

1. Tim Mackie, The Bible Project Podcast, Heaven and Earth, Q and R Transcript

The very first version of the Twelve Steps

So, just when did Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill  Wilson become fascinated with the biblically forbidden practice of spiritualism? Was it through Dr. Bob Smith, the other A.A. co-founder, and his wife, Anne Smith?

The official A.A. biography of Bill Wilson almost seems to suggest as much: “It is not clear when he first became interested in extrasensory phenomena; the field was something that Dr. Bob and Anne Smith were also deeply involved with. Whether or not Bill initially became interested through them, there are references to seances and other psychic events in the letters Bill wrote to Lois [his wife] during that first Akron summer with the Smiths, in 1935.”[1]

But Wilson’s interest seems to have started earlier. Wilson’s wife, Lois, came from a Swedenborgian family. Her own grandfather had been a Swedenborgian minister. Early in their relationship “Bill learned that [Lois’ family] were all Swedenborgians, and the mystic aspect of the faith so fascinated them they vowed to explore it more deeply one day.”[2]

The Swedenborgian religion is founded on the prolific writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a brilliant man who made contributions in fields such as metallurgy, zoology, physics, and many others.

One of Swededenborg’s greatest accomplishments, however, may well have occurred long after his death. Exposure to Swedenborgianism seems to have greatly influenced Bill Wilson’s inclination to spiritualism.

As noted, Swedenborg was a prolific writer, and his writings spread after his death, first to England and then to America. Swedenborg believed that the true meaning of the Bible had been revealed to him by the Lord. It was his destiny, he believed, to explain this new revelation through his writing.

Some of Swedenborg’s admirers were Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ Johnny ‘Appleseed’ Chapman, Helen Keller, and Carl Jung. When Bill Wilson met Lois Burnham, his future wife, he was exposed to the Swedenborgian belief system.

As noted, Swedenborgians do not believe the Salvation is exclusively through Jesus Christ. They love the Bible, even while denying that Jesus is Savior. This influence significantly affected Bill Wilson, and much of the revisionist history that links Wilson with the Bible in A.A. history completely ignores this.

According to Swdenborgian scholar Robert D. Merrill, “In her autobiography, ‘Lois Remembers,‘ she recounts fond memories of her New Church home life, including her delight in Sunday dinner discussions with the visiting minister and other friends from the church. She tells of the strength and guidance she received from Swedenborg’s teachings… In January of 1918 Bill and Lois were married in the Swedenborgian church in Brooklyn, New York.”[3]

Swedenborg has been called the ‘Father of modern spiritualism.’ While that may sound oxymoronic, there is much truth in this.

Swedenborg believed he spoke with Martin Luther, Aristotle, the apostles, various spirits, and many, many entities. As anyone who has investigated knows, Bill Wilson spent decades in similar contact with deceptive spirits. READ

Throughout A.A.’s history are indications of the devil’s handiwork. These are small things, perhaps, but indicative nevertheless. It was still astounding to discover that Emanuel Swedenborg had written about ‘twelve steps’ more than one hundred and fifty years before the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Swedenborg writes, “[Angels] picture wisdom as a magnificently and finely decorated palace. One climbs to enter this palace by twelve steps. One can only arrive at the first step by means of the Lord’s power through joining with Him…As a person climbs these steps, he perceives that no one is wise from himself but from the Lord…the twelve steps into the palace of wisdom signify love in union with faith and faith in union with love.”[4]

Did Wilson copy this term from Emanuel Swedenborg? I do not believe so. I believe that Wilson, having opened himself up to communication with spirits, received his twelve steps from the same place as had Swedenborg.

Professor Leon James notes, “Swedenborg reports conversations with historically known figures such as Moses, David, Mary, Aristotle, Luther, Newton…”[5]

Swedenborg did not believe people end up in hell because they reject Jesus Christ. Sadly, Swedenborg and Wilson probably see things in a whole new light now.

Endnotes:

1. Pass It On, pg.275

2. Bill W., by Robert Thomsen, pg.85

3. DOCTRINAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, THE OXFORD GROUP, AND THE NEW CHURCH, Robert D. Merrill

4. Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Providence, Paragraph 36

5. http: //www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonpsy/instructor/np98.html

Revival Fever

According to Rick Becker of Famine In The Land:

If there’s one word being used in evangelical circles to an excessive degree it’s revival. When it comes to present-day revivals, they are largely associated with packed stadiums, gatherings in strategic places, celebrity speakers, trending worship songs, and feel good “prophetic words.”

Some believe we are currently experiencing revival, but this assumption is based on activity in the visible church, particularly within the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) By attaching the word revival to their meetings or movement, the self appointed “apostles” and “prophets” of the NAR are securing the attention and devotion of their deluded followers. 

After all, no one wants to miss out on what “God is doing.” But if we examine the roots and characteristics of NAR revivals, we’ll discover that their “revivals” are manufactured and simply a perpetuation of a great delusion.

Revival is a complex topic with various definitions, but I’ll offer two for the benefit of those who may need a general sense of what a revival entails. …Continue reading article at Famine In The Land…

12 Step belief system in opposition to Christ

One of the most effective and enduring spiritual viruses to ever infect the visible church…

The Word Like Fire

“Twelve-Step programs are in essence…[a]rchetypical precursors of a one-world religion,” write Martin and Deidre Bobgan. [1]

Three anti-biblical principles are percolating away in Alcoholics Anonymous. We find them in the 12 Steps. These are: 1) denial of the biblical Savior, Jesus Christ; 2) generic, Christ-less versions of “sin” and “repentance”; and 3) the use of (unholy) meditation.

So, where is all this in Alcoholics Anonymous theology? Let’s take a look:

Spiritual Principle Number One: Alcoholics Anonymous promulgates the “higher power” concept (3rd Step). This can be anything from a bird to Buddha to bubble bath; a spirit, a new age “jesus,” the universe or … you get my point here. In A.A. theology, Jesus Christ is reduced to one higher power among many. In other words, it does not matter what you believe in, only that you believe in something.

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus is…

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Does the Bible actually teach we’re not to judge others?

According to Marsha West:

Some professing Christians become infuriated when those of us in a discernment ministry has the chutzpah to report on a false teacher by name, as if naming names is unbiblical.  High-profile leaders and bloggers who mention heretics by name are often accused of demonizing or judging them. 

Invariably someone will cite Matthew 18:15-17:

“If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Whenever I write about a false teacher, I’m frequently asked if I’ve gone privately to that person in an effort to correct him or her.  My response … continue reading article over at Christian Research Network…

Vitamin D and COVID 19: The Evidence for Prevention and Treatment of Coronavirus (SARS CoV 2)

The Word Like Fire will return shortly to combatting the spiritual viruses within the visible church. Here, however, is an interesting presentation about Vitamin D and COVID 19.

This doctor has the rare ability to explain these studies in a way that can be easily understood by non-scientific people such as myself. The presentation does offer some hope and encouragement.