PROPHETIC RESEARCH GROUP
A Biblical Ministry to Women
RELIGION: Bible, changed - Ro.1:25
THE MYSTICAL BIBLE:
The basis of this study is the English paraphrased text of the New Testament written by Eugene Peterson, called "The Message." Through the use of paraphrase, 'The Message' was 'crafted' to present the doctrines of mysticism to the Christian church in order to seduce it into occultism and the New Age Movement. Those readers who recognize mystical/occult terminology, will definitely get "the message" Mr. Peterson is seeking to convey within his Bible version.
A. Key verse
Ro.1:25- Who CHANGED THE TRUTH of God into a lie, and worshipped the creature more than the Creator ...
Note- See III.E. for 'The Message's' perversion of this verse
Through the use of paraphrase, 'The Message' was 'crafted' to present the doctrines of mysticism to the Christian church in order to seduce it into occultism and the New Age Movement.
The basis of this study is the English paraphrased text of the New Testament written by Eugene Peterson, called "The Message." Those readers who recognize mystical/occult terminology, will definitely get "the message" Mr. Peterson is seeking to convey within his Bible version. On the back of his Proverbs Version, he writes, "Discover ancient wisdom you can use in your life today." In section IV.C., you will "discover" that "ancient wisdom" is a term that refers to the esoteric wisdom, doctrines, and terminology taught by the ancient mystery religions. Mr. Peterson goes on to say that his version of "Proverbs makes these words of ancient wisdom accessible to modern generations..." This parrots the remark made by Michael Howard in his book "Occult Conspiracy," where he says that occultist Rudolf Steiner made the esoteric teachings of Ancient Wisdom 'accessible to the average person' - see II.G.. On the cover page of his New Testament, Mr. Peterson writes, "The Message is a contemporary rendering of the Bible from the original languages, crafted to present its tone, rhythm, events and ideas in everyday speech." Since Masonry refers to itself as "the craft," it's not surprising to -find that Mr. Peterson has "crafted" Masonic initiation practices into his version - see Appendix I.C.
Seeing that mysticism/occultism uses and demands an allegorical interpretation of Scripture, the translation method of paraphrase/dynamic equivalence is preferable for those seeking to "craft" a mystical interpretation into the translation. Also, by using paraphrase, one has all the Bible verses at his disposal, without being limited to only the Greek changes offered by the Nestle/Aland Greek New Testament that the more literal modern translations rely upon. Therefore, this study seeks to look at only the paraphrased verses that relate specifically to mysticism, rather than addressing the Greek changes, because most of the Greek changes deal with removed portions of Scripture, and it is much easier to see what "Message" Mr. Peterson is trying to promote by reading the words that are found IN the text, rather than what has been OMITTED FROM the text.
Two endorsers of "The Message,"
Richard Foster and Madeleine L'Engle, will be used to define most of the
mystical terms appearing in the text, because they are both involved in,
and promote, mysticism. As for the other endorsers, one is reminded of
the old saying, "birds of a feather flock together;" or, as the Lord so
wisely said in Matt.24:8, "for wheresoever the carcass is, there will the
eagles be gathered together." When one serves up a mystical "piece de resistance,"
it is interesting to see who comes to dinner. After you have finished studying
this material, hopefully you will have lost your appetite for this dish.
"Single-minded, persevering faithfulness confirms the authenticity of our spirituality. The ancestors we look to for encouragement in this business - Augustine of Hippo and Julian of Norwich, John Calvin ... Teresa of Avila - didn't flit! They stayed."NavPress's "A RESPONSE FROM THE PUBLISHER TO SPECIFIC CRITICSM OF 'THE MESSAGE," reveals that we are not alone in our convictions concerning "The Message;" others have come to the very same conclusions, as expressed in the following 3 issues and criticisms:
"3. Does 'The Message'...introduce a different gospel message that is unbiblical?'
"4. Does 'The Message' reflect 'New Age' influences? Some critics have objected to terms scattered throughout 'The Message' that they see as tainted with a 'New Age' agenda.'
"6. Are people being deceived by 'The Message' or drawn away from the truth of God's word? Some critics have denounced 'The Message' as distorting God's Word and spreading Deception in the Church.'The issue of "New Age" terms alone should have sounded an alarm to NavPress, and caused them to research Mr. Peterson's terminology,--for Scripture itself counsels us to:
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,
Abstain from all appearance of evil. (I.Thes.5-21-22)It is regrettable that NavPress has chosen to ignore the Lord's counsel, and continues to navigate the unsuspecting into mysticism, not only through the text of "The Message," but also through the publications of some of its endorsers as well.
The 3 issues mentioned above are the very things that are dealt with in the following study. In the light of I.Thes.5:21-22, we have chosen to reject "The Message'' of mysticism, as presented by Mr. Peterson. After studying these issues, we hope that you will come to the same conclusions.
1. Seducers concerning the Bible will become worse and worse, not just "things"
KJB - But EVIL MEN AND SEDUCERS SHALL WAX WORSE AND WORSE, deceiving and being deceived.
Message- Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They're as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, THINGS CAN ONLY GET WORSE.
2. Man shall reject sound doctrine, and turn to fables/myths
KJB - For THE TIME WILL COME when they will not endure sound doctrine ... and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (muthos = myths)
Message - You're going to find out that THERE WILL BE TIMES when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - CATCHY OPINIONS that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase MIRAGES.
Note: On "The Mythical Bible" television program, "The Message" endorser, Madeleine L'Engle stated, 'These marvelous mysteries could not be understood in the language of literalism, or inerrancy, and all such attempts to restrict the glory are deadly indeed." (Smith, p.16, quoting Madeleine L'Engle, "The Mythical Bible" television program, "The Chicago Sunday Evening Club," October 1991)B. Principles/doctrines concerning Bibliology
1. Inspiration of the Bible
a. God inspired holy men - not women - to write it
KJB - For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but HOLY MEN of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
Message - Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men AND WOMEN to speak God's word
b. Every word, not just every part, was inspired by God
KJB - ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God ...
Message - EVERY PART OF SCRIPTURE is God-breathed ...
c. The Bible is a record of what God thinks and speaks, not of what man thinks and speaks
KJB - For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord
Message, Introduction, p.7 - "The goal is not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, the rhythm, the events, the ideas, into THE WAY WE ACTUALLY THINK AND SPEAK."
d. Every word, not just every promise, of God is pure
KJB - Every WORD of God is pure ...
Message - Every PROMISE of God proves true ...
Ps.119 :140- Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Note: Those who truly love God's word would never change it; they accept it as it is by faith
2. Interpretation of the Bible
a. God's word is to be interpreted simply, in its literal form. Satan's attack of God's word - "Hath God said?" - not Eve's love for God.
KJB - But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eye through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ.
Message- And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eye with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the SIMPLE PURITY OF YOUR LOVE fir Christ.
b. Those who are unstable in their doctrine will twist difficult verses
KJB- As also in all his (Paul's) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are UNLEARNED AND UNSTABLE wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Message- Some things Paul writes are difficult to understand. IRRESPONSIBLE people who don't know what they are talking about twist them every which way. They do it to the rest of the Scriptures, too, destroying themselves as they do it. Note: Too bad he didn't take this warning literally!
3. Translation of the Bible
a. Many have corrupted the Bible
KJB - For we are not as many which CORRUPT the word of God ...
Message- ...but at least we don't take God's Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap.
Note - ????????
b. Many change God's word
KJB - Who CHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD INTO A LIE, and worshipped the creature more than the Creator
Message- And all this because they TRADED THE TRUE GOD FOR A FAKE GOD, and worshipped the god they made instead of the God who made them ...
c. God rejects the use of man's 'craft' and deceit when handling His word
KJB - But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
Message- And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.C . Commandments
1. We are to guard the sound words of Scripture, not guard our faith and love
KJB - Hold fast the FORM OF SOUND WORDS, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Message- So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. IT'S AS SOUND as the day you first heard it from me.
'The goal is not to render a word-for-word conversion of Greek into English...' (Peterson, The Message N. T., Introduction, p.7)
2. Avoid those who teach doctrine contrary to what you have learned
KJB - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences CONTRARY TO THE DOCTRINE WHICH YE HAVE LEARNED; and avoid them.
Message- Keep a sharp eye out for those who TAKE BITS AND PIECES Of THE TEACHING THAT YOU LEARNED and then use them to make trouble.D. Warnings concerning the changing of Scripture
Rev.22:18-19- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Connections: People & Organizations
1. New purpose
"The older focus in translating was the form of the message ... The new focus, however, has shifted from the form of the message to the response of the receptor." (Nida, Theory & Practice, p.1)
Note: Serving man becomes more important than preserving God's Word - Ro.1:25
2. New principles - contrasted with Scriptural principles
a. Concerning languages of the Bible
Note: God specifically chose the Hebrew and Greek language as the basis of Scripture - II.Ti.3:16, II.Pet.1-.21
b. Concerning form of words of the Bible
"To preserve the content of the message the FORM MUST BE CHANGED." (Nida, Theory & Practice, p. 5)
Note: The form of the words of Scripture must remain unchanged - 11.Tim. 1:13
c. Concerning translation of the Bible
"The translator must attempt to reproduce the meaning of a passage as understood by the writer." (Nida, Theory & Practice, p. 8)
Note: The writers did not always understand what they wrote - Dan.12:8-9, I.Pet.1:10-12, Is.55:8-9.
d. Concerning interpretation of the Bible
"The writers of the Biblical books expected to be understood." ( Nida, Theory & Practice, p.7)
Note: The writers did not expect to be understood, except by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit - II.Pet.3:16, I.Cor.2:6-16, Jn.16.12-13, I.Jn.2:273. New techniques
a. Dynamic equivalence
1) Meaning - "change" (Ro.1:25)
"'Dynamic' means: 'lb. Of or pertaining to dynamics, active; opposed to static; pertaining to change or process'." (Waite, p.101, quoting Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1949, p.257)
2) Basis - Transformational Grammar
"There is a whole area in the field of English called Transformational Grammar, where everything is changed from one form to another [such as changing a verb to a noun]. This is the real seed plot of the so-called DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCY where you don't have the words brought over into English (or another language) word for word" (Waite, p.90)
3) History - Eugene Nida - see "New Purpose" and "New principles," above
'The modern history of DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE began with Eugene Nida. He was the man who was with the Wycliffe Bible Translators, the American Bible Society, and the United Bible Society. He popularized this DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE method which is used throughout the world." (Waite, p.93)
"In 1947, Eugene Nida wrote the book, 'Bible Translating', published by the United Bible Society ... of London." (Waite, p.19)
"Dynamic equivalency interprets the text rather than translates the text." (Johnson)
"Subtracting, changing, and adding to the Word of God, are the essence and heart of DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCY in its approach to translation. It's not translation, but changing the Word of God. It is pure paraphrase." (Waite, p.,43)
Note. Dr. Waite's view is different from Gordon Fee's (see below) who treats dynamic equivalence as something different than paraphrase. Dr. Waite is right; any change becomes paraphrase, whether it rejects changes in the Greek base, or non-literal translation changes from Greek to English. Therefore, this study has treated "The Message" as a product of dynamic equivalence as well as paraphrase.
"...if they use this DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE technique of translation (t)hey can change it at will. That is the saddest thing in the whole picture of our modern versions and in the whole translation and version problem ... All of it is hypothesis and guesswork by men. Anything they want to come up with is right. So, we see that DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE is more important even than the textual issue..." (Waite, P.98)
b. Paraphrase/free (See Gordon Fee in V. B.)
"The attempt to translate the ideas from one language to another, with less concern about using the exact words of the original. A free translation, sometimes called a paraphrase, tries to eliminate as much of the historical distance as possible." (Fee, p.35)
a) Commentary, not translation
"A free translation ... can ... stimulate your thinking about the possible meaning of the text." (Fee, p.36)
"The problem with a free translation ... especially for study purposes, is that the translator updates the original author too much. Furthermore, such a 'translation' all too often comes close to being a commentary." (Fee, p.36-7)
b) Single translator
"A free translation is always done by a single translator, and unless the translator is also a skilled exegete who knows the various problems in all of the biblical passages, there is a danger that the reader will be mislead." (Fee, p.37)
Note: Then why does he endorse "The Message"?
4. New theology
"How many of you would be happy to have John 1:1 translated 'in the beginning was Logic, and Logic was with God and Logic was God; as a Reformed theologian, Gordon Clark, has advocated. Or perhaps you would be happy with the feminist rendering, 'in the beginning was Wisdom and Wisdom was with God and Wisdom was God; because some feminist theologians feel this is one way of feminizing the Trinity? The change of one landmark word in the theological terrain can alter the entire landscape." (Letis, p.79-80)
"The changes thus far are in the right direction and should contain the germs of a new theology. Every age must produce its own theology." (Schaff, p.142)
Note: This referred to the texts of the English Revised and American Standard Bibles.B. Declaration of Unity of the World
"During the mid-1980s, 'New Genesis', a book that called for a new global spirituality, prompted [Juliet] Hollister and her friends to ask Robert Muller (then assistant secretary-general to the U.N.) to draft a 'Declaration of the Unity of the World'... This New Age Draft led to the Temple of Understanding sponsoring a meeting on Mount Sinai in October of 1984 to thrash out inter-religious consensus ..." (Smith, p.78)
2. Document consensus
Note: Mystical terms and doctrines found in both the "Declaration" and "The Message" are in upper-case letters
a. The ONENESS OF HUMAN FAMILY, irrespective of color, sex, creed, nation - or any other distinctive characteristic.
b. The HARMONIOUS place of the individual person in the total order of things, as a unique entity of DIVINE ORIGIN, with physical, mental, moral, and spiritual aspirations, and with basic relationship to the universe and eternity.
c. The importance of religion, prayer, MEDITATION SPIRITUAL EXERCISES, CONTEMPLATION, and the INNER SEARCH as links between human life and the universe.
d. The existence of an incipient conscious and heart of humanity, which speaks for what is good and against what is bad for humans; which advocates and fosters understanding, COOPERATION, and altruism instead of DIVISION, struggle, and indifference among nations.
e. The value of dedicated service to others, with a compassionate response to human suffering, with special attention to the poor, handicapped, the elderly, refugees, the rejected, and the lonely.
f. The duty to give thanks and express gratitude for the abundance of life which has been given to humanity, an abundance not to be selfishly possessed or accumulated, but to be shared and given generously to those who are in need, with a sense of social justice.
g. Need for ecumenical agencies and world religious organizations to foster dialogue and collaborative arrangements, and to bring the resources and inspiration of the religions to bear upon the solution of world problems.
h. A rejection of violence as being contrary to the sanctity and uniqueness of life, and affirmation of the law of love and compassion as the great transcending force which alone can break the nemesis of war and violence.
i. An acceptance of the precept - "Thou shalt not kill, not even in the name of a nation or a faith."
j. The evolutionary task of human life and society to move through the eternal stream of time towards INTERDEPENDENCE, communion, and an ever-expanding realization of DIVINITY.' (Smith, p.78-9)C. Mysticism/occultism
1. Purposes of mysticism
a. Men to become divine
"The mystic experience', says Recejac, 'ends with the words, 'I live, yet not I, but God in me'... In its early stages the mystic consciousness feels the Absolute in opposition to the Self ... As mystic activity goes on, it tends to abolish this opposition ... When it has reached its term, the consciousness finds itself possessed by the sense of being at one and the same time greater than the Self and identical with it: great enough to be God, intimate enough to be me." (Underhill, p.82)
"The mystic desires to be as close to God as possible; if not indeed part of the Divine Essence Itself; whereas the ordinary devotee of most religious systems merely desires to walk in God's way and obey His will." (Spense, p.284)
"Mysticism maintains the possibility of intercourse with God, not by means of revelation or the ordinary religious channels, but by dint of introspection, culminating in the feeling that the individual partakes of the divine nature." (Spense, p-283-4)
b. Men to become Christs
"The mission of mysticism to mankind ... is to lead Homo sapiens to the state in which it can use science and be led by spirit to create the race of Christs, the perfect race untainted by original sin." (Kirby, p.229)
2. View of Scripture - starting point
"To the mystic, Scripture is seen as the starting point, but true spiritual growth comes when one has graduated beyond rational contemplation of Scripture to meditation upon a word, a phrase, even the writings of mere mortals." (Dager, p.10)
Example of Gordon Fee:
"Your Bible, whatever translation you use, which is your 'beginning' point, is in fact the end result of much scholarly work." (Fee, p.15)
3. Other names for mysticism
a. Ageless wisdom
"The Ageless Wisdom is the golden thread connecting the hidden, mystical teachings within the major religious traditions." (McLaughlin, p.5)
"Peter Roche de Coppens ... suggests that if Christians were to discover the hidden messages in the Bible, they would realize that Christianity and this ageless wisdom are perfectly compatible." (Marrs, Dark Secrets, p.124, quoting Peter Roche de Coppens' forward to F. Aster Barnswell, "The Meaning of Christ for Our Age")
b. Ancient wisdom
"...when I speak of the Gnosis, I do not refer specifically to the Greek or Coptic variety, but to that 'Ancient Wisdom' which can be discovered as a thread of gold running through allegories and myths and fables from the very earliest times of which we have any literary records, and which has more recently been somewhat more fully expounded to us by some of the existing Masters of that Wisdom." (Kingsland, p.83)
Example of two books:
The Gnosis of Ancient Wisdom in the Christian Scriptures or The Wisdom in a Mystery, by William Kingsland
The Gnostic Scriptures: Ancient Wisdom for the New Age, by Bentley Layton
"The writings of the apostles, they (the Gnostics) said, in addressing themselves to mankind in general, enunciated only the articles of the vulgar faith, but transmitted the mysteries of knowledge to superior minds, to the Elect, mysteries handed down from generation to generation in esoteric traditions; and to this science of the mysteries they gave the name of (Gnosis)." (Pike, p.248)
"I am not using the term 'Gnosis' as applying merely to the tenets of certain Gnostic sects but I am using it in connection with a definite super-knowledge ... which was taught by Initiates, Adepts, and Masters of the Ancient 'Mysteries' and Mystery Cults which are known to have existed in Egypt and elsewhere, even in remotest times. That is the sense in which the term was originally understood. It is the mystic knowledge which effects regeneration, rebirth into the full consciousness of one's divine nature and powers as a 'Son of God'." (Kingsland, p.14)
d. Secret doctrine
"... both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures contain, hidden beneath the mere narrative, an esoteric meaning, a 'Secret Doctrine', a 'Gnosis'." (Kingsland, p.83)
"… all the Gnostic sects ... claimed to possess a secret doctrine, coming to them directly from Jesus Christ, different from that of the Gospels and Epistles and superior to these communications which in their eyes, were merely exoteric." (Pike, p. 542)V. Making Connections
The connections between these organizations and people will become clear in the following quotes.
1. Chrysostom Society
"...the group was started by Richard Foster, who convened a particular bunch of writers together." (Smith, p.123)
"Here is a partial list ...:... Peterson, Eugene N...... Foster, Richard J....... L'Engle, Madeleine;..." (Smith, p.130-31)
"Chrysostom lived a pure, simple life ... Extremely ascetic in his insistence upon simplicity of life, and inclined to mysticism, he did not always possess tact; but he did have a courteous, affectionate, kindly nature." (Cairns, p.152)
2. Huntington House Publishers (Published Samantha Smith's book, "Trojan Horse")
Note: In a telephone conversation with Samantha, she mentioned that Huntington House pulled Eugene Peterson's name from the following quote: "The following is a list of evangelicals who have unfortunately endorsed Richard Foster's teachings in 'Spiritual Disciplines' Second edition, pp.203-210).,." (Smith, p.113)
NOTE: "Spiritual Disciplines" should read "Celebration of Discipline."
3. The Navigators/NavPress
"...The Navigators sponsored a Richard Foster conference at their Glen Eyrie retreat center and sent announcements to those on their own (The Navigators') mailing list." (Meisel, p. 3)
Note: 'The Message' is published by NavPress
Note: In the 1998 Navigator Summer Camp, King Arthur's Camelot was related to the Kingdom of God. This whole Holy Grail concept, mythology, and experience is based on mysticism: ,...on one level the Grail is an initiatory experience that in modern terminology would be described as a 'transformation' or 'altered state of consciousness'. Alternatively it might be described as a 'Gnostic experience', a 'mystical experience', 'illumination', or 'union with God'. It is possible to be even more precise and place the experiential aspect of the Grail in a very specific context. That context is the Cabala and Cabalistic thought.' (Baigent, p.303-4)
4. Regent College
"Eugene H. Peterson is professor of spiritual theology it Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia." (Peterson, dust jacket)
Note: Other endorsers of "The Message" mentioned on the dust jacket are: "Gordon D. Fee ... professor of New Testament, Regent College" "J.I. Packer ... professor of theology, Regent College"
"Renovare's Board of Reference: .... J.I. Packer ..... Eugene H. Petersen..." (Dager, p.15)
6. Temple of Understanding
"The Temple began through the efforts of a strange group of 'founding friends'... establishing a world interfaith center based in the U.S. Additional sponsors have included ... the Society of Friends (Quakers)..." (Smith, p.77)
"Their intentions: to create a 'new type of mystic ... to be distinguished by his ability to see God immanent in all faiths and not just in his own brand of religious belief - the New World Religion." (Smith, p.77)
"...the Temple of Understanding ... is closely tied to the United Nations and is housed at Madeleine L'Engle's church, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Not surprising, James Parks Morton is the president of the Temple of Understanding." (Smith, p.75) Note: James Parks Morton is Dean of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine
"...theosophy claims simply to be the house of the secret doctrine, the wisdom which is the Perennial Philosophy, which is common to all religions." (Kirby, p.13)
"Although the Lindesfarne Association is a 'non-denominational and independent not- for- profit tax-exempt educational corporation,' its headquarters are located in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. 'The Very Reverend' James Parks Morton serves as Lindesfarne's chairperson..." (Smith, p.97)
"...the Lindesfarne Association an offshoot of Findhorn, a New Age community in Northern Scotland known for its gardens and nature spirits)." (Smith p.67)
"The Lindisfarne Association is named after the ancient Celtic monastery ... and sees itself as a type of change agent that will help bring about the transition for the New World Order." Smith, p.98)
"The Lindesfarne Association first began ... as a New Age commune and was funded by Laurence S. Rockefeller ... The founder and director, William Irwin Thompson ... (is an) Irish Druid" (Smith, p. 93-4.)
"Thompson ... leaned toward a contemplative and communal mode for his group." (Smith, p.94)
"Both Wicca and Freemasonry are, by coincidence or design, both referred to as 'The Craft'" (Schnoebelen, p.167)
"The Message is a contemporary rendering of the Bible from the original languages, crafted to present its tone, rhythm, events, and ideas in everyday language." (Peterson, cover page)
"The Masonic order is not a mere social organization, but is composed of all those who have banded themselves together to learn and apply the principles of mysticism and the occult rites." (Carrico, quoting Manly P. Hall, Lost Keys of Freemasonry, p.19)B. People
Those who endorse "The Message"; their endorsement, beliefs, and affiliations. The final name, Prince Michael Stewart, is included because he is the Druidic Head of the Celtic Church - connecting him to the druidic institutions of Findhorn, Lindesfarne, Cathedral of St. John's, L'Engle, etc., etc., etc ...
1. Gordon Fee
"The Message' is exegetically sensitive yet speaks in the language of today."
"The best translational theory is dynamic equivalence. A literal translation is often helpful as a second source." (Fee, p.36)
"...For the New Testament, the only Greek text available to the 1611 translators was based on late manuscripts, which had accumulated the mistakes of over a thousand years of copying .... This is why for study you should use almost any modern translation rather than the KJV." (Fee, p.34)
"Which translation, then, should you read? We would Venture that the NIV is as good a translation as you will get." (Fee, p.43)
2. Leighton Ford
"This new version of the New Testament will help many to transfer God's eternal truths to their contemporary lives."
"Sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ... more than 10,000 Christian leaders met at Amsterdam in 1986 to plan a strategy for evangelizing the world ... Leighton Ford declared, 'Preach the Gospel but don't be so negative as to refuse to endorse or work with those who belong to a group that proclaims a different Gospel.'" (Hunt, Berean Call, p.112)
In his endorsement of Richard Foster's book, "Celebration of Discipline", he says, p. 203: "I personally was greatly helped when I first read it and have recommended it widely. Richard Foster's lucid writing plus his emphasis on disciplined grace have made this one of the notable books of our time. I often refer to it ... I welcome the new edition of 'Celebration of Discipline'."
3. Richard Foster
"I thank God for 'The Message'. In it Eugene Peterson gives a fresh and authentic voice to the Scripture. I recommend it highly."
"Despite the biblical assertion that no one has seen God's face and lived, Foster takes his followers on spiritual journeys up beyond the heavenly places and into the 'Presence of God', face to face with the Creator ... through the use of Eastern meditative techniques, His book, 'Celebration of Discipline', provides step-by-step instructions on how to: meditate, contemplate, 'center-down'....and 'concentrate on the breathing'. Using guided imagery, he leads his readers through the occult practices of visualization, meditation, and even astral travel." (Smith, p.111-12)
"It is little wonder that Foster, a Quaker, would institute such mystical practices in Renovare's curricula. The history and philosophy of Quakerism are marked by the mystical Early Quakerism especially was given over to the inducement of trances, violent shaking, (hence the name 'Quakers'), glossolalia, visions and mindless ecstasy." Dager, p.13)
"Alexander Whyte declares, 'with your imagination anointed with holy oil, you again open your New Testament. At one time, you are the publican: at another time, you are the prodigal...at another time, you are Mary Magdalene: at another time, Peter in the porch ... Till your whole New Testament is all over autobiographic of you." (Foster, Celebration of Discipline, p.30)
In Eugene Peterson's endorsement of Richard Foster's book, 'Celebration of Discipline', Peterson writes on page 206:
"Like a child exploring the attic of an old house on a rainy day, discovering a trunk full of treasure and then calling all his brothers and sisters to share the find, Richard J. 'Foster has 'found' the spiritual disciplines that the modern world has stored away and forgot, and has excitedly called us to celebrate them. For they are, as he shows us, the instruments of joy, the way into mature Christian spirituality and abundant life."
Note. Richard Foster in his later editions changed certain parts of his book to cover where he is truly coming from:
OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCES (O.B.E.) 1978 edition, p. 27
"After awhile there is a deep yearning within to go into the upper regions beyond the clouds..."
1998 edition - omitted
REFERS TO HIMSELF AS A NEW AGER
1978 edition, p.170
"We of the New Age can risk going against the tide. Let us with abandon relish the fantasy games of children. Let's see visions and dream dreams."
1998 edition, p.198
"We who follow Christ can risk going against the cultural tide. Let's with abandon relish the fantasy games of children. Let's see visions and dream dreams."
4. Billy Graham
In Billy Graham's special edition of "The Message: New Testament", we find:
"This Billy Graham Evangelistic Association special edition, with explanations by Billy Graham, is published with permission from the NavPress Publishing Group."
Note: This version was offered free by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and contains occasional one page topics written by Billy Graham interspersed throughout the book. This obviously would quality as a BIG ENDORSEMENT by Billy Graham.
Note: Billy Graham also endorsed Peterson's "The Message: Proverbs" on its back cover.
"'The Message' is so good it leaves me breathless. Eugene Peterson has done for the U.S. and the late 20th century what J.B. Phillips did for Great Britain and the middle of the century - and even more!"
"She is author-in-residence and assistant librarian at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, where she also serves as lay preacher." (Smith, p. xi)
"L'Engle herself uses twentieth century mystics to help her in meditation and contemplation." (Smith, P.16)
In her endorsement of Foster's book, L'Engle writes on page 205: "'Celebration of Discipline' won me when it was first published ... Indeed, his offerings to us of the joy of discipline will help us to seek the kingdom of God in a more joyous and less moralistic way..."
Note: She must have overlooked Matt.6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS...
"In forensic terms, the atonement means that Jesus had to die for us in order to atone for all our awful sins, so that God could forgive us. In forensic terms, it means that God cannot forgive us unless Jesus is crucified and by this sacrifice atones for all our wrongdoing. But that is not what the word means...It means exactly what it says, at-one-ment...There is nothing about crime and punishment in the makeup of that that word. It simply means to be at one with God." (Smith, p.174, quoting L'Engle, "Stone for a Pillow", p.22-23)
"These marvelous mysteries could not be understood in the language of literalism, or inerrancy, and all such attempts to restrict the glory are deadly indeed." (Smith, p.162, quoting L'Engle, "The Mythical Bible", television program, "The Chicago Sunday Evening Club," Oct. 1991)
"The Bible is not a moral book. It is not an ethical book. It is a magnificent story book. It doesn't give any answers, it just tells more stories." Smith, p. 161, quoting L'Engle, interview in "The Door", December 1986, p.25)
"If we accept that God is within each of us, then God will give us ... the courage to accept the responsibility of being co-creators." (Smith, p.42, quoting L'Engle, 'And It Was Good', p.19)
"From her feminist perch, she takes aim at the male gender of God, calling Him 'the paternalistic male chauvinist pig Old Testament God'." (Smith, p. ix, quoting L'Engle, 'The Irrational Season', p.159)
"The judgment of God is the judgment of love, not of power plays or vindication or hate." (Smith, p.176, quoting L'Engle, "Stone for a Pillow," p.117)
"I know a number of highly sensitive and intelligent people in my own community Who consider as a heresy my faith that...(God) will not rest until all of creation, including Satan, is reconciled to him, until there is no creature who cannot return his look of love with a joyful response of love." (Smith, p.175-6, quoting L'Engle, 'The Irrational Season, p. 97)
f. Second Coming
"The Second Coming is the redemption of the entire cosmos, not just one small planet ... All will be redeemed in God's fulness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ." (Smith, p.176, quoting L'Engle, "Stone for a Pillow," p.117)
g. Sin, morality
"In spite of what she says to the contrary, Madeleine L'Engle's writings do contain, promote, and teach a whole gamut of New Age topics, philosophies, and techniques, including, but limited to: magic, divination, spirit guides, crystal balls, mediums, fortune telling, spells, monism, pantheism, nature worship, Zen meditation, lesbianism, graphic fornication, cosmic consciousness, druids, human sacrifice, demons, dragons, runes,...astral travel and on and on. These are all elements of the occult, which she has put in a box and marked 'for Children'." (Smith, p.40)
"Moralism belongs to the old law and old covenant. Jesus Christ ... overturned the laws of moralism." (Smith, p.169, quoting L'Engle, "The Irrational Season", p. 102)
6. J.1. Packer
"In this crowded world of Bible versions, Eugene Peterson's blend of accurate scholarship and vivid idiom make this rendering both distinctive and distinguished. 'The Message' catches the logical flow, personal energy, and imaginative overtones of the original very well."
Note: Packer is also on the Board of Reference for Richard Foster's Renovare - see above.
7. Luci Shaw
Concerning Madeleine L'Engle's book: "In the forward of 'And It Was Good', Luci Shaw, a former member of the English staff at Wheaton College, writes: '...As we worked together through the intricacies of the manuscripts of 'And It Was Good', time and time again, I literally caught my breath at some of Madeleine's outrageous statements ... protesting the radical nature of her declarations ... But reading further ... I would grasp the holy logic of her conclusions and find myself acknowledging, 'You not only can say that, you should!" (Smith, p.41)
Note: Luci Shaw is a "Stylistic Consultant" for Peterson's "The Message: Proverbs", and she also endorses Richard Foster's book, "Celebration of Discipline" on page 207. What a small world!
"...the President of the International Parliament .... endorsed by the United Nations, ratified my legal rights as Head of the Royal House of Stewart and Head of the Celtic Church of the Sacred Kindred of Saint Columba, Under International Law, my titles were verified on 4 November 1985 as being Prince and Lord of Scotland .... Prince of ... Jerusalem, ... and legal Pretender to the Throne of Britain." (HRH Prince Michael, p.305-6)
"My position at the Head of the Celtic Church was fully ratified in 1985 following the death of my grandfather, Julius Joseph James, in Brussels .... At this, I became 57th Archpriest and Temporal Head of Scotland's ancient Druidic-Christian Church of the Culdees." (HRH Prince Michael, p.308)
Dictionary of Mystical Terminology
Chronology of Gnostic Scriptures
Appendix: The Message Compared to the KJV
A. Mysticism's definition
MYSTIC1. Of occult or mysterious character, power, or significance ...
MYSTICISM1. The beliefs, ideas, or mode of thought of mystics
B. Mysticism's interpretation of Scripture
"allegory: parable, fable, moral, myth, story, tale' (McCutcheon, Roget's Super Thesaurus)
C. Mysticism's terms, key words - found in 'The Message" (See Appendix I)
"When confronted with legitimate concerns about her beliefs, L'Engle charges that those who criticize her books have 'obviously never read them'. Instead, continues her rebuttal, they are fundamentalists looking for 'key words' and attacking her out of fear." (Smith, p.xi)
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
"The mystical belief 'of the secret societies were, and indeed are, based on the Hermetic maxim 'As above - so below' which teaches that the natural world is a material reflection of the spiritual. It forms the esoteric basis for the Ancient Egyptian Mysteries, Gnosticism, Esoteric Christianity, the Cabbala, the Hermetic tradition, alchemy and societies such as the Templars, Freemasons and Rosicrucians. (Howard, Occult Conspiracy, p.170-1)
"The whole universe is the great world, the macrocosm; its parts are small universes in themselves, microcosms. Such a microcosm is man, who is in himself an image of the universe and a perfect being. But the great universe is likewise a man, and as it is 'god', God has a human form." (Fox, p.213, quoting Otto Rank, "Art and Artist", p.114-15)
"New Age Dominican priest Matthew Fox calls Eckhart his favorite mystic and claims to actually communicate with this dead monk. Fox wrote a book called 'Meditations with Meister Eckhart: A Centering Book' for all those daring to make the mystical, spiritual journey ... Fox quotes Eckhart as saying there is a four-fold path to God, the last being something 'deep' called 'breakthrough', where one begins to hear voices." (Smith, p.156)
"Psychologist Richard Foster teaches that contemplative prayer requires 'centering down', a New Age term that means to quiet the mind and body to complete silence and stillness. It is defined as re-creating silence...'recollecting of ourselves until we are a unified whole' ... In reality, it is a practice of shutting down one's mind to rational thought and opening it up to demonic influences and emotional responses." (Smith, p.114)
"When contemplation appears ... the Subject ceases to perceive himself in ... his general consciousness. He is raised above himself .... In this state ... the mystic is conscious of being in immediate relation with God Himself; of participating in Divinity." (Underhill, p.330)
"The methods of contemplative prayer are similar in all traditions. Sit quietly, preferably comfortably .... breathe slowly, rhythmically, deeply. Fit the words of your mantra to this rhythm. And don't be afraid of the word, 'mantra'." (Smith, p.109, quoting Madeleine L'Engle, 'And It Was Good", p.135-36)
"There are too many stories of mystics being able to move hundreds of miles through the power of contemplation for us to be able to toss them aside." (Smith, p.17, quoting Madeleine L'Engle, 'Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art, p.86)
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
"The most intense period of that great swing-back into darkness which usually divides the 'first mystic life', or Illuminative Way, from the 'second mystic life', or Unitive Way, is generally a period of utter blankness and stagnation, so far as mystical activity is concerned. The 'Dark Night of the Soul', once firmly established, is seldom lit by visions or made homely by voices ... The once-possessed power of .. contemplation now seems wholly lost." (Underhill, p.381)
Note: See BREAKTHROUGH above
"De Coppens says that the divinity of man through spiritual initiation is the 'Great Work' that is the central objective of the 'Ageless Wisdom'." (Marrs, Dark Secrets, p.124, quoting Peter Roche de Coppens' forward to F. Aster Barnswell, "The Meaning of Christ for Our Age," p.xix-xxxi.)
"Aleister Crowley ... taught that the Great Work, the 'transformation of humanity', would be accomplished in the last decade of the 20th century." (Naprs, Cipcie af Intrigue, p.230)
"Probably (Larry) Crabb's best known and most popular book is 'Inside Out', published by NavPress ... The very title 'Inside Out' suggests the Freudian notion of the unconscious." (Meisel, p.1) Note: Also see PANTHEISM below
Note: See DECLARATION OF UNITY OF THE WORLD, Section IV.B.2. #10
"...the Arabian alchemist Abipipi:...'O man, know thyself! In thee is bid the treasure of treasures'." (Kingsland, p.86, quoting Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Vol.2, p.617)
"A human being partakes of all emanations or planes of reality at once without knowing it until he or she achieves cosmic consciousness ... This is the esoteric meaning of know thyself, which post-Freudian people are apt to understand as merely making the unconscious conscious, as psychological awareness ... But the ultimate meaning of 'know thyself' seems to be 'know thy Self'" (Moffatt, p.344)
Note. See TRUE/REAL SELF below
PRESENCE Of GOD
"Practicing the 'Presence of God' is actually a form of Zen Meditation." (Smith, p.120)
"Joseph Campbell described the human sacrifices of the Aztecs and then called Mexico City, where these incredible horrors occurred, a 'sacred site'." (Smith, p.139, quoting Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, "The Power of Myth")
"Out of the traditions of Quakerism, Richard Foster and William L. Vaswig, co-directors of Renovare, are selling books and holding conferences for the spiritually anemic', offering spiritual disciplines well-known to the pagan world to induce deeper spirituality." (Smith, p.119)
"In the creation tradition, all people are mystics. Mysticism is not elitist; it touches the true self in each one of us." (Fox, p.58)
"The mystic in us ... is unleashing and creating ... the true self. Co-creation happens here, for the birth of the mystic is a birth with God of what is divine and truly oneself. It is the outward birth of the image of God from within. Each self is a unique mirror of divinity..." (Fox, p.64)
"A co-creator is one who births the mystic self or allows it to be born. In allowing the 'true self" or mystic to be born one is already involved in a deep process of birthing the Cosmic Christ.," (Fox, p.201) Note. See also DIVINITY OF MAN below.
D. Doctrines of Mysticism found in "The Message"
"Primordial man. The early mystics in erred from Genesis 1:26 - 'Let us make man in our image' - that the physical Adam was created on the pattern of a spiritual Adam that existed in the celestial world ... This became part of the later mystical view of the cosmos in which everything on earth had its counterpart in the realm of the Godhead." (Rabinowicz, "Adam Kadmon", p.8)
Note: See AS ABOVE, SO BELOW above
"Adam Kadmon, or primordial man - ... This being is sexless or bisexual..." (Hastings,"Kabbala", p.626)
"The entire world process is necessary to shape the Perfect Man so that the original state of androgyny (male and maiden at the same time) will be restored." (Eliade, "Gnosticism", p.568)
"... all the Gnostic sects ... claimed to possess a secret doctrine, coming to them directly from Jesus Christ, different from that of the Gospels and Epistles and superior to those communications, which in their eyes, were merely exoteric." (Pike, p.542)
"...the Camisards ... like the Cathars ... stressed the supremacy of gnosis, or direct knowledge, over faith ..." (Baigent, p.431)
"Led by the rise in the popularity of the monastic lifestyle, contemplative prayer has found its way into the Christian community, providing instructions an 'how to hear God's voice' - for those who are seeking 'deeper truths'. Proponents have even managed to come up with a biblical foundation for the quest: Adam and Eve talked with God in the Garden; Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, and the prophets all heard from God; and Paul was taught by the Lord Himself. Therefore, since Christ has been resurrected and has not stopped 'speaking, teaching, and acting', then surely He communicates with His people today in an 'audible voice'." (Smith, p.111)
DIVINE OR1GIN Of MAN
"Mysticism demands a return to our origins... Meister Eckhart ... invites us to 'return to God and the core, the soil, the ground, the stream and the source of the Godhead'." (Fox, p.55)
DIVINITY OF MAN
"Robert Browning in his poem, 'Paracelsus'...'There is an inmost centre in us all, Where truth abides in fulness...' Now that 'inmost centre' is, in the teaching of the Ancient Gnosis, the real SELF; the eternal, immortal, divine self which is one with the universal SELF, commonly called God. Thus the root teaching of this Ancient Wisdom at all times has been the divine nature of Man; and what was taught in the inner schools of the Mysteries... was the method of achieving this supreme knowledge in a practical manner; that is to say the attainment of god-like character and powers. Every man is potentially a god, however feeble may be his powers at the present time. At root he is God." (Kingsland, p.20) Note. See also TRUE/REAL SELF above.
"Healthy mysticism is panentheistic. This means that it is not theistic, which envisions divinity 'out there' or even 'in here' in a dualistic manner that separates creation from divinity. Panentheism means 'all things in God and God in all things'. This is the way mystics envision the relationship of world, self, and God ... Panentheism melts the dualism of inside and outside..." (Fox, p.57) Note: Also see INSIDE OUT above.
"' ..anything the human mind can believe, the human mind can achieve.'...This seductive idea lies behind the Human Potential movement, which is another name for the New Age movement." (Hunt, p.19, quoting Napolean Hill, "Grow Rich with Peace of Mind," p.176)
"According to Foster ... Juliana of Norwich showed him the depths of Divine Love ... of' a somewhat sensual and 'intimate' relationship with God." (Smith, p.129)
"And also our good Lord revealed that it is very greatly pleasing to him that a simple soul should come naked, openly and familiarly. And loving I pray to thee O God, give me yourself for you are enough for me." "Therefore we may ask from our Lover to have all of him that we may desire. For it is our nature to long for him, and it is his nature to long for us. In this life we can never stop loving him." (Foster, Devotional Classics, p.71, quoting Juliana of Norwich, "Revelations of Divine Love")
"Her writings have been called the most perfect fruit of later medieval mysticism." (Foster, Devotional Classics, p.68)
"...the Christian mystic has to be prepared to follow his faith to the point where he can look at the possible imminent end of Homo sapiens as an event of joy." (Kirby, p-17)
"Christians ... know that a man must die to himself before he can ... be born again in spirit ... It may well be that mankind as a whole must be crucified, even unto death, before coming into its inheritance ... Christians can say with Teilhard de Chardin, that death itself is beneficent, the only way to grow beyond forms which have served their limited purpose .... but with the serious and the worried, they look upon the possible extermination of the human race secure in the knowledge that it could be but a prelude to the resurrection of the species." (Kirby, p.201-02)
"The intent is for men to die ... at the demand of his own soul. When man has reached a higher stage in evolution, with deliberation and definite choice of time, he will consciously withdraw from his physical body." (Bailey, "Death the Great Adventure," p.59)
Note: See beliefs of Madeleine L'Engle in Section V.B.5.e.VI. Chronology
1992-1993 - Richard Foster conference scheduled for Navigators
Note: it is unclear whether or not this actually took place. It is possible that it was cancelled by Richard Foster due to his busy schedule.
1993 - "The Message: The New Testament in Contemporary Language" written
1995 - Billy Graham Evangelistic Association's special edition of "The Message" New Testament
1998 - Navigator Summer Camp relates mysticism of King Arthur's Camelot to kingdom of God
"THE MESSAGE" COMPARED TO
THE KING JAMES VERSION
Note: Please keep Dr. Letis' remark in mind when reading the following verses - see section IV.A.4., as well as the dictionary terms in section VI. THE TEMINOLOGY USED IS THE POINT Of THIS STUDY! There are other doctrinal errors in the following verses, which have not been addressed in this study. Mystical terminology is highlighted in larger print.
A. Mystical/occult terms and key words used in "The Message"
AS ABOVE, SO BELOW
KJB - Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Message - Set the world right; do what's best - AS ABOVE, S0 BELOW
KJB - Then Hath god also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Message - God has BROKEN THROUGH to the other nations, opened them up to Life!
KJB - For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead
Message - Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this FOCUSED CENTER: One man died for everyone.
KJB - We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts
Message - We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard - God's glory, God's voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You'll do well to keep FOCUSING on it. Its the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the MORNING STAR in your hearts.
KJB - I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Message - The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so that we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble CONTEMPLATION,
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL
KJB - When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no handsagainst me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
Message - Day after day I've been with you in the Temple and you've not so much as lifted a hand against me. But do it your way - it's a DARK NIGHT, a dark hour.
KJB - pass the time of your sojourning here in fear
Message - Your life is a journey you must travel with a DEEP CONSCIOUSNESS of God.
KJB - And immediately I was in the spirit: ...
Message - I was caught up at once in DEEP WORSHIP.
KJB - Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Message - There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this GREAT WORK in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
KJB - And was transfigured before them: ...
Message - His appearance changed from the INSIDE OUT, right before their eyes
KJB - I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Message - His baptism - a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit - will change you from the INSIDE OUT.
KJB - ...he shall baptize you with the Holy ghost, and with fire.
Message - The main character in this drama ... will ignite the kingdom life, a fire, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the INSIDE OUT.
KJB - ...but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind ....
Message - ...fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the INSIDE OUT.
KJB - I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Message - Everyone I meet - it matters little whether they're mannered or rude, smart or simple - deepens my sense of INTERDEPENDENCE and obligation.
KJB - But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie ...
Message - Christ's anointing teaches you the truth on everything you need to KNOW ABOUT YOURSELF and him, uncontaminated by a single lie.
KJB - And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; Message- After I was back in Jerusalem and praying one day in the Temple, lost in THE PRESENCE OF GOD,
KJB - And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them
Message - I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the PRESENCE, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth.
KJB - And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God ...
Message - They all realized they were in a PLACE Of HOLY MYSTERY, that God was at work among them.
KJB - And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple ...
Message - They followed a daily DISCIPLINE of worship in the Temple..,
KJB - For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things ...
Message - Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a DISCIPLINED LIFE in God is far more so ...
KJB - But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven ...
Message - When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your TRUE SELVES, your God-created selves
KJB - There is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
Message - You can't keep your TRUE SELF hidden forever; before long you'll be exposed.
KJB - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Message - But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their TRUE SELVES, their child-of-God selves.
B. Mystical/occult doctrines found in "The Message"
Note: There are many more occult doctrines in "The Message", but these have been limited to correspond to the doctrines found in the dictionary section - VI.
KJB - Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder
Message - Because God created this ORGANIC UNION OF THE TWO SEXES, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.
KJB But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. Message In the original creation, God made MALE AND FEMALE TO BE TOGETHER.
KJB - Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing ...
Message - On the other hand, her childbearing brought about salvation, REVERSING EVE.
BIBLE - NON-LITERAL INTERPRETATION
KJB - And no man was able to answer him a word.
Message - That stumped them, LITERALISTS that they were.
I Cor. 2:13
KJB - Which things we also speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Message - We didn't learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us PERSON-TO-PERSON through Jesus, and WE'RE PASSING IT ON TO YOU IN THE SAME FIRSTHAND WAY.
Gal .1 :12
KJB - For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Message - I got it straight from God, received the Message DIRECTLY from Jesus Christ.
KJB - Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son ...
Message - Recently he spoke to us DIRECTLY through his Son.
DIVINE ORIGIN/DIVINITY OF MAN
KJB - For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Message - Since the One who saves and those who are saved have a COMMON ORIGIN, Jesus doesn't hesitate to treat them as family ...
I . Jo 2:22
KJB - Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ
Message - So who is lying here? It's the person who denies that Jesus is the DIVINE Christ. (Note: compare I.Jn.3:2)
KJB - One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in YOU ALL
Message - One God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and IS PRESENT IN ALL
KJB - But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ
KJB - Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
Message - He touched their eyes and said, "BECOME WHAT YOU BELIEVE."
KJB - For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
Message - After the dead are raised up, we're past the marriage business. As it is with angels now, ALL OUR ECSTASIES AND INTIMACIES THEN WILL BE WITH GOD.
KJB - And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; ...
Message - The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord your God with all your PASSION and prayer and intelligence and energy ....
KJB - And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves ...
Message - The Spirit of God is AROUSING US within.
KJB - What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication.
Message - There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one". SINCE WE WANT TO BECOME SPIRITUALLY ONE WITH THE MASTER, WE MUST NOT PURSUE the kind of sex that that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever - THE KIND OF SEX THAT CAN NEVER "BECOME ONE".
KJB - Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord ...
Message - I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could EMBRACE CHRIST AND BE EMBRACED BY HIM.
KJB - That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death
Message - I gave up all that inferior stuff so that I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and GO ALL THE WAY WITH HIM to death itself.
KJB - According to his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
Message - Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know personally and INTIMATELY, the One who invited us to God.
KJB - For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Message - Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your TRUE SELF.
UNIVERSAL SALVATION - Note. This is "the Message"
KJB - As thou has given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.
Message - You put him in charge of everything human So he might give real and eternal lifeto ALL in his charge.
KJB - But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousenss, is accepted with him.
Message - The Message he sent to the children of Israel - that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again - well, he's doing it everywhere,among EVERYONE.
KJB - That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Message - ALL the pagan people included in what I'm doing.
KJB - For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Message - Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ.
KJB - And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Message - He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.
KJB - Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: ... which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Message - The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you ... That is the substance of our Message.
KJB - Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free. but Christ is all, and in all.
Message - From now on everyone is defined by Christ, EVERYONE IS INCLUDED IN CHRIST.
C. Mystical/occult/Masonic practices found in 'The Message'
KJB - he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat ....
Message - He'll put on an APRON, sit them at the table, and serve them a meal,
KJB - Awake thou that steepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Message - Wake up from your sleep, CLIMB OUT OF YOUR COFFINS; Christ will show you the light.
Message - You have to choose to live ONE-EYED or else be dumped on a moral trash pile.
RIGHT HAND PULLED HE UP
KJB - and he laid his right hand upon me, saying onto me ...
Message - His RIGHT HAND PULLED ME UPRIGHT, his voice reassured me:
STONE MASONS THREW OUT
KJB - The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner ...
Message - The stone THE MASONS threw out is now the cornerstone
KJB - And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.
Message - Then they will hand him over to the Romans, who will mock and spit on him, GIVE HIM THE THIRD DEGREE, and kill him.
KJB - And shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
Message - Then after giving him the THIRD DEGREE, they will kill him.
D. Other occultic concepts
KJB - For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation become desolate, and let no man dwell therein ...
Message - It's exactly what we find written in the Psalms: "Let his farm become HAUNTED. So no one can ever live there".
NEW WORLD ORDER
KJB - Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit
Message - Only in our time has it been made clear by God's Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this NEW ORDER.
KJB - ...for the former things are passed away.
Message - ...all the first ORDER of things gone.
PUT HEX ON
KJB - O foolish Galatians, who bath bewitched you ...
Message - You crazy Galatians! Did someone PUT A HEX on you?
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