Experiencing God Personally at Promise Keepers and Vineyard

Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King distort EXPERIENCING GOD for you by quoting only the promise but cutting out the part of Scripture which applies the text only to Jesus.

"With God working through His servant, he or she can do anything God can do. Wow! Unlimited potential" (p. 26). Wow is right! Kenneth Copeland, Paul Crouch, Benny Hinn, and the whole Word of Faith gang of heretics would shout, "Wow!" too. Can believers create? Can they convict of sin? Can they draw men to God? This statement is a gross perversion of Phil. 4:13 (and is very similar to Manifest Sons of God doctrine). Click for More Review

Blackaby Review Begins Here

Those who truly have the Spirit of Christ will read the context where Paul limited the "all things."

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippians 4:11

I know both how to be abased, and
I know how to abound:

every where and in all things I am instructed

both to be full and to be hungry,
both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:12

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

All things never means every possible thing you can think of:

As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 2 Corinthians 6:10

Paul could tolerated "whatsoever state I am" with the help of Christ.

Paul could do what Paul listed as long as Christ gave him strength. He did not mean that he could die for the sins of the world.

for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power. Philippians 4:13LIV
I can
do all things in him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13RSV

The next verse shows that the "all things" are the things Paul listed. He said, "I can tolerate the condition of extreme want because of Christ"---

Notwithstanding, ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Philippians 4:14

A sure test of the presence of the Spirit of Christ is that we will not steal little parts of Paul's inspired message in order to construct our new "assignment like Christ's."

Blackaby and King clearly want people to believe that the old "Christ" had his dispensation and now we can do as much or more than Christ did in His time. All of this stems from grabbing isolated passages about which the writer is ignorant knowing that their readers will not know any better.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?
........... the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
........... but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10
........... ........... Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me:
........... ........... or else believe me for the very works sake. John 14:11

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
........... the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do;
........... because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

Notice that the word "works" means an intense expenditure of energy. Those who were supernaturally empowered by Christ "leading them into all truth" would go out, preach and all but John would die for the faith.

Furthermore, they would not have "their own assignment" as a Christ but it would still be Father-Son in Spirit form doing the work:

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13

We do the ongoing work of Christ only because we dwell in God and God dwells in us to the extent we speak His Word even as Son spoke only what He heard from the Father who was in him:

We might see also that there is a visible thread running through Experiencing God personally, the Charismatic movement, the Vineyard Movement, Promise Keepers, Jubilee 99 and others which use psychological means to alter the consciousness of people.

The typical "twelve-step" or the "so many days" intends to inculcate some theology which cannot be stated clearly from Scripture. Consistent with all new revelations, we will not the commpon practice of lifting key phrases out of context. If left in that context where the Spirit of Christ left them, the passage would teach just the opposite of what Blackaby taught.

Strange experience: As I was researching the book Experiencing God on the web to respond to a question, I remembered a book which I have used as a mousepad for some time. I decided to look into it to see how all "schemes" work. Then I looked at the Front page and the title was Experiencing God. I inherited this book from a Baptist aunt now dead about three years. She was heavily into the belief that God would direct her into each decision. Perhaps it runs in the family, but she would never entertain any discussion of the Bible.

The language of many new revivalistic movements borrows heavily from "the Latter Rain" or "Latter Reign" which speaks of the "Now but not yet kingdom." The implication is that Jesus did not get full power in His "assignment" and therefore we have to finish the work with our new assignment.

A church pushing the Blackaby movement rejects the "old" revelation and confesses to being in the Post-Modern church. Unfortunately, those who claim supernatural power often leave behind the moral teachings of the "theologically wrong" Paul and receive the authority to lie, cheat and dominate the older generation.

Never mistake the point: the goal is not to give you the assignment of being a new Christ; the goal is to slowly get the little people to accept that the mercinary "pastor" is an apostle or prophet. Your membership of 40 years makes you a "sower of discord" if you dare question the hireling who has stolen Christ's sheep. This, associated with the Promise Keeper's program, makes the identification of a cult certain.

The Latter Rain wants you to believe that:

"You may even be a member of a denominational church, with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine. These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming "Postdenominational Church." Paul Cain advises that you "dump all that carnal stuff" (doctrine) and listen to what the "spirit" is saying to the churches through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many "new, sacred truths." Bob Jones notes that:

"I have called the best of every blood line (See Volkism) in earth unto this generation...I have elected to bring them forth in this generation...THE ELECT GENERATION...even the bloodline of Paul...of David...of Peter, James and John.

They will even be superior to them in heart, stature and love for me'...Your children will possess the spirit without measure..They will move into things of the supernatural that no one has ever moved in before--coming into the DIVINE NATURE of Jesus Christ ...

a Church that has reached the full maturity of the GODMAN! This generation is going to see the beginning of this WORLD WIDE NEW ORDER."(3)

However, John wrote:

He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal (MARK) that God is true. John 3:33

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. John 3:34

Jesus proved His nature as "Son" by speaking only what He heard from the "Father." Because God is pure or holy Spirit all that comes from Him is Spirit:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. John 3:35

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

Continuing: "Are you having difficulty discerning or receiving this "new revelation"? Then you have been interpreting your Bible in the "old way,"

comparing Scripture with Scripture, studying diligently to account for every jot and tittle and being careful to rightly divide the Word of truth.

If this describes you, then you belong to the "Old Generation"
which will
not enter in to "possess the land" in the Latter Rain Revival.

You may even be a member of a denominational church, with its dogmatic confession of faith and statement of doctrine.

These legalistic forms will be relics of the past in the up and coming "Postdenominational Church." Paul Cain advises that you "dump all that carnal stuff" (doctrine) and listen to what the "spirit" is saying to the churches

through the Latter Rain Prophets and Apostles, who are dispensing many "new, sacred truths."

Rubel Shelly believes and teaches:

Here is what God wants churches passionate about:

(1) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

(2) that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

(But: The Israelites had to "look upon" the serpet) John 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

(3) "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36).

(But:Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.)

(4) "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: (5) While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (6) Since we have now been justified by his blood, (7) how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (Rom. 5:8-9).

(But: Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Rom 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.)

These are the essentials of Christian faith. It is this core message about Jesus that we share

in common with other
Bible-believing, cross-proclaiming, resurrection-confessing, born-again persons
that constitutes us a church.

Outside the essence of the gospel,

there are other features that reflect our history and consensus interpretations of the larger biblical message.

When the kingdom did not come as Christ promised those who wrote the Bible went their own ways. John, for instance, hooked up with a Greek philosopher and borrowed the LOGOS concept and used it to explain Jesus Christ. However, either unknown or ignored is the fact that the LOGOS concept begins where John places it: in Genesis. Too bad that scholars miss the fact that DABAR is the Hebrew word.

Rubel Shelly: They had to strain the story of Jesus through philosophical sieves. They had to create and clarify special terms. They made entrance into their circles a matter of "enlightenment" as reflected in peculiar vocabulary and interpretations.

In the meanwhile, the core gospel has survived two millennia now in its narrative form of telling the big story through collections of little ones about Jesus.

Notice that:

The little stories were strained through the Shelly Sifter of philosophy and the Bible writer's personal agenda: these are not TRUTH as the Gospel is TRUTH.

The Big Story or the CORE GOSPEL has survived through these little stories.

Our conclusion: The CORE is no more reliable than the sum of its parts: why should we trust Rubel Shelly's CORE GOSPEL as the TRUTH?

Dr. Shelly defines the narrative form as writers taking the literature and constructing a narrative for their own time, place, theological agenda and by sifting in Greek philosophy.

Well, Paul said, and we paraphrase: "Fools do love to be fooled." And the higher the price the bigger the fool.

The Post-denominational world is the working thesis of Jubilee 99, Jubilee 2000, Wineskins and the Rubel Shelly movemtnt. The language if not the principles propel most efforts to build Jesus a new wineskin so that, in the words of Jubilee, a Latter Reign can take place.

The following prophecy by Gwen Shaw, President of End-Time Handmaidens, is typical of this attitude: "If you can't think in a new way,

if you can't accept what I am going to do, you will burst. You will not be able to accept the expansion of this new wine. This new wine shall cause many to expand in their understanding of the ways of God. Because some are not equipped, and some are not prepared, and because of their indifference
........... and their critical spirit,
........... their wineskins shall burst." (See the Jubilee-Wineskins Connection)

Consistent with the post-denominational theology which is aided greately by Blackaby's Experiencing God, the new prophet-apostles do not hesitate to lie by turning the wineskin parable upside down. The church Jesus worked on for a time is "still fermenting" and therefore their new assignment is to build a new wineskin which is, like rubber, flexible to include all denominations. However, any 12 year old kid kid knew that:

"New wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil." Gospel of Thomas.

In a 1991 program entitled "Manifested Sons of God," Morris Cerullo flattered his audience with the following blasphemy,

"You represent all that God is and all that God has...

Jesus was the visible expression of God. Jesus was the Son of the Living God.
Now, who are
you? Sons of God... everyone say it. What is working inside of us is the manifestation.

When you look at me, you are looking at Jesus...To see Jesus was to see God. To see me is to see Jesus. Jesus knew who He was. Don't you think it is about time we know who we are?"(6)

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9

Benny Hinn fills convention centers worldwide preaching a similar message, which exalts the creature rather than the Creator, and induces spiritual pride:

"This spirit-man within me is a God-man. Say after me, he's born of heaven, he's a super-being.Say I'm born of heaven - God-man. I'm a God-man. I'm a sample of Jesus. I'm a super being. Say it! Say it! Who's a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. Get the spirit-man renewed..when he's strong, he'll hold off sickness...you want to prosper? Money will be falling on you from left, right and center. God will begin to prosper you, for money always follows righteousness...Say after me, I hold my destiny."(7)

A friend in Seattle has perhaps met this prophet face-to-face: to question the "pastor" is to heap a crushing insult much like the crucifixion. However, to prophesy a new revelation of a method to replace the Word of God in attracting people is an insult against the person, against the church and therefore the body of Christ.

This same indivisual was accused of being one of the old legalists of the "modern age" and because his thinking had not incarnated into the 'post modern' mode he simply could not fit into the new world order of a world gone insane and needs to be locked up.

All of the trouble came after the Promise Keepers broke down some walls and dissociated people into a form of schizophrenia in Atlanta. Then everyone was promised that they would "never be the same after going through the Experiencing God incarnation so popular among the Southern Baptists. Jubilee 98 and the Zoe Group Movement pushed the idea of "theatrical performance" as worship to, just like ancient paganism, lead the worshiper into the presence of God.

Henry T. Blackaby was a keynote speaker at Promise Keepers in Atlanta in 1996. This was the time people turned on to a direct operation of the Holy Spirit and the break down the walls to all denominations was slipped into the right brain (effeminate) of those 40,000 (more or less) clergy as their left (masculine) brain was put to sleep by charismatic speech patterns and the mass (read mess) of underemployed pastors looking for a fix to the problem they created.

Just read to what these clergy accepted as a direct operation of the Holy Spirit at Promise Keepers in Atlanta as they got their "assignment" from the couch but not from God:

"Atlanta changed my life! There, I've said it, OK? To be a part of the world's largest-ever collection of clergy (42,000) in one building at one time; to hear the thunderous, ear-splitting applause, the four-part harmony, and that eerie, haunting, inspiring chant of "Je-e-e-s-u-s" as this hand-holding, mid-sized city of men affirmed their common faith-what can one say? It will never be forgotten.

"The highlight for me had to be somewhere around the time of Steve Green's emotional presentation of "Let the Walls Come Down," leaving thousands of male pastors of every race and denomination tearfully hugging while offering and receiving apologies for centuries of injustice and blindness to each other's plight. Hats off to Coach Bill McCartney and the team for bringing vision to fruition as they launched the much-needed Promise Keepers' theme for 1996, "Break Down the Walls."

"Sports Motif: Oh, some things were missing-the beer, the cigarettes (for the most part) and the gutter language. But the similarities to professional football were all too noticeable-the incredible hype, the "wave," the close-to-hypnotic chanting for your team (now here's a difference-everyone cheered for the same team!), the frenzied buying of souvenirs, the loud singing on the go-train after. After all, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, right?

And now it's time for that big annual cup game. So it's expected that you leave the wife and kids at home to take off and do the male-bonding thing for a few days. Too bad it's over Valentine's Day, but she'll understand-I'll send her a card...

These are not 'denominational walls' but personal walls: disassociating the human personality so that it can be molded into a warrior "team." Doesn't this sound like a Pastors' Meeting at the Airport Vineyard in Toronto, where the Laughing Phenomenon is ongoing? Rev. John Arnott said:

"And so now we're starting to see people prophetically acting like lions and oxen and eagles and even warriors... it's a wonderful thing and we've seen it spontaneous... We had all four of those manifestations happening at the same time. So what did the man look like? He looked like a warrior, just yelling Ahhhhh!!!! ....[It] just may be the Holy Spirit putting an empowering, like a warrior, on them."

Horace Odes 1.16

Not Cybele, nor he that haunts

Rich Pytho, worse the brain confounds,
Not Bacchus, nor the Corybants
Clash their loud gongs with fiercer sounds
Than savage wrath; nor sword nor spear

From every kind, took lion mad,

And lodged its gall in man's poor heart.
'Twas wrath that laid Thyestes low;
'Tis wrath that oft destruction calls
On cities, and invites the foe
To drive his plough o'er ruin'd walls.
Then calm your spirit; I can tell
How once, when youth in all my veins
Was glowing, blind with rage, I fell
On friend and foe in ribald strains.

Henry Bamfort Parkes in Gods and Men wrote about the priests and prophets who were emotionally and sexually abnormal:

"In this fashion evey common tribal interest--the recurrence of the seasons, the increase of the food supply, successful hunting--was likely to become embodied in some regularly repeated ceremony, which usually included group dancing, singing, and feasting.

Besides enabling men to express, and thereby to allay, anger and anxiety, such ceremonies also promoted tribal unity and strengthened the loyalty of the individual to tribal traditions, for the emotional excitement they aroused

had the effect of breaking down the barriers between individuals
and thus fusing all tribesmen into a collective whole
. Meanwhile, whole systems of magical devices were gradually elaborated." (Parkes, p. 29)

Christianity is NOT a religion but a discipline. For that reason, God ordained rational or spiritual male leadership. However, the new latter- day charismatics are EFFEMINATE and worship the goddess. This is why Jesus blinded the eyes of the first century clergy:

"The development both of religion and of the arts can be traced back in a continuous line to the hunting era. The group ritual of the primeval tribesmen were the origin not only of all religious ceremonial, but also of the drama and of poetry and music, while magic gave birth to the visual arts." (Parkes, p. 30).

"Awed by the mysteries of his own spirit no less than by those of nature, primitive man was likely to attribute to divine influence

any abnormal emotional state, whether above or below the usual level. Medicine men customarily went into states of trance in which they were believed to be in communication with the gods,

and many tribes supposed lunatics and sexual deviants to be divinely possessed.

From our viewpoint it looks like the wrong spirit got loose. It sounds like the spiritual meaning of Har-Meggido where the "little hill" exalts himself over all of the other little hills to become king of the mountain. This will be the form of the end-time battle as all of the "warriors" turn in the Sword of the Spirit for real and emotional "weapons" to try to rule over the God-ordained elders in each congregation. In the image of the King of Tyre (Lucifer's agent) they will use effeminate music in an attempt to be "remembered as a male."

At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: Isaiah 23:15

Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. Isaiah 23:16

While loosing emotional control may seem so spiritual, it is really a sexual experience. For instance, what is described as happening at Atlanta creates the morphine-like chemicals or endorphins. This induces the feeling of fight, flight or sex. Therefore, while the "masculine male" is sold as a masculine journey it is like a sting operation -- perhaps conducted by God -- to reveal those who have no spiritual discernment. Indeed, the emotional break-down just described is an effeminate (not feminine) reaction which is consistent with most performance worship put on or dramatized when the "clergy" returned to their own little vineyard.

Balckaby has a book ready to go to spread the Word

In Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry T. Balckaby and Claude V. King, a multi-step program is outlined.

In Unit 1, you should look to Scripture to learn how to identify God working in the same way to you.

"With God working through me, I can do anything God can do."

God reveals Himself personally. One must depend upon the Bible for faith and practice, but one must watch to see which way God is working in a personal way. Day 2, "I can trust God to work in my life in similar ways that I see Him working thorugh Scripture." "The Holy Spirit and the Word of God will instruct you and help you know when and where God is working." Day 3 "I come to know God by experience."

We would ask: "How can you know that it is God working in you?" It might be an "unholy spirit" leading you astray if you confuse your own mental state with the voice of God.

Day 4 & 5 When God is about to do something through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is. So He comes and tells you what He is doing. There is a promise to tell you how to interpret God speaking. The revelation becomes an invitation to join Him. I can't stay the way I am and go with God. He is able to do anything He pleases with one ordinary person fully consecrated to Him. God's standards of excellence are different from man's.

Didn't God manifest Himself fully (Col. 2:9) to illustrate what a spiritual mind should be like?

In Unit 2

Someone has said that "a half truth is a whole lie." And that is what happens over and over in this book.

The New Revelation in the Book

Hebrews 1:1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son."

Period, quotation mark, end of sentence? Nope! No doubt the writers will tell you that "God's assignment was to pervert this passage so that I can make my point." However, being Bible believers we should read what the Spirit wants you to really know.

The Old Holy Spirit Revelation - Blackaby in Black, the Spirit in Red:

Hebrews 1:1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2

Now, if you are personally getting revelations from God you may believe the writer's partial quotation of Scripture. However, if you are a "Spiritual" person you may want to hear from God -- "test the spirits" to see whether they come from God or man.

First wrong teaching:

Experiencing God wants you to believe on page 36 that

  1. "In the Old Testament God spoke at many times and in a variety of ways .
  2. Through Jesus, God Himself spoke to His people during His lifetime.
  3. Now, God speaks through the Holy Spirit."

    This implies three time periods in which God speaks directly to someone: Old Testament, the prophets; New Testament, Jesus; now, perhaps you.

Notice that we have the confused dispensations of the trinity of people:

Old Testament: Really mixed up.
New Testament: Through Jesus, God spoke during His lifetime.
Post Resurrection: The Holy Spirit speaking directly to you.
But the name of the Holy Spirit is Jesus of Nazareth.

What we should understand is that God has always spoken through His Word and revealed His Spirit or Mind to mankind. God as the Word created and spoke the worlds into existence. God as the Incarnate Word spoke directly to the masses but revealed Himself only to the Apostles. God the Spirit continues to speak to us through His "spirit-impregnated" Words.

Unless, you are ready to claim to be the revealer - Creator for your day, you should erase all of those "fill in the blanks" where you have blasphemed.

My "Assignment from God" is to tell you that in the:

Old Testament: The revelation was the Spirit of Christ speaking to the people in various ways (1 Peter 1:11; Revelation 19:10)

New Testament: God was in Jesus speaking and reconciling. Thomas Called Jesus My Lord and My God. God was not just speaking "through" Jesus, as far as mankind can understand, God was in Jesus and the Jesus words were God words. Paul says that the Holy Spirit is the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:10-16)

Post Resurrection: When the invisible Spirit "Lord" spoke to the Apostle Paul He said, "I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you persecute." Paul did not recognize that any one but the apostles were the authentic speakers. Even when Paul prayed for people's enlightenment, he proceeded to teach them to enlighten them.

Second wrong teaching and the dangerous implications:

Hebrews 1:1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2

If you accept the first part of mis-quoted Hebrews you have to apply the rest of it to yourself:

This means that if God is speaking directly to you based upon Paul's partial quotation then
........... YOU are appointed heir of all things and
........... YOU were the Creator of all worlds!
........... Otherwise, the first part of the discourse does not belong to you.

Why would the writer use this form of distortion? It is true for all of us that once we have "bonded" to a human theology we will distort Scripture to defend it. The human theology this writer is laboring under may be foreign to your belief system.

In the Baptist form of Calvinism, a direct revelation of God to you just as He revealed Himself to Christ is consistent with the denominational doctrine. However, John Calvin's teaching didn't become "Calvinism" until much later. For instance, Calvin understood that one must "sign onto" the Spirit of Christ or receive the Words of Christ in the heart before the words written in the Bible have power. For instance, on Continuing Revelation John Calvin would refute Blackaby's direct revelation of scripture. Click for More.

Jesus' clear statements about baptism are rejected because predestinated beings are like "stones" lying on the ground with no ability to hear, believe, repent and be baptized.

For instance, in the Catholic form of the Eucharist you do literally handle Jesus Who suffers just for you and is in the presence of the bread. In the Zwinglian (Baptist) form of baptism, Christ literally comes to you and in fact you may have to become Christ so that you can die for your own sins.

It is easy for neo-Calvinists to minimize Scripture because God gives out "assignments" directly to those He chooses to give the gift of salvation. Not only can you not hear God speaking to you through His Words, it may actually be evil to believe that you can have faith on your own. Calvin connfirmed that Scripture is the "normal" rule for conveying faith but that God is not bound to the Bible:

"But they do not consider, that when the apostle makes hearing the source of faith, he only describes the ordinary economy and dispensation of the Lord, which he generally observes in the calling of his people; but does not prescribe a perpetual rule for him, precluding his employment of any other method; which he has certainly employed in the calling of many,

to whom he has given the true knowledge of himself in an internal manner, by the illumination of his Spirit,

without the intervention of any preaching." (Calvin's Institutes, Westminster Press, Vol. II, p. 622)

Now, if you are a Baptist (as are the writers of this catechism) and a neo-Calvinist then this book defines and reinforces Baptist-Calvinistic doctrine. So thouroughly is this done that the 'fill in the blanks" are not "exercises for the student." Rather, they are hand, eye, voice and ear coordinated reinforcements of the dogma taught in the text. If this was not true then breaking off a passage mid-verse would never be used. When you go through the course you have been "programmed" so thouroughly that the promoters can boast that "you will never be the same again."

If you are not a neo-Calvinistic-Baptist being discipled into that doctrine or catechized with a programmed question-answer scheme, then you may not want to use this material.

Paul's Broader Context

Taking a text out of its context is always a deliberate goal to deceive you. Paul and the other apostles considered themselves uniquely selected to be the witnesses for the once-for-all-times event of the Incarnation of God in Lord, Jesus Christ. Paul never hints that the you have power to hear God directly and always restricts revelation to the we.

You should repudiate any claim to speak for God personally or you have just blasphemed. Paul continued to speak in Hebrews. His entire emphasis, and that of the other writers, is that God became flesh once for all times; He was crucified and resurrected once for all times; He choose apostle-prophets for the last time; He endorsed their preaching by the performance of miracles (you will not be able to do that to validate your new assignment) and He remaind with the Apostles in Spirit form to guarantee their written record "once for all times delivered to the saints."

THEREFORE we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Hebrews 2:1

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; Hebrews 2:2

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which

  1. at the first began to be spoken by the Lord,
  2. and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3
  3. God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders,
    and with divers
    and gifts of the Holy Ghost,
    according to
    his own will? Hebrews 2:4

Conclusion: This Experiencing God Personally theology is proven by the proof text. However, the context says just the opposite: Christ and Apostle-prophets are used by God because those who have not had a face-to-face encounter do not hear God directly. Honoring the "outdated" words of Christ in person will teach that Blackaby and friends are teaching the direct opposite of what the Holy Spirit of God revealed to the Hebrews.

Furthermore, you have only one Teacher and when you forsake him for fallible human teachers you will have violated a first principle of Christianity and you will believe strong delusions. Now look again at the claim of the writer in black and then what you must claim for yourself which he didn't quote in red:

Hebrews 1:1 GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Hebrews 1:2

But then "fools love to be fooled."

Next Missed truth:

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

It should be pretty self-evident tha if Jesus didn't say anything persoanlly to me while He was in the flesh then He will not remind me of what He didn't say after He returned as the only Comforter. Jesus said:

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. John 14:25

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

As people out of the apostle's arm-reach did not speak in tongues, none but the Apostles were guided into truth by a direct revelation from Jesus in pure or Holy Spirit form.

This proves that the spoken words of God which are Spirit and Life (John 6:63) are so powerful and holy that they need to be preserved. This would preclude Christ giving me a new message which was not in the original message.

This Holy Spirit is not a substitute for Jesus: He will come in "my name." This is why when He appeared to Paul His name was "Jesus" because "The Holy Spirit" is not a name but describes the nature of God as pure Spirit. Backing up to honestly include the context we can learn who the "another Comforter" will be:

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:16 (Not diffferent but of the same type)

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18

In John 16:13, 14 the Spirit Jesus will bring to them exactly what the fleshly Jesus spoke to them.

Did God create mankind and put His spirit or mental ability into us and fall so short that we are just zombies? Robots? This denies free will. Now, we might expect Calvinists (the majority) to teach this view but we would not expect it to be swallowed by those who reject Calvinism and believe, even as elders, that they believe in free will!

Does the endorsement, promotion and use of this book not say that the shepherds of the flock have rejected the perfectly-adequate Words of Christ and have converted to Calvinism and to a Charismatic form of worship? "Leading the worshipers into the presence of God with music" is one of the most powerful signs of a charismatic breakdown.,

In Unit 3 "I do not choose Him, He chooses me, loves me, and reveals His eternal purposes for my life." "I cannot know the activity of God unless He takes the initiative to let me know." God's whole plan for the kingdom depends on His direct work through the people.

It is absolutely true that mankind could not know God until He revealed Himself. Therefore, God took the initiative by coming in the form of a man to teach what we should be doing. Does He have to do it over and over for each life? Then why did He do it one time and let his will be expressed in the lives of about 5000 men on the day of Pentecost. This will was to repent and be baptized. We can bet that the new revelation declares that every passage on baptism as expressed by every translation is just plain wrong: "While it may seem to say that Baptism is required, it might be that the passage means something else." Does God reveal Himself that way?

In unit 4 one knows God only through experience as He reveals Himself to me. When God gives a commandment, He is not restricting me. He is freeing me. God is at work but God takes the initiative: "God must take the initiative to open my spiritual eyes." God speaks when He is about to accomplish His purposes. What God initiates, He completes.

The writer does not like the regulative principle held sacred by all protestants in all ages: "Where the Bible speaks we speak, where the Bible is silent we are silent." As an example,

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved
He that believeth not shall be damned.

"Christ issued His commandment to be baptized but does not say that he that is not baptized shall be damned." We hear it all of the time.

In other words, if Father is telling me not to "camp out" but "go into all the world and preach the gospel" He does not restrict me from getting a new assignment for a new office: The Located Evangelist (Read "Located Traveling Salesman"). Or by defining singing as a one-another method of teaching with the revealed Words of Christ, "He was not restricting me" from usurping this role and serenading the "audience" with a Musical Worship Facilitators" (Read: Manipulator.)

God restricts you from doing anything which fails to obey that commandment, which adds to or aids or replaces it.

It is easy to misuse Scripture. Listen to Paul say:

And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Hebrews 8:11

Click Here to see that it was prophesied and fulfilled that God through Jesus Christ would teach us through His Word. God would take over this teaching-Shepherding task through Jesus Christ because there was not one single man who would remain faithful to the "commandment": they all felt unrestricted.

If mankind was capable of hearing God directly without Himself in some form then He wouldn't have needed Jesus to teach, the Apostles to confirm and the Scriptures to store the once-delivered word, would He?

If the Spirit Christ decided that He could communicate His will fully through the Words in which He stored Spirit and Life (John 6:63) then to feel unrestricted is to reject the power of the Word and thereby reject the God Who spoke it.

Get Real: The only time people want God to whip up a personal will for their personal lives and reveal it through a personal, knowing, sexual-like experience is that they do not accept the commandments already revealed. They want to use God's Word through Jesus as the example of how God makes us all incarnate gods with God's power. However, they do not want to be restricted by that Word.

In Unit 11: As my church experiences Koinonia with other groups of God's people, we experience greater dimensions of God's presence at work in our world.

Koinoia love demands "doing what is in the best interest of the person." It is not a "knowing personally" or a "male bonding." If you have love for another person you will not say, "Oh, I know that God has a commandment but you know, He is not restrictive. You refuse to be baptized, that's ok, that is your unrestricted right. You speak in tongues, ok, I can live with that."

This is the God-like urge to fellowship everyone where the commandments are patterns but not restrictive. However, we can deliver food to one with whom we disagree. However, koinonia does not demand joint-participation with what we hold to be pagan rites. If you wanna sell 'em books, that's ok. However, if you have to say "I'm ok, you're ok" then you have gone beyond God's restrictive commandments.

I just don't know. If I was cursed with being a charismatic speaker or if I wanted to sell "watered wine" and tell you that God guided me to the bookstore to buy the book which claims what Scripture claims for itself, I might want to break down the walls to all book buyers, whatever their persuasion. You see, the Word has always been hated by the world; its teachers hated and persecuted, and no faithful teacher will ever find a wide audience for their books.

Breaking down the walls is the them of God's "songs." One is in Isaiah 5. When the people neglect the Word as God has given it to them, they turn to musical and charismatic practices. In return, God breaks down the walls so that all of the beasts (none spiritual people) can get inside to eat your grapes and take your inheritance.

Well, it goes on and on and on until it reaches the magical number 12.

Can we imitate Christ and Become Incarnated for My Time?

"When I want to learn how to know and do the will of God," Blackaby writes, "I always look to Jesus. I can find no better model than Him" The following is quoted as a model for us. On page 65 he abuses the words of Christ.

Not everyone can grasp that cutting Christ's words and taking what applied to God Himself in human form and then applying them to those who make it through the twelve-step program:

The black text is what Experiencing God takes out of context. We have left the red text in the reading so that, with eyes to see, you can see that these people believe that you can actually do what God can do. Beginning in John 5:17:

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

Blackaby - King continue:

"To experience God personally, remember God has been at work in our world from the very beginning, and He still is at wok. Jesus indicated this in His life. He announced that He had come, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father who had sent Him (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29; 17:4).

To know the Father's will, Jesus said He watched to see what the Father was doing. Then Jesus joined Him in that work.

"The Father loved the Son, and took the initiative to come to Him and reveal what He (the Father) was doing, or was about to do.

The Son kept on looking for the Father's activity around Him, so He could unit His life with the Father's activity."

"Jesus watched to see where the Father was at work. When He saw, He did what He saw the Father doing. For Jesus the revelation of where the Father was working was His invitation to join in the work.

When you see the Father at work around you, that is your invitation to adjust your life to Him and join Hin in that work.

Jesus said: "I and my Father are one." Jn.10:30

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jn.20:28

Of course, Scripture says that Christ was God in all of His Spiritual Glory. However, he set aside that Glory to take on the form of a human. While in that form He said "My Father and I are One" and that "if you have seen me you have seen the father" and "I have the Father with me." Paul said that:

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; Ph 2:10

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Ph 2:11

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Col 2:8

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Col 2:9

Antichrist denies that Christ (God) came fully in the flesh.

To Blackaby, Jesus is just a man like us. He had no will of His own. He had no plans. He didn't even do anything. He just watched events unfold. When He saw something He liked, Jesus just jumpted in and got on the bandwagon.

Jesus said that "Father and Son are One." That the Father was inside. The Spirit God fully indwelled the Son (Colossians 2:9). Thomas looked at Jesus and said, "MY Lord and my God." Therefore, what the Father does, the Son does because they are one.

This does not mean that I can watch the Father and do what He does because I am not God Incarnate.

To claim that anyone can, is to claim equality with Christ and this is to claim equality with God.

Now, look at what Blackaby - King did not quote and see what they really mean when they say that God has a personal "assignment" for you just as He had one for Jesus:

For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. John 5: 21

Can I give life to people? No? Then this passage does not belong to me, does it?

For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: John 5: 22

Did God commit judgment (pass and execute sentence) upon people? No? Then this passage does not apply to me, does it?

That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. John 5: 23

Are people to honor me even as they honor the Father? No? Then to apply this passage to me makes me a new God and that is blasphemy.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5: 24

Do people inherit eternal life as a result of believing upon me? No? Then I had better fall on my face and ask God if perhaps He might grant repentance unto me.

If this is the "assignment" God gave Jesus; and if we get a similar assignment then Blackaby gives authority to (1) be God, (2) give life to others, (3) judge others, (4) receive the honor of Christ or God (5) have skipped past judgment.

Jesus was not a "pattern" which we are to imitate. Rather, the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh is part of the Gospel message which those hearing him were to preach. The apostles never claimed any of these powers and throughout history those who claim the same power have been treated with contempt, not honor.

Gregory Koukl notes that Blackaby misses the point:

"Obviously, that is not Jesus' teaching here. In context, these verses have to do with the divinity of Christ. He is unique as the incarnate Son of God and therefore has unique obligations, unique abilities, and a unique relationship with the Father.

"Verses 26-27 clear up any question on this score: "For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man." "Son of Man" is a Messianic title from Daniel 7:13 that Jesus used often. As Messiah, Jesus has a singular role.

"This is why Jesus never directs His disciples to follow His example in this.

No subsequent writers--Peter, John, Paul, Luke--ever mention it. Why not, if this is such a vital example to follow? Because Jesus is unique in this regard. We are not to imitate those things pertaining to Jesus' divinity or His Messianic office.

Led by the Spirit?
The key failure in all direct operations of the Holy Spirit is to read "Holy Spirit" each time Paul writes the word "spirit." When Paul personally experienced the Spirit presence His name was "Jesus whom you persecute." Paul was an apostle and was promised the same guidance promised to the other apostles. In our discussion about Speaking in Tongues we show that Scripture is clear that those promised direct guidance by Jesus Christ when He returned as Another Comforter (John 14:16-18) was limited to the Apostles who were trained by Jesus and were His only witnesses after the resurrection to verify His Deity.

In Romans, the conflict is not between our flesh and the Holy Spirit; it is between our flesh and our spirit. Whatever is said about our spirit in Romans speaks to our human spirit enlightened and under the control of Jesus Christ who is pure or Holy Spirit. The Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 3) is the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ or the Spirit of God. Spirit does not speak of a separated "person" but of the mental disposition of God Himself.

Those who are "hearing voices" directly from God should not be trusted to "deliver the Word as it has been delivered to you."

Experiencing God signs are clearly revealed in Scripture: those who listen to, believe and obey Christ's Words have the witness in themselves. Other "experiences" are the fruit of the Spirit or the fruit of Christ. A Christ-led person does not ignore the Words of Christ and substitute books which depend upon a mystical connection with mass meetings of men looking for their lost manhood. One might be "Experiencing God" if 40,000 "clergy" did not to "go out" in disobedience to Christ's command and example, understand that 'the kingdom is within you" and spend all of that time and money going into all the world and doing something like "Keeping God's commandments."

The Resource of Leading
God Who is Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a man: Jesus. The Mind of Jesus Christ was (is) the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor 2). The Mind of Christ was revealed to certain men prepared to see God in a face-to-face (personal) sense as Light shone in the face of Jesus.

Only those few who had such an experience or encounter with God and were selected ever revealed Scripture.

To look for new "scripture" in the face of our own human, fleshly experiences is to deny inspiration and the God Who inspired it. For instance, Paul understood:

THEREFORE we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. Hebrews 2:1

For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; Hebrews 2:2

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; Hebrews 2:3

God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? Hebrews 2:4

To claim the same Experiencing God is to claim to be an apostle. Therefore, when you tell me that God told you to do some radical new form of worship because it is now the way to reach Him, I will just have to believe that you have had the maiden head of rationality (spirituality) ruptured beyond redemption.

John agrees. He does not give a remote hit that even those who may have known Jesus personally (that is face to face) would get a supernatural assignment. What then could they do for spiritual knowledge. John has a solution which those attempting to Experience God Personally do not and cannot have:

Did John have the Light within himself? Well, Rubel Shelly thinks so. Says that John took old fragments of poorly-remembered sayings of Jesus and filtered them through philosophy and HIS OWN PERSONAL AGENDA and then wrote. But, Old John denies that as indeed he would dare not do otherwise.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 1 John 1:6

Are you ladies really teaching that YOU can become the source of Light? Can your blood cleanse from sin?

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and
........... the blood of Jesus Christ his Son (continues to) cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh (darkness, ignorance), but after the Spirit (light, truth). Romans 8:1

Jesus had no sin: are you greater than Jesus? Be very careful presumptious ladies, you are treading on dangerous ground and you may have already fallen and you will never get up:

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:10

After showing that Jesus Christ is the Mediator (there is only one), John wrote:

But whoso keepeth his word,
........... in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 1 John 2:5

I can guarantee the most "spirit filled" that God has already revealed His will more fully than any of you every have any intention of doing.

In all of the direct experiences with God, listed here they were all part of Christ's plan to perform both a judgmental sign against unbelievers and validation of the apostles.

None but apostles were ever "guided into all truth" because none but the apostles had a direct, fact-to-face teaching experience with Christ and therefore they were the only ones who had a memory which needed to be refreshed. When the face-to-face witnesses wanted others to remember, they wrote:

THIS second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 Peter 3:1

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4

MY little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that
........... ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3

Jude quotes Enoch who told the story of the fallen angels. They led the youth into musical worship to keep them from hearing the Word of God. By ignoring the Word and claiming to be gods they fell. And God and ten thousand of His saints will come to execute judgment almost exclusively upon the presumptious disciples of Lucifer who claim that they are gods.

In a final sense, when Lord Jesus (full Deity) wanted to speak to the churches He had John write the message and put it in a book:

Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. Revelation 1:11

And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. Revelation 19:9

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the pirit of prophecy. Revelation 19:10

God does not speak to anyone who is not especially prepared by Him to be an apostle or prophet. Then, the purpose of the one time event is that it be recorded in a book for everyone else.

History is not kind to those who claim direct experiencing of God!

If you cannot trust the time-tested Words of Christ which you can see, how can you trust new words which no one else can see.

There were no supernatural messages from God which were not connected to the work of the apostles who held unique, never to be repeated, positions to witness to what they had seen and to be guided into all truth in order to record Scripture. Be aware that:

No man every spoke tongues outside of the arm-reach or touch of an apostle.

No woman ever spoke in tongues any where or for any reason unless it was the charismatic ecstasy of the Corinthian pagans.

That means that if you have Musical Worship Teams "leading you into the presence of God" you might want to know which god they serve as the prophets, mediators and even intercessors.

The early believers clearly understood that if they "preach any other gospel than that which had already been preached they were accursed." They also knew that if pretend-apostles or prophets remained more than two or three days "they were thieves' living off the poor and widow.

The apostle's assignment was to reveal truth and they recorded no person getting a direct revelation outside of their reach and influence. Philip received a message which seems proof-positive that his daughters were musical or poetic prophesiers but they were not prophets.

Used to be that when people started hearing the voice of God they put them away. However, direct revelations are so common in what may be the end-times that they seem to be the majority. Take comfort that Jesus never spoke to the mass meetings without speaking in parables to keep the blind blind and the deaf deaf from hearing spiritual truth.

When they rejected His power to reveal His complete will through the Spirit of Christ breathing His Words into the prophets (1 Peter 1:11; Revelation 19:10) they had "broken" the rational or spiritual (left or masculine) nature and would not, could not, ever hear the Word of God again. Their Experiencing God was singing and piping like little girls trying to hijack the masculinity of Jesus to know Him personally, intimately. A million of the mass movement died in Jerusalem, their holy place to which the Spirit of God never entered.

Conclusions: Like so many charismatic writings, this one seeks to have God repeat in the life of every believer what He did through Christ or the apostles. However, Jesus was uniquely Incarnated and you will never have the "literal" God in your literal body. You will never be a prophet or apostle.

The masses always associated with the wrong gender were ever chosen to be a true warriors of faith. True faith trusts God to do His work once for all and have, for instance, the sacrifice of Jesus work by looking back to every person who lived; and also look forward to everyone who will live. He does not have to be present in the "faith only" baptism or even make the baptized person into the personal Christ; nor does Jesus have to die and be handled by priests in the Eucharist.

By denying Christ's power to deliver His message for our dispensation we open the door to deny that Christ's blood is adequate for our "modern times."

When you see people who will not, cannot, bring themselves to preach the Word as it has been delivered to them, sing the songs as they have been revealed in a one-another teaching practice, you know that they are directly Experiencing God. He is pouring out His Spirit of wrath upon plugged ears and blind eyes. It is a supernatural sign but it has lots of Biblical parallels in every age.

They will not, cannot, ever return to the holy place where "worship is in spirit and in truth." Their spirit works on the external, the ritual and not on the mind or spirit.

Rejection of Blackaby on the Holy Spirit

Read Rubel Shelly's Agreement with Blackaby

Reposted from Promise Keepers - Post Modernism and Shepherding Connections

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