Saturday, December 02, 2017

Un-Sacred Spaces

Theology to Justify Abortion


“In almost every message to our staff, I talk about our doing sacred work,” Dr. Laura Meyers, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, told the news outlet. “This confirms the sacredness of the work we do.”

Later, she said pro-lifers “tried to separate those of us working on or supporting the right of women to choose a from a sense of deep spirituality. So today is a shift in that narrative.”[1] [emphasis added]

Clergy blessing Planned Parenthood [2]


“...the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
(1 John 5:19b)

By Pastor Jim Jenkins 

The occasion for my controversial remarks to a group of pastors happened shortly after the grand opening of the new Planned Parenthood facility in Eugene, Oregon. The mayor (the former head of the local Planned Parenthood organization) had been effusive in her praise of the work of Planned Parenthood. The ceremony was replete with all the trappings one might expect at the opening of a hospital or new school.

So a few days later, when I was attending the monthly meeting of the district pastors in the denomination I served for over thirty years, I brought up the very troubling article that was featured in the Register Guard newspaper titled “Local Clergy Persons Christen New Planned Parenthood facility.”[3] There was a picture of joined hands obviously belonging to clergy bedecked in clerical robes and, yes, they did in fact have some form of liturgical rite to “bless the ground” of a building that would be used to facilitate termination of babies.

When I voiced my concern to my fellow pastors about “christening” an abortion facility, nearly every one of them began to squirm and divert their eyes from me. The message was clear. “Don’t go there… Let’s talk about something else.” I then described what actually takes place in late term abortions, and not a few of my colleagues gave a look that said, “It’s inappropriate and I am offended that you would bring this up.”

These events marked my first exposure to the newly developing narrativea postmodern theology that abortion is a rite of sacred choice and the abortion chamber is a sacred space.  

Clergy statement blessing Planned Parenthood[4]
Years later, we as a nation would be repulsed by the news that Planned Parenthood executives were being courted by pharmaceutical companies to sell the ‘products’ of abortion.[5] This is a sanitized way to refer to severed body parts and carefully preserved tissue. How would these evangelical ministers respond to the terrible facts?



The Emerging Evangelical Narrative
In 2014, my book, Fatal Drift… Is the Church Losing its Anchor? was released. In it I chronicled the rapid degradation of the very notion of such a thing as propositional truth. I cited as one example a book titled A Faith of Our Own—Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars. The author, Jonathan Merritt, had impressive credentials. He was a contributor to Newsweek, has appeared on some national talk shows. His father is a former head of The Southern Baptist Convention.

Merritt’s book made the case for a postmodern, progressive makeover of evangelicalism—a kinder, gentler, more civil (he used that word a lot) conversation about what he deems to be the major Culture Wars issues. I wrote the following

One thought seems to repeatedly come out in the ‘conversation’ though, ‘Christians need to be silent about the so called ‘culture wars’ issues - cases in point - gay rights and abortion. Even the term ‘culture wars’ is probably the result of talking points created to silence the so called ‘religious right.’

Merritt’s book reflects a bias that it is the Christians who need to adapt, and that the poll he quotes makes a huge assumption that declining numbers in church attendance are the direct result of Christian involvement in politics. I would offer that there is another completely plausible explanation for the decline in attendance. It may well be that we are living in in the Last Days, and that a falling away that was prophesied in the Bible is taking place. It can also be that people are leaving churches because of liberal neglect of Biblical preaching.

Merritt's position is that the debate about abortion and gay marriage is already over. The church has lost and it’s time to move on. Move on to what?

He along with other Emergent Church notables like Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) lecture Christians about become associated with political positions… all the while espousing their own very well defined and culturally accepted political stances on the very issues they cite as ‘divisive’.

Here is why I think this is this occurs. A detailed discussion about poverty will not cause offense. Becoming an activist against the proliferation of nuclear weapons will not result in one being labeled as a controversial ‘culture wars’ combatant, for this issue aligns with the current progressive narrative, and does not require identification as a person who believes that the Bible speaks with authority about the ‘other’ issues.

The Emerging Theology for Abortion
Recently I read a book titled Life’s Work—A Moral Argument for Choice by Doctor Willie Parker (Atria Books, 2017). (See the recent Herescope post Oprah Magazine: God's “in” Abortions?)

In his opening remarks Dr. Parker gives a clue as to his philosophy. He will conclude his book with a case for a Theology of Abortion. It is a fair assessment that Dr. Parker equates the women’s right to choose with the Civil Rights movement. He also makes it a point to state numerous times that he has no sentimental notions about the fetus (the baby):

“I do not engage in or perpetuate any of the culture’s sentimental notions about the primacy of motherhood in womens’ lives; I regard the meeting of sperm and egg as a biological event no less miraculous but morally qualitatively different from a living, breathing human life, imbued with sacredness only when mother or the parents, deem it so.” (p. 14) [emphasis added]

Perhaps most striking to me is the author’s ‘testimony’ of being born again and filled with the Holy Spirit and claiming to be called by God to abort babies. After giving a detailed account of his conversion, he goes on to relate a very telling incident:

“In the years since my Issues & Values paper [in which he espouses the view that abortion is a ‘black and white’ issue, ed.], I had become sexually active, and for the first time I had to cope with the emotionally fraught aftermath of a broken condom. My girlfriend at the time, an ambitious woman with her sights on a very competitive residency, made me promise tearfully that if she became pregnant I would support her decision to terminate the pregnancy and not ask her to bring a fetus to term. She had worked hard all her life and wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon more than anything. Moved by her anxiety that I might fail to be a loving support to her, and my own strong desire to defy the stereotype of the sexually irresponsible black man (even though nothing in my personal history indicated that I might conform to it) I easily agreed—an agreement that cost me nothing because she did not become pregnant.” (p. 25)

He goes on,

“It is a testament to the strength of my Christian faith that it took me so long to revise my stance on abortion, for the seeds of my personal revolution were in me from childhood.” (p. 26)

As I read this I found myself thinking, “Where was the strength of his Christian faith when he had sex outside marriage?”

Dr. Willie Parker's 'sacred decision' abortion theology[7]

Abortion as Liberation Theology
I noticed that throughout the book, Dr. Parker's statement of Christian faith is mentioned in parentheses or coupled with some kind of disclaimer. For instance, this is how he responds to what he called Pentecostalism:

“That was a miracle That same understanding informs my approach with my patients. As they feel compelled to explain themselves, to rationalize their abortion decision, they often feel the need to invent a narrative that makes them appear virtuous, or that cleans up the details of their circumstances in order to evoke my compassion… When I sense this, I tell them of my understanding (though I keep God out of it) ‘Your need makes you worthy You are fine the way you are.’ Mike [his former pastor, ed.] taught me that if invited it to happen, I could be baptized in the Holy Spirit—Speak in tongues, and heal the sick and cast out demons and more; that the Spirit would lead me toward the most Divine version of myself.” (p. 122)[emphasis added]

This use of Christian language to defend abortion occurs throughout his book. Case in point Dr. Parker’s take on the Good Samaritan:

“It was like a punch, at once in my spiritual gut. The Scripture came alive and it spoke to me. For the Samaritan, the person in need was a fallen traveler. For me it was the pregnant woman. The earth spun and with it this question turned on its head. It became not: Is it right for me to perform abortions? But rather: Is it right for me as a Christian to refuse to do them? And in that instant, I understood that I, like the Levite and the priest, had been afraid—afraid if what my Christian brothers and sisters might think of me.” (p. 36)

Later on in his book he describes what he glibly referred to as being “born again from being born again” (p. 204) [emphasis added].[6]

Citing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Willie Parker writes,

“I read Dr. King and then I read the books Dr. King had read, the twentieth century theologians who built a progressive Christianity that put God at the center of history and made justice God’s priority: Reinhold Niebuhr and Paul Tillich who led me to a more complex understanding about moral absolutes. I read their forbears, Hegel and Schleiermacher and Kierkegard

It was as if I could feel my mind expanding—exploding—with each book. I began to understand that I had to find a thinking person’s religion or abandon God entirely. My mentor in this journey toward a broader understanding of Christian identity was another Mike, a former Roman Catholic priest named Mike Rivage-Seul. Mike was a professor at Berea who taught Issues and Values, that course I loved….

Ordained around the time of the Second Vatican Council a period of upheaval in the Church, Mike had left the priesthood and fallen in love with a woman and married her—though his commitment to his faith stayed strong. As his faith evolved, Mike became devoted to liberation theology, a re-articulation of the gospels’ message on radical love for the poor and the marginalized.” (pp. 166-167) [emphasis added]

From a basis of a faith of his own (to borrow Merritt’s phrase) Dr. Parker would go on to justify abortion on demand as a remedy for relieving the psychic pain of the mother—a palliative measure in his eyes.

But his new theology of abortion is not new at all. It is classic Liberation Theology cast in the mold of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger, President Obama’s spiritual mentors during his community organizer days in Chicago.

Dr. Parker's final paragraphs sums it up well. In his worldview the bloody procedure room has been redefined as a sacred space, and the grisly act is a sacred choice that is “like God.” Observe his theology:

“Is God vested one way or another in whether you as an individual, become pregnant? No. Is pregnancy sacred because there will be a baby, ultimately in a bassinette, beautiful, maybe the next Obama? No. The process is bigger than you are. The part of you that is like God is the part that makes a choice. That says, ‘I choose to.’ Or ‘I choose not to’ That’s what’s sacred. That’s the part that’s like God to me.

The procedure room in an abortion clinic is as sacred as any other space to me because that’s where I am privileged to honor your choice. In this moment where you need something that I am trained to give you, God is meeting us both of us where we are.” (p. 212) [emphases added]


The Contrast Between Two Lives
As I wrote this article there was something in the back of my mind… rather, someone. It is another African American doctor of some note who also has a testimony of being born again. He, like Dr. Parker, came from a similar background of poverty and faced daunting challenges.

His mother was raised in Tennessee in a very large family and dropped out of school in third grade with limited prospects. She married (at age 13) a man who turned out to be a bigamist, who left her as a single mom with two children. Although she herself couldn’t read she insisted that her two boys get two library books each and read and submit written reports.

One of her sons had huge anger issues—stories of attacks with hammers and one instance of a stabbing. That boy, terrified by what he did, called out to God. He went on to achieve unimaginable heights.

At age 32, he became the youngest Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in American History. He is famous for successfully separating twins that were conjoined at the head. He went on to run for President. He is now the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Dr. Ben Carson would never have been born had his teenage mother landed in a Planned Parenthood consulting room. The millions of lives he will influence in his current role would be denied the gifts he brings. His life’s work would have never taken place. Dr. Ben Carson has no hesitation whatever giving all the glory to Jesus… Not the Jesus of Liberation Theology… No, the only begotten Son of God. The only real answer for all those who face an unplanned pregnancy.


“And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding,
that we may know Him that is true,
and we are in Him that is true,
even in his Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Amen.”

(1 John 5:20-21)

Ed Note: The reader is reminded of what was stated previously in an article on this same topic:

Having quoted Parker, it needs to be stated that while the “act” of abortion is outside of God’s love neither the aborted baby nor mother are outside of God’s love. In the traumatic aftermath of having aborted a baby, many women have found forgiveness in and through the Cross of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23; 1 Timothy 1:12; 1 John 1:7-9). Further, we harbor no personal malice toward Dr. Parker nor do we wish for any harm to come to him because he is an abortion provider. God is his judge, and along with the rest of us, Jesus will judge all of us (John 5:25-29).

Endnotes:
1. Micaiah Bilger, “Religious Leaders Bless Opening of New Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, Call It 'Sacred Work',” Life News, Jan. 12, 2017,   http://www.lifenews.com/2017/01/12/religious-leaders-bless-opening-of-new-planed-parenthood-abortion-clinic-call-it-sacred-work/
2. Image adapted from image posted at Dave Urbanski's article, “Clergy members bless new Planned Parenthood Clinic: 'God let your spirit rest upon these caregivers',” The Blaze, January 13, 2017, http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/13/clergy-members-bless-new-planned-parenthood-clinic-god-let-your-spirit-rest-upon-these-caregivers
3. See endnote 1 above for a description of a similar ceremony.
4. Micaiah Bilger, “FBI May Launch Criminal Investigation of Planned Parenthood for Selling Aborted Baby Parts,” Life News, September 29, 2017, http://www.lifenews.com/2017/09/29/fbi-may-launch-criminal-investigation-of-planned-parenthood-for-selling-aborted-baby-parts/
5. Emphasis added. Image adapted from the article by Micaiah Bilger, “Religious Leaders Bless Opening of New Planned Parenthood Abortion Clinic, Call It 'Sacred Work',” Life News, Jan. 12, 2017,   http://www.lifenews.com/2017/01/12/religious-leaders-bless-opening-of-new-planed-parenthood-abortion-clinic-call-it-sacred-work/
6. Ed note: This phrase aptly describes the downgrade, totally upturned on its head, transformation described in the first chapter of the book of Romans. 
7. Quote obtained from Dave Urbanski's article, “Clergy members bless new Planned Parenthood Clinic: 'God let your spirit rest upon these caregivers',” The Blaze, January 13, 2017, http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/01/13/clergy-members-bless-new-planned-parenthood-clinic-god-let-your-spirit-rest-upon-these-caregivers

Sources for this article included:
http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/willie-parker-abortions/2015/05/27/id/646983/
http://www.salon.com/topic/dr_willie_parker/
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2014/08/11/abortion-doctor-mississippi
http://www.newsweek.com/christian-doctor-willie-parker-abortion-provider-choice-book-580142
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a23771/abortion-ministry-of-dr-willie-parker-0914/

Monday, October 30, 2017

On Meditation: What it is. . .


NOTE TO READERS: In light of the contemplative spiritual movement’s influence over evangelicalism among its publishers, educational institutions, churches and pastors, this writing by Dr. Griffith-Thomas is reproduced. From Scripture he informs seekers about what meditation is. In discussion about contemplative spirituality many of us have warned, and justifiably so, about the dangers of meditation and what contemplation is not. Yet in this chapter titled “Meditation” written a century ago, Thomas in his book Grace and Power reminds seeking readers about what Godly meditation is. Read this and be blessed!
~ Pastor Larry DeBruyn*

IX 
MEDITATION [1] 
By W.H. Griffith-Thomas[2] 

The spiritual life which becomes ours, and is constantly realized by means of Justification, Sanctification and Consecration, must be maintained and sustained if it is to grow and increase in vigor, power, and blessing. Spiritual life in the true sense of the term is far more than spiritual existence; it implies strength, vigor, progress, joy, and satisfaction. “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).[3] This abundant life is the only life that will really influence others and fully realize the will of God.

For the maintenance of spiritual life certain conditions are necessary. As with physical life, so with spiritual life, we have to use means and fulfill requirements, and this, not intermittently, but as the habit of our life. It is with the chief means or methods that we shall be concerned in this and the remaining chapters. Taking an illustration from the body, let us bear in mind that for the maintenance and furtherance of spiritual life we require good food, pure air, and regular exercise. To the first of these we now turn our attention, when we speak of meditation. The “good food” is, of course, the food of the Word of God, for as food builds up the tissues of the body, repairs waste, and preserves us in health, so the Word of God is the complete food of the soul. It is noteworthy that we have it brought before us in the Bible as milk for babes (I Pet. 2:2; I Cor. 3:2), as strong meat for adults (Heb. 5:14), affording us the necessary constituents of spiritual nutrition, and as honey (Ps. 19:10) suggesting the pleasure and enjoyment of dessert in addition to the food actually necessary for life and work (Jer. 15:16).

Coming now more closely to the details of this important element of spiritual life, we notice:

I. THE SUBJECTS OF MEDITATION 
One of these is the Word of God, that revelation of God’s will which is enshrined in the Old and New Testament Scriptures. The counsel to Joshua emphasized this (Josh. 1:8), and the description of the truly blessed man makes meditation a prominent feature (Ps. 1:2-3). The great Bible Psalm (119.) has at least seven references to meditation, while the value and necessity of the Word of God to the godly life is the outstanding feature of the whole psalm. Let it be clearly and constantly borne in mind that no true Christian living is possible apart from meditation on the Word of God.

Meditation is also to be exercised on the Works of God. The Psalmist realized the value of this form of meditation (Ps. 105:2 and 143:5). The works of God in Creation, the actions and activities of God in history and general providence, the dealing of God in our own experience and in particular providences, are all fit subjects for meditation, and should all have their place in our thought and life.

But above and beyond all, our meditation should be centered upon God Himself. “My meditation of Him” (Ps. 104:34). “I will meditate on Thee” (Ps. 63:6). Our use of God’s Word and God’s Works is only intended to lead us up to the consideration and contemplation of God Himself, and on Him we must ever fix our gaze. God first, God everywhere, is the secret of the “highest” Christian life.

It is important to notice that meditation is no where associated with ourselves, or our sin, as the subjects. Such an attitude of introspection would be as unhealthy as it would prove discouraging and disheartening. To be occupied with ourselves is dangerous; to be occupied with our sin is depressing, for we cannot fathom either the treachery and deceitfulness of our hearts, or gauge the depths of our depravity. But if our hearts are led out from themselves and fastened on God, then “in His light we shall see light” on ourselves, and see ourselves as we really are, while the same gaze will also lead us to the secret of grace and blessing in God Himself. It is sometimes said, “For one look at self, take ten looks at Christ.” But why not take eleven looks at Christ and none at self? It might be infinitely more profitable.
W. H. Griffith Thomas (Source)

II. THE CHARACTER OF MEDITATION
How shall we meditate? What does it mean?

It must be an individual and personal meditation. Let us look well and long at this text, made as clear as the printer’s art can emphasize its teaching: “My meditation of Him” (Ps. 104:34). Do we see the point? “My” meditation; not some one else’s. The great, the primary, the essential point, is first hand meditation of God’s Word as the secret of Christian living. Who does not remember Dr. Andrew Murray’s definition of milk as “food that has passed through the digestion of another.” And so all the little books of devotion, the helps to holiness, the series of manuals of thought and teaching, including these very lines, represent food that has passed through the spiritual digestion of others before it comes to us, and has to be used as such. Do we then decry all these? God forbid; we establish them, but only in their place and for their purpose. If they are put first, to the exclusion of the Bible alone, and the Bible day by day, they become dangerous and disastrous, crutches that prevent vigorous exercise, and that will inevitably lead to spiritual senility. If they are put second they can become delightful and helpful, inspirations to further thought, and suggestions of deeper blessings. When we have had our own meditation of the Word we are the better able to enjoy what God teaches us through others of His children, and especially those whom God honors with special gifts of teaching. So it must be first, foremost, and constantly, “My meditation of Him.”

Meditation must be real. It must be “the meditation of my heart” (Ps. 49:3), and “the heart” in Scripture means the centre of the moral being, including the intellect, the emotions, and the will. It implies that we come to the Word to be searched thoroughly, guided definitely, and strengthened effectually. It is not a time for dreamy, vague imaginings, but for living, actual blessing, whether in the form of guidance, warning, comfort, or counsel.

Meditation will also be practical. What are its stages or elements? First, the careful reading of the particular passage or subject, thinking over its real and original meaning. Next, a hearty turning of it into prayer for mercy and grace that its teaching may become part of my life. Next, a sincere transfusion of it into a resolution that my life shall reproduce it. Lastly, a whole-hearted surrender to, and trust in God for power to practice it forthwith, and constantly, throughout the day. It is to be noted that the word “meditate,” in our English version, represents two Hebrew words—one meaning to “muse” or “think,” and the other implying “speech,” or audible thinking (see Ps. 5:1). These two elements should always be blended; thinking over the Word, its meaning, its application, its message, and then talking to God about it, in confession of past failures, in prayer for future blessing, in fellowship in present joys or needs. Thus will meditation become so practical, so vital, so blessed that we shall find in it our chief joy, and our indispensable daily power for service.

III. THE OUTCOME OF MEDITATION 
We have necessarily anticipated this in some degree, but let us note more definitely a threefold result of meditation.

The first is Spiritual Strength. When we study carefully the description of the blessed man in Psalm 1, we see very clearly his spiritual strength by reason of his meditation. He is as the tree as contrasted with the chaff—steadfast and dependable, because rooted in the strength of God. Why did St. John say the young men were strong? Because the Word of God was abiding in them (I John 2:12-14). When do none of the steps of the righteous slide? When the law of God is in the heart (Ps. 37:31). When do we not sin against God ? When His Word is hidden in our hearts (Ps. 119:11).

Then comes Spiritual Success. Twice at least is “prosperity” associated with meditation of God’s Word (Josh. 1:8-9; Ps. 1:2-3). And even if we translate “do wisely,” instead of “prosper,” we get the same idea, for it is abundantly evident from the New Testament that spiritual wisdom and perception come from the knowledge of God’s Word and fellowship with Him (Phil. 1:9-10; Col. 1:9). All Christian experience testifies to blessing, power, and prosperity in spiritual life and service in exact proportion to meditation of the Word of God.

Not least is Spiritual Satisfaction. “My meditation of Him shall be sweet.” Is it not so? “How sweet are Thy words to my taste” (Ps. 119:103).

The physical enjoyment of food and dessert is but a faint illustration of the joy of the Word in the heart. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; they were to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer. 15:16). “I rejoice at Thy Word as one that findeth great spoil” (Ps. 119:62). If we look at the titles of the Scriptures given in Psalm 119 such as ordinances, statutes, judgments, we see that they are words which, as a rule, we associate with what is dry and dull and uninteresting! Yet these very statutes were a delight, a joy, a supreme satisfaction to the Psalmist, and so it ever is if our hearts are right with God. “How precious are Thy thoughts unto me, O God” (Ps. 139:17).
(Read it online HERE)

IV. THE TIMES OF MEDITATION 
There is, of course, a sense in which our thoughts should ever be turning to God and His Truth. “All the day long is my study in it” (Ps. 119:97). The attitude of our souls, if in a healthy state, will ever tend to the recollection of God whenever the opportunity occurs.

But this attitude is only possible by means of stated times for meditation. These are the occasions for providing fuel for daily use. Now, there can be no doubt that early morning is the very best time for this. The body is rested, the brain is free and unencumbered, and hence the receptive powers are more available. It may not be possible to spend much time; but let no one be discouraged because of this, for quality is the desideratum, and that can be put into even five minutes. Let the attempt be made with five minutes on a single text, or phrase of a text, and the exercise will soon justify itself, and a hunger will spring up for five minutes more! And it will soon be found how marvelously we are able to do without that extra five minutes’ sleep! Let but the time, long or short, be well spent, and the fruit will be quick to appear and lasting in effect.

Another time mentioned in the Scripture is “eventide” (Gen. 24:63), that time of twilight, “’twixt the lights,” which often brings a quiet moment or two to many a life. When the toil of the day is approaching its close, or is over, or between the work of the afternoon and any evening duties, there often steals over the soul a sense of God’s nearness and a peace of heart that tells of the Spirit’s presence. Then is the time for dropping the book or paper, and for allowing the soul to listen to God and to speak to Him. If our circumstances allow it, and, like Isaac, we can go “into the field” for our meditation, there will be an added delight, as in the quiet of the gathering shadows, broken only by the rustling of trees, or the evensong of the birds, we stand face to face with God, and allow His Word to have “free course” in us and “be glorified.”

Once more, night is often an opportunity for meditation (Ps. 63:6), and if so it be, let us use it well. Before retiring to rest, let the heart be bathed in the water of the Word (Eph. 5:26), and then if “in the night we sleepless lie,” the Word will “heavenly thoughts supply.” In any case, however, and whatever our circumstances, we must find time, and make time, and take time for this blessed exercise of meditation. And it is marvelous how easy is that apparently impossible task of making time. 

It is hardly possible to exaggerate the importance of the meditation of Scripture for the maintenance and progress of the spiritual life. The Bible enters into every part of our experience, because it is the revelation of God on which our life is necessarily based and to which it should make a constant response. And for this reason no life can be either safe or strong that does not put meditation of Scripture in the forefront. It should be with us as with the Psalmist, “I thought on my ways and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies” (Ps. 119:59), and with the Prophet, “Thy words were found and I did eat them: and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of Hosts” (Jer. 15:16).

Our contact with the Word of God will thus be an exact test of our discipleship and character. The Bible is the mirror in which we see ourselves as we are and as God sees us, and it must be evident that if we never use, or rarely use, the mirror we cannot be sure of our real state before God. Christianity is largely a matter of the condition of soul, stress is laid on character, and character is power. Now, character needs solitude for growth; solitude is “the mother country of the strong”; but solitude without the Bible tends towards morbidity, while with the Bible it is a guarantee of vitality and vigor.

Let us, then, be sure that amid the hurry, flurry, scurry, and worry of life we “take time to be holy” by means of meditation on God in His Word. Let not even Christian work rob us of this secret of true service and blessing. Let the superficiality of many lives warn us “to give attention to reading,” to meditate on these things, “that our profiting may appear to all,” and also glorify God. Like the Psalmist, let us be able to remember past seasons of blessed meditation (Ps. 119:23) to realize present seasons of equally blessed privilege (Ps. 119:97) and to resolve that the future shall also be full of such seasons of life and health and joy (Ps. 119:15).

Notes 
[1] Dr. W.H. Griffith Thomas, Grace and Power: Some Aspects of the Spiritual Life (London, GB: Pickering & Inglis, 1916): 153-163. See: https://books.google.com/books/about/Grace_and_Power.html?id=nSc1AQAAIAAJ 
[2] The author: Educated at King’s College, London, and Christ Church, Oxford, and ordained to the Anglican ministry in 1886, W.H. Griffith Thomas, D.D. (1861-1924) served as Vicar at St. Paul’s for eleven years and then Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, for five years. In 1910 he accepted a professorship at Wycliffe College in Toronto, Canada for nine years. In 1919 he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from where he travelled extensively and ministered all over the world. He became known as an outstanding Keswick Bible teacher, preacher and lecturer. Through his devotional commentaries—Genesis, Romans, The Apostle Peter, The Apostle John, Hebrews—and many other devotional works, including Grace and Power, he became equally known as a writer throughout the Anglo-Saxon world. Together with the American Presbyterian evangelist Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952) and Canadian Presbyterian missionary-pastor A.B. Winchester (1858-1943), he helped to found Dallas Theological Seminary though because of death, never taught there. 
[3] With but minor alterations (Scripture references changed from Roman to English numerals), this chapter appears as Thomas wrote it.

*Originally posted on Pastor Larry DeBruyn's Guarding His Flock website: http://guardinghisflock.com/2017/10/30/on-meditation-what-it-is/#more-3584

Thursday, October 12, 2017

$$$Selling Out the Blessed Hope

CA$HING IN ON FAKE PROPHECY
 

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation
hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly,
in this present world;
Looking for that
blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing
of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ
;
Who gave himself for us,
that He might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

(Titus 2:11-14)  




“[T]hey are mad [crazy] upon their idols.” 
(Jeremiah 50:38b)

"Blessed Hope" conference promo[1]

By Gaylene Goodroad*

THE ‘BLESSED HOPE’ OR PROFIT WATCHING? 
Yet another mega prophecy conference is scheduled this weekend, which organizers have billed as the “World’s Biggest Prophecy Conference.” It promises to be a gathering of 2,000 or more prophecy followers worldwide who will be shelling out hundreds of dollars to hear 33 “incredible, world-class Bible teachers!” and “fabulous prophecy experts” in Norman, Oklahoma, October 13-15th. They’re calling this event The Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum, a clever, biblical-sounding hook which is sure to attract many conservative Bible-believing Christians to the venue—and the book tables$$$. The conference is hosted by none other than The Prophecy Watchers (Gary Stearman), and SkyWatch TV (Tom Horn).[2]

We’ve vigorously warned readers about both of these “prophecy experts” in the past.[3] Below is the event description from The Prophecy Watchers website—which sold out days ahead of the conference:

Prophecy Watchers conference promo (Source)

The conference promo builds the excitement with the following information:

There’s no better time to enjoy the beauty of Oklahoma than October—Indian Summer! No tornadoes, black ice, or hail storms! …the speakers of course will be amazing and you’ll be in familiar company, surrounded by thousands of prophecy lovers, all anxiously awaiting the Lord’s return. The Jewish Feast Of Tabernacles just so happens to fall on the same dates as our conference, so come and join us as we “tabernacle” together and celebrate the Blessed Hope in our home state! If the Lord doesn’t return soon, we plan on making this an annual event…. We’ll be celebrating the good news of the Lord’s soon return, exploring the prophecies of the Bible and preparing to spend eternity with Jesus!… The Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center is an enormous facility with multiple presentation rooms—the Main Ballroom alone seats 1,400 people!... Both the Embassy Suites (SOLD OUT) and the Holiday Inn are both within walking distance of just about anything you might need. WE JUST ADDED ANOTHER 50 ROOMS AT THE HOLIDAY INN! People are coming from all over the world! So exciting!....

We’ve added quite a few brand new (but well-known) speakers this year—33 SPEAKERS in all! There’s nothing quite like a Prophecy Watchers conference. You will get the chance to meet many of your favorites authors and speakers face to face—heroes of the faith to many of you….

Just look at this fabulous list of prophecy experts . . .

Gary Stearman, Tom Horn, Derek Gilbert, L.A. Marzulli, Randall Price, Tommy Ice, Bill Koenig, Bill Salus, Mark Hitchcock, Jonathan Cahn, Paul McGuire, Sharon Gilbert, Claudia Koenig, Dr. Danny Ben Gigi, Tim Alberino, Brent Miller, Sr., Brent Miller Jr., Ron Rhodes, Gary Frazier, Billy Crone, Carl Teichrib, Ken Johnson, JD Farag, Michael Lake, David Hocking, Josh Peck, Andy Woods, Jack Langford, Bob Maginnis, Jeff Kinley, Pastor Tom Hughes, David Schnittger, and Terry James.[4][bold in original] 

BHBF conference promo on The Prophecy Watchers website[5]

Profiting from Prophecy?
But take note: attendee$ should arrive with plenty of ca$h. Not including tran$portation, food, & lodging, regi$tration for the event is $90, Live $treaming is $80, and the DVD pre-order for DVD$ is $179.95 ($230 after the conference).[6] Multiply these number$ by 2000 plus conference goer$, then add in book & DVD sale$. How much of this money is going into the coffer$ of Prophecy Watcher$ and $kyWatch TV?

Should all this “prophecy mongering” concern us? One can only hope that conference attendees will be so overwhelmed and overloaded by the speaking schedule that they will miss the most egregious teachings on the itinerary. Unfortunately, however, they probably won’t be able to bypass the glittery book tables between sessions (enough anomalous material to potentially fill an auditorium).

Take another look at that list of speakers for this conference. Do you see any names that surprise you? Names of people you thought were rock solid? Why are these people on the same list with Tom Horn and company—pledging to share a giant platform with them?! Don't they realize that their very presence on the roster lends legitimacy to some of the more flagrantly occult speakers? Have they publicly stated that they intend to use their platform to warn the conference attendees about these other speakers? Or are they hoping to ca$h in on the popularity and pizzazz of this increasingly popular prophecy circuit?

Rocky Mountain prophecy conference in 2016 (Source)
"Prophecy watchers morphing into a mixed Apocalyptic bag"

Fake Prophecy?
Below is the list of the BHPF speakers with their proposed topic titles. Compare the topics. Do you see anything off kilter? Ask yourself what many of these conspiratorial type issues have in common with “the Blessed Hope” found in Titus 2:13 or even basic Bible prophecy for that matter.

As you scroll down this topics list, ask how much of this sounds like the “fake news” that has caused so much concern on both sides of the aisle in politics this past year. Does this alarm you? Are these speakers dealing in actual documented facts and truth? Or are they engaging in “evil surmisings” (see 1 Tim. 6:3-5) and zany speculations? Are these “prophecy experts” reading their Bibles and encouraging believers about the soon return of Jesus Christ? Or are they racing after the latest fads, fake news, the hottest conspiracy theories, or digging into obscure ancient occult mythologies?

Look at the speakers. Recognize any names? Ask yourself—are each of these speakers professing born again Christians?[7] If not, then how could they lift up and magnify the “Blessed Hope” Whom they do not know? (An asterisk denotes those who have been directly connected to Tom Horn, either through publishing or ministry collaboration.)
  • Mark Hitchcock - Russia Rising
  • Thomas (Tommy) Ice - Christian Zionism: Beliefs & History
  • Josh Peck* - Podesta & Wikileaks
  • Brent Miller Sr. - Lost Understandings From the Ancient World
  • Jeff Kinley - The Coming Apostasy 
  • Sharon Gilbert* - In Gods We Trust: The Return of the Ancients Through Pharmakeia, Necromancy & Virtual Reality
  • Dr. Danny Ben-Gigi - Hebrew 101 Language Lessons
  • Bill Koenig - Trump in the Eye of the Hurricane: His Final Day Role
  • Tom Hughes - America in the New World Order
  • Andy Woods - The Last Days Apostasy
  • Gary Frazier - Are You Ready?
  • Claudia Koenig - How to Share Jesus With a Lost World: Urgent Last Days Evangelism
  • Derek Gilbert* - Return of the Great Old Ones: Crowley, Chaos & the ET Disclosure
  • Ron Rhodes - End Time Super Trends
  • Bob Maginnis* - The Deeper State: Inside the War on Trump By Corrupt Elite, Secret Societies and the Builders of an Imminent Final Empire
  • Ken Johnson - The Ancient Syrian War Prophecy
  • Ask Gary Stearman*: Gary Answers Your Prophecy 101 Questions
  • L.A. Marzulli - Fatima: Miracle of the Sun? Or a Harbinger of Deception?
  • Bill Koenig - Middle East Update
  • Gary Frazier - 2017 & Beyond
  • Jonathan Cahn - The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times
  • Michael Lake* - Overcoming the Babylonian/Watchers Matrix
  • Billy Crone - The Imminence of Hell
  • Brent Miller Jr. - Preparing For the Coming Convergence
  • Mark Hitchcock - Your Final Exam: The Judgment Seat of Christ
  • Bill Koenig - America Under Siege
  • David Hocking - Israel & the Promises of God 
  • Bill Salus - The Zechariah 12 & Psalm 83 Connection
  • Jeff Kinley - The End of America: Bible Prophecy and a Country in Crisis
  • Thomas (Tommy) Ice - The Biblical Necessity of a Pre-Trib Rapture
  • L.A. Marzulli - In Their Own Words: The UFO Abduction Phenomenon
  • Tom Hughes - America Under Judgment
  • Salus & Koenig - The Future of Israel: A Psalm 83 - Eye to Eye Discussion
  • Jeff Kinley - Wake the Bride
  • Paul McGuire - The Trump America Prophecy
  • Billy Crone - Proof of the Pre-Trib Rapture
  • Derek Gilbert - Charting the Uttermost North: Why Gog of Magog Won't Be Human
  • Danny Ben-Gigi - God's Secrets Only Hebrew Can Reveal
  • Carl Teichrib* - Is God Green?
  • Thomas (Tommy)Ice - Israel's Divine & Legal Right to the Land
  • Randall Price - The Search For the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Jack Langford - The Gap Is Not a Theory
  • Gary Frazier - The Terminal Generation
  • Dr. Danny Ben-Gigi - Hebrew 101 Language Sessions
  • Bill Salus - The Prophetic Gap: The Antichrist, the Harlot, and the Temple Mystery
  • Terry James* - Are You Rapture Ready? Or Not?
  • Tom Horn* - Giants, Saboteurs and the Secret Destiny of America
  • David Hocking - The Messiah of Israel: The Key to God's Plan
  • Sharon Gilbert* - Epigenetics & the Age of the Machine: Self-Directed Apotheosis
  • Tim Alberino* - Resurgence of the Empire of the Gods
  • Paul McGuire - Globalist Elite & Their Plan For the World
  • Carl Teichrib* - The Challenge of the Re-enchantment 
  • Andy Woods - Is the Rapture in II Thessalonians 2:3?
  • David Schnittger - Glimpses of the Coming Christ in Zechariah
  • Carl Teichrib* - Oneness in the Temple of Man
  • Gary Stearman* - Deciphering the Last Generation
  • Josh Peck* - The UFO/Israel Connection of 2017/2018
  • Paul McGuire - Global Economic Reset
  • JD Farag - The Pre-Trib Rapture in the Old Testament
  • Ken Johnson - The Ancient Prophecy of Gad the Seer
  • The Nephilim Discussion Forum (Stearman*, Marzulli, Horn*, Alberino)
  • Billy Crone - Artificial Intelligence & The Coming Apocalypse
  • Sharon Gilbert - The Real Jack the Ripper: Spiritual Warfare in the 19th Century
  • Bill Salus - The Catholic Church in the Tribulation Period
  • Danny Ben-Gigi - Hebrew 101 Language Lessons
  • Randall Price - Prophecy in the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Michael Lake* - The Sheeryith Imperative
  • Andy Woods - Why Christians Should Support Israel
  • Derek Gilbert* - Last Clash of the Titans: Mystery Babylon and the Return of the Old Gods
  • Jack Langford - The Threefold Order of the Resurrection
  • Tim LaHaye - His Last Prophecy Message (Recorded)[8]

Do you see the stark dissonance regarding these dark topics and deviant ideas? It’s as though everyone is playing a different instrument at the same time, out of tune and lacking harmony. It’s noisy and distracting—and muffles the true message of our Lord Jesus Christ. A few of the topics  such as “The Last Days Apostasy,” “Urgent Last Days Evangelism,” “the Imminence of Hell,” “Wake up the Bride,” and “Rapture Discussion” sound like they could potentially be biblical discussions; if they are based on Scripture, and present a solid biblical message, these topics might lead the conference registrants to true repentance and holy living with a view to the 2nd Coming of Christ. But notice these other topics: “Podesta & Wikileaks,” “[Aleister] Crowley, ET Disclosures,” “Watchers Matrix,” “Empire of the Gods,” “The Ancient Prophecy of Gad the Seer,” “Oneness in the Temple of Man,” “The Deeper State: Inside the war on Trump,” and “Nephilim Discussion.” These are topics not clearly taught in the prophetic books of the Bible canon. They certainly do not point to the Lord Jesus Christ. These are clashing tones that might tickle ears, but do not edify the believer.

Again, why are some of these men, especially those who have historically taught plain biblical doctrine, sharing a podium with the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm standouts spouting their profoundly unbiblical teachings? What does God think of this mixture? What messages will win out with attendees? Do these men bear any responsibility for shepherding others into the open arms of obvious apostasy?

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
(2 Timothy 4:3-4)


The latest book promo from SkyWatchTV (Source) shows the NAR's influence

A SAD LOOK BACK
There is a history to our concerns about this mega prophecy conference that is co-sponsored by SkyWatch TV[9] and run by author and publisher Tom Horn.[10] This history should alarm every serious Christian and Bible student, and cause them to ask serious questions about the high-profile figures involved with this event.

Back in 2011, I shared an unfortunate experience with readers when I first encountered these teachings. My experience and subsequent research ignited me, along with the Discernment Research Group, to write more than fifty articles[11] exposing the exotically false teachings of Horn, and several of his big-name collaborators. We dubbed all of this the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP). All of these unbiblical PPP teachings share a shifting foundation of inventing new endtime prophecy scenarios that rely upon an unlimited variety of extrabiblical sources—current news events (including potentially fake news), ancient mythology, dark occult sources, and Hollywood science fiction. Worse, many of them rely upon secret codes supposedly embedded in the Bible (not the plain text), ancient occult mythological texts, or even historical political documents. The key takeaway from all this mess is that the Bible is no longer sufficient, and the plain words of Jesus, recorded in the Gospels where He speaks clearly about His soon return, are no longer sufficient—these leaders feel they must glean additional information from terribly outrageous, sometimes downright sinister, extrabiblical sources.

I recounted some of my story in my 2011 Herescope article “Militant Prayer: Taking Spiritual Dominion Over Dark Angels.” This introductory article also documented the Latter Rain/New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) roots of just one of Horn’s many aberrant teachings. Here was my introduction into these horrendous teachings:

Prayer Warfare methodologies conceived and borne out of the Latter Rain Movement and nurtured under the New Apostolic Reformation are going mainstream. Twenty years ago, Chief NAR apostle, C. Peter Wagner, applied his Church Growth teachings to the spirit realm in what he termed Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW). The plan calls for identifying “territorial spirits” (demons) of a geographic locality, then devising practices (such as militant intercession and fasting) and techniques to defeat these unseen foes so that cities, nations, and beyond will respond to the Gospel.
Horn's Forbidden Gates book[13]

Sadly, this heresy is creeping into conservative Christian forums unawares through various prophetic ministries concerned about the eschatological implications of transhumanism and loosely related subjects. While attending a conservative Bible and prophecy conference several months ago, I noticed that one of the speakers introduced the audience to a new book by Christian authors Tom and Nita Horn, called: Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, And Human Enhancement [GRIN] Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare. Intrigued by this title, I bought the book to learn more about this new thing called “Techno-Dimensional Spiritual Warfare.” I didn’t get beyond the book’s Preface before my curious anticipation turned to alarm:


Facing godlike machines and man’s willingness to cross over species and extradimensional barriers put in place by God, traditional methods of spiritual warfare—which Christian institutions have relied on for the last century—will soon be monumentally impacted in nontraditional ways and insufficient when approaching this threshold.

“Traditional” methods of spiritual warfare such as simple reliance upon God, His Word, and the indwelling Spirit will soon be insufficient? When did God change His plan? Clearly this new insight did not come from the Scriptures. I kept reading for clarification.[12] [bold added]

Tom and Nita Horn’s Forbidden Gates was the book that began my extensive PPP odyssey. This book's popularity sadly continues after all these years. This deeply troubling book (and the many others that he has written, published and/or widely disseminated since) was a key vehicle for smuggling profound heresy into conservative Christian prophecy forums unawares. After reading Horn's book my research continued ad nauseum as I slogged through hundreds and hundreds of pages of the creepiest, shadowy, and mythologically pornographic material ever published—all supposedly derived or inspired by prophesy in the Holy Scriptures.

It is noteworthy that I did not attend this 2011 conference—the Red River Bible and Prophecy Conference (RRBP) in Fargo/Moorhead, ND/MN—as a researcher, but as someone seeking edification through the Word being taught from the platform, which was still done in those days. I never imagined that this trip would lead where it did. Horn's book itself was the vehicle for deception, but it took another human agency to fully accomplish the deed. I bought this book from the respected Canadian researcher Carl Teichrib, founder and editor of Forcing Change, and a trusted LHT author. Teichrib was promoting the Horns’ book from the podium and was selling Forbidden Gates at his book table. I bought a copy—partly out of trust in the conservative venue—but also in the man promoting its contents. I have since lost faith in both.[14] Considering the number of Forbidden Gates on display at this conference, I’ve often wondered what effect it had on others who purchased it.

The RRBP Conference experienced a terrible split a few years later due to these strange teachings that began creeping into the event via the speaking platform of various PPP leaders. One of the initial organizers pulled out of the organization for good when serial plagiarist and quantum mystic[15] Chuck Missler was invited to headline the event in 2012.[16] Missler is not speaking at the Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum, but he did so at last year’s Rocky Mountain conference, via live streaming, in Colorado.[17]

I discovered early on in my research that Missler's 1997 Alien Encounters: The Secret Behind the UFO Phenomenon was the book that the original PPP leaders were citing as most influential in developing their science fiction narratives, especially about an endtime Nephilim space alien invasion of earth. This bizarre UFO plot continues as a prominent theme or lurking subtheme  in much of the PPP writings. In June 2013 Sarah Leslie began an exhaustive 6-part review on Herescope of Missler & Eastman’s groundbreaking and deeply disturbing book. Part 6 is especially gut-wrenching when the horrifying ramifications of all of this esoteric endtime mysticism sink in:

Part 1: Alien Encounters 
Part 2: Ancient Astronauts & Star Children 
Part 3: Flying Saucers and “Interdimensional Visitors” 
Part 4: Quantum Metaphysics 
Part 5: Entertaining ET 
Part 6: Nephilim Subhumans [18]

To date, the Red River Bible & Prophecy Conference continues to devolve into a PPP fest. Headlining the RRBP event this year (and in 2018) is PPP personality Paul McGuire, whom we cautioned readers about in our article “Techno-Dimensional Prayer Combat,”[19] who is also listed as a speaker at this year's Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum Oct. 13-15th. Note: the RRBP continues to list Dave Hunt as a former speaker in its promotions,[20] probably in an attempt to use his name to convey legitimacy. We like to think that Dave would have parted ways with this event long ago if he knew what it has become, and would not have been a party to this current Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum.

Carl Teichrib, along with Bill Koenig & Randall Price, participated in the last two mega PPP prophecy conferences held in Colorado,[21] and will be sharing the speaking platform again with Horn, et al, at the Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum.[22] In 2012, we warned about these unseemly collaborations in the conclusion of our Cosms, Codes, and Cryptologies article series[23] titled, “Quantum Mysticism Goes to Market.”[24] In this part we strongly voiced our concerns over a subsequent Horn book that Teichrib had contributed to—specifically a 24-page chapter called, “To Storm Heaven, To Be Like God, To Rule the World.”[25] Horn's book with its lengthy and satanic title, Pandemonium’s Engine: How the End of the Church Age, the Rise of Transhumanism, and the Coming of the Ubermensch (Overman) Herald Satan’s Imminent and Final Assault on the Creation of God, expanded upon the dark themes first introduced to me in his book Forbidden Gates. The Pandemoniums's Engine collaborative Horn book is emblazoned with a depiction of the mythological god Pan on the cover. It also includes troubling writings from several PPP authors (e.g., Chuck Missler), including Horn himself who wrote a 71-page opening chapter entitled, “Pandemonium and ‘Her’ Children” (i.e., HER – Human Enhancement Revolution). We wrote extensively about this book and its subject matter, documenting our research on this PPP tenet, in Part 8 of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism e-book, pp. 170-192 titled: “Transhumanism: A Posthuman Paradigm Shift? End-Time Scenarios of the New Alchemists.” (Our e-book is available as a free download, by the way.) 
Horn's collaborative 2011 book[26]

We have asked many times: why would these other writers contribute to such a book unless he/they agreed with its contents? We actually hoped for and looked for their warnings! However, we were to be sadly disappointed. For example, rather than warn his readers of these things, Carl Teichrib appears to have joined the PPP pack. He was a welcomed guest on Horn’s SkyWatch TV recently this year on September 11th to discuss a pagan festival in the Nevada desert,[27] and to promote his upcoming new book, Game of Gods. Teichrib described his book in an August 19th article on his Forcing Change blog:

So what is Game of Gods about, and how does the manuscript break down? 

The book is a Christian-based survey and journey into Oneness, with an associated thought; we are surpassing Postmodernism and moving into the age of Re-enchantment….

Game of Gods explores Oneness, and does so in a manner that allows you to see into its heart. Along the way, I bring you with me as I witness Oneness in motion at the United Nations, New Age and Pagan gatherings, major interfaith conferences, transhumanist events, and transformational celebrations. This is more than a dry academic exercise. It’s a personal journey.[28]
Teichrib's upcoming book[29]


Given that Teichrib has found safe harbor within the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) camp, his PPP-immersed audience could find this description very tantalizing. These New Age, pagan, and mystical themes are ominously provocative. One wonders if the Blessed Hope, our coming Lord Jesus Christ, is even mentioned in this ocean of darkness, let alone the proclamation of His eternal Gospel? Where is the focus? Yet, this promo is just one example that raises concerns. Teichrib is not the only presenter marketing a new book at this Norman, Oklahoma, event. Many others are ca$hing in on this deception. . . .

“I would have you wise unto that which is good
and simple concerning evil.”

(Romans 16:19b)

MORE VEHICLE$ FOR PPP DECEPTION$
Below is a brief, non-exhaustive, list of some of the new books (other speakers have new releases also) which will inevitably be promoted and sold at the Blessed Hope Prophecy Forum, with a short description listed underneath (an asterisk denotes a Defender Publishing [Horn] book). As you read these flamboyant and dramatic promotional advertisements, ask yourself: What does this have to do with the Gospel of salvation and the true blessed hope of Jesus Christ's soon coming? Notice especially the hyped up and misplaced emphasis on hidden secret coded messages from ancient, apocryphal and occult sources:
  • Tom Horn* - Saboteurs: How Secret, Deep State Occultists Are Manipulating American Society Through A Washington-Based Shadow Government In Quest Of The Final World Order! (released in October)[30]
…From his earliest opus on secret societies and the occult to this new unnerving chronicle, Dr. Horn returns to Washington, DC to expose a harrowing plot by Deep State Alister Crowley and Masonic devotees that hold an almost unbelievable secret they do not want you to understand: American society is being manipulated through a Washington-based Shadow Government in quest of that Final World Order prophesied in the books of Daniel, Revelation, and on the Great Seal of the United States! …

SABOTEURS goes beyond the superficial chaos currently playing out in the public square and in media against the Trump administration to unveil a far more sinister resistance made up of sorcerous elites, their secret societies, and world power brokers who plot the insidious rise of a messianic strongman figure they call The Grey Champion … *And much more!
[31][bold added]
Screenshot of Saboteurs preview on SkyWatch TV [32]
  • Rabbi Jonathan Cahn - The Paradigm: The Ancient Blueprint That Holds the Mystery of Our Times (released in September)[33]
Is it possible that there exists an ancient master blueprint that holds the secret behind the events of our times? Could this blueprint lie behind the rise and fall of leaders and governments? Could events that took place nearly 3,000 years ago now be determining the course of our world and with it the course of our lives? Could ancient figures from the Middle East hold the key to the leaders of our own day, what they do, when they rise, and when they fall? Is it possible that this ancient paradigm has determined not only the events of modern times but also their timing—even down to the exact dates? Could a mystery from the ancient Middle East have foretold the outcomes of current events more accurately than any poll or expert—even the outcomes of presidential elections? Has this mystery even touched the events of your life? Does the paradigm reveal what will take place in the future? And does it contain a warning critical for every person in this generation? Prepare to be stunned, shocked, illuminated, and amazed.[34][bold added] 
  • Paul McGuire (and Troy Anderson) - Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (to be released in January)[35]
Trumpocalypse explores the enigmatic prophecies and "biblical codes" involving Trump, and asks whether God raised up President Trump as a fearless leader to guide America and the free world through a series of major crises as the biblical end-time narrative unfolds, as many people with prophetic gifts are predicting, and shows why everyday Americans and evangelicals have rallied around Trump as their last hope of saving America and averting the horrors of the Apocalypse.[36] [bold  and underlining added] 
  • Josh Peck* - Unraveling the Multiverse: The Christian s Guide to Quantum Physics, Entities from Higher Realities, Strange Technologies, and Ancient Prophecies Being Fulfilled Today (to be released in December)[37]
Now is the time for the biggest revealing of otherworldly existence the world has ever seen! For the first time ever, the most up to date and shocking information from the studies of quantum physics, ufology, and the supernatural are made available to the masses.[38][bold added]

Screenshot of the Josh Peck page on Prophecy Watchers (Source)
  • Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis* - The Deeper State: Inside the War on Trump by Corrupt Elites, Secret Societies, and the Builders of An Imminent Final Empire (released in October)[39]
The Deeper State is about the elites, their secret societies, world power centers and evil motivations behind the chaotic contemporary world pressing all life toward a final one world empire. The contemporary trigger that briefly lifted the veil on this darkness was the election of President Donald Trump who exposed the power brokers, their evil agenda, their techniques and ideology.... God has pre-ordained the final outcome but until that time…. we can make a difference in spite of the rigid and seemingly overwhelming push by the elites and their evil ally in the unseen realm.[40][bold added] 
Screenshot of Maginnis book promo on the Jim Bakker Show (Source)
  • Ken Johnson - Ancient Apocalypse of Ezra: Called 2 Esdras in the KJV 1611 (released in May)[41]
The Ezra Apocalypse is the only non-Catholic book included in the KJV 1611 Apocrypha. It contains many prophecies about the end times. Quoted often by the church fathers of the first and second century AD, this apocalypse reveals the rise of Islam. In chapters 11-12 there is a prophecy of a three-headed eagle symbolizing how the Roman Empire would split into three empires. The empires would die out and leave three kingdoms ruling in the last days. Chapters 15-16 contain a prophecy of the Dragon Nations of Arabia. This Islamic power devastates Syria to the point that Russia must step in to control the issue. This Syrian war sets the stage for the beginning of the Last Days. The book also contains numerous prophecies about the signs of the birth pangs and details about the Rapture of the church, revealing that the end is near.[42][bold added]
Exhibit: Johnson's 2017 apocryphal fantasy[43]
Without ever hearing an actual word out of the mouths of these men, do you get an uncomfortable chill when you read these supposed biblical prophecy themes?

Time for a reality check. Where do you read about occult secret societies, encoded prophecies on the Great Seal of the U.S., sinister plots to destroy America from sorcerous elite societies, or an ancient master blueprint that has determined in advance American presidential elections down to the exact date—anywhere in the 12 chapters of Daniel or the 22 chapters of Revelation? The answer is no place. The same answer applies to quantum mysticism, ufology (Nephilim mythologies), and supernatural, i.e., occult, studies. The only way these PPP leaders can claim it is “biblical” is to cite a few verses out of context, or teach that there are secret hidden messages embedded in obscure manuscripts. That is why these men continue to spout off from other sources, especially apocryphal and mythological literature, to market their wildly speculative, obviously concocted, and darkly provocative “prophecies” to the unsuspecting masses. (See Part 7 of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism free e-book, pp. 143-170, titled: “The Resurrection of Pagan Gods – Mingling Pagan Mythology and Extra-Biblical Sources to God’s Truth.”)

It is also painfully apparent that Horn and company have found yet another way to broaden their influence and readership—invite more conventional, traditional, and conservative Bible teachers to their massive events, who will in turn, attract their respective followings.  

EXHIBIT: Prophecy in the News magazine cover
depicting UFOs invading earth, April 2013[44]


His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant,
they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark;
sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough,
and they are shepherds that cannot understand:
they all look to their own way,
every one for his gain
, from his quarter.”

(Isaiah 56:9b-11)

THE TRUTH: 
I will close with the final words of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism free e-book, documenting the sensationally fake prophecies and heretical tenets of the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) leaders who are organizing, hosting, and headlining the ‘Blessed Hope’ Prophecy Forum in Norman, OK, pp. 192-193:

The Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm (PPP) elite—who have concocted and promulgated a multi-faceted, metaphysical shift beyond credulity via conjecture, Scripture wresting, and pseudoscience—are luring God’s flock through perilous pastures and into the dark abyss by posing as enlightened shepherds. The only remedy is for those who’ve wandered into the PPP fold to return to the Good Shepherd and His Word which alone can light the pathway home. 

Over 60 years ago A.W. Tozer exhorted the brethren to test everything with the written Word of God. We would do well to heed his wise words that apply even clearer today as we see that day approaching: 

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies....” 
(2 Pet. 2:1)

Whatever it may be in our Christian experience that originates outside of Scriptures should, for that very reason, be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with them. 

If it should be found to be contrary to the Word of revealed truth no true Christian will accept it as being from God. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and verse authority for it in Scriptures. "To the word and to the testimony" must always be the last and final proof. 

Whatever is new or singular should also be viewed with caution until it can furnish scriptural proof of its validity. Throughout the twentieth century quite a number of unscriptural notions have gained acceptance among Christians by claiming that they were among truths that were to be revealed in the last days

The truth is that the Bible does not teach that there will be new light and advanced spiritual experiences in the latter days; it teaches the exact opposite! Nothing in Daniel or the New Testament epistles can be tortured into advocating the idea that we of the end of the Christian era shall enjoy light that was not known at its beginning. 

Beware of any man who claims to be wiser than the apostles or holier than the martyrs of the Early Church. The best way to deal with him is to rise and leave his presence![45][bold added] 

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have [it] more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd,
whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming,
and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth:
and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.”

(John 10:10-12)

“Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily:
be Thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.”

(Psalm 31:2)



Endnotes: 
1. See: Prophecy Watchers website; https://prophecywatchers.com/product/blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-registration-october-13-15-2017/. See also the WND article: “The meaning behind wars, earthquakes, floods - Prophecy Forum brings together superstars of end-times analysis; http://www.wnd.com/2017/09/the-meaning-behind-wars-earthquakes-floods/
2. Ibid. Prophecy Watchers website. 
3. See footnote #11. Pertaining to Stearman specifically, see Part 5 of the “Cosms, Codes, & Cryptologies” series, “Quantum Teleporting Through Time; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/05/quantum-teleporting-through-time.html
4. Ibid. Prophecy Watchers website. 
5. See: Prophecy Watchers website; https://prophecywatchers.com/blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-norman-ok/
6. See The Prophecy Watchers website: https://prophecywatchers.com/product/usa-onlylive-streaming-option-2-blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-discounted-2017-pre-sale-dvd-sets-october-13-15-2017/
7. Just as one example, there is Dr. Ben Gigi is an Israeli born Hebrew expert who appears on many Messianic Christian programs, but so far as I can tell he makes no clear profession of faith in the Christian Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. He claims that one can only understand God—through the Hebrew language itself. His website is called Hebrew World and is a Jewish website; see: http://www.hebrewworld.com/. But what would this mean for the New Testament, which was written in Greek and gives Christians the Gospels and Church doctrine? Ben Gigi’s Hebrew Roots views become quite problematic in this context. SkyWatch TV host, Derek Gilbert, interviewed him on View from the Bunker (VFTB) podcast at the Orlando Prophecy Conference in 2014, where they discussed the importance of knowing Hebrew. See: http://www.vftb.net/?p=5069. See also: http://www.nmjewishhistory.org/Sept-07.pdf and Hebrew Roots pastor Mark Biltz’s website: http://www.elshaddaiministries.us/messages/guest_speakers/dannyben-gigi.php
8. See The Prophecy Watchers website: https://prophecywatchers.com/blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-norman-ok/
9. See: Prophecy Watchers website; https://prophecywatchers.com/product/blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-registration-october-13-15-2017/
10. See SkyWatch TV website: http://skywatchtv.com/about/
11. In the Spring of 2012 we wrote a lengthy series of articles looking at this whole issue in-depth. Again, we hoped that calling attention to such wild and zany misapplications of biblical prophecy that perhaps people would come to their senses and recognize that there was a real problem. We warned that there was an entirely new ESCHATOLOGY (last-days scenarios) arising that blended the Bible with these pagan sources. Below is a list of articles from our “Cosms, Codes, & Cryptologies” series that detail the evangelical leaders caught up in this prophecy heresy: 
Part 1: QUANTUM MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH
 
Part 2: COSMIC CRYPTOLOGY IN THE CHURCH
 
Part 3: The Emerging ENIGMA Bible
 
Part 4: False Eschatology Arising!
 
Part 5: Quantum Teleporting Through Time
 
Part 6: Quantum Geomancy and Cryptic Mystic Math 
 
Part 7: Quantum Prophecy 
 
Part 8: A Quantum Cosmic Christ
 
Part 9: Quantum Mysticism Goes to Market
 
This just a sampling of Discernment Research Group articles on these PPP topics: 
* New Age Date Setting 
* Doomsday Datesetters 2012 
* Militant Prayer: Taking Spiritual Dominion Over Dark Angels
 
"Nephilim Eschatology: A Crash Course in the Emerging Endtime Prophecy Heresy" 
* Part 1: Nephilim-induced Human DNA Corruption 
* Part 2: The Serpent Seed & the Nephilim 
* 12-12-12: NAR Date Setting
 
* 12-21-12: Evangelical Christians Believing Mayan Prophecies 
* 2012 & Fantasy-Driven Faith
2012: New Agers & Mayan Prophecies 
* “Babylon Rising” and Canon in Crisis: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Fresh Revelations, and an “Open” Canon 
* The Emerging Galactic Religion: Science Fiction and the Rise of Technocratic Posthumanism 
* The Rise of Apocalyptic Paganism in the Church: Bible Prophecy in Crisis 
* “In the Days of Noah”—What Scripture teaches about Noah & Enoch 
* Prophecy Mongering: Profiting from the Promulgation of End-Time CRI$I$ Scenarios 
* 101 Questions about "the Nephilim": The New Prophetic Paradigm: Questions Regarding Genesis 6 and Matthew 24 
* Add-Ons: Augmenting Scripture With Diverse and Strange Doctrines 
* Without Attribution: Purloining New Age Ideas
* With Attributions: Some Thoughts on Chuck Missler’s “You Tube” Apology
* Doctrines of Demons
* The Supreme Supremacy of the Lord Jesus Christ: Christ Before Cosmos  
* The Gap Theory: A Review and Grammatical Critique: From Cosmos to Chaos, and Cosmos Again
* RAPTURE ALREADY: Apocalyptic Visitations to the Afterlife and Visions of the End
* Babylonianism at the Gates: Christians and the Encircling World of the Occult
* “Deliteralizing” the Bible: from Plato to Peterson: Scripture amidst the Shadows 
12. Gaylene Goodroad (and the Discernment Group), “Militant Prayer: Taking Spiritual Dominion Over Dark Angels”, Herescope, Sept. 23, 2011; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2011/09/militant-prayer.html. Ed. note: due to the barrage of such erroneous teachings from Horn and other PPP authors, “Militant Prayer” was later expanded and incorporated into Part 3 of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism e-book, pp. 37-63, showcasing this PPP tenet, titled: “Techno-Dimensional Prayer Combat: Promoting New Methods of Hyper-Spiritual Warfare Devised to Combat the Nephilim, Pagan Gods, Dark Angels, Extraterrestrials, & Transhumanist Monsters.”
13. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Gates-Intelligence-Nanotechnology-Techno-Dimensional/dp/0984061193
14. See Carl’s listing on Lighthouse Trails (LHT): http://www.lighthousetrails.com/2015-carl-teichrib, and also: http://www.lighthousetrails.com/5-browse-by-author. See his LHT bio: http://www.lighthousetrails.com/2015-carl-teichrib. Please note that I personally corresponded with Teichrib in April of 2011 over these issues, but he disagreed with my assessment of Forbidden Gates and vigorously defended his association with Horn. 
15. Pastor Glenn Knudson gives a critical assessment of Missler’s presentation at the 2012 Red River Bible Prophecy Conference in Fargo/Moorhead. See: Sarah H. Leslie’s book review of Missler’s, “Quantum Metaphysics - A New Cosmology for the Church, Part 4 Alien Encounters: A Book Review” [authored by Missler], Herescope July 30, 2013; http://herescope.blogspot.com/2013/07/quantum-metaphysics.html. Sadly, there are still evangelicals who don't recognize the extreme occult and inflammatory teachings that Missler promoted in his book Alien Encounters.
16. Pastor Knudson pastors a small church in Fargo, ND. 
17. See the Prophecy Watchers website: https://prophecywatchers.com/rocky-mountain-prophecy-conference-2016/
18. We encapsulated much of our research on Chuck Missler in Part 6 of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism e-book, pp. 117-142 in the chapter titled: Metaphysical Mysticism Masquerading as Science: Embracing Quantum Mysticism to Explain the Nephilim, Conscious Reality, & the Paranormal, ant to Shift the Biblical Worldview to the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm.https://www.scribd.com/document/326891876/The-Rise-of-End-Time-Occultism-E-book-Version
19. See the Red River Bible and Prophecy Conference website: http://www.titus213hope.com/1_7_speakers.html and http://www.titus213hope.com/1_11_store.html#!/Red-River-Bible-&-Prophecy-Conference-2017-MP3-CD/p/79262108/category=9205290. For more on Paul McGuire, see Part 3 of our The Rise of End-Time Occultism e-book, pp. 37-63, titled: “Techno-Dimensional Prayer Combat: Promoting New Methods of Hyper-Spiritual Warfare Devised to Combat the Nephilim, Pagan Gods, Dark Angels, Extraterrestrials, & Transhumanist Monsters.” 
20. See the Red River Prophecy & Bible conference website: http://www.titus213hope.com/
21. See the Prophecy Watchers website: (2015) https://prophecywatchers.com/videos/rocky-mountain-international-prophecy-conference-announcement/ and (2016) https://prophecywatchers.com/rocky-mountain-prophecy-conference-2016/
22. See: Prophecy Watchers website; https://prophecywatchers.com/product/blessed-hope-prophecy-forum-registration-october-13-15-2017/
23. Read our 9-part Cosms, Codes, & Cryptologies article series, cited fully in footnote 11.
24. “Cosms, Codes, and Cryptologies: Quantum Mysticism Goes to Market”, Herescope, June 5, 2012; https://herescope.blogspot.com/2012/06/quantum-mysticism-goes-to-market.html 
25. Thomas Horn, Pandemonium’s Engine: How the End of the Church Age, the Rise of Transhumanism, and the Coming of the Ubermensch (Overman) Herald Satan’s Imminent and Final Assault on the Creation of God, Defender Publishing, Crane, MO, 2011. Chapter 10 features Canadian researcher (Forcing Change), Carl Teichrib, “To Storm Heaven, To Be Like God, To Rule the World,” pp. 297-321. 
26. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Pandemoniums-Engine-Transhumanism-%C3%9Cbermensch-Imminent/dp/0983621616
27. See Derek Gilbert’s website (host of SkyWatch TV): http://www.derekpgilbert.com/2017/09/11/carl-teichrib-70000-pagan-festival-nevada/
28. Carl Teichrib, Forcing Change blog, “Update on ‘Game of Gods’”, August 19, 2017; https://forcingchange.wordpress.com/
29. See Teichrib’s blog: Carl Teichrib, Forcing Change blog, “Update on ‘Game of Gods’”, August 19, 2017; https://forcingchange.wordpress.com/
30. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Saboteurs-Occultists-Manipulating-Washington-Based-Government/dp/0999189425
31. Ibid. Horn’s book description on Amazon. 
32. See the SkyWatch website: http://skywatchtv.com/2017/09/28/saboteurs-part-16-magical-agent-isis-impregnation/
33. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Paradigm-Ancient-Blueprint-Holds-Mystery/dp/1629994766/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507494472&sr=1-1&keywords=rabbi+cahn+books
34. Ibid. Cahn’s book description on Amazon. 
35. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Trumpocalypse-End-Times-President-Globalist-Armageddon/dp/1478993596/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507505056&sr=1-3&keywords=paul+mcguire
36. Ibid. McGuire book description on Amazon. Note that "averting" the Apocalypse is an agenda of Dominionism, which seeks to bypass the return of Jesus Christ in the flesh (including Judgment Day) and institute its own agenda of building the kingdom of God on earth (paradise). See "What Is Dominionism?" by Sarah Leslie, http://apprising.org/2011/01/26/what-is-dominionism/
37. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Unraveling-Multiverse-Christian-Technologies-Prophecies/dp/0999189476/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507504112&sr=1-6&keywords=josh+peck
38. Ibid. Peck’s book description on Amazon. See note on Footnote 36 about Dominionism.
39. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Deeper-State-Societies-Builders-Imminent/dp/0999189417/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507512649&sr=1-1&keywords=bob+maginnis
40. Ibid. Maginnis’ book description on Amazon. 
41. See Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Apocalypse-Ezra-Called-Esdras/dp/1546446648/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507510628&sr=1-1&keywords=ken+johnson
42. Ibid. Johnson book description on Amazon. 
43. Ibid. Johnson. 
44. Graphic taken: http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/?i=150950&p=2. Gary Stearman, “The Dark Side of Bible Prophecy: Why We Must Discuss the Strange and Supernatural,” Prophecy in the News, March 30, 2013, http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/the-dark-side-of-bible-prophecy/. (Ed. Note: This link is no longer available since Stearman left Prophecy in the News to found the Prophecy Watchers ministry. A video of Stearman discussing this PITN issue can be seen here: https://twelvebooks.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-dark-side-of-prophecy-by-mr-gary-stearman-april-14-2013/. This quote also can be found in the May 9, 2015 article by Stearman with the same title on his new website: https://prophecywatchers.com/the-dark-side-of-bible-prophecy/, as well as on page 3 of the PITN online issue: http://www.omagdigital.com/publication/?i=150950&p=2.) 
45. See: Sandy Simpson’s website, A.W. Tozer, “Spiritual Authority: The Word and the Testimony,” 1950. Taken from a daily devotional, “Renewed Day by Day”; compiled by G.B. Smith, 1980; see: http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/tozer.html. See also: DeceptionintheChurch.com

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*Gaylene's article was co-authored by Sarah H. Leslie. The research and writing of these topics has been a joint project of the Discernment Research Group since 2011. Additional articles on these topics are posted on both Herescope http://www.herescope.net and many are also archived at the late Pastor Ken Silva's Apprising Ministries website http://apprising.org. Dr. Martin Erdmann filmed Sarah Leslie, Gaylene Goodroad and Pastor Larry DeBruyn discussing the Postmodern Prophecy Paradigm. These are posted at:
https://vimeo.com/95011657/b0891ec71b 
https://vimeo.com/94592530/0b8b910a35 
https://vimeo.com/95011652/eba84581f6 
https://vimeo.com/95011654/e4745938d1 
https://vimeo.com/95011655/4107bd37a8 
https://vimeo.com/95011658/cd0bc46fc6 
https://vimeo.com/95026140/155d9c4e80 
https://vimeo.com/95029958/4ba2fd06f4 
https://vimeo.com/95048001/52a7680716 
https://vimeo.com/95151778/2899c4a589 
https://vimeo.com/95166340/c0864b3f96 
https://vimeo.com/95239378/ce7f37db90 
https://vimeo.com/95245247/6cefe2f78e 
https://vimeo.com/95285504/d4ff8dbdec 
https://vimeo.com/95313734/18fafd5720 
https://vimeo.com/95329156/44724eac61