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RELIGIOUS DECEPTION
By Prof. J.S. Malan

Abstract:
Many distorted versions of the Gospel are being propagated today. These relate to the person of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the message of salvation. Acquaint yourself with these false doctrines and how to resist them.

A serious warning

Since the earliest times most Christian churches showed a lamentable inability to distinguish between the truth of God’s Word and false presentations of it:

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed" (Gal. 1:6-8).

The congregation in Corinth suffered from the same lack of discernment and spiritual insight:

"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent [deceived] Eve through his [craftiness], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him" (2 Cor. 11:2-4).

From the quoted sections it is evident that there are three things that are falsified by the enemy of our souls to deceive Christians and cause them to go astray. These perversions are:

Satan’s strategy to attack, misrepresent and pervert the Christian religion has been continued unabated throughout the entire church dispensation. It is our duty to uncover and reject the particular forms of deception that are characteristic of the time in which we live.

ANOTHER JESUS

The following are some of the most common ways in which the image, person and work of the Lord Jesus are distorted in order to introduce a counterfeit Jesus who is powerless and consequently not able to save the souls of lost sinners:

Jesus the prophet

In many sects such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and also in non-Christian religions such as Islam, the Deity of Jesus is denied. He is merely portrayed as a prophet and human teacher, while explicitly denying that He is the Son of God.

"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father" (1 Jn. 2:22-23).

The antichristian denial of the Deity of Jesus Christ is sadly also gaining ground in many ‘Christian’ churches today. There is an in increasing theological tendency to deny the miraculous conception and virgin birth of the Lord Jesus, thereby rendering Him an ordinary human being. If He was not God the Son, He would not have had a perfect life to sacrifice for the salvation of a fallen race of men.

In the first Adam we all died spiritually by inheriting his sinful nature. A dying world needs a second Adam who is a perfect God-man to introduce God’s divine nature to us, which is His sinless, eternal life (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:14-18). Jesus is this Man who is at the same time the Son of man, the Son of God, and God Himself. To deny His Godhead by depicting Him only as a prophet, is to rob the world of its only Saviour.

Jesus the example

In the preaching of many of the formalistic and spiritually dead churches of our time, reference is often only made to the life of Jesus as an example that should be followed by His disciples. Christian virtues are propagated without the Christ who alone can realise the new life through an experience of re-birth. In watered down messages of this nature, no emphasis is placed upon the cross of Jesus and His blood that was shed for sinners. People are only exhorted to love their neighbours and live morally good lives.

One of the results of this type of preaching is that Jesus becomes so unreal to people that they only have a vague perception of Him in their minds. They serve Him through mental consent but spiritually He is not a reality to them because they have not yet become new people who received Christ in their lives through faith. Although they talk about God and the Lord Jesus, they don’t know Him personally and only follow His example by serving an ‘image’ of Him.

Jesus the giver of gifts

Many people worship Jesus mainly for the sake of certain benefits that they can derive from their association with Him. He must heal them and bless them by providing in all their material needs. They see Jesus as the One who restores to mankind the exalted position that they had before the Fall. They must regain their dominion over creation, wield great powers and even become gods in their own right.

Such people also end up serving ‘another Jesus’. They don’t identify with the crucified Christ, and they reject persecution, disease and suffering as the consequences of a poor faith. Through visualisation and positive thinking they create their own reality in which they become masters of their own destiny. By relying on various powers in their life, they don’t put their trust in the crucified Christ to sustain them.

Jesus had a large following when He healed the sick and performed many other signs and wonders. However, the majority of His opportunist and sensation-seeking followers deserted Him when He emphasised union with His body that was to be broken, and His blood that was to be shed for sinners, as the only basis for true fellowship with Him. To many of the opportunists, this was a hard saying: "From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him" (Jn. 6:66; see also v. 53-65).

Many people configure their own popular Jesus whom they are following. They are offended if somebody indicates to them the spiritual risks of building their faith on a Jesus who is confined to signs and wonders, rather than the Crucified One who suffered and died that we may be forgiven and live new lives unto God.

Jesus the political liberator

In the Third World a Jesus is often proclaimed who is a freedom fighter and one who associates with the oppressed. He has come to set the political captives free and to uplift them on the socio-economic level of their existence. This Jesus is only involved with the secular affairs of men. He doesn’t liberate them from sin, but from impeding political, social, and economic conditions. He blesses them in their struggle against the oppressors without denouncing their immoral behaviour or fixing the attention on their spiritual struggle against the enemy of their souls.

Jesus the sinner

The Jesus who is depicted in many of the Hollywood films is a sinner like any other fallen man who is controlled by his sinful passions. This blasphemous presentation of Jesus is the theme of films such as Jesus Christ Superstar, The last temptation of Jesus, and Jesus of Montreal. In the last-mentioned film the counterfeit ‘Jesus’ stays with other young people in a flat in Montreal where they live licentious lives and also overindulge in liquor.

There are no limits to the evil imaginations of people who distort the image and person of Jesus under the influence of Satan. Jesus is even depicted as a homosexual by some of them. On a painting that was exhibited in Bishop Tutu’s cathedral in Cape Town, Jesus is portrayed as an Aids victim who is full of sores. All these things are part of the age old campaign against Jesus by His many adversaries. In Biblical times He was also branded as a sinner and drinker who associated with immoral people:

"Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of [tax-collectors] and sinners" (Mt. 11:19; see also Jn. 9:16, 24).

The true Jesus whom we worship, is without sin. He is "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Heb. 7:26; see also. 4:15). Don’t profane and mock the holy name of God and His only begotten Son: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7).

The cosmic Jesus

The intensified campaign of falsifying the name, character, and work of Jesus is aimed at preparing the way for the great end-time counterfeit Christ, the Antichrist. Jesus Himself warned us against the deception of the masses that will be perpetrated in His name:

"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, I am the Christ; and shall deceive many" (Mt. 24:4-5).

The New Age Movement promotes a Jesus who is the personification of the messianic expectations of all the religions in the world. To the Christians he is the Christ, to the Jews the Messiah, to the Hindus Krishna, to the Muslims the Imam Mahdi, and to the Buddhists Maitreya Buddha. He is, therefore, the cosmic Christ, or universal Christ, of all faiths and as such the head of a spiritual hierarchy that supersedes and unites all religions on earth.

The Antichrist will manifest all the evil characteristics that are typical of the various falsifications of Jesus. He will be the "man of sin… the son of perdition… whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who perish" (2 Thes. 2:3, 9-10).

To be able to identify all the distortions of the counterfeit Jesus, the true Jesus must be known, served and worshipped with an undivided heart. We must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

ANOTHER SPIRIT

The motivating force behind the widespread propagation of another Jesus is another spirit which comes directly from the devil and deceives people to bring them under the power of delusion. Because of this very real danger we are warned not to naively believe every spirit that works through preachers and prophets in churches, but to test the spirits:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets have gone out into the world… [we] know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error" (1 Jn. 4:1, 6).

The spirit of error is intent on deceiving the people with sensational signs and wonders. It is the same spirit that will work through the Antichrist with all power and lying wonders. The New Age Movement and its associated false religions is at present focusing attention on the discovery and use of miracle working psychic powers of self-healing and the promotion of supernatural manifestations.

Even in many Christian meetings strange phenomena are the order of the day, e.g. falling (or slaying) in the spirit. Various manifestations such as laughing in the spirit, prophesying in the spirit, and dancing in the spirit emerge from this experience. In this way, the work of the Holy Spirit is imitated and many people blindly accept these phenomena without testing the spirits that are at work.

Most of the Word of Faith preachers create strong expectations of powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In his article, Preparing for power – how to get ready for the end-time move of God, Kenneth Copeland says:

"I want you to know, it’s exciting to go to church these days. The more God pours out His glory, the more unusual things we’ll see. One of these days, you may just be talking to somebody, asking them how things went at Church last Sunday, and they may say, ‘Oh, it was great! The glory of God was so strong it healed ten cripples, opened the ears of thirty deaf people, cured seven cases of cancer and killed Brother Bigmouth and Sister Strife’."

Copeland says that the Spirit of glory will work in such a powerful way that it will sweep away and destroy those who are deliberately living in sin. As an example of actions of this nature he refers to the death of Ananias and Sapphira in biblical times (Acts 5:1-11).

The express purpose of deceiving spirits is to destroy the faith of believers and to overshadow and control them with the power of deception:

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils" (1 Tim. 4:1).

To be able to clearly distinguish between the Holy Spirit and another spirit that imitates the Holy Spirit, the following comparison may be helpful:

THE HOLY SPIRIT

ANOTHER SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself but reminds us of the words of Jesus and makes Him a reality in our lives.

The presence, power and gifts of this spirit are an overwhelming reality while Jesus is subtly moved to the background.

He convicts you of your sin so that you may understand the real causes of your problems.

He instils nice and relaxed feelings in you so that you may be able to forget your problems.

He convinces you of God’s righteousness as revealed through the perfect life and atonement of the Lord Jesus on the cross.

He convinces you through gifts and also supernatural experiences such as falling in the spirit that God is with you.

He convicts you in your spirit and reveals the condition of your heart and life to you in the way in which God sees it.

He uses people to instil ideas and suggestions in you that are supposedly from God, but are in effect not from Him.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

ANOTHER SPIRIT

He speaks to you through the Word of God which is spirit and life, and reveals eternal truths to you. The Bible, as the Word of God, becomes more precious to you as you grow in grace.

He uses prophets as human mediators to convey messages to you about what God wants you to do. He also specialises in extra-biblical revelations of God through dreams and visions.

He is primarily working on the level of your spirit to quicken your spirit in a quiet way that you may awake spiritually to hear the calling of God and put your trust in Him for salvation.

He manifests his presence by way of sensual experiences such as thrills of joy, shivers on your body, a tingling on your skin, or a power that causes you to levitate or to be pushed down on the floor.

He leads you to Calvary where your burdens are lifted and where you are cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit. He always leads you to Jesus who is your Saviour.

He dispels darkness in his own right and removes guilt complexes from you so that you may feel relieved and surrounded by light and joy. You are dependent upon the spirit to carry you through.

If you act upon the Spirit’s conviction of sin and on the basis of Christ’s work of grace to settle your case with God, the Spirit regenerates you into a new person who is reconciled to God.

He takes you through the same outward process of being born again, but he doesn’t regenerate your heart. He only manipulates your feelings and creates false impressions in your heart.

He keeps on convicting you of sin that you may be cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, live a holy life, walk in the light of God’s presence, and be very sensitive to sin and deception.

He does not convict of sin, and has no problems to live with lies, deceit, distorted versions of the truth, and fornication. He gives to people the false hope that they are saved and will go to heaven.

He can easily be grieved by unfaithful Christians who deliberately compromise and yield to the lust of the flesh. He will convict you of these sins that you may confess and forsake them, and make a new commitment to the Lord.

He is not concerned about your sins. He will ignore it and instead make you feel guilty about things that are not sins. If you are a fundamental believer with strong views, he will charge you of being uncompromising, critical of other believers, and devoid of love.

He leads you to search your heart, confess and abandon all evil, and to trust God for a pure heart. Cleansing by the blood of the Lamb and being filled with the Holy Spirit is God’s way to enable us to a life of victory.

He guides you through a process of inner healing to a spiritual reprogramming of your life in which the scars of the past, and even from before your birth, are put right by self-healing and positive confession.

He makes you conscious of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only One who can guide your life. The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of Christ who makes Him a reality in your life.

He makes you conscious of himself and induces you to only plead to him in your prayers. You are primarily guided and empowered by him. He is a greater reality in your life than Jesus is.

When He fills somebody, that person becomes holy, humble, and prepared to serve the Lord. He is available to God and gets involved with evangelisation by reaching the lost world for Jesus Christ. He never exalts himself by advancing his own interests, but live and give sacrificially for the great cause of the gospel.

He gives a person an entirely new self-image, which borders on pride and arrogance. Such a person’s main purpose in life is a quest for new and more powerful spiritual gifts, and the attending of highly emotional worship services where signs, miracles, visions and new revelations regularly occur. Others are invited to these meetings.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

ANOTHER SPIRIT

The presence of the Holy Spirit can clearly be discerned where He is working and Jesus Christ is exalted. It occurs on a spiritual level and induces people to humble and submit themselves to the Lord. The peace and joy of the Lord fills their hearts.

A foreign spirit gives a show of power to influence people and create the impression that they are in the presence of the Lord. Because people want to experience this power in their lives, they readily open themselves up to it. Without it they feel empty.

He teaches you to pray. He helps our infirmities and intercedes for us. He gives us enlightened eyes of the mind that we may understand the things of God, and be able to pray intelligently. He helps us to gird up the loins of our mind and to be alert, sober and vigilant.

He learns people to meditate. They switch over to their ‘right-brain’ to have mystical experiences and to hear obscure voices. They think about nothing and withdraw themselves from reality to descend to the deeper levels of their subconscious mind which is ‘the world of the spirit’.

He controls the emotions and decisions of believers by enabling and empowering their regenerated heart and spirit. The centre of control of a person’s life changes from the previously self-centred mind and soul to his quickened spirit.

The emotions of people are manipulated by a foreign spirit and they act like hypnotised captives. They would laugh, cry, roar, bleat, howl or bark without knowing why they do it. The spirit of delusion gains authority over them if they open themselves up to it.

He guides you through the Bible and through your conscience that warns you when you do something wrong. He gives you insight to know the will of God and the power to do it.

He commands you and demands certain actions through prophecies uttered by other people. Driven by the fear of disobedience to God’s will (not by inner conviction) you obey these commanding voices.

 

THE HOLY SPIRIT

ANOTHER SPIRIT

The Spirit of the Lord Jesus is the One who guides you. You are faithful to Him and make yourself available to Him.

The leader of your worship group (or church) becomes a cult leader who prescribes your decisions and actions. You must obey him.

Spiritual gifts are given to you to increase your usefulness in the service of the Lord. Through the power of the Holy Spirit you can be a witness for Jesus and also prevail in the struggle against the forces of darkness.

You receive gifts such as prophesying, self-healing, warm (healing) hands and clairvoyance. You think that in yourself you have power over the enemy, being a god who can command them. You are not a servant but a king.

You are commanded to lead people to Christ where they can obtain mercy and the forgiveness of all their sins. It doesn’t matter by which evil forces they are bound, Jesus is the Saviour of their souls and He is able to completely set them free from their bondage. Through the blood of the Lamb the hearts of sinners are cleansed and the power of the devil broken. They don’t need human mediators.

He leads you to start a specialised ministry of deliverance in which you talk with the demons and command them to leave a person. Every sin is associated with a demon, e.g. the devil of lust, and then exorcised. The sinner remains passive in the process, and you act on his behalf. He never really confesses his sins to Jesus and must always return to you with his spiritual problems. You are his mediator or saviour.

The Holy Spirit makes you a servant of Christ, a soldier of the cross and a stranger in a world that lies in the sway of the Evil One. The authority for your actions is vested in God. After the coming of Jesus you will reign with Him in His kingdom.

He declares you a king who already has dominion on earth, and who can claim and demand anything he likes. You don’t have to suffer poverty, disease, or other afflictions, and can change anything through positive confession. You are in command.

The great concern of the Bible about the danger of deception is the lack of spiritual discernment among many members of Christian churches. Because of their ignorance they are naively undiscerning when dangerous, counterfeit practices are offered to them as something good that allegedly comes from God: "if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received… ye might well bear with him" (2 Cor. 11:4). Such people are personally to be blamed for the deception to which they have fallen prey.

ANOTHER GOSPEL

For obvious reasons, the proclaiming of another Jesus under the motivation of another spirit can only be done within the theological framework of another gospel. Satan has a large number of preachers at his disposal to deceive the masses into believing false teachings:

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

Many of these wolves in sheep’s clothing are spreading their lies and false doctrines from the pulpits of Christian churches. The following are examples of the other gospel that they proclaim:

Dead formalism

A gospel in which the significance of the cross of Jesus, His blood that was shed for the atoning of sins, as well as the need to be born-again, are not clearly emphasised as the central issues of the good news of salvation, ends up in dead formalism. It becomes another gospel from which true believers are commanded to withdraw themselves. Paul says that these unsaved and self-proclaimed Christians only have "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away" (2 Tim. 3:5).

In churches of this nature only an imaginary Jesus is confessed. They accept Jesus Christ merely as the figure-head of Christianity without pursuing a personal encounter or a personal relationship with Him. They remain spiritually dead because there is no evidence in their lives that they know Jesus Christ as Saviour. Their religion consists of numerous sacraments, rituals, confessions of faith, and codes of moral conduct which are traditions of men:

"This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. [But] in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men… Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered" (Mk. 7:6-13).

Kingdom now gospel

In the kingdom now theology it is not accepted as a given that we are strangers and pilgrims in a world that lies in the sway of the Evil One, that we are servants of the Lord and soldiers of the cross, and that we should pass through many trials and tribulations into the kingdom of God. The kingdom now proponents are not willing to wait for a future dispensation of the kingdom, but maintain that we are kings who should reign in the kingdom of God here and now. We must reclaim our lost position of dominion over the creation, fearlessly wield the power of God to subdue Satan and his hordes, and never manifest a weak faith by being overcome by afflictions such as poverty and disease.

There are a number of close associates to the kingdom now theology, e.g.:

What will the Lord Jesus say to the self-proclaimed Christians who did a lot of sensational things in His name, but who actually served another Jesus?

"Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name, and in Thy name have cast out devils, and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will [declare] to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Mt. 7:22-23).

Liberation theology

A very popular gospel during the time of the political liberation of the Third World was the liberation theology. It was aimed at the attaining of political independence from colonial regimes, the promotion of social justice, and economic equality. In most cases violence was justified from the Bible as one of the means used by God to liberate His people from slavery and oppressive governments. As this gospel became more radicalised, it developed into the theology of the revolution. At no time did this gospel have any spiritual depth as it was never focused on the spiritual liberation of people from the powers of darkness. Although it came to the assistance of societies in their secular liberation struggle, it left them spiritually in the dark, still heading for hell.

The interfaith gospel

One of the most rapidly expanding false gospels in the world today is the interfaith gospel of spiritual reconciliation. It is based on the idea of universalism – that all religions worship the same God, and can therefore take hands. The Interfaith Movement and the Ecumenical Movement are based on this idea, and they are now actively pursuing the ideal of establishing global religious structures for the unifying of mankind on a spiritual level. They maintain that the emerging mystical brotherhood of the members of all faiths holds the key to global peace and reconciliation.

As the various religions of the world move closer to each other it is obvious that ecumenical Christianity makes self-destructing sacrifices to reconcile itself to the non-Christian world. Many theologians and church leaders have adulterated the Christian faith to such an extent that its clear doctrinal basis has been ruined beyond recognition. In the emerging African theology, Christianity is freely mingled with ancestor worship and witchcraft. On an international level, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam are also drawn into this false brotherhood.

The Bible calls the end-time union of the false religions "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth" (Rev. 17:5). She is recognised and carried by the Antichrist because of her usefulness to him. It is very obvious that the Interfaith Movement of false religions prepares the world for the coming of the false Christ who will rule the world for seven years.

A universal messiah of all faiths cannot possibly appear on the scene and be commonly recognised before the interfaith gospel has gained general acceptance in the world. The closer we move to this point, the more imminent is the appearing of the "man of sin… whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and lying wonders" (2 Thes. 2:3, 9). False prophets pave the way for his coming:

"But…there shall be false teachers among you who [secretly] shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways" (2 Pet. 2:1-2).

In the remaining part of this booklet we will review the proliferating of false teachings in the Ecumenical Movement. The answer to this great falling away is a Spirit-worked revival and reformation movement back to the living God and the pureness of the biblical gospel of salvation.

THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

One of the major tools in the hands of Satan to adulterate, infiltrate and unify Christian churches world-wide, is the World Council of Churches (WCC). This body was formed in 1948 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and its credo is One church for one world. Right from the onset it was obvious that the WCC did not only have Christian unity in mind, but rather a world-wide alliance of religions. The following actions and decisions are proof of this statement:

THE SA COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

The South African Council of Churches (SACC), like similar bodies in other countries, is affiliated to the WCC and also receives financial assistance from it. Since its establishing in 1968, the SACC promoted the WCC’s liberation theology (also called protest theology, theology of the revolution, and contextual theology). During the past few years the emphasis has shifted to the interfaith approach which is called reconciliation theology. Locally it manifests as the Africa theology. After the ‘liberation struggles’, calculated efforts are made to merge Christianity with the indigenous religions of Africa.

Dr. Frank Chikane, a former General Secretary of the SACC, expressed himself in favour of interfaith dialogue in South Africa. At the 1990 conference of the interfaith World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP) he delivered the keynote address and started off by saying:

"I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the WCRP for the good work it is doing in South Africa. In the last few years, WCRP has facilitated contact and constructive dialogue amongst people of different faiths, bringing a better understanding between them…"

The SACC has slowly but certainly continued along the bumpy road of compromise with the non-Christian religions. The only obvious reason for its initial caution is that it didn’t want to deter certain of its member churches who do not fully agree with the interfaith approach.

However, in the prevailing climate of open compromise the SACC cannot contain itself any longer. It is now disseminating its religious deception to its member churches in a blatant way. Following the example of its spiritually corrupt mother, the WCC, it shamelessly turned its back upon the Christian doctrine of reconciliation to God through the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by mingling and substituting it with pagan rites of reconciliation.

In a booklet entitled Rite of Reconciliation, foreworded by Ms Brigalia Hlophe Bam, General Secretary of the SACC, directives are given to member churches on how to receive forgiveness and experience reconciliation to God and one another. This initiative is in support of the work done by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The reconciliation rites make use of water, fire, bile, blood, beer, and oil. These rites lean heavily on the traditional African religions, mixed with Christian concepts. One of them is a cleansing rite in which fire is used as a means of grace. The worshippers hold their outstretched hands over the fire and pray: "With this fire cleanse the stains of our souls. With this fire burn the walls of division among us. With this fire inspire us with courage to embrace the truth. With this fire drive out the ghost of the past…"

A description is also given of a libation rite which invokes the ancestors and other spirits. It is explained as follows by the SACC:

"Beer, blood or water mixed with mealie meal in a calabash will be used. Spears or knob kieries, wooden shrines, guns or any appropriate symbol is put on a blanket, quilt, etc. on the floor. As the minister prays, his or her helper pours the libation slowly on the symbols representing the ancestors and the spirits of those who died unjustly whether as victims or defenders of the apartheid government. The worshippers then pray: ‘As we pour out this libation, we call upon you, our ancestors, to be present at this ceremony of reconciliation. We invite the spirits of all who have died before their time as innocent victims of human blindness… We call for God’s strength… We ask Jesus Christ… We invoke the spirits of our ancestors to intercede on behalf of our new nation’."

There is another rite called a cleansing rite using a goat. With hands outstretched over the head of a live goat, the minister says the following prayer: "Upon the head of this animal I put all the sins of the divisions among us. We promoted division… we despised… we discriminated… we conducted witch hunts… Let this animal carry away our wrong doings." The congregation answers: "Christ, have mercy." At the final "Amen" the goat is led out of the church to take away the sins of the apartheid era.

The final rite involves the use of bile (gall) for the purpose, among others, of protecting the worshippers from "the evil spirit that nearly destroyed God’s image in them."

The SACC states that its reconciliation rites are to "suit the various traditions of our member Churches." But which of the member churches have traditions that honour the powers of darkness? Which SACC churches borrow from witchdoctors? How can the blood of an animal, or beer, or water, be sacrificed to the ancestors to appease them, while only the blood of the Lamb can redeem us of our sins? How can a goat carry away the sins of the nation? The Bible says that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29). The cleansing by a ritual fire and spiritual protection by the gall of an animal are likewise occult practices which can only profane a church and defile the participants who put their trust in it.

Spiritual deception and compromise with other religions is taking on such alarming proportions in the theological faculties at South African universities, and also in most of the major churches, that no voices of protest are forthcoming from them. Under the guidance of false prophets, this country is descending into an abyss of antichristian deception unheard of in its entire history. Men and women of God must now stand up and warn the nation!

REJECTING THE BIBLE

It is strange that the Bible as the inerrant and verbally inspired Word of God should first become an endangered Book in theological seminaries – the very place where its integrity should have been defended! Various departments in the Faculty of Theology at the University of South Africa have in recent years become notorious for their attacks on traditional views about the Bible, the relativisation of Christianity, and the arranging of interfaith seminars.

One of the latest attacks in the battle for the Bible came from Prof. I.J.J. Spangenberg of the Department of Old Testament at Unisa. In a lecture presented at the University of Stellenbosch on 3 September 1996, he said that the following three paradigm shifts occurred in the history of the biblical sciences:

In his lecture, Prof. Spangenberg said, among others:

"The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC, or NG Kerk) is faced with two great challenges at the beginning of the 21st century: The first one concerns the view of the church about the Bible and the second one its view about other religions. These two views are interrelated: Is the church prepared to change its view about the Bible and concede that books like Jonah are only stories… or will it be intolerant towards those who hold other views? Is the church prepared to acknowledge that the Christian religion can’t exclusively claim revelation, and that other religions can help people to discover purpose in life?

"If the church refuses to take these paradigm shifts seriously, the writing is, according to me, on the wall: the church will become a strange phenomenon in society. Members won’t be able to live in a society where they daily have to rub shoulders with the members of other religions… In his article on modernism and pluralism, Robert Cook makes an important statement that the DRC can take to heart:

"We must acknowledge that theology is emergent and progressive… and we must take heed of human discoveries from whatever discipline. Further, we should be open to insights from earlier religions, for, as C. Pinnock asks, ‘Why do we look so hopefully to Plato and expect nothing from Buddha? I think we are now entering a period in history when the world religions will begin to impinge on theology as philosophy has always done’."

Rev. D.E. Malan of Newcastle replied as follows to Prof. Spangenberg’s statements in Beeld of 11 September 1996:

"Prof. Spangenberg’s view that the Bible contains the thoughts of people about God’s Word does not surprise me. I recently attended a post-graduate course in New Testament in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Pretoria. The lecturers maintained that the New Testament reflects a Christian tradition of a particular time in history. We should not regard and proclaim this tradition as absolute truth to people, but reinterpret the Bible for our time and thus make it live on.

"Prof. Spangenberg, therefore, does not stand alone in his denial of the authority of the Bible. The great majority of theologians in the faculties of Pretoria and Stellenbosch are to a greater or lesser extent in agreement with him. We are already in a dead-end street as far as the view of churches on the authority of the Bible is concerned… It is only a matter of time before the Dutch Reformed Church will recognise the Koran on the same level with the Bible."

In a personal letter to Prof. Spangenberg, Rev. Malan asked him the following questions:

"If the Bible originated in the same way as other religious literature, is there still any justification to refer to it as the Bible? Is the Bible still different, and, if so, what makes it different? If we deny the Bible’s own claims to divine origin and inspiration, what good is it to still attach any truth to the Bible? What purpose does it serve for you to be a theologian? Why are you a professor in Old Testament, and not in Plato or Homerus? Is it your calling to tell people that the Bible can no longer be an anchor to their souls?

"Do you deny the prophecies uttered by the prophets of the Old Testament that were (and will be) literally fulfilled in the New Testament? Isn’t that proof of divine inspiration? If I understand you correctly, you want to entrust the authority and interpretation of the Bible to the philosophers of the new world order. You say: ‘We find ourselves in a totally new society in which Christianity is treated equally with the other religions.’ You should admit that your views are contradicting various biblical statements 180. I can’t understand why you keep on wasting your time with the Bible. Does the Bible still mean anything to you? I have no other choice than to equate your changed paradigm with unbelief."

REFORMATION TODAY

Fortunately there is still light shining in the darkness. One of the evangelical Christian organisations that strongly express themselves against the spiritual deception and falling away of our time, is Christians for Truth (CFT) International of the Kwasizabantu Mission. In March 1996 they held the seventh Kwasizabantu Ministers’ Conference that was attended by 1000 ministers and Christian leaders from 14 countries, representing more than 50 denominations. A document titled Reformation Today – 95 theses on the situation of the church and society in the Year of Luther, 1966 was unanimously accepted during the conference.

This document was published 450 years after the death of Martin Luther. It was agreed to translate it into all major languages and to distribute it world-wide. It has already been translated into Afrikaans, Czech, Dutch, English, German, French, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian, Rumanian, Swedish and Zulu. (Copies may be obtained from CFT, P/Bag 250, Kranskop 3268, RSA).

The following is a selection from the 95 theses that are aimed at a modern-day reformation and revival in the lukewarm and backslidden churches of the 20th century:

 

Call to repentance                After you read this Chick Here to See if you are as Rotten as I Am

Psa 3:8 Salvation belongeth unto the LORD:
thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

The present situation of society

The failure of the church

The abandoning of the Bible

Disintegration of Biblical teaching about God

Disintegration of Biblical teaching about sin and redemption

Invasion of the church by evil spirits

The secularisation of the church

Degeneration and judgement

Church discipline

The Great Commission

Looking ahead

Amen.

 

Scripture quotations are from the Authorised King James Version.

1997, 1998 All rights reserved by Trumpet Publications.
This booklet may, however, be duplicated and distributed among interested persons without gain. Charges are only to cover the cost of duplication and distribution. No changes may be introduced to the text. For translation, or commercial publishing, please write to the above address.

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