Excerpted from Vengeance is Ours: The Church in Dominion
Karl Marx was right. “Religion is the opiate of the people.”
Every religion devised by man has dulled his spiritual senses to the reality that he is utterly lost and devoid of any good by which he can save himself from an eternity of torment or, at best, oblivion.
Religion has the unique ability to appease man’s conscience while leaving him condemned by that very conscience. It’s a sad fact that the majority of mankind is wrong in almost all its important choices, particularly those that impact his concepts of God, eternity, and man’s eternal destiny.
The religious traditions which sprang from the ancient pagan mysteries have had as their goal the uniting of mankind under a single ethic: a world governmental and religious system that would ensure the survival of the human race and eliminate the fear of war, poverty, sickness, and all elements that comprise God’s curse upon mankind. It is man’s goal, therefore, to establish an ethical society based on reason and morality gleaned from religious ideals.
Throughout history the ancient mystery religions have taken many forms, from paganism and witchcraft to humanism and secular psychology. Today they may be classified under the general name of “theosophy,” the blending of science and religion to create a universal brotherhood of man under a one-world state wherein an ethical society will flourish.
The term, “theosophy” (lit., “Divine Wisdom,” or “Wisdom of the Gods”) has several synonyms, some of the more common being “the Esoteric Philosophy,” “the Wisdom-Religion,” “the Secret Doctrine,” “the Ancient Wisdom,” and “the Esoteric Tradition.”
Though modern theosophy makes certain teachings of the ancient mystery religions available to the masses, these are only the exoteric teachings. The deeper esoteric mysteries are reserved for those initiated through secret rites and sworn to secrecy under penalty of death. The exoteric teachings are the foundation for the New Age movement—today’s vulgar expression of the “higher” mysteries permitted for the masses.
Those exoteric teachings have also found their way into the church under a form of “Christian theosophy,” also known as New Thought [the foundation of numerous heresies associated with the Latter Rain and New Apostolic Reformation movements]. This is important to Satan’s plans to destroy the effectiveness of the church. He has put it in the minds of men infected by his delusion to, in turn, infect the church with sufficient error as to make it usable for his purposes.
To the esotericists (theosophists, deists, etc.) bent upon uniting mankind, Christianity is anathema, and its adherents must be converted to accept all religious expressions as valid. Since the church alone has the spiritual power to resist this deception Satan must make it believe his lies. When the churches are sufficiently corrupted or neutralized, Satan will have a clear path toward uniting the world against Jesus Christ.
The Goal of Antichrist Religion: “Unity in Diversity”
Disregard of biblical truth is essential to bringing Christianity into unity with all religions. Particularly, if Satan can get the church to believe that there are other gods besides the one true God (even “lesser” gods such as man himself), he’ll have weakened its resolve to challenge the religious unification of the human race.
It isn’t important to Satan that everyone believe the same thing or belong to the same religious institution. All that’s necessary is that the Gospel be diluted sufficiently so as to render it ineffective.
Unity in diversity is the goal toward which the world’s religions are working. In some churches, unity in diversity is still more narrowly defined, but the purpose is to join in fellowship everyone who names Jesus as Lord regardless of doctrine. This disregard for doctrine, and the subsequent acceptance of every aberration that goes by the name of Christian, is necessary for the eventual unification of all religious thought. Therefore, opposition to deception in the church is being stifled under the pretense that those who expose deceivers are sowing discord among the brethren and hindering unity. A result of this tactic is that many Christians have been discouraged from judging error in the Church for fear of hindering the unity sought by religious leaders.
Theosophic Inroads: Defining “Doctrines of Demons”
Satan’s lies have found fertile ground in the church not only because many Christians lack proper knowledge, but because we lack the necessary humility that can protect us against deception. Those who seek their own wills above the will of God are easy prey for deceivers who exalt men and/or the church to the status of godhood. The church has accepted Satan’s lies characterized by one or more of the following teachings:
Many who teach these things would deny they are theosophists; they think of themselves as orthodox Christians who have received special revelations from God. But whether they adhere to theosophical doctrines consciously, or are merely pawns in the conflict of the ages, is immaterial. A child playing with matches needn’t have knowledge of thermodynamics to cause damage.
It is evident from the recent emergence of these aberrant teachings within the church that—through schooling or personal association—theosophy is having an impact upon many of today’s prominent teachers. Some, though sincere in their profession of faith in Jesus, may themselves be victims of esotericists who knew how to use biblical and Christian terminology to gain their confidence, or they may have learned from others who were themselves victims.
Theosophists have made special efforts to merge their teachings with the basic tenets of the Christian faith. This has resulted in some rather interesting esoteric interpretations of Scripture. By cleverly twisting the meanings of major Christian doctrines—the deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His sacrifice for sin, the resurrection of Christ and of His people, His coming again—those doctrines can be made to fit perfectly into the theosophical model of religion. But unless openly stated, their aberrant interpretations of these basic doctrines will escape the average Christian and deceive him into placing his trust where he ought not.
As we look at these doctrines from the standpoint of esotericism as opposed to Scripture, I urge the reader to consider carefully what is stated, as it is critical to understanding how deception can enter the church. The affirmation of basic doctrines cleverly redefined demonstrates how esotericists use biblical terminology to convince Christians that they are brethren.
Those who would subvert the Faith will not challenge the essential doctrines outright until they’ve established a beachhead of confidence. Only after they feel secure in the confidence of their listeners will they begin to gradually turn those listeners’ affections from the truth to aberrant interpretations. Yet it is not these interpretations with which I am primarily concerned (any mature Christian would unequivocally reject them) but rather the inroads into the church of other teachings based on these interpretations.
Though there are few in the church who would agree with these interpretations, many have bought the rest of the package and have opened the door to damnable heresies. [We expose these here as] a warning [that one must] learn as much as possible what someone believes before accepting him as a brother in Christ.
Corrupting the Deity of Christ—Presenting “Another Jesus”
Theosophists would agree that Jesus is divine. But then, they would say, so are all men—if not actually, then at least potentially. It is therefore not inconsistent for theosophists to speak of Jesus as “Son of God” and [to use] similar “Christian-sounding” phrases implying His deity. Nevertheless, whereas Christians believe that the transcendent Word of God became man exclusively in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, theosophists believe that a man named Jesus became a god by mastering the laws of nature through faith. As John H. Dewey, the leading apostle of Christian theosophy during the turn of the twentieth century stated:
The law of FAITH as announced by Jesus and exemplified in his life, is the supreme law and method of all divine realization for man. (Dewey’s emphasis)
To most theosophists, Jesus was merely one man who displayed an exceptional expression of the divine nature. Among others are Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, and Mohandas Gandhi. To some, however, Jesus was unique in His expression of the divine nature. They would say that no one has ever attained His status of spiritual enlightenment. However, they also believe that all men have the potential to reach that same degree of spiritual enlightenment; i.e., to be equal with Jesus. Some even say that, theoretically at least, we have the potential to be greater than He by further mastering the spiritual laws of nature to do good for mankind.
To them, Jesus’ uniqueness lies not in His person as the Word of God incarnate, but in His particular anointing as “the Christ” to bring enlightenment and truth for His time in history, just as Buddha and Mohammed did for their eras. Jesus, it is said, had Christ “formed” in him. Though it is believed that there are exceptional “Christs” for different ages of man’s evolutionary journey, it is taught that we may all have Christ formed in us, thus expressing in our own lives the “Christ principle.” Theosophists, therefore, have no problem with calling Jesus the “Son of God”:
That he was fully and absolutely human, the veritable “Son of man,” no sane mind will deny. That he was also fully and absolutely divine, the veritable “Son of God,” we with equal positiveness claim and affirm.
On the basis of this statement, Dewey might easily have been accepted into Christian fellowship. But further study of his beliefs reveals that he qualifies his remarks:
This incarnation of the Divine in Jesus, however, but reveals and demonstrates the innate capacity of our common humanity as the offspring of God, for receiving into its unfolding life the full Spirit of the Father, and becoming divine, as illustrated in the life of our great Exemplar [Jesus].
The manifestation of God in one man [Jesus], demonstrates the possibility of a like demonstration in all men.
Were these teachings confined to the inner sanctums of the Masonic, Rosicrucian, and Mormon temples—were they bandied about only among theosophists seated around their tables of discussion—they would pose no genuine threat to the church. But we are now hearing from prominent teachers in the Christian media that man was created with a divine nature which was lost due to the introduction of sin. By being born again by the Spirit of God we lose our sin nature and regain our divine nature.
There is no such teaching in Scripture. Rather, it is based upon a theosophic interpretation of II Peter 1:4, which, properly understood, tells us no more than that the believer in Jesus is a partaker of the divine nature through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But it is the divine nature of the Holy Spirit, not ourselves, to which Peter was referring.
The quality of divinity belongs only to God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. As the Word of God incarnate, Jesus is divine, as is the Holy Spirit through whom God accomplishes His purposes.
Today, the doctrines of the Latter Rain Movement are experiencing a resurgence due to the charismatic movement and its influences in the Christian media. Although by all appearances the name has died out, the Latter Rain Movement has resurfaced under other names, and is held together by a network of teachers and organizations.... These form the basis for several movements through which men are seeking to establish the Kingdom of God on earth before Jesus returns. They are not always in agreement on the methods to attain that end; nor are they necessarily in agreement as to the philosophical direction that should be taken to accomplish their purpose. However, one area in which most if not all are in agreement is that the church must be united in a dominion mindset.
Some branches of the dominion theology movement are more militant in their stance, and/or more zealous in the propagation of their particular brand of dominion theology. The more prominent of these movements work together, often without conscious collaboration, to establish the dominion mindset within the Church.
Some have even attained cult status among many Christians. Whether one ascribes to the radical element or the passive—or rests somewhere between the two—is not as important as the overall threat to the church that these movements present through their aberrant teachings.
Yet in spite of these dangers, I’m convinced that there are many sincere Christians who have become involved in these movements because they are alarmed at the increase of sin and perverse attitudes in society. They long for a world with a more sane and moral social structure and are easily led to believe that if Christians can only take control, God’s righteousness will reign on earth. How His righteousness will be implemented—whether by legislation, coercion, example, or by a miraculous move of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of mankind—is not fully agreed upon even among the leaders in the dominion movements.
Nevertheless, close scrutiny reveals that all hold certain elements in common, making it difficult to discern one from the other. For example, some Manifest Sons of God teachings are indistinguishable from some of the teachings of Restorationism. We are more concerned, therefore, with the teachings themselves, and the men who promote them, than we are with the various movements, which basically comprise a networking system of individuals and groups. Yet it’s important to this study that we...outline these movements and deal with some of their peculiarities [as set forth in Vengeance Is Ours].