In addition to the forms of opposition mentioned in last month's letter, there have been at least three books published specifically to refute The Seduction of Christianity. They are Seduction?? A Biblical Response, by Reid, Virkler, Laine and Langstaff; The Church Divided, by Wise, Cho, Bennett, Virkler, et al., and the latest, That The World May Know, by Earl Paulk. Although these men issue warnings against reading Seduction, I would recommend that you get these books, if you have that much interest in the subject and the Lord so leads, in order to see for yourselves the arguments being used to justify the many serious errors that we exposed in Seduction.
Seduction?? was the first to appear. Most of this book is taken up with the quotation of hundreds of Bible verses pertaining to a particular word or subject derived from a computer program called CompuBIBLE. That is very commendable, but totally irrelevant and reveals a complete misunderstanding of what Seduction had to say on these subjects. For example, 25 pages are used in quoting "363 verses that demonstrate the positive things God has to say about having a positive mental attitude" (p 115). Yet a "positive mental attitude" is mentioned in none of these verses nor anywhere else in the Bible. The 363 verses quoted mention joy, thanksgiving, gladness, praise, etc. as though Seduction were opposed to such fruits of the spirit. We are as much opposed to a "negative mental attitude" as we are to a "positive" one, but Virkler, et al. don't understand that and miss the whole point. The issue is truth and reality, whereas a "mental attitude" may have no relationship to either but is created by the imagination.
Not everyone in an insane asylum is depressed. Many have a very "positive" outlook on life because they have lost touch with reality. Maintaining a "positive mental attitude" during a stock market crash will not cut losses, but selling one's stocks in time will. But neither "positive" nor "negative" are proper terms to use when the issue is facts, much less do such amoral terms have anything to do with living the Christian life. The authors of Seduction?? equate "positive" with "love, joy, peace, etc.," yet these are not the product of a "mental attitude" but the "fruit of the Spirit" which grow out of a right relationship with God. This is not hair-splitting, but something of real importance related to the last-days deception. Robert Schuller has published a Bible that has all of the "positive" verses marked. That illustrates what the current teaching on always being "positive" does to God's Word—we become partial to that which we can interpret favorably to ourselves.
The exegesis in Seduction?? and the conclusions drawn are astonishing. It is unbelievable that any human being, even a Mormon or Hindu, would aspire to becoming a god. That allegedly born-again evangelicals would insist that man's proper function is to be a little god under God is incomprehensible. Such statements are made as, "I can't tell any of the faith teachers that they shouldn't preach [that we are gods]—because it is scriptural....[B]ut recognize the fact that you may not be able to handle going around confessing that you are a god—even though you are confessing the Word. It could be very dangerous for you" (p 26). So here we have a "positive confession" that is dangerous! Why? They think that being a "god" is good, but we aren't mature enough to handle it yet and might become proud—yet we must take our position as gods with dominion over the earth in order to establish the Kingdom!
The true God clearly says, "I am God and there is none else. Is there a [true] God beside me? I know not any!" The scripture declares, "There is one God...[but] there are gods many." Indeed it is biblical that we are gods and that God has said so—but it isn't good. We became gods by disobeying God, by joining Satan, the god of this world, in his rebellion. And in Jeremiah:10:11 the only true God states the fate of all false gods: "Thus shall ye say unto them, the gods that have not made the heaven and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens."
Nearly one-third of the book (about 50 pages out of a total of 165) contains "383 verses that deal with dream, vision, seer, look, and eyes..." (p 52). The false impression is given that Seduction rejects dreams, visions, revelations, etc. and that these verses therefore refute what Seduction has to say. On the contrary, we are not against visions and dreams, etc. (that should be clear to anyone reading the book) if God gives them, but only against conjuring them up by divination techniques. Again the exegesis is incredible. The statement "I looked," as used by prophets, is offered as proof that they used a visualization technique, as is the statement by the Apostle John, "I was in the Spirit." Virkler states, "Jesus lived in a constant flow of divine images, as He only did that which He saw the Father doing " (Jn:5:19).
To interpret "saw" from an idiomatic expression (like "See here!" or "Can't you see what I mean?") in that narrow and literal way is obviously absurd. This would mean that in this "constant flow of divine images" Jesus must have "seen" His Father do everything before He could do it; i.e., Jesus "saw" the Father being baptized by John, being tempted of the devil in the wilderness, sitting on the well with the prostitute before He did it, "saw" the Father being scourged and crucified, etc.
None of the prophets used visualization or any other technique for getting revelations from God, but repeatedly state, "The Word of the Lord came unto me." That they could not make this happen whenever they pleased and did not initiate it is clear. See, for example, Jeremiah:42:7 where Jeremiah goes to God for guidance. He did not "visualize God" or "journal" as Virkler teaches sincere but deceived Christians to do in seminars around the country. We are told, "And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah."
Nor did the disciples visualize Jesus. Doubting Thomas had to wait a week before Jesus came to him, not as a result of the disciples visualizing Him but of a miraculous act He initiated. In John 21 the appearance of Jesus on the lake shore was a surprise to the disciples, not something they created in their minds. Nor does it state that this was the umpteenth time Jesus had appeared (because they could "see" Him any time they pleased through visualization such as Virkler and various inner healers teach today), but it says, "This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples" after His resurrection (21:14). He must show Himself. We cannot call from the right hand of the Father on high the Son of God to appear before us any time we choose. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul recites the times Jesus had appeared: "He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: [then] of above five hundred brethren at once...[then] of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also...." Clearly Christ appears to whom He will when He will for His own purposes, and is not constantly appearing all over the world to those who try to visualize Him.
The only reason for going over this again is to alert readers to the fact that those teaching this very dangerous occult technique used for making contact with spirit guides have not repented as a result of Seduction, but have hardened their position and are now attempting to justify visualization from the Bible. This shamanic technique will play an increasing role in preparing the world for the Antichrist, and we need to know the arguments that friends and loved ones are being given to draw them into this. Think it through carefully for yourself, see what the Bible says, pray and be ready to rescue as many as you can before it is too late.
Some interesting connections: A number of former associates or disciples of John Robert Stevens, recently deceased leader of The Walk (a charismatic cult connected with the Latter Rain and involved in "Christian" witchcraft) have moved into mainstream charismatic circles without renouncing their "Walk" connections and beliefs. Among them: Royal Cronquist, active in FGBMFI circles; Mel Bailey, former Walk "apostle" now on staff with Earl Paulk (see Paulk's paper, Thy Kingdom Come, Feb. 1987, p.9 for a Bailey article); and Mark Virkler, curriculum director for Thomas Reid's Association of Church-Centered Bible Schools. (Reid and Virkler are the two principal co-authors of Seduction?? A Biblical Response.) Virkler told Georgie Kinyon of We Care Ministries that he "had studied under John Stevens and did not see anything wrong with his doctrines." Paul Yonggi Cho is closely connected with (among others) Reid, Virkler, Paulk—and Robert Schuller, who wrote the foreword to Cho's The Fourth Dimension and who is also heavily into visualization.
Speaking of visualization, Virkler teaches seminars designed to "open one up to two-way communication with Almighty God," which Reid says "is going to change the nation...." (Sadly enough, not just Virkler's seminar but the growing use of visualization may indeed "change the nation.") The secret is in two divination techniques (divination is forbidden by the Bible in any form): "journaling" and "visualization." What Virkler calls "the breakthrough" into two-way dialogue with God came through information gained at a seminar conducted by Dennis and Matthew Linn, Jesuit priests who teach the visualization of Mary and Joseph for inner healing. Virkler teaches visualization of a "Jesus" who can be conjured up at will in the imagination but then begins to move and speak on his own. Clearly contact has been made with some spirit entity independent of the visualizer's imagination, but it is not our Lord Jesus Christ, for He cannot be called from the right hand of the Father on high to appear before us as our private guru any time we please. TBC