The Bible is God’s direct communication to mankind. From Genesis to Revelation we are told how God’s creation began and, later, how the earth will be replaced with a new heaven and new earth (Revelation:21:1). The Bible also tells us of significant events that have taken place (e.g., man’s disobedience, Christ’s birth, crucifixion, and resurrection to reconcile mankind to God) and what will take place (the Rapture of the church, the Great Tribulation, and the brief establishment of the religion and kingdom of the Antichrist) just prior to the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The focus of this three-part series has been eschatology, which is what Scripture declares about the last days when Jesus will return to set up His 1,000-year reign on the earth.
In last month’s newsletter, I gave examples of how diverse religious groups, many professing to be Christian, are being influenced, even conditioned, to fit in with the religion of the Antichrist. That involves various pantheistic beliefs, including that humans are gods or are a part of God, that God is in everything, that man needs to realize his own godhood, achieve union with God, reach one’s infinite human potential, tap into one’s innate divine powers, etc. The Contemplative Movement within Christianity, although it makes no overt pantheistic proclamations, has nevertheless fostered many of the practices of pantheistic Eastern mysticism.
This also includes the unintentional assistance of Christians in bringing about the kingdom of the Antichrist. Many erroneously believe they are setting up Christ’s kingdom as a condition for Him to return to earth. This false teaching is labeled Kingdom Dominionism. The religious groups that have within their teachings and practices elements reflecting pantheism and Kingdom Dominionism are both diverse and numerous. Their hope is to connect with one another and one day converge, creating the “perfect storm” scenario (mentioned in Part 2).
Although much of Antichrist’s kingdom theology has been attributed to those who hold to hyper-Charismatic theology, the seeds are found among conservative Christian groups as well. Consider the teachings of Reformation theology and Calvinism, for example. With a few notable exceptions, most Calvinists are amillennialists. That’s part of the doctrinal baggage the reformers held over from their day as Roman Catholics. They do not believe in a literal thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth. Calvinism drew heavily on Augustine, the author of The City of God, and the father of most of the dogmas of Roman Catholicism.
Many Calvinists follow Augustine’s method of biblical interpretation, relying heavily on allegory and the spiritualization of Scripture. That’s a subjective way of making the Bible say anything you want. Allegory sidesteps the context of a verse, the common meaning of words, the grammar of a verse, its logic, and discernment regarding whether it should be understood literally or figuratively. Being a Berean when using that approach to the Scriptures is nearly impossible. It’s also a doorway to the mystical approach used to promote pantheism. It spells the death of hermeneutics (the biblical way of understanding the teachings of the Bible). It also involves eisegesis—which is reading one’s beliefs into the Scriptures rather than concentrating on what God is saying.
A clear example of Amillennial allegorizing is the way in which they view the details given in Revelation regarding the thousand-year reign of Christ. Those passages are not taken literally, including Satan’s being bound and later released to deceive the unbelievers at the end of the Millennium. The words are said to have a deeper meaning not signified by the context, the common understanding, or the plain sense of how the words are defined and used.
Amillennialists believe the Millennium began at the ascension of Jesus and continues today. They teach that Satan was bound at the Cross. Since Christ has not returned and we are supposedly in the millennium with Satan bound, setting up His kingdom becomes the chief function of the body of Christ! Again, we have the body taking control from the Head of the church. Following Augustine’s The City of God, Calvin resolved to establish the kingdom of God on earth in Geneva. That became a disaster fraught with legalism.
One church historian says: “Calvin set to work for the realization of his plan to convert Geneva into the first Kingdom of God on earth,...a community without corruption, disorder, vice or sin;...the New Jerusalem, a centre from which the salvation of the world would radiate.… His life was devoted to the service of this one idea.” It was akin to Roman Catholicism’s global takeover plans, one reason Calvin was referred to as the Protestant pope of Geneva.
Other later Kingdom Dominion attempts by Calvinists took place in the US beginning in the ʼ60s and ʼ70s. Led by Reformation theologians, Christian Reconstructionism (theonomy), teaches that through the application of God’s Laws (including O. T. laws) the earth will be transformed and the Kingdom of God ushered in. Christian Reconstructionism greatly influenced the Christian Right and Moral Majority of the day.
It was followed by the Coalition On Revival, getting Christians elected to local offices, to Congress, to the Senate, and to the presidency. These actions were believed to be necessary in order to fulfill the mandate that would establish the Kingdom of God. In Calvin’s words, “the state must consent to be the servant of the church.” The church, however, disconnected from the Head (Jesus Christ), often became the servant of the state, a condition that amillennialism produced. Ministers were appointed by government authorities. In many places, such as the Dutch Reformed-dominated Netherlands, state officials arbitrated doctrinal conflicts between religious groups. This was a throwback to Constantine, who legalized Christianity, then stepped in to run the religious show for a while.
Today we see young Christians being increasingly exposed to Kingdom Dominion teachings. The Send was primarily an emotionally driven Kingdom-Dominion vehicle for the 50,000 young attendees. Many are being seduced by the music of Hillsong United and Jesus Culture. Their theology is Kingdom Dominionism, the proof of this being revealed through the lyrics of some of their songs.
Christian Reconstructionism and Calvinism have made surprising inroads into the homeschooling movement. A very successful apologetics series titled The Truth Project, produced by Focus on the Family and taught by Calvinists, encouraged the young audience to work for global transformation through leadership in the major spheres of influence of society, in such areas as the state, the family, the community, education, labor, the media, the arts, etc. For all the value that some of these Kingdom of God-building entities may appear, if they are not true to the course set forth in Scripture by the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ, these leaders are unknowingly contributing to the schemes of the Adversary.
Amillennialism, with its inherent “setting up the kingdom” motivation, is similar to a ship’s compass that is off a few degrees. It cannot guide the ship to its intended destination. Beyond Calvinism’s unbiblical eschatology, amillennialism is the most common belief among professing Christians. It is the view of Roman Catholics, Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Episcopalians, the Church of Christ, and a growing number of Independent Baptists, particularly those embracing Calvinism.
This final entity that I’m going to address is, I believe, the most effective in its efforts to prepare the world and Christendom for the religion and kingdom of the Antichrist. You may be surprised to hear that it is psychology—in particular, psychotherapy or psychological counseling. To make my case, let’s apply the criteria I used for the other entities that were also in an antichrist-acceptance conditioning process.
First some background:
The therapeutic talk is completely subjective. It employs a heavy emphasis on dealing with emotions, experiences, intuitions, feelings, etc.
Psychotherapy has about 500 therapies and thousands of techniques, most of which contradict one another.
Psychotherapy is a religion that pretends to be science as well as medicine.
The chief criteria for treatment evaluation in psychotherapy is one’s own beliefs or feelings.
A psychotherapist’s personal opinion rather than objective science is the principle for diagnosis in psychological counseling.
In Part 1, I addressed the failure of attempts by those who have rejected the God of the Bible and His instructions as the solution to mankind’s sin problem and the destruction it has caused. I referred to it as “the mess” humanity and the rest of creation is in. The world is in the process of dying an ugly death. Since no hope has been found in man’s attempt to fix the mess through scientific materialism, evolutionary theory, or naturalism, man has turned wholeheartedly to mysticism for his salvation. He is putting his hope in pantheism, the belief that he is God, along with everything else. That may seem to make sense in a last-straw sort of way. After all, the problem is God-sized. But believing in “Godhood” begets another problem.
How do you get people to buy into the idea that they are God or gods? The Adversary has been working that lie for a long time with reasonable success. But consider how the success rate could go up if godhood, especially in the West, was given a veneer of science while reducing the religious stigma!
Enter the pseudo-scientific world of psychology. One research psychologist writes about his own profession, “I have personally seen therapists convince their clients that all of their problems come from their mothers, the stars, their biochemical make-up, their diet, their life-style and even the ‘karma’ from their past lives.” Karma and other Eastern mystical ideas have moved to the top of the therapy list. One past president of the Association of Humanistic Psychology has suggested that psychotherapy will probably be known as the hoax of the twentieth century. Rather than abandon their obviously bankrupt profession, many psychologists and psychiatrists have compounded their error by trying to shore up their collapsing house of cards with Eastern mysticism of one form or another.
As University of California professor Jacob Needleman has said, “A large and growing number of psychotherapists are now convinced that the Eastern religions offer an understanding of the mind far more complete than anything yet envisaged by Western science. At the same time, the leaders of the new religions themselves (the numerous gurus and spiritual teachers now in the West) are reformulating and adapting the traditional systems according to the language and atmosphere of modern psychology.”
An article in Psychology Today noted that Eastern philosophies “seem to be making gradual headway [in the West] as psychologies, not as religions.” Godhood is easier to accept wrapped in the packages of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung’s collective unconscious or in a human’s higher potential or in self-improvement seminars for the business world. MBA candidates at Stanford University learned to tap into their “inner essence” (a substitute term for God) by seeking inner guidance in a course titled “Creativity in Business” taught by Prof. Michael Ray, disciple of the Indian Guru Muktananda. Eastern meditation practices passed off as “Yoga-for-health” or holotropic breathing techniques open one up to experience “God realization.”
Normal consciousness takes a backseat to “higher consciousness” gained mostly through drug-induced altered states and various non-drug yogic techniques. Common sense has given way to uncommon “higher sense.” Psychotherapists and psychiatrists themselves have reached an all-knowing, godlike stature before the multitudes. That, along with the influence of their 300-billion-dollar industry makes them a major force in selling mysticism to the masses.
But what about psychotherapy’s influence in the church? During the 1970s, psychotherapy flooded into the church like a tsunami. Led by psychologist James Dobson and others representing “Christian psychology,” they reinterpreted the Bible regarding its “self” teachings in order to be consistent with psychology’s perspective. “Self” rules in psychology; that’s what psychotherapy is all about.
We’ve been explaining that if we believe that the God of the Bible is truly God, then it should be obvious that we are not God. If a person doesn’t believe that, then the position he will be led to is that he is God. Christians, whether they be true or only professing, are disinclined to go there. Yet psychology moves them in that direction. In what way? For the believer, there is God and self. Submission to one or the other is the ongoing battle of life. However, during the latter part of the last century, the psychology-derived “self” teachings came pouring into the church: Self-love, self-esteem, self-image, self-confidence, self-worth, and, as Dave Hunt was given to add, self-ad nauseam.
These teachings, backed by an army of Christian psychologists and counselors, completely turned the Bible verses on “self” upside down. Instead of dying to self, the church has been exhorted to love and esteem self! I believe that has been Satan’s most effective ploy in the last fifty years of church history.
Like Tobiah in the Book of Jeremiah, psychology, which leads to the idolatry of self—even to its deification—has set up shop in the church, causing untold spiritual destruction among our brothers and sisters in Christ.
How then shall we live? What’s the antidote, the biblical protection plan, in regard to the warning Jesus gave concerning the deception that will take place in the last days? “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew:24:4). We need to be like the children of Issachar, who had an understanding of the times that they might know what Israel ought to do (1 Chronicles:12:32). The antidote for deception is not complicated, but it demands diligence regarding discernment. We are first of all to submit to God, who will enable us by His Holy Spirit to resist the devil (James:4:7). Next we are to continue steadfastly in the doctrine and instructions of Scripture. That means reading the Word of God daily as a habit, and this is the most important habit we can have. Then we are to do what God’s Word says, “not by might, nor by [our own] power, but by the Holy Spirit” (Zechariah:4:6). We are also to be in fellowship with other believers, upholding one another in prayer, as well as praying continually for the Lord Jesus to guide and direct us into His will (Acts:2:42).
Psalm:1:2-3 gives us God’s instructions for being fruitful in these troubling times as the Lord draws near. As believers we are to “delight in,” and “meditate upon,” His Word “day and night.” Doing so will make us spiritually “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”