The Seduction of Christianity – Program 8

By: Johanna Michaelson, Dave Hunt; ©1985
Our guests answer questions from the studio audience.

Questions and Answers

Ankerberg: Welcome! For the last couple of weeks of time, we’ve been talking about a very, very frightening topic. We’re talking about a lie that has been crossing America and being believed by many of our people in government, being believed by people in medicine and psychology, our scientists. They are experiencing what we believe is a lie. And it’s also crossing the tracks and coming into the Christian Church; not just one church but all of the churches. Some of the greatest Christian leaders of our day are taking parts of this lie and then presenting it as Christian truth. So it’s a very serious topic that we’re talking about tonight.
My guests are: First, Mr. Dave Hunt, who has just written this new book called The Seduction of Christianity. We’ll be talking about that in a moment. And then, Johanna Michaelsen’s book, The Beautiful Side of Evil. And you have listened to her story in the last two weeks of time of the many experiences that she had with spirit guides that she followed until the Lord lifted the veil and showed her what it was all about.
Now, tonight, we’re going to start with questions from the audience, because I believe that many of the questions that you have had, and probably still have, concerning the topic for the last couple of weeks of time, will be asked by people in our audience. So let’s start tonight, folks.
Audience: Earlier in the evening you suggested to Dave that we discuss E. W. Kenyon, but we didn’t quite get around to it. I’d like to hear something about it.
Ankerberg: Alright. You’re very interested in him?
Audience: Very.
Ankerberg: Alright. Dave tell us who E. W. Kenyon is, and why it’s important, and why this gentlemen is asking that very question.
Hunt: Well, E. W. Kenyon, I think you could call him “The Father of the Positive Confession Movement.” I have, for example, a book here, The Power of the Positive Confession of the Word. It’s compiled by another author, but compiled from things that E. W. Kenyon taught. E. W. Kenyon was, I mean, when I listen to some of the leaders today in this movement, I hear E. W. Kenyon. They didn’t originate these things but it comes from him. He said that we are “in God’s class.” In fact, he said that “We are gods, created to have dominion over this world.” In this book by E. W. Kenyon, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne?, Kenyon tells us that although Jesus said on the cross “It is finished”—He cried with a loud voice “It is finished.” In fact, in the Greek it’s an accounting term, you know, “The debt has been paid”—he says, “No, He didn’t really mean that. It wasn’t finished, because He had to sink into hell and become literally a sinful man, helpless in the hands of Satan who tortured Him for three days and three nights.” And He was “born again,” you know, the first one “born again” and so forth. There are, in my opinion, some very serious heresies. And those teachings have been revived by the Positive Confession leaders today.
Ankerberg: Define the Positive Confession movement.
Hunt: Well, I would say that Charles Capps probably lays it out as thoroughly as anyone. He says that “God is a Faith God.” The Bible, Mark 11:22, says, “Have faith in God.” Charles Capps turns it around to say, “Well, what it really means in the Greek is, ‘Have the God kind of faith. Have the faith like God has faith.’” Well, what kind of faith does God have? Faith must have an object. Faith is not some power. So, another one of the leaders in this movement takes Hebrews 11, where it says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God,” [Heb. 11:3] he turns that around to say, “We understand that it was by faith that God framed the worlds.” So, faith becomes a power that God used to create the world. “God is a faith God. We are in God’s class.”
Charles Capps says, “Man is the only created being capable of operating on the same level of faith as God.” That teaching comes from E. W. Kenyon. He says, “Words are the most powerful thing in the universe. Faith is contained in words. God released His faith by speaking words.” So, in his little booklet God’s Creative Power Will Work for You, which is a chapter out of his book The Tongue: a Creative Force, he says, “This all works by laws. It is spiritual law applied to the psychological make-up of man. And you speak it and you get it because you’re in God’s class and that’s how He releases this power called ‘faith.’” And you release it, so you must make a positive confession. He says, “Jesus or Paul never prayed the problem.” Indeed they did! “But you must make a positive confession. If you admit that you’ve got a cold, then you’ve got a cold, even though your nose is running, you must not admit it, because that will make it so.”
I don’t find in the Bible that Jesus gave sight to a blind man and he walked around for the next six months with a seeing eye dog confessing that he could see. If you’re healed, you’re healed. I have great sympathy with these people. They are trying to get more faith, and certainly there is a lot of unbelief in the Church, but that’s not faith. Faith demands obedience.
Ankerberg: Okay. It’s also devastating on the opposite side that when you are told this, that this is biblical, and then it doesn’t work out. Give us a couple of illustrations of how this can be absolutely devastating and people will walk away from “Christianity,” so called, because they’re taught this.
Hunt: There are thousands of cases of that, John. And that’s one of the things that really concerns me; of people who confess that Cadillac, they confess the prosperity, they confess the healing, and they didn’t get it. And then condemnation was brought upon them because it was their fault—they don’t have enough faith, you see. Well, Jesus said, “If you have faith like a grain of mustard….” You only have to have a grain of mustard seed’s worth of faith, and you can move mountains. [Luke 17:6] So, this talk, “You’ve got to have a lot of faith,” you know.
I think of a man named George Mueller. He cared for thousands of orphans at one time, that he fed and clothed and housed them. His diary contains over 27,000 specific recorded answers of prayer. I’ll stack George Mueller up as a man of faith alongside of anybody today, I don’t care what his name is. And people used to say, “Brother Mueller, you must be a man of great faith.” He would say, “No, I am a man of very little faith, but it’s in a great God.” It’s not faith that does it, it’s God that does it.
So they would say, “But God says you can speak to this mountain, ‘Jesus said, “Speak to this mountain and it will move.”’” [Luke 17:6] Well, we’ve got a mountain here and we’ve got two people who have the faith that moves mountains. The problem is, this person wants the mountain to move that way and this person wants the mountain to move that way. Now, what are they going to do?
God has not turned His universe over to us to shuffle around. Faith is not some magic power that we can get to begin to make things go the way we want them to go. That mountain is going to move when and where God wants it to move. And if Mr. Jones is God’s man of the hour, God will have revealed it to him when and where he wants it to move and he will speak with confidence, not on the basis of some power that he has, but on the basis of being in touch with God. And faith grows out of a relationship of obedience with God. We get to know Him and we become the instruments of His will, not our manipulation of Him to do what we want Him to do when we speak the “magic words.”
Ankerberg: Otherwise, Paul could have said, “Lord, this thorn in my flesh—Now!”
Hunt: Right.
Ankerberg: But it didn’t happen. He [God] says, “Listen, my grace is sufficient for you. And in fact, you will know my strength in your weakness.” [2 Cor. 12:9] It’ll come out. Another question.
Audience: In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches His disciples that the way you can tell a false prophet, a false teacher, is by the fruits that he bears. [Matt. 7:16] What is your barometer, or how do you decide? Because there’s a lot of people teaching out there and visually the results that have happened look good to man. People are prospering and people are being healed. How do we judge or decide whether that man is bearing good fruit, because it looks good?
Hunt: Well, that’s only one of five or six tests of a false prophet in the Scriptures. The first one you get in Deuteronomy 13 where Moses said if someone comes and he makes a prophecy and gives you a sign, he does a miracle, it happens, but he leads you after other gods, he is a false prophet. Deuteronomy 18, if what he says does not come to pass, he’s a false prophet. Johanna quoted Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them.” So there are a lot of tests of a false prophet. His fruit is only one of them. And fruit sometimes takes a while to mature. And it may seem to be beautiful, but there are people who have a great enthusiasm and they seem to have miracles happening in their lives, but eventually, it turns to ashes and it doesn’t work. So there are a number of tests of a false prophet, and that’s only one.
Ankerberg: I can double back on that. Both the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons, Edgar Cayce’s followers, Eck, all of them have used the verse to show that they were the correct group by God and said, “Listen, by our fruit you will know us; that’s what Jesus said.” And so the Mormons would say, “Look, we’ve got so many thousands of members. We’ve got 30 to 40 thousand missionaries going door to door, I mean, look at the fruit!” Alright? Take that illustration, though. If that’s fruit, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have 100,000 missionaries going door to door and they send out 40 million magazines every month which is, I think, a stack about 10 times as tall as the Empire State Building every month! Now, they say, “Look at our good works!” and the Mormons call them “false prophets.” Now, in that passage where it says “the fruit,” it’s not only just the works. Because right before that it says, “Some will cast out demons in my name, do the miracles…” and He’ll say, “I never knew you.” [Matt. 7:22-23] It’s not only the fruit, the works, but it’s also, does the doctrine that they are teaching jibe with what Jesus and the apostles taught? Is it the same doctrine? And right there, you’re cut off.
Hunt: Also, John, “fruit” is not works; and “fruit” is not miracles; and “fruit” is not prosperity and healing, you know. As much as we may believe that God wants us to prosper and heal us, that’s not fruit. Fruit is the “Fruit of the Spirit.” Galatians 5 tells us, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, patience, meekness.” [Gal. 5:22-23]
Ankerberg: Right.
Michaelsen: However, those in the occult will also give you a counterfeit of that. And what’s important to do is to cross-reference that. When the Lord says, “Not everyone who calls and says to me ‘Lord, Lord…’ but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” [Matt. 7:21] what is the will of my Father? And He tells us that in John 6: “This is the will of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” [John 6:29] So, the first test has to be, what is it they are teaching about Jesus? Is He unique or are we all gods and all growing and evolving to the same thing, Jesus just got there ahead of us?
Ankerberg: Alright. Another question.
Audience: Johanna, in your book, in the end of the book, you talk a little bit about your testimony and then more about your growth. And we’ve learned a lot how Satan can deceive us and he can counterfeit things. And I believe there’s a lot of people out there that believe that the gifts of the Spirit that are operating in the Church today are counterfeit. And I’d like you to talk a little bit about tongues and whether or not you feel that that is a counterfeit, or if all tongues is a counterfeit of the devil, or whether some tongues is from God and some is not.
Michaelsen: Well, let me make clear too at the outset that when I speak about the “counterfeits,” I am presupposing the existence of an original. I do believe, as a Charismatic, that there are genuine healings performed by the hand of God. I believe that there are genuine tongues, genuine miracles, genuine healings, genuine manifestations of the Spirit of God. We’re seeing them more today than we ever have at any other time, because the demons didn’t drop dead at the end of the first century. They didn’t take a 1900-year sabbatical, but neither did the Holy Spirit, you know. And a counterfeit presupposes the existence of the original.
I have seen the demons speak in tongues, the medium with whom I worked did. But I’ve also experienced myself, God has given me by His grace, the experience of speaking to Him in an unknown language. So, I don’t want to get into the whole tongues thing; we could be here all night on that. But the long and the short of it is, yes, I believe it genuinely exists. But, test it, according to the Word of God. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” [1 John 4:1] What does 1 Thessalonians 5 tell us? “Do not despise prophetic utterances.” Amen? “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Amen? But test all things. “Cleave fast to that which is good,” [1 Thess 5:19-22] which to me implies we do something radical with that which isn’t. Test it, ask God, “God, is this from you.”
Hunt: Let me just quote quickly what Agnes Sanford said about tongues, because she’s the Mary Baker Eddy of the Charismatic movement.
Ankerberg: Okay.
Hunt: She said, “Now, in the speaking of tongues, this power, latent in the unconscious mind of all people”—okay, see, now we’ve got that problem again; it’s not the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, but it’s the quickening, the awakening of the power within us—“is quickened, so that the unconscious may make rapport with the unconscious mind of someone else”—now we’ve got the psychological side of it, the unconscious—“living anywhere upon this earth, or someone who has lived before who is now dead, or of someone who will live in the future, or even of someone from heaven, some great messenger of light that he may lift us out of darkness into the light of immortality.” I think that Charismatics that follow her so closely with inner healing and so forth ought to be interested in what she had to say about speaking in tongues.
Michaelsen: And about the other occult things as well. If I’d read her book as an occultist, I’d have been elated.
Hunt: Right.
Ankerberg: Okay, another question.
Audience: I have a two-part question. The first one is for you, Johanna. Many people in this movement that you have just mentioned are saying that the occult “stole” these gifts from God and that God is now restoring these miracles and gifts back to the Body. And the second question is for you, Dave. I want you to comment on “Calling those things that be, even though they are not. Calling those things that be not, as though they were.”
Ankerberg: Okay.
Michaelsen: If I understand your question, you are saying that the occultists have counterfeited a lot of things that were originals. Is that what you’re saying? Is that what you mean by “stolen?” I didn’t hear the whole question.
Ankerberg: The same thing that we were talking about before, that the theory was that at the Fall, man lost his godhood and Satan took it over and now we’ve got to go back and get it. And the proof of that is that God is giving miracles to the Church today. Is that what I hear?
Audience: Well, the gifts, such as visualization, Positive Confession….
Michaelsen: That these are neutral things that can be used in either direction? That just because the occultists are using it, does that mean it’s illegal for us as Christians?
Audience: Right.
Michaelsen: To reply. Well, you know, when I look in my Bible, I see the genuine very clearly mentioned. I see Paul talking about in 2 Corinthians the gifts of tongues and miracles and healings and prophecy and words of knowledge. I don’t see him talking about the “gift of visualizing yourself into the presence of this being.” I don’t see him saying, “If you really want a personal relationship with God, visualize Him. All you have to do is image Him, create this picture of Him, and there He is. You’ve got it.” I don’t see that “original” anywhere in Scripture. Which leads me to believe, if God has given us the original clearly, and that isn’t there, that isn’t an original. The occultists made it up. They’ve been practicing that from time immemorial. We have transposed it into the Church and “Christianized” it; tied Jesus on to the end of it and assumed that God’s going to bless it because we’re saying, “Jesus does it.” I don’t see that original anywhere in scripture.
Ankerberg: Okay, Dave.
Hunt: Well, “God calls things that are not as though they were” [Rom. 4:17] because He is God. I’m not God. So, we better leave that sort of thing to Him, and we better do His will and let Him work through us the purpose that He has planned for us. But not try to manipulate Him and act like little gods.
Ankerberg: And that technique of calling it into existence—let’s go back to a prior program—is also a technique that is in the occult.
Hunt: Right.
Ankerberg: It came out of that side of the fence.
Hunt: Occultists like Elizabeth Clare Prophet, for example, talk about the “creative power of the spoken word,” the “science of the spoken word.” It’s a mantra, as Johanna says. It’s been in the occult for thousands of years.
Ankerberg: Go back to that thing of mantra. Refresh our memories of what you’re talking about, because a lot of people just don’t know, Dave. Give us a little rehash here. Let’s spend a little time here.
Hunt: Well, you see, in yoga and in Hinduism and in occultism, it’s all part and parcel of the same thing: what you’ve got to do is get in touch with a power. You make a magician’s bargain with spirit beings. You visualize them and get in touch with them. Or you manipulate this force by speaking certain words. And as Johanna said, there’s a vibration involved. The yogis will tell you that a mantra embodies a deity, a spirit being. When you speak this out, you are calling upon it to come and possess you, that there is a power in this, in the repetition of this. It’s called also “decreeing,” which is a Positive Confession. The “I am” cult, or Elizabeth Clare Prophet’s group, they meet together on a Sunday morning, they don’t pray; they don’t petition God; they command God. They command the forces. They speak it out. And it must happen. And it’s called decreeing. And we have some leaders in the Church today, evangelicals, who are saying, “What we must do is decree. We don’t have to ask.” One of the leaders in the Positive Confession movement has two children in their thirties. And in one of his books, called Words, he says, “I haven’t prayed for them more than half a dozen times in their entire lives. Why have I not prayed for my children? Because you can have what you say, and I had already said it.” We can command these things to happen. Well, that’s an old occult technique, and I’m sorry that well-meaning Christians are picking this up. You won’t get it from the Word of God.
Ankerberg: The names that we’re not saying are in the book—Dave’s book, The Seduction of Christianity, alright.
Audience: As the world continues to try to lift up “Self” and lift up the inner being, in the New Testament when it talks of the antichrist, could the Antichrist be the “Self” of all the different individuals?
Hunt: Well, I think the Antichrist is a definite man, and he sits in the temple of God. But, of course, he’s exalting “Self” and Satan caters to the desire to exalt “Self,” so, you know, it’s very close. But he’s a particular man who shows himself that he’s God and that gives others the courage to believe that they, too, can become God. But the spirit of Antichrist is Self, within our hearts. And one of my favorite writers, William Law, said that it was in the Garden of Eden that Self had its awful birth and established its kingdom dwelling within. We’ve got to ask ourselves, why did Jesus say we must deny self, and why is it in contrast that everybody today is telling us we need to develop self; self-assertion; self-confidence and so forth? There’s quite a contrast there. And William Law says, “That’s when Self had its awful birth and began to reign over a secret kingdom and the imagination has all the world before it but goes nowhere except where Self sends it. Imagination as the last comforter of Self, brings back to mind all the wonderful things that Self has done.” So, there’s that pride within. This is the strong man within that must be crucified, must be gotten out, so that Christ can come and live within our hearts. So there’s a big difference there in what is being taught. But Self is very close to Antichrist. It’s the exaltation of Self.
Ankerberg: Another question.
Audience: I strongly believe that many sincere believers out there have prophets like, for example, the Mormons with Joseph Smith, and the Seventh-day Adventists with Mrs. Ellen G. White, and they sincerely believe that they are real and true. To me, they are in this category, that they have visions and imaginings either instead of the Bible or aside to it. What’s your opinion about this?
Hunt: Do you want to take this one, Johanna?
Michaelsen: Well, you know, it’s very difficult when you are talking to sincere people, because they are sincere, you know? They’re not waking up in the morning and saying, “Today I think I’ll be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I think I’ll spread lies and dissension and division and false doctrines and heresy throughout the Church.” The people who are involved in these cults and in the occult are very sincere. But, nowhere in Scripture are we told that sincerity acts as kind of a magical protection to keep us from deception. On the contrary! We are told time and time and time again: “Be on the alert! Don’t be deceived! Don’t be as children swayed by every wind of doctrine. Be awake, for your adversary, the devil, comes like [what?] a roaring lion” seeking whom he may have for dessert. [1 Pet. 5:8] Now the Church is looking like a plate of neatly stacked lamb chops because we have willfully chosen to disobey the commandment of God, of the Lord Jesus Himself, who told us to be alert, to test it. And then we wonder why so many in the Church are swallowed up by this; why so many people are still caught up in the occultic practices themselves; why we have people saying now, “You are god.” Because they have not tested their revelations, what they believe, objectively against the Word of God as it stands. Oh no, “We’ve got to listen to Prophet So and So.” “We’ve got to listen to Mystic Such and Such or Guru So and So.” And then we wonder why we believe these things. People, do not be deceived! Your sincerity will not protect you. Testing what you hear in your experiences against the Word of God is where you will find your protection. In Him you find your protection, as you look to Him.
Hunt: One of the reasons for this is we cannot abdicate our moral accountability. You people here in the audience or those out there watching on television will never be able to stand before God someday and the Lord says, “Why did you do this?” And you say, “Well, Dave Hunt, I mean, he was bald like Elijah and he had a white beard and sounded very authoritative,” or “Johanna spoke with authority and they said it and, you know, they were recommended by… they were on the John Ankerberg Show. I mean, that’s enough of a recommendation, isn’t it?” And, the Word of God says in 1 John 2, “You have an anointing and you need not that anyone teach you.” [1 John 2:20] Then why are there teachers in the Church? It’s like a painter, you know. Everybody’s not an artist, but everybody can be an art critic. And some of us have been gifted to put some things together, some teaching, but you must judge. First Corinthians 14 says, “Let the prophets speak two or three by course and let the others judge.” [1 Cor. 14:29] And you cannot abdicate your moral accountability by just following someone, I don’t care how big a name it is. I don’t care whether it’s Billy Graham or Robert Schuller or Dave Hunt or John Ankerberg or anybody; you are morally accountable. And if the Holy Spirit does not bear witness in your spirit with the Word of God that this is from God, then you have abdicated a moral responsibility that you cannot get away from. You’re going to be held accountable.
Ankerberg: Yeah. I would think in terms of the very question about the Mormon Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, your quotes in Deuteronomy come in to play. Number one up there, claiming to be a prophet, what they say better come true. Otherwise, forget them. And the other one says, “Even if it does come true and they point you to different gods, forget them.” Apply those and I think you will have your answer there. I want to come back to another question, Dave, along the line of, you know some of the people in the Church are saying we’re having a great big revival that’s happening. It’s going to be worldwide and the money is going to flow into the Church and the Church is going to conquer and take dominion over that which we forfeited to Satan when we fell. Therefore the days up ahead have never looked brighter and the thing is, you need to have all these techniques of learning how to be prosperous and healthy and joyful and if you don’t, of course, that’s your lack of faith. But it’s coming. This great big revival is coming. And there are some verses in Scripture that say that’s true. And you have a very good point in your book concerning the opposite side, that you cannot forget that Scripture is talking about concerning the last days. Do you want to enunciate that?
Hunt: Yes, well, John, I think that every one of us ought to have the desire to win the world to Christ.
Ankerberg: Right.
Hunt: But the facts are, the disciples asked Jesus, “Are there many that be saved?” Now, Jesus was very negative. I guess He didn’t know about this “positive” stuff and He hadn’t taken the Dale Carnegie course and He didn’t know how to “win friends and influence people.” And He would call people “hypocrites” and tell them they had to repent and things like this. When they asked Jesus if many would be saved, He said, “There are few,” and He said, “Strive to enter in at the straight gate, for straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.” [Matt. 7:13-14]
I want to win as many as I can, but the Bible tells me that we’re not going to turn this world over to Jesus. We’re not going to take it over for Him. But that evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. It warns us of deception, warns us of apostasy, it warns us of a great tribulation. It warns us of an Antichrist and all the world worshiping him and following him. I mean, all the things we’ve talked about. And it just does not jibe with Jerusalem surrounded by the armies of the world, and Armageddon coming and Jesus says, “Unless He intervenes, there would be no flesh that would survive.” [Mark 13:20] It hardly sounds to me like the Church is in dominion.
But I believe, John, the Scripture teaches we are going to have both revival and apostasy. And one of my favorite Scriptures for that is when Jesus talked about the ruler who made a great feast, and he invited a lot of people. [Luke 14] Not that I have the answers, but read what it says in the Word of God. You know, they made excuses. And that has always been presented as rejecting the Gospel, but that’s not what it says. It says, “He made a great feast, he invited many.” He sent out an invitation RSVP. And there must have been a lot of people who RSVP’d and said, “We’ll be there,” because it says when the supper time came, nobody showed up! And that’s when he sent out his servant to those who had been bidden, who had apparently promised to be there, and says to them, “Where are you? The feast is ready!” And that’s when they began to make their excuses.
And I see churches filled with good church members who have said, “Oh, yes, we’re coming, Lord. We don’t want to go to hell, you know, we’d rather go to Heaven. But coming right down to it, we’ve waited and “We’ve saved for ten years to go to the Hawaiian Islands,” or “I’ve just retired,” or “We’re on our honeymoon.” And they really don’t want to go. And the Lord is up there in Heaven wanting to come for His bride. Where is this bride that wants Him now? And that’s when He becomes angry and He sends his servants out into the highways, the byways, the hedges, compelling them to come in.
This is what we are seeing. We are seeing Johanna, involved in occultism, psychic surgery and so forth, we are seeing New Agers, drop-outs, drug addicts, prisoners, some of the things that are happening in the prisons across the country. We’re seeing these people coming to Christ. And at the same time we’re seeing the Church going for a false message that comes right out of occultism. And I think we’re going to see both of these things and I believe it’s going to become more and more confusing and more difficult. You’re going to have to really walk with the Lord to discern the difference between the two.
Ankerberg: Okay. Question.
Audience: Well, getting back to the Charismatic movement. I’m still a little bit confused about, if there is a fine line between what they are teaching and what we’re supposed to believe. Say, for instance, I’m sick; I’m very ill. And I go to some evangelist or whatever and he lays hands on me. I don’t get immediate results. What do I do? Do I just say, “Well, I guess God doesn’t want to heal me?” Or I say, “Thank you for my healing.” Or, what do I do?
Hunt: Well, I believe that faith is a gift from God. And I cannot “believe” that this mountain will be removed unless I believe that it’s God’s will. And I cannot pray for someone and believe that they will be healed unless I really know that it is God’s will. He has not promised healing to everybody. And you don’t have to be too bright to realize that every person who ever taught that is now dead, or is dying. There has been no one in the history of the Church who has ever been able to demonstrate that it is the will of God to heal all people at all times, or they would still be alive. And they’re not. But let me just quote you from—I presume he would pass as a leading Charismatic—Dave Wilkerson. Certainly he has been in the Pentecostal movement for a long time.
Ankerberg: Wrote the Cross and the Switchblade….
Hunt: Right. The Cross and the Switchblade; the pastor and founder of Teen Challenge and so forth. And we quote him at the end of the first chapter of the book. And let me just read it, because it kind of goes back and sums up everything we have been talking about. By the way, Dave Wilkerson, when he read this book [Seduction of Christianity], he said he wept, and felt it was a book that everybody had to read. I think he said he stayed up through the night reading it.
But here’s what he says: “There is an evil wind… blowing into God’s house, deceiving multitudes of God’s chosen people…. It is a scriptural take-off on Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich. This perverted gospel seeks to make gods of people. They are told, ‘Your destiny is in the power of your mind. Whatever you can conceive is yours. Speak it into being. Create it by a positive mind set. Success, happiness, perfect health is all yours—if you will only use your mind creatively. Turn your dreams into reality by using mind power.’ Let it be known once and for all, God will not abdicate His lordship to the power of our minds, negative or positive. We are to seek only the mind of Christ, and His mind is not materialistic; it is not focused on success or wealth. Christ’s mind is focused only on the glory of God and obedience to His Word. No other teaching so ignores the Cross and the corruption of the human mind. It bypasses the evil of our ruined Adam nature, and it takes the Christian’s eyes off Christ’s gospel of eternal redemption and focuses it on earthly gain. Saints of God, flee from this…!”
Now, if I’m not immediately healed, it could be that God is trying to teach me something from this, you know. I read in the Old Testament, for example, of Joshua, on his face before God because of the defeat at Ai. And he’s crying out to God, “How come we’re defeated?” God doesn’t say, “Make a positive confession. Claim your healing or your blessing or claim the victory. Stand up and claim it!” You know? Now, that’s one side. “Every place that the sole of your feet will tread on, you will have it,” God promised. [Josh. 1:3] But what does God say to Joshua? He says, “Get up! This is no time for praying. There is sin in the camp, and I cannot bring blessing until that is rooted out and confessed.” [Josh. 7] Now, it could be there is sin in my life. I’m not laying a trip on everybody and saying that everybody that gets sick has sin in their lives, but it is not so simple as just making some positive confession and claiming a Bible verse. “Is this really God’s will? What is His purpose?” And we all die, because God has something a whole lot better in mind. He’s got a new creation. He’s got new bodies for us. And if He continued to heal us, we’d continue to live on in this old world of sin and suffering.
Ankerberg: The same thing, Dave, is that they would have to admit that the apostle Paul had the gift of healing, but he couldn’t exercise it all the time for himself and he couldn’t exercise it for his friends all of the time. So therefore it can’t be true that you can just go out and say, “Do it!” It’s not biblical.
Hunt: And I’m not trying to just slide over this, you know, and say, “Well, we just cover over our unbelief by saying ‘In Jesus name, according to your will, if it’s not your will, Lord….” But that is biblical. Jesus prayed it. “Not my will but thine be done.” [Luke 22:42] Paul prayed it. So, it’s not so simple as to repeat a formula. In other words, I believe these people are well-meaning; nevertheless, they are turning God into almost a slot machine in the sky, and you put a formula in the machine and you crank it through and you get a predictable result out the other end. It just doesn’t work that way.
Ankerberg: Well, I think, too, that the opposite side of the coin is when people are told that this is what you have to do and then it doesn’t happen and they are told, “You didn’t have enough faith.” I can’t think of anything that is more devastating than that. Or, if you have a heart attack and you are supposed to positively claim that you don’t have it, and you walk outside and a family loses the breadwinner because they made a “positive confession” and they shouldn’t have, okay? God is not talking about that at all. And yet we hear that thing going around in the country. Another question.
Audience: Thank you very much, John, for the opportunity. I want to thank you both for your obedience to the Lord to be here. And it took courage, and a lot of love, I think, for our brothers and sisters who you are speaking about tonight. My question is for both of you. After all that we’ve heard, what do we do now? I appreciate what you said about [what] you gave to Dave Wilkerson. The people you wrote about, I assume you did speak to them, in one way or the other, to give them this information. So, we need to know, do we approach these people ourselves after praying or the people, the sheep, under the false shepherds—the Christian side? And then for Johanna, those that are being into this side—how do you approach them? Because the perfect will of the Father is that none shall perish and that we love them with all our hearts, and we do.
Hunt: Well, let me say that first of all, that’s a question that a lot of people asked. “Have you personally gone to every person that you name in the book?” No, I have not. People will say, “Well, Matthew 18 tells you, ‘If your brother offend you, go to him alone…’ you know, ‘first of all….” My brothers haven’t offended me. It’s not a question of something between me and them. They have written books, they’ve said it on television, on radio, it’s gone out to millions of people. Therefore, it has to be responded to in the same way. And even if I went to them privately and they repented in the privacy of their study, I would still have to say the same thing, because nobody else is there hearing that. But there are other reasons. I have neither the time nor the money even to make the long distance phone calls, much less get on an airplane and go around and see all of these people. Furthermore, most of them would not see me. I get on the phone and call some leading figure, and, “Who am I” to question his doctrine? I couldn’t get past his secretary. So there are a number of practical problems involved, but I….
Ankerberg: That doesn’t mean you’re not willing to meet with them.
Hunt: I am willing, absolutely, at any time to meet with these people.
Ankerberg: And even right here on the program in front of all of our audience.
Hunt: I would love to discuss these things openly. But I think it would be helpful if some of you would write to these people. And if they would get a few thousand letters questioning them, at least, graciously. You don’t rebuke an elder, you entreat him as a father, but say, “What about this? This doesn’t seem to jibe with the Word of God, and we’re really concerned about this. And “Have you read this book?, and “It’s pretty thoroughly documented and this does come out of the occult.” I mean, as graciously as you can, but they need to be confronted. I need to be confronted when I’m wrong. Look, Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs. He said, “You can grind a fool with a mortar and pestle and his foolishness will not depart from him.” [Prov. 27:22] But a word to the wise is sufficient. And if you rebuke a wise man, he will be yet wiser. If I’m wrong, please tell me. Tell me publicly, I don’t care. It could only hurt my pride for you to tell me publicly. And if these men are men of God, and if they are wise and they want to do what’s right, then they will be glad to be corrected, no matter how it is. And so you people get down on your knees, pray for them, pray for me, write to them, and let’s see what can be done.
Ankerberg: Let me piggyback on that question. A lot of people might be out there saying, “You know, I’ve always thought I’ve heard some strange things in our church. And you know, you put your finger on one of those things in our church. But my pastor, he’s a good guy. I mean, basically he’s a good guy, but he’s dabbling with this stuff. Now what do we do?”
Hunt: I think you go to him as gently as you can, but you say, “Look, I mean, it doesn’t jibe with the Word of God.” All the things that we’ve talked about, I heard just a couple of days ago, for example, that one of the people that we mention in the book, a pastor, someone from his very large church went to a bookstore in Seattle and bought 30 copies of The Seduction of Christianity. Now, if they were going to fight it, they might buy two or three for their lawyers to go over, but they apparently bought 30 because they want to give it to the people on the staff. So, I believe that there are many of these people, they’re the victims. Just like we can all be victims. They’ve accepted it. Psychology says it or Success Motivation teaching or some great leader said it, or Agnes Sanford said it, and after all, her books sell in Christian bookstores, it must be okay. They haven’t checked it out. And I believe that there are many people out there who, when they are confronted in a loving way, will say, “I didn’t realize it.” And I find people all over the country who say, “I knew there was something wrong. I couldn’t put it together. Now that you’ve explained it, I see it.”
Ankerberg: That’s right.
Michaelsen: You know, I think there’s something else that’s important to entreat. A lot of people feel that the mere fact that Dave has written this book, that we are speaking about it at all, makes us unloving, that we’re judgmental, that we’re critical of the Church. Some have said, “Why don’t you go out and fight the enemy! Your brothers aren’t your enemy! The enemy is the enemy!” And yet you know the Lord warned us. Paul said in Acts 20 where he told us to “Be on your guard for yourselves and all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.” [Acts 20:28] He was talking to the leaders, to the pastors, to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood. “I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And from among your own selves, men will arise speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after them.” Even the sincere leaders are not immune to deception. And Paul said, with tears, “I admonish you to be on the alert… to test these things.” [Acts 20:29-31]
And I know Paul was saying this indeed with tears, even as you do, Dave. I mean, you have spoken to me many times. It gives you no pleasure to stand up and say, “Look, people, these people are teaching perverse doctrines.” Agnes Sanford, Morton Kelsey, we cannot judge or question their sincerity or their hearts. That is between them and God. But we have an obligation to stand up and say, look, aren’t any of these people going to test it against the Word of God and not just their interpretation? I mean, you know, when you read your newspaper, you can see, “The Russians blew the jet out of the air,” and you know what? The Russians blew the jet out of the air. You can read pretty much the same in Scripture. This is what it says. And we can read words in context to have a certain meaning. And unless we are willing to do that, we will be deceived. Test it, people; that’s all we’re saying. We don’t mean to be self-appointed critics, but somebody’s got to stand up and say, “If apostasy is coming, guess what? It’s here!” And we’ve allowed it in among the Church because we haven’t been obedient to the Word of God to test it.
Ankerberg: Okay. One more question.
Audience: Johanna, in your conversion experience in the room with your counselor and your demons out the window and all that type of thing, today a lot of Christians are looking for demons behind every door, behind the hedges, the bushes. Could you share maybe a little bit of how involved should a Christian get with someone who has been involved with the occult and maybe into the point of, “Did he or she see what you saw?” And any of that type of thing.
Michaelsen: Well, that is an excellent question, because a lot of people listen to material like this and they feel that, you know, they are going to run out and bind and rebuke every devil in sight. And they drive home in their car saying, “Oh, there are demons behind me.” You need to know your authority in Christ, first of all. No, we’re not advocating that you go running out and become instant self-appointed experts in the occult or that you spend your time ruminating about demons and devils and looking for them in every sound that you hear: “Oh! It’s a devil! I’ve got to bind and rebuke it.”
No, God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. But He also hasn’t given us a spirit of stupidity, either, you know, where you go running in where angels fear to tread. In Jude it says that an awful lot of people go around addressing angelic majesties not knowing what they are doing. Disrespectful to spiritual beings. [Jude 10] What I am saying is, we’re in warfare. We’re in the last days. We need to be alert. We need to put on the full armor of God.” Even children who had been confronted with demons, like the Gadarene demoniac, have been able to look those demons in the face and say, “In the name of the Lord Jesus, be gone,” and they have gone instantly.
I am saying, primarily, become familiar with the original. Learn who you are in Christ so that when you come across it—and you will; you can’t get out of the supermarket without reading the latest psychic predictions. You cannot go to a movie without seeing “ET” or “Star Wars.” You can’t watch the cartoons [like] The Smurfs, where they’re teaching you how to draw a pentagram in the ground and inside this circle and conjure up the “spirit of the book.” You cannot watch “He-Man.” You’ve got to understand the basics. You can’t just go running and screaming, “Everything is of the devil!”
But unless you have studied and show yourself approved, unless you know the Word of God, unless you know enough about these things that are happening, about the deception, so that you can talk to somebody intelligently and say, “Look, you know, I know that you are sincere. What is it that you are involved with?,” knowing already a little bit about what they are involved with. Then you can lead them. “Have you ever considered this in Scripture?” “Have you ever considered that?” Not approaching them yelling that everybody is of the devil.
But I think that it’s very important to read some of Kurt Koch’s 160 books as well. Kurt Koch is a German theologian who did research probably for some 40 years in the area of the cults and the occult. And he said something that is very good. I don’t agree with everything that he says, but he said something that is very much to the point. He said that there were men who would listen to his works and read his material and went running out in Indonesia and in different parts of the world binding and rebuking spirits and they wound up in insane asylums because they were doing a work that they were not equipped to do. They didn’t understand who they were in Christ, and they were going out where indeed angels fear to tread, not understanding their authority.
Ankerberg: If the Lord brings it to you, deal with it. Otherwise, don’t go looking for it.
Michaelsen: That’s right. Don’t go looking for it. I don’t go looking for it.
Ankerberg: Dave and Johanna, for all of this information and for the courage that you have in presenting it, we want to thank you, and we are going to pray for you in the days ahead and we ask that the Lord would have mercy on the Church and that we would repent of the things that we have brought in that we had no business bringing in. Thank you. Good night.

4 Comments

  1. […] The Seduction of Christianity – Program 8 By: Johanna Michaelson, Dave Hunt […]

  2. […] Read Part 8 […]

  3. Queen Aleta Parkerr on May 2, 2021 at 8:14 am

    Dr hunt as I unnderstand does not believe in tongues I do. Johanna thank goodness believes. How can u look at the Bible which says these things shall follow believers and not see tongues are for believers I have not read every comment but am watching Johannas beautiful side of evil. I am not led to Dr Hunt. I guess for the very reason I mentioned. Also why did Jesus say greater works will we do because He goes to the Father’ I don’t believe of course we can do a greater work than Jesus but I believe he meant there are more of us believers for Him to work through as his children.

  4. Queen Aleta Parkerr on May 2, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Correction. These signs shall follow

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