Refuting the NAR don't put God in a box nonsense...
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. -- Proverbs 4:23 (ESV)
Part of the New Apostolic Reformation is a focus on our experiences over the surety of scripture. This experiential Christianity is seen in the soaking prayer nonsense on TBN, the contemplative prayer of IHOP or the daily operation of Bethel, for some obvious examples. I watched a training video once for Bethel worship leaders that summed this up and was frightening. Bethel believes and teaches that all worship leaders are "prophetic"; which is patently absurd and biblically moronic. When you run a school however that believes you can teach the gifts of the spirit, this just falls right in line. In the training video the worship leaders were taught to use the "free praise time" to still their minds and just repeat whatever popped into their "hearts" because it is probably the Lord giving them a prophetic message for the congregation. I kid you not. I saw this practice live once at a local church where the visiting worship leader kept repeating "jump in the river if you want a hug from Jesus" for no less than 15 minutes. I do not doubt this silliness was the first thing that popped into her wickedly deceitful heart. I just doubt it came from God.
So experiential Christianity encourages our easily manipulated hearts to decide what God is saying. We see this every day with wannabe prophets who claim God gave them messages we know could not possibly have come from Him. If you dare pop their unscriptural bubble with the bible you are branded a legalist who needs a "deeper revelation" of the spirit. We also see this tactic used by the most egregious false teachers today. Joseph Prince claims every sermon he preaches is verbally given to him by God directly. One of the most tired accusations these charlatans make is that the opposition is just trying to "put God in a box." We saw this nonsense in both Holy Ghost movies by heretical filmmaker Darren Wilson. Beloved, the box they are referring to is known as the bible and God placed Himself in it to prevent us from falling for the lies of our own hearts and desires of our sinful flesh. The link above is to a recent article by Mark Virkler, who claims God told him to get out of his theological box. This should be a train wreck, so let us reason once again beloved.
"It is amazing how much we love boxes! The box I used to love the most was my theological box, as I am a theologian and I believed that my doctrinal box of rules of right and wrong kept me safe from deception and error. Yes, a set of rules and beliefs does help simplify our lives, however often we miss much of what God wants to show us because it is outside of our box." -- Mark Virkler
So, you are a theologian but cannot see that the box of scripture is designed to keep you safe from deception and error? Worse, you now think that belief is actually wrong? Rules do not simplify our lives Mark -- they provide guidance for it. Note however that Mark Virkler believes that God wants to show us so much more OUTSIDE of scripture. That is the inherent disagreement discernment has with experiential Christianity. God has shown us everything He wants to within the boundaries of the bible. More often than not, those that seek additional information that must be "out there" somewhere are traditionally known as Gnostic. The pursuit of hidden knowledge is due to our flesh not wanting to deal with the rules Virkler speaks of found within scripture.
My first box was the church I was saved in. It was a very small box as they believed they were the only denomination going to heaven. Wow! Really? Other boxes I (and others) have built and live in include:
1.Believing that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer active today.
2.Believing only Protestants are Christians or only Catholics are Christians.
3.Believing there is only one biblical view of eschatology.
4.Believing it is impossible to hear God's voice today.
5.Believing health care is the responsibility of the government.
6.Believing Old Testament dietary laws have no value for a New Testament Christian.
7.Believing the Western worldview is the right worldview.
8.Believing we can't disciple all nations because the Antichrist is going to do it.
9.Believing money is secular rather than that God has given me the power to create wealth.
10.Believing I don't have enough smarts to succeed.
I have written a book on 49 such theological lies I used to believe before the Lord began speaking truth to me concerning those issues. Wow! Forty-nine theological boxes destroyed in 100 pages of two-way journaling, and new platforms created which I can now stand on providing me a new foundation for living in the Spirit. How precious and valuable is that? How I hunger to pass these 49 revelation-based truths on to you." -- Mark Virkler
Ahh, this is an advertisement disguised as a Christian article. What Mark doesn't tell you is he is really hungry for you to pay $19.95 for the honor of him passing on to you these 49 missives from his deceitful heart. These are not boxes by the way. For the most part they appear to be beliefs that perhaps Virkler grew out of. There is nothing wrong with realizing a belief has been unbiblical and leaving it. When we look here however there are some revealing "tells."
It is impossible to hear God's voice today seems to be encouraging the experiential Christianity we have been speaking about. Now can God speak audibly? Of course -- He is God. The likelihood however is minimal now that we have His word, which is the primary way God speaks to us. To hear some of these guys tell it though it's like they have a hotline direct to throne room anytime they need to chat with God. Here is a safe box beloved. If you think you have heard from God match it up with scripture and if there is no match than it did not come from God.
Believing healthcare is the responsibility of the government? What is this even doing here? This indicates Virkler also engages in the seven mountains dominionism that the NAR promotes so much. This notion about healthcare they use to deflect the criticism about supporting politicians who clearly do not care if people have access to healthcare. The item about the western worldview is also a tell in this area that pretends the biblical worldview is about establishing a theocracy. Lastly from this list, believing money is secular indicates that Virkler buys into the nonsense about kingdom finances, tithing, and prosperity.
"Today, the Lord Spoke to Me. "Mark, security is not found by living in a box. Security is found in Me, in a living dynamic relationship with Me. I never created you to live in a box of rules. I created you to walk and talk with Me in the cool of the day (Gen. 3:8). "Man chose boxes. The Israelites chose laws over My voice when I offered a relationship to them at Mount Sinai (Deut. 5:22-31). I said, 'Fine,' even though I knew it wouldn't work. Eventually everyone discovers that a purpose of the Law is to prove that it cannot be kept, and therefore, one needs to come to Me, the living Christ (Gal. 3:19-24). "You can trust Me. You can trust My Spirit. You can trust in submission to the wise counsel of spiritual advisers who are living by My Spirit. This is where true safety lies. This allows you to continue to grow and explore and discover more about Me, for I am the God who hides Himself (Isa. 45:15). If I intended for mankind to live in a box, I would have created robots who would obey My every whim. Instead, I made humans who could interact with Me, create with Me and release My Spirit and My creativity into My world (Gal. 5:22-25; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). "Seek not to live in a box. For the box will never contain the growing Christian. Seek My voice, My Spirit and My anointing, which provides wisdom, counsel and power. This is how you are created to live. This is My plan for your life. This is life itself. All else is a dead work (Heb. 12:1-2). Repent from dead works." -- Mark Virkler
Yeah, no. That was not the Lord speaking to you Mark. That was your deceitfully wicked heart. You cannot have a living dynamic relationship with God by dismissing His word. It is not security that draws us to His word but surety; verity. With our own experiences we can never be sure but with the word of God? We know it never changes and is 100% accurate. Man did not choose the box of scripture Mark; God did. If people were really relying on the spirit of God they would allow Him to lead them into all truth, which is found only in scripture. Your point on robots miss the point that we do not have to follow His word, as you are brilliantly displaying here. Part of experiential NAR teachings is that we can be like God. That we can create with our words as God does. This word faith heresy is represented here in this false word when Virkler says that we were created to create with God. The arrogance of this false word just gets more and more staggering as you read on. The box will never contain a growing Christian? Really Mark? You will answer in front of Christ one day for this blasphemy of His word.
"So Now, I Live Outside the Box. I no longer hold tightly to my theological boxes. They are not my security blanket. My theology is free to change. Instead I hold tightly to the Bible (Ps. 1), the Spirit (John 6:63) and the counsel of my spiritual advisers (Prov. 11:14). Now my normal approach is to look up every verse in the Bible on a topic, with an open heart and mind, asking God to reveal to me His truth. I meditate on these verses (Josh. 1:8), journaling about them to see what God wants to speak to me concerning them and submitting my insights to my spiritual advisers. This process continuously takes me new places, where I gain insights concerning how to live in the fullness of health, vitality, creativity, peace and thankfulness. What a joy! What a wonderful path to be on! "But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day" (Prov. 4:18, NASB). "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts" (2 Peter 1:19). Will you choose intimacy with the Holy Spirit over a theological box?" -- Mark Virkler
The bible is the box!!! Stop your nonsense please. There is no intimacy with God outside of the theological box you so casually smear and dismiss here. How do I know? Because I clicked your little link you provided so people could buy your book (second link above). Let's see how you really promote this new book:
"If you have ever believed any of the following lies, then this book is for you: "Emotions are soulish;" "Money is evil or secular;" "It is wrong to seek vision;" "Don't trust experiences;" "God gave me a mind and expects me to use it;" "Politics are evil;" God is always beating on me;" or one of 43 more such detestable lies. This package is composed of two books, 49 Lies I Rejected When I Renounced Phariseeism (100 pages of God's revelation through two-way journaling) and Release from Religion which contains 100 pages of Bible meditation where we search the Scriptures to see if they confirm that these things are so." -- Mark Virkler
Are you seeing the experiential themes and the NAR emerging? Emotions are positive? Vision is biblical? Politics and money are righteous? Trust your experiences? These are all unbiblical notions beloved. The NAR seeks the vision of man instead of God. They trust their emotions and experiences over scripture. They are more concerned about the things of this world, like politics and money, then they are about eternal kingdom matters. To make matters worse, if you disagree you are labeled a Pharisee.
"Though I didn't know it, I grew up a well-tutored pharisee.
In this book you can take a 40-question test to discover if you have any pharisaical tendencies.
To get me on the right path, the Lord gave me 1-2 pages of two-way journaling on His truths which countered each of the 49 lies I had believed. He replaced my lies and illumined my darkness. He did it lovingly and gently, yet firmly. It was the kindest rebuke and instruction I had ever received.
Since I am a teacher, I wanted to provide a road map for you so you too could repent and get on with a successful Christian life! Repenting of these lies removes us from boxes and prisons we have built for ourselves, and gives us a new platform in the Holy Spirit upon which we may walk." -- Mark Virkler
Playing the Pharisee card is a weak sign that he knows he has no scriptural argument. The implication here is that those that insist on biblical truths in everything we do or say are somehow Pharisees. That is garbage. The Pharisees taught falsely. They used scripture to further their own positions, similar to what Virkler is doing here to sell books. He sounds so pious wanting to leave you a road map for only 20 bucks. Don't fall for it beloved. Removing the guardrails of scripture is dangerous. Do not fall for experiential Christianity and the lies of the NAR.
"12 of these lies drew me away from trusting and living out of my heart, and told me to live out of my mind instead. Of course, the Bible has only 100 verses on mind and 1400 on heart and spirit, so God puts 14 times more emphasis on my heart and my spirit than on my mind. Boy, did I have it wrong! Out of the heart flow the issues of life (Prov. 4:23). 20 of them taught me the wrong approach to Christian growth. It was all trying and self-effort, and no relaxing into His arms. And there were more! Now, do you see why it was important for me (and for you) to identify these lies, repent of them, renounce them and replace them with God's truth? One more thing: You will discover as you go through this book how lovingly and gently God corrects us. He does not condemn us for our lies and errors. He does not judge us or come against us or call us names. He lovingly speaks truth to us, convincing us of His truth. He edifies and lifts us up as He corrects. I found that I had never been corrected in such a loving manner! You will appreciate His correction beyond measure, and through it, learn how to lovingly correct others!" -- Mark Virkler
Proverbs 4:23 is the key verse today because Virkler mangles it so badly. This verse is NOT encouraging is to trust and live out of our heart. It is imploring us to guard our hearts from the very heresies Mark Virkler traffics in. Notice the sleight of hand here. The mind only has 100 verses but the heart AND SPIRIT, has over 1400. Cute. How many of the 1400 were about the spirit Mark? How many of the heart verses were not positive like the Jeremiah verse that teaches us how wicked it is? It is not the arms of Jesus you are relaxing in Mark. Jesus rebuked every one of His disciples when they walked the earth but you think you are so special He only pats you on the back and says attaboy. Good luck with that false theology. We will conclude today with an actual testimony Virkler provides from one of his students claiming freedom from legalism. This testimony is a journal entry that should frighten anyone with an ounce of discernment:
"What Does God Think of TV? -- Two-way Journaling from a CLU Student
Lord, what do You think about us having television again? (We have had no TV for over a year")
Let me ask you, My daughter - why do you want it back?
Jesus, I guess to be entertained, to relax, to not think, to laugh, to be stimulated intellectually, to be informed. Is that wrong?
No, it's not wrong, but what purpose does this serve?
To pass time, to not think.
Here is My take on it, My beloved child. TV is neither evil nor righteous. It is a box.
But isn't what we do with the box, right? Like maybe I should soak for an hour, then watch TV for an hour.
Daughter, get out of the realm of the legalistic. Watch TV WITH Me. Eat WITH Me. Sleep WITH Me. Drive WITH Me. Teach WITH Me. Walk WITH Me. Sit WITH Me. Look at the Weather Network WITH Me.
Michele, invite Me into every area of your life. Do not see activities as righteous or evil. You know evil. I trust you. You get that. You know when to quit an activity, when to turn away. As you invite Me into every minute of your day, I will order it. Get out from under the law. You are free in ME. It is for freedom that you have been set free. I get this, Lord." -- Mark Virkler
This is scary beloved. Michele has been taught to confirm her own beliefs by pretending it is God speaking to her. So after a year without television, she "asks" God if she can have it back and this imaginary conversation erupts where Michele is speaking to herself but believes it is God providing her with insight into the biased view she already had. She also reveals the unbiblical practice of soaking, born out of experiential Christianity and popularized by Bethel and IHOP. This is where you use transcendental meditation techniques to empty your mind to "hear from God." This silly conversation never happened with God beloved. the answer that curbing television is legalistic is also not supported and is probably part of the answer Michele wanted as now not only does she get television back but she has insured she will not be convicted by it anymore as long as Jesus is "with her" when she watches it. On top of that, she is now assured by her own heart that whatever activities she engages in cannot be evil because she "knows" evil and God trusts her to not engage in evil. How ridiculous. The law convicts us beloved and thus we should never strive to "get out from under it" because that is where we are convicted of our sin. No Michele, you do not "get this." What you got is suckered by false teaching into eliminating two of the primary functions of the Holy Spirit in our lives -- leading us into all truth in scripture and conviction of sin -- and replacing it with the desires of your wickedly deceitful heart.
Beloved learn from Michele and mark any teacher like Mark Virkler for what he teaches is straight from the pits of hell.
Reverend Anthony Wade -- May, 20, 2019
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.