The Bible promises that Scripture is all we need. It’s our counselor, our guide, our protector and our shield against evil.
When we study the Word, we study God Himself and get to know Him more personally, not to mention learning His incredible plan for the future.
There’s no substitute for the biblical armor we need to fend against our foe—Satan. Studying God’s Word also allows God’s Holy Spirit to convict us, giving us the opportunity to mature in our Christian walk. After all, the Word IS God.
In the beginning was the Word, and
the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. John 1:1
So it’s not surprising that one of Satan’s most effective tools is to challenge the authenticity of God’s Words, replace God’s Words or add to God’s Words.
From the very beginning, Satan attacked God’s Word. Speaking to Eve in the Garden of Eden, he challenged God’s exact words.
Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’? Gen 3:1
God warns never to add anything to His written Word.
I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book. Rev. 22:18
Undeterred by that warning, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own Bible translation, The New World Translation. They’ve rewritten several passages to line up with their cultish beliefs.
For instance they changed John 1:1 to read, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.”
They changed was God. to was a God.”No credible linguist or Bible scholar agrees with that translation.
In Genesis 1:2 they changed Spirit to active force. They made this change because they don’t believe in the Trinity.
The JWs simply got tired of trying to defend their flawed beliefs against the written Word, so they rewrote their own version of the Bible, changing at least 10 key passages to line up with their cult’s teachings. Heaven help them on judgment day!
More recently, Satan seems to be working overtime to discredit the Bible through books and cinema. Here is an example:
Jesus (Is Not) Calling
Jesus Calling has been a best-seller, a 365-day devotional study written by Sarah Young. She claims Jesus spoke to her and she wrote down the words compiling a book. And an unsuspecting Christian community is buying it hook, line and sinker.
It’s sold over three million copies, and the publisher has released Jesus Calling for Kids, Jesus Calling for Teens and a Jesus Calling Devotional Bible.
I suspect there will eventually be a Jesus Calling Poodles and Jesus Calling Left-Handed Arab Polo Players. But why stop there?
The attraction to Christians seems mostly due to the dramatic and emotional wording by using Jesus said in the first person. Young ropes in her readers by claiming she is passing along Jesus’ words to her. But they can’t be equated with Jesus’ words.
Nothing can be added to the Bible.
If they ARE Jesus’ words, they violate Scripture that says don’t add to the Bible. If they’re NOT Jesus’ words, then Young is either deluded or listening to a false spirit—called a demon.
Young said when she was a missionary with her husband in Japan, she desired more than just the Bible. And she got her wish in the form of a spirit Jesus communicating with her.
She describes her initial experience this way:
One morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us. I pictured first our daughter, then our son, and then Steve encircled by God’s protective Presence, which looked like golden light. When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace…
She puts all her stock on experience. And of course, visualization is a New Age practice.
The Bible warns that Satan can look awfully attractive.
…Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 2 Cor. 11:14
There are many Christians who believe they have benefited from using her book as a devotion. But Young’s own words convict her that what they’re reading is not what they think!
In the Introduction of Jesus Calling she talks about dealing with her “darkness,” “encountering” this “spirit Jesus,” “experiencing the Presence of Jesus,” being under “intense spiritual warfare,” “walking in the darkness,” “receiving personal messages from God,” and her “spiritual disciplines.”
All of those phrases are red flags, deceptive words used by Emergent and New Age teachers. So it’s not a stretch to wonder if Young was channeling a demon’s words, not the real Jesus of Nazareth, Creator God of the Universe.
And to make matters worse, in the introduction to her book she even admits that she often interjected her own words into the messages she received and passed off as coming from God!
this kind of book, Young had to ignore the biblical warning that we are not to trust in visions (Col. 2:18) .
But she did ignore the warning and used her encounters with this “spirit Jesus” to pen her book.
Young, on one hand, correctly admits only the Bible is God’s Word:
“I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping me grow closer to God.”
Later she said, “The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard.”
My writings? So sometimes she thinks she’s making up things for Jesus to say?
Regardless, she then turns right around and assumes everything the “spirit” told her were Jesus’ actual words, negating the disclaimer.
Young is correct that the Bible—God’s infallible Word—is to be our anchor and our strength. Yet this truth is lost in her book as she takes the reader on an emotional journey channeling this spirit Jesus and/or her own words on every page.
Instead of imploring people to “diligently study to show ourselves approved” (2 Tim. 2:15), she instead says Jesus wants us to listen to a spirit?
Several people have written extensively on the specific biblical errors found in Young’s book (s), But just to mention a few (in addition to adding to the words of the Bible)…
Contemplative prayer (God is in everything) is, in essence, what Young is advocating. It’s also disguised as “Spiritual Formation,” “Spiritual Disciplines,” “Contemplative Spirituality,” etc. And it’s all from the pit of hell. It is, unfortunately, now being embraced by mainline denominations.
The purpose of contemplative prayer is to enter into an altered state of consciousness in order to find one’s true self. The Bible, of course, never tells us to do that. We’re instead scripturally taught:
“… we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).
Young un-scripturally calls her readers to “Whisper His Name” (a New Age practice not found in the Bible).
Young uses the word “presence” 365 times in the book, a word heavily used by New Agers. She says that experiencing his presence will unlock secret teachings. I have no doubt that doing that might unlock “secret teachings.” But who is actually teaching her—is NOT Jesus!
Instead of armoring up biblically, she says Jesus just wants us to “listen to His voice.” And “His voice” is a spirit. Do you see a problem here?
Young continuously refers to Jesus as a spirit when He has, in fact, a flesh body.
“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).
“By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God” (1 John 4:2-3).
In fact, if Sarah Young actually believes Jesus is speaking through her, she is basically claiming to be a prophetess, channeling Jesus’ messages, which is downright blasphemy, even if they’re not demonic.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God” (1 John 4:1).
Sarah Young is badly deceived, totally duped about from whom she is receiving these messages.
If you want a really good “Bible study book,” get out your Bible! It’s all you need!