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- May 9, 2000
Re: "The Message" Exposed

In the O.T. we are told, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine into the land, not a famine for bread, nor a thirst for water, but rather a famine for hearing the words of Jehovah." (Amos8:11) And in the N.T. Paul tells us 'when' these days will be, "But the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and teachings of demons." (1Tim4:1)

Paul exhorts the younger Timothy that "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine..." and everything necessary to know how to live before God. (2Tim3:16-17)

If an enemy-infiltrator were to devise a method to pervert, distort and weaken "Christianity", the most effective manner would be to change the "Operation Manual". Change the published description of God's essence, redefine Jesus' deity, and even modify the importance people place upon such a "manual". In the case of the Most High and His children, the 'manual' is the Scriptures.

We often speak of the "apostasy". Of false prophets and pretend christians. Of the work of demonic spirits infiltrating that which is called "Christian". We speak of how most people wanting the label "Christian" do not truly, in their hearts, WANT TO follow God's Word for WHAT IT -ACTUALLY- SAYS. And so, we have noted the need to adhere to God's Word in English coming from the Masoretic and Textus Receptus texts. That anything derived from the Alexandrian Wescott/Hort manuscripts are perversions. And to NOT follow the masses after them.

"..even those leaning on Egypt shall fall.." (Eze30:6)

Up until more recently, many of the differences have -seemed- to be "academic". The variations compared to God's Word that appear in NASB, NIV, RSV, etc. are argued by some to be 'minor'. And, indeed, up until now, it is conceivable that a person -could- read those versions and have a -basic- idea of what God said. A person could, truly, learn how to come to God in repentance and faith for salvation from their sin, after reading them.

But the true heart of man is "deceitful above all things, and desparately wicked" (Jer17:9) While many are travelling "in the cloud and in the sea" and eating the "same spiritual food" God is not pleased with "most of them". (1Cor10:1-5) When it boils down to the core issue, "..the Word of Jehovah is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it." (Jer6:10b) "Lo, they have turned away from the Word of Jehovah; and what wisdom is in them?" (Jer8:9)

This turning away from God's Word began when seminaries taught God's Word through "lenses". Rather than studying Scripture through the teaching of the Holy Spirit (Jn16:13, 1Jn2:27), they studied through the writings of the "great men of God". They followed the fathers of the Reformation, Calvin, Luther, etc. Or they study the early "Puritan" writers. Once these theologies were established, any new learning from Scripture needed to AGREE WITH the 'bent' of the writings of these "great men". Thus, there have been many seminaries named after the men through whose writings they tailor their view of God's Word.

But that wasn't 'enough'. There were still those sparse "judgmental" souls who would bring the focus back to God's Word. "Thus says the Lord". And the written Word of God could not be refuted. So back a few decades, when hippies, Jesus people, and charismania were liberalizing everything, new "versions" began to proliferate. There were versions for every persuasion. The liberal scholars had the RSV. The conservative ones from the likes of Dallas Seminary had the NASB. The college crowd had the "Living". And the more liberal 'hippy' types had the "Good News". And there were others floating around. And along the way a few years later the NIV somewhat usurped the NASB, Living and RSV, all combined. But with all of these, while there were problems, doctrinally, with all of them, at least there was a "resemblence" of some sort to God's Word. But the process of "softening" had begun. While they all 'seemed like' God's Word, it got people used to the idea that it was "OK" to have a lot of 'different' versions. The theory was that these were all different ways of saying the same thing.

But you see...the "pesky thing" about God's Word, even if there are errors here and there, is that it is effective once it reaches the heart. "..it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall certainly do what I sent it to do." (Is55:11) We have suggested in the past that a person, if they hear God's Word even in places like Catholic or Mormon churches, that they can be saved... because it is "God's Word". "Faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (Rom10:17)

However, modern "theology", to be able to believe what they do, still has to distort (explain away) what a person reads, even from these perVersions. The modern non-doctrinal theologies of love, grace and unity, and 'God accepts you just as you are' as they proclaim it, cannot be fully supported, even from the perVersions to date.

Enter: "The Message" Now it is no longer necessary to "explain" what they believe because the Bible actually says something else. The Message says -directly- what they believe, and have been explaining away from God's Word for decades. 40 years ago such a version would not have been possible. Too many people still knew what God's Word says. But with decades of softening, people now accept this new abomination.

We opened this expose with the Scripture about "teaching of demons". The Message elevates satan and the occult. In order to do that, it obviously has to diminish God. It does. It also promotes SELF-awareness and satan's lie, "you will be like God". (Gen3:5)

We will briefly expose some of these things. Due to the fact that it is impossible to read -anything- from The Message that isn't somehow perverted, for many supportive Scriptures I will also include excerpts from The Message ("TM") for comparison. Quotes from the TM will be in [lavender/magenta text]. e.g. [The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood -TM] Where specific words are being emphasized for the reader's notice, they will be [in red]. Scripture quotes will be [in blue]. e.g. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn1:14)

So, here we go...

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God" (Jn1:1-2)

[ The Word was first.. -TM ]

    Already, diluting God's eternal existence. TM does not acknowledge that God was "in the beginning", that He is over all things. Just... that He "came along first".

[ ..in readiness for God from day one -TM ]

    Being "ready for" God is different from "being WITH" God. It begins to tear God's "oneness" (Jn17) apart.

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." (Jn1:4)

[ What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. TM ]

    This denies that Jesus Christ has "life in Himself" (Jn5:26) That He -IS- "the life". (Jn14:6) Jesus did not "come into existence" because, "before Abraham was, I AM" (Jn8:58) He has -always- existed "in the beginning". He is "before all things, and by Him all things consist" (Col1:17) If He created all things, who/what brought Him "into existence"? And not only do we "live by"... Jesus said, "I give eternal life to them" (Jn10:28) The Believer is "in Christ" (2Cor5:17) and Christ is "in you". (Col1:27) The Believer is "one" with the Father and Son. (Jn17:23)

    The beginning of faith believes...

"that He is (exists) and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Heb11:6)

[ ..must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him. -TM ]

    When they deny Jesus as being the
"image" of God's "essence" (Heb1:3)

[ mirrors God, and is stamped with God's nature -TM ]

    Jesus said that "..if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins." (Jn8:24) TM adherents are lost!

    Notice that God's "rewards" become, merely, a "response" in Heb11:6. And why not.

"But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name." (Jn1:12)
[ whoever..believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their [ TRUE SELVES ] , their child-of-God [ SELVES ]. TM ]
    First of all notice they do not "receive" Christ. And where the Christian sees "salvation" in that verse, they -become- "themselves". Becoming "like God". (Gen3:5) If we "become" these "true selves", well, that's what Jesus did, too, since he "came into existence". (vs4)

    Do we see this "god-self" teaching anywhere else?

"..the riches of glory of this mystery...which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.." (Col1:27)

[ Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory -TM ]

    And then notice the result, where
"..we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.." (vs28)
    a state of growth and maturity, they say this,
[ To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. TM ]
    John teaches that we will be "LIKE Him" (1Jn3:2) But TM teaches that basic maturity is to -BE- "Christ". This is the lie the "No Names" cult leader told me 12-13 years ago, "..we are -ALL- Christ.." In other words, that
[ "true self" ] (Jn1:12) -IS- [ "Christ" ] (Col1:28)

    If God is a "rewarder" of those who "diligently seek Him" (Heb11:6), then it also means that He is "Judge" of those who don't. (Acts10:42, 2Tim4:1) and

"..they shall give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." (1Pet4:5)

[...regarding "the old gang" They're the ones who will be called on the carpet-and before God himself. TM ]

    Notice it leaves out God's day of judgment of -everyone-. And merely being "called on the carpet" does not convey the nature of eternal judgment, but with -slang- actually makes light of it.

    [Editor: This is one thing I notice: the TM is prolific with 'slang' expressions right and left. Something they don't want to face honestly, just slip some slang in there...that way it can mean most anything to anybody, depending on who may be reading it, and what their 'bent' may be. It won't 'offend' anybody that way.]

"For God did not send His Son..to condemn the world" (Jn3:17)

[..to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was -TM ]

    Two different things entirely.
"And this is the condemnation.." (vs19)

[This is the crisis we're in -TM ]

    If God is "loving" and "accepts us JUST AS WE ARE" then there is no condemnation, where He "tortures" a person in hell; but we are merely "in a mess" that -we- need to somehow work our way out of the "crisis". They don't recognize Jesus as Deity,
"..the Light has come into the world" (vs19)

[ God-light streamed into the world -TM ]

    Again, not recognizing that Jesus -IS- the Light; that the "Light" in this passage is The -PERSON- of God's Son, Jesus Christ. These occult 'near-death' experiences always have these bright lights "streaming" towards them. This kind of wording supports those occult, demonic experiences as being "from God".

    And notice what the "new birth" becomes to them,

[ Unless a person submits to this original creation-the 'wind hovering over the water' creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life-it's not possible to enter God's kingdom -TM ]

"The Spirit breathes where He wishes, and you hear His voice, but do not know where He comes from and where He goes. So is everyone who is born from the Spirit." (Jn3:8)

    Hmmm! I thought the "original creation" was judged because of Adam's sin, and Christ became the "last Adam", a "life giving Spirit" (1Cor15:45).

    So, what is the result of coming to Christ? What change comes about?

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of reconciliation. (2Cor5:17-19)

[The old life is gone; a new life burgions! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other...God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. TM ]

    Where God is reconciling the sinner to Himself through Christ's blood, imputing righteousness before God; and we are to be engaged in leading others to God through Christ and thus helping that they be "reconciled to God"; they use this same passage to promote their "unity in diversity" doctrine. Settling differences between EACH OTHER. The "differences" they "drop", of course, are Biblical doctrine.

    And here's a duzzy!

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2Co5:21)

[We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you. TM]

    What happened to the words "sin" and "righteousness"? "Friends" is NOT at all the same thing!!!
Let's continue...

[ Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and YOU'LL recover YOUR life...walk with me and work with me -watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace... keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly. TM ]

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Mt11:28-30)

    Notice that their butchering of this Mt11:28-30 passage, the only thing that Jesus provides is the example of "how to do it", but we must "WORK with Him".. But where did Jesus say anything about "religion"? He is offering rest from the burden (weight) of sin. (Heb12:1) And notice that "rest" comes FROM Christ. He says "I will give you rest". Salvation is "not of works" it is a "gift". (Eph2:8-9) One of the characterstics of eternal life and being in His presence is "rest from their labors". (Rev14:13)

    And, what is "unforced rhythms of grace"? That sure sounds like a variation of New Age "spirituality". Learning to "flow" with one's "inner beauty", being "at one" with nature and the universe, and all that meditative TM/Yoga-type stuff.

    Living "freely and lightly" totally ignores the fact that there is a "cost" to following Jesus. But when a person follows Him, He promises "My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." "Freely and lightly" suggests a state of no cares or responsibility. That's a different life than the writer of Hebrews speaks of, laying aside the sin and running with patience the "race that is set before us, looking to Jesus..." (Heb12:1-2)

And then, briefly...

[ All kinds of witches and warlocks came out of the woodwork with their books of spells and incantations and made a huge bonfire of them...in such ways it became evident that the Word of the Master was now sovereign and prevailed in Ephesus.. TM ]

"And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of everyone. And they counted up the value of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the Word of the Lord grew mightily and was powerful." (Ac19:18-20)

    This speaks of how many of those from occult backgrounds "BELIEVED came and CONFESSED and showed their deeds" and then burned up the books of their PREVIOUS lives. When TM uses expressions like "come out of the closet" and "come out of the woodwork", these are expressions typically used by/of people who used to do things "in secret" but are now doing them 'openly'. e.g. When a sodomite "comes out of the closet", he is openly proclaiming his debauchery, as he -continues- in it, typically expecting his acquaintances to "accept" the announcement, and be supportive of his "lifestyle". To "come out of the closet" is essentially the OPPOSITE of "confessing". In other words, in a 'back-handed' sort of way, the TM is promoting the occult...and tying it together with how God's Word "prevailed" at Ephesus. But then, isn't that where we started this expose? In the "latter times" there will be "teachings of demons". (1Tim4:1) We often expose the demonic nature of modern charismania. Now, they have a "bible" that matches their beliefs!

    Notice a couple other ways in which they belittle the Scriptures.

[ You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. TM ]

"You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which bear witness of Me." (Jn5:39)

    "forest for the trees"??? And another:
[ ..no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it's not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God's Word. TM ]

"knowing this first, that not any of the prophecies of Scripture came into being from personal exposition, for prophecy was not formerly brought forth by manís choice, but holy men of God spoke as they were propelled along by the Holy Spirit." (2Pet1:20-21)

    Notice the buzz-words that unbelievers always use, about Believers who proclaim "Sola Scriptura". About God's "thus says the Lord" being, "..well, that's your -opinion-! ...what makes you think you're right and I'm wrong?" "You need to get out of the Bible and read other things, too, and not be so narrow-minded." But remember that it is the "narrow way" that leads to life (Mt7:14) and it is, truly, the Scriptures that lead to saving Faith. (Rom10:17) And none of the Scripture was written by -women-. This kind of wording leaves the door wide open for modern prophetesses who prophesy extra-biblically.

    Now, where Paul has "kept back nothing that was profitable" and reviews his message,

"how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." (Ac20:20-21)

[ I've done my best for you, given you my all, held back nothing of God's will for you. -TM ]

    They COMPLETELY have ELIMINATED "repentance and faith" from that passage. Where God wills that...
"all should come to repentance" (2Pt3:9)

[ He's giving everyone space and time to change. -TM ]

    However, why is change necessary? God "already did" it for us.
[Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of SHEER GENEROSITY he puts us in right standing with himself...He got us OUT OF THE MESS we're in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be.. -TM ]

"for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," (Rom3:23-24)

    I guess this explains the TV promos lately by one of the Lutheran denominations, essentially telling the viewer that they are -already- God's children. It's just a campaign to "inform" everybody of this fact.

    You see,

"repentance and remission of sins" (Lk24:47)
[total life-change through the forgiveness of sins -TM]
    Different order. Different kind of 'repentance'. Scripture puts repentance first, and then comes forgiveness. (Lk17:3-4) They don't acknowledge -what- true repentance is.. to
"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will exalt you." (Ja4:10)

[Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet -TM]

    Again, no acknowledgement that He, Christ, is the One Who lifts us up and saves us.

    Have you noticed what "grace" is to them. It is what I often coin as "graaaaeeeessss" in VW writings. It is God's "generosity" and "good will". Just because He "felt like it". La dee dah! There seems to be nothing regarding "undeserved favor, mercy, clemency".

Well, we could go on and on... This brief expose only -begins- to "scratch the surface". There is not a page I open to in the TM, but what I am appalled. While we have exposed a few passages, you astute readers will note that there were even more issues within these passages we looked at, that we did not address. It is not our purpose to go into great lengths in these "depths of satan". (Rev2:24) Just to expose some basics, and warn you to stay away from it!

Right now the TM comes as a "new testament" and some versions include psalms, proverbs, etc. The paperback version I picked up proclaims on the front cover, "The new testament in contemporary language..like you've never read it before". What an understatement!! I've never before seen such abomination. In fact, after I had thumbed through it briefly at the store before purchasing it and had a 'glimpse' of what I was about to be investigating, I felt all "dirty" carrying it home, hoping nobody at the shopping mall would "notice" I was carrying one!

But you know... the sad thing! Those endorsing it on the back cover. Amy Grant I would -expect- to endorse it; her fruits are well-known. There are some other names I've only heard of, but know nothing of them. But Warren Wiersbe...!! He succeeded (1984-89) Theodore Epp as director of Back to the Bible in Lincoln, NE. When Mr. Epp was its director, you pretty much couldn't find a more 'solid' evangelistic organization. They supported missionaries, and their daily radio broadcast with Bible teaching was about as solid as they came. [Editor: When I just went to the BTTB website to verify Wiersbe's dates there, I was about to tears at what I saw there! ...what it has become!]

Dallas Seminary used to be one of the premier schools of Evangelical Fundamental Scriptural training for ministers. If you wanted the "best" you went to Dallas. One of their men was an "Exegetical Consultant" for the TM. I have to ask, "what -exegesis-??!!"

How the mighty have fallen!!

Scripture is the foundation and basis for the Christian Faith. We often address the current Last Days apostasy. Now, they also have a TOTAL ABOMINATION to support the depths to which they have plummetted. Where we began this expose suggesting that many of the recent perVersions had, -perhaps-, "some" redeeming qualities [although I don't use or endorse any of them, and actually exhort people to stay away from them], "The Message" has NONE! It is -totally- depraved. Where you might be able to discern how to be saved from reading many of the other perVersions, I don't see how it could be at all possible with the TM. Salvation can only come from hearing God's Word. (Rom10:17) "The Message" is NOT God's Word. It is a product of satan! Totally! Do not be deceived!

They have added, taken away and changed God's Word...so much so, that in some places, God's Word is totally unrecognizable. The very fact that the apostasy has sunk so low as to even accept something like TM as being "Scripture" has got to be another indication (Fig Leaf) of just how 'imminent' is the Lord's return for His True Church. When their "bible" is no longer God's Word, AT ALL, what is left?

"Do not add to His words, that He not reprove you, and you be found a liar." (Pr30:6) "..all liars will have their part in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone.." (Rev21:8) "For I testify together with everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this Book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add upon him the plagues having been written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the Book of Life, and out of the holy city, and of the things having been written in this Book. (Rev22:18-19)

Notice that these last two verses are next-to-last thing proclaimed in the Bible. These "teachings/doctrines of demons" are characteristic of the "latter days". What comes next?

"He who testifies these things says, Yes, I AM COMING QUICKLY, AMEN." (vs20)

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!!

Q/A -NIV & "Message", What to do with perversions?
Eugene Peterson and the Message (by David Cloud) posted: 2/21/07

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