Encountering the Presence
What does it mean and why is it important to reject this abomination?
There is much to be said about the marketing efforts of ministries around the world today. In that marketing effort there is often unique symbolism that depicts what the organization is all about. One such example is Jesus Culture, a non-Christian band claiming to be Christians, who started a church in Sacramento, California a few years back after gaining notoriety from their affiliation with Bethel Church of Redding, CA.
Now why would we say that Jesus Culture is not a Christian band or organization?
2 John 6-11
And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. 8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. 10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
Yepp, that is quite clear! But there is more, much more!
One thing to consider from the outset is that organizations are not necessarily going to be forthright in coming out and telling the world what they are all about. If they did, they would most likely not have the following that they do. Be that as it may, consider the statements of faith of ministries and determine whether or not they are legit. Going further, go beyond the statement of faith and be fruit inspectors. Much of what is seen from Jesus Culture is the Vine of Sodom (Deuteronomy 32:32)! Some of it looks good on the outside, but there is nothing but rotten fruit. That’s right, good for nothing!
So anyway, where on earth does Jesus Culture come up with what is referred to as Encounter the Presence? Is that terminology foreign to Scripture? You bet it is!! One way to learn about Encountering the Presence is to ask yourself, where is this found in the Bible? The answer is “nowhere.” That’s right, nowhere! The next question then becomes, well where did it come from? And that is what we hope to address in this article.
Encountering the Presence has to do with Contemplative Spirituality. That practice is not found in Bible-based Christianity, and the Lord Jesus Christ did not teach nor practice such things. Contemplative Spirituality was taken from the practices of the Counter Reformation Roman Catholic Mystics. One such mystic is St Teresa of Avila. She wrote about the Interior Castle. Bad stuff for sure! Here is a link to the writings: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/tic/index.htm
A word of caution: Don’t feed on this stuff, as it has a way of corrupting one’s view of life and it detracts from Sola Scriptura, the basis of our faith and practice.
Sara Leslie wrote exceptional articles about IHOPs Scary Presence Doctrine. That four part series clearly outlines what is at stake.
Part 2 : https://standupforthetruth.com/2014/03/ihops-scary-presence-doctrine-part-ii/
Part 3 : https://standupforthetruth.com/2014/03/ihops-scary-bridal-presence-doctrine-part-iii/
Part 4 : https://aspreeman.com/2014/03/28/ihops-scary-presence-doctrine-part-4/
This is a good start for understanding what Jesus Culture, and other members of the abominable New Apostolic Reformation, believe about encountering the presence. But there is more. One of the things that is important in life is for one generation to pass along to the next those things that they have learned in order that the next generation will be fully grounded in the faith and aware of what has transpired over the years.
Consider the picture below. This is symbolism from the Jesus Culture church’s website. They have a three week course called “The Elements Course.” Elements?
In their own words:
The Elements Course is revolving class that takes place every Sunday here on campus. You can complete the course by attending all three classes in any order. During the three week course you will receive an overview of what we are going after as a church family and why we’ve taken a different approach in creating our church. You’ll also find out how you can discover your place as a Host, serving and contributing meaningfully at Jesus Culture Sacramento.
Next Course Dates:
Elements Week 1: Our History & Heartbeat
Elements Week 2: Creating Healthy Community
Elements Week 3: Becoming Contributors & Leaders
One of the first things that comes to mind with this is Elemental Witchcraft. Before going any further, consider what the Bible teaches about witchcraft.
When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch. 11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee. 13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.
Do you see anything odd about this imagery below? First of all, there are the seven mountains, as in the 7 Mountains Mandate. That is Dominionism, straight up, and is a belief system in-line with the rise of the Anti-Christ. And who sits on the seven mountains?
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
Incidentally, the woman that sits on the seven mountains is the Mother of Harlots. Now this takes on an interesting consideration when coming to the point of realizing that the Roman Catholic Church, and in particular, the Pope, is actively engaged in the Ecumenical Movement. The Roman Catholic Church is undermining the true Church and is in the process of attracting young people to Rome. And what is one of the big tools that the Roman Catholic Church is using to draw young people into their grasp? You guessed it, Contemplative Spirituality.
And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
Going further, consider the meaning of Encounter, Empowered, and Engage. In particular, look at the symbols that go along with that symbolism, which is the triangle, circle, and square. What could be so wrong with the combination of the triangle, circle, and square? Let’s find out!
At the start of the search, we find that this combination of symbols is commonly found in the world today. In fact, check out this picture of a Sony Play Station Controller that kids use. Is that the power of suggestion or what?
Diving deeper into this matter, we find that the combination of the triangle, circle, and square represents the Japanese symbols of Presence. Bingo! Where has this Presence doctrine originated? The answer is that it is a combination of Contemplative Spirituality and the Japanese Presence teachings, otherwise known as Zoroastrianism. Here’s a link to an article that demonstrates the origin of this wickedness:
And what does this have to do with Bible-based Christianity? Absolutely nothing! So why would Jesus Culture, Bethel Church, and other members of the New Apostolic Reformation go so far as to embrace Zoroastrianism?
They have a penchant toward going off the road map, the Bible. In fact, they believe that they must “take back what the devil stole.” In that they embrace wickedness and deny the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. This truly is another gospel.
2 Corinthians 11:3, 4
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
And what does the Scripture teach about those that preach another gospel?
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Interestingly enough, when a person compromises in one area of Scripture, it is easy to compromise in other areas. Consider the application of drawing a circle in Zoroastrianism. Does drawing a circle and stepping into it ring any bells? Oops! Many people in Christianity today have given themselves over to the “The Circle Maker” teachings of Mark Batterson.
So what does all of this information amount to? Hold on to and embrace every Word of God! Don’t allow anyone to take you away from Bible-based Christianity. Reject the Presence teaching of Encountering the Presence and get to know the God of the Bible.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
There are people in the world today that are misrepresenting themselves for their own personal gain and are leading people astray. There is much more to be said about this subject matter. But for now, know that God’s Word is true!
1 John 1:5
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.