In his latest article Reverend Anthony Wade, a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God, reviews a recent Charisma News article by Mark Virkler, who claims God told him ‘to get out of his theological box’. However, as Rev. Wade rightly states – ‘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.’
Rev. Anthony Wade writes:
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.
(Ps. Chris Rosebrough has also addressed Mark Virkler’s false teaching on three episodes of Fighting For The Faith.)
Source: Rev. Anthony Wade, 828 Ministries, http://www.828ministries.com/articles/1/How-the-NAR-Experiential-C-by-Anthony-Wade-God_Religion_Spirituality-190523-889.html, Published may 20, 2019. (Accessed May 25, 2019.)
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