Is Jesus Calling or is Jesus Warning?
By Chris Lawson (January 2014)
Read entire Newsletter in PDF.
"...Take heed that no man deceive you..."
- Jesus (Matthew 24:4)
Is Jesus really “calling” to us through Sarah Young and her contemplative prayer journaling technique, or is the “Jesus” of Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling a counterfeit Jesus, equal to, if not greater than, the deceptions that Paul the Apostle warned about nearly 2000 years ago? Paul the Apostle warned:
“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 [put up with false teachers]” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
Messiah Jesus Himself warned:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:1-5).
Considerations for parents and children
Here is something to seriously consider for parents and children who are reading Jesus Calling, and the kids devotional too. Parents and kids who are being influenced by the kids version of Jesus Calling, titled Jesus Calling: 365 Day Devotional for Kids, are getting much more than they bargained for. They are also getting a lot more than the straight words of Jesus of Nazareth as are found in the Bible. Sarah Young’s mystical New Age rendition of “Jesus Calling” us has been “adapted” by Tama Fortner. In the Jesus Calling devotional versions, “special thanks” is given to Kris Bearss “for her work on the “journaling prompts.” Three ladies and a New Age book!
Reading the kids version of Jesus Calling (or any version for that matter) and then trying to “journal” and feel “The Presence” of Sarah Young’s “Jesus,” through utilizing the “journaling” versions of Jesus Calling, is an recipe for spiritual disaster. This type of spiritual practice can induct one very quickly into Gnostic perversions of Scripture and/or direct spirit contact with entities that are not, shall we say, human-friendly (i.e., demons).
Contemplative prayer and romantic mystic impressions
Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling material appears to be the fruit of contemplative prayer mixed with romantic mystic impressions, creatively written as if from God. Mixed with New Age “Consciousness”/”Oneness” philosophy (which apparently is coming from her “Jesus”), this alleged “Presence” of God/Jesus expresses itself in Young’s book as “My Presence.” Vast volumes of Jesus Calling literature in the marketplace today reads much like “channeled” literature in occult bookstores. Both are sprinkled with the name “Jesus” and both include many Bible verses. It is not hard to find this material at all if one knows what to look for and where to find it.
Before reading further, please carefully note the following. Irrefutable evidence proving that there are New Age teachings in Sarah Young’s book can be thoroughly examined in Warren B. Smith’s excellent work titled “Another Jesus” Calling: How False Christs are Entering the Church through Contemplative Prayer. One can also read the Critical Issues Commentary, Issue Number 125, online. This issue titled Toxic Devotion: A Review of Sarah Young’s - Jesus Calling is a thoroughly scriptural and concisely written refutation of Jesus Calling. There is also an extensive list of articles at the end of this article you are now reading.
Is this Jesus of Nazareth, or three ladies editing?
Amazingly, the Jesus Calling material has been written by Sarah Young as if it really is none other than the risen Jesus Christ Himself talking to here, the scribe, and whoever reads the material. Very similar to the “channeled” work A Course In Miracles, and a channeled book titled God Calling (Sarah Young claims this book was part of the inspiration for Jesus Calling), Young’s “Jesus” speaks loud and clear, in a profoundly New Age way. Even extreme New Age author Neale Donald Walsch’s books (Conversations With God series) read like Jesus Calling.
As touched on previously, the Jesus Calling material in Young’s devotional book for kids has been “adapted by author Tama Fortner” (See inside pages on numerous versions). It has also been “edited by Kris Bearss.” (See, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids).
According to the front pages of the Jesus Calling devotional journaling books, Kris Bearss did “work on the journaling prompts” (copyright page). It is just strange is it not, these “journaling prompts,” written in first person English as if Jesus Christ Himself is doing the “prompting.” So Kris Bearss has “done work” on Sarah Young’s alleged promptings from “Jesus,” a Jesus that sounds just like New Age channeled occult heavily laden with Bible verses. So that the reader understands clearly where credit is due, the inside front page of Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence - Devotional Journal for Every Day of the Year says, “Special thanks to Kris Bearss for her work on the journaling prompts.”
Perhaps this does not seem like a big deal, but when one thoroughly compares sound biblical theology to what Young’s “Jesus” is teaching, the red flags of discernment go up very fast. The fact that three ladies worked on the Jesus Calling material and all missed the New Age overtones and “Oneness” philosophy should cause great alarm to the church. Or, maybe they didn’t miss it at all!
Another counterfeit Jesus!
When digging into Young’s book and cross referencing and examining various themes from cover-to-cover, it is clearer that ever that Young’s “Jesus” material is not from Jesus Christ, the biblical Lord, God and Savior who is revealed in Scripture. Yes the books include many Bible verses, but much of the scribed/penned material quite clearly appears to be coming from a counterfeit Jesus, withSarah Young being the vessel. The material is contrived, shaped and formed in a way that reeks of spiritistic influences. I do not believe Sarah Young is purposefully attempting to engage in paranormal “literary mediumship,” but her literature dangerously reads like volumes of literature from people who are. The similarities are glaring.
Even though editorial adjustments have been made by Tama Fortner and Kris Bearss, Jesus Calling fits perfectly into the genre of New Age literature. Like other books that read this way, it has been made very palatable for the masses. Hordes of undiscerning and biblically uneducated people have bought into this book, hook, line and sinker, and even many church leaders and their spouses, who would claim to be biblically educated, have fallen for this. As of Summer 2013, the Jesus Calling “had sold 9 million copies in 26 languages (Melissa Steffan, ‘Sarah Young Still Hears Jesus Calling,’ Christianity Today, October 1, 2013, http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/october/sarah-young-still-hears-jesus-calling.html
Giving heed to deceiving spirits
The following is a compilation of names from The Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs (p.670), that channeled spirit entities claim as their own. I have added more names to this list as well. Note however, that these are not truly their names, but the names of demonic entities who are masquerading as deceased relatives, famous people, and even biblical personalities (boldface type):
- Alex, Braxis, Kishah (Hal Bennet, Mike Samuels)
- Azibeth (Kevin Kiper)
- Azoth (Paracelsus)
- Bartholomew (The High Mesa Foundation)
- Bashar (Darryl Anka)
- Benjamin (Mark Venaglia)
- Bethelda (Geoffrey Hodson)
- "Biblical Personalities"(Alexander Smyth, Kahill Gibran)
- DaBen (Dwayne Packer)
- Djwhal Khul (Alice Bailey)
- Elijah, Ka, Salmone
- Emmanuel (Pat Rodegast)
- Famous dead (D. Kendrick Johnson, Rosemary Brown)
- Fletcher (Arthur Ford)
- Genesis (Carolyn Myss)
- God (“Two Listeners”; Editor A.J. Russell)
- "Holy Spirit" (Levi M. Arnold)
- James (Tam Mossman)
- “Jesus” (Helen Schucman, and many others.)
- John (Kevin Ryerson)
- John (David Spangler)
- Lazaris (Jach Pursel)
- Lilly (Ruth Montgomery)
- Matthew, Elliot, John (Roseann Cervelli)
- Mary (Marian apparitions all around the globe)
- Michael (Jessica Lansing)
- Michael the Archangel, the devil (Taylor Caldwell)
- Moira, Arkon (Kathy Reardon)
- Nona (Rosemary)
- Orin (Sannya Roman)
- Patience Worth (Pearl Lenore)
- Philemon (Carl Jung, etc.)
- Phylos the Tibetan (unnamed)
- Plato (Mary Ellen Guiley)
- Ramtha (J.Z. Knight)
- Red Cloud (Estelle Roberts)
- Salem (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross)
- Seth (Jane Roberts)
- The Teacher (Elmer Green)
- Torah (Shawn Randall)
- Over 100 Entities (Elwood Babbitt, Paul McLain)
- Uvani, etc. (Eileen Garrett)
- many, many more....
Warnings from God the Holy Spirit
Contrary to what the psychics and spirit mediums claim who channel these baleful entities say, the Bible declares:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [demons]” (1 Timothy 4:1)
It should be noted here that Satan is very crafty. It is not surprising at all that New Age teachings have come through Jesus Calling and God Calling and many other books that have been embraced by the undiscerning. Satan himself is a master strategist and a genius in the art of subterfuge. He can transform himself into an angel of light, into a UFO, into an impersonation of deceased relatives that look, feel sound like and smell like the original, etc. One day Satan will perfectly possess the coming world leader that the Bible refers to as the Antichrist, and the Antichrist will deceive the whole world. Only those that are lovers of the truth, God’s biblical truth, will escape the coming delusion. Certainly it is no big thing for the devil to set up some New Age teachings and have them ever-so-subtly foisted on the mind, will and emotions of well-meaning nice people who simply want to contemplate and dialogue with Jesus. People that have no discernment about the world of the occult and the dangers of spiritistic affluence and influence get sucked right into New Age books and mystical, occult and gnostic spirituality. Christians should seriously pay more attention to what the Bible says!
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15).
Some may wonder at this point if I am saying that Sarah Young has been influenced by demons? Well, it is certainly a consideration seeing that the New Age terminology, phrases and overtones in Jesus Calling lines up perfectly with the New Age agenda. The occult “Oneness/Presence” teachings that make up the world of Spiritistic dictation seem to appear loud and clear in Jesus Calling. There is only one other option if Sarah Young is not being influenced by spirit beings? Creative imagination!
Certainly this is “another Jesus” altogether, whom the Bible warns about, and whom a growing number of research ministries in the church today are warning about. (See listing of articles in this newsletter and on the SRN website.)
Sarah Young penning words as if they are from Jesus and yet not providing sound biblical theology is walking on treacherous ground. Jesus warned, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). John the Apostle also warned, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Sarah Young does not claim to be foretelling the future in a biblical prophetic sense as in times of old, but she is claiming Jesus is calling - through her book. A New Age “Jesus” calling us today? No this is falsely speaking for God, and thus she is a false prophet! The Jesus we know from the Scriptures does not appeal to the masses with New Age Consciousness, Oneness, and “My Presence” teachings.
If one searches for it, one can find much channeled source material from “literary mediums” (spiritism), both on the Internet and in occult libraries. Mountains of this material sounds extremely similar to Sarah Young’s material. The entities that produce this material speak and/or write through human vessels. They discuss the identical “Presence” and New Age, occult philosophy that is subtly and blatantly laced throughout Jesus Calling. When you really see it and catalogue it for what it is, it is mind boggling that Christians are gleaning from this material. This in itself shows how ill-equipped the church is today to “test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
God the Holy Spirit not only warns “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1), He commends those who warn the body of Christ about such things. Scripture says, “thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” In context, here is what God the Holy Spirit has to say to the church, through the Apostle Paul, to young pastor Timothy:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.” (1 Timothy 4:1-6)
For an excellent and extremely thorough treatment of the subject of The Presence of God, the reader is encouraged to read Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s article, God’s Present of His Presence (See, http://guardinghisflock.com/).
The following material on the right of this page can be found on the Spiritual Research Network website. We have created the page in order to help people avoid the New Age philosophy and teachings found in Sarah Young’s book Jesus Calling. (The webpage will be updated and periodically.) Click here: http://www.spiritual-research-network.com/jesus-calling-by-sarah-young.html
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
Another New Age “Jesus”
Articles and links exposing the New Age "Jesus" and New Age teachings
in Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling" devotional
Compiled and Updated by Chris Lawson