Dear STL Supporter,
Truth: Does It Matter Anymore? What is It?
Does freedom of speech mean that a person is free to say anything? And can what is said tomorrow be very different from today and it still be truth? And what is truth any way?
Revelation 13: 11, 12 describes in a few brief but graphic words a process commencing with the founding of the USA, which is still in full swing today on a multitude of fronts. It will climax with the enforced worship of the sea beast, by the lamb like land beast. Both horror movie-like beasts are empowered by the dragon identified in scripture as Satan. The text says - And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
Keeping in mind Revelation 13’s overview of Satan’s end time game plan, the turmoil we see happening on so many fronts, in every country, between nation states, in the environment and natural world, even in the social and moral context of our country, can be understood as Satan’s process for moving the populations of the world in the direction of worshipping the first beast
The whole process, which has extended over the centuries since John the Revelator’s time, is happening today with increasing intensity. Truth does not matter to the dragon, the first beast or the lamb like beast. The process is happening quietly and subtly. It is happening loudly and overtly. It is happening on many fronts and in different ways.
One subtle methodology is found in the emerging church/contemplative worship movement and its focus on mystical, pantheistic spirituality and centring prayer. In October this year, two well known and widely acclaimed spiritual thought leaders of this movement, who have led many away from Bible truth to adulterated belief, died. Both had a strong personal involvement in contemplative mysticism. The first to die was Eugene Peterson, author of The Message seen by many as a helpful paraphrase modern day version of the Bible. The second to die was Thomas Keating probably the best known and most influential Trappist monk since Thomas Merton and a prolific writer and teacher in the contemplative community. Colleagues in spirit and teachings.
These two men are only two of many contemplatives making a huge impact on Catholicism and Protestantism in the last 50 years. Their teachings have subtly re-united many of the ‘protestors’ back into worship with the church being protested against. Hence, it could be announced in 2017 by Catholics, Lutherans and other Protestants that the ‘Reformation’ had ended! The books of Peterson and Keating are sold world-wide and so their influence and teaching is spread world wide. Other emerging church leaders of a similar ilk who promote contemplative mysticism include Ann Voskamp, Anne Lamott, Beth Moore, Bill Hull, Bill Hybels, Dallas Willard, Dan Kimball, David Benner, Leonard Sweet, Philip Yancey. Do you recognize any of these names?
Church leaders who promote the works of the mystical theologians, or who adapt, or sanitize and preach from these works, are quietly bridging the gap between contemplative practice and church attenders. Knowingly or unknowingly they are part of the deception and preparation taking place to have all the world worship the first beast of Revelation 13.
A press release reflecting on the deaths of Eugene Peterson and Thomas Keating said - This week was a rough one for the Christian contemplative community. We lost two major authors: Eugene Peterson and Thomas Keating. Peterson was the author of books like A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society and The Contemplative Pastor, while Keating is known for titles like Intimacy with God and Open Mind, Open Heart.
Does it surprise you that Eugene Peterson is claimed by the contemplative community as a major author? He wrote over 30 books many expounding on contemplative themes, as well as The Message.
Thomas Keating explored the ways in which Christian mysticism and eastern spirituality — especially Zen Buddhism and transcendental meditation — represent similar approaches to a person’s supposedly interior growth and development. Keating was one of some monks who developed a method of Christian meditation called ‘centring prayer’ which has become a popular form of devotion for many Christians. It’s used in their search for truth. It involves closing the mind down and entering ‘the silence’. It’s in stark contrast to true Biblical meditation which involves exercising the mind on Biblical themes and actively praying in our thoughts and words for God to lead and help us and others. Centring prayer opens us up for Satan to lead and influence us in our spiritual walk.
The same press release said - Although centring prayer has its critics (usually people who are uncomfortable with its similarity to non-Christian practices), it has become one of the most widely-practiced forms of Christian silent prayer, especially among Catholics and mainline Protestants. That’s startling because it’s a Buddhist based prayer practice nothing like the truth of how Jesus taught His disciples to pray. And if we give Satan access to our minds through meditation he will certainly lead us to worship the first beast. Jesus’ prayer example will lead us in His direction.
The press release concluded with the words - Rest in the Silence, Pastor Eugene and Father Thomas. We will miss you.
Proverbs 12: 9 says The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Bible truth is constantly being undermined in so many ways. It’s the only protection against the spiritual and moral assaults of Satan. The consequence of ignoring Bible truth is that in doing so one starts to reflect the character of Satan. The closer we come to reflecting Satan’s character (Satan like is the opposite of being Christ like!) the more susceptible we are to accepting worship of the first beast. The more people individually and globally become like Satan the easier it is for all the world to worship the first beast of Revelation 13.
In a much less subtle way we see Satan’s end time strategy for changing people’s thinking in the social turmoil that surrounds us. The moral and religious issues tested in the recent Victorian State election are a reflection of how Satan is attempting to move the world to become more like him. Victoria is just a microcosm. Once these matters had less prominence as Bible values and ethics were the foundations of our legislation and community behaviour. This has been seriously eroded. There is a distinct divide in the community and across the parties and independent candidates on matters like Abortion, Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia, Transgender Education for Primary and Secondary Aged Children (Safe/Unsafe Schools), A Child’s Right to Decide as Opposed to the Parent’s Right to Decide for Their Child, Non-Medicinal Drug Use, Gay Conversion Therapy and Religious Freedom (Particularly with regard to employment and enrolment of teachers and students in schools).
None of the political parties or independent politicians are standing up and saying ‘This is what the Bible says. This is God’s moral law for our benefit’. Would they be ridiculed by the media if they did? This in itself is an indication of the world moving towards the first beast worship.
In a very overt and public way there is the Christ like contradiction of the behaviour and ethics of the present leader of the country known as the lamb like beast (second beast) of Revelation 13. He promises to ‘make America great again’ regardless of the sacrifice of ethical (Biblically based principle). For many in the USA his mantra of ‘America first’, regardless of the sacrifice of the values that America once stood for, to see American trade and commerce prosper, makes him a hero. Greed and power before principle.
For others it greatly rankles. One observer describes the negative qualities he sees being modelled and which is legitimising the same behaviour in those who are modelling on Trump and generations who will follow. In describing President Trumps qualities one correspondent writes in despair - But Trump is a madman. He has some of worst, most repulsive qualities of any regular person, let alone a president. I can't wait for the Muller report to sweep Trump into the dustbin of history, with a legacy to make Richard Nixon look halfway good. Trump is craven, ignorant, petty, narcissistic, crude, greedy, and often incoherent. He may well have some sort of mental disease. He certainly is as unreligious as is possible to be. He doesn't know a single Bible text, only refers to it when he is campaigning in religious crowds, and lives a lifestyle in total defiance of Bible principles. He has only gotten involved in ONE religious liberty issue so far and that was on the wrong side. He opposed the Johnson Amendment, a common sense law to keep churches from getting too involved in crass politics. He only opposed it because the Evangelicals around him told him too.
To me President Trumps use of the phrase ‘God bless America’, at political rallies, is sacrilegious and one of the greatest ironies of all time. The veneer of religiosity being so publically displayed brings true Bible based religion into disregard and contempt and is a major step in moving people all that much closer to giving up on God and moving closer to the worship of the first beast of Revelation 13 who is empowered by Satan himself.
Healing the Body, Soul and Spirit.
Ellen White says in Ministry of Healing, p 25 - Nothing does more to promote health of body and soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise. This is the theme of health psychologist, Jenifer Skues’, latest health seminar filmed at STL. In it Jenifer explains our body, mind and spirit were created to be interdependent and the need to shift from being self-centred to being God-centred in the healing process. The DVD is now available - three programs for $15 plus gst and postage.
Auditor’s Report Presented to the Steps to Life 2018 AGM
On November 2018 our Annual General Meeting was conducted. At it the auditors report was presented. We simply pass this on to you to let you know that we take our management of the resources entrusted to us seriously and that we have a duty to use them wisely as we work to present the good news of Jesus’ imminent return to this world. It was the auditor opinion that our reports are in accordance with the Corporations Act, they give a true and fair view of our financial position and comply with Australian Accounting Standards.
Next Seminar Series – February 2019. Melbourne, Sydney and BRISBANE!
Dr. Jeff Wehr is our speaker. His theme is ‘Mental and Spiritual Health in the End Time. Dates are as follows.
Dr. Jeff, since he was in Australia last, has completed his doctoral research in pastoral counselling in the area of mental health and spirituality. He will be sharing this with us.
- Melbourne – February 1, 2, 3.
- Albury/Lavington – to be announced.
- Sydney – February 8, 9.
- Wauchope and Coffs Harbour – to be announced.
- Brisbane/Beenleigh – February 15, 16 (Brisbane is not forgotten!)
See the enclosed brochure for all details.
Christian greetings from Cherryl and the STL Team.
Brian Way/Programs Co-ordinator.