For years Will Baron had implicit faith in this experience. And the "Jesus" who appeared to him didn't just appear as a picture but was solid - you could touch him! This "Jesus" would guide him in his conscious self - he would hear his voice and "he" told him what to do. He was convinced that he was being guided by Christ. Only later did he discovered that what he believed in did not correspond with Bible teachings and he discovered, to his horror, that the "Jesus" who appeared to him was actually a fallen angel called Djwal Kuhl who has the power to materialise and appear in many different guises.
But how was Will Baron to know that the manifestation was false? The false angel gave him all sorts of supernatural experiences, many of which were quite spectacular. He was guided by visions and voices each and every day. Not until he studied the Bible and Christians started praying for him was the terrible deception exposed and he became converted to the true Christ. He had called himself a Christian and said that he was born-again because of his supernatural experiences. You can imagine his shock to discover that had he died he would have gone straight to hell. That is why Christ warned:
""Not everyone who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, `I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Mt.7:21-23).
Not everyone who calls themselves a born-again Christian is necessarily one. So how shall we know whether they are or not? Simple - listen to what Christ said next: "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock" (v.24) and then went on to tell the parable about the two men, one who built a house on rock and the other on sand. The key to knowing whether a Christian is genuine or not is in these words: "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice". And what are Christ's words? Those that are recorded in the Bible. They are the words that He spoke 2,000 years ago - and recorded in the Scriptures for us. What happens to us in the next life is dependent upon our obedience to the Words of Scripture before anything else - including modern revelation, prophecy, visions, or any other kind of modern manifestation that God may give to us. If we aren't doing what is recorded in the Bible, then anything else we may think is right is absolutely worthless. Are these my words? No, they are the words of Christ Himself.
What then are we to have faith in? The words that are spoken by God in Scripture. How shall I know what words to have faith in? By reading the Scriptures? Is that all? No, Christ said that we must also do them - put them into practice.
All true faith is based on the testimony of Scripture first and foremost. Christ tells us that spiritual life comes to us by believing and practicing the words of Scripture (Jn.20:30-31).
A true Christian has faith in Christ. But how does he or she obtain this faith? Paul tells us: "... faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ" (Rom.10:17). To listen to God is not to listen to voices in your head but to listen to the word of Christ revealed in Scripture first and foremost. Will Baron listened to voices in his head and saw dramatic visions. But his life did not measure up to Scripture. He didn't do what Scripture told him to do, and he didn't believe the teachings of Scripture either. He selected what he liked and ignored the rest.
The evidence which produces true faith is therefore in the Scriptures. Any other faith is either secondary to that or false. Having "faith" is not enough - you must have the right kind of faith. True faith is only obtained by believing that Yah'shua (Jesus) is the Messiah (Christ) and by submitting to him. If we do not submit to what He wants, then our faith is in vain - it is no more than faith in one's own desires, and is dead.
The point is hammered again and again in Scripture: "...without faith it is impossible to please God", wrote Paul (Heb.11:6). Is it any old faith that will please God? No, it is only faith that submits to His doctrine and His commandments.
People seem to thing that faith - believing - is just accepting something as true, but faith is far more than that. True faith is always action in harmony with God's will. Listen to what the resurrected Yah'shua (Jesus) said:
"Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mk.16:16).
Do you hear that? Who ever believes in Christ and is baptized will be saved ... evidence of salvation is always followed by water baptism, and in the proper way. But if they don't obey, what happens to them? Christ says they will be condemned. And yet you would be surprised by the number of churches who say that baptism isn't necessary. They admit members by a handshake or signing a membership roll. Christ's condemnation of them is quite clear.
It is well worth reading the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark to see what else commanded baptized believers to do. Here is one of the verses: "Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it" (v.20). Notice that the Scripture says that Christ "confirmed His Word by the signs that accompanied it". Those who are walking in obedience to God's Word produce clear evidence, and that evidence is proof that the Word is valid and therefore trustworthy.
Faith is an amazing thing because it isn't an inanimate object like a football or a chair. It actually grows. Even more interesting, the Scriptures say that faith is changed by the way we respond to it. If the evidence of our faith is grotesque, fanatical or false, then the faith itself will become grotesque, fanatical and false. If our faith is based on wrong teachings, it will grow distorted and create a life that is distorted. A person who believes that it is wrong to have curtains in your home will start getting fanatical and going cry every time he sees curtains. A person who habitually disobeys a commandment like using bad language will develop a faith that is ugly until it is no longer true faith. Our actions change our faith, and in such a way that we do not always notice it.
It's just like owning a pet. If you get a nice dog and then you treat it unkindly, then the dog will become anxious, afraid of you, and maybe even vicious. It's the same dog, but he has become psychologically damaged. Treat him nicely and he will become more affectionate.
Faith is exactly the same. If you believe in Christ, His commandments, and His Word generally, but then disobey some of those commandments and behave badly, your faith will become corrupted. The worst is that you will think it is your original faith unless you repent of your bad behaviour and get your faith straightened out.
If the evidence of true faith is good and pure, then the believer is good and pure. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that the Gospel is preached in purity otherwise it will create false faith in people - a faith that condemns them in the end. To preach a pure Gospel is to preach exactly what the Scriptures teach - not more, not less. To be in true faith is to be true to the Word of God and the testimony of the original apostles.
Remember what Paul warned: "I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" (Gal.1:6-9).
There have always been false angels preaching false gospels. I have shared with you the story of Will Baron. But false angels appeared to Joseph Smith of Mormonism and are appearing the people all the time, trying to confuse and mislead them. I come across such people all the time in my ministry. They have even tried it on me! If you do get a manifestation, make sure it 100% conforms to the Bible teaching. If it doesn't, the angel will lead you straight down to hell.
The same night I was born again of the Holy Spirit an angel appeared to me in Oxford and told me to go and get baptized. To this day I still don't know if it was an angel of the Lord or not. What he said was perfectly biblical but I went and got baptised in the wrong church because I didn't check that church's teachings carefully enough with the Bible! I did not know that baptism was baptism into Christ and not into an institution. And the angel did not correct me.
Can you see now that salvation isn't actually about "faith" but about "the faith" - the correct faith? And can you see how easy it is to build your life on false faith if you are not fully in Christ? To be build in the true faith, it is not enough to obey nine out of the ten commandments. You must obey them all. Does that sound tough? Not if you believe what the apostle John said:
"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith" (1 Jn.5:3-4).
We are told that God's commandments are not a burden. Why aren't they a burden? Because those who are born of God overcome the world, meaning, they are able to resist and reject all the teachings and practices of the world, which we call worldliness. If the commandments are a burden - if resisting the world's temptation is hard, then the Scripture testifies that we are not born again. Finally, John tells us: "This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith". But it is only the faith that enables us to overcome - it is only the true faith that gives us victory over sin. If we are being defeated, then there is a strong possibility that our faith is corrupt either because we have not understood the Gospel properly or because we have compromised the true faith by inventing one of our own that we like better.
If your belief differs from the one in the Bible, you're on the wrong road - the one that doesn't lead to heaven. Paul wrote to Jude and said: "... contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 1:3). Notice that the true faith was given once and for all two thousand years ago. It was complete then and doesn't need improving. We are to contend for that - teach, believe and fight for it, and not compromise with it.
Today Christians are being taught all kinds of alien faiths. They are being taught to listen to voices inside them and to trust anything that's supernatural or new. If you read the Bible is tells you exactly what you may exercise faith in. And as we have seen, the Lord's Prayer clearly teaches us what we are to pray for and believe in. We are to pray for the coming Kingdom, God's will in our life, our daily bread, for forgiveness as we forgive others, to be led out of temptation and to be delivered from evil. That's all.
I became a teacher. I never prayed or asked to become one. I just asked God to give me my daily bread and that I do His will. He told me very, very clearly to stop being one in 1999. I have not asked to be anything in particular since, only to be led to do what is right and in His will. It is that that I have faith in. I do not have faith that I will become a millionaire or an international evangelist - such would be my own faith. Rather, I am to have faith in what He wants, and no more. A person who is living the faith will be shown clearly what to do, and his faith will be justified by the kind of life he leads. If his life reflects badly on what the Scriptures say, then his faith is false. And if it is false, it gives false angels the right to come in and start talking lies and appearing in false visions. Paul says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14) . We cannot be too careful.
Will Baron threw away half of his life serving Satan but thinking he was serving Christ. I recommend his book. The only safety is trusting in the Bible from cover to cover and obeying it. That means investment of time and effort, coupled with a lot of prayer. It means doing what it says, and following the pattern we saw in the Seven Priorities of God as revealed in the Seven Festivals of Israel.
May you be guided to the true faith, and may you cultivate the truth faith by bringing forth the fruits of that true faith, to the glory of God and for your own salvation, is my prayer in Yah'shua's (Jesus') Name. Amen.
Will Baron, Deceived by the New Age The Story of a New Age Priest (Pacific Press Publishing Association, Boise, Idaho. ISBN 0-8163-0878-0), 1990.
This page was created on 21 February 2001
Last updated on 21 February 2001
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