Developing a Secret History With God

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The parable itself teaches that the foolish were lost people, not lesser Christians:. It is serious when Jesus shuts the door to the wedding banquet and says "I do not know you"! But Bickle interprets those in the parable to be Christians. In the context of other such warnings in Matthew such as those in Matthew 7 who said "Lord, Lord" and the parable of the sower and the seeds it is clear enough that Matthew is warning that some are false disciples who do not really know the Lord.

They're born again, they're virgins and they all have a functioning ministry. In Jesus' use of parables, He tells a story that uses language of literal Jewish wedding practices to make a point. The story contains literal oil, lamps and virgins as there would have been in the situation described in the parable. It does not follow that every detail has a meaning that is found by how terms like oil, lamps, or virgins are used elsewhere.

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But the allegorical method finds hidden meaning everywhere. So for Bickle the lamps are ministries and the virgins are truly regenerate Christians. Since all went out to meet the bridegroom in the parable, Bickle says that the ten, "were involved in pursuing the Messiah as the bridegroom God. The Spirit and bride have indeed said "come"; they have said it since John wrote Revelation and the invitation has been valid throughout church history.

Bickle's interpretation has no merit.

But, if we follow Bickle's thought, he proposes that now we have leaders with the revelation of the Bridegroom God at the end of the age with ministries lamps going out to meet the groom. As we cultivate our secret life in God, did you know that every one of us in this room have [sic] a secret life with God. It's the reach of your heart for God. Clearly not. The contrast in Matthew is between those who are alert and therefore ready for the Lord's return and those who are not: "Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour" Matthew But Matthew's meaning does not even factor into Bickle's interpretation.

Why should that be so? Because it does not fit into his Latter Rain eschatological scheme he likely ignores the issue of the need to be alert, based on the realization that we do not know when the Lord will return. He claims that the Lord cannot return until after the entire church gets the revelation of the Bridegroom God, defeats God's enemies, and calls Jesus from heaven to return.

If all that were already happening when Jesus does return, then obviously the entire church would be in the condition of the five wise virgins and would hardly be taken by surprise by the timing of the return. So not only does Bickle's interpretation make no sense based on what we read in Matthew, it does not even make sense based on his own eccentric eschatological scheme. The allegorical approach to hermeneutics attacks the concept that the meaning of the Scriptures is determined by the Holy Spirit-inspired authors.

The clever allegorist finds his own meaning. The bottom line is that the reader who dreams up the allegory determines the meaning of the Bible; God, who inspired the Scripture, does not. The Bible becomes a touch point, a base for creative ideation where ideas that have no direct link to the text itself inspire new interpretations. In an earlier CIC article I described various types of pietism that claim there are two types of Christians, with certain elites in the preferred category 9. He has promoted pietism by claiming that the wise virgins are Christians with a better secret connection to God and the foolish ones are Christians with worse, or lesser, connections to God.

Pietism is unbiblical, and Bickle misinterprets the parable of the virgins in order to find it there. The foolish virgins were not Christians not only because Jesus said "I do not know you," but because the parable before this one about the slave and the parable after it about the talents clearly portray as non-Christians those who were not faithful.

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These relaxing guided meditations are created for modern busy humans. Back then, it was assumed to be women. London: Penguin. At the same time, perhaps even more important, these peoples began to experience a painful new sense of separateness to the world, and lost the sense of kinship to nature and to other living beings which primal peoples seem to experience. But in these circumstances, it was like standing in the path of a fast moving freight train. How to write a great review Do Say what you liked best and least Describe the author's style Explain the rating you gave Don't Use rude and profane language Include any personal information Mention spoilers or the book's price Recap the plot.

In the first case it states " the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and shall cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; weeping shall be there and the gnashing of teeth. Matthew , The issue is the same: the master coming at an unexpected time. In the parable of the talents it says this: "And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" Matthew The parable of the virgins does not teach Bickle's two- or more tiered scheme of types of Christians.

Bickle has various dividing points between the good kind of Christian and the lesser one. One of those is "connected" and "disconnected.

Pietism sounds spiritual enough, but it always is an attack on the finished work of Christ and the solas of the Reformation. What God has done in Christ to forgive sins and bring us near to Him is the same for all true Christians: "But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" Ephesians The elite-minded leaders at IHOP are selling a bill of goods. They have bought the lie that by imagining "passion for Jesus" along the lines of sensual intimacy that they have ascended into an elite class that will make them like Moses and they will be able to call down the plagues on the world.

They have pumped themselves up into imagining that the Great Tribulation will be the stage where they show off their exemplary spiritual powers and prowess. It gets truly scary when they call for Christians to send their teenagers to Kansas City to get this same "passion. These young people are being inducted into a reworked version of the elitist Latter Rain heresy.

If children believe Mike Bickle they will return home convinced that their parents' faith is totally inadequate.

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They will think that way because Bickle's doctrine is an attack against grace alone, faith alone, Christ alone, Scripture alone, and to the glory of God alone. They will have been taught to add "the revelation of the bridegroom God" which amounts to thinking of Jesus as a sensual lover in order to avoid being one of the foolish virgins whom the Lord says He does not know. The foolish "virgins" are supposedly anyone who does not believe Bickle's false teaching. Besides "connected and not connected" there is other terminology in this version of pietism that divides the body into the "haves and have nots".

There are those who have "intimacy with God" and those who do not. Bickle says, "Being the bride of Christ is a position of privilege near to experience the heart of God. The book of Hebrews speaks of drawing near to God in several passages, and none apply to an elite group with a special revelation. Neither do any speak of a "bridegroom God.

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Drawing near to God as taught in Scripture is not based on being part of a certain elite Christian class who have achieved a better piety, but it is based on what God has done for us in Christ. Our hearts are cleansed by His work of grace that we receive by faith. The Bible offers us assurance because we know we are sinners and that God is holy.

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Our comfort is that Jesus intercedes for us and has made a way that our sins are forgiven and we have access to the throne of grace. We draw near because of what Christ has done, not because we know some supposed secret to intimacy with God that has not been taught in Scripture. Bickle's version is man-centered because it focuses on the supposed deeper experience that certain Christians have cultivated.

He defines the "secret life" as follows: "It's the reach of your heart for God. He asks, "What are you doing in your secret history in God? Are you developing it with strength or are you neglecting it? Hebrews encourages us by explaining what Christ has done and how He has made access for us. Truly words cannot explain. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you in the power of the written anointed word.

Thank you for your book. I cannot explain how wonderful it is and how it is affecting me.

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Praise His Holy Name! Perhaps there is a small part of your heart where weeds have disrupted the roots. It happens to all of us, and until we discover just what is keeping us from our Father, we face frustrations.

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It may be in the shower as you prepare for the day. It may be early in the morning when everyone else in the house is still sleeping. Or perhaps you are like me in that you find it better to pray late at night after others have gone to bed and you are finally alone. The point is this: Each of us must have a quiet place and a sacred time when we can give ourselves fully to God in prayer.

So if you really want to be with the Lord, you will find time for that as well. Think about it. Do you watch the morning and evening news? Do you watch television programs or find time to go to the theater or movies?

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Do you make time in your schedule for recreation? You see, you always make time for whatever is important to you. If you really wish to have an intimate, personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, you will make time for it. Once you go to that place, shut the door to outside interference and to the voices that are constantly calling out for your attention.

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Focus on only one thing: this very intimate and private time with the Father. You need to start enjoying times of intimate fellowship with the Lord today!

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Lord, I ask You to forgive me for making time for everything except You. So often when I do start to pray, other things scream for my attention and distract me. So I am asking You to help me locate a time and place where I can be alone and uninterrupted with You. I know that this is essential for my spiritual life, so starting today, I am making this the highest priority in my life. I confess that my daily time with God is the highest priority in my life.