by Travers and Jewel van der Merwe

Chapter 8: The Exaltation of Man

According to the "Christian Gnostic", Scripture is basically concerned with the theology of man. To his way of thinking, man is the centre of attraction on Earth. He believes that God's supreme purpose on Earth is to glorify man by exalting "the Christ" in every man. Therefore, man is to be reverenced and hallowed. When Christ appears in man, this is supposedly the consummation and manifestation of God's glory. The conclusion drawn is that man is essentially divine, equal to Jesus Christ and is ascending to the very authority and dominion of God Himself.

When this thinking takes over, Scriptures which are normally considered to refer to the person of Jesus Christ are instead applied to the "Corporate Body of Christ", or Manifest Sons of God equal to Jesus Christ. The prophecies that speak of the glorious personal revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven now apply to the creature (man) taking dominion. The creature instead of the Creator receives honour, glory and worship. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen (Romans 1:25).

The "Christian Gnostic" has no desire to see the glory of God in the PERSON of Jesus Christ as foretold by the prophets of old. Their prayer is to be exalted into an EXPERIENCE that will centre all of God's glory on them. While the true Church looks forward to the personal glorious appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, the "Christian Gnostics" are preoccupied with their narcissistic (excessive love or admiration of oneself) theology. Their lives are a hive of activity as they join forces to restore the earch and take dominion with a view to establish the ultimate divine glory of man.

"To man be the glory great things he hath done."

Knowing God

The "Gnostic" teaches that knowing God and His Presence is experienced in a mystic or intuitive sense rather than through faith in the person Jesus Christ according to the Holy Scriptures. The Gnostic builds his faith on subjective experiences, whereas the true Christian builds his faith on the written Word of God, the only God-given premise of the true faith.

As in the eastern religions, the perception of God is sought subjectively rather than in God Himself and the written Word. There is a desire to know God through feelings, mystic thoughts, voices, visions and dreams. A "sense" of the "presence of God" is believed on as long as spiritual experiences last. When these experiences subside or cease, spiritual fervour wears down to rise again when a spurt of vain and endless fantasy starts a new "spiritual" cycle. Gnostic prophets are known to have a form of godliness based on a spiritual roller coaster experience. Their philosophy of known God depends on touching God experientially. Faith is produced subjectively through experiences and then turned inward on self until a feeling of "knowing God" or "possessing God" comes about. The Word of God and the commandments are not believed on as the final voice of God, or as the only source by which He is known. One of the characteristics of a false prophet, albeit sometimes hard to detect, is the lack of love toward the commandments of God. (1 John 4:6; John 3:23, 24: John 14:15). Warning: If a prophet tries to draw one to God either by mystic or subjective experiences without reference to the Scriptures as the only authentic way of knowing God, he is false and must be avoided! To impress the ignorant or naive Christians that they (the Gnostic prophets) have profound knowledge and a deep spirituality, it is not uncommon to see them manifest certain quirks throught to be spiritual traits.

By the spiritualising of the Scriptures they eloquently express fantastic ideas to reveal how deep they "feel" and "think" about God. It is appropriate to say that spiritual experiences are not necessarily wrong. However, if they conflict with the Holy Scriptures, draw a believer away from the Word of God or substitute the Word of God, as do the Gnostic experiences, they are devilish.

"Gnostic" prophets subtly send out a message that their insight of God exceeds that of the written Word of God. They appear as if they know something about God that others need to search for through them. It is as if they have the keys which unlock the secrets of divine life.

Christians are told to look inward to find God. The danger in this pagan belief makes Christians open to input from the supernatural realm beyond God's written Word. Claiming to know God in any way other than through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is religious speculation. History proves it leads to doctrines of devils. God in His wisdom gave man the Bible. Through this precious Book he can come to know God without man's religious wisdom. Anything short of the Scriptures stops short of the redemptive knowledge of God. All the sought-after experiences to know God on a deeper level lead to both carnal and demonic activities.

How do you know God? The answer is so simple. You know Him through His Written Word! The Holy Spirit leads and teaches in no other way!

A Deep Relationship

The Gnostic teaches: Through a Gnostic "new-birth" a man becomes a Son of God, i.e., a god, and as such has an experiental relationship with God and access to deeper knowledge of God. That the "Gnostic new birth" is the start of a divine journey into the deep, is how they describe it. It by-passes the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and The Word.

The Gnostic believes that he is the Son of God, filled with the Spirit and therefore has a God-given right to the knowledge of God stored in himself. By simply turning his thoughts inward to the spirit, he receives revelation knowledge. When he meditates, he empties his mind with little or no reference to the Scriptures. In meditation he is always expecting a mystic revelation or a personal experience. To his mind, the reality of the new birth, as well as real spiritual depth, lies in a subjective experience. Without a passive or emotional experience, he has a real problem receiving the knowledge of the Scriptures. He cannot rest with the written revelation of the Bible. He prefers a deeper and better revelation that comes through inward thoughts of the spirit.