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The Bible is the best selling book in history, a testament to its timeless and compelling message. Jesus Christ himself may have authored the perfectly written Epistle to the Hebrews , which was composed in magnificent Greek and which discloses information that could have been known only to Jesus.

Most Christians , Protestant and Catholic, agree on the 27 books of the New Testament , and while the Old Testament of the Orthodox Bible includes 50 books, for a total of 77, and the Old Testament of the Catholic Bible includes 46 books, for a total of 73, the Protestant Bible includes only the 39 books of the Old Testament which entirely correspond to the 24 books of the Hebrew canon of the Jews , for a total of The word "Bible" had its origins in an ancient Phoenician seaport called Byblos , which was so-named as a result of the trade and manufacture of writing material based on the papyrus or byblos reed, used extensively in antiquity for making scrolls and books.

The Greek word biblos was based upon this, and it came to be the word for book a small book was termed biblion , and by the 2nd century A. The Bible is the most ancient collective document of writings in antiquity witnessing to the revelation of the one living God to the community of the people he has chosen and formed to be his priests and witnesses to all the peoples of the earth. This people chosen and called out from every nation and language on earth testifies that God is one being of three Persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, who loves all that he has created, and that there is nothing in all the whole created universe that he did not create through the power of his Word.

The Bible is the collective testimony of this community of people chosen out of all the peoples of the earth that God is the one original cause of all existence, creator of the universe and all that it contains both visible and invisible. They have borne witness in the several sacred scriptures contained in the Bible that this one unique God has acted and continues to act in history. The Bible is unique in antiquity in its witness that God has made one of his creations, the whole human race, to be above the physical animal nature of the body and be like himself with dominion over the whole earth and all its creatures.

The Bible testifies that God himself has called this human creature, male and female, to a personal relationship with him as a whole community of love and goodness and mercy in his image as his living temple and dwelling place on earth and to give evidence of his reality and to acknowledge him in all they do and say. The Bible is unique in all of ancient literature in that it testifies to the rebellion and fall of the human race, to the reality of sin and its effects, to the facts of evil and of righteousness, to objective physical and moral standards of right and wrong, of justice and judgment, and to the reality of invisible intelligent beings, both those who have rebelled against God and those who perpetually serve him.

The Bible contains the only stable, reliable written witness of his own community to the rest of the world that the Word of this one God is the perfect image of his own divinity, his only-begotten Son, who became one with us, in solidarity with each human being and the whole of the fallen human community, as a sinless flesh-and-blood man whose act of complete renunciation and self-sacrifice made perfect reparation for the offense of the whole of the human community, to save us from the merited ruin which is going to come on the whole rebellious, resistant, fallen human community occupied with its own selfishness.

The Bible is the witness of God's people that his Word is his Son, that his name is Jesus, and that he is the supreme Anointed One " Christos " of the people of Israel. The Bible is the unique written witness of the people he has called to himself that he established his Church as the holy temple of his Holy Spirit, with the divine commission to testify to him to the whole world and make disciples of those who are willing to come to him and worship in word and deed. The Bible is their unique written record that in the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ God the Father has called all humanity to partake in a share of his own divinity, in selfless goodness, mercy and love, in eternal, everlasting life, as the gift of his love.

The Bible declares the revelation that death is not final, and that there will be a physical resurrection of all the dead at the end of time. In its collected writings the people of God have testified to the revelation of the total condemnation of the wicked who have chosen to reject both him and the gift of communion with him, and in it they have collectively testified to the revelation of the total salvation from ruin and the gift of communion with him of those who have not resisted him and his way of living and acting and whom he has made holy by his own power alone.

No other book is like it. The whole community of believers past and present in its leadership has discerned and testified to this day that the whole collection of the books of the Bible is inspired by God, and that God is their true author. The Bible is the Word of God expressed in the written form of human language.

Its chief value is as a stable unchanging resource for understanding the mind of God, for establishing a just society with just laws and true justice, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that each leader of the community each " man of God " may be fully equipped for every good work as a witness to the one true God. But just as Jesus has appeared to many to be no more than an ordinary human being, and just as Christianity has appeared to many to be no more than a merely human institution of religion, so the Bible also has appeared to many to be no more than a traditional collection of ordinary human literature.

However, even the tools of ordinary literary criticism have clearly shown the Bible to be more than a collection of merely human literature, and its scriptures to be much more than ordinary human writings. The books themselves were originally written in Hebrew , and later on in the Aramaic language of Palestine the original texts of the Hebrew books of Daniel and Ezra, for example, have major portions written in Aramaic.

The Greek language version written after the conquest of Alexander the Great is known as the Septuagint , and to it the Jews added more texts that they also valued for their piety , wisdom and history, most of them translated from Hebrew or Aramaic originals. Here the arrangement of the books differs somewhat from the Old Testament as used by Christians, with three of the twenty-four Samuel, Kings, Chronicles each being divided into two books, and Ezra being divided into Ezra and Nehemiah; however the actual writing of each book remains the same.

The Christian order of the books of the Bible follows the Chronology of the events and the personages being related, according to their arrangement in the Septuagint, while in the Jewish order, though there is a chronological framework, the order follows more the importance, influence, "weight of usage" within Judaism. Thus, for orthodox Judaism, The Torah of Moses comes first the 5 books of Moses , and is the most authoritative of all Scripture.

Under the Pharasaic theory that Moses was also given the Oral law, explicating how the Written law was to be applied, at the same time as he was given the written law contained in the Bible, the Oral Law too was passed on through the generations, and was later in A.

But the category of the Hebrew Prophets for the Jews is much broader than the category of the Prophets as considered by the Christian ordering. The "Prophets" in the Tanakh includes what Christians consider "History" - such as the books of the Kings - but it also includes what Christians call the Former and the Latter, or the Major and the Minor prophets.

The last in authority for every day life of the Jew, in terms of "regulation", actually form a great influence in the Synagogue worship - the Writings, with a heavy emphasis on the Psalms. The first eleven chapters of Genesis provide the account of the Creation , the history of God's early relationship with humanity, and the Deluge of Noah.

The remaining thirty-nine chapters detail the account of God's covenant with the early Hebrew nation, led by the patriarchs Abraham , Isaac and Jacob or Israel , and one of Jacob's children, Joseph. It tells the beginnings of God's chosen people, of how God commanded Abraham to leave his family and home to settle in the land of Canaan , and how the Children of Israel later moved to Egypt. The remainder of the Torah, beginning with Exodus and ending with Deuteronomy , tells the story of the great Hebrew leader Moses , and of the Hebrews through their sojourn and slavery in Egypt, their escape from bondage, and their wanderings in the desert until finally they stand ready to enter the Promised Land.

The Nevi'im "Prophets" is the story of the rise toward, and ultimately reaching, the Hebrew monarchy; the sad period of anarchy and revolt leading to the division into the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel; and the prophets who judged the kings of both in God's name. It ends with the conquest and dissolution of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and its Assyrian exile, and then the conquest of the Kingdom of Judah, the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Babylonian exile.

The Minor Prophets are considered a single book in the Nevi'im; in Christianity they have been split into twelve separate books and named for their authors. The Ketuvim , or "Writings," contain lyrical poetry, philosophical reflections on life, and the writings of the prophets and other Jewish leaders during the exile in Babylon. David has been named as the author of the Psalms ; Solomon is traditionally believed to have written Song of Songs in his youth, the Proverbs in his prime, and Ecclesiastes during his old age.

The prophet Jeremiah is thought to have written the aptly-named Lamentations at the beginning of the exile to Babylon. The Book of Ruth is the only biblical book that centers entirely on a non-Jew, a Moabite who married a Jew and became an ancestor of both David and Jesus Christ. Esther is unique as it is the only book in the Hebrew Tanakh not to mention God. Moses is traditionally considered to be the author of Job. The Hebrew of the present day Old Testament is composed of the Hebrew consonants and, added on by the Masoretes at a later stage, the vowels.

Along with these two elements, other signs were added which indicated the melodies that were sung along with the words or phrases. Some of the signs were positioned above the individual consonants, some below, and some to the side. Some of these melody signs were associated with others providing a musical pattern that corresponds with the opening of a thought, similar to the beginning of a sentence ex.

Thus the musical signs in the Hebrew text also provide an interpretation of the text current to the times in which the signs were incorporated as part of the text, the Masoretic vowel-pointing excluding those former tonal readings which clearly represented Christian textual interpretations. The signs that tie one word to another providing one thought are called "conjunctive" signs and the signs that separate words and the thought of them are called "disjunctive".

An example of the use of these signs to interpret the Hebrew text is the well known prophesy of the One to come. The Hebrew letters can either be understood to read "His name shall be called Wonderful counsellor of from, sent by, representing the mighty God", or "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God".

The melody signs called in Hebrew "Ta'mei HaMikra decide for the latter. After "Wonderful" there is a disjunctive, after "Counsellor" there is a disjunctive, and after "Mighty" but adj. It is possible to reconstruct to some extent the melody and the interpretation of the Old Testament current in the first century and therefore the melody and the interpretation used by Jesus Himself. Some of these dispersions are the Ashkenazi, representing the Jews exiled from Israel by the Romans in A.

Musicologist, Joel Segal , pointed out over 40 years ago, that this could only have been possible if these dispersions were at one time together in the same place. The only time that all these dispersions were together in the same place was prior to the great dispersion of the first century and the fall of Jerusalem in A. The deuterocanonical books and others that the Reformation designated Apocrypha were written during the four hundred years between the time of Ezra and Malachi and the birth of Christ one of them, 2 Esdras, possibly in A.

Three of the Apocrypha, 1 and 2 Esdras and Prayer of Manasseh, although part of Jerome's Vulgate, were not included among the canonical books listed at the Council of Trent and are considered by Catholics to be apocryphal works, and as not among the accepted deuterocanonicals. See Biblical Canon. Protestants do not include Psalm and 3 and 4 Maccabees among the Apocrypha, but they also do not include these in their Bibles. The Reformation did not address the question of their canonical status.

The Catholic Church did not include them in the canon of the Council of Trent, and they do not appear in regular editions of the Catholic Bible. They continue to be part of the Orthodox Bible. The Apocryphal books had been used in both Israel and Egypt and except the Latin 2 Esdras which was part of the Vulgate are part of the Old Testament in the Greek language used by Jews all over the Greek speaking world - particularly Alexandria, Egypt.

This version is called the Septuaginta. The Septuaginta after the 1st century fell into disuse among Jews for two reasons -. Alternative Greek translations to the Septuaginta, which was considered "loose" by the Rabbis, were adopted. These were the translations of three proselytes to Judaism, Theodosious, Aquillas, and Symmachus.

This immediately excludes all of the Christian scriptures included in the entire New Testament, since they were written in Greek and in the 1st century. Actually, a number of the apocryphal books, or portions thereof, had been written originally in Hebrew, most notably, the Book of Ben Sirach Ecclesiasticus found in Hebrew at Qumran with the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but this was unknown to Yohanan Ben Zakkai and the Council of Jamnia in the first century. Under the impetus of Renaissance learning, Protestant scholars went directly to the Hebrew text and began to translate the Bible directly from the original languages of Hebrew and Greek, instead of having to go through the Latin Vulgate.

But they consulted the Hebrew text of the Talmudic rabbinical version of the synagogue eventually to be called the "Masoretic text" of the canon of books that had been recommended by the Council of Jamnia and afterward consistently authorized by subsequent rabbinical authorities representing Judaism. They also disregarded the witness of the canonical listing of the books of the Christian Orthodox Greek Bible, which had not been determined by the Council of Trent under the Roman Pontiff but had always been the traditional Old Testament as read from the time of the apostles and the most ancient Christian Church.

In this way, most Protestant churches came to not include the Apocryphal books in their Canon of Scripture. One of the reasons the Roman Catholic Church held to the Vulgate was because it had been translated by Jerome from the Hebrew text before the text had been revised and altered by the Masoretes, and today it is considered a valuable witness to the earlier Hebrew Bible. With the exception of 1 and 2 Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh, the remaining seven books and the parts of Esther and Daniel listed here are accepted as divinely inspired, canonical scriptures in the Holy Bible by the Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity; [23] [24] however, they are not accepted as canonical by the majority of Protestant branches of Christianity, though many Protestants still see them as having value.

According to the ordinary reading of the New Testament and the consensus of the majority of Christians from the 1st century to this day, the authority of the kingdom of God had been wholly taken away from the Jews in the 1st century and given to the leaders of the Gentiles and Jews in Christ long before the Council of Jamnia. The New Testament is a collection of twenty-seven books and letters, written by the early Christian community, and written primarily in Greek. The emphasis of the New Testament is the life, teachings, and gift of salvation from the central figure of the whole work, Jesus of Nazareth.

These books are grouped into the following:. The Pauline Epistles are letters epistles written to early Christian communities written by the Apostle Paul. Liberal Bible scholarship over the last two centuries has denied that Paul wrote Ephesians, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus; and doubted that he wrote Colossians and 2 Thessalonians. However, all the epistles listed above except Hebrews say they are written by Paul.

As they are authoritative Scripture which "cannot lie", their claims should be believed. There is speculation that Paul may have written the Epistle to the Hebrews , which does not mention an author; however, under the pure divine power of the Holy Spirit of God the Father through Jesus Christ himself—"he has spoken through the Prophets"—it could easily have been written by any early Christian except for Timothy, who is mentioned by name in the final chapter. The controversy, however, does not affect the genuineness of the epistle.

The Council of Trent dogmatically affirmed that the Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the fourteen genuine epistles of Paul. Revelation is concerned with the condition of the Seven Churches of Asia before going deeply into a description of the Last Days prior to the beginning of the Millennial Age. Most Fundamentalists hold to " Dispensationalism ", an interpretive theory of the meaning of Revelation and other prophecies that was developed in the 19th century by British theologian John Nelson Darby —82 and the Plymouth Brethren , and is summarized in the Scofield Reference Bible edited and annotated by Cyrus I.

Scofield , See Scofield's Reference Notes. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament, in the original languages of Hebrew and Aramaic and Greek, exhibit a non uniformity of style and language. This is in sharp contrast to most modern translations which treat the Scriptures throughout as if they are one book instead of the many books they are. Modern translations can be erudite, dignified, folksy and common, clear and geared for the "common man", or replete with language resonant with literary associations for the "accomplished" reader.

But they are that way throughout. The Biblical originals, on the other hand, for example, embedded in the Hebrew within the narrative of the deeds of the prophetess Debora, have in the Song of Deborah Judges chapter 5 a much more ancient and even archaic Hebrew than that of the main text of the book, probably emanating from a chant from the time of Deborah herself, plainly evident to any person who has studied Hebrew language.

The same with the narrative and poetic portions concerning Moses. The human authors, inspired by God, were careful to preserve the integrity of the original inspired songs which they had faithfully recorded or otherwise copied and included in their narratives. There are even different Hebrew languages rather dialects from the same historical period but from different authors living during the same time, having come from different origins and cultural levels. For the New Testament, an example of non-uniformity can be found in the stark differences of language in the Gospel of Luke, written by Luke the physician.

The early accounts, those concerning the birth of Jesus and early life, are written in a stilted and often crude Greek while the rest of the Gospel is written in fine Greek befitting of the background and ability of a learned physician. But when the stilted and crude Greek is retranslated, word for word and phrase for phrase, into the Hebrew current in the first century in most parts of Israel a technique called "back translation" , it becomes excellent Hebrew - Mishnaic Hebrew.

This is because of the intent and fastidiousness of Luke, who derived his material, as he says, from people that had been "on the scene", and his success in transmitting it faithfully as he had received it. Both the Old and New Testaments, for various reasons, exhibit little or no concern to "level through" or override the content of what they are saying by stylistic considerations.

Although the Old Testament is written by many human authors, New Testament authors know that these men were writing under the inspiration of God. The apostle Paul wrote that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" 2 Timothy Similarly the apostle Peter wrote, "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" 2 Peter In the first century and prior, the ear was more important than the eye, as far as retaining in memory.

Jews would receive orally, that is, from hearing, the laws that they believed originated with Moses and then passed them on to others, down through the generations. It was important to link the present rabbis by names who taught it with the rabbis by name who had passed it on to them, on back as far as possible to Moses on Mt. This was the startling difference of Jesus. By saying "You have heard it said, but I say unto you He transmitted it to Joshua, Joshua to the elders, the elders to the prophets, the prophets to the members of the Great Assembly [Sanhedrin] This methodology, with its technical Hebrew terminology appears in the New Testament with the same technical meaning and purpose, for how the earliest Christian teaching was carried on prior to the formation of the New Testament and during the time of its formation.

This ensured the validity of the teaching and its authenticity going back, not to Moses, but to the time of Jesus Himself. MSR to you at the first what I also received Gk. QBL that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures The role of the Bible in the life of differing communities varies widely by both the inner tenents of the community and the outer influences bearing on the community.

Orthodox Judaism through the centuries, while it was only marginally affected by growing secularization and modern learning, held to a "differing levels of authority" understanding of the authority of the Hebrew Bible. This did not imply different levels of inspiration, but rather that importance to the regulation of life was prime for the Torah of Moses, the 5 books of the Law. But the Pharasaic teaching also posited an Oral Law given to Moses by God that was passed on through the centuries through Joshua, the prophets, pairs of Rabbis, until this day.

The Oral law is found in the Talmud Mishna and the Gemara together. The oral law became the decisive interpreter, teacher and regulator of the Written Law and determined the course of Jewish Orthodox life. The second section of the Old Testament, the Prophets, is known to the Jewish Community primarily through the synagogue readings of the prophets, the Haftorah, that are assigned to conclude the weekly reading of the Law.

The Psalms, the most formative of all the Writings, besides being common throughout the synagogue services, are used in various devotional prayer contexts. Orthodox Judaism has little been affected by modern Higher Criticism of the Bible. Reformed Judaism, originally developed in Germany, and Conservative Judaism, to a lesser extent, have been greatly affected. Mainline Protestantism, represented in the major Protestant churches, denominations, sects and their seminaries, has greatly been affected by "modernism" based on advanced scholarly research, especially from Germany in the 19th century.

Those who abused the legitimate tools "Higher Criticism" chose as a fundamental liberal premise to ignore God's participation in the production of Scripture. Prime among these theories is the Documentary theory of Penteteuch origins Wellhausen-Graff that posits that Moses wrote little or nothing. Instead, they propose that the Bible originated in four unknown hypothetical sources coming from various periods.

The "spirit" of the New Testament according to their understanding of what they think is the probable main attitude of the writers, derived from the overall impression gained from a generally humanist religious point of view is far more important than the text of either Testament for modern Protestant theology. Jewish Orthodox scholars have pointed to flaws in the Documentary Hypothesis. For instance, Orthodox Jewish Scholar Cassuto has pointed out that rather than the names for God varying according to author and period, they vary according to emphasis from the same period, that of Moses - "Jehovah" being used for God in his dealing with His covenental people Israel, and "Elohim" being used when His dealings with mankind are emphasized.

Likewise the two terms usually translated "making a covenant", lkhrot brit to "cut" a covenant and lehaqim brit to "raise" a covenenat are not from two sources but mean two different things - to initiate a covenant and to fulfill a covenant. Evangelical Protestantism believes strongly in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of the whole Bible and has been the most receptive of the doctrine of the full sufficiency of Biblical Authority. Believing in full inspiration of the whole of Scripture does not mean to evangelicalism the equal importance of all Scriptures for the healthy growth of the Christian community.

This is because Evangelicalism, following Scripture's own self-disclosure, believes in progressive revelation throughout Biblical time, culminating in Jesus Christ, and no further thus obviating the role of Tradition. Thus Evangelicalism, does not hold to the application of Mosaic Legislation, and other biblical elements that Orthodox Judaism holds to. This applies to faith and to morals. The Mosaic regulation on executing a rebellious child does not present a problem for evangelical thought as, according to Paul and Hebrews, the Law has been rendered obsolete by the New Covenant.

The Destruction of the Temple and of the place for sacrifice of all kinds, present no problem for evangelicalism, as they did for Judasim, as Christ's sacrifice on the cross has now "fulfilled" the prescriptions of the Law and the ceremonials attached. Thus there is a sort of "levels of authority" understanding for evangelicalism similar to the levels of authority of Judaism but for different reasons.

Evangelical Churches vigorously promote the reading of Scripture through Sunday sermons and Bible study programs. Emphasis is placed on "each one understanding". Coupled with American individualism, and lack of traditional vehicles of authority, this sometimes leads to splintering of worshiping communities and the insistence that each man's interpretation "is as good as any other".

Nevertheless, "The Fundamentals" defined in are strongly retained by the Evangelical Churches - the divinity of Christ, His death for sins and Resurrection from the dead, His second coming. The Orthodox Churches throughout the world, whether Greek, Russian, Romanian, the various middle eastern varieties, emphasize the role of the synod Council of Bishops, based on the example of the "Council" of Jerusalem in the book of Acts, as the divinely authorized agent of interpretation and application of the Scriptures.

Understanding that Jesus' words, "He the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth", Orthodoxy believes that the synod of bishops, no one of whom is held to be individually infallible, are given guidance from the Holy Spirit so that the Scriptures are rightly applied to the Christian Community, enabling the Church to never stray from Christ, that is, the Church is given "indefectability".

A minority of Orthodox Church thought holds to "infallibility" in synodal decision rather than, or instead of, "indefectability". The Scriptures in the Orthodox churches are buttressed by creedal formulations, the decisions of belief of past synods, and are less susceptible to the liberalist abuses of the legitimate methods of modern Higher Criticism. The Resurrection of Christ, virgin birth, return of Christ from Heaven to Earth, are all part and parcel of these churches.

Publishes Newswatch Magazine and Newswatch radio and television programs. Publishes Notes For Bible Students newsletter. Main headquarters for the Church of God, Abrahamic Faith. Armstrong recently stepped down from his top leadership position amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and litigation. Publishes the Proclaim Liberty magazine. Publishes Bible Advocate. Publishes The Herald of Truth newsletter. Publishes The Advocate of Truth newsletter. Publishes The Watchman. Smith claimed that the Father and Son appeared to him and called him to restore the true Church.

God and his heavenly Wife begat billions of spirit children, the firstborn of whom was Jesus. Lucifer was the leader of God's rebellious spirit children.

Healing Scriptures

Those spirits who did not rebel become human beings in order to begin process potentially leading to exaltation to Godhood. Jesus, however, became a God while only a spirit. He organized our world and is Jehovah, the God of Israel. He is a separate and subordinate God to Elohim, the Father. The latter is a divine energy, force, or spiritual essence that fills the universe and is used by all three members of the Godhead in the exercise and accomplishment of their will.

The Church rejects the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity. It also redefines salvation by grace to refer simply to resurrection. Almost all humans will be resurrected into one of three kingdoms of glory, the least of which is far superior to anything known in this life. Entry into the higher kingdoms, and one's rank there, depends not only upon the atonement of Christ, but also upon one's good works. Publishes Church News and Ensign magazine.

Church of Jesus Power, E. Cooke, Sr. Atonement to be found in each person's own path. Publishes Metaphysical Messenger magazine. LaVey, author of the Satanic Bible , founded the church in and died in after which a struggle for leadership ensued between LaVey's daughters, Karla and Zeena, and his long-term live-in partner, Blanche Barton. Gilmore to be High Priest. Barton is now serving in a lesser role as Magistra Templi Rex. The church has claimed as many 10, members. LaVey, a former lion tamer, organist, hypnotist, psychic, artist, and photographer.

Like the vast majority of Satanists, he did not believe in a literal, personal devil, but turned to Satanic imagery to provoke a reaction and illustrate his disdain for Christianity. Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard: Humans are immortal spiritual beings whose experience extends beyond a single lifetime reincarnation , and whose capabilities are unlimited, though presently imprisoned by matter, energy, space, and time MEST. Salvation is the recovery of spiritual freedom, ability, independence and serenity, including freedom from the endless cycle of birth and death reincarnation , and full awareness and ability independent of the body, i.

Auditing can last for years and may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Teachings are also advanced through affiliated business management companies such as Sterling Management Systems , the drug prevention program Narcanon , and in public schools though Way to Happiness. The writings and recorded spoken words of L. Ron Hubbard contained in over , pages of writings and over 2, tape-recorded public lectures constitute the scripture of the religion, his book Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health being foundational.

Scientology has a history of alleged abuse and illegal activities, and is fighting legal battles in countries all over the world. Publishes Thunderbow II newsletter. Publishes the Crystals of Light newsletter. The assassination was allegedly carried out on the grounds of the Blood Atonement Doctrine. Publishes the Forerunner newsletter. The church has also been suspected in the deaths of other rival Mormon Fundamentalists , including Rulon Allred, founder of the Corporation of the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic United Brethren.

LaBaron died in a Utah State Prison in See False Prophecy. Church of the Plains Indians: Native American spirituality , sweat lodge. Church of the Trinity, A. Crucifixion, Entombment, Resurrection and Ascension he imparted his Consciousness into the psyche of all. Publishes Newsletter for The Americas. Germain, channeling , guided meditation. Publishes Cosmic Channelling newsletter. They believe Garcia's guitar is a channel for God. Currently led by Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Stone's restoration movement of the early 19th century, which was designed to promote unity among Protestants.

Many but not all Churches of Christ today, however, differ from traditional Protestant doctrine in two key areas. Some also believe that today's Churches of Christ are the only true churches on earth and that they can literally trace their history to the first century church in Jerusalem. Circle Network News Mt. Horeb, WI: Paganism , shamanism , Wicca , goddess worship. Publishes the Circle Network News newsletter. Circle of Light, Inc. Clairvoyance: The supposed paranormal ability to "see" psychic information, including historical or future events or other phenomena, that cannot be discerned naturally through the five material senses.

See ESP , Divination. Cleage, Albert B. Cognitive Dissonance: A mental, emotional, or psychological state which results from attempting to hold two totally incompatible beliefs or opposing attitudes at the same time. See Double Bind. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. The doctrines of the two groups eventually became radically different. The Community of Christ church has a slightly different version of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and they reject the Pearl of Great Price as scripture.

In recent years the church has experienced divisions, with more conservative Restoration Branches becoming independent. The current leader and prophet of the movement, Grant McMurray, was the first exception to this practice. Publishes The Beamer newsletter. Concerned Christians, Monte Kim Miller, Denver, CO: Ironically, begun in the early s as a Christian ministry to expose cults and false teaching, Miller's organization began to take on cult-like characteristics in later years.

Becoming increasingly controversial and bizarre, Miller's group drew national media attention in when over 50 followers fled the Denver area and disappeared after Miller predicted the Apocalypse was to begin and that Denver was to be destroyed by an earthquake on October Miller, who claims to be one of the two end-time prophets mentioned in the Revelation 11, published Report from Concerned Christians and Take Heed Update. Produced Our Foundation radio program. He is said to have collected, edited and written commentaries on four ancient manuscripts including the I Ching.

Doctrines include ancestor worship, devotion to family elders, and right conduct based on the inherent goodness of man. Publishes The Herald magazine. Publishes The Restoration Message newsletter. Publishes the Gentle Place and Quiet Space magazine. Contemplations, Inc. Life is crystalized light. Jesus is only part human and part God. Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to live sinless life and can do the same for any person. Salvation by works.

Publishes Cornerstone. Jeffs, Sandy, Utah: Mormon Fundamentalist splinter group of between eight and twelve thousand members. The group has a strong presence in Hilldale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona once known as Short Creek , which was the site of a government effort to prosecute polygamists in Allred was murdered in by members of a rival Mormon Fundamentalist sect. Cosmerism: Mixture of Christianity and Buddhism , but embraces all religions as having truth.

Cosmic Christ: See Christ. Teaches that man is still in heaven with God and this life is a dream. Coven: A group two or more people ideally thirteen practicing witchcraft see Wicca or occult arts. Also called a clan. Covey, Stephen: Mormon author with New Age affinities. Author of the best-selling, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and several sequels. Creation Calendar, Verlis W. Creme, Benjamin: See Tara Center. Crowley, Aleister: An English magician and Occultist. Crystallomancy: Divination or fortune telling by gazing into a crystal rock or crystal ball.

Crystals: Many though not all New Agers believe that gems especially Crystals possess mystical, esoteric , spiritual powers to bring the bearer health, wealth and good fortune. Cult: See the Definitions section in the introduction. According to Kisser, between and CAN was the victim of approximately 50 lawsuits directly or indirectly sponsored by members of the Church of Scientology , an organization considered by CAN to be a dangerous cult. Kisser warns that anyone now contacting CAN should be aware that they are very likely talking with Scientologists.

A system that requires members to disclose to their leaders or superiors the personal thoughts, attitudes, and actions that do not conform to the group's ideals. This practice diminishes healthy personal boundaries and privacy, and may facilitate additional abuses. Publishes Restoration Voice, The Vision. Dalai Lama: The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Dallas Fellowship, Inc. Publishes The Circle newsletter. In , over a decade after his death, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith a Vatican commission denounced de Mello's writings.

They warned of false teachings in his works, including a denial of objective morality and the claim that all religion, including Christianity, are obstacles to truth. Ron Hubbard , founder of the Church of Scientology. An environment of blame and guilt based on an impossible ideal of human behavior or perfection. This shame-based culture punishes failure and can even subtly train members to punish themselves for their inability to live up to the group's ideals or standards.

See Brainwashing. Demons: Fallen angels under the direction of Satan who seek to destroy God's purpose and people. Demons are invisible, spiritual beings Ephesians , are organized and have supernatural power and knowledge Matthew , Revelation , can possess humans and animals, Luke , Mark , and can inspire false doctrine 1 Timothy Deprogramming: A coercive attempt to dissuade an individual of religious or ideological convictions believed to be harmful, through a concentrated usually two to three days counseling procedure designed to produce a sudden "snapping out. Often presented as an antidote for brainwashing or mind control , some deprogrammers rationalized the unethical use of force and coercion to rescue victims by illegally holding them against their will abduction or "snatching" in a process known as "involuntary" deprogramming.

Watchman Fellowship does not support or condone such illegal and unethical behavior. Not to be confused with Exit Counseling. Devil: See Satan. Dianetics: Bestselling "bible" of the Church of Scientology. Disfellowshipping: As practiced by the LDS and many other groups, this is a level of church discipline involving a probationary period of restricted privileges, but retaining church membership.

As practiced by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society , it is an alternate term for "excommunication," being completely cut off from Jehovah's organization; see Shunning. The organization's dogma determines whether or not other groups or individuals have the right to exist. All alternative belief systems or organizations are considered illegitimate. In extreme cases this mindset can promote violence or murder. Divali: Hindu philosophy of Enlightenment. Most often props are involved such as the hand palm reading , the stars astrology , cards Tarot , or random symbols I Ching. The ideas and doctrines of the leader and organization overrule the personal experiences, conscience, and integrity of the individual.

Publishes the Theologia 21 newsletter. The Door: See Potter's House. Double Bind: A mental or psychological dilemma caused when a person receives from a single leader or teacher conflicting messages or "truths" resulting in no appropriate response or answer. See Cognitive Dissonance. Dowsing: Form of divination using a forked rod, a bent wire, or a pendulum. Used to locate people, objects, or substances, and to diagnose illnesses. They were the keepers of oral history and law, and officiates of pagan , occult religious practices.

See Halloween. A similar doctrine called the Plural Covenant theory emphasizes other covenants in addition to these two major systems. Dualism: An understanding of reality as existing in two opposite extremes. Ethical dualism posits a conflict between universal good and an equal and opposite force of universal evil e. Dungeons and Dragons: Occult , fantasy role playing game , allegedly uses demonic names and spells found in occult literature.

Some parents have charged that children committed suicide under the influence of the game. Dyer, Wayne: Prominent New Age writer and spokesman focusing on business applications, personal transformation and motivational speaking. Also promotes holistic health , and Buddhism. Dynamic Monarchianism: A late second-century heresy denying the Trinity, put forth by Theodotue of Byzantium and later adoped in modified forms by Paul of Samosata, Noetus and Prazeas. An active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , Eadie claims to have died, gone to heaven, and returned to her body see near-death experiences.

Her books contain a combination of New Age and Mormon beliefs. Earth Church of Amargi, St. Louis, MO: Paganism , ritual magic , witchcraft see Wicca , moon festivals, Kabbalah , goddess worship. Earthmother Therapy Center: Astrology , aura reading, chakra balancing, channeling , homeopathy , iridology , numerology , palmistry , past life regression , reflexology. Eckankar, Paul Twitchell: Mixture of pantheism and eastern mysticism , astral projection , reincarnation.

Emmanuel, J. Publishes The Gap newsletter. Emerald Circle: Paganism , know the Divine within, be part of Gaia. Enneagram: Occult symbol.

Ethics at Work Overview | Article | Theology of Work

A circle with its circumference divided by nine points; has connections with the "Tree of Life" in Kabbalah , astrology , or divination. Erhard, Warner: See est. Esoteric: Hidden or deeper knowledge held by an elite few. See Gnosticism , Occult. ESPress, Inc. See National Spiritual Science Center. Essene Light Center, Mary L. Teaches the world has no objective meaning, enlightenment, and to live moment to moment with no regard for the future.

New Age themes. In the midst of mounting troubles, Erhard decided to leave the United States. Est was discontinued and replaced by The Forum. Evangelical Christianity: Evangelical from the Greek euangelion, good news or gospel generally means a focus on the essentials of Christianity. The term can be used to describe all Christians or churches that hold to or give heavy emphasis to specific conservative Protestant beliefs.

In Germany, "Evangelical" is basically synonymous with "Lutheran. More specifically the term has come to be closely identified with a widespread trans-denominational shift towards more conservative Christian doctrine that developed after World War II. See Fundamental Christianity. It means to become a God, exactly like God the Father and Jesus Christ, and to produce and rule over one's offspring throughout eternity.

Exit Counseling: Thought Reform Consulting A non-coercive technique in contrast to deprogramming designed to help rescue members of religions or cults that are considered false, harmful, or dangerous. The approach stresses true personal and religious freedom in the context of providing additional information and full disclosure, which facilitates more informed decision-making. Family counseling and intervention techniques may also be incorporated.

Extrasensory Perception ESP : Alleged knowledge of an experience or a response to an external event apart from the five senses. This experience can take place either in a wakeful or dream state. Publishes The Faith Word magazine. False Prophecy: Generally, any teaching by a prophet that is not true. Familiar Spirit: A spirit that can allegedly communicate with humans, often through possessing the body of a medium , channeler , or psychic.

Also, a special type of demon that can impersonate a deceased person during attempts to communicate with the dead see necromancy. Not related to the following entry. Best known for explicit sexual practices in recruiting converts and inner-group life, based on Berg's writings, the MO Letters. Not related to previous entry. Critics have expressed concern over the tremendous amount of time often invested in the games.

More disturbing are reports that the games often emphasize rape, violence, spells, magic and other occult themes. Some parents have also charged that their children committed suicide while under the influence of FRP. Farrakhan, Louis: Leader in the Nation of Islam. New Age , automatic writing , ascended beings. Fellowship of Isis: Paganism. Egyptian gods and goddess worship.

Feminism: See Radical Feminism. Feng Shui: A religious "science" for the balancing of Yin and Yang in the environment, discovered or originated by farmers some 3, years ago and developed within Taoism. Feng Shui teaches that there is an energy called Qi or, Chi flowing throughout the universe, and in this world through lines, sometimes called channels or meridians, to which one must be properly aligned for optimal health, fortune, and quality of life. The position and alignment of structures and objects in one's environment affects the flow of this energy and one's own ability to harmonize with nature.

Practitioners therefore arrange household and office furniture, design rooms and even whole buildings, their grounds and gardens, etc. They thus hope to improve the balance of nature around them, not only for their own benefit, but for the benefit everyone in the area. First Temple of the Craft of W.

See also Unarius Education Foundation. Publishes the Zen Notes newsletter. Flirty Fishing, Ffing : Allegedly discontinued practice of using sex to entice converts into The Family. Publishes the Update newsletter. Followers of Christ Church, Walter T. White, Oregon City, OR: Practices shunning , exhibits legalism , and holds to a strict faith-healing doctrine.

The first example of the Times Principle - Daniel 4

Doctors and hospitals are not allowed. State medical examiner claims as many as 25 children have died in the last two decades from complications from otherwise common medical problems. Form Criticism: A method of literary criticism used by many scholars in the interpretation of the Bible. It identifies the literary forms of specific parts of the biblical writings, such as the different types of psalms thanksgiving, lament, etc.

By noting common features in passages of the same form, various conclusions are drawn about how to interpret those passages. In liberal Christianity , which pioneered this method, many of the forms are assumed to be legendary or mythical especially those involving the supernatural. Some evangelical scholars think form criticism can be useful if such liberal assumptions are avoided, while other evangelicals reject form criticism outright. See also Redaction criticism. Fortunetelling: A form of divination in which a person attempts to predict the future using alleged paranormal powers.

The Forum: New Age , personal transformation seminar; see est. See also Process Church of the Final Judgement. Publishes the Divine Truth Commentary newsletter. All religious leaders, including Jesus, Mohammad and Buddha were sent by God. Publishes A Call To Wisdom newsletter. Fox, Kate and Margarett: See Spiritualism. Fox, Matthew: Dominican Catholic priest silenced by the Vatican for teaching blatant New Age theology which he calls "creation-centered spirituality".

Free Bible Students: A small Bible Students splinter group currently consisting of only four congregations and approximately 27 home groups. Freemasonry: A fraternal order revived in the early 18th century in England, loosely based on associations or guilds of stone cutters "operative" masons. Freemasonry "speculative" masons sought to give philosophical, moral, or spiritual meaning to the lodge, tools, and oaths of the stone cutters.

Most modern adherents maintain that the organization is not a religion but a club or fraternity promoting high moral values and good works. They believe, therefore, that Freemasonry is compatible with and supplements Christianity and other religions. Critics counter that Freemasonry involves secret blood oaths or curses, and that the writings of respected early leaders Albert Mackey, Albert Pike, etc.

Despite Freemasonry's promotion and funding of a number of worthwhile, philanthropic endeavors free Shriner children hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Fundamentalist Christianity: Generally a reference to conservative Christians who believe five "fundamentals" of Christianity : the inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth of Christ, the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the bodily resurrection of Christ, and the historicity of biblical miracles.

More specifically, the term is identified with the conservative reaction, especially in America, to liberal Christianity in the early 20th century. Core beliefs of the movement are virtually identical with evangelical Christianity. Some fundamentalists, however, later distinguished themselves from evangelicals or neo-evangelicals whom they saw as too compromising and ecumenical. More recently some have given a new, negative meaning to the term "fundamentalist" using it as a synonym for narrow-minded, bigoted, anti-intellectual or divisive Christians.

Publishes The Appointed Time newsletter. Gaia: Originally the Greek goddess of earth. Many see the earth as one large living organism made of numerous parts, much as the human body is one living organism with various parts. Publishes The Gandhi Message quarterly. Pyramid powers. Turgeon once claimed to be the prophet Elijah. He and another member, Blaine Alan Applin, were charged with first-degree murder in following the shooting death of former member Daniel Jess.

Earlier that year a SWAT team served a warrant on the group's five-acre compound located 60 miles north of San Diego and recovered weapons and other stolen property. Gateway To Light, Lloyd G. Gawain, Shakti: New Age author who popularized Buddhism through creative visualization meditation techniques. Ghosts: Non-physical entities or spirit beings, often believed to be the spirits of the dead. See Spiritualism , Demon , Necromancy , Occult. Teaches a form of Armstrongism.

Globalism: When used in a religious sense, this term most often means to lose all national identity.

The Church

Mankind must see itself as one world family, without the need for distinctions between religions. All religions become true or the distinctive doctrines of the various religions must be disregarded in an attempt to achieve the new Global Family idea. Publishes the Sunspot magazine.

Gnosticism: From the Greek word gnosis knowledge. Salvation comes through secret knowledge. A diverse belief influenced by Greek philosophy and similar to forms of pantheism , Gnosticism generally taught that matter was evil and spirit was good. Forms of gnosticism affected early Christianity. One Gnostic heresy taught that because matter was evil, Jesus could not have come in the flesh.

Goat's Head: An occult symbol consisting of an upside-down five-pointed star.

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See Baphomet. Goddess: New Age , occult , neo-paganism. A term used in various though related senses to affirm a feminine nature or aspect of the divine. Three beliefs are common: revering "Mother Nature," or the Earth, as divine see Gaia ; worshiping a female deity often linked to primitive pagan religions, as in Wicca ; and the search by some women for the "divine spark" of the "goddess within. Publishes Sacred Cycles newsletter.

Golden Wheel, W. Good, Joseph: See Hatikva Ministries. The first four books of the New Testament, which consist of accounts of Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection Matthew, Mark, Luke and John , are also called the Gospels. Most false gospels teach a form of either salvation by works or universalism. Great Invocation: A New Age prayer written in by Alice Bailey see Arcane School and circulated by various New Age groups that believe widespread recitiation may help initiate a new utopia on earth.

Publishes The Covenstead newsletter. Great White Brotherhood: New Age belief in a group of spirit beings or reincarnated teachers, also called Ascended Masters , existing on a non-physical higher plane. Stevens, Jr. Allegedly practices mind control and shepherding. Guided Imagery: Another term for Visualization. Guideposts: Magazine founded by Norman Vincent Peale. Gurdjieff, George I. Considered by some to have been the greatest mystical teacher of all times. However, in its modern American form it is a holiday based on pagan , occult , Celtic beliefs and Druid rituals.

Believed to be a religious high or holy day by those involved in witchcraft see Wicca and Satanism. Celebrated on October 31st, children are encouraged to wear costumes and solicit candy door-to-door Trick-or-Treat. Halpern, Steve: Prominent New Age music composer and lecturer. Harmonic Convergence: A New Age , social, environmental and personal transformational event formulated by Jose Arguelles, based on alleged Mayan prophecies and astrological conjecture.

Other significant dates were 31 December and a culmination in Hatha Yoga: See " Yoga. Publishes The Pathfinder magazine. Hay, Louise: New Age , metaphysical counselor and author. Practices Kundalini Yoga , vegetarianism, and overcoming painful thoughts to move toward enlightenment. Publishes the Harbin magazine. Publishes the Heart Dance magazine. Applewhite a. Do and 38 other members committed suicide in March of , believing that by leaving their bodies behind they could join Nettles a. Ti and other "older members" from "the next level above human" on a UFO supposedly hidden behind the Hale-Bopp comet.

Heaven's Magic: Another name for the followers of David Berg, founder of The Family Children of God ; produces multi-color children's posters and music. Heresy: Literally, a theological dissension or division arising from diversity of opinions and aims. The term is usually reserved to refer to false teachings considered so serious that belief in them excludes the followers from the true faith and salvation; in other words, a belief viewed as fatal to the gospel. Religious groups founded on the basis of heresy are known as cults. Heretic: A person who causes a division by teaching heresy.

Publishes Windwatch newspaper. Publishes Himalayan Institute Quarterly. Hinduism: The major world religion that originated from the ancient religions of India, which originally embraced polytheism. As a more unified world religion, Hinduism teaches pantheism ; the ancient gods especially the triad of Brahma , Vishnu , and Shiva are commonly interpreted as representations of the various aspects of the divine Brahman. Human beings progress to the ultimate realization of their oneness with Brahman often called Nirvana through reincarnation according to the law of karma. Some of the concepts of Hinduism are incorporated, modified, and expanded upon in the New Age Movement.

Twelve followers or close associates have committed suicide or died under unusual circumstances. Many left large sums of money to Hoffman. Some holistic health remedies and assumptions i. Much within this movement, however, is based on pantheistic concepts, New Age visualization , and eastern religious beliefs such as Chinese Taoism Yin and Yang. Most questionable are holistic practices that have no valid physiological explanation or scientific proof such as applied kinesiology , reflexology and iridology. Blighton: Monastic New Age group that practiced esoteric , mystical religion blending biblical themes with reincarnation and other concepts from Eastern religions and the occult.

Blighton, an ex-engineer who was once fined for practicing medicine without a license, began the order in After advancing through the order, men reached the status of Brown Brother of the Holy Light, while women might become an Immaculate Sister of Mary for Missionary Training. After the death of Blighton, the group underwent radical changes. The majority of followers converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and the order eventually was transformed into Christ the Savior Brotherhood, a sect of Eastern Orthodoxy. Several competing groups later formed claiming to preserve Blighton's original purpose and message.

Publishes Purarnave periodical. Homeopathy: Pseudo-medical holistic health techniques developed by Samuel Hahneman whereby minute doses of natural elements are said to cure diseases. Publishes the Homeword newspaper. Horoscope: See Astrology. Publishes Shiloh's Messenger of Wisdom. House of Divine Bread, J. House of Yahweh, Yisrayl a. Sabbatarianism , Sacred Name , British Israelism , only true church.

Houston, Jean: Prominent New Age spokesperson and author of many books on education in the American school system. Hubbard, L. Ron: Late founder of the Church of Scientology. Hunger Project: Claims to help poverty-stricken people using visualization to rid the world of hunger. See est. Hypnosis: Technique inducing an altered state of consciousness or trance by verbal or non-verbal stimuli.

Participants experience reduced ability for critical thinking and are generally open to external suggestion. See Mesmerism. I Ching: Yi King or The Book of Changes Ancient Chinese method of divination , predicting the future using random casting of the stalks of the yarrow plant or three-lined diagrams Trigams representing, among other things, Yin and Yang. Identity Movement: See Christian Identity movement.

Iglesia Ni Cristo, Felix Manalo: Rejects the Trinity ; teaches salvation by works , salvation found only in this group. Originally promoted free thought and democratic political theories. Now believed by many to be an anti-democratic, elitist, conspiracy for one-world-government. Imagery: Alternative term for Visualization.

Publishes Subconsciously Speaking newsletter. Inner Space Center: See Prosperos. Inner Technologies, Richard Daab, Fairfax, CA: New Age , yoga , astral projection , meditation , reaching Samadhi state of enlightenment , channeling , crystals , visualization. Insight magazine, Washington, D. Institute for Advanced Perception, Harold S. Taught the world would end in Publishes the Lunar Letter. See Dual Covenant.

Bible, the

Founded in with 55, members worldwide. Current president Willis Harman. Former members and critics allege mind control. Practices shepherding , teaches baptismal regeneration , and claims to be the only true church. Publishes Upside Down magazine. Aggressively recruits on college and university campuses throughout America and internationally. Publishes Insight. International Society of Divine Love, H. International Society for Krishna Consciousness, A.

Publishes Back to Godhead magazine. Investigative Judgment: One of the unique doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that make the place of that church within evangelical Christianity questionable. First taught in Adventism by Hiram Edson, F. Hahn, and O. Crosier, it was accepted as "present truth" by those who would later become known as Seventh-day Adventists SDAs after it was confirmed and taught in visions received by Ellen G.

The doctrine teaches that in the Holy of Holies in the Heavenly Sanctuary Christ is now conducting an investigation into the lives of all who have ever professed belief in Christ. He is judging all their works, by the standard of God's Law. All those whose lives fail to measure up to the standard of the Law are rejected and condemned as not having true faith. Those whose lives meet that standard and thus manifest the perfect character and righteousness of Christ are recognized as having true faith, and so their sins are "blotted out. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom.

Profile on SDA available. Iridology: Developed by Ignatz Peczeky, a Holistic Health technique which supposedly allows one to diagnose unrelated diseases such as a sprained ankle or weak back by reading the color patterns of the eye's irises. Some practitioners also claim ability to diagnose emotional or mental problems. Isis Unveiled: See Rosicrucianism. Islam is the second largest world religion, and has recently become the third largest religious body in America with over 6 million adherents.

The mystical tradition of Sufism includes many Sunnis and some Shi'ites. The Arabic word Islam means "submission to the will of God" and a person who submits is called a Muslim. However, only the Qur'an is considered uncorrupted. Islam rejects the Trinity doctrine, the deity of Christ and His Sonship, claiming that Jesus was only a great prophet. Muhammad is considered to be the greatest prophet, whose coming was allegedly predicted by Christ.

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  7. Islam adheres fiercely to monotheism. In addition to good works, salvation is sought though observance of the Five Pillars: reciting "there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger," praying five times per day, fasting, giving alms donations to the poor , and a pilgrimage to Mecca. While many Muslims exhibit tolerance towards other faiths, even today Islamic fundamentalism promotes jihad holy war , against those of other religious and political views.

    Jehovah's Witnesses: Official name of the religion that accepts the authority of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Jesus: The founder and central figure of Christianity. The name "Jesus" corresponds with the Hebrew "Joshua" and means "Jehovah is salvation. Even ancient, non-Christian sources corroborate some historical facts about His life and ministry. By far, the oldest and fullest historical information is found in the New Testament Gospels. Attempts have been made by liberal Christianity , New Agers , cults , and other religions to present Jesus as a "great teacher" whose ministry or life was radically different from the biblical historical accounts.

    While these efforts often define a "Jesus" compatible with their world views, they lack early supporting historical documentation and are thus arbitrary and subjective. The sources support the historic, traditional Christian belief that Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity , that he was and is fully God and fully man, that he was born of a virgin, died on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for our sins, and rose bodily from the dead.

    Jesus Only: Nickname for Oneness Pentecostalism. See Modalism. Jihad: Literally, "struggle," more popularly, "holy war"; a term used to refer to the Muslim commitment to impose the teachings and law of Islam throughout the world, by force where that is considered necessary or appropriate. Publishes an annual catalog. It is said that he makes "love slaves" of women. Judaism: World religion that traces its origins to God's call to Abram Abraham to be the father of a great people who would inherit the land of Canaan and be the means of blessing to all mankind Genesis That people is identified as the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob, who was renamed Israel.

    The foundation of Judaism is the Torah Genesis through Deuteronomy , which tells of the Israelites' bondage in Egypt, their miraculous deliverance in the Exodus, and the giving of the Law through Moses. The Israelites returned to the promised land of Canaan and became a small but powerful nation there under the rule of King David and his son Solomon.

    After Solomon's death the kingdom split into a northern kingdom called Israel and a southern kingdom called Judah the name of David's tribe. The northern kingdom was conquered and decimated by the Assyrians in BC, after which the term Judeans, or Jews, gradually came into use to refer to all Israelites. Throughout this period the Jews developed a strong sense of national identity, identification with the Promised Land, and anticipation of a coming Messiah or Christ "Anointed One". These themes dominate the rest of the Jewish Bible, which is identical with the Protestant canon of the Old Testament.

    In the first century AD, Christianity originated with the belief that Jesus was that promised Messiah. The Jewish establishment at that time, however, rejected Jesus' claim to be the Messiah, and in fulfillment of his prophecy Mark 13 the Jerusalem temple was destroyed and the Jewish nation scattered AD What is now known as the religion of Judaism originated after AD 70 as the rabbis, or teachers of the Torah, developed a system of laws and interpretations of the Torah that were eventually codified in the Talmud.

    Today Judaism can be identified as a cultural, ethnic, or religious concept. There are three main branches of modern Judaism: Orthodox traditional, literal adherence to the Torah as interpreted by the Talmud , Conservative a middle position advocating traditional beliefs and practices up to a point , and Reform liberal, non-literal stance on the Torah and Talmud; often non-religious or secular with emphasis on Jewish culture.

    Kabbalah: Various spellings Mystical Jewish teachings intermingled with teachings of gnosticism , Neoplatonism, magic and the occult. The word Kabbalah means secret oral tradition and was coined by an eleventh century Spanish philosopher, Ibn Gabirol. The philosophy developed in Babylon during the middle ages from earlier Hebrew speculation and numerology.

    An early Kabbalist, Moses de Leon, developed and systematized the philosophy in his thirteenth century work, The Book of Zolar sometimes spelled Zohar meaning "Splendor". Kairos Foundation: See Life Training. Karma: The Hindu principle of cause and effect. Representing neither good nor evil, all actions and events are balanced with corresponding actions and events in the past or future including past and future lives through reincarnation. Karma Yoga: See Karma , Yoga. Katherine, Brooklyn, NY: Astrology , psychic development. Keen, Sam: Prominent New Age teacher and author. Publishes Utopian Eyes magazine.

    Klassen, Frank, Ft. Knight, J. Koresh, David: See Branch Davidians. Kosmon: See Universal Faithists of Kosmon. Krastman, Hank: See Metaphysical Union. Krieger, Dolores: See Therapeutic Touch. Publishes Yoga Quest magazine. Devotion to Krishna has been introduced in the West especially through the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

    Krishnamurti, a Hindu who sought to unify Eastern religion with Western philosophy and science, was proclaimed as the world's messiah by Theosophy leader Annie Besant in He later renounced that role to be the head of the newly created Order of the Star. Teaches alternative mystical experiences. Also, the form of yoga that seeks to focus that force. Kunz, Dora: See Therapeutic Touch. Laksmi: or Lakshma The name of one of Krishna 's consorts. Myers, FL: Bible Students group. Lao-tzu: See Taoism. Membership estimates range between and 1, members. The group is believed to own or control more than 24 companies and have holdings in Nevada, Idaho, and possibly Arizona and Mexico.

    Lazaris: Spirit supposedly channeled by Jach Pursel. Or, a system of religious rules must be kept to please God or religious leaders, sometimes resulting in a kind of spiritual abuse. Liberal Christianity: A movement that seeks to retain religious and spiritual values of Christianity while discounting the infallible authority of the Bible. Its origins are in the German Enlightenment, notably in the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and the religious views of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

    Liberals reject the stated authorship and historical accuracy of many books of the Bible. They are skeptical concerning many or all of the biblical miracles, preferring naturalistic explanations or viewing miracle accounts as legend or myth. They often deny or reinterpret in mythical terms such doctrines of orthodox Christianity as the virgin birth, atoning death, and even the resurrection of Jesus.

    Liberalism has been most influential in mainline Protestant denominations and is rejected in Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christianity. Liberation Theology: A movement that attempts to unite theology with social and religious concerns about oppression. It finds expressions among blacks, feminists, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans, but it is most closely identified with the shift toward Marxism among Roman Catholic theologians and priests in Latin America. Most traditional doctrines of Christianity are de-emphasized or reinterpreted.

    Jesus and the Bible are defined and interpreted in light of a class struggle, with the gospel seen as a radical call to activism or even revolution promoting political and social answers usually in the form of classic Communism. Life Training, Dallas, TX: New Age seminars that seek to awaken people to a new level of awareness and belief systems; Eastern spiritual philosophy. Lifespring: New Age seminars promoting human transformation and altering belief systems. Similar to est. Lifton, Robert: Dr. Lifton studied Mao Tse-Tung's programs of "Thought Reform" or Chinese brainwashing while doing research for military intelligence.

    His study focused on radical change in personality and belief systems of certain prisoners-of-war who were held and tortured in Chinese camps. This research was later expanded in his work, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism, in which he theorized that subtle elements of these brainwashing techniques could also be found in other environments. While some elements of these criteria could be found in virtually any group, Lifton warned that an environment of mind control or thought reform exists when all eight are found implemented in the extreme. Publishes the Let There Be Light magazine.

    Publishes The Lotus quarterly. Publishes The White Light newsletter. Publishes Yoga In America magazine. Publishes the Light Speed magazine. Publishes the Lightworker newspaper. Lion and Lamb Ministries, Monte W. Holds that Jesus is the biblical Messiah. Legalistic tendencies, Sabbatarianism , practices Jewish holy days. Judah falsely predicted that the Abomination of Desolation prophesied in the Bible would occur by March of promising he would be "totally discredited" and would "shut down" the ministry if wrong.

    On March 23, he apologized for the false prophecy but reneged on his vow to disband the movement. Literary Criticism: The discipline that seeks to discover the underlying literary sources, stylistic features, type or genre of literature, authorship, unity, and date of a text, for their value in interpreting the text's meaning in its original historical context.

    The application of literary criticism to the Bible can be constructive, although in liberal Christianity the method is typically applied on the basis of antisupernatural and humanistic assumptions. See further Form Criticism. All other worthy Jehovah's Witnesses the "other sheep" cf. John will live for eternity on a new paradise earth. Published Shekinah newsletter. Now defunct.

    See Branch Davidians. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. Paul, MN: See "Spell. The current president is Carl Weschcke who in acquired the magazine Fate, which now has , subscribers. Their popular catalog, New Worlds, is sold in newsstands nationwide and has a circulation of nearly , Limiting or controlling the thought processes by regulating the language in such a way that communication constricts and limits rather than expands human understanding. Growth and controversy developed during the administration of their second leader, the late Witness Lee, who moved to America in founding Living Stream Ministry.

    Among issues drawing criticism from evangelical Christians is the Local Church's use of the term "mingling" to describe the relationship between God and believers i. Some evangelicals have also charged that the church compromises the Trinity doctrine by confusing the Persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son in a way similar to modalism.

    The organization's exclusivity has also comme under fire. According to Lee, each city can and should have only one church. Denominationalism is seen as of the Devil. According to critics, the effect is that Lee-led local churches, usually called by the name of their cities e. Thus, according to former members, all other churches or denominations are seen as being outside the will of God or not true churches at all.

    The Local Church has also gained a reputation for threatening legal action to prevent unfavorable public evaluation of its movement.

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    The Lodge: See Freemasonry. Lotus: New Age periodical. Lucifer: Another name for Satan. Lucis Trust: See Arcane School. Publishes the Gnosis journal. Publishes Birth Into Light newsletter. M Mackey, Albert: See Freemasonry. MacLaine, Shirley: Former film actress turned New Age author; seminars, channeling , pantheism , reincarnation , chakras. Mafu: Spirit supposedly channeled by Penny Torres.

    Magi Center, Inc. Magic: Magick Occult ceremonial use of amulets and talismans. May involve necromancy or divination , invocation of infernal deities or use of natural elements to gain supernatural power or knowledge. The word magic is also used to describe a type of stage performance involving legerdemain slight of hand or illusion with no alleged psychic or occult power.

    This type of stage magic is not inherently evil, although occultists have occasionally used stage magic in an attempt to claim supernatural abilities. Mahavira: See Jainism.