Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Just the other day I posted that Christians should be wary of God “experiences.” Although there are many prominent promoters of practices that claim to be ways to hear directly from God (other than by reading the Bible), it is my fear that these are really paths toward self-deception or worse.

As a follow up I’d like to share my thoughts about a book whose author purports to have received messages from God (which she turned into a bestselling book).

A couple months ago I was given a devotional book called Jesus Calling, and although I never read devotionals I began to examine the book. What I found shocked me. The author, Sarah Young, claims to have received revelations from Jesus through dialogue journaling (something she learned from two “listeners” who wrote another book called God Calling. I’ll get to that in a minute). Her book is even written as if Jesus is speaking those messages directly to the reader, which I personally think borders (or crosses into) blasphemy.

Alarm bells began to clang in my head.

Young writes that a year after reading that book, God Calling, “I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more…”

The first question that I think needs to be asked. Is it Biblically appropriate to desire more revelation from God?

2 Timothy 3: 13-17 gives a warning about false teaching as well as an admonition to hold to the scriptures which were given to us by God: “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

If we can be “thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” then the scriptures are sufficient for our relationship with Christ. We should study them diligently and be transformed by “the renewing of our minds.” We should certainly yearn for more understanding of the scriptures, and more transformation of our hearts and lives, but I see no biblical admonitions to yearn for more than the Bible.

Additionally, Acts 20:20 states: “You know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you but have taught you publicly and from house to house.”

The reformers called relying on scriptures solely as the authority for the Christian faith (and sufficient for the faith) the principle of Sola Scriptura. offers a very full and rich explanation of Sola Scriptura (I recommend you read it!), but for the sake of brevity they define sufficiency of scripture as “all that is necessary for faith and practice.” It was one of the key principles of protestantism.

It is obvious Young does not hold to that doctrine. Rather she seeks and accepts experiential, subjective and by the sound of it, mystical, personal revelation.

It is my view that abandonment of the sufficiency of the Bible opens us up to all kinds of deception (self-deception as well as demonic deception). The Bible even warns us that our hearts are “deceitful” in the book of Jeremiah. The Bible proclaims itself to be authoritative, whereas experiences are entirely subjective. If extra-biblical revelation is acceptable then how can it be verified?

Occult-like Practices 

Young claims in her book that her one-way journaling became “dialogue” (two-way conversation) with Jesus. Yet, she admits that her journaling was “not inspired as Scripture is,” but still she writes each daily devotional as if Jesus was speaking those words Young heard. This is completely illogical. If Jesus was in fact speaking to Young, then his words would have to be authoritative because Jesus is God. There is no way for him not to be authoritative.

In another of her books she writes, “My first devotional book, Jesus Calling grew out of writings gleaned from my times of focused concentration of Jesus: waiting in His Presence, listening in my mind for His communications. As I listened and wrote, I continually asked for the Holy Spirit’s help … I wrote Dear Jesus in the same listening-to-God mode that I used with Jesus Calling. I’ve continued to write with the help of Christs’s Spirit, who guides my thinking while I listen in His Presence. I believe the Bible is the only infallible Word of God. My writings are based on that absolute standard, and I try to ensure they are consistent with Scripture.”

This is a root problem of personal revelation — you cannot know for certain that the internal voice you are hearing is God, yourself or from the devil. So she purports to write what Jesus told her, but she had to vet those words to “ensure they are consistent with Scripture.” I have a better idea. Study the actual words of God that have already been given to us. I’m sure there is plenty more in the Bible to challenge, convict, teach and change each and every believer for the rest of their life on earth even without whispers in your mind.

In my view, waiting and listening for the voice of God is a recipe for deception.

Dr. Gary Gilley, pastor of Southern View Chapel, has written a very compelling case for the Sola Scriptura position in his book “Is that You Lord? Hearing the voice of the Lord: A Biblical Perspective.” (One of the best books I’ve read) In it he wrote that, “I believe with the closure of Scripture, direct, infallible, authoritative revelation from God has ceased for this age.” I would have to agree.

Gilley’s book makes a much more thorough case than I can here for the “full Sola Scriptura” view that “God speaks today exclusively through the authoritative, inspired Word which needs no supplementation from any other source. This is not to deny ‘general revelation’ from God’s creation which tells us something of the power and glory of the Creator … but when it comes to ‘specific revelation’ we do not expect our Lord to speak to us apart from the Scriptures.”

Perhaps you are a believer who disagrees and does believe God still speaks apart from the Bible today. If so, we are still commanded to test the spirits, so Jesus Calling and the book that influenced Sarah Young still need to be tested against God’s Word.

The Serious Errors of God Calling

Young writes that “One morning as I prayed, I visualized God protecting each of us. I pictured first our daughter, then our son, and then Steve encircles by God’s protective Presence, which looked like golden light. When I prayed for myself, I was suddenly enveloped in brilliant light and profound peace…”

This sounds very similar to New Age and Occult accounts. Visualization is a popular occult practice because practitioners believe that they can create reality by imagining it into existence. Let Us Reason Ministries and others have warned about the “Christianization” of such practices. Slapping a “Christian” label on a pagan practice does not make it acceptable to God. The Bible actually warns against divination, witchcraft (Deut. 18:10-12) and adopting pagan religious practices (Matt. 6:7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”)

Young’s two-way journaling (her method of receiving messages from “Jesus”) also sounds very similar to automatic writingand use of spirit guides prevalent in the occult. On this point I consulted Marcia Montenegro of Christian Answers for the New Age who told me, “I see no scriptural basis for this technique, which is akin to automatic writing. I do believe the Lord leads Christians through His word and convicts through the Holy Spirit (and His word), but that is entirely different from sitting down, being ‘still’ (and misusing a scripture for this technique), and ‘listening’ for Jesus to speak to you.”

As is often the case with such experiences, humans begin to value them over the authoritative truth of scripture. That obviously happened to Young since she says the experience of hearing from God “became the high point” of her days. If that was the high point, studying the Bible had become less important. Another cautionary sign.

The Bible does not command us to sit and listen for God to speak to us, so it is important to determine where Young came by this practice. As I mentioned earlier, she credits a book called, God Calling, for introducing her to the concept. I managed to track down a review of that book from Lighting the Way International and reprinted by Lighthouse Trails Research.

The two anonymous “listeners” who used automatic handwriting (or something very similar) to write that book claimed the messages were from Jesus, but were they? Testing the “revelations” of God Calling solely against Scripture should also cause us to reject it and be very concerned about its influence over Young.

They claim that Jesus told them multiple times to “Be channels…” Channeling is a New Age/occult practice of communicating with spirit guides. Such divination is forbidden in Scripture.

Dwayna Litz and Charisse Graves, the reviewers of God Calling, also found this passage in the book: “Discipline and perfect yourselves at all costs. Do this for soon every fleeting thought will be answered, every wish gratified, every deed used. It is a fearful Power, almighty [sic] Power. Oh! Be careful that you ask nothing amiss-nothing that is not according to My Spirit. All thoughts harmful must be turned out. Miracle-working power can become witchery in wrong hands. See how necessary I have made the purity and goodness of your own lives to you. That is why. Soon, very soon, you shall ask and at once it will come. Welcome the training. Without it I dare not give you this Power. [sic] It would do harm.” [Jan. 6]

The true God cannot give us power that would do harm and he would never advocate “witchery.”

The book also promotes thinking of God as a “Mother” rather than a Father. But as Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he specifically instructed them to “Pray then, in this way: Our Father who is in heaven …” In just these few excerpts it is clear that the book runs contrary to Scripture, yet it is the book that had such a profound influence on Sarah Young that she claims to have also become a conduit for Jesus’ words!

Another criticism listed by the reviewers of God Calling was that, “Just like Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:5), the whispered message of God Calling is “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God.” To support that claim, they cited this passage: “To dwell in thought on the material, when once you live in Me, – is to call it into being. So you must be careful only to think of and desire that which will help, not hinder, your spiritual growth. The same law operates too on the spiritual plane. Think Love and Love surrounds you and all about whom you think, Think thoughts of ill-will and ill surrounds you, and those about whom you think. Think health – health comes. The physical reflects the mental and spiritual.”

God Calling contradicts the written Word of God over and over, and yet this is the book that convinced Young she might also be able to hear such messages from Jesus.

What’s this about the Presence?

Another reason to be cautious about Young’s so-called words from Jesus has to do with the way she is always talking about the Presence of God with a capital “P.” It calls to mind, “Practicing the Presence” of God, which is also the name of a book by mystic monk Brother Lawrence. Lawrence, as a Carmelite monk, would have been influenced by Teresa of Avila who had been “affected by Jewish Kabbalistic mysticism, elements of which can be detected in her writings,” according to Ursula King (H/T LHT).

I found Brother Lawrence view connected with Zen and Karma yoga on one “christian mystics” website.

Although many claim such mysticism is Christian and is actually something desirable, it can actually be traced back to eastern religion and is not supported by Scripture.

To quote Gregory Koukl of Stand to Reason about hearing from God: “Does the Bible teach that we are to seek this kind of guidance? The answer is no. It does not teach that we are seek this kind of guidance. Does the Bible teach that we are to expect this kind of guidance? Again the answer is no. And since the Bible doesn’t teach that we have to learn this skill, since it doesn’t teach that we are to seek this kind of guidance, since it doesn’t teach that we are to expect this kind of guidance, then I don’t know what all the folderol is about…”

He notes that “This teaching that God will whisper in your ear all kind of particulars that pertain to you and His will for your life is very appealing to Christians. Even though when you look at the Scriptures, the specialized directions are rare. They are unusual. They are usually unsought. And they are always crystal clear. None of this ‘I think the Lord is telling me’ business.”

I agree with him. I believe God can speak to us directly, but I don’t believe he generally does outside of his word and the conviction of the Holy Spirit. So perhaps there are rare instances where God chooses to give direct instruction, but it will never in any way contradict his written word. However, there is no biblical direction to sit and listen for such messages from him and we especially should not be shutting off our minds through a mantric method in order to get insight.

Closing Thoughts

Christians have run wild seeking experiences from God that the holy scriptures do not direct them to. Young’s popular book is just one of many in this vein: from Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” to Bill Hybel’s “The Power of a Whisper” to many, many others.

It is my fear that this is shipwrecking Christians by leading them into deception. Already pastors have visions or give false prophecies, yet their congregants don’t abandon them. Worse, many of their congregants may not even recognize the error.

Meanwhile biblical illiteracy is rampant.

This is a truly dangerous mixture. Proper understanding of the Bible is necessary to test everything we see and hear from others and in our own minds.

If we reject the “full Sola Scriptura” position and accept that such personal revelation from God is possible (or worse – commonplace), how can we know that what we (or others) are hearing is from God? After all, Satan masquerades as an angel of light.

It becomes much more difficult (although not impossible) to combat false revelations that others claim to have had if we accept extrabiblical revelation. For example, the Mormons say that Joseph Smith had a vision from the Lord and Neil Donald Walsh claims he had multiple “Conversations with God.”

198 thoughts on “Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

  1. When I was a teenager, our youth pastor — a very enthusiastic guy, but not very mature, either in his faith or his personality — invited some kook to speak to us who taught this kind of “dialogue journaling.” Even being the kid I was, and lacking any grounding at all in doctrine, it struck me as very wrong and unbiblical. My younger brother and some other people in the youth group were briefly taken in by it, but I told my dad, and he had a serious talk with the youth pastor, and I think he straightened it out. But it is scary how easily this kind of teaching can slip and be embraced by well-meaning Christians who, like me, don’t have any kind of doctrinal grounding. And so much of evangelical culture is outright abandoning doctrinal substance for “feel-good” messages, or at the Charismatic end of things, “power” and “fire” — really excitement and ecstasy. Charismatic Christianity, I’ve read, incorporates New Age concepts in other ways, to drive people into that ecstatic feeling.

    You’re right. These people are abandoning the proper teaching of sola scriptura. I read the article you posted; that is a good and clear and ideal definition, and I wish more Protestants I knew adhered to it. 😉 I’m glad that it says Scripture is the final authority — I know so many Christians who think sola scriptura means Scripture is the only authority, and that it’s both unnecessary and even wrong to have any magisterial or ecclesial authority — resulting in pastors who give suggestions instead of real, authoritative teachings. As I was saying before, the problem is less sola scriptura itself than the direction popular evangelicalism has taken it, using that as a lever to reject any other authority. In the Second-Great-Awakening tradition, the focus is so much on personal experience and emotion.

    • Hi Joseph – I’m glad that at such a young age you showed discernment on this issue. I fear it is now so widespread that such reluctance is rare.

      As for Sola Scriptura, please don’t misunderstand. I was emphasizing the finality of Sola Scripture because it related to this particular issue. I would agree with it also being the only authority (with the following clarification). I think pastors who teach from the Bible properly are teaching authoritatively, not because they are an authority – but because the word of God is. Any who deviate from it, add to it or pervert it are wrong and are not authoritative. It is the scripture itself that commands its authority.

      The Bible commands individual believers to know, study, understand and adhere to the Bible. I believe that if Jesus has regenerated us and the Holy Spirit lives inside us we are capable of understanding much of the Bible without a teacher. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t sit under wise teaching and preaching. It means we cannot merely sit under someone’s teaching, we must compare what they say to the Bible (as the Bereans were commended for doing). The scriptures also command teachers to be careful to study the Bible, know it and teach it faithfully without adding to it or subtracting from it. I don’t subscribe to any sort of elitism. I love my pastor and listening to him preach, but I do not believe that he or any other person is infallible at interpreting the word of God. And I believe everyone should be scrutinized.

      We are commanded to fellowship with other believers, and I think to hear the Word preached, but also to study it for ourselves and compare what we hear to the Bible. To abandon either is disobedience I think. In regards to the Catholic/Protestant disagreement about Sola Scriptura you might find Dr. James White’s book on the subject interesting ( I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I think he uses solid argumentation, exegesis and is intellectually honest is presenting each side of the dispute.

      • I’ll give you a fuller reply later, because I’m on my iPad, eating a burrito, about to watch fireworks, but I wanted to excitedly say that I have that book. 🙂 I bought it on a thrifting quest because it looked to be intellectually honest and solid, as you say. I haven’t read it yet, but I may bump it to the top of my queue so I can discuss it with you.

      • Okay, a few minutes until it’s fully dark, so I will see if I can reply now. Don’t misunderstand me, either: What I’m complaining about is Protestants who think Scripture is the only authority they need, in the sense that they don’t need any instruction or guidance in how to interpret it, and don’t have to listen if it is offered. When I say Scripture should be the final authority, but not the only authority, I mean authority not in the infallible sense, but in the sense that some people, e.g. trained theologians and exegetes and Bible scholars or the even well-trained pastors, know more what they’re talking about than others. The kind of thinking that says, I don’t need none of your fancy book learning, I can read the Bible just as good as you. Not to deride the poorly educated — I am a teacher and want to help educate people — but the Bible is not an easy book. And if Scripture were truly perspicous, we would not have such a multiplicity of interpretations, each supported by so many of the well-trained authorities I’m talking about. Heck, we wouldn’t have any division at all, since there would be no doubt at all what Scripture teaches. Protestant scholars are no smarter than Catholic scholars, and both approach Scripture with the utmost honesty and best intentions — and yet on many points, their interpretations are irreconcilably opposed. One of those, justification by faith alone, Protestants claim us the “plainest” point of all. But it’s not plain to Catholics. And if degreed scholars can’t agree on interpretations, then it’s easy to see why the uneducated on the ground, who lack the knowledge to properly interpret Scripture or outright reject it, so easily lose sight of orthodoxy.

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  4. Hi. Interesting observations. I must however disagree with you somewhat. While I do agree that scripture must be our final authority, Christianity is about a relationship, and there will always be times and situations when the Bible by itself is inadequate to direct and guide the child of God. Our relationship is not with the Bible. It is with a person; a personal risen living Saviour. Jesus Himself said He would send His Spirit to teach us and lead us into truth. A relationship bespeaks intimacy, involvement, conversation, friendship. I can testify of many incidents in my past when I know God was speaking to me through His Spirit at times to encourage, at others in censure, but always in love.
    While I concur with your warnings against new age mysticism and occultic deceptions, one must never throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    • I don’t think Julia is saying that God doesn’t speak to us intimately; but such intimate conversation won’t ever contradict the Bible (since God is Truth and will not contradict himself). If it does, then you can be certain that what you’re “hearing” isn’t really God. I think (and I think Julia would agree) that it’s more often that God speaks to us through His written Word.

      • I didn’t quite see that in the article…my take was that she was against any idea of God speaking to us outside of His written word. I agree with your slant on the subject.

    • Hello. I agree that Christianity is about relationship with Jesus. However, the Bible is the only reliable way of understanding who our relationship is with and what our attitude toward him should be. I agree that the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth – but I think that primarily means giving us understanding of the revealed truth (in scripture). The Spirit convicts of sin, reminds us of truth revealed in the Bible, etc. Is that him speaking? I supposed one could call it that. But I emphatically reject the idea that he will speak anything contrary to the Bible.

      I also think that we should be seeking to hear from him through scripture, not through other means. God is certainly powerful enough to speak to us through other means if he chooses, but I see no biblical basis for seeking to hear from God outside of scripture (especially through mystical means).

      I hope that clarifies my position. I recommend Gary Gilley’s fuller treatment of this subject in “Is That You, Lord.”

      • When I said ‘outside the written word’ I certainly wasn’t inferring that God would contradict Himself. However, there are situations where the Bible simply does not speak.
        The gift of prophecy is meant for the church until we are perfected..that time has not yet come.
        I well remember when I was first saved in 1976. I was living away from my hometown on the other side of the country. A few short weeks into my new life with Christ two people, a
        friend and a pastor, both told me they believed God was using them to inform me that I needed to return home. I subsequently spent the next week praying on this matter and
        at the end of the week decided to do just that. I had no job nor place to stay, yet God honoured my faith and obedience by providing me with precisely the job I asked for within 2 days of my arrival, and a place to live the next day. Because I was young in Him He chose to speak through others…now I have grown up somewhat He now speaks to me direct…sometimes through His word, sometimes through providence, sometimes in a still small voice…and if I’m too busy, or deaf, He will resort to using any means He can just to get my attention…
        Let us not limit God…as you say, He is powerful enough to speak in any way He chooses, like through a donkey for example. After all, He is God. And don’t forget this… And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying,This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

      • Thank you. This book has made me uneasy and I haven’t even read it. I worry how people, some ministry , quote it more than scripture.

      • Hi Carol, It’s wonderful that even as a new Christian you could feel the unease. I still don’t understand why so many “mature” Christians do not feel that way!

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  7. Joseph, you mentioned earlier the role of ecclesiastical authority and its relationship with ‘sola scriptura’. Many misunderstand the Roman tradition on this subject. Rome does not view scripture as the final authority, and have her bishops as mere official commentators. The magisterium has total authority. If the scripture say white and the magisterium say black, the Catholic faithful are obligated to accept the magisterium authoirty even though it directly contradicts the written word.

    • Hmm, no, that’s not the way it works. “Total authority” implies that there is no other authority; and the bishops fully acknowledge the supreme authority of both Scripture and Tradition. They are merely arbiters (“commentators” isn’t a very description). They gather everything they can on a reading — all the modern scholarship, all the prior commentary by Fathers and popes and councils on the passage — and prayerfully make a scholarly, informed judgment. They could not say “black” was “white” unless there was an overwhelming tradition in the Early Church, and a valid textual argument in the manuscripts, that “black” really meant “white.” They have the authority to say “black” is “white” — but their real authority comes from the authority of the Scripture and Tradition they’re interpreting. They can’t make an argument that their authorities can’t support.

      I made a long post yesterday in which I dealt with this very question — reviewing the book that Julia asked me to review. I’d appreciate your comments and critiques of my critique.

      • The following is a quote from a writer of the 19th century, but whose view I believe is still pertinent to today.

        It may be worth while to explain, one for all, that if Catholics do not read the Bible in the same way as Protestants do, it is not, as Protestants assert, because the teaching of their Church is such as to dread being confronted face to face with Scripture, nor because they less fully believe than any Protestant can do in the inspiration of Scripture; but simply because they do not believe in their own individual inspiration as interpreters of Scripture. Scripture they well know can make no mistake; but they are in no way sure that they themselves can make no mistake as to what Scripture means. They believe that there is one authorized interpreter of Scripture, and one alone,― the Holy Catholic Church, which is divinely guarded from all possibility of error, being informed by the same Holy Spirit by whom Scripture was inspired, and therefore alone able to penetrate its real meaning. Her interpretation of it he trusts with unhesitating certainty; while to trust any crude theories he might himself be tempted to form respecting it, would seem to him simply ridiculous
        Thus he [the Catholic] never dreams of reading Holy Scripture with the view of gathering from it the articles of his belief; indeed, to do so would be to cease at once from being a Catholic in heart; and any one reading Scripture in this spirit, or in danger of doing so, would certainly be forbidden to read it at all, if he desired to continue in the communion of the faithful; for he would be virtually denying that the Church is the sole infallible interpreter of Scripture, whereas the acknowledgment of her as such is the very fundamental principle of Catholicism. Catholics, then, do not study the Scripture to learn their faith, but to grow in holiness….
        While Catholics acknowledge but one authoritative interpreter, Protestants hold that every man in his own interpreter; that from “the Bible and the Bible only” every man is bound to learn all that he must believe in order to be saved; that if he prays for the help of God’s Holy Spirit, this alone, without human aid, will guard him from all material error; that no church, no body of men, no teacher whatever has any Divine authority to interpret Scripture for him; he must do it for himself, and he can.
        Quote:…Traditions, it will be seen, are placed before the Bible in this [Roman Catholic] epitome of faith. Indeed, the Word of God, as a rule of belief and conduct is, in effect, done away; and the interpretations of the church are put in its place. So that in every case, the inquiry of the faithful Romanist must be — not what saith the scripture — but, what saith “Mother Church?” Not to follow the church, however opposed she may be to the Bible, would be a violation of his oath.
        The celebrated Council of Trent, which was called by a Bull of Pope Paul III, in the year 1542, decreed that the Roman Catholic church received and venerated with equal affection of piety and reverence, the Bible and traditions.
        When, however, tradition was not in accordance with the Word of God, it would be manifestly impossible to conform to this decree, unless a man could conscientiously receive and reverence a truth and its opposite error at the same time. And therefore, to relieve the conscience of the Romanist, it was necessary that the right of interpreting the Bible should be given exclusively to Mother Church, who is also the keeper of Tradition. Hence the Papist has, in fact and strictly speaking, only one standard of faith, and that is neither the Bible nor Tradition, but the Church. He professes, indeed, to acknowledge both the scripture and tradition; but he is really bound to receive and obey whatever Mother Church declares to be the truth as contained in the Bible and Tradition. She must decide for him in every case, and from her judgment there can be no appeal.
        Tradition is one of the most essential subjects of dispute between Protestants and Romanists. The Romanists declare that the Scriptures alone are not sufficient for Salvation; but that there is the word of God, by hearsay, which is superior to the word of God in writing. By this hearsay, for tradition is nothing else, they assure the world that the Scripture must be explained; so that if the Scripture says white, and tradition says black, a Roman Catholic is bound to say, that white means black in God’s written word

      • I guess it is bedtime where you are, so I went ahead and did some googling about this source. That in a moment. First I want to stay that I come to Julia’s blog to comment on her stuff, and if I go off on Roman tangents, it’s not to criticize her views or assert that mine are correct, but because I think it might shed an interesting light. In this case, my point, as I tried to make clear (not sure I did such a good job; I do get excited), was not to criticize sola scriptura so much as to point out what I think is a problem in the direction some evangelicals have taken it — which I do think is relevant to her original post, about people who publish their “personal revelations” that are contrary to the Word of God. If you want to read criticism of sola scriptura or engage in debate about Catholicism, you’re welcome to come to my blog, but that’s not really the point here in Julia’s.

        That said: this quote you’ve given me — it appears to be bastardized, probably from being passed around the Internet in anti-Catholic groups. The fact that you didn’t identify it makes me wonder if you even know what it is. Parts of it are correct, orthodox Catholic views, which are true and with which I agree — but they have been spliced with another source of anti-Catholic rhetoric, which is patently false and misleading and untrue. The presence of words like “Romanist” and “papist” should tip you off to top — those words are disparaging and offensive to Catholics. I suspect while being passed around, the identifying citations were lost, and this was unbeknownst to you — but this is not all once source, but at least two. The moral: please know what you’re citing and where it came from before you go spreading it around. Also, please don’t treat me as if I don’t know my own Church. I didn’t become Catholic on a whim, but studied this and have been immersed in this for a while.

        This is one of the two sources, the Catholic one:

        The Clifton Tracts, published by the Brotherhood of St. Vincent de Paul, vol. II (London: Burns and Lambert, 1851).

        And here is the other one, the anti-Catholic one:

        Rev. Anthony Gavin*, A History of Popery (Hartford, Conn.: Case, Tiffany, and Burnham, 1845).

        * Anthony Gavin claims on the frontispiece to be a “Roman Catholic priest,” but was actually a parson in Virginia — and his invective against Catholicism is more or less pure fiction. See “Anthony Gavin’s A Master-Key to Popery: A Virginia Parson’s Best Seller”, in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 82 (Jan 1974): 39-46. (You can only view the first page here, but I could get you the full article if you’re interested.)

        Again, I’d like to invite you to blog. Peace be with you.

      • Also: If you are at all interested, the clearest, fullest, and most authoritative statement on the Catholic view toward Scripture and Tradition, and the role and actions of the Magisterium, is the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum (1965). It is worth a read. Or, I excerpted a couple of relevant quotations from it in my most recent entry.

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  12. The Bible shows people having conversations with God all the time. Records, songs, journals, and letters make up the Bible. God speaks, and we obey. We know it is God and not our own voice when it lines up with the Bible. The notion that God does not speak, or we do not need moment by moment revelation from God is something I disagree with. The written Word of God reveals how this relationship works. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. How He was with the early Church relating to His Body, He continues to this day. He does not remain silent in these days.

  13. I grew up in ashrams watching people levitate so find this a bit funny. Jesus calling has been a beautiful balm for my soul recently and brought me closer to God.
    The new age notion is crazy, not sure how a reference to a cocoon of light would lead someone astray, her writing couldn’t be further from the hippie new age stuff I came out of to find Jesus waiting.
    Why do we freak out so much about black and white, God found me in my cocoon of grey, found others I know in their deception, He is right there waiting. We often freak out on His behalf when he is so gracious, leading through and out at the tight time..not ruffled at all.

  14. I suggest you read the first pages of this book. In no way is she saying Jesus is talking to her verbatim as is A Course in Miracles. She is describing her experiences in verse and prose elegantly with profound awareness through the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, it is good to get our head out of the books and meditate in Spirit and in Truth, if not always. This is abundantly clear through her writings, which are meant to describe the Eternal Perspective.

  15. “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,and I will love him AND WILL DISCLOSE MYSELF TO HIM.” He says this THREE TIMES in different ways. in John.

  16. “These things we also speak, not in words which ‘man’s wisdom’ teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The Spirit guides us in our pursuit of truth through the Word of God. He teaches us by convicting us of sin, affirming truth in our hearts, and opening our understanding to the depth of God’s revealed truth. As you’ve probably experienced many times, He often brings to mind appropriate verses and truths from Scripture at just the night moment.

    First John 2:27 says, “The anointing which you have received from Him [Christ] abides in you…as His anointing TEACHES YOU about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.” Why does a Christian continue in Christ and not follow after cults and false doctrine? Because of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit.

  17. Pingback: Worldview Weekend discusses Jesus Calling | Steak and a Bible

  18. I have read the comments on this page and would like to make just one point about Jesus Calling and hearing his voice: I just finished Jesus Calling and I am giving copies of this book to my family and friends. I love the book and the book spoke to my heart. Sarah Young is a WONDERFUL writer and I love her. Secondly, the written word of God is absolutely essential, BUT in my experiences, I have also received instruction from God through his voice, a dream, and through adversity. If you really want to be successful and maximize your full potential in life, one must not limit his God experiences to the bible. The bible is needed for food, but his voice is just as important!!! God Bless ALL!!! (:

    • I appreciate your willingness to comment, but I disagree. And I would ask how you know that what you heard and dreamt came from God and not from Satan or your imagination?

  19. I disagree with you, and feel maybe you are being a bit too critical. I have been a Christian for a long time, but life always seems to get in the way of me spending quiet time reading my Bible. Although I pray daily, I have always struggled with carving aside quiet time with God. Someone gave me this devotion book Jesus Calling. I have been reading the devotion each day and then following up by looking up the scriptures referenced for each devotion. This has helped me focus and get me back into daily Bible reading. I think God will use what is necessary to bring us back on his path. Even a devotion book.

    • I took it the same way. Thank you for expressing that. She writes beautifully and it did not lead me from the Bible but … to the Bible

  20. Oooh, I do love the words “sola scriptura,” so stolid and alliterative. I really do. My only caution is…they’re not in the Bible! Ha!

    The irony is furthered when someone uses their “sola scriptura” sharpie to black out Mark 16, the book of Acts, 1 Cor. 12 and 14, and on and on…

    I have not read this book, but I love and appreciate your caution toward it. There is incredible damage being done by the introduction of Christianity by experience (rather than faith in the gospel and obedience to Jesus, indicated firstly by submission to Scripture) to believers who are not solid in the gospel, and think the Christian life is of that of reaching higher planes (spiritually or intellectually or otherwise), rather than a war to the death with our deadly “old man,” so one can freely do the Works of God, led by the Spirit (Rom 8). My assertion is that it has amounted to a false gospel, most readily seen in the charismatic church (I say that having been part of said church for many decades), and is literally pulling believers off of the gospel train into perdition.

    I can’t support your method, though, as it is unbiblical in its reduction to nothing but the Bible. People can mistakenly take on this idea, which offers “safety” without any humility or sanctification, or even a Spirit led revelation of the gospel that is regenerative. In other words, one can take on this rule simply with the powers of the mind to trust in (no need for God), and end up in suprisingly deceived destinations…Catholic, even! No, this is like avoiding divorce by never getting married. Or like honoring the precision of a yardstick by rejecting anything that might need measuring!

    Can I just repeat this? I love your question: “How do you know it was not Satan or your imagination?” This is the right question! I just want to assure you that there is an answer! It is found in the Bible, and I will leave it at that, because I should blog on my site, not yours. 🙂 So again, love your purpose, receive the warning with joy and agreement, but must reject your method.

    • I certainly don’t mean that we don’t need the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter and our teacher. But I don’t think that means pursuing contemplative methods of “hearing from him” or experiencing things. We need to be grounded in the Bible and looking for our answers in it, as we do the Holy Spirit absolutely illuminates its meaning for us. Also I do believe the Spirit can impress needs upon to us to pray for someone, or break our hearts so that we look at people with compassion and reach out to them.

      As for words not being in the Bible that are supported by the Bible, Trinity is a great example. The word doesn’t appear in the Bible, but the book absolutely teaches and affirms the concept of one God in three persons. Perhaps I have not done a perfect job explaining Sola Scriptura, but that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t Biblical. I was just listening to this fantastic audio clip from John MacArthur the other day, that might help clarify a bit.

  21. Pingback: Is Deception Calling? A review of “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young « DiscernIt

  22. What is a relationship if we can’t hear from the other person?? What if my husband never spoke to me? Why would I want a silent relationship with Jesus? Makes no sense to me? When we read the Bible we see things in a way we never saw the other times we read the very same passages. Why? Because God is revealing himself each time in a way that is fresh to us. The very word “relationship” implies a two way communication. Sarah’s revelations are profound and real to her and I see no reason why she shouldn’t be allowed to share them. Do you have a living, real relationship with Jesus?

  23. … dialogue journaling,….yearning for more, ….Jesus Calling grew out of writings gleaned from my times of focused concentration of Jesus, waiting in His Presence, listening in my mind for His communications, ….golden light, ……brilliant light, ….“To dwell in thought on the material, when once you live in Me, – is to call it into being. So you must be careful only to think of and desire that which will help, not hinder, your spiritual growth. Think Love and Love surrounds you and all about whom you think, Think thoughts of ill-will and ill surrounds you, and those about whom you think. Think health – health comes, ….and etcetera! My question is this, has Sarah Young received the Lord Jesus Christ as her Saviour and Lord at all? What is her story to this effect? What about the 2 authors of her guiding book God Calling? Feelings? Faith only in Christ? The above experiences by herself and her spiritual guides are definitely similar to New Age experiences and are unscriptural. There are no precedents in the Holy Bible. These are open pathways to error and deception. As children of God, we do not need to “be careful only to think and desire that which will help” as they teach. Our salvation did not come and does not work that way. It is a free gift received by faith in the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly teaches that the anointing which we have received teaches us all things and we have no need to hope or desire for more than what the Holy Spirit teaches us from the WORD of God, the BIBLE. We are told to test every spirit to verify if they be from God. “Spirit” in Greek is pneuma, air, breath. Any method of receiving from God, the Father, that is unbiblical and not experienced by the rest members of the Body of Christ is of the evil one. Period! Also the Bible warns that the spirit of error aims to snatch, if possible, the elect from the Lord, Christ Jesus. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you with all wisdom and Jesus Christ is the Wisdom of God anyone would ever need. Praise God! Hebrews 13:5-6: Let your conversation be without COVETOUSNESS and be content with what ye have,for He hath said (HE ALREADY SPOKEN IN HIS HOLY WORD, I DO NOT NEED HIM TO SPEAK ANYMORE): I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. The BIBLE is good enough for me and members of my family, amen. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift! Yours in Christ, Stephen Alai. Lagos, Nigeria.

  24. Hi, I am reading Sarah’s devotional words right now. I, too, feel the author is bold in writing in Jesus’ voice. However, as a longtime Christian of mature age, I am able to read the words and discern my own take on them because I am familiar with the Bible. As a writer of Christian books, I sometimes wonder if people are reading my words instead of the scriptures. Like Sarah, I encourage reader to read the Bible. I include many reference to scripture as I write. Sarah does this, too. Christians young in the faith would do well to learn the Bible first, and then they can feel more comfortable reading others’ words, which are no different from what any preacher anywhere is saying. More importantly, I think the discussion should be about our religious experiences in our relationship to God. I want to feel Jesus’ presence even more as I grow in the faith. My feelings, though, must always be grounded in the truth of the word. Frankly, Sarah’s feelings are lining up with many things I have been going through lately, including two major experiences with grief. I appreciate the time she has taken to share her knowledge of the scripture, her feelings, and her admission that her words do not trump the Bible.

    • Sherry,

      Thank you for your respectful disagreement. I hope you’ll consider my response as graciously as you have commented. You say you are mature enough to sift through Sarah’s book. I have no reason to think that you aren’t, but I think we humans have a tendency to overestimate our resistance to deception. I firmly believe we are all (myself included) in danger of being deceived and coming to accept unbiblical teachings. As far as I can tell the best way to avoid this is to study the scripture and avoid trying to pick grains of truth out of error-laden information. Over and over again the epistles command us to hold fast to sound doctrine, to study to word and that scripture is what we need.

      Second, I think as Christians we should never tire of the Bible. I find myself wanting to understand it more each day. Sarah admits she was discontented with the Bible and longing for an experience. How is that right? Also, if we were to look for experiences I believe God would have told us to do that and told us how to in his Word.

      It is true that written human words are no different from preaching, but we should flee from either one if they are dangerous to our souls and our walk with Christ.

      I’m sorry that you are grieving, but I think you can find comfort in the Word of God itself and I certainly hope through the love of people around you who can extend physical comforting on behalf of the Almighty God.

      Lastly, I think by speaking as she has in the voice of Jesus she isn’t just bold, I think she’s made an enormous error. God takes his words very seriously as we can see from the warning of Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.” Also anyone claiming to have gotten direct revelation from God is putting themself in the position of “prophet.” And God deals harshly with false ones.

      Sarah may be a lovely person and could be very well-intentioned, but based on my understanding of scripture I think this book is dangerous.

      • Hi Julia, I really appreciate your posting on fb on this subject. Nine million people are being deceived and some of them are my closest friends. They actually refuse to believe that there is anything wrong with this book. The “feel” that is it speaking to them. or that Jesus is speaking to them. That Sarah uses scriptures, and therefore that makes it OK. It is thought provoking and makes them “feel good. It is being sold in my church’s bookstore. When I ask them to read different reviews about the book they don’t actually refuse to outright but they do not respond to let me know that they have given it one bit of thought. One said she would continue to read it until or unless God showed her it was wrong. Never mind that I have just sent her enough “proof” from several sources” that would tell her God is showing her it is wrong, because they prove it by scriptures. The resistance to the truth is the dead give away. Others whom I have questioned if they have read it or are reading it, and I find they might have it but haven’t read it or only read bits of it, because they prefer the Bible, rather than devotionals, are receptive to learning the truth about the book, or are glad to be warned about the book. To the others there is a very strong delusion/deception going on, is what I perceive. I have prayed crying out to the Lord that He remove the scales from their eyes, so they are able to see and receive the Truth that tells them this is not a book they should be reading. I was fooled once into thinking that “The Shack” was such a wonderful book and recommended it to many people. Once I was informed as to why it was so blasphemous, I felt ashamed and repented of my error and I do not want to be sucked into such deceit again. I so appreciated being informed about it. But that is not the case with this book. I have someone in my life who was heavily and deeply into the New Age (Old lies) and God was able to get her attention to what she was doing and she got out of it and is now a strong Christian. She is one recognizes the New Age stuff in books and church activities that go so far against God’s Word. It takes one to know one, is a good example here, because it is those who once were involved in New Age that are setting off the alarm about this book and other practices. The most important scripture that I see concerning this book, if Revelation 22: 18 as well.

    • Hi Janie! Praise the Lord that you’ve come back to him. Why turn to someone else’s words when we have God’s in our Bibles? There is so much encouragement to be found in it. Be careful and God bless.

  25. Pingback: The Berean Library » Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Bad Fruit)

  26. Jesus help me to believe, help me to believe its true
    that when I lay down at night the voice I hear is You
    You calm my fears, erase all doubt and teach me what Your loves about
    Jesus help me to believe, that its really true
    You came to the world to serve and save and raise mankind from the eternal grave
    You could have come as a king but You sacrificed all and gave everything
    You gave Your life so I could live and taught me how to truly give
    I wait and wait for Your return
    my hearts on fire and my spirit burns
    For the day when its all new
    I will shout to heaven ” It is True”
    Oh, my Lord I believe in You !!!

    Biblical? No, but inspired by the voice of the Holy Spirit. Maybe we should all rest from doing Gods work and just listen and rest in Him.
    In Gods Love

    • That still doesn’t address the problem of how you know where this “voice” is coming from and that it is from God and not the devil. Not to mention that I cannot find anything in scripture that, when taught in context, tells us to wait around and listen for God’s voice. We denigrate his word when we say I’m going to listen for him to personally speak to me instead of doing the hard work of understanding the Word (Bible) he has already given us and applying it to our lives.

      I realize there are many who disagree with my understanding of scripture on this issue, but I hope you’ll understand that my concern is out of love for all of you who are listening for God. I don’t want you to be deceived!

  27. Where to start in such a fulsome blog site, though I would assert that Stephen John is well attuned to God’s Spirit/Holy Spirit, and I quote the text that held my attention ““He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father,and I will love him AND WILL DISCLOSE MYSELF TO HIM.” He says this THREE TIMES in different ways in John” There is a great truth here to which no believer can subscribe to – unless three things have taken/take place viz., (1) a deep love of the Logos – that is the pure Word of God as inspired by Holy Spirit – (2) a yearning for His indwelling presence (which does imply a process of sanctification & not sanctimoniousness) (3) the vital experience of having received the fullness of Holy Spirit at some time in life, and being enabled by the same Spirit to continue to receive (one Baptism + responsive fillings) Only then does that text – AND I WILL DISCLOSE MYSELF TO HIM – become a Divine truism. A snippet here, a quiver of one’s spirit there – do not satisfy for long, and one never knows of a possible intrusion by an alien spirit! Yet to hear from God is every true Christian’s justifiable right, but it requires strong application, and is not an automatic blessing. At such a juncture in a Christian’s life you should expect to hear Holy Spirit speaking directly to the heart (from time to time) For clarification I am of the belief that such two way contact will come (certainly not through books or other persons experiences) by way of specific spiritual gifts – prophecy -praying in tongues – words of wisdom but usually and nearly always in your ‘private places of devotion. I know of one Minister who has heard Holy Spirit speak to him audibly, and I testify to the same one and only experience. Soak up the Word of God and no false spirit can ever get to you – and those who doubt there being such a ‘business’ as Holy Spirit Baptism (Jesus does the Baptising) should search scripture very carefully – cessationism in my book is nonsense! Luke 11:13 is one of many references.

  28. I have both books mentioned, “Jesus Calling,” and “God Calling.” The introduction in “God Calling”, from the two listeners, says,
    “We felt all unworthy and overwhelmed by the wonder of it, and could hardly realize that we were being taught, trained and encouraged day by day by Him (Jesus) personally, when millions of souls, far worthier, had to be content with guidance from the Bible, sermons, their churches, books and other resources.”
    The Bible doesn’t seem to hold a very precious place for these two ladies. Unfortunately I don’t think they tested the spirit that they were supposedly channeling either. The entry for Dec. 24th, supposedly from Christ Jesus himself reads,
    “Yes! but remember the first Hail must be that of the Magi in the Bethlehem stable.” —-WHAT! Jesus apparently doesn’t remember that the shepherds came first, THEN the magi showed up quite awhile later, like almost two years late, and it wasn’t at the stable. Why does “Jesus” contradict the Biblical account of his own birth to these ladies? The answer is, because these ladies were NOT hearing from Jesus Christ, God Eternal, or the Holy Spirit. So why would a Christian want to waste their time reading words from someone else, who admittedly was not content w/God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures? In another entry on pg. 60 “Jesus” tells them, “I need you more than you need me.” This flies in the face of our need for a savior, a redeemer, a sacrifice for sins. How can Jesus need us more than we need him? This is very sad and I think these ladies were deceived, by what I don’t know, either a demonic spirit, their own imaginations or both. When someone claims to speak for Jesus Christ himself, and it doesn’t match w/ God’s account, the Bible, don’t listen. I could go on about this book that exalts itself against the Word of God, the falsities are many but lets move on to the other book by Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling.”
    Sarah Young read the above mentioned book, “God Calling” and was so inspired that she decided to receive messages from Jesus too. On June 14th, pg 173, she received this from Jesus, “Sometimes you felt naked–exposed to the revealing Light of My Presence. I wrapped an ermine robe around you: My robe of righteousness. I sang you a Love song, whose beginning and end are veiled in eternity.” Jesus is going to cloth us with fur? He already did that in the Garden of Eden as a temporary covering. He does not need to kill an animal to cover us. His blood was shed once for all. Here again we have something that just doesn’t jive w/ what God’s Word says. If these were just her ideas and thoughts then we would not have to be so concerned. However, when anyone claims to get direct revelation from God and it doesn’t line up with God’s Word then we have a problem. Christians, please don’t waste your time w/ either of these two books. That being said, I do not despise sound teaching or anything that submits itself to the Word of God. God calls us to preach the Word. I will end with Paul’s charge to Timothy.
    II Timothy 3:16—17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be COMPLETE, thoroughly equipped for EVERY good work.”
    Then Paul said, “PREACH THE WORD!”

  29. Thank you, my brothers and sister soft sharing your gifts with us. I so love the Word of God and need it every day! I want to share this: God is Love. His Spirit, therefore, is lone of” Love, Power and Self-control”. There is nothing we must fear, therefore, but that which is not loving of God, Other, Self. God speaks to us through His Word, but we can only really glean understanding if we are filled with His Spirit of Love. Youngs writings are loving of God, other and herself, and I read them with an appreciation of the spiritual gifts He gave her. They are not a substitute for the Word, but they are “new gems of truth”. Thank you and God bless our various gifts of the Spirit as we discuss His awesome and amazing Love!

  30. I read the intro to the Jesus Calling book and hit the page where Sarah Young states that she wanted something more besides the Bible and then started writing her revelations. I was stunned and showed the page to some friends that this is divination and the same sort of stuff Nostradamus was doing or looking at tea leaves or some such.

    After I read that page in the book I stopped reading the book right there because the rest would be tainted by whatever voice she was getting her revelations from. That was a very disturbing thought and I couldn’t with good conscience think that anything in the rest of the book would be good or pure or worth putting her so-called “inspired” stuff into my head.

    It’s amazing that she would even admit to being such a prophet! Doesn’t the Bible say that prophets held to certain standards or else they are to be stoned to death? I’m not sure she’s calling herself a prophet but she sure is acting as though she is with these revelations that she sharing.

    I thought I’d search the internet to see if anyone else noticed that and found your page. I think you’re right-on with what you wrote. The book is a real shame too because the cover was nicely leather bound and had “Jesus Calling” embossed on the cover and it was a Christmas gift from a friend but as you probably know, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. So we now have 67 books of the bible? This books going in the trash.

    Did you know that the bible refers us to secular books and other books of scripture that are NOT IN THE BIBLE ! Nathan , Gad , Asher , Jasher …
    Isn’t the rest of the story of Mordicai told in the cronicles of the kings of the Media and Persia Esther 10-2

  32. The Point here is the God Himself refers Us to other information. Some committee decided what was ” cannon ” I tell people that the answer to everything is in the bible and yet I am not against looking at the lost books of the bible or cronicles of the world that support scripture. The Catholic bible has several more books in it.
    Rhema is also another way to learn from Yahweh. I was hearing God 4 years before I believed that that was what was happening. The Holy Spirit wooed me until I got it !
    There was NO HUMAN that could have done this. I used to send the Jesus people down the road running for theie lives. I asked Yahweh about this after I believed and HE told me that they didn’t really believe or they wouldnt have ran. Phil. 1-28 is the scripture here !
    The bible tells us to ” HEAR YAHWEH’S VOICE AND OBEY ! ”
    I have NO FEAR and I stand and deliver the message exactly as quotyed to me by God. NO amount of opposition or amount of weapons can deter me. I have step by step councel of the Holy Spirit and so does everyone eles that believes. Come against ME devil and bare witness to the Power of the Holy Spirit. When I first believed, I went out hunting the devil and after a couple of days I had that sucker by the throat. I had ME or rather MY carnal nature by the throat.
    I was series Honor Man out of Marine Corps boot camp.The best of the best of 300. Yahweh told me that He wanted the same zeal with My going through God’s boot camp. I heard and obeyed.
    All Abraham had was rhema. Grace is Power, Power to will and do Yahweh’s will. go back to the written instructions and You have fallen from Grace. The bible is our plumb line and foundation but it doesn’t tell me to turn right or left and that the person that just came by is my next appiontment !
    Rhema or step by step councel of the Holy Spirit is the only way that that happens.

  33. Regardless of the author of this bashing of Sarah Youngs opinions or motives…there is no doubt that the writings collected in her books are absolutely the devinely inspired personalized message in desparate times directly from Almighty Gods heart to us…individualized…perfect.
    I guess I shouldnt be suprised that anyone would try to attack an author of such powerful persuasion…doing such wonderful work as one of Gods children…helping her brothers and sisters.
    Get busy living will you?! Or not…free will….

  34. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 makes it clear that ALL scripture is everything we need to be adequate and equipped to live in Christ. Right? it seems we no longer believe in the sufficiency of scripture and seek voices, signs and wonders instead of being content with “Christ crucified” & the word of God.
    Has anyone researched the Two Listeners and the movement (the Oxford Group) they were members of which in turn influenced Sarah Young to begin sitting and listening for God to “speak?” it is an interesting trail.
    The first person writing style of Jesus Calling is what raised a red flag for me…it should for others.
    Then researching the editor of The Two Listeners down to the Oxford Group and then to where this group is today sheds much light to the practice of sitting and journaling.
    “Quiet Time” takes on a whole new meaning after reading some of these articles.

    So, my question – how does God “speak” to us today? there have been times where I sensed a prompting or thoughts that come to mind regarding everyday decisions and went with what came to mind believing it was the Spirit leading me. at times the thought (prayed over) that came to my mind came actually happened. other times, it must had been my wishful thinking for it did not happen.
    more than a few times in my christian walk, my heart will begin racing and i get a prompting that the Lord is confirming something that i had previously prayed about and i have a firm resolve (faith) that it (the answer to prayer) will happen and it does. I do not rely on these times, do not seek them it just happens. a for instance would be – seeking and praying for a job while unemployed. the boss of a company mentioned (to a group of people) they needed a specific position filled, my heart began thumping, i began to tear up asking the Lord if he was confirming in me that this was going to be my job. a couple of months passed and someone else mentioned this position and the same thing happened. this happened one more time. i spoke to no one about it and was confident this was going to be my new job. it came to pass about 4 months later i took that position. like i mentioned this has been very few times.
    I know this is not sitting with a pen and paper to listen and claim it is God or Jesus “calling” which is a practice of the Oxford Group.
    This has left me with wondering, how the Lord prompts today as we pray and ask for guidance – how does he answer us if He does not “speak” to us – when praying, should i go ahead with this surgery, should i switch jobs, etc.?

    • Hi Allie, thanks for commenting. This is certainly a hard issue when you want to sincerely do the right thing. Two books (other than the Bible which is most important) helped me in this area. Gary Gilley’s Is That You Lord and Kevin DeYoung’s Just Do Something.

  35. Hey Julia, I’m accidentally still getting notifications for this thread (I “subscribed” to it, and am not sure how to make it stop), but something just occurred to me that is relevant to this that I probably didn’t even know about back in July. You might find it interesting.

    The Catholic Church teaches that there will be no further Revelation in the sense of God’s sovereign message to His whole people. Jesus was the Word, the ultimate, definitive Revelation of God to man, and with His Ascension and the passing of the witnesses to His life (the Apostles), “public” Revelation was closed, and there won’t be any more, beyond what we have in Scripture and Tradition. The Eastern Orthodox Church agrees with this teaching: in fact, they don’t even hold any council beyond the first seven ecumenical ones to have any binding authority on the whole Church.

    There are a couple of upshots from this: first, the Church is not free to “make up” stuff and claim it is “Tradition,” as I’ve heard some Protestants charge. Everything the Church teaches from Tradition is backed up by centuries and centuries of documentary evidence, and the Magisterium can’t make up stuff that isn’t already part of the deposit of faith. But more relevant to this discussion is that the Catholic mystics (and Eastern mystics, too, e.g. the Desert Fathers) about whom you’ve expressed concern don’t and haven’t and can’t proclaim any message that likewise isn’t already part of the deposit of faith. When they claim a supernatural revelation, whether through a vision or apparition or any other mystical experience, it’s what the Church calls “private” revelation. “Private” revelation can’t reveal anything new; it isn’t binding on the whole Church; and no one of the faithful is required to believe it. Its only function is to support what has already been revealed, to admonish or encourage the faithful. In cases of private revelation, the Magisterium of the Church investigates quite rigorously) and declares whether it’s worthy of anybody’s belief (if they so choose to believe it) or a bunch of heretical hooey. See the Catechism, 65-67, especially 67:

    Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
    Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

  36. Great article. I will preface that I am a continuationist and believe that the gifts of the spirit are alive today. And your stance of cessationism or continuationism will lead to different conclusions about Jesus calling. Thought I am a continuationist, I believe just like anything else it can become unbalanced because of Satan and sincerity to be close with God. So I will agree on imbalance but I disagree on total cessationism. The imbalance is when the Word of Wisdom/Word of Knowledge(1 Cor 12:8) or that voice that we hear (John 10:27) contradicts or becomes exalted above the Bible (Ps 119:89). The other imbalance in general with continuationism is when the gifts of the spirit(1 cor 12, Romans 12, Ephesians 4,1 Peter 4) are exalted above the fruits of the spirit(Gal 5:22-23), especially the first fruit listed which is love. 1 Cor 13 talks about the fact that love is more important then the gifts themselves. When the imbalance occurs then the strength of our relationship with God and confidence of our salvation becomes dependent on seeing gifts all the time and having an emotionally charged environment. The gifts need to come because the Holy Spirit deems it necessary for edification and evangelism to whomever He chooses not for us to feel more certain about salvation.

  37. Sara Young is doing nothing more than witnessing through her own experience. If you think anything other than that, then it’s on you!

  38. I received Sarah Young’s book, “Jesus Calling” from a dear, well-meaning, born-again Christian friend who loves me. I began to read through it. I must admit that I got “warm fuzzies” from what I read. It was very engaging in its encouragement – like having a personal cheerleader waiting there JUST FOR ME each day. But I had to put it down. I’ve seen another friend, at church, carry it around with her as she would her Bible. Recently, someone I love and respect quoted from “Jesus Calling” at the end of a Bible class she was teaching. And, when I asked other friends – a well-respected Christian couple I know – what they thought about Jesus Calling, they told me they’ve been using it for several years, as part of their daily devotion time. I have been disheartened to discover the widespread acceptance of this book among born-again, Bible-believing evangelical Christians and I feel very alone in my grave concerns about it. The negative and defensive responses I’ve received from some people, about my concerns, has made me reluctant to share these concerns with other believers – fearing I might alienate them or lose friendships. It would be easier for me to keep silent and let someone else take the heat, but I must speak out – regardless of the fallout.

    What troubles me most about Sarah Young’s book is that she is writing in the “first person,” as if Jesus Christ is speaking. I’ve never read a Christian devotional book that is completely written in first person. A writer may say, “I feel/think the Lord is saying to me…” or ” in this verse it seems that God is saying…” or something like that. Writers in these cases are at least humble enough to claim they are not God speaking, but speaking what they think God’s Word means or means to them. They are admittedly writing as fallible human beings – in essence, saying that they may be wrong. They are not exalting themselves to the position of “God speaking,” but acknowledging God is God, they are not, and they are making their best human attempt to convey what they think God means in His Word. Sarah Young does not do this. She does not say, in every daily devotion: this is what I think God MEANS by this verse. She is speaking as Jesus Christ – as GOD!

    Preachers and Bible teachers will help others understand and apply God’s Word to their lives by elaborating on it, or giving examples that people can relate to. But if they stand before a congregation and state that what they are saying (other than quoting Scripture) is God’s Word, it is heresy! Sarah Young contradicts herself by supposedly speaking as Jesus Christ, and yet states that, “I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is…” and “The Bible is, of course, the only inerrant [without error] Word of God; my writings must be consistent with that unchanging standard.” Sarah Young contradicts herself because, if Jesus Christ is speaking directly “through her,” then what she wrote is the “word” of God. Logically, if it is the “word” of God, then it must be inerrant. (That’s a tall claim for a human author to make about her writing.)And she’s already proved that her “word” is not inerrant because she’s contradicted herself. The inerrant Word of God does not contradict itself!

    It comes down to this. Either “Jesus Calling” is Jesus Christ giving new revelation about Himself to the church (the Body of Christ) or it isn’t. Either it is God’s Word, or it isn’t. Joseph Smith “received” what he claimed was additional revelation from “the angel Meroni,” and the cult of Mormonism was born. Sarah Young claims she has received direct communication from Jesus Christ, and untold masses of sincere Christians are itching to hear it. In 1 Timothy 4:1 God warns believers: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…” If “Jesus Calling” is not Jesus Christ speaking, then the spirit Sarah Young has listened to is not the Holy Spirit, but a deceiving spirit (one that is not what it seems to be). If Satan appears as an angel of light, could not a demonic spirit mimic what sounds okay (Acts 16:16-18), and even somewhat innocuous…at first? My concern is for the Body of Christ. The sleepy frog, increasingly warmed by the water in the heating pot, is lulled into a boiling death before it realizes what’s happening. If Sarah Young has “channeled” a deceiving spirit, then is it possible that well-meaning Christians are giving habitual, daily ground in their minds/souls to the “doctrine of demons?” The enemy of our souls is a master of deception; the most effective deception is subtle, slow, and repeated. Is it possible that, once under the influence of the repetetive deception of “Jesus Calling,” unsuspecting Christians may find it hard to extricate themselves from this influence? And, if it is possible for Christians to become subtly entrenched in a deceptive mindset – under the regular influence of a deceptive spirit – what if this spirit begins to slowly introduce more and more “unthinkable heresies?” Will a “darkened understanding” be able to discern them?

    If the Bible is God’s unchanging, completed Word, then it is. I believe that it is. If it is not, then it can be added to, like any other morally relativistic human document. If there is not a standard, separating what God’s Word is and isn’t, then anything can arguably be added to God’s Word as “god’s word.” The book of Mormon has “evolved” and changed over the years – with content being added and deleted – to gain further acceptance as cultural changes (like civil rights) occurred in America. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” Is the Bible now changing – morphing into a ever-expanding repository of “god’s additional word?” God forbid. I am urging you – fellow, beloved believers – to wake up, before the water boils. Satan’s time is short and deception – like the heat of that water in the pot – is increasing. Please do not fall for it.

  39. Thank you Julie for being bold in your beliefs and exposing this book. I read your post and some of the comments from it. I’m a mother who has lost her daughter to beliefs like Sarah Young. It crept in very inconspicuous and very slow. It fed her desire to want more and more spirituality and less of the bible. After all, she was experiencing wonderful gifts and insights from these “spirit guides”. She interpreted the bible to fit what these “spirit guides” told her. She became proud and started demanding respect from us because after all it was “God” who gave her these gifts. She was special now and demanded to be treated as such. Like I said it started so slowly that we didn’t notice. That’s what Satan does. He intices his victims with visions and so called “whispers from God.” I don’t need or want to read a book that claims the words came from Jesus. The only book that has words from Jesus is the bible.

  40. Thanks Julia for blog post, and Julie K for comments. You’re not alone in your worry about this book.

    Sarah Y’s desire “I had the Bible, but I wanted more”?! That’s a huge red flag. That stmt alone indicates that the being she heard from is not the Spirit of the LORD. The Holy Spirit always glorifies Christ Jesus (John 16:14) Since Jesus is the Word of God, we would expect God’s Holy Spirit to point to the Bible as being sufficient.

    Also, her devotional for July 8th reads “I am above all, as well as in all…” That is NOT TRUE!! God/Jesus is not “IN ALL” — that is the heresy of panentheism (God in all) & it’s counterpart pantheism (God is all).

    God still speaks to us today — THRU His Word (the Bible)!! Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword, and piercing … able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

    We need to get in the Word! — God’s Word, not Sarah’s. Thanks again for this post & for all the comments. God Bless, ~Brenda

  41. Thanks for the review. After reading it I think I will Definitely get this book Because I Want to be influence by the opposite of what you are so I don’t end up full of fear, judgmental, and Have poor theology. Thanks again

    • I have this book and I am enjoying it and find it comforting. God said his word will not return void, his words are in the scriptures listed on each page. If you don’t like this book throw it out, better yet give it to some hurting person who needs to know God loves them.

      • His Word is the scripture, not the words she is writing down. I absolutely agree that His Word does not return void, but these are her words and she is putting them in Jesus’ mouth.

        People should take comfort in the scriptures themselves, not in someone’s statements that they supposedly heard from the Lord.

    • Sc, I agree with you. I really like this little book that my daughter was kind enough to give me. God says his word will not return void. I enjoy the thoughts and accompanying scriptures this author has compiled. God speaks to people’s hearts in a way that I can’t, my job is to love them and live a Christlike life by God’s grace.

      • The ” WORD ” is a person and a book and everything else that we ” SEE ” . God is All and in All .

        In the context of ” Faith comes by Hearing and Hearing by the WORD .” The WORD here is the Holy Spirit “. All one has to do is look it up. So Faith comes by Hearing and Hearing the Holy Spirit talk to YOU personally. How would You put it ?

        It’s not a trick to have a relationship with God. One just need to spend time with one’s TEACHER.
        The Holy Spirit is our TEACHER and our GUIDE and many other things. If You are not into being ,,,Taught By God , You”re are probably into TRADITIONS OF MEN !

        The people operating in fear and judgement , TELL ON THEMSELVES ! The mouth is a tell all !
        The people seeking the Love of God will find it. The more you search the Greater Your Rewards will be. Hear Yahweh’s Voice and Obey ! So it will be well with You ! You will hear a voice behind You telling You to go to the right or go to the left . My Sheep hear My voice.

        It’s Like Me and the Holy Spirit walking behing Me and I am getting the step by step councel as we go , another view I ” SEE ” is sitting in Father’s lap on the Throne and watching Jesus work out everything in me while Father teaches Me every move.
        This is pretty wild guys and I would not want anyone to miss it. I just got snached up to take the course. I didn’t know God and didn’t want to know God and didn’t believe there was such a One !
        Hay ,I was goofey ! A Fool ! So What , You ought to ” SEE ME NOW BABY ! ”

        There are many names for the enemy and each name discribes another charateristic if it’s personality or way of deception ???

        There are many names for the Holy Spirit and each mane discribes another charateristis of His personality or way that He come to you. Teacher, Wonderful Councelor, Guide, Comforter ,,,.

        The Teacher may stand You in the corner, whlie the Comforter will pat You on the po po and tell You that everything will be OK ! The Holy Spirit , ONLY testifies of Jesus , YAHSHUA !
        The Holy Spirit will get You to be like Jesus, while the angel of light will try to get You to be like it !
        The Holy Spirit will lead You into All Truth , while the enemy will lead You into mostly truth !

        ” TRUTH ” is a person Too ! The WAY , the TRUTH and the LIFE are the names of the gates into the Temple as one goes from the outside into the Holy of Holies. Hmmmmm ?
        ” I AM the Way , the Truth and the Life ”

        Any Way , the best primmer on the subject that I know of is ” Counceled by God ‘ by Virkler
        If You want to improve YOUR Relationship with God, read that book and get on with it !

  42. Good thought. I read the journal, but I write the scriptures in the journal. Focusing on scripture and remembering them. This way one will not get misled.
    The concern would be greater if people do not study scripture and open the bible along with the journal.. Study to show your self approved…
    This is what I do in order to stay on the right path.

  43. Who wrote the scriptures that you believe so strongly with closed eyes? Psychologically, you believe so strongly what you listen to first 12yrs of their life as child. Just because some people get to hear something thro their society and parents – that cannot be the ONLY way. I can call sugar in different language. Calling it in english alone will not make it sweet.

    closed minded – sugar is sweet. and english language is the only way to express and taste it for real.
    open minded – sugar is sweet. people call it differently in different language. But the taste is what actually matters and it remains the same however you call it.

    • God says he inspired the Bible and that it is sufficient. 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

  44. It seems to me that some of you are so open minded that I’d say you are too open minded you’ll let anything or out from anyone and call it Scripture, even dreamed up words from someone who “claims” to get direct knowledge from God? In the past scrutiny was placed on “Scriptures” and many were thrown out until what we have is the Canon. For some of you, though, no scrutiny is placed on anything texts and you’ll just swallow anything including poison. Don’t you see how it is killing your soul?

    It is radical to think the Bible is really God’s truth and that lady’s ramblings isn’t! Who would listen to a radical like Jesus espousing crazy talk like “the truth” anyway! It is much easier to just go with the flow and listen to every wind of doctrine and what tickles our ears! 😉

    She meant it as an inspirational book and I’d be OK with an inspirational book except she comes out and says that she’s getting direct special revelation from God and what you are reading in that book she claims is direct from God to her to you. That’s unscriptural and just plain makes me wonder why other’s think it is cool with them to read anything in that book when it is obviously not God’s word or truth and therefore blatant lies of the devil. The devil does that where he mixes God’s truth with subtle lies. That’s my estimation of her book. Yeah, it is a pet peeve with me and I don’t understand why it is not a pet peeve with more Christians. Oh well, I’m a weirdo christian I guess that believes the Bible is truth and everyone else a liar.

    The Bible in Galatians 1:6-9 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

    Revelation 22:18,19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

    Why would anyone want to “add to” God’s word or act like a prophet getting direct revelation from God when there’s such strong warnings in the Bible. Why would any Christian say that such words are just fine and dandy with them after reading such strong warnings? Are you really saved by the blood of Jesus or do you just have some wishy washy spirituality? I could understand the latter but not the former. Therefore, judge yourself whether you really are saved, if you have Jesus as your Savior you have the life otherwise you are condemned and need to find out how to be saved!

    Go Julia and hold to God’s Word like a candle in a dark place until the Day Star (Jesus) arises and returns! It will be glorious! The lady who deceives and says she speaking for Jesus will be ashamed and in serious trouble when He returns and so will all those who follow her and her false teachings.

    • I can see 2 different perspectives in these beliefs. one is, you are baptized (sins washed away) but the works of the holy spirit are not active (and if you can see or experience them that it is fake or from satan) the other is that when you are baptized (sins washed away) you then have the personal choice to deepen your relationship with God (given the process and the time to study the Word) and then God sends the Holy Spirit to work miracles for the fallen. In response to those particular verses that are used to say the Holy Spirit is not active now, it is actually quite the opposite. In the old testament we would have had to hear from a prophet to hear what God said. but now that we have Jesus, we can recieve the Holy Spirit and be connected to God directly. So actually, Bob when you also stated that we must be born of water and spirit from john 3:5, that describes what Jesus allowed to be able to happen for us. He made a way to heaven through his life, his death, and his resurrection. The death part is our water baptism. some people call it the end of the process of purgatory. When all sins have been confessed and released to Jesus. The bible states in john 14:6-17 about what Jesus is and what he will do when we ask for the Spirit. this is the resurrection part of Jesus’s life when he arose from death. for us it is the Spiritual baptism. This is the part where we start to hear from God. And once this happens, the sinful nature is no longer in control. this is where we begin new life. Now, i could also say by logic that the Spirit is active by stating that it would not make any sense to go through life without verbal guidance. many times does the bible speak of: God’s will for us, Giving us perfect love. And how the way to heaven is narrow. if the path was straight then anyone could just read the bible and know what the bible says and live according to scriptural laws and standards. but imagine walking on a narrow road. You would need someone to direct your path so you do not stumble, as the bible says basically with God on your side your foot will strike a stone and you will not stumble. -When a person goes to ride a bike, for the first time, doesn’t that person need a guide?

      Anyhow.. Religious arguments get you nowhere. And I am speaking to the both of you. In order to co-exist in this world you must accept eachothers differences and seek out the whole truth together otherwise you will lead into the silent insulting of others phase. From what I can see, it was Jim who initiated the post with his own view. my personal opinion/views are also stated but are in response because i feel i would like to protect the site maker/moderators rights of having a safe environment. alongside the fact that you both have these spiritual traits about you that can coexist. For example Bob you have a point that the Spirit cannot be proven to exist inside someone from texts on a site, since it can simply be seen as knowledge in text form. but i would caution you as some atheists are not that far off. And Jim, you view the Spirit and the knowledge of the bible as one, but i see the same structure of insulting words (in a later response) to what Bob is saying to you. And I will agree that it wasn’t very pleasant. But pride ends in a fall. It is not wise to make claims or impose by any means that you have the spirit inside you. This is why the internet shouldnt be a place for the Holy Spirit (i speak now with human logic) because it was made by man. computers were made by man as well.

      In conclusion: I am not saying that either one of you is 100% right, I am saying that there is power in working in numbers to achieve a common goal. That is why people are so desperate to get others in a church, even if the church is wrong. Because they understand the power of numbers. even though some are bible thumpers, thought provokers, and the like.

      Julia, I am sorry if I am disrespecting your page by writting this. I just don’t want souls to be broken apart because of one argument.

      • hmm…. if i switch the names bob and jim around… this makes sense… lol…. sorry about that!!!

      • actually you know what i messed up most of this message it is 5 am in the morning bleh just forget it rofl, i guess if julia decides to accept these comments you can both read this to figure out who is who… lol… goodnight… and yeah just be nice to eachother and stuff

  45. I hear directly from God and the way that I was taught was that , ” The Word first came from God and then from the others who heard it.” I see this as ” mixed with faith. ” God spoke to the people first and man was a comfirming word that they heard God correctly.

    A lady came up to me at lunch and said ‘ I hear that you can hear the voice of God, I said yes Mam ” She wanted to know what God said about her son. I told her that the work that God had begun in him , He would complete. She cried and said , That is what He told Me !.
    It’s not a trick to have a relationship with Your Father. Step by step councel is a promise !
    God has being trying to get this accross for a while now. Jer. 7 & 9 call for the people to Hear God’s voice and Obey , so it will be WELL with You !

    There are many voices in the world and None without their SIGNIFICATION ! This goes to signature, the voice will put their signature on what they are trying to get You to do.
    There is much deception in this world and it would be well for you to learn your lessons before you get into acting aut oor saying God has said ???? Being decieved by an evil spirit is what the enemy does. That is its job. When God called Samuel , Samuel thought it was his Grandad calling Him ??? A fimiliar voice that he trusted. The angel of light is one of the names of the enemy and this is a countyerfit holy spirit. It will quote scripture to You and yet it will want YOU to beat someone with it. John 3-17.

    Look up the scriptures stating that God will teach the rimnant in the end times ???
    ALL will be Taught by God, Yahweh the almight God !
    The Holy Spirit wooed me for four years before I believed. I heard my little voice every day telling me stuff. I was saying , Man this dude is into riddles, Well before that I was saying . Well I’m going nuts now. Well God knows Your every thought and can really get into your head Ha !.
    I would say that I didn’t understand something and HE would say , Sure you do it is just like ” something I had done and learned in life and He ran a visiual replay of the event. COOL !

    So what I am trying to say is . Get a Revelation and get A Relationship with Father and enjoy Step by Step Councel of Yahweh. He will keep You on the right track. That is what Father’s Do !

    have NO FEAR BE of Good Courage ! Follow the instructions !

  46. Have you submitted yourself to test the spirits? Go to your pastor and tell him what you are doing with these spirits that are speaking through you. The Bible says to test the spirits whether they are from God. Go to the local news station and prove to the world that what you say is true and that you’ll be happy to prove it. If you can’t then you should shut up and stop being a fraud.

    1John 4:1-3 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

    Basically, if you are hearing voices, most likely, they are not of God since the spiritual gifts have ceased until Jesus’ return. God doesn’t speak to his people like he did during Samuels time. Even from the last old Testament prophet to John the Baptist there was no prophet. After John the Baptist, there was none that spoke for Jesus but the 12 Apostles but they are all gone now.

    Hebrews 1:1,2 1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

    1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

    Basically, what I’m saying, is I don’t believe you. I don’t believe anyone who fraudulently says that they hear God’s voice or spirit voices and can divine what’s going on around them. Peter Popov had a wireless device and fooled a lot of people. Other frauds like him do similar things and fool people. The Bible talks about a girl that the Apostles had to cast out a demon because she could divine things. Are you sure it’s not of the devil deceiving you and others? If you say you have such a spirit speaking through you, then prove it. Don’t give us anecdotal evidence, go before some real authority like a local news station and bring your pastor and prove it to the world otherwise if you are unwilling to do that then you should stop lieing and stop being a fraud.

    Yes, I’m being a little harsh but people say all kinds of things and what you are saying is contrary to the scripture in my opinion.

    • Jim said ,,,
      Basically, what I’m saying, is I don’t believe you. I don’t believe anyone who fraudulently says that they hear God’s voice or spirit voices and can divine what’s going on around them

      Jim according to my experiences, I wouldn’t believe anyone Knew God at all without hearing His voice in the process. Hearing God’s voice and devining are two different things.
      God says, Hear My voice and Obey and not to listen to another voice. Listening to another voice is spiritual adultry.
      ( Most religeous people have the angel of light as their holy spirit.)
      OK , jim here is one for You about evil voices. The spirit of suicide is attacking teens at an alarming rate ! If the councel was , take some more of these pills , what happens ???

      If the councel were asking what they are hearing in there mind and teaching some Truth here,we might get some where. Teaching a little, just a most basic level of spiritual warfare . Just like David playing the harp for King Saul to drive the evil spirits away, we can sing our faforite praise song softly and drive away the evil voices that plague some of us.This works every time.Quiten the evil voices and One can hear the Holy Spirit better. Put some praise music on a boom box softly at YOUR NEXT BIBLE STUDY and see who can’t stand it. Hmmmmmmmm ?????
      Evil spirits talked to Jesus in His 40 day trial in the desert. The talk to us today. If one doesn’t believe this , they don’t believe scripture. Spiritual things are Spiritually discerned. One must have the Spirit of Jesus for this !

      Ask Jesus into Your Heart and HE will Lead You into ALL TRUTH !

    • Hebrews 1:1,2 1 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.

      OK JIM , This is what I am saying. Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. TRUTH being the person of Jesus. What is the conflict with scripture about hearing God’s voice.
      The scripturrs You sighted state HE SPEAKS TO US ! Hellow !
      Most people that are into this are into their relationship with Yahweh. No one is trying to rewright scripture or add or take anything from it, just learn more.
      THAT would be the enemy that you speak of ! Wheather YOU believe it or not,,, That does not change the facts or Truth ! Evil has many voices that we can hear today.
      Look up , ” thorns in the flesh and goads in the eyes”

      • Bob, I know you don’t want to hear it but those voices are coming from your subconscious not from God. Do what I said, take yourself to an authority who can do a blind test or a double blind test to see if what you’re saying is true. Have your spirit voices quote scripture and explain Jesus and salvation – him dieing on the cross to take away sins. Your voices are just your brain making up stuff and you’re lieing to yourself an to others just as Sara Young is doing. I don’t believe you and I think your head is making stuff up. Sorry but that’s I think. Jesus is in heaven now. In this current age, we pray to him, and he speaks to us through his word. That is all. There is no communication from him to us directly until He returns. That’s the problem I have with Sara Young and with what you are saying. Only prophets hear direct revelation from God and you are not one. The Bible tells all about them. Also if you claim you are a prophet hearing directly from God then there are tests the rest of us are to do to check what you say and if you get even one thing wrong the Bible says we are to stone you to death. Are you really wanting to say that you are a prophet knowing the harsh things and sayings the Bible says about such people? Don’t be a fraud. Stop lieing to yourself if you really think it’s true it’s not. I know you don’t want to hear it but stop living a lie and convincing yourself of something that simply isn’t true.

      • Here’s what you do Bob, ask your wife or friend to open the Bible to a random page and tell your spirit voices to quote that verse. If it’s just in your head you won’t be able to do it. If it’s from God or an evil spirit then at least you’ll know it’s not you quoting the verse. If you can’t quote it then guess what? (BTW, the swirlingbrain is me Jim Brown, it switched that for some reason).


        One can tell how well someone knows Jesus by how they talk about Him !
        Jesus and the Boys had some of the same problems I seem to be having with this board.
        I was taught by the Holy Spirit about Spiritual communications. Your litttle trial is from what demonination ? That was how I started out, in a bunch sick congregations with God showing me what Not To Do . If we all hook up with the Holy Spirit directly , we wont need religon !
        You can ask Jesus into Your heart and He will talk to You also.
        Behold, I stand at the door and knock, IF YOY HEAR MY VOICE AND OPEN THE DOOR , I will come in and SUP WIT U and U with Me ! What don’t You understand about this ????
        MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, if You don’t You Are NOT !
        To open this door refer to Samuel when He first heard God’s voice. Recognize with whom YOU SPEAK !
        Double minded = two soules, the soul of the old man and the soul of the new creation in combat. RENEW THE MIND and be Transformed.

        John 3-3 You must be born again to ” SEE ” the kingdon,
        John 3-5 You must be born of Spirit and Water to ” ENTER ” the kingdom,,

        When You get born again , Jesus has returned to YOU , Knock Knock !
        I call myself a friend of God, You seem bent on putting a lable on it. The testimony of Jesus , Is the Spirit of profecy. Yahshus said that He said Nothing but what He heard the Father say and Did Nothing but what He saw the Father doing, ( Guided by His voice and Vision 24-7 )

        Have You guy ever done ! Cor. 14-26 , Everyone has a song a hymm a doctrine, everyone comes with what they learned of the Holy Spirit that week ,,, Your Missing It baby if You haven’t.
        Get away from old tired traditions of men and get on with it with God.

  47. It is a little amusing to me that some of these people are effectively arguing against sola scriptura for entirely the opposite reason that the Catholic Church ever did. “I don’t want to hold myself to Scripture alone because I want to follow God’s direct, personal voice to me!” — because they think they’re getting private revelation, not because they want to maintain the public revelation attested to by the Early Church. … Okay, so it’s really not that amusing. It’s pretty scary.

    • Though coming from a Pentecostal tradition myself, I try to listen fully to what people are saying before I presume to judge anything. A lot of people speak of “being led by the Spirit” without meaning to say they are receiving private, contrabiblical revelation. It’s perfectly acceptable to say that “God speaks to me” when one is receiving that Word through the Scriptures, or through perceived prompting, guidance, and confirmation in the illumination of Scripture. As long as such “speech” is supported by and fully in line with Scripture, then I don’t think I’m anybody to judge that. What concerns me, and I think what concerns you, are people who think they can “hear God” apart from, beyond, or even against the Scriptures.”

      This conversation is leaving far behind the subject of your post and your review of the book, but I am curious whether you would categorically reject anybody who claimed to have been supernaturally visited by Jesus, Who revealed things to him or her. What if whatever He said to them were entirely biblical, He speaking from Scripture? What if, on the other hand, it were entirely consistent with and in line with Scripture, but presented some extrabiblical material? I’m thinking specifically of something like the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which originates in visions St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had of Christ, who revealed to her His pierced, burning Heart, and spoke of His overflowing love and mercy for all humanity. This is an example of what the Church calls private revelation. After a thorough vetting by the Church, finding that no aspect of the revelation was contrary to the revealed Truth of Scripture or Tradition, and that it was “worthy of belief,” several different popes have approved and promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart. As private revelation, it’s not a doctrine that anybody is obligated to accept, and certainly doesn’t have any authority of its own; but to me, it falls in the category of something that’s nice to think about, something wholesome and uplifting and edifying, that can only build up people’s faith and not lead anyone astray.

  48. Pingback: Is Deception Calling? A review of Jesus Calling by Sarah Young | earthforeigner

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  50. Hello! I have read Jesus Calling and I will make a couple of statements here~

    I believe that this woman hears voices (in whatever form she hears them) and that she believes they are all from God, obviously this belief system is false. However. There are indeed people who have been baptized in the spirit who have ended up fantasizing and marveling so much at the miracle itself that the miracle became distorted. Indeed, there are places in Jesus Calling in which scripture is sound. But! The reader must take out and filter what has poisoned the Author! Have you ever read the verse that describes the unpardonable sin? ~ these are people who have been baptized in the spirit who DO receive from God, but ALSO from Satan. The reason they can still hear from God is because God has not forgotten them~ God is still fighting for their souls. A person is not truly dead until their body dies.

    Think about this carefully ~ when a person has thoughts that they can hear but not audibly, they can hear both good and bad thoughts! when a person is baptized in the spirit, they can hear thoughts audibly ~ However, if their perception of God is warped, their spirit will be warped, and their only hope is the many souls on earth with the right spirit to pray~

    So how about this~ You, people who love God, spread what is the whole truth about a person~ is this not Gossip? When a person tells another the truth about someone? Spend less time Gossiping ~ spend more time praying.

  51. I read this because the popularity of this devotional concerns me also… But not for all the same reasons. 1) Suppose the Holy Spirit could give direct comfort to Sarah Young when she read a particular passaage of Scripture. This is reasonable as the Holy Spirit often comforts us through the Word of God. However, the Bible also convicts us by showing us the motives of our hearts. If I am, for example, unthinkingly wandering off into pride, lust, or covetousness, a particular passage will serve a disciplinary purpose. People reading ‘Jesus Calling” may think that they are wrongly interpretting a passage that Sarah Young is citing at the top of the page if they feel conviction rather than complete soothing peace. On the other hand, when I am going through a severe trail, certain passages comfort me that tend to convict me with I’m complacent. I like your observations about automatic writing, but I thought some of your criticism about seeking the enjoyment of God’s presence was not supported by Scripture. We are to love God with ALL of our heart. I believe this includes stirring our affections and longings toward God as David did. An emotional response is unavoidable. The fear of lack of discernment and biblical grounding should not make us suspicious of experiencing the joy, love, and peace which the Bible promises. b

  52. Why worry? Why care? You spent alot of time on this article…..does that mean you are putting in first before the BIBLE? The Bible says…. Whatsoever things are good..
    Think on these things…..If Young is telling us good things and it draws us closer to Jesus and passes the Litmus test who cares . The Devil is not going to draw us closer to the Lord….let her be…Only the Lord knows the truth. To be honest after all my uears serving God..I have never had a two way conversation and yhe other night, broken before the Lord…he spoke to me through my mouth. Was that Satan? I think not. Was that me? Possibly…all I know it I felt the true mraning of being in one spirit with yhe Lord and it edified and lofted me up. Let the Lord do his work….write articles that draw people closer to him not away from the inspired word of God says….my sheep Will hear my voice.

    • Julia,

      Your sensitivity to God’s word is commendable! However, I wonder why you would bother to read ANY other author, DeYoung or Gilley that pertains to Biblical exegesis or even Biblical commentaries for that matter. They too, are the authors personal interpretations or thoughts that they have obtained after prayer to God before putting pen to paper.

      That is the case with “Jesus Calling.” Sarah Young has been a missionary for years in Japan and is currently serving Japanese people in Australia. She has had many chronic physical difficulties and through these times has learned to “listen” and obey God. She is not a deceiver. Our church has hosted her and housed her short term. Her putting “Jesus Calling” into first person was her attempt to encourage the reader to engage personally with Jesus and to know that He will guide you through His words, not hers. That is why she bases every devotional on scripture. She is sharing her thoughts from Jesus and encouraging you, not telling you that you should act or base your decisions on her thoughts. **note that Sarah is directly calling attention to God’s Word and His authority** especially the paragraph about “what would you tell someone who wants to begin “listening” to God.”

      She is saying that this is what God has told HER. She isn’t implying that her words from God should mean more to us than His. She is listening for the “still small voice.”

      I believe you have made “Much Ado About Nothing” here.

      It is completely understandable if your spirit does not agree with her premise of writing and therefore prevents you from espousing her book. However, calling her a deceiver and calling attention to your opinion via a blog is uncharitable.

      Grace and Peace,

  53. Great points, and great blog! (I found it when you subscribed to my Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing blog). I’ve been exchanging comments on the Leftist “Christian” Sojourners blog with people who seem to be bored with the Bible and just get their superior, mystical guidance straight from what they claim to be God. This is all too rampant in the church — sloppy God talk at best and heresy at worst. Keep up the good work! I’ll be linking to this from my other blog.

  54. Oh um Julia I messed up that comment thingy earlier its like 5 am in the morning, but yeah i guess if you can somehow edit my post or something you could fix it, i cant change it now cus i dont see an edit button lol but anyway have a good night and um if you wanna email me maybe, you can, for biblical reasons. Anyway take care, and happy flowers, and all that good stuff

    • Bs. 165. Great peace have they that love thy law and. Nothing shall Ofend them.
      Some time hard sayings are called for.

      If I was on a drilling rig and saw someone that thought they knew what to do and I saw unsafe conditions. I would say something before the guy killed himself or someone else. I know all about hard headed. It took the Holy Spirit 4 years to convince me that God is. See if people say we done have a red phone to heaven, Can never convince me of that. I have seen many acts of God and people that say that that is not for today. Too late , I know better. If someone says that step by step counsel of the Holy Spirit is not possible, too late , I know better. I wonder if these people know God at all beyond a mental ascent. If someone tells me that the rotary table on an oil rig turns to the left,,, I get the idea that they have Never Ben on one. I would Never take direction from them. Traditions of men infect the understanding of scripture. My sheep hear my voice should be all that is needed if one doesn’t believe that. Oh Well God will take care of that in his time. Apart from scripture we can and do hear Gods voice whearther one believes that or not. Turn right , turn left , look out. Hear Yahweh’s voice and obey so it will be well with You’

      • Ah yes that is a good example,I see where your getting at. Also sorry for the name mixup. i did put everything down that was necessary even though i got name mix ups cus was so tired. Anyhow, when it comes to Christians who are straying from the path of righteousness, sometimes it may not always be the best time to settle a spiritual disagreement. it is excessively common to see people use the bible only as a mental complex to heal their paradox’s. Which obviously can be false. I want to tread carefully on this, i believe it is good to read the bible for knowledge to fill ourselves with good teaching and can lead to God as the Director. But if unrealistic ideas are seen as insane, then what good is the bible to them? Jesus spoke the dead unto life just the same as he breathed life into the disciples. He said what is impossible to man is possible to God. For people to claim that the Holy Spirit is not active today is to claim everything Jesus did and said as mere history (Since Jesus spoke from the Spirit and not of his own knowledge) and for people to claim that the Spirit does not exist when someone is performing a miracle under the authority of Christ, is to claim that they are from Satan. So when they are judged, they will be judged by his standards. as scripture says in response to the pharisee’s claiming him to be from Beelzebub “They will be judged by Beelzebub”. I believe that the Spirit has the ability to speak immediately to someone whom is in a pattern of disbelief or partial belief. But there are always words of caution (and anyone would know this) when it comes to speaking under Gods authority. God will enable his believers to speak and be reminded of what they have read in times of need, and what is said will align with His word. so if there is anger, it is not man’s place for wrath, for it is God’s alone. even so, God is slow to anger. this is why it is not well-known now for God to order a man to die (just by pointing) because of the fact that we have Jesus and it is no longer old testament times. Another thing is, while something might even align up with the word in some areas, some might be missing. and the most common missing element is this: Ephesians 4:28. people who speak rashly without knowing what will benefit others in their time of need is like a person who took the Spirit and split Him into 2 pieces, and I am still young, but, i am certain God would make sure that what is said will be respectful and beneficial.

      • Jesus said ” I say nothing but what I hear the father say and I do nothing but what I see the father doing ” . Guided by the father’s voice and vision 24-7.

        If one will submit to the Father’s boot camp, King Priest school if you will.
        We first hear the Word from the Lord and then from the others who heard it.

        You must be born again to ” SEE ” the kingdom and you must be born of Water and Spirit to
        ” Enter ” the kingdom. ( Water here is Washed by the water of the Word ! )
        To be transformed by the renewing of the mind is why we can ” Enter ” the kingdom instead of just ” SEEING ” the kingdom.
        If one does not submit to this training where by they are ” Shod by the preparation of the gospel of peace ” They can not enter. ( Lord ,Lord didn’t we do all of these things in your name ,,, !)

        Through being a servant we can walk into the fullness of the Godhead bodily, within the FULLNESS OF THE GODHEAD ! Becoming this Wheel within a WHEEL !
        The Eagle in us, ( The Holy Spirit ) flies into the presence of God and gets the Word and returns with that Word and the Ox face prays behind the scenes ( the Ox doesn’t talk , just treads out the Water ! ) The Ox / servant in us.
        The Lion face in us ( Father ) KILLS AND EATS ALL OPPOSITION TO THE TRUTH. Be angry and sin not. The Perfect MAN face in us , Jesus, ministers LIFE !
        When I am with my wife, She does the Eagle and the Man and I back her up with praying behind the scenes and I take care ALL opposition to the TRUTH,( the person of Jesus)

        I AM the WAY , the TRUTH and the LIFE ! These are the names of the gates into the temple as we proceed from the outer court through the inner court and into the Holy of Holies .

        There are so many overlapping parallels in the bible, I wonder how people get so far off. The whole bible is a progression of growth study. As long as the ” heir ” remains a child, they differ Nothing from a servant, even though they are ” LORD OF ALL ” ! ( ” After you DO the will of the Father , You receive the promise” )

        Often times I AM doing the Lion face, I can handle the JOB . Be angry and sin not is where we don’t separate ourselves from the counsel of God when we are angry. Stand and deliver !
        The thing that delights God the most is that we know and understand Him ,,, .Hmmmmm ?

      • Doing the LION face. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm ?
        How do you deal with the devil ? Not for today ??? Hmmmmmm Again !
        My attitude is ” Come against Me devil and bear witness to the Power of the Holy Spirit ! ”
        I AM anointed for battle, and I LOVE MY J O B ! Just Stand and Deliver the Word !
        I thought that I was invincible when I was a kid at war ,,,Now I know for sure that I AM !
        The Holy Spirit and I are a majority any where I go . I heard that you guys were poo hooing hearing God’s voice for ones self and had to mix it up a little. I was taught all of this stuff by the Holy Spirit before I read about it and got conformation.
        So the bastards ( Heb. 12-8 KJV ) that don’t believe in hearing God’s for ones self need a Savior !
        In Neh. 9-27 and Obadiah 21 Yahweh speaks of ” saviors ” Hmmmmmmmmm ? Little s ,,,plural.
        That is US if you are one of US ! SONS or bastards that is the QUESTION !
        It’s time to get down with our bad self and deal out some wrath and vengeance at Yahweh’s command ! Hear Yahweh’s voice and Obey !
        ” saviors ” goes to “Yasha” in Hebrew. ” saviors” is only in the bible a few times but ” Yasha” in other English words, is in the bible 200 times. Here is a study for YOU !

      • Showing someone that you love them does not involve wrath and vengeance. and i am sure that you are referring to warfare against people who are against the truth of God’s scriptures. But which exactly are His? Yes, God would say to do battle against the enemy. But the enemy is not the person. When someone is controlled by a demon spirit and is teaching false things about God, you can’t go up to them with wrath and vengeance because God would not ask someone to do that at all. If Jesus would have assaulted or verbally seek vengeance wouldn’t He even be going against what God himself has said?

        Romans 12:19 – Do not avenge yourselves, dear friends, but give place to God’s wrath, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

        Deuteronomy 32:25 – ‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’

        Hebrews 10:30 – For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The Lord will judge his own people.”

        So i would be careful in saying that you need to be like a Lion towards people while using the Holy Spirit’s power. The basis of what God instructs of us is based off of something that is commonly used in churches. “what would Jesus do?” having the mind of Christ is directly referring to not only God but Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well. Some might say “But now I have the authority to stand up for God’s Truth” And I would agree. Anyone who has recieved the Holy Spirit and follows God has authority to stand up for His Truth. However. Any human who has sinned (i am saying this because Jesus was living among us also as human) does not have the authority to do what God says they cannot. God has good reason for this. the human nature “can” be powerful if the words of God don’t exist, if you understand what i mean. Reason being. God cannot sin. And cannot be tempted to. We, though, can all be tempted to sin if we believe that we can do things just because the Holy Spirit gives power to those who have recieved it.
        Do you not remember? Satan was once an angel of heaven. And he wanted to take God’s position. his reason was that “he could do a better job”.

        But you are saying that God wants you to do His Will while saying that you know and understand God’s Will for you and others by saying that “It’s time to get down with our bad self and deal out some wrath and vengeance at Yahweh’s command”. Did Jesus not say at the time of his death “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?” That instantly tells a few things. Jesus did not know the Will of the Father but he knew His Will would benefit the kingdom of Heaven. This also means Jesus knew that the Holy Spirit had left. And that the 3 days in hell was Jesus taking the punishment of the worlds sin. For God gave His only Son. Jesus was raised on the third day to describe exactly what God did, and i imagine that Jesus experienced an eternity for every human being in those few days. To live a sinless life, be beaten by those He loves, and forsaken by the one He loves the most, I can understand why God made specific laws. So please be careful. And let God do His part.

      • The carnal mind is the enemy of God’s and mine. The wrath and vengeance will come down on the carnal nature of anyone that hasn’t shed it for themselves. John set the scene when he was beheaded. We cut our own head off through renewing the mind and installing the mind of Christ.
        Cleans YOURSELF of all filthiness of the spirit and the flesh,,, spirit here is the worldly spiritual strongholds in ones mind. When people attack a Lady for saying that she hears God for herself,
        I know that the carnal mind abounds in them ! I couldn’t imagine being saved without hearing from Yahweh personally. Behold I stand at the door and knock, IF YOU hear MY voice and open the door, I will come in and SUP WIT U ,,,,,,,Hearing Yahweh personally and OPENING the Door ! How do we open that door ??? The story of Samuel tells us that story, When Samuel was called by God , he thought it was his Granddad calling him until Eli said it must be the Lord calling. The next time He calls , say speak FATHER your servant is here. Recognizing that You speak with Yahweh and saying so ,,,Opens the door !
        So I challenge that carnal mind to ,,,
        Come against Me devil and bare witness to the Power of the Holy Spirit !

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  56. Pingback: A follow up on Jesus Calling | Steak and a Bible

  57. Wow, there is so much knowledge and passion from all sides here.
    Just to throw my thoughts out there Julia, I found this site because a friend of mine sent me this book (Jesus Calling) as a gift. She loved it so much she bought a case of them and mailed them to all of her friends. I read it for about a week and then threw it away. It didn’t just hint at blasphemy it SHRIEKED of it!
    Still, for the past 7 years or more when I am deep in a painful time of indecision and really need to hear God’s thougths I have prayed and prayed yet not really sure of an answer i have written words that I have felt HIM lay on my heart. But the difference is tht these words are for ME and ME ALONE. I would never dream of publishing them and selling them for money nor even sharing them for free.
    God gave this instruction and comfort to ME. Each one of us hears HIS voice in a unique way and I would never tell someone who is seriusly seeking HIS face and mind that there is only one way to hear it. I have heard God’s message in songs, flowers, sunrises and sunsets, spoken in my heart, spoken to me by others and finally, yes, I have written out HIS words.
    Does this sound New Agey… yes, and I cringe at that. i run far away from , crystals, horascopes, channelling etc…
    I guess it could be dangerous to someone who did not know and had not reached a certain level of maturity but God has, does and will continue speak to HIS saints in many ways… BUT…” Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam” (Jude 11). The only sin (if these are tuly God’s instructions) is in turning what should be a personal and intimate word from The Holy Spirit into a personal profit and public teaching!
    I will end with this ICorinthians 14:15 “What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also”

    • Hello Paula:) I read your comment and I disagree on something…what if the author Sarah Young didn’t publish the book for money but because God told her to because through that book he could speak to someone who maybe never prayed or had a relationship with God. I think of it as a song. God gives a worship leader in an intimate time a song and the singer shares it with many people. Not for money on a hit worship song but because God shared something with the leader and was told to share it to many people.

      • In Hab. The instructions from God are to write it on tablets and make it plain for all to see.

      • Yes, the prophet Habakkuk was told to write his vision on the tablets. it was a horrible vision of coming judgment. There is no biblical evidence that this is prescriptive! This is a historical passage and therefore a gross distortion to use it as a proof text for writing/publishing/and profiting from messages from “God.”

        Not to mention that the Bible has stringent standards for prophets that happen to include stoning if you are erroneous in your prophecy. Are you really suggesting Sarah Young is on par with Habakkuk, a prophet chosen by God to provide us with one of the books of the Bible?

      • Julia, You seem to like the Stoning part !
        Have no fear , be of good courage ! God will not let you be deceived.
        No everything that God says to an individual is a new book for the bible. We are supposed to hear from God and do 1 Cor. 14-26 where everyone has a song, a hymn a doctrine etc. Come together in harmony and share .Work out what we did not hear right the first time through the group. The flesh man tries to get in there too. Leave the rocks at home, we are not trying to rewrite the bible, just Know and Understand our Father. LOOSE each others grave clothes. We have a work to do too.
        A lady came up to me in a restaurant and said, I hear that You hear from God. I said YES MAM.
        Well what did He say about MY SON. I got the answer, and she was talking others at the table. I said, do you want to hear the answer, a couple of times before she listened. I told her that God had said that the work that He began in him, He would complete. She cried and said, That is what he told Me ! I just confirmed what She had heard. No big deal, not rewriting the bible. Just fellowship .

        Gal. 4-1 ,,,If the HEIR remains a child, they differ nothing from a slave,,,EVEN THOUGH they are LORD OF ALL. A great high throne has been the place of our sanctuary from the beginning.
        We MUST MATURE to Partake or ENTER the kingdom.
        If WE have fear, we are not made complete in Jesus.

  58. The contemplative prayer movement was a big issue in our previous church …having seen it’s ‘fruit’ and how it encouraged the youth to rebel against parental and pastoral authority (who could tell them anything when they were getting ‘personal revelations’ from God?), I am very suspicious of yet another book that encourages God ‘speaking’ to us.

    Why is the Bible never enough… “He has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness”…. His Word is complete, sufficient, finished. Why is it not enough to read His Word, grow daily in the circumstances He ordains and apply His Word within the challenges we meet…why must we also have a ‘personal revelation’?

    I have a been a Christian for over thirty years and I have to say, I am content in my relationship with Him and if there is any lack, it is on my side (on my failure to spend time in His Word or prayer — NOT because of failure to “hear His voice”). He has given us the Holy Spirit to ‘lead us into all truth’ (‘Thy WORD is truth’). I keep a journal but not one for ‘revelation’ purposes, but as a reminder to myself of what He is doing in me or teaching me as I grow in Him. The deceiver’s tricks aren’t new, are they? always promising more as he did with Eve in the very beginning…’you can be like god’…’you can have direct revelation’…. appealing to our spiritual pride.

    I trust I have not offended by my frank comments but, honestly, we have seen the destructive insidious and divisive nature of ‘listening (contemplative) prayer’ firsthand. Thankfully it did not make inroads in our own family, but it was pretty obvious after seeing the fruit of it, where this was coming from. I am deeply grieved to see this book promoting a similar very dangerous doctrine (my husband recognized right away the transcendental meditation roots of ‘listening prayer’!) We are never in Scripture instructed to ’empty’ or ‘clear our minds’ in order to “hear His voice”.

    We are to ‘test all things’. I am sad to see so many failing to do that, failing to heed the warnings that ‘many false teachers’ will come in the last days.

  59. Silly….. Always test what you think you here against scriptures first. Ex. God would not tell children to rebel against their parents against his commandment honour your parents. The holy spirit brings ti mind scriptures when our bible is not open….:):)sonetimes in prayer. Yes….

  60. Hi Stacey, Exactly right… Always hold our hearts against the leading of God through His word. 🙂
    The other peice of the puzzle that fell into place while I was reading her book was this. God sometimes lays commands on our hearts in a verypersonal way. I know I have felt his leading and heard His voice in my heart. But it was meant for me and for me alone. To publish and make money off of these teachings seems to me like the sin of Balaam (read Jude 11).
    In so may ways this book and this ‘style’ of devotion and teaching strays from God’s word.

  61. Hello, as I was reading this I got the impression that the overall point was that God can only communicate through scripture. Also, that you weren’t truley sure when God was speaking to you or it was just emotions or the devil. I just wanted to say that God can speak through anyone, not just scripture. I got the book Jesus Calling for my birthday and at first I wondered why Young wrote the devo as if she was Jesus writing it. But as I read on, I began to pray more and ask God to speak to me. Suddenly, the devo for each day began relating to me. At first I thought that it was a cawincidence but as time went on I realized it wasn’t. God can speak to you through people too. Ive had fellow believers come up to me and pray for me without knowing what was going on in my life. God spoke through them.
    Also, if your unsure if God is speaking to you or emotions or the devil, then it not God. God is not a God of confusion and you will know when he’s speaking to you. There are decievers out there but if you unsure about the book Jesus Calling, I think you should pray and ask God if the books legit or not. I’m 17 years old and this past year, God has shown me a lot. And I know when he talks to me because when you get that deep connection with him then you know. The holy spirit covers you and you know when somethings true and somethings false. I think today Christians think that only God spoke in bible times and through people in bible times and miss that he’s with is and talking to us today.
    I’m sorry if my comment is confusing or some words are spelled incorrectly, but I just wanted to give my input.

  62. Hi Theresa,
    I see your point and I don’t disagree. Perhaps I am guilty of putting God in a box and I certainly don’t want to do that. God can surely do anything …”Is the Lord’s arm too short?”
    Yet when I read this devotional it clashed with my spirit. I felt, well, I guess i felt that the author was taking liberties with God’s word.
    While Sara may not intend this and may be doing this due to God’s leading it still doesn’t feel right. I am wary of anyone who says anything in a first person voice from God to me or anyone else out there.
    But it is not my intent to judge but to warn against things that could pull young, niave believers off course.
    Look at the book “The Shack”. So many people loved the message it was one of hope and love and yet it wasn’t Biblically correct.
    I apologize if my comments seemed too linear and hard. you let God speak to you as He will!
    God bless you and keep you!

    • Sorry I’m replying super late! Lol! But yes I agree that you should check and make sure that what Young and other people say matches up biblically. I’ve checked her devos and they go along with the scripture she gives. God spoke through different people who but the bible together and many Christian songs are written in first person as if Gods singing to you.

  63. Certainly the Lord gives us insight into various things for our own maturity and to make responsible decisions….Scripture is full of warnings and stories of those who have paid attention to His promptings.

    However I believe it is a much different thing to claim extrabiblical revelation for anyone else. God leads us individually, and to be led corporately, He has His system of authority (pastors and teachers as a safeguard.

    We also are to ‘try the spirits’ and ‘test everything’. If a person claims to be speaking to you directly AS IF he is the Lord speaking….well, to be honest, because we are ALL human and subject to error, I guess my reaction would be ‘isn’t that a little arrogant?’ Because, Scripture also teaches that our hearts are ‘deceitful’. We simply cannot trust our own hearts….which is why we are given those warnings…. “test everything”….”by your fruit you shall know them”.

    It takes time for fruit to be developed in our lives. We should never jump immediately or take action on a ‘word’ given us by another believer, but instead put it to the test.

    Not to discourage anyone but just as a warning….since, we ourselves have seen so much lately about ’empty your mind and let the Lord speak to you’….and we know that Scripture NEVER tells us to empty our mind (instead Christ warned that the evil spirits ‘look for an empty place’ to inhabit.)

    “He has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness” (not that WILL pertain to life and godliness…). Scripture is the safest place to look for HIs will for our lives because it is complete, “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

  64. Thank you CSC ( can I call you that for short…LOL),
    You have a very clear and calm way of saying what I want to say. God seems to want us to take our leading from those who came before us which is why, if you notice, in the early books of the Torah here was such a flurry of building altars and digging wells. Each one of these was named something that reflected the experience or covenant occurring on that day. God gives us these to remind us of what he has already done! Remember… don’t reinvent…
    There is so much, so very much, to be mined in the BIBLE that we really don’t need anything else. And yet, I totally love books like… Pilgrims Progress, Hinds Feet in High Places, Mere Christianity, Many, many boks that point us directly back to God’s word.
    Not, something that we think (remember the ‘heart is deceitful above all else and who can know it’), or something we feel. Seeking revelation from God could be a pathway to many dscordant things, even cults who urg us to be ‘slain in the spirit and do all kinds of crazy things (which is not to say that I don’t believe in the gifts of the Spirit which are different).
    In the old testament God spoke through prophets but then Jesus came and gave us clear edicts… there is no more revelation until He returns. Jesus cried ..”It is accomplished” or It is finished’ Why add anything more.
    Jesus also says in Matthew 16:4 ” A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign on Jonah.” That’s pretty clear. just lean on the resurrection of Jesus . It’s too easy to be sucked into false prophets who wants you to think that it’s all about “experience”

      • Hi Bob,
        Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re saying here. I can be a little slow n the uptake… is that Hebrews you’re referring to? and what does (conformation) mean?

  65. Paula, Yes Hebrews, We first hear the word from the Lord and then from the others who heard it.
    When we speak out what God has taught us , we get conformation that we heard correctly from God with the testimony that others heard it too. I hear from God and in a short while, I hear someone else say the same thing word for word. In a sermon, in a commercial on TV what ever.
    Gog told me to go to San Antonio and I wanted conformation right now !!! . I flipped on the TV and Pat Sajak asked the guy where he was from, He said San Antonio Texas. I went to San Antonio to a church conference and was born again through the experience. Yahweh is own personal private Daddy, he told me that He will treat everyone like an only child and that there was enough of Him to go around.. The thing that DELIGHTS God the most is that we know and understand Him.
    Not everyone that says the Lord said is real. We have discernment for that. We don’t need to go right to the stoning, God has guided us even before we believed and we can trust Him to do it always. How does one get out of the presence of an Omnipresent God. Aba, Father.
    He also said that He wants us to call Him Ishi, husband. Up close and personal is what God wants us to be.

  66. Hi Bob,
    That’s what I thought you meant but the word is actually confirmation, not conformation which means forming something into a likeness of something else.
    Confirmation is a corroboration of something…a message or a thought.
    I DO agree with you about confirmation and that we should be seeking it before running off and acting on something in an emotional state.
    Thank you for your time.

  67. Hi Bob,
    I just read your article. Thank you for adding your voce. That is exactly what bothered me about the book. A;though I’m not a preacher not have I gone to seminary. As you pointed out, anyone who has been in the word and has read the Bible understands the danger of this type of ‘devotional’.
    When I first read the many times God lashes out at the ‘false prophets’ in Jeremiah… especially chapters 14 and 23… I thought “Wow, that sounds like that famous lady talk show hostess (I will not mention names) who seems to promote her own version of god.
    But you’re right any book or person who preaches on direct revelation opens themselves up for severe judgment from God! Like the old saying “99% of the truth is still a lie!”
    We must all be carefull and walk that narrow path.
    Love and blessings to all!

  68. Thank you for this post. I have to say…that sort of journaling is something my mother has done for as long as I can remember. She passes out “words from the Lord” (when I get them, my first inclination is to burn them—it unnerves me terribly). It’s all very odd, but don’t dare suggest it’s not God… *sigh* Once we did not speak for a year after I truly, innocently referred to Jude regarding something she’d said and believed. To be frank, I would not be surprised if we stopped speaking altogether at some point in time—not because of me, but what I believe versus what she does. She (obviously) gets very agitated at even mere suggestions…But you are right when you say that people begin to take extraBiblical hunches and ‘words’ and the like as authoritative over the Bible itself. I see it with her all of the time, and it drives me up the wall. Despite trying to handle it with tenderness, love, and respect…rough times are likely coming. Sad.

  69. Hi Jen,
    Well, your situation sounds pretty dicey! It’s your Mom and contradicting your Mom is a very difficult thing to do. I have said a prayer for you and will continue to lift you up as I think of it. Stick to your guns because the fact that she gets so agitated is a clear indication that there is a stronghold.
    This is why I felt so uncomrfotable with this book.
    I have a friend who loves the book. Will not happily hear anythig negative about it and she bought a case of them to give to all her friends. (which is how I got one)
    Blessing to you as you walk the narrow path of truth.

  70. So much contention… Sadly, the tone of a portion of this discussion is why some non-believers
    remain so, and why some believers head for the exit.

    Sarah Young chose to write in the first person and claim her words flowed from Jesus. Two questionable decisions indeed. If only her thoughtful prose had been presented as devotional commentary… the error within could more easily be overlooked, and the content more easily inspire.

    • That is exactly right!! Choosing to put this in the first person is the mistake. There are many devotionals which would be creepy if written in the first person… think of My utmost For His Highest!! or Streams in The Desert!

    • Excuse me Cybermoss, I just tried to find this on your website but it says there’s absolutely nothing there. Any hints to see your post?

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  72. I listened in on my roommates in my freshman year of college reading the Jesus Calling book, and I was pretty skeptical too. However, I’ve seen it do amazing, godly things in people’s lives. I’m not saying it’s completely right, but there is biblical basis to some of those entries. I disagree with her methods of creating the book, but not the entirety of the book itself. As for the ‘first person debate’, for some people, first person is easier to communicate. It makes more sense to them. Our God is a holy, righteous and just god. However, he is also a relational and personal god. Writing in first person simply makes it more personal.

  73. I’ve had this bookmarked for months and finally got around to reading it. My mom has all three of Sarah Young’s books (Jesus Calling, Dear Jesus, and Jesus Today). She says that they have helped her immensely in coping with a divorce and a virtual shattering of her life. I personally find “Jesus Calling” incredibly New-Agey and, as I told my mom, “hokey.” It is languishing in dust on my bookshelf! I got “Jesus Today” for Christmas, and I’ve found it to be much less New-Agey than Jesus Calling and more Biblically-based with the actual scriptures being a part of the reading.
    However, I, too, find it strange and unsettling that someone would write what they hear as the words of Jesus down in the first person. Not that it can’t be true, but it just calls for an incredibly high amount of discernment which most Christian do not possess anymore. I find “My Utmost for His Highest,” as a believer’s commentary (and it is only commentary, I think that’s the key) on the Christian life and on the Bible, much more enriching to my time with God. Of course, the Bible comes first.
    Thanks for your review! Maybe I will share it with my mom!

  74. 2 Peter 1:3 says, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His won glory and excellence.”
    Scripture according to 2 Timothy 3:16,17 is all we need to minister to others. We can be absolutely certain that it will not deceive us. Not so with the words of a so-called prophet. Stick to the Word.

  75. What I find disturbing as the difference between a plain commentary and someone who says this came directly inspired from God and she’s just writing it down. For a commentary, it is understood that in the writing are suppositions and opinion, and if there are problems it’s OK because it’s just their opinion, but when someone says that God told them directly that, then that should strike a huge negative cord, because when there are problems with their writing how can you debate it because it’s what God told them? Sarah Young has basically promoted her writing to above criticism because she says God said it to her. So she puts her writings on the same level as the Bible authoritatively. To me that’s quite arrogant and pretty much heresy. If she just said it was a commentary or even just inspirational but not inspired writing I’d be OK with it but when she thinks it is directly inspired writing such as inspired writing which sounds like that the Bible authors had then that’s where it to me is obviously a problem and should be cast into the trash. Not only that, but saying so means that she has promoted herself to “prophet” or someone who speaks directly for God. So making herself someone who speaks directly for God she is thereby making her authority above everyone else’s. If you disagree, then you are not really disagreeing with her but you are disagreeing with God! Now if she really is a prophet, then grand, but as a prophet her writings then fall under the same scrutiny as mentioned in the Bible for people who call themselves prophets. Seeing that there are already many critics of her writing ought to make one skeptical that she really is a prophet or that what she is writing is really God’s message. So, if it’s not really God’s message, then sadly it can only be lies and half truths (ie: more lies). It seems many people are willing to accept anything they read without thinking twice. Turn on your brain filters before reading anything people. Anything!

  76. Hi.. I’ve been continually following this and am thrilled to read such well thought out and measured responses. It’s not just that we don’t like Sarah Young,( poor Sarah everyone is picking on her), but it’s exactly what Jim says so eloquently in the above statement. If someone presents themselves as a prophet just read Deuteronomy 18:20 ” But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.” We all need to be careful and very aware of our ego’s.
    This whole thing will now fall between Sarah and God.
    By the way Faith, I love Oswald Chamber’s book “My Utmost For His Highest” You might also like a devotional book written around the same time which is all commentary and NOT supposed inspired writing, called “Streams In The Desert”
    Blessing to you all!

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  80. I am so thankful for this discussion and the focus on God’s Holy Word as the source of “inspiration” (the drawing in of breath-God’s gift of life-the Holy Spirit). It is not by chance that I have been reading a book selected at random at the public library entitled “God’s Perfect Child” by Caroline Fraser, herself being raised in the Christian Science Church, explains Mary Baker Eddy’s “personal revelations” from God. She documents how the entire belief system is based upon Eddy’s being their Discoverer, their Leader, their Mother. (pg 167).
    Fraser expounds the fact that the book (Science and Health) is more important than the Bible. This is also the case with Mormonism (The Book of Mormon-Joseph Smith & other Mormon writings); with Seventh-Day Adventism (The Great Controversy-Ellen Gould White); with Jehovah’s Witness (The Truth That Leads to Eternal Life-Watch Tower Society & limitless publications). All have a “book” that supersedes the Holy Bible.
    My sister-in-law while dealing with cancer and the affects of treatment (may she rest in God’s peace) was introduced to “Jesus Calling” by a person. This was at a time in her life where she was in crisis and was searching for help. Now that I am reading it I have grave reservations about where it leads a soul.

    • Ann, on what do you base your statement that Seventh-day Adventists believe The Great Controversy is more important than the Bible? I haven’t been able to find any statement of such in their literature or by any Seventh-day Adventist church leader. Thanks.

      And a big thank you, Julia, for writing this piece on your blog.

      Re: the Jesus Calling book, I’ve been given two as gifts. I read a few pages of the first one I was given and put it down as it wasn’t nourishing me as the Bible does. It seemed “fluffy” to me. Whereas the Bible is filled with comfort but also with challenges to deeper thinking, behavior and growth. I don’t find Jesus Calling to be congruent with scripture in that way.

      I also noticed as others have that Sarah Young wrote her book in the first person. I then tried to think of any author in the scriptures who wrote in the first person of God or Jesus and couldn’t think of even one. Or anyone of the Biblical writers who channeled God or Jesus.

      It is alarming to me that many Christians are buying and reading this book and thinking that the good feelings they are getting as they read it are from God. Consider that the Bible says, “even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” 2 Cor. 11:14

      The Bible says that there will be many in the last days claiming, “I am Christ,” and will lead people astray. Matt. 24:5. To me speaking in the first person as Christ is the same or at least very close to saying, “I am Christ.”

      Matt 24:24 says, “”For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Is it possible even some of the elect are being deceived by this book? (I just scrolled down and saw someone else posted a reference to Matt 24 but am going to leave my own reference to it.)

      One more thing. Remember when Jesus was in the wilderness and was tempted by satan that satan quoted scripture to Him. It seems then that it wouldn’t be wise to use the criteria of having passages of scripture in a book as a reason to believe it’s of God.

  81. I believe that God can do whatever he pleases, so long as it is good, and that includes speaking to people, as he did at times in the Bible. So I suppose I’m not entirely sola scriptura, but I do believe in testing messages against His Word as it taught us to do. Also, Jesus said that we would know the false prophets from the true (by their fruits). Though sometimes even the fruits can look one way and be another, I think the true believer, by careful examination of the words and practices of writers and preaches, and then careful examination of the scriptures, can easily discern false teaching without having to reject the idea that God can still give personal revelation. Ultimately, rejecting this idea limits the power of God in a person’s mind, and can lead to valuing His word not just as our one true authority on earth and our link to him, but as equal to God in power and wisdom.
    Also, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul tells them to “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”
    If the Bible is practical instruction inspired by God, surely this is as well. (After all, it seems unlikely that Paul only thought the church in Corinth should prophesy, so it must be for other people of the church as well.)
    If 1 Corinthians 14:1 (the above) is a message for all of us, then we are to desire that the Holy Spirit of God grant us gifts and abilities to do his work, including the oft-mentioned gift of prophecy.
    Please understand, I do not condone mysticism and extra-Biblical practices such as those of the writers of these blasphemous works. Anyone who practices a dangerous thing like this and claims to receive divine revelation but speaks words not in line with the Bible is a false prophet, and to trust them is to go down a dangerous road.

  82. The key lies in knowing scripture and not allowing oneself to be led astray no matter how noble, sweet or loving the path seems. Jesus clearly said ” It is finished” when he died. In Matthew 24 He says it more directly…At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

    26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”

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  84. Julia, I wrote a comment in your blog in March 2013 re: my grave concerns about “Jesus Calling.” A good book to reference re: this book is ‘ “Another Jesus” Calling’ by Warren Smith.

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  87. Very disappointed by your article. Of course neither your position nor the author of Jesus Calling’s point of view can be ‘proved’ ultimately. We know that only God knows the ultimate truth of these things. But I feel you are very legalistic and closing yourself off from a living relationship with the Holy Spirit by your fearful and judgemental position. Sending you love. I pray we’ll both receive further revelation about this in our hearts and minds. All the best to you…I respect your right to hold this position but felt it right to express my concerns. And you are a good writer and obviously are earnest and thorough in your attempt to reason things out… however, reason can only take us so far. At least where the Holy Spirit is concerned.

    • Thank you for your above comments. I was really taken aback when I came across this blog. I felt that to imply that Ms. Young knowingly was attempted to be a deceiver was a bit harsh. I have been a christian for a long time and have spoken to and received god’s word through Scripture as shown by the spirit, no doubt. I understand that the bible is the living word. Even so, the words of the book in question have provided comfort and a seaway into the scripture which may have not been possible otherwise during a great time of trial. I also love that you leave the last word with GOD. “We know that only God knows the ultimate truth of these things”. For HE is our ultimate goal.

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  89. Hello. I haven’t read all the comments, but wanted to know, what was said that contradicted scripture? I found her writings to be a paraphrase of the meditation she has with God during her times of worship. I take every author in that way. Somethings I feel are for everyone, and some specifically for the person meditating. It is very interesting to hear what God is telling others, because we don’t get to hear that very often. I think the author is very good at reading the word and giving pretty accurate summation through the devotional. Isn’t that what all pastors do?

    • Hi there. This isn’t comprehensive in any way, but this link shows one very obvious example of the book’s “Jesus” contradicting the Biblical Jesus. If Jesus was actually speaking to Sarah Young, he would have remembered his final words before his ascension no problem. Her book gets them wrong.

      As for wanting to know what God is telling others, I would caution you. There is no way to know that it is in fact God telling them any of those things, unless it is what the scriptures say. I would encourage you, delve into the Scriptures and hear God that way ministering to you, teaching you. It will benefit you far more in your relationship with Jesus.

      No, this is not what pastors typically do. Unless you are going to a church in which the pastor claims direct revelation. If you are, I advise you to find a new church. According to the pastoral epistles it is the role of a pastor to study the scriptures and teach them and sound doctrine to their flock. Sarah Young is claiming to be doing something very, very different.

    • Hi K.
      yes, I totally agree with Julia. Be very careful, my friend, that you are aware of the difference between, say, and Oswald Chamber’s devotional which discusses the scriptures , a pastor who explains the scriptures or someone who creates new scriptural revelation.
      No one can know for sure Sarah Young’s heart and motivation. Likely it is all good. But my pastor says you can be Sincerely wrong and that is almost worse that being Deceptively wrong.
      1 Thessalonians 5:21, “prove all things, hold on to the good and avoid all appearance of evil.”

      • Precisely. I have tried to avoid saying anything about Sarah Young’s motives because I cannot know them, but also because they are irrelevant. People can be wonderful and well-meaning and still completely wrong.

      • This is such a good discussion! I just had to mention that it is only God’s Word, the ‘sure word of prophecy’ that we can trust ‘new’ or *any* kind of knowledge or revelation against. We are instructed and exhorted to do so (to ‘test everything’). My husband and I have been amazed as we see more and more acceptance by the church (in general) of ‘new’ methods of prayer (for example, draw a circle and get in it to pray. Does this work ‘better’ than the direct access Christ gives us through His own blood??) or doctrines that completely set aside foundational (biblical) truth. Yet one of the last things Paul did was to warn the church that ‘many’ false teachers would be coming. Is anyone paying attention to the warnings in the Bible itself not to follow after or be tossed about with every wind of doctrine? (sorry I guess I got off a bit on this topic…) : )

  90. Exactly! we are the ones who must keep our eyes solidly on Jesus. In doing so we will KNOW deception. We have been warned three times in the Gospels and often in the old testament (see Jeremiah 14-16 and 23-24 as well as many other places…)
    The one I remember best is Acts 17:11 “Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you, for many will come in my name,…”

    • Anyone that doesn’t believe that God is speaking to them is confused. Sit down and sing Halleluyah softly until the Father ‘s presence. His presence will clear the air and give you peace. Then ask your questions.
      Not everyone that says God says is for real. Spiritual things must be Spiritually discerned. If you don’t have step by step counsel of the Holy Spirit, one is not well informed.
      How many scriptures does there have to be on the subject of hearing Yahweh.

      This is Not For a Today is the big lie.
      Knock. Knock.
      Detail on the deception ????

      • It is God’s Word that instructs us, edifies us, exhorts us, and ‘grows’ us in the faith (just a few Scriptures, there are many more):

        Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
        Prov. 30:5, 6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
        Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
        Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
        Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
        Matthew 7 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
        1 Peter As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

      • Hi Bob,
        I’m confused as to what you are saying. Are you saying God IS speaking to Sarah and we should be open to that fact?

  91. The. TRUTH is a person !
    Yahshua is speaking to us all. All of our lives. When he called Samuel. Samuel thought it was his granddad calling.
    A familiar voice.
    The letter kills. The Spirit gives it Life.
    I was reading about the Lamb. I was translated there on a sand bar and watched the whole thing go down.
    You are missing out.
    This IS for such a time this.

  92. Whoa Nelly, first of all Eli was not Samuel’s grandad. Second do not ever forget that we are created for God, He is not created for us. If He says “it is finished” then it is.
    I am certainly not saying that the spirit does speak to and lead each one of us uniquely. What I am saying is that this leading, calling, speaking (whatever you want to call it) is for our hearts only and not for profit to be sold to the general public.
    Then it is not a new edict or scripture for all it is simply a loving message from Abba Father to child.

  93. Hats off to Julie for writing back often and not getting heavy handed or bashing people up. I encourage your desire to help, and i actually think you are right about what you say. Even if you were wrong in your response, i admire your willingness and speak the truth and warn people.

    I am truly amazed that so many people get into this book, to me it’s crystal clear that i shouldn’t indulge in it despite the sincerity and good intent it was written with. Maybe i could get some good out of this book, but i feel like it be ignoring some red flags. The only books i read these days are generally testimonies, or things that help me understand the bible better.

    I want to believe its from Jesus, I want to believe the other thousands of similar Christian books on the shelves. I really do, then i wouldn’t think so many people are being deceived, and i’d feel better about Christians making money from them, i’d more highly regard Christian literature, and i’d go buy them myself and apply them to my life.

    But where am I encouraged to get daily devotions for myself straight from Jesus like this in scripture, or read and apply other peoples spiritually received devotions. How can i really tell it’s from Him? What part of His word is missing, or incomplete? Experiences can be counterfeit, and I hate that it’s the case. But its true. Seems to me like writing and reading this book isn’t an instruction i can find in NT theology, unless i stretch something.

    I don’t know if this book is counterfeit, i don’t know if it is actually inspired, and I can’t know. That’s kinda the point. I don’t really have reason to believe reading it is a scripturally sound idea. It doesn’t really matter how convinced or learned a modern author is about their experience.

    The only reasons tempting me to read it is to hear new things from Jesus. Also thinking that hearing him to Sarahs capacity can be achieved and perhaps a normal thing. Also thinking God is doing a new thing in this day and age. Also thinking that a personal relationship with Jesus is supposed to look like what Sarah has. All the above I wish were true, but biblical wisdom tells me otherwise.

    If seasoned Christians who are reading this are coming up short counting counterfeit spiritual experiences, better turn on your headlights. The bible warns that the best of us will be fooled. It’s not always going to be obvious when we are being fooled, that’s what deception is. Be prepared, get into the Word that you “know” is true. It seems as much a wisdom thing as a discernment thing.

  94. Thank you so much for this article. I have so many friends who read Jesus Calling and it just makes me want to cry.
    I will be directing them to this article if I get the chance. 🙂

  95. I just found this post from the internet and I’m so glad so glad someone said it, and wrote this comprehensive piece about this book. When I was given this book a couple of years ago I opened it and read the first day page and closed it. Thinking how can anyone have the audacity to write things they think Jesus said to them as if Jesus said them out right? I’m so glad I had the discernment to know this was heresy, the author Sarah Young. My daughter tried to read the first page after I gave her the book and said the same thing. Why did I even give her the book is my question? I’m just glad this book is in the garbage now. Ok all that to ask if I could repost this on my blog? And thank you for your wonderful informative post. Shazza

  96. Awesome article, very helpful.

    John 15 (the first half or so) gives a lot of good and helpful wisdom on abiding with Jesus and having a relationship with Him. It’s obvious in reading this that Jesus places a super high importance on His Word- the (completed) Bible. The other thing that He places high importance on is doing what He commands, which is loving people. So if you want a better relationship with Him, abide in His Word and obey what He commands. You don’t need any mysticism to do that.

  97. I was given a copy of “Jesus Calling” today and the similarity of the title to “God Calling” made me wonder if it was the same kind of book. I did an internet search and it led me to this post. I appreciate the effort that has gone into providing this information. The book is going into the trash.
    (I checked the links to that are at the end of the post. The site apparently is no longer in operation and the domain name is available for sale.)

  98. If I may, I’d like to add another item that should be at the top of the list of problems with “Jesus Calling.” In Galatians 1:8 Paul says that even if he “or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!” Then he repeats this again in verse 9. When something is repeated in scripture, it is important.

    The Jesus of “Jesus Calling” preaches a false gospel in a number of places. For example the July 3rd devotion:

    “I have acquitted you through My own blood. Your acquittal came at the price of My unparalleled sacrifice.”

    What does it mean when someone is acquitted? They have been declared innocent. The court has determined they never committed the crime. If we have been acquitted, why did Jesus die to pay the penalty for crimes we never committed? Jesus did not die to acquit us, He died to pay the penalty for our sin—our breaking God’s law. We are not innocent. We are guilty, and Jesus’ blood redeemed us. He paid our penalty so that we can go free.

    The July 3rd devotional is a complete false gospel. This alone is enough to condemn this book as something all Christians should avoid.

    I have just released a book on Amazon called “RUN! It’s Jesus Calling” that goes through “Jesus Calling,” step-by-step, and does as scripture says… tests “Jesus Calling” against scripture. It fails at every point. Even the scriptures associated with each devotional are used to mislead people away from the real Jesus.

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  100. Very good review. When someone wanted to give it to me recently (I’m a new Christian), I read the first few pages and it just didn’t sit well with me. The whole, Jesus talking thing seemed extremely blasphemous. The bible is the starting and ending point with God’s revelation and a his word. Thanks for your post.

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  106. I foolishly replied to this post, looks like a few years ago. Actually it was in 2012. The book was given to me to read by a friend. Well, things change. I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole now. When seeing my comments from 2012 I am ashamed. That is not to say though that I had NO Heard from the LORD. by Revelation. But ‘Revelation’ is not what is being shown in that book at all. That is it being marketed at all should tell us something is ‘amiss’. The woman is making money from nothing but her imagination…and making bucks by selling it in walmart. Face palm

  107. So good to see God’s spirit at work in your life Stephen! You are a blessing as is Julia. She is so very patient with those who argue for experience over the word of God. In fact, isn’t that what pushed Sarah Young into these supposed revelations? As she wrote in her preface, she wanted “more than just the Bible”. Yikes, “Get thee behind me satan, thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Matthew 16:23

  108. BTW, I should add, that if we have any deep relationship with God, we are going to hear him speak to our souls from time to time. But that is only for our ears and hearts. What HE says to me is not something I should sell to you. Does that make sense? So you probably did hear from God. Directly to you and for you! 🙂

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