Posts Tagged ‘The Circle Maker’

Prayer: Habakkuk compared to Honi

September 21, 2013

Ephesians 5:11 … Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them … -Eph5:11;1Tim5:20;2Tim4:2-4;Ti1:13-14

In Mark Batterson’s book The Circle Maker, Honi is compared to the prophet Habakkuk. Is this a valid biblical comparison?

From: The Circle Maker

Quote:
“I’m sure Honi the circle maker prayed in a lot of different ways at a lot of different times. He had a wide variety of prayer postures. But when he needed to pray through, he drew a circle and dropped to his knees. His inspiration for the prayer circle was Habakkuk. He simply did what the prophet Habakkuk had done:

“I will stand upon my watch, and station me within a circle.”

From The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Honi’s Prayer:

And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.

… Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have mercy upon your children.

… The people rejoice over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the celebration.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits and caverns.

… It rained so heavily … people fled .. to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of benevolence, benediction and grace.

Then … it began to rain in perfect moderation.

Prayer: Habakkuk compared to Honi

Let’s take a look at some key verses in Habakkuk 2.

1 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart(watch tower), And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

From NetBible Hab 2 – Habakkuk compares himself to a watchman stationed on the city wall who keeps his eyes open for approaching messengers or danger.

Habakkuk expects to hear from the Lord and is prepared to wait for the Lord’s answer, he also humbles himself for possible correction to his complaints in Hab 1. His complaints center on v4 on how justice seems to be perverted.

*Honi does not hear from the Lord or expect to hear the Lord’s directions, was he really a prophet of God? (Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?) -Honi also isn’t prepared to be corrected or to receive anything other than what he demanded – rain.

2 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. 4 Behold the proud[06075], His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. 5 Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, He is a proud man, And he does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell, And he is like death, and cannot be satisfied, He gathers to himself all nations And heaps up for himself all peoples.

The Lord’s answer to Habakkuk reveals the difference between the proud and those whose faith is in Him. Those who trust in the Lord are willing to submit and wait upon Him and His plan.

From NetBible Hab 2:1-5

  • proud[06075] = swell with pride
    *As for the proud, his desires are not right within him – the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion in contrast to the just/righteous(Isa 40:31)
  • faith[0530] = fidelity, steadfastness
    *the Lord is assuring Habakkuk that those who are truly innocent will be preserved through the coming oppression and judgment by their godly lifestyle, for God ultimately rewards this type of conduct. In contrast to these innocent people, those with impure desires (epitomized by the greedy Babylonians; see v. 5) will not be able to withstand God’s judgment (v. 4a).
  • *The proud are greedy and never satisfied always demanding more

*Habakkuk decides to trust and worship the Lord (Hab 3:16-19) even when circumstances do not appear favorable

*Honi appears to demand rain and isn’t satisfied until he gets exactly what he demands.

Habakkuk puts his complaints before the Lord and expects to hear an answer. He also prepares himself for correction. Habakkuk accepts the Lord’s answer and is prepared to trust in His plan even though circumstances are not the best. Honi does not follow this pattern. Honi appears to demand rain and isn’t satisfied until he gets exactly what he wants. Honi also does not hear from the Lord. Honi seems to look more like the proud than the faithful.

.

Faith(The Humble) contrasted to The Proud
Faith Proud Verse
righteous are preserved – they do not faint(Isa 40:31) – they live the proud with impure/greedy desires can’t withstand God’s judgement – they faint Hab 2:4
faithful are preserved the proud are judged by God and paid back in full Ps31:23
blessed is the one who makes the LORD his trust the proud fall away to lies or turn to false gods Ps40:4
the humble are given grace by God the proud are opposed by God Pro3:34;1Pe5:5;Ja4:6
the humble will be honored by God the proud will be humiliated by God Pro29:23
The humble stand firm in faith and endure the proud rebel(do not stand firm) and are devoured by the sword Isa7:9,1:19-20
The Lord’s blessing is on the faithful who trust in Him The Lord’s curse is on the proud who trust in mere human beings and whose heart turns away from the Lord Jer17:5-8

Related:
Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?
Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi
Quail: Answered Prayer

Matthew 18 Used to Silence Contenders

September 16, 2013

Usually if anyone questions a public teaching by a professing christian they are silenced with Matthew 18. They are told that they must follow Matthew 18:15-17 and go to the person promoting the teaching in private.This passage is also used to silence people from naming names of false teachers. In fact I’ve been criticized for publicly questioning a popular book on prayer recently. Is this biblical?

If you click on the link above you can see this scripture in context. It doesn’t refer to public false teaching. It refers to private sin. A private rebuke is given for private sin.

So how do you confront public false teaching?
A public rebuke is given for public sin.

Jude 1:3-4Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Contend for the faith earnestly -
Be ready, Matthew 18 will be used to try to silence you or
get you to compromise God’s word for the sake of unity.

Quail: Answered Prayer

September 14, 2013

Numbers 11:4-6The rabble who were among them had{yielded to} greedy desires; and so the sons of Israel wept again and said, “Who will give us meat to eat? 5 We remember the fish which we used to eat free in Egypt, the cucumbers and the melons and the leeks and the onions and the garlic, 6 but now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”

From NetBible Num11:4

  • *The story of the sending of the quail is a good example of poetic justice, or talionic justice. God had provided for the people, but even in that provision they were not satisfied, for they remembered other foods they had in Egypt. … God will give them what they crave(answer prayer), but it will not do for them what they desire.
  • *The Hebrew simply uses the cognate accusative, saying “they craved a craving” (הִתְאַוּוּ תַּאֲוָהhitavvu tavah), but the context shows that they had this strong craving for food. The verb describes a strong desire, which is not always negative (Ps 132:13-14). But the word is a significant one in the Torah; it was used in the garden story for Eve’s desire for the tree, and it is used in the Decalogue in the warning against coveting (Deut 5:21).
  • rabble[0628] = mixed multitude, riffraff
  • greedy desires[08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
The people were not satisfied with the Lord’s miracle provision of manna. They craved another “food”,  another miracle – “meat”. 

Numbers 11:18-20 … Say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, “Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt.” Therefore the Lord will give you meat and you shall eat. 19 You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the Lord who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

The people in yielding to this craving for meat actually rejected the Lord and His provision of manna. Manna = Bread from heaven = The Lord’s words (Jn6:31-35;Dt8:3)

Numbers 11:31-34Now there went forth a wind from the Lord and it brought quail from the sea, and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp and about two cubits deep on the surface of the ground. 32 The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. 33 While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very severe plague. 34 So the name of that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah, because there they buried the people who had been greedy.

From NetBible Num11:31

  • *The irony in this chapter is expressed in part by the use of the word רוּחַ (ruakh). In the last episode it clearly meant the Spirit of the Lord that empowered the men for their spiritual service. But here the word is “wind.” Both the spiritual service and the judgment come from God. *Wind=judgement

From NetBible Num11:34

  • Kibroth-hattaavah[06914] = graves of lust
    *from [06913] = graves and  [08378] = lust, intense craving, covetousness
Be careful of being ungrateful for the Lord’s miraculous provision and demanding more. You may be trading the truth of God’s words(manna) for a lie(quail). You may get what you desire – another “new” food – a delusion that results in death. (Ro1:18-32;2Thess2:1-12)

Related:
Dream Big: Cloudy with a Chance of Quail by Mark Batterson

Quote from: http://zondervan.typepad.com/zondervan/2012/05/seek-and-ye-shall-be-surprised-excerpt-batterson-circle-maker.html:
Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle. How God performs the miracle is His job. Your job is drawing a circle around the God-given dream. And if you do your job, you might just find yourself standing waist-deep in three feet of quail.

Beware of carving more than manna(God’s words). Indeed, your prayers for more may be answered, but you may just find yourself “buried” deep in quail!

Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi

September 4, 2013

Ephesians 5:11 … Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them … -Eph5:11;1Tim5:20;2Tim4:2-4;Ti1:13-14

From The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Honi’s Prayer:

And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.

… Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

Lord of the Universe, I swear before your great name that I will not move from this circle until you have mercy upon your children.

… The people rejoice over each drop, but Honi wasn’t satisfied with a sprinkle. Still kneeling within the circle, Honi lifted his voice over the celebration.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain that will fill cisterns, pits and caverns.

… It rained so heavily … people fled .. to escape the flash floods. Honi stayed and prayed inside his protracted circle. Once more he refined his bold request.

Not for such rain have I prayed, but for rain of benevolence, benediction and grace.

Then … it began to rain in perfect moderation.

From my previous post The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker it was seen that the technique of drawing or visualizing a circle is a pagan technique used by Wicca and ritual magic. This made me wonder about Honi’s prayer itself. He addresses God as “Lord of the Universe”, I wondered is this a pagan title for God?

A quick google search for “”lord of the universe” god names” reveals that this is a tile used by Moses for God(Lord of the Universe). However, “lord of the universe” is also a tile used in Wicca circle casting. It also reveals that combining this title and circle technique is a way to build an altar to this Wiccan god. This “lord of the universe” tile is also linked with other gods from new age, mormonism, islam, kabalah … etc.

So how do we know which god Honi was demanding rain from? Notice in the above excerpt Honi is compared to Elijah – maybe a good place to start is by looking at Elijah’s prayer(1Kings 18).

Prayer: Elijah compared to Honi

Take a look at some key verses from 1 Kings 18.
1 Now it happened after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth.”

Elijah does not act until he hears from the Lord. There is a condition on the Lord sending rain – Elijah must show himself to Ahab.

*Honi does not hear from the Lord.

17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He said, “I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed the Baals.

Elijah is accused of causing trouble or conflict. The real reason was because of not listening to the Lord and following other gods.

*False or mixed teaching causes conflict.

36 At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again.” 38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Elijah prepared an altar and offering according to the Lord’s instructions. The main point of his prayer was that the people may know the Lord and turn their hearts back to the Lord.

Hosea 14:2 … Take words(repentance) with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips”(sacrificial bulls).

Hebrews 13:15 … Through Him(Jesus Christ) then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to(confess) His name.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 … Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances[do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning].. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;22 abstain from every form of evil.

*Elijah’s offering before prayer can be compared to giving a thank offering now through Jesus Christ – a sacrifice of praise = the fruit of lips that give thanks – confess His name.

*Honi displayed the opposite of thankfulness in demanding more than a sprinkle.

*Elijah did not demand fire.

41 Now Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of the roar of a heavy shower.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and drink. But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees. …  45 In a little while the sky grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 

*Elijah did not demand rain, but instead by following the Lord’s instructions, the Lord sent rain as He promised.

Elijah’s prayer clearly followed the Lord’s instructions.Honi’s prayer is not a prayer that follows the same pattern as Elijah’s prayer. Since Honi did not hear from the Lord, it makes you wonder what pattern of prayer he followed and what foundation his prayer was built on.Maybe, just maybe this is why Honi and his prayer are not in the bible.

James 5:16-20Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

Related:
Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?
Bull? Or fruit of your lips?
A Sacrifice of Praise

The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker

August 31, 2013

There is a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, making it’s rounds in christian churches. The book is about a “new way” to pray based on the legend of Honi the circle maker. It claims that you will learn how to “dream big”, “pray hard” and “think long”.

Right off the bat in this video we see Mark drawing a clockwise circle in chalk around himself. Honi is also depicted drawing a circle in the sand with a staff.

A quick search on google for clockwise chalk circles reveals that this technique is called a magic circle or casting a circle used in ritual magic. It is used in Wicca. The technique may or may not be physical as stated here:
Magic Circle

Mark encourages people to “circle” promises in the bible, “circle” your family, “circle” your kids. We see these circles need not be physical — they can be “visualized”. It is very disturbing to see a model for christian prayer which uses a technique from witchcraft to obtain power or answered prayer. This technique is found nowhere in the bible.

This is the technique that Honi the circle maker used to get his prayer for rain answered. Mark calls him a legend.

The Legend of Honi the Circle Maker

The legend of Honi is found in the jewish book of legends — this is stated on the circle maker site:
http://www.thecirclemaker.com/resources/The%20Circle%20Maker%20Sermon%201%20-%20The%20Legend%20of%20the%20Circle%20Maker.pdf

Honi the circle maker stood firm inside his circle drawn in the sand until his prayer for rain was answered, this is the legend.

Honi as a Prayer Model?

 

My question is on what foundation was he standing? What foundation does this book encourage us to stand on? Is it the Rock – God’s word or Christ? If so, why are we not encouraged to pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ? Why does this circle making technique not appear in the bible, but is easily found in ritual magic? Could this be why scripture warns against giving heed to Jewish fables – “legends”?

Titus 1:13-14

Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error,
14 [And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.

Matthew 7:21-23
New International Version (NIV)
True and False Disciples

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:24-26
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Two Foundations

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

1 Corinthians 10:4
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.

Psalm 40:1-4
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
God Sustains His Servant.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay,
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear
And will trust in the Lord.
4 How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust,
And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

John 16:24
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
24 Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.

Honi the Circle Maker – A Prophet of God?

August 28, 2013

There is a book called “The Circle Maker” by Mark Batterson, making it’s rounds in christian churches.
Sample chapters are found here:
http://thecirclemaker.com/The_Circle_Maker_Sampler.pdf

Quote from above sample chapter 1:

And God was nowhere to be heard. But there was one man, an eccentric sage who lived outside the walls of Jerusalem, who dared to pray anyway. His name was Honi. And even if people could no longer hear God, he believed that God could still hear them.

*Notice that Honi did not hear from the Lord

A true prophet hears from the Lord
John 5:30I[Jesus] am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.

Quote from above sample chapter 1:

With a six-foot staff in his hand, Honi began to turn like a math compass. … Honi stood inside the circle he had drawn. Then he dropped to his knees and raised his hands to heaven. With the authority of the prophet Elijah who called down fire from heaven, Honi called down rain.

Is this a new biblical way to pray – or a practice from the occult?

.

Wiccan prayer circle book:
Here is the circle maker:

*Notice how Honi is compared to the true prophet Elijah. Notice also that Elijah unlike Honi heard from the Lord before he acted.

1 Kings 18:1After many days, the word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.

Quote from above sample chapter 2:

If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.

Consider the Lord’s prayer – is praying for daily bread insulting to the Lord? -Mt6:9-13

Scripture to improve your discernment:

Related:
The Circle Maker – Discernment


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