The Devil’s Delectable Delusion
To some, Satan comes with titillating tidbits, enticing them with esoteric and mysterious doctrines that make the recipients feel specially enlightened and set apart from the common believer. Beware. “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them” (Hebrews 13:9 ESV).
We are asked:
What about the writings of Jane Lead?
Victor and Paul reply:
“But the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned, from which some, having swerved, have turned aside to foolish talking, desiring to be teachers of the Law, neither understanding what they say nor that which they affirm.”
(1 Timothy 1:5-7)
“For a time will be when they will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap up teachers to themselves according to their own lusts, tickling the ear. And they will turn away their ears from the truth and will be turned to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 MKJV).
What shall be said of Jane Lead?
Of some is it said, “They are so Heavenly-minded they are no earthly good.”
As I was reading The Glory of Sharon, I found Jane to be much flower and very little, if any, fruit: all poeticalness and no power. Is this a case of “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5 MKJV)?
Jane Lead’s writing is highly intellectual. Is God intellectual? Should I have a hard time understanding someone who has been sent by Him? What does Jesus say?
“At that time Jesus answered and said, ‘I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight’” (Matthew 11:25-26 MKJV).
She believed in the trinity, which she would not believe in if she was receiving revelation from the Lord Who is One and not three. With whom shall the One God, Jesus Christ, share His Mind, but with one who knows Him for Who He is?
I see that she admired Madame Guyon; but who is Guyon? She was a mystic who never renounced the dogma and institution of the mother of harlots, the Roman Catholic Church. Madame Guyon sought after feelings and experiences, and found them, it seems, but she never found the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? Because she never sought for Him and He didn’t reveal Himself to her. Yet, the world flocks to, and venerates, her as a saint.
Will Jane Lead have credibility with such company? Don’t birds of a feather flock together? These women are faithless foes against the Father, furiously fighting by friendly fire; feathery, fluffy finery-frilled, self-flattering, frivolous frauds, filling their fallacious, foaming, fountain-size flagons to the fullest of their fearless-of-God, flavorless, fruitless, feigned friendship.
God speaks plainly to His children, but these ladies speak loftily. “I have great religion, great revelation, and great relationship with God,” they say, “so give mystified ear in fear and awe of my mystical expression (while I get the glory, not the Lord).”
Did Jane hear God’s voice? Giving us a sample, she says, “…the Eternal Word met me saying, Think not much, neither grudge at the passing away of so many rounds of time, because you have not yet arrived to that flowering age where no blemish or defect may be found. For another time is yet to pass over you, in which, as a translated plant, you must be in the Paradisaical property, with such others as are singled out with you in this same unity of faith, for the making up of a glorious Sharon-State, THAT SHALL COME AS A MORNING-BREAK UPON THE BENIGHTED EARTH, terrible as an Army with Banners, streaming forth in their impregnable defensive powers.”
God didn’t say that. He didn’t say that. Jane said it and said God said it, but she’s wrong. He speaks of and for Himself and not in the terms and thoughts of the one to whom He speaks. Those are her poetic, ostentatious words and manner of expression. God says:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9 MKJV).
In Eight Worlds, Jane writes:
“These are all the worlds where there may be sinful lustings, with punishments answerable, till sin shall expire therein, through the mediatorship and propitiation of CHRIST the Almighty Redeemer. For into the next four worlds nothing of evil or sin can enter, or in their inhabitants dwell.
The first of these is the Paradisical World, being all celestial, and a very pleasant state, where there is a growing up to higher degrees of perfection, to complete us for:
The Kingdom of Mount Zion, where Christ the Lord’s Kingdom is in great magnificence, with all the angelical principalities under Him, and with the elders, as Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles.
The third heavenly world is the royal and principal seat of God the Father, with the Eternal Virgin Wisdom, and the Seven Spirits. This bears the title of the great city called The New Jerusalem, which is encompassed by the Glassy Sea.
Then above this is that world called the Still Eternity, out of which were generated all of these above-mentioned worlds: all of which I must give an account, according as I have had them shown and opened, from their deep center and Original Being.”
Can it be that while the Father’s “royal and principal seat” is found in the third heavenly world, there is an “above”, a “Still Eternity,” “out of which were generated” all the other worlds? How so? Isn’t God above and beyond all? How, then, can His “royal and principal seat” be found below another world?
At www.janelead.org, we read:
“In 1703, at age 79, Jane suffered a serious fall which nearly took her life. There is no mention in the Sperle account of any other specific illness at that time. Jane Lead died at age 80 on August 19, 1704, after a devastating illness that included daily internal pain, high fevers and vomiting. Sperle suggests it was cancer of the stomach. I believe that the tremendous spiritual purgings which she suffered could have also been a contributing factor.”
From all I read in the Scriptures, saints do not die such horrible deaths. Nor have I ever witnessed such unpleasant death and suffering by any walking by faith in the Lord. I believe that if one is walking with God, one will be taken in a pleasant and dignified manner. Am I wrong? If so, let someone show me by Scripture.
I believe Satan dangled his glorious carrots before Jane, which were invited by the vanities of her mind, so she might attain to mysteries and experiences not to be sought by saints. “Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.” We are not to be distracted, but to concentrate on the practical and applicable matters in this life, leaving the future to God.
As a result of Jane’s pursuing these matters, she was led into a trap of destruction. The author of the words quoted above suggests her devastating illness was a result of “tremendous spiritual purgings.” Even in our physical lives, the worst of healing crises aren’t as traumatic as what Jane experienced, and healing comes in much more comfortable ways in most cases by far.
And when the Lord healed or cleansed anyone spiritually, especially of sin, there was no such pain and suffering. To His primary disciples, the apostles, He said:
“Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3 MKJV).
We find no record in Scripture or creation of such consequences as Jane experienced of healing, purging, and cleansing. Even Job, who greatly suffered, was healed and greatly blessed in the end. Isaiah’s mouth was made clean by a quick and painless touch (Isaiah 6:1-7). The same can’t be said for Jane Lead.
We can’t hold Jane responsible for the opinions of others as to what may have happened with her, but we can understand her spiritual condition by what the Lord reveals and teaches us in His Law, judgments, testimonies, precepts, and principles. These are all faithful witnesses of the truth and able guides of understanding and wisdom.
I’ve been impressed with some of the things Jane said, for I have also received some of the revelations she expressed in what I’ve red of her writings. For example, she speaks of the second death as the antidote for the first death. Wonderful! She left the church systems, knowing a child of God doesn’t belong there. Wonderful! She speaks of several dimensions of the spiritual journey. True and wonderful! Three centuries ago, she spoke of a time that I and those with me feel is upon us and including us now.
However, I must conclude that her mysticism hasn’t served to glorify the Lord and lead a soul to salvation and fulfillment in Him so much as to fascinate, enthrall, amaze, impress, and may I say, preoccupy people. This isn’t good. It is a subtle glorification of the creature rather than the Creator. Simply put, it is idolatry. Jane was leading souls to worship other gods. What is the instruction of the Lord concerning such matters and persons?
Deuteronomy 13:1-11 ESV
(1) If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder,
(2) and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, “Let us go after other gods,” which you have not known, “and let us serve them,”
(3) you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
(4) You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.
(5) But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
(6) If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, “Let us go and serve other gods,” which neither you nor your fathers have known,
(7) some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other,
(8) you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him.
(9) But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.
(10) You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
(11) And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.
How do we put away those who would lead us astray after other gods? I’m doing it now by exposing the falsehood coming from Jane in her writings disseminated by others who don’t know what they’re doing. I publicly expose the subtle deception so that others may hear and fear. Should they believe Jane and follow after her gods, they will perish, but if they will believe the words I’m given to speak concerning her doctrine and ways, and will act accordingly, they will be spared and, if going on in the truth, will thrive.
I’ve spent hours reading Jane’s writings. I’ve asked the Lord to give me understanding. Jane’s revelations have been awesome, though very difficult for me to understand, not so much because of essence, but because of Jane’s lofty expression, though the essence is difficult and, indeed, impossible to understand without experience and revelation.
For whose benefit is her great intellectual comprehension and expression? For the wise and prudent? For the scholars and doctors? Who is to be impressed? I think God would have the simple to receive His glories, even as Peter, the uneducated fisherman, received:
Matthew 16:15-19 MKJV
(15) [Jesus] said to them, “But who do you say I am?”
(16) And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
(17) Jesus answered and said to him, “You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven.
(18) And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
(19) And I will give the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to you. And whatever you may bind on earth shall occur, having been bound in Heaven, and whatever you may loose on earth shall occur, having been loosed in Heaven.”
My conclusion is that Satan knows much more than we suppose, and he has succeeded in deceiving this woman by enticing her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
How will Satan not know of great things, having been where great things are and originate?
After all, he appeared and presented himself among the sons of God to God in Heaven (Job 1 and 2).
He was able to drive David to count Israel and offend (1 Chronicles 21:1).
He demonstrated awesome powers in his dealings with Job (Job 1 and 2).
He has been a worthy opponent of Michael, the great archangel (Daniel 10; Jude 1:9).
He tries the saints and was powerful and shrewd enough to tempt none other than the Son of God (Luke 4:1-13).
He was sent by God to harass Paul the apostle in order to humble him (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
I deplore Jane’s and her “sponsor’s” representation of God in this portion of Jane’s records. Someone asked a question:
“Could you clarify for me Jane Lead’s understanding of the figure of Sophia in her writings? Is this the Holy Spirit or another person within the Godhead, or simply a personification of the female side of God?”
The question is answered from Jane’s record:
“This is an important question—one that Jane Lead herself prayed about:
[1FOG 1:1] §.Being my lot at that time to visit a friend in a solitary country-place, where I had great advantage of retirement, often frequenting lonely walks in a grove or wood (contemplating the happy state of the angelical world, and how desirous I was to have my conversation there), my thoughts were much exercised upon Solomon’s choice, which was to find out the noble stone of Divine Wisdom. For by acquainting myself with her, all desirable good in spiritual things would meet upon me. The report and fame that Solomon gave of Wisdom much excited me to seek her favor and friendship, demurring in myself from where she was descended, still questioning whether she was a distinct being from the Deity.”
While Proverbs personifies wisdom as a woman, the writer doesn’t speak of wisdom as a personal and Divine Being. Continuing:
“This is the response she received immediately after praying this:
[1FOG 1:3] While in this debate within my mind, there came upon me an overshadowing bright cloud, and in the midst of it the figure of a woman, most richly adorned with transparent gold, her hair hanging down, and her face as the terrible crystal for brightness, but her countenance was sweet and mild. I was somewhat amazed at the sight, but immediately this voice came, saying, ‘Behold I am God’s Eternal Virgin-Wisdom whom you have been inquiring after. I am to unseal the treasures of God’s deep wisdom, and will be to you as Rebecca was to Jacob, a true natural mother. For out of my womb you shall be brought forth after the manner of a spirit, conceived and born again. This you shall know by a new motion of life, stirring and giving a restlessness, till Wisdom shall be born within the inward parts of your soul’.”
Besides the feminine personification of wisdom in Proverbs, nowhere in the Scriptures do we hear of such a woman. The only reference to a heavenly mother of the saints is the celestial Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26), which comes down out of Heaven (Revelation 21:2). This Jerusalem, also known as the Bride of Christ, is obviously a depiction of the union of God and man, with Christ giving the City light and the twelve apostles’ names on the foundations of its walls.
There is no female being called “Wisdom,” only the wisdom of God that comes from Christ:
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made to us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption; so that, according as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the Lord’” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 MKJV).
The new birth from above is also through Christ, not by way of a female spirit:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3 ESV).
“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. And everyone who loves Him Who begets also loves him who has been born of Him” (1 John 5:1 MKJV).
We never hear of God as a female, yet that is exactly what Lead proposes. Going on with remarks of the commentator and a quote from Jane:
“And so as Jane was considering who and what she was, Wisdom/Sophia herself appeared to Jane. This tells us she was most definitely a distinct person of the Godhead, and indeed Jane described her as a member of the Tri-Une Deity:
‘Now as to the Second, for Community and Society [of the Upper World]; there is first the Tri-une-Deity, wherein is included the Virgin-Wisdom; and the Glorious Humanity of Christ, as the High Majestick Kingly Power, that ruleth and governeth here. (Living Funeral Testimony, #55.)’”
As we have taught from the Scriptures, there is only One God, One Spirit and Supernatural Being Who created us all. There is no trinity of gods. That which is commonly called the trinity is three manifestations of the same singular God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Lead has depicted the Spirit of God as a “she.” Is that what the Scriptures say?
“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13 MKJV).
And unlike Lead’s spirit, which isn’t about Christ, the Spirit of Truth glorifies Him:
“…For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you” (John 16:13-14 MKJV).
If this apparition of Lead’s was God, it wouldn’t present itself as a property or aspect of Him. It would present the Lord, because it would be Him. But this apparition isn’t God or a representative from Him. It’s an invention of human imagination and deceptive devils. That’s why Lead was comforted by it while in her sin and corruption. If she had met God or His representative she wouldn’t have felt comfortable, as the experiences of Moses, Isaiah, Daniel, Paul, and John show us. Plainly God didn’t reveal Himself to her.
There is much that could be pointed out and discussed of Jane’s writings, life, and doctrine. I possibly don’t understand much of what she says, which should be warning enough. I can only go by how the Lord Jesus Christ has presented and revealed Himself to me and to others, whether they are people in the Scriptures or people we’ve been acquainted with in history or those we’ve known personally. I can only seek the Lord to understand what I need to understand and to keep me from being deceived and misled by a subtle angel of light, who knows his business well.
Victor Hafichuk and Paul Cohen