Is Oprah a Christian? Find out what she truly believes with guest James Walker on the show Christ in Prophecy.
Last aired on July 24, 2011.
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Dr. Reagan: Many people believe that Joel Osteen has the largest church in America, but he does not. The largest church by far is one pastored by a charismatic woman who preaches daily to millions and what she preaches is gross apostasy. For a discussion of the perverted theology stay tuned.
Dr. Reagan: Greetings in the name of Jesus our Blessed Hope and welcome to Christ in Prophecy. My colleague Nathan Jones and I have as our special guest this week an old friend by the name of James Walker. James is a former 4th generation Mormon who found the Lord Jesus Christ, dedicated his life to Him and decided to spend the rest of his life trying to lead people out of the spiritual darkness of the cults. James welcome to Christ in Prophecy.
James Walker: Thanks, Dave, good to be back.
Dr. Reagan: It is always a delight to have you with us, our viewers just love you. And James I would like start off by saying that at the beginning of this program I referred to America’s largest church as being one pastored by a woman who speaks to millions everyday. Would you agree with that assessment?
James Walker: Absolutely, absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: I see that you are biting at the bit here.
James Walker: I would call that the church of Oprah. I think that Oprah Winfrey is probably the most influential woman in America right now. And especially since 1994, the direction of her program, the direction of her altruism, the direction of what she does has a spiritual focus to it. “Time Magazine” editor applied to her as the new Mother Theresa she is a spiritual leader, and the kind of spirituality she is leading us to is not historic Christian.
Dr. Reagan: But I thought she was raised as a Baptist.
James Walker: Oprah was raised as a Baptist, but really what has happened to countless, maybe millions of American’s, Oprah went through a transformation. She moved from her Judeo Christian understanding of who God is; the nature of God, and she transitioned over to a metaphysical New Age concept about who God is. And the main watershed in Oprah’s life we document this took place in 1994, that is when the major shift took place. But she was raised Christian, in fact even as a little girl raised in the Baptist church felt that one day she would be a missionary, that she would be an evangelist of the Gospel.
Nathan Jones: That happened.
James Walker: It came true; unfortunately it’s really not the Christian Gospel though.
Dr. Reagan: Well now what is it, that during this transition that caused the transition? I mean what?
James Walker: Well there was evidence early on that there were some misunderstanding with Oprah, she said one of her pastors in the past, she was raised in Mississippi her father a very devote Christian, but there was a pastor said that, “God was a jealous God.” And she misunderstood that and thought that maybe God was insecure, and so she couldn’t, she had issues with that. Nevertheless she maintained her Christian perspective, Christian worldview, but the change happened in ’94. Now her pastor at this time in Chicago was a fairly well known minister by the name of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
Dr. Reagan: I don’t think you need to say much more.
James Walker: And it was while Oprah was a member of this church, this is where she met President Obama, so they met at the Church, they are members of the same church. And she rejected traditional Christian faith, I kind of wonder…
Dr. Reagan: So had her pastor because he was a social Gospel preacher.
James Walker: Yes, absolutely. It makes you wonder when you hear some of the quotes from Reverend Jeremiah Wright. When Oprah rejected traditional Christian faith was it rejecting the type of Christianity promoted by Jeremiah Wright, we may never know the answer to that question.
Dr. Reagan: Alright now you say that she has veered off the path from Christianity into the New Age. What do you mean by New Age?
James Walker: Well New Age, it is difficult to define New Age.
Dr. Reagan: I know.
James Walker: And it is kind of an umbrella term, but basically New Age spirituality is a combination of taking, borrowing elements from various sources partly from Eastern Religion. The doctrine of Monism, the idea that all is one and that one is identified with God, that God is impersonal, everything’s God; I’m God, your God, the table is God.
Dr. Reagan: Tree is God.
James Walker: Everything is God, the trees are God, and that there are elements from Taoism, from Eastern Religions, from forms of Hinduism and some from Buddhism as well. But that is mixed in with 19th Century occultism so you have things like some of the New Agers would be involved as Oprah we can document has been involved with channeling; which is where a person will put themselves in an altered state of consciousness and eligibly allow the spirit, some supernatural spirit to come inside and take control of their bodies, some dead person, or some kind of ascended master or some type of angel to come in and take control of their body. There is a mixture of things that you can kind of put under the umbrella New Age. Now Oprah doesn’t like to be identified with New Age.
Nathan Jones: She got upset didn’t she? Didn’t somebody in her audience say that, “You have moved to New Age?” And she said, “I don’t like crystals and all that,” and she got all upset about it. So making many people think she was a Baptist.
Dr. Reagan: I want to focus though there on the New Age. Now let’s talk for a moment of 2 things: What does the New Age believe about God? And what does he believe about Jesus?
James Walker: Well New Age believes in God and that God is one, but they believe that God is all and everything is God. Technically this is called pantheism.
Dr. Reagan: Yes, right, okay.
James Walker: Christianity is…
Dr. Reagan: So an impersonal God.
James Walker: …monotheism. Yeah, a pantheist a New Ager would be more comfortable saying God — it, God is a force or a power or a principle not God —who.
Dr. Reagan: Would it be correct from a New Age viewpoint to say if you want to find God — go inside.
James Walker: Yes, because all is God that means you are God, you are God but you just don’t know it. So what you need is some type of altered state of consciousness or some type of event that helps you go within and contact the deity that was within you, it is within the dolphins, it is within the trees, it is within all.
Dr. Reagan: I remember Shirley MacLaine said she used to go out to the seashore and as the ocean roared in she would raise her hands and say, “I am God, I am God, I am God, I am God.”
James Walker: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Alright, Jesus Christ.
James Walker: Jesus Christ, the New Agers would have a lot of respect for Jesus; Jesus was a great teacher He was. But they believe that what Jesus taught was New Age spirituality and that Jesus recognized Himself as God, but He also recognized all is God, and they will misinterpret where Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” Jesus is talking about His own self, the Kingdom of God is in their midst but they would say, “No that what Jesus meant to say, that you are God and you just don’t know it.”
Dr. Reagan: Well now I am sure there are many people who are sitting here right now and they are saying, “Oprah can’t be that bad, I mean look at all the good she does; orphanages in Africa, giving away automobiles to people, and all this sort of thing. She is such a good person.”
James Walker: You know I think she does a lot of good. And let me say I read last year Oprah’s unauthorized biography came out by Kitty Kelley and I read it and you know I have watched hours and hours of the Oprah Winfrey Show, she has her own network now the OWN, Oprah owns you, the Oprah Winfrey Network, but I think, I still believe Dave that she is sincere. I think that somewhere inside that there is sincerity there, and that is why I’m not giving up on praying for Oprah. I pray for Oprah as other Christians, she would be a game changer, could you imagine.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, yeah.
James Walker: With her…
Nathan Jones: Oh, my word with her connections.
James Walker: …if she would transition to the true God of the Bible and true Christianity how influential that would be.
Dr. Reagan: No doubt about that because a few years ago she started a new aspect on her program where she would recommend a book, and instantly that book became number 1 best seller on the New York Times, and nearly all the books are New Age books.
James Walker: Unfortunately a lot of them are.
Dr. Reagan: And I want to come back and talk about those books, okay.
James Walker: Alright.
Nathan Jones: Welcome back to our interview of James Walker, President of Watchman Fellowship in Arlington, Texas. James is an expert on cults and the false religions, and his ministry has produced a catalogue of these organizations and you can get a copy through his website. James why don’t you tell folks how they can get in touch with you.
James Walker: On our website at www.watchman.org, we have what we call the Index of Cults and Religions, over a 1000 I think 1200 or something religious organizations, cults, occult groups, controversial doctrines practices, all cross referenced and it is a great place to go if you have heard about something to get more information, start with our Index of Cults and Religions at watchman.org.
Nathan Jones: I go to your website a lot, it is a great website.
Dr. Reagan: It is it is a wonderful one. And James, Nathan and I would like to highlight some of Oprah’s apostasy from the Christian faith and from her youth by giving you some quotes to respond to. In other words we don’t want to just make baseless allegations here, we want to take the words right out of her mouth, give you the quotes and have you respond to them, okay? The first one is this I quote her, “The God I believe in is a force. If you believe in rhythm of nature and believe in love, then you believe in God.”
James Walker: Yeah, this is typical most even Christians hear Oprah talk about she believes in God and they stop right there and they go, “Oh, great Oprah believes in God.” But if you listen to what she says about God, God is a force, well this is the heart of pantheism.
Dr. Reagan: Well it sounds like Hinduism to me.
Nathan Jones: Sounds like Star Wars.
James Walker: Yes, sometimes God is not an it God is He according to the Scriptures, God is personal. But the big issue is; is God going to be an impersonal force or is God going to be a personal God that we can communicate with, have a relationship with that we can sin against, that we can repent towards. This is not the God that Oprah currently…
Dr. Reagan: Same theology of the Star Wars movies isn’t it?
James Walker: Yeah, the force be with you.
Dr. Reagan: The force.
James Walker: But beware of the dark side. There you have the Taoism, that the same force which can be so helpful, beneficial, has a dark side and a light side, this in Taoism is called the yin and the yang, this is Eastern religion being manifest using Christian sounding words like God.
Dr. Reagan: In fact Christianity is the only religion in the world that has a personal God, a personal God. I mean for example the Koran teaches a very impersonal God.
James Walker: Yeah, the idea of relationship with God is foreign to all other religions.
Dr. Reagan: That’s right.
Nathan Jones: How about this one; “I am not New Age anything and I resent being called that. I am just trying to open a door so that people can see themselves more clearly and perhaps be the light to get them to God.” Okay, doesn’t that mean she is a New Ager? I mean everything there sounds New Age?
James Walker: She says, “I am not New Age.” And really I think Oprah is not trying to be deceitful here, I mean I don’t know her heart but I think she probably honestly doesn’t know that she is New Age. And she does resent being called New Age, but that is typical of people involved. I hear this all the time, “I am not New Age, in fact I don’t even know what New Age is.” Well now wait a minute if you don’t know what New Age is, then how do you know that you have not bought into, that you have not integrated into your doctrine, your philosophy some of the basics of New Age. Oprah has, is friends with, promotes, endorses virtually any major New Age teacher from Shirley MacLaine which is the poster child for New Age from the 1980’s all the way up to Deepak Chopra to Marianne Williamson. She is promoting these New Agers, promoting their doctrine, philosophy. I think maybe she just doesn’t understand that what she is doing is so New Age.
Dr. Reagan: I just don’t know how in the world anybody could say they are not New Age when all of her guests are New Age.
James Walker: Yeah.
Dr. Reagan: I mean it just doesn’t make sense to me.
Nathan Jones: Channeling demons and spirits is not Christian.
Dr. Reagan: Yeah.
James Walker: And Oprah herself has channeled. It is interesting of course “The Color Purple,” is what she is most known for but she did a later program in 1998 a movie called, “Beloved,” where she played the part of a former slave, and the movie is all kinds of spiritualism and the occult in the movie. But one of the things is Oprah claims later in several occasions that she actually contacted her ancestors and was channeling the spirits of former slaves in order to get into the part, that she wasn’t acting as much as she was allowing these spirits to come inside her and she uses the word channeling, in fact she said the whole cast was channeling.
Nathan Jones: Who does she think these spirits are?
James Walker: Well again from a Christian perspective a dead person cannot make this kind of contact with the living. The Bible calls this necromancy; and attempt to communicate with the dead. From a biblical perspective it is either a psychological disorder, the person is deceiving themselves, or the very real possibility it could be a demonic spirit pretending to be a benevolent good spirit, or some kind of dead person in what really amounts to a form of spiritualization.
Dr. Reagan: Well King Saul was condemned by God for doing this.
James Walker: Yes, absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Now Shirley MacLaine is one of her poster children as you put it. Shirley MacLaine was on Oprah’s show and she said, “The way to really find out the answer to life’s questions was not by going to the Bible, but by going to your inner self through meditation.” And when she said that and I quote Oprah, Oprah said, “You know that is the same as what the Bible teaches when it says, ‘Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find.'”
James Walker: Yeah, again it is a misunderstanding; it is taking the Bible out of context. You are not asking, the Bible when it says, ask, seek, you are not asking Shirley MacLaine.
Dr. Reagan: Or yourself.
James Walker: You are not looking in the mirror and asking yourself. The problem is many of these New Agers are seeking God which is a good thing. The problem is they find God in the mirror. This God can not give you the desires of your heart, this God — the God you find in the mirror cannot satisfy your deepest spiritual yearnings and longings.
Dr. Reagan: Anyone who can find God in the mirror is in a desperate situation.
James Walker: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Now Nathan I think you find a real off the wall quote from Oprah.
Nathan Jones: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: How about reading that one?
Nathan Jones: Yes this is really off the wall. “As I read more of Shirley MacLaine’s writings,” that should tell you something there, “and the Aquarian Conspiracy it seems to me that they are saying that the Bible has always said is that just many of us were brought up with more restricted, limited vision of what the Bible says.” Restricted limited vision of what the Bible says?
James Walker: Right, now what many New Agers will do and you will find this with all whether it is Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, they will take the Bible and they will try to say that the Bible actually teaches their doctrine.
Nathan Jones: Okay.
James Walker: So you will find that with the New Agers, you will find the Bible where Jesus says, “You must be born again,” so they will say, “Well see Jesus said reincarnation, you must be born again, and again and again.” When you take the Bible in the whole context of course you see that the Bible says, “It is appointed to all men once to die and after that the judgment.” There is no reincarnation, there is a facing a judgment time where we will all stand before God and that is what the Bible really teaches. They will go through and pick things like the Kingdom of God is within you, they will take things out of context to make it appear that the Jesus and the Bible are promoting New Age spirituality.
Nathan Jones: Well doesn’t she believe that Jesus isn’t even God, that He is an ascended master something that we need to look for and become like him because we can be an ascended master like him. Isn’t that the Aquarian Conspiracy?
James Walker: Yeah, the idea is, now they may say Jesus is God but only in the sense that everything is God; the dolphin is God, and the tree is God. So in that sense Jesus is God. But they would make a distinction, almost every New Ager between Christ and Jesus. Jesus was a mere man they would say. Where Christ is a concept or idea that Christ had of his divinity, but we all need to have that same Christ consciousness. And we can all emulate Jesus by realizing our own divinity within. Again the idea is you go within to find the truth.
Dr. Reagan: And in that quote that Nathan just read, she referred to the writings of Shirley MacLaine which we know are off the wall. But what is this thing that she refers to as she being impressed with the Aquarian Conspiracy?
James Walker: Yeah, Marilyn Ferguson wrote a book which kind of became a blueprint, “Aquarian Conspiracy,” back in the 1960’s. And basically it was a blueprint for taking what we know call New Age spirituality and mainstreaming it.
Dr. Reagan: Okay.
James Walker: And it is interesting to go back and see that some of these things that were theories that they would hope would be something that could be brought into place or actually, have actually happened now. So in the 1980’s and 90’s New Age spirituality was considered to be off the wall. It is mainstream now so you go to the bookstore it is in virtually every section of the bookstore now.
Dr. Reagan: Now James one of the things that Oprah has emphasized the most in recent years is something called, “The Course in Miracles,” and in just a moment we want to come back and have you comment on that.
Dr. Reagan: Welcome back to Christ in Prophecy and our interview of James Walker. James back in 2008 Oprah announced that she was going to start offering a year —long course on her satellite radio program entitled, “A Course in Miracles,” what was that all about?
James Walker: Well, “A Course in Miracles,” is a New Age classic going back the foundation of it in the 1960’s actually. There was a woman named Helen Schucman who is a psychiatric practitioner, a clinical psychiatrist who heard a voice in her head. And that voice identified itself as Jesus and said, “This is a course in miracles, please take notes.” And so over the next years as she gets these dictated information, which is really channeling back to what we talked about earlier, channeling, this voice telling her, my name is Jesus she begins to take notes. Up comes this book, it is about this thick.
Dr. Reagan: It is called automatic writing isn’t it?
James Walker: It is similar to automatic writing, but it is a form of channeling, and inner dictation and she comes up with a book about this thick entitled, “A Course in Miracles.” Now Marianne Williamson later writes a book called, “A Return to Love,” which is based on the principles found in “A Course in Miracles.” Now Helen Schucman died in the early 1980’s but this has become a classic in New Age circles. The teaching that Jesus, this spirit calling himself Jesus tells us that everything that we are seeing right now is actually a dream.
Dr. Reagan: A dream yes.
James Walker: It’s not here.
Dr. Reagan: No reality.
James Walker: There is no reality. We are actually in Heaven right now sleeping safely in Heaven and all this that we are seeing right now is an illusion.
Nathan Jones: Bad dream then?
James Walker: This is another New Age teaching that is borrowed from some Eastern Religions called Maya. The idea of Maya is that everything that we see is an illusion and many forms of New Age once you understand that you can change reality by the powers of your mind. You can visualize or say the right words, speak into existence or think the right thoughts, like the, “Secret,” which is another thing that Oprah pushes real hard. And you can create your own reality. Well that is all based on the idea that there is no independent self —identified reality outside what we project from our minds. This is the core teaching found in this year long course that Oprah puts out.
Dr. Reagan: This is eastern religion gone to seed.
James Walker: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: Yet Oprah pushed this for a year on her radio program.
James Walker: For a whole year.
Nathan Jones: Some of the teachings that she made them say every day, I just couldn’t believe it. “A slain Christ has no meaning,” the audience all repeats that, “A slain Christ has no meaning.” “The journey to the cross should be the last useless journey.” I mean…
Dr. Reagan: The last what kind of journey?
Nathan Jones: Useless journey.
James Walker: Useless.
Nathan Jones: Yes, do not make the pathetic error of clinging to the old rugged cross. It goes on and on like this, it is constantly attacking the Bible and Jesus’ divinity.
James Walker: Yeah, this is not just some innocuous self-help. This is an antithesis to Christianity, this goes at the heart of sin. And again this idea of Maya you are going to reject the whole idea of sin, sickness and death. We find the same thing in Christian Science, we find the same thing in Unity School of Christianity, we find the same thing in the Church of Religious Science. All this is part and parcel of New Age forms of spirituality.
Dr. Reagan: Nathan you came across some quote in one of the books I think by was it Butterworth? Entitled, “Discover the Power Within You,” that very title is a tip off.
Nathan Jones: Eric Butterworth in one of his important books he said okay, in this he says, “Jesus did not come to teach us how divine he was.”
James Walker: Now is this Oprah quoting Butterworth?
Nathan Jones: No this is Eric Butterworth’s book. But she did state his book. “Jesus did not come to teach us how divine he was, but to teach that divinity is within each of us.” Now that to me sounds like the Garden of Eden, the first temptation.
Dr. Reagan: And Oprah said of that she said her quote, “That if Jesus did claim exclusive divinity, then He was the biggest egotist that ever lived.”
James Walker: Yeah. It really is always going to come back to the Garden of Eden. Now Eric Butterworth was one of the most renowned teachers, philosophers in the area of something called Unity, Unity School of Christianity which is a New Age religion. He died I think in 19 or 2003 or something like that, but he was one of the biggest teachers of Unity School of Christianity and this whole idea of New Age. So this is one of Oprah’s mentors as she appreciates what he has to say. It is an attack on the deity of Christ, and it always comes back to the Garden of Eden with what the serpent told Eve, “You will not surely die.” This is a promise of immortality apart from the God of the Bible through reincarnation or whatever means, you are not going to really die. Secondly your eyes are going to be opened, this is what the New Age calls enlightenment, in this enlightened state the third is the kicker you will be as God.
Dr. Reagan: Yes.
James Walker: What they are going to teach you is that you are God you just don’t know it. This parallels exactly what happened in the Garden of Eden with the temptation of Eve from the serpent.
Dr. Reagan: You know all this reminds me of something that happened to me years ago back in the mid 80’s when I was speaking on cults at a conference in Denton, Texas. And I mentioned that the Unity Church is a cult and I gave some reasons. And afterwards two college kids because Denton is a big college center with a couple of universities there came up to me two girls and they were incensed and they said, “How dare you call the Unity Church a cult. We are a member of the Unity Church.” And I said, “Well does your preacher ever preach from the Bible?” “Well not really they talk about philosophy and so forth.” They said, “In fact we got so upset about that we went to our pastor and we said, ‘Will you preach a Bible sermon?’ and he did.” And she pulls out this envelope and she has the notes on the back she said, “This is the sermon that he preached last Sunday, “Why Jesus Believed in Reincarnation.” I said, “Oh that is very interesting did he give any quotes?” “Oh, yes he said, ‘You cannot go to Heaven unless you are born again.'” This is the kind of deception that exists and it is New Age stuff.
James Walker: Yeah, absolutely. And Oprah is just again she may be one of the most visible signs of this, but what has happened to Oprah this transition from traditional Christian worldview to New Age spirituality is being repeated millions of times across our country and Oprah is the main leader.
Dr. Reagan: And the ultimate apostasy it seems to me that all this leads to is one that she has mouthed herself, and that is this, regarding the question of whether there are many roads to God Oprah made this comment, “There could not possible be only one way to God. Does God really care about your heart or whether you call His Son Jesus?”
James Walker: The problem with pluralism; you are always going to find that the false religions are going to say that there are many paths, many roads, many ways to whatever you call God. And the truth of the matter is; that is a very appealing doctrine.
Dr. Reagan: Oh, this is the age of tolerance.
James Walker: And if God came to me and said James how would you like it to be? Maybe I would vote that way. But see God never asked me. And did you get to vote on that?
Nathan Jones: Not at all, not at all.
James Walker: So we have to if we are Christ followers we are bound to go with what Christ Himself said. And Christ made it clear when He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life no one comes to the Father except through me.” Now on our website we have the video of Oprah actually saying that. She gets all on that.
Dr. Reagan: I urge people to go see that video, because she has a debate with a woman who says, and she is just appalled, “How can you say Jesus is the only way?”
James Walker: We are not misquoting Oprah. Oprah clearly teaches that there are many paths, many ways to whatever you call God.
Nathan Jones: Your wonderful article has all the footnotes. I mean if people say that you are just shooting from the hip, but all the quotes from and the shows are all back there in the index so people can see it.
Dr. Reagan: And you can find that article on the homepage of your website right?
James Walker: Watchman.org.
Dr. Reagan: Tell our viewers again how to get to your website.
James Walker: It’s www.watchman.org, right on the homepage if you scroll down a little bit you will see a picture of Oprah, you can go there and watch the video for yourself. You can also download our article, “The Gospel According to Oprah,” and we document, we give you the sources for where we are getting this so you can follow up on the research as well.
Dr. Reagan: And the other thing folks that you can do at his site is that you can go there and use their search engine, so that if you are interested in Jehovah’s Witness, Seven Day Adventist, Oneness, whatever you can just type that in and it will take you to articles on the site, right?
James Walker: Absolutely.
Dr. Reagan: And they are wonderful, I use the site all the time, I really do. It is a great site; I don’t know how you get so many articles. Man you guys must do nothing but sit around and write all the time. You ever get sued?
James Walker: Yes, that is a whole another program. We have been sued twice by the Church of Scientology.
Dr. Reagan: Oh well they are professionals. I mean they are professionals they sue everybody, everybody. They just try; all they want to do is just intimidate you so you won’t talk about them, yeah. But they don’t ever get anywhere really with those. They just make you spend a lot of money.
James Walker: Yes.
Dr. Reagan: Okay. Well any final comments you want to make about cults. Again I would like you to tell our viewers the most important thing about how can they avoid being deceived. Look right into that camera and tell them.
James Walker: Again what we have to do is we have to be able to understand the Word of God in context, not bits and pieces here and there to know the truth. The best way to recognize any counterfeit is by knowing the genuine. And the genuine is presented by God through His Word, through the Old and New Testaments and that is our best defense on being able to recognize the cults is by knowing the genuine.
Dr. Reagan: Well James I want to thank you once again for being with us, it is always a joy to have you. And you always ruffle the feathers and open eyes that is the main thing you open eyes and people begin to really search the scriptures as they never have searched them before and that is a wonderful thing.
James Walker: Thanks Dave.
Dr. Reagan: We can not search them enough. Even Paul complemented people on testing what he taught against the Scriptures. How much more so should they test what you and I have to teach about the Scriptures? Well folks I am sorry to say that our time is just about up and we are going to have to bring this program to a close. I hope you will be with us again next week, same time, same station, and until then this is Dave Reagan speaking for Lamb and Lion Ministries’ saying, “Look up, be watchful for our redemption is drawing near.”
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