Book Review: “What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life” by Brian Zahnd

Recently, someone bought a book for me to read and review (Changing Church: It’s Never Too Late by Galen Woodward). As I was waiting for this book, I had just finished reading Nick Needham’s 2000 Year’s of Christ’s Power (Volume 2): The Middle Ages. As a result, my reading schedule went into no-man’s land, for I like to maintain reading 2 books in my reading schedule (at different times, of course). The person who bought Woodward’s book sent it to me from another state. While waiting for that to arrive, I looked at my library to find a (hopefully) short book to read alongside the other one I am reading (When The Church Was Young: Voices of the Early Church Fathers by Marcellino D’Ambrosio). I found Brian Zahnd’s 2009 book What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life.

At first, I thought maybe I should just wait for Woodward’s book to arrive. As I was putting Zahnd’s book back on my shelf (which has ten chapters and 141 somewhat small pages), I noticed on the front cover at a glance that the foreword was written by narcissistic money-grubbing Bible-twisting heretic Jentezen Franklin. At this time, I had never personally reviewed any material by either Franklin or Zahnd (I am familiar with both via listening to biblical critiques of both by Pastor Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith). Since curiosity only kills cats, I decided to man up and add, temporarily, a third book to my reading schedule with Zahnd’s book (Woodward’s book arrived basically the same day I began Zahnd’s book, and I don’t like pausing readings once I have started). Thankfully, Zahnd’s book took me only a week to finish, but wow is reading three books out loud in a reading schedule at thirty minutes a day per book (alongside the 1+ hours I spend a day reading Scripture out loud) grueling (or maybe something is wrong with me…..or both).

Zahnd’s book has problems before even the table of contents begins. That’s alarming. Here is the page before the table of contents (unofficially page v):

This book is dedicated to you.

You may have just reached the end of the worst day of your life. You may be desperate for answers but hearing none. It’s not by accident that you picked up this book. This story of a man who experienced the worst day of his life three thousand years ago can inspire you with hope for your life today. If you do what David did on his worst day, it is my hope that when you finish, like him you will be able to say:

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God —
soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a small on my face.
—–PSALM 42:11, THE MESSAGE

The fact Zahnd (or whoever wrote this page) states it is no accident I picked up this book is utter manipulation. Second, the fact Zahnd approves of the heretical and blasphemous “The Message” herephrase is very problematic. I wrote an article on this herephrase. Here are some noteworthy paragraphs:

When doing research on this topic, I came across the word “herephrase.” It’s a word I found from listening to a program known as Pirate Christian Radio (a SOLID Bible discernment program dedicated to comparing stuff said in the name of God to the Word of God). A herephrase is a “paraphrase of the Bible that is heretical.” Pirate Christian Radio states that “The Message” is a “very popular example of a herephrase.”

The next logical question to ask is, “How is The Message translation a herephrase?” According to Lance Goodall in his book Hellsong, the Word “Lord” appears no less than 7,970 times in the King James version of the Bible. “The Message” uses it 71 times. That is a huge difference. In fact, the ratio of usage between the two translations is 112:1.

Furthermore, in the New Testament, “The Message” NEVER directly honors Christ as Lord. “The Lord Jesus” occurs 118 times in the King James version. “The Lord Jesus Christ” appears 84 times, but neither phrase (NEITHER) appears in “The Message.” Apparently no other translation makes such an omission. Goodall goes on to say that Judas Iscariot (the one who betrayed Jesus) never referred to Jesus as Lord either (ouch), but that’s for another day.

What’s the big deal about omitting “The Lord Jesus” and “The Lord Jesus Christ”, you ask? Well, salvation is found in nobody else but Jesus (Acts 4:12). Because we have all sinned (i.e., broken God’s law; see Exodus 20:1-17) and fallen short of God’s perfect standard, we cannot save ourselves and inherit the free gift of heaven (Romans 3:23; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-9; Matthew 5:48). God had to solve the sin problem because He is a merciful and loving God but also a just, holy God who must punish sin (1 John 4:8; Exodus 34:7). He solved that problem by sending Jesus Christ, the infinite God-man (or God in human flesh), to die on the cross and rise from the dead to pay the penalty for our sins and purchase a place in heaven for us (John 1:1, 14; Isaiah 53:6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29). According to Blue Letter Bible, the word “Lord” comes from the Greek word “kyrios” (from the root word kuros), which means, “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.” When we trust in Christ alone for salvation (via the gifts of repentance and faith given to the believer, per such texts as 2 Timothy 2:22-26 and Romans 10:5-17), Christ becomes our Lord. To omit that title from Him is tantamount to contradicting what God’s Word says about him. It’s basically to strip Him of His deity.

Other authors have noticed other differences between “The Message” and other translations. These differences include those in orthodoxysinand everlasting life, among other things

The fact Zahnd would approve of such a heretical “translation” of the Bible shows he has problems with discernment. I’ll comment more on his discernment (or lack thereof) later in this review.

As mentioned earlier, Jentezen Franklin wrote the book’s foreword. Mercifully, the foreword is short. Despite the brevity, even the foreword is extremely problematic. Here are the last two paragraphs of the three-paragraph foreword (pp. ix-x; any bolding I do in long-form quotes is done by me):

Why do bad things happen to good people? Where is God when I hurt? Everyone is going to have their “dark night of the soul.” I’ve learned that regardless of where I am or what my circumstances are, God is still love, and His grace is sufficient for me.

In this God-inspired book, Brian Zahnd gives you a blueprint for how to survive the worst day of your life. My wife and I have read and reread every word in this book. It was like God’s voice to us in one of the toughest seasons in our lives. I have recommended it to countless people who were facing their own personal Gethsemane. There are some things in life that you cannot escape, but you will live through them. Don’t stop because it’s dark. Read this book, and follow the proven steps of a man who lost everything but lived to recover it all.

I can elaborate on why there are no good people, but this article from GotQuestions.org should suffice. I have a major issue with Franklin’s stating that Zahnd’s book is “God-inspired.” I’ve already noted Zahnd’s lack of discernment by showing Zahnd’s positive citation of the herephrase known as The Message. Why would God inspire a positive citation of a heretical translation of His own Word? Also, why would God inspire Zahnd’s positive citations/tellings of heretics Georgian Banov (p. 62), Eugene Peterson (p. 76; Peterson is the engine behind the heretical The Message “translation”) and Rick Warren (p. 107)? I’ve barely mentioned some of the content in this book, and already this book had no discernment. Franklin is out of his mind making such an asinine statement. Then again, this is sadly not a shock in light of Pastor Chris Rosebrough’s work that reveals Franklin to be, beyond reasonable doubt, a narcissistic money-grubbing Bible-twisting heretic who does the devil’s work. It does not matter how many times Franklin and his wife have read Zahnd’s book. One’s experiences do not rise to the level of Christian doctrine. Finally, I don’t have a Gethsemane in my life. Franklin’s foreword is absolute narcissistic blasphemous nonsense.

Before I get to the content in this book, I recently wrote an article on what the Bible says about itself. I cited several passages in that article. Those passages will help for this review. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is perhaps the go-to text to see what Scriptures says about itself. For context, I start at verse 10 (NKJV):

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Scripture equips the believer for every good work. Furthermore, it is inspired of God. how can Zahnd’s book equip the believer for every good work when it positively cites heretics?

Numbers 23:19 (NKJV) is a helpful passage that tells something about God. It states:

God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

If God does not lie (see also Titus 1:2, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 6:18, 1 Samuel 15:29, Ezekiel 24:14, 2 Timothy 2:13) and all of the Bible is inspired of God, then that would make the entire Bible true. I can trust it. You can trust it. What one can’t trust is Zahnd, for obviously he has no discernment with both his positively citing heretics and letting a heretic write the foreword for his book.

I cite one more Bible passage before I move to the content of Zahnd’s book. Here is Psalm 12:6 (NKJV):

The words of the Lord are pure words,
Like silver tried in a furnace of earth,
Purified seven times.

Zahnd’s opening words were rather manipulative and deceitful, not pure. At this point, it is obvious that Zahnd’s book is not God-inspired. Nevertheless, a brief perusal of some of the content in this book is still needed. This perusal further strengthens the claim that Zahnd’s book is not God-inspired. Moreover, it proves how much of a deceitful liar Jentezen Franklin is.

When I read this book, it became apparent that it followed a certain pattern. Zahnd lays the groundwork for his book in the introduction. The primary text he interacts with is 1 Samuel 30:1-8, 16-20 and 26 (p. 139). Why he skips verses 9-15, 21-25 and 27-31 is beyond me. He starts every chapter with a verse from that particular text (with the exception of chapter ten, in which a verse from that chapter is the third verse featured). In the “notes” section of his book, I counted 168 overall Scripture references (pp. 139-141). They appear as footnotes throughout the book. I counted 134 of those 168 references (or 79.7%) as being single verses ripped out of context. Zahnd basically employs a Rick Warren method of citing verses minus using a plethora of translations. This is not good.

Because Zahnd failed to cite all of 1 Samuel 30, I show it here in its full context. I bold the verses he omitted (NKJV). It’s 1 Samuel 30:1-31. In the verses he does not omit, the only words I bold are those that were some of the verbatim chapter titles in his book

30 Now it happened, when David and his men came to Ziklag, on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the South and Ziklag, attacked Ziklag and burned it with fire, and had taken captive the women and those who were there, from small to great; they did not kill anyone, but carried them away and went their way. So David and his men came to the city, and there it was, burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep. And David’s two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite, had been taken captive. Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?”

And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.

So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the Brook Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so weary that they could not cross the Brook Besor.

11 Then they found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David; and they gave him bread and he ate, and they let him drink water. 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs and two clusters of raisins. So when he had eaten, his strength came back to him; for he had eaten no bread nor drunk water for three days and three nights. 13 Then David said to him, “To whom do you belong, and where are you from?”

And he said, “I am a young man from Egypt, servant of an Amalekite; and my master left me behind, because three days ago I fell sick. 14 We made an invasion of the southern area of the Cherethites, in the territory which belongs to Judah, and of the southern area of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”

15 And David said to him, “Can you take me down to this troop?”

So he said, “Swear to me by God that you will neither kill me nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will take you down to this troop.”

16 And when he had brought him down, there they were, spread out over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil which they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled. 18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. 19 And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all. 20 Then David took all the flocks and herds they had driven before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21 Now David came to the two hundred men who had been so weary that they could not follow David, whom they also had made to stay at the Brook Besor. So they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. And when David came near the people, he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked and worthless men of those who went with David answered and said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except for every man’s wife and children, that they may lead them away and depart.”

23 But David said, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us. 24 For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.” 25 So it was, from that day forward; he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

26 Now when David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the spoil to the elders of Judah, to his friends, saying, “Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord”— 27 to those who were in Bethel, those who were in Ramoth of the South, those who were in Jattir, 28 those who were in Aroer, those who were in Siphmoth, those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 those who were in Rachal, those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 those who were in Hormah, those who were in Chorashan, those who were in Athach, 31 those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men were accustomed to rove.

As mentioned, Zahnd does not state why he omits the bolded verses above. What Zahnd seemed to do is take a word, phrase or idea from his cited verses and, with one or more of those in hand, use it as a chapter title imperative. Each chapter title states what to do on the worst day of your life. For example, he takes the “wept” word in 1 Samuel 30:4 and has the word “Weep” as the chapter title for chapter one. He uses the word “attacked” in 1 Samuel 30:17 and uses the word “Attack!” for his chapter title for chapter 7. This is a problem, for 1 Samuel 30 is a descriptive text, not a prescriptive one. Moreover, by making all his chapter titles imperatives, Zahnd essentially writes a book that is all law and no Gospel. While this book has a few Gospel nuggets, they’re convoluted because they’re buried in a mess of false doctrine, citations of heretics, and Bible-twisting. All of that stems from this bad foundation Zahnd has created. Finally, where does it say in the above text that the events in 1 Samuel 30 led to David having the worst day of his life? If this was the worst day of David’s life, wouldn’t the author state that in no uncertain terms? Zahnd is basically eisegeting his own idea into the text.

Before I move on, I must ask a question; does every verse have a hidden principle or law one must obey? If the answer is “yes”, then every biblical passage is law. Of course, not every biblical passage has a principle or law that one must obey. 1 Samuel 30, a descriptive passage, certainly does not have such principles or laws. Sadly, Zahnd twists the texts to make it appear as such.

To further amplify the problems of Zahnd’s foundation, one need only look at the second page of Zahnd’s introduction (p. 2):

David and his family, along with David’s men and their families, had been living in Ziklag for a year and four months, and not much had transpired. Ziklag was an interim place for David. It was not Bethlehem, the place of his beginning — nor was it Jerusalem, the place of his destiny. Ziklag was somewhere in between. We all spend some time in Ziklag — it’s not where we came from, nor is it where we are going; it’s just where we happen to be for a while. Ziklag is the place of patent waiting located somewhere between prophecy and destiny. For David, life in Ziklag had been very uneventful, very ordinary, almost boring. Then it happened…

I’m 35 years old. Do you want to know how much time I have spent in Ziklag? The answer is I have never been to Ziklag. What Zahnd is spewing is narcissistic nonsense. The Bible is not about you. It is also not about me. It is about Jesus Christ (John 5:39-47; Luke 24; John 20:30-31). It is about who He is and what He has done.

To further illustrate, I look at those passages. Here is John 5:39-47 (NKJV):

39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Jesus is stating clearly that the Scriptures are about Him. Luke 24:1-53 states a similar thing:

24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”

And they remembered His words. Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into Hisglory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things.49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

Jesus clearly explains how the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms (the entire Old Testament) concerned Him. The Bible is about Jesus. Moreover, the Gospel of John essentially gives a thesis statement of the whole Bible in John 20:30-31:

30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

God’s Word is written so that people may believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The Bible is not about us; it is about Jesus. Sadly, Zahnd makes the Bible about you via his narcigeting the place of Ziklag in your life.

Since I’ve already shown at length the huge problems with Zahnd’s book strictly from its foundation, I only comment on one more thing in this review. It is obvious at this point that Zahnd is confused. In chapter four (titled “Get A Word From God”), he seems to contradict himself. What I do is show some long-form quotes that show the apparent (if not definite) contradiction:

God does not speak to your mind; God speaks to your spirit. God is not a “cosmic mind”; He is a Spirit. When I talk about getting a word from God, I’m not talking about a vague impression. I’m talking about a specific word. It is not something you get every day. If you are going to discern the difference between thoughts in your mind and words from God, you have to know the difference between your soul (the realm of mind, will, and emotions) and the spirit (the part that is God-breathed and regenerated by the Holy Spirit). The way you learn this distinction is by constantly spending time in the Word of God.

p. 47

Zahnd obviously does not take his own advice; if he constantly spent time in the Word of God, he would have found Rick Warren to be a habitual Bible twister and narcissistic heretic. Furthermore, I find it ironic Zahnd talks about discernment when he clearly has none.

Then I became sick. I was sick enough to be on bedrest for two weeks. Though I often felt very sick, I spent most of that time reading the Bible. One night during those two weeks I felt like the Spirit of the Lord wanted me to change my plans and stay in Missouri. As I pondered this, God spoke to me very specifically: “You will build a great church in St. Joseph, Missouri, and travel the world preaching the gospel.” Wow. That’s pretty heady stuff for a long-haired Jesus freak from Savannah, Missouri — but I dared to believe it.

p. 48

Remember the “specific word” (singular) Zahnd mentioned on page 47? He got one sentence (16 words). Did he mean “words” instead? I’m confused. What’s clear, though, is that Zahnd tacitly denies Sola Scriptura given his claiming direct revelation.

Here’s the final quote:

I remember one hot August afternoon after the church had been going (or not going!) for several years. I parked my red Toyota in front of our little red brick building we had purchased for sixty-five hundred dollars. As I looked at this decrepit old chapel, everything about it seemed to speak of failure — the broken sidewalk, the broken stained-glass windows, the broken steeple. Everything was broken. That’s when a voice, quoting Scripture, spoke to my mind. The voice said, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing.” I knew it was a Bible verse. Since the voice quoted Scripture, I assumed it was God. I thought that God had decided I was a failure in the ministry and was telling me to get out…

…As I headed for the door to go apply for a job at the menswear store, another voice, quoting another Scripture, spoke to my mind. This voice said, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Suddenly I realized the first voice that spoke to my mind was not God at all but a demon spirit trying to discourage me and get me to quit. And it almost worked. I almost quit. But now I had a real word from God — a rhema word in the kairos moment. And although no one was in the church building at the time, I ran on to the platform, got behind my pulpit, and preached a sermon from Psalm 27:13!

pp. 51-52

Didn’t Zahnd state on page 47 that God does not speak to your mind? Why is he claiming God spoke to his mind just a mere five pages later? Is he confused? Based on his claiming direct revelation from God (in addition to both the apparent contradiction in this chapter and the nonsense he has spewed in the noted parts of this book), I would say he most definitely is confused.

It is important to understand that God’s Word is all true, all powerful and without error (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; Psalm 12:6; John 17:17; Titus 1:2). Furthermore, it equips the believer for every good work, for it is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-9). Scripture is sufficient. Scripture alone is one’s authority for the faith and practice of a Christian. Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB) states:

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Hebrews 1:1-2 (NASB)

Who is “His Son”? That would be Jesus Christ, God in human flesh (John 1:1-14). Jesus is the Word incarnate. Moreover, He has already revealed all the Christian needs to know as it pertains to life and godliness. We do not need claims of direct revelation from God. Such a thing denies the sufficiency of Scripture. Finally, we certainly do not need any claims to direct revelation from Brian Zahnd.

As I begin to bring this review to a close, here is John 17:17 (NKJV; this is Jesus speaking):

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Are Zahnd’s words (which Jentezen Franklin claimed to be God-inspired) truth? Certainly not. Zahnd is a Bible-twister, narcigete and one who claims direct revelation in his book.

Finally, here is John 10:35 (citing John 10:22-42 for context):

22 Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”

33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.

God’s Word cannot be broken. Brian Zahnd’s words in his book are broken beyond repair.

SOMETHING TO NOTE

As I mentioned earlier, Zahnd’s book was written in 2009. A lot can change in 12 years. It is possible he may not be quite the Bible-twisting narcigete he was. However, in light of the work done by both Chris Rosebrough and Gabe Hughes, it appears Zahnd has gotten worse, for Zahnd hates the precious doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 is a text to consider. I bold the verses I want to emphasize. There is some overlap with the text from 2 Timothy I cited earlier, but the full context helps.

3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and isprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The last days are certainly here. Is Zahnd not a lover of self with his narcigeting 1 Samuel 30? Has he not gone from bad to worse in light of his hatred of penal substitutionary atonement? This is something to consider.

CONCLUSION

Zahnd’s book has arguably the most problematic pre-introduction pages I have ever seen. Worse, the introduction and the book itself are both extremely problematic. Jenetzen Franklin got it absolutely wrong when he stated that Zahnd’s What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life was God-inspired. Zahnd’s book is inspired by something else, simply put. If you’re a Christian and you want to know what to do on the worst day of your life, rest in the blessed assurance that comes with Jesus Christ’s death on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins. Rejoice that He has given you eyes to see and ears to hear. Rejoice that He has granted you the gifts of repentance and faith.

If you are not a Christian and you want to know what to do on the worst day of your life, understand that God loves you. He died on the cross to forgive you of your sins. Repent and believe this good news.

And whether you’re a Christian or not, stay away from Brian Zahnd’s What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life.

Published by Clint Adams

My name is Clinton Adams. I am a born-again Christian. I used to have the blog "faithcontenderblog.wordpress.com." After taking it down, I have since rebooted as "The Earnest Layman" as I earnestly contend for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3). I also promote sound Christian doctrine and rebuke that which contradicts it (Titus 1:9). I mainly do book reviews. However, I also do other types of posts (normally extensive). Should you request a certain topic, I will most definitely consider it. :) If you ever have questions or comments on anything you read here, feel free to comment with your feedback on any of my posts. You can also email me at earnestlayman@outlook.com. If you really like what you read here, you can always follow my blog. Thank you so much for reading!

4 thoughts on “Book Review: “What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life” by Brian Zahnd

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